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Traveller reviews

Travel reviews by Mr C & Ms Y from Edinburgh

Review Distribution

Excellent
Good
Average
Poor
Terrible

Total number of trips

1

Countries visited

1

Lodges stayed in

3

Excursions taken

0

A magical trip

Rwanda between 18 Jun 2014 and 26 Jun 2014

Trip rating: Excellent
"We truly had a wonderful time on this trip.

The Expert Africa/Primate Safari part was only 8 days out of 22, but we have no regrets about the organisation, the pace and the activities. Rwanda is still developing its tourist industry, which means not everything runs perfectly, but also that people working in the tourist sector are not yet as jaded or cynical as in neighbouring countries. This was reflected in the friendliness of the staff, who were almost always willing to do that little bit extra to make things right.

Likewise, we were favourably impressed by our knowledgeable and highly professional driver-guide from Primate Safaris: we learned a lot about the country's history, politics and nature from our lengthy conversations with him and he drove extremely carefully. If there is one thing we would have liked to have seen more, it was Nyungwe Forest - it is a beautiful place. The two days we spent were too short: the activities are quite far apart and the general atmosphere merits a 3-4 day visit at least.

On the other hand, we were delighted to go gorilla tracking on two separate occasions. The permits are extremely expensive - even by the standards of rich Western tourists - but we saw something completely different on each day. The other primate-related activities (chimpanzee, colobus monkey and golden monkey tracking) were also rewarding. One piece of advice, though: don't leave without a pair of binoculars! They really do make the wildlife viewing experience much more intense.

In short, this was an extremely memorable and well thought-out trip - and we'd warmly recommend it to anyone who wants to explore this mountainous part of East Africa.

Suggestions to help us improve our trips or our service:

You may already know this, but Turkish Airlines fly direct to Kigali and Entebbe from Istanbul several times a week. With excellent connections from Manchester, Edinburgh, London and possibly other regional airports too, this makes Turkish a good (and cheap!) option for flights to this part of Africa."

Arranged By Tracy Lederer


Nyungwe Top View Hill Hotel

Nyungwe Top View Hill Hotel

"Up in the clouds!"

2 nights Arrived 19 Jun 2014
"We thoroughly enjoyed our stay at the Nyungwe Top View Hill Hotel: the rooms - which are all separate mini-cottages with balconies - were generous and quite well lit, and the location was superb, with panoramic views on all sides.

The electricity went out a few times (there is a backup generator) and occasionally the service was a little slow, but the staff were unfailingly helpful and friendly. In fact, it often felt like a family-run establishment, and we would gladly have lingered longer on the sunny terrace to take in the clouds, lake and forests stretching away to the distance. We'd definitely stay here again."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Good
Facilities
Good
Cormoran Lodge

Cormoran Lodge

"Peaceful retreat by the lake"

2 nights Arrived 21 Jun 2014
"This is a great place to stay if you intend to unwind: the rooms are all separate chalets perched on the hill with terrific views out over Lake Kivu. The rooms are very well appointed and tastefully decorated - there is even wifi across the whole lodge.

The lodge restaurant served tasty food and there were plenty of activities in and around the lake. A few minor problems let the side down - for instance, having to pay extra for eggs/omelette in the morning on a full-board package (a bizarre thing to do given the luxury aspirations) and a faulty shower pump which made some showers very frustrating!

Overall, though, this is a very good option in the area and ideal for a rest and relaxation stop."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Good
Activities
Good
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Good
Facilities
Excellent
Mountain Gorilla View Lodge

Mountain Gorilla View Lodge

"Smoking volcanoes"

4 nights Arrived 23 Jun 2014
"Gorilla Mountain View Lodge has a memorable location, with views towards misty volcanoes in all directions: we spent the afternoons after gorilla tracking simply enjoying the view!

The rooms, which are self-contained cottages, were extremely generous and very well appointed. Three things were a little disappointing, however: the interior lighting was poor, which meant it was difficult to do anything in the evening (the sun sets at 6:30 PM) - a little extra lighting would improve the room ambience immeasurably. The rooms were also a bit cold. The lodge supplies a small fan heater and there is a fireplace but these are not sufficient to keep the place warm. The bathroom, in particular, felt glacial at night and in the morning. Lastly, there is no TV anywhere in the lodge. This is not really a big issue, except that it was the World Cup and there was nowhere to watch a match within 45 minutes drive!

On the plus side, the staff in the hotel were uniformly friendly and attentive, and the buffet meals were convenient and delicious. The shoe-cleaning service is a huge plus as well: the joy of clean shoes is second only to the joy of seeing gorillas..."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Good
Rooms
Good
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Good

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