The beauty that is Amahoro Island

Amahoro means peace and the atmosphere on the island is peaceful. It is an ideal place for those who seek to reclaim their lost peace of mind.
Amahoro Island is found on the northern tip of Lake Kivu. / Net photo

Years ago, my screensaver was a beautiful image of Amahoro Island. I used to admire that image every day until it stuck on my mind and conquered my heart.

Sadly, I had no idea where that gorgeous island was and how I could find it. I had been to the northern tip of Lake Kivu several times before but I wasn’t aware of the existence of such an island in the said lake.

Coincidentally, the first island I visited in this lake happened to be Amahoro. The same island whose image I used to see first thing in the morning. The same island I used to admire every day without a slight idea of its whereabouts.

According to a surveyor commissioned by Rwanda Environmental Management Authority (REMA) whose report was made public in 2012, there are 250 islands in Lake Kivu, 56 of them found on the Rwandan side of the lake.

It seems like I have a lot of exploration to do.

I wasn’t responsible for the choice of my screensaver. It was installed by the previous user of my computer. When I adopted the machine, I loved

the picture and decided to keep it.

I didn’t choose my first destination in the Kivu archipelago either. When I visited Karongi for the first time and decided to tour one island, the boat operator recommended Amahoro and I had no objection.

As we sailed towards the island and got closer and closer, our destination looked more and more familiar. It was my first time there but I had seen this picturesque island on my screen countless times before.

It took me a while to connect my old screensaver to the reality.

When I finally did, my dream came true.

Upon arrival, I spotted broken kitchen appliances, fallen roofs and  rotting volleyball nets.

The three-hectare piece of land whose image had kidnapped my heart for a long time looked abandoned.

According to the boatman, there used to be a bar on the island but it was closed down and eventually demolished.

The surface of the island is covered by eucalyptus trees, savannah grass and mixed riparian forest vegetation. There is a sandy beach area as well. Logs sculptured to form unique chairs and tables are placed on the sand.

Amahoro means peace and the atmosphere on the island is peaceful. It is an ideal place for those who seek to reclaim their lost peace of mind.

Dr. Diana Perdue, founder of Rimwe Educational Resources and an avid traveller described Amahoro Island as a little slice of heaven. It arouses dreams of paradise.

I took a walk around the island and encountered a slew of birds and one little monkey who wasn’t bothered by my presence. On the shore, trees lean 45 degrees towards the lake.

Some branches bend as low as the level of the gentle waves. During sunset, blue water turns indigo as the sky glows. Watching the sun drop into the lake is a spectacle you would want to witness one day.

The author is an adventurer on a mission to discover what Rwanda has to offer. Follow his awe-inspiring journey on the Sunday Times and exposure.rw

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