Our Rough Ride | Congo Nile Trail

The adventure continued with my parents and aunt from Kibuye to Gisenyi…

We all have those trips that we think we have all planned out, itineraries, and printed google maps to get us from place to place…but there are those times when best laid plans don’t go your way. This adventure was one of them but it will be one we will all be talking and laughing about for the rest of our lives…there is no way we will ever forget about it.


As we set out on our trek from Kibuye to Gisenyi, we followed the signs we saw for Gisenyi and the hand gestures of the locals we passed on the way. Everything we had read and seen on google maps said that the drive should be a 1.5 hour ride described as a roller coaster ride. We quickly realized the categorization didn’t accurately depict what we were experiencing but we continued to be reassured this was the route as we asked more locals and police officers passing by.

The theme of “African massage” started during our safari at Akagera National Park continued during our water weekend as we winded around up and down the thousand hills along Lake Kivu. But the real massage came from the washboard, potholed road we navigated through tossing us from side-to-side.

No photo or video could really capture the journey we had and the obstacles in the road but this is at least a glimpse. Instead of frustration throughout our entire 4.5 hour drive, we all ended up with a case of the giggles. Uncontrollably laughing as we were thrown around in our seats, hitting heads on the roof and elbows on the doors.


We passed our time watching the beautiful views and the cascading hills one after another, never-ending hills lined with tea plants, watching young boys flying down the hills on their handmade wooden scooters, waving hello to the kids we passed, and comparing the kitenge fabric worn by women we passed.

We later figured out that we ended up taking the Congo-Tile Trail, a route sometimes biked over an almost 2 week span. We can only suspect that there was a much easier and faster route for us to have taken. It was an adventure for sure and one that we don’t plan to ever do again.

Our reward was our toes in the sand and a few beers and glasses of wine over dinner at the Serena Hotel in Gisenyi overlooking another part of Lake Kivu.