Travel reviews

Travel reviews by Ms R from London


A long weekend in Rwanda

On this trip, I visited Kenya & Rwanda between 21-May-2015 and 26-May-2015 and I travelled with 1 other person.

Overall my trip experience was:

ExcellentExcellent

A friend and I had always wanted to see gorillas in the wild. Being limited on the time we had for holidays, we decided we would try and make the trip a long-weekend over the bank holiday. It turned out to be one of the most wonderful holidays I've had. We could have headed to either Uganda or Rwanda and, based on recommendations, including a discussion with Ellie at Expert Africa, we chose Rwanda and I am so pleased we did. Arriving in Kigali on a Saturday (at the cleanest and calmest airport I've ever been in), we were met by Sura, our local guide who showed us round Kigali and, in particular, took us to the Genocide Memorial Centre. Having only a limited knowledge of what happened, this proved a really good way of getting to understand a lot more about the background to events and how the country is dealing with the aftermath. From there we headed to our lodge and, talking to Sura on the journey, began to appreciate how friendly and proud Rwandans are of their country. We trekked to the gorillas on two consecutive days - we were graded as 'young' (very flattering) so were assigned to family groups that required a quite arduous trek to get to - but it definitely added to the spirit of adventure - we took porters both days - and decided that this was definitely the right thing for us to have done - not only did they carry our bags but they also helped us up the steep and slippery parts of the trek (and, in addition, you are providing a day's work in an area where it is important for conservation reasons for the local people to be able to make a living from the park). Both days we had brilliant 'sightings' - spending an hour with the gorillas. The set up at the Volcanoes National Park, the guides, the trackers and the rangers were all excellent. We also fitted in a visit to the cultural village - being true Brits we found it slightly awkward (the Americans staying in our lodge thought it was great) - but, it was something we agreed was worth doing because it was an additional contribution to the conservation effort and we did find parts of it very interesting. Both of us have travelled quite a bit in Africa and kept coming back to what a remarkable country Rwanda was - we felt safe the whole time we were there and they are doing an amazing job with respect to conservation and democracy (what you get if 63% of your parliamentarians are women!). On Tuesday (when it was raining all morning making us realise we were so lucky to have had fine days both of the days we trekked), we headed back to Kigali and flew home - back in the office on Wednesday morning having had a trip of a lifetime!

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I stayed at and have reviewed:

Place Overall rating
Ole-Sereni, Kenya
22-May-2015 review: A fine transit hotel
AverageAverage
Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge, Rwanda
23-May-2015 review: Great lodge by Volcanoes Park
GoodGood