Moved by Rwanda – Recovery and Optimism


Sep 10 2012 Written by:Rob Barbour

Being able to guide first time travellers to Africa is one of those experiences I get immense pleasure from.  I have yet to meet anyone who has not had been profoundly touched and influenced by the experience.

Most people make the decision to travel to Africa to see the amazing big game and they are rarely disappointed.  However most people take away a lot more than that and often their most memorable experiences relate to the many amazing people they meet in villages on farms or in the hospitality industry as they move around – the waiters, the chefs who conjeur magic from supposedly nowhere and the amazing local guides.  Those patient, eternally optimistic, humourous people who explain and interpret the experience with complete passion and humility.

In August some first time safari goers travelled with me to  Rwanda, primarily to see the endangered mountain gorillas.  Rwanda is a small, landlocked ( they say land “linked”), densely populated country with an incredibly painful recent past and an even more incredible reconciliation and recovery.  First time visitors can’t help but be moved by this history – as presented in the various genocidal memorials – be humbled by the ability of the people to try to forgive whilst never forgetting, and to be motivated to spread the word and share Rwanda’s wonderful recovery and infectious optimism for their future.

Rwanda clearly is working its way to breaking the world’s stereotypical view of Africa as unsafe, unclean, corrupt and hungry.  I can’t wait to show more people that vision.  We haven’t even begun to talk about the mountain gorillas – that is another story.

For more information on Rwanda, or to connect with Rob directly to discuss more East African experiences, please do not hesitate to contact us.