01 Apr
After crossing Nyabugogo River, I twisted the throttle on a steep gradient towards Kanyinya. As I ascended higher and higher, I felt like a pilot taking off. The thrill of lift-off, coupled with the striking rearview mirror’s reflection of the city falling away behind me, was nothing short of spectacular.

Shortly thereafter, I was overtaken by a girl riding a Suzuki Gixxer. We exchanged pleasantries on the highway before pulling over at the roadside Café Inganji. She was on her way to Karongi through Gishwati - Mukura National Park & Biosphere Reserve.

Her name is Havana Gari. Originally from Kenya, she identifies herself as a global citizen. The humanitarian aid worker is currently stationed at Kiziba Refugee Camp in the Western Province of Rwanda.

Havana came to Rwanda for the first time about a year ago. Upon arrival, she was awestruck by what she refers to as the biker’s paradise. Inspired by super scenic meandering roads of the land of 1,000 Hills, she flew back to Nairobi and picked up her bike. What followed was an unforgettable ride, covering more than 1,000 kilometers, across three countries. While on the three-day expedition, she sojourned in the Ugandan towns of Jinja and Kabale before making the final push to Kigali.

Back home, she is a member of Women Bikers Association and Inked Sisterhood. The latter brings together more than 200 girls who tour Kenya extensively on two wheels. The bikers community in Kenya is growing fast, and girls are not left behind.

Havana’s life in Rwanda is adventure-filled. Apart from the scenic routes, she appreciates the discipline demonstrated by Rwandan motorists and the installation of cameras all over the country. Driving under a watchful eye of a camera nicknamed Sofia, we are constantly reminded to observe speed limits and stay safe.