Ruhengeri is a city in northern Rwanda's Musanze district. It is the port of call for tourists heading up the hills to Kinigi and Parc National des Volcans.
There are several bus companies that serve Kigali - Musanze direction every half hour for 1,930 Rwf (Sep 2018). The journey takes 2 hours.
Buy your ticket at the main bus station in Nyabugogo - each bus company has their own little office, look for the signs that say "Kigali-Musanze." Don't buy your ticket in advance - go to the bus station and expect to leave in roughly 30 minutes. If you book your ticket right before you leave, you may get a bad seat or have to stand.
From Gisenyi buses go every 30 minutes, bound for Kigali, reaching Musanze after 1h20, cost 1200 rwf (Feb 2017).
Musanze is a small town, you can walk from one end to the other along the main road in 30-40 minutes.
The best way to get around is walking or moto-taxi. Prices are negotiable with the moto drivers, but a typical ride across town is 300-400 rwf (Sep 2018.)
Volcanoes National Park offers several attractions. Tickets must be booked in advance through tour companies or the Rwanda Tourism Board (ORTPN).
- Gorilla visits - there are a limited amount of permits per day, and they often sell out months in advance. Tourists spend an hour with the gorillas. $750 per person for foreign visitors.
- Golden monkey visits.
- Climbing of Karisimbi volcano - this is a two day trek with overnight camping at an altitude of 3,800 m.
- Climbing of Bisoke volcano - 4-7 hours round trip. $75 per person for foreign visitors.
- Visiting the tomb of Dian Fossey.
The majority of revenue from tourism goes towards maintaining the park and conserving the wildlife. The remainder goes to the government and (around 10%) to local projects in the area to help local people benefit from the large revenue stream generated by the park.
Visit Lakes Burera and Ruhondo.
Visit the lava caves and tunnels.
In town: there are various lively markets to stroll about. In the north-west part of town is the 2016 built cathedral, a big church seating app. 2000 people and an amphitheatre for app. 4000 people. Near the southwest end of town you cam climb a hill overlooking the town and enjoying the panoramic view on the volcanoes.
There are several ATMs in town, including a KCB ATM that (sometimes) dispenses US$ ($100 bills only).
There are a number of restaurants around Musanze town, including:
- Crema. Mo -Sa 6 AM - 6 PM; Wed 6 AM - 8 PM. serves breakfast options including different varieties of bagels and spreads, as well as coffee. A popular spot for tourists.
- Migano Cafe. 8:30 AM - 10:30 PM everyday. cafe and hotel that serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner options. Cuisine varies from burgers, sandwiches, brochettes, pastas, and pizza. Popular with tourists and locals alike. Their WiFi is often the fastest free WiFi in town.
- Volcana Lounge. 11:30 AM - 10:30 PM everyday. serving lunch and dinner options. Their menu includes wood fired pizzas, lasagnas, salads, beer, wine, and alcohol. The lounge offers an upstairs patio with intimate seating and a nice view.
- [dead link] Virunga Hotel (Virunga bus station). 25.000-50.000.
- Red Rocks Guesthouse (aka Amahoro Guesthouse). From RN4 walk down Rue Muhabura & take the third left - the guesthouse is on a dirt road at the next corner. Nice small place, organising tours as well. Dorm $10 p/p, camping (own tent $6 / rented tent $8), privates from also available. Note that there is also a Red Rocks campsite in nearby Nkotsi.
- New Silver Hotel, near main road. From 15000
- Fatima Guesthouse. Parts of the church compound, near cathedral. Rooms 15-50000.
- There are few cheap places from 8000, but most are very basic.
Touts are hanging around the bus station offering guesthouses and tours.
There is one daily bus to Kampala, departing between 4pm & 5:30pm & arriving in Kampala sometime after 3am. The company is Trinity & the bus costs 12,000RWF.