What Makes Traditional Dances in Rwanda Unique? What makes traditional dances in Rwanda unique? To most travelers, when it comes to Rwanda safaris, gorilla trekking is what comes first at the back of their minds. But, there is a lot more awaiting you to explore and experience on a safari in Rwanda.

Culture plays an important role as a unifying factor in the country- there is a lot people share in common when it comes to cultures, traditions, norms, etc. Culture, traditions, and norms are unique to every country and Rwanda like others boasts of its unique cultural and traditional practices, dances and music performances. In Rwandan music and dances are unifying factor and this can be witnessed in festivals, ceremonies, storytelling or social gatherings?

What Makes Traditional Dances in Rwanda Unique?

When it comes to cultural experiences, Intore dance, Ikinimba, Umushayayo and Ibihozo, etc, never miss in the lips of many. For years, Rwanda has positioned itself as a celebrated cultural safari destination with Intore dance being the most popular in the country and also often referred to by most travelers as a dance unique only to Rwanda.

Whether you are on golden monkey safari or mountain gorilla trekking tour in Rwanda, Intore dance should not be missed. Intore dance is the popular traditional dance in Rwanda and it is performed in 3 forms– The ballet often performed by women, the heroes dance that is performed by men and lastly the drums. It is the most established traditional dance in Rwanda compared to the rest.

On Rwanda safaris, live dances can be enjoyed in the cultural villages, the museums, accommodation establishments, etc. On gorilla safari in Rwanda, the Intore traditional dance is displayed in the adjacent village to Volcanoes National Park.


Ikinimba dance is one of the most respected musical traditions in Rwanda. The dance is unique in that it tells the stories of heroes of Rwanda and kings. Like any Rwanda traditional dance, Ikinimba dance is performed with help of musical instruments such as Iningiri, Inanga, Ikembe, Ingoma, Umuduri and others. These are unique instruments to Rwanda.

Umushayayo dance

This is a distinct cultural/traditional dance often performed by women also popular as the Dance of Women. It signifies the elegant movement of different animals which grace the country. Other dances in Rwanda include the Ukurambagiza – The Dance of Males and Females also popularly referred to as the courtship dance/dance of fiancés.

Features that make Rwanda’s traditional dances unique

Rwanda traditional dances are unique from the rest of African music/dances because of their rhythm. Prior playing the traditional music, family members assemble in the evening for Igitaramo referring to company. They dance, sing, and boast about what they had accomplished in the course of the day.

What Makes Traditional Dances in Rwanda Unique?
What Makes Traditional Dances in Rwanda Unique?

As the dancers dance, the rest of the members clap their hands to add rhythm and to cheer while encouraging the dancers. Clapping is done by different groups comprising of females and male vocalists who then support the dancers with flowing choruses. The gatherings can then be concluded by locally brewed beer.

In Rwanda, dance and music are inseparable making it one of the special expressions of the country’s unique cultures. When dancing, Rwandese do it collectively. The difference can be made between warlike and ordinary dances where ordinary dances usually occur during festivities and within family circles. Most traditional dances or music in Rwanda is mainly Ikinimba- a dance that tells stories of heroes and kings.

The warlike dance is when similar movement such as that of actual fighting is displayed also often referred to as Imyiyereko parade. The dancers imitate warfare movements; they charge at each other or many enemies. The most spectacular dance in Rwanda is considered by most people to be “Umuhamirizo” dance.

book a gorilla safari