3 February 2011
Breakfast is served onto fourth floor of Hotel Milles Colines which provides a great view of the hills of Kigali at sun rise. The view is amazing and the city is beautiful. After breakfast we walked over to the Rwandan National Parks office and managed to score two passes to the National Park on the Ugandan border to go look for gorillas! Only 56 people are allowed in the park each day and usually the passes, which cost $500 USD each sell out months in advance, but there were two cancellations so my friend and I were able to get passes for the following day.
Once we had the passes in hand we went back to the hotel and booked two nights at an ecolodge just outside the park, rented a rusty Toyota Landcruiser (driver included), and headed north. The old Landcruiser struggled and groaned up the steep hills leaving Kigali and rattled down the few rough sections where the road wasn't paved, but we finally arrived three hours later. The views were awesome as we drove through the Rwandan countryside and i could easily see how others had called Rwanda the "Garden of Eden."
We booked a cabin with volcanoessafaris.com, a small eight cabin eco-resort that was totally off the grid and situated on a hilltop overlooking several lakes and volcanos on the Ugandan border. The resort was powered by solar panels and a windmill and the water was heated by solar tanks. Unfortunately, there was no wifi, but it was an all-inclusive resort with drinks, meals, massages, everything included in the price.
We first had drinks by the fireplace in the main lodge and later we were joined at dinner in the dining room by the other campers, who hailed from Chicago, Vancouver, Victoria Island, and Holland. All were excited to go on the Gorilla trek in the morning and this was everyones first trip to Africa.
|View from the lodge|