With an estimate of about 900 mountain gorillas left in the whole world, gorilla tracking has merged out as the most outstanding tourism activity on the continent, Africa. Their scarcity and rareness has caused a massive look-out for them and many primate lovers in the whole world travel simply to have a glance at them in their natural habitats. Both Uganda and Rwanda are the lucky few countries where these elegant primates are found and undoubtedly these countries offer the best trekking experience. When you combine the total number of primates in these two nations, they have over90% of the world’s total number of mountain gorillas. This is why most tourists and researchers interested in them either go to Uganda or Rwanda. Gorillas can also be found in Democratic Republic of Congo but due to uncertainties and peace related problems, it makes it tricky for trackers to fancy going there when Uganda and Rwanda are better off completely. Many of them in DRC were killed by the soldiers during the war and the left few are not easily tracked. This leaves one with only two best options for a thrilling gorilla tracking experience and that is none other than Rwanda and Uganda. The tropical rain forests where these elegant species live offer an additional adventure when tracking them and real nature lovers always get the best experience in the forests.
In Uganda, gorilla trekking is mainly carried out in the tropical rain forests of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga gorilla national Park. In these parks, a visitor is assured of encountering the primates in their well-gazatted families making it easier and less stressing to find. There are well demarcated paths in these parks which tourists use while looking for the primates and these are strategically located in areas which offer the best natural view.
Presently, Bwindi has 12 gorilla families which are ready to be trekked making it the number one home for the primates. The park hosts very many visitors on a daily basis who come specifically to spend some quality time with the gorillas and they leave the country with a life-changing story to tell. Apart from gorilla trekking, a Batwa cultural walk in Bwindi is another interesting activity one can enjoy while in the park. This involves visiting the small ethnic group of people who live in the heart of the impenetrable forest of Bwindi. Their rich-cultural setting is worth exploring especially to foreigners who are interested in knowing more about the culture of Africa. In most cases, this Batwa cultural walk comes as an additional activity and it’s mainly done after a gorilla tracking experience.
In Mgahinga National Park, there are fewer families compared to Bwindi but this doesn’t change the fact that it offers a thrilling trekking atmosphere. Its gorilla families are well spaced and easily accessed making the search more convenient and less tiresome.
In Rwanda, Gorilla tracking is the leading tourism activity and it has greatly contributed to the development of Rwanda’s tourism industry. This adventurous activity is mainly carried out in the tropical rain forests of Volcanoes National park where the primates live. The easiness and flexibility one enjoys on the trip is incomparable while in the most breathtaking points of the country. While in Volcanoes National Park, there are other additional activities one can opt for like Dian Fossey grave hike, and golden monkey tracking. These become more thrilling when combined with a gorilla trek.
Both Uganda and Rwanda are therefore unmatched when it comes to a real primate adventure and a combined safari to these East African countries is a life changing experience.Read More
The old man was thin and gaunt with deep wrinkles in the back of his neck. The brown blotches of the benevolent skin cancer the sun brings from its eflection on the tropic.Read More
How to compare cars before making a reservation for yourself
Where can I get a car for renting?
Usually, there are a score of fair rental companies where you can rent a car from. Of course, this car might be for your safari or any other business you may wish to use the car depending on the terms you agree with the company you are renting the car from. You will search on line or go through a number of car rental companies in the country and here you will need to compare the rates before you final pay for the car. There will be a variety of cars which will be offered for you to be rented and it will be up to you to choose the best car which will fit your demand. Before renting, you are advised to look at the collision damage, waiver, the unlimited mileage, road assistance and you will have to confirm if they are all included on the car you are renting.
How do I obtain car rental discounts?
Different companies do put promotions on line that is internet about the car rentals which are in terms of discount codes and coupon. As a client, you will first look for the car you have to rent and if you are lucky that day, you will when you are on line, you will get the car on a reduced price.
What advantages can I get from booking the car online?
- You will get rid of the hidden fees which are incurred when you book directly from the company. Booking online will make you escape expenses which most companies do include in the car hire package. These costs are often brought forward for you when they are well detailed and you have to know that the real face value of car hire services will go for other than meting them during or after the car hire experience. In comparison when you hit the car hire premises and ask for a car to hire sometimes you will regret as to why you might have involved in car hiring the car directly from the company.
- Booking the car online is time saving and very convenient than when you visit the offices directly. Sitting on your laptop, smart phone or your desktop will allow you visit different websites which offer car rental services. You will then send inquiries after you gotten the best car quotes and usually you will get the feed back in a period of less than 24 hours. No serious hustle is involved in this type of renting and compared when you visit the offices directly. When you are online, it means that booking can be done everywhere and feed backs can find you anywhere. It can be done whether you are at home or whether you are in your office working
This type of booking is money saving. Money which would otherwise be used to transport yourself to car rental premises can just be used to obtain data or internet which can help you book the car you wish on lineRead More
Besides Mountain Gorilla’s being a unique adventure desired by many travelers to track, most see it as a bit expensive which often limits people including it on their wishlist for Africa travel plans. However hope is not lost if only proper planning is taken into consideration especially off season peak periods when prices scale down but still realizing value for many especially Budget and backpacker travelers. Uganda offers that glimpse of hope for off season relatively cheap gorilla tracking permits. Three year ago Uganda gorilla permits used to cost $500 per person year round and a slight change started in 2014 where trackers could get Gorilla permits at $350 during low season and $600 for high season a price which still runs up to present. For a decade now many budget tours run across Bwindi Impenetrable Rain forest Park and Mgahinga mountain park to track habituated mountain Gorillas in all the four park sectors, Buhoma, Ruhija, Rushaga and Nkuringo.
The Majority demand of cheap Uganda Gorillas safaris created hotel investment opportunities for many local and foreign investors in order to meet the demand of the growing tourist arrivals to the park. Today if your dream is to sleep in a clean self contained affordable lodge or camp, you have a list to pick from provided you book the right lodge for the right Gorilla family tracking sector. Buhoma rest camp, Nshongi Gorilla camp, broadbill camp, Gift of nature lodge, Wagtail eco lodge, Bwindi back parker lodge, Golden monkey hotel, Gorilla friendly camp are the most desired Bwindi forest Budget lodges in Uganda.
I know Uganda Shares the Mountain gorillas with two others countries Rwanda & Democratic Republic of Congo the largest population and cheap Gorilla permits make it the better bet during off season period coupled with diversity of over safari nature wildlife excursions. Besides private and backpacker, travel from the main city to the park is convenient provided and requires atleast 3days schedule if not flying. Start by booking your Gorilla permit either online or with a responsible Uganda tour operator, and later set off for the gorilla tracking tour to western Uganda. If your tour is private don’t hassle waking up early to go to the bus terminal to leave the city with the early morning bus, just have your breakfast and wait for your driver guide to pick you up from your hotel of residence since all is handled by the tour operator. The travel time on round is around nine hours so you need to be on the road latest 7.00am local time. Ensure that your Gorilla permit is booked before leaving the park main office in Kampala, Uganda Wildlife Authority. Expect to see the Uganda Equator, local drum makers, Art & pottery work and grand cultural displays at igongo cultural museum. Lake Mburo wildlife can be spotted on your way especially the Zebras and some travelers make road stops for few photo captions before heading to Bwindi forest.
In fact the drive is too scenic for those who do private budget trips since you can stop any where unlike in public buses where you can’t stop others passengers for your personal interests. Gorilla tracking starts at 8.00am after briefing at 7:30am and tracking is only done once per day. Bwindi Impenetrable RainForest Park treks are not too tough as per the saying since tourists are able to find the sliver back mountain Gorillas with its other family members in just 1-3 hours though some times the trek takes long to end but the encounter is worth the effort. The allowed one hour of photography with the Gorillas give tourists amazing life lasting memories and a reason for many Gorilla visitors to the country every day. However when backpacking it even goes more low since you spend less on both public transport and accommodation unlike the Gorilla tracking permit price which is constant for a particular season for all trackers. Friends can also work for you if you travel with them and share costs.
Uganda though unique with the gorilla tracking life time experience safaris, its also endowed with a diversity of Nature wildlife excursions and water adventures in its over 5 National parks of Queen Elizabeth, Murchison Falls, Kidepo park, Kibale forest park mostly for primates and bird safaris, Lake Mburo with high diversity of antelopes, Zebra’s, Giraffe, Hippos etc. A drive to Jinja enable you witness the source of the great longest River in the world the Nile river as discovered by one of the great British Explorer John Speke coupled with water activities like white water rafting, spot fishing, boat cruises and Bungee jumps for the strong hearted.Read More
Are you interested in ecology or nature? A Uganda gorilla safari is worthy a take for you. Mountain gorillas are one of the greatest apes in the world and the rest of the apes include man, chimpanzees, bonobos, orangutans and the gibbons. Gorillas are the hugest primates in the world.
There are two species of gorillas in the world that is the western and eastern gorillas. The gorillas are classified by the regions they live in.
There are also sub species of gorillas for the case of the eastern gorillas, there are the eastern lowland gorillas and the mountain gorillas. Cutting the chase we emphasize on the mountain gorillas that are found in Uganda. The mountain gorillas are only found in Uganda, Rwanda, and The Democratic Republic of Congo.
There are a few mountain gorillas left in the world with the population of 880 and Uganda has almost a half of these gorillas (420 which are found in Bwindi impenetrable national park and Mgahinga national park).
Mountain gorillas are endangered species that are almost getting extinct in the world. This is due to the very many threats the gorillas are facing like destroying of their inhabitants by local people to get timber and logs. Gorillas also have a very low reproductive rate where by the female gorillas produce one infant at a time and also take a period of four years to produce another. They are also poached by the locals in order to get game meat. This has led to wildlife organization like world wildlife fund (WWF) to embark on conserving and preserving them. The organizations have encouraged visiting the mountain gorillas in their natural environment in order to witness how precious it is to watch the gorillas. So by visiting the gorillas in Uganda, a person pays money for tracking them of which the money is used to cater for the conservation and protection.
Conservation and protection of the gorilla is one of the reasons to take a Uganda gorilla safari now.
Gorillas are also very interesting animals to watch and also the gorilla tracking at large is a very adventurous and exciting tourism activity to undertake. Gorillas make one wonder if they are animals or humans since they normally associate among each others like humans. Many people enjoy interacting with these unique animals and come to Uganda over and over again to watch them. So do not miss to see one of man’s closest cousins in the jungle because at any one at time the gorillas will be no more. What makes it more exciting is that one has travel from the capital to the far southwestern part of Uganda.
But one should not be worried of the accessibility of the park as you can reach the park by hiring a safari car in Uganda through a tour company or travel agent or booking a charter flight to the park.
The prices of gorilla tracking are relatively low compare to other countries where they are trekked. Everyone would like to save some money due to its scarcity so take on Uganda gorilla safari now before the prices escalate.Read More
There are many leisure activities that are adventurous and fun in Uganda like one can go for bungee jumping, rafting, sky driving but at the end of it all, those activities take a short time and are being involved in by very many people. There is something that is so natural and relaxing and that is watching the biodiversity in its natural setting.
Uganda has master pieces of these wild animals and plants in their natural environment. Come to Uganda and travel to the west and southern part of the country. This is where most of the wild flora and fauna is found. Many people have visited and have had wonderful experiences and stories to take back home. This trip is more fascinating as you travel by a 4×4 safari car hire in Uganda that is a four wheel vehicle since the roads leading to such areas are raged and also found far away from the city which makes the expedition more adventurous
The wild experience stretches from Murchison fall national park where you find very many big mammals like elephants, buffaloes, zebras, antelopes, giraffes, oribis, elands, kobs moving around looking for survival. At this park there is also Albert Nile which is a sub river of river Nile the longest river in the world and on it one take a launch cruise with a rewarded display of aquatic life and other big mammals at the banks of the river.
On the wild experience one encounters Queen Elizabeth national park the medley of wonders; this has so many tourist attractions that are rarely seen anywhere it is a big five national park as it possesses the lions, leopards, elephants and buffaloes. It also has a mystical place of Maramagambo forest where bat caving is done. It has good sightseeing features of the crater lakes of Katwe explosions. One cannot forget to have a cultural encounter where you watch the traditional dances and arts. With all that Queen Elizabeth is the most popular national park in Uganda.
At the wild experience there is visiting the mountain gorillas in Bwindi impenetrable national park. This is a thrill where one takes a hike through the tropical rain forest of Bwindi looking for the hugest primates on planet earth. This is exhilarating as one come up close with the gorilla looking at each other eye to eye. You are able to take outrageous pictures of these wonderful animals. A gorilla trip to Bwindi is one of a kind as the mountain gorillas are only found in Uganda, Rwanda and the democratic republic of Congo. The mountain gorillas are ranked among the top ten sought out animals by tourists in Africa.
Visiting Murchison falls, queen Elizabeth and Bwindi impenetrable national parks is the best way of living on the wild side as this comprises of watching exotic animals, bird species and trees species, having a boat ride on the water bodies which comes with an aquatic life experience and encountering the cultural and traditional life of the people living around these national park is a marvel.
There is all a trending option of living on the wild side other than taking up a wildlife safari with a tour which is a self drive in Uganda where you can explore Uganda’s wildness on your own.Read More
There is concern about the fate of a few gorillas that might seem misplaced in the context of a genocide that claimed about a million human lives. These very gorillas have allowed Rwanda to rebuild the lucrative tourist industry that was shattered by the war. The activity of gorilla tracking resumed on a permanent basis in July 1999 and the volcanoes national park has remained open ever since a period during which the volume of permits sold annually has increased more. The mountain gorillas do bring tourists to Rwanda but once there, they will usually spend money in other parts of the country and provides foreign revenue creating employment beyond the immediate vicinity of volcanoes national park.
The land of a thousand hills ranks among the world’s most exciting emergent eco-tourism destinations. A few would have expected it 20 years ago, when a long-simmering civil war erupted into a tragic genocide in which up to a million people died. After two decades of subsequent political stability, have seen the country emerge as one of the most economically vibrant and socially progressive countries in Africa.
Possibly the most exciting and moving wildlife encounter you will ever experience is gorilla tracking/trekking. This activity starts with a tense ascent through a fertile volcanic slopes dense with cultivation, into a hushed montane forest. The republic of Rwanda is one of the world’s premier gorilla trekking safari destination though there is much to see besides the endangered mountain gorillas. There is a mountain- ringed inland sea that is lake Kivu; the immerse Nyungwe Forest National park with its chimpanzees, monkeys and all the rare birds; wild Savannah of Akagera National park. There is an endless succession of the steep cultivated mountains that have justifiably earned Rwanda the nickname of the “land of a thousand hills”. Some visitors and tourists do query the wisdom of habituating gorillas for tourists visits.
When you going to track gorillas, one of the area of concern is health with the humans and the gorillas which are being sufficiently close genetically. There are risks of passing a viral or bacterial infection to a habituated gorilla which might turn affect a real risk of passing a viral bacterial infection to a habituated gorilla group. This might also turn to infect other members of its group potentially resulting in all their deaths and should have no resistance to the infection. Also to be considered is the concern of habituating gorillas to the humans to increase their vulnerability to the poachers. A theory backed up by the fact that most mountain gorillas poached since the mid 1990s and these belonged to the habituated groups.
From the above, a reasonable response might arise to query the wisdom of habituating the endangered mountain gorillas. Some things to be considered are the challenges facing the conservationists that the gorillas cannot be conserved in a vacuum. AT the current prices, the Rwandan authorities can potentially earn approximately US $ 48,000 daily in tracking the permits only. However much of this money is pumped back into the protection and the management of the volcanoes park and sometimes distributed to the local communities bordering the park. There are also the broader benefits or job creation through tourism in and around the Virungas and even in terms of pure conservation habituation has many of the positive effects and this allows many researchers and rangers to monitor the gorillas on a daily basis to intervene when one of then is ill or injured.
For tourism is the integral to the survival of the endangered mountain gorilla. The survival of these endangered apes is certainly very integral to the growth of Rwanda’s tourist industry. Ultimately, it is a symbiotic situation that motivates a far greater number of people to take an active interest in the fate of the gorillas than would be the case if gorilla tourism were to be curtailed.Read More
Set off on a once in a lifetime journey into the lush hills of Uganda and Rwanda to encounter chimpanzees and mountain gorillas in the wild. Observe chimpanzees with a primatologist, and trek gorillas in the forests of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and volcanoes National park. Spend two days tracking chimpanzees, two days tracking gorillas, and one day tracking endangered golden monkeys.Watch the antics of chimpanzees up close at a sanctuary. Go on safari and take a wildlife cruise in Uganda’s Queen Elizabeth National Park.Meet with scientists at the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund’s Karisoke Research Center.
Trip Provider: This trip is run by Rwanda Gorilla Safaris, a Kigali based tour operator.
Itinerary of 11 days Uganda and Rwanda
Day 1&2; Entebbe, Uganda/Ngamba Island
Arrive in Entebbe and transfer to our hotel. The next day, visit the Chimpanzee Sanctuary on Ngamba Island, established in association with the Jane Goodall Institute as a habitat for rescued and orphaned chimpanzees. Later, explore the Uganda Wildlife Education Centre. Dinner and Overnight Namirembe guest house.
Day 3&4; Kibale National Park
Drive from Kampala to Kibale National Park with lunch en-route and check in to our lodge, set on a crater lake. Meet with a local researcher and search for chimpanzees, black-and-white colobus, red-tailed, and blue monkeys, as well as the rare L’Hoest’s monkey. Explore the Bigodi Wetland Sanctuary. Dinner and overnight atKibale forest lodge, mountains of the moon, kyaninga lodge.
Day 5&6; Kibale National Park/Queen Elizabeth National Park
Spend a second morning tracking chimpanzees. Today we get the opportunity to explore Kibale Forest National Park. Kibale Forest is home to 13 primate species and a guided forest trek can be taken in search of one of the most popular primate species in the world the chimpanzee. There are 9 diurnal primates, include, vervet, red-tailed, L’Hoest’s, blue monkeys, grey-cheeked mangabey, red colobus, black and white colobus, olive baboon and the most famous of all, the chimpanzee.Continue to Queen Elizabeth National Park, and go on safari to look for elephants, lions, and Ugandan kobs before an afternoon wildlife cruise.Dinner and overnightBush lodge, Mweya safari lodge, katala lodge.
Day 7&8; Queen Elizabeth National Park/ Bwindi Impenetrable National Park
Travel to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. The next morning, head into the park’s forests, home to roughly half the world’s remaining mountain gorillas. Sit among these gentle giants, observing one of the planet’s most endangered creatures up close. Dinner and overnight at Mutanda lakes resort, Buhoma haven lodge, silverback lodge, mahogany springs
Day 9&10; Volcanoes National Park, Rwanda
Settle into your private villa overlooking the surrounding volcanoes and lakes. Meet experts at the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund’s Karisoke Research Center to learn about ongoing conservation efforts. Spend the next day tracking mountain gorillas in Volcanoes National Park, where National Geographic grantee Dian Fossey conducted research on gorillas for 18 years. Enjoy a traditional dance performance this evening.
Day11;Volcanoes National Park/Kigali
This morning, search for endangered golden monkeys in the park. After lunch, visit a local school. Then transfer to the airport for your flight home.Read More
You may have heard of this place, or at least seen clips from it on TV; where thousands of thousands, sometimes millions, of bright pink flamingos gather in a great spectacle on one single lake. Does it sound familiar? Well, what you have seen on TV is not special effects, it is a real place with real birds and you can go there to see it. The place to go is Lake Nakuru in the Great Rift Valley, KenyaLake Nakuru is conveniently located close to the Masai Mara which makes it a popular destination for safari tourists. And watching flamingos is essentially the only thing you do at this destination. It might not sound like the most thrilling activity, but when the number of birds exceeds a million, sometimes two million, it suddenly becomes more exhilarating!
The sight can only be described as unbelievable, when the blue lake seems to disappear under a massive layer of hungry, pink flamingos. And soon after you might see the sky turn pink, as the entire flock of birds decides to take off at the same time. The only problem for tourists in this matter is the timing. There is no such thing as a good season and bad season for watching flamingos at Lake Nakuru. The seasons only affect the water level, and naturally the water is high during wet season and low during dry season. But the birds are there, on and off, all year around. What matters to the birds are other conditions, like the amount of algae. If there is no algae, the birds will simply fly to another lake. And most people will book their trip long before they know what the algae concentration willlook like. So I can only wish you the best of luck!
Though, if you decide to go, remember that as tourists we have a responsibility to be careful about how we affect the local wildlife. And sometimes it might not be possible to be careful enough, as our bare presence itself might be all it takes to have an undesirable impact. Over recent years the flamingo population has been observed to decline, and one reason can be the large stream of tourists flowing through the Rift Valley. This is not proven, and there are several other causes that may have a much stronger effect on the bird population.
But we should be aware of the possibility and take it into consideration. So as you travel, keep reminding yourself to minimize your impact on the environment!Read More
Self drive involves renting a car from a car provider of which traveler or customer leads to a particular destination by himself or herself. Self drive in Uganda is becoming so popular because it is adventurous and one travels and gets involved with Uganda independently. On a self drive in Uganda, one can do anything one likes as long as you are not breaking the laws and rules in the country.
Have you ever thought of taking a self drive around Kampala city as you look at its beautiful attractions? Kampala city is the most populous city and at the same time capital and commercial city in Uganda. Despite of being a commercial city, it has lots of tourist attractions one may encounter while driving in Uganda. These attractions are enjoyed at their maximum capacity by taking a self drive tour.
While in Kampala city, here are some of the famous places you can visit to enjoy a self drive tour:
you can take a ride at the Uganda national museum at Kira road. At the museum you are able to know some of Uganda’s history. The museum has historical remains of the ancestors and also for the heroes of Uganda with good narrations from the museum guide.
You can also go to Mengo where you find some of Buganda kingdom structures like the Bulange which is the parliament building of Buganda, also the former torture house of former president Idi Amin, the Kabaka’s palace which posses so much history of Buganda and Uganda at large. One cannot forget to go to Kasubi tombs and shrines where the past kings of Buganda are buried which is near Mengo.
You can also visit the most prestigious religious sites in Uganda while you take a self drive in Kampala. There is the Old Kampala Gadaffi mosque which is the main worship place for Muslims in Uganda, almost within the same region, there is the Namirembe cathedral the main shrine for the Catholics.
There are also the Namugongo shrines which are also the memorial place where the Uganda Christian martyrs were killed. These are found in Namugongo on the outskirt of Kampala city.
There is also the national theatre in the middle of Kampala and this is where most of the national drama, plays are acted and also some cultural ceremonies are held. At the national theatre, there is also a cultural village where you can have a chance of buying Africa’s cultural commodities for example the craft shoes, clothes, bangles, clocks and different potteries.
There are also recreation centers in Kampala, shopping, clubs and cool restaurants that can make a self drive so fine. Some of these include the Nakumatt supermarket at oasis mall, capital shoppers, Game and Shoprite supermarkets, Mega supermarket in the middle of the city, Acacia mall which is the newest and most modernized shopping mall in Uganda and the centenary park which has a variety of hang outs with very many city revelers to interact with while having fun.
There are also very many discotheques in Kampala where you can have fun at night and relax your mind as you listen to Uganda’s finest music and also international music.Read More