Lifestyle & Parenting

Rwanda Redux

March 12, 2009

Our intrepid reporter stepped out of her typical travel routine and into
Africa with a trek to The Land of a Thousand Hills.

Touch down and connect with a tour operator
wholl take you to the Lake
Kivu Serena Hotel
, situated on one of the best inland beaches on the
continent. Park yourself on the patio overlooking the pool, lake and
lush hillside every morning for a complimentary champagne breakfast,
then head down to the shore for a head and shoulder massage ($120).
Before flying out, consider booking a couple nights at its sister hotel
in the Kigali for potential run-ins with philanthropic stars (Scar Jo
was spotted). From $122. Lake Kivu Serena Hotel, +250 541101, Gisenyi,

With beautiful views of the bustling capital
city and a kitchen trained by New York chefs, Heaven
really is a place on earth. While the delicious beef fillet with cassava
chimichurri main is reason enough to eat there, the restaurant, run by a
American couple, extends its good beyond good food by sourcing
ingredients locally and giving the attentive staffmany of whom were
orphaned by the 1994 genocidea healthy wage. Heaven, No. 5, Rue du Mont
Juru, Kiyovu (three streets from Mille Collines Hotel), Rwanda,

Rwanda boasts and roasts some of the best
beans in the world, so park yourself at the nearest Bourbon Coffee for
the afternoon. The café, which attracts all the caffeine-crazed expats,
partners directly with local farmers, and will open up its first outpost
on our continent this year. Bourbon Coffee, MTN Centre, Nyarutarama,

For those who love to barter Canal
Street-style, check out the lively Nyabugogo Market (at the bottom of
Rue du Lac Hago) and its vast array of vendors. If fixed pricing is more
your thing, head to the Union Trade Center (in Centreville) to satisfy
your global shopper. UTC hosts a bevy of shops that carry unique Rwandan
craftslike beaded necklaces hand-rolled from recycled paperthat youll
want to bring home.

Well-known for its gorillas, an expedition
into the misty hills will have you witnessing the last remaining
creatures that Dian Fossey first introduced. If youre not ape about
primates, but still want something wild, talk to a local tour company
wholl take you by boat to Napoleans Bat Island on Lake Kivu. While we
love the Dark Knight, we didnt want to get too close, so our guide went
on ahead and awoke the nocturnal creatures for us. He was able to rouse
a thousand and it blew our socks off.



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