A weekend in Gisenyi
When you think of Rwanda, what comes to mind? Probably the rolling hills, dense forest canopies and winding roads? Unknown to many is the best kept secret of Gisenyi about 200kilometres North-West of Kigali. The little town is just 1.3kilometres from Goma, the DRC border town. Gisenyi is mainly French speaking though a number of people speak Swahili and very little English. Make sure you have your hotel address written down before you get here, as well as simple phrases that you may need. If you book with Jovago.com, your hotel details will be sent straight to your email address.
Whether you want to lay on the public beach or kick back at the Serena Hotel’s private beach, Gisenyi has what you need. The unique environment with its thick greenery right alongside the sandy beaches is what attracts most travelers. In Gisenyi you get the best of both worlds.
The steep hillsides provide great hiking and picnic sites with a number of small waterfalls where you can cool off in the middle of your hike.
Despite being a small town, the nightlife is quite vibrant. Tamtam Beach Bar and Kwanyanja are the most popular joints. Here you can get a drink, fresh fish, tasty brochettes and the old-time favourite akabenz, as well as dance the night away only metres from the beach.
Gisenyi has a ferry service that goes from Gisenyi to Kibuye once a day. The ferry leaves at exactly 7am every day. This ride takes 3 hours and is a lot quicker than taking the 6 hour bus to Kibuye. There are also numerous barges and small speed-boats that offer tours to the different ports and islands on the lake. For the solo adventurer, jet-skis and canoes are available for hire for between RWF3,000-RWF6,000 ($5 -$10).
Gisenyi is a unique place to stay because of the different landscapes and physical features it has. You could choose to stay up in the hills with a panoramic view of the landscapes, the lake and islands, you could decide to stay in the city centre; close to all the amenities or you could book a hotel right on the beach. For the guaranteed best price you should consider booking your stay on Jovago.com
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