Congo Nile Trail.
What is The Congo Nile Trail?
Key words: Congo (Democratic Republic of), Nile > from River Nile.
The Congo Nile is a chain of high ridge that begin in Karisimbi (one of the of sleeping volcano chain in East of Africa) and continuing to the south East of Rwanda and enter the Nyungwe National park, it is stipulated that once you stand on the ridge altitude, you can observe these following:
• Water (rain water) that flows to the Congo side goes straight in the Lake- Kivu, this one pours its water into Tanganyika Lake that have a link with Lualaba river, this one also links with Congo River that also has a mouth in Matadi( western province of DRCongo, at Atlantic ocean).
• Water (rain water) that flows to the Rwanda side goes to Nyabarongo river that pass by Kigali and meet the Akanyaru river, when the two river meet, it makes Akagera lake ( border with Tanzania republic), meeting with multitude rivers like Cyeru, Cyohoha… and another river form Burundi calls Ruvubu (located at Nile Pyramid in Burundi) this river with those listed above meet and make Akagera lake, link with Ihema lake( great lake after Kivu-Lake in dimension) , this one meet also different rivers until it pours in Victoria lake.
The Victoria lake has a link with Jinja waterfall ( in Uganda republic) some people suggest that this Jinja waterfall is a real Nile river source, the river continues until it enters in Albert lake and leaves it for Sudan and Ethiopian republics until Alexandria in Egypt republic, the Nile river pours in Mediterranean sea as mouth(in the Delta).
The Congo Nile Trail now in term of adventure is a trail along Kivu –Lake that extends from Rubavu, continues through Rutsiro via the Karongi descends to Nyamasheke district and ends at Rusizi District in the South-East province and this trail gives a real way to discover interior Rwanda by passing mainly on the Lake- Kivu coast line.
It is long of 227 km (141 miles) with amazing and beautiful green landscapes, walking on it coastline you do not get out of your breath, some high points give you a stunning view to the lake and it’s amazing islands all along the trail, normally the entire trail takes maximum 10 days hiking, but according to the visitor’s schedule this one has been set in sections.
HOW TO MAKE IT!Map and Routing
First of all, the Congo Nile Trail is free of charge, but Jambo Africa Tours once contacted by you for inquiries, your are provided addition information about the trail and guiding service, there is a RDB publishes, a detailed map for free, the map can point you to the right direction, for client who want to get it via his /her electronic address we just send him a scanned one which can temporarily help him to understand and to point out the itineraries.
Once in your hotel at Rubavu and you have not enough time, if bored we suggest you the Pfunda sub-trail as activity and commit to manage your time schedule.
Pfunda sub-trail : A rarely-trod sub-trail and is a part of Congo Nile Trail, it is a loop of 31 km with 18 km of hike, it offers you the possible visit of Tea factory process( which is $10 charge per person by the factory management. but if you don’t want it, you keep walking through Pfunda tea plantation with an amazing landscape where you can probably meet local community and share an experience with them by harvesting the green tea leaves, you can also visit a community coffee washing station( free of charge) after you will descend the low point that leads you to Nyamyumba hot spring ( 1000 rwf about 1.2 $ of charge each) and back to your hotel. The trail is free of charge only a visitor is required to pay the guiding fee if he/she needs our guiding service.
How to plan your trip!
Still have time in Rwanda? Or maybe you have already planned to do it before coming! Go for it now! There is no wrong way to do it, give it a quick departure after fixing your final option, with 227km of magnificent forests, Tea and coffee plantations, villages, stunning view over the Kivu –Lake, the security tradition of Rwanda facilitate you to discover the beauty of the land of thousand hills, and we make sure that it will be an unforgotten experience.
If you do not feel comfortable to make the full hike of 227 km in 10 days, you can probably make the popular section of 91 km form Rubavu (Gisenyi) to Karongi( Kibuye) in 4 days hiking, 2 days Biking, 1 day driving 4 x4.
• The trail needs to prepare some supplies that will be useful all along the way, we help you as tour guides set up your fully customizable simply give you advice on the latest trail conditions and which bit of trail would best fit your budget, time, and interests if you want to self-guide.
• The trail sometimes requires you to hire a porter if you would like it, if you chose to use the bike and you have a heavy bag, we just arrange! You may do it in an easy and safe way without compromising your trip.
1. HIKING.A.4 days hiking from Rubavu to Karongi.( the most popular trail).
This itinerary offers you a dreaming adventure ever done in East and central Africa, long with 91 km, it has been set into 4 sections, along the way you will keep in touch with coffee-washing stations, tea plantations, local market and centers, valleys and amazing outlook in high point . Winding its way along the fringes of the lake through the peaks of Rwanda’s endlessly verdant, green and keeps them green, as Rwanda is so called « Africa Switzerland» with its one thousand hills. The Congo Nile Trail has never been too easy or harder as you can imagine, it is a good adventure to dare once in life! And a peak elevation of 2630m, it’s a serious workout to boot. You may probably choose to do this because you want to challenge it, then after you do it, you can soak up with beaches in Karongi city.
Day 1: Rubavu –Cyimbiri.
The first day after planning your trail with us, we guide you to Nyamyumba starting point, the trail begin at 8: 00’ am after taking a breakfast, 23 km then overnight and have lunch at Cyimbiri lodge after 6 hours hiking, you can see Cyimbiri coffee washing station, the trip rate: 45% high points and 55 % low points .you can soak up on the beach and evening observe the sunset.
Day 2. Cyimbiri – Kinunu.
The second day at 7: 00’ am you take your breakfast, the hike begin at 7h30’’ am, walking on lake coastline, 21 km then overnight and have lunch at Kinunu lodge, you can visit Kinunu coffee washing station and be shown all it processes, there is also a beach for those who will like to swim .the trip rate: 35% low point, 65% high point.
Day 3. Kinunu – Congo Nile.
The third day is little bit tough but very amazing, 35 km that lead you into the countryside the trail offers you the real Rwanda high plateau, and you get lost into its alternative low and high points until you reach the Congo Nile center, here you just take a bath and have lunch and rest, the low point rate: 45% and the high point 55%.
Day 4. Congo Nile – Rubengera.
Rubengera is the final point of the Rubavu - Karongi trail, with 12 km descending in a constructed road, you will have done the 91 km of this part of the trail, it begins just in the morning at 7: 30’’ am after taking your breakfast, once at Rubengera you will take a bus which will drive you in Karongi city where you will spend a night or descend at Kigali according to your agenda. B. Please contact us for more information about the second part.
2. BIKINGThis way enables you to manage your time and keep your agenda still while visiting Rwanda, the 2 days hiking by bicycle is also a fantastic way to get out and explore the first part of Congo Nile trail, with a breathtaking views, the trail in less time makes you realize a quick discover by pedaling village to village, you probably feel the thrill of tackling its countless green hills. Actually people prefer just to make the 91 km trail rather than the 225 km one, but it depends on a visitor’s option.
We will hire you a mountain bicycle in good condition if you do not have yours, we arrange the trail and follow up all along your trail for possible assistance or mechanic intervention that may occur until you complete your trail.
Day 1. Rubavu - Kinunu In the morning after taking your breakfast, at least 8: 00’ am, you pick your bicycle, you will have got small briefing of the trail, then start your trip, you may probably take a short break at Cyimbiri for lunch and then keep it on until you get to Kinunu where you will spend your first day, having lunch and pay a visit to a coffee washing station .you will have done around 44 km.
Day 2. Kinunu – Karongi This second stage will lead you into the deep of Rwanda countless hills, pedaling the high and low altitude, you will spend a night the same day in Karongi city, you have to make sure that your are about to make around 50 km to reach the city and rest.
CAMPINGIt is always optional either a visitor want to camp or he/she want spend a night in a lodge, we have the well-marked campsites spaced out along the Congo Nile Trail, it is required only to prepare the basic accommodation, we hire the tents, for those who chose to make the full Congo Nile Trail spend six days camping and the four days are spent in lodge, for the Rubavu – Karongi trail, the camping in tea plantation may be possible just one day.
You will be required to hire a camping tent, sleeping bag, (in high season, you don’t have to bring many stuffs with you unless the weather changes. One gear is enough.
Book your Congo Nile trip with us.
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Phone: +250 785 730 660
Phone: +250 781 505 108
Rubavu, RWANDA. NDORI's Building Next to 4G Square. Opposite the Mosque
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