After spending a night in a wooden cabin at Kumbya Kivu Life Ecolodge, I sat down and wrote a short story. Then I chartered a boat and indulged in what turned out to be an unforgettable boating experience. This excursion was both thrilling and informative.
With a knowleageable tour guide on board, I gathered useful information about the lake, its islands and the local communities. We used a locally made wooden boat, propelled by a Yamaha combustion engine.
We sat sail from the Kumbya Retreat Center at about 9 a.m. Built in 1944 by the Alliance of Protestant Missions, this serene retreat center is a place of relaxation, restoration and renewal. In addition, the center is a birding paradise and home to different species of primates.
From the center, we headed to Kirehe Island. Standing on the highest point of this island, we had a clear view of Nyabitekeri Peninsula and Idjwi Island. The latter is in DR Congo. It is the biggest island in Lake Kivu and the second biggest lake island in Africa behind Ukerewe Island found on the Tanzanian side of Lake Victoria.
After a brief Kirehe stopover, we cruised to the neighboring Kihene and Tareri islands. Then we proceeded to Mushungwe and Mushava before bypassing Kabi Island and docking briefly on Rubona Island.
Before returning to Kumbya, I learned more about different fishing methods. I once spent a night fishing in this lake and learned valuable life lessons. That fishing experience taught me the importance of patience, resilience, teamwork, communication and motivation.
As our boat glided from one island to another, it left behind twisted whirlpools and shuffled waves. It was a beautiful sunny day. The breeze from the lake was invigorating and the surrounding views were simply breathtaking.