User Reviews – Rwanda
Email Valerie | 50-65 years of age | Experience level: 2-5 safaris
I refer you to my review, an amazing experience
Email Dalonda | 50-65 years of age | Experience level: 2-5 safaris
A definite "bucket list" adventure and I would do it again!
The entire trip was a positive overwhelming experience. It is one of the cleanest countries I have visited.
The people seemed to be happy and proud of the culture and their country. I was never concerned for my safety. It is about a 3 hour drive to the mountain lodge for an overnight stay before the hike to see the gorillas.
The trip into the National Park to see the gorillas is very well organized. Please be sure to hire one of the men to assist you on your walk. It is only $10 US dollars and some of these men are reformed poachers. They are kind and very dedictated to ensure you have a safe and enjoyable trek. Several park rangers escort you and welcome any questions you have.
Our overnight stay at Gorilla Lodge was very enjoyable with great food and delightful entertainment from the local youngsters with native dance.
The security at the airport is very deligent and painstakingly repetitious but I wouldn't have it otherwise. Everyone was polite and made sure we had our tickets and completed luggage inspection in plenty of time for departure for home.
Foremost, the individualized attention that I received was incredible - from personal pick-up and transportation to the orientation and assisted itinerary. It was almost fate to be taken to a local restaurant - the Ogopogo - how terrific to explain to the owner that origin of this word (my son lives in Kelowna) AND to be able, post-trip, to send him a T-shirt from the Okanagon with "Ogopogo" on it to hang in his bar!
My guide solicited my input to chose my desired itinerary so that I was able to visit the Genocide Memorial - a "must see" plus a drive-about tour and a stop at a local market. The drive to the Mountain Gorilla Lodge through amazing scenery was particularly enjoyable with frequents stops to capture it on film.
The service at the Gorilla Lodge was wonderful with great cuisine, lovely service and great company. Entertainment included dancers of every age from a local school. Staff were concerned with comfort and the fire in the lodge was appreciated in the cooler mountain climate.
Just when you think that it couldn't get better, time to go to Volcanoes National park and trek! A short orientation at the site and additional entertainment from the local dancers, the somewhat strenuous trek...eased with assistance from the guides!...was beyond worth it when the gorilla troop was encountered. There was every age group in the troop and we were particularly fortunate to visit the troop that had surviving twins and witnessed them in their mother's attentive arms. Words are insufficient to describe the experience! - I will tell you that it touches your very soul. When you make eye contact with these close relatives, I do not know who was studying who....I DO know that I was gifted with their trust and tolerance to be allowed to observe them for an hour which went by TOO QUICKLY.
Returning from the site, there is an internal quietness from the contact with these forgiving animals - they hold no malice for the wrongs we have committed. The experience is life-changing.