ON HER BIKE: THROUGH UGANDA AND RWANDA

On my way out of Kenya, I ran into adventure riders - Rico and Armin, and we decided to cross the Ugandan border together and hung out for a few days. By total chance, we found perfect places to be...

- The Haven Lodge and the Nile River!

Soon later João Sousa, a Portuguese living in Uganda, joined the gang and one night turned into two, two into three, and we could not bring ourselves to leave the place until after the fifth day. Time flies when you're having fun, but to tell the truth, the exhaustion got all of us at that time, so we all needed a few days off the bikes to recharge our batteries.

When in Uganda do as Ugandans do so, you gotta try some local delicacies like fried grasshoppers! João named them Prawns of The Sky, which I think it's kinda poetic. They taste quite good and are a great source of protein.

After six blissful days, we split the gang into two.  Rico and Armin stayed a bit longer at the Haven and João joined me for a week's ride across the country.

Ugandan Wild Life

Uganda is a small country, but due to the weather, I couldn't explore it as planned. The rain season made dirt roads impossible to ride. Most of the roads here have a clay base, so they become extremely slippery, or they just turn into sticky mud pits. Not fun at all!

Luckily, the weather decided to cut me some slack and we were able to enter the Queen Elizabeth National Park. This is the only park  I've come across in Africa that allows self-guided safari rides on motorcycles.

Apart from all the close encounters with wild buffaloes, which are fearless and dangerous creatures, I was dazzled by all the stately elephants, majestic giraffes, lean antelopes and fat hypos. And as exciting as it sounds, it was actually quite scary.

Apart from all the close encounters with wild buffaloes, which are fearless and dangerous creatures, I was dazzled by all the stately elephants, majestic giraffes, lean antelopes and fat hypos. And as exciting as it sounds, it was actually quite scary.

Famous Bwindi Park in southwestern Uganda - known for its amazing biodiversity and housing endangered species, and it costs $700 for a tour! This park is located on the border with Rwanda and Congo and it's the only place in the whole world where you can see gorillas in their natural habitat. Hence the high price, which unfortunately was way over my budget.  But even if you can't afford to see the gorillas, you can enjoy the walks tin this stunning tropical forest.

Rwanda - one of a kind

Rwanda turned out to be so different from anything else I've seen in Africa so far. Rwanda's leader's vision for the country is based on Singapore's economic model and made Rwanda Africa's cleanest country.

The moment I entered Rwanda everything felt so organized. There's literally no rubbish in the streets. The roads are perfectly constructed, the smooth pavement has carefully marked lines and pedestrian walkways.

After a quick visit to the capital city of Kigali, I headed east to Lake Kivu on the border with Congo. The road along the lake was pure joy - 200 km with perfect curves, beautiful scenery and no traffic, only now and then I waved to the locals walking by.

But Rwanda is not just about perfect paved roads – there's also an unlimited amount of off-road tracks. And for me, travelling through this remote scenery, small villages, banana plantations and communing with friendly locals was an unforgettable experience.

In terms of accommodation, Rwanda is similar to other African countries – which means it's quite expensive. Prices of the rooms at the lodges are minimum $50, but sometimes even the upmarket places allow travelers to camp for $ 10-15. And you can find yourself in stunning places like this.

Another budget option could be staying at the missionaries. I spent my last night in Rwanda in the Angelic Church in Ngoma. The missionary runs a school for local children and has spare rooms for travelers. Waking up to the choir singing was a very nice little touch for my farewell!

See the other stories about On Her Bike here

 

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