Feature: The Congo Nile Trail

It’s possible to walk from Gisenyi at the northern end of Lake Kivu to Cyangugu (Rusizi) at the lake’s southern extremity. It’s a 10-day hike of 227km in a country renowned for its hills, so you’ll have to be extremely fit to tackle the trail in its entirety without prior training. As the Kibuye to Cyangugu section has been paved (and hence has lost much of its interest), we suggest you only do the Gisenyi to Kibuye portion, which is the most scenic. It can be covered in four days if you’re prepared to walk from 7am to 5pm each day, averaging 22km a day. As the trail is more a dirt track than a trail, it's also possible (and quite popular) to cover the route by bike. Allow two to three days from Gisenyi to Kibuye.

You don't need to carry a tent and food as there are guesthouses along the route. Trekkers should contact the Rwanda Tourism Information (RDB) for the latest information; maps can be downloaded from its website. For help with the practicalities of the walk, get in touch with Rwandan Adventures, which specalises in walking and cycling tours along the Congo Nile Trail and can organise fully guided tours. In addition to the Congo Nile trail they organise much shorter walking and cycling tours (US$45/70 for half-/full-day). Their bikes are in tip top condition and the guides are very well qualified.