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East Africa on a scooter | Part 6 | Kigali Genocide Memorial – Kabale

Who dares to drive more than 3.000 kilometers on a scooter through East Africa? Visiting mountain gorillas? Scooter safaris (does this word exist?) in five National parks† To admire lions, buffaloes, hippos and elephants up close, among other things. My name is Eric and I like to travel around on a scooter. Read here part 6 of the unique report of an amazing scooter adventure Uganda, Rwanda en Kenya† In the sixth part of this journey I drive from Kigali to Kabale, a drive of about 100 kilometers.

Also read:

East Africa on a scooter | Part 1 | From Kampala to Kigali (180 km)
East Africa on a scooter | Part 2 | Bugala Island – Lake Mburo (170 km)
East Africa on a scooter | Part 3 | Lake Mburo National Park – Kabale (230 km)
East Africa on a scooter | Part 4 | Kabale – Ruhija – Gorilla trekking (50 km)
East Africa on a scooter | Part 5 | Bwindi – Kabale – Kigali (160 km)
East Africa on a scooter | Part 6 | Kigali Genocide Memorial – Kabale
East Africa on a scooter | Part 7 | Kabale – Queen Elizabeth National Park (175 km)
East Africa on a scooter | Part 8 | Queen Elizabeth NP – Fort Portal (120km)
East Africa on a scooter | Part 9 | Fort Portal – Muhorro (100 km)

A tour of clinically beautiful Kigali

How clean can the center of a city be? I am now doing my second lap. From the valley I slowly circle up into the center of Kigali. Gone is the bustle, noise and chaos. Instead, I drive past empty bus shelters, where you can eat off the ground.

Bus shelter in the center of Kigali
Bus shelter in the center of Kigali

One thing I now know for sure. I will not meet the lion's share of the XNUMX million inhabitants of Kigali in the center. It's almost scary, it's so clean everywhere. On the clinical side. Nothing is bustling here and there are hardly any people. Even the big hotels are eerily empty.

Radisson Hotel in Kigalia
Radisson Hotel in Kigalia

By evening I am back in the valley. There I drive my scooter into the courtyard of a guesthouse and park my scooter in front of the loft that serves as a hotel room. It's not much soup. There is a cot with a mattress, a pillow, a blanket and a sheet. Yet it is cozy, because all rooms are located in a rectangle around the restaurant.

Room in a guesthouse with no name in Kigali
Room in a guesthouse with no name in Kigali

All tables in the restaurant are occupied. Everyone looks at two TV screens on the wall. On the right screen is the draw for a preliminary round of the Champions League. On the left screen, the presenter announces the results of the elections. All faces turn to the left for a moment. "The winner of the election is President Kagame with 98% of the vote," she reads. Laughter is everywhere.

My neighbor tells me why everyone is laughing. 'The elections in Rwanda don't make any sense. Hence. In which country does a president get 98% of the vote?' The waiter has had enough too. He turns off the TV. "Enough with those elections."

The restaurant of the guesthouse in Kigali
The restaurant of the guesthouse in Kigali

New tires at Sameer Hussein

I am in Kigali to buy two new scooter tires. The day before yesterday I got a flat rear tire. The repairman reported that I was driving on two almost worn tires. Since hardly anyone rides a scooter in Uganda anymore, new tires were only available in the capital Kampala, 400 km from Kabale. A phone call later came the good news. I was also able to buy new tires in Kigali at Sameer Hussein's spare parts shop. The distance between Kabale and Kigali is only 100 kilometers.

In Kigali, all streets have numbers. Sameer Hussein storage shed is located between street 86 and 2. It cannot be missed. Everything is going well. I buy two new tires and have them attached to the rear of the scooter.

In the meantime I am on my way to the one and only attraction of Kigali: Kigali Genocide Memorial† I have to be careful for a moment, because a tanker is pouring water on one of the few dirt roads in the center. That at least prevents the necessary dust. But wouldn't it be better to just aim for a layer of asphalt here? Then you don't have to sprinkle water every day.

A tanker strews water on a dirt road in Kigali
A tanker strews water on a dirt road in Kigali

Kigali Genocide Memorial

Unfortunately, Rwanda is best known for the bloody massacres in 1994. In that year, Hutus and Tutsis fought in a fierce civil war. And while United Nations peacekeepers looked on with resignation, between 800.000 and 1.000.000 were killed.

The Kigali Genocide Memorial
The Kigali Genocide Memorial

At the entrance I notice something. For the third time, a safari vehicle is now approaching, letting tourists out. I get a very bad feeling about it. So you are traveling in Rwanda, do a few safaris and then go 'on safari' to this museum full of misery. something like that? Perhaps these tourists themselves do not think about it. And what am I talking about? What would they think about me? A tourist on a wacky scooter with two tires attached to the luggage carrier.

On 'safari' to the Genocide Museum in Kigali
On 'safari' to the Genocide Museum in Kigali

The museum is impressive and sobering at the same time. I walk past a sign that says 250.000 remains are buried.

Cemetery of the Genocide Museum in Kigali
Cemetery of the Genocide Museum in Kigali

A visit to the tea plantations in Rwanda

A day in Kigali is long enough. It's high time to ease through the rolling hills of Rwanda in the direction of Uganda to drive.

The skyline of Kigali from the road to Uganda
The skyline of Kigali from the road to Uganda

It is really enjoyable on the scooter. I often stop in villages along the way. The residents walk out in front of a white man on a scooter. And there is no shortage of villages in Rwanda. Rwanda is not for nothing the most populous country on the mainland of Africa.

In the photo with some residents of Kinteko, Rwanda
In the photo with some residents of Kinteko, Rwanda
Refueling in Rwanda
Refueling in Rwanda

From the hills, the view of the poisonous green tea plantations is magnificent. About ten kilometers before the border with Uganda I decide to turn off the main road. I drive through the tea plantations. A pair of workers load the bales of picked tea leaves into the back of a minibus.

A van picks up bales of tea in Mulindi
A van picks up bales of tea in Mulindi
On the way home, Mulindi, Rwanda
On the way home, Mulindi, Rwanda

At six o'clock I approach the border with Uganda. I carefully drive past a mile-long line of trucks. I completed the border formalities in no time. 'See you in Rwanda,' is followed five minutes later by, 'Welcome to Uganda. Keep left.'

Welcome to Uganda
Welcome to Uganda

A happy accident

Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't. This time it's okay. Ten kilometers before Kabale my rear tire is flat again. A boy on a bicycle tells me to walk for 50 meters. "That's where they stick your tape."

Rear tire repair near Kabale, Uganda
Rear tire repair near Kabale, Uganda

The tire repairman immediately decides to replace the tire. 'Throw that old tire away. Actually, your front tire isn't much anymore, but I'll leave it on. You never know.'

In Kabale Backpackers I arrive at sunset. Little David is overjoyed to see me again.

Also read:

East Africa on a scooter | Part 1 | From Kampala to Kigali (180 km)
East Africa on a scooter | Part 2 | Bugala Island – Lake Mburo (170 km)
East Africa on a scooter | Part 3 | Lake Mburo National Park – Kabale (230 km)
East Africa on a scooter | Part 4 | Kabale – Ruhija – Gorilla trekking (50 km)
East Africa on a scooter | Part 5 | Bwindi – Kabale – Kigali (160 km)
East Africa on a scooter | Part 6 | Kigali Genocide Memorial – Kabale
East Africa on a scooter | Part 7 | Kabale – Queen Elizabeth National Park (175 km)
East Africa on a scooter | Part 8 | Queen Elizabeth NP – Fort Portal (120km)
East Africa on a scooter | Part 9 | Fort Portal – Muhorro (100 km)

Eric on a scooter in Uganda

Eric

What is it like to drive more than 10.000 kilometers in Madagascar on a locally bought scooter? Or on a pikipiki (scooter in Swahili) through East Africa? In more than 20 years I have visited more than 100 countries. This has resulted in a lot of priceless travel experiences, which I would like to share with you.

ERIC – OVER 100 COUNTRIES
– Currently in Kenya.
– Share unique travel experiences.
– Favorite destinations: Madagascar, Uganda, Japan, India and Colombia.

1 comment

  • amazing the journey you have made. Unforgettable.
    Myself, after the first time traveled with a tour company, the other times traveled with locals and you see THEIR country and many beautiful unknown places

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Eric on a scooter in Uganda

Eric

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