This is Rwanda’s most renowned town in terms of travel and tourism. Ruhengeri is a city and capital of Musanze District in the Northern Province of Rwanda. Some sources now refer to the city itself as Musanze, after the district in which it lies. It lies near the twin lakes of Lake Burera and Lake Ruhondo and is the gateway city to Volcanoes National Park and the famous Mountain Gorillas in the northwestern part of the country.
On the outskirts of town, the natural bridge at Musanze – a solidified lava flow – is a fascinating relic of the volcanic activity that shaped this scenic area.
Many Travelers to Rwanda make stops in Musanze city a capital of Musanze district containing the largest part of the Volcanoes National Park, and its head office at Kinigi. Five of the eight volcanoes of the Virunga chain Karisimbi, Bisoke, Sabyinyo, Gahinga and Muhabura. Lately people call it Musanze a new name got from the main district .No visitor can miss out this city if heading to the outstanding Volcanoes National Park one of the best travel destinations in East Africa to track the mountain gorilla. Many Dine and spend nights here since its located close to the Gorilla park headquarters in Kinigi. However, it’s also more convenient for Gorilla tracking Visitors to be at the park gorilla start point in time compared to those who spend the previous night in Kigali. Not only a start point for Gorilla tracking, golden monkey trek, Dian Fossey visit but the city has other tourist attractions which keep guest busy as they explore the misname district. The huge cave, Lake Burera and Ruhundo, cultural village are one of them.
The Huge Musanze Cave
The cave is a result of two different lava flows which joined to create the Albertine Rift valley and its sited two kilometers from Ruhengeri on the road to Gisenyi though you can also visit it when you coming from Kinigi. Besides a great place to Visit after Gorilla tracking but requires to book a ticket in advance since its hard for a guest to drive all the way past Kinigi to RDB to buy a ticket and park to the cave. The cave price is another problem for many especially those travelling on a tight budget leaving the cave undiscovered though changes in price are expected soon from the management.
Lakes Ruhondo & Burera
These two lakes are always next on the visitor’s itineraries who visit Ruhengeri area for Gorilla trekking. Fishing & birding are one of the main activities done by the people living near and around the lakes so visitors benefit from rides on the lake by visiting islands for picnic lunch as well as discovering nature in traditional canoes, breathtaking landscape, wetlands, and birds.etc.The visit to the lakes are open so you can easily do it yourself adventure here, especially if you have your own transport and are able to arrange fishing trip with the locals to the lake.
Nkotsi Cultural village
This organized village is sited 7km southwest of Musanze full of amazing cultural activities for every one like Bee keeping, village walks, and basket weaving, local beer making & if you a fan of traditional herbs it’s a place to be among others. Some activities are free of charge and some range between $10-$30.Never mind about where to sleep because it’s a base for the Red Rocks camping and hostel which is through charity organization for local farmers,children,water resources etc.
The town itself is very pleasant, if a little unremarkable. At the centre of town there are a small grid of pot holed roads and a bustling central market. The atmosphere is friendly and fairly free of hassle.
Ruhengeri is the closest town to the Volcanoes National Park and is therefore a convenient base from which to track mountain gorilla. On days not spent tracking, you can enjoy some pleasant strolls around town, or within easy distance are the seldom visited but lovely Lakes Burera, Ruhondo and Karago.