El Vista Edition


Turning Pages: El Vista Edition is the product of four book club sessions hosted and sponsored by El Vista Café. The engaging sessions attracted fifteen travel enthusiasts from diverse backgrounds. While every in-person attendee walked away with a free book, those who joined us through technology were given digital versions of the same publications.

During the sessions, we sampled aromatic beverages and soaked up the allure of El Vista's splendid garden. The premises encompass a number of other businesses, which include a gift shop, a travel agency, a pottery boutique and an artistically designed backyard bar. 

Found in the affluent Kimihurura neighborhood, El Vista Café is popular with tourists and residents of Kigali. Some of its Kigali-based customers, myself included, are regular fixtures.

Our interactive reading sessions revolved around the covered destinations and attractions. In addition, the series put me in a position to connect with consumers of my content and obtain invaluable feedback. Furthermore, the making of El Vista Edition was a great opportunity to meet new people and expand my network.    



October 19, 2023

Our first session featured The Akagera Expedition. This book highlights my unforgettable experiences in Akagera National Park. While turning its pages, we roamed the animal kingdom through the power of imagination. Exploring the sprawling Savannah without leaving El Vista's manicured garden is a testament to the magic found in books.

Valerie Kendall, a Canadian tourist who was scheduled to visit Akagera in a couple of days, took advantage of the session to gather as much information as possible. Claude Niyibizi, a Kigali-based businessman, was planning to take his children to the park. Like Valerie, he asked a myriad of questions. 

After overcoming challenging times in the past, Rwanda's only Savannah national park is now a celebrated success story. The Big Five status has been restored, and the numbers across the board are rebounding. An aerial survey conducted in 2021 recorded almost 12,000 animals, a significant increase from 2010, when the park's wildlife populations had plummeted to less than 5,000.

As the Land of 1,000 Hills positions itself as a destination of choice, revenue is skyrocketing. The best is yet to come.   



October 21, 2023

This time around, we turned the pages of a book titled Six Hours in Accra. The said title is a recollection of my memorable half-day tour in the capital of Ghana.

The self-guided tour was flagged off at the Kwame Nkrumah Interchange. From the interchange, I dropped by Makola Market before proceeding to Black Star Square. Then I savored Ghanaian food at Labadi Beach. 

After lunch, I headed to a neighborhood known as Tudu. While in the hood, I interacted with future soccer stars and gave them words of encouragement. 

Between walking under West Africa's scorching sun and playing soccer on a dusty street, I traced the genesis of the spark that ignited Africa's independence struggle and the rebirth of Pan-Africanism. 

Six Hours in Accra uncovers key events in the aftermath of WWII and the ensuing momentum in decolonization movements across Africa. In addition, the book showcases modern Accra as a vibrant metropolis. 

During the session, we learned more about Accra from the representative of Sunseekers Tours Ltd, the leading tour operator in Ghana. The company, boasting multiple awards, is also the most trusted destination management services provider in the country. 



November 16, 2023

Hello Kigali is a compilation of randomly selected moments in the capital of Rwanda. The book features a museum, an ecotourism park, a nature reserve park, an art gallery, coffee shops and a couple of resorts, among other establishments. Most importantly, it contains cherished memories. 

As the session picked up steam, I looked at the city I call home through the lens of a tourist. At the end of the day, I reaffirmed my commitment to embrace domestic tourism, starting with roaming the streets of my own city with a sense of discovery. 

As an avid traveler, I am driven by a desire to explore the world, discover new places and immerse myself in unfamiliar cultures. While satisfying this wanderlust, I can't overlook the beauty that surrounds me where I live.

This was another opportunity to get feedback from readers. Raissa Urujeni, a Rwandan agribusiness consultant, advised me to take the Turning Pages initiative to the youth. Milou Gartner, a tourist from Holland, saw the need to make my books available in hotel lobbies, cafés, booking offices and other strategic spots. 



November 20, 2023

On the last day of the El Vista sessions, we turned the pages of the Ecoair Edition. The latter is an overview of similar sessions that took place at Ecoair Apartment Hotel between September and October 2023. Known for its serenity and conducive working environment, Ecoair Apartment Hotel is ideal for business travelers. 

During the making of the Ecoair Edition, we had the privilege of convening in the hotel's lavish meeting room, equipped with video conferencing technology. Having access to the ultra-modern facilities enabled us to connect with participants from different countries seamlessly.

Turning Pages: Ecoair Edition sheds light on the four books used during the sessions that led to its publication. While dissected titles highlight my experiences as a tourist on the ground, the ensuing special edition expounds their storylines with input from readers. The final product is a presentation of a thought-provoking outlook. 

Throughout my awe-inspiring journey as a travel writer, I have relied heavily on the facilitation offered by hospitality establishments like Ecoair Apartment Hotel and El Vista Café. The role of these businesses in the successful implementation of my projects is undeniable.