The Host of a destination is one of the reasons for having a memorable safari. Rwanda is a country with a harsh past but with warm hearted people trying to leave the past in the past. This small Switzerland of Africa is divided into three ethnic groups that include the Tutsi that form 14% of the population and are traditionally cattle-owning pastoralists, the Hutu consisting of 85% of the people and are traditionally farmers, and finally the Forest-dwelling Pygmy Twa that comprise only 1% of the population and are generally hunter-gatherers and hunters.

Nonetheless, the people of Rwanda speak a mutual language known as “Kinyarwanda”, are drawn from one cultural and linguistic group known as the Banyarwanda. There is an interesting legend that surrounds the origin of the three Ethnic groups and you would be interested to learn more about them. According to this folktale, Kigwa, a Supreme Being who fell from Heaven had three sons known as “Gatwa’, “Gahutu” and “Gatutsi”. He wanted to choose a heir based on their level of responsibility, thus decided to give each of them a pot of milk to watch over during the night.

Gatwa unfortunately drank all the milk, Gahutu sadly fell asleep and recklessly spilt his pot of milk and it was only Gatutsi that watched and kept the milk safe. It was at this point that Kigwa chose Gatutsi as his successor and possessed a lot of cattle and power, for Gahutu to be his brother’s servant and only acquire cattle through service to Gatutsi and Gatwa was assigned to the status of an outsider and was condemned to the edge of society. However, this myth was always used as the basis of the hierarchical relationship which put the Tutsi at the top of the social pyramid, above the Hutu who were also above the sidelined Batwa. Not only that, the commonness of this legend became the foundation of the social and political organization in Rwanda.

This inferiority is also the reason for the 1994 Rwandan Genocide that claimed lived of more than 800,000 people. The Tutsi were identified as the elites, tall, slim and mainly pastoralists while the Hutus were sturdy and strong farmers and the Twa dwelled in the forests as hunter-gatherers.

It is said that from the time of Belgian Colonization, the pressure between the Tutsi and Hutu became intense and was focused on race with the Belgians propagandizing the legend that the Tutsi were the superior Ethnic group, thus fostering the massacring of the Tutsi by Hutu in the most traumatizing genocide in the history of Rwanda and the whole World.

From that time, Government Policy has changed to recognize only one Ethnicity, which is “Rwandans” speaking a common language “Kinyarwanda”. This language is mutually understandable with Rundi, a local language spoken in Burundi. Even when you travel to this country, never commit a mistake of asking someone whether he or she is a Hutu or Tutsi, otherwise you risk facing the law. Some people still live as Refugees in the neighboring countries of Uganda, Tanzania, Democratic Republic of Congo and Burundi.

Nonetheless, there are also beliefs that the Hutu were originally introduced by European Colonizers while the Tutsi identified as a different, foreign race and were said to have settled among and intermarried with the Hutu people that arrived in the areas earlier before Bantu expansion.  Even if these three Ethnic groups were different and stratified in relation to each other, the boundary between the Hutu and Tutsi was abit open to social mobility than it is with the Twa who were and are still marginalized.

When it comes to religion, Christianity (Roman Catholics, Anglicans and Seventh-Day Adventists) is the largest religion in Rwanda while some believe in Islam and the rest are Traditional Indigenous Believers.

In conclusion, Rwanda is a magnificent country of three Ethnic groups that include the Hutu, Tutsi and Twa although speak a common language which is Kinyarwanda. A visit to this country will introduce you to the history of this small destination and the evolution of the groups.