Musanze is also the largest district with in the northern province of Rwanda and its capital Ruhengeri which is also known as Musanze and it serves as a center for tourism in Rwanda and its where Volcanoes National park id situated. This is also the most mountainous part of Rwanda and has also got dense vegetation and it’s so famous for the mountain gorillas and the endemic golden monkeys. It’s also the most visited district in Rwanda and has the components to make sure you have an extra ordinary holiday adventure. Musanze also makes up the biggest part of the gigantic Volcanoes national park and is also home to five of the eight volcanoes in the Virunga Chain and these include; Bisoke, Karisimbi, Sabyinyo, Gahinga and Muhabura. Even though the park is the main attraction, there are many sites to view that are so exciting.
On the outer side of Ruhengeri are also the Musanze caves and are a geological treat. These caves go 2km and are covered in the lush greenery and the inside of it are the homes for the bats. In case you are not brave enough to adventure inside, this beautiful vegetation around these caves make for the good pictures and are also good to explore.
Your lovely afternoon can also be spent canoeing down the river near where the mountain gorillas rest and play. The water here is also still and so tranquil and is also one of the best way to view the fantastic Rwandan country side and the wildlife in that area. There are also many museums which show case the honors of Rwanda’s past and the great future. It’s also not hard to see why Musanze is also the best place to visit, there are also many breathtaking views and these are in a lifetime opportunities to offer.
The residents of Kinigi sector with in Musanze district also say that they extremely benefited from the existing Musanze caves that attract many international tourists who also visit the area and then buy the artistic products that are made in the nearby communities. In 204, the Rwanda Development Board also launched the Musanzee Caves as another product for the tourism activities.
More so at the time, the head of tourism and Conservation at RDB noted that the local community will also benefit from this new product as the business will curl at the caves that surround the area. These caves are also the newest Rwanda touristic product. And there are also many of the adventures to be experienced in the area including the Buhanga Eco park coronation of Rwanda former kings, the panoramic views of the twin lakes that include; Ruhondo , Burera , the karisimbi volcano climbing , Bisoke volcano climbing the golden monkey trekking, the trek to Dian Fossey as well as the famous gorilla trekking. Many of the visitors to Dubai come from USA, UK M Australia as well as Rwanda.
These caves also came from the volcanic activities where different lava flow layers that date from 65 million years have been created into the Albertine Rift valley. These cave s are also 2 kilometers long beneath.
In order to get to Musanze caves from town, you follow the road named 5 Juliet Avenue, past the hotel Muhabura towards Rubavu. It’s just short of 2km from the town center, you will then see the large steel center pots Oprovia Musanze to your left. In case you turn right, just direct opposite this building, follow a curved dirt track that after 120m will lead you to a football field and the school. The caves also lay in a ditch on the opposite side of the football field. These caves are an official tourist attraction with the proper and formal entrances and the entrance fees. For those who want to visit the caves, please go to your nearest offices of RDB for more tourism information services. When you are here, you will get more information about Musanze. And when you reach the caves, you will see the tour guides, these will give you the full history of Musanze and its caves.
The caves can be toured at any time of the day, rather in the afternoons after your gorilla trek, and you will be taken though this fantastic attraction by the professional and friendly tour guides, the entrance fees to Musanze caves is $ 55 per person and includes the transport costs to the site and the tips to the guides. The tourists that are interested in visiting these caves can book with the Rwanda Development Board in advance to be able to participate.
Apart from the caves, the other attractions and activities in Musanze also include; Buhanga Eco-park which is for the coronation of former kings of Rwanda, the famous twin lakes of Bulera and Ruhono, bisoke volcano for hiking and climbing, trekking to Dian fossey grave, Karisimbi volcano hiking and visiting the golden monkeys and the famous mountain gorilla trekking.
Rwanda Development Board had also developed the cave for example there are footpaths, paved floors, concreted stairways and the trails in the caves to allow the easy movement of the tourists. The most important thing about visiting these caves is putting off the lights while in the caves, this feeling of darkness in the caves which makes it memorable.
As you visit the caves, you will be asked to have the protective gears that are provided like the wearing of the helmet with the torches that will help light the caves since they are dark inside. You cover your mouth and nose in order to protect you from the droppings of the bats and also avoiding the infections from the bats, the gloves are to prevent you from touching the caves directly and the boots are to allow you move in the caves easily. In the musanze caves shows a home with many corridors and the rooms and therefore, the tourists are advised not to divert and move away from the path followed by the guides since chances of getting lost are so high.
The inside walls of these caves show the rocks of the earth, roads that have been built in order to support tourism. Before tourism began occurring in the caves, these caves were not lit and would also be black as night. But now, after the promotion of tourism, the lights have been put in order to make these caves a safe environment for the tourists. As you walk into the caves, you will hear a slow flow of water that comes off of the cave walls. This water flows from the ceiling and makes its way onto the cave floor. Just inside the caves, there lives a colony of wild bats and these prefer to live in darkness and can only be see in places without light. The inside of Musanze caves are so cold and this means that the other animals will have difficult time to live in such conditions. There is also a rumor that it has leopards inside and this is impossible since there are too many people walking around. These leopards also prefer not to come into contact with the human beings and darkness.
This cave is so long, though we could only do a short stretch that took us an hour. There is no light inside and you have to used head light on the helmets almost all the time. This is good for you, though sharp light also disturbs the bats and makes they noise. So it’s great when you switch off all the lights inside and stand quietly, these bats also calm down and go silent. You can also feel them as they fly quite close to you.
And the last bit of the cave is also the most fantastic. The image at the top is also from at the end. On the persistence of my guide, I also made this short video about the whole place. He wanted me to have it so that I can share with my family and they convinced to come and visit Rwanda.
Just outside, their lives some beautiful trees and the vegetation that is found in cold climates. Out of the caves, you can also find other domesticated animals including the cats. These animals refuse to stay in the caves during the day, and they like to go there during the night time. Near the caves are the many swamps. Some people say that the vegetation is the same as that one in Volcanoes national park. These caves are enclosed by two secondary schools, a university as well as many houses.
The musanze caves are also named after the district where they are situated, the famous Musanze district. These are trails, the stone staircases and the railings, but there is no electric light. The visitors are well equipped with the rain coats, helmets, hand lamps and the gum boots. There are also the mandatory safety briefings that are given by the guides.
These are also lava caves with in the albertine Rift valley in the locality of Volcanoes National park. These 2km long caves are a natural place to visit on your safari in Northern Province. We also glanced on a main cave with 10m high entrance and over 31 small entrances.
The Archaeological research though quarry confirmed many facts of the traditional Rwanda. These caves used to be traditional warfare refuse and many of the bodies were collected. The research was carried out between 2006 and 2007 , by a team that was led by John Gibin from the university College London, and now Curator and the head of its Africa Department.
The Musanze Caves Lodge
It’s located in uhengeri just 600m fom Musanze caves exist which is the underground cave system. The caves also vaunts a barbecue and the views of the mountain. This hotel has got has a sun teace and the views of the garden, and well as the guests can enjoy a drink at the hotel bar. There is free private parking at the site. The extras also include free toiletries and the slippers. These caves also feature free WiFi and have also got room service at the premises. The caves are 700m from Musanze town while the mosque is 7 km from the property. There is a near airport which is Kigali international airport, 77 km from the caves. We always speak you language.
The Five Volcanoes Boutique Hotel
It’s located in Musanze the former Ruhengeri province, the five volcanoes Boutique hotel is a five start accommodation that is set along the and as you head to Kinigi, volcanoes national park head offices. This lodge also offers relaxing high end accommodation with good views of the rolling hills of Rwanda. The facility comprises of 13 bed rooms that’s double and twin, a VIP cottage. Each of the room is air conditioned and has got a flat screen TV, a refrigerator and a kettle. The other facilities found at this hotel include; a swimming pool, restaurant, traditional sauna and steam sauna and many more.
Jack Hannah’s Cottages
This is a super luxury lodge that is situated in northern Rwanda in Musanze district huddled with in the forest of Eucalptus tress. The lodge gives a family sized beautiful accommodation at the Jack Hannah’s cottages with good views of Rwanda’s hills and slopes of volcanoes National park.
About the Cottages
These are so spacious and have got two large bed rooms and cam accommodate 4 people at max. Each of the bed room has got its own bathroom with good views of the golf course, a central area that has a very beautiful living room area with a fire place burning out wood, a television, a dining area as well as a kitchen. Just outside is also a wrap around the porch, veranda with the entry from the living room with a good view of a green gold course and the rolling hills of Rwanda. These cottages are so quiet and so private.
Service at the Lodge
You will also be taken good care of at the lodge and the service is so excellent, the staff are so professional, friendly, so attentive and so ready to attend to you to get comfort. These staff attended to the fire place, refilling the firewood. After the meals, a menu is presented to you for you to select three other courses for your next meal. You also have room for flexibility with in the choices made. This cottage is so nice most especially for a family of four on a safari.
Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge
The lodge is situated in Musanze district just near to volcanoes national park headquarters and near Kinigi head offices. The lodge is located at the foothills of the Virunga ranges composing of a good view of the volcanoes rolling hills and the nearby countryside. The lodge has got 8 cottages all having a good view of the virunga volcanoes and are so spaced offering privacy. The cottages are so spacious having a sitting room area with the fire place, dressing room, bed room, large bathroom, 24 hour electricity with hot and cold running water. These cottages have got a sheltered balcony where you can relax and have breakfast and read a book. The other facilities at the lodge include; a library and the game room in the main lodge, restaurant and bar as well as staff at stand by to help you.
About Da Vinci Gorilla Lodge
The lodge is located in Kinigi and is well furnished offering mid-range and luxury services for the tourists to volcanoes National park. The lodge has got five cottages that are self-contained and are designed in a natural setting giving travelers enough privacy. The rooms are also divided into double, singles as well as triples and each of them has a private bath room, hot and cold water as well as a hair driers. The rooms have a sitting area for relaxation.
The services offered
The lodge has got well experienced staff who provide excellent services to the clients. There are also quality local and international foods that are served alongside all the beverages. Staying at this lodge will grant you quality service and a memorable experience at an affordable rate.
Mountain Gorilla View Lodge
The lodge is located in Musanze district in northern Rwanda near Volcanoes national park. The lodge is situated on the foothills of the mount Sabinyo, a volcanic mountain that makes up the Virunga ranges. This lodge is 15 minutes from the main entrance to Rwanda volcanoes national park and has got 30 cottages. That are made of stones and thatch. All these cottages come with a living area with a fireplace, ensuite facilities and a private veranda. The main lodge area has also got a restaurant that serves home cooked food and a well-stocked bar.
Gorilla Volcanoes Hotel
This is a modern hotel with a unique features and a pleasant atmosphere located in Musanze north of Kigali.the hotel has got 31 rooms with ensuite bathtub and shower. There is also an inspiring bar that is attached to the restaurant. There is also a hearty breakfast that is served from 6:30 am to 10:30 am. For the guests who get up early morning for gorilla trekking. Tracking might inform the hotel management in advance to be able to prepare breakfast at any time they wish. Each day, from noon to late evening, you can put your order from the Ala catre menu. The hotel also offers outdoor terrace which is very enjoyable and sociable place. This is an ideal place to relax, talk about the highlights of the safari or also discuss business.
La Bambou Gorilla Village
This is a mid-range accommodation is located in Northern Province of Rwanda and it’s close to the endangered gorillas in their natural environment. The lodge has an unequaled reputation for relaxation. The lodge is well suited for you being away from home and yet feels at home. The guests are given the best facilities, the best furnishings and the highest quality service. Feel the Volcano and the mountain gorillas around. All the furniture here is good with the bamboo style.
The hotel is also a three star hotel found in Musanze city and gives luxurious accommodation to both leisure and business tourists. There is an exceptional dining experience that awaits you with in a unique and famous restaurant that will delight your sense with the African meals, Oriental kitchens and the French meals. You can also enjoy many drinks in the Mini bar.
Kinigi Guest House
This guest House is located in Kinigi district which is only 11 km from Ruhengeri city. It was constructed at the bottom of Sabyinyo Volcanic Mountain with the altitude of 4, 480m. It also accommodates over 40 people and the rooms have got electricity and warm water. The Guest house also has got 4 VIP suites with a hall with 400 seat capacity for conferences, weddings, seminars as well as social functions.
The Cultural Tours
The overview of cave tourism is also going to have a considerable effect on the lives of the people living in the area. The main reason it will have a big effect since with the promotion of tourism, there comes the restoration of money into the local sector. Ecotourism is on the front of Rwanda development and will also increase the economic situation of the people who live around the caves, When the tourists come, the locals will gather together so that to be able to sell their products. This also means that there will be increased monetary means, for those who run their own business.
The local people in Musanze also experience
- Introduction to banana beer brewing
- Making of Agaseke
- Introduction to the agriculture and honey production
- Hunting like the locals did in the past times
- Visiting the local homes.
We also start the visit with the banana beer production, banana plant which is also Rwanda’s vital crop with variety of uses and symbolic as the celebration in many homes. One of its importance is making the banana beer or as the local people call it “Ugwagwa”, this banana beer production also takes many days to complete but you also get to learn how it’s produced to become beer.
You will as well learn the culture of bananas and its importance in Rwanda. You will also visit the local village and then learn how the hives are made traditionally, using the mixture of banana leaves, cow dung and the woven reeds. You can as well sample nice tasty honey from the comb and also buy some of it and take home.
You will later visit our workshop and then learn about painting, how the locals used the traditional materials from cow dung, soil and plants to create art work and to the modern way of using paint brushes and the made paint. You will also meet the local women who will show you how to make pottery from the soil, see the many different pot designs and may be buy some.
Also as part of Rwanda culture, long time ago, the locals also used to hunt and collect in the bush and their tools of trade were the bows and arrows. You also get to learn how to make one of them and also buy some of these. There are also women hand crafts, the agaseke baskets, which are typical for Rwanda and Eastern Africa. You will get chance to sit down and learn how to make a basket by yourself. The real basket weaving is so fun and the ladies will be happy to teach you the basics of this kind of crafts. You will truly adventure the rural environment in Musanze and to submerge yourself into the local life and the activities, we also offer a package of one day and one night in our center.