Rwanda has found an investor ready to implement the ambitious cable car project which was budgeted for an enormous $ 38 million three years ago.
KT Press has reliably learnt that Leitner Group, an Italian company is expected to build this luxurious technology of transport and communication at Kalisimbi volcano, the highest mountain of the country and the fourth in Africa-4,507 meters (14,787 ft) above the sea level by 2017.
In terms of altitudes the Rwandan cable car infrastructure will be the first in Africa to be placed in the highest level, and the second, worldwide.
The Karismbi cable car project, second on the continent after Cape Town cable car-South Africa was stalled in 2013 when Rwanda couldn’t get an investor to implement it.
Feasibility, economic and financial studies were undertaken and the project looked viable and profitable according to a Nepal based company- Beed Management- that was hired to design a feasibility study in 2013.
Rwanda’s Minister for Youth and ICT Jean Philbert Nsengimana was among those who didn’t give up. “No one should think the Karisimbi project failed, the project is going on as expected. Some of the projects require heavy investments for infrastructure development and that’s the reason for the delay,” said Nsengimana then.
According to Rwanda Development Board (RDB), the cable car “will offer unique features that are not available elsewhere in East Africa.”
This will have an increase in overall revenues that Rwanda has been generating from tourism as it will increase the number of days tourists have been spending in Rwanda.
KT Press could not establish the roadmap of the project after top officials at RDB tourism department said they needed some briefing to understand the development of the project.
However, information available on RDB website indicates that the cable car station will include all necessary infrastructure for safe usage.
It will include facilities at three levels: The summit, the crater and the base. It will include crater activities include, crater surfing via zip lines for more adventure tourists. Rock climbing fans will also enjoy this facility.
The base will include a natural trail, guided walks through the bamboo forest near the cable car station allowing tourists to spot birds or view the flora and fauna of the region. Tourists can either hike or use bicycles for this trail.
Travel agents told KT Press that the cable car will boost their business.
Claude Habarurema the Managing Director of Mega Safaris Tours and Travel says that they have not been recommending tourists to visit the beautiful Karisimbi mountains on safety grounds as a result of lack of infrastructure at Karisimbi.
“Now we can and will advise tourists to add more days while on the Nyungwe trail so that they can visit Karisimbi too,” Habarurema said.
The proposed cable car project will be on Mountain Karisimbi, the 4th highest Mountain in Africa and will have Cable car Stations, Visitor Centre, Tower (Radio, TV, and Communication), Air Traffic Control System, Observation Deck and Climate Observatory.