14.08.2009 - 23.08.2009
Our trip in Rwanda didn't get off to the best start, got dropped off at a hostel recommended in the guidebook to find it was a complete dive and about twice the price we expected..... this marked the beginning of an overpriced trip around Rwanda. Costs were about double those in Uganda which played havoc with the budget.
Eventually found somewhere more decent in town. Rwandan ATM's don't accept international cards so we had to withdraw enough money from the bank in cash to last our whole trip in Rwanda! So we were walking around loaded up with loads of cash expecting to be mugged! Thankfully that didn't happen!
Booked a couple of nights in Kigali to have a look around and visit the memorial centre on the genoside. Unfortunately it was a public holiday and the memorial centre was shut... so end result was we were stuck in Kigali with not a lot to do.... and frankly Kigali is not the most exciting city we've ever visited.
We initially thought everyone in Rwanda was really unfriendly compared to Uganda..... until we eventually worked out they just couldn't understand us as they mainly speak French..... of course our french is pretty diabolical! So it took us a while to get to know people.
We headed off to Gisenyi at Lake Kivu (on the border with the Congo), spent a couple of days there, debated about going to the Congo but glad we didn't as met other people who had been and they said the streets are full of soldiers and UN people!
Really didn't enjoy our first few days in Rwanda, it was ok but not really geared up for tourists, there wasn't much to see and do really.
We headed to Parc National De Volcans where we were to go gorilla trekking. Climbed a volcano there, it was like a mud slide the whole way up and down... poured with rain at the top and we couldn't even see the crater lake.... you get the general idea? Not the greatest of treks!
Eventually the gorilla trekking day came around so off we set to find the gorillas with some trepidation as thought we might have to walk through the mud for hours again.... found the gorrillas in 10 minutes! Great expereince, they are habituated to people so just sit around and generally ignore you, we were with a group of 10 including some baby gorillas.... very cute! A great experience which made up for the not very exciting time we had in Rwanda.
Yes... we couldn't resist the pic with the gorillas... just to show we were really there!!
Headed back to Kigali, visited the memorial centre, pretty hard to come to terms with what happened in Rwanda. Difficult to understand how people can live side-by-side every day considering their past. There's evidence of the war everywhere with disabled people missing limbs all around Kigali in particular. Pretty upsetting really.
Flew back to Nairobi to head to the swahili coast.