Lake Kivu Paddlesport Leader

KIGALI, Rwanda – Jan. 10, 2018 – ANEWSWIRE – Three Rwandans(Rafiki François Munyabega; Gratien Uwikunda and Eloi Ntsinzi) have today passed their British Canoeing Paddlesport Leader Awards and, outside of the UK, become the first do so not just in Africa but in the entire world. This is a significant achievement for them and marks important progress in the establishment of Paddlesports such as kayaking, canoeing and paddleboarding as professional, world‑class tourism activities in Rwanda.

Lee Pooley, Director of Coaching at British Canoeing ( explained, “British Canoeing is at the leading edge of Coach and Leadership qualifications, developing awards and qualifications for all aspects of Paddlesport from sheltered water to advanced conditions. Through extensive education, research and development British Canoeing continually improve and design products to support paddlers, leaders and coaches on the water.”

Darren Sherwood of Channel Training delivered the training and assessments in Rwanda. The Paddlesport Leader Award (…) is designed to provide leaders in places like Lake Kivu and the Mukungwa River in Rwanda with the skills that they need to run safe, quality, enjoyable trips based on their group’s needs and aspirations. Coupled with an ITC Level 3 Outdoors First Aid qualification, that Darren Sherwood also ran for them, this is the best internationally recognised qualification to certify their competence.

With no hippos or crocodiles and crystal clear, clean water, Lake Kivu in the heart of the African Rift Valley is a spectacular, safe location for kayaking and paddleboarding. Indeed, using modern kayaks that are designed for touring along the coast, Kingfisher Journeys ( operates short excursions and multi-day adventures guided by the Rwandan leaders who have today gained their new qualification.

Nearby, on the Mukungwa River in the foothills of the Virunga Volcanoes, again using modern canoes, Kingfisher Journeys’ leaders also run a stunning trip though the thousand hills for which Rwanda is so famous.

Steve Venton, Kingfisher Journeys’ director said that, “bookings from tour operators in the US, UK, Germany, Australia and South Africa are increasing and expected to grow significantly in 2018. Therefore, despite the fact that Paddlesports have only been operating in Rwanda for two years, British Canoeing qualifications provide clients with the confidence that all our trips will be operated to the highest safety and quality standards, based on their more than 80 years of experience.”


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