Sunday, May 1, 2011

It doesn’t end there – Akagera National Park

One of hundreds
 But the fun continued with another safari – this time in Rwanda. On Easter Saturday, just two days after returning, Tricia came over to our house from Gitarama with her visiting friend Ann and Joan came from Byumba. It was our 38th wedding anniversary and we went to the Dereva Hotel (Rwamagana’s finest) for a meal. Great to spend it with friends. The next day at 5am, we were up again to meet a car and driver to go to Akagera National Park near the Ugandan border for another day of Zebra, Giraffe, Elephant, Crocodiles, Buffalo, Warthog, Antelope and the rest!

Giraffes spotted and into the swamp
It was a breathtaking day and we had the whole place almost to ourselves (except the animals). The pictures speak for themselves. It was an amazing trip totally organised by Mary and she even threw in several extra bits of excitement as follows:-
    Give it a push
  • Seeing giraffe, the driver suddenly veered off-road towards them. It was rainy season and within seconds the vehicle was sinking in the swamp. Now, as able as they appeared, the driver and the guide didn’t know what to do. I, being and ex- boy scout and having sunk in the mud in my Triumph Herald in Peckham Rye Park during the bin men’s strike in the 70s, immediately gave instructions. Find a tree that an elephant has knocked down, collect some branches, put them by the wheel, place the jack on top of the branches, jack up the 4 X 4, put more wasted elephant branches underneath the wheel, release the jack and repeat for each wheel. After 3 attempts and lots of swirling mud and pushing in reverse from the front, the car eventually darted onto dry land and away we went.
  • Bull elephant on the road and the driver reversed like the clappers after a few photos and back off road into the bush and around the back of it.
  • Spin on the mud and into the bush
  • Another flat tyre
The deed is done
It was nothing but, eventful, exciting and exhilarating and we lived to tell the tale. The moral of the story is, that when local knowledge tells you not to go on certain roads in the rainy season, do so only at your peril but it was ever so thrilling. We had breakfast with the herds of zebra, lunch with the hippos and crocs and afternoon tea on the road with the elephant. Beats Wallington any day.
Bull elephant on the track

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Hi, hope your enjoy reading about our adventures in Rwanda. We'd love to hear from you. Stephen and Mary