13 Sep

Rolling hills, stunning peninsulas, jagged edge shoreline, and picturesque islands sum up the description of Karongi at a glance. In my opinion, Karongi is the most beautiful part of Rwanda. That says a lot, considering how breathtaking the rest of the country is. 

Over the past ten years or so, I have been escaping to this paradise whenever the need to replenish "vitamin peace of mind" arises. That happens quite often.

There is so much one can do while visiting Karongi. For starters, a tour of the islands is highly recommended. These islands' proximity to the shore makes it easy to explore them. 

If you are an energetic adventurer, consider cycling or trekking along the Karongi segment of the Congo Nile Trail. The trail, snaking through the Congo Nile Divide, attracts tourists determined to discover the hidden gems of the Kivu Belt through the off-the-beaten path.

In agro-tourism, Karongi offers hands-on tea and coffee experiences. Through these informative excursions, tourists are taught how to convert crops into the beverages they can’t do without. The popularity of tea and coffee is mind-boggling. Globally, the number of cups consumed every single day is staggering.

Those interested in beekeeping can opt for a honey production experience. I have to admit, beehives are not as welcoming as the manicured tea fields. Unlike the camellia sinensis plants, bees are not peaceful. Despite the violent nature of the vicious insects, there is nothing to worry about. Donning the right set of protective gear will enable you to participate in this activity safely.

Like any other lakeside town, Karongi is home to a good number of fishermen. Tourists are welcome to experience the day-to-day life, or rather, the night-to-night life of a local fisherman. Most fishermen cast their nets after sunset and work all night long.

Tourists who wish to have this unique experience can join hands with fishermen aboard wooden boats. As a team, they propel the engineless vessels to their respective fishing spots while singing motivational songs. Singing boosts their morale and enhances their teamwork.

Once they reach their work stations, they stretch the nets underneath the boats and set up lit lanterns. The light produced by the said lanterns attracts fish, which fall prey to the trick most of the time. The fishing experience comes with valuable life lessons on motivation, teamwork, communication, resilience and patience.

Elsewhere in the enchanting sub destination, tourists indulge in community-based and cultural excursions tailored to give them a glimpse into their hosts' daily lives. These activities enable visitors to experience something new, develop new skills and expand their horizons.

In the museum of environment, visitors drown in the sea of knowledge. Information dispensed from this oasis is deep and wide. The museum’s splendid rooftop garden has a collection of native plants used by our forefathers to cure different diseases.

While in Karongi, the sunset will undoubtedly attract your attention. As the sun goes down, the lake turns indigo and the sky glows. Watching the sun dropping on the Congolese side of the lake is a spectacle you would want to witness one day.