Anyway we arrived in Kigali and I took Maggie straight to the workshop for some TLC and a service. The mechanic – Mahmud, came highly recommended by Bryan. So while Maggie was being fixed we thought we would do some research on the gorillas and see if we could make a booking. The tour operator informed us that the next available booking would be in a week’s time- I was not happy with this and asked where the main office was.
Luckily I did this as they were able to book us in for the next day due to a cancellation- hooray. So we went to pick Maggie up- bad news financially and more repairs are needed L Oh well we then headed for Volcanoes National park, apparently 2 hours away, but Maggie was shaking so much I didn’t go over 50km/hour and it took us over 3 hours.
Casper- an overlander friend we keep bumping into, advised us on the campsite and what is needed for the hike. I was very nervous for this strenuous hike as I have been sitting on my arse for awhile now and totally unfit. We were warned that the hike can be up to 6 hours- eek!
In the end the hike was a piece of cake and only took about an hour or so to get to the gorillas. It was great to witness these human like creature in the wild. They are really spectacular to see. There was even a newborn that was the cutest thing ever. You are only allowed to stay with the gorillas for an hour, however due to a beehive close by and bees starting to attack me and the tracker our hour was cut short.
On the way back from the Gorillas a contact came through to visit the Sowarthe tea plantation. A friend of a friend managers it. So we thought why not and headed for the hills. Ah I was so glad we made this detour, it was so beautiful driving through endless hills of different shades of green. A night was spent up on the hill with a tea factory tour in the morning.
Back to Kigali, some more fixing to Maggie was needed. This time my bushers had warn away and was causing all the wobbling. All sorted now. While Maggie was being repaired I went to visit the Ministry of Education and their OLPC project. The president of Rwanda has done a great job and is a firm believer in education and cleanliness. What a great guy.
The first school that I visited was a bit disappointing, as the correct training had obviously not been done and the teacher had no clue. The laptops weren’t charged up before the lesson and there were cables running everywhere, not a good idea for children to be messing around with plug points etc.
However it was great to see the difference between the two schools we visited, as the second school was a deaf school. These children were amazing and obviously have spent time on the laptops and know how they work. The teacher had been trained and was incredible with the students. It was so nice and quite in the classroom, I was very jealous.
So after long hours of meetings and visits to school it was time to bid farewell. One last visit to Akagera Park to do some washing and say goodbye to Bryan. Now we will head North through the park to Uganda.