Beyond the Rift Valley 2018 – Living LaVida on Lake Kivu

The American Great Lakes? Pah! Or maybe the English Lake District? Keep ‘Em, I say. If you want jaw-dropper views and colourful traditions, you won’t easily beat the deep-water lakes of the African Rift Valley. The rider on most of these water bodies is that they often come with a modicum of danger if you should decide to partake in your potential aqua fix.
Not so with glorious Lake Kivu, our next stop near Kibuye …

We’ve said our farewell to Nyungwe NP, and tripped a quiet forest highway to Cyangugu, a bristling border town on the three-way juncture between Rwanda, Burundi and the DRC. The vibe here was frenetic, with undercurrents of a poverty and chaos spill-over from the DRC across the milky jade waters of Lake Kivu.

This postcard-perfect body of water could just as well be a scene from a blended landscape borrowed from Madagascar and old Europe. Age-old cultures continue to unfold along the lake shore, but with a blend of modernism and natural grandeur chucked in for good measure. In places, plantations blanket the steep ridges tumbling down onto the 480m deep Kivu, creating views remarkably similar to those in the Czech Republic.

And after 4 days without a shower, there was no ways I could not succumb to a night-time dip in this magical lake. A few hundred metres out, I paused for breath and, as I floated on my back, I watched the steamy equator skies above me, flickering with occasional lightning flashes from thunderstorms strafing the low Congo hills on the western skyline. Infinitesimally small, and 1000 per cent, viscerally alive – that’s how I felt.

Still leading the Dunlop Tyres SA #BeyondTheRiftValley Expedition through remarkable #rwanda is Peter Van Kets, cranking northward along the Kivu shores along the little that remains of the #NileCongoDivide Trail. A new tarmac road means that most of the cycling is on road, but the hectic hills more than make up for this. Plus, every now and then, a Rwanda mama convinces PVK to ferry a 20kg bag of cassava up the next 5km ascent…

If ever you had a reason to travel in Africa, look no further than #RemarkableRwanda. This country has everything from nature and culture to infrastructure and security. The beers are cold, the coffee (Bean There Coffee Company sources their #fairtrade beans from here) is strong, and your smile muscles will work overtime. Murakozi, Sawa

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