Congo Nile Trail
Congo Nile Trail
4.5
8:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Monday
8:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Tuesday
8:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Wednesday
8:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Thursday
8:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Friday
8:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Saturday
8:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Sunday
8:00 AM - 6:00 PM

Top ways to experience Congo Nile Trail and nearby attractions

Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as wait time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

Popular mentions

4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles47 reviews
Excellent
37
Very good
8
Average
1
Poor
1
Terrible
0

Joost
17 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2023 • Solo
I’ve had a wonderful 10-day hike through the 1000 hills of Rwanda. Although it was really hard sometimes, the beautiful sceneries and happy people on the way made it really worthwhile.
I asked Alex to accompany me on the hike and I’m really glad I did. Alex is a tour guide and since he grew up in the area he knows a lot about the surroundings. He arranged everything perfectly. His English is also very good and most important: he is great company! Unforgettable!

You can reach Alex on WhatsApp: +250 788 714 347
Or through Instagram: @alexcongoniletrailhike
Written July 9, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Michelle B
Cleveland, Ohio, United States349 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2014 • Couples
We hiked the first half of the Congo Nile Trail (From Rubavu/Gisenyi to Kibuye) and this was one of our favorite parts of our Rwanda vacation. I contacted Joseph at the Gisenyi office of the RDB (Rwanda Development Board tourism office) about a month in advance and scheduled/reserved a guide and two porters for the Congo Nile Trail, (as well as the farm to cup coffee experience and night fishing). The costs were really reasonable: 50./day for a guide and 30./day for each porter (plus we gave them substantial tips at the end because we really appreciated them). It seemed extravagant to us at first to have porters (Caesar & Germaine) to carry our packs, but it was SO nice to just be able to walk and experience and not think about our heavy packs (plus we didn't have time to train with our packs so we were not in good enough shape to carry them anyway). Plus, it was nice to have additional help on the trail besides just our guide, Robert Walker, who was wonderful and helped make the whole experience a great one. I highly recommend at least getting a guide. Without a guide, it would be very difficult to know which way to go (it is rarely marked) and you would not be able to communicate with the locals since most speak only kinyarwanda. The only other tourists walking the trail in the direction we were heading didn't have a guide and they ended up walking on the main road more instead of on the really cool little trails that actually make up the Congo Nile Trail and go through fields and smaller villages. With a guide you learn a lot more and can communicate with the local people you meet who are walking the trail to take their goods to sell or get from one village to another or whatnot.

It was unclear from the website how the accommodations along the trail worked. I thought we could choose what type of accommodations we wanted, but that was not always the case. In most base camps you could camp, but not always. We chose to stay in guesthouses & at one base camp the only option was camping or homestay, so we did homestay.

We stayed at Cyimbili Base Camp guesthouse the first night. They have camping facilities there as well (though we got a room in the guesthouse for about $7./night plus food) and it is located right on the lake with lovely views and you can swim in the lake (we did not). This was the only location in all of Rwanda where there were a significant number of mosquitos, so we mostly stayed indoors after dusk. The African dinner was absolutely delicious, although was not ready until about 9pm, which seems to be relatively typical in Rwanda since that was the case at other guesthouses as well.

Our guide paid for everything along the trail and then we paid him back for everything at the end, which made everything easier and although i feared the bill would be high, it only ended up costing around 200. for EVERYTHING lodging, food, transport, water, etc. along the trail, which we felt was really reasonable....probably more reasonable than if we had been paying for it since he was able to negotiate in shops and with motorbike drivers and such.

The Trail goes through different types of vegetation and rural areas. The first day was many coffee fields, the second day was more banana fields and the third day had some marshy areas and the forth day had a mix. There are many times you are within fields and inland up and down hills, but then you return back closer to the lake and have stunning views, and at other times you are walking down close to the lake and see people boating, playing in the water, or using the lake for washing.

There are many children along the route (especially since they were on holiday break) and they all come running when they see a 'Mzungu' (white person) and come greet us with the English they learn at school: "good morning. how are you? what is your name?" The kids have fantastic home-made toys and they get excited if you take photos/video (ask first) and then show them their picture/video. Our guide advised us not to give them money or sweets, which is always good advice as doing so can create a negative, dependent culture in which they will harass future tourists. Our guides frequently had to tell children to stop following us so that they did not get too far from home. The kids are just curious and looking for something to do. They are cute and in no way malicious. If you hang out long enough in a village, even all the adults will come out and stare at you and giggle if you take photos of your surroundings. Always ask before taking a picture of people, however, as some do not like to have their picture taken.

Our second night we stayed at the Kinunu Base Camp (Kinunu Guesthouse & Coffee Washing Station). We stayed there two nights because we scheduled a rest day on Christmas (thank goodness because the trail is challenging with a lot of up and down and stabilizing your footing as you go). We had a tour of the coffee washing station, which was interesting. The first night at Kinunu guesthouse, our room was not great, the toilet didn't flush and the shower didn't have any pressure. The second night, we were in the main complex of the guesthouse and the accommodations were basic but lovely. We even had some warm water. The meals were each delicious, especially the abundance of local fruits. This was the most expensive accommodation. With meals, it was around 50.USD a night. The couple that owns the property were really interesting and we got to know a bit of the history from their son who was visiting for Christmas and works for the UN. His father, who is an economist and retired professor had fled Kinunu in the 60s (i think) after his father was killed on that land, and he didn't return to Rwanda until 3 years after the Genocide, to teach at the university. He and his wife returned to Kinunu for retirement and opened the guesthouse and coffee washing station. They are a strong and proud, smart & educated couple who have done a lot of good in the community. Don't try to negotiate price or anything, as that will not likely go well. The two female travelers who were there one night wanted to camp and the owner would not allow it, so just be aware that camping may not be an option at Kinunu base camp. Our guide & one porter were allowed to camp, so perhaps it is how you approach the owner or perhaps she was keeping the ladies safe by not allowing camping, since there was a large party down the road that created a lot of (drunken) traffic in the area that evening. Regardless, we enjoyed our stay.

The next night we were in Musasa, but not at the 'base camp' that is printed on the sign, but at a homestay, which our guide said was the best option. It was the only kind of more difficult night. We met the family of the homestay when we arrived but didn't see them again until we left. This was mainly a place to stay, not a homestay cultural experience. The room was very simple with a mattress on the floor. We were glad we brought a sleeping bag for warmth/covers. There was a cow outside that was on a moo-ing binge, but she did go to sleep about the time that we did. The restrooms were....rustic....an authentic experience. Our guide & porters made us dinner and breakfast. It was adequate, but not necessarily comfortable. One night of that was fine, but we were glad we were not doing homestays the whole time.

Throughout the trail, we ate lunch that was food we bought before we left Gisenyi (primarily) and the porters carried with us. This was primarily fruit, breads, cheese, hardboiled eggs, and various packaged cookies. I require a ton of water, so i brought purification tablets, but for most people with normal water needs, you will have enough opportunities to buy bottled water. You might still want to take purification tablets just in case.

The day we walked for a full day and reached a location where we got motorbikes to take us to Rubengera and from there we took a bus into Kibuye. If you are walking the first half of the trail in 4 days, this is the best option for that last day, as it would be too long otherwise. I had booked ahead to stay at Home Saint Jean in Kibuye which we took motorbikes too from the bus stop. Home Saint Jean is a GREAT place to stay at the end of the hike as they had hot water for showers, good food, and an amazing view of the hills we had just covered....and for the incredible value of only 25USD a night for a double!

We kept thinking as we were walking...why aren't we seeing more tourists here? This is incredible! The Congo Nile Trail provides access not only to scenic beauty, but also to the real rural culture that makes up most of Rwanda. It gives you a chance to interact with rural people and see things you would not otherwise (people beating dry pole beans to remove the beans, then sifting them, people chopping off sugarcane and chewing on it, kids playing hopscotch or riding a home made scooter, etc, etc.). Go walk this trail NOW before too many tourists discover it!

Be sure to plan for rain and sun (If you are light completion, be sure to take lots of 50+proof sunscreen. You need good waterproof jacket and rain pants (not cheap ones, you want the good waterproofing) and above all, good waterproof hiking boots with good tread. You will likely be walking in some rain, though usually showers come and go during the afternoon. Take a lot of hand sanitizer as well. And listen to your guide if s/he tells you to get various items, be sure to do so. We learned quickly that they really know what they are talking about and we should just listen and not try to argue because they always knew best. Read, train a bit, and be prepared, then go an enjoy!
Written January 12, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Joshua G
Auckland Central, New Zealand14 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2018 • Solo
I hiked the Congo Nile solo from Kibuye to Gisenyi in August 2018. I found it difficult to get some info online, so I am going to try to be as detailed as I can.

First to answer some questions that I had that weren't answered:

1) yes, there are lodges at every stop. You do not need to carry food, a tent or a sleeping bag. It is all provided.

2) you do not need a guide. The trail is easy to follow. There are signposts, and there are always people about who you can ask for directions: most won't speak great English but if you say the next town name they will point you in the way. There are also GPS trails you can download. However, the benefit of a guide would be the ability to converse more with the locals, and a knowledge of more 'shortcuts' to get you off the road a bit more. If you are bicycling it is definitely not worth it.

3) this is not a technically challenging hike. It can be tiresome, but it could probably be done in sports shoes, at least in the dry season.

4) when you are hiking you will never be more than 1.5h from a village with a little store where you will be able to buy water. You can also get lunch at some of the small restaurants here. All guesthouses also sell water and soft drinks, with most also selling beer.

5) crowds: very few people. I walked the opposite way to most meaning I should have encountered most people, and over 3 days I encountered 3 groups of tourists. I was solo every night.

6) road: yes, you are walking on a dirt road for a lot of the time. Practically what this means is that a motorcycle will come past maybe once or twice an hour. There were no trucks or cars. The sole exception is heading into Gisenyi, where traffic does markedly increase. Most of the locals are walking along the track the same as you, so you will have company

Now, day by day.

First day: bus from Kibuye to Congo Nil (1000rwf, every hour). Then get off immediately before Congo Nil town at either Bumba or Mushubati: the are the two different paths you can take to get to the trail. I accidentally a bit of both, and the Mushubati path appears to be superior: smaller, more of a village feel. The reason why you want to take the bus is that the road from Kibuye from these two places is now completely paved. Maybe fun to cycle, not so fun to walk. I bought water in village (700rfw big bottle - this is the same price most of the way through) and then started walking. Lunch in a town on of a ridge (300rwf for some samoas) and then spent the night at the Musasa Homestay (10000rfw for a room, 5000rfw for dinner, 3000rfw for breakfast). The food I had at the Homestay was absolutely delicious. Dinner was a three course experience, quantities were massive. They even had a menu you could pick from. Total walking time: approx 4h.

Note at Musasa you could also stay at Musasa base camp, which is 30m on. I am unaware of the standards there.

Second day: Musasa to Kinunu. Very scenic walk. Along the lakefront. Kinunu is a reasonable sized town, and has a number of churches that are interesting to see. Kinunu itself is lovely, namely because of the awesome beaches. There are two places to stay here: a resort (prices approx $80usd for a room) and Kinunu guesthouse (30000rfw including breakfast, for a room with an ensuite including hot water). I stayed at the guesthouse. Kinunu is a lovely place to relax. The guesthouse has a beach which I think is only for guests: I had the place to myself and just read in a hammock on the beach for the afternoon . Dinner at the guesthouse was 5000rfw, and was also exceptionally good. Breakfast was massive: something like half a pineapple, a mango, a paw paw, two bananas, some bread and cheese and an omelette just for me. Hike time: 3.5h to 4h.

Third day: Kinunu to Cyimburi. Slightly less scenic than the other two days, but also wonderful. One thing to note about Cyimburi is that it's a coffee plantation, and so the coffee they serve you is exceptional. I did this hike on a Sunday, and as you're hiking along you can hear village choirs singing. It truly is something. Cyimbiri guesthouse is ran by a charity, and is also something special. 10000rwf for a room including ensuite with hot water during the evenings, 5000rwf dinner, 2000rwf breakfast. Cyimburi has a private beach literally outside of the guesthouse, so it is a great place to relax. Honestly, even outside of the hike this guesthouse would be a great resort. I even saw otters from patio of the guesthouse! Hike time: approx 3h. Note, unlike the other guesthouses there's not a village close to this one, so if you need supplies you can't get elsewhere stock up. Also: unlike other guesthouses Cyimburi doesn't allow alcohol.

Fourth day: Cyimbiri to Giseyni. This is the tough one, and is probably the least rewarding day. For most of it you are walking on what is clearly a dirt road. Note that there's no official endpoint to the trail as far as I am aware: i myself chose the brewery at the start as my endpoint, as this was where the roads switch from being dirt to paved. A Moto from there to the main centre cost 800rwf. Walk time: approx 5 to 6h.

General experience: you will meet a lot of very friendly Rwandans. The children will want to practice their English. The views are also exceptional and the ability to swim in the lake at the end of each day and relax with excellent food really helps restore you. I really would recommend.

Downsides: be prepared to have children asking you for money. Just ask them their names and half the time they'll stop, but if this is something that upsets you then you may want to rethink it.
Written August 13, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

ArjenKemper
Scheveningen, The Netherlands19 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2017 • Couples
'Day -1' We started visiting the RDB in Gisenyi before starting the hike. The lady there gave us two maps. One A4sheet with handwritten distances and phone numbers of mototaxis on it and one that was 'officially' printed with loads of other information (but no distances only 'effective walking hours' per day). The lady told us that there is dinner and breakfast in every base camp along the route.

'Day 0' we did a pilot carrying our backpacks 7km from gysenyi to the hot spring area where the Congo Nile trail starts. We stayed at paradis malahide with our own tent 10,000 franc/tent. This super luxury lodge made us feel at home. They do not treat camping people other than rich people. The hot springs are two kilometers away from it and cost 1000pp.

'Day '1' On the map we got at the RDB it says 8 hours effective walking time. We did the 23 km in about 6 hours, not resting so much. Lots of children only knowing the words 'good morning' and 'money' will greet you along the way. We left a 9am and arrived in cyimbiri at around 3pm with the feeling we did a lot of walking that day. We did not walk this much before in hills. The children close to cyimbiri tried to steel our water bottle, pay attention! Maybe just back luck. The women who was hosting us said that we could put our tent anywhere. This place is beautiful! Camping 5000/tent. Dinner 5000pp. Breakfast 2000pp. Homecoming tea was free. No beers available. Food was the best! Enough and good stuff after a day walking! I really recommend this place.

'Day 2' we walked from cyimbiri to Kinunu. 16km which should be easy. The host in cyimbiri showed us a nice shortcut so that we did not have to get the same way back from then camping to the main trail. Nice! Not suitable for cars and bikes though. After day 1 you can feel your feet quicker so we were happy that the distance was less. The last part you will have to get of the main trail to get to Kinunu coffee washing station. This part is hard going down... and the worst thing is you have to do it going up the next day.. We arrived, a real guesthouse with a bar. Camping 10.000/tent. Dinner 5000pp. Breakfast 3000pp. The tea we ordered separately was 2000pp, we still don't know why. Drinking big beers would be cheaper here... Dinner and breakfast was really good again!

'Day 3' the hate love day. The scenery this day is really really nice and worth all the effort but.... We where thinking splitting this track and camp at Musasa base camp. No dinner and no breakfast!!! Unlike what the women of the RDB told us. We were already tired but decided to hike to Bumba, another 14km, hoping that there was food. Ok, this was really challenging for us untrained people. You have to walk up and down steep mountains, through mud water and other muddy roads. People along the road are very helpful and nice. But... Do not under estimate the last climb to Bumba itself. Carrying your backpack and coming from Kinunu you really need some personality to get there. Ask in Bumba where the base camp is because you won't find it otherwise. Coming there feels so nice. They get you a beer, make a nice pizza and a camp fire to relax. One chair to sit on and one to put your feet on. PERFECT! Camping 7000/tent. Pizza dinner 4000pp. Breakfast 3000pp. The initiator of the place is trying to do good stuff in the area so your money will be well spend!

'Day 4' last 12km down should be easy. The main road is under construction so you can still hike there. It is not so nice anymore and you just want it to end. We catched a really big rain storm and got soaked, nice finish... Arriving at the junction we took capital express (go little to the left and cross the road) 500pp to Kibuye. Dropping you close to st Jean guesthouse (1km walk).

General:
Really nice challenging experience!
People at the RDB do not know everything. If you ask people for walking time along the road they are always wrong (it is more then what they say). You will catch rain. It goes up and down all the time. Effective walking times on the official map are useless.
The local people do not see a lot of people walking/hiking so you are something special to see.

That is it. Hope it helps!
Written March 2, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

cgomez100100
colombia48 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2018 • Solo
The Congo Nile Trail is a beautiful and approachable way to get to know this area of Rwanda. I arranged everything through a local expert guide that took care of transportation details and lodging. As a female solo traveller, it was a breath of fresh air to travel with a female guide that can communicate with the locals in their language, and with me in English and French. Furthermore, she is responsible and caring with her clients and really dedicated to her craft: she is constantly training, gaining new certifications and improving her knowledge on birds and other wildlife. Annie has been a definite highlight of my Rwandan experience. She can also arrange for trips to other areas of the country or activities within Kigali. She can be reached at uwarithe@gmail.com
We stayed at low-price guesthouses that were clean and where food was bountiful. They are run and operated by locals so make sure you arrange ahead of time for dinners and lodging. You can vary the degree of intensity to your liking (hire a car to be around to pick you up if you don't want to walk as long) and since there's no camping involved, the load you carry is pretty light.
The setting is stunning, nights are restful, and distances aren't too intense.

It would be great to see the path retraced in the south so travelers can again enjoy the entirety of the trail. The southern portion has recently been paved and thus presents a less interesting walk for nature lovers.

If you do go swimming in the lake, I would suggest being modest and respectful and going in with clothes on. No need to make a show...
Written May 14, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

InkBoxer
Bangkok19 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2017 • Couples
My partner and I did the Congo-Nile trail at the beginning of June. Looking online there is some information but not a lot of it is clear...I thought it might be helpful to explain some elements on here.

The website suggests contacting the RDB for information. Presumably you can do this via email, but as we were in Kigali anyway we decided just to pop along in person. Although they gave us a map and some telephone numbers they weren't amazingly helpful, so we decided to just visit the office when we arrived in Gisenyi.
The gentleman in Gisenyi (the office is just by the lake, along the main strip) was very helpful and went through the options with us. You can bike or hike - the route is essentially the same although as a hiker you can skip some of the road and go more cross-country which we felt was more appealing. The whole route down to the bottom of the lake takes 10 days if you're walking, but most people just do the 4 day trek to Kibuye which is about 80km.

At the time of writing a stretch of the trail is under construction, so the longer trek wasn't an ideal option anyway. The route itself is quite prescribed as there are specific guesthouses which the RDB have set up for hikers along the trail. They're not amazingly cheap, but quite reasonable for Uganda (between $15 and $30 for a double room if I remember correctly, plus breakfast/dinner/packed lunch on top).

You can arrange a guide and porters with the RDB. We decided to go for the guide but forgo the porter, and instead send our luggage ahead of us to meet us in Kibuye which the gentleman sorted out for us for a reasonable fee. All in all the guide, luggage transportation and tips cost us about $200 which felt about right for the 4 days. The luggage arrived safely in Kibuye - although the police had rifled through absolutely everything which is something to bear in mind...

Although you can presumably do the hike without one, I would definitely recommend having a guide! I've read other reviews about being harassed by the local kids and so on, but this really wasn't our experience and I think having a guide definitely helped in that respect. A lot of the walking was along roads but there were times we managed to go off-road and skip sections, which we wouldn't have known to do without his advice. Plus Cesar was an absolute gem - he was engaging, funny and caring and knew lots about the local area, especially the birds. Over the course of the 4 days he became a real friend and he was great company.

Most of the hike is through rural villages so you get a great view of what real Rwanda is like. The terrain is up and down although on the whole (with the exception of the 3rd day) we found it fairly easy going and not too challenging at all. I would recommend bringing along some snacks if you want them as they're difficult to find along the route. Beer is easy to obtain although the first night is a teetotal establishment, so if you want a drink you have to go on a bit of a mission through the village!

The route itself is fairly prescribed as due to the locations of the guesthouses you need to do certain stretches each day. That means that day 1 and 2 are fairly easy going (day 2 especially), day 3 is a killer and day 4 is in between. The only thing I would say is that if you are an experienced hiker (my partner and I keep good pace and are quite fit) you might find the easier days a bit too easy. We felt the 4 days could easily have been 3 if the locations of the guesthouses were slightly different, as on the second day for example we were done by midday. So bring some cards or a book to read! Also the construction work going on (not sure when it will finish, but it looked extensive) means that the last day involves a lot of road walking through what essentially is a construction site, which isn't ideal. Having said that, the RDB might manage to find an alternative route to make this section a bit more enjoyable...

All in all a fantastic experience. I would say it's the number one thing we did in Rwanda and a lot of that is down to our guide, who I can't thank enough!
Written June 27, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

tdrave
Ghent, Belgium5 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2019
In January 2019 I hiked a part of the Congo Nile Trail in Rwanda with a group of friends. The trail follows the eastern shore of the spectacular Kivu Lake and offers more than just a great hiking experience.

There is not just one way of hiking the Congo Nile Trail. Many small trails connect the different villages and depending on your guide, you might take a different route. The main trail follows a dirt road that circles though the rolling hills. On this road, the trail is marked with directions. This road allows doing the trail with a mountain bike as well. When hiking with a guide you will spent most of your time following smaller trails that cross trough fields, hills and rivers. We hiked from Kibuye to Gisenyi in four days. The hike is demanding, with large distances (one day of 30km) and quite some elevation. You could make the hike easier however by spreading it over 5-6 days or shortening some days by taking a boat or moto taxi. The trail is in good condition and safe to hike, although I would recommend a guide if you want to take the smaller adventurous paths.

We started the hike in Gisenyi, and stayed in Home Saint Jean. A very cheap stay with a great view and friendly personel. Several guest houses are located along the Kivu trail. All places were perfect to relax after a tough hiking day, and they all had decent beds with mosquito nets and a nice dinner & breakfast. The first guest house we stayed was Bumba base camp. We were welcomed with great hospitality and a truly astonishing view. The second stop was Kinunu base camp. The last stop was Cymbiri. During the 2 last stops it was possible to take a swim in the lake. The price of a guest house was always around 20 USD per night, with dinner and breakfast included.

It is possible to do the hike yourself, or get a guide for 50 - 100 USD per day. You can also book a tour with accommodation, guide, food and transport included. We booked our tour via AfriGuideMe, who gave multiple options and prices.
Written August 26, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

lifeinthetopbunk
Portsmouth, UK445 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2017 • Solo
I only did the first two days of the trail because I injured my knee on a previous hike and the pain was getting bad; getting back to Gisenyi from Kinunu was super easy because there are commuter boats between the two that take a little over two hours for only 500 RWF. The views on the CNT are breathtaking, and the walking isn't too strenuous if you're used to hiking; that being said, it was a mental challenge for me. I was constantly on mzungu parade (as in, every time I passed through a town, everyone would stop what they were doing to stare at me, huge groups of children would follow me for 15 - 20 minutes, kids often asked for money - once a group of four men came out of the bushes in the dark and asked for money, which was unnerving). I know this is fair given how tourists come to Africa and stare at people (or worse, take photos of people while they're working), but it was very uncomfortable for an introvert like me. The Cyimbiri guesthouse was phenomenal - it has a private beach! - but the Kinunu guesthouse tried charging me WAY more than was listed in the Bradt guide and on the Kingfisher Tour Company website (both listed a single as 10,000, and they tried to charge me 25,000 / night). Definitely ask about the price before you stay; there's also a nice guesthouse down the road from there with a menu if you don't want the full buffet-style meal (I will say, though, that their food was excellent!!!).
Written May 2, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Thorntonhillbilly
Exeter, UK20 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2019 • Friends
We (aged in our late 50's/early 60s) hiked this independently in June 2019 over four days from Gisenyi/Rubavu to Kibuye/Karongi. Because there is not enough space here to go into a lot of detail, you can find our experiences and helpful comments detailed on our ABSOLUTELY non-commercial, personal wanderingman blog. In brief: signage is newly replaced and excellent; accommodation and facilities variable but acceptable; some sections tough with frequent climbing and descending; locals will always help you out. We loved it.
Written July 14, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Alex M
Buenos Aires, Argentina37 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2017 • Solo
I walked the whole of the Congo Nile train as part of a walk from Uganda to Burundi. Having previously hiked in Ethiopia and up Mount Kenya, I'm in reasonably good condition.

But I have to admit this ten day trail is tough. Rwanda really earns its reputation as 'land of a thousand hills'.

On the plus side, the views and consistently stunning, particularly the first three days from Gisenyi to Bumba.

The people and inquisitive and friendly, and it's easy to find food and places to stay along the way (and not pay the prices demanded by official RDB campsites!)

All in all, it's a fantastic experience, but not one to be undertaken in its entirety lightly.
Written January 21, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Showing results 1-10 of 26
Is this your Tripadvisor listing?
Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.
Claim your listing

Congo Nile Trail - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (2024)

All things to do in Rubavu
RestaurantsFlightsVacation RentalsTravel StoriesCruisesRental Cars