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Partying in the mist

Partying in the mist

It was a chilly night but the atmosphere was electric. Our DJ’s mix was on point and the party was lit. We were not at Coco Bean, Riders Lounge or Voltage Club. We were in the jungle about 2,000 meters above sea level. Some of my travel companions had attended the so called jungle parties before but partying in the real jungle was a new experience to them.

This party took place at The Peakspot Lodge located near the slopes of the misty volcanoes. The Peakspot is set up to host tourists before and after their activities in the park. This is where we usually kick back, relax and nurse sore muscles after hours of vigorous hiking.

When a group of urban youngsters invaded our serene hideout and made some noise until wee hours of Sunday morning, they caused a commotion never seen in the area before.

There was something different about this party. Something different is what this group was looking for in the Northern Province. For once, they took a break from the clubs mentioned above and did what they do best in the shadow of the volcanoes.

Mountains, valleys, rivers, lakes and forests are not just geographical features. They are treasures we can utilize while contributing to conservation efforts. This is the rationale behind the establishment of The Peakspot Lodge and the social enterprises affiliated to it.

Volcanoes National Park is a blessing to Kinigi Sector. Since its re-opening after the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi, more and more tourists have been flocking the area. Revival of the park and its emergence as a popular destination is proof that a post-conflict country can successfully transform itself into a premier tourist destination.

In response to the demand brought by the influx of visitors, a good number of hotels and campsites have been built in the area targeting both loaded tourists and those traveling on shoestring budgets . There is something for everyone.

Despite these developments, it is still rare to see Rwandans visiting their own attractions. When I visited Nyungwe National Park with a group of 43 Rwandan nationals, an official who issued our permits at Uwinka Overlook was surprised to see such a big number of local tourists.

I don’t expect Kigali-based party animals to ride bicycles from Rubavu to Rusizi in the name of adventure but when we took the party to the mountains, they followed us and had a blast. They also discovered the Twin Lakes and spared some time to support artisans from communities surrounding the park.

What happened at the party, stayed at the party. I won’t disclose details of what transpired after bottles were popped and toasts were made. One thing worth mentioning is the millennials’ newly-found desire to visit different parts of their beautiful country.

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