The tarmac stopped at the Tanzanian border. On the Burundian side the road was under construction. A man wearing a wide-rimmed straw hat was sat in the seat of a road grading machine. I waved at him as I slowly climbed up the steep slope that cut into the green hillside. Either he didn’t see me or pretended not to. I’m sure my bicycle must have been in his vision. I would have asked him many questions given the opportunity, but doubt he’d have understood them, unless I spoke Chinese.
Old roads and new: Mbeya-Mwanza Part 3 March 18th, 2015
A short tour of Central Africa: Part 1 July 18th, 2013
It was a shorter cycle tour than I would have liked, but three weeks provided plenty of time to traverse two of Africa’s smallest countries – Rwanda and Burundi. Both provided some of the most diverse terrain and well-paved roads I’ve cycled on in Africa.
In 2011 I spent a week cycling through Rwanda, but this was my first visit to Burundi. Here are a selection of photos from western Tanzania and Rwanda. In the following post I will include those from Burundi. Most of these pictures were taken with my Nikon D90 and a fixed 35mm lens. For a number of on-the-road situations I found this to be a far easier and simpler lens to travel with than the bulk of a telephoto lens.
Rwanda for a week May 22nd, 2011
“The eyes of the stranger are wide open, but he sees only what he knows” (African proverb)
Leaving the Congo was a whole lot easier than entering it. No delays, questions, form-filling or money requests. Surely there should have been one more bout with a bored immigration official? The procedure that had taken over an hour when entering the country was taking a few minutes as I left. Having prepared myself for such an interrogation it almost came as a disappointment to be on my way so quickly. As I wheeled the bike over a wooden bridge towards the Rwandan border I double-checked my passport had been stamped and looked over my shoulder. All clear.
Into Bukavu May 12th, 2011
“Ascending a lofty hill my eye roved over one of the strangest yet finest portions of Africa – hundreds of square miles of beautiful lake scenes – a great length of gray plateau wall, upright and steep, but indented with exquisite inlets, half surrounded by embowering plantains – hundreds of square miles of pastoral upland dotted thickly with villages and groves of bananas.” (H M Stanley)