First of all, you have to apply for Eastern Africa visa which can be done online at www.irembo.gov.rw, and pay the fees as well. Then to expedite the process you can apply for a PCR test online from the Public Health Passenger Locator which is mandatory up upon arrival. Also, before traveling you will need to submit an online form which should include the result of your PCR test taking in your residence, and the hotel name and address you are staying in until the PCR test result taken upon arrival comes out. Furthermore, note that if you are planning your visit to the Gorillas in Rwanda you will need another PCR test as well, remember their DNA is 98% close to humans, so perhaps plan your visit to the Gorillas immediately upon arrival.
I am writing these words while on the plane because the smile never left my face. It is the country that I can say is the country of the smile. When you visit this country you will notice that life can be hard on people, but look into their eyes and all you will see a smile full of love. One of the phenomena that amazed me in my trip is the lack of smoking by citizens and it appears that they consider smoking as a phenomenon contrary to culture which harm the smoker himself and those around him. Someone I met on the plane on my way to Kigali told me that I would be surprised by the cleanliness of the city, and indeed he was never wrong. Once you visit the Capital, Kigali, you will immediately notice how clean the city and the roads really are. Also, one of the things that you will see a lot are speed cameras, even in remote places such as mountains and others.
Certainly, life there is not easy and you will see many walking long distances carrying the burden of life on their heads, women carrying their children and adults pushing their simple wooden cart full of things in search of their day’s morsel. But despite all this fatigue they will leave everything in their hands just to give you a greeting wave. The main means of transportation in the city is the motorbike which I recommend during your visit to the city in order to move faster, and as soon as I got the result of the PCR test I left the hotel to explore the city. I immediately took a motorbike (taxi) asking the biker to go to downtown Kigali, and I promise you will see the simplicity and spontaneity of the people, and I recommend everyone to try dining and coffee at a place called Heaven, supported by more than 30,000 Rwandan women. Yes it’s not an easy life and you can see that on the streets how people are walking long distances while carrying stuff on their head, some women while carrying their babies, pushing a wagon full of foods, pushing a carter full of stuff which was built from wood, and the methods varies yet the majority carry food to sell. With all of this happening at the same time they almost drop everything they are carrying to just wave their hands to you while you are driving away.
All of you know and remember the genocide, which is considered one of the worst civil wars in human history that the country went through 27 years ago. The genocide lasted for about 100 days from the date of April 7 to July 15, 1994 with an estimated death of more than 800,000 Tutsi only wear killed. Do to the severity of the tragedy of the genocide, you will find memorial across the country, but you will aslo find a peaceful Rwandan people full of a love for life and from the bottom of my heart I wish them all love and peace.
It’s worth noting that in the entire world, we only have about 1,000 mountain gorillas, 340 gorillas here in Rwanda, and only 10 families are eligible to meet humans. Also each mountain gorilla family can only receive about 8 people per day and we are only allowed to spend 1 hour with them. Also, there are only three countries where mountain gorillas are found, including Rwanda, Uganda and the Republic of the Congo. So there is a lot of effort behind making these beautiful gorillas habituated with us as humans. During the past three years, Rwanda has focused to prevent poaching, and this is one of the reasons why it is expensive to visit the gorillas at a cost of $1,500 dollars. But the beautiful thing about this is that you, too, with this amount help prevent poaching, intensify research, improve mountain gorillas live, and certainly improve the environment as a whole. Watching these animals is a very wonderful opportunity and watching them closely is worth every second. Where you will feel that you are really very small next to them. Finally, I would like to say indeed, visiting the mountain gorilla was one of the most beautiful moments I had. I have done something amazing which I enjoyed a lot, unfortunately, I can’t tell you now about it otherwise I will ruin the surprise but stay tuned.
Who is Dian Fossey?
One of the moments that was close to my heart was a visit to Volcanoes National Park, which is about a two-hour drive from the capital, Kigali. The national park has five of the eight most important volcanoes in Rwanda and is home to the mountain gorillas that live in the Virunga mountains. Several years ago, “Dian Fossey” studied the life of gorillas, whose work still exists to this day and had a significant impact on protecting mountain gorillas from extinction. Indeed, because of her influence and her wonderful work, I visited her foundation, which I recommend everyone to visit during your visit to Rwanda.