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From the shore of Lake Burera

From the shore of Lake Burera

I am writing this from Kagogo sector in Burera district. Earlier today, I visited Ruhunde, Nemba, Rusarabuye, Rwerere and Butaro sectors of the same district. My experiences in these administrative areas will be shared through a series of short stories scheduled to be published on this blog next week.

I am on the northern shore of Lake Burera, near the Ugandan border. The boundary line, drawn by the scramblers of Africa, is a stone throw away from the hill on which this post is being written.

The view of the lake is breathtaking. The islands are stunning. Farther ahead, a volcano namely Muhabura soars to the clouds more than 13,000 feet above sea level.

Muhabura is one of eight volcanic mountains found within the Virunga Massif. The other seven volcanoes located in the same mountain range are Gahinga, Sabyinyo, Bisoke, Karisimbi, Mikeno, Nyamuragira and Nyiragongo.

Muhabura and Gahinga are shared by Rwanda and Uganda while Bisoke and Karisimbi straddle along the Rwanda - DR Congo border. Mikeno, Nyamuragira and Nyiragongo are entirely in the DRC. Each one of the three neighboring countries own a piece of Sabyinyo. Yes, Sabyinyo is at the adjoining point of Rwanda, Uganda and DR Congo.

From my current location, I can only see Muhabura. This volcano was our forefathers’ most reliable landmark. The imposing geographical feature used to guide their steps back home after trading or waging wars in the neighboring kingdoms. For the record, the word Muhabura means guide.

Muhabura, or Muhavura as Ugandans call it, was the guiding star of our ancestors. It directed the lost and reassured the weary while solving multiple-choice dilemmas caused by confusing crossroads.

I live in the age of advanced technology. Obviously, I have access to a wide range of navigation function tools but I still count on Muhabura to guide me whenever I ride in the remotest parts of the Northern Province.

It’s amazing how the blurry appearance of Muhabura does the trick when fog envelops it. Quite often, when visibility is poor, this vision pops up from the clouds in the sky.

It’s getting late. I have to get out of here. I am headed to a village known as Kidaho in Cyanika sector. From there, I will twist the throttle to the other side of the lake and board a boat to Cyuza Island. It is on this island where I am camping tonight.

The author is an adventurer on a tour of all 30 districts and 416 sectors of Rwanda. Follow his awe-inspiring journey on Twitter @GeoExposure.


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