The Congo Nile trail is used for both hiking and biking: the hiking trail has 181.9 km and can be completed in 10 days, while the biking trail has 248.2 km and can be completed within 6 days. Most visitors to the Congo Nile Trail hike or bike only a few stages instead of challenging themselves to complete the entire trail.
In addition to the guiding and accommodation services, hikers and bikers need additional services like refreshment drinks, lunch, massage, bike mechanics and washing services. These services are currently not found on the Congo Nile Trail. This gap in tourism service delivery has been noted by different users of the Congo Nile Trail, including tourists and tour guides as well as different experts. Extra services do not only contribute to the satisfaction of the tourists visiting the Congo Nile Trail but also economically contribute to the welfare of the local communities through job creation and additional income generation opportunities.
GIZ in cooperation with the Kivu Belt DMU and the Chamber of Tourism are currently conducting a project to identify and develop business opportunities for tourism ancillary services along the Congo Nile trail that can satisfy or even go beyond the needs of the trail users (specially hikers and bikers) and at the same time benefit local communities.
The project includes developing the following services: Refreshments along the trail, bike mechanics and repair areas, Hikers and Bikers’ friendly accommodation, development of homestay accommodation. The project will start in mid- 2021 with field visits in order to identify business opportunities.
The Kivu Belt DMU is a coalition of private and public tourism related actors working towards a common goal of developing the Kivu Belt as a sustainable adventure and eco-tourism destination.
The main objective is economic development and job creation in the Kivu Belt through sustainable development of tourism
The Kivu Belt is a part of Rwanda’s Chamber of Tourism