Written on: March 27, 2015
I visited in January 2015
In January 2015 I toured solo Rwanda and South Western Uganda on my bicycle. The opportunity to travel came unexpectedly so I was forced to quickly put together the trip’s itinerary over a few evenings. I knew little about the area and was worried about getting a gorilla permit with such short notice during the high season. Therefore, I drafted a mail with a long list of questions which I sent to over 25 local and international tour operators. I received lots of replies, with most limiting themselves to put pressure on me to book services without addressing my queries. Only one reply clearly stood out over all the others, including some prestigious American and European-run operations: Umubano Tours.
The mail Herbert Gato sent me was perfect: it was concise, knowledgeable, accurate and friendly. There was no pressure to sell services; it just explained how they could help and brought to my attention issues related to my plan that I was overlooking due to my inexperience in the region. He also put himself at my disposal to discuss my plans over the phone/Skype, even if it meant for him working late in the evenings and over the weekend. What impressed me the most is that I was obviously a ‘bad customer’ for a tour operator because I was travelling self-sufficiently with my bicycle. Umubano did not make juicy commissions from fancy hotels nor enjoyed high margins from all-inclusive fancy tours out of me. I was treated like VIP even though I booked cheap budget hostels and only wanted a gorilla permit (without guide/tour/transportation). In summary, they were friendly, honest, thorough, efficient and displayed initiative. I ended up requesting tailor-made services like car collections for myself+bike from remote non-touristic locations which were carried out with Swiss-style precision and reliability. Herbert also arranged a custom tour to the Nyiragongo Crater in Congo which took care of visa, transportation and bicycle storage. This was also perfectly organised plus I could see my safety was taken very seriously. In Congo I met other travellers who had booked similar tours with other agencies at much higher prices, thus demonstrating that Umubano offers excellent value-for-money in addition to outstanding customer service.
I cannot recommend enough Umubano tours and Herbert’s assistance. To make things even better, you will also have the satisfaction of dealing with a 100% African company and thus helping the local economy. Umubano: a no brainer win-win.
Went with Umubano tours for Gorilla trekking as much better value for money than other tours in Rwanda. Went for honeymoon in July 2014 with 2 gorilla treks. Herbert was extremely proficient in organising tour by e-mail. The trip was fantastic from the moment we met up with our guide John Bosco who had a great knowledge of the local area and gorillas in the Nationa...
I chose Umubano tours based upon previous good reviews of the company. As I was travelling by myself, I was looking for someone reliable and who was flexible with regards to options. Umubano and their team were able to create an itinerary which met my needs. I wasn't interested in fancy accommodation and transport.
They were able to offer me a simple, no-fuss p...