Heartfelt. As in, you can really, really feel it in your heart … That’s about the closest I can come to expressing what travelling through Rwanda really feels like. On the remote gravel roads, in tea plantations, on high mountain footpaths, in dusty villages, and inside brightly coloured taverns … there is openness and engagement everywhere, with a friendly smile hot on the heels of every ‘Murakozi Chane!’ greeting.
The levels of poverty here – in general – seems way less divisive than in the rest of Africa, and the incredibly fertile soil also makes it that much easier for families to feed themselves. Like anywhere else in the Third World, chances are you will hear the ubiquitous ‘Give me money!’, but generally the kids are more interested in the stories you can tell them than in a handout.
Just getting to Rwanda proved to be a massive adventure … Our BEYOND EXPEDITIONS ‘Beyond the Rift Valley’ Expedition started in Cape Town and meandered via Botswana, Zimbabwe, Zambia and Tanzania before eventually reaching the capital city of Kigali a solid 5300 km later. This was just the beginning, as we’d set our hearts on exploring every adventure opportunity along the mythical Nile-Congo Divide Trail traversing this tiny country. Along the way, we were treated to some of the most remarkable moments I’ve ever experienced in Africa…
– Photographs & Text: Jacques Marais
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