SABA Episode #7 — Congo Nile Trail & Staring at the Muzungu

Article from the series: Frequently Asked Questions about Rwanda, Uganda and DR Congo

That photo above, that’s something I can totally get behind! Miha took a picture of Cesar Niyonkuru before they embarked on a lovely chat about the Congo Nile Trail, a hiking or cycling adventure on the eastern side of Lake Kivu that is the topic of the seventh episode of SEE AFRICA BREATHE AFRICA.

The walking part of it … I don’t know. Not exactly me. Walking for the sake of walking? Nah. If there is some actual place one needs to hike to, count me in. But to me the point is in the destination, not the feet movement. I’d rather take a boda boda, thank you.

I listened to the whole conversation by Miha and Cesar, and wondered: why? What does one hope to do? I understand people’s desire to see wild animals, marvel at sweeping views, have a sunset dinner and other standard tourist ware — but to just want to walk?! Some crazies really travel 10,000 miles just to walk? It’s a little bit strange, to be honest.

Miha and our fourth podcast buddy, Katharina Lahner, told me that in the culture of the Muzungu there is pride and pleasure in putting forth an effort. Reportedly Europeans feel great after hiking for days, because they have made it, achieved something. They love to know that they have worked for it. Secondly, they like to listen, hear and smell the environment, feel what is under their feet, and “be in the moment” without even thinking of the fact that they are walking (I’d be panting far too much to achieve that Zen state).

In response I told them that even though muzungu is normally translated as white person, it may have been derived from kuzunga or wandering aimlessly. Strange guys, these Europeans.

Oh, and let me leave you with a hint: if you score big and go far a hike with our wonderful Katharina, do pack some snacks like chocolate and apples. That is how you win her heart!

I wonder if it works for other Muzungu ladies too.


Kahiri EP

Congo Nile Trail map and accommodation info

This Magnetic Doctor Isn’t Your Typical Healer

Exciting Lake Options on the Congo Nile Trail

Rwandan traditional dancing (video)

photos by Miha Logar