Written by: Roel De Cock
I recently had the chance to explore Rwanda and Uganda for about 18 days. This period of time is really way too short to discover the diversity of both countries but I ended up with a really packed agenda that at least gave me a glimpse into the beauty of these areas
There is a lot of beauty, culture and diversity packed in the heart of Africa and with this video I hope to at least showcase some of it:
From the impressively clean capital, Kigali, to its diverse national parks, Rwanda is becoming more and more popular on travellers’ bucket lists. The location that will stay the closest to my heart will be, without doubt, Nyungwe Forest National Park, which is about a six-hour drive from Kigali. This park amazed me in every single aspect, from its peaceful, natural setting and fresh air, to the stunning tea plantations and presence of different kinds of monkeys. We also really enjoyed the trek to the waterfalls!
However, the highlight of our trip was trekking to the mountain gorillas in the Volcanoes National Park. Although we were a little bit unlucky as it started raining just as we encountered these fascinating animals, it was still a magical experience. Just like humans mountain gorillas really don’t enjoy the rain and they wrap themselves to stay warm during the rainfall, but in the footage that I filmed, these raindrops in slow motion gave a satisfying result.
We’re still surprised by the diversity of Uganda. Mountains, wildlife, lakes… Uganda has it all. Lake Bunyonyi, where the video starts, has an island called Punishment Island where the locals used to abandon unmarried pregnant girls to die of hunger.
Meanwhile, Murchison Falls and Queen Elizabeth National Park both offer a wide variety of wild animals. We got really lucky with a boat drive and caught a horde of elephants bathing in the lake. The biggest elephant made a defensive move, which can also be seen in the video, while the little elephants fled to the shore. This was a mesmerising experience!
The Rwenzori Mountains are among the highest mountains in Africa, and if we’d had more time, we’d have definitely tried to hike to the top. While visiting the Kibale Forest National Park we encountered a group of chimpanzees battling with a group of red colobus monkeys. These monkeys are in generally quite sweet until they eat a certain fruit that makes them drunk. When drunk they think they can take on everybody, including chimpanzees. But the chimpanzees hunt them and eat them when drunk, as they’re stronger, but during our trek the red colobus monkeys actually managed to outnumber the chimpanzees and scare them away. This was stunning to watch!
All these experiences proved that getting off the beaten track and choosing less mainstream travel destinations like Rwanda or Uganda can give you memories that will last a lifetime. This is the beauty of Africa at its best.