The Slow Cyclist in Rwanda

Volcanoes, Lakes & Gorillas | Classic

Rwanda, a verdant gem in the heart of Africa, has cast aside the tragedy of its recent past and embarked upon a remarkable journey of recovery. Still, few visitors do more than trek into the jungle to spend time with its famed mountain gorillas; but there is much more to explore in this staggeringly beautiful country.

It was while living in Rwanda that our Founder Oli first dreamed up The Slow Cyclist, simply because he loved exploring it on his bike so much. And it is certainly a country best explored by electric bike and on foot; the land of a thousand hills is home to some of Africa’s most beguiling landscapes, from tea plantations to volcanic lakes, fertile plains to the mountains that rise on its border with Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

When to go

All Year

Price from


What's included?

We include almost everything from the moment you touch down in Kigali, so that while you are with us you can relax and enjoy your time in Rwanda. The exceptions are permits to trek to see gorillas which is optional and additional, and cocktails and spirits throughout. 


7 nights

Scheduled Journeys

Private Journeys

Journey Highlights

  • Trek to see Rwanda’s most famous inhabitants, its mountain gorillas
  • Experience remote corners of Rwanda that very few outsiders get to see
  • The smiling local people you will encounter almost every minute of every day
  • End your journey on the shores of Lake Kivu, one of Africa’s Great Lakes, overlooking Congo’s active volcano Mt. Nyiragongo.
  • Extend your stay at one of the country’s growing collection of luxury safari or gorilla trekking lodges.
  • Our customary attention to detail. You will never be better cared for on holiday.
A Rwandan woman walking through fields

The cycling in Rwanda consists mostly of wide red dirt roads, with the company of an occasional bicycle taxi. This is the ‘Land of a Thousand Hills’ so it is important that you have good general fitness and are comfortable riding a bicycle on dirt roads, up and down hills.

Walking routes take us up some steep goat tracks and along mountain ridges for beautiful views. Along the way we visit tea and banana plantations, inspiring community projects, cross volcanic lakes and pedal through villages that barely see any foreign visitors. It’s all utterly magical.

A gorilla in the wild in Rwanda seen by Slow Cyclists.

Volcanoes, Lakes and Gorillas

We designed our cycling adventure into Rwanda’s backcountry to be a 7-night exploration of this extraordinary nation’s history, landscapes and people. Below is the itinerary, although it can easily be offered as a bespoke itinerary tailored to your requirements and timeframes.

Days 1 & 2 - Arrival & day in Kigali

Transfer 30 minutes


The best flights from the UK arrive in Kigali in the early evening. We will meet you and take you to your hotel, Heaven, in the leafy former Belgian quarter. A late dinner will be nearby. The following day will be spent in the capital, first at the Kigali Genocide Memorial, a harrowing but vital experience for any first-time visitor to the country. We’ll then visit the Kinamba Project, a children’s charity we support, and have time to either relax or see a local market. In the evening, we’ll have drinks, dinner and brief you on the adventure ahead.

Day 3 - Kigali to Kinihira

Cycling 50 kms


We set off today from your hotel and pedal to the top of Kigali’s highest peak, Mount Jali. It’s often shrouded in mist, making for an atmospheric start to our journey, with views over the valleys coming into focus around every twist in the road. We’ll have a picnic lunch en-route before a lengthy descent. It’s one final climb up to Sorwathe, one of Rwanda’s famous tea estates and our simple home for the night.

Day 4 - Kinihira to Lake Ruhondo

Cycling 50 or 60 kms


After breakfast we’ll have a chance to see behind the scenes at the tea plantation. Then it’s back in the saddle for a fantastic descent through the tea fields before a steady climb to the shores of the Twin Lakes, Ruhondo and Burera. We’ll stay in a friend’s guest house with extraordinary views over Lake Ruhondo and the volcanoes. If it’s a clear evening we’ll be able to see the smoking, active Nyiragongo in Congo.

Day 5 - Lake Ruhondo to Ruhengeri
Walking 2.5 hours – Cycling 32 kms
After a short boat journey to the north shore of Lake Ruhondo, we’ll walk up to its twin, Burera, before climbing up to Virunga Lodge for lunch. Along the way we’ll pass through villages and visit a vibrant community project. In the afternoon, the landscape changes on a fantastic ride as we head towards Kinigi, pausing at the home of Team Rwanda – the national cycling team – and finally arriving in the frontier town of Ruhengeri. We will spend two nights at La Locanda.
Day 6 - Gorilla trekking
Today is your chance to trek into the jungle to spend time with gorillas. If you do not wish to trek to see gorillas there are other activities available.
Day 7 - Ruhengeri to Rubavu

Cycling 85 kms


Our final destination is Lake Kivu, one of the deepest lakes in the world and a so- called Great Lake of Africa. To get there we will cycle along a chain of volcanoes, through bamboo forests, remote villages and banana plantations before stopping for lunch at the beautifully situated home of the late humanitarian and author Rosamond Carr. From there it’s a thrilling descent and one last climb to reach Kivu, where we will spend the night at Kivu Paradis.

Day 8 - Departure

After a slow morning we will drive you back to Kigali for your onward journey.


There are two ways to travel with us. You can either travel on a set-date Scheduled Journey or put together your own private party.


Scheduled Journeys

A wonderful opportunity to explore a fascinating part of the world, to meet like-minded travellers and make new friends in a group of Slow Cyclists assembled by us.


Private Journeys

If you love the look of Rwanda and would like to experience it in a small group of family or friends, get in touch and we will explain how we can make it happen. 

Upcoming Scheduled Journeys

Volcanoes, Lakes & Gorillas
November 16, 2024
7 Nights
Volcanoes, Lakes & Gorillas
November 27, 2024
7 Nights
Volcanoes, Lakes & Gorillas
January 20, 2025
7 Nights

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