My trip to Gisenyi

The students cool off in Lake Kivu during the trip. Courtesy.

Class study is important, but fieldwork also has many pros. I was happy to visit different places in Rwanda with my classmates during a geography fieldwork. I particularly liked our trip to Gisenyi, a town in Rubavu District.

On our way, we bought snacks and drinks for the journey when we got to Nyirangarama.

We explored many things; the lakeshore and the fishing boats, and, we interacted with the locals. I realised that my country Rwanda is blessed immensely with natural beauty.  

Lake Kivu is one of the African Great Lakes. It lies on the border between the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Rwanda. It empties into the Ruzizi River which flows southwards into Lake Tanganyika.

It was interesting; we enjoyed the view of the lake. Our teachers told us that the water is dangerous because it contains methane gas and so no one was allowed to swim. We did, however, take pictures.

It was my first time to see something like this since we had only studied about it in class.

We visited Gasumo rock, and saw Mukinga River. It was the first time many of us saw a waterfall that was formed due to hard rocks. The place was a slope. It was a little frightening.  When we got to the bottom of the slope, and our geography teachers, assisted by a few residents, told us many things about the place, for example, how different rivers form namely through faulting, meandering and etcetera, and we were very intrigued. 

Later, we went to see the tea plantations. As we were taught before, Rwanda produces the best quality tea in Africa. We were excited to see where the tea was grown and processed.

We were educated on the economic importance of tea plantations in Rwanda. We were enlightened on how tea is planted, pruned of unwanted branches, harvested and the appropriate period for proper harvesting.

We saw the hot springs, the amazing boiling waters ejecting a conspicuous cloud of steam.

Our teachers told us that the heat of the water emanates from hot magma underground.

We also discovered that the hot water is used to massage people with muscle problems. To our surprise, the hot springs are always hot, even in the rainy season. We all felt the water, and it was very hot.

I had always heard about the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) but never had I seen it up-close, which we did when we got to its border with Rwanda.

I was excited to see a mountain in the shape of a woman’s breast that was christened, Ibere rya bigogwe.

We then enjoyed lunch at a nearby restaurant that offered Irish potatoes, meat, vegetables and fresh beans.

It was one of my best trips. I hope you all get the chance to visit these beautiful places in Rwanda.

The writer is an aspiring writer at Lycée de Kigali in S3.