Lake Muhazi is a Kinyarwanda name and this thin shallow lake is located along the eastern side of Rwanda. This is also known as a flooded valley lake which lies in an east and west direction. This lake has also got a concrete dam at the west end and was constructed in 1999 to be able to replace the earth dam which existed in the past time. This lake also empties its water into Nyabugogo River that flows in the south direction of Kigali city where it meets with “Nyabarongo River.”
This lake is easily accessible from the three main routes of Rwanda including; Gatuna road which passes in the western side of the lake, Kyonza road that runs parallel to the lake side in the south and lastly is the kagitumba road which runs to the lake side at about 3.8 kilometers. Lake Muhazi is also 60km long and its width is 5km covering five provinces of the country including; the kigali province, eastern province, northern province, Rwamagama district, Kayonza and Gatsibo district in the north.
It’s also known that Rwanda was founded in the 14th century after the disintegration of the Kitara Empire along the shores of Lake Muhazi in the Buganza area. The lake also became the border zone between Rwanda and Gisaka for over 200 years. This lake also was used by the Germans and Belgians colonialists as a means of transport linking Kigali and the western side of the country to the north and east routes of Gahini. The lake was also used as a scene of killings during the 1994 genocide that took place in Rwanda.
The locks in the lake vary in length and the hills have got a schist base with the geology arose between 1400 Ma through many flooded sediments. This lake has a temperate tropical climate characterized with low temperatures which are good for the equatorial countries with their high elevation. It harbors large populations of spotted necked otters estimated to be between 200 to 400 individuals.
The lake has variety of bird species including; the malachite king fishers, pied king fishers, the African fish eagles, arrow marked, black lured, swamp flycatchers, village weavers, the African paradise fly catchers, bronze, scarlet chested, whited breasted cormorants, yellow fronted canaries, yellow billed storks, open bill, cattle egrets and the grey crowned cranes. There are also many fish species including; marbled lung fish as well as Tilapia. This lake is also famous for tourism since it features two main resorts including; the seeds of peace center that offers accommodation facilities and beach, tourists who travel to Rwanda use these as stop overs to and from Akagera national park famous for wildlife viewing. It also offers bird watching, fishing, as well as boating. The Rwesero beach located on the north eastern shores of the park, offers camping accommodation facilities to travelers.
Accommodation facilities at Lake Muhazi
Muhazi beach Hotel
It’s located on the shores of this lake in the Rwamagana district just 45 minutes’ drive from Kigali city. The location is known to be the best gate way for visitors who would like to escape from the busy city. It has got many products with exotic rooms for the visitor’s stay. The place is good for business people, locals, honey mooners as well as tourists. The beach hotel offers well managed gardens, perfect honey moon location, wireless internet, beach good for swimming, as well as boat cruises.
Lake Muhazi Holiday cottage
It’s located in Kigali city 19km from Ivuka Arts studio. It features a terrace, a seating and a dining area. The main units of this cottage include; a balcony with Good Mountain views, a refrigerator, as well as a kitchen. This property has got a private beach as well as car hire services. The main tourist activities here include; fishing, canoeing, cycling, and a visit to the Kandt house National History museum.
There is also a new resort called Lake Muhazi Golf & Country Resort and Boulevard that is in planned to be constructed along the shores of the lake. This project was launched in 2006 and was anticipated to be constructed in three main phrases. Rwanda housing Authority has also completed the necessary land study for the start of construction of this resort.