Tourist Activities in Musanze Town
Tourist Activities in Musanze Town: Musanze Town also known as Ruhengeri is known as the capital of the Rwandan Northern province; Ruhengeri was the original name of the town but because Rwanda passed a policy of erasing anything relating to the terrible past of the genocide, the name was changed to Musanze.
Musanze town’s fame comes from it being in close proxy with Volcanoes National Park, the mountain gorilla habitat in Rwanda. Though most people will come across the town because they are visiting Volcanoes National Park, there are great tourist activities and tourism sites that tourists can visit and engage in if they choose to explore the beauty of this city.
So in this article we shall highlight some of the tourism sites and activities that are found in Musanze Town.
Mountain Gorilla trekking
The most popular tourism activity in this town is of course mountain gorilla trekking that is done in Volcanoes National Park. Volcanoes National Park is home to about 10 mountain gorilla families that have been habituated for trekking purposes. Mountain gorilla trekking is done all throughout the year at a cost of 1500 USD for the mountain gorilla trekking permit fees.
Dian Fossey Grave
A visit to the Dian Fossey grave, Dain Fossey is one of the instrumental figures known in the conservation of mountain gorillas. Fossey was the first primatologist to carry out extensive research on mountain gorillas which research has played a great role in the way mountain gorillas are habituated for trekking purposes. During her time in Rwanda until her death she fought for the rights of mountain gorillas fighting against poachers and all activities that threatened the gorilla’s habitat. A visit to the Dian Fossey grave is a full day of learning about mountain gorillas, their conservation, Dian Fossey and her work.
Golden monkey trekking
Go Golden monkey trekking in Volcanoes National Park. Though Golden monkey trekking is not as popular as mountain gorilla trekking, it’s another trekking experience you can do while at Volcanoes National Park in Musanze Town. Volcanoes National Park is home to these rare golden monkeys and a trek to see these monkeys will cost you 100 USD. The monkeys stay at low altitudes so a trek to see them is not as tiresome as a trek to see mountain gorillas that stay in high altitudes.
You can take a hike up the virunga massif thus either Mt Bisoke or Mt Karisimbi. If you are up for an adventure you can opt to take the hiking challenge on either of these mountains to enjoy the thrill of hiking and also experience beautiful features on these mountains as well as scenic views of the region. A hike to Bisoke takes a day while a hike to Karisimbi is more than a day.
Iby’iwacu cultural village
To experience the culture of Rwanda you will have to visit the Iby’iwacu Cultural village which is also called the Gorilla Guardians Village. Here you take part in dances, songs, stories and different traditional activities that help you learn and appreciate the Rwandan culture more.
You can also explore the Musanze caves that are popular rock features in Musanze town. The musanze caves are curved rock formations in the Virunga area; these caves are believed to have formed over a million years ago when lava from the Virunga massifs flowed down and cooled in the slopes forming molten rocks that had tunnels underneath; and these are now the Musanze caves. The caves have tunnels that go over 20 kilometres and in the olden days these caves were very important to Rwandan tradition as they were used by the kings then to shelter from enemies during wars. A visit to these caves is a great way to learn about the Rwanda tradition history and experience a unique adventure going through these caves.
The Twin lakes
Rwanda’s famous twin lakes are located in Musanze which means visiting these lakes is another exciting activity that is done in Musanze. Lake Burera and Lake Ruhondo are two separate lakes that very close to each hence “twin lakes” and they are located about 20 mins from Musanze trading centre. These lakes are the epitome of cool warm fresh water breezes, scenic views and bird sighting. When you get a chance to visit these lakes you can take a canoe ride on the water as you enjoy the breeze, explore the different islands on the lakes and see the numerous birds around these waters.
You can also take a tour of Musanze town to experience the local people in Musanze , visit the local markets, interact with the local people as you learn more about the Rwandan culture. You will also have an opportunity to visit the Imbazi Museum which is a 45 min drive from the trading centre. The other place to visit is the Buhanga Eco-park that has rich history about tradition kings in Rwanda.
These are only are few of the activities you can do in Musanze, there are many more that your can do; so on your visit to Musanze make sure you take time to explore as much as you can.