Spend your holidays in East Africa

Sunday December 22 2019

Christmas tree

Shopping malls have put up lights and Christmas trees to celebrate the season. PHOTO | EVANS HABIL | NMG 

ANDREW I KAZIBWE
By ANDREW I KAZIBWE
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EDGAR BATTE
By EDGAR BATTE
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Rwanda is among the most popular tourist destinations in the region, and there’s much to explore this holiday season.

The modern Kigali city offers the pizazz of hotels and malls, and, in the mountainous Musanze district in Rwanda’s Northern Province, you can trek to see gorillas at Volcanoes National Park.
Musanze also has unique cultural sites like Iby’iwacu Cultural Village and Red Rocks Rwanda.

Gisenyi in Rubavu district in the Southern Province is another getaway, known for its beach life by the shores of Lake Kivu.

A boat trip to Bird Island (Akarwa k’Inyoni), or Peace Island (Akarwa k’Amahoro) is another exciting holiday activity on Lake Kivu.

Canopy Walk

Go on the canopy walk in Nyungwe Forest National park in South western Rwanda and get a bird’s eye view of the thick dark green forest, which is home to a variety of monkey, bird and plant species.

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Learn about the country’s cultural and historical heritage since the colonial era at the ethnographic museum in Huye district in the southern province.
At the King’s Palace Museum in Nyanza district you can see how the royals lived. And then go over to Bisate Lodge in the heart of the Volcano National Park to get a taste of living large. Bisate’s exterior and interior architectural design is inspired by the royal palace.
Candlelit dinner
Nairobi restaurants have special holiday offers of candlelit dinners, Christmas carols and crackers.

At Kenya’s coast, walk along the pristine Diani beach or go swimming and snorkelling in the ocean.

For an adrenaline rush, try jet-skiing and windsurfing at the marine park in Bamburi. A historical dhow excursion with a guide and fishermen would be a great way to spend the holidays. Many beach hotels organise day excursions.

Amboseli, Tsavo East and West make for a perfect holiday safari to catch sight of the big five and other wildlife.

Prized sighting

In Uganda, mountain gorillas are a prized sighting. You can spend an hour hanging out gorillas at Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park or Mgahinga Gorilla National Park. You can also go on a cycling tour around the villages.

Queen Elizabeth National Park is one of the tourism destinations in Uganda where you are sure to see a variety of wild animals, birds and beautiful landscapes while you cruise along the Kazinga Channel which connects two lakes—George and Edward.