Rwanda is a hiking and trekking safari paradise, offering amazing trails for every experience level—from novices who prefer easy walks, to experienced trekkers who desire a physical challenge and expansive views from atop some of the country’s highest peaks. Serenity Adventure Safaris arranges hikes and treks in two of the country’s top-notch protected areas: Volcanoes National Park and Nyungwe National Park.
Volcanoes National Park is primarily known for mountain gorilla treks, but the distinct trails in the park bring additional insight into other types of flora and fauna. Most guests are able to enjoy the Dian Fossey Grave Shrine Hiking Tour, a one- to two-hour trek to the site of her home and research camp. The journey takes you into the heart and mind of the woman best known for her extensive study and passionate protection of the mountain gorillas, which began in the Democratic Republic of Congo and ended tragically with her death in Rwanda. We are touched by the response of guests who see first-hand where Ms. Fossey spent her days and nights, as well as where she is laid to rest next to many gorillas killed by poachers, including Digit, her most cherished mountain gorilla.
Walking in her footsteps in the mountain forests of Rwanda will certainly be a special part of your exploratory tour of the country. For advanced hikers who plan to visit Volcanoes National Park, we recommend the hikes to the summits of Mount Karisimbi and Mount Bisoke. Mount Karisimbi is a dream come true for those who seek a botanical travel
experience and want to see many of Africa’s most exotic plant species. The mountain is part of the volcanic Virungas range and features several distinct zones that differ slightly, from the dry western slopes to the humid eastern slopes. The zones begin at about 1,300 meters and continue to the summit, at 4,507 meters; they include supratropical mountain forest, orotropical bamboo forest, orotropical cloudforest, orotropical ericaceous forest, and altotropical grassland and woodland.
The summit is capped with snow and may be crowned by a unique lenticular cloud, a rare sight that adds to the mystical quality of the peak. Along the way you pass the Dian Fossey Grave Shrine and may even observe some of the diverse wildlife species living on the mountain. At 3,711 meters, Mount Bisoke is slightly shorter than Mount Karisimbi but offers one of the most challenging trekking experiences in Rwanda. After a two-hour walk from Bisate Village, you weave your way into dense jungle and begin the climb to the top. At the summit is Lake Ngezi, one of the most scenic and remote locations in Rwanda, which will certainly linger in your memories for many years after your active bush holiday. You cannot swim in the lake, but we encourage all of our guests to take ample photographs to have keepsakes of their time at the top of Mount Bisoke.
If ever a park was designed for hikers and trekkers visiting Africa, it would be Nyungwe National Park in southwestern Rwanda . The park is designed with a network of trails to provide every guest with a superior nature-centric vacation.
The guided walks can last from one to seven hours, based on your fitness level and desired engagement in the park’s spectacular beauty. For inexperienced and beginner hikers, we highly recommend the 2.1-kilometer Igishigishigi Trail for incredible views that overlook the Canopy Trail; Karamba Trail to see a former goldmine, army camp, and market; and Muzimu Trail, which winds through remote eucalyptus and pine forests.
Experienced hikers delighted by birdwatching along the ravines of Uwinka Trail can also revel in the four waterfalls found along the Imbaranga Trail, which is less than 10 kilometers long. The most advanced trekkers are invited to challenge themselves along the Congo-Nile Divide Trail; it takes several days to cover the entire 227 kilometer route, which follows the Nile and Congo rivers. Several other moderately difficult trails are available to accommodate the desires and abilities of our guests. Umgote Trail offers a plethora of avian fauna and primates amid rainforests and mountain ridges speckled with flowers. On a clear day, you can see Kibira National Park in Burundi. If you love waterfalls, we
recommend Umoyove Trail, which is lined with towering trees, and Isumo Trail, which takes you through tea fields and along rainforest ravines. As an alternative, take Kamiranzovu Trail to visit the park’s wetlands, as well as a swamp and waterfall.
The volcanic geology of Nyungwe National Park is spotlighted along Bigugu Trail and Irebero Trail, which encircles two of the highest peaks. Both of these trails also offer impeccable views of Lake Kivu. Pack an energetic picnic lunch and hike along Ngabwe Trail, which features two paths to the summit. You may even want to stay overnight at a campsite. Although you will have many chances to witness Africa’s primates during your wilderness trip, Nyungwe National Park offers one of the best trails for spotting chimpanzees. Ruzuki Trail is an exhilarating hike that enlivens your body and senses and also offers great views of Banda Village.
However deeply you wish to immerse yourself in Rwanda’s natural beauty, the country offers a multitude of trails to suit your interests. Study the most delicate details, breathe in high mountain air, witness wildlife in a pristine setting, and be awed by unparalleled views–all in one place.