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THE EAST AFRICAN SERIES, DAY 9&10

Tchegera – Goma – Musanze

Climbing Mt Bisoke. I thought the food at Tchegera hit an impossible height last night, until I had the breakfast thrown in front of me this morning. My days what a spread I was given!

WELCOME TO COUNTRY NUMBER 155

For a start you get a hella lot of food, probably too much for most but I had to have my share and Lydia’s. I did not expect to have the poshest fry up I’ve ever had in my life in the DRC.

WHERE IS MT BISOKE?

Mt Bisoke

Government entry advice

GOMA MARKET

The roads here are absolutely no joke, for sure the worst I have ever seen. Eventually we made it into Goma and had a quick stop at a random market where we found everything from second hand clothes from Europe, to a pig’s carcass.

DAILY INFO… DAY 9

  • HOTEL – Migano Hotel & Café, 7/10
  • RESTOS – Migano Cafe
  • FOOD – Chicken stirfry
  • ATTRACTIONS – Local market, Goma
  • STEPS – 8,900
  • MILES – 9 miles

DAILY INFO… DAY 10

  • HOTEL – The Retreat Kilgali, 8/10
  • RESTOS – Migano Cafe
  • FOOD – Chicken Stirfry
  • ATTRACTIONS – Bisoke Volcano
  • STEPS – 22,300
  • MILES – 31 miles

BORDER

This would be the last border that should cause me any issues on this trip and although it went better than some others I still had a few questions to answer. However the Rwandan side had to ask me if I needed a visa 😆 Which it would turn out I did but have so far avoided paying on both occasions.

After a quick drive around the border town of Gisenyi we headed up to Musanze and checked into Migano before getting an Antigen test. A covid test is required before entering into any National Park in Rwanda.

Climbing Mt Bisoke

BISOKE (Day 10)

I have now found out where all the tourists go to when in Africa…Rwanda’s Volcano National Park. The place is full of Americans all here to see some Gorillas and every one of them is kitted out to the max.

AT TIMES I WAS PRETTY SURE I WASN’T GOING TO MAKE IT

We were given an introduction by one of the rangers and then had an ‘African massage’ on what is probably the worst road in East Africa. After visiting the DRC I didn’t think it was possible!

Climbing Mt Bisoke

THE HIKE

The beginning of the hike gives you a complete false sense of security, it’s basically just a walk through a field and does not prepare you for what is to come. But what surprised me more was we even lost 1 or 2 hikers from this section alone!

After this the entire hike is a 2hr 30min stair master over some of the worst ground conditions I have seen. The only way is to take it one step at a time. The best advice for hiking is to take little steps often but when the steps are so high and there is so much of the ground you must avoid this was difficult at times.

Climbing Mt Bisoke

 RELATED READ: HOW TO SURVIVE LAYOVERS

THE CRATER

Surprisingly we didn’t lose any more hikers after the first few at the beginning, I was never going to quit but was surprised I powered through and the main thing was that it mostly stayed dry!

It’s always good to reach the top and catch your breath before being able to enjoy the view. How those rangers can do it effortlessly is beyond me. After being told there would be no drone action, I decided to bring it and ask at the summit and luckily it paid off when the ranger relented, what a place. Never ask the official folk at the National Park offices, the rangers are always so much more accommodating but be sure to tip them well.

Here we all enjoyed about 3000 photos together and at times felt like we had all known each other for years instead of hours. This is what makes a good day into a great day!

Climbing Mt Bisoke

SUMMED UP….

  • MVP – Everyone on the hike!
  • LVP – My driver 🤯
  • HIGHLIGHT – Getting to the summit
  • LOWLIGHT – The hike was hard but worth it

BACK TO KIGALI

I normally enjoy the trek down but with the conditions it was an entirely different game in itself. One of the dutch guys only had trainers and one of the porters offered him his boots and he would wear the trainers, what service! Iit would have been impossible for anyone else, but that porter was down before nearly anyone else!! Honestly, I cannot stress how hard it would have been.

After saying a few goodbyes and a stop off at Migano for another chicken stirfry we headed to Kigali before one of the worst downpours I have seen.

FINAL THOUGHTS

I always regret these hikes during the moment and especially when it gets tough and no doubt I will feel this in the morning but I am yet to do a hike I have regretted the following day. It was great to be able to know I have hiked a Volcano in Rwanda!

NEXT UP

A few chill days and the arrival of the rents for an insight into one of the worlds quickest genocides!! Click to read.

SAFE TRAVELS, DS x
155/229

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 hiking?
  • Have you hiked a volcano?
  • What is your favourite hike?

Let me know in the comments below . . .

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CHECKPOINT TROUBLE AND TCHEGERA ISLAND ALL ALONE
THE RWANDAN GENOCIDE & A TOOTHACHE

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