Musanze is a town located in the northern part of Rwanda. It’s also a tourist town where you can find the famous volcanoes national park and apparently the most mountainous district in Rwanda located at an elevation of 1,849 meters above sea level.
Musanze has got a population of over 80,000 people making it the biggest in the northern province of Rwanda. The city/town was formerly known as Ruhengeri years ago.
Activities / What to do
The ancient Musanze caves are one of the most magical natural wonders you can explore while at Musanze town, the caves go for up to 2kilometers long with vegetation patched and natural stairs leading the way as you come across numerous bats. The caves are said to have been formed due to volcanic activity dating to 65 million years ago.
Volcanoes national park which is home to the remaining number of endangered gorillas is found in Musanze district. The town is a 2 hours drive from Kigali, the capital city of Rwanda. It takes only 30 minutes to drive to Kinigi, the park’s headquarters where your Rwanda gorilla trekking safari starts from. Gorilla trekking is the top tourist’s activity done in Rwanda with a permit costing $1500. When tourists find mountain gorillas during the trekking they are always given a period of 1 hour to observe gorillas.
Musanze town is home to five of the Virunga volcanoes in Rwanda making up eight of the famous Virunga massif that is mount Karasimbi, Mount Sabinyo, Mount Gahinga, Mount Bisoke, and Mount Muhabura. All of these mountains offer their own unique encounters with some having beautiful craters at the summit not forgetting the breathtaking view while the slopes harbor mountain gorillas and various wildlife. Tourist should never miss out to hike to the top of one or two of these mountains while in Musanze town.
The people of Musanze have a rich and diverse culture, you can visit the locals and know their way of life and get entertained with African traditional dances and songs and also listen to ancient stories about Musanze town not forgetting to buy souvenirs made of African crafts top take back home for remembrance or gifts to your loved ones. Some of the places to visit are Nkotsi village 7kilometers from Musanze town known for its Red rocks camping.
You can also visit Dian Fossey’s grave. Dian Fossey was a famous American primatologist who dedicated her life to the conservation and study of mountain gorillas which later led to her death in the 1980s. Her institute features artifacts of Dian Fossey and an overall introduction to mountain gorillas. The institute is now funded by Dian Fossey gorilla fund international teaching locals about gorilla conservation.
The magnificent twin lakes of Ruhondo and Burera are one of the best places to go and chill from located just a few kilometers from Musanze town. Tourists can go for weekend getaways and enjoy the cool breeze and breathe taking views of the Virunga massif at a distance.
Musanze town can be visited at any time of the year. The town is only 2 hours away from Kigali, the capital city of Rwanda.