Can't wait until August!!!!!!!

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Apr 10th, 2006, 06:37 PM
  #1
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Can't wait until August!!!!!!!

Well in less than 4 months I'm off on my first overseas trip!! Thanks to all on this board for some great ideas and helpful hints. We will be staying at Kaingo for 3 nights, Puku Ridge for 2 and LRL for 2 (thanks for the reccomendation's Rocco), then heading off to Vic Falls for a few days of adrenaline, then onto Rwanda & Uganda for a 12 day safari (gorillas and wildlife) and rafting on the Nile. So thanks for all your wisdom everyone, there's nothing to do now but wait!
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Apr 10th, 2006, 07:08 PM
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Judo~you're going to love Puku Ridge and Luangwa River Lodge!!!
Dennis
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Apr 10th, 2006, 08:52 PM
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I've heard good things about them both and the photo's i've seen are great. I'm really looking forward to it. How long ago did you stay there and what time of year?
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Apr 10th, 2006, 11:04 PM
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I stayed at Puku Ridge in March. Luangwa River Lodge in March and also last October. you can see my pics at:
www.kodakgallery.com/dennisinzambia
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Apr 10th, 2006, 11:46 PM
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Fantastic photos!!! Hope I get to see some mongoose while i'm there (along with everything else of course), but not to sure about finding one of those cobra's in my tent...ewww..
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Apr 11th, 2006, 04:01 PM
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judochop,

I am green with envy...you have an incredible itinerary and I love it from beginning to end. If you want to see what you have gotten yourself into, take a look at the Kaingo Newsletter that I just posted in a different thread, along with an AMAZING photogallery that I believe is entirely photographs taken by Jules Shenton, one of the owners (and hosts) of Kaingo.

For Rwanda and Uganda, are you doing a Volcanoes Safaris itinerary? If so, which one?

Hopefully you have saved some money for a great camera because for the incredible destinations that you are visiting, it would be a shame not to be armed & dangerous with a really nice camera!

I will hunt you down if you do not come back with a trip report and photos from what is sure to be a dreamlike safari!
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Apr 11th, 2006, 08:14 PM
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Hi Rocco, we are indeed going with Vocanoes. Starting in Rwanda we are going on the Classic Rwanda & Uganda tour, doing a gorilla trek in both countries and then a little game viewing. I haven't heard much about them but for some reason i have a good feeling about them. Then we are heading off to the Nile Porch for a few days of rafting & quadbiking. Thanks for the Kaingo information, I'll go and read that now. Cheers!!!
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Apr 12th, 2006, 06:51 AM
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judochop-
Volcanoes is a pretty reputable outfitter. I've used them before and I believe thit-cho has used them too.

Danny or Freddie are two really good guides/drivers who I know and would recommend either one of them. They will take very good care of you.

I'll be interested in hearing your feedback on Volcanoes Lodge in Rwanda The camp is nice and the view is beautiful but the drive to the park from there is lengthy.

How many treks are you doing in each country?
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Apr 12th, 2006, 03:24 PM
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Hi there... We are doing 1 climb in each country and doing other activities as well. Virunga Lodge was booked so we are staying at Gorilla's Nest which is apparently only 10 minutes from the park so at least we'll get to sleep in a bit.
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Apr 12th, 2006, 03:59 PM
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hi there, any chance you taking a video cam? it will come in very handy with the gorillas. too cool to pass up not using video. are you going to and doing any chimp tracking in kibale?
thanks, d
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Apr 12th, 2006, 04:09 PM
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judo-
Good choice on Gorilla's Nest. It's my first choice. While I love the look and the setting of Virunga Lodge, Gorilla's Nest is much more convenient for the trekking.

Ask to be upgraded into a 'family' suite when checking in. They are the same price as the regular rooms with the exception that the rooms are much nicer and much more spacious. Just a well-kept secret...until now.

What other activities will you be doing in Rwanda and Uganda other than the Nile cruise?

BTW...your itinerary does look great. I'm sure you'll have a wonderful time.

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Apr 12th, 2006, 04:46 PM
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Hi Dave, we have video mode on our digital cameras so we will try and take some with that. We are'nt going to Kibale but will be visiting Kyambura Gorge for chimp tracking.

thanks for the tip , I'll try and get un upgrade to the family suite. In Rwanda we can visit an orphanage, see golden monkeys, Lake Kivu or climb a volcano, visit Dian Fosseys grave, or a local school etc...and in Uganda we are going to Queen Elizabeth NP for a couple of days of game viewing, Kyambura gorge or Maramagambo Forest and a cruise on the Kazinga Channel and finish in Kampala. We were going to go to Murchisson falls but Volcanoes aren't doing that scheduled trip now, so we will go to Jinja for a couple of days before we head for home. Phew, i'm exhausted just thinking about it.
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Apr 12th, 2006, 06:00 PM
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judo-
You can visit one of the orphanages and one of the schools while in Kigali. Or you can visit one of the local schools closer to the PNV.

I've also done the golden monkeys and visited the old Karisoke Research Station and Dian's gravesite. And I've done a day trip to Lake Kivu as well en route to Goma. I didn't have enough time to climb Visoke, which I wanted to do, but maybe next trip.

The golden monkeys are cute little guys. Hard to photograph but fun to watch. It's a pretty easy trek to get to them.

Karisoke (where Dian was originally based) is quite a beautiful place. It's a little bit of a climb, similar to gorilla trekking, but I think well worth the visit.
Once there, you can appreciate why she chose to live there. The lushness and beauty of Karisoke is something special. And the gravesite is quite a moving experience. It is a place I'll always remember and plan on doing again when I return to Rwanda, if time permits.

The drive to Lake Kivu is also pretty special. Being able to see the landscape of Rwanda en route to the lake makes the trip very worthwhile.

But I think my favorite, outside of the gorilla trekking, is visiting Karisoke and Dian's grave.

Unfortunately time will allow you to do only so much but you're going to have a great time whatever you decide to do. Enjoy!
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Apr 12th, 2006, 06:26 PM
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wow thanks for the info, i'm looking forward to it even more now. I'll definately go to Karisoke. We are actually flying into Rwanda 3 nights before our tour starts (it was the only direct flight from Jo'Burg we could get) and would love to visit a school or orphanage there. I'm not sure how to arrange it though, do we have to let them know we are coming or just show up? and do you know if we can take presents for the children or give a donation to the school? any advice would be great. Cheers!
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Apr 12th, 2006, 06:44 PM
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judochop:

I cannot give you advice on how to arrange the school visit but I bet that Volcanoes can.

I would reccommend that you NOT merely drop by. We thought that we had an arranged school visit in Tanzania, but due to some miscommunications it turned out to be an unexpected visit.

It turned out OK but we were a complete disruption --the school kids could see us through the windows. They stopped paying attention to class. The teachers had to come out to find out what was going on. They then went to get the principal . . . As I said it turned out OK but IMO it would be rude and disruptive to merely drop in.

Typically they need all kinds of school supplies--lightweight items like pencils, paper, folded wall world maps worked well for us.

We were able to make our school visit at the beginning so could take heavier items as well--a good quality Atlas, paper back English dictionaries (these had been requested--don't be presumptuous), paper.

"Fun" things that we brought were blow up beach ball type world globes, glow-in-the dark-animal stickers.
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Apr 12th, 2006, 08:08 PM
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thanks for that, I'll make sure we let them know and i guess it would be a good idea to ask them what they need and throw in a few fun things as well.
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