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“Terrible management”

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Gisakura Guest House
Ranked #2 of 2 Gisakura B&B and Inns
Nairobi, Nairobi Area, Kenya
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Terrible management”
Reviewed December 30, 2011

As a place to stay, the location is convenient, but it's overpriced and the management is rude.

As you can expect, things like reserving a double room and being given a twin room just happen without explanation.

However, the larger issue we had is that the owner, who spends his time onsite, is an insensitive jerk who cares more about money than the experience of guests. We had a car accident while on a morning hike in Nyungwe, meaning that we were late by a few hours to pay upon checking out. The owner's response was to accuse us of trying to cheat him by leaving without paying and withhold $18 in change that we were owed.

So, if you want something basic for Nyungwe and don't mind paying 50% more than it should cost, this place is fine. But be prepared to be treated badly, especially if something should happen to go wrong.

As it happened, we experienced much better hospitality when we stayed overnight in the park rangers' hut in the forest without electricity or running water while we were waiting for our car to be fixed.

  • Stayed December 2011, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank Nathan W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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74 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (9)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
UK
Level Contributor
48 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 50 helpful votes
Reviewed November 1, 2011

We stayed for 2 nights and were very glad to leave.The only thing in its favour is that is right next to the ranger station, ready for the chimpanzee treking in the morning. The rooms are very basic and look unsafe, ours had the door smashed in around the lock, so we took everything we could with us when we went out. It has one bulb in the room, so it is dark during the evening, no reading or writing in this room. The matress was uncomfortable and looked pretty ancient. The guesthouse is next to the road which seems to be be main truck route so be prepared for a noisy night.The shared bathroom was next door and reasonable, there was hot water for a shower. We were lucky as there was only one other couple sharing the block we were in, but then I dont think they have a lot of tourist anyway. Food was just what you got given, it took 2 hours to to get it from ordering, so make sure you put your order in the day before. There is no choice at all so if you dont eat meat you will have nothing. Most of the staff dont speak much English but the manager does, when he is there. If I went again I would definately try and fins somewhere different even if it I had to pay a lot more.

  • Stayed October 2011, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank Gilllian
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers are raving about these Gisakura hotels

nottingham, uk
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed July 3, 2011

Considering the tiny number of western tourists that come to this area each year (188 in 2010, the year before I travelled there) the Gisakura guest house is a very well located find at the edge of the park. The only other option is a 5 star hotel which was out of my price range. The accommodation is basic but clean, as was most of the accommodation I have stayed in in Rwanda. You have to plug in the water heater to take a shower and you share a bathroom with other guests in your 'block' but that is a max of 5 other people so it could be worse. The food is basic but plentiful and the beer is good and cold. There is a shelter with open fire round which you can enjoy a beer after a long days trekking but that is about it - but then what more do you want! Most people come to Nyungwe to trek chimps and go home again, the Gisakura guest house is a great base with enough facilities to do that and spend a few days in relative comfort, you probably wouldn't want to spend much longer... As for previous reviews about language, you are in the heart of central africa and broken english or french will get you by, other than that you probably are relying on your driver to get you through but then it's not tourism central and for me, that was half the charm! Would go back tomorrow!!

Room Tip: A few words of french go a long way...
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  • Stayed June 2011, traveled solo
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank enski
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brisbane, Queensland
Level Contributor
843 reviews
176 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 678 helpful votes
Reviewed February 23, 2011

Potential guests considering the Gisakura Guesthouse should approach this place from the point of view that you will not be staying at the Hilton, or indeed even anything closely resembling it. If you go there with fairly mediocre expectations, and concentrate on the reason you are there (to see the chimpanzees and/or do some hiking - and that in itself is not a walk in the park), you’ll survive and may even be pleasantly surprised.
Rwanda is a poor country, and the neighbourhood around Nyungwe Forest is not exactly a booming metropolis with a choice of Radisson or Best Western on every corner. It’s more – how shall I say – “rustic”. Wait ‘til you see the roads that you have to travel to get there. That said – the Gisakura Guesthouse wasn’t that bad.
It is really convenient to the Ranger Station – directly opposite in fact (they basically share the same carpark). That’s handy when you have to meet there at 4.30am to go and visit the wild chimps. The surrounding scenery is spectacular. The beer was cold and the food was pretty good – a fixed menu for dinner. We found the staff helpful, despite the fact that “reception” is a little difficult to find on arrival and despite the language barrier on occasion. They made us a basic lunchbox for breakfast as we were leaving so early to see the chimpanzees.
The grounds are nice. There are sunbirds galore darting around the flowers. We had drinks delivered to us in an open rondavel-style structure, with an open fire that a staff member started for us on request (for a small tip).
The rooms were twin share and basic. The electricity was intermittent (European plugs), but that might just have been the particular day we were there. The bathrooms were shared with other rooms and were also very basic. But the toilet flushed and the water (at least in the basin) was hot, and I didn’t get the runs from cleaning my teeth in the tapwater. The beds were comfortable enough, with mosquito nets, and the sheets were clean (though I usually tend to use a sleeping bag liner in such circumstances). We were warm enough in the room. There was electricity in the room (lights, power), but no fridge and certainly no wifi. A set of shelves is provided. The room seemed clean enough, but frankly I didn’t look too closely.
I emphasise that this is basic accommodation, effectively in the middle of a jungle. Some of you will be horrified. But remember, you are in rural Rwanda, about to go trekking up mountains through some thick jungle. You wouldn’t expect to find a recognisable hotel chain here, so keep your expectations in check and you’ll be fine. If I ever return to see the chimps, I’d doubtless stay at Gisakura Guesthouse again, due it’s convenience to the Ranger Station ... but I also know what I’m in for.

  • Stayed February 2011
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Helpful?
1 Thank seagullrob
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brooklyn, NY
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed July 8, 2010

Gisakura Guesthouse is not visitor friendly. First, only one person on staff speaks English (rudimentary) or French. The rest of the staff only speaks Kinyarwanda. For a guesthouse right next to a national park that attracts international visitors, this is unacceptable. Because of language problems (and because the one English speaking staff member went to Kigali while we were out hiking--even though he said he would be at the guesthouse when we returned from our hike), the staff was unable to inform us how much meals cost at the guesthouse, and how we could take a bus out of the national park to the nearest town, Butare. There is no reception desk or clear place to go find a staff member that can answer questions, and if any problems were to arise (ie broken toliet, which did happen), it is impossible to get someone to address them.
The rooms are decent, but for $50 USD/night, it seems reasonable to expect a bathroom inside your room. Instead, you must share one bathroom with 3-4 rooms, and some rooms require that you walk outside to access the bathroom.
Gisakura Guesthouse can get away with horrible service, and overcharging for their rooms, because they are so close to Nyungwe National Park, and because there is only one other lodging option in the area, an extremely expensive lodge that costs $800/night for two people. If I ever go hiking in Nyungwe again, I will spend the night in Kamembe (a town one hour outside the park) and travel into the park each day, instead of staying at the Gisakura Guesthouse.

  • Stayed July 2010, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank brooklynhiker
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
Level Contributor
6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed March 24, 2010

At the time of writing, there isn't much choice if you're staying in Nyungwe Forest National Park on a budget. There's Uwinka camp site in the heart of the forest, which is beautiful but requires you bringing your own food - pretty much impossible if you don't have a car; there's the guesthouse in the Gisakura Tea Estate, which is seriously, seriously basic (i.e. cockroaches like small cats), and there's the Gisakura Guesthouse, which, luckily, is pretty much ideal.

We paid RwF25,000 for a double room. Food is available (quantity not quality, but it'll power you up for some chimp tracking) and the gardens are lovely. The guesthouse is opposite the park office, so you can buy your permit easily, and the (absolutely amazing) waterfall trail departs from here, as does a visit to the habituated colobus colony in the tea estate.

The place isn't perfect - the staff don't speak much English or French (or even try that hard - but it's fine if you have a Rwandan driver with you), and there's nowhere else to go from here if you fancy eating somewhere else, so after a few days we were ready to escape. But it does provide a cheap(ish) place to stay alongside one of the most beautiful landscapes we've ever seen, and what more do you really need than that?

http://simonandjessinuganda.wordpress.com/gisakura-guesthouse/

  • Stayed March 2010, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank smoziwo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
West Palm Beach, Florida
Level Contributor
11 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed July 31, 2009

The Gisakura Guest House is a good base for exploring Nyungwe Forest and the surrounding area.The Guest House has approx. 12 rooms that are sparsely furnished with simple beds and bedding (including a mosquito net which was not necesssary in my case) and crude shelves. The bathrooms are shared and are at the end of each 3 or 4 bedroom building. All necessities are provided in a relatively clean environment. Basic meals are all taken in the main building where the kitchen is located, Power outages and the staff's neglect to plug in water heaters often resulted in no hot water in the morning. The guest house can be noisy at night when other guests tcontinue to party at the outside "boma", ignoring the often early wake-up calls people have. More moderrn and luxurious hotels are being built in the area but the Guest House will continue to be an inexpensive option for visiting an exciting region of Rwanda. The setting (gardens) are quite beautiful.

  • Stayed June 2009
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank JRS33414
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Gisakura Guest House

Property: Gisakura Guest House
Address: Gisakura Tea Estate | Nyungwe Forest, Gisakura, Rwanda
Location: Rwanda > Western Province > Gisakura
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 2 B&Bs / Inns in Gisakura
Number of rooms: 5
Also Known As:
Gisakura Guest House Hotel Rwanda

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