It was a hot Friday afternoon but the cool breeze from the lake was invigorating. Much earlier, I had visited Akagera Community Center near the national park’s southern gate. I had also witnessed the distribution of free masks in Kayonza, courtesy of the Mastercard Foundation. The project was a collaboration between the Urugo Women’s Opportunity Center and Gahaya Links.
On my way back to Kigali, I had a stopover at Lake Muhazi. A detour to the lake wasn’t part of my itinerary. It was one of those unscripted scenes I usually incorporate into my tours. This time round, I ended up at the splendid Falcon Golf & Country Club in Gishari Sector, Rwamagana District.
Lake Muhazi is narrow and shallow. The flooded valley lake spans from Kayonza to Rwesero while forming many offshoots along the way. From the sky, it looks like a tree lying horizontally on the surface of the earth. Its close proximity to Kigali creates easy weekend getaway plans for the socially starving city dwellers during these unusual times.
Nothing is as beautiful as a lakeside golf course. A few golfers from Kigali were doing what they do best: playing the game they love. I miss playing my favorite sport. I have to admit, I envy those who are able to practice their sporting hobbies safely during the pandemic. Unlike golf, my sport encourages a lot of pushing and shoving. It also involves a great deal of sweating and breathing on each other, not to mention the customary high fives and chest bumps. Obviously, it will be a while before we can play again. In the meantime, I will give golf a shot. I have already booked a training session with Aloys Nsabimana, one of the most established pro golfers in the country.
It wasn’t my first trip to Lake Muhazi but I hadn’t been to Falcon before. In February last year, I visited Muhazi Beach Resort and did a little bit of boating. A year later, I had a day out at Kingfish Resort and treated myself to a yummy tilapia specialty the resort is known for. I also sat behind the wheel and steered a speed boat around the Gasabo and Gicumbi parts of the lake. Apart from Gasabo and Gicumbi, the lake reaches parts of Gatsibo, Rwamagana and Kayonza. I have been trying different thrilling activities every time I escape to this uniquely shaped water body. Hitting a small white ball towards the green and eventually into the cup is next on my Muhazi to-do-list.
Falcon Golf & Country Club was founded in 2012. Golfers play every Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. In addition, the 9-hole course hosts parties, picnics and a variety of team building activities. Participation is currently limited in accordance with the guidelines put in place to curb the spread of the coronavirus.
I spent some time at the club sipping refreshments and watching golfers do their thing on the finely-cut lawns. Groves of leafy trees scattered across the field make it harder for the ball to find its way to the green circle. Some shots looked like Physics experiments to me.
During sunset, the water illuminates and the sky glows. Watching the sun dropping behind the hills on the other side of the lake is a spectacle you would want to witness one day.