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Rwanda Tour Operators

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Nov 12th, 2007, 03:59 AM
  #1
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Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 9
Rwanda Tour Operators

Hi,
A group of us are planning to visit Rwanda and either Botswana or South Africa in Feb 2008.
I was working with Africa Adventure Company, however, the initial quote for 4days in Rwanda (2 gorilla treks and 2 nights in Gorilla's nest and 1 night Kigali Serena) went from $1995 to $2795 p/p.
They have been very helpful, however, I find this increase to be very high, especially since Magic Safaris ($1900)and R&N Xplorer ($1680)are significantly cheaper.
Can anyone provide recommendations on Magic Safaris or R&N Xplorer?
NYAussie is offline  
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Nov 12th, 2007, 04:37 AM
  #2
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
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Hello,
We haven't gone on our trip yet (it's not til Sept/Oct 2008), but we are booking with R&N Xplorer for our gorilla trek.

I have been working with them via e-mail for 4 months now and they have always been extremely helpful.

They have answered every question I've had within 24 hours and have been very patient, friendly and helpful when I've asked about changing things up (many times), to accommodate our budget.

Hope this helps a little.

You are going before me, so if you decide to go with them, do let me know what your experience was like.

Happy, safe travels.
>- Lisa
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Nov 12th, 2007, 05:50 AM
  #3
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Many thanks Lisa,

I just called Magic-Safaris (based in Uganda), and the agent didn't instill confidence in me due to poor phone line and a heavy french accent which was difficult for me to understand.

I will also contact R&N.

Are you going elsewhere afterwards?
Cheers
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Nov 12th, 2007, 06:20 AM
  #4
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
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You're not alone. George Bush doesn't trust people with heavy French accents, either.
thit_cho is offline  
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Nov 12th, 2007, 08:30 AM
  #5
 
Join Date: May 2006
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You could also try Amahoro Tours, they were great for me.
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Nov 12th, 2007, 08:52 AM
  #6
 
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Went with R&N 2 years ago, multiple people have gone on my recommendation since then. Have heard no complaints yet.
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Nov 12th, 2007, 09:30 AM
  #7
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
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I will be going with R&N this February. They have been very helpful with my booking and always respond quickly to emails. I was having trouble getting a flight from nairobi to kigali, so i sent them the money and they did it for me. They even DHLed my tickets to my house. As wayne says, there have been people on this forum that have been pleased with their service, so i wouldnt hesitate to use them if they are giving you the best price.
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Nov 12th, 2007, 09:32 AM
  #8
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 337
Hello Aussie,

The Rwanda portion will be in the middle of our itinerary and goes as such:

Arrive JRO
1 night Arusha
2 nights Tarangire
2 nights Ngorongoro
2 nights Rwanda
1 night NBO
2 nights Samburu
4 nights Mara
Dept NBO

This is still tentative as we haven't booked yet, but are hoping to do so within days (yikes!!)

Looks like you are getting more positive feedback on R&N.
Good luck
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Nov 12th, 2007, 11:38 AM
  #9
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
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Another thumbs up for R&N Explorer. We did the gorillas with them in June 2007. Also stayed at Kivu Sun on Lake Kivu for the end of our trip - NICE PLACE!! I'll book with them again if I make it back to Rwanda.
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Nov 12th, 2007, 11:45 AM
  #10
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 1,510
Aussie do a search for my trip report. We used R&N in Feb of this year and have no complaints at all. Would use them again.
J
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Nov 12th, 2007, 03:10 PM
  #11
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
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Another poster wanted to use Magic, but was not happy with the repor and lack of references. He ended up with Great Lakes and all was fine. I've used Primate--just great.

If you search for R&N Explorer, you'll see some reports on trips that went very well.

Were you given a reason for the huge increase? Hopefully this was all pre-deposit. Did you change lodging? The other companies are in the $1995 range, which makes the increase even more strange.

Are there some new taxes out there that have made it into some bids but not others? That happened with a Tanzania itinerary recently.

Good luck!
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Nov 13th, 2007, 03:03 AM
  #12
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
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HI, I used ITT / Joyce to handle my Rwanda tripin Aug 07. Did 3 treks, 4 nights Gorilla Nest, 1 night Chez Lando in Kigali, car & driver for 5 days and my bill was $2900 appro. Figure $500 per trek, GN ran around $100 per night,Chez Lando $60 (and it is perfectly fine) and car and driver around $150 per day. they were great and VERy well organized. HOpe this helps.
Rhoda
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Nov 13th, 2007, 04:51 AM
  #13
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Thankyou all so much for your help. I do appreciate it. I feel much more comfortable with R&N now.

The increase I was told was due to the devaluation of the USD.

Now I have to find someone to take care of South Africa since AAC won't handle a 5 night safari.
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Nov 13th, 2007, 05:49 AM
  #14
 
Join Date: May 2005
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NY Aussie:

I used Southern Destinations to plan my recent SA/Botswana trip and I recommend them highly; ask for Liesl:

www.southerndestinations.com

(they also have an 800 number for calls from the US)
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Nov 13th, 2007, 08:30 AM
  #15
 
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Rhino Africa was great, they are based in South Africa.
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Nov 13th, 2007, 12:27 PM
  #16
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
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Another plug for R & N. I haven't taken the trip yet (Sep 09), but in the planning process, I've been very impressed with their responsiveness and helpfulness.
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Nov 13th, 2007, 01:06 PM
  #17
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Thanks again guys. I will definitely check out the South Africa operators you have recommended.

I love these forums!
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Nov 13th, 2007, 01:22 PM
  #18
 
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Last month we were with Patrick of Primate Safaris in Rwanda. Patrick was fantastic. If I find his email I will add it. And, we stayed at the new Silverback Lodge instead of Gorillas Nest.

The Gorilla treks were amazing and adventurous and we wish we had stayed longer to get 3 or 4 treks instead of just 2. By the way, the permits were not sold out either day.

The Lodge and its facilities should be completely done by the time you go. Wonderful food and beautiful earthy cottages.

Also, go to the Genocide Museum.

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Nov 13th, 2007, 02:46 PM
  #19
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
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>>The increase I was told was due to the devaluation of the USD.<<

With the USD in the twoilette, don't be surprised to see some safari prices increase (from quote-to-quote) up until you make your decisions and, more importantly, your final payments.

Since most outfitters quote in USD, many are loosing out against local currencies.

Forewarned is............
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