Busy shores of Lake Kivu

Monday January 21 2019


A boat riding exercise across lake Kivu in Rubavu. PHOTO | ANDREW I. KAZIBWE  

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Away from hustles and bustles of Kigai, Rubavu is a place to be for a serene environment and hospitality.

Lake Kivu and Virunga mountains are at the centre of tourist attraction to travellers looking for a place to cool their heels after hard work or simply a holiday destination It borders northern shores of Lake Kivu, making it a suitable place for spectacular views of the mountains, Lake Kivu and neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo.

A three-hour drive from Kigali, on the way to Gisenyi, Rubavu town first strikes you with its tidy roads, and the serenity ushers in a holiday mood.

And as the weekend draws near, with many fantasising of an adventure, Rubavu’s beach life crowns Rwanda’s hospitality.

Right from a glass of wine or a cup of coffee by the beach restaurant, while being entertained by the breathtaking view of Lake Kivu is a worthwhile experience.

Along Lake Kivu lie a string of beach resorts — Tam Tam Beach Resort, Inzozi Beach hotel, Lake Kivu Serena Hotel and Palm Beach Resort — all in the business of offering comfort to their guests.

On offer on the menu are rice, beef, brochettes, steak, fries and Isambaza, a typical Rwandan fish species, which could be served alongside Ugali, or any desired food. These cost between Rwf2,000 and Rwf20,000.

Mostly from Fridays, then throughout the weekend beach life ushers in a great deal for both domestic and foreign tourists. There are conversations in Lingala conversations, and indication that Congolese from across the border are among the tourists.

The boat ridding experience is popular and tourists can be seen queuing.

Ride costs

A group ride costs Rwf20,000 while a metallic motor boat ride is charged between rwf100,000 and Rwf200,000. The ride can go as far as the methane extraction project, which is actively ongoing on Lake Kivu. While enjoying the boat ride, one is not only carried away by sea breeze, but the clear view of the waters too and the nearby thick forest in DRC.

Swimming is another fun across the beaches. More fun, especially for professional swimmers, while learners are accompanied by standby instructors, but at a fee, but a costly fee.

Night life by the lake shores coupled by meals and drinks. From 6pm, when the lake is restricted from boat rides, the restaurant and shore ushers in people to enjoy first food and drink orders, while they marvel at the silent dark waters and the breeze.

Also unique is the tight security deployed by the bar proprietors, which specifically attends to those sited by the lake shores. For accommodation, the right from the beach, are several hotels and lodges of prices from as low as Rwf5,000 to Rwf160,000.