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From the terrace of Kibeho Pilgrimage Center

From the terrace of Kibeho Pilgrimage Center

It’s a beautiful sunny morning here in Kibeho Sector, Nyaruguru District. Over the past four years, I have made frequent trips to Kibeho Sanctuary — serving clients in the religious tourism niche and partaking my own pilgrimages. I am also involved in the translation of the material constituting part of the story behind the popularity of this hill.

Kibeho is a place of spiritual significance to those who believe in the authenticity of the reported apparitions of Virgin Mary in the 1980s. The story of a mysterious visitor, who introduced herself as Nyina wa Jambo (Mother of the Word), is the reason this remote village receives numerous visitors from all over the world.

As far as the 30 Districts Expedition is concerned, I have not done much in this district outside the Kibeho Sanctuary and the Marian Formation Center. The latter is a retreat facility located on the neighboring hill of Nyarushishi.

I am writing this from the Kibeho Pilgrimage Center. From the terrace, I see beautiful hills rolling all the way to Nyungwe National Park in the southwest corner of the country.

The landscape I am marveling at rekindles memories of a biking experience I indulged in about eight months ago. On that adventurous day, I spun my spokes from Kibeho to Kitabi through an off-road trail meandering around tea plantations and the aforementioned grandeur of hills.

It was during that exhilarating ride when I traced the source of Mwogo River. This river flows from Nyamagabe to the foothills of the Congo Nile Divide somewhere in Karongi. Then it merges with Mbirurume River to form Nyabarongo River. Mbirurume flows from the heart of Nyungwe forest.

As mentioned earlier, I haven’t done much in Nyaruguru out of the realm of faith-based tourism and the ride that led to the discovery of one of the farthest sources of the Nile. Later this year, I will return to Nyaruguru to find out what else the district has in store. Spoiler alert: There is so much more.

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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