LIBERATION TRAIL EXPERIENCE
In 1959 the first massacre against the Tutsi took place in all parts of Rwanda and forced about tens of thousands of Tutsis to seek refuge to the neighboring countries such as Uganda, Burundi, Zaire the current DR Congo and Tanzania. After two decades in exile, the Rwandese Alliance for National Unity (RANU) was formed in 1979 by Rwandan refugees in exile, to mobilize against divisive politics, repeated massacres and statelessness.
In 1987, RANU became the Rwandese Patriotic Front (RPF) with a military wing known as Rwandese Patriotic Army (RPA). After all diplomatic means failed to convince the then Rwandan government to allow Rwandan refugees to return to their mother land, RPF opted to use its military wing, RPA to launch a liberation war.
It is against this background that on 1 Oct 90, the RPA launched an armed liberation war aimed at overthrowing the dictatorship regime in Kigali and bring to an end the divisive politics, repeated massacres and above all the issue of statelessness.
BEYOND THE GORILLAS EXPERIENCE as a company that is committed to develop tourism beyond the gorillas visit and other National attractions is interested in developing a new tourism product based on exploring the liberation trail. This experience will give tourist more information on how Rwanda has shifted from a failed state during genocide to being the model leading government in different aspects. The following is a nine days tour plan that will cover the important sites of liberation struggle.
DAY1: ARRIVAL AT THE AIRPORT, DROP OFF TO THE HOTEL
Arrival at the Kigali International Airport, pick up by the guide and transfer to the hotel in Kigali
Kigali is a thriving city immediately notable for its cleanliness, orderliness and good hospitality. It offers tourists some of the best tour experiences on the African continent.
Overnight at Centre d’Acceuil Bonne Esperance
DAY2: VISIT TO AKAGERA NATIONAL PARK
At 08:00AM, BGE guide will pick you and drive to Akagera National park “the home of amazing Flora and Fauna” for game drive. Akagera National Park lies in eastern Rwanda, hugging the border with Tanzania. It's characterized by woodland, swamps, low mountains and savannah. The varied terrain shelters wildlife including zebras, giraffes, elephants, lions and hundreds of bird species, such as the rare shoebill stork,... The drive takes about 2 hours.
Overnight at Akagera Game lodge
DAY 3: VISIT TO KAGITUMBA BOARDER POST, RYABEGA AND NYAGATARE
After a morning breakfast at 8:00a.m, the guide will pick you and drive to the Kagitumba boarder post to see where the liberation war began, formation of forces, and axis of advance of the forces, to to Nyabwishongwezi hill, on the top of this hill the guest will drive back to the main route Kagitumba –Ryabega-Nyagatare where the visitor will get an insight on a story of initial setbacks that faced the struggle and the withdrawal of forces from Nyagatare and Gabiro respectively commonly considered as the first phase of the liberation struggle.
Overnight at Akagera Resort & Country Club
DAY 4: VISIT TO THE FIRST FOOTHOLD
The visitor will be picked after breakfast with packed lunch from the Hotel and drive to the trail that encompasses some important liberation sites like Kaborogota, Gikoba, Bushara, Mutojo,Shonga, and Kabuga just 22 km from Nyagatare in a marram road. The visitor will even enjoy a hike of Shonga hill ,30 minutes hike to the top to learn more about the exceptional military tactics such as turning movement, envelopment, and encirclement.
Overnight at Urumuli hotel.
DAY 5: VISIT TO MULINDI NATIONAL LIBERATION MUSEUM
At around 7:00 AM, BGE guide will take you to Mulindi at the National Liberation Museum.
This Museum tells the awe-inspiring story of the Rwandan Liberation struggle that brought an end to the Genocide against Tutsis. This tour will give you more details on the journey of liberation struggle and its major objectives. At this site you will get to see the trench of the then Chairman of High Command, now President of the Republic of Rwanda, H.E Paul Kagame.
After Lunch the guest will drive to the remote areas of Kaniga the former headquarters of Radio Muhabura one of the distinguished weapons used in struggle, Rubaya General Headquarters, Mukarange, Bwesige and their historical relevance during the struggle.
Overnight at Best View Hotel.
DAY 6: VISIT TO RUGANO SITE AND RUHENGERI
After breakfast at 6:00AM, you will meet BGE guide and drive to Kinigi Park office for registration and other ancillary legal formalities. Then drive for 40 minutes to Urugano starting point. Along this tour the guest will enjoy the beauty of the Volcanoes National Park, panoramic view of the surrounding areas while heading to the real site.
At Urugano site guest will learn how RPA soldiers with high level consistent discipline, patriotism and humanitarian heart made a victory over the dictatorial regime, and acquire more about the military operations conducted in Ruhengeri and the significance of some attacks such the release of prisoners in Ruhengeri, the seizures of Camp Muhoza, , EGENA, Nyamagumba and Mubona hill
Overnight at Best View Hotel
DAY 7: VISIT TO KIGALI GENOCIDE MEMORIAL, CAMPAIGN MUSEUM
After breakfast at 7:00a.m, BGE guide will take you to the Kigali genocide memorial.
The Kigali Genocide Memorial is the final resting place for more than 250,000 victims of the Genocide against the Tutsi.
The Kigali Genocide Memorial includes three exhibitions, the largest of which documents the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi. There is also a children’s memorial and an exhibition on the history of genocidal violence around the world, the Education Centre to mention but a few.
MUSEUM FOR CAMPAIGN AGAINST GENOCIDE
After the Kigali genocide memorial visit at 10:30a.m, guests will pay a visit to the Campaign Against Genocide museum located in the current parliamentary building in order to have a clear understanding of the linkage between the Kigali genocide memorial and the Campaign Against Genocide Museum. CAG Museum is built in the Parliamentary building because this building hosted the Rwandan Patriotic Front politicians and the 600 men protection force (BN3) from 28th December 1993 as they were in the preparations for the installation of Broad Based Transitional Government and the National Transitional Assembly. After Lunch at 2:30Pm the visitors will be able to visit some other sites in Kigali related to the Campaign against Genocide.
Overnight at Centre d’Acceuil Bonne Esperancex
DAY 8: SHOPPING AND COCKTAIL
In the morning, after breakfast the guide will pick you and go for shopping around Kigali city to get flair of the made in Rwanda products and goods not forgetting hand crafts. In the evening the visitor will join BGE management for an organized cocktail with cultural performance.
Overnight at Centre d’Acceuil Bonne Esperance
DAY 9: CHECK OUT AND FLIGHT
In the morning guests will be transferred back to the Kigali International Airport by the Guide depending on the flight schedule.