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Touring the Southern Province of Rwanda

Touring the Southern Province of Rwanda

Last time I updated this blog, I was in one of the remotest parts of Gakenke in the Northern Province. After spinning around Gakenke, I returned to Kigali before hitting the road again. This time, towards the Southern Province.

I had breakfast at Stafford Coffee in Kamonyi before proceeding to Ruhango. While at Stafford, I poked my nose into other customers’ affairs. I could tell that most of them were business travelers. There is a thin line between business and leisure but that line is clearly visible sometimes.

Lunch break took place at Umuzabibu Garden in the district of Ruhango. After lunch, I was given a tour of the entire facility. Honestly, I didn’t like the rooms but the garden looked splendid. I will probably camp there in a near future. When that happens, you will be the first to know.

My next stop was Kamegeri Rock. This rock was named after one grassroots leader who served during the reign of King Mibambwe II Sekarongo Gisanura. It is on this rock where Kamegeri was given a taste of his own medicine — the most excruciating punishment imaginable. More details about Kamegeri Rock will be shared in one of my upcoming posts.

When I left the rock, I twisted the throttle all the way to Nyanza. Royal Ville is developing fast. For starters, every road is a smooth tarmac. Secondly, modern hotels and commercial buildings are transforming Nyanza into an emerging city.

I got dizzy trying to count the number of schools found in Nyanza. Massive investment in education is not a new thing though. When I visited Nyanza for the first time, almost twenty-five years ago, I saw a myriad of high schools in the area.

After getting lost a couple of times, I found my way to a water reservoir known as Icyuzi cya Nyamagana. The dam was a fish farming project initiated by King Mutara III Rudahigwa after the devastating famine of 1943 - 44.

From Nyamagana Dam, I headed to the statue of Christ the King erected by King Rudahigwa, the first Rwandan ruler to become a Christian. His conversion into Christianity spearheaded a wave of baptisms and wide-spread Catholicism in his kingdom.

After a stopover at the Kristu Mwami Parish, established in 1935, I spun my spokes to Kwigira Museum. Then I paid tribute to members of the royal family laid to rest at the Mwima Mausoleum. Before I left Nyanza, I grabbed a cup of coffee from the Kings’ palace but I didn’t tour the museum because I was running out of time. Besides, I have been there several times over the past five years.

I spent a night at Barthos hotel in Huye District. This hotel is built next to the University of Rwanda. From the balcony of my room, I saw numerous students walking in and out of campus. The nearest hostel was so close that I could peep through its windows. At a glance, my hotel looked like another block on campus. When I took a walk around the neighborhood, I felt like a trespasser amongst a multitude of students.

Earlier today, I spent some time harvesting tea in Nyaruguru. If you have been following this blog for a while, you are probably aware of my affinity to tea. For the record, I consume more tea than any other beverage, water being the only exception. Apart from drinking tea regularly, I am fascinated by the process of transforming green leaves into the beverage that kick-starts every day of my life.

I am writing this from La Mimi Juice Bar in Huye. I am on my way back to Kigali. A series of short stories highlighting my experiences during this memorable swing in the Southern Province will be published right here starting tomorrow. Stay tuned.

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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