10 Top Outdoor Activities in Rwanda

Leah Feiger /
Leah Feiger / | © Culture Trip
Leah Feiger

Although Rwanda is known internationally for gorilla trekking and burgeoning luxury travel, there are many activities here that will please even the hardiest of outdoor enthusiasts. Get those hiking boots ready, and read on for ten of Rwanda’s best outdoor activities.

Loved by over 40s

Hiking, biking, or kayaking the Congo Nile Trail

The Congo Nile Trail runs the full length of Lake Kivu for 141 miles. Intrepid travelers have the chance to hike, bike, and kayak the entire trail, or choose bits and pieces for an exciting weekend escape. The Congo Nile journeys through lush green tea fields and small Rwandan towns, staying almost permanently in sight of the stupendous Lake Kivu. Good views and ‘gram-worthy pictures are virtually guaranteed.

Views from the trail

Trekking with mountain gorillas

You can’t make a list about Rwanda’s best outdoor activities and not include trekking with the country’s famous mountain gorillas. Volcanoes National Park, home to the gorillas in addition to golden monkeys and several impressive volcanoes, is located just outside of Musanze. Though the hikes are often arduous and the permits expensive, it’s an experience few travelers ever forget.

Mountain gorilla in Volcanoes National Park

Camping on Lake Burera

Though this excursion is entirely outside, it’s also entirely relaxing. Cyuza’s Island, a small piece of land smack in the middle of Lake Burera, is reachable only by boat and a 30-minute driving journey outside of Musanze. Campers have the chance to enjoy spectacular views of Mount Muhabura, swim and kayak around the lake, and enjoy some good time around the crackling campfire.

Camping on Lake Burera

Big Five game drive

Akagera National Park, Rwanda’s only traditional safari park, is home to lions, rhinos, giraffes, zebras, buffalo, elephants, hippos, and more. Opt of a luxurious trip through the park with Rusizi’s permanent glamping tents by Lake Ihema, or spend a night or two camping under some of the brightest stars in the country. Regardless of where you stay, a safari drive through Akagera is a great way to spend a few days.

Zebras in Akagera National Park

Hiking in Nyungwe National Park

As Central Africa’s largest montane rainforest, Nyungwe National Park is one of Rwanda’s crown jewels. Misty mountain tops and dark green forests provide the backdrop for some of the country’s best hikes, and the forest offers canopy walks, waterfall treks, and tea plantation adventures. Located in the southwestern corner of the country, the park is only a five-hour drive from Kigali.

Waterfall in Nyungwe National Park

Hiking Rwanda’s tallest volcano

On the border between Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo, Mount Karisimbi stands tall as the country’s highest summit. It takes two days to trek this impressive volcano known as one of Rwanda’s greatest adventures, and at the peak, successful climbers enjoy views into both Rwanda and Congo. This hike is for truly outdoorsy types only, as your one night on the mountain will be spent in rustic cabins halfway through the climb.

Base camp at Mount Karisimbi

Kayaking Lake Kivu

Though views of Rwanda from land are always spectacular, views from the water are even better. Rwanda’s largest lake, the sparkling Lake Kivu, is a great vacation spot chock full of water-related activities. Several idyllic towns dot the shore, including the weekend-trip worthy Gisenyi and Kibuye, and kayaking is one of the best ways to explore the area. Different kayak trips along the coast can be arranged by Kingfisher Journeys, and several hotels also provide kayaks for rent.

Kayaking in Gisenyi

Searching for chimpanzees in a rainforest

Though a lot of tourists come to Rwanda to trek with mountain gorillas, large and playful chimpanzee troops in Nyungwe National Park are worthy of a visit as well. With hikes starting at 6:00 am, trekkers are in for a long journey through the dense forest, though the opportunity to watch chimpanzees interact and swing through the canopy is unforgettable.

The canopy walk over the rainforest is one of the park’s highlights

Climbing Mount Bisoke

With a crater lake at the summit and the chance to see wild mountain gorillas along the way, hiking up Mount Bisoke is a cheaper alternative to many of the other hikes in the area. It takes only a few hours, and quick trekkers will make it down the mountain by early afternoon after leaving the park ranger’s office at approximately 8:00 am. The hike can be challenging, especially in the muddy rainy season, but the view-filled payoff is worth it.

Crater lake at Mount Bisoke

Touring the Sorwathe Tea Plantation

Bright green tea fields, cloudless blue skies, and bumpy dirt roads characterize Sorwathe Tea Plantation tours best. Guests are shown the fields, as well as the inside of the factory, so travelers have the chance to learn all about the tea making process and enjoy the plantation’s lovely views and easy sloping walks.

Rwanda’s bright green tea fields
culture trip left arrow
 culture trip brand logo

Volcanic Iceland Epic Trip

meet our Local Insider


women sitting on iceberg


2 years.


It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.


I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!

culture trip logo letter c
group posing for picture on iceberg
group posing for picture on iceberg

Every CULTURE TRIP Small-group adventure is led by a Local Insider just like Hanna.

map of volcanic iceland trip destination points
culture trip brand logo
culture trip right arrow
landscape with balloons floating in the air


Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world

Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.

Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.

Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.

Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.

We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.