If you’re looking for the next generation of East African tourism, you’ve found it in this travel company. The owner and guide sets the bar high in luxury travel. My husband and I just returned from our 14 day adventure with this travel planner as our tour guide with driver. While we went in search of gorillas and golden monkeys we came home with real life real life experiences of culture, people, politics and the rich and complicated histories of Uganda and Rwanda. Our photograph album will only tell part of the story. What can’t be captured by the photographs is our travel planner's attentiveness to every detail, our shared laughter, contagious excitement we all felt when we finally discovered the hidden away group of lions and the connection with our planner when he shared stories about his own growing up in Uganda. We had the usual trip highlights that other reviewers describe but for us some of the most memorable moments happened when we detoured from “the plan“ and took a “side road”. One example was when our planner took us to his beloved primary school and introduced us to his 97-year-old teacher who he visits regularly in her home which was his former school. This tender interaction demonstrated his caring nature which he applies with passion on behalf of his guests. Another side road adventure took place when we passed a Hot Springs. This crowded spring is the gathering point where throngs of people seek therapeutic relief found in the magical water. This spontaneous activity provided us with education, laughter and a true look at the community. Finally, on our last day our planner surprised us with a plan to have lunch at the hotel featured in the movie Hotel Rwanda. He knew how moved we had both been by the film which tells the story of the horrors of the genocide that took place in Rwanda. One thousand people were saved in this hotel. Lunch, overlooking the beautiful countryside, was a stark contrast to the genocide museum that we visited later that day. Any review of this company needs to also shine a spotlight on our driver, who safely drove over some frightening roads and kept us safe for 14 days. But this driver is much more than a driver. He is also a highly educated man with many years in the travel industry and offered a perfect counterbalance to our planner's talents. As a traveler this industry is exploding and you have many options. We would recommend that you place a winning bet and choose this company and it’s owner. He indeed is a rising star with a vision and a plan to deliver the best customer service possible.
While the tracking for mountain gorillas, chimps and golden monkeys inspired the idea for the trip and were true highlights, some of the "unplanned adventures" were also highlights. Described above was a visit to our travel planner's elementary school teacher. Other unplanned "trip treasures" included our spontaneous decision to go to a hot spring we passed along the way. We truly got to see hundreds of people, young and old, in search of healing from the therapeutic water. We laughed for a long time after this stop off about how we were able dip ailing feet into the hot springs, feeling much better afterwards. While I might have liked less time in the car between our stopovers, my husband and I both felt that the miles of driving and just taking in the breathtaking landscapes, passing through town after town, unexpected animals on the road and the endless stream of those on foot carrying treasured supplies on their heads or bicycles; these all left lasting impressions about the life and lifestyles of those who live very far away from what we know in Boston! At the end of 14 days together and about 1500 miles of travel, many personal stories were shared between our travel planner and our driver (our skilled driver and so much more), Jim and I; we became soulmates for this journey.
I am not sure i would do much. One or two of the lodges were not all that we expected; a few were over the top in terms of services, setting and comfort! When problems came up at any of the lodges, our travel planner was an advocate to get the problem resolved!
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