RWANDA GORILLAS

Hello everyone. Is there anyone reading the forum who has already taken either of the Tauck tours that visit the Mountain Gorilla In Rwanda. I’m looking for feedback on how they experienced those three days in Rwanda and the treks to the gorillas. Any input would be greatly appreciated. Thank you

Comments

  • We were on a Bridges tour in Tanzania in December and I asked our tour guide about Rwanda. Knowing it’s a pretty strenuous tour, I asked her about that and she said sometime tourists are CARRIED for this tour. I was surprised at this!

  • We go in December. I know it is strenuous, but that’s crazy. We met someone last year who was going on the first tour that went in May. There are a couple of others before we go. I guess you get what you pay for, so if I need to be carried, I deserve it, I’ve spent thousands and thousands on Tauck tours 🤪🤪😀😀

  • British- there is no guarantee that you will have a Silverback encounter, is there? I suppose they must be pretty certain it will happen. I can't imagine the bad press if anyone doesn't experience an encounter, especially at the additional cost over a standard K&T!!

  • One of the reasons for the high cost is that the encounters with the gorillas requires a permit which in the past year has gone up from $750 to $1500 each. So that part is out of Tauck’s hands.

  • British: I am signed up for the December Kenya / Rwanda trip as well. Would be nice to be carried up the mountain but I have increased my daily walk to get ready just in case! I am concerned about some language I saw in the original marketing documents about this trip (but can’t find right now) that states if we show any signs of illness on the day of the gorilla trek we cannot participate. I am worried about someone in the group catching a cold (or worse) on the flight over and spreading that among the group - I have had that happen on other tours. I checked with Tauck and no insurance payment will be made if this occurs. I have made several other trips to Africa and I am doing this trip mostly to see the gorillas so not being able to do this would be a major disappointment.

    I too am hoping someone who was on the May trip or who will take the August trip will post here - the “Reviews” section still is not live on this revised web site.

    I am looking forward to meeting you.

  • Great, looking forward to meeting you too. Yes, we have caught colds from others on Tauck tours too and yet we rarely catch colds at home. Yes, nothing we can do about it. I wonder if there is an alternative worthwhile activity if someone becomes ill. We exercise a lot, but need to add lots of hills to our regime and maybe we should be staring in the hot humid weather in our area of the US. But right now I am at Heathrow airport on our way to our first Tauck River Cruise. As you have probably read, this will be trip number 6 to Africa for us. If I don’t get to see the gorillas, I’ll be more upset about the wasted money than anything else. Crazy I know, but at least we will be surrounded by Africa, there’s no place like it for us.
    Mr B just pointed out, that as we are going in December, we are more likely to be surrounded by people with colds or fevers. I wonder if they take our temperatures like I have seen on arrival to some countries, I would not be surprised.

  • I think Mr. B is right but there is not much we can do about it - maybe face masks on the planes! Hope you enjoy your river cruise - which river will you be on? I just got back from the new Tauck Naples, Capri and Amalfi trip and it was fabulous - beautiful scenery and wonderful hotels and activities. I am doing the Adriatic Treasures tour in September so looking forward to that as well as the gorillas. Be safe and have a wonderful holiday.

  • Smacks, I sent you a private message with pics. Try clicking onto my logo and see if you can find it.

  • smarks50 and British: I can't imagine missing this experience of a lifetime because some cold bug ran through the group! As I have mentioned in previous posts, I have gotten terrible colds from fellow travelers (one in close places ...safari truck...and the other from an indiscriminate cougher in India). Among the other proactive meds, I now carry a few tabs of Airborne to hopefully ward off any cold bugs. It has actually been pretty effective. Mind over matter? Who knows, but I haven't been felled since I've been carrying it! British, I know you have a medical background, so perhaps you could weigh in on its efficacy. I recently saw another product Coldkicker . I know nothing about it, but it sounds like a similar product (available on Amazon).

  • edited July 2019

    Hello Joyce! We are on a tour just now, mr B is the absolute drug expert but he is sound asleep. I have a nursing background. I just looked it up. The first thimg that jumps out is that it has not been approved by the FDA but is mainly vitamin supplements. If you take any medication at all, it would be prudent to talk to your doctor before you take anything like this Incase it reacts with your meds, It could stop them working, or making the combination dangerous. I don’t rake vitamins apart from calcium and vitamin D, though they are one thing I am not good at remembering to take because it interferes with the absorption of my synthroid meds, So I can’t take the calcium and D within four hours of that or it reduces absorption. So that’s a good example of your dr knowing about anything else you take.Hand washing and keeping your hands away from your face remain the gold standard, the latter being very difficult because we constantly subconsciously touch our faces.

  • We were on the first mountain gorilla safari in May/June. It was INCREDIBLE! From reading all the post, it seems everyone is concerned with the trek up the mountain. We were in the group that went the farthest and highest of our tour. It was strenuous, but we all had individual porters by our side all the way. We stopped every little bit to hydrate and catch our breath.Yes, there is an option of being carried. I don’t know the cost of that but Seth (our director) can make that happen. We had two that were carried. They were in the group that stayed at a lower elevation and didn’t have to travel as far to get to their gorilla family. All of us in our group had close encounters with our gorilla families. It was one of the many highlights of this whole safari expedition.

  • Peggy P. It is so good to hear from someone who has actually experienced this trip. I am going in December. Hope you don’t mind a few preliminary questions:
    1). Was anyone prohibited from the gorilla trek because of illness (colds or similar)? I am really concerned about that given the financial and travel commitments of this trip.
    2). Are special climbing boots necessary for the gorilla trek or will gym/general exercise shoes do? Are dressy clothes needed at the Mt. Kenya Safari Club? I understand this lodge generally has a “coat & tie” type of dress code for the evening.

    Any other information you can offer will be much appreciated.

  • Also so happy to hear from you Peggy.
    We will not be taking any dressy clothes, maybe one smart thing only but for my hubby it will not be coat and tie. We have been on Safari so many times, we have never seen anything like that. Admittedly the hotels are not the same then when we originally took the tour but this topic had been covered before and there will be other non Tauck people at the Four Seasons I understand, but they will not be the Tauck people.
    If we can afford this very expensive tour, do we really have to ‘prove’ that we have dressy clothes by taking them. We will probably not be even taking wedding rings, just cheap watches.

  • Peggy, I have a pair of low profile waterproof LLBean walking shoes for the hike, since there is more chance of rains then, but my usual Merrill’s shoes as backup. I also have a thicker pair of pants than my usual Safari ones that I can tuck into my socks because of the risk of fire ants. I hope I am thinking on the right lies here.

  • Hopefully, I can answer some of your questions. Travel comfortably. No dressy clothes are needed, necessary or required anywhere. Keep in mind, you are using a duffel bag moving from location to location. At the end of a day bouncing around in a safari vehicle, cleaning up, eating dinner and sharing experiences with our fellow travelers was all that was important. As far as the gorilla trek, no one was prohibited from making the journey. We met with a gorilla doctor the day before our trek. We were informed about how easily they could get diseases from us. Coughing and sneezing can happen anytime, so we were told how to use our arms to block those germs. If someone is truly ill, they probably shouldn’t attempt the trek. As far as shoes go, I had on boots mostly for some ankle support. Keep in mind it can be very muddy (sometimes 6” deep). If need to have something on that won’t get stuck in the mud. It’s hard to get a shoe back on if it’s filled with mud. Our group went through a bamboo forest with vines covering the path with many tripping hazards along the way. As long as any hiking shoe you wear can be tied up tight and is comfortable, it should be fine. Our director arranged to have our shoes cleaned as soon as we got back to the hotel. They came back cleaner than before we started.

    I’m happy to answer any questions I can. You should be getting an email from your director a week or two before you leave. If it’s Seth, I can guarantee you will be taken care of completely.

  • Thank you Peggy. I really hope it’s Seth who heads our tour, I have only ever heard great things about him but never had him on our previous tours.

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