Complete guide to hiking the Congo Nile Trail
The Congo Nile Hiking Trail is one of the most iconic hiking trails in Rwanda. The trail is popular with both cyclists and hikers, traversing rain forests, bracken fields and bamboo forests. The entire Congo Nile Trail passes along the hills of Lake Kivu with magnificent views from the hiking trail of Lake Kivu and the rolling Rwandan hills. The Congo Nile trail takes 10 days to complete on foot combined with two short boat rides. It is possible to hike each single section or the entire trail, which is the longest trail for hiking in Rwanda. The hiking trail follows mainly the footpaths of the local people and is a wonderful way to soak up daily Rwandan life in traditional villages, very close to nature and experience Rwanda up-close.
With interesting community-based tourism activities, coffee-washing stations, tea plantations, big towns, dozens of villages, and innumerable beaches, coves, waterfalls, valleys and vistas, the winding path of the Congo Nile Hiking Trail offers some of the finest hiking in Rwanda and perhaps to be had anywhere in east and central Africa. Winding its way along the fringes of the lake via the peaks of Rwanda’s green hills, the Congo-Nile Trail as challenging as it is rewarding. With a peak elevation of 2,630m, like most hiking in Rwanda, it’s a serious workout to boot.
There are camp sites along the trail or guest houses in the towns for those after a bit more comfort. Refreshments are available along the route supplied by small shops. Active hikers can discover the coastal waters on kayaking tours and boat rides and visit the many islands of Lake Kivu. The Congo Nile Trail can be trekked from both directions (North to South/ South to North). Hikers are advised to book ahead for accommodation facilities and /or meals