We’re here for four days in the Discover Rwanda- Gisenyi Beach Hotel. We booked this place on a last minute deal with Expedia and we’re really pleased with our choice.
This old colonial house is part of a group of hotels run by the Discover Rwanda Group which is linked to AEGIS Trust a charity supporting the country following the 1994 Genocide. They also run the Youth Hostel where we stayed in Kigali and the Genocide Memorial in Kigali. From AEGIS’s own blog the following quotation
Through the Museum Cafe, the Museum Gift Shop and the Discover Rwanda Youth Hostel we offer beneficiaries career opportunities in various industries by providing training in high-demand areas such as tourism, customer care and the culinary arts. We are committed to providing top-level training in skills that will create the best career opportunities for our beneficiaries and put 100% of the proceeds back into Aegis’ continued work in Rwanda
This also applies to our location too. We’re in a family room with a great view overlooking the garden towards the beach.
Gisenyi Beach Hotel has a relaxed home from home feel. A place to chill and unwind.
Food is excellent and in the evening as it cools to a chilly 21°C (for us that is cool!) they light the open log fires.
The hotel is a stone’s throw from the beach, just beyond the palms which are alive to the chatters of the hundreds of fruit bats hanging in the branches. The noise is actually quite soothing as you drift into sleep.
The waters of Lake Kivu are warm and though the sand beneath makes the water brownish the lake is clean.
We are staying in a beautiful place. The wildlife is amazing, crabs of numerous variety scamper sideways across the beach, waders wade the shallow seas and the sands for Crustacea and palms sway gently in the sea breezes and yet….
…even here the scourge of Tanzania prevails. Plastic!
Bottles litter the beach.
This is a small fraction of those I picked up in the last 100m of a walk back to Peponi – I could not carry more with ease.
Many Tanzanians, sadly do not dispose of rubbish wisely – plastics are dropped or purposely swept overboard from boats – there is no regard for the environment here. So a place as isolated as this stretch of coast is blighted.
In truth it is possible to overlook the litter – there are not great clumps of rubbish. However, dotted along the beach are bottles and bags, lids and tops, sacks and rope all plastic all dumped, only slowly (very very slowly) degrading on the sand.
The previous photo blown up!
Day two of our travels and after 18 hours on the ‘road’ yesterday a more relaxed morning. We were staying at Rafiki Backpackers where we had stayed one night in the summer on our journey through Moshi on our trip from Lake Victoria to Victoria Falls.
The previous night I was asleep as my head touched the pillow and I woke up refreshed after a solid night’s sleep. A leisurely breakfast and a trip to Nakumat (the lack of a proper supermarket in Mwanza makes this a must if only to pick up some coffee supplies and a Valentine’s present 💝, secretly smuggled out when Anita was unaware!).
Back on the road we headed South East past stunning mountain landscapes (Pare and Usambara Mountains) and on towards Tanga. One day we must return and visit these mountains and see for ourselves this amazing landscape).
A five hour journey to Tanga and a half an hour on a rough unsurfaced road brought us to our final destination of Peponi Beach along a stretch of coast near Pangani, this to be our home for the week.
Pitching the tents in the light for a change and eating a tasty meal complete with a free Valentine’s Day pudding!
Fatigue set in and after two days of travel we needed to sleep. There was a lovely breeze, but even with the fly sheet open we sweated buckets in the hot night time air. The ocean climate being significantly more humid than we are used to in Mwanza. This and the slowly deflating air bed meant a fitful night’s sleep – we’ll need a puncture repair kit!
It’s gone far too quickly but we’ve had a couple of days here on Kipepeo Beach Village just South of Dar Es Salaam.
A night here staying B&B in a chalet for paying guests is $85 (£56) which makes it a little more than a Travel Inn back in the UK, but a little pricey for us. However, we won the stay here in a silent auction earlier this year so it has been a little luxury for a fraction of the price, our bid was 30000TZS (£9.31). Cheap flights bought well in advanced added little more to our costs overall.
We have stayed in a two storey beach chalet. Locally made these stilted chalets have an upstairs bedroom with a balcony overlooking a forested area and ground floor shower/toilet.
From the balcony it has been possible to see all manner of bird life including bee-eaters, tinker birds, bou bous, batises as well as the ubiquitous bul buls, mousebirds and sparrow.
The houses are sited at the rear of the complex through a tree-lined “tunnel” which is illuminated at night.
The main beach complex consists of a bar/restaurant and a beach front lines with mwanvuli (thatched umbrellas).
South Beach is the best beach to be at not least because the current runs South to North here so that none of pollution of Dar comes this way.
The sand is white, the sea azure blue, small islands on the horizon and in truth an ugly red tanker off-shore, a reminder of our proximity to the natural deep water harbour of Dar Es Salaam.
Even so the tanker does not detract too much and the waters are lovely and warm, there are dhows aplenty sailing over the waters and corals washed up on the beaches along with some unfortunate starfish.
The whole stay has been relaxing and peaceful. We have enjoyed our weekend.
Whilst Ocean Paradise we took a stroll along the beach down to a pier and enjoyed the wildlife and scenery as we went. The original post is here but this post adds in some camera pics to supplement the iPhone pics.
Having a January Birthday in the Northern Hemisphere has always been a cold affair. One of the challenges being to find something to do which was exciting and interesting when life outside was cold and wet. Over the years we have enjoyed visits to the National Space Centre in Leicester, Rainham Marshes, Greenwich and Prague as well as visits to family.
2009 Rainham Marshes
2008 Lord of The Rings on Stage
2005 National Space Centre – Leicester
2010 Birthday in the Snow
2006 Prague – Astronomical Clock
This year is different. My first ever birthday in the warm. Here in the Southern Hemisphere close to the equator it is warm and offers a different opportunity. Today is a Bank Holiday in Tanzania in honour of Zanzibar’s independence. This will always be the case whilst we are living here – so my birthday will always be a holiday. 😉
However, today unfortunately for me was a scheduled Mock Exams in ICT which meant that I had to invigilate for 5 hours. This as not the best start to the day but I was out by 2pm. This is a one off – not to be repeated.
After I escaped school, I travelled out of town to Tunza Lodge a beach resort on the lake. The weather this morning had been wet and stormy but the afternoon was warm and bright with a little sunshine.
Arriving home I opened presents from family including coffee beans from Bex, a lightweight dressing gown from Matt and some tea lights from my Sister-in-Law. Anita’s present is still to come!
New Dressing Gown
We had a meal and invited a bunch of colleagues and ex-pats and had a great time at the Lakeside. Tunza is a really nice spot by the lake to spend a few hours and it was a great time to socialise.
To end the day some Skyping with Mum and with my brother. A good chat and a good day!
One of the things we like to do on holiday is to walk along the beach. There is a pier about a mile down the beach from the hotel and so we decided to take a stroll.
Passing by the Hotel “Beach Hawkers” we travelled. On our way we came across a fossilised reef, numerous sea birds (Herons, Curlews and SandPipers), quite a bit of seaweed and some amazing scenery.
After all yesterday’s travel it’s a lazy morning in Paradise. We woke just after sunrise I got a couple of shots but need to be up about 20 mins earlier tomorrow. Early morning a man wandered past and offered us a free coconut (delicious) his mate then shimmied up the tall Palm to get the coconuts down.
After a leisurely Champagne Breakfast (only on a Sunday) it was time to wander down to the beach front.
I am writing this from my beachside lounger. The sea is aquamarine and green, the sand white and the cloud spotted skies are blue. The palms charter like a rain shower but it’s as dry as a bone. I’m glad to be in the shade as the sun is roasting. Perhaps later I’ll go for a dip in the Indian Ocean, but for now I’m content to lie here.
T Minus 16
Back in May on our trip to Cornwall we visited Perranporth.
Today was a glorious day again contrary to expectations and so we returned for a beach afternoon. The sea was gorgeous lovely and warm – the surf was up though the waves were too variable for any good body boarding though we tried.
T Minus 18
A day to tick an item on my UK Bucket List. This is a list of things I have done before but want to do again before I go. Last week it was Alton Towers, this week it is a swim in the Atlantic. It was a great day on the beach – a chance to unwind – and “boy do we need it”.
Great to spend time with family too as we share this holiday with Anita’s parents and sister’s family. It’s good for the cousins to get together before time and distance force a separation.
A week here in Newquay forms part of our “Grand Tour” which will allow us to see most of the family on both sides.
Today’s agenda included beach bowls, swimming, body boarding, sunbathing and relaxing!
A submission to the Weekly Photo Challenge: Between
These Thrift flowers perched on the clifftop above Chapelporth near St Agnes in Cornwall lay between me and the beach below.
Along the coast some other yellow plants (Bird’s Foot Trefoil) at Trevaunance Cove.
Posted in Weekly Photo Challenge
Tagged beach, between, challenge, Cornwall, Flower, photo, Portreath, postaday, Thrift, weekly, weekly photo challenge