A group of eight Omanis will begin a journey to retrace Oman’s historical and cultural roots in Africa by driving from Muscat to Kigali in Rwanda and then Dar es Salaam in Tanzania, starting from November 16. The group aims to spread a good message about Oman and identify villages in need of clean drinking water along their journey.
With a motto, ‘From Desert to Wild’, the group will drive more than 20,000km through different terrain. The journey is expected to take five weeks. The group will first travel to UAE, then Saudi Arabia, and from there take a ferry to Sudan. They will continue their travels through Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda and then, Dar es Salaam in Tanzania, and then back again.
Sulaiman Ali al Ghafri, the group’s leader, told Muscat Daily that the journey would be a lifetime achievement. “Our road trip will be different from that of our forefathers but it will not be less challenging. We plan to start the journey from Muscat on November 16 and drive 2,000km to Jeddah in Saudi Arabia from where we shall take a ferry to Sakina Port in Sudan and from there drive south to Ethiopia and then cross the border into Kenya. Then we’ll turn west into Uganda and south towards Rwanda and then head east into Tanzania,” he said.
Ghafri said that through the journey they wish to identify communities in need and plan ways to help them.
“During our journey, we will be identifying communities in need especially those in need of clean drinking water and come up with a plan to build water wells for them. During our trip, we hope to build at least three water wells, and right now we are looking for those who want to contribute towards that cause. Those who want to donate are most welcome,” he said.
Disheartened but not demotivated by the lack of sponsorship, the team still has hopes of getting financial assistance.
“With or without sponsorship, we will go ahead with the little that we have. During our journey, we will carry some essential items like books, pens, and Omani dishdashas, so that we leave something for the people of the villages that we pass through. So, donors for this cause are welcome too,” Ghafri said.
Looking forward to the trip, Sultan Hamood Hassan al Naamani, a group member said he is very excited about the trip.
“The reason Rwanda is significant to me is because I was born and raised there and so was my father. Our grandfathers went to Rwanda in the 1920s and undertook the same journey but with a different route and means of transport.
“Our forefathers used wooden dhows to sail from Muscat to Zanzibar and Dar es Salaam and then moved on all the way to Rwanda where they settled,” Naamani said.
He said Kenya and Uganda are also important. “I started my education as a primary school student in Uganda and I attended my high school in Kenya. After spending a few days in Kigali and touring a few interesting places around this beautiful, amazing country, I am eager to see Tanzania where some of my group members were born. We really hope to leave a mark about Oman everywhere we pass through,” he said.