Rwanda was wonderful. The Serena Hotel was all it should be. The staff welcoming when we arrived and very accommodating. Each time we returned they were delighted to welcome us back and did all they could to make our stay pleasant. Last night there was a jazz group performing by the pool. Very soothing after long trip back from Uganda.

Nyungwe is amazing. You should not miss it. Nor should you miss Nyanza, the old palace.

The best lodges were Clouds in Nkuringo and Nyungwe Forest Lodge. Neither of the Volcanoes lodges are of that caliber. The solar powered water system does not really work. They had to bring hot water and make a “bush” shower. This is fine, we have frequently had one in other lodges. Prefer they just program for that rather than having you stand for five minutes “waiting” for non existent warm water.

We were very fortunate that Maxine was at Virunga Safari Lodge when we were there. She gave our driver, Abbey names of art places to take us as well as restaurants rather than the Hôtel des Mille Collines. Problem is he does not have money to pay for “included” lunches unless he can sign for them at the Hôtel des Mille Collines. The buffet was pretty bad. Sitting around for too long with most dishes empty.

Abbey was a good driver. Excited about gorillas and very friendly. He was able to manage the money transfer from Kigali to Uganda so that I could get in another trek. In that way he was good. Also very patient waiting for us to fill out forms at border crossings. He was also accommodating and flexible.

The clients at Clouds and Nyungwe were more interesting than those we met at Virunga. At Bwindi we were the only ones. Strange to be in a completely empty lodge especially as Clouds was fairly full.

Jan is the Swiss manager of Clouds. He runs a very happy efficient lodge. He has two excitable dogs who love to greet everyone. Jan managed the arrangements for us to walk through the impenetrable forest to Buhoma! Reassured us as he had recently walked it.


  • Gorillas, Rwanda and Uganda
  • Clouds as a place to stay. The trekking from there more difficult than from Buhoma otherwise the habituated family is reported to be a great experience.
  • Nyungwe Forest Lodge as a place to stay and the activities were amazing.
  • Serena Hotel Kigali as city lodging was excellent.
  • Rosamond Carr’s place, after reading her book.


  • Lake Kivu Serena Hotel, boring as was the walk along the “Boardwalk”