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Rwanda. Discover Rwanda Youth Hostel, Kigale. Monday 27 July. Week 13, day 106.

Had a reasonable night at the Youth Hostel, sleeping in the roof top tent in the car park. Unfortunately the bar terrace closely overlooks us and although not rowdy at all, the conversations over drinks continued fairly late into the night. Fortunately we are veterans now and can sleep through many things, be it lions, hippos or beer talk.

We have set ourselves two tasks today, to get gorilla permits from the offices of the Rwanda Developement Board, commomnly referred to as just the RDB, also to visit the Genocide Memorial and Museum in Kigali. Both of these are close to the Discover Rwanda Youth Hostel. However T4A in its wisdom, is not programmed for driving on the right and with the traffic circles assumes that you are driving on the left, so it will say take first exit, when in fact it is the third exit, as you are rounding the circle in the opposite direction. 

The RDB is in an imposing modern multi-story building in a central area. Their service is very professional and making our bookings was a cinch. The big question is whether seeing the gorillas is worth US$750 each. That is a question each individual will have to answer for themselves. For us it is not so much of a question of value for money, than the fact that we would never forgive ourselves if we ducked out of this because of costs. We have been through a lot of trouble and expense to get to Kigale and will just have to regard the money as a donation for gorilla conservation.

We had deliberately first gone to Kigale so that having obtained a booking for a certain date for the gorillas at the Volcanoes (Virungu) National Park, we could then plan the rest of our Rwanda exploration around this date. We managed to obtain a booking for the Tuesday 4 August and when leaving Kigale tomorrow will go down to the Nyungwe Forest NP for a couple of nights, spend 3 nights in the vicinity of Lake Kivu and arrive at the gorillas the night before. It will then be convenient to depart Rwanda to Uganda from this more northerly location.

We will probably visit the 2 churches with their Genocide museums on the way south to Nyungwa . We are now off to the Kigali Genocide Memorial and Museum, which all assure us is not to be missed and is a profoundly emotional experience!