KIBEHO PILGRIMAGE TOUR

No place in Rwanda does the spiritual struggle meet so intently as in Kibeho, a place which fills regularly with thousands of faithful who walk a hundred miles to get there.

Kibeho is a small town in south Rwanda, which became known outside of that country because of reported apparitions of the Blessed Virgin Mary and Jesus Christ occurring between 1981 and 1989.

The Blessed Virgin Mary and Jesus Christ reportedly appeared to some teenagers in Kibeho in 1981, as Our Lady of Kibeho. These visions were accompanied by intense reactions: crying, tremors, and comas.

On August 19, 1982, those who saw the visions reported gruesome sights (rivers of blood, sliced heads, etc.) which some today regard as an ominous foreshadowing of the Rwandan Genocide of 1994, and particularly in that specific location in 1995.

Overview


Day One: Arrival

Day Two: Kibeho

Day Three: Kibeho

Day Four: Kigali

*Note: Early booking is essential as many people arrive for the anniversary of the apparitions.

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Fast Facts

All year

Best: 28 November, 2 March, 12 January, 15 August, 15 September

Tour: 4 days

Detailed Itinerary

Day One: Arrival

Arrival at Kigali airport, meet and greet and transfer to Kigali. No meals included.

Day Two: Kibeho:

Drive for about 3.5 hours to Kibeho for a guided visit to some of the main sites. We start with the Kibeho Church and the shrine to 'Our Lady of Kibeho.' We then travel to Nyarushishi hill to see the magnificent statue of Christ, called, Divine Mercy Statue. The history of the statue began in February of 2000 in Chicago in the United States. Four years later, it found its way to the 'country of a Thousand Hills', Rwanda in the month of August in 2004, where it has remained ever since. Lunch and dinner are included. Overnight at Centre de Formation Mariale-CANA (self contained rooms

The Center is primarily a facility devoted to training people, nuns, priests in the spirit of Marian doctrines of the Catholic Church.

Day Three: Kibeho

Attend the apparition in Kibeho for the whole day, later in the evening drive back to Kigali. Lunch is included. Dinner and overnight at Chez Lando (pavilion room). (BLD)

Day Four:

We will do a city tour of Kigali, including the Gisozi Genocide Memorial, and the crafts village. Transfer to the airport for your departure flight. (B)

*Note: Early booking is essential as many people arrive for the anniversary of the apparitions.

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What's Included

Price includes

Airport transfers by private vehicle
Pick up off at Kigali airport.
Accommodation (as indicated in the itinerary).
Meals (as indicated in the itinerary).
Bottled mineral water.
Transport in 4x4 safari vehicle (Toyota Land Cruiser, Toyota Hiace van, Land Rover or similar)
Activities as indicated in the itinerary and in the chart below.
English speaking guide/driver.

Price Excludes

International air tickets and associated taxes.
Meals not specified on the itinerary.
Domestic flight and international flight taxes
Personal expenses such as telephone bills, laundry expenses, beverages, etc.
Insurance against theft, loss, illness and/or accident.
Tips, baggage porterage and other extras not specified.
Any optional activities
Ugandan and Rwandan visas.
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Kibeho Information

Kibeho was the site of an internally displaced person (IDP) refugee camp, with many of the Hutu refugees suspected of having participated in the genocide. The camp was the largest in Rwanda, spreading 9 square kilometers and containing between 80,000 and 100,000 people. In mid - April 1995, elements of the Tutsi - led Rwandan Patriotic Army (RPA), announced they would close the camp, with the aim of forcibly separating known Genocidaires from those who would be sent home. As the camp was closed, tensions mounted and RPA troops opened fire on some of the remaining refugees. Australian and Zambian troops of the United Nations Assistance Mission for Rwanda (UNAMIR) and staff from Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) witnessed the massacre.

Many of these were killed in the same school in which the apparitions had occurred; one of the children who reported the vision was even one of the victims. The local bishop, accused by many of complicity in the genocide himself, recognized officially on June 29, 2001 three cases as authentic. The church Notre-Dame des Douleurs (Our Lady of Sorrows) was built in Kibeho, supported by Pallottines.

Only the visions of the first three (Alphonsine, Nathalie, and Marie Claire aged 17, 20 and 21) received local Bishop Augustin Misago's solemn approval

The message of Our Lady of Kibeho was a simple one of love and repentance. Love God and love others. Be kind to one another, pray sincerely, repent of your sins, be humble and forgive each other. She told the visionaries to pray the Rosary and particularly the Rosary of the Seven Sorrows.

On 19th August, 1982, all three girls saw horrific scenes of violence and death with rivers of blood and hundreds of corpses. What followed some time later was the Rwandan Genocide.

Alphonsine was born on March 21, 1965, in Cyizihira, in the parish of Zaza, Diocese of Kibungo. Her parents were Thaddee Gakwaya and Mary Immaculate Mukagasana. She was baptized when she was 12 years old, on July 27 1977. At the time of the apparitions, she had just been admitted to the Kibeho High School in October, 1981, immediately after her primary studies. The Kibeho High School, founded in 1967 by a parish priest, Father Gregoire Kamugisha, has changed its name several times in order to conform to the programs of the National Education Ministry. When Alphonsine was admitted in 1981, it was called Kibeho High school; and later, since 1984, "Ecole des Lettres de Kibeho" (Kibeho School of the Letters), and nowadays, since 1998, "Groupe Scolaire Mere du Verbe" (Mother of the Word High school).

Nathalie Mukamazimpaka was born in 1964 in Munini in the present district of Nyaruguru, parish of Muganza, Diocese of Gikongoro. Her father was Laurent Ngango and her mother, Gaudence Mukabaziga. She was baptized on February 2, 1968, when she was 4 years old. During the time of the apparitions, she was registered in the Kibeho High school in the 4th class of the Teaching school. As a seer of the Virgin Mary, Mother of God, Nathalie is especially known for the message of redemptive suffering and unceasing prayer for a world that is very bad and at risk of falling into an abyss.

Marie Claire was born in 1961 in Rusekera, in the present district of Nyamagabe, parish of Mushubi, diocese of Gikongoro. Her father was Baseka and her mother Veronique Nyiratuza. She was baptized when she was 5 years old, on August 12, 1966. During the apparitions, she studied at the Kibeho High school, in 4th class of the Teaching school. As a seer, she is especially known for the message of the Rosary of the Seven Sorrows of the Virgin Mary, associated with an urgent call to repentance: "Repent, repent, repent!" the Virgin said to the world through the lips by Marie Claire.