Back home, jet lag just wok up after a late afternoon nonconsensual nap. I expect a week of this.
Overall, we were pretty thrilled with our trip. Rwanda was totally wonderful. Interacting with the gorillas is a lifetime experience. The way they look at you, that they see you and you them, and you all realize how similar you all are. At least, that was my sense. A deeply moving experience. The lodge was fine. The food wasn’t totally great, and they did a bit of upsell on things we didn’t really need, like gloves, but they also rented things we really did need, like gator pants and shoe guards, and after each trek they cleaned shoes to like new. I would say I was overall happy with the lodge.
Lucky, our driver for our time in Rwanda, was truly excellent. We have traveled far and wide, have gone all over the world with the strategy of getting a car and a driver. We’ve had a good dozen of them at least, and we agree that Lucky is the best we’ve ever experienced. He’s full of knowledge and can answer almost all questions, but he doesn’t just rattle off all the time. He’s clearly an open, kind person who genuinely cares about his culture and his people, but he doesn’t try to push any specific agenda. He got a good sense of the kind of people we are, and suggested things he surmised we would like. He was solicitous without overdoing it, totally efficient and a great driver. He’s a real gem. Meeting him was one of our highlights.
The Sanctuary Camp was also excellent. The food was good, the service impeccable. The guys were sweet, funny, engaged, and they really pushed us to learn at least a little Swahili, which I admired. They made a wonderful celebration for our anniversary. Our guide, Filbert, was another who knew when to be telling us stories and when to be quiet to let us have experiences. His stories were amazing! Also, his knowledge felt really extensive. I learned a lot, came away with whole new edifices of understanding, which is one of my favorite things. I love absorbing new bodies of knowledge.He did a great job of teaching without seeming overly didactic.
The only thing I would say was less than great involves the driver we have for most of our days in Arusha, Andre. For our four days in Arusha, we had Andre for three and then, on the day we went through Arusha National Park, we had Gerard. As we’d mostly experienced, Gerard was excellent. Funny. smart, accessible. We loved him, and learned a lot going through the park with him.
The overall operation for whom Andre worked seemed fine.They did end up charging us another additional $20 after we paid what they, through you, had asked us to agree to pay for Arusha National Park. They said they had experienced an unexpected fee. If we weren’t already uncomfortable with Andre, though, we wouldn’t even have noticed. But like I said, Gerard, from the same outfit, was excellent. I realize our last minute booking on that last leg probably didn’t work to our advantage. And really, we’re pretty thrilled with everything you arranged.
We did have a great time in Arusha. We visited some Masai places, a village, a Masai run tourist spot, a couple Masai markets, and we feel like we learned a lot about that culture in conversation with people there. We really enjoyed that experience.
Overall, we are extremely satisfied customers. We didn’t expect to like Africa as much as we did, and now we feel we’re very likely to return. And when we do, we will most definitely use your services again. You did a really great job, Gemma, of suggesting strategies for us and putting us together with outfits that really fit our aesthetic. I’m truly impressed, and also have great gratitude, by and for your excellent work. Thanks again!
I tried to write a review but it seems I have to sign up for the service that posts the reviews, which I’m always hesitant to do since they tend to send follow-up emails. Let me know if that’s truly useful for you to have or whether what I’ve written here suffices. I know I’m really wordy. Thanks for your patience with my long email!
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