Musanze Caves in Rwanda
Musanze Caves are are a tourist spot in Ruhengeri, Northern province of Rwanda in Musanze District near the Volcanoes National Park. They are being organized for visitors by fitting walkways, stairs, and as trails that take you to the dark ends of the caves which shows a image of a house with numerous corridors and rooms. The floor of the caves is surfaced with stairs as safety measures to simplify the movement of the tourists who tour these caves .
These caves were molded by geologic activity which was placed in Virunga Volcanoes. The caves are 1.25 miles and are positioned outside the center of Musanze and are just 90 minutes’ drive from the city of Kigali. The caves haven consists of many bat species with green plants which shelters its outer part that has got fantastic photo shoot. Most of the caves in Rwanda are formed from Cenozoic volcanic rocks for example Manjari which is 1.660 m and Nyiragihima which is 1.116m in Ruhengeri (Northern Province) of Rwanda.
It is so adventurous to enter into a cave that is 1.25 mile long and the visit to the cave is best done in the afternoon after doing gorilla trekking which takes 2.5 hours and the activity can be done throughout the year. Musanze is frequently a visited cave with 2 km long; the cave deceits in the volcanic region where lava basaltic layers flow from Bisoke and Sabinyo volcanoes courting from 65 million years ago to present day hence creating the Albertine Rift Valley. The cave entrance is huge, higher than 10 km and it is well equivalent with numerous side passages heading off from the main cave.
During periods of fighting and battle the caves became a hiding place and housing for the people of Rwanda and so it was during the 1994 Genocide in this region of Rwanda, destruction took place in the area and the cave was given respect by Rwandans as one of those blessed places that are also monuments to its history.
It was 2013 Rwanda announced Musanze Cave as new a tourism site and since then tourist started coming to visit and explore the place till now. The cave receives visitors on a daily basis because they find it as an interesting place for one to tour.
A cave or cavern is a natural underground space large enough for a human to enter. Some people suggest that the name cave should only be used to places that have some part that does not receive daylight; however, in popular practice, the name means minor gaps such as sea caves, rock shelters, and grottos.
The 2 km Musanze cave can be explored after gorilla tracking or golden monkey tracking or any other a strenuous activity in the Volcanoes national in case one has got time. The place is located on the foothills of Sabinyo and Bisoke in the Volcanoes national park, meaning this place can be toured after a certain wearisome activity.
Speleology is the science of exploration and study of all features of caves and the surroundings which borders the caves. Exploring a cave for recreation or science may be called caving, potholing.
Apart from a visit to the caves, tourists who travel to Rwanda can as well feed their eyes with variety of other fascinations among which includes; Buhanga Eco park famous for the coronation of Rwanda former kings, Karisimbi mountain hiking, visiting Dian Fossey grave, gorilla tracking, golden monkey trekking, and chimpanzee and you can also drive to see twin lakes of Burera and Ruhondo.
Among the accommodation that are available include Mountain gorilla view lodge, Gorillas Nest lodge, Hotel La Palme, Sabyinyo Silverback lodge, Virunga lodge, Le Bambou gorilla lodge, Kinigi guest house and Muhabura hotel among others.
Ruhengeri (or Musanze) is a city in northwest Rwanda. It’s the gateway to Volcanoes National Park, home to mountain gorillas and golden monkeys. The park encompasses the soaring Mount Karisimbi and 4 other forested volcanoes.
Access to Musanze Caves
To get to Musanze caves from town, you take the road called 5 Juliet Avenue, after hotel Muhabura going towards Rubavu. It about 2kms from the town center. As you proceed, you will see a large steel center post, marked Oprovia Musanze to your left. In case you turn right, just direct opposite this building, follow a curved marrum track and after around 120 metres, you will reach a football pitch and the school. The caves are found in a ditch on the opposite side of the playground. The caves are a formal tourist attraction with management and entrances fees. The entrance fees to Musanze caves is USD 55 per person and the charges includ the transport costs to the site and the tips to the guides. In case you want to visit the caves, contact Rwanda Development Board (RDB) offices or your tour operator for inclusion of the cave tour in your itinerary. While at the caves, you will have more information about Musanze area. At the caves are tour guides to offer give you full history of one of the tourist attractions in Rwanda.
Musanze caves may be visited any time of the day, for instance morning, afternoon or evening hours depending on your safari programme. People usually tour the caves as a supplementary activity after gorilla trekking, golden monkey tracking, Dian Fossey Grave hike and other major things to do at the Volcanoes National Park. Interested visitors to the caves can book with the RDB in advance to be able to participate.
RDB developed the caves for easy access and walk through them. For instance, there are footpaths, paved floors, concreted stairways and the trails in the caves to permit the smooth movement of the tourists. The most important thing about visiting these caves is switching off lights while inside and you feel the darkness, a strangely memorable incident in the wilderness.
Protective Gears while in Musanze Caves
As you tour the caves, you will be advised to put on protective gears for your body safety. For instance, wearing of helmets and holding torches will help light the caves for clear vision as they are dark inside. You will also be advised to use a mask for covering the mouth and nose for protection against the likely droppings of the bats, their infections if any. Wearing gloves as well will prevent you from touching the caves’ surfaces directly. The boots are to enable you walk inside the caves easily, smoothly and safely. The caves are a place with several corridors and sections and it’s advisable to visitors not to divert and move away from the walk path as led by the guides since there are possibilities of getting lost.