Nyungwe Forest Lodge is a brand new luxury property within the Nyyngwe National Park. The lodge lies in a tea plantation on the edge of the forest and features 24 suites each with private decks, air-conditioning, a fireplace, en suite facilities with a shower and flat screen TV.
Serena Mountain Village - very nice! Tarangire - Great park. Best elephant and lion viewing experiences on the trip. From what I heard from other travelers, I'm glad we chose Tarangire over Lake Maranyara.
Tarangire Treetops - Great lodge, very friendly staff. One of the nicest places we've ever stayed. The night drive was just OK (but I think that was largely due to the fact that Ephata had taken us on a spectacular game drive during the day - so our senses were already overflowing). The walking safari was also just OK. If I had to do it over again, I probably would've stayed at a less upscale lodge inside the park itself, as there was definitely less wildlife around the grounds of our lodge as compared to the lodges we saw in the park.
Driving from one location to another, rather than flying - I met many travelers who flew from Ngorongoro (or wherever) directly to the Northern Serengeti. I also read a few guidebooks stating that flying from spot to spot may have been better. I couldn't disagree more . We saw so much of the country - including spectacular wildlife - while driving that I think it would have been a huge mistake to fly from spot to spot.
Ngorongoro Crater - Spectacular. Ngoronogoro Wildlife Lodge - Obviously just an OK lodge, but the view was fantastic. Glad we stayed on the rim despite the quality of the lodge.
Serengeti Shared Safari Camp - Loved it. Really liked Camp Manager Abu. Food was phenomenal. Just a great experience - amazing the comforts that were provided at this non - permanent camp.
Sayari Lodge - Wonderful, just wonderful. Probably one of the places I will remember all my life. Phenomenal food. Also, kudos to you for putting us in the Northern Serengeti in October - we were able to see two awesome Wildebeest river crossings. Flight from Tanzania to Rwanda (on Coastal Airlines (?)). Excellent. Very smooth and safe. Surprised at how well that went.
Manor Hotel - Good, but took some getting used to after the spectacular places we stayed at in Tanzania. Good location, great view. They gave us a horrible room at first, but moved us when we asked for a different room. Getting the shower to work right was an adventure. Food was good. Drive from Kigali to Nyungwe - Reasonable drive time. Decent lunch at stopover point. I would probably suggest passing on the museums along the way - I would've rather spent my time at either the Kigali Genocide Memorial or at one of the smaller local memo rials on the way.
Nyungwe Forest Lodge - Gorgeous. Probably our second favorite lodge on the trip. Excellent food, nice staff, fantastic rooms. Loved how the rain forest came right up to our room (gave us some good monkey viewing one night). Chimp trek - A LOT harder than we expected. Would suggest only your fittest clients take this trek, as we were literally running up and down muddy hills in the rain forest (with no trails) chasing after the chimps. We were not mentally prepared. Seeing the chimps was very cool though, and my wife now thinks she is an expert hiker as a result of that trek. Colobus Monkey Trek - very cool.
Drive from Nyungwe to Volcanoes - I would recommend you let your clients know that this is a very long drive (9 hours) - we were not mentally prepared for it was quite a rough ride (but the destination ended up being well worth it).
Gorilla Mountain View Lodge - Very basic, as you said. Took some getting used to after all of the great lodges we were in, but in the end we were g lad we stayed there and saved the money. The staff was really wonderful, and the views were great. They just need to work on their bathrooms and the place would be excellent. Food was OK. Golden Monkey Trekking - Good stuff. Gorilla Trekking - What more can be said, an experience of a lifetime. Just fantastic. Not enough superlatives can be said. Drive from Volcanoes to Rwanda - very easy, only 2.5 hours or so. Kigali Memorial Center - Should be mandatory for anyone going to RwanRead More