Karongi DBy Martin Bishop

My trip to Kibuye was one of the bumpiest trips I’ve taken in ages. I boarded what seemed like a brand new mini bus from Nyabugogo Park; just a few miles after Giti kinyoni and away from the eagle eyes of traffic officers, our driver, who seemed to be in his early thirties decided to step on it like he was escaping a fast approaching hurricane.
Bethanie Centre
Bethanie Centre

My trip to Kibuye was one of the bumpiest trips I’ve taken in ages. I boarded what seemed like a brand new mini bus from Nyabugogo Park; just a few miles after Giti kinyoni and away from the eagle eyes of traffic officers, our driver, who seemed to be in his early thirties decided to step on it like he was escaping a fast approaching hurricane.

My seat-mate’s stomach didn’t take the move well, she threw up all over my right leg, and in no minute my shoe was baked and cemented in an anthill of vomit. Actually it’s on this journey that I came to realize, you can’t hold your breath for too long. However, I shall spare you the remaining details.

When we reached Kibuye town, my frown quickly turned into a smile. There’s something magical about this town.  Kibuye is a small town in Karongi district, and the capital of the Western Province. It lazily lies on the shoreline of Lake Kivu, about 134 km from Kigali City. The city nestles between Gisenyi and Cyangugu. Ndaba Falls also lie near the town.

 It is known as a beach resort which also happens to be home to a genocide memorial, with 90% of the town’s Tutsi population wiped out in the 1994 Rwandan Genocide against the Tutsi. The town centre comprises of a handful of storey buildings like supermarkets, restaurants and other businesses. Best Western Eco Hotel is the first hotel that welcomes you the moment you step out of the car.

This is a great place to sit and get a glass of juice as you plan the first place to visit. Surprisingly the service is good and their prices are also decent. Local beers costs one thousand francs, Heineken goes for RWF 2500. Roasted chicken with a plate of French fries cost RWF 8000 - same as fish. Their room’s costs RWF 15,000 for a single and RWF 23,000 for a double. However the jewel in the crown is the hotel staff.

Although there isn’t that much excitement in the town, on entering, there is a small roundabout that passes via Saint Peter Catholic Church and Genocide Memorial site. This road leads you to Moriah Hill Resort and Golf Eden Rock Hotel. From town, it’s takes about 20 minutes to get there. Eden is ideally situated on a sandy beach and offers a stunning view of the lake - just like a scene from the ‘Lords of the Ring’ movie.

A few meters from Eden is Bethanie Centre Hotel; this hotel is built on a small hill right in the middle of the water and looks like a Fairy’s palace. It faces what the locals call Ishyamba rya university (university forest). Moria Hill hotel is also a very nice hotel set on the edge of the lake. You can swim; take a boat ride on the lake while you enjoy sunrises and sunsets that are stunning and beautiful - it’s only a stone throw away from Bethanie.

All I can say is that the list of places to go, stay and relax is endless, all depending on your budget and preference. One thing for sure is that no matter where you are staying, there will be ample opportunities to relax and chill out at this beautiful lake shore.

 

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