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Lake Muhazi’s close proximity to Kigali creates easy weekend getaway plans

Lake Muhazi’s close proximity to Kigali creates easy weekend getaway plans

Last Sunday, I teamed up with a fellow biker for a random ride out of town. We spinned our spokes all the way to the popular Nyagasambu market. From there, we proceeded to Realm Beach Hotel on the shore of Lake Muhazi.

The property was still under construction or expansion of sorts. The bar area was unoccupied but a few patrons were drinking under the canopy of trees.

Lake Muhazi is narrow and shallow. The flooded valley lake spans from Kayonza to Gasabo while forming many offshoots along the way. From the sky, this uniquely shaped lake looks like a tree lying horizontally on the surface of the earth.

Muhazi is crocodile and hippo-free. It is one of those water bodies we can safely turn into playgrounds. At Lake Muhazi, we indulge in our favorite water sports without fear of predators who turn human beings into lunch.

The lake’s close proximity to Kigali creates easy weekend getaway plans for the inhabitants of the city. It is common to see friends and families escaping to the lake every weekend and public holidays.

Lately, more and more Muhazi-bound visitors are opting to camp. "Camping is more rewarding to me. When the plan involves camping, I don’t have to worry about the risks of driving back to the city under the influence of alcohol while rushing to beat the curfew." Says Alex (not his real name). Alex and many other Kigali-based camping enthusiasts have found what their hearts desire around Lake Muhazi.

I wasn’t there to camp. I wasn’t there to wine and dine either. It was a brief stopover en route to Falcon Golf & Country Club, located on the Gishari side of the lake.

Before we left for Gishari, I spent some time digesting the beauty of the campsite. Then I walked down to the lake and saw a few ducks moving effortlessly on the gentle waves. It looked like they were being pushed by the wind. While admiring the seamlessly gliding ducks, I saw otters jumping out of the water and falling right back in. Some birds were dropping from the sky like landing planes and curving upwards before touching the water. I wondered if these otters and birds were doing this for fun. I had seen the show staged by otters and birds several times before but it felt like the first time. It always feels like the first time.

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