The Musanze caves are one of the most top in the tourist basket list attractions to visit in Musanze District and Rwanda as well Musanze is the most visited part of Rwanda because its location in one of the most naturally beautiful places in Africa. The Volcanoes National Park is found in Musanze District offering opportunities for activities like gorilla trekking, golden monkey tracking, visiting the grave of Dian Fossey ,Mountains Hiking and canoeing or Boat cruise lakes like Ruhondo among many others. the caves were made famous as a rescue Place for thousands of refugees who had escaped the 1994 genocide in Rwanda.
Visitors to the caves are welcomed by beautiful green scenery surrounding the cave and especially on the top. The Musanze caves were significant during the ancient times as they were used by the local Banyarwanda tribes as the venue for crowning their new kings, caves offer great views of the wider Virunga ranges which include volcanoes like Karisimbi, Muhabura and Gahinga.
The caves are generally cold and quiet on the inside with streams of water slowly flowing out of the rock ceiling and down the rocky walls to holes underneath the cave floor. It’s usually takes between one to two hours to complete exploring the caves.
The cave entrance is big enough covering more than 10km and well proportionately with a number of other small passageways that lead to the main cave and do not need to be in great shape to go and explore the Musanze caves. Anyone with a reasonable level of fitness can take part in exploring the caves.
The caves consist numerous tunnels, many of which are home to thousands of bats. The bats can be seen hanging on the cave walls that have been darkened by smoke that has been partly trapped by the numerous cobwebs for thousands of years. Exploring the cave involves maneuvering though a two kilometer dark tunnel that consists of hardened rocks. There is complete silence inside the caves that is only interrupted by whispers, flying bats and echoes from human voices far away. One will need a strong torch/light, helmet, gloves, boots and a head cap to navigate through the various tunnels during the one to two hour trail.
Musanze Cave is located in only 2km away from the park that’s why it is perfect addition activity of a day and After touring the Musanze caves, visitors can go for a cultural experience with one of local tribes living near the caves. While with the locals in their homes or communal centers, visitors will learn the art of making hunting tools like bows and arrows, weaving the basket using fingers(Agaseke), brewing local beer (known as “Urwagwa”) made from bananas, making beehives using local material and producing honey.
The very cheerful locals can also demonstrate how to use plants, soil and even cow dung to produce nice art pieces which known as Imigongo
Although touring the Musanze caves is one of the top things to do while on a Rwanda Wildlife safari. Visiting the caves is best done after completing the other major activities like mountains hiking and gorilla trekking. Visiting the Musanze caves alongside wildlife or hiking tours makes for a truly memorable safari in Rwanda