A Land Undiscovered
Rwanda, a verdant gem in the heart of Africa, has cast aside the tragedy of its recent past and embarked upon a remarkable journey, winning global acclaim for tackling ethnic divisions and dragging millions out of poverty. Still, very few visitors do more than trek into the jungle to spend time with its famed mountain gorillas; and there is far more to explore in this staggeringly beautiful country. The land of a thousand hills is home to some of Africa’s most beguiling landscapes, from volcanoes to rainforest, grassland to some of the continent’s great lakes. Take time to learn about our Rwandan experiences here, and choose whether you would like to travel privately or on one of our set-date departures.
We create journeys to suit your tastes. However, we tend to say a week is perfect for cycling, walking and trekking to see mountain gorillas, all accompanied by a team of three: two guides and a host. In doing so, we travel from Kigali to one of the great lakes of Africa – Lake Kivu – via Volcanoes National Park at the border with Uganda and Congo. Along the way we visit tea and banana plantations, inspiring community projects, cross volcanic lakes and pedal through villages that barely see any foreign visitors. It’s all utterly magical.
Our Story in Rwanda
In the early 2010s, our Founder & MD Oli spent two years living in Kigali, running a project to build Rwanda’s first dedicated cricket ground. It was during this time that Oli saw the potential for slow, impactful travel in a country so reliant on aid, but with the capability to thrive on its own terms. Our values driven approach to what we do is the result of Oli’s time living and working in Rwanda, where we now employ several guides and drivers. Oh, and the cricket ground, under the guidance of Cricket Builds Hope, was completed in 2017 (see picture!)
We mostly cycle on wide red dirt and volcanic roads, where bicycle taxis are far more common than cars. The variety of terrain means that mountain bikes work best and, because Rwanda is hilly, most of our guests opt for electric mountain bikes (we introduced the first e-bikes into Rwanda in 2018). Pedalling is assisted so you’re able to choose how much energy to expend.
There are luxury lodges popping up all over the country. Many of our guests extend their stay in Rwanda to relax in Nyungwe rainforest or see game in Akagera National Park. Such stays make these lodges better value. However, on our cycling journeys we opt for genuine character, comfort and a wonderful location. Rooms are en-suite when possible and WiFi or a good 3G connection is usually available. We provide our own pillows, shampoos and soaps.
Mountain gorillas are a huge draw for most visitors to Rwanda, and a close encounter with a family of gorillas is often the wildlife experience of a lifetime. With that in mind, we tend to ensure a day out of the saddle to trek into the Volcanoes National Park and track some of nature’s most majestic creatures.
When to Go
The only months to avoid are March, April and May. Temperatures hover between 20°C and 30°C all year round. July and August are relatively busy, hot and the green hills aren’t quite so green. We prefer September to February, as well as June, when the landscape is at its verdant best.
Our guests often find their time with us in Rwanda a very emotional experience. The country’s recent past; the joy in the experiences with its people; the pure majesty of the landscapes: it is a lot to take in. There are a couple of reviews below but do take time to read more if you are considering travelling with us to this incredible country.