I opened my eyes as we were crawling up the hills. Winding through an intense fog blanket, I could start to see hints of sunrise. Almost two hours had passed since we set off from Kabale town at 5:30AM with Alex in the driver’s seat. We were almost at Bwindi Impenetrable National Park – by Uganda’s southwestern border with the Congo. This was a moment I’d been waiting for with nervous anticipation since the time I arrived in East Africa.
As I continued to read, I learnt more about Rwanda’s beautiful lakes. I’ve also been magnetised by the enigma that is the Congo. So after a few days in Kigali, I headed west to Lake Kivu, which dominates the border with the Democratic Republic of the Congo – the closest I could safely go (an Ebola breakout with WHO advisories meant crossing the border into Goma was risky). The mammoth Lake Kivu surrounded by tall mountains with several islands make it an explorer’s heaven. Particularly so if you’ve got access to a boat. From there I headed north to Lake Ruhondo, the less popular of Rwanda’s northern twin lakes to read, relax and stay in a Foyer de Charité – a Catholic mission focused on offering spiritual retreats, not quite sure of how they’d react to me. Both regions reinforced the quiet and level-headed image of Rwandans I already had, and what a calm oasis Rwanda is compared to its neighbours.