Rwanda 2020

In 2020 we will organize our 5th edition of Bike for Africa: after Rwanda/Burundi, Uganda, Senegal/ The Gambia and Cameroon, we are now planning to go mountain biking in the north western provinces of Rwanda

In 2020 we will organize our 5th edition of Bike for Africa: after Rwanda/Burundi, Uganda, Senegal/ The Gambia and Cameroon, we are now planning to go mountain biking in the north western provinces of Rwanda (between 300 and 350 km), alongside lake Kivu, covering parts of the famous Congo Nile trail, cycling through the "Country of the Thousand Hills", a spectacular trail for hikers and bikers.

Bike for Africa 2020 is...

  • a biking event, a fantastic physical challenge, and the best team building ever!
  • another great way to bring the Brussels Airlines teams from all departments together
  • a social project to support sustainable development in the region, with a strong link to our Design Thinking project
  • a unique discovery of the real Africa, far away from the beaten tracks
  • a self-sustaining project at zero company cost


What are the requirements?

Bikers need:

  • a good physical condition, willing to invest time to train on mainly off road conditions; in the Country of Thousand Hills, climbing and descending is a constant given, and some tracks require basic technical biking skills
  • an excellent team spirit – it is not a competition
  • a bike of good quality and in perfect technical condition
  • a lot of respect for local inhabitants and their habitat and keen to learn about their culture

Non-bikers need:

  • a genuine interest and curiosity to learn  and work in an extremely different cultural and social environment – be a patient listener
  • an excellent team spirit (3 teams)
  • willingness to invest some time in preparing this trip (attend a design thinking seminar, acquiring upfront knowledge about projects to support and prepare the local activities)
  • awareness that there will be daily traveling along secondary, mostly dirt roads

We will do our utmost to have both the sustainable development projects team and the bikers team stay over at the same locations every night.


Sustainable development support (for non-bikers)

We have concluded a partnership with ENABEL, the Belgian Cooperation Agency that is already supporting many projects in various African countries. Sustainability is an essential criterion for developing work for populations in need. On the other hand, it is also very important to involve the local population and avoid that work is taken away from the low skilled local workforce. In that respect, ENABEL advised us to avoid performing tasks such as painting work or construction work, but to focus rather on what benefit we can bring, based on the skills of the participants. Concretely it means that we will help local entrepreneurs with our skills and knowledge, more in particular in the area of Design Thinking. In case you are not familiar with the principles of Design Thinking, a workshop will be organized in BRU and CGN and project visits will be prepared upfront. Local support to avoid language barriers will be provided. Colleagues signing up for this program, will be thoroughly briefed  upfront.



The accommodation will be partly hotels/lodges and partly camping. Be prepared for basic comfort (knowing that our experience learns us that these stay-overs are usually what people remember best!) and limited connectivity.



You do not have to be an Olympic athlete to participate, however, a good physical condition and endurance is required. To assess your condition relative to the group, we will organize a number of training sessions, some optional, some highly recommended as your commitment is absolutely necessary: joint trainings are not only fun and great to meet your fellow-bikers, but they give the coaches the chance to support you in your training efforts.

The first joint training session will take place on Sunday 7 July. We meet at 14.00 in Jan Hammeneckerstraat 34 in Wolvertem for a 40-km ride. 


Info Rwanda

The Republic of Rwanda is a country in Central / East Africa and one of the smallest countries on the African mainland. Located a few degrees south of the Equator, Rwanda is bordered by Uganda, Tanzania, Burundi, and RDC.

It is situated in the African Great Lakes region, with numerous lakes throughout the country. The climate is temperate to subtropical, with two rainy seasons and two dry seasons each year. We will be there in the short dry season with occasional rains and reasonable temperatures. Rwanda is at an average height of 1.500m, which makes it cool at night and pleasantly warm during the day.

Rwanda has a presidential system of government, with Paul Kagame as president who took office in 2000. Rwanda is one of only two countries with a female majority in the national parliament.  Social tensions between Hutu and Tutsi population erupted in the 1994 genocide, in which Hutu extremists killed an estimated 500,000 to 1 million Tutsi.  A visit of the Genocide Memorial is programmed.

Rwanda's economy suffered heavily in wake of the 1994 genocide, but has since strengthened. The economy is based mostly on agriculture. Coffee and tea are the major cash crops for export. Tourism is a fast-growing sector and is now the country's leading foreign exchange earner. Rwanda is one of only two countries in which mountain gorillas can be visited safely.






Explore the Programme

  • 29/1: flight SN465 Brussels – Kigali, overnight stay in Mille Collines hotel
  • 30/1: Bustrip KGL to Ruhondo (about 2,5 hours). Afternoon to adapt to heights and enjoy scenery. Short warming up biking trip. Briefing of both bikers and non-bikers. Overnight stay at the Foyer de CharitéTravel to Cyangugu (departure point) and/or intermediate points for non-biker project teams
  • 31/1: First biking day between Ruhaonda and Kinini (about 45 kms). Arrival and first overnight at the African Rising Cycling center. Visit of centre and learn about the Tour of Rwanda success story.
  • 1/2: Second cycling day will be a choice of 2 to 3 loops in the Volcany area, prepared for us by the African Rising Cycling Center (approx. 30 – 40 – 60 kms). Second overnight stay at the Centre.
  • 2/2: Third and longest cycling trip between Kinini and Gisenyi at the Kivu Lake (about 90 kms). The first part of the trip may be a paved road by then, but gives beautiful views of the Volcano area. The last 35 kms are descending, but on dirt road. This is by far the poorest area of the country, in contrast with the high end Gorilla tourism nearby. After a steep 1 km climb in Gisenyi, we will stay overnight at the Kivu Peace Hotel.
  • 3/3: First part of the Congo Nile trail bringing us from Gisenyi to Kinunu. Quite difficult track with steep climbs, but beautiful views, and for about 48 kms. Overnight stay at the Rushel Lodge at Kivu Lake level. About half of the participants will have to overnight in tents (yippie!)
  • 4/2: last cycling trip between Kinunu and Kibuyé, starting with an interesting single track and ending with a 25 kms long paved road to Kibuyé. Total distance is about 55 kms. Last overnight stay at the Home St Jean in Kibuyé with “closing ” ceremony and party.
  • 5/2: After breakfast: bus trip to Kigali (3,5 hours), light lunch at Mille Collines Hotel and visit to Genocide Museum. Free time. Evening light buffet. Departure from KGL to BRU via EBB on SN465 (arriving in Brussels early on the 6th).

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our Participants

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Herman Geysemans
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Thomas Blondiau
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Steven Feytens
Rudy Serneels's picture
Rudy Serneels
Walter Windey's picture
Walter Windey
Bart Neukermans's picture
Bart Neukermans
Jan Derycke's picture
Jan Derycke
Marnix Kuijpers's picture
Marnix Kuijpers
Sven Peeters's picture
Sven Peeters
Thomas Dieu's picture
Thomas Dieu
Bjorn Cornelis's picture
Bjorn Cornelis
Josiane De Neef's picture
Josiane De Neef
Yves Kerremans's picture
Yves Kerremans
Stefan Van Nereaux's picture
Stefan Van Nereaux
Wim Boecxstaens's picture
Wim Boecxstaens
Mike Vanderlinden's picture
Mike Vanderlinden
Uli Van Bruggen's picture
Uli Van Bruggen
Monique Dijk's picture
Monique Dijk
Matthias Lefèvre's picture
Matthias Lefèvre
Herman Carpentier's picture
Herman Carpentier
Kirsti Vrancken's picture
Kirsti Vrancken

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