KIBEHO; A place of apparitions and pilgrimages

Overview of Kibeho

Kibeho is a small site located in the southern part of Rwanda, in the administrative district of Nyaruguru.  It is 36 km from the Bishop of Gikongoro’s residence and 30 km from the Bishop of Butare’s residence. Kibeho is also the name given to one of the parishes of the diocese of Gikongoro, founded in 1934 and dedicated to Mary, Mother of God.

Today, Kibeho is best known as a place of apparitions and pilgrimages. The first apparition of Mary was on November 28, 1981, when Alphonsine Mumureke, a young student of the Kibeho High School, saw a lady of incomparable beauty who presented herself under the name of “Nyina Wa Jambo,” which means “Mother of the Word.” Alphonsine immediately recognized her as the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Mother of Our Savior Jesus. The phenomenon occurred subsequently and several times in succession, at long or short intervals. The Virgin asked everybody to convert, to keep the faith and to pray without hypocrisy.

To understand the apparitions of the Blessed Virgin Mary between 1981-1989 at Kibeho, it is important to understand first and foremost the geographical, historical, cultural and ecclesial context in which they took place:

The Republic of Rwanda, located in the centre of Africa, lies 1,200 km from the Indian Ocean and 2,000 km from the Atlantic Ocean. According to official government data, Rwanda covers an area of 26.340 km² with a very strong population density, reaching 13 million inhabitants. Rwanda is a mountainous country with a rich vegetation. The general atmosphere is pleasant. The average temperature lies between 24.6 and 27.6 C °. The average rainfall is 110 to 200 mm per year, whereas most of the rain falls during the two rainy seasons from March to May and from September to the middle of December.

Why in Rwanda?

But why did the Virgin Mary in a place like Kibeho, in the centre of Africa? Not because Kibeho was merited more than other places. It is because our Heavenly Mother, in her mercy and maternal tenderness for all her children, manifests herself as she wants, where she wants, to whom she wants and when she wants, as Our Lady told the visionaries when asked this question.

Therefore, in accordance with the divine providence, the Blessed Virgin Mary had chosen to appear at Kibeho to deliver her important and urgent message to the whole world.

Today, Kibeho has become a place for pilgrims to work on the conversion of their hearts and renew themselves through the salvific waters of the sacrament of reconciliation and the Holy Eucharist. This Marian shrine is called to be a place for the new evangelization of Africa.

The country is divided into 5 main administrative entities: Northern Province, Southern Province, Eastern Province, Western Province and the city of Kigali and offers a great variety of different landscapes: The northwest of the country is advantageous for agriculture and fishing due to the Virunga volcanic mountains located there. The highest peak reaches 4,500 metres. The beautiful Lake Kivu, located at the border to the Democratic Republic of Congo, makes this area a pleasent place to visit. Other regions stand out due to their prairies, hills, lakes and swamps.

In addition to this, Rwanda has three National Parks: The area of the volcanoes, Akagera National Park and Nyungwe National Park, which is near Kibeho. These national ressources are a well protected and cared for treasure of the people of Rwanda.

Where is Kibeho?

Volcanoes National park is a home for golden monkeys, a variety of birds, reptiles, amphibians, and insects among other creatures which together make a complete Rwanda safari package. and that’s where the gorilla and golden monkey trek happens.

Kibeho is a small site located in the southern part of Rwanda, in the administrative district of Nyaruguru.  It is 36 km from the Bishop of Gikongoro’s residence and 30 km from the Bishop of Butare’s residence.

Getting Visa to Rwanda

Visit the Rwanda Directorate general of Immigration and Emigration : https://www.migration.gov.rw/index.php?id=28 which takes you to a visa application form which picks your personal information.

Depending on your travel plans, choose the best visa choice available;
– Single entry visa – allows entry in Rwanda alone for 30 days – 50 USD
– Transit Visa for 3 days – only you in the country for only 3 days – 50USD
– East African Tourists Visa – Allows you to cross to all East African countries including Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda – 100 USD

The supporting document to attach is your tour Itinerary if traveling to visit rwanda, Invitation letter, other document with respect to your travel intentions or your flight details in PDF format. You MUST ATTACH documentation at this stage or the visa request will not be processed.

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