From: #flymeto | Jul 18, 2019
Machetes, grenades, hundreds of thousands of victims. Such images from Rwanda circulated the world in 1994, and to this day they form the basic awareness of most of us about this country. But how would we like the Czechs if the rest of the world were still judging us by the commie government that rang almost thirty years ago?
Rwanda, nicknamed the Country of a Thousand Hills, or Switzerland of Africa, is above all a beautiful place, in addition to African conditions really safe. And also clean. You will practically not come across the trash on the street. In Rwanda there is no problem finding solid accommodation, in recent years new asphalt roads have been built and in every small shop you can buy a SIM card with internet connection credit.
For shorter distances it is worth driving a taxi. Don’t panic when you are surrounded by a gang of motorcyclists who will drive you a little challengingly. Just choose someone, negotiate a price that seems reasonable and you can go on a journey. If the motorcycle passes far from you, whistle loudly, wave and drive.
The long-distance transport is usually carried out by buses waiting at the station before being filled with passengers. You’ll see what it means to fill up yourself, but get ready for really close encounters with locals. Chasers are working hard to fill the bus, who shout the name of the destination for the whole round, or pull your sleeve to the bus. So don’t be afraid when a busy crowd of people will blame you on your bus - bite them with a smile back, ideally the name of the place you want to go and don’t worry, you will arrive. But where to go?
The greatest attraction of Rwanda is certainly the local mountain gorillas accustomed to the presence of people. The Volcanoes National Park Rangers watch them daily, so you have almost a hundred percent chance of meeting our furry relatives. Every fun costs something, but in this case the price is not very funny - prepare $ 1,500 and book the gorilla trip as long as possible in advance. You certainly don’t want to fly all the way to Rwanda and find out that you can’t fit any gorilla track.
A cheaper alternative for nature lovers is the Akagera National Park, where you can see elephants, lions or giraffes. Oh and all around you really see about a thousand hills, some of which are active volcanoes. In Gisenyi, for example, you can see the red glow radiating from the crater of the Nyiragongo volcano over the darkened streets after dark. I guarantee you that such an experience is not forgotten.
Security and order in Rwanda have the other side of the coin. Rwanda is ruled by President Paul Kagame’s authoritarian regime, whose political opponents simply disappear from time to time and never be seen again. In addition, the regime is suspected of financing armed guerillas in the neighboring Democratic Republic of Congo. But the world is not black and white, and Kagame must be allowed to invest a significant portion of Rwanda’s international aid in the country’s development. However, try not to talk too much about politics to the locals, as you could inadvertently put them in serious trouble.