July 22, 2024

Switching to the right side of the road in Rwanda

This morning we started our day early and by 8am we were on the last strectch of gravel (90km) to Nyakanazi – and whoopee no rain for today! The road wasn’t too bad and it took us three hours to get to the tarmac road. Today no falls :o)

Our diet today consisted of six “bread-rollish looking things” which I think is called Mandazi, but Francois disagrees so can’t say for sure :o) my brain was not functioning when we bought them last night. But one thing for sure – we WANT the recipe! Here we are sharing two on the gravel road to Nyakanazi…

Once back on the tarmac road – whoopeee!! we were back to dodging some big trucks, but soon after a police check point the trucks got less and we could increase our speed back to our usual tarmac 70 km/ph again – bliss! I had to hold on tight as it felt strange going so fast after pushing 30 km/ph for the last week. It is truly a beautiful road to the border, very green and hilly.

It was smooth-sailing through the border at Rusumo. I think the combination of muddy bikes, dirty rain suits, Francois’ beard and my dirt smudged face helped to get us through without too many questions :o) On the Tanzanian side we stamped our passports out as well as the carnets and through we went. On the Rwandan side the immigration counter for entrance into Rwanda and exit into Tanzania is the same one and we got there at the same time as a huge overlanding tour group going into Tanzania. We had a nice chat with a South African from Pretoria that was with the group. Despite all the people our passports were stamped in record time and the same with the carnets. Our final mission was just to exchange our Tanzanian Shillings for Rwandan Francs, but just past the border is a Bureau de Change with good rates and we didn’t have to use a fixer (we always do this as far as possible). The Third Party Insurance was also very professionally handled and we paid R83 each for our bikes which was great after our expensive insurance for Tanzania at R320 each.

We also had to remove the black bag plastic cover that we covered my sleeping bag in to protect it from the rain as plastic bags are illegal in Rwanda. This is really cool as we found that Rwanda is impeccably clean and tidy.

I fell instantly in love with Rwanda on the road from the border to Kigali. The people are very friendly and they seem to drop everything they do when they see us and stare and wave. When we stop people also walk by, stop and stare a bit and kids appear from everywhere, but they are just truly interested and not intrusive. Ad did I mention there are lots and lots of bananas here!

Ruanda and the kids
It’s also quite a challenge to keep to the right side of the road now and pass on the left hand side…

Traffic on the right
The most fascinating part however was hitting traffic in Kigali and making sure that you check for traffic by looking in the right (left?) direction – all confusing :o)

Here Francois is dodging an oncoming truck, which you will see is on the wrong (left) side of the road as it is passing a bakkie…

Francois dodging a truck
But Rwanda is really well-developed, beautiful roads, many houses with pretty gardens and cool traffic lights that count down the seconds until the light turns red or green. Tonight we are staying at the One Love Club in Kigali. Luckily we made a good call to take a room as it has since started raining. We are using their Internet Connection tonight which is absolutely amazing and fast. We have only managed to download all our email since last week Saturday now so we will definitely start with our replies asap! Thanks for all the support so far, it is great to be able to share our journey with you!

6 thoughts on “Switching to the right side of the road in Rwanda

  1. So bly julle is weer in die “beskawing”! Kan sien daai frames en wiele het baie modder getrotseer. Ek en Villie het vannad nog gespekuleer of julle gaan blog maar hy het my oortuig ons gaan nog vir oulaas jul stories hoor. Ons twee is more oppad Gonas toe en sal nie kan comment of dalk eers sms tot die 16/17de nie. Dalk is daar erens ‘n selfoon netwerk toring in die Chimmanimani-berge dan kan ons connect. Vind bietjie by die locals uit oor die geskiedenis van Rwanda. Tragies maar fantasties wat hulle vermag het die afgelope dekade. Lekker eet en doeks. V1x

  2. Sjoe ek is so bly alles het vandag seepglad verloop! Rwanda het ‘n hartseer verlede, maar ek is so bly wat julle nou met ons deel. Daar is ‘n museum oor die genocite. Ja ek het gesien reën is voorspel vir vandag, maar dis nie vir lank nie. Geniet die land en rus ook goed uit. Dankie dat my persepsie van Afrika verander word deur julle reis en vertellings. Mooi bly!

  3. Rwanda is pragtig. En ja, my persepsie verander by die dag. Nie geweet daar is so baie vriendelike mense in Afrika nie. Voorspoed.

  4. Awesome F&T! I’m glad the bikes have held together! And yes the soup was slightly dodge, but I think that boat has sailed with some of the fruit and other things you’ve had to eat :D, so enjoy. Good luck with the next leg of the trip! Eddie

  5. Hi
    Great trip ,
    .Lived in Uganda
    Worked on road construction
    Roads Mbrara to Fort Portal, Lyantonde to the lake, Jinja to Kamuli,
    If as you indicate on your trip map you will travel on a section from Tororo to Broderick falls in Kenya now called Webuye, that we built gravel then but resurfaced since,
    Large contingent of South Africans in Kampala constructing a ring road around Kampala
    Regards Makora

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