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Rwanda in September: lodgings, clothes, money

Ottawa, Canada
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103 posts
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Rwanda in September: lodgings, clothes, money

Hello again, folks, back again with new practical questions.

Recap on itinerary: Following 2 weeks in Tanzania (southern circuit), I'll be in Rwanda September 19 through 24, 2 nights in Step Down Motel in Kigali upon arrival and prior to departure, 3 nights in Gorilla Mountain View Lodge, 1 golden monkey trek, 2 gorilla treks. Driver/guide from Primate Safaris (Practical Lady, if you see this, I'll be requesting guide Sura).

I've just received traveller tips from my TO. The document recommends more cold weather and waterproof clothing than I had been intending to bring, including "warm waterproof anorak", "light rain gear including waterproof trousers" and "hiking gaiters".

I had already planned on a light rain jacket and quick dry pants to wear over lightweight jeans, and I'm fine for boots, long sleeved shirts, gardening gloves for nettles, etc., and I will have a fleecy jacket. Can anyone give me some practical feedback on whether I'll probably need a warm anorak at that time of year? waterproofing generally? On the gaiters, it was my understanding that the Gorilla Mountain View provided gaiters - true or not?

I was a bit surprised that the tip doc for Tanzania suggested not all lodges may have mosquito netting. Does the GMV?

On $, the doc suggested $5 USD per guide and $2 each for ranger and tracker. This is lower than the amounts I've seen on various TA threads, which suggest, I thought, $10 each for all, including porter. What does anyone think?

Who, and in what currency, should I be tipping at Kigali hotel and GMV lodge?

I am hoping that in the afternoons after trekking, assuming the treks are short enough, I will be able to get to Lake Kivu one day, and Lake Burera and the Rugezi Birding site on another. Can anyone comment on either side trip or suggest others?

Finally, given the short amount of free time I'll have in the country, I'm still not clear how many RW francs I should get - $50 worth? more? would small gift shops accept USD?

Sorry for long-windedness, thanks in advance for input.

Intare Safaris Rwanda
Nature & Wildlife Tours, Safaris
Devine African Safaris
Cultural Tours, Safaris, Multi-day Tours, Hiking & Camping Tours, Nature & Wildlife Tours
A Step Into Nature Tours
Nature & Wildlife Tours, 4WD, ATV & Off-Road Tours, Hiking & Camping Tours, Safaris, Multi-day Tours
tennessee
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263 posts
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1. Re: Rwanda in September: lodgings, clothes, money

I can answer a couple of your questions. It was not that cold when I was there in Feb., but waterproof jacket and fleece under would be fine, I never used either but I can see where they might be nice. I took waterproof jacket on the gorilla trek but didn't need it there either. Long sleeve shirt for the nettles but otherwise short sleeved would have been fine. MGV had no mosquito nets, but at high altitude I don't think they are a problem-never saw a single one. Prices for porter and little souvenir shop was in US dollars, so that is what I paid. A restaurant and bar quoted Francs so I paid that when asked. For the treks, I paid a total of $45 to porter, guides and guard. At the start of the trek they said at least $10 was mandatory for the porter. I paid him $15 as we had a fairly easy trek. I hope this helps. Try not to over pack or over plan. (Easier said than done I know)

Ottawa, Canada
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103 posts
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2. Re: Rwanda in September: lodgings, clothes, money

Thanks for very practical info - and common sense approach - I am trying, but give in to newby doubt at least weekly in the run-up.

tennessee
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263 posts
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3. Re: Rwanda in September: lodgings, clothes, money

I meant to comment on gaiters. I saw some equipment at MGV but can't be sure it included gaiters. I just tucked my pants into my hiking socks and this worked well.

4. Re: Rwanda in September: lodgings, clothes, money

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