Kibeho welcomes first ever Indian pilgrims to Rwanda


(Posted 23rd June 2013)

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Only days ago was it reported here that the Rwanda Development Board’s Tourism and Conservation Department had launched a new religious tourism product for visits to Kibeho, that a first ever group of Indian pilgrims from Goa came to the site to pray and worship. Goa, an erstwhile Portuguese colony, was taken over by India in December 1961 through annexation, but has retained until today its largely Christian orientation with many Goans carrying family names of Portuguese origin.

Ignatius Pinto, who was also one of the ‘namers’ at the just concluded Kwita Izina annual Festival of the Gorillas, in conjunction with Seventh Wave, a specialized safari operator based in Kigali for tours to Kibeho, got everyone’s attention when addressing the mammoth crowd at the Kinigi showground, as he narrated his plans to bring pilgrims to Rwanda on a regular basis. Speaking from his wheelchair, Ignatius turned into a living testimony for having opened up Kibeho for pilgrims from beyond Rwanda and Eastern Africa, now available to visitors from around the world.

I have already booked more groups until the end of the year and for next year. This is the first organized tour group from India to come to Rwanda’ did he tell as he departed from the Kinigi showground, leaving lasting impressions on those he met and interacted with.

It is expected that RDB will soon release newly developed publicity material about Kibeho and include details about religiously motivated tours on their website but it goes to show that the tourism planners in Kigali have found yet more ways to diversify the range of opportunities for tourists coming to the Land of a Thousand Hills. For more information contact the Rwanda Development Board’s Tourism and Conservation Department via their website contacts on

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