Best part of the trip-Lake Kivu-for obvious reasons; all that beauty, and just one other person in sight.
Least favorite part-Kampala Coach! I don’t even know where to start. My friends in Uganda had warned me against this bus but I went ahead. It was slightly cheaper and the preferred bus company (Easy coach) had their offices so far away from the hotel I was staying at. The bus had not been cleaned since it left it’s original destination- Rwanda I think, so there was a piece of tissue that somebody had vomited in and it stunk! Then it started raining and guess what? The bus was leaking on the guy that had sat behind me. Attempts to complain fell on deaf ears. The bus kept stopping to pick people and then broke down at some point; which means that a 10 hour journey took 15hours.
And then something funny I noticed….in one of the stops, a certain gentleman in the bus bought boilos (boiled eggs) that filled those transparent polythene bags. There was around 15 boiled eggs in that bag, lol! I’m not sure whether he was sharing them with someone, but I’m sure I was glad he wasn’t sitting next to me.
Lessons learnt-I wish I wasn’t saying this but security in Nairobi, compared to Rwanda is a big joke. Yeah, even with all the checks. Kigali has armed cops every 200m you walk, just standing still. I’ve explained in part one how thorough my suitcase check at the uni was. It is also very clean, as you’ve probably all heard before. This is partly because polythene bags were banned a couple of years back and strict rules put in place as regards littering.
Firsts-I drank beer for the first time ever (Webuye town). Didn’t like it. I also ate grasshoppers (Kigali). They weren’t bad, just don’t think about it much after you’ve swallowed.
I went to the rave on a motorbike in Kampala, haha….and my legs were frozen when I got there. It was a fun ride.
Funny experiences-Isn’t it funny that every country that the Nile crosses prides itself in being the ‘main source of the Nile’? I learnt in school that the main source is Lake Victoria; which is why I was surprised at the museum of natural history (Kigali) to ‘learn’ that there was a main source in Rwanda. This was even shown to be on a 3d map of the country. Some online sources indicate that it is Burundi. What is it about the Nile? lol!
What I loved-The patriotism of the Rwandese people. It’s so astounding, you wonder how they did it. Every single one that I met!
-Also, my friends in both Rwanda and Uganda taking time to show me around. In Kampala, the closest mall to my hotel left little to be admired in terms of architecture and finishes. I dissed it so much that my friend offered to erase it’s memory by taking me to some better malls. What if everyone was that keen to erase negative images of their countries?
-The fine arts industry in Rwanda which I’ve explained turned out to be more vibrant than I expected/it is in Nairobi. I met some Ugandan fine art artists at their exhibition at the village market 4 moths ago and they also seemed to think their industry is more refined than it is here.
-The dates I went on courtesy of my Kenyan friends that had hooked me up with their friends in both Rwanda and Uganda
-Hanging out with my Ugandan friends in their very classy hostels. Student life in Nairobi compared to Kampala and Kigali is way substandard…but I’ll leave this there.
-Partying in both countries was fun
TOTAL COST-45,000 (450USd)
Never mind that the one-way flight to Kigali was 17,000. I was so close to taking a bus. Here’s to hoping for budget airlines (I’ve started seeing some budget airline adverts that leave the country but I’ll have to check them out). I stayed strictly on budget and only bought family a few gifts and one skirt for myself.
I’m still going to do a how I-save-up-to-travel-post. Next post, however, is about the Mara.
Let me know what you think.