Rwanda a country of a thousand hills, why is this nickname?

Rwanda is a landlocked hilly and mountainous country in central Africa, with a total land area of approximately 26,338 square kilometers. The country’s capital, “Kigali,” is surrounded by rolling hills on all sides extending to the north, west, south and eastern parts. Rwanda is affectionately known as the “Land of a Thousand Hills” due to the land’s hilly and mountainous physical natural beauty.

This makes it a paradise to the hikers for its amazing trails which offer challenges for every experience level from those who prefer walking without difficulty  to those who are used to hiking and trekking to the highest peaks for the best views. All the way from Volcanoes mountains in the north, continuously to the Congo-Nile trail along the shores of Lake Kivu in the west and down to Nyungwe National Park in the south.In this blog we are revealing  the major trails for hikers in Rwanda. 

Volcanoes Mountain region Hiking Trails

Though this Volcanoes  region is primarily known for the mountain gorilla treks in Volcanoes National Park, in fact  it is also loved by travelers for its distinct trails within the park which brings additional insight into other types of flora and fauna. Hikers are able to enjoy a one-to two-hour trek to the site of Dian Fossey’s home, grave and the camp where she was studying the endangered mountain gorillas and how to protect them from harm “Karisoke™ Research Center”

For Advanced hikers, Mount Karisimbi, Mount Bisoke and Mount Muhabura might be the best deal which we recommend.


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 supra tropical mountain forest, oro tropical bamboo forest, oro tropical cloud forest, oro tropical ericaceous forest, and alto tropical 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. The starting point is located at the foot of Mount Bisoke and it usually takes 2 days to complete the hiking.  Mount Bisoke adventure is with no doubt one of the most memorable  activities in the country because of the breathtaking view of its spectacular crater lake called Ngezi on the crest which lies at 3,700m above the sea level. The hike with a goal to reach the peak of Bisoke ,  to the top which may take you around 36 hours to reach the peak and 2 hours to descend.

“The guide” is the name which local people gave to Mount Muhabura for the fact that it stood out and is what travelers followed as a guide. Not the tallest but the steepest of all in the Virunga Mountain ranges which makes it the most difficult to hike among the rest in the region. It demands a hike up to 4,127m and the hike is set to be completed in a day. What breathtaking scenery awaits for those who challenge themselves with such a difficult climb!

Nyungwe region Hiking Trails

If ever a park was designed for hikers  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.

Igishigishigi trail: “Igishigishi” a name given to this trail for the giant tree ferns  along the trail. It was selected as the site of a canopy walkway back in 2008. It is situated about halfway down the Igishigishi trail. The canopy walkway can be planned as a short 2.1km round trip that takes 2 hours to complete the hike. It is actually the best deal for inexperienced and beginner hikers

Uwinka trail: A 17.8km trail is believed to be the most difficult trail to trek in the area from Irebero trailhead to Kamiranzovu trailhead. It is only 8 hours to complete the hike.  For those who like to challenge their physical abilities and fitness, the Uwinka trail awaits you.

Isumo trail: This trail also known as the waterfall trail rewards tourists with the best views, wildlife, bird species, viewing the jaw-dropping Isumo waterfalls. A 10.6km long trail takes only 4-5 hours to complete the hike.

 Umgote Trail offers a plethora of avian fauna and primates amid rainforests and mountain ridges speckled with flowers.Several other moderately difficult trails such as Ruzuki trail, Umuyove trail, Muzimu trail and Nyabwe trail are available to accommodate the desires and abilities of the travelers.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

Congo-Nile Hiking Trail

Alongside Lake Kivu, the Congo-Nile Hiking Trail is popular with both cyclists and hikers, traversing rain – forests, bracken fields and bamboo forests.The hiking trail takes 10 days to complete on foot combined with some short boat rides. It is possible to hike in single sections. The trail following mainly the footpaths of the local people is a wonderful way to soak up daily life in traditional villages, very close to nature and experience Rwanda up-close. 


With interesting community based tourism activities, coffee-washing stations, tea plantations, big towns, dozens of villages, and innumerable beaches, coves, waterfalls, valleys and vistas, the winding path of the Congo-Nile Hiking Trail offers some of the finest hiking to be had anywhere in east and central Africa. 


Winding its way along the fringes of the lake via the peaks of Rwanda’s green hills, this hikers’ dream is as challenging as it is rewarding. With a peak elevation of 2,630m, it’s a serious workout to boot. There are camp sites along the route, or guest – houses in the towns for those after a bit more comfort. Refreshments are available along the route supplied by small shops. Active tourists can discover the coastal waters on kayaking tours and boat rides and visit the many islands of Lake Kivu. The Trail can be walked from both directions (North to South/ South to North).  


 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.


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