Our silver Jeep bravely struggled up and down the steep hills of Rwanda’s countryside. Breathtaking views and terraced fields endlessly accompanied us on the road to the Virunga Mountains, where we were hoping to encounter both the Endangered mountain gorillas and golden monkeys. As a wildlife photographer, I was extremely excited about the prospect of meeting two such rare species in their natural habitat.
The roads were narrow and lined with people in colourful clothing, who were cycling, walking or carrying baskets full of fruit and vegetables. As we navigated our way to Musanze in the north-western province, I was amazed by how incredibly clean the country was. There wasn’t a piece of paper or a plastic bottle in sight, despite the fact that Rwanda is the most densely populated country in Africa. I was truly intrigued by this, and I later found out that Rwanda practices a rule whereby every able citizen is expected to help clean the streets between 8am and midday on the last Saturday of each month.
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Taste the world for a bit… What comes to mind? Dreamy, endless, undisturbed beaches – turquoise ocean, swaying palm fronds and cashew nuts. These are the pictures that emerge in my mind when I think of Mozambique, a forgotten, and for many, an unknown paradise just waiting to be rediscovered and explored. According to tradition, the name Mozambique comes from Musa Mbiki, the name of a sultan at the time of the first Portuguese colonization. It initially became the name of a settlement, and later applied to the entire country.
Travelling by car through Mozambique, is an interesting way to explore the country and its hidden treasures, and despite the potholes and poor condition of some of the roads, it is an adventure well worth undertaking. Although Lorenzo Marks (LM) has long since been renamed
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Longing to explore, my adventurous spirit led me into the heart of Africa, Rwanda. I met up with an old friend who has been living in Kigali for some time, and in pursuit of the arcane wonders of the misty hills, we set off in our little Jeep…
Hotel des Mille Collines. That is where I am sitting under a thatch roof, with Monica, one of my closest friends, sipping on a Campari Orange. There is a background of chatter coming from other groups enjoying their sundowners, most of them are expats from Europe and the United States, but locals frequent this spot too. It is a strange experience because the establishment, better known as Hotel Rwanda, featured in a movie of that name portraying the true story of hotel manager, Paul Rusesabagina, played by Don Cheadle, who gave fleeing Tutsis shelter from the escalating violence, which would later become known as the Rwandan Genocide.
The drama of Africa unfolds like a Shakespeare play in an open theatre, free to see, enjoy, fascinate, intrigued, horrify, upset and satiate all your senses and emotions, just take your pick. Africa’s bosom carries an array of diversity unsurpassed by any other
place I know.
There are vast lakes teeming with life, rivers of slow running waters, deserts, mountains, savannas and jungles, in Africa’s wild quivering terrain and you would suspect that the soul of Africa must be hiding somewhere.