Having one of the fastest growing tourism economies, Rwanda is a landlocked country located in east Africa. Its one of the African countries that suffered cases of political instability and it took many years for tourists to start visiting the country freely without fear and actually even today some people still have that perception thinking that Rwanda is still insecure which is very wrong. The insecurity in Rwanda ended back in 1993 and since then the country has been fighting hard to reboot its tourism industry that it has successfully done.
Today a number of tourists from different parts of the world visit Rwanda for wildlife safaris visiting any of the four national parks in the country while others go for tours visiting the city, genocide memorial sites, major cultural centers and many other outstanding tourist attractions. Lets look at the major reasons why tourism is thriving a lot today in Rwanda.
Peace And Security
Whenever there is peace, tourism definitely thrives. Rwanda ever since the genocide ended has not had any kind of insecurity. The government has maintained peace and security for over two decades now which has stabilized the Rwandese economy boosting activities especially tourism.
The Mountain Gorillas
Half of the mountain gorilla populations in the Virunga massif live in Rwanda’s volcanoes national park located in the northwestern part of the country. The national park has a total of 18 mountain gorilla families 10 of which are habituated and open to tourists visits. Many tourists love to see the mountain gorillas in their natural environments and for that reason a number of them head to Rwanda for wildlife safaris as they trek these magical animals. The mountain gorilla trekking permit for Rwanda compared to Uganda and Congo is a little expensive ($750) but this has never for once discouraged adventurous tourists interested in viewing the mountain gorillas. These rare animals are therefore among the core reasons for the thriving tourism in Rwanda.
Improvement In The Hotel Industry
The hotel industry is a very important aspect of tourism because when tourists visit a certain place, they have to get where to eat and sleep. During the 1993 Rwandese genocide, a number of hotels that were available by then were destroyed. The good news is that things have greatly changed today as many hotels have been built and the once destroyed renovated. There are a number of hotels in Kigali Rwanda’s capital city and in the major national parks offering standard hospitality services for example hotel des mille Collines where some Rwandese took refuge during the genocide, flame tree hotel, golf hills residence, Kigali Serena hotel, the manor hotel, the mirror hotel, hotel chez Lando and so many others which are located in the city center just a few kilometers from Kigali international airport.
When you get to Rwanda’s national parks, there are also a number of lodges providing tailor made services to the people for example in Nyungwe forest national park there is Nyungwe forest lodge situated in the middle of a tea plantation surrounded by the famous Nyungwe forest, Nyungwe top view hotel, in volcanoes national park there is le Bambou lodge, gorilla view lodge, Sabyinyo silverback lodge, Virunga lodge and many others. In Akagera national park, there is Akagera game lodge and the eco friendly Ruzizi tented camp. This clearly shows that while in Rwanda even in the remote national parks, one cannot fail to get where to eat and have a good night sleep and its among the reasons why many tourists are visiting Rwanda today.
The City (Kigali)
Kigali is a very organized city and a center for most business in Rwanda. Modern structures are now being built including a number of luxurious hotels but most importantly it’s always kept clean and it’s among the cleanest cities on the African continent. Kigali has some tourist attractions including the Kigali (Gisozi) genocide memorial where a number of people were killed during the genocide back in 1993. This genocide memorial site has audios and video plays depicting what the genocide was like back in days, a mass grave where a number of people were killed plus a list of names of people who are died and some who are still missing and a chamber with cupboards full of skeletons of people. This is a dark tourism site that many tourists do not miss while in Kigali.Read More
Famous for being the ultimate wildlife safari escape Kenya is still a next dream destination for thousands worldwide with exciting vacations whether water ,beach gateways, culture or land adventures .It’s hard to take on one adventure while in the area a daily decision made by many tourists especially the wildlife lovers who end up heading for the Balloon safari in Masai Mara as an additional to the game viewing excursion. Some chose to view wildlife and also climb mountain Kilimanjaro the highest peak in Africa and also the only mountain with a breathtaking tallest free standing mountain summit. Mere looking at its striking view while in Amboseli National park is enough for you to understand why its second to none in the entire continent. Besides witnessing the battle of hungry crocodiles and large wild herds crossing the river is a great experience and a moment to cherish while in Kenya and thousands around the globe yarn to capture it.
The right time has come again for everyone to plan & book trips to Kenya any time of the year according to taste, preference and convenience after the Kenya informing all citizens and foreigners that all is well. Besides the country has started receiving tourists from its traditional source markets the UK and US, a few months after the countries lifted travel advisories to their citizens. Britain, Australia, Germany and the US are major tourism markets and the travel warnings in May last year led to massive cancellation of hotel bookings at the Coast and tours to different parts of the country a thing which impacted the entire country in one way or the other. The Kenya tourism industry was worried about its future which has turned out to be a success according to the increase in the current tourist arrivals in the country.
Around 138 from Canada, 45 from the UK, Australia and 25, 25 from Germany and had 308 tourists from the US arrived at Mombasa port on Friday with a cruise ship a cirmstance which showed Kenya that the other side of the world has regained its trust that it’s a safe country for travel any time and ready to welcome more tourists any time year round. Also the Managing director of Kenya tourism Board Muriithi Ndegwa said that “the cruise ship is a good sign of recovery for the tourism industry which was affected by the wave of terrorism in Kenya last year.“We are expecting to see more and more cruise ships,” he said. Another factor was the United states President Barack Obama’s visit in July which is believed to have attracted many American travellers to chose Kenya as their best travel destination in Africa. Above all other service providers the hotels, charter companies , tour operators are hopefull and have resumed their services even more than before to serve increasing demand of tourists to the satisfying level. Although travel can be expensive but the experience is worth it if you travel to Kenya.Read More
Rwanda the only land of lovely views in Africa with variety to see and Explore from lakes, National Parks, Beaches, Museums, genocide memorials, Cultural sites mention to a few. While in Rwanda you might think your not in Africa since the country shines just like other foreign countries. Cleanliness is the order of the day followed by tight security making it the outstanding safest nation in the region. Are you planning to visit Africa for vacation or business?-Rwanda has it all and when it comes to Tour/Safari adventures its even more attractive since you can enjoy one of the world’s best adventure “Mountain Gorilla safari tracking” in Just a day. Many tourists to Rwanda take on this trip since its saves both time and money. It’s more flexible that you can leave Kigali Rwanda’s Capital on the very day for tracking and still catch up with the trek at Volcanoes National Park.
If your flight back home is the day of the gorilla trek, it’s very possible since from the Volcanoes National Park to Kigali Airport is just 2-3 hours drive. Sometimes you can chose to drive around the city before your drop off. Alternatively you can shop around town, visit a few Genocide memorial sites – Kigali Genocide Memorial to return home with some facts and history life of Rwanda. Lake Kivu beaches are an amazing place to be after the trek if time permits-cool off the day’s hassles, relax in leisure and also feed your eyes with all the captivative hill views set in front of every glance you take. For unusual fun plan with a team of experienced knowledgeable Tour professionals who have been in service for a while and Walmark safaris Rwanda is the best choice for your Rwanda holiday.
Indeed it’s in Rwanda where you can do short treks, walks to most the countries national parks-Nyungwe forest, Volcanoes & Akagera National park. They include hikes to Karisimbi and bamboo forest hikes in volcanoes national park, short hilly walks to local communities, forest walks in Nyungwe among others. Besides you can also visit the Two Africa’s Great Active volcanoes in Democratic republic of Congo (DRC)- Nyamulagira the most active volcanoes in Africa) and Nyiragongo (the outlook of a natural disaster in 2002 where people were displaced by Africa’s historical eruption) though Nyiragongo has the world’s fastest flowing lava which makes the place more popular and famed in the travel world.Read More
The Start of direct flights to Kenya and the increased marketing of Nairobi as a tourist destination across China is a positive trend for the growth of Chinese tourists to the East Africa region, as observed by the Kenyan Tourism Board. This is backed by the memorandum of understanding which Kenya signed with China in 2014 on cooperation to boost tourism between the two countries. Though Kenya Airways has emerged as a big loser with the launch of China Southern Airlines’ direct flights from Nairobi to Guangzhou.
Initially the national carrier had a code sharing agreement with China Southern Airlines, which authorized them to fly passengers to Guangzhou after which it would transfer them to the Chinese airline for domestic connections. But now as the China southern Airline takes over its responsibility, customers will prefer to use the Asian Carrier making the national carrier to lose out passengers but discussions are going on how they can both benefit from the operation of direct flights.
According to the Kenya Tourist Board Director Muriithi Ndegwa, the flight operation will increase the number of tourists taking safaris to Kenya which is evidenced by the Kenyan tour operators with several tour requests to visit the world outstanding Magical Wildlife park –Masai Mara National Park and other attractions around the East Africa Region like the Mountain Gorillas.
“We have a lot of goodwill from across the world,” Ndegwa told Xinhua in an exclusive interview in Nairobi ahead of a major tourism exhibition in Diani, Kenya’s coastal region, which has attracted 185 major tourism marketers from around the world, including 10 leading Chinese tour operators. The Kenya Tourism Board whose command is to market the East African nation across the world is focusing on the launch of the direct flights from China to Kenya by the China Southern Airlines and the expansion of local and international hotel chains into Kenya as a helpful factor for the growth of the Chinese tourists into the region.
China is grand market which can make Kenya’s travel and tourism industry rise from the fall. The East African Region is also organizing the Magical Kenya Travel Expo on 15th-17 October 2015 to put in the open all the region tourism products to the world .Many tourists around the globe will get to know what they have always missed to explore in the region hence increasing the number of tourist arrivals of the region.
This partnership is expected and has been observed to spill over to other East African Countries for various travel adventures such as Gorilla Tracking in Uganda and Rwanda, Chimpanzee/primate treks in Uganda and Rwanda in their natural rainforest parks, birding safaris in Uganda, Rwanda and Tanzania and main preferred destinations with over 650 bird species to sight, water games along the Nile River in Uganda and other family holidies and wildlife game excursions in the various parks in the region. Traveling is made easy for international travelers with increased number of airlines operating in the region and pushing fares to practical levels to easily connect between continents for business and tourism adventures.
Visiting mountain gorillas only takes place in the Virunga volcanic chain which stretches covering parts of Rwanda’s Volcanoes national park of Rwanda, Congo’s Virunga national park and Uganda’s Mgahinga national park. Uganda’s Bwindi impenetrable national park is another place where one can visit gorillas with half of the total mountain gorilla population which is about 880 individuals according to the 2012 gorilla census. Gorilla Tracking in Rwanda and Uganda is the leading foreign exchanger earner and hence a great need for the respective countries to ensure the security of gorilla tourism.
The nature of mountain gorillas is very intriguing that you would actually consider to travel all the way to Africa’s tropical rain forests to track these human like endangered creatures in their natural habitant. The biggest question of all at the back of your mind when your in the early stages of planning your adventure is whether its safe to actually meet gorillas at a close range??
Looking at the side of security, In Uganda and Rwanda, armed tourism police has been places all round the forests to ensure maximum security of travelers. It should also be noted that trackers are escorted by armed tourism police who follows behind the group.
On the side of gorillas
Gorillas are just like man, gentle, peaceful and can only become a threat to trackers when they sense danger, but otherwise, once you follow all your guides instructions, you have nothing to fear. A tour to go see gorilla in Africa is one of the most enjoyed African journey and this is the reason why quite a number of travelers are going into Rwanda and Uganda just to trek these gentle giants.
The actual gorilla safari in Africa importantly begins with briefing from an experienced ranger guide about how to conduct during the hike. At this point, you are given an overview of how the whole tracking experience will be and guidelines.
On a single day, small groups of 8 people are led into the forest to go track a gorilla group for one hour led by two ranger guides one at the front of the group and the other at the end of the group. The front guide clears the thick vegetation with his machete while the back guide makes sure no one gets left behind in the forest. Trekking with the gorillas requires you to be in good shape as it involves hiking and climbing through slippery terrain.
The ranger guide constantly receives communication from his colleagues who go into the forest early morning to trace the actual location of the gorillas. Your guide will be informing you as you get nearer to the gorilla positions. A number of rules have been set that trackers have to follow so that they don’t threaten gorillas.
- Its important to keep a distance of 7 meters from the gorillas, if a gorilla comes very close to you, remain still until it goes away.
- speak quietly
- Don’t make sudden movements as they may feel threatened
- Be very submissive, don’t look directly into its eyes, i may think your challenging it
- Don’t use flash camera, it may scare the gorilla
The Kenyan government has announced that manual visa application at the port of entries into the country will continue until such time that the newly introduced ‘e-visa’ is fully operational.
President Uhuru Kenyatta said, though the e-visa was already running, manual application at the entry points to the country will continue concurrently so as not to bar the last minute visitors to the country.
“We have had a number of challenges on the implementation of the e-visa and I have therefore ordered that application of visa on arrival to the country continues as it were,” the President said.
The resumption of manual visa application that ceased to be operational from 1st September, 2015 is good news to travel agents and tour operators who had raised a red flag on the possibility of a drop in visitation to Kenya as a result of challenges associated with the new system.Read More
Leading Chinese carrier, China Southern Airlines has announced the launch of new direct services from the provincial capital of Guangzhou to Nairobi in Kenya.
The inaugural flight flew on Wednesday, the 5th of August 2015. The new route will be operated on the airline’s fleet of Airbus A330-200 air crafts operating three times a week on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.
Kenya Airways already operates daily flights between Nairobi and Guangzhou, but they fly via either Hanoi or Bangkok, depending on the day of the week. China Southern currently operates over 500 Boeing and Airbus aircraft to 43 countries across the world.Read More
Explore Uganda and Rwanda in style, with a delightful car rental option from Uganda Self Drive one of the most trusted car rental agencies in Eastern Africa. Let nothing stand in your way; navigate the scenic pearl of Africa national parks in a powerful 4×4’s. Rent any type of car with us, located at Najjanankumbi opposite Kenjoy supermarket. We late you drive yourself although if you need a driver we can offer one who can drive you with a lot of care to any area of your interest. Affordable car rental deals and the best car hire options are Gorillas and Wildlife Safari’s for the customer. We deal with very many travel agencies and we can assist you with any travel and touring arrangements, so don’t get worried about your safari we are experienced car hire service not only in Uganda but also in Rwanda, Kenya, Tanzania and Burundi and we are passionate with what we are doing. We are also good in organizing safaris including gorilla tracking safaris, wildlife safaris, bird watching tours and short tours.
We have a good fleet of cars for rental in Uganda including safari customized 4×4 (9-seats) safari vans with a pop-up roof top. They can carry over 7 people and many can stand in the pop-up roof to see wildlife at the same time in a cross distance. Vans are available at only USD$105 dollars per day and this price includes a driver but excludes fuel and gas to any part of the country.
4×4 Extended Toyota land cruiser we hire them at USD $150 per day this with driver. It’s a very comfortable car which can take up to 9 persons comfortably and have enough leg space and leg room, plus enough luggage space.
We also rent 4×4 super custom safari vans we hire it at $95 per day with a driver to any destination in Uganda or any other part either Rwanda, Kenya or Tanzania . It’s good for any activity including wildlife viewing. They have a full time 4×4 wheel-drive system.
We also have smaller 4door Rav4, suitable for up to two people we hire it at USD$ 50 per day without a driver and Fuel. Book with us any type of vehicle or safari at a very good discount rate.Read More
The tourism industry in the major east African states of Uganda, Kenya and Rwanda gets better and continues to thrive every year that passes on. These three major countries in order to address tourist border delays and bureaucracy sat down and came up with a decision of using one tourist visa for all the tourists interested in visiting any of the countries.
Many tourists in the past decades interested in doing cross border visits to the Kenya, Rwanda or Uganda could most times get discouraged to apply for separate visas for each country and would end up visiting only one country and yet all these three countries have unique tourist attractions and therefore offer different unforgettable experiences. However the incredible idea of coming up with a single tourist visa for the three countries is enabling tourists to easily experience and view various unique tourism attractions that are exclusive to a country and that can only be enjoyed by physically visiting that particular country.
The three countries of Uganda, Kenya and Rwanda all have various attractions ranging from cultural attractions, wild animals and vegetation types and therefore getting a single tourist visa for all the three countries can never be a regrettable choice because each of the countries has an exclusive tourism package it offers. The most outstanding exclusive packages include
Gorilla and Chimpanzee Tracking in Rwanda
Rwanda always and popularly known as the land of thousand hills because of her beautiful sceneries of the gently sloping hills and vast evergreen forests is a home to various world endangered species including the mountain gorillas and the chimpanzees.
Tourists can see the mountain gorillas on a gorilla safari in volcanoes national park located just after a 2-3 hours drive from Kigali international airport. Volcanoes national park has various gently sloping hills that are part of the Virunga volcanoes covered by vast equatorial rain forests and homes to the most endangered ape the mountain gorilla. The park has 7 habituated gorilla groups and only 8 tourists a day visit each gorilla group group.
The chimpanzees on the other hand can be best viewed in Nyungwe forest national park. The park has one of the oldest equatorial forests on the African continent that harbor man’s closest relative the chimpanzee with 98% DNA similar to humans. Nyungwe forest has well developed trails and a canopy walk that’s above 50 meters enabling easy views of the chimpanzees and many other forest inhabitants. Chimpanzees are not the only attractions on the Rwanda list. Other interesting attractions include lake Kivu- the largest volcanic Crater Lake in Africa, various genocide memorial sites, cultural attractions and many others.
Great Wildebeest Migration to Swimming with Dolphins in Kenya
Kenya is a magical tourist destination ideal for tourists on east African safaris because of the exclusive packages the country offers. Kenya safari packages include the big five mammals (lions, elephants, rhinos, buffaloes and leopards) that can be viewed in various national parks across the country, the great wildebeest migration of million animals (zebra, buffaloes, impalas, elands and gazelles) from Serengeti in Tanzania to the Maasai Mara park in Kenya- the place with the highest lion population on the planet and the dolphins and many aquatic mammals in the countries marine national parks for example the Kisite Mpunguti marine park in the Indian ocean. Other major outstanding attractions in Kenya include the crocodiles in Mara River, various bird species including the crowds of flamingos on lake Nakuru, historical attractions like fort Jesus in Mombasa plus the beautiful sand beaches along the Indian Ocean.
The ‘Pearl Of Africa’ Expeditions – Uganda
Uganda is gifted by nature with a number of wildlife attractions hence the title the pearl of Africa. Lonely planet in 2013 termed Uganda as Africa compressed in one country because of her beautiful fauna and flora with the source of the great river Nile, snow capped peaks of the Rwenzori ranges, the highest hippo population in the region, a permanent rain ball at the great Murchison falls, the largest caldera on mount Elgon, various bird species including the rare shoebill stork and many others.
Uganda is also home to half populations of the most endangered species- the mountain gorillas in Bwindi impenetrable and Mgahinga gorilla parks with 14 habituated gorilla groups open to tourist visitation. The pearl of Africa also has a number of chimpanzees best tracked in Kibale forest national park- the primate capital of the world. Uganda offers unique wildlife experiences including game drives and white water rafting at the source of the Nile.
The country has very hospitable people with unique cultures and practices like the Imbalu circumcision ceremony among the Bagishu of eastern Uganda, unique religious attractions like the Baha’i temple- the only temple of the Baha’i faith on the African continent, the Uganda martyrs shrines in Namugongo as well as unique culinary from the different tribes in the country. The major culinary include Luwombo, Kalamaleewa, Kalo, Nsenene, Kipoli, Rolex and many others.
A joint east African visa for Uganda, Kenya and Rwanda will therefore make it very possible for a tourist to the region to experience and view all the above mentioned tourist attractions and activities at way much cheaper costs than one would spend on visiting an individual country.
The east African visa is currently being sold at $100 and its functional and valid for 90 days from the day of issue in all the three countries of Uganda, Kenya and Rwanda. With that permit, you will be able to get the natural charisma of the three magical and beautiful countries.Read More
Over the past decades, Uganda’s tourism industry has been largely depending on the wildlife attractions in Uganda’s 10 major national parks. In fact if you were to ask any one around what tourism is like, people will tell you that it’s about going to the national parks to view the various animals, which is not the case. Many foreign tourists visit Uganda and head for gorilla tracking or game drives and some activities around the Nile especially white water rafting and end their trips yet they could have a lot more. The domestic travelers have had the worst tourist options because the park fees seem quite expensive for them.
Referred to as the pearl of Africa by Winston church hill, Uganda has many potential tourist attractions embedded in the major cultures of the people, the food, historical attractions, religious attractions, city attractions and many others which means that it is totally wrong to just keep depending on uganda wildlife tourism. Below is a brief description of the potential tourism attractions and destinations that are most times under looked and missed by many tourists who visit Uganda.
This the largest fresh water lake on the African continent with a potential of having many recreational tourist activities like boat cruises, water trips to the different islands in the lake, birding activities and many others. The lake just has few beaches in Entebbe that are developed but usually overcrowded especially during the weekends. Some ports around the lake are even not fully developed especially port bell and yet they could be better ports with standard restaurant and relaxation places offering the great views of the lake.
The only well developed resort is in Munyonyo and trust me it can not fully accommodate all the luxurious tourists interested in staying near the enormous lake.
Tourists visiting Uganda should at least be considering visiting one of the many islands in the lake especially Bulaggo island which at least has well developed resorts with beautiful sand beaches and good views of lake victoria.
Uganda has other lakes that could be developed in to major and leading attractions for example lake Kyoga, lake Edward and lake George. All these are potential cruising lakes and if well developed could positively impact the tourism industry through increased visits.
Uganda has over 56 tribes each with unique customs, cultural practices and taboos that could attract many tourists especially those interested in learning about the unique cultures of the Ugandans. Cultural tourism in Uganda is a little developed all thanks to the Bagishu initiation ceremony that attracts many individual to witness a mega circumcision of the Bagishu boys being from childhood to adulthood and manhood.
The other over looked tribes include the northern tribes and communities that have unique dancing skills and styles especially Larakaraka dance that greatly entertains viewers showing the strength, love and passion of the Luo and Alur people of Uganda. Home stay programs have been fully introduced in Uganda and therefore tourists interested in culture should try to explore the various divergent cultural practices of the Ugandan tribes.
This is another kind of tourism tourists can look at instead of only wildlife. Uganda has many major towns that can be explored by tourists going for shopping, to the movies, going for social gatherings like music concerts and performances and major events and festivals like carnivores, street bashes and games.
The major tourist towns include Kampala that is the capital city and Uganda’s most busy and business center. Kampala has many shopping centers (malls and arcades) with all the items one can be interested in, cinemas showing and premiering new movies, many monuments around, hotels, museums and many other attractions. Kampala city excursions are usually organized giving tourists a chance to explore the pearl of Africa’s capital.
Entebbe town is also well developed with beaches (Entebbe botanical beach, lido beach, spennah beach among others), great views of lake victoria, many bird species, and also with standard shopping malls that have major tourists commodities and cinema halls. Other towns that could be visited by tourists include fort portal, Mbarara town, Mbale town and Gulu town in the north.
The 56 tribes in Uganda have their own traditional delicacies that are prepared using local recipes’ and can leave any one’s mouth watery. All these foods can be got in the major eateries around the major towns of the different regions in Uganda. The outstanding foods a tourist should not miss out on a Uganda tour include Kalo, Luwombo, Nsenene (grasshoppers), Rolex (chappati and eggs) Kalamaleewa (bamboo shoots), Ugali (posho), groundnuts and many others.
If all these tourism attractions are well marketed and included on travelers’ itineraries, Uganda’s tourism industry will greatly develop and reduce reliance on wildlife attractions only. All tourists should therefore note that visiting Uganda is not just about viewing the mountain gorillas or other big games like lions, elephants and many others.Read More