Great Adventures in Rwanda

If you are looking for the next exciting thing to try, then look no further than safaris in Rwanda. Enjoy an experience of a lifetime in this country also known as the land of a thousand hills. This is the ultimate destination to see various primates such as mountain gorillas, golden monkeys and chimpanzees.

There are great experiences that you will never forget while adventuring through this mountainous country. Embark on the popular gorilla trekking safaris within the Volcanoes National Park, go on a chimpanzee watching safari in Nyungwe Forest or create a custom made trip that will include different safari experiences.

There are lots of safari offers available from different tour operators. They are available in package deals including various tour elements such as hotels or lodge nights, transportation in 4×4 and all activity fees. The tour packages from local tour operators are very affordable and convenient for anyone to try. You only need to look for a reliable tour operator who can craft a perfect trip for you. Once you try it just one time am sure you will always want to go back because of the sheer excitement it offers.

Wondering about how long to spend on your safari in Rwanda? We just returned from our little Rwanda safari adventure and it was really fun. We did a week long safari through selected destinations and we got to see a lot of the animals up close. We never thought that would ever happen in our lifetime but a gorilla safari trek is worthy the value of this adventure that doesn’t come up cheaply. Currently a gorilla permit costs USd1500 per person per trek.

Well, at least I didn’t, my son has always been an animal kind of guy, so I thank him for introducing me to the wild and to nature. There are 4 of the eight Virunga volcanoes within the Volcanoes National Park of Rwanda. These are the Bisoke, Karisimbi, Muhabura and Sabinyo Mountains. You can enjoy hiking within the park and hikes range from day trips to 2 days adventures.

I have a deeper appreciation for everything now. It really makes me want to recycle more, as lame as that sounds! I’m glad to be with someone who wants to introduce me to new things in life, things I haven’t been able to experience before. I wish that I could experience something new everyday, and by old age, I can have tons of stories to tell my grand kids. It’s a really nice feeling to have experienced something not a lot people can say they have done.

 

Why Uganda Should Be on Your Travel Bucket List

Wondering about the next destination to visit? Why not plan a safari to Uganda, an exotic destination in Eastern Africa. If you are lost in wanderlust, Uganda is the ultimate destination to visit for an ecotour in Africa. Locates astride the Equator, Uganda is an East African destination that is quite different from any other places you have ever heard of. In its forested parks, you will enjoy a primate safari while in the savanna parks, you will experience a true traditional game viewing adventure from the comfort of your open safari vehicle!

Make time for research

When deciding where to go and what to do, consult online resources and guidebooks to get a sense for what interests you most. Many African safari destinations have the Big Five — lions, elephants, rhino, leopard and buffalo — but more rare species like the endangered mountain gorilla are only found in a few countries, including Uganda. Uganda also offers some of the most diverse cultural experiences on the African continent, drawing visitors from around the world.

With 10 distinct national parks, Uganda gives visitors the chance to explore myriad landscapes and natural habitats, each with its own impressive characteristics and wild inhabitants. Most people only have time to visit three or four parks in Uganda, so it’s important to get a feel for which one may be right for you. Book a boat safari on the Nile in Murchison Falls National Park, or head out on a game drive in Kidepo Valley National Park to see elephants, giraffes, lions and more.

Prioritize activities

When you start your research, you’ll find there are countless things to see and do. There are lots of adventure activities for a Uganda Tourist that you can engage in while on holiday. That’s why it’s important to create a bucket list for your trip.

How about the thrill of encountering mountain gorillas in their natural habitat within the impenetrable jungles of Bwindi or the Virunga Mountains. If you love primates, why not go on a chimpanzee tracking safari through dense forest. Do you love cats? You can visit the Ishasha of Queen Elizabeth National Park and catch a glimpse of the powerful tree-climbing lions that roam through the wilderness area. If you are avid bird watcher, Uganda is the ultimate destination to visit. There are great birding opportunities awaiting you give that Uganda is the richest bird watching destination considering more than half of Africa’s bird species can be found in this small country.

Consult a trusted travel professional

Especially if you’re traveling to a foreign country for the first time, a travel expert can provide customized insight you won’t find by doing searching solo. Plus, they can help craft the ideal itinerary by suggesting activities or VIP services you may not know about.

For example, maybe kayaking Uganda’s Lake Bunyonyi wasn’t on your radar. Travel agents and tour operators can tell you why it should be. Want to upgrade your gorilla tracking experience? Travel professionals can arrange educational sessions with organizations like the Gorilla Doctors and their jungle veterinarians. They can help you book a rafting trip on the White Nile in Jinja, Uganda’s adventure capital, or arrange a visit to Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary.

Go beyond wildlife

From the snow-capped peaks of the Rwenzori Mountains to the savannah of Queen Elizabeth National Park and the lush banks of the Nile, Uganda’s beautiful landscapes differ dramatically throughout the country. Wildlife flourishes, but there is so much more to explore.

To make your trip complete, incorporate cultural activities into your itinerary. For example, hike to the top of a mountain near Kidepo Valley National Park and visit the Ik people, a centuries-old community maintaining their traditional way of life. Another opportunity is the Batwa Experience, where you can explore Uganda’s forest with its original inhabitants. Finally, don’t forget to spend a day in the capital city of Kampala.

Exploring Bwindi Impenetrable Forest

Have you ever heard about Bwindi Impenetrable National Park? This less known national park is becoming a popular place to visit on the African continent. Located in South Western Uganda, Bwindi as often referred to in most guide books, is a very important conservation area protecting almost half of the world population of the endangered mountain gorillas.

The park is a UNESCO world heritage site and it is the best place for gorilla trekking in Africa. First gazetted as a forest reserve in 1932 by the British colonial masters, the park was elevated to a national park in 1991 together with the Mgahinga National Park, the Ugandan part of the Virunga protecting the endangered mountain gorillas. Please remember there are as few as about 900 mountain gorillas in the world surviving in only four national parks; Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park and Mgahinga National Park in Uganda, Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda and the Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Things to See in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest

Explore Volcanoes National Park of Rwanda

The Volcanoes National Park is an extraordinary park situated in Rwanda. The Park is blessed and crowded with impressive tropical rain forest, volcanic beauties and trekking adventures. The rare mountain Gorillas are seen in plenty here which makes it a best place in earth to make a visit.

The Park is exactly located in North-western part of Rwanda is bordered by Mgahinga Gorilla National Park in Uganda and Virunga National Park in Democratic Republic of Congo. The Park extends up to an area of 8090 square km. The National Park was converted into a battlefield during the Rwandan Civil War, when the park headquarters was attacked in 1992. But by 1999, everything was put back to normal and when the area was deemed to be safe and under control.

Things to See

Mountain Gorillas

Volcanoes National Park or Parc National Des Volcans (PNV) is renowned for hosting the endangered mountain gorillas, great apes that are only found in Africa. This known park is part of the Virunga Mountains hosting its six volcanoes. The Virunga Region and Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is the only habitat to the endangered mountain gorillas.

Wildlife

Though the park is best known for the Mountain Gorilla, hosts many mammals such as Golden monkey (Cercopithecus mitis kandti), Buffalo (Syncerus caffer), Spotted Hyena (Crocuta crocuta), Bushbuck (Tragelaphus scriptus) and Black-fronted duiker (Cephalophus niger) is also camps in this Park. Few Elephants are also reported to be residing in this Park. The bird species recorded here counts up to 178, with at least 13 species and 16 subspecies endemic to the Virunga and Ruwenzori Mountains.

Virunga Volcanoes

The Park is home to five of the eight volcanoes of the Virunga Mountains (Karisimbi, Bisoke, Muhabura, Gahinga and Sabyinyo), which are covered in rainforest and bamboo. The high altitudinal range of the Park always influences the vegetation here. Neoboutonia forest is present within 2400 and 2500 m. Mounting 30 % of the Park area, Arundinaria alpina (bamboo) forest occurs from 2500 to 3200 m. Hagenia-Hypericum forest occurs in 2600 to 3600 m covering another 30% of the Park.

Park Management

The Volcanoes National Park is protected and managed by the Rwandan office fro tourism and National parks (ORTPN) and this conservation area has contributed to the main safaris to Rwanda.

Things to Do

The main tourist activities in the Park are gorilla trekking, Karisimbi and Bisoke volcano climbing, Golden monkey visits, Lake and Cave tours and visit to the tomb of Dian Fossey

Gorilla Trekking
Similar to chimpanzee tracking, tourists on a gorilla trekking activity are allowed to spend an hour watching these apes performing their daily activities, resting, playing, gathering food and feeding. It is your golden opportunity to shoot a picture of the amazing creatures in their natural habitat.

Camping & Lodging
Volcanoes National Park has two drive-in campgrounds which are Namakani Paio (located off of Highway 11), and Kulanaokuaiki (located off of Hilina Pali Road). Important feature of these campgrounds are that they are free and the only fee you have to remit is the park entrance fee. Camping is provided on a first-come basis.
The Namakani Paio campground has restrooms, water, fireplace and pavilion facilities where as Kulanaokaiki has only restroom, fireplace and a vault-type toilet facilities only.

Getting There

When you travel to Rwanda, access to Parc National Des Volcans is via Ruhengeri town; a one and a half hours drive from Kigali city, the country’s capital. Gorilla trackers organize and hire cars for private transportation on their gorilla tour from Ruhengeri; the last stop over town adjacent to the park boundaries and proceed to the headquarters and follow the tracking trails on foot.

Following the well-maintained network of nature trails, we will take you through the forest, encountering creepers, hanging vines, colorful giant lobelia and misty bamboo. Regularly, golden monkeys among other mammals will be seen swinging from one branch to another whereas buffaloes and Duikers will cross your path at the time when you least expect it.

Fees/Permits
The pay per private non-commercial vehicle is $10.00 and $5.00 for pedestrians or bicyclists. Non-commercial groups entering the park in a bus or vehicle with a capacity of 15 persons or more will be charged $5.00 for each person on board.

Experience the Astonishing Wild Beauty of Rwanda

They say beauty lies in the hands of the beholder but nature beauty is universal. In other word it appeals to all kinds of people let it be old, young, black, white, rich poor. Everyone would love to see nature in its wildness only that some people have not yet triggered and discovered their passion feelings for nature.

Many people are traveling worldwide to get a chance to see the beauty of nature. This is because nature can be an ambiance for relaxing, funs, therapy and medication. Some people may want to know how the world looked like before urbanization and modernity.

Countries have come up with ideas of extending nature near people’s proximity that is setting up zoos and botanical gardens. These zoos and botanical posses some wild flora and fauna but these are confined in cages and gardens where these creature cannot fully express their wildness and with also humans being exploring and adventurous, they always want to take an extra mile to see these exotic animals and plants in their natural environment or their originality. This has made authorities concerned to preserve, conserve and protect areas in the world that are endowed with wild beauty.

Although every continent has some areas that are nature gifted, Africa stands out most. Africa has vast of unhampered natural environment with special features and creatures. This makes it one of the most popular tourism destinations in the whole world.  Africa has vast of wildlife that cannot be easily be found elsewhere in the world in their natural setting  for example the impala, eland ,oribi, lions, giraffes, thousands of bird species and many other.

The primates in Africa are worth a reserved mention. Africa has 51 different types of primate species with the main primates having a chain of species. The main primates are gorillas, chimpanzees, monkeys, baboon and bonobos. These primates are normally found in western, central and eastern part of Africa. These primates are sought after because of their behavioral ways as some of them behave like humans and their DNA varies 96%-98% of that of human among them. Some of the primates that are closest relatives of man include the gorillas, chimpanzees and the bonobos.

All the primates are tracked by a millions of tourists in Africa but what ranks best are the mountain gorillas that are found in the Rwanda, Uganda and the democratic republic of Congo. The mountain gorillas are endangered species that are almost getting extinct. There are around 1000 mountain gorillas left in the world. Gorillas are the largest primates in the world as adult gorillas have an average of 140kgs in weight.

With taking a gorilla safari in Rwanda you can experience the beauty of the wild. Gorilla safaris in the Virunga region of Rwanda can give a life time experience and everlasting memories. Scores of tourists come to Rwanda to track these sensational animals. Many of them have had great reviews of tracking mountain gorillas in Rwanda. These gorilla tours have made them fall in love with wildlife.

Come to Rwanda and witness the beauty of the wild in Africa. Explore the amazing national parks of Rwanda including the Volcanoes National Park home to the silver gorillas and golden monkeys, Nyungwe Forest the best place to see chimpanzees and Akagera National Park, a savanna national park where you will see lots of wild animals!

Exploring Rwanda, the Land of a Thousand Hills

Rwanda is regarded as the lands of hills due to its mountainous nature of the landscapes. In Rwanda is where you find very many ranges interlocking each on one’s eyes he/she might say that they are rolling.

But most interesting about these hills they are covered by the lush green vegetation and which gives one an insight of how beautiful Rwanda is even before one explores the various tourist attractions in Rwanda.

Rwanda gives the tourist a natural environment experience as Rwanda is one of the few countries in the world with serene and unhampered flora and fauna in their natural settings. With Rwanda naturally being embraced with beautiful natural resources to look at the government of Rwanda in conjunction with the private sector of the tour operator set up promotion tools in order to sustain these natural beauties and this is done through promoting tourism.

Through promoting tourism, tour operators organize Rwanda safari where people/visitors both local and international go to watch the wildlife in their natural setting. You can therefore go a guided tour within this amazing country.

Today there is a growing number of tourists who travel Rwanda on their own. You can go on a self drive tour in Rwanda using a rented car from one of the car rental agencies operating in the country. Please note that self drive is not recommended for first time visitors to Africa given that the road conditions are totally different from the usual ones in your home country.

Where to Go

These are three recognized national parks in Rwanda (Volcanoes national park, Nyungwe national park and Akagera national park) where the tourist can encounter the exotic animals, birds and the fascinating wild plants.

These three national parks have become households where it comes to the top interesting and exciting tourism destinations in Africa and it is only through a Rwanda safari where a tourist encounters these national parks. These national parks have different experiences for example the volcanoes national park is the home to mountain gorillas one of the most endangered species of primates in the world. Thousand people come to Rwanda to take a last glance of these wonderful animals since they will be history in the next generations as they are about to get extinct. It is not all about their extinction that many people come to see them, it is about their unique character as there are so intelligent in that if one observes them one might think their human beings in the jungle. Words cannot explain the moment of meeting mountain gorillas, all one has to do is to take a Rwanda gorilla safari and enjoy the everlasting experience of meeting a gorilla in its natural setting.

While on a Rwanda safari one cannot miss out Nyungwe national park the home of primates in the southwestern part of the country. This national park is a home of 13 different species of primates that is chimpanzees, red tailed monkeys, black and white colobus, and grey cheeked mangabey among the special ones. Come enjoy the most forested national park in Rwanda and this also has a canopy walk experience where the visitor take a walk on an elevated trail of 50 meters above the ground having an aerial view of different  natural biodiversity in the park.

We cannot forget to mention the big five animals’ national park in Rwanda: Akagera national park. this is the national park where tourists encounter the big five exotic animals that is lion, elephants, leopards, buffaloes and the rhinos. However the rhinos are just in plans to be introduced in the park but the rest of the big five animals are already in existence.

The above explained national parks make up a Rwanda safari experience as other attractions in Rwanda like Lake Kivu, Kigali city tour and Iby’iwacu cultural village supplement them. It is from those national parks that tour operators base on to organize the various itineraries for Rwanda safari tours.

Exploring Uganda, the Pearl of Africa

Uganda is one of the most sought after tourist destinations in Eastern Africa. This less known destination is endowed with incredible attractions some of which can’t be seen elsewhere in the world. Recently it was in the news when an American tourist was kidnapped in the country doing a safari in Western Uganda and this is what prompted to do a research about this little Eden.

Location

This relatively small country is located in the East African Region. It lies just astride the Equator. It is bordered by Kenya in the East, the Democratic Republic of Congo in the West, South Sudan in the north, Rwanda and Tanzania in the South.

Must See Things

There are lots of things to do in this country. According to the Uganda Guide, an online portal with resourceful information to help you plan a perfect safari, the must do things include

  • gorilla trekking in the impenetrable jungles of Bwindi and Mgahinga National Parks
  • chimpanzee tracking in the tropical rain forests of Kibale, Kalinzu, Budongo and the Kyambura Gorge
  • Rafting the River Nile in Jinja, the adventure capital of Uganda
  • Hiking the famed Rwenzori Mountains
  • Game Viewing in the savanna plains of various national parks that include Queen Elizabeth National Park, Murchison Falls National Park,. Kidepo Wilderness Area and Lake Mburo National Park.

What You Need to Know to Plan Your Trip

Uganda is gifted with a tropical climate and its temperatures always change all through the year and Uganda does not experience winter or summer and it can be visited any time of the year, although many tourists prefer visiting Uganda during the dry season.

The hottest months are January and February when the average daytime range is 24-33°C (52-91°F) June –October is also known as dry season and the wet season run from March to May and November, although even during the dry seasons, it can still run. Uganda neighbors countries like Sudan, Kenya, Lake Victoria, Tanzania, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Experience a Traditional Safari

Uganda is gifted with 10 national parks and over 12 game reserves, mountains, museum, lakes and rivers good for relaxation that’s this reasons that Sir Winston Churchill named Uganda the ‘’pearl of Africa’’. Each of Uganda’s attraction is gifted with unique attractions and many attractions are still virgin just waiting for you to explore. You can Plan in advance and visit at least one or all of the Uganda’s attractions depending on your budget, interest and the number of days you have in Uganda.

Guided Vs Self Drive Tours

You can explore Uganda on self-drive or on a tailored made tour and visit Uganda’s national parks, game reserves and mountains as well as lakes and stand a chance to catch up with incredible attractions including endangered gorillas, the man’s closest relatives the chimps, different species of animals and birds, enjoy cultural experience relax on beautiful lakes and Rivers just to mention but a few. Exploring the park on your own gives you the chance to discover a lot of attractions, you have the chance to drive at your own pace and you can choose to visit one park after another on the same safari. Below are the ten Uganda national parks let us examine one by one.