Tina Sloane writes:
Karongi / Kibuye Accommodation p. 189
Home st. Jean is such an incredible place to stay it is tempting not to sing its praises in case it starts getting booked up! The views are stunning, the staff are extremely welcoming and the rooms are very reasonably priced. There is even a dormitory, not mentioned in guide, which is even cheaper than the rooms. The only thing which lets Home St Jean down is the time it takes for food to arrive – two hours is about average, with waits of over three hours not unheard off. So it is seriously worth ordering food hours before you are hungry and enjoying a beer and the view while you wait!
Boat trips p. 191
Whilst staying in Karongi many people will offer you boat trips, usually for approximately 30,000rwf for a maximum of 8 people. It is worth wearing relatively sturdy shoes as the walk over Napoleon’s Hat is tricky in flip flops. Sadly there is no longer a bar on Peace Island.
Rubavu / Gisenyi p.192
The taxi park has been completely rebuilt in the north of the town (off current map p.194) and with its relocation there is a sense the town’s center has shifted away from the waterfront slightly.
Rubavu / Gisenyi Accommodation p.197
Sunrise Motel seems to actually be named Sunset Hotel.
The Presbyterian Church Centre d’Accueil is now named Bethany’s and the email is defunct. An ensuite double is now 10,000rwf, which is still good value for clean rooms in a pleasant green setting. As well as serving breakfast, not included, you can take your own food into their dining room.
Where to eat and drink p.198
Green Place isn’t in existence anymore, or not where shown on the current map anyway, but bikini tam tam and the bistro are both adequate spots for sundowners and food, though drinks really are pricey at the latter!
Rubona accommodation p.201
Paradis Malahide, incorrectly labeled on the map as East of Touristique but actually next door on the West, is in a beautiful setting and the food is excellent. Watching the sambazza fisherman heading out from Malahide’s deck and listening to their haunting singing as they row is an incredible experience.
Musanze / Ruhengeri p. 211
The new taxi park is now completed and in the central of the town.
Although there is not much to during the daytime, at the weekends there is some decent nightlife and dancing to be had in Musanze.
Volcanoes national park
It is possible to arrange taxis for your trip into the park through your hotel and most will charge $60-$80 (not the $100 stated in guidebook) to take you both ways, including waiting time.
Accommodation p. 242
Kinigi guesthouse is still as priced in guidebook; set in peaceful gardens, with the stunning volcanoes as a backdrop and with a fire lit in the common room each evening it is a very good value place to explore the park from.
Porters are now 10,000rwf per day and will often walk with you up Mount Bisoke whether you ask them to or not, but won’t demand payment if you don’t give up and give them your bag!
The walk up Mount Bisoke is as tough as described, and I have yet to meet anyone who has made it to the top in 1.5hours – two to three is more normal. The views, depending on weather, of the crater lake and the surrounds are stunning once you reach the top. Sadly, it is not quite possible to “bag the peak” as that would involve crossing into the DRC – the border divides the volcano in two.