It is always a traveler’s responsibility to prevent or minimize any negative impacts on the environment, local community and economy of any country or region you are visiting. Our main aim is to layout the basic guidelines that will help you to remember the principles of tourism throughout your Rwanda tour.
Before you go
Make it a point to choose your service provider on the basis of their principles and practices.
Take time to teach yourself about the country or community you are visiting by reading guides and tour articles.
Educate yourself about the local history, culture and customs of the locals before arriving. It is also advisable to learn a few words of the language to be polite for example; hello, please and thank you. The effort you make to learn the basics, will be appreciated by the locals; and on the other hand enrich your experience.
In most cases travelers feel the need to carry along with them some gifts for local people. It is advisable bring clothes and pens, and ask your tour operator or driver to give them to community elders. You may also bring sweets for the children.
During your Stay
You should be very mindful of the local culture by wearing clothing that is decent and acceptable within the region of visit. Always be mindful of people’s sensitivity to being photographed; ask first before taking any picture. Observe local customs.
Being a visitor; it is most likely that your cultural values may differ from those of the local people. This however does not mean that your values are wrong or inferior, but they are just different.
Be ready to act as an example to other travelers who are less informed than you by demonstrating responsible behavior.
You should try out local transportation, guides, inns, restaurants and markets to benefit the local economy.
It is not a good idea to display your wealth or possessions such as cameras and jewellery, as this may cause feelings of jealousy thus creating barriers that inhibit genuine interactions between you and the local people.
Take the initiative to ask your guide the established environmental guidelines are; this will help limit and improve tourist impact on the environment and local culture. General guidelines involve maintaining a distance away from wildlife, and not encouraging drivers to move very close to wildlife, even if you feel there is a need of taking better picture.
Desist buying any animal products while travelling; you should not remove any objects, plants or animal products from nature, as this can affect fragile ecosystems, and also illegal.
Make it an everyday life commitment to conserve at your home and your region in general. Always be the first to come out and support organizations or societies that put in practice eco-principles and share your experiences with a goal of increasing awareness of environmental issues.
The recommended guidelines should be followed by all travelers. However by choosing a tour operator, a small part of the work has been done for you as the policies of every listed operator have already been reviewed.