Skip to content Skip to sidebar Skip to footer

6 Great Places For Trail Running In Rwanda

Looking for where to run in Rwanda? Have a safari in the Land of a Thousand Hills, and want to throw on the sneakers for a quick trail run?

Rwanda is a beautiful country with amazing scenery and wildlife. Though it is a bit more on the undiscovered side as far as trail running goes, it has all the making of the perfect destination for a trail runner ready for an experience they will never forget. 

Plus, you don’t call a country the Land of a Thousand Hills without feeling the calf burn!

A bit more about Rwanda: it is a tropical country located in the eastern part of Africa. It has amazing down-to-earth folks who interact greatly with tourists and foreigners. Known internationally for its complicated history, the country has taken great strides toward peace over the last nearly 3 decades, and it it a must-visit spot for nature lovers – and trail runners!

Today, we’re breaking down some of the awesome running qualities of Rwanda.

Where To Run In Rwanda

Lake Kivu, Rwanda

Congo Nile Trail Rwanda

The Congo Nile Trail is a beautiful remote trail in the central part of Rwanda. 

Running the Congo Nile Trail is not as established as hiking or biking (yet!), but it’s a must-try. The trail runs along the shores of the breathtaking Lake Kivu. If you like exploring remote villages and love the peace of the beautiful countryside, this is a location you would want to visit. Although they initially developed the trail for biking and hikers, you can still use it for trail running. The experience is guaranteed to be very memorable and one that you will never forget.

Musanze

This is a village located in the Musanze district in the northern province of Rwanda. It has a population of about 86,000. 

For tourists of any kind, it’s a great spot to spend a few days. Nearby features include volcanoes, windsurfing, paddle boating, Turkish baths, skydiving, scuba diving, fishing, and more – including athletic tourist sports and recreational activities. 

Musanze is known for its amazing trails, especially those that are good for cyclists and hikers.  

Our favorite is the Bisoke Mountain Hike, which features two steep but runnable trails.

Rwamagana

This is located in the Rwamagana District Muhazi in the eastern province. It has a population of 47,000 inhabitants. 

You’ll find Rwamagana in the eastern provincial capital of Rwanda, with a size of 87 square kilometers. If you are a person who does not like big cities with a high population, this is the city for you. The cost of hotels in this city is fairly cheap in comparison to its counterparts. 

Also, you can get a chance to explore all the trails in this beautiful city. It has vast ranches, farms, and bike trails. The trails are breathtaking and amazing. It will be the best experience for you if you are a trail runner; it will also give you time to unwind and enjoy nature. We can say it is therapeutic. Most of the landscape in Rwanda is still underdeveloped, so the trails are peaceful and nature-oriented.

Cyangugu

It is a village in the Rusizi district of the western province of Rwanda, also known as Shangugu or Siangugu. It is a popular destination for wakeboarding, shooting ranges, windsurfing, jet skiing, water skiing, beaches, and lakes. 

It has amazing off-road trails that are good for running; you should come here with your troop or trail running buddies to explore this undiscovered trail running spot in Rwanda. 

It is also great for water lovers since you can get to run on the breathtaking beaches of this amazing location.

Gisenyi

It is a district located in the western province of Rwanda, also called Colline Gisenyi, and has a population of about 83,000 citizens. You can enjoy water skiing, jet skiing, and paddle boarding. It also has various scenic routes, nature reserves, and secret gardens, which are great for trail runners. 

Kibuye

Its location is in the western province of the Karongi district, Bwishyura. It is also commonly referred to by the locals as Kibbe or Kibuje. Its population is well over 48,000 inhabitants. 

During your stay there, you can enjoy water skiing, jet skiing, and windsurfing, among other water sports. It also features most of the remaining castles in Rwanda. The excellent beaches are great for trail running. It also has various nature trails you can check out while visiting. These trails are great for trail running, hiking, and even cycling. It also features some amazing national parks with vast wildlife, great natural scenery, and trail running in a national reserve with the animals is a memorable experience you would want to check off your bucket list.

Running Races In Rwanda

Rwanda is becoming more well-known as a destination for running races and trail running events. 

International Peace Marathon Kigali

This is an annual marathon that is road based that is held in Kigali, the capital of Rwanda, and attracts athletes from all over the world. 

The race has been going on since 2005. It features 42km (full marathon), 21km (half), and 10km courses.

Ironman 70.3 Rwanda

It is also referred to as half ironman, a long-distance triathlon race organized by the World Triathlon Corporation. The number 70.3 symbolizes the number of miles covered in this race. In August 2022, the Rwanda Ironman took place in Rubavu. It included a swim along the shores of Lake Kivu, a cycle, and then the final run along the shoreline.

Running Destinations In Rwanda

If you’re looking for a trail running destination that has all the ingredients – great weather, altitude, mountains, beaches, and world-class touristic activities – consider running in Rwanda.

Plus, it’s one of the few countries in the world where you could combine a trail running adventure with mountain gorilla tracking (one of the others is Uganda!).

Rwanda is among the most beautiful countries to visit in eastern Africa for running, alongside Kenya and Tanzania. It is one of the countries with the majority of lakes, which is why it features a lot of water sports for tourists, such as waterboarding, windsurfing, jet skiing, etc. 

Still, most of the original trails were meant for hiking or bike riding. This means you’ll be among the first groups of runners, and you can share your passion with local organizers about how to shape the trails for people like you. 

While Rwanda is still developing as a running destination, the future is looking bright for this country.

Looking for other running holidays around the world? Check out our list of run holidays by country!

Leave a Comment

Get Run Inspiration In Your Inbox

Motivate your training with Run Far, Travel Farther, our monthly update featuring just-announced run adventures, guides to the best destinations all around the world, and more.