The holiday festivities are upon us and, everywhere you look, people are up to a frenzy. Everybody is trying to get from somewhere to somewhere, or to purchase this and that. As Moses Opobo writes, we all seem to have set aside a little something to spend on our faviourite indulgence.
If you are the type that likes to spend the festivities getting a sample of Rwanda’s various culinary and holiday attractions, you won’t go out of choices this time. It is holiday season and many people are playing host to visitors and close family friends. If you happen to get such a visiting delegation from the US or Europe, why not surprise them with a treat to the Mexican delcicacy, Burrito, a popular treat with anybody that has been to North America? What pulls crowds to this Mexican Burrito Bar is the traditional northern Mexican delicacy, Burrito. It is made up of a flour tortilla filled with beef, chicken, or pork.
You could choose to go Oriental, and highly recommended are Zen and Sakae restaurants, all in the leafy Nyarutarama locale. Sakae tends more towards Japanese and Korean gourmet food, while Zen is into more of Thai dishes. So, tempura, sushi, beef, chicken, marinated octopus, plus lots of salda…that kind of thing.
lAKE kIVU Serena HOTEL
If you want more of adventure and travel this festive season, Lake Kivu Serena Hotel will come in handy. It is set upon the shores of Lake Kivu and is surrounded by beautiful tropical gardens with that conducive environment for any one who wishes to spend a peaceful holiday away from noise and city hustle and bustle. Any form of interference. What’s more, it’s very close to the popular Volcanoes National Park, home to the famed Mountain Gorillas.
They have spacious and luxurious rooms, both executive and family, all with an African art deco theme. The rooms come with amenities like a coffee/tea maker, TV, phone, and a standby porter. They have 6 suites with king size beds, bathtubs and showers in the bathrooms, spacious enough with a private sitting room and verandah where you can clearly see the lake. The 66 standard rooms have got the queen size beds and luxurious bathrooms and therefore all rooms are very comfortable, kept clean by the ever vigilant staff. Lots of family-oriented activities await you while here: swimming, volley ball, tennis, fishing, you name it.
Red Rocks Backpacker’s Campsite
You could be looking for that exclusive Rwanda feel; that mystical touch with the country’s famed thousand hills. The Red Rocks Backpacker’s Campsite up north in Musanze, Northern Province comes as the most natural option.
At Red Rocks, one will leave with many things; a basic understanding of the art of nature conservation; they will appreciate the fact that beauty is the work of the heart, hands and mind. You will see, smell, learn, feel and engage in something new everyday while here.
The silence here is eerie and thick. It is loud. It is just what the doctor recommended for that perfect December leave. There is no radio, TV, internet hot spot or freezer. Drinks are chilled in water and sand.
There are no waiters baying for customers; just staff. They are like friends guiding you to a successful stay at Red Rocks.
The one with whom you get along best will be your guide. Apart from mountain hiking and gorilla tracking, you can melt into the local community to experience the country’s culture, sights, sounds and customs first hand.
Red Rocks is located in the extremely remote Nyakinama village, a good 7 km outside of Musanze town in the Northern Province. It sits on a magnificent and rugged, crater-like valley that is completely cordoned off by gently cascading hills.
Hotel La Palisse Gashora
Another good place to enjoy December peace is the Hotel La Palisse Gashora in the Gashora sector of Bugesera district. This is a place in the middle of nowhere really. It is not a walking distance to any other place of interest. Its setting is grand and park-like; the ever deafening silence only interrupted by the chirping of birds.
The expanse of lawns and recreational fields at La Palisse Gashora leaves a permanent melancholic feeling on the first-time visitor. It is the ultimate place to relapse into a seat, relax, unwind, perhaps meditate by the beautiful lake view, read a book or simply be with your self.
They have dorm-style accommodation with modern facilities fitted inside; hot water, roomy and comfortable beds with functioning mosquito nets, landline phone, television and internet hotspot. The plumbing is near-perfect. The dorms go for $60.
They do have a swimming pool (one of the cleanest in the country) that is well chlorinated and tended by a professional life guard. As a requirement, everyone must wash themselves with soap before taking a plunge. One can try aerobics at the sports centre, which also has a fully fledged gym. In addition, the lawns also house a full-size football field and designated children’s play area.
If all you want is intimacy over a sumptuous buffet, Scola Hotel in Kacyiru prides itself in just that. Scola also prides itself in owning its clientele and giving them that exclusive touch so synonymous with small suburban hotels. Scola is cozy and warm and homely. People come here mainly for the buffet, which goes for Rwf2,500. It is a limited menu buffet that however manages to combine English and local; (French fries, chicken curry, fish fillet, beef), and (pumpkin, cassava, irish and sweet potatoes) respectively.
Scola Hotel has an in-house bar that maintains a homely and restaurant-like feel to it; which is good for you who is visiting with the little ones.
The bar has an extension in the gardens that usually turns into an event venue over the weekends (highly recommended for family picnics).
The hotel offers accommodation that is tailored to the business traveler, tourist or that person in need of an apartment for short stay.