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Canoeing to Akeza Island

Canoeing to Akeza Island

It’s six o’clock in the morning . I am propelling a small dugout canoe around a couple of isles off the shore of Rubavu. I know it’s early but I didn’t come here to sleep. Besides, I only have 1.5 days in the area.

Sunrise is recorded a little late in the Western Province. I am sure the sun is already scotching people in Nyagatare but we haven’t seen it yet on this side of the country. There are gleams from the other side of the hills though. As the tender rays appear, the sky illuminates and the clouds glow.

This lake is a hive of activity. Teams of fishermen are returning to the shore from their work stations. The fishing troops are paddling in three boats connected by long eucalyptus rods. As usual, they are singing motivational songs. Singing boosts their morale and enhances their teamwork.

Canoeing is a good workout. It is healthy and environmentally friendly. As mentioned above, the canoe I am using is very small. It is as light as a feather. The stronger-than-usual wind I am facing this morning is posing a bigger challenge but that’s the beauty of it.

One stroke at a time, I am making strides while singing a song. I learned this song from Lake Kivu fishermen. Singing is not the only thing those who catch fish for a living taught me. Apart from the art of singing, these hardworking men showed me the importance of motivation, teamwork and patience.

I am approaching Akeza Island. This gem is a little slice of heaven. It arouses dreams of paradise. Plans to camp on this island are underway. When that happens, you will be the first to know.

The author is an adventurer on a tour of all 30 districts and 416 sectors of Rwanda. Follow his awe-inspiring expeditions on Twitter @GeoExposure.

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