Working evenings and Saturdays, our travel opportunities while in Rwanda have been quite limited. We managed to escape from Kigali’s hustle and bustle (if its road traffic and churches blaring hymns can be considered as such) for roughly an 18-hour getaway to the country’s beautiful Lake Kivu. So, we headed to Kibuye, the cheaper of the two destination options on the shores of the lake, to soak up some R&R.
Not being ones to pass up some exploration outside of Kibuye’s tiny tourist sector, we did amble through the town. We passed those at work and play, local eateries and shops, all as they languished in the mid-morning heat. Children repeatedly approached us, wondering who we were and where we were going. They were heading to markets and churches, uncertain why in the world we were just walking without destination.
Unintended though it was, we eventually came to a destination of sorts, stumbling upon Kivu's more open, and less scenic, shore. From this vantage point we were able to catch a glimpse of neighboring Congo (DRC) across the water, hazy and distant.
We checked out the large lakeside Catholic church and its adjoining genocide memorial. The church itself was so full of a Sunday morning that worshipers were perched along the church walls in an attempt to catch the service, and more seemed to be pouring in by the minute.
But, the town offered little to compete with the tranquility of the town’s smaller stretch of lake. Laced between towering hills, topped with an array of hotels, this sliver of Kivu is a paradise unto itself, and the reason tourists venture to this area.
If Colorado were home to a vast array of tropical plants, it would be Kibuye. From pines with long, drooping needles to massive cactus-esque flora to trees bursting with yellow flowers and eucalyptus filling the air with their fragrances. Birds flit among the trees, lizards precariously climb flower stalks, cows low in the distance, all perfectly accompanying an early morning breakfast with a spectacular view.
Not a bad escape, no matter how brief.