Rwanda Journals

Gorillas and more in Rwanda

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A September 2011 trip to Rwanda by catsholiday

Quote: We spent a few days in Rwanda most specifically to see the gorillas in the Parc des Volcans near Ruhengeri in the north of the country.

Helpful tips for visiting Rwanda

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Story/Tip

Quote:
RwandaA BIT OF BACKGROUNDWe primarily went to Rwanda because it is one of only two countries where it is possible to see gorillas and is safe for tourists, the other being Uganda; the Democratic Republic of Congo also has gorillas but is not really recommended as a tourist destination.Prior to going I read several books about Rwanda and most concentrated on the time of the Genocide in 1994 so I wasn’t sure what to expect on arrival. I have an old school friend who works for the Red Cross and he said he had been several times in the last few years and found it a really safe place compared to some countries he has been. In fact he said he felt safer walking around Kigali at night...Read More

Iby’Iwacu Cultural Village

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Attraction | "Grinding Corn,Shooting arrows and Dancing"

Quote:
This is the second part of our visit to this Cultural Village.THE BLACKSMITHThis man sat in a very small hut and had a pair of bellows worked by two sticks which I had to go and try. He popped his furry hat on my head and so I looked even more ridiculous in the tent with him. Amazingly this small fire got iron hot enough the shape into different things for the villagers.GRINDING SORGHUMHaving operated the bellows so skilfully I was shown how to grind the grain on a stone and had to go and try my hand at this skill too. It wasn’t that hard to grind and so it was actually a pretty efficient method but quite hard work if you had to do any great quantity....Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on October 10, 2011

Iby’Iwacu Cultural Village

Rwanda, Africa

Iby’Iwacu Cultural Village

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Attraction | "Queen for half an hour!"

Quote:
Iby Iwacu Culture Village – RwandaNormally my husband and I steer clear of places like this having been caught out badly by the ‘Maori Experience’ in Rotorua, New Zealand and the Masai Village in Kenya where I had to join in the dancing, the Moroccan Bely Dance that my husband had to join in this list goes on of the cringe worthy experiences we have been forced to attend and many others where we have disappeared to the toilet just prior to them hauling people up to join in. We were rather reluctant to go to this but our guide seemed quite determined so we agreed.The Village is just outside the National Park and was set up to give poachers and their families a means of earning m...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on October 10, 2011

Iby’Iwacu Cultural Village

Rwanda, Africa

Mountain Gorilla View Lodge

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Hotel | "Much more than just a huge room"

Quote:
I have described the room and the welcome in a previous reviewTHE GROUNDSThe view from our large picture window was of the mountain that was the border of the Congo, Uganda and Rwanda. If you climbed to the top you could stand in each of the countries but it would have been some climb as I think it is about 5,000 feet but through rainforest jungle terrain.The grounds were lovely with plants flowering, a lot of blue hydrangeas and many others that I didn’t recognise. An ibis was sitting in front of our ‘house’ on the grass and the next morning with had two large heron sitting on our roof. The sounds of animals calling in the distance plus the birds singing and sounds from ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on October 10, 2011

Mountain Gorilla View Lodge
Volcanoes National Park
Ruhengeri, Rwanda

Mountain Gorilla View Lodge

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Hotel | "Wow! What a big room!"

Quote:
Mountain Gorilla View Lodge – RwandaWe stayed here for two nights in order to see the ‘Gorillas in the Mists’. We had flown from Heathrow at 8pm via Nairobi and on to Kigali. By the time we arrived in Kigali we had been travelling about 23 hours. We then did a few things in Kigali before driving two hours to get here. We were pretty sleep deprived by the time we arrived as you can imagine so we very happy to get to the hotel.ARRIVINGAs we turned off the main road onto the driveway to the hotel we both commented in the fact that had we been driving ourselves we probably wouldn’t have driven up that road. It was rocks about 6 inches square. It really had to be seen to be believed...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on October 10, 2011

Mountain Gorilla View Lodge
Volcanoes National Park
Ruhengeri, Rwanda

Kigali Genocide Memorial Centre

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Attraction | "A very Powerful Memorial"

Quote:
Genocide Memorial Centre – KigaliThe centre was set up by a joint partnership of the Kigali City Council and the Aegis Trust which is based in the UK. The Aegis Trust was the inspiration of two Jewish men after they had visited sites in Israel.The centre has a number of aims. One was to provide a respectful place of rest for the many bodies found in the area after the 1994 genocide. The second was to be a place of education so that future generations of Rwandans will not forget the atrocities and understand what families went through and by this hopefully prevent it happening again. The third was to inform abut other genocides and once educate people so that it might never happ...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on October 9, 2011

Kigali Genocide Memorial Centre
Gisozi
Kigali, Rwanda

La Fringale Restaurant

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Restaurant | "Eating Chez Lando"

Quote:
We stayed almost a whole night at the Chez Lando hotel prior to leaving for our flight at some ungodly hour from Kigali.DINNERDinner was part of our deal so having washed and rested for a while we made our way over towards the restaurant. What is nice about this hotel is that the bar is popular with local people who enjoy a drink or two after work and also the restaurant is used by non residents of the hotel too. We chose to eat at the restaurant as the bar was very busy and we didn’t want to sit outside in case there were mosquitoes and we hadn’t put repellent on.The restaurant was quite busy but we were seated despite being dressed like weary travellers as opposed to so...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on October 9, 2011

La Fringale Restaurant
Chez Lando Hotel
Kigali, Rwanda

Hotel Chez Lando

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Hotel | "Lovely grounds and okay bedroom"

Quote:
We stayed almost a night in this hotel. We arrived about three in the afternoon and were collected for our 1 am flight at 10pm in the evening. The hotel is in a perfect location for this as it was only ten minutes drive from the airport.First impressions of the Reception area was a bit chaotic as someone was complaining about the fact that they were quoted $60 US a night and now they were saying it was $70Us. Another couple were checking in and our guide was talking to the Receptionist while he was trying to keep our passport and my husband said no he wanted it back. The area wasn’t large and there was a seating area but not really the place where you would want to sit for too long....Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on October 9, 2011

Hotel Chez Lando
B.P. 1519
Kigali, Rwanda

Volcanoes National Park (Parc des Volcans)

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Attraction | "Gorillas in the Sunshine - Part 2 we get there"

Quote:
Once you find your gorilla group you stay with then an hour but no longer and this is so that the gorillas do not become stressed. All the time we were with our group the guides made happy gorilla noises to keep them feeling content. You are told that if one charges you then you should sit down and look away – easier said than done I would imagine.Our group were perfectly happy and ignored us most of the time. They continued to eat and move through the forest with us behind. Then a couple of them found a tree with huge round squash and climbed up to pick them. They then sat and turned their backs on us to eat them. A mother and her baby sat and ate close by them baby went off with her sist...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on October 9, 2011

Volcanoes National Park (Parc des Volcans)
Bordering Virunga National Park
Ruhengeri, Rwanda

Volcanoes National Park (Parc des Volcans)

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Attraction | "Gorillas in the Sunshine - Part 1"

Quote:
Gorillas in the MistWe came to Rwanda specifically to see the Mountain gorillas that live in the mountains shared between Rwanda, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. In fact the hotel we stayed in ‘The Mountain Gorilla View Lodge’ looked out to the mountain that had the border of these three countries at the top. The area where we saw these wonderful creatures was in the Parc des Volcans National Park near Ruhengeri in Northwest Rwanda.BE PREPAREDPrior to leaving home we were given a list of dos and don’t s for the gorilla trek. We were advised to wear strong walking boots, warm clothes, a waterproof jacket and trousers if you wanted and to wear long socks to tuck ...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on October 9, 2011

Volcanoes National Park (Parc des Volcans)
Bordering Virunga National Park
Ruhengeri, Rwanda