After a really laid back time at Kinigi, we headed on to catch a glimpse of Lake Kivu. Lake Kivu lies both in Rwanda and Congo, and I’m glad we didnt skip it like we wanted to. The view was everything, and even though there wasn’t enough time for a swim and a boat ride towards Congo, I now know to plan a return here.
After a spending a short while taking it all in, we headed for the actual border. If you’ve ever been at the hellish Nigeria-Benin land border, you’d be taken aback by how different this is.
We first walked into the complex, looking around to get permission before taking pictures or doing anything that may cause any problems. We were literally walking around and expecting to be harrassed. If this doesn’t sound like the after-effect of a bad relationship, I don’t know what does.
No one bothered us.
As with many other things on this trip, it evoked a mix of emotions. Some shame at how chaotic things are back home, awe at how the country has fixed up, pride and hope that things can be better… but I digress.
We headed on to Nyungwe, home to one of East Africa’s most diverse rain forest and a myriad of hiking trails, where we tucked in for the night. Options were the really fancy, 5- star, $900 a night Forest Lodge, or the no-frills $50 a night guest house. Feel free to guess which I settled for. Next time, Nyungwe. Next time…
After a restful albeit chilly night, and a hot breakfast, we were on our way. I had run out of motion sickness pills – I must point out that if you get bouts of this while travelling at all, on this route your medicine is a must. The beautiful views while driving in the hills comes with a little price to pay. Thankfully another tourist we had offered a ride had a stash and was generous enough to share. Day saved!
The Nyungwe National Park has a myriad of hiking trails on offer, and we opted for the canopy walkway. Briefing done, sticks in hand, we headed off. The trail is pretty easy – there was a little girl in our group who had no trouble with the hike, and all it took was a few hours.
If you have not attempted to dance Shaku Skaku above a rain forest, you cannot talk to me please.
New heights conquered – literally, new friends made, Nyungwe done, and we headed on to our next stop at Nyanza.