04 Feb

After a peaceful night, at Emeraude Kivu Resort, I traced the source of Rusizi River. Then I had a stopover at the ruins of Hotel des Chutes. This site was on my bucket list because of the ordeal one of my uncles faced there in 1963. His story of trials and tribulations therein, 60 years ago, sounds like an excerpt from a horror movie.   

I was tempted to visit Bugarama and the adjoining point of Rwanda, Burundi and the DRC. Unfortunately, I was scheduled to cross Nyungwe Forest, en route to Nyamagabe, on the same day. Although I only had half a day, I wouldn't leave without indulging in a boat ride around several islands sandwiched between Rwanda and the DRC. The said islands include Gihaya, Ireba, Gisimba, Nkombo and Ishwa.

At some point during this exhilarating boating experience, we were so close to the invisible boundary line that I kept reminding my boat operator to be careful. Sailing that close to the DRC enabled me to take a closer look at Muhumba Peninsula, Kamarari Island and the rolling hills of South Kivu Province.

During a stopover on Ireba Island, I learned one or two things about Cinchona plants used to produce Quinine. On our way back, I was awestruck by the view of the pilgrimage site known as Ibanga ry'Amahoro

Before I left the area, I took another look at the bridge that connects Rwanda to the DRC. It was under this bridge where I traced the source of Rusizi River earlier in the morning. The southern flank of Lake Kivu is truly magical.   

As I bid goodbye to the good people of Rusizi, I spun my wheels around the bustling Kamembe commercial center and witnessed the transformation of the old market into a modern complex housing a myriad of businesses. I also spared some time to donate a few books to the local community library.