I showed up to record a promotional clip and take a few photos. The plan was to do so as quickly as possible and rush to Migano Hotel in downtown Musanze. I wanted to have the Migano movie experience some guests had told me about. Besides, I was eager to see the new interior design the said guests had been impressed with.
My timing was wrong. I wasn’t able to do the shooting without interfering with the esteemed guests’ privacy. All the rooms were occupied. That means, I wouldn’t have access to them. About a dozen tents had been set up but the campsite was fully booked too.
It was getting late. I had to be at Migano in about 30 minutes. Unfortunately, my bike developed technical hick ups before I left the parking lot. A throttle malfunction prevented me from riding back to town. I found out later that the security lock I had activated earlier was impeding the flow of the circuit. Forcing issues would send a wrong signal to the inbuilt security system and risk a total shutdown. It was a case of high-tech safety features gone wrong. I knew I was in for a long haul when it hit me that Kinigi-based mechanics couldn’t fix the problem.
The Peakspot Lodge is located in the jungle, right outside the Volcanoes National Park. I found myself stuck there without a room. How could this happen the day I traveled without my own camping gear. Worried about where to sleep, I walked to the neighboring La Paillotte Gorilla Place and booked one of those uniquely designed nests. It was the only one that was vacant. The rest were occupied. It was a long weekend. A lot of people had escaped to this tourist hotspot.
Before I paid La Paillotte, I received a phone call from The Peakspot. The caller informed me that he had found an extra bed. Somehow, he had managed to turn something into a bedroom. I appreciated his efforts and walked back home. Did I say home? It feels that way.
On my way to the exit, I looked around hoping to see the donkey I rode there in 2012. I didn’t see it. That was a long time ago. Chances of that donkey being still alive are slim to none. I still have a photo of my donkey riding experience saved on Google Drive. I am looking at it right now as I reminisce about what transpired during that memorable trip.
I was in Musanze to attend the gorilla naming ceremony, popularly known as Kwita Izina. I am talking about the 2012 trip. The funny thing about that tour is that my friends and I missed the event that made us go to Musanze in the first place. We drove to Musanze the day before and ended up indulging in our own pre-Kwita Izina party all night long. We went to bed in the morning and woke up when the main event was over.
Back to The Peakspot, I sat by the campfire and bonded with other guests who were visiting attractions in the area. It was a big delegation. Each one of them had a negative Covid- 19 certificate. Tourism activities are the safest social engagements during these unusual times. The industry offers safe, responsible leisure excursions for individuals, families, teams and randomly formed groups.
The author is currently visiting all 30 districts of Rwanda. His tour of Musanze is sponsored by The Peakspot Lodge, My Hill Ecolodge, Volcano Residence, Migano Hotel, Ndaza Escape, Cafe Crema, Ikaze rwanda Tours & Travel and Beyond the Gorillas Experience (BGE).