While the focus of Run Rwanda will heavily rest on the AEC Entrepreneurs, our hope is to simultaneously bring to life the stunning landscapes, warm people and beautiful wildlife of Rwanda.
Ask a stranger in the street, what comes to mind when they think about ‘Rwanda’, and you’ll typically hear the two ‘G’ words, ‘Gorillas’ and ‘Genocide’.
The hope is for Run Rwanda to play a small role in changing the narrative of this tiny country, nestled within the heart of East Africa. As such, during the run we’ll be steering clear of weaving the genocide into our story. The country has so much more to offer the world, than the grizzly stories that have shaped its identity since the 1990s.
The Gorillas are a slightly different matter. We’re determined to show that they’re clearly not the only reason to come to Rwanda, but as I work on building my skills as a wildlife photographer, a personal hobby of mine, an encounter with these giant apes is part of the run I’m particularly looking forward to.
Thrown onto the world stage by the inspiring and ultimately tragic story of Dian Fossey and her book ‘Gorillas In The Mist’, the mountain Gorillas of Rwanda are now very well protected and only a handful of tourists can embark on a gruelling jungle trek through the Volcanoes National Park, to see and get extraordinarily close to these primates. The Run Rwanda team have been incredibly fortunate to have access to a set of Gorilla permits and after the start of our run in Kidaho, in the very north of the country, we’ll be making a pit-stop in Ruhengeri to spend a day tracking and filming the Gorillas.
David Attenborough spoke of his much televised meeting with the Rwandan Mountain Gorillas as being ‘the greatest wildlife encounter of his life’ . Passionate about wildlife and conservation, I have been lucky enough to photograph endangered animals all over the world, from the Lions and Leopards of Namibia and Botswana, to the majestic Bengal Tigers of India and awe-inspiring Great White Sharks out in the stormy Pacific. Coming face to face with the Gorillas in the mist is an encounter that I’ve been willing to happen for many years.