Virtuoso Life - September/October 2017 - 130
HONEYMOONING WITH GORILLAS
One couple's unforgettable journey through Africa.
While planning their
ten-day African honeymoon - with multiple
stops and hotels, and extraordinary experiences
such as mountain-gorilla
tracking in Rwanda -
Gloriana Vega and Gianni Wigisser turned to
advisor Crystal Warner of New York City to help them
handle the logistics. She worked with Abercrombie &
Kent Tanzania, a local Virtuoso tour connection, to
craft a custom Rwanda and Tanzania itinerary.
Warner uses WeChat, China's most reliable social
network, to communicate with her large client base
there. During the trip, Vega sent Warner photos and
video of gorilla tracking via WeChat, plus dietary requests to pass on to hotels, and other updates, such as
this piece of gossip from one outing: "Leonardo DiCaprio was here yesterday!"
"We were amazed by the nature Africa offers, but especially by the incredible people who care for it," Vega says.
ON THE ITINERARY: Virunga National Park, Rwanda;
Serengeti National Park and Ngorongoro Crater, Tanzania
MEMORABLE DAYS: Gorilla Tracking in Virunga
WOW MOMENT: Hot-Air Ballooning in Serengeti
"You see the beautiful, vast Serengeti, with so many
elephants and zebras below. It's wonderful to end with
breakfast and Champagne after an early wake-up call,"
A silverback mountain gorilla
in Rwanda, giraffes in Serengeti National Park (above),
and the happy couple (inset).
V I RT U O S O L I F E
"I want to see the northern lights," Vega
says. "But a week ago I said to Gianni, 'Can we go back
to Africa?' " - Interview by Annie Fitzsimmons
(GORILLA) ROBERTHARDING/ALAMY STOCK PHOTO
(HOT AIR BALLOON) ROCKET K/GETTY IMAGES
"Hiking to see the gorillas - they are so huge! - was the
best part of the trip. We got so close to them and saw
more than 30 members of a family, plus a mother and
child together. The first hike was very long - about seven hours. On the second day we did a shorter hike, which
Leonardo DiCaprio had done the day before," Vega says.
"The government in Rwanda now protects the gorillas
because of their tourism value, and we loved seeing how
the community benefits from a boom in visitors."