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The Boston Globe


Eco-tourism thrives despite history of conflict

KIGALI, Rwanda — “Are you Hutu or Tutsi?” I asked Amon, our driver and guide during our 10-day foray into the jungles of Rwanda and Uganda. We were searching for apes, wildlife, and an understanding of how such a beautiful place could have been the site of the genocide of 1994. Amon laughed, his smile slowly fading as he turned to me. “We don’t ask that anymore. We’re all Rwandans now.”

Amon, 41, isn’t really Rwandan. He grew up just north in Uganda, but came here after the genocide. He’s been working for Volcanoes Safaris for a decade and would take us from the capital city of Kigali to the Volcanoes National Park, then north, grazing the border with the Democratic Republic of the Congo, into Uganda. There we’d visit Queen Elizabeth National Park, coasting through its arid savannah on our way to track chimpanzees.

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