Rwanda boasts a variety of beautiful sceneries, such as mountains and water bodies, which include Lake Kivu, one of the largest lakes in Africa.
Located in Rubavu District, a place also known as Gisenyi, Kivu happens to have blessed the country with its longest beach known as Kivu Beach.
The place attracts local and foreign tourists with different activities they can do there, such as sports, concerts, and meditation, among others. Its visitors can swim too, and they love it.
However, the beach’s popularity is also because Rubavu District, where it is located happens to be situated at the country’s border with the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), and its town being one of the six secondary cities in Rwanda with a growing economy and becoming an investment opportunity area.
Lake Kivu is known for its fresh water, fish, and sardine locally known as ‘Isambaza,’ as well as methane gas which is looked upon for energy solutions.
Kivu Public Beach has different things to offer, these include:
Sports, events and children area
The beach is divided into three main parts which help all categories of people for both sports and entertainment lovers; it offers space for young and old.
Also, it has another area dedicated only for children and another one for events: parties, meetings and weddings happen here mostly on the weekends.
A lot of people mainly come looking for good scenery, fresh air and good nature for photography. They say Rubavu town is booming and could be the best town after Kigali City.
“You can prefer Gisenyi to Kigali. There are things here you will not find in Kigali, there is a lake, fresh air but most importantly, fish. Gisenyi is calm, a good place to relax and a fresh mind,” Jean Marie Vianney Ndayisenga, a medical student in Kigali shares his first impression of Rubavu town.
Another high school student who recently visited the beach said they are used to coming there for relaxing and refreshments, and some for swimming. “It is a good environment, for sure,” he said.
Bars, restaurants and hotels
There are different hotels near the beach that are always ready to give tourists coming into town for holidays and weekends the best of their hospitality.
Walking past nearby restaurants, I spotted Steven Kalisa eating ‘Isambaza’ and Ugali (cassava cake) with his hands. This food is commonly enjoyed by Congolese.
“Isambaza is very delicious. Eating Isambaza and Ugali tastes good,” Kalisa said.
While this city is booming with business, and people from all walks of life are flocking there, there have been challenges such as limited public toilets.
I spotted only two mobile toilets, and they had to be shared by people who come to the beach for meetings, weddings, sports activities and more.
Germain Ganza is a local resident and student in Travel and Tourism Management.
Born and raised there, Ganza has established the ‘Generation in Tourism’ association, which aims at involving young people in developing local tourism. He said the beach needs further development.
“Kivu beach should be developed to encourage investors and make the area more booming. We need all the facilities which attract a lot of people to come, but it is difficult to find a toilet. You cannot easily get it, as the only mobile toilets are also closed,” Ganza said.
Gadi Mugabe, who has been a Kayaker for three years at Lake Kivu, also said that the lack of public toilets at the beach is a serious problem as it is easier for people to fall sick as far as hygiene is concerned.
“When there is no toilet, people can get sick over lack of proper hygiene. There are mobile toilets which are no longer used, I find them closed,” Mugabe said.
During weekdays, the two mobile toilets are closed and only open where there is an ongoing wedding or a meeting at the events area.
Speaking to The New Times, The Mayor of Rubavu District, Ildephonse Kambogo, said that through development, the beach will be fully equipped with infrastructures to attract a lot of traffic for the economy of the district.
“When it comes to tourism development at the beach, we are soon going to launch the ‘expression of interest’ to potential investors who want to develop the beach and in that framework; we will be able to benefit economically from the management of the beach. So, people who will run it will be able to develop some facilities, able to increase traffic there, promote the destination and at the same time increase the revenues towards the economy of the district,” Kambogo said.
Kivu Beach is just one of the many tourism destinations found in Rubavu District, which include Mount Rubavu and Nengo. They are all managed by the district.
The New Times