Kigali to Congo


You are invited to join Send a Cow on the journey of a lifetime; an exhilarating, guided and supported, 220 kilometre charity cycle challenge on dirt roads through some of Africa’s most beguiling and unique landscapes, from Rwanda’s capital to its northern border with the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). We begin with a day acclimatising in Rwanda’s fascinating capital Kigali, before riding north through lush green hills towards tea country. Riding almost exclusively on dirt roads and tracks we experience a remote, rural Rwanda few visitors ever get to see. Upon reaching the Virunga Mountains we head west along the chain of forested volcanoes that form Rwanda’s northern border with Uganda and the DRC and are home to some of the world’s last remaining mountain gorillas. Our epic challenge comes to an end a couple of miles from the DRC border, in the Rwandan frontier town of Rubavu on the shores of one of Africa’s Great Lakes, Lake Kivu. Nicknamed the ‘Land of a Thousand Hills,’ Rwanda doesn’t do ‘flat’ meaning this challenge will offer not only incredible views around every corner, but a serious test of fitness and endurance with daily climbs in excess of 1,000 metres. 


Founded by British farmers in 1988, the time of the EU milk quotas, Send a Cow is an international development charity with a difference. They work hand in hand with some of Africa’s poorest communities, helping them to help themselves. Their approach of building hope, changing mindsets and providing practical support has been proved to work. It creates lasting change in people’s lives and in their communities. They give farmers livestock, tools, seeds and training to help them establish a future for themselves, their families and their wider communities. Send a Cow has already lifted over 1.3 million people out of poverty. And they plan to give millions more the hope and the means to secure their own futures from the land.


The brochure provides detailed information about the challenge, 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. 


This challenge does not require advanced technical mountain biking ability although experience riding on rough surfaces up and downhill will be helpful. Far more important is your 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.


You will be hosted in Rwanda by a team of expat and local cyclists, guides and drivers. Not only do they know Rwanda intimately, they love sharing their knowledge and passion for the place. Your bags will be carried in a vehicle whose driver will often - but not always - be nearby for support. He can spot jelly-legs a mile off and will offer you a lift if you look desperate enough!


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 provide excellent hardtail bikes that are perfect for the terrain.


Airport transfers, mountain bike and helmet hire, support vehicle, dedicated UK and local guides, accommodation, all meals up to and including lunch on 10 June (unless otherwise indicated in this itinerary), snacks and drinking water between meals, all activity fees (unless otherwise indicated in this itinerary), 24 hour emergency helicopter support.


Flights, gorilla trek and golden monkey trek, alcoholic and soft drinks, activities in Kigali, two dinners in Kigali, visa, personal travel insurance, laundry, local airport taxes (if applicable), donation to Genocide Memorial Museum, tips for local staff & personal costs.


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. 


Most meals are prepared freshly for us. Sometimes we eat out in the open, at other times in small, independent restaurants and guest houses. Allergies and other preferences are all taken care of at the time of booking. Vegetarians can also be catered for.