The Ultimate Trip (#Day 5) – Kigali – Lake Bunyonyi

Hotel Baussejour. Kigali, Rwanda.

Hotel Bausejour. Kigali, Rwanda.

Eventually we had to leave the beautiful land of Rwanda. It was evident that most of us wished our stay here would have been longer. Kigali had certainly treated us well and I personally loved it! With all the Kigali city exploration and the good old partying, we were quite spent on this day of departure.

Adventurers take a nap on our way to Lake Bunyonyi from Kigali

Adventurers take a nap on our way to Lake Bunyonyi from Kigali

The trip back seemed way longer than it was when we were heading to Kigali. We eventually got to the Lake Bunyonyi Overland Resort in the late afternoon. I was glad to see her beauty and splendour still intact.

Lake Bunyonyi

Lake Bunyonyi

Sharing a light moment by the shores of Lake Bunyonyi

Sharing a light moment by the shores of Lake Bunyonyi

We had a lot of time to relax here after having a sumptuous lunch prepared by the ever ready Bunduz.com chef. Some of the adventurers opted to spend the afternoon in their rooms, probably sleeping to recover from the party hangovers of Kigali, while others decided to indulge in a game of poker and enjoy a drink or two. I was definitely with the latter group of adventurers and sure had some fun!

Let's play some poker!

Let’s play some poker!

Taking in the beauty of Lake Bunyonyi

Taking in the beauty of Lake Bunyonyi

The locals enjoy time at the Lake Bunyonyi Resort with their families

The locals enjoy time at the Lake Bunyonyi Resort with their families

Time seemed to fly and before long it was time for dinner. The chef had promised to give us a grand barbeque and he certainly did not disappoint!

 

Adventurers around the fire as the barbeque was prepared.

Adventurers around the fire as the barbeque was prepared.

 

Mukhtar the Trip Captain helps put together the barbeque

Mukhtar the Trip Captain helps put together the barbeque

 

Dinner is served!

Dinner is served!

 

One Mr.Mbugua couldn't resist posing with the ladies! :-)

One Mr.Mbugua couldn’t resist posing with the ladies! 🙂

On this night we retired a little early as we had a long way down to Kampala the next day.

 

Road Trip Organized by: http://www.bunduz.com/

Documentary and Photos by: Macharia Njuguna (https://adventurewithmash.wordpress.com/)

 

 

The Ultimate Road Trip #Day4 (Kigali)

Early morning on the tour of Kigali

Early morning on the tour of Kigali

On this day I woke up quite excited that it was the last day of the year 2014, we would soon be ushering in a new year and this is always seen as an entry into new beginnings and clean slates for next twelve months. Unlike me, many make new year resolutions on this day listing down things they will never do again and those that they intend to do more often. I made a resolution to always preach peace wherever I may be. I dreamt of a world dwelling in peace and harmony. I resolved to push on with my photo-project (https://askmyshoe.wordpress.com/) which is my little contribution towards fighting tribalism in my beloved country, Kenya.

Genocide

Genocide

We visited the Kigali Genocide Memorial. I really did not know what to expect, and the silence in the truck that morning confirmed to me that all the other adventurers were also quite anxious about the visit. On a hill with neatly manicured grounds and intentionally arranged rows of flowers stands a large white building that has stored in detail the horror that befell Rwanda in the year 1994.

The Kigali Genocide Memorial

The Kigali Genocide Memorial

We were welcomed by the very friendly staff of the memorial centre and they gave us a quick introduction to the facility. We were going to take a self-guided tour of the museum aided by a map of the facility and a hand-held audio play gadget that has a voice recording narrating about each numbered stop of the centre.

The map and audio play hand-held device

The map and audio play hand-held device

From the movies we have watched about the atrocities that happened during the Rwanda genocide, nothing comes close to the horror that is recorded in the memorial centre. It left me wondering what would fill a human mind with so much anger and hatred to yield into a massacre of a people. It made me sad to imagine that bad politics sort of has the power to reduce men into animals! Rwanda saw it, and made an effort to ensure that future generations understand how dark those times were for their country so that they can endeavour to never go back to that.

The main entrance into the Kigali Genocide Memorial

The main entrance into the Kigali Genocide Memorial

Just before we started the tour of the museum, I had to pay a small fee so that I could be allowed to take photos inside. I wanted to bring you some of the shots so that you can have a feel of what is recorded;

The peaceful and beautiful country Rwanda was before the war. They are on their way well back to recovery.

The peaceful and beautiful country Rwanda was before the war. They are on their way well back to recovery.

European tourists follow the horror of the genocide in the pictures

European tourists follow the horror of the genocide in pictures

Identity cards previously indicated whether each Rwandese person was a Tutsi or a Hutu

Identity cards previously indicated whether each Rwandese person was a Tutsi or a Hutu

The genocide spared no one. Not even children.

The genocide spared no one. Not even children.

Tourists drawn into the story of the genocide told in the museum

Tourists drawn into the story of the genocide told in the museum

A room that holds some photos of people who lost their lives during the genocide

A room that holds some photos of people who lost their lives during the genocide

Skulls and some personal belongings of those massacred in the genocide. Some skulls have bullet holes while others have clear machete cuts

Skulls and some personal belongings of those massacred in the genocide. Some skulls have bullet holes while others have clear machete cuts

Clothes recovered from mass graves where a majority of the victims had been buried

Clothes recovered from mass graves where a majority of the victims had been buried

Some of the innocent children killed in the genocide

Some of the innocent children killed in the genocide

A section of the mass graves where some of the many victims are buried within the centre

A section of the mass graves where some of the many victims are buried within the centre

Some names on the wall where the genocide victims are listed

Some names on the wall where the genocide victims are listed

An adventurer takes a guided walk around the genocide museum

An adventurer takes a guided walk around the genocide museum

It took us slightly more than two hours to tour the facility. My heart bled for what Rwanda had gone through, and it was great to see a people so united on the path to recovery and building a strong nation. I prayed that all leaders in this world may lead selflessly and for the sake of their citizens and not their selfish interests. I said a silent prayer for my country Kenya, that we may slay the monster of tribalism so that it may never threaten the peace we know like it attempted to in 2007/2008.

Adventurers catch up after a tour of the museum

Adventurers catch up after a tour of the museum

The integrity of Rwandan people was to also come out while we were on a tour of the museum. As Ali the biking adventurer sat at the museum’s lobby,  a lady who was one of the curators walked up to him and asked to know his name. She engaged him in a conversation finding out if he had ever been to the museum before and where he was from. Ali, being who he is was totally into this conversation. I mean, she was a beautiful lady, he’s a biker and most often than not those two find their way to each other either by accident or intent. 🙂 When Ali told her that he had visited the place about two years ago, she went into the office and came back with a wallet which she handed over to him. Ali was ecstatic! He had lost it on his last visit here. It was intact. Not a single coin or card was missing!

His wallet was intact after losing over two years ago at the genocide museum

His wallet was intact after losing it over two years ago at the genocide museum

The day raced past me. There was so much to see and to reflect on at the genocide memorial. Soon it was time for lunch and as usual, the Bunduz.com crew did not disappoint. We had a picnic lunch right on the museum’s beautiful grounds overlooking a section of Kigali on a neighbouring hill.

Lunch is served

Lunch is served

We later left the genocide museum and took a truck tour of the Kigali city. We then ended up at the Kigali Serena Hotel which would be the venue for the new year’s eve party. The adventurers were all excited about it and procured tickets to the party right on the spot, with the help of our trip Captain, Mukhtar Sidi.

Kigali Serena Hotel

The venue of the New Year’s eve party, Kigali Serena Hotel

I bet most of you have watched the popular movie about the Rwanda Genocide dubbed Hotel Rwanda. While on our way back to where we were putting up, we stopped by the Hotel Des Mille Collines where the movie was set!

Hotel

Hotel Des Mille Collins

Later that night we attended the New Year’s eve party at the Kigali Serena Hotel! It was an awesome party! Our trip Captain (Mukhtar Sidi Bunduz.com) through his many connections was able to secure a VVIP party section for the adventurers. We danced, drunk and had loads of fun as we ushered in the new 2015!

The ladies arrived dressed to kill!

The ladies arrived dressed to kill!

Mukhtra (Bunduz.com) with some of the adventurers at the New Year's party

Mukhtra (Bunduz.com) with some of the adventurers at the New Year’s party

Ushering 2015 in style!

Ushering 2015 in style!

Ladies enjoying the ambiance of the Bunduz.com VVIP party section

Ladies enjoying the ambiance of the Bunduz.com VVIP party section

The faces of joy! Happy 2015!

The faces of joy! Happy 2015!

Mash and Mukhtar of Bunduz.com at the Kigali Serena Hotel.

Mash and Mukhtar of Bunduz.com at the Kigali Serena Hotel.

Happy New 2015! May it be filled with blessings and adventure enough to constantly rejuvenate your soul!

Road Trip Organized by: http://www.bunduz.com/

Documentary and Photos by: Macharia Njuguna (https://adventurewithmash.wordpress.com/)

The Ultimate Road Trip, #Day3 (Lake Bunyonyi – Kigali)

She’s dazzling in her beauty. As she basks in the tantalizing Africa morning sun, I can’t help but notice the reflection of the inviting lumps around her. The sun soothes her in the day but also takes up her water, but the night often creeps in and wets her with a gift of the very water in form of rain. In her calmness, she’s silent of her unrivaled depth. She attracts many, and on this day Nicki and I were trapped in her web of charm. No rush, we were taking it nice and easy. Like many she has cast her spell on before, we had to leave after our morning session with her. She will however be forever etched in my mind with indelible ink. I also left with a promise to return and enjoy more of her. Oh beautiful Lake Bunyonyi!

Lake Bunyonyi (The Place Of Many Little Birds)

Lake Bunyonyi (The Place Of Many Little Birds)

Reflection of the lumps around the beauty of Lake Bunyonyi

Reflection of the hills around the beauty of Lake Bunyonyi

Lake Bunyonyi boasts of unrivalled depth at 2,952ft (2nd deepest lake in Africa)

Lake Bunyonyi boasts of unrivaled depth at 2,952ft (2nd deepest lake in Africa)

On this day we needed to cover approximately 141km  of good road to make it to Kigali, the capital city of Rwanda. We therefore took our sweet time and enjoyed the morning at Lake Bunyonyi Overland Resort with a plan to head out at 1100hrs. Some of the adventurers opted to take boat rides, while others strolled around the resort and the rest just whiled the morning away somewhere close to the ‘watering hole’ – the bar 🙂

On a narrow jetty at Lake Bunyonyi

On a narrow jetty at Lake Bunyonyi

The cabin houses at Lake Bunyonyi Overland Resort

The cabin houses at Lake Bunyonyi Overland Resort

Cottages overlooking Lake Bunyonyi

Cottages overlooking Lake Bunyonyi

I had been hopeful of doing a jet ski ride here, but the management had a disappointment in store for me; the machines were out of order. What a bummer!

A statue of a fisherman returning home from a fishing expedition. He sure got some love form the ladies :-)

A statue of a fisherman returning home from a fishing expedition. He sure got some love form the ladies 🙂

The group was quite excited about the trip. It somehow gave me a feeling that, to many Kigali was the highlight of the safari. I bet because that’s where we would usher in the New Year. Soon we all gathered around the Beast and off we took the road towards Kigali.

The fellows having a chat on what they expected in Kigali just before we left Lake Bunyonyi

The fellows having a chat on what they expected in Kigali just before we left Lake Bunyonyi

On our way out of Bunyonyi the Beast came to a halt and one of the adventurers shouted from the back, ‘Mash! Hapa ndio mwisho ya pesa yako!’ (Mash, the money you paid can only get you here!) That was his funny way of saying that Mukhtar our trip Captain was calling me outside the truck. So I climbed down and he requested that I take a photo that will include Beast and the biking adventurer (Ali) in one shot. I was elated at this request as it connoted that he was appreciating my photography work 🙂 I took position, Nicki in hand and I could almost feel her smile as I clicked away at the moving motorbike and the growling beast in the background. Little did we know that those would be the last shots Nicki took for the trip. Happy with my work, I climbed back into the truck. When I got to the top of the side ladder, Nicki suddenly flung off from my shoulder as I swung to jump into the truck. I stretched out my left hand and let out a yelp in a desperate effort to save her, whilst my right hand held firmly onto the ladder. I missed and down I watched her go. Everything in my world went silent as she cut through the air on a flight to the ground, it all happened so fast yet it seemed to be in slow motion to my eyes. Blaaam! Nicki hit the ground and I saw her body parts fly away from the impact. I climbed down the truck and into a bush to retrieve the broken parts with the help of our trip Captain. We found them. Nicki suffered a severe crack right across the front of her body. This was devastating for me, as we were just getting to know each other, and so far it had been so good. I sunk into a corner seat and silent mourned Nicki. I however quickly consoled myself that my insurance would take care of her, and also that Nicki wanted me to have fun on this trip. This consolation and a few encouraging words from some adventurers got me back into action, only that this time I used my Samsung cell phone to take the photos. She turned out well too, and for this purpose I christened her Sally!

Ali, the biking adventurer and Beast in the woods of Bunyonyi. (The last photo I took with Nicki)

Ali, the biking adventurer and Beast in the woods of Bunyonyi. (The last photo I took with Nicki)

We went through rural Uganda on our way to the country’s border with Rwanda. Of note is the fertility of this land and the work ethic of it’s industrious people. We saw busy rural towns with evidence of thriving business, construction of buildings and roads, as well as cultivated lands which I can foresee providing lasting food security for the Ugandan people.

A busy street in Kabale, rural Uganda.

A busy street in Kabale, rural Uganda.

A church under construction on a hill.

A church under construction on a hill.

Before long, we arrived at Gatuna. The border town in Northern Rwanda. We thought that this would be a quick stop where our passports would be stamped and we head on our way. However, this changed when the Rwandan immigration officials decided they needed to check every single bag and the truck for any plastic bags. Plastic bags are not allowed into Rwanda. I lauded them for this noble step in consciously safeguarding their environment from pollution, but I also think it would be advisable for them to communicate this to travelers well in advance to avoid delays at the border.

Gatuna, the border town between Uganda and Rwanda

Gatuna, the border town between Uganda and Rwanda

Two hours painfully spent at the Rwanda border, we proceeded into the country towards Kigali the capital city. Rwanda surely is the country of a thousand hills. There seemed to be a hill jutting out of the ground everywhere one turned. The green vegetation on the hills went on to make the complex of hills quite a breathtaking sight!

Beautifully cultivated hills in Rwanda

Beautifully cultivated hills in Rwanda

The Beast gently came to a stop at a beautiful spot, carefully selected by the Bunduz.com crew as the place we’d have our picnic lunch. The elegant Beast rested as the adventurers stepped out of it’s belly. This was a rare sight in this remote village of Rwanda and shortly we drew a group of curious youngsters who arrived on bicycles. The boys cycled and some had lady pillion passengers who were plastered in roughly applied make-up, adorned in shiny earrings, dressed in slightly mismatched clothes and clutching to their threadbare handbags. They were dressed to impress, beautiful in their village innocence. We mingled with them, shared our lunch and soon some adventurers came up with ideas of keeping busy with the village bicycles!

The picnic lunch spot overlooking tea fields in rural Rwanda.

The picnic lunch spot overlooking tea fields in rural Rwanda.

Beast resting in front of one of the beautiful hills of Rwanda

Beast resting in front of one of the beautiful hills of Rwanda

The curious youngsters with their bicycles

The curious youngsters with their bicycles

An adventurer cycles away

An adventurer cycles away

'If this bicycle gets a flat tyre!' an adventurer warns another. :-)

‘If this bicycle gets a flat tyre!’ an adventurer warns another. 🙂

As the Bunduz.com crew prepared the lunch, I took time to really acquaint myself with Sally. I had neglected her since Nicki came into my life 🙂

Ladies jump, loving the beauty of the tea fields.

Ladies jump, loving the beauty of the tea fields.

Mukhtar our trip Captain arrives in style.

Mukhtar our trip Captain arrives in style.

Lunch is served!

Lunch is served!

I could somehow make out what his t-shirt read. 'Blame the dog' ha ha

I could somehow make out what his t-shirt read. ‘Blame the dog’ ha ha

Ladies enjoy lunch while overlooking the tea fields

Ladies enjoying lunch while overlooking the tea fields

We continued on the road towards Kigali. The adventurers were in high spirits and they downed the lunch time meal with an assortment of drinks as the ‘DJ’ played music as chosen by the ‘revelers’. It was a party allover again! As we entered Kigali, the adventurers couldn’t contain their excitement and they broke into song and dance. We made a grand entrance drawing more attention to ourselves than we needed to. As the pedestrians turned to look at Beast in awe, I could almost hear his growl bellow full of gloat now that he had ferried some jolly fellows from a far land. Rwanda, most of us loved you before we even met you! From the tales of angelic beauties gracing this land, to gigantic beer bottles served in their bars and exquisitely clean streets, we were here to take it all in. Rwanda, show us what you got!

Ali zooms past the Beast on our way to Kigali. He was certainly excited too!

Ali zooms past the Beast on our way to Kigali. He was certainly excited too!

An informal settlement on a hill in the outskirts of Kigali

An informal settlement on a hill in the outskirts of Kigali

The view as we entered Kigali

The view as we entered Kigali

We were soon settled in Hotel Beausejour which is friendly and very welcoming. We settled in and already started loving the Kigali hospitality.

Hotel Beausejour in Kigali

Hotel Beausejour in Kigali

This would be my resting spot for next two nights in Kigali.

This would be my resting spot for the next two nights in Kigali.

While in Kigali, I contacted and met up with some friends from Kenya. Accompanied by a few of the adventurers, we sampled the beer, partied and danced the night away!

Skol and Primus. Popular beers in Rwanda.

Skol and Primus. Popular beers in Rwanda.

Good times at CarWash 2 in Kuchira.

Good times at CarWash 2 in Kigali

Adventurers out at a club in Kigali

Adventurers out at a club in Kigali

Event: The Ultimate Road Trip
Period: #Day 3 (30th Dec 2014)
Distance: Lake Bunyonyi (Uganda) – Kigali (Rwanda) Approx. 141km
Organizer: http://www.bunduz.com/
Documentary (photos & writing) by: Macharia Njuguna (https://adventurewithmash.wordpress.com/)

The Ultimate Road Trip (Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda)

New Year's Road Trip 2014!

New Year’s Road Trip 2014!

Three Days in 8 days of an overland trucking adventure!

Three countries in 8 days of an overland trucking adventure!

Like every journey, this one of 1,600km and 8 days of overland trucking adventure has started with the first step! Off to Kigali, through Jinja. The ultimate New Year’s adventure thanks to Bunduz.com @[504978663:Mukhtar Sidi Bunduz.com] #Adventure #Kenya #Uganda #Rwanda Get updates on adventurewithmash.wordpress.com

#Day 1 (28th Dec 2014)

https://adventurewithmash.wordpress.com/2015/01/08/the-ultimate-road-trip-day-1nairobi-jinja/

#Day 2 (29th Dec 2014)

https://adventurewithmash.wordpress.com/2015/01/09/the-ultimate-road-trip-day-2-jinja-lake-bunyonyi/

#Day 3 (30th Dec 2014)

https://adventurewithmash.wordpress.com/2015/01/14/the-ultimate-road-trip-day3-lake-bunyonyi-kigali/

#Day 4 (31st Dec 2014)

https://adventurewithmash.wordpress.com/2015/01/24/the-ultimate-road-trip-day-3-kigali/

#Day 5 (1st Jan 2015)

https://adventurewithmash.wordpress.com/2015/02/22/the-ultimate-trip-day-5-kigali-lake-bunyonyi/

#Day 6 (2nd Jan 2015)

https://adventurewithmash.wordpress.com/2015/03/10/the-ultimate-trip-day-6-lake-bunyonyi-kampala/

# Day 7 & 8 (3rd and 4th Jan 2015)

https://adventurewithmash.wordpress.com/2015/03/31/the-ultimate-trip-day-7-day-8-kampala-eldoret-nairobi/