Travel Guide Africa Rwanda Musanze



Musanze is the new name for Ruhengeri, though the latter name is still commonly in use. The town is the gateway to the Parc National des Volcans, home of one of the few populations of mountain gorillas in the world.



Sights and Activities

Parc National des Volcans

The Parc National des Volcans (Volcanoes National Park) is one of a few parks in the world where you can have a close encounter with mountain gorillas. The other parks are just across the border with Uganda (Bwindi Impenetrable Forest and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park) and the Democratic Republic of Congo (Virunga National Park). The Rwandan park is located in the northwest of the country and is easily accessible by (mini)buses from the capital Kigali. Several of the Virungas volcanoes are located in Rwanda and some, like the Bisoke, can be climbed. The most popular activity though is to go on a trek to see the mountain gorillas. Although the permit alone costs US$750, it is extremely popular and advanced bookings are advisable. It is a very rewarding trip on the other hand and most people consider this to be one of the highlights of a visit to Rwanda or even Africa! Dian Fossey made this place her home for a long time, before she was killed (presumably by poachers) and buried in the same park.




Avg Max24.6 °C24.9 °C24.4 °C23.7 °C23.1 °C23.1 °C23.7 °C24.4 °C24.4 °C24.2 °C23.8 °C24.2 °C
Avg Min10.7 °C11.2 °C11.4 °C12.6 °C13 °C11.5 °C10.8 °C11.6 °C11.3 °C11.2 °C11 °C10.7 °C
Rainfall71 mm93.2 mm141.9 mm173.8 mm152.3 mm39.2 mm16.6 mm48.7 mm124.4 mm162.2 mm147.4 mm83 mm
Rain Days131520231973818222216



Getting There

There are several bus companies that serve Kigali - Musanze direction every half hour for 1,930 Rwf. The journey takes 2 hours.

Buy your ticket at the main bus station in Nyabugogo - each bus company has their own little office, look for the signs that say "Kigali-Musanze." Don't buy your ticket in advance - go to the bus station and expect to leave in roughly 30 minutes. If you book your ticket right before you leave, you may get a bad seat or have to stand.

Recommended bus companies: Virunga Express ; Kigali Bus Service, Ritco.

From Gisenyi buses go every 30 minutes, bound for Kigali, reaching Musanze after 1h20, cost 1200 rwf.



Getting Around

Musanze is a small town, you can walk from one end to the other along the main road in 30-40 minutes.

The best way to get around is walking or moto-taxi. Prices are negotiable with the moto drivers, but a typical ride across town is 300-400 rwf.




There are a number of restaurants around Musanze town, including:

Crema. Mo -Sa 6 AM - 6 PM; Wed 6 AM - 8 PM. serves breakfast options including different varieties of bagels and spreads, as well as coffee. A popular spot for tourists.
Migano Cafe. 8:30 AM - 10:30 PM everyday. cafe and hotel that serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner options. Cuisine varies from burgers, sandwiches, brochettes, pastas, and pizza. Popular with tourists and locals alike. Their WiFi is often the fastest free WiFi in town.
Volcana Lounge. 11:30 AM - 10:30 PM everyday. serving lunch and dinner options. Their menu includes wood fired pizzas, lasagnas, salads, beer, wine, and alcohol. The lounge offers an upstairs patio with intimate seating and a nice view.




Virunga Hotel (Virunga bus station). 25,000-50,000.
Red Rocks Guesthouse (aka Amahoro Guesthouse). From RN4 walk down Rue Muhabura & take the third left - the guesthouse is on a dirt road at the next corner. Nice small place, organising tours as well. Dorm $10 p/p, camping (own tent $6 / rented tent $8), privates from also available. Note that there is also a Red Rocks campsite in nearby Nkotsi.
New Silver Hotel, near main road. From 15,000
Fatima Guesthouse. Parts of the church compound, near cathedral. Rooms 15-50,000.

View our map of accommodation in Musanze



Keep Connected


You can find internet cafes in Kigali and some smaller cities and towns. Wifi is on the rise in some places as well, although connections outside Kigali are rather erratic at times.


See also International Telephone Calls

You can use your own cell phone in Rwanda, but avoid data roaming as it usually means extremely high costs for using the internet. Keep phone calls to a minimum or instead buy a local SIM card which means considerably lower prices for calling and using the internet.


Office national des postes is the company responsible for postal service in Rwanda. Post offices are generally open from 8:00am to noon and 2:00 to 4:00pm, though regional variations apply. The one in Kigali generally keeps longer hours. Check with your accommodation for other options to send letters and postcards, as shops or hotels might sell stamps as well and can help you to post things. Services are fairly reliable though slow and for sending parcels it might be a good idea to check options with companies lik DHL, TNT, UPS or FedEx.


Accommodation in Musanze

We have a comprehensive list of accommodation in Musanze searchable right here on Travellerspoint.


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This is version 9. Last edited at 10:36 on Sep 30, 20 by Utrecht. 3 articles link to this page.

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