Ruhengeri is a city in northern Rwanda's Musanze district. It is the port of call for tourists heading up the hills to Kinigi and Parc National des Volcans. Ruhengeri is a city and capital of Musanze District in the Northern Province of Rwanda. Some sources now refer to the city itself as Musanze, after the district in which it lies. This has to do with the adopted policy of renaming Rwanda cities, which was done to eliminate terrible memories of the past and to install new administration infrastructure in the country. Ruhengeri (Musanze) lies near the twin lakes of Lake Burera and Lake Ruhondo and is the gateway city to Volcanoes National Park and the famous Mountain Gorillas in the north-western part of the country.
Ruhengeri's proximity to the Volcanoes National Park has made it a popular tourist destination with several restaurants and hotels mainly aimed at visitors to the national park.
Tourist Activities in Ruhengeri
This is the main activity in Musanze. Ruhengeri is very popular because of its close proximity to Volcanoes National Park.
Gorilla Nest Golf Course
For lovers of golf, there are few golf courses on earth more picturesque than the Gorilla Nest.
Attached to the Gorilla Nest Lodge, this nine hole golf course is set against the breathtaking backdrop of the Virunga Volcano and the Volcanoes National Park.
A walk through a local farming community is a great way to get in a little exercise and gain an invaluable insight into local life in modern Rwanda. Seeing how modern Rwandans live and work away from the hustle and bustle of Kigali and Musanze town’s tourism driven economy gives a very different impression of the country.
Buhanga Sacred Forest
Home to a brilliant array of birds and butterflies, this small but beautiful patch of forest is criss-crossed by a number of trails and viewing platforms for those wishing to hike or soak in the area’s considerable natural beauty.
Visit Musanze Cave
Home to a large bat colony, this 2 kilometre long volcanic cave was created approximately 65 million years ago. The cave’s large entrance is draped in jungle greenery, making for a dramatic photo opportunity before descending into the darkness for a guided tour.
Red Rocks Cultural Centre
Part hostel and part cultural exchange, Red Rocks is a popular tourist stop due to the large variety of activities available to visitors. You can learn how to make traditional Rwanda handicrafts, brew your own banana beer, visit nearby villages, prepare your own Rwandan lunch, or simply enjoy interacting with the locals.
Closer to Musanze than Lake Kivu, the twin lakes of Ruhondo and Burera are often overlooked but rarely unappreciated by those who make the time to visit them.
Whether you’re just enjoying the serenity on the lake shore or taking a guided canoe ride out on the water, the twin lakes are a blessedly cool escape from the jungle heat.
Dian Fossey Grave Site Visit
A visit to the grave site of Dian Fossey and her companion, Digit is a must for anybody with a passion for gorillas or conservation. This five hour guided hike takes you to where Fossey and Digit were buried. Located within the Volcanoes National Park close to one of Dian Fossey’s former research centres, you can see the remains of her former research camp. Along the way, you’ll also learn more about Dian Fossey’s life and the tragic circumstances surrounding her death.
Hiking the Volcanoes
Visitors to Volcanoes National Park may wish to climb one of its iconic volcanoes. Mt. Bisoke is 3,700m high and its peak is dominated by a spectacular crater lake. Hiking takes between 6 and 7 hours depending on conditions and your fitness, but you may get lucky enough to spot one of the park’s resident gorillas as you hike.
Golden Monkey Trekking
An ideal morning activity, golden monkey trekking is an easy 3-4 hour hike that takes you into the Volcanoes National Park in pursuit of these beautiful and playful primates. Starting in the early morning, you’ll be back well before lunch or in time for any onward travel you might have planned.
|Languages spoken||French, Kinyarwanda|
|Currency used||Rwanda Franc (RWF)|