27 Dec

Before I left the enchanting Kanjongo Sector, I indulged in an exhilarating boating experience. This excursion was both thrilling and informative. With a knowledgeable tour guide on board, I gathered useful information about the lake, its islands and the local communities. 

My boat operator picked me up from the Kumbya Retreat Center at about 9 a.m. Built in 1944 by the Alliance of Protestant Missions, this serene retreat center is a place of relaxation, restoration and renewal. In addition, the center is a birding paradise and home to different species of primates.

From the aforementioned center, we headed to Kirehe Island. Standing on the highest point of this island, we had a clear view of the surrounding geographical features, including the biggest island in Lake Kivu. Cradled on the DR Congo side of the lake, Idjwi Island is quite imposing. 

After a brief Kirehe stopover, we cruised to the neighboring Kihene and Tareri islands. Then we proceeded to Mushungwe and Mushava before bypassing Kabi Island and docking briefly on Rubona Island. I don't think I have ever mentioned so many islands in one paragraph before. Welcome to Lake Kivu. 

Before returning to Kumbya, I learned more about different fishing methods. I once spent a night fishing in this lake and learned valuable life lessons. That fishing experience taught me the importance of patience, resilience, teamwork, communication and motivation.

As our boat glided from one island to another, it left behind twisted whirlpools and shuffled waves. It was a beautiful, sunny day. The breeze from the lake was invigorating, and the surrounding views were simply breathtaking.