"Gorilla Country" Kinigi by grets

Kinigi Travel Guide: 10 reviews and 16 photos

We are in Rwanda for one reason only - to see the gorillas.

Below is an extract from my diary written at the time:

Finally, after nearly an hour, we are through the barrier into no-mans-land, before another barrier takes us into Rwanda. Another hut, another immigrations officer; this time a very friendly and chatty man who helps us fill in the forms. The difference between Uganda and Rwanda is very noticeable; the people have a totally different attitude. The children along the road are now suddenly starting to beg ? we saw none of that in Uganda. They wave, hold their hands out and shout ?give me my pen!? As we turn off the main road up towards the national park, there seems to be hundreds of children around; groups of snotty nosed and filthy youngsters stand at the side of the road, singing to us ? in the hope that we are going to pay them of course; others run alongside the car asking for pens, money or empty bottles, one very aggressive child spits at the car when he realises we are not going to give him anything. The women?s clothing appears to be much more colourful in Rwanda than we saw in Uganda, there are more people just hanging around on the streets and they look very much poorer here. More obvious differences are that here in Rwanda they drive on the right, the lingua franca is French, and they are an hour behind Uganda in time.

If I thought the roads in Uganda were bad, they are nothing compared to the track that takes us through the village of Kinigi to the hotel. I have seen smoother dried-up river beds; the path really is just a collection of rocks surrounded by potholes, with some very steep sections that make for ?interesting? driving! Thank goodness for Four Wheel Drive! In the middle of all this poverty and primitiveness is an incongruous luxury ? Mountain Gorilla?s Nest Hotel. Previous tours spent the night in Kisoro in Uganda and merely nipping across the border for the day to see the gorillas, but Rwanda have now put a stop to that, insisting that if you want to go gorilla tracking in their park, you must spend the previous night in their hotel. I can?t say I blame them wanting to have a share of the revenue.


For gorillas, check out my Virunga page.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Gorillas
  • Cons:Steep, hilly mountain trekking
  • In a nutshell:Gorillas!
  • Last visit to Kinigi: Aug 2004
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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Reviews (7)

Comments (7)

  • Apr 5, 2006 at 11:43 AM

    How hard is it to rent a 4x4 in near kinigi or ruhengeri? and how much does it cost? Thanks

  • matcrazy1's Profile Photo
    Dec 9, 2004 at 1:48 PM

    Great experience and the trek was worth of tiring, I am sure!

  • tini58de's Profile Photo
    Oct 27, 2004 at 7:04 AM

    Lovely page - I love to read the excerpts from your diary, makes the whole page so vivid! Well done, Grete!

  • acemj's Profile Photo
    Sep 13, 2004 at 6:09 PM

    glad your experience wasn't as bad as that of the muddy americans!

  • BarbaraForza's Profile Photo
    Sep 3, 2004 at 2:19 AM

    Your diary description is great! What an exprience...welcome back!

  • sachara's Profile Photo
    Sep 2, 2004 at 4:51 AM

    Nice you're back and to hear the trek was not bad as hell and you did see the gorillas !!! I'm also very concerned, if I can manage it or not.

  • kyoub's Profile Photo
    Sep 1, 2004 at 6:39 AM

    Very interesting hotel and great pictures.


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