7 Epic Views in Rwanda You Have To Hike To See

Green fertile land near the Twin Lakes Burera and  Ruhondo
Green fertile land near the Twin Lakes Burera and Ruhondo | © Bert de Ruiter / Alamy Stock Photo
Photo of Leah Feiger
19 February 2019

Rwanda, internationally renown for its diverse scenery and endangered mountain gorillas, is a country full of hidden gems and spectacular hikes. Due to the country’s mountainous landscape, there are plenty of hikes ranging in difficulty that all feature some of the region’s most epic views. Get out those hiking boots, and get ready to hit Rwanda’s many trails.

Mt. Karisimbi

Lying between the border of Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo, Mt. Karisimbi is Rwanda’s tallest volcano. At over 4,500 metres, Karisimbi takes two days to hike. Trekkers can stay in rustic cabins midway up the mountain, while enjoying unbelievable views of both Rwanda and Congo.

Base camp at Mt. Karisimbi | © François Terrier / Flickr | © François Terrier / Flickr

Mt. Bisoke

Mt. Bisoke, an extinct volcano in northwest Rwanda, features a stupendous crater lake at the summit. This is one of Rwanda’s most celebrated hikes, and takes a full morning. The volcano borders the Democratic Republic of Congo, rendering the lake as international waters. No swimming allowed, but the view is reason enough to undertake this day long trek.

Crater Lake at Mt. Bisoke | © Shiraz Chakera / Flickr | © Shiraz Chakera / Flickr

Mt. Kigali

For residents and visitors of Rwanda’s capital city, Mt. Kigali is the area’s best day hike. Situated far up the road in the bustling Nyamirambo neighbourhood, it varies in difficulty depending on the starting point, and is rarely undertaken alone. Expect several panoramic views of the city below, accompanied by hordes of schoolchildren.

Views from Mt. Kigali | Courtesy of Leah Feiger

Mt. Muhabura

Mt. Muhabura, one of Rwanda’s most impressive volcanoes, marks the border between Rwanda and Uganda. Views from the top produce gorgeous sights of the other volcanoes in the country, as well as the sparkling twin lakes. Although the hike is one of Rwanda’s toughest, it takes only a day. No advanced booking is required, and porters are available for hire at the hike’s base.

Mt. Muhabura, the westernmost volcano | Courtesy of Gaël R. Vande weghe and Philippe Nyirimihigo

Nyungwe Forest canopy walk

Located in the depths of Nyungwe National Forest, the country’s only canopy walk hangs fifty metres off the jungle floor. Though the hike there is fairly short, the intensive uphill trek is enough to make anyone wheeze. However, the multitude of bird sightings, primate encounters, and misty mountaintop sights are spectacular.

Canopy walk in Nyungwe National Park | © Justin Raycraft / Flickr

Twin lakes

The views of the twin lakes, Lake Burera and Lake Ruhondo, from Virunga Lodge are some of the best in the country. Though not only reachable by hiking, the stomach churning motorcycle rides on steep hillside cliffs are undoubtedly precarious, and four-wheel drive trips are outrageously expensive. Take a few hours to hike up the trail, enjoying Rwanda’s spectacular countryside, before coming face to face with one of the most gorgeous lakeside views in East Africa.

The twin lakes from above | Courtesy of Leah Feiger

Mt. Sabinyo

As one of the eight Virunga volcanoes, Sabinyo is possibly the range’s most fascinating hike. Its summit is shared between Rwanda, Uganda, and the Democratic Republic of Congo, and the hike is beyond strenuous. Narrow trails, deep drop offs, and jagged cliff faces define this mountain’s appearance, as the vegetation continues to change depending on the elevation. From bamboo groves to thick rainforests, this volcano never ceases to delight.

Mt. Sabinyo | © flöschen / Flickr

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