A tourist’s experience of traveling in Rwanda

Similar to how St. Augustine put it, ‘the world is a book,’ and those who do not travel read only a page of it. Most people travel not to go anywhere or learn any thing, but simply for travel’s sake. The great affair is to move.

Similar to how St. Augustine put it, ‘the world is a book,’ and those who do not travel read only a page of it. Most people travel not to go anywhere or learn any thing, but simply for travel’s sake. The great affair is to move.

The tropical climate of Rwanda is praised for its medicinal benefits in relieving stress, which draws foreigners searching for the dry, warm weather.

The magnificent attractions in the country have contributed to the increasing number of tourists that are enchanted by this undiscovered paradise; the same tourists return year after year together with other friends who have heard of the country’s history.

Today, Rwanda has a fabulous fusion of French and English culture, customs and cooking. The languages that are spoken almost exclusively by the local population include French, English and Kinyarwanda, which are three official languages in Rwanda.

Most tourists who visit the country jet in at Rwanda’s main air gateway which is Kigali International Airport, located at Kanombe, a suburb of Kigali city.

People, who have the will to do a lot of traveling in as many countries as possible, should strive to spend at least a week in Rwanda.

While here, one can opt to use many different modes of transport depending on the destination and how fast one intends to travel. 

As you move around the city, you discover that Kigali is made up of three districts: Gasabo, Kicukiro and Nyarugenge with a population of approximately 1million.

The main form of public transport within Rwanda is the Toyota Taxis or small omnibuses locally known as Twegerane, which is a Kinyarwanda word meaning ‘let’s sit together.`

Express taxi companies are also operating within the city centre and up country. These run to a set timetable (usually hourly) between major towns, generally Kigali and a major regional centre.

The taxis which are ran by express companies such as Sotra Tours, Atraco, Stella, Volcanoes Express, Virunga, Trans2000, Omega Car and Muhabura Travel, issue tickets in advance with a set price and time of departure short of which you risk a loss of the amount paid.

Speaking to Oliver Nizeyimana, the Managing Director of Volocano Express, which is one of the many transport companies in Kigali, it is hard to monitor the transport vehicles operating within the city.

“It is convenient for me to operate up country because we have only two parks one in Kigali and another in Butare where we operate,” he said.

Volocano Express has 14 mini white coaches that operate on only one route which is between Kigali and Butare.

But he says things are changing with the city council planning to prohibit taxis from operating within the city centre come 2008.

“Next year, I hope to start a Volocano town service, I know this time in six months; the city will have better transport services because transport companies which understand better transport services will have come on board,” Nizeyimana said.

For other express taxi companies, more destinations are being added with time, and most routes sell out their tickets considerably in advance of the departure time.

Passengers wishing to alight before the end of the taxi’s destination can do so, but have to pay the full ticket price anyway. The price of tickets on Express taxis is similar to the price of a stopping taxi over the same distance.

Those who have moved extensively around the country have had memorable experiences because there are numerous places to visit, all with exciting background stories.

There is a road that continues from Kayonza running to the far northeast of the country to Kagitumba via Nyangatare.

If one takes this route, they will see the beautiful and magnificently shaped Lake Muhazi along the main road.

Some years back, the biggest part of this road would twist through Akagera National park but today it is mostly a settlement area for returnees especially from Uganda and Tanzania.

Most tourists who come to Rwanda never miss the opportunity to travel to Akagera National Park, which is in the far off bushes of Kayonza district.

It is set in the Eastern Province where tranquility can only be provided by the wildness that stretches to Tanzania.

Akagera National Park boasts of a game lodge set off in the southern part only two hours drive away from the capital Kigali.

It has grown to prominence ever since its re-opening and now it attracts masses of tourists like never before.

One can be assured of the travel needs at this lodge – from climbing the endless hills of the picturesque landscape to passing through to other cities efficiently.

While in Rwanda, one cannot miss out on visiting the mountain Gorillas; these rare species are now a trade mark to Rwanda’s tourism industry that even the locals are excited at their site.

The amazing creatures which are facing extinct in other parts of the world, found a peaceful home in Virunga Mountains where the Rwandan government have showered them with a human love than ever before.

They even have special naming ceremonies for their new born as in accordance to Rwandan culture, so they are considered part of the many Rwandan families.

Whether visiting Rwanda for a week or a few months, the many modes of transportation available will certainly allow you to experience the best of the culture and all that the country has to offer.

Ends

 

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