We selected Wildlife Tours Rwanda because we wanted our tourist dollars to benefit the wildlife and people of those countries. What we got was an extraordinary, authentic journey through Rwanda and Tanzania with experiences and memories so enriching, we consider them part of a college education for our 15 and 16 year old sons. There is simply no equation to measure the value of such a trip: it is priceless. We thank Wildlife Tours Rwanda and Davidson Mugisha, our guide for this!
David's dedication to service and quality was evident from my initial queries and the planning stage. We are a family of four with teenage boys and I sent dozens of e-mails asking questions, follow-up questions, and clarifications. With each of my concerns, David responded thoroughly, patiently, and rapidly. He used his in-depth knowledge and broad connections throughout Rwanda and Tanzania to develop an itinerary for us that covered three very full weeks, loaded with variety, intensity, and rest when needed. He had firsthand knowledge of the places we stayed and always kept our safety, comfort, and goals in mind. He shared his extensive knowledge of wildlife and as well as his specific experiences working with preserving the mountain gorillas. To see the mountain gorillas and wildlife were our primary goals. Meeting these great creatures and witnessing the amazing diversity of wild animals in their natural habitats was in itself an extraordinary and comprehensive trip! David's arrangements and personal contacts added a superlative dimension (e.g., he made certain we had Francois, his friend and a former porter/tracker for Diane Fossey, as our trekking guide).
What he also gave us was a view into Rwandan history, including the 1994 genocide, which was as much personal as professional to him. We left with an education and visceral understanding of the slaughter as well as a strong sense of hope displayed by the process of reconcilliation between the perpetrators and victims. We witnessed the ability of the Rwandan villagers to overcome the horrific nightmare of the genocide and to chose to live side-by-side in forgiveness, cooperation, and harmony for the benefit of their country and children, showing an incredible dedication to living in peace. And, in this village, it was a truly joyful peace. Where in any textbook can you find and feel this? My college education continues, our sons' begins.
Wildlife Tours Rwanda advertises "responsible tourism, pro-poor tourism, and eco-tourism." They should add the words: "life-enriching tourism." Go with them. Learn.
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