My trip and kit list

Rwanda is the size of Wales, though with four times the population. It is known as the Land of a Thousand Hills and while many of the major roads have been built with foreign aid and are of a modern standard, the riding will be tough. I will stay in guesthouses and travel with a small pack, the size of a gym bag, strapped to the frame of my bike. Packing space will be seriously limited but I will find room for my scissors so that I can cut hair as I travel.

Rwanda Road 1

My three week trip will begin in Rwanda’s capital, Kigali. Kigali is in the centre of the country and the roads spider web from it like the spokes of a bike wheel. My first destination will be the base of Team Rwanda Cycling in the district of Musanze, 120km away in the North West of the country. While there, I aim to meet the team and will hopefully get to ride with them.

Rwanda Road 2

My next objective is to hire a mountain bike before setting off on the Congo Nile Trail. The trail navigates the edge of Lake Kivu, which separates Rwanda from the Democratic Republic of Congo. The trail takes around four days to cycle, mainly on dirt tracks. I hope to stay at coffee plantations and visit an orphanage that I have read about. After I have completed the trail I’ll continue on to the South West, where I’ll cycle through Nwungwe National Park; an amazing place to see primates in their natural habitat. I plan to ride to the South of Rwanda where I hope to visit the city of Butare, known as the intellectual capital of Rwanda. This is an out line of my plan but you never know what opportunities, challenges and adventures will be had.

The photo above was taken last year whilst credit card touring solo across the UK. This is the bike I will be taking to Rwanda.

 Kit List


Giant TCR compact carbon fibre frame
Mavic ksyrium wheels (tough as old boots)
SRAM Rival compact group set, 20 gears.
Continental 23mm tyres (it was a toss up with gator skin can be tricky to take off and chose 23mm as 25mm can be tricky getting through brake pads)
SPD pedals
Specialized ladies touring saddle (bit ugly yet comfortable)

Clothes and Shoes

Flip Flops
Specialized SPD shoes
2 x Socks
2 x Pants
1 x Howies merino T-shirt
1 x Vulpine cotton waterproof shorts
1 x Bikini
1 x Sunglasses
1 x Specialized fingerless cycling gloves
1 x Rapha cycling shorts
1 x Rapha merino base layer
1 x Rwandan team cycling jersey
1 x Rwandan team cycling cap
1 x Bell Helmet
1 x Rapha merino zip up hoody

Books and Maps

Bradt for Rwanda
Road cycling map of Rwanda


1 x Small toothbrush
1 x Small toothpaste
1 x Small soap (no shampoo or brush as hair will be short. One soap for clothes and bathing)
1 x Deodorant
1 x Mascara (luxury item)
1 x Razor
1 x Insect repellent
1 x Suntan lotion


Medical kit
Blister plasters
Malaria tablets

Food and Drink

4 x emergency energy bars (but there’s always plenty of road food)
2 x drink bottles (there’s bottled water to buy on road side so no purifier)

Spare and Tools

2 x spare inner tubes (on frame)
LBK puncture repair kit
1 x multi tool
Spare chain links
Spare nuts, bolts and screws
Chain lube (small bottle)
2 x Tyre lever
5 x Zip ties (can fix anything)
Lezyne pump (on frame)
2 x tyres
3 x tyre boot patch (home made from toothpaste tube)


Camping towel
Duck tape (wrapped around seat post)
Bungee cord
Bell (ding ding)
2 x Lezyne bike light (charges from USB)
Small cable lock (as a deterrent)
IPhone 4s and charger
IPhone cover charger
Haircutting scissor’s and comb


2 x Rapha fabric bag (plastic bags are banned in Rwanda)
Handlebar pannier by Ortlieb (max weight 3kg)
Seat post pannier by Bridge Street (max weight 5kg)


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