In order to provide an income source for the community and school, Benson introduced the idea of village tours for tourists. We now offer our guests an opportunity to visit the school and community during their stay in Victoria Falls. We are also encouraging other local tour operators to offer cultural visits to Intabayengwe Village. The headmaster, Mr Ndebele, conducts the tours and the income generated is managed by the school committee. The majority of funds are allocated to the school, with the remainder being split between the hosting family and participating members of the community. The village tours are a vital income source for both the school and community.
The village tour allows guests to enjoy a cultural exchange and get an insight into village life in its true form. This is not a “tourist village” showcasing a traditional way of life, but instead an honest window into life in a rural community in Zimbabwe. During your time in the village you will meet and interact with the school children, all of whom are keen to demonstrate their improving English skills. Not so long ago the youngsters burst into tears at the sight of a ghostly white face appearing in their midst but now you are more likely to be bowled over by the clamour of kids. There are no demands for sweets or money and we ask that you don’t supply any. If you do wish to bring anything for the kids we ask that you discretely give any gifts direct to the teacher or headmaster for distributing at an appropriate time.
In addition to the school, a number of local families have offered to open their homes to visitors, providing them with a small, occasional source of income. You will have the opportunity to visit one of these family homes, gaining an understanding of how the community survive. Your guide will outline the structure of a traditional village in terms of social, cultural and political hierarchies and explain their traditions, skills and folklore. You will take a step back to a time of communal living and inter-dependency, where skills are handed down through the generations.
For guests interested in a more in-depth experience we are able to offer an overnight stay given sufficient notice. The community would also benefit from any volunteers or gap year students who are able to teach, pass on vocational skills or assist with any ongoing projects.
If you would like to visit Intabayengwe please contact us for further details.