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Published: August 9th 2017
Geo: -1.95325, 30.0587
Rwanda, A country with an unfortunate past and it seems that that past might have an effect on peoples perception of the country. People may think that because of this past that it is a dangerous place to visit. I really like the country that has rapidly improved and looking to become a hub of Africa. It's a small country but it still has things to offer.
Though in saying all of this, sure, the past does play with ones mind. It was only 19 years ago, and sitting next to or having a conversation with a Rwandan of that generation isn't the most assuring. How can you look past the fact that there is the possibility that this person has killed or in most cases lost a family member. How can you fully enjoy the beautiful scenery of Lake Kivu without knowing that it was one of the most violent areas and that bodies were no doubt thrown in to the lake.
Anyway, the land of A Thousand Hills, lives up to it's name, I didn't expect it be so hilly.
Kigali is the centre-point capital of the country and is interesting to navigate and find one's bearings. Here we
stayed with Lucie in the suburbs. Our first destination was Kibuye and Lake Kivu in the west. An amazing Lake with amazing views and scenery.
Our accommodation offered a picturesque view of a stress-free life and the food, although at one point took two hours to arrive, was very tasty.
We jumped onto a boat, looking like convicts with our brightly coloured orange life jackets, and visited two islands on the lake. One of which had a large bat colony and 360 degree view.
There was also Peace Island which offers some accommodation, a can of soft drink on arrival and an elusive monkey.
The trip was great and we got to enjoy a colourful sunset on the way back.
After a day spent back in Kigali tasting the local buffet and visiting the genocide museum, our next visit was on the opposite side of the country. Akagera Park is the only national park in Rwanda where you can do a safari.
Here we hired a 4*4 for a self drive where there are opportunities to see giraffes, zebras, hippos and other animals. The five of us set off and took turns driving throughout the day along the deserted car trails into the distance.
The national park gave some great scenery and the vegetation changes constantly from one end to the other. Unfortunately we didn't spot any giraffe's but did see many baboons, wart hogs, impala, zebra's and even one hippo.
It was a full day of driving on bumpy roads in which the car got stuck in a hole and we resorted to calling for some help. 30 minutes later a park official was chipping dirt from under the car with a bayonet on the end of his gun and with a bit of a push we were free and thankful, although the leak from the radiator didn't look promising nor did potential for a hefty bill, luckily, along with the multitude of scratches, the damage went largely unnoticed.
Akagera National Park was great to see and visit but we were a little disappointed, mainly because we didn't see a giraffe, but also felt as though it didn't excite us fully.
The remaining few days were topped off with a bit of fabric and souvenir shopping in a local market, attending a church service and a bit of beach volleyball.
All up I really enjoyed Rwanda, there are some beautiful places, it's easy to get around and
the people are friendly. It was really nice to be able to share the trip with friends but sadly our time in Africa was coming to a close but we knew we would be back after this Amazing African Adventure.
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