On most of my Heifer trips, I’m pretty much all work and no play, which I suppose makes Betty a dull girl…except somehow it never, ever feels dull to me.
This trip to Rwanda was Lulu’s 21st birthday present trip, though, so after 5 solid days of project tours, home visits with Heifer beneficiaries, Passing on the Gift ceremonies, and five-hours-a-day bouncing around in trucks, I felt like she’d earned a little R&R.
So we headed to Akagera National Park in Eastern Rwanda, one of the least populated (at least by humans) places in this densely populated country.
We stayed in the odd but beautifully situated Akagera Game Lodge (“It looks like a horror movie should be filmed here,” Lulu sagely noted of the half-reconstructed hotel with a wing full of forlorn, windowless rooms but a glorious pool with stunning views of Lake Ihema.)And of course, the animals we saw were amazing – we drove right up to hippos, giraffes, baboons, antelope, zebra, and countless exotic birds — and pretty much had the park to ourselves.
The only thing we didn’t see was Akagera’s herd of 100+ elephants. But it was somehow comforting to think that amount of body mass could disappear into the wild… especially in Rwanda, where there is so little wild left.