Congo Nile Divide : The Congo Nile Trail is one of the great trails of Rwanda that you can take on during a Rwanda safari. Most visitors come to Rwanda looking for a mountain gorilla trekking experience in the Volcanoes national park but it would be great to add a Congo Nile divide on the itinerary. The Congo Nile divide is an initiative of the government of Rwanda to diversify the tourism activities done in the country.
The Congo Nile divide was launched in 2011 and this is a biking related activity that guests can book and enjoy Rwanda on bike. The Congo Nile trail was named after the watershed that separates the Democratic republic of Congo from the Nile and this implies the Congo Nile divide trail doesn’t cross through Congo or the Nile as its name implies. The Congo Nile divide trail is a 227 kilometer long trail that goes along the Lake Kivu.
The Congo Nile trail starts all the way from the northern side of the Lake Kivu in Gisenyi town and goes all the way down to the Rusizi district in between the Kahuzi Biega national park of the DR Congo and the Nyungwe forest national park of Rwanda. The Congo Nile trail is a great option for the bikers as you enjoy the fresh breeze of the countryside, the tea plantations and the breathtaking scenery of the rolling hills.
The Congo Nile trail can be considered the best biking trail currently on all the East African countries. Get to pass by the beautiful Lake Kivu at a number of points of the trail, the local markets and homesteads where you can take a break to interact with the Rwandan people, enjoy the waterfalls and take great photos of the beaten paths of this trail with the green rolling hills making a perfect back drop.
There are a few major establishments that you will pass by on this activity such as the Mugonero orphanage and the Kiziba refugee settlement hosting up to 17,000 refugees from the DR Congo.
How to take on the Congo Nile trail.
In case you want to enjoy this trail but not a fan of biking, there is an option of a taking a car ride, motorcycle ride or even walk for the distances you can. Biking may not be your best skill but you sure know how to talk but both options are the most tiring but can be great exercising forms.
If you opt to take on the Congo Nile trail on foot, you will need to plan to be on this trail for about 10 days before you complete it. These days can be shortened by opting to bike and with the biking, you are usually done by Day 5. The time spent on a daily determines if you will be able to complete or do sections per time.
While on the Congo Nile trail, it will be important to take note of the seasons as this activity is best done in the dry months to be able to complete the tasks in the stipulated time. Rwanda has two seasons all year and these seasons are the rainy season where rains are expected more and the dry season where there are little to no rains.
The rainy season months of Rwanda range from March to May and later in October and November as this is when the most rain is received. The rainy season will make the trails slippery, limit interaction with the locals as they will not be out on the road and also may limit your day’s activity in case of a heavy down pour.
The Congo Nile trail
The Congo Nile trail has a starting point and that is Gisenyi town, 3 hours away from Kigali city the capital city of Rwanda and ends back to the Kigali city which is the longest stretch of the trail.
To take on the Congo Nile trail, you will need to be physically fit as it is a physically as it is physically demanding and you will also need to be great with mountain biking mainly because of the terrain of Rwanda.
There are a number of accommodations that guests can stay in when on this trail such as the Home Saint Jean in Kibuye, Inzu lodge in Gisenyi, Peace Guesthouse in Kamembe, Kinunu Guest house for the budget options and the kinds of Paradise Malahide in Gisenyi for midrange then the Lake Kivu Serena hotel, Comoran lodge for the luxury guests.
This is a unique Rwanda safari and if you have been interested in it, get in touch with us and let us plan for it after your gorilla trekking experience in Rwanda.