02 Jul

On the second day of my stay in Nyarugenge District, I passed by Kimisagara Youth Center to deliver donations from Mamba Club. The donations in question are copies of my booklet titled The Akagera Expedition.

While at the center, I participated in an interactive reading session with the beneficiaries of this tour's community outreach program. Through the aforementioned book, I took them on a virtual tour to the Akagera National Park.

From Kigali, we drove to the Eastern Province. After a coffee break in Kayonza, we proceeded to the southern edge of the park and checked into the state-of-the-art Akagera Transit Lodge.

Our first activity in Rwanda’s only Savannah national park was a hot air balloon flight, courtesy of Royal Balloon Rwanda. This experience of a lifetime was followed by an unforgettable landing ceremony, capped with bush breakfast.

Having crossed hot air ballooning off our bucket lists, we embarked on an exciting game drive, sponsored by Ikaze Rwanda Tours & Travel. Along the way, we saw a wide range of wild animals, including zebras, giraffes, elephants, impalas, warthogs and buffaloes.

We were amazed by the number of lakes found in the park. On the dock of Lake Ihema, we revisited the past and found out how the second-biggest lake in Rwanda acquired its name. Through the powerful lenses of our binoculars, we gazed at Nyirabiyoro Island and listened to the fascinating story of the man the island was named after.

During a bathroom break at Shakani Campsite, set up on the shore of Lake Shakani, we took a closer look at a score of hippopotami and learned one or two things about their distinctive characteristic features. Later on, we bypassed a number of lakes en route to Mihindi Campsite & Café.

After lunch, we explored the birding paradise surrounding the lake — home to hundreds of bird species. Finally, we spun around Kilala Plains looking for the lions. Unfortunately, our mission to track down the king of the jungle was unsuccessful. Before we exited the park, we took care of our thirsty throats inside the premises of Karenge Bush Camp.

This "reading tour" took place in Kimisagara Youth Center’s library. Yes, we had an adventure-filled day in the national park without leaving our chairs. As I always say, there is magic in the library.

After skimming through the book with the youngsters, I moderated an interesting discussion. The participants talked about the need to develop skill sets that would put them in a better position to utilize available resources. While concluding the session, each one of them expressed gratitude to Mamba Club for the donations.