Tanzania, Rwanda and Zanzibar advice

Apr 10th, 2012, 07:53 AM
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 597
Virunga Lodge is beautiful. We were very pleasantly surprised when we got there. Doing the golden monkeys in between is a good idea. We didn't do that, but other people we met there did and they really enjoyed it. It is much easier trekking to see the golden monkeys than the gorillas, so it will also be a day to rest up in between.

The lodge itself is beautiful to just relax. The views around it are positively stunning! and you will probably have a large veranda to just sit and relax at.

There is a short loop walk outside the front entrance that takes you around to see the other side of the lake. When we went, all the local children saw us an ran up the hill. We spent about 15 minutes talking to them. It was precious.

Definitely go to see the dancers at Virunga one evening. They are wonderful and not to be missed. Plus, the location where they dance has the backdrop of the Virungas, so really awesome views too.

There is a local market in the town, if you are into that, plus one or two artist co-ops. Rwanda has beautiful baskets to bring home. You could go there on your way back from the golden monkeys. Or even after a gorilla trek if it's not too late.

The lodge itself is about 30-40 minutes from the entrance to the park, and the road leading to the lodge is probably the absolute worst I've ever been on anywhere. But it's a beautiful ride full of plenty to see.

Also, hot tip: if you have a concern about getting a long & difficult trek to the gorillas, tell YOUR driver before you get to the park. The drivers and guides talk together before assigning the groups. On the other hand, if you love long, difficult treks, tell him that as well! There are plenty of YouTube videos of gorilla trekking to view also.

Also, we were in Tarangire and had wonderful sightings there, but our camp was an hour or more from the front entrance. Masai Mara should be great when you are there. I've no idea how any agent can tell you definitely where they will be. We saw plenty in late September.

Reading this thread makes me want to start planning our next safari! ;-)
tinydancer is offline  
Apr 10th, 2012, 08:12 AM
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 617
I've stayed at both Maramboi and the River Camp. Although I like them both for different reasons, the tents at the River Camp were a bit run down when we were there in 2008.
Calo is offline  
Apr 10th, 2012, 11:06 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 87
Thank you everyone for your responses. I am firming up our safari and will include tarangire for sure. Tiny dancer: do you think that I will be able to do the gorilla treks with a bad hip. I am a very active woman but am a bit concerned about the treks.
Patrissimo is offline  
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