It was simply a fantastic trip and so well organized! We had the time of our lives and appreciate all that you did to make the trip so personal and special. Nuveen, our driver in Rwanda, stole our hearts. He is soft spoken, attentive, knowledgeable and a dear man. Meg and I plan to keep in touch with him.
We loved each of the places we stayed and were made to feel at home and like VIP’s- thank you for finding such different types of places to stay. The tented camp at Mashatu was exactly what we had hoped to experience despite the cold! The hot water bottles were our friends:) The food was AMAZING at Mashatu and they were kind enough to share the recipes. We loved the staff and our guide Danny. He was informative, charming, and knowledgeable. We found all types of animals!!!!! We went for walking safaris and for the mountain biking safari-
Serondella was AWESOME! We were the only people there! The staff was so accommodating and made us feel like Kings and Queens! The couple who managed the place were enthusiastic, attentive and thoughtful. Brian (we never saw his name tag, but think that is his name) taught us so much about the different animals, how to track, what to look for, what to notice about animal behavior, etc! We even saw an aardvark!!!! Once in a lifetime sighting. The cabins were beautiful, comfortable and well-appointed and the watering hole was like being present for the Lion King’s baptism! Every animal was there.
Johannesburg was such a quick visit that we did not get a chance to really see the city. If I ever get back to South Africa, I would like to spend a little more time there and visit Soweto.
Kigali was such an interesting city, and Chris was an enthusiastic tour guide. The Hotel Rwanda was an interesting place to stay, and full of history- the manager was not exactly the hero he was depicted to be. Thank you so much for getting the flowers to put on the mass graves at the Genocide Museum. That was sobering to say the least. How Rwanda recovered from that needs to be shared with our current American president right now! Rwanda is beautiful and we really enjoyed driving through the villages to get to the tea plantation and the gorgeous setting in Nygungwe Forest. We walked through the tea plantation and were fascinated by the miles of miles of tea reaching out to touch the mountain ranges. I, in particular, loved the amenities at the Nygungwe Forest Hotel. We sat out by the infinity pool and enjoyed the fires in the main reception area. I relaxed in a bath of Eucalyptus sea salts in the evenings before dinner. Our porch had a panoramic view of the mountains. Our waiter at night, Allain, was articulate and responsive to our every need. He even remembered what we had to eat and drink the previous night and was ready with our drinks almost prior to ordering!
Gorilla trekking was absolutely the most unbelievable experience we have ever had. It was challenging, strenuous, and an almost surreal experience. Nuveen saved the day by putting my SIM card into his camera as the outlet in our cabin was not working and had not charged our camera. I was so disappointed- but he was so quick-witted- he quickly thought of substituting the cameras and now Meg and I have pictures not only etched in our minds, but on film. Berenice, our guide the first day, has become our Facebook friend and has sent us iPad videos of the twin 5 month old babies with their mother. The intern, Claude, has emailed me several times and is anxious to develop an email friendship. These guides, trackers, and porters, got us down the mountain in an hour and a half, after taking us 3 hours to get up! They made sure that we had the best experience and got us to the car in time to get us to the airport.
Thank you as well for getting all of our flights, drivers, etc. together-I was able to move my seating to Delta Comfort which helped on the long flights. Your hard work provided us with memories for a lifetime and we appreciate all that you did. If you happen to have contact information for some of the guides, we would love to keep in touch with them. I know we will make it back one day and hope that I get a chance to as well. Job well done and sad to get back and get ready for school to start back again. Everything exceeded my imagination and was a trip I never dreamt I would ever get to experience. Thanks again.