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July 2014, Liz and Mike Lang
14 Day-Plains and Primate Safari to Tanzania and Rwanda

14 Day Group Tanzania Tented Safari and Rwanda Gorilla Trekking - East Africa Combo **** SELECT **** **** SELECT ****

Overall Trip Experience Rating: 

Countries Visited: 

We had a remarkable time. What special places Tanzania and Rwanda are. Beautiful country, people, and animals! We are appreciative of how seamlessly the trip unfolded. Each new safari team knew their itinerary, worked effortlessly with the preceding team, and allowed us to keep our focus on our adventure.

Ndarakwai: What a great way to start a safari. Small, intimate, not overwhelming, inviting. This was our first time getting this close to the African wildlife. This certainly primed the pump for what was to come. The opportunity to visit the Masai, with their beautiful, innocent children, was special, particularly since our guide from the ranch knew this particular village.

Tarangire: Beautiful, breathtaking, grand. From the Baobab trees, to the giraffes and the majestic elephants, to the sunsets and sunrises, it was all so awe-inspiring. The symphony of experiences was in its second part, building with excitement, as each day presented something new and marvelous.

Northern Serengeti: The excitement and Wow! moments continue to build. The unbelievable expanse and beauty of the Serengeti is match by the sheer numbers of animals and the beautiful dance of nature on display. Each location different from the others yet tied together. The sequence of parks seemed designed to show this woven tapestry of nature in its best light.

Volcanoes National Park: This is definitely the crescendo to the entire trip, for its intimacy with this impressive relative of ours, to the effort needed to experience that intimacy, to the sheer excitement of being one of few to experience the intimacy with the gorillas. To have a black-back gorilla brush up behind you or to have a three year old gorilla sit on your foot and hold onto your leg, as we experienced, is unforgettable. One can never look at wildlife again without knowing they are sentient beings worthy of our respect and understanding and protection.

Guide Experience Rating: Excellent

Wilfred Mollel (Tanzania): Punctual, congenial, professional, liked him from the first moment we met him. Extremely knowledgeable, listened well and anticipated our wants and needs. We trusted him and his judgment and benefited daily for doing so. We were in excellent hands while with Wilfred…We loved every minute with Wilfred and feel our time in Arusha and Tarangire were richer because of him. Can't say enough good things about him. He represented your company in a stellar fashion.

Baraka (Olakira Camp): Baraka had big shoes to fill after our experience with Wilfred, but he filled them easily. We learned that he has trained most of the guides at Olakira and we benefited from his experience, often being the first on the scene to a magical moment on the Serengeti. He was professional, courteous, punctual, knowledgeable, friendly. He, too, anticipated our needs and wants, accommodating us at every turn. He, too, enriched our experience because of his extensive experience and knowledge of the Serengeti. Could not have asked for a better driver or guide.

Bernard (Rwanda): Met at the airport in Kigali, taken to the hotel, briefed on our itinerary in a professional and inviting manner. His wealth of knowledge and intimate experience of being a local, like the other two guides before him, contributed to our understanding and love of the country and its people. From the drive to the Jack Hanna house, with our never-ending questions and his relevant and informed answers, to the gorilla family sorting process, to the heart-wrenching Genocide Memorial, Bernard was with us, advocating, explaining, comforting, sharing. He was more than a hired guide. He, like the others before him, became our friend in country, allowing us to see his country through his eyes and understanding, making our experience greater than it could have been without him. And, like the other two guides, Wilfred and Baraka, through their efforts they have created in us ambassadors for their countries, as we go home and tell our family and friends about our life changing adventure and experience in East Africa.

Accommodation Experience Rating: 


The selection of lodging was superb. The guides were professional, knowledgeable, and congenial. The sequencing of the parks was like a symphony, each part flowing and building with the next, with the finale being the Mountain Gorillas.

Machweo Wellness Retreat: Beautiful location, outstanding service. Unfortunately, none of us were there long enough to fully appreciate the amenities.

Ndarakwai Ranch: Rustic, natural, inviting accommodations. Eric, our host, and his entire staff were friendly, helpful, inviting, entertaining, and professional. Really liked this location because the staff was so great. Great way to start our safari adventure.

Olakira Mara: What a beautiful site for a camp. The staff was friendly, interested, attentive, professional. From the top management down everyone made us feel at home. Tents, food, service were all top notch.

Kigali Serena Hotel: Outstanding hotel and staff. Attentive to our every need or want, eager to please. Rooms were spacious and comfortable, food delicious, service excellent, location perfect.

Jack Hanna's House: Beautiful location. Felt like being home. Staff was exceptionally efficient, friendly, professional. Probably more than we needed since our group had shrunk to 3, but we thoroughly enjoyed our stay.

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This may have been more than you asked for but how can one express their experience in East Africa in a few words. We are not done with Africa. We will be back.

Thanks again for helping us create the vacation and experience of a lifetime!