Monday, 4 November 2013

Crossing the border from Uganda into Rwanda at Gatuna

We headed South from Kisoro towards the border with Rwanda at Gatuna.  At this point in the day we were really begining to worry that we may either have to go through the border in the dark, or at least do some driving on the Rwandan side in the dark - neither of which had any kind of appeal.

One big tip for crossing the border from my wife - don't do it in a short skirt.  Woops.

This is a busy border crossing, but luckily cars and tourist buses don't have to wait in line with all the massive trucks.  However, that said, it is still a little confusing and intimidating.  There are a lot of "dodgy" looking folk around, and it seems the border is pretty porous with a steady stream of people moving from one side to the other with little or no control other than a few francs/dollars here and there.

We tried to follow the instructions - visiting the police, then the customs, then the immigration, then the customs again, then the police again and then through the gate to do it all again on the other side.  We presented the wrong lot of paper work for our hire car (using the stuff from whoever had hired it the last time which had been left in the glove compartment) and it took a wee while to sort out all the confusion.  Basically we just followed orders until we had the right stamps and enough hand written tickets to allow us through.  Lots of smiling and thank yous and we seemed to be ok.

Of the few borders I've travelled through in the developing world this was certainly the most stressful, but this was maybe just because we were very tired following a long day's driving.  Karen wasn't too happy when she was told to go through the border on foot, as only the driver was allowed to stay with the vehicle.  Thankfully it is not too far to go, and I could keep an eye on her.  As were all the others who were enjoying her short skirt.

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