Recommended guide for excursions around Kibuye and Congo Nile trail
In December 2012 and January 2013 we were on holiday in Rwanda. In Kibuye, we were looking for more information or a guide for the trail to go from Kibuye to Gisenyi on feet. We had heard about the ‘Congo-Nile trail’ but were not able to find much information about it (only in Gisenyi we eventually found the official map, see attached scan).
Luckily we ran into John Hotunghimana.John works as receptionist in the Home St Jean Hotel in Kibuye. He has also been guiding tourists around, including some more sportive excursions:
- Congo-Nile trail, Kibuye-Gisenyi part, 3 days on foot paths and some parts of the main road, sleeping in guest houses of the church (no need to bring a tent or sleepingbag);
- Congo-Nile trail, Kibuye-Gisenyi part, 5-6 days on foot with camping (the ‘official’ trail);
- From Kibuye to Gisenyi by boat and camping, 6 days;
- Overnight trip to the Congo Nile Divide, the mountain range N-S that lies east of lake Kivu.
John is a very friendly and reliable person. He is knowledgeable about the region and very able to find his way there. He has a good sense of finding nice ‘ long distance’ foot paths that are traditionally used by the people to walk from one village to the other.
We did the walking trail in 3 days (sleeping in comfortable guesthouses) and had an unforgettable experience. The first day is about 25 km and thus quite long, so you should depart early.
John is starting up his business and does not have camping gear, rugsacks, etc, available for his guests. So you have to bring your own. He is very enthusiastic about his business of showing people the beautiful scenery and the friendly people of Rwanda. John speaks English and French. Warmly recommended.
email: firstname.lastname@example.org (is not checked daily)
Congo Nile Trail
If you are interested in hiking, the area east of Lake Kivu is a nice spot, where you can enjoy lake Kivu views and the rural Rwanda. Almost everywhere there are people, little houses and fields, with numerous small footpaths connecting them. There are family farms but also coffee and tea plantations. The Congo Nile trail runs in this areas, quite close to the lake (10 days). You can also hike more inland (we went together with guide John Hotunghimana,+250(0)78 8766243). Moreover, it seems possible to hike the Congo-Nile divide, over the ridge. It starts in the Njungwe forest and runs North/East, until after the village Rutsiro, where you have the Congo Nil crest view. Try to get the map ‘ Congo-Nile trail’, published by the RDB. We found it at the tourist office in Gisenyi, but you should also check out the tourist office in Kigali centre.
Cycling around Musanze to Lake Ruhondo
The roads around Musanze are paved and not so busy and full of cycle taxis. So we thought cycling for a day would be fun and give us the opportunity to visit Lake Ruhondo. We arranged bikes to rent via Amahoro tours. They get them via a cycle repair shop. You have to be check your bike, particularly the tires, the gears and the brakes. They asked US$20/day but eventually we agreed on US$15/day.
Try to get the map ‘Volcanoes destination’, published by Rwanda Development Board. To lake Ruhondo, take the road in the direction of the Uganda border/Butete. After about 7 km you take a dirt road to the right, ask for the village Kinoni.