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THE EAST AFRICAN SERIES, DAY 7

Goma – Masisi

Deep into the DRC. I thought I knew the meaning that anything can happen in Africa, but waking up this morning to the sound of the boat hitting another at Goma port just gave this thing a whole new level.

MAHZUNGO MAHZUNGO

This was on top of seeing another boat do the same thing at Bukavu, literally just to move it out of the way. Compounded with sleeping on top of the engine and the noise of the toilet door that got slammed at every use but I could hardly complain with an entire room to myself. If it’s good enough for the generals wife then it’s good enough for me.

WHERE IS MASISI?

Masisi

RUBBISH

There are many countries which don’t take the issue of rubbish seriously and the DRC is another example. The guy who came in to clean immediately came out of the room and threw any rubbish I had left over the balcony! If I’d have known I would carry it all until I got home.

DAILY INFO… DAY 7

  • HOTEL – Rica Lodge Malaika
  • FOOD – Half a chicken and chips that took 2.5 hours
  • ATTRACTIONS –
    Cheese making process
    Local village and football pitch
  • STEPS – 15,700
  • MILES COVERED – 48.9 miles

NYRIAGONGO

We took a quick detour to see some of the effects of the eruption and was something completely new to me.

Around 12months ago Mt Nyriagongo erupted and took out much of the surrounding area. It’s continually active but erupts at such a slow sleep that it causes no problems. However from the Eruption on 2021 it devastated the area. around 50 people died and 1000s were displaced and a year on they are still struggling from the impact.

Believe it or not the majority of deaths were caused by car accidents from the ensuing evacuation.

LAVA ROCK

In one way it’s interesting to see the after effects but then you soon remind yourself that this was the home of many people. Again we got asked for money and some local said this very spot was his home, but how can one prove this… it is truly a sad place.

THE UN

There are thousands and thousands of UN peacekeepers within eastern DRC due to the number of armed rebels but the size of some of these compounds is incredible, it is like something out of an Middle Eastern war movie.

Passing by the main airport I got another shock. The number of people that appeared to be living on the airport grounds beside derelict planes was incredible. Whether or not this is a different section of the airport I don’t know.

LOCALS

After visiting probably the best supermarket in the DRC we made our way to Masisi which would take 2-3 hours on some of the worst roads of the trip. Believe it or not only 2% of roads on the DRC are paved.

Missing the hotel we continued real deep into Masisi and you could tell immediately you were in a different place as every single local would stare at the jeep and then you would see the shock on their faces once they spotted the white man. I wish I could have recorded it just to show you but it was impossible to capture.

RICA LODGE MALAIKA

I did wonder for most of the journey, where would I be staying, what type of accommodation? Surely it had to be a home stay there cannot be any hotels out here.

But turning into the hotel I was absolutely gobsmacked at it. It was one of the nicest places I have stayed during my trip and a huge contrast to what’s going on outside the gates. I felt properly guilty.

FOOD

After playing a few locals at pool it was time for lunch. I don’t joke when I say this but lunch soon turned into dinner, we had to wait 2.5 hours for our food to arrive 😳 I had only asked for chicken and chips, a staple diet for me in Africa.

Deep into the DRC

LOCAL FOOTBALL

After we made our way to the local pitch and just missed the last of the football. However once any locals realised a white boy was there they all soon sprinted over.

It’s actually highly amusing, most locals tend to run over and stand in front of you and just stare, there could be 20 of them just all very curious. It would be a little less awkward if I could speak their language instead of having a staring competition.

Some can be outspoken but soon shy away when you go and talk to them and then get laughed at by their peers.

Deep into the DRC

MAHZUNGO

White people are called Mahzungo. I have no idea what the true meaning is or if it is just an exact translation but they will literally call it to your face. If you are driving past they will often call out to you.

After walking to the nearby village they were out in their droves and quite sad how some people are just so isolated, not to mention the condition in which they live.

The DRC is full of natural resources and most of the minerals used to make electronics can be found here. However the money never makes it past the very few at the top and people are often left to fight for themselves. Having people who sleep in mud huts come up to you and ask for money while you sit in the comfort of your jeep made me feel very queasy.

Deep into the DRC

CONTRAST

After having a few drinks inside with the fire on and then going up to my bedroom which was probably the size of many locals entire homes certainly didn’t fulfill me.

Deep into the DRC

SUMMED UP….

  • MVP – The curious locals
  • LVP – The chef at the hotel 😭
  • HIGHLIGHT – Seeing the locals
  • LOWLIGHT – The roads

FINAL THOUGHTS

I actually thought I had seen it all but far far from it. The DRC is turning into quite the lesson to show me how lucky I am.

NEXT UP

Checkpoint trouble and Tcehgera!! 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

  • Have you visited any isolated villages in your travels?
  • How did it make you feel to see how they lived?

Let me know in the comments below . . .

Send this to someone who might like it
GORILLAS & SLEEPING WITH THE GENERAL’S WIFE
CHECKPOINT TROUBLE AND TCHEGERA ISLAND ALL ALONE

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