Blogs from Province du Sud, Rwanda, Africa

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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 » 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 » 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 du Sud January 14th 2012

First off, love, love, love Africa so far!!! Second, thanks to all best wishes and comments so far - PhillyLama, Firth, Tim, Paul F. (yes I am barely keeping up with the PGA Tour!), Paula, David S. (thanks for the ice visual), A&D (yes that coffee was very drinkable), Phil O'R, Anna and Sherri. It is so good to hear from you all and glad to know that you are enjoying our adventure. Sorry that we have not responded to date via the blog - internet access a bit dicey and we are putting all efforts into just writing and 'posting', often late at nite (e.g. we have been completely out of internet range for the last 4 days - yet many here have cell phones). But know that we are thrilled to see them and ... read more
Our Lodge On Approach
Our Rooms From Main Lodge
Main Lodge From Our Room

Africa » Rwanda » Province du Sud » Butare November 24th 2011

The pictures would be too brutal and heartbreaking for many people so we have decided not to put any photos from these places but just from Huye. It is something you need to see on your own and not pictures shown by others. It is hard to imagine the horrors that happened in Rwanda 17 years ago but after our visit to Huye we have come as close to what happened as possible. How? Two reasons, 1st is the visiting the Gikongoro Genocide Memorial you still see and smell the remains off 800 odd bodies that still lay around the rooms of the secondary school, 50,000 people killed in eight hours here. 2nd we stayed with a family who were deeply effect by the events of what happened and were more than willing to share their ... read more
Cleaning time
Sorting beans
Largest church in Rwanda

Africa » Rwanda » Province du Sud June 4th 2011

Yesterday, I did the most amazing thing: I went tracking the wild mountain gorillas at the Volcanoes National Park. It was unbelievable. First, I had to get up at 4:00 am for the drive down to the main office. I planned to sleep through the trip but found myself too excited to sleep. Once the sun started rising, the views were gorgeous. This post includes those photos. There will be another post soon.... read more
2011-6-4 Gorilla Trek 010
2011-6-4 Gorilla Trek 029
2011-6-4 Gorilla Trek 035

Africa » Rwanda » Province du Sud » Butare September 19th 2010

The drive from Bujumbura to the border is about 3 hours along a pot holed road, our taxi driver turns up with a red bull in his hand and another opened ready to go. As in many countries around the world which have a large number of pedestrians and ad-hoc vehicles, the car horn is used freely, I would say excessively. It is used to warn people that you are approaching so not to step out, to alert people you are approaching so get out of the road and even the hard shoulder, to alert other vehicles you want something, just to say hello, whatever you can think of. On our journey we pass many military and police men stopping traffic for checks, we are pulled over at one point but the taxi driver just beeps ... read more
Tea land
Tea
Oh dear!

Africa » Rwanda » Province du Sud » Butare March 11th 2010

I arrive in Kigali mid-afternoon and have mixed feelings. Its outskirts are fairly pretty, rolling up the steep hills that characterise Rwanda's landscape like a provincial Spanish hill-town. However, the centre is rather bland and the only thing I find of interest here is the Genocide Memorial Centre. Kigali has the most expensive accommodation I've had to take so far, without much in the way of options. I feel no compulsion to hang around for a second $24 night so get packing the next morning. Before departing I do take a couple of hours to check out the Genocide Memorial. There's no denying that it makes for a macabre spectacle, particularly the horrifically graphic photos of victims and the morbid personal testimonies. I do think the modernity of the building detracts a little from the impact ... read more
Remember the dead
Depressingly empty donation box
Kigali Genocide Memorial Centre

Africa » Rwanda » Province du Sud March 8th 2010

I'm now doing day trips from Kigali and went out to Nyamata, an area which used to be renowned for being a highly populated Tutsi area. It was due to this that it was used as a trial run for the genocide in 1992. People sheltered in a local church to flee the killers but they had no food or drink whilst in the church and resorted to eating the grass. An italian lady lived opposite and smuggled food into the church but she was brutally murdered when she was found out. On this occasion they remained safe, though when in 1994 the acts of genocide started again and over 10,000 people fled to the church grenades were thrown in to kill everyone and then people came in after with machetes to ensure everyone was dead. ... read more




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