This is a fitness blog but nonetheless we will use it as a place for our posts about our trips abroad. Bear with me: I will make a separate blog for this but the connection here in Rwanda is horrible so that’ll have to wait. This is the first post about our trip to Rwanda in East Africa. More may follow but Nana and I haven’t decided yet.
A couple of days ago we decided to pay Lake Kiwu a visit and instead of visiting Gisenyi as a lot of people do, we travelled to Kibuye. Kibuye is a very small town. I mean: VERY small. It consists of a main street where there’s a market (which we didn’t visit as Nana is not very fond of markets) and a lot of hotels and lodges. Once you decide to visit these hotels or lodges you go down a one way street (which serves as the main street with most of the aforementioned hotels and lodges) so remember – no turning back.
What to do?
In spite of several hotels and lodges at and around Lake Kiwu there’s actually very little to do besides eating and drinking (and the food varies in quality). You can go on the mandatory boat trip on Lake Kiwu and some resorts offers both kayaks and canoes but we missed out on the latter part due to Moriah Hill’s broken kayaks? Oh well. We went on a boat trip with a local guide which was arranged by our first hotel, Home Saint Jean (more on the place later). The guide spoke some English but managed to tell us a lot about the lake and Rwanda in general. The price was very low; 30.000 RWF (300 Danish kroner or 40-45$) in total for approximately three hours on the lake. We visited Bat’s nest island where we saw an enormous amount of bats – very fascinating. We also got a great look of the lake.
One of our million photos of the bats at Bat’s nest island.
On our second night at Lake Kiwu we had dinner at the Cormoran Lodge. A beautiful place which Rwiza Village apparently is greatly inspired by. The food was really delicious (we had to book in advance to get a table). It was a little more pricy than Hotel Eden Golf Rock, Rwiza Village and Home Saint Jean but so much better.
The drive to the Cormoran Lodge was bumpy to say the least and we thought that we were lost at several occasions. Thank God for Google maps (even though it doesn’t offer much help when it’s dark as h*ll).
Home Saint Jean
We stayed at Home Saint Jean on the first night of our stay. Cheap and simple and offering a great view of the lake. We payed 20.000 RWF for a double room with a magnificent view. The food wasn’t bad but it wasn’t good either and we waited forever (as we did on the Hotel Golf Rock Eden as well). Stay there for the view and the cheap price – but especially for the view.
We also went swimming:
Rwiza Village is a few kilometers outside of Kibuye and is greatly inspired by the Cormoran Lodge from what we’ve heard. A total of nine beautiful cottages with amazing views over the lake. We saw local fishermen in their sailing boats and enjoyed both the weather and the nature surrounding the area. There isn’t much to do in forms of being active but if you want to relax, you can go for a swim or just enjoy the view from your simple, yet lovely room. But remember: There is no door to the toilet/bathroom.
It was a bit more expensive than Home Saint Jean (we paid 49.000 RWF) but it’s still a low price for such a magnificent place. Breakfast with tea and coffee is included (although they forgot to tell us that). The road to Rwiza is scary (as a lot of roads in Rwanda) and I wouldn’t recommend anyone trying to go to place in anything else than a 4×4.
We tried the local specialty “fried sambaza” which was pretty nice. I’m not a huge fan of deep frying things (I wouldn’t eat it if I was forced to) but failed to remember, that the sambazas were deep fried before getting my order (and after waiting 90 minutes I were starving!). They tasted delicious and if you’re into deep fried food you will definitely love sambaza 🙂
Like in the rest of Rwanda most places do accept US dollars but don’t be surprised if the exchange rate is ridiculously low. I advise you to bring Rwandan franc if you’re not interested in paying overprice. Some places also accept VISA and/or Mastercard but not all.