Virunga Crest Hike

This is a stunning 11km hike near Musanze with 499m of climbing.img_2182

Info: A hike along the ridge between Lakes Ruhondo and Bulera with amazing views. The hike starts at Virunga Lodge, one of Rwanda’s nicest hotels. From the lodge car park follow the signed ‘village trail’ down the hill to the road along the ridge line. From here there are great views of Lake Bulera. You will walk past a great village library, the manager is happy to show you around. As you walk along the ridge you will pass a library builtDescend into a lush valley, catching your first sight of Lake Ruhondo at the bottom. The trail goes along the base of the ridge line to the edge of Lake Ruhondo and its hydro-electric plant. You then follow a road up into a narrow valley separating the two lakes where the river used to flow, up to a small dam. From here you climb up to the top of the ridge with great views of Lake Ruhondo. The trail goes back along the ridge line along the dirt road then back up the hill to Virunga Lodge (the way you came). After the hike you will have earned a drink or lunch at the Lodge’s restaurant, which has great views of the volcanoes.

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Ridge to 1000 Hills

This is a 22.8km hike along a ridge line with 780m of climbing. 6 hour hike.

Info: The route starts at a junction about 40 minutes drive from Byumba. The route follows the dirt road to a small village and then climbs to the top of a ridge, where there is a road. The route goes along the ridge line with great views over northern Rwanda and the famous ‘1000 hills’. You do almost all the hike’s climbing in the first hour or so. The route then descends into the valley and through fields and alongside a winding stream, ending up back at the car. The trail is mostly good quality rural dirt roads, apart from some of the first climb, meaning its easy to walk with others and talk.

 

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Lake Valley Hike

This is a 11.5km hike to a lake with 412m of climbing. 3 hour hike.

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Info: It starts at the valley bottom alongside an irrigation scheme. Once you’ve parked your car you immediately climb along a small trail to the ridge line, where there is a dirt road. You walk along the ridge line and then down to a lake at  the end of the valley. The hike ends by walking back along the valley floor to the car.

An extension follows a similar loop but starts closer to the main road, making the total hike 15km.

How to get there: 

By car – Drive north up the Byumba/ Uganda tar road from Kigali. Turn right just before lake Muhazi at signs for Kingfisher Lodge. See Google Maps for the turn. The parking is about 2.5km from the main road along a single lane track.

By public transport – Get a bus from Nyabugogo Bus Park to Byumba/ Gicumbi. Get off early at the turn indicated on the map. You can either then walk the 2.5km to the trail head or walk to the start of the extension and do the longer loop.

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