Rwanda
Eastern Province

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12 travelers at this place

  • Day5

    Looking for aardvarks on the savannah

    July 4, 2017 in Rwanda ⋅ ⛅ 22 °C

    Another public holiday, this time to commemorate the end of the 100 day genocide, but we're unlikely to see any ceremonies out here. We have another early start, 5.30am breakfast and on the road at 6am for a full day game drive. Our destination is Karenge Bush Camp, 110 kilometres away at the northern tip of the park.

    We started spotting wildlife almost straight away with some baboons and zebra in the first 15 minutes, then an avalanche of different creatures - giraffe, waterbuck, vervet monkeys, elephant, topi, crocodile, eland, impala and hippos - and all before lunch!

    Lunch was at the aptly named hippo beach, where more than a dozen hippos lounged around in the mud shallows.

    After lunch our good spotting fortune continued, with sightings of buffalo, a pride of lions, and warthog (and plenty more zebra, antelopes and giraffe). We also saw birds too numerous to mention (Hammerkop were the highlight). About the only animals that live in the park that we didn't see were rhino, leopard and ardvark, the latter being the subject of a running joke that we'll see them next (which was never going to happen as they are nocturnal!)

    The final drive to the campsite was through a heavily forested area where we were inundated with tsete flies in the vehicle (the roof and all the windows were open). If being bitten by a tsete fly is on anyone's bucket list, I can tell you it's not very pleasant!! Thankfully they don't carry sleeping sickness any more, just a very annoying sting (similar to a mosquito, but a sharper pain)

    The bush camp is seasonal and is constructed for 2-3 months each year in the dry season. No concrete is used and all structures are fully dismantled at the end of the season, but they still manage to operate a bar, open air dining room on the deck overlooking the valley, and an outdoor shower and toilet for each tent. Hot water for the shower is bucketed into a drum sitting above a wooden palette, and the shower has a bamboo screen on 3 sides - so you have a great view over the valley as you rinse off the day's dust!

    Dinner was West African chicken curry cooked over an open fire, followed by banana pancakes.

    Stayed: Karenge Bush Camp, Akagera National Park
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  • Day4

    Kigali to Akagera

    July 3, 2017 in Rwanda ⋅ ☀️ 30 °C

    After a draining morning, we went to a money changer to get some local currency, then lunch at a local restaurant, before heading two hours east to Akagera National Park, on the border with Tanzania. It is one of the oldest parks in Africa, gazetted in 1934, but after the genocide it was neglected for a number of years and the animal population was decimated by the bush meat trade. Only recently have lions, elephants and rhinos been reintroduced to the park.

    After registering at the rangers station, we headed out for a boat cruise on Lake Ihema, spotting heaps of hippos, crocodiles and a small fraction of the 500 bird species that reside in the park.

    On the way to our tented lodge accommodation within the park, we had a game drive in search of the elephants. We didn't spot them, but saw warthogs, guinea fowl, various monkey species, impala, and more hippos.

    Dinner was by the fire pit on the deck (BBQ beef and fish skewers, and caramel dessert), and the cheapest drinks of the trip so far - an Amarula and milk, and a Muztig beer, $8 in total). Accommodation is in permanent tents raised off the ground on stilts on the shore of the lake. Raised boardwalks run between the tents to allow the hippos to move ashore and graze at night. Hopefully we'll hear some action beneath us during the night!
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  • Day10

    Nyamata Church

    June 18, 2017 in Rwanda ⋅ ⛅ 24 °C

    The Rwanda Genocide began in April 1994. Many Tutsi people gathered here as churches were considered a place of safety. 10,000 people gathered here and the people locked themselves in. The church walls and doors today show how the perpetrators made holes in the walls of the church so that grenades could be thrown into the church. After this the people inside were shot or killed with machetes. The ceiling of the church shows the bullet holes and the altar cloth is still stained with blood. There were hundreds of coffins inside which have the remains of people inside, there were benches piled with clothing, letters and identification cards.

    Most of the remains have been buried but there are still a large quantity that are being cleaned by volunteers and buried. We were able to see the volunteers out the back cleaning the bones of both adults, children and infants, it just gave me a sick feeling to my stomach.

    People in the surrounding area were also killed after the massacre at the church, once killed they were ordered to be removed from the street and put into the church where they couldn't been seen. It is difficult to comprehend that 50,000 are buried here.
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  • Day43

    Eastern Rwanda (& Kigali)

    October 25, 2019 in Rwanda ⋅ ⛅ 22 °C

    Coucou,
    Vorige week vrijdag heb ik afscheid genomen van de secundaire school waar ik de eerste maand LO heb mogen geven. Ik ga er zeker en vast nog eens langsgaan voor ik terugkeer naar België!
    Het echte bureau-werk is al even aan de gang (en na al de schoolbezoeken zal er nog veel meer zittend werk moeten gebeuren achter een computerscherm). Nooit gedacht dat ik dit ging doen in mijn leven. Ik word hier (gelukkig) goed begeleid, want er zijn toch wel wat zaken 'out of my comfort zone' op vlak van dit soort onderzoekswerk.
    Allemaal nieuwe dingen en dus nóg iets extra aan deze nu al schitterende ervaring.
    Maandag ben ik begonnen aan het veldwerk. De komende 2,5 weken zal ik in totaal 12 scholen in 6 districten ('provincies') bezoeken en verschillende mensen interviewen.
    Eindelijk de rest van het land verkennen 😏. Het oosten van Rwanda stond eerst gepland. We, mijn persoonlijke driver en ik, vallen van de ene vallei in de andere (,ook al wordt dit gebied als "plat" gezien).
    "No problem with the road, it's a good one": zei de chauffeur (hahaha). Moeilijk om er woorden voor te vinden, maar adembenemend is er zeker ééntje van. Wanneer ik eenmaal op een school ben aangekomen, is het moeilijk om het woord "Muzungu!!" niet te horen.
    Mijn gastgezin, een beetje mijn nieuwe familie voor deze maanden, zal mij dus af en toe even moeten missen... Tja, sommige dingen veranderen nu eenmaal niet zeker (hehe).
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  • Day95

    Rwamanga, Rwanda

    August 9, 2017 in Rwanda ⋅ ⛅ 22 °C

    Had a long drive through the North of Tanzania to the Rwanda border. We found this part of the country completely different – much more dry, less developed and clearly very poor.
    Fortunately, the border crossing was incredibly straight forward (not usually the case in our experience), clearly led by Rwanda. Usually at most of these border crossings, you are immediately surrounded by money-changers and other touts trying to sell stuff, but not here. There was a single stopping point where you excited Tanzania and entered Rwanda. Signs were in 4 languages (including English) and very easy to follow. Staff were friendly and helpful – even on the Tanzanian side (clearly Rwanda has raised the bar for them and they couldn’t afford to do business as usual given the embarrassing contrast it would offer). We drove a few hours until we could find a hotel.
    Unfortunately, John had some sort of bug that required a sudden stop on the side of the road so he could throw up. We tried to stop where there were not too many people, but one thing you quickly learn in Africa is you are never alone. Soon, the whole village came out to watch, the teenage boys more interested in watching Christy in the driver’s seat of the Land Rover than John’s antics, and the mothers with babies and grandmothers seemed to be offering a running commentary, from a respectable distance, at every convulsion. Not sure what they were saying, but probably something like ‘oh boy, there he goes again, that white boy can sure vomit, I was sure he was done – yep here comes another one, and look - carrots, always carrots.’ Ugh! Very awkward, but at least it wasn’t coming out the other end!
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  • Day14

    Journey from Kayonza to Nyakanazi

    December 8, 2019 in Rwanda ⋅ ☁️ 18 °C

    It was another very early start for a long day's journey in the truck. We travelled over unusually well constructed roads through more beautiful, misty mountain countryside full of banana plantations and paddy fields. The people looked at us in open mouthed, and wide eyed astonishment, waving at us with smiles and cheers - it seems not many white people pass this way as we seemed a real novelty. Rwanda is an unexpectedly wonderful country with a rich, vibrant, creative culture and friendly, welcoming people. It was a Sunday and many of the women were in their Sunday best in brightly coloured and patterned dresses and head scarves sometimes with babies strapped in pouches on their backs. Their broad smiles and friendly waves to us as we passed was so heart warming. We continued through the verdant countryside and passed the border with Tanzania, with the usual mild anxiety, but without too much difficulty. The contrast in terrain on the Tanzanian side of the border was remarkable. We found ourselves in wild country again, after the cultivated countryside of Rwanda, with huge valleys filled with trees mixed with lush scrub and grassland - some of my favourite countryside so far. Huge storks flapped into the trees, large snake eagles sat silently still in the trees. Occasional marshy areas at the bottom of the valleys were teeming with dragonflies, insects and bird life. The roads also deteriorated markedly with ditches and potholes causing us all to bounce around the truck and slowing our pace to an average of about 20mph - we were now back on the left hand side of the road and one hour forwards again on the clock. We stopped for lunch by the roadside in the middle of a wide valley surrounded by hills and lush countryside. The weather became hot and humid in contrast to the cool of the morning air. As the truck rattled, bounced and rolled into the afternoon through ever denser forest, the horizon grew grey and the inevitable billowing clouds of the rainy season loomed ahead - an epic landscape meeting an epic sky. As the skies continued to thicken, we entered a landscape of high, rocky escarpment valleys dotted with villages of mud brick, thatched houses and the older traditional roundhouses which harked back to more ancient tribal times. The rains finally came as we approached the campsite. We had rolled up the tarpaulin sides of the truck as we usually do to get an unrestricted view, but had to roll it down quickly as the heavy rain poured in. We arrived at the accommodation, Sayari Guest House and Bar, in Nyakanazi which was right next to the town community centre where locals were watching a football match between Kenya and Tanzania on TV in a large hall as we arrived. Excited young children were also buzzing around us. There was a small bar where we got drinks. This place felt like authentic Africa far from the tourist trail. The accommodation was run by a female matriarch and her female employees. We were shown to our rooms with a toilet and intermittent electricity but no running water. We were cooked a traditional African meal of spice infused rice, bean stew, sliced cabbage and a green nutty flavoured mash of pumpkin leaves - the meal was absolutely delicious. We talked with a Brazilian couple, James and Gabby, fellow travellers on our trip, about travel, politics and the environmental crisis, as moths circled around the lights above, and the electricity failed several times, plunging us all into the darkness of the African night. I then retired for an early night ahead of yet another 6am start to the next day's journey.Read more

  • Day5

    Kibungo

    April 28, 2019 in Rwanda ⋅ 🌧 23 °C

    Nach einem Gottesdienst in der Dorfkirche und einem ausgiebigen Frühstück geht die Reise nach Tansania los.
    Erster Step: Kibungo.
    Von Save nehmen wir erst den Bus nach Kigali und dann von Kigali einen Bus nach Kibungo. Kibungo ist ein kleines Dorf in der Nähe der Grenze.
    Die Nacht verbringen wir hier im Gästehaus der St. Joseph Brüder.
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You might also know this place by the following names:

Eastern Province, Est, Intara y’ Iburasirazuba

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