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A Trip To DR Congo & Rwanda

A Trip To DR Congo & Rwanda

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Old Mar 23, 15, 12:47 am
  #31  
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Originally Posted by offerendum View Post
And again I really enjoyed your report
Many thanks, offerendum.

Originally Posted by theshaun View Post
Wow. Just wow.

As always, thanks for sharing yet another one of your great experiences.
Thank you, theshaun, yes only a relatively short trip, but got to pack in some amazing experiences.

Originally Posted by goteed1 View Post
Stunning trip report as usual. Thanks so much for the wonderful pics and commentary
Cheers, goteed1, was great fun compiling this report too and reliving all the great memories.

Originally Posted by cheesedawg View Post
Amazing TR! I was planning to do this as well this summer so it was great to see it in action. I can't imagine a better itinerary than the one you did in that many days.

1) What lens did you use for gorillas? In the past I've used 70-200 pretty much exclusively.

2) Who said they are "more wild" there?

3) How was the tour company you used? I had a short conversation with them and they were quick to reply, but basically ignored my request and just sent a default itinerary.
Many thanks, cheesedawg, yes, definitely recommend doing this trip if you're visiting that part of the world.

1. I took my 70-200 f2.8 & 300 f2.8 lenses, and a 1.4x extender too. I swapped between the two lenses while we were there (although a second camera body would have been more ideal).

2. The gorilla's in Rwanda being 'less wild' than compared to DRC was in an article I read: http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/2/c4489...44feabdc0.html

3. I had no problems with Amahoro. I booked a 'default' tour though, so I was a easy client for them.

Originally Posted by SAtraveller View Post
Amazing, and moving... thank you
Cheers, SAtraveller, yes, the genocide memorials were quite sombreing, hard to imagine a genocide of that scale (~800,000 deaths) could happen in our lifetime.

Originally Posted by HighlandExpress View Post
Yours are always my favourite trip reports, this one did not disappoint. Thanks for sharing.
Thanks for the great compliment, HighlandExpress.

Originally Posted by LivelyFL View Post
Wanna go.

Really amazing trip report.
Thanks, LivelyFL, yes, an unforgettable trip to do!

Originally Posted by shefgab View Post
Excellent report, and was a great memory jogger for my trip to Rwanada. I also went with Amahoro Tours, but saw the Gorillias in Rwanda (when it was $500). It's amazing to see them - amazing creatures. Nice that you got to visit the DRC. I was quoted nearly $300 for a visa, so didn't go. The volcano photos are out of this world!
Thank you, shefgab. Yes, the DRC visa can be expensive! Luckily the visa deal ($70) through Virunga park makes it a bit more reasonable.

Originally Posted by Thunderroad View Post
What a fantastic, fascinating TR that kept getting more powerful as you moved from the gorillas to the volcano to the memorial. Thanks for sharing all this.

Back to the gorillas: how far away from them were you when you snapped those incredible photos?
Many thanks, Thunderroad. We were 4-6 metres from the gorilla’s, and probably closer at times. We were in really dense jungle, so was hard to keep the mandatory 7 metres distance.

Originally Posted by mike&co View Post
Fabulous report - a break from the standard TR. Stunning pics too, gorillas instead of a luxury hotel, incredible ��
Thank you, mike&co. Yes, don't think there were too many luxury hotels in Goma. Apparently there's a lodge in the park you can stay at though, although would have cost me an extra ~$1000.

Originally Posted by zanskar View Post
I really enjoyed this Daniel, can't remember a trip report on DRC before. The lava lake is amazing
Thanks, zanskar. I'd seen a few pics of the lava lake on the internet, but nothing prepared me for the surreal beauty of seeing it for real!

Originally Posted by MileTex View Post
Amazing and inspiring TR! Your photos were fantastic.
Thank you, MileTex.

Originally Posted by chelsea2 View Post
Your reports are truly inspiring and your photos are wonderful. The night by the side of the volcano/lava lake looked so amazing! Thanks for sharing.
Cheers, chelsea2. When they said we were camping on the side of a volcano, I thought it would be down in the jungle, not mere metres from the crater edge! Was such a awesome experience.

Originally Posted by themapelligroup View Post
The volcano and that night sky are magical. Simply magical. Thank you sharing.
Thanks, themapelligroup. Yes, the views and sights from the top of the volcano definitely made the 5 hour trek up worth it!

Originally Posted by jacobac00 View Post
Amazing pictures DanielW. Thank you for posting another unique report.
Thank you, jacobac00.

Originally Posted by cmd320 View Post
What an amazing and unique report! All the photos were quite nice, however the ones of the lava pool and starry sky on the volcano were truly extraordinary.
Many thanks, cmd320. Yes, the views at 2am when the clouds had cleared were worth crawling out of a warm sleeping bag and venturing out into the cold night.

Originally Posted by PitaPan View Post
Stunning photos and report! Honestly, those shots of the volcano at night, combined with the stars are incredible. Seeing the night sky next to a lava lake is not something I ever pictured together, but now....gotta convince/entice my SO to make the trip.
Thank you, PitaPan. Yes, hope you're successful with convincing your SO.

Originally Posted by Fredrik74 View Post
Fantastic report once again from places most of us would never even consider.
Cheers, Fredrik74.

Originally Posted by flying_blue_white_red View Post
Awesome TR, enjoyed every bit of it

Interesting how this town is a compulsory stop for every coaster and safari vehicle

Humm, it really looks like peanut sauce...

Too bad eventual future oil exploration could threaten the gorilla habitat in the Virunga

Do you remenber which group of Gorilla you visited?
For the story in Rwanda, back in February, a "drunk" gorilla punched a photographer...

Indeed and they are called tshukudu.

Wow beautiful picture being probably my favorite, well done!

When i was there in 2013 i was denied taking photos, glad to see the policy has changed

Many thanks for sharing
Thank you, flying_blue_white_red. Yes, Ruhengeri seemed like a happening place. Was tempted in my initial planning to see the Rwandan gorilla's there too, but I think I would have been too exhausted for a fourth day of trekking. Probably was peanut sauce, tasted good anyway. Such a shame about the oil exploration plans, I hope the oil company comes to its senses and stays well clear. I think I was too excited seeing the gorilla's to listen to what the guides were saying about what family we were seeing.

Originally Posted by benjahman View Post
amazing TR and photos, thanks for sharing!
Thanks, benjahman.

Originally Posted by shogunate03 View Post
Wow what an amazing report! Just when I thought the gorillas were the peak of the whole trip, I then saw the images at the volcano. Amazing! Really felt like we were there on the trip - you know, minus the mosquitos, swarming ants, and outhouses.

Looks like you had a 400mm lens with you (or some other big prime)?

How did you get the shot of the stars and the town? I'm amazed that the stars came out so well even with the light coming from the town.
Many thanks, shogunate03. Yes, I always wanted to see the gorilla’s and I tacked on the volcano trek as an afterthought. Hard to decide which was more amazing afterwards now!

My main lens was a 300mm f2.8. I put a 1.4x extender for some shots though (so it effectively became a 420mm f4 lens).

I just put my camera on a small table and did a long exposure for the stars shot. Not much electricity in Goma so the city lights didn't over power the light from the stars.

Originally Posted by cardinalkid1891 View Post
Great, refreshing trip report
Thank you, cardinalkid1891.
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Old Mar 23, 15, 8:30 am
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Spectacular all around. Good on you for pushing limits and exploring this world!
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Old Mar 23, 15, 9:00 am
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Awesome pictures and report as usual.... I agree the Rwanda memorial was quite moving. I really wanted to visit Goma/Virunga but the M23 rebels were still active when I was there a few years ago (http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/trip-...land-more.html). And then my 2nd try to visit DRC was thwarted by a coup attempt when I was about to land in Kinshasa! ironmanjt and I did finally manage to get over to DRC but only for a daytrip (http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/trip-...go-angola.html).
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Old Mar 23, 15, 10:02 am
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Originally Posted by schreibsman View Post
Spectacular all around. Good on you for pushing limits and exploring this world!
Thank you, schreibsman. Experiencing these new and exciting places certainly is addictive, makes you want to seek out the next adventure!

Originally Posted by hauteboy View Post
Awesome pictures and report as usual.... I agree the Rwanda memorial was quite moving. I really wanted to visit Goma/Virunga but the M23 rebels were still active when I was there a few years ago (http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/trip-...land-more.html). And then my 2nd try to visit DRC was thwarted by a coup attempt when I was about to land in Kinshasa! ironmanjt and I did finally manage to get over to DRC but only for a daytrip (http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/trip-...go-angola.html).
Many thanks, hauteboy / Jordan . Yes, Goma reminded me of your trip to Kinshasa, going from clean and orderly Rwanda to the potholed roads, chaos and corruption of DRC!

I asked my DRC guide David if he had ever been to Kinshasa and he said he had been three times. I asked if it was by bus and he just laughed at me and said that it was almost impossible to travel by road that far across the country. The return flight was $1000, not cheap for a domestic flight!
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Old Mar 23, 15, 10:52 am
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Fantastic report as usual

Great photos

Where next?
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Old Mar 23, 15, 1:25 pm
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Fantastic.

Is it safe now to go to Congo instead of to Rwanda for gorilla spotting?

Was it very hot?

Was the walk difficult?

I am older than you.

For the Permit I assume you had to pay cash?

I don't recall. What Travel Agency in Kigali did you prepay your trip with?

It worries me if I have no clue who to book with.
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Old Mar 23, 15, 4:03 pm
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Excellent TR as usual. Thanks for taking the time to visit and share with the rest of us
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Old Mar 23, 15, 5:00 pm
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I always enjoy your wonderful reports! I'll echo others that those volcano pics are stunning!

I lived in the Congo when it was Zaire for a couple years (1989-1991) - w/ US Peace Corps if you are familiar with them. We were the last volunteers ever in zaire and were pulled out, never to return, when things began to be too unstable. I hope to return someday to where I worked (fish farming) but am unsure what I would find. ... I was at a remote village quite a ways southeast of Kikwit.

Anyway, i love reading about folks who do venture there and the pics show life goes on as always! I also visited the mountain gorillas in late 1989 when I was doing language training in Bukavu. It was pure joy. I'm not sure how much we paid, or if our group received a discount, but I was a poor kid just out of college and sure didn't have much $ laying around.

Thanks for sharing.
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Old Mar 23, 15, 5:45 pm
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DanielW,

You have the best trip reports. I particularly love the second picture of the lava pool. Its deadly but the colours draw you in. I wonder what it felt like watching the pool in person.



/AE
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Old Mar 24, 15, 12:13 am
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I had literally countless "Oh My God" moments while watching your pictures.
I probably said it in one of your earlier reports and I will say it again - You sir, are a legend.

And those pictures of lava...I was mesmerized and spent like half an hour re-reading your report again. Truly living vicariously through you. Can't thank you enough
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Old Mar 24, 15, 3:09 am
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Originally Posted by Calchas View Post
Fantastic report as usual

Great photos

Where next?
Thanks, Calchas, next trip is to Lebanon, got a cheap $180 fare with flydubai.

Originally Posted by Bretteee View Post
Fantastic.

Is it safe now to go to Congo instead of to Rwanda for gorilla spotting?

Was it very hot?

Was the walk difficult?

I am older than you.

For the Permit I assume you had to pay cash?

I don't recall. What Travel Agency in Kigali did you prepay your trip with?

It worries me if I have no clue who to book with.
Thank you, Bretteee. Depends on your safety threshold I guess but I felt fine in DRC. Probably not as safe as Rwanda though.

It wasn't too hot, maximum was ~30C anyway. Night time was cooler. The trekking wasn't too bad. The rangers set a slow, steady pace and we had plenty of stops so was never really totally knackered.

I paid a lump sum for my trip, which included the permits etc. This is the company: http://amahoro-tours.com/

Originally Posted by farbster View Post
Excellent TR as usual. Thanks for taking the time to visit and share with the rest of us
Many thanks, farbster. Just got another TR in the works now so will share it soon.

Originally Posted by JenGal View Post
I always enjoy your wonderful reports! I'll echo others that those volcano pics are stunning!

I lived in the Congo when it was Zaire for a couple years (1989-1991) - w/ US Peace Corps if you are familiar with them. We were the last volunteers ever in zaire and were pulled out, never to return, when things began to be too unstable. I hope to return someday to where I worked (fish farming) but am unsure what I would find. ... I was at a remote village quite a ways southeast of Kikwit.

Anyway, i love reading about folks who do venture there and the pics show life goes on as always! I also visited the mountain gorillas in late 1989 when I was doing language training in Bukavu. It was pure joy. I'm not sure how much we paid, or if our group received a discount, but I was a poor kid just out of college and sure didn't have much $ laying around.

Thanks for sharing.
Thank you, JenGal. Zaire/DRC must have been an adventurous place to volunteer, must have been very rewarding too. I'm guessing the gorilla trekking wasn't quite as expensive as it is now too.

Originally Posted by angeloedades View Post
DanielW,

You have the best trip reports. I particularly love the second picture of the lava pool. Its deadly but the colours draw you in. I wonder what it felt like watching the pool in person.
Thanks, angeloedades. Yes, the crater & lava pool were very mesmorising. I have only ever seen lava/magma on tv before, so was very enchanting to watch. The scale and size of the crater too (~1 kilometre or 3000ft across) made it all the more magnificent.

Originally Posted by deovrat View Post
I had literally countless "Oh My God" moments while watching your pictures.
I probably said it in one of your earlier reports and I will say it again - You sir, are a legend.

And those pictures of lava...I was mesmerized and spent like half an hour re-reading your report again. Truly living vicariously through you. Can't thank you enough
Many thanks, deovrat. I had mediocre expectations before the volcano trek, but was literally awed and amazed when we reached the summit and peered over the crater edge and got a peak of what hell looks like up close!
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Old Mar 24, 15, 6:45 am
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Brilliant report and photography, without doubt the best TR writer on this forum. What a refreshing change away from caviar and champagne. A true adventure.
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Old Mar 24, 15, 8:54 pm
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Incredible photos, fantastic TR.
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Old Mar 25, 15, 1:15 am
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Originally Posted by stevie View Post
Brilliant report and photography, without doubt the best TR writer on this forum. What a refreshing change away from caviar and champagne. A true adventure.
Many thanks for this accolade, stevie. Another TR is in the works, an adventure with another intrepid FT'er, hauteboy.

Originally Posted by smit0847 View Post
Incredible photos, fantastic TR.
Thank you, smit0847.
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Old Mar 25, 15, 6:41 am
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Another excellent report. Great balance between text and photos as always. Can't wait to read about your next adventure.
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