Interview: Janvier from A Step Into Nature Tours
Janvier has been a friend for many years ever since he spotted me walking down the street, ran across the road and told me he wanted to advertise on my website. Certainly and interesting way to meet! He’s been a loyal advertiser ever since and I’ve had the pleasure of seeing his business, A Step Into Nature Tours, grow over the years. To learn more, visit their Facebook page, website, or drop him a line at email@example.com.
Tell us a bit about yourself.
I am called Janvier Cyubahiro and I’m a Rwandan born in 1985 in Ngoma District (Eastern Province). I hold a High School Certificate and added training in computer science from KIST (Kigali Institute of Science and Technology) and underwent different training sessions in Uganda in tourism. I’m fluent in both French and English and I’m currently studying German. Plus I obviously speak in my mother language, Kinyarwanda.
Tell us a bit about A Step Into Nature tours.
I am the owner of tour company called A Step Into Nature Tours, registered in 2013. We deal with all types of tour packages, transport, and reservations. We deal with clients from all over the world but most of our clients are from the West. A Step Into Nature Tours extends its services beyond borders and we have agents in Tanzania, Uganda, and Kenya.
What made you want to get into the tour guiding industry in Rwanda?
In my childhood, I did not have any knowledge in tourism and didn’t have any interest when I was still a student. But on meeting with different tourists when I was working with a hotel in Kigali that accommodates many tourists, I became interested. After my education in computer science, I could hardly have any dream in tourism but instead wanted to become a software developer. However, I was inspired into tour guiding from one of my friends who is a tourism manager in one of the prominent tour companies in Kigali.
Shortly after I became interested, I got a chance to attend a tour guiding training in Uganda which boosted my desire and commitment for this career. As the owner and operator of A Step Into Nature Tours, I have realized my goal to participate in the tourism industry and I am becoming more and more professional in the field as I get more and more feedback from my clients.
What has your tour guiding experience been like so far?
Per now my guiding experience so going well,in that I have become an expert guide meaning that a big crowd of people have liked my work respectively so I am proud of my job.
What sort of feedback do you get from your guests about Rwanda?
In general many guests who travel in Rwanda appreciate the strict security and the general cleanliness of the country which is unlike the other countries they have ever visited, especially others in East Africa. Also, guests speak about our favorable climate and the beautiful landscape.
How do you feel about the tourism industry in Rwanda?
The tourism industry in Rwanda has been regulated on policy and legal framework, but most importantly it attracts government concern with high engagement of the private sector into the industry. Recently (July 2015) the Government has put in a more hand into the industry with bringing back lions into the Akagera National Park. The return of the lions in Rwanda will give the tourism industry a huge boost, since a lot of tourists love to see lions.
What are some of your own favourite destinations in in Kigali and Rwanda?
My favorite destinations in Rwanda are: Akagera National Park, Volcanoes National Park, Nyungwe National Park, and Lake Kivu in that order. Also there are other destinations but are not so popular that people should visit like Buhanga Eco Park in Musanze (here is where all kings of Rwanda were initiated), Imigongo Art in Eastern province, and historical areas around Butare.
Within Kigali favorite places to take people in Kigali are the Kigali Genocide Memorial, Richard Kandt House, Kimironko Market, Caplaki for shopping souvenirs, and the Nyamirambo neighbourhood. For restaurants, it depends on the type of food they’re looking for but I like Khana Khazana in Kiyovu for Indian, Ethiopian in Kimihurura at Lalibela, and Chinese in Kacyiru at Tangren. But there are many new places opening up all the time and I like to try new places too.
What do you have planned for the future for A Step Into Nature tours?
So about our vision for the future of A Step Into Nature Tours, we wish to be the best tourism service provider for East African destinations.