• Event to cost $1m
Rwanda will for the first time host the annual Tandem Rally, to be held under the theme ‘Mamba Quest’, a new event on the Rwanda tourism calendar whose overall budget amounts to $1m (Approx Rwf550m).
This was revealed yesterday by the Deputy CEO of Rwanda Development Board (RDB) in charge of Tourism and Conservation Rosette Rugamba during a press briefing.
The event is a mountain bicycle rally where two people ride one bicycle with two pedals.
Absolute Blue, an international event management company with braches in Brussels, Luxembourg, Valencia and Milan in Europe is the brains behind the sport.
According to Rugamba, the rally which is scheduled to take place from January 30 to February 7, 2010, will help diversify the Rwanda tourism product base in a period when many countries are having problems within their tourism industries.
“Due to the world economic situation, many countries are facing a down-turn in their tourism industry. This is going to be an opportunity for Rwandans to enjoy the tourist’s influx into the country because the tandem rally attracts many people around the world,” she said.
The event which will attract over 200 participants is expected to bring into the country more tourists as spectators.
Rugamba also revealed that Rwanda was chosen for the launching of the ‘Mamba Quest’ tandem rally due to its varied terrain, beautiful scenery and temperate climate.
“The sport has come in as one of the country’s adventure tourism which has already been featuring Mountain cycling, Birding, Mountain climbing, Walking and cycling tours, Canoeing, motor rallying and Hiking,” she further noted.
According to Oscar Karekezi, the sports department manager of Absolute Blue, the 2010 event will take in much of what Rwanda has to offer.
Karekezi said that the rally route will be as follows; Kigali – Gitarama, Gitarama – Gikongoro, Gikongoro – Kagano, Kagano – Kibuye, Kibuye – Gisenyi, Gisenyi – Ruhengeri, Ruhengeri – Byumba, Byumba – Kigali. The race will end in Kigali and will cover over 700 km’s.
Addressing Journalists, the president of the Rwanda Cycling Federation, Aimable Bayingana, said that the rally will give a chance to many cyclists in the national team to participate as hosts of the event.
He added that it is also an opportunity for wooing more Rwandans into loving the sport due to the big numbers that will come into the country to participate and called upon the public and the press to embrace the new opportunity.