When You are Done With Gorilla Trekking you Should Come to Red Rocks if you Want to Experience Rwandan Rural Life!
When I visited Red Rocks, the hostel was in their beginnings, just opened and many things were not in place, buildings not finished. But, despite all, it remained among favourite places in Rwanda.
Red Rocks Rwanda is much more than just a hostel near Musanze. It actually grew into cultural centre with many activities connecting travellers with local life in rural environment. It is almost impossible not immerse yourself with village life and the friendliest people you will ever meet.
Location: Red Rocks is a bit out of Musanze, about 8 kilometers away in Nyakinama village. At the time of my visit there was no transfers organised, so I had to hire Moto taxi and the ride costs 1 USD. I have checked wit Red Rocks and now they offer a transport for 5000 Rwandan Francs on request.
Nevertheless, the ride is beautiful, volcano peaks in the distance on the way to hostel! It is good to take Moto taxi driver phone number, as there are not many in the village. The good thing about location is, that Red Rocks is big property, with gardens and fields and many tours will start from Red Rocks.
Cleanliness: Although modest and ascetic, hostel is clean. Shared bathroom inside the main building is cleaned several times daily, depending on the occupancy. Hot water provided, but make sure you turn on the heater. Since the hostel runs on sustainable resources of energy, be ecological and dont waste water or electricity.
Sleep Quality and Rooms: Being a light sleeper, I can confirm this place is tranquil and quiet. Nights are peaceful and all you can hear is nature sounds. Mattresses are african style made of soft foam, so people with back problems might have problems sleeping. However, this is a village and roosters will wake you up quite early.
There are 6 rooms in the main building, 2 rooms with double bed and other are twin rooms. There is also a campsite, you can rent a tent from Red Rocks or bring your own. Not to forget, site is also friendly for campers with overland trucks.
Safety: Personally I felt safe during my stay. In the evening hostel is locked. To lock a room, they use simple padlocks, so in case you are in doubt you can use your own, just bring it with you and make sure you dont lock your self out of the room. No safe to store valuable items. At night there is security guard on night watch, basically a local with a stick. In addition, dog is also on property.
Internet & WiFi: There is wifi available but as activities will keep you busy, you will probably forget about it. Another option is to buy usb key from Airtel Rwanda or MTN, if you use computer or buy a sim card and use cellular data on smart phone. Coverage may be weak at times and connection painfully slow.
Food: There is breakfast included in the nightly price. Its simple and home made. Lunch and dinner are available for additional charge. They cook typical home made Rwandan dishes made from local produce. Lots of vegetables, ugali, rice, eggs, soups and fruits.
Staff: During my visit it was sometimes hard to know who is working for hostel and who is just hanging around.But people are friendly although all of them cant speak English.
Atmosphere: personally I really got some quality rest despite all things I did during my stay. Red Rocks Rwanda is laid back, informal place where there is no hurry or worries. Just a lot of laugh and good times!
Value for money: Depending on the season, prices vary. I paid 15 USD per night in twin room, single occupancy. Prices have increased in the mean time. Renting a tent will now set you back 20 USD, double room 35 USD. It is good to compare prices on their site and Airbnb, might be slightly cheaper to make a booking on Airbnb, at least if you are single traveller. If you are new to airbnb, get 23 USD travel credit here
What to Do in Red Rocks Rwanda
Friendly staff in Red Rocks will make sure you will be involved in various activities offered by members and despite of interest there is something for everybody. From banana beer brewing, to arts and crafts along with daily trips in the area, be it Twin lakes or just hiking around the hills through villages.
Activities Will Keep You Busy in Red Rocks
- banana beer brewing
- basket weaving with local women
- hikes to surrounding area
- learn about beekeeping
- take drumming lessons
- help on the fields and gardens
- arrange a hike to Twin Lakes
To conclude this review, Red Rocks is great place for all those travellers than want to be in contact with local people and experience rural life in Rwanda.