Two years ago I had a great cycling tour on the Congo Nile Trail with Mansuet. This year I returned to Rwanda with my daughter. We couldn't afford the gorillas, so Mansuet recommended Nyungwe National Park, a US AID-funded eco tourism project to protect the Nyungwe rain forest and provide employment for the local communities. Absolutely fantastic and under-visited. We had two days in the park, which is a haven for 13 species of primates, dozen of rare birds, and extraordinary orchids, ferns, etc. The park fees and simple, clean accommodations are very reasonable, making the trip affordable. We saw chimpanzees, colobus monkeys, and blue monkeys. The waterfalls were gorgeous, the hiking extraordinary (70% of the rain that falls on Rwanda falls in the park). The park boasts a lengthy canopy walk across a swinging bridge, 300 meters from the ground--safe and stunning (though many people apparently start and say "no thanks."). You have to actually trek a bit in Nyungwe as the wildlife is actually wild--which we appreciated. And no crowds of tourists, ever. Green Hills planned everything with care. The driver was courteous and drove safely. Mansuet was very clear about what was included in the package and what we had to pay for while there--no confusion whatsoever. And when we asked to change dates by a day he did so quickly. I know people love the gorillas, but I've been to Rwanda three times and am still amazed at how many days of travel, adventure and wildlife you can have for the cost of a half-day visit to the Gorillas. Of course, when I finally do get around to the Gorillas, I will go with Green Hills.
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