28 Mar

When I visited Karongi for the first time, I chartered a boat and sailed to Amahoro Island. Years before setting foot on the island, its beautiful image graced my screensaver. I used to marvel at the said image every day until it stuck in my mind and conquered my heart. Sadly, I wasn't familiar with its geographical location. 

I wasn't responsible for the choice of my screensaver. It was installed by the previous user of my computer. Similarly, the first island I visited in Lake Kivu was someone else's idea. This happened during my first ever trip as a travel writer. When I told my boat operator that I wanted to visit one island, he recommended Amahoro. Although I had never heard of an island bearing that name, I had no objection.

As we sailed towards the island and got closer and closer, it looked familiar. It took me a while to connect my old screensaver to the reality. When I finally did, my dream came true. Finding this treasure felt like discovering the source of the Nile.  

Upon arrival, I spotted broken utensils, fallen roofs and rotting volleyball nets. The three-hectare piece of land looked abandoned. According to my tour guide, there used to be a bar on the island. However, he wasn't sure why the bar in question was closed down and eventually demolished. 

The surface of the island is covered by riparian forest vegetation. There is a sandy beach area too. Logs, sculptured to form unique picnic chairs and tables, are placed on the sand.

Amahoro means peace, and the atmosphere on the island is peaceful. It is an ideal sanctuary for those who need to reclaim their lost peace of mind. Dr. Diana Perdue, founder of Rimwe Educational Resources, described Amahoro as a little slice of heaven. It arouses dreams of paradise. 

While on the island, I took a walk and saw different species of birds. On the shore, branches of trees lean towards the surface of the lake. During sunset, the water gleams and the sky glows. Lake Kivu's sunset is a spectacle you would want to see one day.