Ruhengeri is a town in north-west Rwanda. The city is located in the Northern Province. Ruhengeri is the capital of today's Musanze district. For this reason, the city is also sometimes referred to as " Musanze ".


Ruhengeri is located in the border triangle of Rwanda, Uganda and the DR Congo in the north of the lava plain at the foot of the Virunga Volcanoes. Near the town are the Bulera Lake and the Volcanoes National Park.


As part of the guerrilla war of the Rwandan Patriotic Front Paul Kagame was planning an attack on the city. The goal was the uncertainty of the population as well as a direct attack on the regime for the Ruhengeri a stronghold represented. On 23 January 1991, the RPF took a Ruhengeri, freed a number of political prisoners and captured a large number of weapons and equipment before the evening retreated back into the woods.

Following reports of the massacre, the RPF started an extensive campaign. Right at the beginning of the offensive Ruhengeri was taken before the RPF turned to Kigali.

Politics and economics

Before the local government reform from January 1, 2006 was capital of the province of Ruhengeri Ruhengeri. This was merged with the reform of Byumba Province and parts of the province of Kigali Northern Province. New capital of the province is Byumba. The official name of the city remains Ruhengeri.

Economically important tourism is to the mountain gorillas in the Volcanoes National Park in the Virunga mountains. In Ruhengeri, there are a number of hotels and banks. The industry uses pyrethrum and corn.

The town has a small airport that has an unpaved grass runway.


At the last census in 2002 70.525 inhabitants were counted.