Camping is not something people do very often. I finally decided it was time to get it off my bucket-list and try it out. So I caught the first bus to Musanze. Musanze is a two hour trip and along the way, I imagined what it would be like as I did not know what to expect. I thought about sleeping in a tent as opposed to a concrete house and wondered how safe it would be.
For those who don't know: Red Rocks Initiative for sustainable development Organization is an African non-profit organization that supports sustainable development in Africa countries, especially in Virunga massive and Albertan rift valley by engaging in sustainable tourism and community-driven environmental conservation initiatives that are meant to benefit local communities in Africa.
I got to Musanze a little after 3pm. I was then directed to Red Rocks Campsite in Nyakinama which is only 15 minutes away if you are using a moto.
PHOTO: Some of the beautiful tents at Red Rocks in Nyakinama, Musanze District.
I found my tent; it was well made and had everything I needed. At around 9pm, a camp fire was lit and different people came to share drinks, dance and tell all kinds of stories. With alcohol at a price of Rwf 500, it’s safe to say some people drink themselves silly as they sit around the fire.
The dancing and drinking went on until 2am and people did not show signs of slowing down. The night got colder.
PHOTO: At Red Rocks, you will find manyvRwandan cultural activities to enjoy.
By the end of the night, everyone was safely tucked into their tents, sound asleep. Luckily it didn’t rain. The next day was quite sunny. We used the little trees to set up a hammock and watch the sky with a beautiful view of the five volcanic mountains - Karisimbi, Bisoke, Muhabura, Gahinga and Sabyinyo.
PHOTO: Visitors at Red Rocks relax before a bonfire.
Beverages are at the usual prices in restaurants and if you come with your own tent then its $6 per night, $9 if you have to use their tent, $8 for lunch and dinner and $4 for breakfast. This is actually much cheaper than staying in any guest house or hotel.
PHOTO: Some of the very comfortable camping tents at Red Rocks in Musanze District.
The age limit is also paramount; the minimum age allowed is 18 years so it isn’t a vacation for children and it is open from Monday to Sunday. In other words, any day is a camping day.
If you would like to try it out, keep the weather in mind. During this wet season, all you can pray for is a clear night as heavy rain can easily carry your tent away. It would be best to try this out in the dry season. But it is an experience you do not want to miss.
PHOTO: There is also an amazing art gallery at the camping site
PHOTO: Tourists can also get art lessons at Red Rocks initiative.
PHOTO: Pottery is one of the activities tourists and the community do at Red Rocks.
PHOTO: At Red Rcks, there's a botanical Garden where tourists can pick flowers and fruits.
PHOTO: Tourists at Red Rocks learn how to make Rwandan Traditional crafts.
PHOTO: The community around Red Rocks in Nyakinama also takes part in environmental conservation activities like plating trees.