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Ways to Experience Congo Nile Trail
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Reviewed November 7, 2014

Lesson 1. Make sure your 4x4 hire car has good brakes. Well, brakes at all would have been good at points but having become adept with engine braking and hand brake turns we managed. Oh, and quite a lot of pouring water onto sizzling disc!

The Congo Nile Trail runs up (or down depending on which way you do it) Lake Kivu. As one of the leaflet attractions of Rwanda we expected to be at least in company but apart from one clearly insane couple on a rented moto we had the trail to ourselves.

In essence the trail,splits into two distinct sections. Cyangugu to Kibuye and then on from Kibuye to Gisenyi. The southern section is currently under construction as a "proper road" and so is somewhat graded now and littered with large earth moving equipment. To be honest it doesn't detract too much from the experience but you may come to the occasional stop to wait for large lumps of earth to be moved around. The northern section is untouched by any such excitement and all the more beautiful for it.

Whilst the trail can be done by cycle or walking we had neither the time nor the muscles for such a venture. A (not so) trusty RAV 4 rented in Kigali provided the motive power. You will need a 4x4 for the trail but the RAV4 is good enough for the job. Three days is recommended for the trip but two days of driving proved fine. I would say we weren't hanging around though.

In places the trail is marked by lovely big blue signs but, be warned, there are long stretches where a map, satnav or guesswork provided the only clue as to which track was the one we needed.

It is a glorious drive though. Lake Kivu keeps appearing and you can watch life in the villages and farms along the way. The change from Cyangugu in the south to Gisenyi in the north is amazing. In our opinion, ending up in the resort of Gisenyi at the end of the drive seems like a better idea.

A great 4x4 adventure which can be tackled in a hire car and gets you out of the tourist traps and into the beautiful country of Rwanda.

Date of experience: September 2014
1  Thank David B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 1, 2013

A stunning drive but pray your car stays together! First tip is to get a good map, second tip is to stagger the journey over a couple of days, recommended is 3 days (we did it in 9.5 hrs, self drive, traveling north towards Lake Kivu). The views are awesome and witnessing village life stays with you. The road is rough so don't expect to travel faster than 24 km/hr. Memorable for all the right reasons!

Date of experience: September 2013
1  Thank ScottieinHK2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 1, 2018
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Date of experience: November 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 13, 2018
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Date of experience: November 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 28, 2018
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Date of experience: August 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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