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
Besides Mountain Gorilla’s being a unique adventure desired by many travelers to track, most see it as a bit expensive which often limits people including it on their wishlist for Africa travel plans. However hope is not lost if only proper planning is taken into consideration especially off season peak periods when prices scale down but still realizing value for many especially Budget and backpacker travelers. Uganda offers that glimpse of hope for off season relatively cheap gorilla tracking permits. Three year ago Uganda gorilla permits used to cost $500 per person year round and a slight change started in 2014 where trackers could get Gorilla permits at $350 during low season and $600 for high season a price which still runs up to present. For a decade now many budget tours run across Bwindi Impenetrable Rain forest Park and Mgahinga mountain park to track habituated mountain Gorillas in all the four park sectors, Buhoma, Ruhija, Rushaga and Nkuringo.
The Majority demand of cheap Uganda Gorillas safaris created hotel investment opportunities for many local and foreign investors in order to meet the demand of the growing tourist arrivals to the park. Today if your dream is to sleep in a clean self contained affordable lodge or camp, you have a list to pick from provided you book the right lodge for the right Gorilla family tracking sector. Buhoma rest camp, Nshongi Gorilla camp, broadbill camp, Gift of nature lodge, Wagtail eco lodge, Bwindi back parker lodge, Golden monkey hotel, Gorilla friendly camp are the most desired Bwindi forest Budget lodges in Uganda.
I know Uganda Shares the Mountain gorillas with two others countries Rwanda & Democratic Republic of Congo the largest population and cheap Gorilla permits make it the better bet during off season period coupled with diversity of over safari nature wildlife excursions. Besides private and backpacker, travel from the main city to the park is convenient provided and requires atleast 3days schedule if not flying. Start by booking your Gorilla permit either online or with a responsible Uganda tour operator, and later set off for the gorilla tracking tour to western Uganda. If your tour is private don’t hassle waking up early to go to the bus terminal to leave the city with the early morning bus, just have your breakfast and wait for your driver guide to pick you up from your hotel of residence since all is handled by the tour operator. The travel time on round is around nine hours so you need to be on the road latest 7.00am local time. Ensure that your Gorilla permit is booked before leaving the park main office in Kampala, Uganda Wildlife Authority. Expect to see the Uganda Equator, local drum makers, Art & pottery work and grand cultural displays at igongo cultural museum. Lake Mburo wildlife can be spotted on your way especially the Zebras and some travelers make road stops for few photo captions before heading to Bwindi forest.
In fact the drive is too scenic for those who do private budget trips since you can stop any where unlike in public buses where you can’t stop others passengers for your personal interests. Gorilla tracking starts at 8.00am after briefing at 7:30am and tracking is only done once per day. Bwindi Impenetrable RainForest Park treks are not too tough as per the saying since tourists are able to find the sliver back mountain Gorillas with its other family members in just 1-3 hours though some times the trek takes long to end but the encounter is worth the effort. The allowed one hour of photography with the Gorillas give tourists amazing life lasting memories and a reason for many Gorilla visitors to the country every day. However when backpacking it even goes more low since you spend less on both public transport and accommodation unlike the Gorilla tracking permit price which is constant for a particular season for all trackers. Friends can also work for you if you travel with them and share costs.
Uganda though unique with the gorilla tracking life time experience safaris, its also endowed with a diversity of Nature wildlife excursions and water adventures in its over 5 National parks of Queen Elizabeth, Murchison Falls, Kidepo park, Kibale forest park mostly for primates and bird safaris, Lake Mburo with high diversity of antelopes, Zebra’s, Giraffe, Hippos etc. A drive to Jinja enable you witness the source of the great longest River in the world the Nile river as discovered by one of the great British Explorer John Speke coupled with water activities like white water rafting, spot fishing, boat cruises and Bungee jumps for the strong hearted.Read More
Are you interested in ecology or nature? A Uganda gorilla safari is worthy a take for you. Mountain gorillas are one of the greatest apes in the world and the rest of the apes include man, chimpanzees, bonobos, orangutans and the gibbons. Gorillas are the hugest primates in the world.
There are two species of gorillas in the world that is the western and eastern gorillas. The gorillas are classified by the regions they live in.
There are also sub species of gorillas for the case of the eastern gorillas, there are the eastern lowland gorillas and the mountain gorillas. Cutting the chase we emphasize on the mountain gorillas that are found in Uganda. The mountain gorillas are only found in Uganda, Rwanda, and The Democratic Republic of Congo.
There are a few mountain gorillas left in the world with the population of 880 and Uganda has almost a half of these gorillas (420 which are found in Bwindi impenetrable national park and Mgahinga national park).
Mountain gorillas are endangered species that are almost getting extinct in the world. This is due to the very many threats the gorillas are facing like destroying of their inhabitants by local people to get timber and logs. Gorillas also have a very low reproductive rate where by the female gorillas produce one infant at a time and also take a period of four years to produce another. They are also poached by the locals in order to get game meat. This has led to wildlife organization like world wildlife fund (WWF) to embark on conserving and preserving them. The organizations have encouraged visiting the mountain gorillas in their natural environment in order to witness how precious it is to watch the gorillas. So by visiting the gorillas in Uganda, a person pays money for tracking them of which the money is used to cater for the conservation and protection.
Conservation and protection of the gorilla is one of the reasons to take a Uganda gorilla safari now.
Gorillas are also very interesting animals to watch and also the gorilla tracking at large is a very adventurous and exciting tourism activity to undertake. Gorillas make one wonder if they are animals or humans since they normally associate among each others like humans. Many people enjoy interacting with these unique animals and come to Uganda over and over again to watch them. So do not miss to see one of man’s closest cousins in the jungle because at any one at time the gorillas will be no more. What makes it more exciting is that one has travel from the capital to the far southwestern part of Uganda.
But one should not be worried of the accessibility of the park as you can reach the park by hiring a safari car in Uganda through a tour company or travel agent or booking a charter flight to the park.
The prices of gorilla tracking are relatively low compare to other countries where they are trekked. Everyone would like to save some money due to its scarcity so take on Uganda gorilla safari now before the prices escalate.Read More
There are many leisure activities that are adventurous and fun in Uganda like one can go for bungee jumping, rafting, sky driving but at the end of it all, those activities take a short time and are being involved in by very many people. There is something that is so natural and relaxing and that is watching the biodiversity in its natural setting.
Uganda has master pieces of these wild animals and plants in their natural environment. Come to Uganda and travel to the west and southern part of the country. This is where most of the wild flora and fauna is found. Many people have visited and have had wonderful experiences and stories to take back home. This trip is more fascinating as you travel by a 4×4 safari car hire in Uganda that is a four wheel vehicle since the roads leading to such areas are raged and also found far away from the city which makes the expedition more adventurous
The wild experience stretches from Murchison fall national park where you find very many big mammals like elephants, buffaloes, zebras, antelopes, giraffes, oribis, elands, kobs moving around looking for survival. At this park there is also Albert Nile which is a sub river of river Nile the longest river in the world and on it one take a launch cruise with a rewarded display of aquatic life and other big mammals at the banks of the river.
On the wild experience one encounters Queen Elizabeth national park the medley of wonders; this has so many tourist attractions that are rarely seen anywhere it is a big five national park as it possesses the lions, leopards, elephants and buffaloes. It also has a mystical place of Maramagambo forest where bat caving is done. It has good sightseeing features of the crater lakes of Katwe explosions. One cannot forget to have a cultural encounter where you watch the traditional dances and arts. With all that Queen Elizabeth is the most popular national park in Uganda.
At the wild experience there is visiting the mountain gorillas in Bwindi impenetrable national park. This is a thrill where one takes a hike through the tropical rain forest of Bwindi looking for the hugest primates on planet earth. This is exhilarating as one come up close with the gorilla looking at each other eye to eye. You are able to take outrageous pictures of these wonderful animals. A gorilla trip to Bwindi is one of a kind as the mountain gorillas are only found in Uganda, Rwanda and the democratic republic of Congo. The mountain gorillas are ranked among the top ten sought out animals by tourists in Africa.
Visiting Murchison falls, queen Elizabeth and Bwindi impenetrable national parks is the best way of living on the wild side as this comprises of watching exotic animals, bird species and trees species, having a boat ride on the water bodies which comes with an aquatic life experience and encountering the cultural and traditional life of the people living around these national park is a marvel.
There is all a trending option of living on the wild side other than taking up a wildlife safari with a tour which is a self drive in Uganda where you can explore Uganda’s wildness on your own.Read More
You may have heard of this place, or at least seen clips from it on TV; where thousands of thousands, sometimes millions, of bright pink flamingos gather in a great spectacle on one single lake. Does it sound familiar? Well, what you have seen on TV is not special effects, it is a real place with real birds and you can go there to see it. The place to go is Lake Nakuru in the Great Rift Valley, KenyaLake Nakuru is conveniently located close to the Masai Mara which makes it a popular destination for safari tourists. And watching flamingos is essentially the only thing you do at this destination. It might not sound like the most thrilling activity, but when the number of birds exceeds a million, sometimes two million, it suddenly becomes more exhilarating!
The sight can only be described as unbelievable, when the blue lake seems to disappear under a massive layer of hungry, pink flamingos. And soon after you might see the sky turn pink, as the entire flock of birds decides to take off at the same time. The only problem for tourists in this matter is the timing. There is no such thing as a good season and bad season for watching flamingos at Lake Nakuru. The seasons only affect the water level, and naturally the water is high during wet season and low during dry season. But the birds are there, on and off, all year around. What matters to the birds are other conditions, like the amount of algae. If there is no algae, the birds will simply fly to another lake. And most people will book their trip long before they know what the algae concentration willlook like. So I can only wish you the best of luck!
Though, if you decide to go, remember that as tourists we have a responsibility to be careful about how we affect the local wildlife. And sometimes it might not be possible to be careful enough, as our bare presence itself might be all it takes to have an undesirable impact. Over recent years the flamingo population has been observed to decline, and one reason can be the large stream of tourists flowing through the Rift Valley. This is not proven, and there are several other causes that may have a much stronger effect on the bird population.
But we should be aware of the possibility and take it into consideration. So as you travel, keep reminding yourself to minimize your impact on the environment!Read More
This is one of the long lasting volcanic mountains in Congo; its last eruption was in 2002 where magma flown towards Goma, this volcano is found in north Kivu province within the Virunga national park which manages and controls all the activities taking place on the isolated active volcano with its headquarters at Sekenkwe. The hike takes about 5 to 6 hours to climb the summit that begins at an altitude of about 1,997 meters to 3,470 meters above sea level
Nyiragongo lies 21km away from Goma town on the un paved highway to Beni and Kisangani, with its base camp at Kibati which is the starting point for tourists who wish to Hike this mountain i just visited Virunga National Park in december 2016, and this volcano hike was absolutely at the top of my amazing experiences in DRC
This mountain is in form of 3 sections for those who wish to spend some time on it, it has the Forest section and the hiking trails begins with this straight from kibalti until you join the 2002 volcanic
I’ll take a bit out of my general Virunga review I just wrote: rocks that stretch upto the rocky section which is the most challenging hiking trail. Ones advance preparedness would be needed to coup up with the best time to visit this mountain is during the dry season,which is May to October , you can as well visit in the rainy season , but the hiking trails are slippery thus becoming a bit of challenge.
The moment you get onto the top, there inn built wooden cabin from which you camp and begin to view the glowing active volcanoes and it inspiring to change This night almost has eclipsed your minds of how nature has wonders on planet Earth the hiking experiences in epic-ness but you can also be blown away by watching the potential of an eruptionthis kike is for sure It is 5 hours non-stop & does require a good level of fitness not to be overseen.
During the hike, porters perform their job if at all you ordered for one,, armed guards hike with you. food is actually really good on condition you ordered for it from mikeno lodge which is an extra $80 per person on top of $300 hiking ticket , and the gear you rent from Mikeno lodge are top notch (Patagonia down jacket, warm clean sleeping bag, etc.). It is at 11,400 ft (3500 m) so of course it is very cold at the top. Better for one to have an entire set of dry clothes extra jacket , and would be nice to have hiking gloves that keep you warm, as it partly gives you an extra hand / great on the way down to grab onto volcanic rock and sting nettles for stability and not rip my hands up. Much as there many un updated security concerns on various travel forums, but the Virunga staff are extremely professional & every detail to take care of seamlessly to every body on the trek. But you have to make sure the following are in proper arrangements to avoid any delays or inconveniences, At the border just make sure you have a printout of your tourist visa confirmation provided by Virunga.org, in addition to your yellow fever card is mandatory. transport has to be arranged from Goma boader best transport to use would be with Virunga park from Goma to Mikeno lodge/ Bukima (sekenkwe) Make sure to take good non-slippery shoes that will likely be soaking wet & very cold by the time you get to the summit. An extra pair or two of wool socks, extra shoes to change once you arrive so your feet don’t freeze.and also to change at the end of the hike at Kibati
Hiking Nyiragongo and experiencing it is a real magical volcano and Truly a world wonder that so few people like Billy Ssali have the opportunity to see.
Planning for Nyiragongo Hiking Safaris is very ease with Congo Gorilla Safaris the Destination Expert in Congo Safaris. the Shortest Nyiragongo Volcano Hike is 2 Days Safari which is offered as 3 Days Congo Nyiragongo SafariRead More
Botswana Safaris, not for the ordinary tourist but with many rewards. With a swath of the Kalahari Desert, absence of meaningful roads; skies with no end, flood plains, with corresponding salt pans, a total sense of remoteness turns Botswana Safari into a destination for the steel-hearted. Straddling 15,000 square kilometers, is the Okavango Delta, constitutes a desolate reserve of astounding beauty. Teeming with kudu, wildebeest, zebra, crocodile, giraffe, hippo, elephant and buffalo.
From Jorburg Airport to Maun Airport on light aircraft into the middle of the Okavango Delta. Explore silently the remote lagoons and waterways, nature walks and fishing. Proceed through the meandering streams to Moremi by motorized boat. Embark on a game drive after a rest. Extensive wildlife viewing by way of evening and morning game drives. Push on from there by light aircraft to Chobe National Park.
Take a slow cruise on the Chobe River and take in masses of crocodile and immense herds of elephants. Squeeze in a final game drive and hit the road towards Victoria Falls Airport for onward transfer to your home flight. All in all six days filled with awe through unique eco-systems and landscapes of the Okavango Delta, Moremi Game Reserve and Chobe National Park. Pre-booked accommodation in elaborate tents and lodges, game drives by four-wheel vehicles, light planes and power boats to execute transfers.
Botswana Vast, expansive wilderness and filled with wildlife and yet leaving more space to fill. Offering a unique experience, Botswana easily boasts the largest herds of Elephants. Forget about micro-buses stuck on the way in quagmire of mud. Botswana Safaris have become serious business and grown with bounds and leaps. The appearance of the 4×4 on the scene has changed the way visitors move about in the African bush. Proportionally accommodation has also improved to three to five star standards. Undisturbed wilderness, expansive reserves and camps that is comfortable as your home. Your budget will determine where you stay. You will not run out of choices. The unlimited space result into a feeling of exclusivity to the reserves.
The Okavango Delta: Substitute the obvious picture of a swamp with lagoons and navigable streams zigzagging through the plains. This is home to myriad flocks of birds, uncountable schools of fish and other wildlife. Nothing has changed since the early western explorers in the middle of the 19th.Century. You will see and share their experience, but in style. It’s up to you to use regions’ famous dugout canoe, the Mokoro. Without as much as causing a whisper, glide among the animals on the river banks.
Do not let the Delta put you on the leash while on Botswana Safari, spread your wings, uncurl your legs step off the mokoro and into the Kalahari Desert salt pans. The Chobe and Linyati waterways attract enormous game congregations.
Highlights of Botswana Safaris :
While on your Botswana Safaris, through the Kalahari Desert, you will come across the home of one of the last untouched human cultures in the world; still using Stone Age implements. Welcome to Botswana, home of the Bushmen. The line between their ancient and present day will not be very obvious, a people with no civilization baggage and the experience will have an everlasting impression on you.
Moremi Game Reserve The main stay or prototype of Botswana reserves; renown for teeming wildlife. Recline in your mokoro, in the shallow waters of the Jao Flats, still part of the famous Okavango Delta. While at it, and the budget allowing, pay a visit to Mombo for excellent game viewing. All the above are next to each other. The Marshes of Savuti:, which regularly disappear in the dry season, but all the same frequented by wildlife on the move.Chobe Riverfront, dare and step into a mokoro and row off the banks and experience a superb way to view game at close proximity. Chobe National Park, most toured part of Botswana, together with it’s proximity to , it is a frequented transfer point. Linyati Marshes, for peace of mind and away from the crowds, the marshes of Linyati rival the Chobe Riverfront and mirror the Okavango Delta on a small scale; game?, no problem, come tomorrow, in the dry season! Salomon Shoes
Botswana Safaris, What To Do
4×4 self-drive, enjoy the unhurried African freedom of living and listen to the heartbeat of the wildlife.
Walking Safaris Distinguish smells and sounds of Africa, discern the lie of the land by planting your feet firmly on the Oldest Continent. Feel the pulse of your African Safari vacation by walking in the wild jungles of Africa.
Horseback Riding On one horse power you can go far, yet be in spitting distance of wildlife.
Night Game Drives As the night falls, nature hurries to rest, while it is time for predators to hunt. Be part of the equation of the fittest, and experience the accompanying rush of adrenalin, the abrupt dousing of the fierce African sun turns every thing ethereal. The night symphony begins in earnest.
Mokoro Safaris Float like a feather in the local dugout canoes on the still waters of the Okavango River, one of the few rivers which never finish its journey.
Best Time to Set Off on your Botswana Safaris
Depending on your particular destination and what you want to see. It is far easier to see animals in the dry season than in the wet season, unless you are a staunch birder; the flocks are thicker in the rainy season. If you are a birder, the wet season is for you, December to March. For those interested in the big five, May to October is the perfect time. Vehicle movement is not unduly hampered, although you would not try anything other than 4WD on the roads. From May to June is the best time for Mokoro Rides, the peak of floodwater from Angola. Big game begins congregating in the month of September to October. Expect spectacular herds of buffalo and elephants at this time of the year. It follows that whenever grazers come together, the predators like King Lion, Cheetah and Leopard are lurking nearby ready to execute deadly ambushes. Requirements: You might need a visa, so it will be best to consult with your travel consultant, for applications and extensions. Health Concerns: Botswana is country of low population density; there is no undue cause for worry. On the other hand, take precautions for Malaria, typhoid and tetanus.
Botswana Safaris:- Is it Affordable?
On a controlled budget, you can fly to Maun, negotiate a three night self-catering Mokoro. This can work well in combination with Mobile Safaris for budget conscious travellers, moving together in small groups to hire services of professional guides together with equipment and tents. Your camp moves with you. You pitch it where it is convenient and safe. All levels are catered for to experience a memorable Botswana Safaris. On the average, most camps are geared for the upper market clientele. Frequent use of light aircraft, luxurious lodges, camps, superb cuisine, wide range of activities and the attendant professional guides bring about the rise in charges. To keep up such standards in the African jungles is a deer undertaking. It is not easy to run out of options, you can opt for a self-drive in a 4×4. This option is for determined, well-prepared travellers, conversant with more than basic 4x4WD vehicle mechanical knowledge. Accommodation can be pre-arranged or increase your adventurism and try the rooftop tent. As I was saying, options abound if you set your heart for an African adventure. Do not be phased out by participatory expedition, popularly known as overland trucking. It is an exhilarating experience of a lifetime. You learn to work in a group, improve on how to handle relationships and responsibilities. It will give you time to discover your inner self as you discover that most wonderful Safari land, Africa!
Mountain gorilla tracking in the areas of Uganda, Rwanda and Democratic republic of Congo has gradually improved the lives of the local people. It doesn’t matter whether someone is near the national park where gorilla trekking takes place but what matters is that the whole country as a whole gains from the activity. Since there are only 900 estimated gorillas left in the world, these three countries which happen to harbor them have gained a competitive advantage over the others and this is because tourists especially primate lovers go there to have a glance at the gorillas. Uganda and Rwanda are the best destinations for tracking the primates and this is why some people prefer going for a combined Uganda and Rwanda gorilla trekking experience.
But the big question here is; – how do the local people gain from gorilla tracking yet they don’t go and view the primates? Well, there are numerous ways through which both the government and the local people can gain from this wonderful activity and below is a list of them;-
- Gorilla trekking creates employment opportunities to the local people. As you may well know that while moving through the thick forests searching for these primates you always move with a guide, these are mainly local people who are trained to be guides and they earn from doing this. Some nationals go for training to become guides in the various national parks where gorillas can be found and from this they can earn a living and also support their families. Also the various tour companies which are setup to offer gorilla tracking packages to tourists create jobs for the local people. The lodges where tourists sleep on their tour also have workers who benefit from the activity by earning money. Not forgetting the drivers who drive tourists to the various destinations on their safari. These also earn money from this and it’s because of gorilla trekking that they are able to get people to drive. In the longrun, the whole process leads to creating jobs for the unemployed people in the countries where these rear primates are found.
- Through attracting people from different parts of the world, gorilla trekking has also built a link between the local people and the foreigners. Amongst these foreigners are those interested in helping the needy especially the children. On their safari to where these primates are found they end up meeting the local people including those needy local people. Therefore the needy nationals get that opportunity of getting help from these tourists. Also various charity organizations get funding from the visitors and this money is used to improve the lives of the local people.
- The government taxes the various institutions or companies which deal in tourism and this money is channeled to improving the lives of the nationals. This means that tourists who come for gorilla trekking contribute to these taxes and indirectly improve the wellbeing of the people in Uganda, Rwanda and DRC where mountain gorillas are found.
Through the above ways, the local people have been touched by the hands of tourist indirectly and they have managed to survive as a result of improved standards of living.Read More
Lake Kivu is one of the African Great Lakes lying on the boarder of Rwanda and Democratic Republic of Congo with in the Albertine Rift, the western branch of the East African Rift. Lake Kivu empties into the Ruzizi River, which flows southwards into Lake Tanganyika.Lake Kivu is found in the Northern Province of Rwanda and can be visited on Honeymoon Adventures.
As well as boasting a number of delightful beach resorts, this beautiful lake is also a great place to cycle the Congo–Nile trail.
Running along the Congolese border for 90km, the 2,370km² Lake Kivu is one of a string of ‘inland seas’ that submerge much of the Albertine Rift floor as it runs southward from the Sudan to Zambia. It is very a beautiful lake, hemmed in by steeply terraced escarpments containing several peaks of 2,800m or higher, including the smoking outline of volcanic Nyiragongo in the far north, and it has long served as a popular weekend getaway for residents of this otherwise landlocked country.
Kivu has a smaller surface area than the two most expansive Albertine Rift lakes, the more southerly Tanganyika and more northerly Albert. Nevertheless, a maximum depth of 480m and total water content of 333km3 places it among the world’s 20 deepest and 20 most voluminous freshwater bodies. In addition, the 285km² Idjwi Island, which falls entirely within Congolese territory, is the second largest inland island in Africa and tenth largest in the world.
A shallower and larger incarnation of Kivu probably formed about two million years ago as a result of the same tectonic activity that created the Albertine Rift and other associated lakes. Back then, Kivu would have been contiguous with the lower-lying Lake Edward on the Uganda. About 20,000 years ago, however, a natural dam created by lava from the Virungas isolated Lake Kivu from Lake Edward. As a result, Kivu’s surface rose to its present-day altitude of 1,470m, the Rusizi River which had formerly drained out of Lake Tanganyika into the southern tip of Kivu reversed its flow, and the lake became part of the Congo Watershed.
Kivu supports an impoverished fauna by comparison with other large Rift Valley lakes, as a result of an unusually high level of volcanic activity. The geological record suggests that the release of methane trapped below the lake’s surface has resulted in regular mass extinctions every few thousand years. As a result, fewer than 30 fish species are known from the lake and, while this does include 16 endemics, it pales by comparison with the many hundreds of species recorded from Lakes Victoria and Tanganyika.
High methane levels probably also explain the complete absence of hippo and croc, and are also cited by those who claim that the lake has no Bilharzia. Kivu’s attractively irregular shoreline, with its verdant slopes and sandy beaches, is served by three main resort towns. The most northerly of these, Rubavu/Gisenyi, has the best tourist facilities, partly because of its proximity to Rwanda Volcanoes National Park .
Karongi/Kibuye, further south and with the advantage of being far closer to Kigali, also has a few decent lakeshore hotels. At the southern end of the lake, overlooking the exit point of the Rusizi River, Rusizi/Cyangugu can easily be visited in conjunction with Nyungwe National Park and Huye/Butare, and has recently gained its first hotel meeting international standards.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