Visit Musanze Caves in Rwanda

Visit Musanze Caves in Rwanda: With the year 2024 rapidly approaching, many travelers want to see more of Rwanda‘s gorgeous landmarks and national parks. The 1.25-mile long Musanze caves in mountains National Park were formed by millennia of volcanic activity centered on the Virunga mountains next door, and are located just outside of the town with which they share a name, and are just around 2 hours’ drive from Kigali.

The Musanze Caves have a big aperture and an equally massive number of bats living within, and the greenery outside pouring into the twilight within makes for a great photo opportunity. Though they are currently a tourist attraction, the caves were used as a military haven for many centuries prior to the modern era, and as such, they remain an important landmark to the people. As a result, in order to respect the residents, admission is restricted to guided excursions.

Visit Musanze Caves in Rwanda.

The inside walls of these tunnels display earth’s rocks as well as roadways meant to assist travelers. Before tourism began in the caves, these passageways were completely black and unilluminated. However, as a result of tourist promotion, lights have been erected to make these caverns a safe environment for visitors. You’ll notice a slow trickle of water pouring off the cave walls as you enter the tunnels. This water falls from the cave ceiling and lands on the cave floor. A colony of wild bats lives just within the caves and prefers to live in darkness, thus they can only be observed in areas with no light.

The interiors of Musanze caverns are exceedingly chilly, implying that other species will struggle to thrive there. There is also a tale that it includes leopards, which is ludicrous given how many people are around. These leopards, too, tend to avoid contact with humans and darkness.

This cave is massive, and we were only able to explore a small portion of it in an hour. There is no light inside, therefore you must almost always use the helmet headlights. This is advantageous to you, but it upsets and disturbs the bats. The bats calm down and get silent when you turn out all of the lights inside and stand silently. Because they are so close to you, you may also feel them.

The final stretch of the cave is also the most magnificent. The image at the top is also from the end. As a consequence of my guide’s perseverance, I also shot this short film of the entire site. He wanted me to have it so I could show it to my family, who had convinced me to go to Rwanda.

There are some gorgeous trees and cold-climate flora just outside their door. Cats and other domesticated animals can also be found in the tunnels. These animals prefer to visit the caverns at night rather than during the day. The many wetlands surround the caves. Some say the vegetation is comparable to Volcanoes National Park. Two secondary schools, a university, and various residences surround these caves.

The Musanze caves are named after the well-known Musanze neighborhood in which they are located. There are stone stairs, paths, and fences, but no electric lights. Guests are equipped with rain coats, helmets, hand lamps, and gum boots. The guides also provide the essential safety briefings.

These are further lava tunnels near Volcanoes National Park in the Albertine Rift valley. These 2km long caves are a must-see on any trip of the Northern Province. We also saw a large cave with a 10m high entrance and over 31 lesser holes.

A quarry archaeological survey confirmed several truths about traditional Rwanda. These caverns used to be common warfare trash, and many skeletons were collected. The research was carried out between 2006 and 2007 by a team led by John Gibin, Curator and Head of the University College London’s Africa Department.

What else can I do outside visiting Musanze Caves in Rwanda?

After discovering the Musanze caverns, guests can participate in a cultural encounter with one of the nearby tribes. Visitors will learn the art of making hunting tools such as bows and arrows, weaving the “Agaseke” basket with their fingers, brewing local beer (known as “Ugwagwa”) using bananas, constructing beehives out of local materials, and harvesting/producing honey while staying with locals in their homes or communal centers.  The always cheery natives can also show you how to make beautiful art out of plants, earth, and even cow dung.

Although seeing the Musanze caverns is one of the highlights of a Rwanda Wildlife safari. The caverns are best visited after the other primary activities, like as mountain hikes and gorilla trekking, have been completed. Visiting the Musanze caverns alongside wildlife or hiking trips provides for an unforgettable Rwanda safari.

Visit Musanze Caves in Rwanda
Visit Musanze Caves in Rwanda

What you should know before visiting Musanze Caves in Rwanda?

Visits to the caverns are available all year for a charge of $75. This charge does not include lodging, transportation, or other expenses. You don’t have to be in excellent shape to visit the Musanze caverns. Anyone with a respectable degree of fitness can explore the caverns.

The Musanze cave complex and passageways are made up of tough terrain with hard, jagged rocks, dripping water, bat droppings, and mud filled portions. To be safe and have a comfortable caving excursion, consider taking protective caving equipment such as helmets, head caps, gloves, knee caps, boots, and flash lights.

The equipment is available for purchase at the Rwanda Tourism Board offices in Musanze. Make an effort to move when carrying drinking water. While eating is not required while in the cave, water is. Taking great shots within the cave is difficult due to the darkness. The greatest areas to snap shots are at the very top of the caverns, which feature stunning vistas and lush vegetation.

How to get Musanze Caves in Rwanda?

The caves are located just outside of North Musanze district, and near to Volcanoes National Park, and are only a 90-minute drive from Rwanda’s capital, Kigali.

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