All Crooked Compass journeys are socially responsible—that ethic sits at the core of our experience development. We felt the need, however, to develop a range of tours that shines the spotlight on communities transforming their countries in positive ways.
Remarkable Rwanda is a cornerstone product for Crooked Compass, and perhaps describes what we’re about better than any other itinerary. It is designed to shift the perspective of a country decimated by a historically recent genocide and showcases a women-led transformation in an emerging destination. For most visitors, Rwanda’s revival rides on the backs of the mighty Mountain Gorillas.
Our Remarkable Rwanda tour, however, presents travellers with deeply personal immersions into the daily lives of those at the forefront of Rwanda’s re-emergence: Its remarkable women. Remarkable Rwanda connects visitors with the country’s astonishing journey from total ruin to one of the world’s safest countries and a progressive leader of East Africa.
With the male population decimated by the genocide, the women of Rwanda are at the forefront of the country’s re-emergence. Yes, we visit the renowned Mountain Gorillas but, importantly, we connect with the people through immersions into their daily lives.
We connect with the micro entrepreneurial businesses led by women that are transforming the country, to show visitors the beating heart of the ‘land of a thousand hills’. Rich in resilience, skill and community-building, Rwanda’s women are typically care-givers, and the raisers of families while men work and earn money.
But with the genocide came a huge cultural upheaval as women were forced to change their roles. By including this particular focus in our Rwanda tour, we have made a commercial connection with these people and their micro businesses. The immediate economic benefit here is of the highest order.
We spend time in a village that was previously home to a gorilla poaching enterprise. Through education and an appreciation of the long-term benefits of sustainable ‘gorilla tourism’, this village is now a leader in this space. By working with them, we ensure the longevity of their operations, and understand their own journey from poachers to conservationists.
Our travellers leave Rwanda with a greater understanding of its dark genocidal past, and an appreciation for the place the country has become as it has healed. We bring their success stories home with us and share them with the world. Perspectives have been shifted, friendships made, and the world’s community of socially aware and responsible travellers has grown.
To make this experience yours, chat to our team about our Remarkable Rwanda small group tour.
This category of tours involves light trekking, walking, cycling, rafting or kayaking for a few hours each day with a small amount of inclines and declines. You will require a reasonable level of fitness and good health to participate. It is important to note that due to the nature of some of our trips, they may take place in remote areas (with basic facilities) and can involve long travelling days on various modes of transport.
Suggested preparation : At least 3 months prior to departure, it is recommended that you undertake aerobic exercise (this may include jogging, cycling or fast walking) for 30 minutes, three times a week. It is also advised to walk on variable terrain and in variable weather conditions. For a cycling adventure, road cycling twice a week is recommended and for adventures which involve paddling and kayaking, it is important to gain confidence and rhythm rather than speed prior to departure.
This category of tours involve trekking, kayaking and cycling for period of 6 to 8 hours a day at a fairly consistent pace. Ideal for people looking to slightly increase the heart rate. For our moderately rated tours, you must have a good level of fitness and also be in good health. It is also important to be prepared for variable weather conditions. Altitude may also come into play. This category of tours may involve visiting remote areas where facilities can be quite basic. Accommodation may also involve camping, homestays or basic accommodation where facilities may not be considered of western standards. To enjoy this style of travel, it is suggested for travellers to have a reasonable level of fitness and health, a positive attitude, as well as a fairly active lifestyle. An open mind is also required.
Suggested preparation: At least 3 months prior to departure, it is recommended that you undertake 45mins – 1 hour of aerobic exercise, three to four times a week. Some potential exercises that could be beneficial include hill walking with a backpack on over variable terrain and weather conditions, as well as running and cycling dependent on the activity you plan on undertaking.
This category of tours involves trekking, kayaking, cycling or other adventure activities in remote areas for up to 8 to 10 hours a day. It is important to note that with the remoteness of some regions comes a variety of other challenges such as variable weather conditions, accommodation as well as facilities. You must have an excellent level of fitness and good health to be able to partake in this category of tour. You must have confidence in your own ability and be in good physical condition. Includes extended periods of endurance.
Suggested preparation: At least 3 to 4 months of strenuous exercise, four times a week. When preparing for treks it would be beneficial to participate in hill walks with a weighted day pack (approximately 5-8 kg) once a week for aerobic fitness and strengthening of leg muscles. It is also important to do this on variable terrain to prepare for challenging adventures. When preparing for cycling adventures, regular bike riding (at least 4 to 5 times a week for 1-4 hours is essential). It is also important to cycle on uneven surfaces or even participate in other aerobic exercises such as running or swimming to build up strength and stamina. Altitude may also be a factor in these tours.
This category of tour often involves extreme trekking, cycling or other extreme adventure activities. It is important to expect remote and poorly defined tracks and to be prepared for variable weather conditions for 10 to 12 hours per day (may sometimes be more depending on weather and altitude). These adventures are suitable for travellers who have prior experience in strenuous travel and activities, are extremely fit and have excellent health. It is also important to note that some of the terrain on these adventures will involve trekking in snow, at high attitude levels and may require technical equipment.
Suggested preparation: It is important to note that physical fitness should be an ongoing activity, commencing around 5-6 months prior to departure, or even before if you have no prior fitness. Exercise should focus on building maximum endurance and stamina. Four to five hard sessions of 40-60 mins per week should be completed and can include exercises such as going to the gym, running, swimming or cycling to focus on building aerobic stamina. It could also be beneficial to prepare by hiking on rough terrain, in extreme weather conditions or partake in altitude training.