11 Aug

During my stay in Burera District, I hiked Mwiko Hill before spending a night on Cyuza Island. While Mwiko Hill is sandwiched between Lake Ruhondo and Lake Burera, Cyuza Island is found in the latter. Despite the proximity between the two lakes, they are in two different districts. As the name suggests, Lake Burera is located in Burera District. Its twin sister, namely Ruhondo, is in Musanze District.

When it comes to tourism products, Musanze is in a class of its own. This Northern Province district is blessed with a wide range of attractions. The Volcanoes National Park, which is home to the famous mountain gorillas, is found there. 

Apart from gorilla trekking, the park has a lot more in store. However, you don't need to enter the wildlife habitat to discover everything Musanze has to offer. There is so much more outside the protected area.

I love climbing the volcanoes, but strenuous activities were not part of the itinerary this time around. At this point, I was halfway through the tour, with fifteen more districts to visit. The long voyage, on two wheels, could take a toll on my body. Putting that into consideration, I chose to take it easy the rest of the way.           

Speaking of taking it easy, the first thing I did in Musanze was to escape to Peace Haven Island. On my way to the island, I saw the transformation of Gashaki Peninsula into a tourism hotspot.  

After docking, I took off my biking boots and slipped my feet into a pair of flip-flops. Then I strolled around the islet and marveled at the gentle waves and the surrounding islands. Farther ahead, I saw Muhabura, Gahinga and Sabyinyo volcanoes soaring to the clouds along the border.

Like the rest of the campsites run by Beyond the Gorillas Experience (BGE), Peace Haven Island has a fully equipped kitchen and a professional chef. Full-course meals and an assortment of refreshments will always be at your disposal whenever you camp with BGE.

At night, campers sit by the fire and borrow a leaf from our ancestors’ oral tradition. When darkness envelopes the lake, lit lanterns from fishing boats look like little, glittering diamonds. When I unzipped my tent in the morning, gleams of sunlight on the surface of the lake and the glowing sky above it took my breath away.