ON THE ROAD AGAIN…RATHER, IN THE AIR AGAIN! (May 16, 17 and 18, 2021)

Well, we’re on our way!

We’re fortunate to have business class seats on Qatar Airlines, and when we’re ready, the crew will  make our seats into beds and we can close the doors and have a private little room.  (No, the “walls” don’t go up to the ceiling, so we still have to be masked.)  This leg of the trip is a 15+ hour flight.  Then we have an 8-hour layover in Doha, Qatar,  where we have a day room in the airport transit hotel.  Next will be a 5-hour flight to Entebbe, Uganda, and a final one-hour flight to our destination:  Kigali, Rwanda.

Our three-week trip will find us in Rwanda, then Tanzania, and finally Kenya.  Here’s map that shows the location of these three countries.

So, while we’re flying, let me go over some background:

First, we’re traveling during a pandemic.  We (and all the other travelers in our tour group) are fully vaccinated.  Even so, we had to show the airline a negative covid test before boarding, and we will be tested again upon arrival in Rwanda, again when we leave Rwanda, again when we arrive in Tanzania, as well as when we arrive in Kenya, and finally before boarding for the flight home.  We’ll all be required to wear masks everywhere, and it feels very safe.  I’ll be glad to see the last of the tests, though!

Second, here’s a close-up of Rwanda.

The dot in the center is Kigali, where we land, get tested and get quarantined in the Hotel Milles des Collines (meaning “thousand hills”) until our test results come back. (We’re expecting a day and one night). This hotel became famous after 1,268 people took refuge inside the building during the Rwandan genocide of 1994.  It is the actual hotel featured in the book and film “Hotel Rwanda.”  However, the story portrayed by the film is fiction and does not describe the real events that occurred back then.

Here are a couple of shots of the hotel once we were cleared and able to walk around.  

Kingali is a city of 3 million people but there is lots of green due to the humid weather.
There’s a memorial to victims of the genocide on the grounds of the hotel.
The first of our group met for dinner tonight. We’ll meet the rest tomorrow.

Next time, we’ll post about the Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge and our Gorilla trek!  Stay tuned for what I hope will be amazing photos!