Back from 10 days on Rwanda

Aug 19th, 2006, 06:30 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jun 2006
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Back from 10 days on Rwanda

I just returned from a 10 day visit to Rwanda that included 3 weddings, mountain gorilla treking and a safari in Akagera. It was the most wonderful trip, Rwanda is both beautiful and very poor.
Momndaughter is offline  
Aug 20th, 2006, 02:40 AM
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Welcome back! 3 weddings in 10 days! Will you write a trip report? Thereís not that much about Akagera here on Fodorís.
Nyamera is offline  
Aug 20th, 2006, 09:13 AM
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I'd be very interested to hear about Akagera too. Hope you'll share more details.
Patty is online now  
Aug 20th, 2006, 10:55 AM
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Would also love to read any report you'd be willing to share you your safari and gorilla trekking experiences!
Kavey is offline  
Aug 20th, 2006, 01:27 PM
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Ditto. We will be trekking in to see the gorillas in late October. Any insight into the experience would be appreciated.
Afrimaniac is offline  
Aug 22nd, 2006, 04:49 AM
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I am especially interested in your Akagera experience. Please post a report or email me directly.

That is a lot of matrimony.

Welcome home.
atravelynn is offline  
Aug 22nd, 2006, 11:50 AM
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I was so overwhelmed when I got back that I wasn't able to write much but not that I've decompressed I can discuss my trip

I flew into Kigali from Kenya, we arrived on a Thursday afternoon and were met by a Rwanda family that we have a transcontinental relationship with. Their son and daughter go to school in the USA and live with us.
The daughter was getting married to her high school sweetheart from Rwanda. So that was the weddings we attended.
There was a civil wedding, a tradtional african wedding and the church wedding!!! Very excting.
On Sunday evening we left for the gorilla tracking and spent the night at the base camp. The roads to the mountains are terrible so the trip takes at least 2 hours on dirt roads with many pot holes.

We got up early on Monday morning and where at the ranger station by 7:00 am. We were in 2 groups of 8, I was in group 13 that has 13 gorillas in their family.
We walked for an hour to get to the entrance of the National Park, then walked another hour in mud and rain to find 3 gorilla's resting including the very large silverback. We spent over an hour there and by the time we left there were 10 gorillas sitting in the group. I think the gorillas came to see the people! We were less than 3 feet away, I had no idea we would get that close. I took many pictures and for the $375 it was worth the expense. Next year the cost goes to $500. Bill Gates had visited the area 2 weeks before us.
That afternoon we drove to Lake Kivu and stayed at a lonely hotel called the Kivu Sun. We went to the Congo boarder but could not cross it required a Visa that we did not have.
We drove to an area that had hot springs (at least 140 degrees)! Met lots of kids hanging around and very curious to see us. A few children spoke english, they are now teaching english in school instead of French.

On Tuesday we drove back to Kigali, again on the very bad roads and wanted to get back before dark, because there is no electric in the country so when its dark, its dark...
On Wednesday we visited 3 Aids clinics and the National Genocide museum, I was so overwhelmed I could not complete the tour.
That afternoon we headed east for Akagera National Park. On Thursday we began our safari at 7:00 am, it's amazing to visit tourist place and be only a few tourist. This safari is one of Rwanda best kept secret. It is better than the Sergetti because that has become too commericial.
The safari cost $30 and more than worth it. The only main animal we did not see where giraffis, due to the drought they go up more into the mountains.
We then had lunch at the hotel at the park it is beautiful. Would like to go there again and stay longer at Akagera.

Friday was our day to shop in Kigali and rest, because on Saturday the church wedding took place at the large Presbytian church in town. It was 2.5 hours then the reception in a large park where 1,000 people sat on the hill side to watch. All where fed!!!!
After the wedding is the post party which began at 1:00 am at the Hotel Chez Lardo and went to 4:00 am.

Our flight left for Kenya at 6:30 am then on to Heathrow with our small plastic bag as carry on luggage.

We then spend 5 days in London but that is a diffent story.

Bottom line
Rwanda was the best trip of my life and my plan is to go back in 2 years. Please visit; the county so needs our American dollars.

I met the most wonderful, beautiful people.

Momndaughter is offline  
Aug 22nd, 2006, 12:15 PM
Join Date: May 2005
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OK MomNDaughter

Can't let you go that easy.

"Akagera National Park" I had never heard of this place and now I am sorry I missed it.

"National Genocide museum, I was so overwhelmed I could not complete the tour. "

Of course as we were reminded it is a Memorial, not a museum , but please if you can give a few details, since the wo of us on this board who also went to Rwanda were not able to get in.
waynehazle is offline  
Aug 22nd, 2006, 12:49 PM
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Where did you stay at Akagera? Did you self-drive? Thanks for the details.
Patty is online now  
Aug 22nd, 2006, 01:58 PM
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I'm also interested in Akagera -- can you give more detail on transport, lodging, wildlife. I visited Rwanda in 2003, but only visited PNV, but would like to combine a trip to Akagera with my next trip to that part of the world.

Bill Gates is lucky he went before the rate increases from $375 to $500.
thit_cho is offline  
Aug 22nd, 2006, 04:55 PM
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My friend, who lived in Rwanda for some time, did a couple of short safaris to Akagera. You can read all about them on her blog...

She said though if you've been to Kenya or Tanzania, Akagera just won't feel right. But I was still tempted.
Lucia78 is offline  
Aug 23rd, 2006, 07:59 AM
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It sounds liek this park could take a few elephants. With South Africa talking about culling thousands of elephants, certainly they could send a dozen or so here.

waynehazle is offline  
Oct 13th, 2006, 03:07 AM
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I agree, Wayne, but not a few more elephants like this one:
Heimdall is offline  
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