Jambo Beach Or Lake Muhazi : Enjoy Rwanda’s Natural Beauties
Jambo Beach is billed as one of the safest countries in Africa and attracting an increasing number of European and world travellers lured by the pull of gorilla trekking in the Virunga mountains or game spotting at Akagera National Park, there are still a number of undisturbed beauty spots worth the effort of exploring. One of Rwanda’s greatest is Lake Muhazi.This tranquil body of water rests less than a two hour bus journey from Kigali, just north of Kayonza.
There are three main options for accommodation. If you are on a shoestring budget and don’t mind a comfortable bed with very basic amenities (no running water!), start walking up the hill opposite Seeds of Peace towards the village of Gahini. It’s quite a hill but at the top, opposite the school, you will find a guesthouse for around FRW 6,000 (£6/$12) per night for a double room. For those with a bit more money to spare, Seeds of Peace host luxury lake-side bungalows for FRW 20,000 (£20/$40) per night and, for large parties, you can hire-out the entire Bishop’s Guesthouse further down the road which will set you back around FRW 200,000 (£200/$400) but has running hot water, a large social area and its own kitchen with room for around 10 people. A single room there will set you back £12/$24 or £15/$30 for a double. The Bishop’s Guesthouse can be booked through Seeds of Peace.
What to see and do?
Lake Muhazi itself is the main attraction, the president even owns a house here. You can swim in the lake from both Seeds of Peace or Jambo Beach and boat rides costs around FRW 1,000 (£1/$2). There is also a traditional Mwami hut at Seeds of Peace: a model replica of a King’s house from the former Rwandan monarchy.
Jambo Beach is the main pull for most tourists. It is a little bar by the lake shore, unfortunately contrary to the name-sake there is no beach, but it does have a dance floor and is a very relaxed place to boogie the night away.
Jambo Beach is also home to two beautiful crested cranes and a tree full of weaver-birds. Otters swim in the lake and black-and-white Kingfishers regularly dive for their dinner. A great place to observe some of East Africa’s most beautiful wildlife.
Food & Drink
Seeds of Peace does a very nice traditional breakfast of bread and omelette for around FRW 1,000 (£1/$2) each and their fish brochettes are highly recommended, but being a Christian association they do not serve alcohol on the premises. Just up the road at Jambo Beach you can also get good food (especially the tilapia) and a beer at the same time.
The Atraco Kiramurzi express busses run regularly from Kigali to Gahini (the closest village) and will cost you around FRW 1,500 (£1.50/$3) one-way. Once you pass Kayonza, keep an eye-out on the left for the lake and a large sign saying ‘Jambo Beach’. The return journey is a little more tricky, you may be lucky and get a direct express straight through to Kigali from outside Jambo Beach, but more likely you will need to change at Kayonza (cross the road and buy a ticket from the man at the desk). Take a good book and some water with you, you may have to wait around. Last busses tend to leave around 3pm.
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