Makario Safaris

4.8/5 – 65 Reviews

$3,614 to $3,944 pp (USD)

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Senior Consultant Winnie on safari

Senior Consultant Winnie on safari

Makario Safaris

4.8/5  
(65 Reviews)
Office In:
Rwanda Rwanda
Size:
1-5 employees (Founded in 2019)
Member Of:
RTTA, RDB & TRIPADVISER
Tour Types:
Custom mid-range & luxury tours that can start every day
Destinations:
Botswana BW
Kenya KE
Namibia NA
Rwanda RW
South Africa ZA
Tanzania TZ
Uganda UG
Zimbabwe ZW
Senior Consultant Winnie on safari

Senior Consultant Winnie on safari

Founded over 5 years ago, Makario Safaris, based in vibrant Kigali, specialises in crafting authentic, indulgent travel experiences. We are a licensed, Rwanda Development Board-registered company, and proud members of the Rwanda Tourism and Travel Association. Our expertise extends beyond Rwanda, offering unforgettable journeys in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Zanzibar, and the captivating landscapes of Botswana, Namibia, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Capetown. Join us for an adventure of a lifetime!

Reviews65

Makario Safaris is a top notch organizer of a once in a lifetime trip to visit Rwanda.
5/5

I reached out to Makario Safaris along with two other companies, as suggested by Safari Bookings, to arrange a private tour for my wife and I centered around a trip to Five Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda and a mountain gorilla trek. Alice from Makario was very quick to respond and after a few emails back and forth she was able to put together a package that included a night in Kigali upon arrival and three nights at the 5 Volcanoes Boutique hotel. We ultimately chose to use Makario instead an other company because of the quickness of Alice's responses and the thoroughness of the package she put together for us.

One thing to consider is that Makario does not accept credit card payments, so we had to use wire transfers to send funds which, understandably, can be a bit disconcerting if you are dealing with a company from a foreign country that you were not previously familiar. Makario required we put down a 30% payment upon booking with the remainder due 45 days out from the trip. I would highly recommend using Wise, an app that specializes in foreign bank transfers, as there were some issues with the initial attempt directly from my bank.

Because of the issues with wire, I got to interact with John the CEO of Makario who helped get things worked out. (The issues had nothing to do with Makario, it was a bank error on our end)

As we got closer to the time of the trip, Alice stayed in touch confirming the all the necessary permits had been secured and lodgings booked.

On the day we were supposed to depart, our initial flight out of the US was delayed enough so that we would miss our connection to Kigali in Amsterdam and delay our arrival by 15+ hours. I stayed in touch with Alice via What's App and she was able to adjust to the last minute change on the fly.

When we finally landed in Kigali, we were met by an airport official just as were were getting off the plane who helped guide us through immigration and customs thru a special express lane. After 30+ hours of travel this was a very welcome surprise as I wasn't expecting to see our name on a placard until after we cleared customs.

Once thru the airport, the airport official took us to meet Mansoor, who would be our guide the rest of the way. Alice had asked if we wanted to have a hotel room ready upon arrival to freshen or start the tour as originally planned with a city tour of Kigali and lunch? We thought it best to get started as we thought if we went into a hotel room at that point, we might never come out!

Mansoor met us at the airport in large Toyota Landcruiser tourist vehicle which was clean and stocked with bottled water. We would be spending a lot of time with Mansoor during our stay in Rwanda. His English is excellent; he is extremely knowledgeable, and clearly very proud his country while being happy to show it to foreign visitors. Getting to spend time with Mansoor and hear about his family and his country's history was one of the highlights of the trip for us. He also was able to "read the room" and knew when to stick to the schedule and when to offer a slight alternative based on current conditions. Thanks Mansoor!

The centerpiece of our trip was of course the trek up to see the mountain gorillas! This ended up being a great physical challenge (one of the hardest of my life!) and incredibly rewarding. It took about three hours of trekking straight up thru thick, dense vegetation and bamboo to reach the family we were assigned to see. I highly, highly, highly recommend if you do this trek to hire one of the local porters made available to you at the start. Not only does it help the local economy, but, and I am not exaggerating, I don't think I could have completed the trek without the help of my porter. (For context: I am a 59 year old male in good physical condition who plays golf 2-3 times a week walking without a cart)

Once we reached our gorilla family, the hour we spent with them was truly magical. To be able to see them in their natural habitat is amazing and a once in a lifetime experience. The trek is lead by one of the park ranger's. Our ranger was Ignacious. He briefed us on how to behave (and not behave!) when in the presence of the gorillas. He was immensely knowledgeable and made sure everyone in our group knew what to do and how to stay safe.

In addition to the gorilla trek, we also did a (much less rigorous!) trek to see the Golden Monkeys of the same park, a cultural visit to a village of former poachers, and a boat ride around the twin lakes near the park.

We spent three nights at Five Volcanoes Boutique Hotel. The hotel staff was extremely friendly and helpful. The rooms were clean and spacious but the wifi and tv service were spotty. The food at the hotel was good, and they did provide a nice bag of snacks to bring along for the day activities and after returning from trekking, they gave us much appreciated foot massages and cleaned our shoes!

On the last day, we drove back to Kigali and had lunch at Heaven Restaurant. Before dropping us off at the airport, Mansoor, knowing that I was a golfer, took a quick detour so I could see the city golf course which looks fabulous!

Overall, I was completely satisfied by the job of Makario Safaris especially Alice and Mansoor. It was nice to be able to sit back and enjoy the beauty of this incredible country while feeling safe and in capable hands. The the trip they put together for us, the attention to detail, the communication was all on point. And when things went a bit sideways, as travel sometimes does, they were quick to adjust and make sure the impact was minimal.

I would high recommend Makario Safaris to family and friends or anyone interested in visiting this part of the world.

Confident and stress free experience
5/5

We booked a gorilla trek in Volcanoes national park with Makario Safaris from the UK. This included transport from Kigali to the excellent Five Volcanoes boutique hotel, a gorilla trek and onward transport to lake Kivu. Given the high cost of trekking permits and bad experience of some travellers with other companies, we wanted to book with a reliable agent. Marario Safaris stood out and our confidence grew with our communication with their director, Mwake Utange. We received tailored quotation with detailed itinerary, confirmation and copies of our trekking permits, contact details of our driver and Makario managers in the event of any problems. Nothing was too much trouble. As a result we have had a stress free lifetime experience, with everything taken care of for us at each part of our journey. We wholeheartedly recommend Makario Safaris as a professional, friendly and reliable agent.

Great and unique experience
4/5

Incredible and unforgettable experience. However, there were some moments in which our presence was too invasive. The workers cut large branches on several occasions so that we could see the gorillas that were hiding behind them, even though we told them it was not necessary.
When the tourist is put first instead of the wild animal, these types of excursions lose their essence of being something wild and natural. More and more people prefer and value tourism that respects wildlife. Despite all this, being able to observe them so closely and literally communicate with them was something I will never forget.

Incredible experience
5/5

Once in a lifetime experience trekking to see gorillas in Rwanda. Very well organised by Makario Safaris, my driver was excellent, a very safe driver and very happy to share his knowledge and insight on this fascinating country. He took me to a great restaurant for lunch and to a women’s collective to buy well-priced crafts and jewellery. I’d highly recommend Makario.

Great experience!
5/5

Makario Safaris took great care of us. From detailed and responsive preparation ahead of the trip to reliability and great planning while we were in Rwanda, I definitely recommend them! Our short 5-day trip to Rwanda was thoughtfully laid out, starting and ending with an understanding of historical/cultural context and incredible primate experiences in between! Our driver, Godfrey, was absolutely amazing - kind, reliable, friendly and put up with all my questions. Lodging was excellent, and everything went smoothly and as planned.
All in all, it was an incredible experience!!

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Disclaimer

  • This tour is offered by Makario Safaris, not SafariBookings.
  • This operator reserves the right to change rates advertised on SafariBookings.
  • If you request changes to this tour, the advertised rates will likely change.
  • The exact order, contents and rates of this tour are subject to availability.
  • If an accommodation is fully booked, the operator will suggest a comparable alternative.
  • This tour is subject to the terms & conditions of Makario Safaris.