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THE EAST AFRICAN SERIES, DAY 8

Masisi – Tchegera Island

Checkpoint trouble and Tchegera Island all alone. It only makes sense while in the hills of Masisi to milk some cows. I come from the home of cows but never in my life have a stroked a quad tit.

HE WASN’T LETTING UP BUT LYDIA WASN’T HAVING ANY OF IT AND CONTINUED TO STAND HER GROUND

After seeing the pace set by the experts I wondered how hard could it actually be. So I rolled my sleeves and set to work

It didn’t take long for me to learn it’s f**king hard work! No doubt I would be here all week and these guys had it done in less than 2 hours.

WHERE IS TCHEGERA?

Tchegera

LOCAL VILLAGE

After a bit of breaky we headed back to the local village one last time. The older generation are less interested but the kids and teens will swarm around you, stare and some will eventually ask you for money. I even seen a local woman snacking on a bamboo stick. Imagine the kids of today (or me for they matter) were given a bamboo stick instead of a chocolate bar!

DAILY INFO… DAY 8

  • HOTEL – Tchegera Island $120 8/10
  • RESTOS – Tchegera Island, 4 course, 8.5/10
  • FOOD – Photo below – incredible
  • ATTRACTIONS –
    Cow milking
    Nature walk
    Paddle boarding
  • STEPS – 13,400
  • MILES COVERED – 46.2 miles

SALON

Before leaving I visited the local salon and to be honest it was pretty impressive. An external staircase that lead up to a room with a huge mirror on the far wall. The owner was more than happy for me to be there and if I was in more of a need I would have certainly allowed him to get the clippers out and see what his talents are like.

Checkpoint trouble and Tchegera Island all alone

CHECKPOINT

We said goodbye to our friend from the hotel – he lives in the village so is happy to tell people to wind their neck in if they are taking the piss, that was the last thing I was going to do.

Due to the issues with rebels and lack of government support in the rural areas, a lot of locals manage their own areas with various checkpoints. Getting into Masisi was ok, the lady took my passport and went to pretend to do some paperwork and then let us in.

Checkpoint trouble and Tchegera Island all alone

MONEY

However, the return was not quite the same. For sure if I was hiding in the back we wouldn’t have been stopped but this is Africa and is something we always need to prepare for.

30 minutes at a checkpoint is long enough but when every minute was spent in dialogue you just knew the guy wasn’t going to let this one pass by. He was trying hard to find real reason to have us pay some money. He even tried his hand at questioning my guides Rwandan passport.

 RELATED READ: HOW TO SLEEP IN AIRPORTS

DIRECTOR

Claiming to be a director, his argument was to pay a fee but when we had already got clearance to enter and were now on our way out he was losing a fighting battle. Especially with Lydia who was not letting up. That’s the key in Africa you must stand firm and strong. As soon as you show a sign of weakness you are easy pickings for them.

After some more pointless discussion, I think he knew where it was headed. We would have been happy to wait it out for as long as possible and I think he honestly knew there was only so much he could do to a tourist.

LOCALS

People generally are very friendly we had driven passed many police and armed guards in the hills who as soon as they seen me saluted me, I was blown away. But it only takes one and it is usually one with some power at least.

TCHEGERA

Tchegera is a tiny crescent shaped island about 15miles from Goma and is the perfect place to chill after some chaos on the mainland. Of course it isn’t quintessentially Congolese but it is such an experience it would even rival some of the best hotels and resorts I have stayed at.

I was quite lucky in that I was going to be the only guest on the island, what an opportunity.

Checkpoint trouble and Tchegera Island all alone

NATURE

There aren’t a million things to do here, it’s really made for some R&R. We got a walk around the island with Busy, who seems to be the guest rep. There is plenty in the way of birds (not my thing) but the walk is chill and a good reason to get off your bed and become one with nature…🥱

After a quick kayak it was time to chill with a Bombay Sapphire and slim line while looking out towards the thunderstorm surrounding Mt Nyriagongo. Who would have thought I could get my hands on a Bombay Sapphire in the Congo?!

DINNER

It wasn’t long before the storm surrounded us but it only made the G&T taste even better. There is something about being outside undercover whilst within a storm.

If the rest of the DRC was anything to go by I didn’t know what to expect from our 4 course meal. However I can confirm it will likely be the best meal I will have during my trip around Africa.

CRABS

I know there is always a risk of coming across all sorts of little creatures while travelling around far flung regions. But I did not expect to find a crab make it’s way towards my bed, but better than my original guess, a cockroach.

From here it was complete serenity and I was able to enjoy drifting to sleep whilst listening to the waves just a few metres from where I lay.

SUMMED UP….

  • MVP – The staff at Tchegera
  • LVP – That di*k at the checkpoint
  • HIGHLIGHT – Finally arriving at Tchegera
  • LOWLIGHT – The checkpoint experience

FINAL THOUGHTS

This blew all expectations out of the water and the food was some of the best I’ve had, I suppose anything is possible in Africa.

NEXT UP

Off to country 155, Rwanda to climb Mt Bisoke!!! Click to read.

SAFE TRAVELS, DS x
154/229

This post is part of The East African Series, for the entire series click here or for episode 1, click here.
To watch the video of my trip, head to my highlights on my Instagram.

Question Time

  • Do you enjoy island retreats
  • Do you prefer R&R or activities?
  • Green islands or Beach islands?

Let me know in the comments below . . .

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DEEP INTO THE DRC
CLIMBING MT BISOKE

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