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Traveller reviews

Travel reviews by HPB from San Francisco

Review Distribution

Excellent
Good
Average
Poor
Terrible

Total number of trips

1

Countries visited

2

Lodges stayed in

3

Excursions taken

0

Trip of a lifetime

Rwanda and 1 other country between 11 Jul 2015 and 21 Jul 2015

Trip rating: Excellent
"Thank you to Expert Africa for helping arrange an adventure and trip of a lifetime.

While we planned our trip a bit last minute, Richard Trillo made it happen and ensured that we had a completely customized and flawlessly organized adventure. He listened to our goals, took our input and modified the itinerary a few times to make sure it ended up being a perfect experience. And perfect it was.

This trip was a gift to my wife for a big birthday. Nothing could express our shared sentiment better than her referring to it as "the best trip I have ever had.""

Arranged By Richard Trillo


Kigali Serena Hotel

Kigali Serena Hotel

"Good quality and great food"

2 nights Arrived 12 Jul 2015
"The Kigali Serena is a "western" style hotel with all the trappings of a high-end, quality hotel. If what you are looking for is an overt sense of safety, convenience and secession from the surrounding hustle and bustle of Kigali, the Serena is a good choice. Don't expect to get a feel for Kigali, the people of Rwanda or the local culture staying at this hotel. It could be anywhere.

The service was good, but for a hotel of this style and price, it was not great. Food was varied and delicious.

Our visit to the Genocide Memorial in Kigali was riveting as it was tragic. A must see for anyone interested in learning about this horrific chapter in the country's history and how it has managed to chart a path of healing and forgiveness.

Expert Africa arranged a guide in Rwanda for these travellers; they commented:

Ismail was an amazing person. Fantastic!

We do not have enough positive, amazing things to say about Ismail, our guide. Given his relatively young age, we were a bit concerned whether he would have the depth of experience and knowledge we were hoping for. Those were stupid concerns on our end. Ismail is a remarkable man with great knowledge and understanding of the checkered history, culture, economic situation, politics and geography of Rwanda. He is incredibly service oriented without being obsequious. His English is impeccable.

After a few days he also began to share some of his own personal experiences during the genocide and beyond. He never imposed his vies or stories on us, only responded to our questions and genuine interest.

We could not imagine a better guide on a trip to Rwanda. Our experience was amplified manyfold by his service."
Good
Location
Average
Service
Average
Facilities
Good
Rooms
Good
Food
Excellent
Mountain Gorilla View Lodge

Mountain Gorilla View Lodge

"Cool, rustic lodge in a great setting."

2 nights Arrived 14 Jul 2015
"We enjoyed our stay at the Gorilla Mountain View Lodge. It is a somewhat rustic lodge with a main lodge for hanging out and dining and private cabins spread out across the property. We particularly enjoyed the afternoon entertainment when young local people did a lively, spirited dance performance: http://www.luumi.us/Public/Rwanda/i-xrGBrRL/A

The visit to the Volcanos National Park to see the mountain gorillas was naturally the highlight and an amazing experience. We made two trips over two days. The first was a 2hr at times strenuous hike up the side of the mountain. When we came to the gorillas they were "lounging" right by the trail. We spent an unbelievable hour observing them from up close. The second day was if possible even more amazing. Just a short 45 minute hike this time through the bamboo forrest and there they were. Here are a few pictures that give a bit of a sense of the experience: http://www.luumi.us/Public/Mountain-Gorillas

The knowledge and care of the guides and rangers was as encouraging as it was impressive. How well everything was organized made it very worth the relatively high price of admissions.

This article written by a New York Times reporter only two months after our visit captures the experience well, with one notable exception: the reason that some of the trackers carry weapons is not to protect humans from the gorillas - there is no danger. It is to protect the gorillas from the occasional poacher who may come over from the Republic of Congo.
http://www.nytimes.com/2015/10/25/travel/safari-gorillas-rwanda.html?_r=0

A visit to the local, traditional village where we were given a small peek into what traditional life only a few decades ago was like was a fun and educational experience as well."
Excellent
Location
Good
Service
Good
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Good
Food
Average
Facilities
Good
Campi ya Kanzi

Campi ya Kanzi

"Amazing, amazing, amazing."

4 nights Arrived 17 Jul 2015
"Campi ya Kanzi is a jewel. As we woke up early the first morning to coffee served to our "tent" by one of the many Maasai employed at the camp, Julie, turned to me and said: "I got it. From now on we are only going to travel to places all over the world run by Italians. Every detail, is though of and taken care of. The design is impeccable. The food outstanding...."

While we truly enjoyed that aspect of Campi ya Kanzi it is only the veneer, one that we truly enjoyed. What unfolded during our five days at the camp was nevertheless something much deeper and bigger than the wonderful creature comforts that we luxuriated in while there. The true spirit of this magical place comes from its integration with the surrounding nature and the maasai people who live on and manage it.

Luca, the owner (with his wife, who was back in Italy with their daughter during our visit) founded the camp more than 20 years ago with a powerful vision. Luca is educated as an economist and conservationist."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent

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