It’s called a “travel bubble”, the tendency of tourists staying locked up in tourist circles; going to game parks, gorilla trekking, visiting mountains, and a whole range of other human-less things. However, you can choose to break loose out of the bubble by doing things that are more human. Below are 7 ways to connect with Rwandans on your next trip to Rwanda.
1. Behave like a local: Kigali is pretty much a decent city. You can find American standard places but you can choose to be different. Break loose of the “tourist bubble” by choosing to behave more like a local. Here is an example; as opposed to the high-end supermarkets, bars or restaurants, go to places where the ordinary Rwandans go. Spend like them. Don’t be afraid to start a conversation with them. Mingle. It’s just for the fun of it.
2. Interact with locals online: Before coming to Rwanda, invest sometime on social media. Search for personalities in Rwanda; ordinary citizens in the society. Interact with them. Get their opinions about things. Let them know that you are intending to visit. Who knows the next person you might meet?
3. Organize a home stay: Ask your tour operator to help you organize a home stay with a local family. For once leave your hotel room or hostel and spend a night with a local family. Share a meal together. Ask them questions about anything. Let them answer you. Make them feel special. Let them teach you. Share opinions about where you come from. And the fun will keep coming.
4. Do the less expected: It’s conventional for tourists to go to game parks, mountains, lakes, rivers, gorilla trekking and etcetera. But come’n, go local. Visit the local well, use a local means of transport; try a transport means by bicycles, go to a local school and request to teach your favorite subject and you will be amazed; you might just become friends with your school! I mean, look out for those things tourists rarely do.
5. Learn the language: Learning a language at an old age is rarely a simple pursuit, but give it a try. Make it fun. Find out how they greet and say general things. Master a few phrases and use them every time you interact with a local.
6. Become a volunteer somewhere: Organize a day to volunteer at a specific place. It could be a hospital, kid’s organization or church. Feel free to connect with locals. As you volunteer, you begin to make great connections. Reminder; look for something that interests you and matches with your skills and seek voluntary opportunities around there.
7. Explore local events and ceremonies. Ask your tour operator if possible to help take you to a local event or ceremony. If you are coming to Rwanda, consider something like Kwita Izina – Gorrilla naming ceremony or any other Rwandan cultural ceremony like a traditional wedding. You can also attending a local church in line with your faith and have an experience with the locals.
8. Don’t be in a rush: If your aim is to connect with the locals, don’t be in a rush. Plan a week or two of staying in Rwanda. That is the minimum you will need to have a travel experience beyond seeing the wild side of tourism.
Well, if you’re interested in having a memorable experience in Rwanda, something with the above description, feel free to plan your trip with Hermosa life tours and travel. Explore our packages and itinerary to get started.