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Grand Escapades’ Travel Guide To Rwanda

Tracking the Isabukuru Gorilla Family, Parc National des Volcans

“The Switzerland Of Africa”

Itinerary And Time Of The Visit

In January 2017, I spent 2 weeks in Rwanda. Of course I went to the Parc National des Volcans & Tracked Mountain Gorillas – This was one of my motivations for returning to Uganda & discovering Rwanda.

I also visited 4 different Memorials of the Genocide, one of the darkest episodes in Human History, each actually showing a different aspect of those horrid events: Kigali Memorial Center, Nyamata Genocide Memorial (near Kigali), Murambi Genocide Memorial (near Butare / Huye) and Bisesero Genocide Memorial (near Kibuye / Karongi). Continue Reading →

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Rwanda – A Selection of 30 Pictures

View of Lake Kivu from Home Saint Jean, Kibuye, Rwanda

In January 2017, I spent 2 weeks in Rwanda. Of course I went to the Parc National des Volcans & Tracked Mountain Gorillas – This was one of my motivations for returning to Uganda & discovering Rwanda.

I also visited 4 different Memorials of the Genocide, one of the darkest episodes in Human History, each actually showing a different aspect of those horrid events: Kigali Memorial Center, Nyamata Genocide Memorial (near Kigali), Murambi Genocide Memorial (near Butare / Huye), Bisesero Genocide Memorial (near Kibuye / Karongi). Continue Reading →

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Grand Escapades’ Budget Guide To Rwanda

Depending On Your Priorities!

Visiting an Ex-Poachers Village near the Parc National des Volcans, Rwanda

Type Of Travel

When traveling through Rwanda, you first have to decide if you want to focus on the country itself and hence backpack through Rwanda or if you want a “Safari” kind of experience, going through several National Parks (including the Parc National des Volcans). This decision will have a clear and direct impact both on the type of experience you will have and especially on the level of your budget. Continue Reading →

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Tracking Mountain Gorillas

Tracking the Isabukuru Gorilla Family, Parc National des Volcans, Rwanda

I had already tracked Mountain Gorillas in Uganda back in Summer 2011, but somehow I wanted to live this unique experience once again. This was actually one of my main motivations to go back to Rwanda & Uganda in January 2017. And yes, even a second time it is pure magic, a very privileged hour spent with those majestic creatures in their natural habitat… An experience that should be high on anyone’s list!

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Rwanda – Its Much More Than “Only” Gorillas

Children in Kinigi, Parc National des Volcans

Most visitors come to Rwanda to see the Mountain Gorillas and maybe have a quick insight of the Genocide at one of the many Memorials across the country (more often than not the Kigali Memorial Center), and then leave the country for some safari experiences in Uganda, Kenya or Tanzania. But there are various other aspects of the country that really deserve your attention and at least a few extra days!

 

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The Rwandan Genocide

Kigali Memorial Center or Kigali Genocide Memorial, Rwanda

Visiting Rwanda also means facing its tragic past, one of the darkest episodes in Human History. It is a haunting experience… The country is literally doted with Memorials. I had planed to only visit 2 of them. More I could not stomach!

I finally visited 4 different ones, each actually showing a different aspect of those horrid events: Kigali Memorial Center; Nyamata Genocide Memorial (near Kigali); Murambi Genocide Memorial (near Butare / Huye); Bisesero Genocide Memorial (near Kibuye / Karongi…

 

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Grand Escapades’ Travel Guide To Ethiopia

The Most Diverse African Experience?

Bet Giyorgis Rock-Hewn Church, Lalibela

Bet Giyorgis Rock-Hewn Church, Lalibela

Itinerary And Time Of The Visit

I visited Ethiopia 3 times over the last 5 years and spent approx. 2 months there. Nonetheless, I still have the impression that I haven’t seen it all:

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Grand Escapades’ Budget Guide To Ethiopia

Depending On Where You Go!

Simien Mountains Lodge, Simien Mountains, Ethiopia

Simien Mountains Lodge, Simien Mountains, Ethiopia

Type Of Travel

The types of travel were completely different on those 3 trips, mainly because you cannot travel the different areas of Ethiopia the same way:

  • To visit the Danakil Depression, you must be on a tour, both because you absolutely need one (you have to have two Jeeps, an armed Afar policeman, an Afar scout, a military escort for Dallol, …) and because it is the law…
  • True, you can discover the Lower Omo Valley on your own, but as there are almost no public transports, you have to have your own wheels if you don’t want to spend weeks there. Moreover, communication will be quite tricky if you do not speak Amharic. So a tour seems to be the only viable way…
  • On the other hand, the Northern Historical Route can be easily done independently.

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Ethiopia – The Northern Historical Route: A Selection Of 51 Pictures

Bet Abba Libanos Rock-Hewn Church, Northern Cluster

Bet Abba Libanos Rock-Hewn Church, Northern Cluster, Lalibela

Ethiopia is a stunning country that offers the largest Cultural Heritage of Sub-Saharan Africa, built over centuries by some of the oldest Jewish, Christian (Orthodox) and Muslim communities on earth, and by Empires which influence spread much further than African boundaries…

The Northern Historical Route (Bahir Dar, Gonder, Lalibela, Aksum, Tigray), in the highlands of Ethiopia, but also Harar in the East, take the visitors through the grandeurs of Ethiopian Christian Orthodox culture, with stunning Rock-Hewn Churches and Monasteries, but also through the vestiges of the various Ethiopian Empires, starting with the legendary Queen of Sheba and ending in the 20th Century. Continue Reading →

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Ethiopia – The Danakil Depression: A Selection of 41 Pictures

Sunrise over the Salt Lake (Lake Asal), near Dallol

Sunrise over the Salt Lake (Lake Asal), near Dallol

The 2 expeditions I made in the Danakil Depression (6 days in January 2011 & 5 days in November 2015) both rank amongst the most challenging and most expensive ones I have ever undertaken. But nothing, nothing will ever take away these memories: each day brought a new highlight, each minute something unseen, unique and spectacular!

Nonetheless, the Danakil Depression is no longer at the “End of the World”. It is now much easier and much cheaper to reach, and the number of tourists is increasing exponentially. Changes were already noticeable in less than 5 years… Continue Reading →

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