Although we could do not know it when we started, our subconscious is drawn by the diversity of human beings, and the more cultures, races, tribes or religions we meet the more we happen to discover, that is what unites us. Our peculiarities and differences fade and blur to the point where, as human beings, we are all part of the same species and share the same destiny.
But before we begin to theorize where we should go as a specie we must know where we come from, and the answer to this question will be found in East Africa, the cradle of humanity.
Our project Around Gaia, that took us around the world, has already accumulated 54 countries during the last 4 years we have been on the road, and just in its final stage, before returning to Europe, we have approached to this corner of the planet where everything started and where everything we have seen so far on this trip seems to make sense.
In the coming weeks we will guide you through 8 destinations in Tanzania, Rwanda, Uganda, Kenya and Ethiopia that we recommend not to miss on your next trip if, beside riding on some of the most amazing motorcycling routes, you also want to discover more about yourself. This week we start with Tanzania and Rwanda.
Lake Natron (Tanzania)
National parks like Serengeti, Ngorongoro, Kilimanjaro or Masai Mara may present some inconveniences if you are travelling by motorcycle. Their high cost access may exceed the limits of your budget, while the ban on motorcycles will force you to use an off-road vehicle through some sort of organized tour, with a massive influx of tourists that will take away much of the magic of the African savannah. Luckily Lake Natron is there for us. You can reach its acidic waters riding your own motorcycle through a gravel and petrified lava route. The only traffic you will encounter will be the Masai warriors with their sharp spears herding their cattle for water and grass. The trip can be done on an intense day from Arusha, but we recommend you do one or two stops to camp in some of the Masai villages along the way, always asking permission to their chief. Plenty of wildlife to be seen: although there is a slim chance of meeting lions along the route (they usually avoid any contact with the warriors), zebras, giraffes, wildebeests, flamingoes and even camels will keep you company at any moment. Eventually you will reach the edge of the volcano Ol Doinyo Lengai, and ride around it to get to the lake.
The Volcanoes National Park and Nyungwe (Rwanda)
Rwanda is a small Country that is not only perfect to cross on a motorcycle with a mountainous geography and perfect climate, but also offers easy access to two of our very close relatives, chimpanzees and mountain gorillas. The first ones live in the treetops of Nyungwe forests, but it will certainly be the mountain gorillas the wild animal who will make you to see clearly that their feelings are not so different from yours. The last individuals of this species live scattered among the mountains that sit among Congo, Uganda and Rwanda, but in the latter Country it will be easier to access their encounter. After a walk of 1 or 2 hours through leafy forests, the trackers will take you within a couple of meters from some of the gorilla families that live here. First the guide will approach the leader (with his silver back) and using sounds from the language of this incredible animal will let him know that we come just to visit them without being a threat. As soon as the silver back understands that his family is not in danger everybody will return to their activities like eating, allow females to clean their coat from lice, take a nap on the ground, play with baby gorillas or even having some sex.