Best time to visit:
from January to March and from June to October
In a word:
Hakuna matata (no worries)
Recommended Antitific, Antimalarial Prophylaxis and for Hepatitis A. In any case, inquire at the provincial hygiene office or your doctor
Meeting with the latest silverback gorillas; Be moved at the Genocide Museum; Stroll through the clean boulevards of Kigali
In this great adventure we rented an old military 4 × 4 truck, modified for the transport, spartan, of adventurers in Nairobi, Kenya and almost a month later, we returned it to the same city after covering more than 4000 km around Lake Victoria.
We will sleep almost every night in tents in the most legendary national parks of East Africa, we will cook using our camping kitchen. We will come into contact with the Masai culture of Kenya and Tanzania; we will go into the "impenetrable" forest of Bwindi National Park, Uganda, discovering the latest silverback gorillas; we will be moved in the Kigali Genocide Museum, Rwanda until we plunge back into the life of the African savannah with our clumsy truck to parks such as Serengeti or Ngorongoro, Tanzania…
Of course this does not pretend to be a travel guide but simply the story of a great adventure in Africa!
Here is the part dedicated to the tiny Rwanda!
6.00 am. Pitch dark. On board two jeeps we climb to reach Bwindi National Park and the "Impenetrable Forest". The road is in poor condition and the two hours of travel are somewhat tiring. Today is the big day dedicated to the discovery of the silverback gorillas: these large endangered mammals.
Quick briefing with the rangers and let's start with the track seekers towards this new adventure.
We follow paths dug in the thick rain forest, the path is intense; we walk for about an hour when the ranger receives a radio call from the track seekers ahead of us ...
We should meet the Silverback gorilla family in forty minutes.
We climb through a small path just carved with machetes. We help each other by clinging to lianas or bushes until, suddenly, we hear noises coming from the top of a tree. We stop in religious silence, look up and catch a glimpse of the baby gorilla who tenderly makes his way from one branch to another. Funny, after eating a few leaves, it falls from the tree!
The throaty verse of a big Silverback is getting closer. Here it is, an adult specimen with a silvery back in front of our astonished eyes, just two meters from us.
He sits down, eats a few twigs and dives into the unknown of the impenetrable forest ...
The rangers look at us, understand that we want to follow him ... the real adventure begins ...
They cut everything that appears in front of their path with strong machetes, we follow them as best we can, sinking without even seeing where, down with our seat on leaves, branches, slimy trunks, mud is everywhere and at some point, in order not to fall I cling to a branch ... too bad it was full of very hard black thorns that stick deeply into my hand.
The Uganda-Rwanda border is immersed in fog, there is only a bar indicating the names of the two nations with a bored policeman who observes the few people passing by ... we, with our big truck, arouse a lot of curiosity.
Customs formalities are fast and in a few minutes we leave Uganda to cross the small area of nobody on foot. Welcome to Rwanda.
The landscape changes completely. Who expected Rwanda like this?
Well-paved roads, well-tended green lawns, concrete huts.
We soon reach the capital: Kigali.
We have lunch along the road, in a shack, with baked potatoes and samosas before arriving at the gate of the "Genocide Memorial".
I thought that after Auschwitz and Phnom Penh I had metabolized absurd situations, meaningless and to be condemned ... but it was not so.
The museum begins with a historical-political presentation of Rwanda, from the advent of the Belgians to the bloody genocide of the Hutus and Tutsis, passing through an exhibition dedicated to children up to the massacres of the last century in the world.
Madness, man's stupidity is unrivaled.
I read, watched videos and listened to gruesome direct testimonies; people killed, families exterminated by friends, neighbors, work colleagues or classmates just because of another ethnicity.
How is it possible that the world has once again watched?
I was surprised to think that the Cambodian massacre had happened in 1979 ... but here we are talking about 1990!
We leave for Kibungo, we are still upset and silent ... we approach Tanzania.
In a short time we are already in Rusumu, the border, while a waterfall of red water fills the scene!
We are in Tanzania and the landscape changes completely again ... only poor miserable huts, barefoot children on disaster roads ...