It is said in our country in an enigma that you can’t know the importance of the thing you have like someone who doesn’t have it (“Uwambaye ikirezi ntamenya ko cyera”); so that’s what I realized when I was on a trip with my last year promotion friends of the high school.
It was the end of the year in Autumn after passing the national examination, to take a holiday we contributed and planned a trip to Lake Kivu together so that we would all have a non-forgettable moment
Lake Kivu is one of the most exciting and yet relaxing activities in Rwanda. There, there is a setup operation and has amassed a team of kayaks that are waiting for you to take them for a spin. You paddle at a relaxed pace to find peace and quiet with stunning scenery, or go fast and venture a little further out into the lake to discover a true adventure for a weekend.
Most mornings in Gisenyi are calm and sunny, with spectacular views over the blue waters of Lake Kivu. Unfortunately for us, we went in the rainy season so it was a little damp as we set out. But after some breakfast pancakes and a little bit of patience and wisdom from our cheerful guide Francis; the rain passed by.
As the clouds cleared and the sun came out, we realized how beautiful it was looking across the lake and back to shore from afar. We took a short break to see and experience the hot springs bubbling on the edge of the lake.
As the day went on, the breeze began to pick up and the lake started to get a little choppy. We laid out a picnic rug and we refueled with some beautiful salads that Kingfisher Journeys had arranged for us from Gisenyi’s Calafia Café.
After lunch, this being the wet season, we could see some more clouds gathering so Francis suggested it would be best to start the paddle back to Paradis Malahide, where there were surely some cold beers waiting for us (and a stash of cheese we brought from town).
So we paddled back, so by the time we reached Paradise Malahide I had a sense of unknown accomplishment from paddling for 3½ hours. I’m sure others will enjoy longer trips. I’m told that, if you’re up for it, you can spend up to six or seven hours on the water – really!
Overall, our kayaking trip was a lot of fun and it was a wonderful way to spend a day. Maybe it was just me, but we were a little exhausted at the end and it was totally worth it! These kayaking tours are a very welcome addition to Rwanda’s tourism offerings and I’d totally recommend you give them a try the next time you’re at the lake.
It was really is an awesome day out and a wonderful way to experience Lake Kivu at water level!
Author: Rosine Uwamahoro, 23