Eid is a time of celebration in the Middle East and is a public holiday across the region. Many expats use Eid as a chance to get away, especially when Eid is in the summer. Private sector workers tend to get three days public holiday while governmental workers get five days so it is the perfect chance to take a break and escape the Middle East summer. Here are the perfect Eid escapes all under five hours flight from the Middle East and reachable by a direct flight. Here my favourite Middle East bloggers and me tell you the perfect Eid escapes! Continue reading Eid Escapes from the Middle East in under 5 hours
One of the things that excited me most about moving to Qatar was the travel opportunities it would afford us! By living in Qatar a whole new world of holiday destinations from Doha opened up to us! Long haul was now short haul and vice versa! In the three and a half years we have been living here we have been using every opportunity we could to try new holiday destinations from Doha. So here is Qatar’s Travel menu from short haul to long haul options and the most memorable travel opportunity we had! Continue reading Holiday Destinations from Doha aka Qatar’s Travel menu
Ahead of our trip, one of our greatest concerns was having the appropriate clothing. Those of you that have read my earlier posts, know that as we arrived in Uganda, we lost one of our pieces of luggage. Through this experience though I feel I have learnt a valuable lesson about what clothes are needed for this type of trip, especially if you have limited baggage. So here are my top tips for what to wear gorilla trekking and chimp trekking in Uganda and Rwanda Continue reading What to wear gorilla trekking and chimp trekking in Uganda and Rwanda
For most people, trekking to see gorillas and chimps in Uganda is a once in a lifetime experience and you want to come home with a plethora of memorable shots to show your family and friends. But what is the best way of getting these snaps? This guide will share with you our top tips for which lens to use when gorilla trekking and much more to ensure you get some great snaps from this once in a lifetime experience
Kigali Rwanda is not on many people’s bucket lists. The only reason we went was as a convenient end point to our Ugandan/Rwandan safari. When putting together our itinerary, we decided to stay at the infamous Milles des Collines hotel (of Hotel Rwanda fame), now a Kempinski hotel.
Where to stay in Kigali, Rwanda
In a way the choice, or lack there of, of suitable hotels led to us staying here is a great symbol of my apprehension of going to Rwanda. You see outside of the Rwandan genocide, I knew nothing about the capital city of Rwanda. A look in the tourist guides provided little other information about the city away from its genocide.
As we arrived late in the evening, I looked towards our next day in the city with some apprehension.
What you need to know about visiting the Kigali Genocide Memorial Centre
Our main stop, as I think is the case with many tourists was the Kigali Genocide Memorial Centre. The centre has beautiful grounds that serves as a cemetery for over 250,000 people who died in the Capital during the Genocide. The scale of this memorial only serves to emphasis the extent of the atrocity. Inside, the centre is given over to explaining how the genocide came to pass, historical context and how the international community did little to prevent or intervene. A shameful blemish on reputation on the rest of the international community.
It was without a doubt the most upsetting place I have ever been. The sheer scale coupled with the stories of survivors had me in tears. The stories of children caught up in the Genocide were the most harrowing. There were some stories of heros that risked their lives for others that were uplifting and a welcome relief but not enough to counter the effects. Though uncomfortable, I am really happy that we visited the Memorial.
What to see in Kigali Rwanda
Once we had left the genocide memorial we went to an artisan craft market. It was only once we had left the genocide memorial that you began to notice the ages of the people in capital, the missing generation and notice the literal scars on the residents of Kigali.
Despite this, I came away from Kigali with a feeling of hope. It is remarkable that the city doesn’t have more problems. There is not an ongoing quest for retribution. Instead, I saw a city rising from the ashes and trying to move towards a better future. Initiatives by the Kigali City Council such as once a month mandatory street cleaning for all residents, make it feel like a city of the rise. It was one of the cleanest places I have been, and I don’t just mean in Africa. More recently it has embraced the no car days to encourage exercise and community gathering. It feels like a city looking towards a different and better future.
Our lasting impression of Kigali Rwanda
In the end I was glad that I went to Kigali and the Genocide Memorial. But most of all, I was glad I stayed at the Milles des Collines. It was here, where Paul Rusesabagina let over 1000 people take refuge, that I had time to reflect on Kigali and my short time there. It reminded me that there are always people, however few that will put there lives at risk for the sake of others.
My hopes for Kigali in the future is that they can diversify and create a country that is defined by more than just its Genocide and its springing off point to see gorillas.