There are 52 caves in the Northern Province with 15.2km of cave passages, most of which are developed from Cenozoic volcanic rocks. The longest cave in Rwanda is called Ubuvumo Bwibihonga, a multi-level system of parallel lava tubes.
The Musanze Cave is 2km long and the most frequently visited. It is on the Innes University grounds and lies in the volcanic region dating back 65 million years, where the lava flows contributed to the Albertine Rift Valley. The cave is part of the lava basaltic layers from the Bisoke and Sabyinyo volcanoes.
The cave has 31 entrances, most being roof collapses. The main cave has an entrance the size of a cathedral and is home to a sizeable bat colony. The collapses create an incredible array of coloured shafts of light shining into the cave.
Musanze Cave has been used as a shelter during wartime for many centuries and was the site of a massacre during the genocide. It continues to hold considerable significance to local people, so visitors are requested to be respectful when exploring.
The site is formally protected and access is limited to guided tours, which last two and a half hours.
The Busasamana Cave is 1 km long and links to a system of several other caves – the Kanzeze, Mudende and Busasamana sectors, which in turn lead to the Mugongo, the Bwezi and the Kabari caves.
Mugongo Cave is ideal for caving and easily located close to Mrs Carr’s property.