Gorilla trekking is a reason alone for a trip to the Eastern part of Africa. Thousands of travelers from different parts of the world are welcomed to numerous countries like Uganda, Rwanda, and DR Congo for this remarkable experience.
This great adventure is a must-do and grants tourists an opportunity to meet the rarely seen species of Gorillas in the Jungle. It includes treks through the Jungle until you discover the exact location of the Gorilla family you are tracing for. So it is no surprise that every participant is required to be physically fit.
Bwindi Impenetrable National Park
Declared as a National Park, Bwindi is located just at the rim of the great Albertine Rift Valley in the Western part of Uganda. It covers a total area of 331 square kilometers which spans three districts including Kisoro, Kabale, and Rukungiri. This is the most popular destination for gorilla safaris in Africa.
Part of the park is occupied by the impenetrable Bwindi Forest, a great home to a plethora of Mountain Gorillas. The Park’s altitude range between 1160 meters and 2607 meters up to the Rwamanyonyi peak. It receives heavy rainfall in the months of March, April, September, and November, then the rest of the months are dry.
Adding to Gorillas, Bwindi is home to a number of 120 mammals including eleven primates, 360 species of birds, 324 tree species, and 200 butterflies. After Gorilla trekking in Bwindi, you can partake in other activities like bird watching, forest walks, and Batwa community visits.
Mgahinga Gorilla National Park
If not Bwindi, Mgahinga is a perfect alternative for those who would wish to trek Gorillas in Uganda. Located in Kisoro district, southwestern Uganda, this park is 55 km west of Kabale and 15 km south of Kisoro town.
It was established in 1991 to protect a number of Wildlife species including the Mountain Gorillas. Three volcanic mountains (Muhabura, Gahinga, and mount Sabyinyo add to a number of incredible scenery in the Park’s boundaries.
What’s more, this 33.9 square kilometers park is amongst the three parks that form the Virunga massif. Its bamboo forests, tropical rainforests, and Afromontane forests are home not only to Gorillas, but also to other species like Golden monkeys, red-tailed monkeys, and red colobus monkeys, birds to name but a few.
Kahuzi Biega National Park
Not like the above four listed parks, Kahuzi Biega National Park differs itself unique from the species of the Eastern Lowland Gorillas. It is tucked far away in the Eastern region of the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Its name was derived from the two volcanoes (mount Kahuzi and Biega) that occupy part of its total area. Its ecosystem which consists of grasslands, dry savannah, bamboo forests, swamps, and rainforests is inhabited by multiple species including 349 birds, insects, and 136 mammals.
Family trips on East African road trip are amazing! But finding a suitable Uganda car rental is the most challenging part of it all. Your choice of rental car matters a lot when choosing the kind of car for your family tour or any road trip in East Africa. It plays a significant role if you are to have a fun-filled road trip. You need a car with comfortable seats, lots of amenities and also comes with amazing offers.
We have variety of family size cars suitable for road trips in East Africa. Interestingly, our fleets of family car rentals are fitted with air conditioners, FM radio, CD player and above all, they are reliable, safe and save a lot on fuel.
Safari Land Cruiser (Hard top, V8 or VX)
We have a range of Safari Land Cruisers suitable for family trips. You can choose from our comfortable Safari Land Cruiser Hardtop, Land Cruiser VX, Land Cruiser V8. These are all ideal for visitor exploration in East Africa’s premier destinations such as Murchison Falls National Park, Kidepo Valley National Park, Serengeti National Park, Masai Mara National Reserve, Akagera National Park and many more.
Our land cruisers are available with capacity range of 5 to 8pax. They are the best not for only family trips but also outdoor camping safaris anywhere in East Africa. They are equipped with air conditioners, pop-up rooftop, mini fridge and a lot more.
Toyota Prado- TX, TZ, GX
Book our excellent 4×4 Toyota Prado and have the best of East Africa holiday. Our fleet of Toyota Prado rentals exist with capacity of about 6pax. You enjoy great features such as an MP3, CD, FM Radio, air conditioner, pop up roof/sun roof offering ultimate game viewing experience. Visitors can book Toyota Prado TX, TZ or Toyota Prado GX at affordable rate.
Have a fun-filled family trip in East Africa by using our 4×4 Toyota Rav4. Our Toyota Rav4 rentals are available in 4WD and preferably the best for family trips, self-drive tours in East Africa. They accommodate from 2 to 4 visitors, fully equipped with Fm radio, air conditioner and comprehensively insured.
Toyota Super Custom
Toyota Super Customs are available in 4×4 and capacity of 7pax. They are the best for East Africa safaris and come with pop-up thus allowing you enjoy excellent view of wildlife in East Africa’s savanna protected areas. They are fitted with best air conditioners, FM radio, spacious boot and many other amenities.
For sightseeing tours, look no further than Safari minivans. Our minivans are available with capacity of about 9 clients. You enjoy amazing view of wildlife given the pop-up rooftop. The other amenities that come with safari minivans include air conditioners, adequate space, comfortable seats making them the most preferred for East Africa safaris.
For all large group safaris, book coaster minibuses. These are available with capacity of 25 to 35 people. They are ideal for family trips, weddings, company gateways, introductions.
Book saloon cars for your family travels and you won’t regret. These are perfect for small group travels, family tours, conference, weddings and others.Read More
Get an ultimate road trip experience in Tanzania using any of our Dodoma 4×4 rental cars. We have a wide-selection of 4×4 car hire in Dodoma offering you complete flexibility, total privacy and freedom to explore Tanzania at your own pace. Our 4×4 rental cars in Dodoma include the latest SUVs-the Sport Utility Vehicles also best known as the off-road vehicles such as the 4×4 Toyota Land Cruiser, 4×4 Toyota Rav4, 4×4 Nissan X trail, full-size 4×4 Safari Land Cruisers, Safari Mini Vans, Land Rovers, Toyota Prado, Hilux Double Cabin Pick ups to mention but a few.
4×4 Toyota Land Cruiser
Rent 4×4 Toyota Land Cruiser from Dodoma at an affordable price and have a great opportunity to explore Tanzania uniquely. Our 4×4 Land Cruiser has a capacity of 2pax, diesel engine of 130 liters, power steering, fitted with snorkel, ABS, Radio, CD, fuel economy, air conditioner and available in manual transmission.
4×4 Toyota Prado
Go explore the magical Tanzania using our 4×4 Toyota Prado SUV This is fitted with power mirror, air conditioning, windows stereo tape, CD player, ABS, adequate space, 5 doors, powerful engine and it is comprehensively insured.
Start your road trip from Dodoma comfortably using our 4×4 Toyota Rav4. It is compact and fitted with stereo tape, CD players, air conditioners, air bags and this is available in manual or automatic transmission. Toyota Rav4 can be rented for self-drive tour or chauffeur driven/car rental with the driver.
We have a range of saloon vehicles/sedans/station wagons consisting of 4 doors, available in manual and automatic transmission. They are available in Toyota Premio, Hyundai Accent fitted with powerful engine 1.3 cc, air bags, MP3, CD players, power windows and mirrors, 2WD.
Safari Mini Van
Hire Safari Mini Van for your Tanzania safaris from Dodoma and have a memorable trip. This exists in custom made Toyota Hiace/Nissan Urvan featuring pop-up roof for excellent wildlife viewing experiences, comfortable seats. Other incredible features that come with include MP3, CD player, capacity of 6 to 8pax, adequate space and available in 2WD/4x4WD with 4 doors. Travelers on Tanzania tour choose between automatic and manual transmission.
Safari Land Cruiser
Our custom-made Safari Land Cruisers feature pop up roof providing excellent wildlife viewing experience to tourists. These can be rented with driver and they are among the best 4×4 Land Cruiser category. They are available with 5 doors, manual transmission and fitted with MP3, CD player.
Why choose Car Rental Tanzania for your Tanzania safaris?
- Opportunity to enjoy unlimited mileage
- No drop off charges involved
- Fun-filled road trip
- Safety and security
- 24/7 road assistance
There are a number of things to put in consideration in order to save fuel on your self drive safari in Africa. It is well known that regular car maintenance and servicing will help you save a great deal on fuel but it is not in your control. It is the car hire company will be in charge of ensuring that the car is well maintained.
Assuming you have hired a car from a reputable self drive car hire company that regularly services its vehicles like 4x4uganda, then the following will be some of the things to put in consideration to save a great deal of fuel during your self drive safari in Africa:
Proper Tire Inflation
Whenever you hire a vehicle, it is recommended that take charge of a few issues on your car such as inflation. Many at times, people put inflation in consideration in regard to avoiding punctures more so on off road trip. For this reason, they often inflate the tires between 25 psi and 30 psi to reduce on the likelihood of punctures during their off-road trip.
However, when it is comes to fuel consumption, inflation also plays a big role. Considering inflation between 30 psi and 40 psi is recommended. It helps your car to more easily hence reducing on the required strength in regard to acceleration.
Fuel Your Car Early in Morning
It has been proven over and over again; colder fuel has a higher density than warm fuel. To better benefit in fueling your car, it is recommended you fuel your car very early in the morning when the fuel still has a higher density compared to fueling in the afternoon.
Engage a Cruise Button While on a Highway
It is not common to find a safari car with a cruise button in Africa. It is for the same reasons that you should first inquiry about the availability of a car with a cruise button. A cruise button will help you drive at constant speed which will also help you save a great deal on fuel.
Avoid car idling
Whenever you are driving in the capital cities, its recommended to keep the engine off. This is because sometimes you might remain in the same place for over 5 minutes without moving yet keeping the car in idling.
However, it should be noted that idling is recommended for a diesel issue. It is a bad practice among some safari cars to keep turning the diesel engine on and off.
Accelerating steadily helps the car to pick up momentum slowly without burning a lot of fuel. Accelerating speedily will burn a lot of fuel compared to accelerating steadily.
Therefore, anyone that considers saving gas during their self drive adventure, they should take extra attention on how they accelerate.
Maintain an 80km/hr speed on a highway
It is very common to find people driving above 100 kilometers per hour on a high but this is already in violation of most of the terms and conditions of most of the car hire companies. The 80kms/hr does not only put you on safe side when driving but also helps you to save fuel.
Consider a Diesel Engine against a Gasoline Engine
When it comes to Engine performance, a gasoline engine is far better than the diesel engine. But when it comes to being economical, the diesel engine is the best choice. There are several land cruisers that have diesel engine options.
However, whenever you hire a safari car with a diesel engine, make sure it has a turbo timer. If it does not have a turbo time, then you should at least give it a full minute in idling mode after a long drive.
Fuel from Recommended Locations
You should never be influenced by the rates when fueling your car, rather focus on the location of the fuel station. It is recommended that you fuel your car on gas stations located on hills.
Most of the gas stations located in valleys are likely to be affected by water during the rainy seasons since the fuel is stored underground. To avoid all the trouble that comes with fuel mixed with some portions of water, fuel your car from gas stations located on hills.
Whenever you use poor fuel in a car, the engine will struggle to process it which will not only increase the fuel consumption of the car but also the car performance.
Check Service Validity
It is public knowledge, whenever a car is poorly serviced, it will consume a lot of fuel. Though you cannot check everything in regard to service, serviced car have stickers showing their next servicing date and the mileage available for a given tenure.Read More
Planning a safari to Congo? A hike at mountain Nyiragongo should not be missed. Mount Nyiragongo is an active stratovolcano with an elevation of 3,470m in the Virunga Mountains associated with the Albertine Rift. It’s located inside Virunga National park, in DR. Congo, about 20km north of the town of Goma and Lake Kivu and just west of the border with Rwanda. The main crater is about two kilometers wide and usually contains a lava lake. The crater has two distinct cooled Lava beeches within the crater walls, one at about 3,175m and a lower one at about 2,975m. Nyiragongo’s lava lake has at times been the most huge known lava lake in recent history. The depth of the lava lake varies considerably. The maximum elevation of the lava lake was also recorded at about 3,250m.
The volcano partly overlaps with two older volcanoes, Baratu and Shaheru, and is also surrounded by hundreds of small volcanic cinder cones from Flank eruptions. The lava emitted in eruptions at Nyiragongo is often unusually fluid. Nyiragongo‘s lavas are made of Melilite nephelinite which is an alkali-rich type of volcanic rock whose unusual chemical composition might be a factor in the unusual fluidity of the lavas there. Its lavas flows might race downhill at up to 100km/h. This is because of the extremely low silica content, but the Hawaiian volcanoes are broad, shallow sloped shield volcanoes in contrast to the steep-sided cone of Nyiragongo, and the Silica content is high enough to slow the flow to a walking pace.
About Nyiragongo Eruptions:
There have been about 34 eruptions that have taken place around the Nyiragongo volcanic mountains and these include; the 1977 eruption, which happened when the crater walls of the volcano fractured which led to the draining of the lava lake within an hour. This led to the flooding of the lava down on the edges of the volcano and on the higher slopes which resulted in killing over seventy (70) people in the nearby villages. This 1977 eruption that took place tried to raise awareness about the dangers of this volcano and it also created a fresh small volcano called murara which is a few kilometers away from Nyamuragira.
The second eruption took place in 2002 and this happened after several processes of Fumarolic and seismic activities which happened on this volcano. There was a fissure that was released in the southern flank and was about 13km spreading from about 2800m to 1550m of elevation hence reaching the town of Goma which is the capital along the northern shores of Lake Kivu. The lava greatly streamed towards the city of Goma and about 400000 people had been vacated from the city to the border of Rwanda in Gisenyi town. Lava run and covered Goma airport raising the threat that it might release larger amounts of Carbon-dioxide as well as Methane. This 2002 eruption killed over 147 people and the city of Goma collapsed due to the fact that the building was falling apart leaving over 120000 people without homes. Many more buildings in the city of Goma continued to fall due to the massive earthquake that continued to happen for close to 3 months following the eruptions.
There are also ongoing threats of mountain Nyiragongo including the Carbon dioxide that killed many children up to recent times. In places where gas was released from underground and dispersed in the wind had many deadly effects on the lives of the people. just recently on the 8th of March 2016, the Goma observatory discovered yet another vent that opened at the northeastern side of the crater; there is a possibility of this bringing yet another eruption in Goma town.
About the Nyiragongo Hike- 3 days
Transfer to Gisenyi; upon your arrival, you are picked from the airport by your travel guide and taken to Gisenyi Rwanda. On this day, you have a number of optional activities ranging from enjoying a Kigali city tour and visiting the Iby’ Iwacu cultural village, enjoying a boat ride on the Lake Kivu, or even visiting the Volcanoes National Park. You will also have your dinner and spend a night in Rwanda.
The second day is for hiking Nyiragongo Mountain; you will get up early in the morning and enjoy your early morning breakfast after which you are to head out. You will cross the border and then head to the Virunga National Park at the Kibati Ranger post where you will be briefed on the dos and don’ts of the hike. The Meals, sticks, and rain gear will be provided to you but you can as well carry your own. Porters will also be available for those who would like help in carrying their luggage. While at the top, get to enjoy the breathtaking view of the lava and the active volcano. You will then spend a night inside the mountain huts at the volcano top.
The last day is for descending the Nyiragongo Mountain; Have an early morning breakfast and thereafter descend from Volcanoes Mountain while enjoying the views of Lake Kivu, the Virunga National Park, and the city of Goma, later on, you will be transferred back to Kigali, Rwanda to either catch your departure flight or enjoy another day’s stay in the land of thousand hills.Read More
It is obvious that even anyone that would attempt a city walking tour would at one point require wheels in form of motorcycles, taxis or buses. But as time goes on, more people are deviating from such means of transport during their trips in Uganda.
This is not to imply that they are not safe at all; but because of the following reasons, many people are opting for self drive trips in Uganda and across Kenya, Tanzania and Rwanda. Below are some reasons why you too should consider a self drive trip in Uganda;
Did you know that Uganda Self drive trips give you an opportunity of privacy even when you are away from home? If you are the kind who often finds it uncomfortable to hang around strangers for a long time, self drive trips grant you enough space for your privacy
Whenever you hire a car, you are free to drive the way you want without any fear of what the people around you might think since you will not have any strangers. For the same reason, several people have considered hiring a car for a self catered trip in Uganda.
Comfortable For Family Trips
Family trips can be a hustle more so when your family has to walk along with several other people in a group tour. To give your children enough freedom during their holiday, a car hire for self drive in Uganda is recommended.
Family self drive car hires will give your children space to behave the very way they behave in your home country. No one will be made uncomfortable since it will be a family trip in a kind of family car with Mum or Dad doing what he has always done.
More Secure Compared To Public Means
Driving in shifts is not a common practice in Uganda. When you consider public means of transport, you are opting for a driver who you cannot be sure whether they are fresh or not. It should be noted that most of the public transport accidents are caused by tired drivers or over speeding to beat time.
To be on a secure side, it is recommended you hire the car personally, and driver yourself. At least by doing so, you are in more control of your life than putting it in the hands of stranger whose sobriety cannot easily be traced.
Hiring a car for a self drive holiday or trip in Uganda saves you a lot of time. Traffic jam is often unpredictable more so in the capital Kampala. With that at the back of your mind, you can easily plan putting in consideration the amount of time you might spend stuck in traffic.
The common public taxis are fond of waiting for hours till they get full. If you are to use these for your trip, then you are likely to be delayed which is never the case with self drive car hires.
Freedom To Go Wherever You Want
It is not true that every trip requires an itinerary. Sometimes the best of road trips is merely an open road trip. With a self drive car, it is very possible to drive even without an itinerary as long as your final destination is known.
Travel At Your Own Pace
The best family trips are those which you can adjust at any time. When you go for holiday you do not need any pressure. On certain days, you are free to readjust your itinerary without fear of being penalized by the tour operator
The main items of any trip are transport, meals and accommodation. By hiring a car for self drive, you save the extra money a tour operator would have charged you as his mark-up.
Awesome Photography Opportunities
There are opportunities for self drive photography trips where you can hire a car with a professional photographer. Instead of trying to capture every moment by yourself, you can hire a professional photographer who can capture every special moment of your trip.
However; besides hiring a professional photographer on your trip, you also have the liberty to stop at any time during your trip to capture any moment of your choice without first asking for alternations in your planned itinerary.
Feel At Home
Whenever you hire a car for self drive, you will often appear as a foreign resident to the strangers. This will give you high bargaining power when you try purchasing things in the different places since you will be expected to be informed about the prices as a foreign resident.
Uganda is full of diversity that you should leave room for. It might be tricky to tap into this diversity of what the Pearl of Africa has to offer by hiring a car in Uganda without any limitations.Read More
Rwanda is a renowned destination for luxury safaris in Africa. Situated in Central Africa, this tiny country is a great addition to a safari in East Africa given its closeness to the famous destinations such as Serengeti of Tanzania, Masai Mara National Park, of Kenya as well as the Kilimanjaro Mountains. Nature Adventure Africa has come up with the 10 Days Luxury Safari in East Africa that enables you see the mountain gorillas and explore the classic destinations for game viewing in East Africa. Beyond the gorillas, there is a lot to see in Rwanda itself! We bring to you some of the biggest highlights that will make you fall in love with Rwanda;
Situated in western Rwanda, Lake Kivu covers the Rwanda – Democratic Republic of Congo border consisting of beautiful beaches, great tropical weather, and beautiful scenery. Lake Kivu offers the perfect place for rest and recuperation, especially after your gorilla safaris and chimpanzee safaris as well as game drives in Rwanda’s top Parks; Volcanoes, Nyungwe Forest and Akagera National Parks, respectively.
Among the most popular activities to wallow in while at the Lake include; sunbathing, swimming, and water sports like Kayaking, wind surfing & canoeing. Lake Kivu can be visited as part of your Rwanda safari itinerary and time spent at the Lake is never regrettable. The Lake is a magnificent inland sea enclosed by steep, green terraced hills and beautiful Islands.
The Lake can easily be accessed from Kigali or in any of the country’s three major Parks, namely; Volcanoes Park (after trekking mountain gorillas or golden monkeys), Akagera Park (after game drives), and Nyungwe Park (after chimpanzee safaris). Lake Kivu is strategically situated on the tourism circuit making it an ideal stopover while you explore Rwanda’s adventurous areas including national parks, genocide memorial sites, among others.
Lake Kivu covers most of the western border of Rwanda with major tourist areas being Gisenyi, Kibuye, and Cyangugu, which lie along the lake shores.
Rubavu – previously known as Gisenyi – is a large town on the northern edge of Lake Kivu, which is an hour’s drive from the famous Volcanoes National Park – Mountain Gorilla refuge, and an ideal place to relax after gorilla trekking. Once, a colonial beach resort of note, Rubavu’s waterfront is lined with fading old mansions, hotels and trendy bars on the lakeshore, ideal for sundowner cocktails.
Karongi, half way along the lake, is a popular beach resort with hillsides covered in pines and eucalyptus serve as a backdrop to the sparkling lake. At dawn and dusk, the sound of local fisherman singing carries across the water as they paddle in unison.
From Rubavu in the north, the Congo Nile Trail extends 227 kilometers of breathtaking landscapes all the way to Rusizi in the south of Lake Kivu. The trail gently curves back and forth as it weaves through hills and mountains beside the lake with eucalyptus trees lining the road and every inch of the hills seemingly terraced with bananas.
For adventurous travelers, an exciting way to explore Rwanda is a kayaking tour on Lake Kivu, or mountain biking or hiking one of the 6 off-the-beaten path stages of the spectacular Congo Nile Trail. Visiting the beautiful and deep Lake Kivu is an exciting experience and of course so memorable. After your gorilla safaris and chimpanzee safaris it is therefore a great decision to go visit the beautiful Lake Kivu which offers several amazing activities to engage in.Read More
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
Last month, Africa’s oldest national park, the Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), was closed to tourists as it goes under a security evaluation following a series of deadly attacks.
The park has recently been beset by violence, with over 12 park rangers reportedly killed by militias and smugglers over the past 11 months. The park is home to the critically endangered mountain gorillas, elephants, chimpanzees and other wildlife.
With the closure of the park comes the big question: What next for tourism in this conflict-ridden region? Many tourists who would have wished to come and visit the park, mostly to trek the mountain gorillas, must now be asking themselves what other alternative attraction they can come and spend their tourist dollars on without looking over their shoulders.
According to Greg Bakunzi, a tour operator in Rwanda and DRC, Kahuzi-Biega National Park, also found in eastern DRC, provides an ideal option for visitors.
Eastern Lowland Gorillas
“There’s relative peace now here and despite the misfortune that befell the Virunga, tourists can still come to these parts and see what eastern DRC has to offer,” says Bakunzi.
Kahuzi-Biega National Park is home to 136 species of mammals, but the most prominent one is the Eastern Lowland Gorilla. These primates have been under constant threat, forcing park authorities to work tirelessly to make sure the species, together with other remaining mammals, are protected.
“Kahuzi-Biega National Park is the last refuge of these rare gorillas, and therefore provides visitors a unique experience to witness in their habitat these incredible animals,” adds Bakunzi, the managing director of Amahoro Tours in Muzanze.
He says there are other primates that can be seen in the park, including, among others, the eastern chimpanzee, the Colobine and Owl-Faced monkeys, together with several mammals.
Security situation remains calm
Bakunzi says that even though Kahuzi-Biega has also been affected by illegal activities like poaching, the security situation remains calm and this makes it conducive for tourists to visit.
According to a 2017 study by Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) published in Science Daily, in the eastern region of the DRC, mining operations have had devastating impacts on wildlife, even within the confines of protected areas such as Kahuzi-Biega National Park and the Itombwe Nature Reserve.
Grauer’s gorilla numbers, according to the findings, have declined by 77 per cent over the past two decades due to hunting, which the presence of mining sites continues to fuel.
Bakunzi says the issue of illegal encroachment into the park needs to be addressed by tourism and conservation stakeholders so that Kahuzi-Biega does not suffer the same fate as Virunga National Park.
“As a company dedicated to tourism, conservation and community development, Amahoro Tours is willing to jointly work with other conservation-focused organizations to find a lasting solution to the poaching menace that threatens the life of animals in the park so that tourism can continue to thrive here,” he adds.
He further says they provide forest guides who escort tourists for the three days in the park while filming the gorillas under habituation, an activity that has become increasingly popular with tourists.
“This is a great service we provide our clients to make them help in supporting the habituation and trekking of the Lowland Gorillas,” he says.
Bakunzi said they are working on proving the Kahuzi-Biega conservation study tour to those who wish to know more about the park.
Park officials optimistic
Chief park warden Dieu Byaombe said they are optimistic that tourism will continue to thrive in the park since they have put in place adequate security measures, including training and employing more rangers to bolster security.
Gloria Mwenge Bitomwa, Kahuzi-Biega’s tourism manager, said though poaching remains a threat to the park, it has become sporadic due to the heavy presence of rangers and anti-poaching sensitization campaign they have been running around the local community to educate them on the benefits of conservation.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