Located in central Africa and it’s also known as ‘’a land of thousand hills’’, Rwanda is the principal tourism destination that attracts tourists from different parts of the world. Like its counterpart Uganda, Rwanda is also a landlocked country and has no seaport, this central African country lifts as one of the few countries where a person can go and have a life changing experience especially when next to real nature of Africa. It has many tourism fraternities although a few people especially foreigners don’t really know what precisely makes this small country unique that almost everyone wishes not to miss visiting it. A number but some of the most interesting tourist activities one should not miss while on Rwanda safari include;
Gorilla tracking;- This is the leading attraction in Rwanda, over 80% of travelers to Rwanda visit the volcanoes national park for gorilla tracking, the park houses over 400 individuals out of 900 mountain gorillas left worldwide and Rwanda is known as the best gorilla safari destination in the world. Spending some excellence time with the gorillas in their natural environment a moment in life very difficult to forget and trust me, you will always want more of a gorilla tracking safari. A gorilla permit is a passport to anyone to see these animals in their natural habitat and you are advised to book your gorilla permit prior to your tracking dates at least 2-5 months as permits are at a very high demand the earlier to secure your permit the better to avoid inconveniences. Rwanda gorilla permits costs USD 750 per person per tracking including park entrance and a ranger guide.
Wildlife Tours;- Game drives through Akagera national park provides a great opportunity to view various species of wildlife some of which are rarely seen. Game drives can be carried out either in the morning or in the evening and some of the games expected to meet include lions, leopards, elephants, giraffes, kobs, wild pigs, buffaloes, zebras, antelopes, and many more. A wildlife safari to Rwanda is one of the most thrilling tours one will ever have as it comes with different nature wonders on top of wildlife encounters.
Cultural Tours;- Culture is certainly Africa’s best tourism lure, cultural encounter with the local people is really magnificent, especially for those who are interested in knowing how the African people live. A walk through some of the villages in the country gives visitors a chance to meet and interact with some of the elders from different cultural background. The local people will perform their traditional dance and music to foreigners and if interested they can join them through their music and dance, it’s really a great experience and I trust before getting back home you will get to learn some of the locally used words. A cultural safari to Uganda gives them a chance to find the truth by themselves and also have a remarkable experience in Africa.
Chimpanzee tracking; for primate lovers, Rwanda is a best country to go on a safari, it houses over 13 species of primates coupled with chimpanzees the most close relative of man sharing 98% of human genes. These chimpanzees are fabulous fan to watch when playing in fruitful trees or tree blanches not only chimpanzees that can be seen in the forest of Nyungwe national park, but other primate species can also be seen like the black and white colobus monkey, baboons, red colobus monkey, civet monkey the list is endless.
Other tourism activities one can think of while planning for a trip to Rwanda include; – hiking adventure, nature walks, city tours, boat ride, and more.Read More
Africa a continent of the Nile, great beauty, many lakes and rivers, historical sites and outstanding parks is still the best fishing spot in the globe. Back then fishing was daily economic activity for many Africans especially those who stay close to lakes, rivers, swamps, ponds etc. Today fishing has contributed to development of many areas in terms of infrastructure especially those used by fishermen to catch the most desired fish species -Marlin, Sailfish, Tilapia, Nile perch etc. The continent has several inland lakes in good condition despite pollution and over fishing. When taking on a fishing tour to Africa you should be in love with most water sport activities like cruising, boat rides, Rafting among others since they are all done in the same scene. There is plenty of water in most parts of Africa which are home to thousand fish species. Lake Victoria, lake George, lake Albert, Mombasa, Zanzibar, lake kivu, Cape town ,Cape Verde Islands, Lake Kariba, Lake Nassar, Lake kyoga, Luana, Dubai, Mauritius etc are the main fishing grounds in Africa.
The second largest lake in the world Lake Victoria and one of Africa’s great lakes, and offers the best fishing trips to catch Tilapia and Nile Perch no matter the side where you fish from. Although lake Victoria is shared by many countries Uganda & Tanzania takes the largest part hence having several fishing grounds to catch Tilapia and Nile perch. The lake also has several islands and beaches ideal for leisure, beach holidays, honeymoon and relaxation. Islands include Bugala, Bukasa, Ssese, Iroba, Bukerembe, Kalangala etc. The lake islands also offer great bird watching experiences for birders. Fishing gears are normally hired from local fishermen so weather you don’t own any, relax because fishing will be fun during your adventure. Short walks, cycling, trekking are the other activities on Lake Victoria islands since some islands are residents of monkeys and other primates. Since fish accounts for over 40% of the animal protein, the demand for fish in around the world is too high that experts advised fish lovers to start eating chicken for conservation purposes in order to still have some fish available in the next 20 years in lake Victoria though this is debatable.
Another year round fishing spot in Africa is Zanzibar in Tanzania a place where you enjoy Africa’s best deep sea fishing grounds. If you need to catch the big fish just search in the channel between Zanzibar and Pemba a famous point with many opportunities. Barracuda, Wahoo, Kingfish and Giant Travelli are the main channel fish species with other guest fish species-Marlin. Fishing boats and gears can be hired on ground from professional fishing companies in Zanzibar together with a professional guide to guide you to areas where you can’t miss to catch the big fish. It’s said that the Pemba channel is always full of surprises with fish just close year round and the best time to catch the Yellow fin Tuna, Sailfish, and Striped, Blue, and Black Marlin is July-November every year. While November to Match is a Bill fish season. Tourists to Zanzibar do the fishing and diving at the same time.
Still in Africa Cape town fishing grounds offers you a unique opportunity catch your favourite fish species especially the Yellow fin Tuna weighing up to 80 kilogram. Fishing in South Africa is considered to be one of the most exciting recreational activities and many fishing tourists experience both salt water and fresh water fishing in sea, rivers and dams. Being a perfect fishing ground fishers catch several fish species – Galjoen, Hake, Kingklip, Steenbras, stumpnose cape, Thresher Shar during winter, Elf, Leervis Musselcracker White, mussel cracker Black, Red Romans, Red Stumpnose, spotted Grunter in summer and Black tail, Carpenter, Gurnard, karanteen, kob, Santer, Steenbras, Black Stingray, Cat Shark, Cow shark for all year. Above all the fishing experience gives an insight into the tough conditions endured by fishermen all over the world in search for the fish either for domestic or commercial use. If you are planning a fishing trip to Africa select the best fishing grounds especially those with fishing as a key recreational activity.Read More
Golden monkey is another thrilling adventurous that one should not miss on a safari in Rwanda. This amazing adventure activity is done in the Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda. These beautiful monkeys are scientifically known as (Cercopithecus Mitis Kandti) and are also considered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) as endangered. These primates live in the high altitude forests of the Volcanoes National Park.
Golden monkey tracking is one of the most done tourist activities enjoy on a Rwanda safari at the park as they are fabulous fan to watch when playing on fruitful trees of bamboo forest. They are playful and inquisitive and often spend their time leaping from bamboo branches on the forest floor towards the base of the volcanoes and they have overcome their original shyness to accept their daily visit by researches and tourists.
There two habituated groups of golden monkeys opened to visitors every day, one group comprises around 90-100 members and its base is at the foot of Mt. Sabyinyo, and the other group can be tracked at the base of Karisimbi and it comprises around 70-90 members. Like mountain gorillas, golden monkey are tracked in the morning after reporting at the park headquarters at Kiningi at 7.00am to receive short briefings from the park wardens about the dos and don’ts while with these rare monkeys, after you follow the ranger guide to the bamboo forest in the volcanoes national park to begin the activity. Tracking time is un predictable, it can go from 1-6 hours searching for them, so a reasonable degree of fitness is needed and don’t forget to come with tracking gears like study pair of walking shoes, long sleeved shirts or blouses.
Like mountain gorillas, you are also strictly allowed one hour ounce you meet these beautiful monkeys, the number of visitors are not limited and the fee for a golden monkey tracking is presently usd$100 per person by the trek, in case you need a porter they can be hired at the entry point of the park. Since they are regarded as the most playful creature leap from tree to tree which is really entertaining, but however photography may be somehow very difficult we therefor recommend setting your camera to a fast shutter-speed to allow for low light in the dense scrub and to improve your chances of taking the golden monkeys on film! So if have an extra day in the volcanoes national park and you’re interested in primate safaris, golden monkey tracking is a delightful experience not to be missed. For more information about golden monkey tracking, permits, please contact usRead More
Located in East Africa, Uganda is among a few countries on the planet that offer ultimate and very satisfactory wildlife safari experiences. The country’s wildlife range from mammals, primates, reptiles, birds, a variety of flora and so much more which gives tourists an opportunity to explore more about the pearl of Africa and also appreciate the country’s beauty.
While on a Uganda safari, you cannot stop to be amazed by the sightings of various wildlife species and relief features. The best wildlife safaris can be experienced in Uganda’s major national parks all with a number of wildlife species.
Kidepo valley national park located in northeastern Uganda has the true African wilderness. This national park is located in a semi desert area but it’s a home to wildlife species like the cape buffaloes, zebras, giraffes, lions, ostriches and many other bird species. Most of the wildlife species in this national park can be best viewed from the Narus valley where there is an oasis where most animals gather to get water for drinking and the herbivores like the zebras to get fresh pasture.
South of Kidepo valley is mount Elgon national park located in eastern Uganda. While here, you get to view the volcanic mountain with the largest base on earth as well as one of the biggest calderas. The adventurous tourists can visit the mountain for hiking while others can go for nature walks viewing a number of attractions like the Sipi falls, birds species or go for cultural visits to the Bamasaba people who have unique traditional practices like the male circumcision ceremony that enables a transformation of boys from childhood to manhood.
In mid western Uganda is Murchison falls national park that stretches up to northern Uganda. This is the biggest national park in the country and among the most visited by tourists seeking for ultimate wildlife safari experiences. The national park is a home to the big four animals (elephants, buffaloes, lions and leopards), hippos, Nile crocodiles that usually live at the banks of river Nile, giraffes, hartebeests, Oribi, warthogs, baboons, primates like monkeys, and a number of bird species. Tourists here can engage in a number of activities including a visit to the Murchison falls that forms a permanent rain ball, go for boat trips along river Nile viewing a number of aquatic animals, go for game drives or primate tracking in Kaniyo Pabidi forest reserve.
Also in the west are Queen Elizabeth national, Kibale forest national park, mount Rwenzori national park, semuliki valley national park and lake Mburo national park. Queen Elizabeth national park has the highest hippopotamus population in east Africa which inhabit the banks of Kazinga channel, elephants, crocodiles, tree climbing lions in the Ishasha sector, chimpanzees in the Kyambura gorge forest, a number of antelopes and many others. Kibale forest national park is commonly known as the primate capital of east Africa because of the high number of primates especially chimpanzees the national park has. Kibale forest national park is the best place for chimpanzee tracking in Uganda. Mountain Rwenzori national park is also blessed with a number of wildlife but first is the mountain itself. The peaks of mountain Rwenzori are snow capped and therefore good for hiking. The wildlife species the national park has include the three-horned chameleon, forest elephants and a number of birds endemic to the Albertine region. Semuliki valley national park has hippos, forest elephants, and birds some of which are from the central Africa while lake Mburo national park has zebras, warthogs, giraffes, Topi’s, waterbucks, buffaloes among others. Tourists in lake Mburo national park have a chance to view the wildlife while riding horses.
Lastly are the gorilla parks located in the southwestern Uganda, the best places to enjoy gorilla safaris in Africa. These are; Bwindi impenetrable national and Mgahinga gorilla national park – homes to mountain gorillas some of the greatly endangered apes on earth. Mountain gorillas offer unique wildlife experiences and can be trekked at any time of the year. The mountain gorilla trekking permits are usually sold at $600 during the peak season and $350 during the low seasons. Uganda is indeed a very unique country and therefore all those seeking for ultimate wildlife experiences should not look further.Read More
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