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Vacation and retirement homes are sprouting up along the Kivu Belt

Vacation and retirement homes are sprouting up along the Kivu Belt

The Kivu Belt is arguably the most beautiful part of Rwanda. That says a lot considering how breathtaking the rest of the country is. The lakeside strip is an ideal destination for those who need a break from their stressful lives. It is recommended for those who crave for an opportunity to reclaim their lost peace of mind.

Over the past three years, I have visited the Kivu Belt frequently and gave the area a lot of coverage. Lake Kivu is featured prominently in my chronicles because I never get enough of it. Every visit feels like the first one.

While patrolling the shoreline, I noticed a rapid increase in the number of lakeside vacation and retirement homes. Developers in the area will inspire you to work harder in order to fulfill your dream of owning one of those mansions before you retire. Spending your pension money in paradise is a pretty good deal. Isn’t it?

Immaculee (not her real name) and her husband discovered Karongi five years ago when they visited the Kivu Belt for the first time. The elderly couple fell in love with the area. A year later, they returned to Karongi and bought a piece of land on a lakeside hill. They hired a local contractor who is currently putting the final touches to their dream retirement home. Plans are underway to buy a bigger chunk of land out of town and transform it into a coffee farm. Sounds like a great retirement plan.

Pamella (not her real name) is a foreign resident. She bought two hectares in Karongi a couple of years ago. Recently, she purchased a bigger plot in the most tranquil part of the shore. Her new acquisition is a hilly peninsula overlooking a couple of tropical islands. "This is where I am planning to spend my retirement years." She says.

Spacious gardens, jaw-dropping views and luxury watercrafts; these private residences look even better from the lake. While boating, the head-turning properties usually compete for attention with those picturesque islands I always write about.

From Rubavu Beach to Rusizi’s Karambo Peninsula, the Kivu Belt spans the distance of over 200 kilometers, covering five districts. Basic infrastructure, including broadband internet is all set up. This is where the Congo Nile Trail is found. The trail attracts energetic adventurers on a mission to discover the Kivu Belt through an off the beaten path.

As expected, the area is attracting investors in the hospitality industry. Luxury hotels, exquisite resorts and cozy guest houses, not to mention some of the best campsites in the region are lined up along the extensive bank. Rates range from a few hundred to three dollars a night. There is something for everyone. There are plans to construct a USD 30 million Hot Spring Resort in Rubavu and a USD 50 million golf course/villas in Karongi. Efforts to mobilize investors for similar projects are noted.

Breaking ground for the construction of four modern ports is scheduled to take place during this financial year, if all factors remain constant. Some of these projects are expected to be stalled by the effects of COVID -19. Nonetheless, the transformation of the Kivu Belt is gaining momentum.

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