12 – 18 JULY 2018
Day 12-17 of the adventure.

We have no other better way of describing Rwanda. Rwanda is simply amazing.

We entered Rwanda on our Day 12 of the ride. It is the same day we left Kabale in Uganda which was our night stop before crossing the border.

This might end up winning the award (if there is one 😉 ) for the country we rode the least. We only did about 314 kilometers in total.

BORDER CROSSING 2 OF THE TRIP.
We had spent the night only 18 kilometers from the border. We arrived at the border early which was a really good thing. Kabale to Kigali is about 115 kilometers. So, it was a pretty short ride for the day.

At the border, Uganda immigration and Rwanda are very separate but not far apart. Being in the morning, we did not find many people but there was more than we found at Busia. There are people who cross the border from either of the two countries (Uganda and Rwanda) for work and have to go through the immigration although their paperwork processing is different. There were also trucks that had arrived early and a bus or two had arrived as well.

We cleared with Uganda side for exit and then went down to the Rwanda side. We joined the line for the immigration desk and as soon as we were done, we headed for the customs. Cleared the bikes and went to the security desk to get our gate pass. Make sure you pick a gate pass to exit the border as you enter Rwanda. There is a barrier and the security will not let you out if you don’t have the gate pass.

THE SURPRISE MOMENT.
In Rwanda you drive on the right side while in Kenya and Uganda you drive on the left. So, picture our brief moment of surprise. You must be wondering why if we already knew this – right? Once you pass the barrier to enter Rwanda, you do not switch from left to right immediately. There is about 500 meters you drive on the left then have to switch to the right. Wamuyu was leading and although she was aware of the short distance, a truck just appeared from downhill and there were instant breaks right there. Anyway, he gave us way and we switched lanes. And that was our welcome to Rwanda moment.

RIDE TO KIGALI
After switching to the right lane – right side, we were all ready for the 97 kilometers to Kigali. It was going to be a slow ride. From the border to Kigali is all down hills. No climbing but descending.
The speed limit on the road is maximum 60 KPH and lowest 40 KPH. There are blind corners and sharp bends almost every 800 meters to a kilometer. Our estimate may be wrong but that was the feeling we got on the road. That explains why the speed limits are set that low. In Kenya we have 50 KPH within cities, towns, shopping centers, near schools and hospitals. The road is very good tarmac and very scenic. Kigali is a city of a thousand hills and you can imagine the feel going down the hills with a magnificent view from the top. It took Wamuyu a longer time to get used to the right-hand side driving and every time a car showed up from a corner. She freaked out. Otherwise the ride was smooth all the way till we got in to the city and were welcomed by a roundabout. A pretty confusing moment right there and we almost made a serious mistake. Luckily, a motorist right in front of us noticed our dilemma and stopped. He offered to lead us and even blocked traffic for us. Once he made sure we were in a safe place, he stopped and asked where we were going. We informed him we were meeting someone at a particular place in down town. He called the gentleman on our behalf, confirmed the location and offered to pay a boda boda to take us there. God always sends angels your way.

Riding from the border.

WELCOME TO RWANDA BY REUTERS MEDIA HOUSE.
A night before leaving Kabale, we received and email from Reuters saying they would like to cover our stay in Rwanda. We got it just right on time. The “someone” we were to meet at a particular place is the very kind Reuters journalist in Kigali.

Welcome by Reuters

We arrive at our meet up point and in a short time him and his colleague arrive, and the interviews begun. Once the interview was done, it was time to go to our hotel which we had earlier been recommended. Unfortunately, everyone we asked said they don’t know it including the journalist. He was kind enough to recommend another hotel. He took us there and also negotiated for a good rate for us. This was really very kind of him.

Once we settled in to our very cozy room, we planned the rest of the interviews and coverages for the next couple of days were going to be in Uganda. There was going to be a cricket match and Kenya was playing and that was one of the events we really wanted to catch.

Cozy room that was also gifted to us for one week by Naledi and Godfrey.

GETTING AROUND IN RWANDA.
When we think of Kigali roads, we have the image of a web in mind. First, you drive on the right-hand side and besides that, the road network is like a web. We went to many places but could still not figure out the route back to the hotel. We therefore decided we were not going to ride in Kigali. A decision that we did not honour to the full. Once a biker always a biker.

In-case you visit Rwanda and find yourself in a situation like ours of getting lost in Kigali don’t be worried, the boda boda’s in Kigali are the perfect alternative. There is not Uber, Taxify, Little cab or any of those taxis you find on an App. Sorry  . There are the yellow line taxis but very few and not easy to find. There is also public transport but to specific areas.

The Boda Boda’s of Kigali are not your usual boda guys – no, scrap that. They are organized, clean, have helmets for passengers and only carry one passenger at a time. If you are two people and stop a boda boda, he stops a second one and the price is agreed before you leave. They also confirm that the other boda boda rider understands where the passenger is going and also knows the route there.

The rider and the pillion MUST wear helmets and they follow traffic laws to the letter. If driving in Rwanda, NOTE – you cannot have your wheels touch the zebra crossing. That is a traffic offense.

MEETING THE RWANDA BIKERS.
The love among bikers is an envy for many. Kudos to the world-wide family.

While in Uganda, we got in touch with the President of Kigali Bikers (Cedric). Cedric spoke to us on daily basis and ensured we were comfortable and progressing well. He organized a meet up over the weekend. We had the Friday night out and on Saturday we rode to the cricket match after which Cedric hosted us to a sumptuous lunch at his house. Whoop whoop! Kigali is such a blast.

With the brothers (Kigali Bikers)
With the sisters (Kigali Bikers).

Reuters covered this Saturday ride, the cricket match and the lunch. We understand this particular coverage was aired on K24

Stolen moments in the heat of things.

TO MEETING AND MAKING LIFELONG FRIENDS.
Have you ever met someone, and the feeling is more like, where have you been brother/sister? You feel like you have known them all your life but one of you have been hiding from the other? We found ourselves in the situation. That was the feeling when we met Naledi and Godfrey. A couple that rides together too. From the first day we met during the Friday night out, we connected and spent amazing time together during our stay in Kigali. We are a bit emotional writing about this right now. These two made our stay the most amazing experience we have had. They accommodated us, fed us, gifted us, spent loads of time with us, took us to places and we can never thank them enough for their kindness and generosity.

Gifts from Rwanda – Made in Rwanda
Gifts from Rwanda – Made in Rwanda
Delicious

THANK YOU SO MUCH NALEDI AND GODFREY, MAY GOD RICHLY REWARD YOU, MAY YOU NEVER LACK.

THE GENOCIDE MEMORIAL.

We all along knew we were going to visit the genocide memorial. There is no amount of preparation that will have you ready and comfortable for the experience. It was the first place we visited in Rwanda and we are grateful we did that because, you get to understand the cultural context which makes it easy to travel the country and understand the people. Entry is free and the only thing you pay for is the audio guide equipment and taking pictures inside the memorial.
– The audio guide equipment – USD 5/=
– Taking pictures inside the museum – USD 10/-
– Taking pictures outside in the compound i.e. grave area is FREE.

This should be a MUST visit for everyone who visits Rwanda. Carry enough soft tissues or a number of handkerchiefs. The experience is going to initiate a mix of emotions. You may lose faith in humanity, you may appreciate what you have, you may be filled with bitterness and will cry most likely through the entire time at the memorial. One thing that is for sure, you will leave there changed. Spare about 2-3 hours for the visit to the memorial. Brave yourself for wall displays of photos, video footage, weapons used during the genocide, human skulls and bones and the most heart wrenching children’s memorial.

The outdoor exhibit has the mass grave sites and some beautiful gardens that seem to offer some peace after the heart-wrenching experience. People from Rwanda come here every day to mourn and reconnect with their families – one of the Rwandese told us. “We bring flowers, we have quiet moments with our families here”. We saw baskets of flowers, roses and some single ones too. Visitors are also allowed to place flowers to honour those that died.

There is then the black marble wall etched with the names of those who died.

There is a coffee shop in the memorial which is a nice way to calm down and relax.

Make sure to make a donation. The memorial relies on monetary gifts to maintain it.

We decided not to share pictures of the memorial.

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VISITING THE KENYAN HIGH COMMISSION.

We paid a visit to the Kenyan High Commission. We walked in without an appointment and we were really fortunate to be able to get some time with The Ambassador John Mwangemi from his busy schedule.
Like we told you in our previous post, Embassies are for the people. There is so much to learn. We think we converted the Ambassador. We look forward to the ride soon 😉

At the High Commission with The Ambassador.

THE RWANDA INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE CENTER.
This is basically like our KENYA INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE CENTER. Why does it make for a tourist attraction site or place to visit? It’s simply a good, well thought, well planned, well executed piece of Art. Opened in 2016, you can be sure it comes with some of the very best modern technology. It is dome shaped and has very beautiful lighting in the night that changes to multiple colours.

We had wanted to see this place so much both in the day and night to just enjoy the lighting. However, there was another important reason that we had to go to the conference center. We were meeting our friend, fellow Kenyan biker lady Kui Bett. You have no idea what it is like to meet people from home when traveling, or maybe you do, and you understand how important this was.

Meeting with Kui in Kigali

VISITING LAKE MUHANZI
The most popular lake to visit in Rwanda is Lake Kivu which is between the DRC and Rwanda. We however did not visit this lake. Our friends Naledi and Godfrey suggested we go to Lake Muhazi and they actually drove us there. It’s about 40 minutes to an hour’s drive. There is a section of the road that is not good, but this is being repaired or they are putting a brand-new road all together. The Lake is in the Eastern province of Rwanda.

There is a nice restaurant by the lake and lunch is served by the lake shores if you like. We took one of those lake shores tables. We had whole fish and chips ;). The fish is big, and the chips portions are large so just make sure you are hungry enough when going there. It’s a great place for relaxing and we enjoyed the sunset. This marked our lovely stay in Rwanda.

Sunset at Lake Muhazi

LEAVING RWANDA.
Our plan was to leave Kigali and ride to Kahama on this day as there was nowhere else on that route to stay. That was going to be a cool 539 kilometers in a day. We started early for the ride, had Reuters cover our ride out and we must say that was a wonderful escort.

The ride was all good till we go to Kayonza. The road constructions begun. We had been told it’s a short section but turned out to be all the way to the border. There were sections of scraped off roads, tarmac with potholes and dug up sections. This was one hot, dusty and long day. In the end, we could not make it to Kahama and only covered 307 kilometers in more than 8 hours.

And there – Good bye Amazing Rwanda.

Keep It here to hear about the border crossing at Rusumo, and the rest of the days experience.

We bid farewell to the coolest kid in Africa – Rwanda

5TH – 12THJULY 2018

(day 4 to day 11) 

800 kms of Uganda

 

Uganda was the first country we entered after leaving Kenya. We spent 8 days in Uganda.  This is from entering the border at Busia to exiting Uganda at Katuna border.  Just writing these two sentences we are asking ourselves “why did we rush through?”

We however had eight awesome days in Uganda. First, we have family in Uganda and it was really important that we spend some quality time together as we will be away for 3.5 years.

BORDER CROSSING:

We crossed in to Uganda through Busia border. This our first border crossing and true to your thoughts we were excited. The feeling was more like – “yeah, the adventure is really happening!!!”.We had our passports and carnet in hand ready to get into Uganda.  We found a parking spot at the border and everyone outside there walked to us. Can you imagine the feeling when we heard several people discuss who we are??? Kind of a brief celebrity moment right there.  Majority had watched the departure coverage by KBC a few days before and they were excitedly telling everyone who didn’t know about our adventure. Greeted guys, answered a few questions and then we headed to the immigration.

The Busia border is newly built.  We have no idea how it looked before the new beautiful buildings. Both Kenya and Uganda immigration offices are in the same building, something that makes the process pretty easy and fast. So, we headed to the Kenya immigration counter first for exit out of Kenya.  The process is, you first get cleared and get the stamps on the passports before going to the customs to clear the bikes or any vehicle.  After we got the “EXIT” stamp on our passports, we headed to customs to clear the bikes. The process is straight forward with a carnet and pretty fast. At this point, we are in no man’s land till we get the ENTRY stamps in Uganda which is the same process, first get the passports stamped and then clear bikes at the customs.  The custom officer however asked to physically verify the bikes and so we walked with her to the bikes and she looked at a few things like registration and condition of the bikes before giving us a pass in to Uganda.

In total the whole process took us about 30 minutes.  We were lucky there were no people waiting and therefore we did not have any waiting time.  It may not always be the case especially if you find buses crossing in to Uganda or Kenya. We arrived there around 2:00 pm and this could be a good time as most buses cross early morning or later afternoon. Important to note is check the busy hours at the border and cross at the less busy time. Also align this with how much time you need to get to your destination.

Border crossing

THE SURPRISE MOMENT

At the border, we decided to change all the Kenyan money we had in to Uganda shillings.  Between us we had Kshs 3,565/-.  We walk to the forex and ask the exchange rate and it was 1ks to 36.5 Ushs. Once we changed our money, we instantly became rich. Surprise number 1. We now had Ushs 130,122.5. Our heads registered the riches but did not move from our Kenyan currency. In our heads, it was now Kshs 130,122.5.  From the border we stopped at the petrol station and of cause, we thought we had so much money only for the pump to read Ugsh 85,000/-

What a nice welcome to Uganda. 😉

JINJA

First stop in Uganda was Jinja. Why Jinja? Well there are several reasons including it is on the way to Kampala 😉 but for us it was important we stop in this town for the following reasons: –

  1. It is the source of River Nile – River Nile is the only river in the world that flows north.
  2. Experience the historical town.
  3. Plenty of water sports available too.

We had a recommendation for a place to stay by our biker friends in Kisumu and we just rode to Signature Apartment hotel.  This place is really beautiful in all means.  Service, food, rooms, garden, location all in one word – GREAT!  We felt right at home and we were concerned we may not want to leave.  Check out why in the images below.

Signature Apartment Hotel in Jinja – Uganda.

Mr. Grace Kigenyi – the owner of this place is also a biker, and this was just another plus. We were with family.

The following day, we rode to the source of River Nile. It’s only 1.3 km’s from Signature Apartment Hotel, which is another plus for staying there. There are charges for accessing the source of River Nile.

–       Ugandans and East African community pay the same fee of Ushs – 10,000 (Kshs 274/=)

–       Vehicles going in are charged too.  We paid Ushs 1,000 for the bike (Kshs 30/- or less by a shilling or two).

There are licensed tour guides in uniform, so it is very easy to identify them. They are very organized and so you don’t have so many of them running to you each one asking if you could take them. We loved that so much. We got our guide and walked in.  There is a restaurant right by the waters.  Our guide took us through the options, the prices, what we would be able to do and see.  He was very professional.  He asked if we wanted to place an order for food so that when we finish the boat ride we can have our lunch.  The organization is amazing.

The options include:

  • Half an hour ride,
  • One-hour ride
  • Speed boat
  • Regular boat.

He explained that speed boat though the more expensive option would not allow for good bird watching, seeing the monkeys and all because it’s too fast and not able to access the edges of the river well. We settled for the option that would give us the best in terms of how much we can see and that was the regular boat.

The speed boat

THE BOAT RIDE:

The boat ride was slightly over half an hour even though we paid for half an hour.  There is so much history on the lake/river. There are some small islands on the river that are man-made.  They have been washed off in to very small islands and others totally gone. The smallest is right where the mark for the source of River Nile is. Its submerged but has a small curio shop built on it.  There were some toilets that are no longer accessible because the waters have raised so much, and they are just on river not submerged but inaccessible. There are plenty of birds, monkeys and lizards.  They are right at the edges and the reason a speed boat does not make a good option if you will like to see them.

The history of how the “source of River Nile” was identified is just another amazing reason you should make that trip. We aren’t telling you, smell the flavor and go fetch the food yourself. 😉

The source of River Nile
The smallest Island that holds the curio shop
Some cute souveniers at the curio shop
It speaks for itself
We spotted a lizard
The floating toilets
The camera shy monkey
Some of the birds we saw

NEXT STOP, KAMPALA

After two days in Jinja, we left for Kampala.  We regret not doing the water sports in Jinja.  This was a terrible mistake – but please don’t judge us.  We have many more opportunities ahead. Our consolation.

The ride out of Jinja was really nice till we got to Mukono. Jinja to Kampala is only 82 kilometers.  The first 60 kilometers were super good, then we got into traffic. We forgot to remove our thermal liners from the jackets and the weather was hot.  We also ran out of water.  This was traffic, heat, no water!! The next 26 kilometers were a real test, but we made it to Kampala.

Stuck in traffic at Mikono

We were received by our sister, bought lunch and we took off to go home, park bikes and rest. And this is where the traffic test changed to worse.  Kampala has really heavy traffic.  It beats Nairobi and New York. We made it home in one piece to a beautiful reception by Christian and Clarisa.  We also swore we are not taking the bikes out again till the departure day. We kept our word and opted for driving. Thanks to Collins and Pri for allowing us to use your car.  Geeez just realized we never topped up the fuel – shame on us – how ungrateful!!! We are really sorry Collins and Pri.

Thanks Pri for the warm welcome to Kampala

KAMPALA BIKERS ASSOCIATION.

Before we left Kenya, we contacted Morrisons of Morrison’s Leather (the best biker’s gear shop in Uganda). We know a few people from Kenya who have bought gear from him and he doesn’t disappoint. He is able to ship anywhere in East Africa too.

Morrison organized a meet up with the Kampala Bikers and we had brunch together on an easy Sunday morning. Kampala Bikers are very organized, a close-knit family and just one happy lot. It was really lovely sharing experiences.  There was also a surprise for us – we got to meet Grace Kigenyi of Signature Apartment hotel and Angie, the only lady who rides in Uganda with her beautiful baby – Suzuki GSX R-1000.   After the brunch, we rode together to Morrison’s shop.  This shop is one you go to when all your bills have been paid otherwise you leave all your rent and more there.  The quality of the gear he sells is worth it and not very easily available at the price he sells it.  So, Dos became a victim — no, he became the lucky one to find a jacket that fitted perfectly well and was way better than what we had bought for the adventure.  Don’t ask for the other jacket, it has already been donated ha ha ha. For the next 4 days we just soaked in to family love and enjoying every minute of it.

The Uganda Bikers Association – Sunday Brunch
Angie and Wamuyu
Morrison Leather shop

MEETING WITH KENYAN HIGH COMMISSIONER IN UGANDA

After a day well spent with the Kampala bikers, we made a courtesy call to the Kenyan High Commission in Uganda. Embassies are meant for the people and if you have ever thought that it is hard to get in to your embassy, scrap that now.  It’s pretty easy. Just walk in.

We arrived and were received very well right from the gate. The Ambassador was not in at the time and so we met the Consular Mr Macharia and the rest of the staff. We had a really good time with the staff who are very friendly.  As we were just about to leave, the High Commissioner, Amb. Maj. Gen. (Rtd) Geoffrey L. Okanga drove in.  To our surprise, he is also a very friendly and jovial person.  The mood at the embassy is one very happy family. He invited us for, yet another cup of coffee and we could not resist.  The cup of coffee ended up being close to two hours of a very impactful and informative session with the Ambassador.

Arrival at the Embassy
A moment with the Ambassador
The Team at the Embassy. Such a happy family.

LEAVING KAMPALA HEADING TO RWANDA

After a great time with family and friends, it was time to go. We left Kampala with another “we don’t wonna leave”feeling. It felt the same way it did when we were leaving Nairobi. Family is hard to leave.

Family
Family

We had 405 kilometers to cover in a day to Kabale. Kabale is the last town before Katuna border. Exiting Kampala was easy as we were not going to pass through the city and so no traffic.  We were staying in Kajansi area which is out of the city.  There is a new bypass that goes direct to Busega.  We missed the sign that motorcycles are not allowed on the bypass and found ourselves on the wrong side of traffic police at the toll station. There were also a few other riders who had been stopped.  We begged them to allow us and gladly they accepted. So, the whole lot of us like 15 bikes were let in.  We all zoomed and looked like someone blew the start whistle and there is a ribbon waiting at the other end.

The rest of the ride was uneventful.  We arrived at the Equator and had to stop and take pictures. For the first time we were so far from each other yet so close. One in Northern Hemisphere while the other in the Southern Hemisphere. We still could hug though ;).

From Northern Hemisphere and Southern Hemisphere

We also met and made friends with a lovely couple who lives in UK. Traveling is the best way to make friends.

We arrived at Kabale in good time to get a place to stay and relax for a night. Wamuyu had caught a terrible cold and we needed to keep warm and have a good rest.  Kabale is also colder than anywhere else we had been in Uganda.  The area from Mbarara to Katuna border is hilly, green and very scenic.  The road is very good tarmac all the way from Kampala but the twisties and bends from Mbarara all the way to the border are just what a biker wants on the road. Now you know. ;). Gear up!

Somewhere in the beautiful Mbarara and Kabale area.
Looking in the beauty of South Uganda
Where we stayed in Kabale.

It’s good to note that if you are going to Rwanda by road – overlanding like us. Kabale is the last town before the border and the best place to sleep if you don’t have enough time to cross the border and get to Kigali.  Its only 18 kilometers to Katuna border and you find some really good B&B.

The following day we woke up and left for the border. It was time to say good bye to Uganda and Hello Rwanda.

Keep it here for the Amazing Rwanda!!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

July 2nd 2018 came and although we had been anxiously waiting for this day, the sad reality that we are leaving home, and not just home but our country set it.

LEAVING FAMILY AND FRIENDS

Then there was mom, sisters, brothers, aunties, uncles, cousins and the rest of our extended family. Our mom was hardest hit by the adventure.  It was very hard breaking the news to her and so she got to know about it after everyone else.  She has gone through a hard time accepting. Something that affected us too. We needed her blessings and we kept assuring her all will be well.  Our sisters helped in reassuring her too.  A month to departure, we paid her a visit and this was the best moment as she told us she has accepted and gave us her blessings. This is when, we knew we are leaving. It was quite a joy knowing we are not doing this against her wish. She came for our prayers day and flag off too.  Watch the video above.

An emotional time with Auntie
With the teens just before departure

Family goes beyond blood and we have always considered our friends as family. Between us we have a lot of friends who have stood by us and encouraged us as we planned the adventure. We rode together, ate together, spent loads of time together.

Friends escorted us all the way to Nakuru

LEAVING THE COUNTRY.

We left and set off towards Uganda as our first country to enter. However, this was not an express ride, we made stops to enjoy our country before exiting. We have always known we love our country Kenya, but the experience of exiting was similar to that of leaving our family and loved ones behind.

“Though we travel the world over to find the beautiful, we must carry it with us, or we find it not.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson

From Nairobi to Nakuru, we rode with friends and that was an easy ride.  It was the first time we were riding our bikes fully loaded and so we were also getting used to the weight and the new width of the bike so we were not in a hurry at all. We got so much love along the way. Like the staff of Shell Sigona who welcomed us, signed our bikes and wished us journey mercies. We are proud V-Power couple!

Fueling the bike, body and souls. The team at Shell Sigona. Lovely
Shell V-Power, V-Love

We stopped at Dalamere Golf club for lunch in Naivasha.  We could not believe we had never heard of this place.  We even tried the mini golf.

Lunch at the Dalamere gold club – Naivasha.

We arrived in Nakuru to an amazing surprise from our friend Edu.  He had booked us at Ole Ken Hotel in Nakuru.  We bumped in Dos’s friend from campus and had an amazing evening.

Getting spoilt in Nakuru. We made new friends.

Though the traffic from Nairobi to Nakuru was medium heavy, we had a lovely first day of our adventure.

We continued receiving kindness and generosity along the way.

The Speaker of the Kericho county government. A very humber leader Kenya is blessed with. He stopped to say hello and even contributed towards our trip.
The Leader of Majority at Kericho county government. Another humber leader from Kericho. He too supported our trip.
Lunch with Kericho Bikers under the leadership of Ben. Another great support to our trip.

On our day 4 we headed to Rusinga Island and ended up at Rusinga Island Lodge.  When we got to the gate, we automatically knew that that we could not afford to stay at the 5 star lodge.  We were so tired and it was really hot.  We went in anyway, hoping to be able to negotiate something good or at least get referred to a place we could afford.  We met Mr. Ondongo the manager. He set us up a tent at their camping area for only Kshs 1,500 per person.  We were so glad we did not dismiss the place at the gate.  Their camping area comes with charging pots with adequate sockets, good lighting in the night, hot showers and it is right next to the lake.  We were able to watch the amazing an popular sunset.  Their tents come with two beds (you need to bring your beddings), what I call a balcony*, two chairs and a table.  They have one of the best fish dish, so eat at the restaurant.  Food and drinks area bit expensive though.

Camping in Rusinga Island. It was our best experience before exiting Kenya.
“Never go on trips with anyone you do not love.” — Ernest Hemingway
The sunset at Rusinga Island is breathtaking.

We left Rusinga Island the following day.  It was really hard to leave but we needed to keep our time in Uganda.  Leaving Rusinga we used the ferry from Mbita to cross to Luada and head to Busia. You should take the ferry.  Its a 45 minutes ride on the waters of Lake Victoria and was a breathtaking experience. As we were waiting for people to disembark from the ferry and we can load our bikes, a group of girls from Bunyore girls were the last to get out of the ferry.  The minute they saw the bike, the said “we watched you on NTV” and that is how our conversation started. We answered their questions and had a brief chat with them. We left knowing, in them, there are travelers.

Surprise meet up with Bunyore girls high school girls. Such wonderful souls.
Surprise meet up with Bunyore girls high school girls. Such wonderful souls.
Waiting to board the ferry in Mbita

EXIT KENYA – ENTER UGANDA

We arrived at the Busia border at around 1:30 p.m. This was really a good time for us to be able to get to Jinja in good time. Busia border has been rebuild and its all a very modern and clean border with Kenyan immigration, Ugandan immigration, customs for both countries in one building.  This makes the clearance very very fast and efficient.  It took us 30 minutes including waiting and we were off. If you are heading to Uganda with a car or motorbike, we think this would be the best border to us.

Exit Kenya – Enter Uganda

And just like that, we left home and left Kenya.  We miss you.

Keep it here for how Uganda was. 

The D-Day finally came and believe us, we were as excited as you.  Lot’s of emotions too. We started planning this adventure back in June, 2016. Then we were talking of two years to come.  June 2018, we were busy getting the carnet, the South African Visa, putting our items together.  The bikes had arrived in January, 2018 and we immediately started getting used to them.

            Ready to begin the adventure.

We had a very warm and emotional flag off.  The presence of our family and friends was more than we could ask for. It was not easy leaving home on 2nd July, 2018.  That is when all the questions bombard you in the head and it is very easy to develop fear, jitters and doubts.

We were very excited that with God’s blessings we were finally leaving for our adventure.

We would like to say a big THANK YOU to the following.

BAVARIA AUTO LTD – for organizing the breakfast for us and our family before the flag off.  They also managed to service our bikes before departure.  From when we wrote our first email to Mr. Michael De Souza – Brand Manager at Bavaria Auto Ltd back in July 2017, we have received extra ordinary customer service and support.  Jamba and Kenia arrived well.

KBC Television (Sports Desk) – for the media coverage of our flag off directed by Mr. Burckley.

NTV Television (Weekend Prime and The Trend) for the pre-departure media coverage.

4 UP DIGITAL for covering our flag off, editing and making sure we have quality content for our You Tube. Thank you.

INDIGO6 KENYA for the warm blanket donated to us to keep us warm all through our travel.

AUTO SEAL KENYA – The tire puncture solution for sealing our tires and ensuring we have a peace of mind as we travel.

BAOBAB Bags for the amazing sling bag, card holder and wallet to make our travel very organized.

NAIROBI CHAPEL -Ngong Road for the prayers day and launching our adventure in February, 2018.

PARKLANDS BABTIST CHURCH for the pre-departure prayers on 1st July 2018 and allowing us to use the church grounds for the flag off

MR. C. TSUMA – Principal Nova Pioneer Academy for allowing our son time out of school to be able to celebrate this moment with us.

OUR FAMILY – Mom, Aunties, sisters, brothers, nieces, cousins, nephews, son and daughter for being our greatest support since we started planning this adventure and being there for the flag off.

OUR FRIENDS – We can not thank you enough.  Thank you so much for walking with us and being there for us all through

     We said a prayer for journey mercies with friends and family

 

The thought of doing a world tour was born in June 2016 and since then, we have been planning. Nothing prepared us for the amount of work, time, emotions or changes that we would go through with the process.  It has been an exciting and a learning process for us as well.

We have also been asked a number of questions by friends, family and fans regarding this trip.  We want to answer them here to the best of our capability hoping that this may help another adventurous person in the future.

To be honest, the only thing that has remained constant are the questions. However, the answers change and will keep changing as we keep learning and rediscovering ourselves during this adventure.  Same questions one year later, may not bear the exact answers here because, we will have learned some lessons, figured out other things and feeling very different from how we feel today. We however, are going to make our answers as honest from our hearts as possible.  Our honesty remains the same.

  1. What Inspired you to do the adventure?

We both have done a bit of travel and some of it on our motorbikes. At the time this thought came up, what followed was, there has not been any black African who has done this before. Bragging rights you would say, setting a record too or even pulling a first one.  All these are potentially true and we cannot blame you for thinking that way. However, we will not only be the First Black Africans to do this, no, we will be Kenyans first and will remain Kenyans. The biggest inspiration came from our country. A country so beautiful, a great travel destination, with lovely loving people, rich culture, peaceful, mother of the champions and warm and welcoming.  Enough has not been said about our country “Kenya”, it has not been given the due recognition out there and we are just going to deliver Kenya to all the seven continents.  We are inspired by our country Kenya.

  1. What is the adventure all about?

Three words describe our adventure; DREAM | EXPLORE | INSPIRE

We would love to inspire as many as possible to take up their dreams, explore them and inspire others.

  1. How are you funding the trip?

We are taking our savings, quitting our jobs, selling everything we have and taking off.  This is not enough for the three years for sure and we are exploring other ways and means of raising funds towards our adventure.  For example you can buy our T-shirts and bracelets  or simply donate through clicking the support button at the TOP LEFT of the website which money goes to supporting us during the trip.  Thank you for your kindness.

  1. What or how does your family and friends feel about it?

It was not easy breaking the news.  Family is the last you want to make feel worried or uncomfortable. We had to discuss this over and over again. It was different ways of breaking the news to different family members.  Parents, kids, sisters, brothers.  We knew each one would receive the news differently and so we chose to tell them at different times taking into consideration their own personal feelings.  We are glad today we can say we have crossed the difficult part of dealing with the news and we have lots of support from our families and friends.

  1. Do you have children? If so, what are you going to do about them?

We have two teenagers. They will be 18 and 15 years when we are leaving on 2nd July, 2018.  This is one question that our answer is met with many more questions spoken or silent.  For those bold to ask more or share their concerns, it has always been “Isn’t three years too long to leave the kids behind?”.  Yes and No. Yes because we will miss each other dearly and No because we are giving them much more that the three years apart. We haven’t also come through without deep thoughts about this. It is sometimes emotional and a draw back as much as we believe and see the deeper good. In mommy’s blog #243 why i am riding the world, she has addressed this.

  1. How prepared are you?

You are never prepared enough for anything in this world.  However, that is not to say that one should wake up and walk blindly and hope that all will be well. We will be covering the preparation for the adventure on a separate blog post.  We however would like to say that our first and ultimate preparation is in Joshua 1:7 : “Only be strong and very courageous, being careful to do according to all the law that Moses my servant commanded you. Do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may have good success wherever you go”. Our God is our best preparation.

  1. Who else are you travelling with?

The entire trip will be the two of us.  We however, have what we call “Travel buddy spots”.  We are going to publish the countries we are visiting, cities, towns and activities we will engage in.  We are inviting anyone who would like to join us to do so.  You do not have to be riding.  For example, if you have always wanted to visit Colombia, you can visit when we are there and join us for the ride in Colombia.  The invites are open to anyone and everyone.

  1. Is your husband/wife Kenyan?

This is usually the most tickling question.  When we meet people separately, they will always ask about the other partner being white or Kenyan.  Of cause we understand that this kind of adventure is more done in the west than in Africa and are honoured to be doing it right from KENYA – AFRICA. Anyway, to answer this, we are both Kenyan, 100% so.

  1. How will you sustain your finances for the three years on the road?

Do we have an answer you can take to the bank or rely on? NO. We actually have nothing more than FAITH. FAITH that we shall not lack, FAITH that all shall be well, FAITH like just in the bible – John 20:29 “blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.” We are however looking to work for you.  We will write for your magazine, review hotels, review brands (gear, clothes, equipment, food) and if you are a Kenyan Tour and Travel company we can send you clients as we travel.  Trust us and we won’t fail you. You will then pay us and that is how we sustain our finances for the three years on the road.  THANK YOU.

  1. Why are you doing this?

We were first asked by an 11 year old boy what inspired us to ride around the world.  We gave this young smart chap a 3 minutes response, feeling so sharp, confident, on point and all and then he looks at us, shakes his head and says, doesn’t sound real…. And then we are there tongue tied, embarrassed, wondering what? Does he mean we are lying or we don’t know why we are doing this? The Auntie came to our rescue and said, “Go change that story, he is not convinced and may be many are not”.  The truth is:

We first got inspired by our own love for travel. Then we were inspired by our kids who said, “Go for it!”, Then there was you who has never stopped cheering us – “go go go go”, and the ULTIMATE REASON we are doing this is: “TELLING THE STORY OF KENYA TO THE WORLD”

I hope this answers most of your questions but, if you still have a question about why we are riding around the world, please feel free to drop it in the comments section and we will definitely answer you.

 

WE LOVE YOU ALL – VERY BIG. MMMMMWAH!!

 

My ride to South Africa was inspired by many things. I had wanted to do a riding adventure not necessary to South Africa but somewhere.  I had the time since i was between jobs and i also had some savings.  I was single at the time and so could take off easily. However, this was also my very difficult time despite things looking up for an adventure.  I had lost my mom in April, 2015 after nursing her and seeing her through her illness watching her go in and out of hospital for quite sometime. My siblings live abroad and so i was all alone. After the funeral, everyone went back to their lives.  Life was empty and i thought i can kill two birds with one stone.

I can take the adventure and i can mourn my mom.  I can also find myself and figure out my future. It seemed only well to take this trip.

MY BUDGET & PLANNING.

Most of my money had gone to my family needs and i had only Kshs 500,000 between me and poverty. From this money, i was to buy a bike, ride to South Africa and back home. Hopefully have some change for getting food when back.

I had a friend who had done this route and i asked him to share the map and any other important details. That saved me a lot of time in logistics and planning. I had a bike but it was old and beaten.  I could not use it for the long trip.  I shopped around for a bike and settled for a 180 cc bike. That cost me Kshs 180,000.

The 180 cc motorbike that got to S. A and back

I had some of the items like helmet and boots however, i had to buy proper adventure riding pants & jacket, some warm clothes since i was going to be in South Africa during the cold season. I also purchased few other accessories like phone that i used for navigating and pictures.  I got some items from friends and  purchased others second hand.  This helped a great deal in making a saving.

ROUTE

I left Kenya and traveled to Tanzania, Malawi, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, South Africa, Namibia, Rwanda, Uganda and back to Kenya.

Dos had a helper …. The Map

TRAVELING SOLO

Psychologically i was ready to go but had not given the “solo travel” much thought.  It hit me in Tanzania after my GPS failed me and i ended up taking a very long route away from my scheduled one.  That was the first and only time i felt lonely.  It also did not help that it happened so soon after leaving home and i got myself wondering how the rest of the journey would be. From here i engaged locals and anyone i had an opportunity to talk to and it turned out to be so much fun.  I would say solo travel can be lonely only if you let it be.

Making friends on the road

THE UNPLANNED.

After my GPS misled me in Tanzania, i also figured out that i would need to re-look in to my plan again. I did, and i threw it away. Being without a plan became the best plan way forward. Other than the scheduled meet ups with people i knew before leaving Kenya and we had that arrangement, the rest of my travel was without a plan.  I only needed to make sure i am in South Africa within my visa requirements. This worked perfectly well.

Having an open plan

I met people and participated in sports.  I did bungee jumping in South Africa and met amazing people in Namibia. I don’t know what adventure is, if it is not all these.

Taken with Lumia Selfie

Two years later, am ready to take off again. This time with my wife (no longer single 😉 ) for three years. We will travel around the world on our motorbikes.  We will go to all seven continents and over 50 countries. Keep it here.

There are so many places i want to go and have been to since i started riding. However, every time there is a mention of “lets go out of town”, Naivasha always is on the list. I have been here so many times and can’t get enough of it.

 

The first time was my maiden ride. The very first ride out of town and we rode to Naivasha for a weekend.
travel

The road is all tarmac and so makes it easy for a beginner to be comfortable. The view is nothing like what you see from the car window. We made a stop here just after Mai Mahiu and i had to take this picture. This section of the road is my all go girl part. Its smooth, its sweet, its open, its aaah!!!

the-team
Before you get to Mai Mahiu, there is the escarpment. This is the MUST STOP place on your way to Naivasha. The view is breathtaking, you take pictures and can even buy souvenirs. It can get crowded sometimes because no one passes here without a stop but regardless of how big the crowd is, there is enough space for everyone and you will enjoy your few minutes here. Ooh and they have clean washrooms too.

And you totally get mesmerized by the view.
And you totally get mesmerized by the view.

There is the Smallest church just down the hill from the escarpment and just before Mai Mahiu. The church is the smallest in the world build in the second world war by the Italian Prisoners of war. I love stopping here on my way back home. There is something about this place. The spiritual connection is great for me.
the-beauty-in-the-house-of-the-lord
Then you ride into Naivasha and you can ride right into the lake.
we-stop-at-nothing
Have a good meal.
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Enjoy this
view
And if spending a night out there, you got the perfect location.
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The choices of what you can do in Naivasha on two wheels are endless. The places to go are uncountable. Naivasha rocks.

Our tag line is “Life is too short for ordinary adventures”. We believe in this 100% but we also say our objectives in life are to Dream: Explore: Inspire.

By quiting our jobs, selling off our belongings and leaving our families and friends behind, we expect to explore and inspire from our children, family, friends and entirely all people across the globe.

Dreaming and exploring is very clear on what we are doing but one would ask, how do you intend to inspire by taking 3 years and riding around the world?

We would love for everyone to get out of their comfort zone, drop their fears, stop giving excuses and get on that one thing you know deep down in your heart you would love to do or achieve and it’s not in the list of the norm.

We look forward to when we shall read such stories inspired by our trip.

For now, lets tell the story of Kenya. #visitKenya

 

I have the adventure bug. All i can think of, talk about is adventure. Every morning, i ride out of the compound, i want to see more than traffic and tarmac. I want to go to mama’s place, to seat with fishermen by the river or lake. I guess that means i have to do River Tana, Lake Kisumu and probably Lake Turkana. I want to spend a day with the Maasai boys herding their cattle, spend another day tilling land with some women, clean and cook for an old lady somewhere as she tells me all about the beautiful culture of Kenya and all that happened in her young days. I want to experience KENYA, my country, my home. The beautiful landscape, the wonderful people, the whole shebang.

So i have lately found myself reading anything and everything i can get my hands on that talks about adventure on a motorbike. I have also been watching movies like “Long Way Round” (oooh the Mongolia part scares me) and You Tube videos. I have had the opportunity of meeting two couples on long adventure trips. Jen and Craig who i met early last year on their way from S.A back to Europe via Egypt and recently Ivana and Manu who have been on the road for the past 3.5 years. There are many great women and men that have been on the road doing this adventures. They have documented how to prepare, the do’s and the don’t. Other writers have professionally compiled books and articles on the same. Everything so well put out by all these great adventurers. And to be honest this is great information and i would never want to take credit for it by re-writing it here. They all emphasize on the “Before you Go” preparation. The route planning, what to pack, choosing the right bike, spare parts, the accommodation, tents, weather, training, safety, cameras, gear, phone, etc and i can go on and on. These articles are really good to read but one thing i have noted is that, each adventure story is unique. Every adventure rider has done their travel differently from the other and i realized as good as the information and advice is, i cannot copy paste.

While listening to Ivana and Manu, they knew their next country of travel from the current country. They never really put down a route map as they got all their visas on the way while on the trip. This would not work for someone with a fixed time for the adventure but worked perfectly well for them. They also never made any accommodation bookings and they knew no one in all the places they have traveled to but they made it with petrol stations, churches and locals who hosted them. Each one of us have their own sense and style of adventure and what i have noted from all the reads is that each adventure story has something unique to it. Something that the rest dint do, something that is being done for the first time and therefore there is the bit of preparation that you will not find in any of the articles because its your own original authentic adventure.

Going to my mama’s place is as easy as a Sunday morning. All i need is my bike, fuel and good gear but going to fish in Lake Turkana will require much more preparation. Before you go, you need to know, understand your adventure very well in the way you want it not the way its been published by other people. Its your route, its your experience, its your bike, IT’S YOUR ADVENTURE designed just by you. You can only borrow some ideas from these articles but cannot copy paste. You have to design, plan and prepare for you own adventure as unique as it is.

You see i now have to go look for the fisherman, the grandma, the tilling women, the herding boys. Bye bye.

Lets start the countdown, i will be right back.