05 Jan

I arrived in the evening and grabbed a cup of tea from the Mantis Kivu Marina Bay Hotel. While savoring my favorite aromatic beverage, I soaked up the view of Lake Kivu and the bright lights of the city of Bukavu. That was a sight to behold. 

The first time I visited Rusizi, about fifteen years ago, the idea to construct the Mantis Kivu Marina Bay Hotel had not been conceived yet. At the time, there was a small church-owned guest house where the imposing accommodation facility stands. The transformation of the old auberge into a four-star hotel is a testament to the growth of trade and tourism in this part of the country. 

After downing my mug of tea, I left Marina Bay and headed to Emeraude Kivu Resort. I spent my only night in Rusizi, during the unforgettable 30 Districts Expedition, at the latter. I wish I would have stayed longer, but I was determined to finish the tour before the beginning of the rainy season.

The best time to tour Rwanda on a bike is during the June - August dry season. September was approaching. I had been on the road since the beginning of June. It was time to make the final push to the finish line.  

When I woke up in the morning, I had breakfast on the terrace overlooking Kamarari Island and Muhumba Peninsula. Then I indulged in a boat ride around Gihaya and Nkombo islands, but this is a story for another day. 

Rusizi was my 22nd sub-destination of the mega expedition and the last one along the Kivu Belt. Coincidentally, it was also my last stop in the Western Province. The next two posts or so will highlight my experiences on the southern flank of Lake Kivu. Stay tuned.