This weekend we ventured out east to Akagera National Park with Mireille, her Belgian co-worker (another teacher at L’Ecole Belge) Sarah, and Olivier, our driver who is also Sarah’s friend and a native Rwandan. It was nice to see so much of the country so early in our trip, and none of the others with us had ever been to the park either, so it was a new experience for all. It was by far one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever seen (pictures will be posted shortly) and we saw so many amazing animals, but one of the craziest things I’ll remember was “Mutware.”
Our guide, Charles, told us that there are only 80 elephants in the park, which spans the entire eastern border of Rwanda and Tanzania, and that they are shy animals so we probably would not see any, but he would try.
He knew where this lonely male elephant, named “Mutware” (meaning “authority” or “chief”) usually stayed, and had us venture there.
We didn’t know much of this, only that we were looking for any elephants we could find, so we were super-psyched to see Mutware from far away. He began to move closer, so I videotaped while others took photos, until Mireille and I realized, almost simultaneously, that he did not seem happy.