Travel reviews

Travel reviews by C family from Shrewsbury

Fascinating friendly Rwanda - sunny Zanziba

On this trip, I visited Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania & Zanzibar between 23-Jul-2009 and 13-Aug-2009 and I travelled with 3 other people.

Overall my trip experience was:


Rwanda was brilliant - fascinating, scrupulously clean, would recommend the country to anyone who is bitten by the Africa bug. Communication was in a mixture of English, Swahili and French. It was good to start our trip with a visit to the Kigali genocide memorial. Our driver/guide Jackson was fantastic - and added hugely to our experience of Rwanda, even though he was an Arsenal supporter!

However were we to go again, we would adjust some of the timings. The routine seems to be to go and see primates early in the morning, which leaves the rest of the to explore, and so in many ways we would have been better doing 2 (rather than 3) nights in Nungwe, only one night in Moriah Hill, and possibly add one night (or more) in Gisenyi. (It would have been great to go over the border into Goma.) Volcanoes NP was good, though again one night less would have been fine and we would still have time for three primate expeditions. (We were rather extravagant and saw two diffierent goriila groups, which was great but very expensive!) We were also quite sad a not staying in Kigali again.

We had one medical emergency - our daughter got huge boils on her back, luckily on the night before we were due to return to Kigali, so the following morning we drove to a private hospital in Kigali for treatment. This was relatively efficient - after we had paid some money - but did mean that she missed out on swimming in Zanzibar.

Dar was a lovely surprise for one night - we wished we had stayed an additional night here. Zanzibar was as expected, though Stone Town was more chaotic and smellier than I remember (from 35 and 7 years ago).

The whole trip was very expensive - which of course we knew about beforehand! - but tips etc menat that we spent another 500 US dollars per person duing the three weeks, without being extravagant. For example, tipping of guides was $10 per person per excursion, and sometimes we chose to give trackers etc. tips. This is not a complaint, just for information.

I stayed at and have reviewed:

Place Overall rating
Macushla House, Kenya
24-Jul-2009 review: Comfortable stay
Umubano Kigali Hotel, Rwanda (this camp has since closed)
25-Jul-2009 review: Novotel Kigali Umubano review
ORTPN Resthouse, Rwanda (this camp has since closed)
26-Jul-2009 review: Very friendly and slightly quirky resthouse
Moriah Hill Resort, Rwanda
29-Jul-2009 review: Empty and rather characterless, but perfectly
Mountain Gorilla View Lodge, Rwanda
31-Jul-2009 review: Comfortable and friendly hotel
Southern Sun Dar, Tanzania
4-Aug-2009 review: Smart and confortable hotel with character
Zanzibar Retreat Hotel
5-Aug-2009 review: Lovely location
Unguja Lodge, Zanzibar
9-Aug-2009 review: Beautiful villas amongst baobabs
Zanzibar Coffee House, Zanzibar
12-Aug-2009 review: Atmospheric, clean and helpful