Northwestern Rwanda

Top things to do

Top ChoiceNational Park in Northwestern Rwanda

Volcanoes National Park

Volcanoes National Park

Volcanoes National Park, which runs along the border with the DRC and Uganda, is home to the Rwandan section of the Virungas. Comprising five volcanoes, the Virungas are utterly spellbinding and few would argue...

Top ChoiceCafe in Gisenyi (Rubavu)


Four words: not to be missed. On the lakefront road near the DRC border, this wonderful conversion of an impressive mansion now hosts a superb cafe that is passionately run by a group of expat friends. Delicious...

Landmark in Gisenyi (Rubavu)

Rubona Peninsula

Roughly 6km south of town (about RFr1000 by moto-taxi), along a lovely lakeshore road, the Rubona Peninsula is Lake Kivu at its finest. Hills rise steeply from the lake foreshore and are a patchwork of garden...

Village in Musanze (Ruhengeri)

Nkotsi Village

Nkotsi village (also known as Muko) is a small village 7km southwest of Musanze. It's home to the Red Rocks camping and hostel, which, through the Hands of Hope organisation and Amahoro Tours, organises a lively...

Cultural Centre in Volcanoes National Park

Gorilla Guardians Village

While most of the focus of Volcanoes National Park falls squarely onto the animals, this 'cultural village' puts the spotlight back onto the people. Visitors get to experience Rwandan village life by grinding...

Beach in Gisenyi (Rubavu)

Gisenyi Public Beach

The strip of sand beneath the main town is a justifiably popular place to take a dip. That said, some travellers imagining Caribbean sands are disappointed to discover the waters are grey-green and the sand...

Cave in Musanze (Ruhengeri)

Musanze Caves

These four caves, 2km from the town centre along the road to Gisenyi, were created when different lava flows joined to create the Albertine Rift Valley. Bat roosts are a significant feature of the caves, as are...

Factory in Gisenyi (Rubavu)

Pfunda Tea Estate

During the rainy season, at the height of production, the Pfunda Tea Factory processes up to 90 tonnes of tea from the surrounding plantations daily. Guided tours follow the tea production from arrival of the...

International in Gisenyi (Rubavu)

Bistro Restaurant & Wine Garage

This sassy eatery not far from the beach has an outdoor patio and becomes atmospheric at night. There's a small selection of well-executed dishes, including beef or tilapia (Nile perch) fillet, burgers with...

Italian in Musanze (Ruhengeri)

La Paillotte

This popular local haunt is streets ahead of the hotel restaurants in town, at least in terms of atmosphere. There's a funky interior and seating on a breezy roadside terrace. Woodfired pizzas are the most...

Italian in Musanze (Ruhengeri)

Volcana Lounge

With a roaring wood fire in the corner, a sort of rainforest lodge atmosphere (despite being on Musanze's main street) and a laid-back feel, this is one of the most atmospheric places to eat and hang out in town....

Beer Garden in Gisenyi (Rubavu)

New Tam-Tam Bikini

While we don’t know who came up with the name, we can vouch for the great beachfront location. This beach shack is a very popular spot for a beer and gets pleasingly raucous on the weekends when the drinking...

Cafeteria in Volcanoes National Park

Volcanoes Resto-Bar

Conveniently located opposite the Bisoke car park, this small cafeteria arranged around attractive gardens dishes up simple meals and sells soft drinks and fruits. It also rents out raincoats, boots, gloves and...

International in Gisenyi (Rubavu)

Lakeside Restaurant & Beach Bar

This hip and classy lakefront resto-bar is as adept at serving up light bites as it is heartier meals. The menu is eclectic and inventive, and the breezy, sunset-friendly deck overlooking the beach is very...

International in Musanze (Ruhengeri)

Isange BF Restaurant

Whether you're sitting al fresco on a snug terrace overlooking a garden or inside the pretty dining room decorated with African touches, dining at this cosy eatery is a treat. The menu roves from faultlessly...

Arts & Crafts in Gisenyi (Rubavu)

African Art Gallery

This small curio store has a varied and colourful collection of handicrafts from the DRC, Uganda and Rwanda, including lots of Congolese masks and other wooden items as well as necklaces, paintings and basketware.

Cafe in Musanze (Ruhengeri)

Migano Café

Hands-down the trendiest spot in Musanze, Migano serves up salads, burgers, pasta, chicken dishes and pizzas, as well as excellent breakfasts and luscious fruit juices.

Market in Gisenyi (Rubavu)

Main Market

If you have half an hour to spare, make a beeline for the main market, which lies right in the centre of town. It's small but atmospheric. Alongside fresh fruit and vegetables, stalls sell clothes as well as...