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Traveller reviews

Travel reviews by Ms J from Dublin

Review Distribution

Excellent
Good
Average
Poor
Terrible

Total number of trips

1

Countries visited

1

Lodges stayed in

4

Excursions taken

0

Primates Hiking in Rwanda January 2015

Rwanda between 27 Dec 2014 and 5 Jan 2015

Trip rating: Excellent
"We were looking for an economic hiking holiday to see primates. We were disappointed that we could not go hiking through farmland without a guide after our primate hike was short. We were disappointed that 2 of our 5 primate visits were very short hikes although we are aware that it depends on where the animals are in the forests. We loved the friendly contacts with the locals when we did escape our guide. Rwandan tourism is very tightly managed with little freedom for the traveler. It obviously works as it is very expensive and the country looks affluent.

We asked for a long hike for our second gorilla trek and were persuaded we should have a medium one. It turned out to be short and slow due to one visitor being disabled. We sympathized with the family but it did not meet our objective which was to incorporate hiking with an experience. We were very impressed at how readily the Rwandans make it possible to carry people up in a litter and enable them to enjoy the gorilla experience. A lesson to me on humanity and how selfish I and the Western world can be.

It was not clear beforehand that we would be expected to tip absolutely everyone and the numbers involved. For one Gorilla trek - dancers, 2x guides, 3x trackers, 4x guards plus porters if engaged. We had to try to change dollars into small denominations and avoid any drinks not included in the price due to this tipping as we did not have the money. They say it is voluntary BUT it is made VERY clear that everyone expects a tip as '' otherwise they will go back to poaching''. After the huge cost of the holiday and permits we did not expect this. Whilst Rwanda is lovely and we have no regrets we cannot recommend it to friends. it cost me a years salary after tax for the two of us! We are not in the targeted wealth bracket but it was fun to experience that sort of life for a short period. Primate safaris were excellent.

There must be a cheaper option for hikers and backpackers.
Visiting the north east of the country would have been better instead of Serena Kivu
I loved the Nile Congo route and am glad to have done it before the new road.
Expected to ask and tip people if one takes a photo of them.

Thanks for a memorable and great very special holiday. No complaints - just feedback as requested."

Arranged By Elizabeth Chapman


Mountain Gorilla View Lodge

Mountain Gorilla View Lodge

"Gorilla Mountain View Lodge review"

4 nights Arrived 28 Dec 2014
"Friendly and comfortable.
the fire was lit in our room on the first night and the last night only. it was lovely. It was cold the other two nights. Fortunately we had brought hot water bottles with us.

Variety of food from the buffet was good. The meat was usually very tough even when casseroled.
The staff New Year celebrations were great"
Good
Location
Excellent
Service
Good
Rooms
Good
Food
Good
Lake Kivu Serena Hotel

Lake Kivu Serena Hotel

"Lake Kivu Serena Hotel review"

1 night Arrived 1 Jan 2015
"Pool and beach available. Our guide said we should not walk outside the grounds. We requested towels at the pool from an attendant and were told to go to the beach. 15 minutes later we saw another attendant and requested towels again as the first attendant had not showed up. She brought them after a 5 minute wait. The first attendant turned up half an hour later!

We ordered drinks. They arrived about 20-30 minutes apart. Service was poor and very slow.

We were bored and considered it a very poor experience as even the boats were broken. They had a launch that only went straight out and back and one jet ski but not allowed to go beyond the hotel environs. It would be better to miss this."
Poor
Location
Good
Service
Terrible
Activities
Terrible
Rooms
Good
Food
Good
Facilities
Average
Nyungwe House

Nyungwe House

"Nyungwe Forest Lodge review"

2 nights Arrived 2 Jan 2015
"Lovely location. In need of better lighting in the bedrooms as it was hard to see when unpacking and packing. They have an ambience of rest and minimalism.

Practically it would have been good to have a rack for suitcases (instead of the floor) as one does not want to unpack for a one or two night stay. We loved it. they had really thought of almost everything."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Good
Food
Good
Facilities
Excellent
Kigali Serena Hotel

Kigali Serena Hotel

"Kigali Serena Hotel review"

1 night Arrived 4 Jan 2015
"Our first room had a sporadically malfunctioning air conditioner. the service engineer came promptly within 10 minutes. Comparing it to the quiet units in Serena Kivu we thought it was still very noisy.

They moved us to another room without fuss. this made us late for dinner so we were the only diners whilst they were laying tables for breakfast. In the morning a toothpick on the floor of the bedroom (not ours) went into my toe. Only due to the risk of Aids I reported this and the hotel staff (especially Dinah) were very attentive. They could not be faulted in their prompt attention and support. We were very impressed."
Excellent
Location
Average
Service
Excellent
Rooms
Average
Food
Good

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