Buhanga is a sacred hill located in the Northern Muhanga District also home to Rwanda’s rare mountain gorillas. For some particular reasons local residents call it Igihondohondo(which means yellow), probably due the colors of its vegetations. The hill played a important role in ancient Rwanda during the coronation of Kings. The lake, in which the king had to bathe in before his coronation, called ‘Iriba rya Gihanga’ can still be found in the forest of the sacred hill. Despite its small size (around 13 hectares) the forest is a site of tremendous ecological importance and astonishing beauty.
It takes on a different dimension depending on the time of day, season of year and weather conditions. Visitors walk beneath the cover of tall majestic trees and are rewarded by the sights of many different birds and beautiful butterflies. Due to its natural beauty and the cultural significance of the area, Rwanda Development Board (RDB) has revealed that it has plans to upgrade the site and turn it into an Eco Park.
According to locals, every Rwandan king, from the first King (Gihanga) to the last one (Kigeli Ndahindurwa), has bathed in the waters of the lake. For hundreds of years, local residents refused to either cultivate crops or to cut timber in the area. For bird-watching lovers, the best time to visit the forest is in the early morning or late afternoon when the birds are at their most active and their songs fills the air.