It takes three to five hours to reach the summit of Mount Kabuye through the main trail. This 10-kilometer hike is a great opportunity to burn calories while experiencing life in rural Rwanda.
From the starting point, approximately 1,600 meters above sea level, we hiked for about an hour before we took our first break. This stretch is relatively easy to navigate. During the breather, we sat on comfortable benches and soaked up the scenery. From our vantage point, the Kigali - Musanze highway looked like the meandering course of Nyabarongo River.
After two more breaks, on equally comfortable benches and more stunning landscapes, we made the final push to the summit. Refreshments and organic energizers were served during each pause. The breaks are designed to create a picnic atmosphere. Apart from benches, trash bins and decent toilets are installed along the trail.
The final 100-meter gradient is physically taxing but not extremely strenuous. Overall, this activity’s level of difficulty is moderate.
Reaching 2,700 meters (8,800 feet) above sea level, Mount Kabuye is the third highest non-volcanic mountain in Rwanda. Its summit is embellished with volcanic rocks and lush forest vegetation.
While on the summit, we strolled around the crest and felt the invigorating effect of the eucalyptus-scented gentle wind. We took a minute to admire the panorama of the twin lakes. On a good day, the view of Muhabura, Gahinga and Sabyinyo is breathtaking. On the other side of the loop, we were awestruck by the blurry appearance of Bisoke, Mikeno and Karisimbi. From this viewpoint, the three volcanoes looked like paintings in the sky.
The author is an adventurer on a tour of all 30 districts and 416 sectors of Rwanda. Follow his awe-inspiring expeditions on Twitter @ GeoExposure