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I have been given the green light to plan 2008 vacation!

I have been given the green light to plan 2008 vacation!

Dec 12th, 2006, 06:47 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 445
I have been given the green light to plan 2008 vacation!

After much prodding, hubby has given me the green light. We both agreed to come up with a list of ideas this week and then present them to each other on the weekend.

Of course, I would like a Rwanda/Kenya trip. Do you think that is possible? How many days does one stay in Rwanda (I want to see gorillas and do the genocide museum)? What airline do you fly? I have about 160,000 frequent flier miles and would like to use them. TIA!
Dr_Andrea is offline  
Dec 12th, 2006, 06:49 AM
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Oops! I would love to see the chimps too! Help! I think at max including days in the air, we could only do 12 nights.
Dr_Andrea is offline  
Dec 12th, 2006, 08:15 AM
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 14,440
Exciting possiblities. What a nice husband.

Chimps and 3 Gorilla visits

2 days flying. There are direct Kigali flights from Brussels on SN Brussels (that used to be Sabena, but not daily) Iíll assume you are taking some other airline (I take Brit Air, but there are others) into Nairobi.

1 day Nairobi to Kigali. There are morning flights and with the time change you can arrive Kigali under an hour after leaving Nairobi. You can see the Memorial in Kigali, then drive about 2 Ĺ hours to PNV. Iíd recommend Gorillaís Nest for location, only a 10-15-minute drive from the Ranger Station. But Virugna Lodge, which is 45 min plus away from the ranger station is a higher quality accommodation. Then thereís the top- end Governorís accommodations being built, so maybe theyíd be ready by the time you are.

1 day Do Gorilla Visit #1

1 day Do Gorilla Visit #2 and then drive to Bwindi in Uganda and overnight there. Gorilla Forest Camp is outstanding and Iíd recommend it. Iíve also stayed at Mantana, which was very nice.

1 day Gorilla Visit #3 in Bwindi, o/nt in Bwindi

2 nights in Queen Elizabeth National Park. Drving from Bwindi to QE you pass an area where you might be able to see tree climbing lions. My guide said there is a 30% chance and Iíve seen them once in three visits. Iíve stayed at Mweya Lodge with a beautiful view of the Kazinga Channel. Thereís also Jacana Lodge that is very nice. You can do a chimp trek in Chambura Gorge. Iíve been told there is a 45% chance of seeing chimps. I saw them and my friends, who went the next day, saw them. The 2-hour Kazinga Channel boat trip has spectacular birding, hippos, eles, buffalo, sometimes antelope.

2 nights in Kibale, where the best chimp action is. Drive from Bwindi to Kibale. If you can arrange the more costly chimp habituation trek, then you leave before sunrise and find the chimps in their nests, watch them get up, stay with them throughout the day, and watch them make their nests again at night, leaving the forest with your flashlights in the dark. That was an outstanding encounter despite the fact that we couldnít find the chimps for much of the first day since no group had left them the night before.

1 day fly or drive back Entebbe. You can drive and thatís how I made the trip, but it is an all-day, very long drive. If it is within your budget you can fly.

2 days leave Entebbe and Fly home

Depending on how you count, the above can be 12 or 13 days, but still 12 nights. To chop off days you could eliminate QE and drive from Bwindi to Kibale. Or if you eliminated QE, you could maybe do one more day in Kibale for a total of 3 nights there.

Iíd suggest eliminating the gorilla trek in Bwindi, leaving just the 2 treks in Rwanda, but logistically to get from PNV to Kibale, where the chimps are, without going through Bwindi is cumbersome, from what I know.

One other option that might appeal to you, would be to eliminate Kibale and just drive back to Entebbe from QE. You have a fair chance of seeing chimps in Chambura Gorge and in Entebbe you could take a boat to Ngamba Isand in Lake Victoria. This is a Jane Goodall Chimp Sanctuary for rescued chimps. While not wild, they live in a natural forested island home. You can visit for the day or overnight. Iíve done both and enjoyed it, actually volunteering for several days. These are not wild chimps, like in Kibale, but you get some excellent photo opportunities.

Kenya and Rwanda with chimps in Kenya

Since you mentioned Kenya too, hereís a possibility.

2 flights to Nairobi
1 Nairobi to Kigali, Memorial, PNV
1 gorilla visit PNV
1 gorilla visit & drive back to Kigali for o/nt
1 fly to Nairobi and drive to Sweetwaters, Jane Goodall Chimp Sanctuary there (not wild)
1 Sweetwaters
3 Mara
2 out of Mara and fly home

Depending on how you add it up, maybe one more night in the Mara for 4 nights

Uganda and Kenya
Finally doing the Kibale chimps and Uganda gorillas, with a charter back to Entebbe would give you enough time for Kenya too. But you specifically mentioned Rwanda and the Genocide Memorial.

Replacing Rwanda with Uganda could go like this:

2 days flying to Entebbe
2 nights Kibale, flying from Entebbe to save time
3 nights Bwindi for 2 gorilla visits
1 charter Bwindi to Entebbe (cost was about $1000 several years ago) fly to Nairobi
and o/nt Nairobi
3 Mara
2 flying home

Depending on how you count this is 13 days or 12 nights

If spent my lunch hour back in Uganda and Rwanda. Hopefully you can spend more than that there!

atravelynn is offline  
Dec 12th, 2006, 08:27 AM
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 14,440
Fitting those darn monkeys together is like a Rubic's Cube. I'm possessed with it now! If connections all worked and you didn't mind lots of moving around that carried a hefty price tag, maybe

1 Fly
2 Fly
3 To Kigali, Memorial, then drive PNV
4 Gor 1 PNV
5 Gor 2 PNV and drive back to Kigali
6 Fly to Entebbe, Charter to Kibale 1
7 Kibale 2
8 Charter back to Entebbe
9 To Nairobi and Mara
10 Mara
11 Mara
12 Out of Mara and begin flying home
13 get home

12 nights, 13 days

OK--back to work for me!

atravelynn is offline  
Dec 14th, 2006, 04:36 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 445
WOW! Thank you! I have been so busy I forgot to check back after I posted. I will definitely investigate your ideas. THANK YOU!
Dr_Andrea is offline  

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