Gakenke District

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    • Day 27

      Musanze in the mist

      June 23, 2023 in Rwanda ⋅ ☁️ 18 °C

      After a very pleasant and short drive I arrived at the Northern Province and its capital Musanze. A very vibrant city, with a lot of traffic, feeling like a good balance between Kigali and Huye. And whenever I looked back, I could see more and more of the beautiful Volcanos appearing on the horizon :) Bonus points for first chemex coffee I got on the way, served together with the excellent cinnamon bun in apparently the best coffee place in the town :) To finish the day, I took long walk alone the villages between the town and Red Rocks Camp, such a special quality of Rwanda, being able to experience local live without having any security concern or discomfort!

      Tomorrow is the highlight, gorilla tracking!
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    • Day 28

      Face to face with the gorilla

      June 24, 2023 in Rwanda ⋅ ☁️ 19 °C

      The day has come - 10 years after seeing these marvelous beings in Bwindi Forest in Uganda, again I got the chance to track Mountain Gorillas in their natural environment. As everything in Rwanda, it's organized in maximal backpacker unfriendly way - nothing goes without a car and a driver, the whole briefing process takes ages and getting to the starting point is extremely complicated. Nevertheless - for the first time since I left Berlin I was in the crowd of white people. Was it a tourist trap? Definitely no! The tracking was very professional and Gorillas well habitated, so after a relatively easy and short hike in deep jungle we met our beloved Titus Family. It was such an honor and extraordinary experience to be about to start next to multiple gorillas for a full hour, I'm without disturbing their natural life. It was fascinating, how safe I felt seeing these gentle giants walking in my direction only to stop 0,5 meters before and sit, turning it's back to me.

      As much as Gorillas area being used for the whole tourism business, they are magnificent creatures deserving protection and and Rwanda is offering them the best possible one. Once in a lifetime experience and definitely worth the effort :)
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    • Day 26

      Rwanda 🇷🇼

      November 4, 2023 in Rwanda ⋅ ☁️ 23 °C

      After a big day of gorillas yesterday, I was keen for a chill one today. And that is exactly what I got. Although some went for a short walk to Lake Mutanda, I gave myself an extra sleep in, a bit more time to organise my belongings, and some journaling. Around lunchtime, we headed off to Rwanda to complete the border crossing and arrive at our campsite. This was a relatively smooth operation, not a lot of driving, or waiting, and nice roads. This meant we arrived relatively early to Red Rocks, where they would debrief us what activities were available. Although there were some things that could be completed in the afternoon, it was mostly things like beadmaking, Pottery, etc. There was the option for trying to make banana beer, which was tempting, but I decided I needed a chill afternoon to relax and so laid down for some journaling and reading. Not to mention. The taste of the banana wine was burnt into my brain, and I couldn't imagine a world where banana beer tasted good. After dinner, Vic had mentioned that she had a friend who was also in Ruhengeri, the larger town we were in the outskirts of. Quite strange given we were in the middle of butt fuck in Rwanda, but I figured I would join her to visit. Mostly because I was keen to meet some people outside our group, but also to ensure she would be safe getting to and from. Tensions in the group have really started to boil over in the last few days, and I was keen to escape it and meet some people closer to my age. We had 3 new starters, who are quite a bit older, and they had already created some friction in the group. As such, I was keen to escape it even for the night. So after dinner, we jumped on the back of some scooters and headed into town. We met at a restaurant and had some drinks. There were 3 of them and 2 of us, and they were really cool. We eventually planned to join them at the twin Lakes tomorrow, as no one from our group was very keen, and if we jumped in with them, then we would save a lot of money. After this, we decided we would get a taxi home so that Vic and I didn't have to split up. As soon as we left, we were surrounded by bikes, but we obviously wanted a car. Eventually, we jumped in with 2 young guys because it was cheap, and they seemed nice enough. In the end, we figured that they were likely quite drunk, but the main thing is that we made it back safely and headed to bed.Read more

    • Day 29

      Mud is the limit

      June 25, 2023 in Rwanda ⋅ ☁️ 19 °C

      Mustanze is definitely hiking location - so why not to continue with hiking one of the dormant Volcanos after the gorillas? Today's target was Mount Bisoke, 3711 m high, a serious mountain to climb. As usual in Virunga, the weather was very humid and misty, which brings this feeling of mystery and magic around you. Starting with the fields,we quickly entered the jungle on a quite steep, extremely muddy path, between the examples of crazy jungle vegetation. How lucky I was with my driver, strongly sugesting me to rent the "rangers boots"! At some point we were drowning in the mud, but all of this was worth it to reach the beautiful lake in the crater of the volcano. On the way down I realized, that this was probably my last "face to face" with the jungle in Rwanda. This year ;)Read more

    • Day 46

      It had to happen once...

      February 16, 2016 in Rwanda ⋅ ☀️ -3 °C

      Gisenyi was perfect for relaxation. We had an amazing diner at a new Californian restaurant where we actually had baguette with pineapple chutney, and actual goat cheese, and caramelized onions... So good...

      We left early to get to Musanze so we could organize some tours we wanted to do. And then it happened. We were on the minibus about 20 minutes outside of town and Jack realized she couldn't find her phone. Last seen, in her bed last night. So we get off the minibus, pay, then cross the street and wait for another minibus. Thankfully they never take very long. Get to our "centre d'accueil", remember - this is a church, so I'm feeling good about our chances - and sure enough, phone still on the bed. Second take, off we go to Musanze!

      Again, pretty easy. Get off the bus at the bus station, follow lonely planet map to Amahoro Tours, only to find where it should be it wasn't. Then someone who clearly sees we're somewhat confused signals us to follow her, through a little alley, in a back alley, and into a courtyard and we're there! Turns out, we were at the right place but we never assumed there would be no signage at the street or any indication... Here, we reserve our camping tent, our village cultural tour and our banana beer making course. Done deal. The Red Rocks accommodation from where all this is based is outside of town, so they supply the transfer over after giving us time to explore the town for a few hours. Too easy.

      Once at Red Rocks, they decided to give us a room for the price of a tent, they say it's because they like us. We'll take it! This is turning out to be quite the useful last town in Rwanda. Harriet, the manager or something, is also planning to go to Uganda, but she says she's going tomorrow (17th) instead of the 18th because she believes the border will be closed the 18th. Even better - we get a ride! She's originally from Rwanda, her family moved to Uganda after the first genocide (1964ish), then in her childhood they moved to New York and eventually California. Anywho, she's organized our "cultural" tour to be in the morning, we get back, have lunch, do banana beer and off we go all together to the Ugandan border where she says we can then stay with her family for the night. How absolutely perfect!

      This hostel has a very easy vibe, relaxed, 3 other travellers. Breakfast included, communal meals, too easy. We're hoping to get to know some of the local culture tomorrow since it's our last chance in Rwanda and we feel we haven't seen much of it... Let's hope for tomorrow!
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    • Day 53

      Kom ons bespreek: Skol Lager

      November 2, 2016 in Rwanda ⋅ ☀️ 18 °C

      Bier is nie die eerste ding waaraan jy dink wanneer Rwanda ter sprake kom nie, maar die land het 'n handvol plaaslik-vervaardigde biere. Skol se 5% alkohol belowe skop, maar dis eintlik 'n bedeesde bier. Dit het vroeër vanaand goed te pas gekom toe ek en Alice die geskiedenis van Suid-Afrika in 'n neutedop moes uitlê aan 'n Nederlander tydens aandete (beesbredie) by die backpackers. Terug Skol toe!Read more

    You might also know this place by the following names:

    Gakenke District, District de Gakenke, Akarere ka Gakenke

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