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SPECIAL ATTRACTION REVIEW: Heaven on the Lake? Sounds strange!!!!

Yes it is and actually we are here. Just a reminder from our previous blog you can read here Darius Day one on Iliza this time no fatigue, no hunger, no nothing but just smiles all over from me and my twins as I prefer to call them.  They can’t hide the excitement just like father like son and daughter as the saying goes.

Ntwali Darius Young And Ngabo Darius Neumann on pose for a photo on Iliza and One of the Island they visited. Dressed by Top Kids Kigali Store Nyarugenge Market.

Ntwali Darius Young And Ngabo Darius Neumann on pose for a photo on Iliza and One of the Island they visited. Dressed by Top Kids Kigali Store Nyarugenge Market.

Its day three of the Darius’ adventure on Iliza- Heaven on the Lake

Iliza House Boat on Lake Kivu in Rwanda.

We have never done a big boat since the kids were born. We did some small boat tours around East Africa’s smallest lakes like Lake Bunyonyi and the likes. But this type, never!!!

So how was the feeling like this time?

Of course just like everyone they are no exception. But everything was new to us. Sleeping on the boat floating on water was our first time in the whole of our history. To us heaven seems to be a simple or down to the bottom word that anyone can use. I would prefer another word be added in the dictionary for the sake describing Iliza boat and the experience. What would that be? I will come up with one.

Beds

At first sight from the outside its hard to believe what we saw after entering. Saying it’s an in-house boat is an under phrasing and description. It should be called a house on the Lake. If at all, the slogan heaven on the lake had started making sense. Actually a lot of sense. The boat can accommodate the whole family of 6 persons. So to say two parents on the double and four children on the single double deck beds in two different rooms. To Ngabo Darius Neumann and Ntwali Darius Young it was over whelming to sleep while peeping at the lake and night fishermen passing around. Every kid that’s a dream night. To me it was enchanting. All night I heard the voice of sea animals and water flows only.

A luxury double bed on Iliza and Two Decks for children are waiting for you on Iliza House boat in Rwanda.

A luxury double bed on Iliza and Two Decks for children are waiting for you on Iliza House boat in Rwanda.

Seating Room

On Iliza boat there was masses of seating. No issue with where to sit, we moved around naturally. The boat has a big seating space cabin enough for everyone in the family including your dog if need be. We were comfortable the whole time and didn’t feel out of space. A cabin being a perfect place to contain the kids and get some rest if you’ve had a long drive beforehand. Wait a minute, Iliza management has made it a point to include entertainment for you and the kids so that the whole family feels at home. All types of games are there. The seating is much more aeroplane first class style in round sofa set for 6 pax and above.

Ngabo Darius Neumann Picture in Iliza sitting room. Dressed by Top Kids Kigali Store in Nyarugenge Market Rwanda.

Entertainment

There is a lot of entertainment on Iliza boat. Music lovers are sorted out from the rooftop terrace bar and lounge to their seating room and rooms if you want. To my twins as I mentioned that earlier They actually didn’t want to get to bed. All types of toys are stocked in the seating cabin to make them more comfortable and forget all the three months nonstop book life they have been at school or even the other 10 hour, Kampala Kigali stressing road trip. We can’t thank them enough for thinking about my children and mostly my twins. They didn’t want to leave.

Ntwali Darius Young enjoying games onboard Iliza.  Ngabo Darius Neuman show off what she made out of her favourite on Iliza. Dressed by Top Kids Kigali Store in Nyarugenge Market Rwanda.

Ntwali Darius Young enjoying games onboard Iliza.  Ngabo Darius Neuman show off what she made out of her favourite on Iliza. Dressed by Top Kids Kigali Store in Nyarugenge Market Rwanda.

Adventure on the Lake Kivu

Adventure on Iliza is a shock !!! I have always felt dizzy, scared and with a lot of shivers moving down my spine every time I step in a boat, big or small. But this time, Not one little bit. I managed to eat some food and have a coffee And everything was fine. This time not even sitting in the middle as I have always done but rather on the edges with my twins. That’s so mean of myself. I mean sleeping on the hammock with my twins when the boat is moving and connect to the world.

The Darius’s enjoy a ride on Iliza while sleeping in a comfortable Hammock of Iliza. Kids Dressed by Top Kinds Nyarugenge Market in Rwanda.

Of course when we felt like it’s enough of Iliza we had to jump over to the small yellow boats. I just don’t know what had scared the hell out of us to go and even peddle our own. Never had the feeling I got the moment I moved just few meters on our own.  10 minutes later I and my twins felt shocking. Not actually sick, but fairly awful and it was actually flat calm. Not sure what happened but at some point me and my twins felt choppy but the love of adventure was calling all the time. It’s at this point that we felt even immersing ourselves in water and feel the awe of Lake Kivu as we leave our Iliza to wonder around waiting for us.

Kayaking and Canoeing trips are some of the activities Iliza expedition provides. The Darius’s on Iliza small canoes to an Island. Kids dressed by Top Kids Store Kigali Rwanda.

There are many islands on the lake which are good for families especially when you have kids. We visited Napoleon island and from here we did a couple of Photo shoots for the twins. They love posing for pictures. I just spoilt them that way in the last 10 years they have lived on this planet world.

Ngabo Darius Neumann and Ntwali Darius Young pose for a photo in one of the islands in Lake Kivu. Dressed by Top Kids Nyarugenge market store in Rwanda.

Ngabo Darius Neumann and Ntwali Darius Young pose for a photo in one of the islands in Lake Kivu. Dressed by Top Kids Nyarugenge market store in Rwanda.

Food and drinks

The breakfast on Iliza was ok and amazing and reasonably priced. We didn’t feel like we have been robbed which a good start is always. There were quite a lot of options from an A la Carte to snacks and everything in between. There was also someone who was taking care of us in case we needed anything extra off the menu. Her name is Fanny. She smiles all the time you call on her name and listens attentively. And by the way, the captain is also a good cook. Am not a fun of sea food but for the kids it’s their hobby. I enjoyed a lot of good local food from the hills of Karongi including potatoes, bananas greens and some red meat. All in all everything was Yummy !!!!

The Darius’ enjoy local yummy food on Iliza House boat.

I bet even if you are to stay 100 days you would still have enough than you need. The boat has an inbuilt Kitchen so at some point had to hit the Kitchen and prepare coffee of my choice without calling on the waitress or chef. Due to limited space Fanny and Captain Alphonse doubles as the waitress and Chef, Waiter and Captain respectively. What a multi talented team on Iliza. You don’t have to worry about getting off the dock station since all is catered for.

Darius prepares porridge for the young ones inside Iliza’s Kitchen. It’s your choice if you want a meal of your own.

Our story on Iliza continues for Day four and five in our next blog.

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Watch Iliza house boat adventure here : https://youtu.be/5foDmvNxymg

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10 Must Have For a Successful Group Tour in Rwanda, Number 2 & 3 Will Surprise You

Its early morning me and my friends decide to take a road trip from Kigali to Musanze found in northern Rwanda, then to Gisenyi and finally Nyungwe national park found in the western part of the country. Basically from the north to the south and finally settle to the west of the country. To be honest it’s one of the memorable trips we have taken during our recent trips in Rwanda.

7 of us decided to put together the little resources we had and took the road less travelled by many in Rwanda. What do I mean?  Camping, street food, budget food and budget accommodation in case we failed to get where to erect our tents. Let me first put for you the basic needs you need to pack before taking this kind of trip.

7 Seater Land cruiser provided by Amahoro Tours.

7 Seater Land cruiser provided by Amahoro Tours.

 

  1. Most of the trading centers and towns in Rwanda have markets but there is one problem. They sell locally produced foods like veggies and the likes. If you are a person who likes fresh food then don’t pack any because fresh food is available everywhere. But if you like manufactured food, please don’t leave the big towns like Kigali without packing enough. If your intention is to adventure and eat what you like at a minimum budget, this is the way to go.
  2. Cooking Gas. This is a must pack. These days we are lucky to have a variety of choices and different sizes that can fit your car boot or side car mobile store. For us we were lucky to grab one non-explosive cylinder from Safe Gas Rwanda. It’s a 12 Kgs gas cylinder with plastic cover to avoid scratches on your car in case you don’t have its holder and as you hear it its non-explosive meaning safer than the common metallic gas cylinders. Their stores are available everywhere in the country. I know you want to ask me gas for what? Of course we are looking at ways of saving your money on a trip and cook the best dish you want. Isn’t that a sweet thing? This you avoid hefty bills charged by hotels and restaurants and you still go unsatisfied. You can prepare you freekin finger leaking food anywhere anytime. You just stop and set up your kitchen in two minutes and the next five you are eating your food. No waiter, no chef and nor big bills after eating. It’s that simple!!!
  3. Gas stoves and cooking oil. Of course this is a cooking companion like all of you know that. We got one family stove from GLAMSTAR INTERNATIONAL Rwanda office with three stove cooking space and the best side of it is, it has a self ignition. So no need for matchboxes and whatever. Isn’t that a good thing? In the same store we found Mala cooking oil and we got ourselves a 5 liter jerry can. I bet we still have balance from the trip for all our families at home or maybe for the next two trips of the kind.
  4. 7 Seator car. Of course the number matters. You are well conversant that in Rwanda there is no excess passenger just like in any other part of the world. We had this 7 seator Monster from Amahoro Tours, the number one travel company in Rwanda. It has extra space behind for luggage, enough seating area and comfortable seats to make your trip memorable.
  5. Musanze is very cold and so is Nyungwe near Kivu Lake. Temperatures can go for as low as 15`c and some of us who are used to hot areas you can catch up a cold.
  6. Rain coats. These two areas of Rwanda are so surprising. In few minutes it rains and in the next few seconds it’s damn sunny. But most of the times it’s raining or drizzling. If not one of the two then it’s cold cloudy. We got some from Narayan Uniforms store located just after Chezlando round about in Remera on airport road. It’s the best so far we have used.
  7. Hiking shoes. Take this more serious please!!!! 90% this part of Rwanda is hilly and mountainous. Most of the places with fun or good adventure lie between 2,500 ft to 9,000 ft above sea level. All these places are steep and slippery or maybe with sharp volcanic dry lava stones. These we still got from Narayan uniforms store on the same address
  8. Walking stick. This we managed to get one on Rwanda development board offices but in case you are not comfortable with theirs which is locally made wood, then it’s better to carry yours. This will support you on the steep slopes while hiking the volcanoes, and steep hills of western Rwanda. At Gorilla Mountain view hotel in Musanze they are always kind enough to give you one if you request early enough from reception.
  9. Protective gear. These include helmets, gloves and more. We had a plan of visiting Musanze caves and many more jungles that are quiet risky on the body. Bats droppings for example can damage your skin. Bats are found in Musanze caves. You can still get this from Narayan Uniforms store. Good quality and reliable. At RDB reception in Musanze you can as well get some for park guests.
  10. Tents and beddings. Camping is not a common habit among Rwandans. But to be honest its even the most safest country you can go camping in Africa. You will not expect to find your shoes or side mirror of the car missing. You just need to let authorities know that you are around. Late in the evening we would see police and army patrolling the whole place and that would give us an assurance that we are safer. More still there are so many places all over that give you an option of setting up your own tent at an affordable cost. For example in Musanze we slept at Redrocks on a peanut budget. In Nyungwe we camped at Uwinka on the same size budget. Tents are available in many stores in Kigali.
Camping is Available at Red Rocks Rwanda on small budget.

Camping is Available at Red Rocks Rwanda on small budget.

 

I know now you are asking yourself that all this luxury how much did we spend? Well its just USD$960 for this 5 days trip 7 people. Including all everything. Unbelievable!! Isn’t it?

What do you think?

Watch our trip here in this episode – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6YHcKkyD1ks