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An intimate little paradise on the shores of Lake Kivu

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By Gilbert Mwijuke

One of the loveliest things about travel is taking in nature’s dazzlingly beautiful handiwork that we don’t usually get to see in daily life. Somewhere on the shores of Lake Kivu in Rubavu district, Paradis Malahide lets you relish these sights even longer.

Located in Nyamyumba – a bright and breezy area about six kilometres south-west of Rubavu town – Paradis Malahide is an intimate little paradise that is ideal for anyone seeking a laidback vacation. See, there’s nothing more trancing and relaxing than swinging palm trees and calm blue waters stretching as far as your eye can see.

I recently spent a weekend here and Paradis Malahide stole my heart. From the delicious food to the effortless elegance and kindness of its staff, Paradis Malahide is a place that oozes charm, sophistication, and romance.

The hotel is named after an affluent coastal suburban town near Dublin city called Malahide, which the owner visited and fell in love with prior to setting up her business.

Paradis Malahide has been welcoming guests since 2002 and most of its clients have feted the hotel as “a piece of paradise in Rwanda”.

One reviewer wrote on TripAdvisor: “We have been here each time we have visited Rwanda and it is most definitely a piece of paradise… This is a restful place to be…sitting under a thatched umbrella near the lakeside watching the fishermen go about their work is terrific.”

In order for you to appreciate Paradis Malahide’s “terrific” beauty, you can simply grab a cold drink, dig your toes into the sand on the resort’s tiny beach, and gaze out over the calm blue waters of Lake Kivu – which is arguably one of the most beautiful lakes on the continent.

For a change of scenery, you can hop on the hotel’s boat and go to the nearby private island, which offers a more relaxed atmosphere.

In the evenings, you can sit on deck chairs under thatched umbrellas and admire the most beautiful sunsets. When it gets dark, you can still enjoy the exterior by hanging around the campfire, which the hotel’s guests enjoy every single night.

Mornings here are characterised by sounds of fishermen singing as they return from a fishing expedition. The singing, I was told, is meant to alert their wives that they are back from their night-long expedition. Once in a while expect some birds out in the trees join in the singing, albeit inadvertently.
Food and drinks
For breakfast, Paradis Malahide’s guests revel in some eggs, toast and bread, which they wash down with fresh juice, coffee or tea (at no extra cost).

For drinks, all clans of alcohol are available at Paradis Malahide – from exotic whiskies to exquisite wines and local beers.

When it comes to meals, the resort’s menu has a lot for you to choose from: chicken, pizza, sambaza, ugali, agatogo, grilled tilapia, rice, mashed potatoes, plain bananas, etc. A whole grilled chicken will set you back by $11 while a whole grilled tilapia served with chips and some salad costs $15. The cheapest option is an omelette, which goes for about $6.
Paradise Malahide may not be the cheapest place to stay in Gisenyi (accommodation prices range from $70-235) but it’s hands down one of the most pleasurable. The prices are worth it!

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