Londoner Shiv loves music. He straight away sat in front of our tour minibus and took full advantage of the Bluetooth connection, playing mostly American hip hop and some R&B. That was the soundtrack of his one week in Rwanda and Uganda.
His trip’s first upcountry destination was Musanze where he was to teach GHE Youth Spaces youngsters about business communication. But even before that we had to catch the weekly football match at Virunga Valley Academy, and that was anything but easy with a presidential convoy in town!
Next day we jumped into our car and drove to the volcanoes and Lake Kivu. Shiv was very happy to visit the Ellen Campus which prepared him for his visit to mountain gorillas. He also wanted to check on the cowboys of Bigogwe, despite our advice to skip it. From the main road to the farm’s cow activities it’s quite a distance and it’s mountainous, full of dust (or mud) and pot holes.
But after about an hour it becomes beautiful with green endless pastures… Shiv was shocked to see how recent floods had destroyed properties and even claimed lives. He felt sad for them.
We later on also checked on Roz Carr’s house where the beautiful English flower garden cheered him up. The music continued to be our motivator as we made it to the lake where Shiv was the one and only guest at the Kivu Paradise lodge!
Next stage: Uganda. It started with the coffee experience where Shiv, a true lover of coffee, to his surprise learned many new things about the special beans from Ethiopia.
The following morning he was to do his gorilla tracking in Mgahinga NP, and you could see the excitement and happiness on his face.
In Echuya Forest Reserve he then met Batwa “Pygmies”, got to know about their culture and donated some clothes.
The final stop was Lake Bunyonyi where, again, Shiv was the only patron of Arcadia Lodges! We pretty much still are in the low season … However, more than the fancy accommodation Shiv was into exploring the rustic local villages, with a dinner at Tom’s island the grand finale of his activities.