Guest Story: Kerstin and Ronald
"All in all, a wonderful trip with many highlights, despite the unavoidable alteration. Thank you very much!"
Brief travelogue Rwanda – DR Congo – Uganda, 11. – 24.07.2018
(Kerstin and Ronald, translated from German)
We had booked several safaris with Doris and Across Africa before. Even during the time when she still lived in Cape Town before moving permanently to Uganda which she calls “her happy place”. The report of the following tour is based on the fact that we had initially booked a tour that included a visit to Virunga National Park in the DR Congo which had unfortunately be cancelled on very short notice due to political unrest in that area. Across Africa managed in no time to come up with suitable alternatives so that we did not have to cancel our planned trip but just had to adjust it a bit. Not being able to visit the active volcanoe Nyiragongo as well as the mountain gorillas in Virunga, is a good reason to come back…
Pick-up, airport transfer, meet the guide, very nice, knowledgable and kind person
**Hotel Flame Tree, everything great
Transfer with Samuel to Nyungwe Forest, car very comfortable (we didn't always have such a good car on other travels in Africa), Ethnological Museum - interesting
**Nyungwe Top View Hill Hotel very good (food, service, rooms, beautiful view, etc.)
Chimpanzee and colobus monkey tracking was well organized, good guides, all working well
Canopy Walk was great, interesting and exciting.
Note: There is now a small campsite in the forest with fixed tents. We didn't know about it either, but I think it's recommended for a night when you want a bit more authenticity. We would have done that, too.
Transfer into the Congo, everything worked out fine with the help of Sam (just took a while, so nothing for impatient people).
**Hotel Orchids Safari Club superb (nice complex, rooms very nice; service a bit slow, but not an issue for us)
Lowland-Gorilla-Tracking - extremely well organized, very nice guide, incredibly great experience
Express boat to the crossing to Goma was the La Emanuel 1, so no express boat. We got the tickets for the ship in the morning. Even on request we didn't get another boat. Since the crossing didn't take only 3 hours as announced, but about 6 hours, we renounced the lunch on the spot in Goma (It was too late in the afternoon and of course we wanted to see something from Goma). We explained this to Sam later. Crossing the border to Rwanda (was easier than coming down from the ship; controls in the Congo need patience). Altogether we found the short trial period in the DR Congo very interesting. We wouldn’t have missed it.
**Hotel Serena Lake Kivu is of course really luxurious (incredibly good service)
Congo Nile Trail, Stage 1
(unfortunately we had to quit) because Ronny was sick, but it was still interesting.
**Overnight at Cyimbiri Base Camp (very nice view, nice people, but the room was not very clean, but since the bed was clean, we didn't get upset about one night – another night I would have complained about it).
Congo Nile Trail, Stage 2
I hiked alone and enjoyed the beautiful scenery and especially the incredibly nice and open people. The guide was very nice, explained a lot, it was interesting. Was for me, who is not quite so fit, well doable, but certainly not by bike.
** Rushel Lodge very nice (good service, great location, nice rooms...)
Transfer and border crossing to Uganda easy, by foot. We then met our Ugandan driver guide Rogers on the other side.
Altogether the care and ride with Samuel, incl. the comfortable vehicle was great.
Rogers is a really good and nice driver!
** Reception at your Chameleon Hill Lodge was great. Superb service!
“Local Lunch Experience” - very interesting, also because the guide took his time to show us the village (e.g. medical center, school, market). Such deep insight into the life of a Ugandan family was very interesting for us.
Golden Monkey Tracking - was just great. They are so cuddly. Of course the drive there is a bit over an hour, but also the ascent is worth every meter.
“Best of Chameleon Hill” - we have swopped the bicycle part with Boda Bodas. Nothing for inexperienced “flatlanders”. The motorbike ride was a bit dusty (we got informed about it before), but I enjoyed it anyway. It would be good if the tourists would get helmets. We found the visit to the coffee farm another highlight. The coffee production was very interesting. We had never seen this before, especially not by hand. Boat trip was very relaxing, the landscape is simply great, the islands are interesting. Welcome in the community on the island very warm, they seem really isolated, hardly any educational opportunities. Skeleton Island was also interesting, although a little spooky, beautiful breeding colonies a beautiful view of your lodge.
Smooth trip to Kigali with dear Rogers. We didn't get to see the Genocide Memorial because it was closed due to the visit of the Chinese president (we found it inconsiderate). Rogers showed us another handicraft market because there was still so much time until the departure. We did some shopping there.
By the way, thank you very much for the wine!! It tasted delicious.
All in all, a wonderful trip with many highlights, despite the unavoidable alteration. Thank you very much!