Rwanda Eco-Tours was founded and is run by native Rwandans who are passionate about their country, their people, their natural resources and providing you with the highest quality yet educational tourism experience that responsibly contribute to the conservation of Rwanda's beautiful natural resources - her parks, lands and indigenous animals, most notably the endangered mountain gorillas - as well as the development socio-economic and well being of local people. In order to create an unforgettable experience for you, Rwanda Eco-Tours is staffed by people who have not only been trained in the most prestigious international universities for conservation and eco-tourism, but also have real-world experience with the culture, animals and people you will encounter. Through our years of work in the field of tourism and conservation, engagement in ecotourism and community development which we have directly invested in, we are uniquely positioned to give you the chance to experience Rwanda's magic in an unforgettable way and to see for yourself the difference we have made to both conservation and livelihoods of local people. We admit that many companies and people have used ecotourism, local people as their marketing panacea, we take you to experience for yourself what positive impact you make while traveling with us. And if you are traveling with any company, we advise you to critically find out what they preach. As Rwandans, and East Africans, we believe that if we as local people don’t protect our resources, no one will.
Committed to Responsible Eco-Tourism
At Rwanda Eco-Tours we recognize that there is a dependent relationship between the renewal of our most precious natural resources - the mountain gorillas, the primates, the wildlife, cultural diversity - and the ability of Rwanda's local people to get a direct benefit from tourism. Our goal is to link tourism and conservation with an economic rationale that will act as an incentive for local communities around national parks, who suffer the cost of park existence, to not just tolerate, but proactively protect the park. To this end we donate 20% of our profits to special programs within the local communities surrounding the parks. Since 2004, we have been able to see a dynamic change of community behavior change towards conservation of natural resources and their engagement in tourism business that increase not only conservation linkages but inspires the spirit of entrepreneurship in their local community.
Our major objectives are to
Enable Local communities to directly benefit from conservation and tourism
Rwanda Eco-Tours Agency ensures local people, particularly those neighboring protected areas and tourism attractions, benefit more directly from tourism. By contributing 20% of our profits to local communities, we support them both technically and financially in developing small-scale, tourism enterprises as a link to sustainable conservation. We envision strengthening this support by encouraging our tourists to visit these projects and see for themselves how their travel is contributing towards improving the livelihoods of local people as well as the attractions they visit. This will not only open tourism markets to local enterprises, but also encourage visitor and community interactions.
Provide educational and distinctive services to eco-visitors
Improving tourism standards and quality requires investment in both tourism product development and promotion, as well as how tourists are handled and managed once in the country. 90% of a tourist's time in Rwanda is spent with tour/safari guides; we have invested in this and continue to train our guides both domestically and regionally. Given the background, experience and training of Rwanda Eco-Tours founders - who are actively involved, help ensure visitor satisfaction by providing unique opportunities to learn and experience nature, the rich Rwandan culture and history of the Rwandan people. We tailor each visit to suit our visitor’s unique needs. And by providing greater awareness of environmental, social, and cultural issues, we encourage mutual respect between visitors and local communities.
Conduct tourism research, analysis and advocacy for policymaking
Tourism is a diverse and dynamic sector, shaped by issues and actions that require in-depth knowledge and up-to-date information. Currently, tourism policies and decisions in Rwanda are developed with stated objectives, but it is difficult to assess their impact on the overall functioning of tourism programs or the success of such policies. Rwanda Eco-Tours seeks to influence such tourism policies and decisions by providing policy and decision makers with up-to-date information on various tourism issues through research. For a full list of research conducted by Rwanda Eco-tours Agency, click here.