We were not in a hurry to reach our destination. We pulled over several times and admired one of the most scenic routes I have ever taken. We stopped in every small town along the way, ate brochette and interacted with members of local communities.
Road trips are fun when experienced with good company. Hitting the road and diverting from the monotony of our daily routines is therapeutic. Over the years, I have enjoyed many memorable road trips with family, friends and social groups I subscribe to. Hopefully, I will keep creating new memories through not only the discoveries of remarkable destinations but also explorations of en route attractions.
We visited the King’s Palace and Ethnographic museums earlier. Then we had coffee at Uwinka Overlook and took selfies with baboons before proceeding to Rusizi.
On the second day of our trip, we boarded a boat and sailed to Gihaya and Nkombo islands. When we left the isles, we headed to Karongi. As our van meandered northwards, we were awestruck by the view of the lake, breathtaking peninsulas and lush green hills gracing the Kivu Belt.
We took an unplanned detour and discovered the hidden gems of Nyamasheke. Great adventure was waiting for us in Karongi but the journey was as intriguing as the destination itself.
Powerful speakers installed in the van released loud music but the self-proclaimed official DJ of the tour liked it that way. It was hard for us to have conversations because we could barely hear each other. I was the only one who seemed to have a problem with loud music and my repeated request to the DJ to turn the volume down fell on deaf ears.
The Kivu Belt zigzag tarmac links Rusizi, Nyamasheke, Karongi, Rutsiro and Rubavu districts. It also connects western Rwanda to the DRC and Burundi. Apart from boosting tourism in the area, the new road is stimulating trade and consequently, accelerating development.
While on this tour, we learned history in museums and hanged out with baboons in the forest. We explored the southern Kivu archipelago and sampled fresh coffee. We had a glimpse into life in rural Rwanda and interacted with members of our host communities. We felt their vibe and captured their spirit. A road trip can’t get better than that.