Banking on tours and travels
Murenzi Migambi, a third-year Bachelor of Science in Tourism Management, comes from the lush green, landlocked country that we admire for its cleanliness and community effort demonstrated through its national cleanup day, Umuganda. Home to mountain gorillas, Rwanda sparked a conversation after it entered a sponsorship deal with Arsenal, a deal Murenzi says builds the country’s reputation in tourism. He sleeps and eats travel and tours and he speaks to us about his experience in the tourism management course as well as giving pointers on places to visit in Rwanda.
Why did you chose to study tourism at Strathmore?
I learnt about Strathmore from my parents’ friends whose children were already at the university. They recommended it highly and so I came here. Being at Strathmore gives me an opportunity to build my knowledge and skills in travel and tours especially since the industry is ever-growing.
Where would you recommend a visitor to discover adventures in Rwanda?
I would take a first-time visitor to Rwanda to the Kigali Genocide Memorial. This will help them appreciate my country more after learning about its dark past. I would then take them to parks outside Kigali. Of particular importance is the Nyungwe Forest National Park. Here you will meet our wide variety of chimpanzees and owl-faced and colobus monkeys.
For those who get a blood rush by hiking and canoeing, the perfect places to do this are in Muhazi, Muhanga and Musanze. Lastly, I would recommend visiting Gisenyi for water sporting activities such as speed boating and the 3S’s (sun, sand and sea) in Lake Kivu at the boundary that we share with Congo.
You were not born during the genocide. What have you learnt from it?
There should be no reason why a country resorts to war. I have only heard of stories and experiences from family and relatives who experienced it firsthand but I know of the consequences. It affected all Rwandese, regardless of whether they were living in Rwanda at the time or not. I can say I am happy I was not yet alive during that period.
How has your experience in Nairobi been?
When I first arrived, I was overwhelmed by the population in Nairobi; it is larger than Kigali. The other aspect about Kenya which struck me is the diverse cultures portrayed by the different tribes among the people I have interacted with.
Have you had a chance to tembea (travel around) Kenya?
I experienced the beauty Kenya has to offer last year after completing my second-year. The school organized a five-day trip of the tourism circuit, that is, Maasai Mara, Nakuru and Nanyuki. The trip was not only fun but also helped us to build knowledge on tourism sites and apply the theory we learnt in class. We spent the first night at Ol Pejeta Conservancy, visited the Lake Nakuru National park on the second day, and wrapped up the trip with two nights at the Maasai Mara.
What is your vision for your career?
With the skills acquired here at Strathmore, I will enhance the industry back home. I would also like to pursue a diploma in travel. Together with the degree, this diploma will give me more knowledge of travel and the airline industry so that I can have the best of both worlds – tours and travel.
What do you enjoy most at Strathmore?
I appreciate the environment which fosters personal growth and maturity. Even though studies are key, at Strathmore one sees the emphasis on other aspects of life such as having a social life and taking part in extracurricular activities. I am a member of the Hospitality and Tourism Students’ Society (HATSS) club which gives us practical skills on what we learn.
This article was written by Wambui Gachari.
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