If you are used to being told of Gorilla tracking, then let it go down history books that I, the bird hunter, am revolutionalising this tourism component altogether to include bird tracking on the list.
I know that there is bird watching and already so many people are doing this but you need to understand that the two are different. They are different in that bird watching is carried out by both serious tourists and fake ones.
Serious tourists are those who come from far and wide, pay their money and are issued with licenses to go to Nyungwe game reserve to look at the different types of birds and enjoy the sight (some people are really amazing.
I can’t even watch those small feathery creatures for free, let alone pay and even go to walk through chilly Nyungwe forest looking up trees for them). Now, the fake bird watchers are normally cowardly bird hunters who cannot gather the courage to leap into action.
Instead, they strategically post themselves at Rubanguras and UTC verandas and feed their eyes.
These are the two places where idlers are accommodated and there is a huge traffic of birds (I am talking about the fleshy birds this time) as they go about back and forth to Nakumatt and quartier Mateus for shopping.
Bird- tracking. To be honest, this was an accidental discovery. As I told you last week, after the escapades in the North where I realized that there is no reason in the world for any Rwandan to go to Mombasa or Miami in search for sandy beaches for a honeymoon or any type of vacation, I was back in town feeling like a King.
Why not? I had conquered Gisenyi town and painted it red for an entire weekend.
Actually someone told me that if I happen to go back, as it is the culture on the other side of the border, the birds will lay down their vitenges for me to walk on as I enter town.
That is their idea of a red carpet for a distinguished guest.
Well, when I was in town ready to start hunting for a New Year bird, I noticed that the town was ominously bird-less to the extent that even the usual bird watchers at Rubanguras were absent, apart from a few die-hards, phone card sellers and taxi drivers.
Curiosity got the better of me and I decided to inquire from the die-hard bird watcher. It is him who informed me that all roads are leading to the village.
When I asked him what he was doing watching nothing, he told me he had no problem settling for crumbs. Or, in his own words, he was watching for ‘survivors.’
Looking at him, I did not want anybody to tell me that this one right here was a radical, obsessed with bird watching. Only that he had no strategy at all. He had info but did not know how to use it.
You know that birds are heading to the village, which is the best place to point your binoculars other than the country bus park and the ‘express’ stands? That was exactly my next destination.
A transport company known as Belvedere is the most popular and plies almost all provinces of this country. That is where I went first. Once I was there, I pretended to want to buy a ticket but I did not know where exactly the buses were heading to.
In my ‘confusion,’ I was also looking around ‘scanning’ the entire place for a suitable bird. After an hour at the place, I decided that the place was dangerous.
It was dangerous because most of the birds were the ‘protected’ type.
By protected I mean the coming soon birds which can land you in 0830…sorry, 1930 university of discipline which is also these days known as 0830 by the way, because majority of the inmates were proud owners of post-paid lines as a sign of their standing in society before they fell from grace to grass…
With that thought of the possibility of joining those chaps behind those old walls, I hurried away to another ‘airport.’ This time I was not disappointed as I found the place teeming with birds of all complexions and sizes.
I had never seen so many birds in one place ever since I left the beach in the North. I immediately started to mix and mingle, full of excitement.
And Lo! And behold, my eyes landed on a bird that I have never seen anywhere, not even on TV. The bird was alone and looked lonely.
Inwardly I was exclaiming and wondering whether she was born or hatched. That is how I approached her and introduced myself; my names, aliases and initials.
She was friendly and welcoming. We had a long chat and she told me that she had failed to get an earlier ‘flight’ and settled for a late one because she felt she had to go home on that day at any cost, although her home was a bit far from the road, deep in the village.
I told her I was actually going to the same area but my village was a few ridges away, so she need not worry about walking to the village alone. Her excitement could show on her face.
That is how I went and bought myself a ticket. Once in the bus, I asked the neighbour to swap places so I could sit with my ‘sick sister’. Fortunately, he accepted.
That is how I found myself travelling to a village and a district I had never been before. The rest is now history. Let us look at what 2010 brings. Happy New Year folks!