The New Times (Kigali)

16 November 2013

Rwanda: Hotspots - Volcana Lounge: Dancing to the Musanze Beat

MUSANZE-BASED Volcana Lounge has over the years set itself two parallel reputations in this tourist-leaning town: that of having some of the best pizza there is in Musanze, but most importantly, that of playing home to the town's only discotheque.

But with the entry of Lava Café on the Musanze eat out scene, Volcana's hard earned reputation for pizza finally got competition. And serious competition at that. That said, most pizza aficionados visiting Musanze will defend the Volcana pizza for its timely delivery, but above all, a peculiar extra flavor they say you won't find with the ordinary run-of-the-mill as in Kigali's fast food settings.

When I checked into the lounge ahead of the Kwita Izina celebrations in June, I found out why. The pizza here is baked over open, wood fired ovens, and the proprietor, Abdou was quick to point out that this is his secret to the strong, lingering aroma that will greet you from miles away.

And although he has trained an army of kitchen staff in the art of pizza making, Abdou makes it a point to be there whenever that he can, just so that nothing ever goes wrong. Abdou will set just the right mood for your pizza experience, in that he is in the habit of betting with clients on the time it will take for your order to be ready -usually 15 minutes at most. Rarely does one get to beat him at his own game, and should you do, your reward is likely to come in the form of a chilled beer of your choice. The pizza costs Rwf5, 000.

Lasagna (alforno and spinarch), Mozarella tomate basil, and Salad nicoise are also served, all hovering around the Rwf5, 000 mark.

Away from the pizza, the other thing about Volcana is the wait staff, in that the few that we managed to talk to have a decent grasp of both English and French, a huge plus, considering Volcana's reputation with tourists.

For those looking for that home-away-from-home touch, the upper terrace, which is equipped with the dining area, a well-stocked bar and fire place is the place to be. The views around the town's mountainous greenery are also breathtaking from here.

But unknown to many people, Volcana Lounge boasts the only discotheque in Musanze, situated in the lower floor. It adjoins the main bar, and this mini discotheque has played host to many private events like birthday parties, get-togethers etc. On a good night, you will bump into a live band playing to a packed audience in the disco. That said, it is a small place to which one should not go with grand plans of causing a big ruckus on the dance floor. Its interior décor, cut in stone and eucalyptus is one of the things to marvel at while at Volcana.

The disco area hosts the occasional live band and private parties. The interior décor is rich and cut in stone and eucalyptus.

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