Beach at Lake Kivu, Gisenyi, Rwanda

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Gisenyi, Rwanda

Beach at Lake Kivu, Gisenyi, Rwanda Reviews

mellisa_fern mellisa_…
5 reviews
The beach on Lake Kivu, in Gisenyi, Rwanda. Aug 09, 2008
My daughter, Amber, a friend, Molly, and two young men we ran into outside an internet cafe, all walked past the Catholic school to Lake Kivu. The part of the beach we were at that day was located just south of the Hotel Serena (I think that's what it's called).

It is a nice beach. I don't know if the water can be trusted but a lot of locals were swimming and playing in it.

Manicured lawns and beautiful shade trees grow along the beach which goes north to Goma and south to around 100 miles away.

There's very little traffic on the street that parallels the beach. As I walked south towards a pier, I could hear the sounds of bats in the trees. My curiosity got the better of me and I hurried toward the sound. There were hundreds, maybe more all hanging out in different trees. Some were in groups, all elbowing each other and wiggling, squeeking in protest. Others were alone on a branch. One of the young men with us, Anoc, said they eat fish but I wonder. They are the size of seagulls and fly around the beach at night. I was amazed and wish I'd been able to get a picture of them. With brown backs and yellow bellies, they are the prettiest bats I've ever seen.

There was also a family of hawks nesting in a palm tree near the beach. I love that! I watched the parents bring the babies food and watched the kids hop around the tree in preparation for flight. I was there at the right time! By now they're gone.

As I left the beach I was followed by a very annoying drum salesman who ended up selling me two drums for 500 rf. I think I got a good deal but he was really annoying so I earned it. The same man was there a couple of nights later when I went to the hotel for dessert and iced water (different blog). By then a lot of us were really craving ice. Of all the things to miss when you leave home, ice was something I didn't consider.

Be aware of the annoying salesman outside hotels that cater to European and American visitors. They start high and eventually go very low in price. One offered a carved boat for $40,000 rf that I could have bought for $4000 rf at the shop across the parking lot from our hostel. I wish I'd remembered to buy one!

If you're a white woman, expect to be noticed, talked to, and maybe asked for your email address after a short conversation. It's best to keep your head down, answer question in 'yes' and 'no' answers, and wear a cheap ring. I left my wedding ring at home and didn't hang out with my husband much because we were usually on differend work crews. I appeared to be single.

Just so you all know, the young men we ran into outside the internet cafe were from the church we were working at and we already knew one of them quite well. I would not have wandered off with my daughter and another young girl with two men I had no idea about.
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photo by: ulis