……THE LAND OF A 1000 HILLS…..
This is my first “Travel Experience” blog post.I just had to share my experience in ” the land of a thousands hills”….Rwanda!!
I arrived Rwanda on August 12th 2011. It was probably my best immigration experience to date. With a pre-entry visa and $50 less than 10 minutes later I had a 30 day visa! The immigration officers were polite, courteous and very curious about my reason of entry. My response: To visit a friend…”Welcome to Rwanda.. Enjoy your stay.I hope you like our beautiful country “.I even learnt how to greet in the local language. “Kinyarwanda”……”…Bitey”..Response: “…Biza…”. It turned about to be an activity packed 10 days!!
Please don’t get me started on the “contritok matter”..lol…I was shocked that the whole country of about 11 million speaks the same language!! The official language was recently changed from French to English. The president decided to align the country with East Africa. Talk about a radical and major change…especially in Education!!If you ask me…it is sort of bilingual!!
During my stay I kept asking….What does Rwanda have? I did not get any convincing answers..”hmmm…a good part of the government’s revenue is made from taxes”, “Tea, Coffee”, ” ..hmmm…a bit of Tourism….the mountain Gorrilas…”
The organization & infrastructure: clean streets, good roads, nice buildings. The district with the state/gov’t buildings is off the hook to say the least! Plastics bags are not allowed in Rwanda…You get a brown paper bag instead!!That partly explains the cleanliness of the streets!
Bike (aka bend skin, okada) drivers wear a coat with an ID number clearly marked. The bike driver and passenger wear helmets!!!
The building/construction Style…Q: Whats up with Zinc in Cameroon? hahaha! On a serious note though…I loved the building/construction style in Kigali..very modern and some houses still had the “African touch”….
The 3 hr ride to Gisenyi was very scenic..All soo familiar….the landscape….hills, tea plantations, pyramid shaped roff tops etc etc. (Trips to Bamenda, Buea??lol) .I really enjoyed my stay at Lake Kivu Serena Hotel..Customer Service,Check.Rooms,Check. Food, Check. Scenery. Check..Lake Kivu is the sixth largest lake in Africa!Lake big sotey..lol…
I think despite the country’s history i.e. the 1994 genocide, it is picking up quite well..atrracting returnees from left right and center, tourists, investors, expatriates..etc. Apparently it is the “Model for Africa” for some organizations..
Here is my picture story..Enjoy!