Top things to do and see in & around Ruhengeri / Musanze Rwanda
Top things to do and see in & around Ruhengeri / Musanze Rwanda: Musanze is one of the best cities in Rwanda which obtained its name as a result of Rwanda deciding to change most of the names of its cities as they try to erase the fatal memories of the bloody 1994 Genocide that robbed lives of thousands of Rwandese. Musanze was formally known as Ruhengeri and up to now some people have failed to adopt to its new name “Musanze” thus some people still call it Ruhengeri but whichever way, all two names are well known. Musanze / Ruhengeri is situated in the northern part of Rwanda the land of a thousand hills and its known for being the best destination to visit while on a safari to Rwanda due to its unique tourist attractions including National parks such as Volcanoes national park, memorial sites, administrative places etc. This article elaborates the Top things to do & see in Ruhengeri / Musanze Rwanda.
Top things to do and see in & around Ruhengeri / Musanze Rwanda
Gorilla trekking Volcanoes national park: Gorilla trekking in Volcanoes national park is one the Top things to do and see in & around Ruhengeri / Musanze Rwanda. Volcanoes national park is the most visited park in Musanze/Ruhengeri and in Rwanda at large due to the fact that it harbors several tourist attractions that include wildlife species, memorial be sites, hills and many more. A visit to Musanze /Ruhengeri in incomplete not until you engage in a breath taking gorilla trekking adventure in volcanoes national park as the park stand close to Musanze city. In fact, gorilla trekking in volcanoes national park has always been the topmost activity done by several travelers from different places as volcanoes national park is the only destination in Rwanda that harbors the endangered mountain gorillas. The rest of the mountain gorillas are trekked in Uganda with in Bwindi impenetrable national park which has the largest population of these endangered species of gorillas, there is also Mgahinga national park that harbors only one habituated mountain gorilla family and finally Virunga national park in Congo that also harbors the endangered mountain gorillas in their natural habitats.
Birding in Musanze/Ruhengeri: Birding is also amongst the top things to do and see in & around Ruhengeri / Musanze Rwanda. Musanze/Ruhengeri is yet a beautiful place to encounter with different species of birds from various birding spots. Some of the best destinations to encounter birds while I n Musanze /Ruhengeri is inside Volcanoes national park, along Rivers such as Mukungwa, in the forests, along the lakes, near the swamps and many more. Be sure to spot the forest bird species, water bird species, species endemic to Albertine rift and many more.
Hiking Dian Fossey grave: a hike to summit the grave of Dian fossey is yet an interesting activity included on the list of the top things to do and see in & around Ruhengeri / Musanze Rwanda. However, hikers are supposed to be physically fit and ready to toil via difficult terrains till they summit the top. Dian fossey grave is situated at Karisoke research center which she constructed between mount Karisimbi and mount Bisoke hence the name Karisoke. Before her death, Dian Fossey was an American primatologist who trained gorillas and made them her best friends then fought the poachers until the same poachers robbed her life but up to now, her grave has been kept well as a tourist attraction to keep her in memories for her great work done in preservation of the endangered mountain gorillas in the entire virunga massif. On a lucky day, hikers are in position to encounter with the gorillas and some mammals that reside within virunga massif area in Rwanda side.
Exploration of Buhanga Eco Park: This Eco Park is also inclusive in the top things to do and see in & around Ruhengeri / Musanze Rwanda. Eco Park is situated in the heart of Buhanga forest and is a sacred place with a very beautiful history. History has it that this park is where the ancient kings of Rwanda were always taken to be blessed by the gods of the forest, bathed in spring water and then crowned. A visit to Buhanga Eco Park enables tourists to learn more about the history of Rwanda while exploring all the unique attractions with in the forest such as caves and many more.
Visiting the Ibyiwacu Cultural village: Several tourists on a Rwanda safari especially in Musanze / Ruhengeri usually enjoy a visit to Ibyiwacu cultural village in the evening after either trekking the gorillas or Golden monkeys to buy the Souvenirs, offer a tip to the locals, and visit the local art gallery among others with in the village. A visit to the Ibyiwacu cultural village is also amongst the Top things to do and see in & around Ruhengeri / Musanze Rwanda. A visit to this village enables tourists to encounter with the local Rwandese for a cultural retreat with the breath taking cultural dances and drama. The local Rwandese in this village were once hunters and poachers but later on, they were sensitized about the advantages of primates and wildlife in general and as of now they also help in conservation work to make Rwanda a better place for both wildlife and the tourists. Through the performances and exhibiting of the handmade products, the locals obtain income to sustain them.
Golden Monkey tracking in Volcanoes national park: amongst the top things to do and see in & around Ruhengeri / Musanze Rwanda is Golden monkey tracking and this is done in none other than Volcanoes national park. Tracking golden monkeys is one of the most adventurous safaris to do while in Ruhengeri / Musanze Rwanda allowing primate lovers to spend one hour with the rare, unique and endangered species golden monkeys as they jump over in tree branches cheerfully swinging their tails. Tracking golden monkey is more fun than trekking gorillas since golden monkey move in a large group than the gorillas. Apart from Rwanda, Golden monkeys can also be tracked in Uganda with in Mgahinga gorilla national park.
Visiting the twin lakes of Burela and Ruhondo: Exploration of the Twin lakes of Burela and Ruhondo is yet another fascinating activity to include on the top things to do and see in & around Ruhengeri / Musanze Rwanda. These two beautiful lakes are situated very close to one another thus the name twin. There is a whole lot of things to do and see while at these twin lakes such as visiting the islands on a canoe ride, birding, village walks and many more along these beautiful lakes while enjoying the cool breath from the lakes and sighting beautiful sceneries along the lakes and the surrounding areas.
Volcano hiking: another fascinating activity to do and see while in and around Musanze/ Ruhengeri is Volcano hiking which is carried out in Volcanoes national park. The most hiked volcanoes in Ruhengeri include Karisimbi Mountain, Sabinyo Mountain, Muhavura Mountain, and Mount Bisoke all situated in Virunga massif which harbors 8 volcanoes. Some of these volcanoes are easily hiked from the Ugandan side.
Visit the Musanze caves: Musanze caves are also major tourist attraction and listed amongst the top things to do and see in & around Ruhengeri / Musanze Rwanda. Musanze caves have been in existence for over a million years and they were formed as a result of volcanic eruption that led to the flow of the molten lava under the ground leaving the ground on top which later on solidified and formed the tunnel like caves. Some of these caves are large enough to up to about 20km in length. The best way to explore these caves is by using the torch light since they are really dark inside.
Canoe ride along River Mukungwa: This also inclusive in the list of the top things to do and see in & around Ruhengeri / Musanze Rwanda. River Mukungwa is situated a few kilometers outside Musanze/Ruhengeri but is the best destination to visit for a relaxed canoe ride after spending the Rwanda safari. This canoe ride on River Mukungwa offers the best birding grounds for birders and also enables tourists to capture some beautiful photographs of the surrounding environment. This fascinating activity lasts between 3-4 hours but it’s worth a do while on a Rwanda safari in Musanze/ Ruhengeri for as low as $ 40 per person.
Musanze/ Ruhengeri city tour: Exploring the beautiful city of Musanze formerly known as Ruhengeri is also listed amongst the top things to do and see in & around Ruhengeri / Musanze Rwanda. Take ample time exploring Musanze city on foot is such a rewarding experience taking you to different market areas, Visit the restaurants and many more.
Getting to Musanze from Kigali
Getting to Musanze is a 2 hours road drive from the capital city of Rwanda and it can be reached by either taking a public bus, a private car or a tourist safari van.
Where to stay in Musanze/ Ruhengeri Rwanda
There are plenty of accommodations to reside in while on Rwanda safari in Musanze/ Ruhengeri and these include luxury accommodations, Midrange accommodations and Budget accommodations. Some of these lodges include Five Volcanoes Boutique Hotel, Sabinyo Silverback Lodge, Bisate lodge, La Locanda, Virunga lodge and many more.