Makwaza Hill

Makwaza Hill is not just an ordinary Hill as it sounds but rather an important tourist site that holds the rich history of Rwanda just you have to add it on your itinerary to explore and learn more about the rich cultures of the people of this country.

Makwaza is a small Hill of a few hundred meters situated within Gisagara district, within the Southern Province of Rwanda. The site holds a lot of history and value thus one of the reasons why locals who inhabit the area around it are said to have requested the Government to offer support in renovating the place so as to be more attractive for tourists to continue visiting and exploring it.  The Hill is surrounded by pine, eucalyptus and herbages, and also sits a few meters from the Rwanda-Burundi border within the remote Mukindo sector.

Makwaza Hill is known for the fact that it is the place where cultural events were held during the reign of King Ndahiro II Cyamatare. Additionally, according to local legends, this site is said to have saved the life of King Ruganzu Ndoli (ruled Rwanda in the 1600s), who was at the time being pursued after he launched a raid against a local Chief Nyaruzi rwa Haramanga, thus defeating him and finally murdering him. There is an all-grass-thatched old house erected on top of the Hill and according to the locals, the hut was used for royal rituals at the time of the Monarchy.

Before the 1994 Rwanda genocide, Makwaza Hill used to be an important tourist site thus different infrastructures (inform of a Campsite and bar) were set up to host the visitors who explored the site but were eventually destroyed during the Genocide thus the ruins after the genocide can still be seen at the Hill.

There are several efforts to attract private investors to encourage them develop the site much as have not yet yielded positive results. Makwaza Hill is therefore one of the main attractions within the district. If this spectacular site is developed into a tourist site, it is expected to improve local development in the area but besides this attraction, Gisagara district has other beautiful sites that have the potential of attracting tourists to the area and these include “Save Catholic Church that became the first Church to be set up in Rwanda in 1900, Rwabisemanyi fish ponds that are perfect spot for nature lovers but most importantly offers a phenomenal view of the numerous surrounding rolling hills.

There are also hills such as Gisagara Hill-a small Hill of a hundred meters and is heavily covered by pine and eucalyptus trees as well as herbages and is found on the Rwanda-Burundi border within the rural Mukindo sector of the same district. This beautiful Hill lies within a swamp that is a few meters from Akanyaru River that serves as a natural border between Rwanda and Burundi.

When heading to the Site from the famous Huye district, small roadside signposts show the way and the distance you have to cover to reach the Hill. Important information about this Hill that is important for first time visitors is always offered by some elders living around the Hill.