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Meet Ngabo, the famous cowboy

Visit Bigogwe is a phrase that was heard and read by many. Many people take it to be a project that aims to promote tourism using cattle and natural attractions located in Nyabihu District in Rwanda’s Western Province.

Visit Bigogwe project was started by a young man named Ngabo Karegeya who resides in Bigogwe.

In a conversation we have had with Ngabo; the project aims at encouraging foreigners and Rwandans to visit and learn more about cattle-based tourism and culture in the beautiful land of Bigogwe.

The lucky people that get to set foot in this green and fresh land are taught about the Rwandan culture, especially about cattle and all the activities that involve Rwandan farm life.

The fascinating beauty and calmness of Bigogwe, especially the Gishwati grasslands are one of the things that make people visit as much as they can.

The freshness of the air is different from the air we usually breathe in cities. Different sorts of cattles hover the place and it makes many people curious to see what farm life in Rwanda entails.

Since the beginning of this project, Bigogwe has been visited by people from countries such as Germany, the United States of America, Great Britain and Rwandans from within the country.

Ngabo says that the deep rooted love for his motherland is what made him start the project enthusiastically.

“I have always loved the way Bigogwe looks because I grew up looking at those beautiful places but I felt that I don’t know how tourism is done. I started traveling and saw how people were visiting different places and I realized that ours [Bigogobwe] could also be a tourist attraction,” he said.

He went on to say that his drive in starting the Visit Bigogwe project was that many people did not know the unique culture that involved cattle.

“I would meet people who do not know how to properly speak Kinyarwanda, some did not even know how to milk cows properly. I would also see what some other tourist attractions are not unusual compared to our Bigogwe,” he said.

Since he did not have enough finance to propel his project, Ngabo said that he started doing the small things he could do such as publicizing his work through social media, especially Twitter.

“I advised myself to use social media and show it, but it wasn’t in the form of tourism. I thought it was a way to tell people to visit Bigogwe and to tell Rwanda Development Board [RDB] to welcome tourists there,” he said.

After completing his studies at the University of Rwanda, Ngabo decided to devote himself to the Visit Bigogwe project because he could see that it was already popular and was driving many people to visit the place.

The young man believed that he had to fully dedicate himself to the project which is why he did not seek for other jobs. He dedicated all his time and effort to a project that was rooted deep in his heart.

Ngabo believed that if he did not dedicate his time to his project, it would crumble. He believed that consistency is key in making his project successful.

His efforts and dedication did pay off as the project started to welcome many people a few years after launch.

Ngabo says that the area is becoming more and more visited. He says that he usually welcomes 20 people per week.

“You can have 20 people a month or a week depending on the groups of people who want to visit us or who come individually,” he said.

Ngabo says that those who visit Bigogwe are impressed by the knowledge they gain.

“There are those who like how we teach people how to milk cows with their hands including white because they use machines to do so. Some Rwandans who grew up in Kigali are also impressed since some did not know how to milk cows. There are those who are attracted by the Rwandan food we cook for them. There are those who are attracted by things like herding cows and different games. There are also those who like to climb the mountain [Ibere rya Bigogwe],” he said.

Currently, Bigogwe is visited by people from different parts of the world including Europe and America.

Many people visited Bigogwe seeking to know more about its traditions
The cow milk is one of the things tourists appreciate about Bigogwe
Ngabo likes receiving tourists from all over the world
Foreigners like to spend the whole day herding cows
The tourists get th opportunity to milk cows
Some Rwandans themselves like taking a trip to Bigogwe to connect with that part of their culture

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