What You Need to Know Before Visiting Ibere rya Bigogwe Campsite
Rwandan tourism has been developing and beautiful places have been discovered thus far. The beautiful Bigogwe Campsite hasn't been left behind as Ngabo Karegeya has been sharing about farming, hiking and milking experiences on Twitter that leave everyone dreaming of when they will visit the place and see the greenery in person. Bigogwe sector is located in Nyabihu district, Western province of Rwanda. On 8th October 2022, I marked this beautiful place
off my bucket list and I couldn’t wait to share with you the things you should know before visiting the place, let’s go!
Location and weather
Bigogwe is located in Nyabihu and it takes around 3 hours by private car from Kigali. This particular campsite is not very close to the main road. You have to get off the main road and down the trail. This gives you a feeling of freedom which comes from absorbing the green mountainous farms for a while. The weather is cool even though it keeps changing. One minute it is sunny and the next moment it is foggy. However, both are beautiful because the beauty of that place doesn’t depend on the weather.
So far, the campsite is not well developed and it will take time to be. The roads are still under construction and the campsite facilities are not enough but this shouldn’t stop you from going. The basics are available apart from electricity and the goal is to starve our excuses and just hit the road, it will be worth it.
What to carry
The list might be long but here is a checklist that has some of the things you need to know and maybe buy before you go camping at Bigogwe campsite. I like separating it into 4 parts as follows.
- Camping gear; Tent, sleeping bag, sleeping mat and camping tarp.
- Torch lights
- Warm jacket
- Power bank
- Waterproof bag (because it can get really cold and everything in your bag will be affected.)
- Extra clothes to change into (pants, sweaters, shorts, underwear)
- Hat or cape
- Hiking shoes or sports shoes (You will walk to your campsite, there is no way not to)
- Toothbrush and toothpaste
- Feminine products
- Toilet paper
- Drinking water, juice, and drinks of your choice (pov; Don’t pack milk! There is enough of it in the farms)
- Snacks ( Biscuits, bread, samosas, bananas) There is no restaurant close by the campsite so it is ideal to buy it from Kigali, Musanze or Rubavu depending on where you are coming from.
Activities to do in Bigogwe farms
- Nature walk; Walk slow and allow yourself to breathe. Walking isn’t just an exercise, it is calm and relaxing. Mostly when you are present in the experience, listening to every sound, looking at every hill in the farmland and admiring the cows all around you and sometimes walking on the same trail as yourself.
- Eat local food and drink milk; The best way to experience Bigogwe is by eating their farm-to-plate food. This includes pumpkins, sweet potatoes, cassava, beans etc, and drinking milk.
- Hike Ibere rya Bigogwe if you have enough time. It is well known in that area and the view up there is amazing.
- Cow experience; Watch cows grazing, take them to drink water as you watch cowboys sing and whistle to the cows, learn the milking activity and try the fresh milk in Rwandan traditional wooden cans known as “icyansi”.
- Play cowboy games; The guide will teach you and help you to have this fun play that is friendly and historical.
Throughout these activities, storytelling will be taking part and I can’t emphasize enough, this beauty.
My own experience last weekend was nothing short of amazing. I went with my friends and we did everything together as a team which provided us with a great experience. Shared joy is double joy and shared sorrow is half sorrow, it is a benefit of going with friends. Our first stopover was SINA Rwanda to buy snacks, then Inshuti Arts for some nice art and leg stretching and finally Bigogwe to meet our guide.
One of the challenges we encountered was the halfway constructed road, it threw to us some real trouble but facing it with eight heads was the way and we came back safely with our car. Of course, we had to fix some things along the way but it was nothing compared to the great moments we had.
We ate lots of different food and drinks; luckily we didn’t have stomach issues. We sang and danced almost the whole night, we played games and did all activities together.
I hope by reading this, you are inspired, but also, that you would know where to start, what to carry and what to expect should you decide to visit. The adventure awaits.