Blogs from Rwanda, Africa - page 4

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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

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

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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

Africa » Rwanda » Province du Sud » Butare June 5th 2012

The bus down to Butare from Kigali was fairly eventful, especially by Rwandan standards. In Rwanda, unlike most other countries in the region, buses run to a timetable, irrespective of how many people are on board. Another unique feature is the traffic police, who are there to uphold the rules of the road, as opposed to other countries where the sole purpose is to eke out some sort of bribe. So as our driver sped through the mountain passes on the way to Butare, we were stopped by some traffic police for quite some time, where the driver was eventually let off with a warning. About 10 minutes later, we came to a sudden halt as we sped through some town. I looked out the window and saw some guy stumble over after being clipped. He ... read more
On Back of Boda from Murambi
Butare Museum
Murambi Memorial

Africa » Rwanda » Province de L'Ouest » Gisenyi June 4th 2012

I left Kigali to go check out Gisenyi or Ruhengeri. Since 2006, the Rwandese government has started a programme of renaming a lot of the provinces and towns. This can lead to quite a bit of confusion when looking for a bus to a town that is no longer known by that name anymore. I’m not sure of the reasons for the renaming of the towns, but someone told me that some of the names have either Hutu or Tutsi connotations and it is an effort to neutralise this, as everyone is ‘Rwandan’ now. Gisenyi is on the shores of Lake Kivu and is right next to the border with the DRC. From the shores of Lake Kivu you can see into Goma. At the time of the genocide, there would have been a steady mass ... read more
Cleaning the Beach
Lake Kivu
Photo 8

Africa » Rwanda » Ville de Kigali » Kigali June 1st 2012

They call Rwanda the land of a Thousand hills, but as I travelled from the border to Kigali, I couldn’t help but think about the hundreds of thousands who had been brutally hacked to death on these very roads only 18 years previously. Rwanda will evoke memories of some sort of atrocity in most peoples’ minds, but a lot don’t realise that atrocity doesn’t even begin to explain what occurred between April and June 1994 in this country. The exact number of people killed will never be known, but it is estimated that 1.2 million were massacred, mostly by machetes. Many were tortured, raped or had limbs amputated before death. Neither women nor children were spared, no infant too young to be hacked to death. To put it into some kind of perspective, approximately 3 times ... read more
Nyamata Genocide Memorial
Clean Kigali Streets & Boda Driver with Helmet
Pool & View from Hotel des Milles Collines




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