From Kwa Mukecuru parking lot, I walked uphill toward the foot of Bisoke volcano. As I did so, one national park warden warned me not to get too close to the protected area. "Buffaloes are closer than you think." She told me.
How close was too close? I had no idea. Nevertheless, I didn’t bother to ask. When I reached the signpost welcoming tourists to the home of the mountain gorillas, I turned left and pursued a trail meandering near the demolished fence.
The fence was torn apart by the same buffaloes I was warned about. Seeing wild animals while hiking is a delight. However, an encounter with some animals can be dangerous. As an experienced jungle man, I know what to do when I bump into a buffalo, but that doesn’t guarantee 100% safety.
Walking alongside residents of Kinigi Sector, which borders the national park, made me feel safer. Their defense mechanism must be more developed than mine. I followed their lead while soaking up the beauty of the area.
At some point, the villagers I was tailing took a detour. Similarly, I branched off the aforementioned trail and strolled downhill through farms and settlements. One step at a time, I marveled at the blossoming pyrethrum flowers.
This nature walk, on the edge of the Volcanoes National Park, was food to my soul. When I finally took off my hiking boots, I kicked back and quenched my thirst at Bisoke Beer Garden.