Blogs from Rwanda, Africa - page 4

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Africa » Rwanda » Ville de Kigali » Kigali July 2nd 2012

Met up with Innocent, was invited back to have a look at his Mother's friend's house where he stay in Musanze. Its a simple 3 room house consisting of 2 bedrooms and a central living area. The cookhouse and bathroom are separate. It has everything they need. Then its a mad rush to get tickets and jump on the bus back to Kigali - why do Africans insist on closing all the windows on the bus? I'm about ready to expire when we get back. Innocent's sister Isembe is at the bus station to meet us, a very pretty and studious 18 year old. We went to Cafe Bourbon and spent a couple of hours talking about life in Kigali then Innocent went back to Musanze to get more work, Isembe back to campus and I ... read more


Up at 5.00am, breakfast at 5.45am and met up with my driver who will take my up to Park HQ. After what appears to be some sort of auction process where the guides and drivers all yell how many people they have in their group we are eventually assigned a Gorilla group to see. There are 6 of us that will visit with the Titus group. The guide explained that Titus was the son of Digit, Dianne Fossey's favourite. Titus was known as the kking of the Gorillas and had a very large family of around 35 Gorillas including 6 Silverbacks. His first son Rano was a rambunctious sort and got fed u being kept in line by his father so he split from the family and attempted to take some of the females with him ... read more


I had intended going to the Genocide Memorial in Kigali this morning but had not realised the extent to which Umuganda applies. The streets are completely empty of vehicles, including taxis and motos as every person 18 or over, including the President, is expected to clean up their local area from 8.00am - 11.00am. Will have to put the Genocide Memorial off to another day. Wandered down to the bus station to wait for my bus to Musanze and got talking to a 20 year old Rwandan Engineering Student. His story was a pretty harrowing one with him and his sister being orphaned in the 1994 genocide. He was 2 and she just 8 months old at the time. Some how he made it from Musanze, in the north of Rwanda to the UN camps in ... read more

Africa » Rwanda » Province du Sud » Gikongoro June 29th 2012

It's a bum-numbing 5 hour bus ride from Kigali to Gisakura, on the edge of the Nyungwe Forest with only a single stop 2.5 hours in at Nyanza, so it's a test of bladder control. In fact we had to stop for roadworks in the forest and most of the passengers mutineed and headed for the trees looking much relieved when they returned. We saw a couple of Forest Monkeys and a Civet Cat on the road edge throught the forest. Gisakura is a very peaceful spot after the hurly-burly of Kigali and around 10c cooler than Kigali. The Guest Lodge is really nice and set in beautiful gardens with tiny sunbirds flitting everywhere. The accommodation is good, I've got a big double bed with mosquito netting and best of all the showers are hot. Having ... read more

Africa » Rwanda » Ville de Kigali » Kigali June 29th 2012

This time it was only a 4.5 hour bum-numbing journey back to Kigali with the driver making good time on the newly paved road through the forest. The road is being ealed courtesy of the Chinese Government and there are a number of Chinese Engineers overseeing the work. Can't believe how hot it is in Kigali now. I booked my ticket to Musanze as soon as I got in. I had a coice of a 5.30am bus of midday, which was a little puzzling given how often buses usually run until the lady at the bus station explained that tomorrow is Umuganda. In Rwanda, there is a mandatory community service day from 8:00am to 11:00am, on the last Saturday of each month called Umuganda meaning community service. The day is called umunsi w’umuganda, meaning “contribution made ... read more

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Africa » Rwanda » Province du Sud » Gikongoro June 28th 2012

Up early for what appears to be the standard Rwandan breakfast of bread & jam, omelette & tea. Met up with a Forest Ranger at 9.00am for a 10k walk through the Nyungwe Forest to a waterfall. The forest is the largest remaining tract of Montaine Forest in Central Africa. It was declared a National Park in 1998 and covers 1019 sq km. The Waterfall Trail starts in a tea plantation and is a beautiful walk but the forest was very quiet, sadly no wildlife to be seen. After the walk the guide took us on a shortcut back to the guesthouse through the tea plantations and not only were we rewarded with stunning views of Lake Kivu about 20km away but also saw a troop of around 60 Colobus Monkeys in trees on the edge ... read more

Africa » Rwanda » Province du Sud June 27th 2012

It's a bum-numbing 5 hour bus ride from Kigali to Gisakura, on the edge of the Nyungwe Forest with only a single stop 2.5 hours in at Nyanza, so it's a test of bladder control. In fact we had to stop for roadworks in the forest and most of the passengers mutineed and headed for the trees looking much relieved when they returned. We saw a couple of Forest Monkeys and a Civet Cat on the road edge throught the forest. Gisakura is a very peaceful spot after the hurly-burly of Kigali and around 10c cooler than Kigali. The Guest Lodge is really nice and set in beautiful gardens with tiny sunbirds flitting everywhere. The accommodation is good, I've got a big double bed with mosquito netting and best of all the showers are hot. Having ... read more

Africa » Rwanda » Ville de Kigali » Kigali June 26th 2012

Went down to the bus station this morning to figure out how to get to Gisakura tomorrow. What a manic place. There must be 20 different outfits operating out of the one station. Eventually found that Omega Buses are the guys I need, buses leave from about 6.30am and cost Rwf 5200 to Gisakura. Took a mototaxi back up the hill to the Auberge just in time to meet Benjamin, my driver for the trip to Nyamata & Ntarama to see the genocide memorials. Almost became a statistic when we were cut up by a Toyota 4WD but Benjamin's lghtening reflexes saved the day. I wouldn't want to drive in Kigali! Got out to the Church at Nyamata but there was no guide avialable at that point so went on to Ntarama. The bent up iron ... read more

Africa » Rwanda » Ville de Kigali » Kigali June 25th 2012

It's an awful long flight from Auckland to Kigali but it all passed without incident and I landed about 11.00am this morning. Kigali airport is small, almost quaint, but it all runs well. My pack had been checked right through from Auckland and it came trundling off the conveyor like it hadn't been gone more than a minute. I grabbed some Rwandan francs from an ATM at the airport but after 25 hours in transit my brain wasn't up to much so got 30,000 RwF. sounds like a lot, but is only about US$60. Got a taxi from the stand outside the gate for the standard fare of 10,000 Rwf. The guy drove like an absolute lunatic but so does everyone else around here so got his number so he can take me out to the ... read more

Africa » Rwanda June 11th 2012

Well, I've had my yellow fever, hep a, hep b, typhoid, tetanus and rabies shots and got my anti-malarials. It seems I've been vaccinated against pretty much everything except my own stupidity, and apparently there's no cure for that. I've dragged the old backpack out from under the house aired it off and done a test pack - 8kg, which is pretty good. Even with my camera and a couple of books thrown in I shouldn't be carrying more than 10kg. So now I've just got to wait patiently for the next 2 weeks until its time to climb into the big white bird and head off. Here's a rough itinerary for Rwanda, I'll save Tanzania for another day First couple of days will be spent in Kigali having a look around and visiting one or ... read more




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