After another quick spin around the home of the Big Five, I am in downtown Kayonza for a couple of meetings. From here, I will head to Lake Mugesera via Ngoma. I have never been to Mugesera before. I am eager to discover this hidden gem.
Earlier today, I posted a story about the spectacular sunrise that ushered in this terrific Tuesday. When I unzipped my tent, I gazed at a tender morning sun amid a fusion of beautiful songs from the choir of Akagera birds. This happened at Ihema View Campsite where I spent another memorable night.
After the sunrise spectacle in a birding paradise, I laced them up and jogged around the park. This year’s Kigali International Peace Marathon is around the corner. I need to be ready.
I love vigorous outdoor activities. I also needed to explore the eastern tip of Lake Ihema. In this case, running is a stone that hits two birds. Besides, this routine rewards me with money-can’t-buy health benefits. I have two doctors: My legs.
I ran past Akagera Rhino Lodge. The sight of those uniquely designed cottages rekindled memories created there in late March, this year. Beyond Rhino Lodge, I was in a completely new territory. I had never gone past this point before.
As the warm-up took effect, I accelerated a little bit and shifted gears. Farther ahead, I saw a signpost written Ngwino urebe ubwiza bw’Umurenge wa Ndego (Come and see the beauty of Ndego Sector).
I ran all the way to the end of the tarmac. While doing so, a couple of taxi-moto riders, ferrying their passengers, overtook me. They had switched off the engines of their bikes in a bid to save gas. These stingy bodaboda riders were taking advantage of the steep slope, rolling seamlessly without burning fuel.
Villagers were busy harvesting millet. Others were catering to different crops. Cassava, sunflower and a wide range of fruits are grown here. I also saw a few trucks carrying stones and sand. Trucks shipping construction materials are always a good sign. Building is synonymous to growth and development.
Running back to the top of the hill was the toughest physical challenge I have faced this year. At some point, I started doubting my readiness to participate in the upcoming marathon.
The other side of the signpost mentioned above is written, "Garuka urebe ubwiza bw’Umurenge wa Ndego." (Come back and see the beauty of Ndego Sector.) I would love to go back but repeating this strenuous challenge would be suicidal.
Surprisingly, when I made it to my camp’s entrance, I felt like I had a lot left in the tank. Guess what? I decided to pursue another hill. This time, I toiled my way along the park’s southern fence.
I ended up on a hill popularly known as Qatar. The word on the street is that the entire hill has been bought by the King of Qatar who intends to invest a fortune. I stepped on top of the hill hoping my trespassing habits won’t put me in trouble this time.
The only thing I saw on Qatar hill is a huge water storage tank. I spoke to the caretaker of the facility who introduced himself as Nsabimana Jean Pierre. JP confirmed the rumors I had gathered from the community before. "It’s true. This land has been bought by the King of Qatar." He told me. According to this unauthorized spokesman, his highness intends to build a luxury resort and an airstrip.
I am writing this from Silent Hill Hotel after attacking the buffet viciously. I have just unleashed the glutton in me. Manager, if you are reading this, I don’t always eat that much food. I served myself a mountain because I climbed two hills in the morning.
The author is visiting all 30 districts of Rwanda. His tour of Kayonza is sponsored by Ikaze Rwanda Tours & Travel, Imigongo Art Center, Silent Hill Hotel, Jambo Beach, Ihema View Campsite and Akagera Rhino Lodge.