GORILLA COUSINS is somewhat unique, in that it is a partnership between two individuals, each from very different backgrounds. The two partners are Dona Tindyebwa and David Reiner. Dona Tindyebwa was born in Western Uganda and has spent the last 20 years putting together Safaris across East Africa. His clientele have enjoyed the classic Game Parks of Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda. Dona is well known in the industry; a respected member of the Board of Trustees for the Association of Uganda Tour Operators (AUTO). David Reiner is a Canadian who has spent many years traveling and volunteering in East Africa, specifically in assisting Orphanges; he previously operated his own accounting firm in Canada. Some ten years ago, he was given a local name, Kasibante, which roughly translated, means ‘a man that ropes cows’; he is a member of the Buffalo Clan, referred to locally as, Mbogo. During his 12 years in East Africa, David has had the opportunity to visit many of the National Parks in all of the East African Countries; he is a seasoned traveler and a great lover of Africa, its people and its wildlife.
Dona and David met while both trying to save the life of a 4-month old baby, Vivian. This serendipitous meeting became a close knit friendship that culminated in the partnership of GORILLA COUSINS; Vivian, after receiving life-saving laser heart surgery in Israel, is now a healthy young girl living at home with her family, complete with two new godfathers, Dona and David. In the development of GORILLA COUSINS, both partners agreed that the company must have a social responsibility focus, and it was decided to support vulnerable school children in maintaining their education.
It is over 20 years ago since the Genocide that turned Rwanda inside out ended. Many foreign countries, Non-Government Organizations and Religious Groups have worked tirelessly to bring Rwanda back on its feet. The Rwanda of today is a reconstructed Rwanda and the country has been transformed into one of the most beautiful and safest destinations in Africa. The government is highly committed to conservation as well as a huge focus on the environment in general; non-biodegradable plastic is not permitted in the country, for instance. The roads in Rwanda are well paved, there is no garbage on the sides of these roads, as one sees in most African countries. Together with its amazing variety of flora and fauna, it has become a most desirable tourist destination. The biggest tourist attraction, the endangered Mountain Gorillas, are the most accessible in Rwanda and even the Park Permits to track the Gorillas are cheaper than they are in neighbouring Uganda. For all these reasons, Dona and David decided to focus this new venture almost exclusively on Rwanda.
Together, Dona and David have created this successful enterprise where Dona, with his many years of Safari-creating experience is the Operations Manager on the ground and David is the Marketing Manager. The other staff members are professional guide-drivers and tour developers that have worked with Dona for many years. There is a unique passion at GORILLA COUSINS which cannot be found elsewhere in this business; a passion for excellence and a commitment to customer satisfaction. In the field, our guide-drivers who spend their time taking care of our clients, are well known at all the Rwandan tourist destinations and among the hotel and lodge operators throughout Rwanda. Our name gets our clients to the front of the line in terms of Mountain Gorilla and Golden Monkey permits with the Rwandan Development Board, as well as rooms with the best views at most safari lodges. Everyone at GORILLA COUSINS loves their work and our clients are the greatest benefactors.
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