Trip to Rwanda and Congo (Brazzaville)

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Jan 11th, 2015, 07:36 PM
  #1
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Trip to Rwanda and Congo (Brazzaville)

I've just booked a trip to Rwanda and Congo for June 2015! I'll be traveling with a friend, and we'll be staying at the Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge in Rwanda and the Odzala Wilderness Camps (Ngaga and Lango) in Congo. I've read with interest many of the posts here regarding Rwanda, but I've been unable to find much information about Congo other than a handful of posts on tripadvisor. I know it's a bit off the beaten path, but if anyone has any input/advice, I'd love to hear it. My friend and I have both been to Africa but have not yet seen the gorillas. We decided to book the trip through Africa Adventure Company, and they've been great so far. I'll definitely report back after the trip!
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Jan 12th, 2015, 09:31 PM
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I've not made any trip to these locations so far. However, I would like to wish you best wishes for your journey. I hope you'll have great time in your journey. Please surely report back after your trip, because I'm willing to make a tour in these locations end of this year.
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May 9th, 2015, 07:57 PM
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So, we had to cancel the Congo portion of the trip a few weeks ago because Wilderness Safaris is apparently no longer operating the camps. They also operated the private planes needed to reach the camps, so we were told that if you want to visit now, you need to charter your own plane. This is cost prohibitive.

We had already purchased our airline tickets and really wanted to figure out an alternative, so we're going to Madagascar instead! From there, we'll fly to Rwanda as planned.

We leave in about a month. I'll report back after the trip!
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May 19th, 2015, 04:56 AM
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Hi Abby97
I think the cancellation of Congo may have been a good idea. Was at the gorillas in Rwanda in February of this year and a German couple arrived from seeing the gorillas there and in one of the towns, they told us they saw someone being shot and left the hotel on foot with their luggage to get to the Ugandan border. Sounded mighty dangerous to me.
I loved Rwanda and the gorillas. Have been twice now and am currently planning my third trip for February 2017. Also have chosen Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge for this latest trip as popped in when we were leaving on our last day for lunch. Very nice and quite close, not the drive we had from where I stayed the previous two times.
Madagascar should be very interesting!

Kind regards

Kaye
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May 21st, 2015, 07:34 PM
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Hi Kaye -

Sounds like a terrifying experience for the German couple! I am guessing they were in the Democratic Republic of Congo, probably Goma(since they were close to the Ugandan border), rather than the Republic of Congo (which, as I understand it, is generally safer and more politically stable). That said, I'm happy to be visiting Madagascar and am looking forward to the lemurs!

I'm happy to hear you enjoyed not one, but two experiences with the gorillas in Rwanda! I've read some packing tips on this site and am starting to assemble all of my "gear," but anything in particular you were really happy you packed? Anything you wish you had brought but didn't?

Abby
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May 21st, 2015, 09:57 PM
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Pity about the Congo, I'm sorry to hear Wilderness had to leave.
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May 22nd, 2015, 03:14 AM
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Hi Abby
No all I took were a couple of lightweight easy to dry long pants and wore a tshirt with a few layers over it. We went once in June and once in February. Evenings were cool/cold but I mainly did the walking portion just in tshirt, really watching my arms for nettles! The last trip really appreciated the gators, mainly for mud as so muddy, very slippery mud, and the gators helped keep me slightly cleaner. The lodge we stayed supplied them each morning and cleaned them and our boots each time we returned. So no really special gear and no, didn't take anything I didn't use.
My best piece of advice would be to use the porters. I had 2 nieces with me only one had a backpack, but still hired 3 porters and they helped by carrying our two backpacks and helping the 3 of us, though mainly me, up and down the tricky bits, more tricky bits than smooth sailing bits. By giving them a job, that means they have an income to support their family and do not need to resort to poaching. They do not receive any wages so the US$10 they request is not their tip, so if they do a good job, and I have no doubt they will, I would add extra for a tip. Not all get a chance to work every day and I am astounded at how many people do not use the porters. We all want to help save the gorillas, and by going there we do! By hiring the porters we do an even better job at helping the gorillas!!!

Kind regards

Kaye
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