Azizi Life experiences

cultural tourism that connects you with rural Rwanda

Azizi Life Experiences is a social enterprise that offers visitors to Rwanda the unique opportunity to really connect and gain insight into the life of rural Rwandans and their families. Through a range of different cultural experience days, you get to not only see something of the beauty and rigor of daily life, but also experience it. It’s a truly interactive way to learn about Rwandan culture!

Azizi Life’s office is located in Muhanga town, about one hour by car or bus from Kigali on the main Kigali-Huye road.

Azizi Life Experiences currently offers a range of distinctive Experience days. for more information on each one Please click on the link below to view and download our latest brochure:

Azizi Life Experiences Brochure

If you want to mix and match to create an experience that is tailored to your specific interests, just drop an email to the team at Azizi Life and we will put together a full or half day designed just for you.

This short video gives an idea of what you are likely to experience on your visit to a rural community:

taster video

a day in the life of an artisan

Become part of a weaving cooperative for the day.

The Azizi Life Experience morning begins with a drive to a nearby village, where you and your Azizi Life interpreter will be welcomed by the ladies of the weaving cooperative. After introductions from your hostess, a morning of family chores begins. You might help out in the kitchen, collect water from the valley spring, cut grass for the farm animals and get out in the fields for a seasonal agricultural activity.

At noontime, you’ll share a simple local meal with your host family, with plenty of time to chat and learn about each other’s lives.

After lunch, you will join with the artisan cooperative for an afternoon of weaving. You will learn how to harvest and prepare the natural fibers, and then the artisans will teach you how to create your own piece of sisal jewelry. You will love sitting with the ladies as you weave and laugh together.

The day finishes back at the Azizi Life office, with a cold Fanta and a chance to think back over the highlights of the day. There you can browse through some of the beautiful crafts made by the Azizi Life artisans and do a little fair trade shopping.

traditional construction

You may have seen the high rise buildings in Kigali, but this Azizi Life Experience is your chance to learn something about the traditional building techniques, some of them used since the times of the King.

In the morning you will collect water and soil, which you will then be taught how to make into mud bricks. After making your own bricks, you will dig the foundations and learn how to lay the bricks in a way to ensure the building will be strong. By this point, you will have built up a bit of an appetite and so everyone will stop work and share a simple home-cooked lunch with your host family.

In the afternoon, you go and collect banana leaves, which you will be taught how to make into a strong rope that can then be used to lash wood together to make a roof. You finish the day back at the Azizi Life office with a cold Fanta and all the knowledge you need to build your very own mud brick house.

drumming and dancing

Whether you have natural rhythm or not, with our expert instructors everyone can enjoy learning traditional drumming and dancing.

Your Azizi Life Musical Experience begins with a mini-performance from a small troupe of traditional performers. Next, it’s your turn to put on a traditional costume and give it a try. You’ll have fun as the dancers teach you some basic dance steps and share a bit of the history of Rwandan dance. After some practice time, the expert dance instructors help you put everything together in a performance of your very own. Don’t worry; an Azizi Life team member will be on hand to catch the whole thing on film!

After a break to catch your breath, the drummers will teach you some traditional beats, or you can even do a bit of free styling of your own on the traditional drums. No experience or expertise is necessary; it is simply fun for anyone brave enough to give it a go.

prices

Experience Day = $60 per person
Drumming and Dancing Session = $45 per person
Pathways guide = $20 for the day

*Discounts are available for residents, children, Schools/Universities and large groups.

Included in this price, for the experience day, is transport from Muhanga Town to the village and back, translators, a fair wage for the artisans, a contribution into the community development fund, bottled water, lunch and a fanta at the end of the day. Plus you get to keep whatever you make.

We also run a week long Cultural Explorer Experience and if you are interested in doing one of these then you can find more details here:

Cultural Explorer Experience - 7 Days

We run Azizi Life Experience days on any day of the week (excluding during the genocide memorial week – 7th April to 14th April), as long as we have at least two paying guests. To allow us enough time to prepare everything, please make your booking at least 24 hours before you want to do the experience or, 4 days if you want to do Banana Juice making.

We can arrange transport from Kigali, or any other town in Rwanda, to Muhanga for an additional charge. When booking your experience, just let us know where you will be coming from and we will provide you with a quote.

booking & contacts


For further information and to book your experience:

Please call Tom or Jeannine on +250785781146

or email us at experiences@azizilife.com

We are members of the Rwanda Tours and Travel Association

banana juice making

Traditionally shared during weddings and other celebrations, banana juice (and beer!) has long been a central part of Rwandan parties. Although nowadays banana juice can be easily bought from the local store, the traditional technique for making your own brew is a much greater labor of love.

In the morning, of your Azizi Life Experience, you will work with your rural host to collect the green bananas and the leaves needed to begin the process. Next you’ll dig a hole and bury the bananas to ripen over time.

After enjoying a simple meal with your host family, you’ll head into the valley to collect water. The ripening process takes four days, but don’t worry- you won’t need to wait. Your hosts will have some already-buried bananas for you to dig up. You’ll then peel, mash, and strain the bananas using traditional techniques, and voila- you’ve made authentic banana juice.

The day finishes back at the Azizi Life office where we boil the juice so it is ready for you to taste and take away.

traditional cooking

Select from a simple variety of seasonal dishes for your custom traditional cooking experience with a rural mama!

Your day begins not in the kitchen but in the fields as you learn seasonal planting or harvesting of fresh ingredients for your traditional meal.

Once the ingredients and water have been collected, food preparation begins with washing, peeling, pounding, and grinding the ingredients using traditional methods and tools.

Throughout the process, your hostess and the ladies of the local cooperative will teach and guide you, always allowing you to experience the day at your own pace.

Once your meal has completed cooking in the outdoor kitchen, it will be time to enjoy! Choose to eat with a fork or with your fingers, as you taste the fruits of your labors. Sitting in the home of host family, there will be plenty of time to chat and learn about each other’s lives.

The day finishes back at the Azizi Life office, with a cold Fanta and a chance to think back over the highlights of the day. There you can also browse through some of the beautiful crafts made by your hostess and other Azizi Life artisans and do a little fair trade shopping.

pathways

Thanks to Rwanda’s lush green hills, beautiful valleys and welcoming people, it may be one of the easiest and most exciting places in East Africa to explore by foot. All around the rural communities, there is already a vast network of paths ready and waiting for you to explore.

Enjoy local knowledge and good company as you explore with one of our local guides! Our guides, who speak English or French, will enrich your walk with information on the communities you pass and points of interest. Enjoy a scenic rural excursion or choose an in-town exploration, visiting the local markets and experiencing other aspects of urban life. Whether you choose our mapped routes or creating your own adventure, Azizi Life Pathways is a wonderful way to get out and enjoy Rwanda!

gorilla treks and safaris

If you are also interested in Rwandas wild life, we can arrange trip to do Gorilla Trekking, safaris and chimp treks in the rain forest. So if you would like us to provide you with a quote for any of this, please let us know!

by calling Tom or Jeannine on +250785781146

or emailing us at experiences@azizilife.com

Many Thanks.

guest reviews

“Just exactly what I always look for in a holiday but seldom find - friendly people sharing their daily life, answering all those questions I'd been dying to ask, even showing an interest in where I come from.” - Julia G, UK

“My daughter and I spent 4 days with Azizi Life and it was the best thing we did in Rwanda.” - Senior Trip Advisor Reviewer kikidee95, UAE

“If you do one thing when you visit Rwanda, DO THIS! An Azizi Life Experience Day is a fun and affordable way to learn about the rural Rwandan culture through total immersion. As a seasoned traveler, I’m always looking for ways to experience local cultures but this was truly the first time that I was able to do so in a hands-on way. The entire day is led by the local artisans and facilitated by an equally friendly translator. It is heartwarming to know that my presence helped empower these amazing women who in turn, inspired me to live a more fulfilling life. Through working alongside the artisans, I was able to connect to them and come away with a greater appreciation for the “simple” things. I recommend the Azizi Life Experience Day to any person traveling in Rwanda that is looking for an unmatched, memorable, life-changing experience.” - Ashley M, USA

“I've been to 25 countries and outside of living in someone's home, this is the most that I ever learned/experience about a different culture in one day. I would highly recommend this experience for anybody who wants to see the life of a real Rwandan.” - Mark J, USA

Check out more great reviews of our experience days on Tripadvisor: