|Passed 10,000kms today!!! One of the better bus rides as far as comfort concerned. Had our own seat and travelling with Ugandans seems like fun. They are a pretty friendly bunch, and there are a lot less hassles at bus stops. Well they were pretty friendly until for the first time, we held up a bus at a border crossing. Getting into Rwanda was not easy, not because they would not let us in, but because it took forever to process and pay for our visa. Maybe seeing the gorillas here instead of Uganda was not such a good idea.
Perhaps if you are wondering why we chose Rwanda to see gorillas instead of where most tour buses go, which is Uganda, the reasons are mainly because this is where you can see the gorillas on the slopes of a chain of volcanoes which literally rise out of the mist, just like in the film!! Well at least that is what we hope to see. The scenery here is supposed to be amazing. Also, more on the practical side, tour groups book up the Ugandan gorillas for months in advance as they are still a bit afraid to come to the Rwandan side. So it is difficult for independent travellers to get a permit at the last minute.
We thought the scenery in Uganda on the way south was pretty great, we crossed the equator again, and passed so many banana plantations. Uganda is 2nd biggest producer in the world and yet does not export! And we saw the amazing looking Anakole cattle which are only found here. They are herded by the Bahima tribal group and they have huge horns. But the scenery became even more amazing when we crossed into Rwanda. Beautiful valleys with tea plantations on the bottom and terraced farming on all the upper slopes. Nothing was not used, and having tea plantations on lower slopes showed how high we were. Despite this, it was also noticeable how much poorer people were, walking on side of road, and lots of kids running after the bus. We were for the first time in Africa travelling on the right hand side of the road, this being a former Belgian colony, not that you would notice as most buses just travel down the middle blowing their horn!
Kigali is also an amazing place to arrive into just as the sun is setting. It is set on very high ridges and deep valleys. Quite spectacular. We made our first major currency error for a while by failing to arrive with the required Rwandan francs. So after using my limited french for the first time for a while, managed to find a place to stay that would let us pay in the morning!