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New Tourist Trail Opens Along Laku Kivu

Eradicating poverty in Rwanda through rural tourism

Wolfgang H. Thome, eTN  Mar 07, 2010

The Rwanda Development Board–Tourism & Conservation recently released news about yet another tourism attraction, this latest one being a 200 KM trail along the shores of Lake Kivu and named "Congo – Nile Trail." The distance can be covered alternatively by foot, i.e., extended daily treks, andalso by car and boat where appropriate.

the new tourist product was jointly developed between RDB, the United National World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), and SNV Rwanda. Besides opening up new tourist routes, the new trail is also aimed at involving the local communities along the way by giving them options to make a sustainable income from providing a variety of services to tourists, including locally-based guides explaining the significance of cultural sites and specific customs in the area and showing visitors the birds and plants at that location.

The trail also traverses one of the major continental water divides, where the Congo basin separates from the Nile basin, besides offering insights on coffee and tea estates along the way, permitting the walkers to take in the sights, sounds, and scents of rural Africa.

The trail, if done entirely by foot, should take fit walkers about 8 days while the same tour by car takes about 3 days, still with plenty of walking, of course. Boating, in both cases, will be part of the experience, now that RDB has acquired a motorized launch suitable for safe operations with tourists on board. Here, in particular, the landscapes can be appreciated from the water, and the launch trips also offer sightings of many bird species along the lake shores otherwise difficult to spot.

The SNV involvement also focuses on poverty reduction and poverty eradication through tourism activities as one of their own major goals for their work in Rwanda, and considering how proactive RDB was in recent years to bring tourism benefits to their own communities who live nearby national parks and tourism attractions, this surely must be a recipe for success.

Eradicating poverty in Rwanda through rural tourism
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