We've ridden bikes all over Rwanda for years so you can trust us when we say it's seriously exciting. Riding Kigali to Congo, during four days in the saddle you will experience a remote, rural Rwanda few tourists are lucky enough to see, from its booming capital Kigali, through tea plantations, lush green cultivated hills and along the Virunga Mountains - a chain of volcanoes that are home to some of the world’s last remaining mountain gorillas - to the northern border with the Democratic Republic of Congo. Rwanda is nicknamed the ‘Land of a Thousand Hills,’ so this challenge will offer not only incredible views around every corner, but a test of fitness with daily climbs in excess of 1,000 metres. Once in volcano country, you will have the opportunity to trek into Volcanoes National Park for an encounter with Rwanda’s most famous inhabitants, its mountain gorillas. This amazing journey will come to an end a couple of miles from the Congolese border, in the Rwandan frontier town of Rubavu on the shores of one of Africa’s Great Lakes, Lake Kivu.
The trip brochure provides detailed information about the journey, including a breakdown of daily activities. However, in order to help you decide if this adventure is for you, take a look at the general information below.
ARE RWANDA & THE SLOW CYCLIST RIGHT FOR ME?
Our Rwandan rides do not require advanced technical mountain biking ability although experience riding on rough surfaces up and downhill is helpful. Far more important is fitness. You will definitely need to train and by the time you join us in Rwanda you should be comfortable spending long hours in the saddle, climbing in excess of 1,000 metres in one day on a variety of surfaces. Rwanda is nicknamed the Land of a Thousand Hills and is one of Africa’s most mountainous countries. You may find the cycling tough but the views will offer just reward and remember, you can jump in the support vehicle at any time if you feel the need.
GUIDES & SUPPORT
Our regular tour leader in Rwanda is Michael Newhouse, an engineer and bicycle mechanic from the UK. He has made East Africa his home since 2012, currently living in Kigali, and has recently supported Team Rwanda as a mechanic. Michael is always supported by a fantastic team of local cyclists, guides and drivers. All our Rwandan adventures are also fully-supported. This means not only that each day your bags will be driven to your next overnight stay, but also that a vehicle will often be nearby to give you a lift if you really need one.
TERRAIN & BIKES
The terrain on this journey varies from smooth tarmac to narrow dirt trails. However, the vast majority of the ride will be on wide red dirt roads and the best bike for the job is a mountain bike. We use excellent hardtail mountain bikes that are perfect for the terrain, and carry spares and parts at all times.
WHAT IS INCLUDED IN THE PRICE?
Airport transfers, support vehicles, dedicated UK and local guides, mountain bike and helmet hire, accommodation, all meals unless stated below, beer and soft drinks at meal times, bottled drinking water, cycling snacks and 24 hour emergency helicopter support.
WHAT IS EXCLUDED?
Gorilla trek and golden monkey trek (see below for details). Also excluded are a donation to the Genocide Memorial Museum, visas ($50 in cash on arrival for UK citizens), personal travel insurance, local airport taxes (if applicable), wine, dinner on arrival, tips for local staff/entertainment & personal costs.
GORILLA & GOLDEN MONKEY TREKKING
For many visitors to Rwanda, a close encounter with a family of mountain gorillas is the wildlife experience of their lives. With that in mind, we have allowed for a day out of the saddle to trek into the Volcanoes National Park and track one of nature’s most majestic creatures. The cost, including 4WD transport, guides and porters, is £775 per person and must be paid in full at the time of booking. If you do not let us know at this point in time we cannot guarantee you will be able to track gorillas. As a cheaper alternative to the gorillas, a trek to see golden monkeys is another highlight of a visit to Volcanoes National Park. Each trek varies in length depending on the location of the families, but once you’ve found them you are allowed to spend an hour in their company. The cost, including guides and transport to the edge of the forest, is £150 per person and must be paid in full at the time of booking. Please take a look at the trip brochure for details information about gorilla trekking.
Lodging is based on twin sharing. Some nights we may need to have three or more to a room. Single supplements are not available. We tend to stay in small guest houses that are chosen for their charm and location, and to give you a sense of the real Rwanda. Tourism infrastructure is relatively scarce so please do not expect 5* accommodaion and service from local operators.
FOOD & DRINK
Meals are prepared freshly for us, either in the open, in private homes or small independent restaurants. We cater for allergies, vegetarians and other preferences, which are all taken care of at the time of booking.
EMERGENCY MEDICAL EVACUATION
We provide inclusive helicopter rescue in the unlikely event of a medical or security emergency. In circumstances where their services are required, one of our guides will arrange the pick-up. Any services - including medical or repatriation - that you require thereafter must be covered by your travel insurance.