Musanze is located in the Northern Region Rwanda, a 2 hour drive from the capital Kigali and 25 kms to the Ugandan boarder with Rwanda.
There are in total 52 surveyed caves in the province with 15.2 km cave passages.
The longest cave of Rwanda is called “Ubuvumo Bwibihonga” with 4.530 m length.
The commonly visited cave is called Musanze cave which has 31 entrances, most being roof collapses. The cave is 2 km long underneath and the walk through these caves lasts approximately 30 minutes.
Inside the caves are bats, whose noise you hear as you walk through, the air inside the caves is thin. There is protective gear worn before entering the caves from helmets with a light at the front, gloves (because the surface in the caves is slippery) and heavy gumboots
The Musanze caves were formed over centuries of volcanic eruption by lava basaltic layers from Bisoke and Sabinyo volcanoes. The lava flowed down, cooling and leaving large pockets and tibes in the earth, which became the magnificent caves.
The Musanze caves offer an insight and better understanding of the geological history and development of the earth and in particular in this part of Rwanda with its volcanic past They are located in the volcanic region of Rwanda where different lava flow layers dating from 65million years ago have created the Albertine Rift Valley.
It’s widely reported that the caves were the site of a large massacre during the genocide and we were made to understand that the Rwandan government attempted to remove all of the bodies from the complex.
The air inside the caves is ‘thin’ hence wearing the mask and gloves to protect from germs as the walls are slippery and have algae in some parts.
A cave or cavern is a natural underground space large enough for a human to enter. Some people suggest that the term cave should only apply to cavities that have some part that does not receive daylight; however, in popular usage, the term includes smaller spaces