If you’re looking to get out of the big city and back into nature, the annual Kwita Izina gorilla-naming ceremony is a special time to visit Volcanoes National Park. The annual naming ceremony takes place in Kinigi, but visitors can also join a several-day guided tour from Kigali running up to the main event, where they’ll get to meet the park staff and leading conservationists.
You will attend cultural evenings and a celebration in Musanze, tour the little-visited lakes Burero and Ruhondo, and finally attend the naming ceremony, where there’s music, dancing, and discussion on the great strides that Rwanda has made in gorilla conservation and the great challenges that remain.
Since it launched in 2011, KigaliUP has rapidly become Rwanda’s premiere music festival, and one of the finest in Africa. Every year, usually during the northern summer months, they bring local and international reggae, blues, hip-hop, and pop acts to Kigali, where they thrill their equally international audience with sounds from around the world.
Thousands of fans attend every year, but it’s still an intimate, personal affair, and you’re likely to catch the same people who were rocking on stage the night before giving fans a drum lesson the next morning.
Hobe Rwanda Festival
Since its inception in 2013, the Hobe Rwanda Festival has become a much-loved fixture on Kigali’s cultural calendar.
With a keen focus on Rwandan culture, Hobe promotes local musicians, artists, and dancers with a two-day fest that usually takes place in September.
International artists are represented here too, but if it’s a slice of real-life Rwandan creativity you want, Hobe is the place to be.
Rwanda Film Festival
Better known as ‘Hillywood’, the Rwanda Film Festival has been bringing films from around Rwanda, Africa, and the world to Kigali every July for more than 10 years now.
While the festival is based in Kigali, they also take the show on the road to villages and towns across Rwanda, where they screen films and hold workshops for the public with their own pop-up cinema.