I entered the park at 6 a.m. However, this game drive was flagged off three hours later. That’s because the first activity of my adventure-filled day was a hot air balloon flight, followed by a colorful landing ceremony.
It takes about six hours to cover the entire south-north stretch. I needed more than six hours because my plan was to see more than just animals roaming in the jungle. As the series progresses, you will find out how much more one can soak up during this epic adventure.
At some point, I had to roll up the windows. There is a stretch which is home to numerous tsetse flies. According to the park warden who briefed me, a tsetse fly doesn’t pose any health risk, but it stings like a bee. If your skin is sensitive, remember to apply the right repellent.
Apart from a variety of bird species, monkeys and antelopes, I didn’t see much in the southern part. If you spin around the southern flank of the park and exit through Kiyonza Gate, you will probably be disappointed.
I found a lot of animals on the northern side of the park. The second half of this memorable game drive was slower because I spent a lot of time gazing at animals of all shapes and sizes. Herds of giraffes, zebras, elephants and buffaloes were all over the place.
Beware, animals cross the road at their own pace. No one has ever instructed them to look right, left and right again before crossing. They are free to traverse the road as they wish.
When I saw a group of primates conducting a meeting in the middle of the road, I waited patiently. Those who were behind me did the same. Gradually, a line of tourist vehicles grew longer. We looked like city motorists stuck in rush hour traffic.
When you find yourself in a similar situation, avoid honking or blasting loud music. Wild animals are allergic to noise pollution. Besides, you don’t have any rights to disturb the inhabitants of the park, especially when they are in an important meeting.
The author is an adventurer visiting different attractions in Africa. This series is sponsored by Ikaze Rwanda Tours & Travel, Akagera Transit Lodge and Royal Balloon Rwanda.