Kigali Town : Kigali Capital City

Guide to Kigali City – kigali tourism, kigali city pictures, kigali map, kigali airport, kigali hotels, kigali population 2020, kigali upcoming events

Kigali is the capital city of Rwanda, one of the East African countries which is also known to have well organized activities, clean towns and strict laws. Kigali is located in the centre of Rwanda in Kigali province. It was founded by a Germany administrator and explorer Richard Kandt in 1907 and it became Rwanda’s capital city after independence in 1962. It is strategically situated on Nyarugenge hill where it offers the most magnificent views of the surrounding including the neighboring.

Kigali city has several memorial sites where you can have an experience of the harsh history of the 1994 Rwanda genocide which claimed approximately 1,000,000 people. A city tour around Rwanda capital exposes you to the hospitable people of Rwanda, their culture, food and the beautiful towers in the city. Serenity, comfort, beauty and a cool weather define the capital of Rwanda.

There are three major tribes in Rwanda; the Tutsi, the Hutu and the Twa. In Kigali town, you’ll hear people speak different languages but mainly French, Kinyarwanda, English and Kiswahili.

Kigali is the largest and the fastest growing town in Rwanda. It is known as the neatest towns in Africa and you will admit this when you visit it and compare to the rest of the towns in Africa that you have visited before. Yes it is a clean town and you won’t see litter around, using plastic bags is not allowed, rather use paper bags. Kigali town has well developed and established financial services and facilities and the currencies used there for transactions are Rwanda Francs and US dollars.

The city of Kigali also has good transportation infrastructures and comfortable means of transport. Kigali international airport is a well established airport located in the southeastern part of Kigali. Rwanda’s flag carrier is Rwandair, however many other airline companies serve Kigali international airport including Kenya Airways, Brussels Airlines, Qatar Airways and Ethiopian Airlines among others. Good roads connect the airport to the rest of the town including hotels, memorial sites and other locations and to national parks, borders and to villages and other provinces. There are several coach companies that serve to different countries in the neighborhood of Rwanda including Uganda, Burundi and the DRC among others.

Kigali has a variety of historical sites and this has made it one of the most touristic cities in Africa. The main historical site in Kigali is;

Kigali Genocide Memorial Centre

This memorial site was constructed in commemoration of the 1994 Genocide of Rwanda. This place has the remains of 250,000 people who were killed during the genocide and were buried here. This place has attracted a lot of tourists and students who wish to understand how this happened and genocide affected the country. Relatives and friends of the victims who were buried here also visit the memorial site to show love to their peoples who were buried here. The memorial centre has a visitor’s centre, the permanent exhibition, the exhibition that consists of the genocidal violence around the world and the children’s memorial.

Other genocide memorial sites in Rwanda include Gisozi memorial site, Gisenyi memorila site, Muramba memorial site, Bisesero memorial site, Nyanza memorial site, Ntamara memorial site and Nyarubuye memorial site.

 

Other historical sites in Kigali include;

Hotel Mille des Collines

This hotel is famous and historical because a number of Tutsi survived the genocide because they hid there under the help of a man called Mr. Paul Rusesabagina. The hotel is also known as Hotel Rwanda and the movie Hotel Rwanda was based on this scenario of how it was a life saving place for many.

Kandt house museum

Kandt house museum was the home of the first Belgian colonialist in Rwanda known as Richard Kandt who also founded Rwanda city. It was formerly known as Natural History Museum and later on changed to Kandt House Museum of Natural History to remember the work of Richard Kandt.

Belgian’s Soldiers’ memorial site

Many Belgian soldiers who were providing security to Madame Agathe Uwiligiyimana, the wife to President Habyarimana were killed here. As they were shooting at the Belgian soldiers, Madame Agathe could not survive the bullets. Up to now, the bullet holes still exist at the site.

Presidential palace museum

This is where you’ll find the remains of the plane of Rwanda’s former president Habyarimana whose assassination increased grudges between the Tutsi and Hutu leading to the 1994 Rwanda genocide.

Sainte-Famille church

Many Hutu and Tutsi went to hide at this Catholic Church during the genocide but the priest at the Church was involved in the killing of these people by the armed Hutu killers. After this scenario, many people converted to Islam.

The gorilla statue

The highlight for most travels to Rwanda is gorilla trekking Rwanda which is done in Volcanoes national park. a statue of two gorillas, male and female was situated at the roundabout in the centre of Kigali town to show something they boast in that many don’t have.

Apart from historical sites, Kigali has much more areas where you can make memories of your Rwanda safari while in Kigali. They diversify the entire experience of the safari, they include Nyarugenge hill, Kacyiru hill and Nyaturama Lake for adventure and scenic viewing, Kigali arts center and Inema arts center for arts and crafts, Kimironko market, Kigali cultural village and House of Tayo for shopping and areas such as Inzora rooftop café for hangouts.

Kigali hotels

Accommodations in Kigali include; Five to Five Hotel, Hotel des Milles Collines, Heaven Boutique Hotel and Heaven Retreat, Kigali Serena Hotel, Golf Hills Residence, Ubumwe Grande Hotel, Marriot Hotel Kigali and The Manor Hotel among others. Most accommodations in Kigali prepare both local and international cuisines, they have serene environments and friendly staffs.

Mount Bisoke

Planning to visit Rwanda and engage in one of the popular gorilla trekking events, in addition to gorilla trekking, Rwanda provides plenty of activities and things to do. you can also include mount Bisoke hiking on your things to do during your Rwanda safari tour.

 Mountain Bisoke is a dormant volcano Formed on the basis of a split which is slowly separating East African parts, rising at an altitude of 3711 metres. The mountain is one of the sequence of volcanoes that make up the Virunga Mountain Range that stretches across Rwanda, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Mountain Bisoke crosses the Rwandan frontier with the Democratic Republic of Congo, but most of it, including the summit & two spectacular crater lakes. Mount Bisoke is one of the 8 volcanic mountains situated in Rwanda and one of the easiest volcanic mountains to climb and best suitable for hikers who are not used to taking long hikes. The peak rises up to 3,711 meters above sea level, the range is distinguished by a collection of types of vegetation varying from bamboo forests, to Hypercom forests.

Mount Bisoke is also known as the Visoke Peak, the term Bisoke comes from the Swahili word meaning “soaked water” the last eruption occurred in 1957 and is fitted with two spectacular maker reservoirs, one about 11 kilometres from the summit and the other at the top.  Mount Bisoke just like any other Virunga mountains was formed out of a rift action. The mountain also boasts with the largest crater lake in the Virunga ranges, the mountain also comprises of alpine meadows and equatorial forests.

Mount Bisoke is a home to the endangered mountain gorillas which is one of the famous activities in volcanoes national park Rwanda. The lush bamboo forests and other plants around the mountain give these great apes an ideal food and shelter. Yet Hiking Mount Bisoke and hitting the top is also a favourite activity for many tourists to the National Park of Volcanoes. Many visitors to the National Park of Volcanoes merge gorilla trekking with hike to mount Bisoke.

Climbing mount Bisoke – Hiking Mount Bisoke

The Bisoke Mountain is one of Rwanda’s adventure activities. It’s just a6-hour hike with the 2 hours down to the starting point. Experienced hikers can get to the top of this mountain within 3 or even less hours and return to the base in about an hour. Hiking to the mountain requires only 1-day Rwanda safari tour. On the day of hiking, hikers are required to be at the park headquarters at Kinigi by 7:00pm for a briefing and assigned a park ranger. The rangers have knowledge and much information a bout the mountains. After the briefing, the guide will lead you to the starting point of your hike. Hikers are also required to hire a porter to help you carry your property.

Bisoke hiking is common with tourists to Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park due to the possibility of seeing the fog-filled hills, crater lakes, spectacular views and alpine vegetation seen anywhere else on earth. The volcano is a sanctuary for elephants from the jungle, lions, mountain gorillas, golden monkeys and several species of birds. During the trek, you can have an opportunity to meet the gorilla families or golden monkeys’ groups roaming around the trails which make the hike even more fulfilling experience.

Hiking Mount Bisoke Volcano, the trip to the starting point of the trail takes 40 minutes on a bumpy road. At this stage the park officials will provide you with hiking sticks. you will be assigned an armed ranger who will meet you and escort you up to the summit and have the opportunity to hire porters to help with extra luggage.  the armed ranger guide will provide you security all through the hiking process in case of the armed rebels who might cross from the Congo side (very rare).

Porters also help you navigate rough parts of the trail by dragging you up or down. The porters stay near the park, and are very skilled and informative about the mountain trail like the wardens and rangers. Some have guided mountain climbers since infancy. It will cost you 10USD to hire a porter.

The hiking ends at the foot of the volcano with walking across leveled yet rugged and rough terrain. Until entering the park entrance, you’ll walk through several nearby gardens / plants. The park is safeguarded by concrete walls which prevent animals entering the park from reaching out human homes and gardens. Once you have reached the top of the top of the mountain, you will be able to view different scenery and vegetation types around the mountain. Mount Bisoke weather will dictate how long you’re going to stay on top. You might even go for a picnic on the top of the mountain on a sunny day. At the summit the lake is unfit for swimming. The climb back to the starting point is simple except that the mud-filled paths have to be managed again. At the starting point, your driver or company guide will be waiting for you.

Suggested Tours

Congo Nile Trail – During your safari in Rwanda, do not forget to book a Congo Nile trail safari tour which takes place along lake Kivu from Rubavu and Rutsiro through the karongi, Nyamasheke district and ends in Kibuye. Many adventurous may wish to extend their Congo Nile Trip as far as Nyungwe forest which offers more better attractions and experience.

This practice draws primarily travellers involved in cycling tours. Hiking trips and kayaking will reach Gisenyi Rwanda and join in the Congo Trail. The Congo trail is one of the most adventurous experience in Africa, the biking distance measures about 227km long, where by the travellers taking pat in this activity have an opportunity to view beautiful landscapes, such as rolling hills, clear water, among others. This Congo trail stands as the one activity that can be both explored on foot by walking, cycling and motorcycling all through out the activity up to Nyungwe forest.

Congo Nile Trail

Walking to the Congo Nile Trail requires approximately 8 days to complete the trek, depending on your ability and physical fitness to hike.

What to expect during the Congo Nile trail?

The starting point of this trail is Gisenyi Rwanda, during the biking experience, the Congo Nile gives stunning views, scenic views and immersive cultures along the nearby communities. This trail is very impressive for adventures activities and stands as the prominent way to explore the beautiful view of the land of a thousand hills. For the strong and energetic bikers, this activity can be completed in 5 days depending on one’s fitness and biking experience.

Different routes followed during the Congo Nile Trail

Form Gisenyi to Kamembe, using a bike in good condition without it breaking down on the way, the bikers using this route, can complete the hike in 5 days.

The second route is from Gisenyi to Kibuye, this is the shortest route and can be completed in 1 or 2 days and its best for the travellers who have limited time to spend in Rwanda during any of their safari visits in Rwanda.

Essentials required for the Congo Nile Trail Rwanda

  • A bike. Bicycle
  • Sleeping tents and Bags
  • Sun Glasses
  • Hiking boots
  • Jacket
  • Rack sack
  • Enough drinking waters
  • Spare parts for the motorcycle or bikes for those using any of these
  • You will need to pack food/snack that will help in boosting the energy required to hike the steep slopes.

How to book the Congo Nile Trail

Contact us at adventure in the wild safaris in case you have interest in taking part in this activity, you can book a trip and you need to use a bicycle, we will be in position to make this magical moment for you.

Accommodation during the Congo Nile trail

There are several lodges ranging from mid-range. Luxury and Budget lodges to meet the interest of the clients. Including; Kibogora guest house, Bethanie Guest house, Kinunu guest house, peace guest house among others o offer you quality accommodation and good service during your stay as you explore Rwanda on the Congo Nile Trail.

For more information on the Congo Nile Trail, reach to us at adventure in the wild safaris, and we will offer you all the necessary information concerning the Congo Nile trail and in case you will need this safari, please reach to us and we will arrange the safari for you.

Mount Karisimbi

Mount Karisimbi is one of the volcano mountains found in Virunga region, mount karisimbi is the highest among the volcanoes found in the Virunga region. The extinct volcano is located in the National Park of Volcanoes and at the boundary between Rwanda and the DR Congo. Mount rises to 4,507 meters and is flanked by other local volcanoes such as Mikeno, Nyiragongo and Bisoke. Mount Karisimbi, derived it name form the local Kinyarwanda word to mean “white shell”, which is the snow that normally covers the top of the mountain during the dry season of the year, at the  peak of mount Karisimbi , you will find a Branca caldera and two craters with Mutango being the highest.

Mount Karisimbi Hike

Visitors visiting the volcanoes national park in Rwanda, purposely for gorilla trekking, end up taking a hike to Mount Karisimbi as a supplement to the Rwanda Gorilla trekking. although the two activities can be so strenuous, but it offers an exciting experience due to the fact that, the mountain is located within the volcanoes national park,  you will also have an opportunity to spot  lot more other exciting attractions such as the golden monkeys, several bird species, and the mountain gorillas but the gorillas are not common seen passing close to Dian Fossey grave European protagonist who dedicated her live in the conservation of the mountain gorillas. When passing along the trail, on top of the volcano, harbours great attractions like the physical features, volcanic features, dense forest and vegetation which offer great attractions and interesting to look at.  hiking Mount Karisimbi is best achieved during the drier time of the year that is between January to March, and from July and early October, though in the rainy season, the hiking could require walking through thick jungle, steep slopes and muddy paths which makes the hiking a little bit challenging. It’s for this purpose, that hiking mount Karisimbi would be best during the dry season of the year.

Climbing mount Karisimbi, requires one to be physically fit and have enough energy and stamina in order to navigate along the steep slopes, muddy and challenging areas of the mountain. Due to the challenges, you are advised to take a porter with you, they help in carrying your property and also offer a push or pull incise the hike gets tougher.

The hike to Mount Karisimbi, will take you approximately 2 days to get to the top and descend from the mountain. The hike starts as early as 7:00am with a briefing at the park headquarters for registration and to be briefed by the rangers /warden of the park. after the briefing, the driver who is also the guide will transfer you to the starting point of the hike. Ascending to the top of the mountain, will take you about 7 hours but you will be allowed to rest midway the mountain at an altitude of 3,700 metres for an overnight stay. There is a camp place set on to there and dinner is prepared for all the trekkers in preparation for the final stage of the hike the following day. After an early breakfast, you will then start the nest hike which will last about 1 hour but this stage is a bit challenging as the mud gets thicker and wet, too much strong winds, and fog covering the all place which makes visibility even a little difficult.

While at the top, the views form the top, are spectacular and interesting to look at you will be able to view Muhavura volcano, the Nyamuragira Volcano, the Nyiragongo volcano, the dense forests, the vegetation, and many more. Thereafter the great views and finally you have had enough time, you will start to descent back to the starting point which will cover about 6 hours of your time, where the guide will transfer you back to the park headquarters.

Packing List and tips required in Hiking Mount Karisimbi

 The office for Rwanda tourism and managing national parks, provides guides who help hikers in the navigating of the different trails during the hike. Therefore, trekkers are also advised to come with the following essentials.

Good hiking shoes sweater / warm clothes, a lightweight heavy jumper, a hat and a walking stick A tent for camping overnight A sleeping bag Packed provisions for the overnight stay until hitting the top, you will also need porters to help carry your backpack, tents, Cameras, and other equipment of your importance.

Mount Karisimbi Hiking permits

Karisimbi hiking permits are usually purchased from headquarters in the park. The permit can be purchased on the day of the walk, but it is highly recommended that you book in advance just to make sure they expect you and also have an ample time in preparation for this activity. The Mount Karisimbi hiking permit costs 400USD per person. When you book your Rwanda safari with as at adventure in the wild safaris, we will carry the entire burden and arrange for you the whole safari.  We will provide transport, booking for you the accommodation, and securing your hiking permit in advance, planning to have a trip, reach to us we have a team of experienced staff ranging from tour guides, are a available to help you plan one of the best and life changing experience after the hike to Mount Karisimbi. You can also book gorilla trekking safari with the hike to any of the volcano mountains for the travellers who physically fit and take longer hikes.

Suggested Karisimbi Hiking Tours

The twin lakes (Burera and Ruhondo)

These are named so because at a stage where one pours water to the other since they became intertwined or entangled. They are cantered in the suburbs of Volcanoes National Park at Ruhengeri, just on the foothills of Mountain Sabyinyo, Muhabura, Bisoke and Gahinga. The Twin Lakes are extremely beautiful, surrounded by mountains and a beautiful woodland and only separated by 1 km wide strip of land, the experience of seeing these lakes is worth telling stories and the portion of water pouring is best viewed from an aerial view that makes it so entertaining

Volcanoes National Park Attractions

Volcanoes National Park Attractions – The Rwandan part of the Virunga’s is host to Volcanoes National Park, which stretches along the DRC and Uganda frontier. The Virunga’s, which contains five volcanoes, are completely captivating and few would claim that this is not one of Africa’s most fascinating national parks in east Africa. We certainly don’t need to remind you, but of all the incredible sights and attractions that accompany the Virunga’s, the popular mountain gorillas are one of those that particularly attracts people here in the volcanoes national park.

Volcanoes National Park is one of the ancient national parks in Africa, the park was gazetted in 1952 purposely for the protection and conservation of the endangered mountain gorillas that where under a threat due to the rampant poaching activities carried out by the hunters who intruded the forest. The park is also known as Parc National Des Volcans, its situated in Kinigi a small village known as Musanze formally known as Ruhengeri in the north western part of Rwanda. Volcanoes national park Rwanda, borders the Virunga national park in Congo and Mgahinga gorilla national park in Uganda, these great national parks, form together the Virunga conservation area. The park is situated in an area of about 160km2 and known for its abundant biodiversity that have boosted the tourism industry in the country, out of the nine Virunga mountains, five of which are found in the volcanoes national park in Rwanda, the park is also covered with different vegetation types that is a home to the endangered mountain gorillas which is the main draw of tourists in the park. Besides the gorillas, the park also harbors the Golden monkeys, different mammal species, the animals spotted here include; the elephants, buffaloes, bushbucks, giant forest hogs and different bird species are spotted in park among others. Volcanoes national park is famous for gorilla trekking activities but the park also offers many other activities like golden monkey trekking, cultural visits, visit to Dian Fossey Cave, genocide memorial and may more other activities that you will engage in when you visit the country.

Attractions in Volcanoes National park

Mountain Gorillas:

volcanoes national park, is famous for hosting a number of the mountain gorillas living in its forest. The gorillas in volcanoes, have become the major attraction that has drawn many travellers and the country as well to do these activities of gorilla trekking. Volcanoes national park has got several habituated gorilla families some of which are used in gorilla trekking and others for research and others are in the wild. Volcanoes national park has got a number of 10 habituated gorilla families available for visitors visiting the country for Gorilla trekking experience on daily basis. The gorilla families in volcanoes national park include; Amahoro family, Susa family, Karisimbi gorilla family, Sabinyo family, Agastya Umubano family, Kwitonda family, Titus group, Igisha family, Isimbi group, Pablo, Ugenda, Bwenge and Muhoza family. The mountain gorillas are the most threatened ape in the world, the mountain gorillas are found only in smaller portions of sheltered Afro-Montane forests in north-western Rwanda, southwestern Uganda and eastern DRC. One of many animals native to those areas is the mountain gorilla. The woods do contain several attractions such as, the beautiful birds, monkeys like the golden monkeys, l’Hiost monkeys, Magabeys, large mammals like elephants, buffaloes’ antelopes and others, rodents, insects like buffer lies are spotted here, different plant species among others.

The mountain gorilla was undiscovered until 1902, when the American zoologist Dian Fossey first the need to conserve these animals and later she was mercilessly slaughtered by the rebels. This sets the tone for the relation and the need to protect these great Apes. For a long time since it seemed owing to erosion and smuggling that the mountain gorilla was easily doomed to be lost to the earth once again. Not long after the greatest champion of the genus, protagonist was murdered in Rwanda in 1985 that lead to the destruction of the gorillas and reduced their number to less than 300 gorillas in the wild therefore, the government has tried to make sure that the primates are under protection thus they gazetted the volcanoes national park that inhabited the mountain gorillas.

Today in the world, there is over 1000 and more mountain gorillas in the Virunga mountain of central Africa, at the boarder of Uganda, Rwanda and the democratic Republic of Congo. Here the volcanic slopes are dense with tropical forests and numerous species of mammals, birds and reptiles living in the forest.

The gorillas live in groups of two to ten members and above, the family is lead by a male gorilla known as the silver back, he is the head of the family, he provides protection and provides food for the members in its family. In case of danger on the family, the male gorilla, shows of his physical power by Standing upright, throw things, make violent attacks, pound his massive chest while roaring strong hoots or unleashing an alarming roar. Given these appearances and the obvious physical strength of the species, gorillas remain generally calm and non-aggressive when not bothered. The female gorillas give birth to one child after almost nine months of pregnancy. In comparison to their dominant kin, new-borns are smaller, weighing four pounds (two kilograms) and can only stick to the fur of their mothers, from the age of four months most youngsters fly on their mothers ‘ backs during the first two to three years of their lives.

Golden Monkeys:

After the mountain gorillas, Golden monkeys are also one of the unique species found in volcanoes national park and have become one of the most thought of adventure in the park after the popular gorilla trekking. The golden monkeys are also among the endangered primate species in various national park, the monkeys live in groups of 50 individuals and their daily meal is bamboo shoots, fruits, leaves, plants etc.

The golden monkeys are known to be shy primates but due to the habituation process, these has helped to improve on the shyness which has helped which has helped them to accept the presence of visitors and researchers coming to the park to carry out golden monkey trekking. There is no bid difference between gorilla trekking and golden monkey trekking since they both require a trekking permit to access their natural habitats. A group of eight people is required to trek each habituated group and you are allowed to spend one hour with the them once you have found them. The monkeys are so playful as the jump from one tree to another which makes it so interesting to watch but a little difficult to photograph

Golden monkey trekking today is the second most done activity in volcanoes national park after gorilla trekking. Golden monkey trekking is worth going for and you shouldn’t miss during any of the visit to volcanoes national park also the other remaining golden monkey population is inhabited in Mgahinga national park in south western Uganda bordering Rwanda.

Volcanoes national park, currently has two habituated golden monkey families open for trekking. The activity starts early morning with a briefing at the headquarters and then you will be led by the ranger guide in to the forest in search for the golden monkeys. And when you find them, you will be allowed one hour with them in their natural habitat.

Birds in Volcanoes national Park Rwanda

Volcanoes national park, is famous for harbouring a variety of bird species that have attracted the bird lovers in to the park for bird watching experience. The park is a home to over 178 recorded bird species and 29 which are endemic of the Albertine rift. Birding in volcanoes national park, is mainly done in the grassland, bushland vegetation, alpine and on bamboo among others, these site harbour birds which makes it easy for bird watching since they found inhabiting those places. Bird species in volcanoes national park include; red-faced woodland warbler, archer’s ground robin, Rwenzori Batis, Rwenzori double collared sunbird, and handsome francolin, African marsh harrier, common moorhen, long-crested eagle, grey throated tit, paradise flycatcher strange weaver among others.

Dian Fossey Research Centre

Dian Fossey Research Centre is an institute that was put in place by European primatologist Dian Fossey purposely for the conservation and the protection of the mountain gorillas that where under threat due to serious poaching activities. The visit to the institutes will offer you more knowledge about the gorillas and her interest in the conservation of the gorillas which later resulted in to gorilla trekking tourism in the country. You will be driven up to the starting point of the trail where you will then trek on foot for about 1-2 hours, during the trek , you will also be able to sight some of the animals in the forest such as the forest elephants, forest hogs, buffaloes and different bird species.
You arrive in the house of Dian Fossey in which she was miraculously assassinated in 1985 and afterward buried beside her favourite gorilla friend Digit. The gorilla grave yard is buried here with around 20 gorillas killed either by poachers or by natural causes.

Mountains in Volcanoes national Park

There are over 5 of the 8 Virunga Volcanoes found in volcanoes national park, which include; mount Muhavura, mount Gahinga, mount Sabinyo, mount Bisoke, Mount karisimbi. These mountains have both facilitated hiking activities. Travellers taking part in mountain hiking, you will have an opportunity to climb any of the volcano’s mountains of your preferred interest.

Mount Bisoke

Mount Bisoke is a dormant volcano mountain measuring a bout 3,711 metres above sea level, the mountain lies in the border between Volcanoes national park and Democratic republic of Congo. you can take a hike to Mount Bisoke, the mountain measures up to the height of about 400m has a stunning crater lake at its peak, Montane vegetation, Mount Mikeno in Congo, gorillas among others, rendering this volcano a fun experience to climb. The trip takes approximately 6 hours which is the 4 hours spend climbing on top and the 2 hours spent descending down.

Mount Karisimbi

Mount Karisimbi has the highest peaks among all the Virunga volcanoes, and the fifth highest among the mountains in Africa, measuring up to 4507 meters above sea level, situated along the equator, the mountain experiences cool temperatures which result to slow formation. The height of the peak makes hiking a little complex and challenging, so it’s only reserved for climbers who are involved in it.

Mount Muhavura

Mount Muhavura is the second heights peaks among the volcano mountains. The height measures up to 4,127 metres above sea level. mount Muhavura lies between Rwanda and Uganda and its both shared by the two countries. Therefore, travellers having interest in climbing this mountain, can both climb it in either of the countries. Climbing mount Muhavura takes approximately 6 to 8 hours to get to the top. While on top of the mountain, you will be able to view the beautiful crater lake, and stunning views of the landscape below and all that is in it such as the twin lakes including Burera and Ruhondo

Mount Sabinyo

Mount Sabinyo sits within the three east African countries namely Congo’s Virunga National Park, Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park and Uganda’s Mgahinga Gorilla National Park. Peak top at 3,645 meters (11,959 ft). The peak is also an extinct volcano in the Virunga Range, in eastern Africa.

Mount Gahinga

Mount Gahinga is one of the shortest volcano mountains among all the Virunga ranges, the mountain measures up to the height of 3,474 metres above sea level. The height favours the hikers who do not take long hikes. The mountain is an extinct volcano lying between volcanoes national park in Rwanda and Mgahinga national park in Uganda therefore, hikers on Mount Gahinga, can hike the mountain in either of the countries.

List of Other Attractions in / Near Volcanoes National Park Rwanda

Hiking to Dian Fossey Grave

Hike to the Dian Fossey Tomb is among the popular safari activities performed by many travellers who come to visit the Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda mainly to do  for a gorilla trip, The hike includes a 30-minute drive from the park headquarters to the trail head for access to the Karisoke test camp where tourists stroll to the park border for about 10 minutes. Walking from the park boundaries to the Dian Fossey gave, takes approximately one and half hours, the trek involves passing through the forest which offers beautiful views of many attractions. You will spot several animals like the forest hogs, forest elephants, several primates and different bird species which makes the walk to the Dian Fossey even more adventurous.

The hike to the Dian Fossey is an unforgettable experience that someone encounters when you step foot in this tomb, it’s both physically, emotionally and intellectually but also It’s so inspirational to learn about someone who has been so deeply committed and dedicated her life in conserving the life of the gorillas in their natural habitat, when she died, she still has left a legacy that even today still exists. The walk involves moving through the woods and climbing the hills, needing a degree of endurance and flexibility for one to be able to hike the steep slopes.

The trek to the Dian Fossey tomb allows to learn more information about the conservation history of Dian Fossey as protagonist and conservationist in the world. You will also see the nearby gorilla cemetery which is now located in the formally known as Karisoke research camp. Today, travellers able to view an increasing number of gorillas in their natural habitat but all this is credited to the effort of Dian Fossey who lived her in conserving and protection of the gorillas.

As you walk towards the site, you will find the house from where Dian Fossey was mercilessly murdered in 1985 and she was buried next to her friend digit and several other gorillas that died due to poaching or might have suffered illness, the gorillas that she worked so hard to conserve their life in the forest. The circumstances that led to her murder still remain mystery but it’s believed that the murder could have happened due to the reason hat she had devoted her self to see poaching come to un end and protect the gorillas. Following her sad ending, Dian Fossey’s reputation and success continues, and her popular book Gorillas in the Mist was eventually made a film portraying her personal life and dealing with the gorillas you don’t want to miss to watch this. This film shows how she was devoted in her work and truly it wasn’t in vain even with her death, her history still lives. The Dian Fossey fund foundation still works in the conservation of the gorillas where they are running several projects which have help to protect the life of the gorillas. Which has led to an increasing number of the gorillas living both in forested and mountainous forests in Uganda at Bwindi impenetrable forest and Mgahinga forest, volcanoes in Rwanda and in Virunga forest in Congo.

In many occasions, hiking to the Dian fossey grave is one of the complements to other popular activities that has drawn visitors in Rwanda including; gorilla trekking Rwanda, golden monkey trekking, Volcano hiking, visit to the Musanze caves and visit to the twin lakes of Bulera and Buhondo twin lakes.

What is required for Dian fossey Hike?

Hiking to the Dian fossey grave is not as much easy as you may know though it not as strenuous as king the volcanoes, but requires on to be physically fit since it’s a bit tiresome to hike on steep slopes. The walk takes about 1-3 hours from he starting point and depends on one’s fitness and ability to hike. Travelers are also encouraged to wear hiking boots to resolve the muddy and slippery grounds particularly during the rainy season, in order to ease the movements. Likewise, dress in long pants, which you will address to stockings to avoid bites from insects on the field and be harmed by stinging nettles.

Dian Fossey trekking permit?

As with any other popular activity in the Volcanoes National Park, including gorilla trekking, golden monkey trekking among others, all participants in hiking to the Dian Fossey Cemetery are expected to have a valid trekking permit, you are also encouraged to carry other relevant travel documents, for clarification, such as passports. Ironically, Dian Fossey Graveyard Hike has a relatively low cost of 75usd which is worth paying for compared to other activities such gorilla trekking which costs $1500 per person. Travellers taking part in this hike, can access the permits on the actual day of hiking at the Karisoke Research centre. join in the Dian Fossey grave yard stroll, and have more satisfying memorable experience on how she lived her life in conservation of the gorillas.

Hiking to Dian Fossey Grave

 

Musanze caves are situated within the park and are triggered by volcanic eruption, which created an underground area that is wide enough for people to enter/access the inside. They are two kilometres long with walks and stairs which take you to the dark cave interior. The trek to the Musanze Cave, can be done as supplement to gorilla trekking in volcanoes national park. after morning gorilla trekking, you can also take time and visit the Musanze caves, it’s worth visiting.

Genocide Memorial Centres  in Rwanda; the genocide memorial centres are spread all over the country, following the incident that sent Rwanda in to an emotional and tragic moment whereby over 800,00 people are believed to have died during the genocide in 1994 which only lasted for 100 days form 7th April 1994.the centres remain filled with photographs, personal belongings like clothing, shoes, and other exhibits that are remains of the genocide victims.

These centres have been used in commemorating the Rwanda genocide that climbed thousands of lives in shortest period of time. The centres act as the remainder of this brutal and evil act that destroyed the lives of people and it should never be repeated in Rwanda or any other country in the world. The centres also act as a places of solace mourning and link of survivors with their dead relatives and friends, this place draws people during different times in the year but especially during the notional mourning day where by people gather here in remembrance of the victims that lost their lives during the genocide, it’s always held every year on April 7th 1994.

Listed below are the major memorial centres in Rwanda, you can request to visit any of them during any of your safari visits in Rwanda depending on the time, location and itinerary of your safari tour. In case you will need to visit any of these places, please feel free to contact us when in Rwanda and we will be at your service.

Genocide Memorial Centres in Rwanda

Rwanda Genocide

Rwandan Genocide – The Genocide was a major Rwandan-Cultural massacre of civilians in Rwanda belonging to the two Tutsi and Hutu ethnic groups. The vicious fighting began on 6 April 1994 and lasted 100 days, leaving more than 800,000 Hutu and Tutsis dead along with 2 million refugees crowded in sick settlements in neighboring Burundi, Uganda and Tanzania. Rwanda is known worldwide for the genocide of 1994 which claimed the lives of more than 800,000 people in 100 days. Nevertheless, the country has since normalized, stability has been restored where by peace and security now prevail in Rwanda. Rwanda is listed among the safest country in Africa to flourish in the tourism industry due to the dynamic governance leadership of H.E. Paul Kagame the president of Rwanda and the solidarity of Rwandans who have partnered with each other to build Rwanda in to an outstanding country and the better place for its people and the continent at large.

Who were the Tutsis and Hutu?

The Tutsi and Hutu were the two ethic groups who were the first inhabitants of Rwanda, they shared the same origin but had different activities. The Tutsi where cattle keepers while the Hutu did not rare any cattle at all. Which is not the common practise any more since any tribe/ person can now rare cattle and even intermarriages between the two different tribes. After the conquest of the region, the Hutu and Tutsi Europeans have an ethnic role to play. As Rwanda sought its freedom from Belgium, the Belgians turned to the position of the two communities, faced with a revolt led by the Hutu, and the Belgians abandoned the Hutus, the largest population in Rwanda, to rule over the new government of Rwanda. This angered the Tutsis and contributed to tensions that persisted for years between the two parties.

The events that led to the Rwanda Genocide

The genocide was triggered by the assassination on 6 April 1994 of Rwandan President Juvenal Habyarimana, a Hutu, when his plane was shot down over Kigali airport on his way from a conference held in Tanzania.

Since 1973 onwards, the President of Rwanda had a dictatorial regime in which he had never allowed the Tutsis to participate in it. This was shattered on August 3, 1993 when Habyarimana signed the Arusha Accords that strengthened Rwanda’s Hutu forces and also enabled the Tutsis to participate in the country’s governing relations. The Hutu were greatly insulted by this. Given the fact that nobody had quite a true story about who would be accountable for the Rwandan president’s death. Just one day after, simple collision triggered the chief of the Hutu used a chance of death of the president to launch an attack on the Rwandan government and took over the government which later initiated the madder between the two parties leading to the death of large number of people in the country.

The killing of people was done in every place in the country including, churches, Schools, hospitals, homes among others, this place where used as the hiding places for people from the rebels but still, they where killed from these places too. The killing was mostly used by hand weapons, such as clubs, hand matches, pangas and others, both men and women and the children suffered brutal murder and some women and girls where raped and later killed.

Rwanda’s Genocide Ends

Rwanda’s genocide eventually came to a halt when the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF) took over the Rwandan regime. This military group consisted of Tutsis who had fled in the previous years and most of whom had arrived from Uganda. Those were able to access and take over the government and seize control in mid-July 1994 which marked the end of Genocide.

1994 Rwandan Genocide

More Information about Rwandan Genocide