Blogs from Rwanda, Africa - page 8


A couple of the emails said, “Rwanda . . . huh”. The skepticism was palpable. The messages plainly implied that this decision was significant in so far as it indicated deteriorating mental capacities and an alarming uptick in questionable decision making. Oprava’s email was more blunt: “Christmas in Rwanda sounds like, well, hell, but what does the white man know.” Precisely. What does the white man know? The media’s business is infotainment. It breathlessly recounts the horrific apocalyptic flavor of the moment for riveted audiences before rushing on to the next catastrophe in the heart of darkness. The news’ steady diet of natural disaster, civil war, famine, disease, and public uprising liberally indulges the schadenfreude of the fickle observer. Consequently, the Rwanda of public imagination is, and perhaps forever will be, rooted in the undeniably hellish ... read more
tea plantations and patchwork hills of Rwanda
bachman sees the gorillas
grooming and socializing

(Note: As we posted close together, check out barbe's post below first) The northernmost part of Rwanda is much like the rest - every square meter not occupied by a house or road has some sort of crop planted on it - except that that there are large sections that actually seem flat. I don't mean horizontal, necessarily, because it is all angled up towards the border with Congo and Uganda, but at least not endlessly bumpy (valleys and ridges). Barbe and I surmised that the relatively even angle of the ground probably was caused by lava and ash flows from the volcanoes having filled in all the valleys, to a certain distance from the peaks. (But what do I know about geology and rocks, much to Barbe's colleagues' consternation!) When we left Gisenyi (11 January ... read more
A Field of Pyrethrum Flowers
Baby Gorilla #1
Flying Through The Air!

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 » Ville de Kigali January 9th 2012

We arrived in Kigali, the capital, on Friday, from Nairobi. You instantly feel a different vibe here, younger and more vibrant. You seem to get to "see" more of the city from the taxi, because there are so many hills in Kigali (and, it turns out, all over the country). The effect is that there is always a great "view". Our driver, arranged through our modest hotel, was having trouble getting his older model Toyota up some of the steepest hills. Then he turned onto the dirt road where our hotel was located, and I really started worrying whether we were going to make it at all! The main roads are well paved, but the lesser roads are still dirt, which means that after a big rain they are terribly rutted, and there is just no ... read more
The Road to the Step Town Motel
Rwandan Farm Fields
A Typical Rwandan Hillside

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 de L'Ouest » Gisenyi November 17th 2011

What an intimidating country Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) seems to be and it is clear when arriving at the Rwandan border town of Gisenyi. From the relative safety of Gisenyi it is easy to view over the lake into Goma which is the border town for DRC and is known as the one of the most dangerous cities in the world (for political and environmental reasons). Looking further afield your eyes start heading skyward until you reach a cloud of smoke at the most active volcano in Africa and one of the most in the world. Here you are staring at the Nyiragongo volcano which in 2002 covered half of Goma in a layer of lava. Then looking even further afield you will notice another larger cloud of smoke heading skyward, this is another ... read more
Nyiragongo volcano
Congo seems very intimating at night time.
Colorful wildlife

Sun shining, bags in the back of the ute, we jump in and off we go heading to see the Mountain Gorilla in the Parc Des Volcans. After a very early start and hoping to get a lift to see any of the Gorilla families we were very lucky to be offered a lift to see the Susa family which we were hoping to see and which is the largest, but also the most difficult to reach. It is very strange when you arrive at the head quarters for the morning check in and finding out that we need to organize our own transport as well as for the guide. We asked around the forty of so people and finally found a group of young travelers and we all stuck together. For each family only eight ... read more
Teaching and learning
Time for reflection
This guy was so full of energu

Musanze or Ruhengeri, it is the same town but the name has been changed recently following an administrative reorganization of Rwandan’s 12 former provinces. Both names are still in use and it doesn’t matter which one you’ll use. On one side of town says Musanze and on other side – Ruhengeri. This small town is the second biggest in Rwanda and the base station for tourists who are doing mountain gorillas trekking at Parc National Des Volcans. Not a great deal to do in the town other than sitting back, beer in hand and admire the views of the National Park that are shadowing the town. It is a feeling of adventure when arriving in the city and seeing the surrounding mountains knowing full well that somewhere up there are the Mountain Gorillas. We were extremely ... read more
Lake Burera
Lake Burera transport
Bird life

Africa » Rwanda » Ville de Kigali » Kigali November 13th 2011

Kigali, like the whole of Rwanda has been known as a dangerous place and not many tourists have made to this small county in East Africa. In fact the recent and tragic history has been washed out and everyone is struggling to forget the consequences of the 94 genocide. Unfortunately this incident has left deep wounds and anxiety not just in Rwandans but in the rest of the world as well. When you are in the place where it all happened just few years ago, you are facing this history in absolute different way and you’ll be touched deeply. Kigali streets are overcrowded and people passing by you, and then you realize that all the adults would have witnessed the genocide and everyone has been scared more or less by this horrible tragedy. You never know, ... read more
Carrying food home
Local food shops
Kigali skyline

Africa » Rwanda » Ville de Kigali » Kigali November 13th 2011

After a slightly extended stay in Musanze, due to an upset belly, we traveled to Gisenyi to visit Lake Kivu. We had heard that staying by the lake was very picturesque, but after spending one night in a rather basic guest house with no windows, a funny smell and no toilet seat, Cel wanted to give up and move on. However, we decided to give it one last try and check out another Lonely Planet recommendation. When we arrived at Paradis Malahide it really was like finding a little bit of paradise, with pretty stone bungalows by the lake and complete with it's own private beach. Unfortunately there was no room at the inn, but we had fallen in love with the place, so when the owners offered to put us up in a tent we ... read more
Lake Kivu
Lake Kivu
Lake Kivu

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