A new hotel constructed in one of the Lake Kivu peninsulas in Karongi District is poised to boost tourism in the area.
Kivu Safari Lodge located in Gishyita sector on Byerwa Peninsula was constructed at a tune of $1.5 million (approximately Rwf1.2 billion), according to the owner.
Paul Muvunyi, the hotel proprietor said the idea to construct the hotel came after it was realised that the lake shores and especially the peninsula was not exploited while it presented tourism opportunities.
“The peninsula and the shores of Lake Kivu are among the touristic attractions in the country and needed tourism investment; it is enjoyable for tourists to see the mountains, Lake Kivu and sunset among other attractions,” said Muvunyi
He said the hotel would also help improve welfare of people around the hotel offering them jobs while it will also buy the food produce available in the area for the clients.
The hotel has 20 comfortable rooms and other facilities, it was set up in a peninsula with rocks and some of them were turned into facilities such as a swimming pool, tables and chairs which are good for sightseeing.
Muvunyi also said construction of the hotel was not easy given the inaccessibility of the site.
There was no road, this made transportation of building materials difficult.
During the inauguration of the hotel last week, Muvunyi said that with help of locals, a road was constructed and the peninsula is accessible by road while some can also access it through waters.
Local leaders and residents welcomed the hotel saying, it would not only boost tourism in the area but also contribute towards socioeconomic development of the people in the area.
Jeannette Nikuze, one of local casual employees said, “We started seeing benefits of the hotel since its construction works started, I was first employed as a casual labourer during the construction of the hotel but now I work as a cleaner.
‘‘I used to earn less than Rwf800 after tilling neighbours’ land but now I get over Rwf2000 which I use to cater for my family.’’
“The area was once bushy and a threat to us, we used to live in fear of the wild animals that often attacked us. The area was also used by Interahamwe militia to cause insecurity but now that we have a hotel, we have got a road and hopefully clean water and electricity will be available,” said Vincent Usabyimfura an area resident employed by the hotel.
“The place will be secure and tourists will bring in change, we are hopeful that this is a new market as we shall be selling food produce to the management,” he added.
François Ndayisaba, Karongi district mayor said the hotel will contribute much in boosting tourism and offering employment opportunities.
The hotel is the ninth hotel in the district and officials are optimistic that investors will keep investing in the sector given its potential.