Standing at 2,700 meters (8,800 feet) above sea level, Mount Kabuye is one of the highest elevations in Rwanda outside the Volcanoes National Park. Located in one of the hilliest parts of the land of 1,000 hills, this geographical feature is quite imposing.
Our starting point was Gakenke’s branch of Beyond the Gorillas Experience (BGE), approximately 1,600 (5,249) meters above sea level. One step after another, we burned calories while bonding with nature and experiencing life in rural Rwanda.
After about an hour of moderate elevation, we took our first break. During the breather, we sat on comfortable benches placed by BGE, the sole operators of this product. The view from the bench was breathtaking. From our vantage point, the Kigali - Musanze highway looked like the meandering course of Nyabarongo River.
Two more breaks, on equally comfortable benches, followed before we made the final push to the summit. Refreshments and organic energizers were served during each pause. These breaks are designed to create a picnic atmosphere.
Apart from benches, BGE has installed branded trash bins and decent toilets along the marked trail. One step at a time, we rambled our way to the summit through scattered settlements and sprawling farms.
It took us four hours to cover the entire 9-km trail. The final 100-meter stretch is physically taxing, but not extremely strenuous. Overall, Kabuye Hike’s level of difficulty is moderate.
The summit is embellished with volcanic rocks and a lush forest. Upon arrival, I strolled around the crest and felt the invigorating effect of the eucalyptus-scented gentle wind.
On one side of the loop, I was awestruck by the view of the twin lakes. From the same spot, I saw Muhabura, Gahinga and Sabyinyo. The three volcanoes were on the verge of being covered by a thick cloud. On the other side, the blurry appearance of Bisoke, Mikeno and Karisimbi looked like a painting in the sky.