Rwanda – the Heart of Africa: Lockdown in Kigali

20. – 25.03.2020

Crossing the Border between Uganda and Rwanda as one of the very last people to do so

Having managed to cross the border between Uganda and Rwanda as one of the very last people that were able to do so, I was at least able to enjoy the stunning landscapes full of banana trees, rice fields, and tea plantations from inside the bus to Kigali, the capital of Rwanda. After my couchsurfing host had canceled my stay very short notice and locals seemed very afraid of white people all of a sudden, I was lucky enough to find friendly people who offered help. The next day, it was announced that the last regular airplane would leave the Rwandan airport at midnight. Having been told to get back to my home country by many people, I rushed to the city center, and met up with other stranded German travelers while hunting for airline tickets. In front of the embassy, we were finally told about specials charters by KLM leaving the following week and managed to get the last, overpriced tickets. Then, all of a sudden, within a couple of hours, shops, hotels, and markets were shut down, the borders were closed, and everyone was obliged to stay inside the house. Complete lockdown of a country. I did not expect everything to shut down that fast due to the new coronavirus pandemic…

The days before departure were spent in Kigali House of Stories where I was hosted by Fiacre and his roomies from the USA and India. We had some fun days talking a lot, playing ball, watching movies etc. until it was time to say goodbye – too soon… 🙁

Boarding the Special Charter at the closed airport in Kigali

At the airport in Kigali, I had to experience a very strange, quite atmosphere. When boarding, we were handed face masks and had to keep our distance to the other travelers. During the flight, there was not really any onboard-service and the airports in Amsterdam and Frankfurt were pretty empty too… Well, like this, my world trip was paused for now but will be resumed after this pandemic has gotten over with. Stay healthy, everyone!

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