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BEAUTIFUL

RWANDA

No. 1 Safari Lodges in Rwanda


No. 1 Safari Lodges in Rwanda MOUNTAIN GORILLA VIEW LODGE FLAME TREE VILLAGE AKAGERA SAFARI CAMP KIVU SAFARI LODGE

P.O. BOX 246, MUSANZE, RWANDA

MOUNTAIN GORILLA VIEW LODGE

CENTRE OF RESERVATIONS TEL: +250 788 305 708

Email: info@3bhotels.com Website: www.3bhotels.com


Foreword

Welcome to Beautiful Rwanda The land of a thousand hills

K

aribu Rwanda-Welcome to Rwanda; the land of a thousand hills.

Family Group of Hotels. We are committed to making your stay with us as memorable and as comfortable as possible.

Rwanda offers an amazing array of sights and sounds that will no doubt imprint lasting memories for your visit; from the endangered Mountain Gorillas in northern Rwanda, to the beats of the famous Intore dancers of Rwanda.

3B Hotels cares deeply for the environment and we are actively engaged in community conservation programmes, especially near the Volcanoes National Park.

Explore Rwanda

3B Hotels group is also involved in community empowerment programmes that include giving back to the communities around which we operate.

We invite you to explore this our great nation and experience our people’s warmth and hospitality. Nature lovers will explore the great outdoors of Akagera National Park where big game roam freely. Animal lovers will experience the great African primates that include the vervet monkeys, the golden monkeys and chimpanzees in Nyungwe Forest.

Once again, we thank you for choosing to stay with us.

Adventure seekers will love to hike the Thousand Hill Nile Trail in Kibuye and experience a rewarding water sports experience on the shores of the Lake Kivu. Bird watchers will be at home at the Gashora bird watching sites, arguably one of the birding hotspots in Rwanda. Rwanda has so much to offer; Rwanda has so much to see and do; welcome to our Rwanda; our Remarkable Rwanda.

Paul MUVUNYI, Founder, 3B Group of Hotels

3B Group of Hotels It is such a pleasure to welcome you to the 3B www.3bhotels.com

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Regulars 3 Foreword Introduction from the founder 4

Travel Information Useful travel information for Rwanda

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Location Map Rwanda location map

Features

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Mountain Gorillas Gorillas in the mist

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Birds of Rwanda Rare and unique birds from Rwanda

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Lake Kivu

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The Ticking Team Profiles of some 3B Hotels staff

Kigali City Massive infrastructure projects


Contents

BEAUTIFUL RWANDA is the official in-room magazine of 3B Group of Hotels of Rwanda. Published on behalf of

No. 1 Safari Lodges in Rwanda 3B GROUP OF HOTELS, P.O. BOX 246, MUSANZE, RWANDA CENTRE OF RESERVATIONS: (COR) +250 788 305708 E-MAIL: WEBSITE:

info@3bhotels.com www.3bhotels.com

Published by:

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Nyungwe Forest Africa’s largest protected mountain rainforest

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Akagera National Park Big game country

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Tourism Benefits Community members benefiting from tourism

36 FaceTime Interview with the founder of 3B Group of Hotels 37

Rwanda Tour Operators

3B Group of Hotels Index 38

3B Group of Hotels

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Mountain Gorilla View Lodge

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Flame Tree Village

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Akagera Safari Camp

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Kivu Safari Lodge

SAFARI

COMMUNICATIONS SAFARI COMMUNICATIONS LTD. P.O. BOX 13510, WESTLANDS 00800, NAIROBI, KENYA TEL: (KENYA) WIRELESS: +254 20 257 3418 MOBILE: +254 722 731003 (RWANDA) CELL: +250 787 176098 E-MAIL: media@safari-communications.com WEBSITE: www.safari-communications.com

PHOTOGRAPHS: Denis Gathanju, 3B Hotels, Rwanda Development Board (RDB) and Shutterstock

DISCLAIMER: The contents and opinions expressed in this publication are not necessarily those of the editor, the publisher or any other organization associated with this publication. While every caution has been taken in the preparation and production of this magazine, the publisher will not accept any liability whatsoever for any inaccuracies and/or omissions.

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Rwanda has possibly the best roads in East Africa. This makes road transportation around the country easy.

Most foreign nationals will require an entry visa to Rwanda. Visa applications can be made at the nearest Rwanda High Commissions and Embassies abroad.

For regular commute within Kigali, there are public buses and minivans as well as private taxis. Since the taxis are not metered, make sure you negotiate the fare first.

Nationals of countries with no Rwandan embassy can also get a visa upon arrival by prior arranging with their hosts, who may organize a facilitate de’ entrée for them. In line with the bilateral understandings, the nationals of the following nations can visit Rwanda with no visa for a period of up to 90 days; Canada, USA, Germany, Tanzania, Congo (DRC), Uganda, Mauritius, South Africa, Kenya, Britain, Sweden, Hong Kong and Burundi. For more information, visit the Rwanda Directorate General of Immigration and Emigration website at: http://www.migration.gov.rw

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Nationals of countries with no Rwandan embassy can also get a visa upon arrival by prior arranging with their hosts, who may organize a facilitate de’ entrée for them.

A faster and cheaper way of getting around Kigali is by using the motorcycle taxis. However, they have a horrendous safety record. So, use them at your own risk. All of the major urban centres in Rwanda are connected with local and luxury bus services. The main bus station for upcountry buses is at the Nyabugogo Bus Terminal in downtown Kigali. Most visitors who have booked their trips into Rwanda through a tour company will be provided with good private vehicles, usually 4-wheel drive vehicle.


TravelInformation

Rwanda is served by a growing number of local, regional and international airlines.

It is recommended you get an anti-malarial shot before arriving in Rwanda. Travellers should also have a yellow fever shot before arrival. Carry the yellow fever certificate for proof of vaccination.

RwandAir is the national carrier. It operates mainly local and regional flights from its hub at the Kigali International Airport.

It is also recommended that you have a travel and health insurance cover before coming to Rwanda.

Regional carriers that offer regular flights into Kigali include Kenya Airways, Ethiopian Airlines, Air Uganda and South African Airways. International carriers with regular flights into Kigali include SN Brussels Airlines, KLM, Turkish Airlines and Qatar Airways. Due to increased passenger and cargo volumes, Rwanda is expanding Kigali International Airport. Plans are also on-going to start construction of a much bigger airport at Bugesera, south-east of Kigali City.

Language

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Due to increased passenger and cargo volumes, Rwanda is expanding Kigali International Airport.

Kinyanrwanda, the local indigenous language is widely spoken and is the national language in Rwanda. Even though English and French are widely spoken and used in official meetings, don’t be surprised when all discussions are held in Kinyanrwanda, even in government and private offices.

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Democratic Republic of Congo

Uga Volcanoes National Park

Mountain Gorilla View Lodge

MUSANZE

RUBAVU

Lake Kivu

a w R KIBUYE

Kivu Safari Lodge

KAMEMBE Nyungwe National Park

HUYE

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LocationMap

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a Ak

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Akagera Safari Camp

k UMTARA

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Tanzania

Flame Tree

KIGALI Village CITY

Gashora Bird Watching Site

Burundi

3B Hotels is a family group of hotels with its headquarters in Kigali, Rwanda.

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MOUNTAIN GORILLAS TYPE: Mammal DIET: Omnivore LIFE SPAN: Average life span in the wild is 35 years SIZE: Standing height, 4 to 6 ft (1.2 to 1.8 m) WEIGHT: 135 to 250 kg STATUS: Endangered

Every year the Tourism and Conservation Department of the Rwanda Development Board hosts a gorilla naming ceremony called Kwita Izina in Kinigi near Mountain Gorilla View Lodge. For more information, visit: www.rdb.rw 3B Hotels Group by close proximity to the Volcanoes National Park also organizes a visit to the Dian Fossey Memorial. Dian Fossey committed so much time on the research of the Mountain Gorillas.

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Rwanda is one of the three countries in the world where the Mountain Gorillas can be seen in their natural habitat

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COME EXPLORE WITH PRIMATE Primate Safaris, just as the name suggests, evokes dreams of mysterious jungles filled with rare flora and fauna and the world of free-living primates. The reality will not disappoint the traveller bored with mass tourism, seeking an exclusive, highly enlightening and enjoyable ecotourism experience. We select only the finest hotels and lodges in the cities and out in the bush. Each is carefully chosen to reflect not only our own high standards but also the spirit of the itinerary in which it is used.

Quality guides & transportation, with guaranteed window seats

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Primate Safaris Ltd 98, Avenue de la Paix Kigali - Rwanda Office line: +250 252 503428/9 Cellphone: +250 788300495 / 784300079 Email: info@primatesafaris.info, primatesafaris@rwanda1.com Website: www.primatesafaris.info BEAUTIFUL RWANDA / ISSUE 1


MountainGorillas

A Lifetime Experience Tracking for the Mountain Gorillas is one of the highlights of any visit to Rwanda.

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here are roughly 700 Mountain Gorillas remaining in the world. More than half of the remaining Mountain Gorilla populations are to be found within the mountains of the Virunga Volcanoes Massif in the great lakes region of central Africa. These Mountain Gorillas live on the green, volcanic slopes of the Virunga mountain range that span across the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), southern Uganda and northern Rwanda.

tain Gorillas so as to ensure their survival. Through such initiatives the population of the Mountain Gorillas has been on a steady rise over the past few years. However, the gorillas are still in danger as they face a massive onslaught by humans within their habitat. The gorillas have also not been spared from the destructive poaching activities within the region.

Two Sub-species

Conservation Initiatives

The Mountain Gorilla is one of the two sub-species of the eastern gorilla.

In light of their dwindling numbers, numerous conservation programmes have been initiated in the three countries with a view to protecting the natural habitat of the Moun-

There are two populations of these gorillas. One of these populations is found within the Virunga Massif. These populations of mountain gorillas are found within

“

There are roughly 700 Mountain Gorillas remaining in the world. More than half of the remaining Mountain Gorilla populations are to be found within the mountains of the Virunga Volcanoes Massif in the great lakes region of central Africa www.3bhotels.com

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three National Parks across the three countries where the Mountain Gorillas are found.

older adult male, often called a silverback because of the swath of silver hair that clads the male’s back.

These include the Mgahinga Gorilla National Park in southwest Uganda; the Volcanoes National Park, in north-west Rwanda; and the Virunga National Park in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

Mountain Gorillas are normally non-aggressive mammals. However, intruders are treated to an awesome display of bravado, often performed by the silverback male.

The other mountain gorilla population is found within Uganda’s Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. These populations of mountain gorillas are found within three National Parks across the three countries where the Mountain Gorillas are found. These include the Mgahinga Gorilla National Park in southwest Uganda; the Volcanoes National Park, in north-west Rwanda; and the Virunga National Park in the eastern DRC. The other mountain gorilla population is found within Uganda’s Bwindi Impenetrable National Park.

Social Settings Mountain Gorillas have longer hair and shorter arms than their lowland cousins. They also tend to be a bit larger than other gorillas. They live in social settings or groups of families with up to 30 individuals. This family set-up is mainly led by one dominant, 12 BEAUTIFUL RWANDA / ISSUE 1

Mountain Gorillas are normally non-aggressive mammals. However, intruders are treated to an awesome display of bravado, often performed by the silverback male.

The male is known to stretch to its full size by standing upright, as though to intimidate the intruder. He is also known to make aggressive acts that include loudly thumping his massive chest with his huge fists, as though to challenge the intruder for a fight. He also lets out a deafening and frightful roar to cow any intruders warning them to stay away.

Gestation Period Female gorillas have a similar gestation period as humans. They give birth to an infant after a pregnancy of nine months. The newborns are tiny. They tip the scales at an average of about two kilogrammes. From the time they are four months of age, they are able to climb and ride on the backs of their mothers until they are roughly two to three years of age. At this age, the young gorillas are such a playful lot. They spend their days running around, climbing trees and swinging from one tree branch to the other.


GorillaTracking

A REMARKABLE PASSION FOR MOUNTAIN GORILLAS American couple clocks towards 100 gorilla treks in Rwanda

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or those who have never done it before, tracking for the Mountain Gorillas is often referred as a once-in-a-lifetime experience; for those who have tracked for gorillas, it is said to be addictive and many would consider doing it again.

The latter statement is best exemplified by a unique American couple that came to Africa, came to Rwanda and simply fell in deep love with the magnificent mountain gorillas. Meet Joe McDonald and his wife Mary Ann McDonald. Joe and Mary are a celebrated couple that has led numerous nature and wildlife photographic expeditions across the world. When the couple first toured Rwanda in 2003 and made their first epic trek up the Virunga Mountains in search of the endangered Mountain Gorillas, they simply caught the bug that many before them had caught - a desire to do another trek. This year, the couple celebrated an envious 75th gorilla trek in northern Rwanda. And going by the couple’s continued affection of the gorillas, this will not be their last trek. The couple is seeking to hit and exceed 100 gorilla treks! Joe has been photographing wildlife and nature since 1966. He started by photographing pet turtles, lizards and snakes while still in high school. His wife Mary is also an avid wildlife and nature photographer. She has been photographing wildlife and nature since 1990.

And going by the couple’s continued affection of the gorillas, this will not be their last trek. The couple is seeking to hit and exceed 100 gorilla treks! www.3bhotels.com

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KIGALI CITY Kigali is the Capital City of Rwanda. Kigali was founded in 1907 under German rule The city has been the economic, cultural, and transport hub of Rwanda since it became capital at independence in 1962 Kigali houses several memorials, museums, and centers dedicated to the Rwandan Genocide, including the Kigali Genocide Memorial Centre. Other museums include the National Museum of Rwanda and Kandt House Museum of Natural History. Urugwiro is the official residence of the President of Rwanda. It constitutes an entire village within the Kacyiru district of Kigali. For more information, visit the Kigali City website at: www.kigalicity.gov.rw 3B Hotels Group operates the Flame Tree Village in Kigali. Tours to the Kigali Genocide Memorial and other attraction sites in Kigali can be arranged on request.

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A futuristic view the planned business district in Kigali

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MASSIVE INFRASTRUCTURE PROJECTS HERALD KIGALI’S FUTURE

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igali is Rwanda’s commercial and administrative centre. Once a rundown capital that witnessed the horrors of the 1994 Genocide, the city has risen from the ashes and is amongst the fastest growing cities on the African continent. The city’s streets and boulevards are amongst some of the cleanest in Africa. They are well planned and landscaped with a view to not only enhancing a sense of national pride amongst the Rwandan people, but also to attract foreign investors into the country.

Drawing Board Notwithstanding the ease of 16 BEAUTIFUL RWANDA / ISSUE 1

Notwithstanding the ease of doing business in the country, Kigali is thus attracting new businesses like a moth is drawn to a light

doing business in the country, Kigali is thus attracting new businesses like a moth is drawn to a light. Over the past few years, the city has been sent back to the drawing board with a view to enhancing service provision to its growing population and new businesses. This has included the drawing up of new strategic plans that are meant to attract more business into the city and into the country while at the same time enhancing the profile of the country. Kigali has, consequently, been undergoing a gradual transformation that will be spearheaded by some large-scale mega projects that include a new US$ 300 million convention centre, a newly designed


KigaliCity

central business district and a sparkling new US$ 700 million international airport at Bugesera.

nounce its arrival on the regional and international MICE (meetings, incentives, conferencing and exhibitions) industry once the completion of the much-hyped Kigali Convention Centre is completed.

Conference Tourism Key amongst the city’s strategic plan is to enhance its position as a centre for business. This has included tapping into the lucrative conference tourism business. With many regional and international companies and organization setting shop in the country, Kigali is seeking to attract more conference delegations. According to experts, the city has the potential of raking in more than US$ 40 million a year from conference tourism alone. This would be an added boost the nation’s growing stature as a preferable business and tourism destination within the region. Currently, the city has limited conference facilities which are currently provided by a host of city hotels. The Kigali Serena Hotel operates one of the most modern conference facilities in the city.

Convention Centre However, Kigali is set to an-

The convention centre will be a first of its kind not only in Kigali and Rwanda, but also in the wider East and Central Africa region.

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However, Kigali is set to announce its arrival on the regional and international MICE (meetings, incentives, conferencing and exhibitions) industry once the completion of the muchhyped Kigali Convention Centre is completed

The convention centre complex is currently under construction on a 13.6 hectare plot in the Kimihururua area of Kigali. The complex will comprise of a 2,600 seater convention centre, arguably the largest such facility within the East and Central Africa region. The complex will also boast a medium-sized conference hall and at least 10 meeting rooms. Also in the complex blueprint is a five-star 292bed hotel that will be operated by the internationally renowned hospitality brand Radisson Blu. The complex will also include at least 24,000 square metres of office space, a museum and a shopping mall.

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A shoebill, one of the rare birds that can be seen in Rwanda

BIRD WATCHING Rwanda has seven birding sites covering an estimated 274,535ha or 10 per cent of the size of the country) These seven sites are classified as Important Bird Areas(IBAs) For more information, visit Rwanda Tourism website: www.rdb.rw Also visit the Rwanda Birding Association website at: www.rwandabirding.org

3B Hotels Group can organize bird watching trips to the nearby Bugesera bird watching site which lies just a few kilometers from the Flame Tree Village in Kigali

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BIRDS OF RWANDA

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A

Beautiful Rwanda


BirdWatching

R

wanda offers some of the most spectacular bird watching sites in Africa.

While the Mountain Gorillas remain the major attraction for most travellers to Rwanda, the country enjoys an abundance of other unique animal species that is unrivaled in the region – bird-life. Currently, the forests of the Nyungwe National Park and the savanna plains of the Akagera National Park remain the top bird watching sites in Rwanda. The two parks have more than 650 bird species between them. Of the more than 300 bird species in the Nyungwe National Park, about 25 of the bird species are endemic to the Albertine Rift Valley. This makes the forest one of the best bird watching destinations in Africa. However, the Tourism and Conservation Department of the Rwanda Development Board in conjunction with the Rwanda Birding Association are constantly developing new bird watching sites across Rwanda.

A European bee-eater, one of the many migratory birds that can be seen in Rwanda

New bird watching sites have recently been developed within the Bugesera, Nyabihu, and Rugezi wetlands. These sites can be easily accessed from Kigali.

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Of the more than 300 bird species in the Nyungwe National Park, about 25 of the bird species are endemic to the Albertine Rift Valley. This makes the forest one of the best bird watching destinations in Africa. www.3bhotels.com

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LAKE KIVU Lake Kivu is a large inland lake that straddles the borders of Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo Lake Kivu has a maximum depth of 480 m making it the 15th deepest lake in the world There are numerous islands in the lake. Idjwi Island is the world’s nineth largest inland island with a surface area of 285 km². It is also the second largest inland island in Africa after the Ukerewe island in Lake Victoria Lake Kivu is one of three known exploding lakes. The other two are the Lake Nyos and Lake Monoun in Cameroon Lake Kivu has more than 55 billion cubic metres of dissolved methane gas at a depth of 300 metres.

3B Hotels Group is set to open its Kivu Safari Lodge in Kibuye from where visits to the islands of Lake Kivu can be arranged.

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A spectacular view of one of the numerous islands in Lake Kivu

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I get a high when the customer is satisfied I get a high out of what I do. Nothing gives me better satisfaction than meeting and exceeding the expectations of our guests.

Anne Njoroge Tourism, Promotion & Marketing Director

The daily interaction with people from diverse backgrounds has taught me a lot of things and has made me a better person and professional. And looking back from where we have been to where we are at the moment, it has without a doubt been an incredible journey. And this we have achieved through team work and the inspiration we derive from our chairman and father Mr. Muvunyi and his wife. They have really been very supportive of us and we are very thankful to them. Retiring to bed at the end of a long day, having put a happy smile on someone’s face and knowing I will wake up the next morning and do the same makes me look forward to another bright morning!

I would want to be Rwanda’s tourism ambassador I joined the hotel group in the front office department at Gorilla Nest Lodge in Kinigi. It has been a deeply rewarding career path for me as an individual as I have gained a lot of experience and knowledge.

Mr. Muvunyi has also been very supportive of us all and has instilled in us a team spirit that has made 3B Hotels be what it is today. When not working, I love travelling. Tourism and hospitality are my passions and I would love to be a tourism ambassa dor for our great country Rwanda.

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Isabelle Gikundiro Center of Reservations Director


The Ticking Team As we focus on growth, we are training for the future I came to Rwanda at a time the nation was making massive strides in its reconstruction. The hospitality sector was barely crawling and I am grateful for the opportunity I have had at 3B Hotels to help in setting high service standards. The co-operation and assistance that I and my team has received from the government and from our dad Mr. Muvunyi and his family has enabled us achieve even more. Now I consider myself a true Rwandan as I understand their culture and speak Kinyarwanda. I am proud of what we have achieved as a team in the last nine years and we look forward to achieving even more. 3B Hotels is helping enhance the standards of the hospitality industry by offering industrial internships to Rwandan hospitality students who will marshal the industry in the future.

Jackson Dullu Daido Acting General Manager

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NYUNGWE FOREST Nyungwe Forest has existed for hundreds of thousands of years, and is one of Africa’s oldest forests It is Africa’s largest protected mountain rainforest with a surface area of more than 1,000km2 Nyungwe Forest is home to one of Africa’s greatest concentrations of chimpanzees Nyungwe Forest is rich in bird life as it straddles the bird-rich Albertine Rift Valley The forest boasts more than 300 bird species of which 25 are endemic

For more information, visit Rwanda Tourism website: www.rdb.rw Also visit the Nyungwe National Park website at: www.nyungwepark.com 3B Hotels Group is set to open its Kivu Safari Lodge in Kibuye from where visits to Nyungwe Forest can be arranged

The Canopy Walk at Nyungwe Forest


MOUN

One of the numerous paths and trails within the Nyungwe Forest

A view misty of the Nyungwe Forest Canopy

A misty dawn at Nyungwe Forest Some of the undergrowth at Nyungwe Forest

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NyungweForest

AFRICA’S LARGEST PROTECTED

NTAIN RAINFOREST

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yungwe Forest is one of the most important biodiversity conservation areas in Africa. Situated in the majestic hills of south-western Rwanda, Nyungwe Forest is by far the largest protected mountain rainforests in Africa. The forest is currently located within the Nyungwe National Park which was created in 2005 with the sole objective of protecting Nyungwe Forest.

A water lilly in full bloom

Aside from helping Africa’s largest montane forests remain intact, Nyungwe National Park also helps protect a natural resource that is widely recognized as being of global as well as national significance. Within the forest cover of the Nyungwe is a rich diversity of flora and fauna. The forest has at least 200 tree species and hundreds of flowering plant varieties that include wild begonia and more than 100 species of orchid. Nature lovers will love the tranquil atmosphere of the park. There are numerous hiking and walking trails around the park that lead to the magnificent canopy walk, the only one of its kind in East and Central Africa and the third one in Africa. The trails also lead to primate tracking routes within the forest before opening up to the southern-most source of the might Nile River, the world’s longest river. www.3bhotels.com

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AKAGERA NATIONAL PARK Akagera National Park is the largest national park in Rwanda The park boasts a wide range of big game Akagera National Park has numerous lakes and swamps that attract resident and migrant birds The park is one of the best locations to spot the rare Shoebill bird

For more information, visit Rwanda Tourism website: www.rdb.rw Also visit the Akagera National Park website at: www.african-parks.org

3B Hotels Group will soon be opening the Akagera Safari Camp. Once the camp is open, guests will soon enjoy 3B Hotels’ unrivaled hospitality

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A buffalo at the Akagera National Park

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AkageraWildlife

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“Rolling hills... panoramic views... patches of thick forest and a mosaic of swamp-fringed lakes... ”

Photography by Morgan Trimble

Welcome to Akagera National Park Rwanda’s largest National Park, covering an area of 112,000 hectares, is named for the Akagera River that flows along its eastern boundary and feeds into a labyrinth of lakes. Rolling hills of Acacia bush, panoramic views across scattered grasslands, patches of thick forest and a mosaic of swamp-fringed lakes along the meandering Akagera watercourse all contribute to this parks unrivalled scenic beauty. Akagera is home to the country’s big game. Large herds of buffalo, zebra and giraffe are seen on the open plains while eland, roan and topi are found on the hills. Elephant tend to stay around the lakes, which are inhabited by large numbers of hippo and crocodile. And with over 480 species of birds, Akagera is a birders paradise. African Parks have partnered with the Rwanda Development Board for the management of the park to offer this unique Rwandan wildlife destination. For more information contact us akagera@african-parks.org, +250 (0) 782 166 015 or visit www.akagera.org. BEAUTIFUL RWANDA / ISSUE 1


My children are in school thanks to tourism I am a resident of Nyabigoma Village in Kinigi and I can say that thanks to tourism, my entire life has changed.

ia Nyir Laurenc 50 years

e

angeney

I am one of the suppliers of fresh foods such as vegetables to the Mountain Gorilla View Lodge. Since this lodge was developed here in 2009, the lives of the rural poor community in my village has changed remarkably. We now get a trickle of the tourism dollars because we supply the lodge with fresh foods everyday. Moreover, we now have piped tap water in our homes and now, we will be getting electricity. This has transformed our lives.

Through my earnings, I have been able to educate my children through high school. My first born-son just graduated from college with a diploma in accounts while my other son and daughter are still in high school. Without this contract, I would not been able to take care of my family and educate my children. Muvunyi has helped us a lot and it is true that the entire community in my village has benefited from the tourism in the area. Most of the workers at the lodge come from the village.

Tourism has transformed village life I work as the Head Gardener at 3B Hotels at the Mountain Gorilla View Lodge. I started working with Mr. Muvunyi since 1995 when he was the head of the pyrethrum association in Rwanda. Through my working relationship with Mr. Muvunyi, I have come to learn a lot and do a lot for my family. From my job, I am able to take care of my family and take my first born son through college. He graduated recently from college with a diploma in hotel management as is now employed at Mountain Gorilla View Lodge as the restaurant captain. From my earnings, I have been able to build a permanent house in my village and connect it to the main power grid for electricity and piped tap water. Before this lodge was constructed, we did not have such amenities. I also have a cow from which my family gets milk and we sell the surplus to other villagers. The lodge and tourism in Kinigi has transformed village life. Today, we live like the people in the cities with tap water and electricity.

e, Ndiramiy d r a n o e L 55 years

Is that not amazing? www.3bhotels.com

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PASSION FOR TRAVEL AND PROMOTING RWANDA LED ME INTO THE HOTEL INDUSTRY

Paul Muvunyi is the founder of Rwanda’s leading hotel group. Since founding 3B Group of Hotels in 2002, Paul has invested heavily to ensure that 3B Hotels Group delivers world-class services to its guests. Publisher Denis Gathanju spoke to Paul Muvunyi to expound on the history, present and future of 3B Group of Hotels. Excerpts:

Denis Gathanju (DG): How and when was 3B Hotels established? Paul Muvunyi (PM): 3B hotels is a family company that was stated in 2002. We started the company as Rwanda was making a recovery from the devastating Tutsi Genocide of 1994. The idea came about because there was no hotel or lodge in the Ruhengeri region and many tourists were forced to either cross the border into Uganda or come back to Kigali after trekking for the Mountain Gorillas. DG: What else motivated you to venture into the hotel business? PM: I love travelling and I have travelled extensively to many national parks across the region such as the Maasai Mara in Kenya, Serengeti in Tanzania and Kruger in South 36 BEAUTIFUL RWANDA / ISSUE 1

The visionary leadership of H.E. Paul Kagame has been very supportive of local and international investors keen on investing and promoting tourism in Rwanda

Africa. From the travels, the idea of starting a safari hotel was developed based on the high quality standards in those countries as well as protection of the environment. We started with Gorilla Nest Lodge which had 50 rooms in Kinigi in 2002 until 2008. In 2009 we developed the Mountain Gorilla View Lodge with 30 cottages. DG: What was your motivation when you ventured into the hotel business? PM: Rwanda is a very beautiful country full of flora and fauna that cannot be seen anywhere else in the world. My determination is to showcase these to the world. After the genocide, the Rwandan Government under the visionary leadership of H.E. Paul Kagame has been very


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supportive of local and international investors keen on investing and promoting tourism in Rwanda. The massive infrastructural policy of President Paul Kagame is what that has really helped the development of tourism in Rwanda. Today, Mountain Gorilla View Lodge is connected to the national power grid for the first time. DG: Did you have any experience in the hospitality industry before venturing into the sector? PM: Not at all. However, I have many friends across the region who have been very inspiring and have motivated me to continue. They are many, but some of them include Tinu Mhajan and his late father of Mada Hotels. They are true personal friends of mine. Others include J.S. Vohra of Sarova Hotels and Mahamoud Jan Mohammed, the Head of Serena Hotels. We have also recruited a team of highly trained and qualified personnel, who have been instrumental in observing and setting high quality standards at our lodge in Kinigi and our city hotel at Flame Tree Village in Kigali.

Serving thousands of tourists every year, 3B Group of Hotels is proud of the business relationships it has cultivated with some of the leading tour companies in Rwanda which include: AMAHORO TOURS www.amahoro-tours.com ATTRACTIVE SAFARIS www.attractivesafaris.com BIZIDANNY TOURS & SAFARIS www.bizidanny.com CONCORD MAGIC SAFARIS www.magic-safaris.com EAST AFRICA ECO-EXPLORER www.eastafricaexplorer.com INTERNATIONAL TOURS & TRAVEL www.itt.co.rw JAMBO TOURS RWANDA www.jambotoursrwanda.com JK SAFARIS www.gorillasafaris.net LET’S GO TOURS www.letsgotoursrwanda.com MAPENDANO VOYAGES www.mapendanovoyages.com MERCATOR ASSISTANCE www.mercatorassistance.rw NEW DAWN ASSOCIATES www.newdawnassociates.com PRIMATE SAFARIS www.primatesafaris.info RWANDA ECO-TOURS www.rwandaecotours.com

DG: What is the future of 3B Hotels?

SONGA AFRICA www.songaafrica.com

PM: 3B Hotels is growing. We opened our city property Flame Tree Village in 2012 and we are on course to opening the Akagera Safari Camp in Akagera National park and the Kivu Safari Lodge in Kibuye. Our plan is to diversify our product offering so that our guests can get to enjoy a wide range of our products so as to allow them to stay with us longer by doing a circuit around the country.

THE FAR HORIZONS www.thefarhorizons.com THOUSAND HILLS EXPEDITIONS www.thousandhillsexpeditions.com VIRUNGA EXPEDITION TOURS www.virungaexpeditiontours.com VOLCANOES GORILLA SAFARIS www.volcanoesgorillasafaris.com VOLCANOES SAFARIS www.volcanoessafaris.com

www.3bhotels.com

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Our comfortable beds are designed to have you relax and make you feel at home

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3BHotels

THE HOME OF

HOSPITALITY IN RWANDA

“

This is achieved through an on-going bench-marking programme with some of the leading hospitality groups within the East African region.

T

he 3B Hotels Group is a growing hospitality provider in Rwanda. The group has over the years been known for its superior product and service offering that has distinguished itself from the rest.

qualified professionals that undergo regular training to ensure that the group maintains high service standards that go a long way into ensuring utmost customer satisfaction.

Bench-marking

The hotel group currently has a portfolio of two properties; a city property and a lodge.

3B Hotels Group is consistently looking for avenues of raising its service and product offerings with a quest to be the market leader not in Rwanda. This is achieved through an on-going bench-marking programme with some of the leading hospitality groups within the East African region.

Hotel Portfolio

Two other properties are to be added to the group starting with a new camp in Akagera National Park and a lodge in Kibuye on the shores of the Lake Kivu.

Furthermore, 3B Hotels Group has a personnel of highly

www.3bhotels.com

39


MOUNTAIN GORILLA

D

VIEW LODGE

warfed by the giant Sabyinyo Volcano and offering panoramic views of the nearby Volcanoes National Park sits the magnificent Mountain Gorilla View

Lodge.

The Mountain Gorilla View Lodge has over the years been the place to stay either before or after going out on a memorable trip that is tracking the endangered Mountain Gorillas.

Once-in-a-lifetime journey

Eco-lodge at the heart of gorilla country made of recycled timber and local materials Recognition As a sign of our dedicated service and high quality standards, the Mountain Gorilla View Lodge was awarded a four-star rating for the year 2012 and 2013 by the respected travel website TripAdvisor.

The lodge sits on the southern edge of the Volcanoes National Park. The well-manicured lawns of the lodge provide unobstructed views of the scenic Sabyinyo Volcano mountain on clear days. The lodge is located about 10 minutes’ drive to the main gate of the Volcanoes National Park from where the once-in-a-lifetime journey to track for the Mountain Gorillas commences.

Eco-lodge Mountain Gorilla Lodge is designed and constructed so as not to offset the surrounding environment. The lodge is constructed from recycled timber and locally available material that also includes the grass thatch roofing. The lodge comprises 30 individual cottages that are designed in contemporary African furniture and fittings with original artworks collected from the nearby community. 40 BEAUTIFUL RWANDA / ISSUE 1

TripAdvisor is one of the most read and best travel referral websites in the world. Mountain Gorilla View Lodge is humbled by the massive reviews it has received over the years from thousands of guests who have enjoyed our hospitality. We appreciate them all and look forward to delivering even higher service standards.


MountainGorillaViewLodge

Panoramic views of the Volcanoes mountains from the lawns of the lodge

Spacious rooms afford our guests utmost peace and relaxation

The fireplace at the lobby of the lodge offers our guests a wonderful atmosphere to relax and socialize over a cup of tea or coffee

www.3bhotels.com

41


FLAME TRE Because we mean business, we are open for business

Welcome to stay with us

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FlameTreeVillage

EE VILLAGE Our villas are located in a quiet neighbourhood to ensure your stay with us is as comfortable as it can be

F

lame Tree Village is the flagship hotel under the 3B Hotels Group. The hotel is located in the serene and quiet residential suburb of Nyarutarama in Kigali.

The hotel provides easy access of the Kigali International Airport and Kigali’s Central Business District (CBD) which are located within 10 minutes’ drive from the hotel. Since the hotel is located within a residential neighbourhood, access to other facilities such as a shopping mall is within walking distance. The hotel is located within five minutes’ drive of the nearby Nyarutarama Golf Club and the Kigali Tennis Club.

All the rooms have a well-lit entrance corridor that opens into a large living area with a balcony

Accommodation Flame Tree Village has 20 deluxe suites that are not only spacious, but are tastefully furnished with a view to providing utmost comfort and relation. Whether you are visiting Kigali on a business or leisure trip, the tranquil and quiet atmosphere of the Flame Tree Village will guarantee absolute peace and total relaxation. All the rooms have a well-lit entrance corridor that opens into a large living area with a balcony. They also have a fully equipped kitchenette. The large bedrooms on the lower floor open into a small backyard and boast a spacious bathroom. www.3bhotels.com

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AKAGERA SAFARI CAMP OPENING IN 2014

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AkageraSafariCamp

Activities

Bird watching Boat rides in the lakes and swamps Game viewing including night game drives Cook-outs Bush breakfasts and dinners

A

kagera Safari Camp will soon add onto our growing portfolio of high quality hotels under the 3B Group of Hotels. The camp will offer luxury accommodation to visitors intent on exploring the big game country that is the Akagera National Park. Akagera Safari Camp is due to open in 2014 and we hope to be welcoming you soon.

www.3bhotels.com

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KIVU SAFARI LODGE OPENING IN 2014

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KivuSafariLodge

Activities

Water sports Visit the Bisesero Genocide Memorial Site Visit the local tea and coffee plantations and communities Tours to the islands in the Lake Kivu, including Amahoro Island Hiking the nature trails

K

ivu Safari Lodge will soon add onto our growing portfolio of high quality hotels under the 3B Group of Hotels. The lodge will offer luxury accommodation to visitors intent on experiencing the wonderful outdoors of western Rwanda. Kivu Safari Lodge is due to open in 2014 and we hope to be welcoming you soon.

www.3bhotels.com

47


VOLCANOES GORILLA SAFARIS RWANDA We offer highly personalized services in Rwanda. Be they group or individual tours, we are on hand to ensure a seamless experience. Count on us for a memorable visit in Rwanda. We handle airport transfers, gorilla permits, excursions and hotel accommodation.

P.O. BOX 246, MUSANZE, RWANDA C: +250 788 300630 E: info@volcanoesgorillasafaris.com W: www.volcanoesgorillasafaris.com

VOLCANOES GORILLA SAFARIS RWANDA

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No. 1 Safari Lodges in Rwanda MOUNTAIN GORILLA VIEW LODGE FLAME TREE VILLAGE AKAGERA SAFARI CAMP KIVU SAFARI LODGE

P.O. BOX 246, MUSANZE, RWANDA

CENTRE OF RESERVATIONS TEL: +250 788 305 708

FLAME TREE VILLAGE

Email: info@3bhotels.com Website: www.3bhotels.com


No. 1 Safari Lodges in Rwanda MOUNTAIN GORILLA VIEW LODGE FLAME TREE VILLAGE AKAGERA SAFARI CAMP KIVU SAFARI LODGE

Profile for Safari Communications Ltd.

Beautiful Rwanda  

Beautiful Rwanda is the official in-room magazine of 3B Group of Hotels.

Beautiful Rwanda  

Beautiful Rwanda is the official in-room magazine of 3B Group of Hotels.

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