Uganda’s adventurous gems are all scattered throughout the country. These gems include; National parks, mountains, and hills, lakes, rivers, cultural sites, religious sites, historical sites, urban centers, and museums among others. The location of these different sites in different corners of the country makes the country one of the best destinations in Africa for road trips.
Some of the best places you shouldn’t miss on a Self-drive Ugandan road trip include the following.
Entebbe town is the entry point to Uganda as it is where the international airport is found. Entebbe is proving to be a matchless urban destination in Uganda for tourism. Entebbe is a rewarding tour center especially for visitors who are interested in a road trip to the countryside. The city offers opportunities for day tours because it is a small site most tourist attractions are within a walkable distance, one can easily explore on foot places like; the Botanical gardens for bird watching, primate watching, and plant identification.
The Uganda wildlife education center is a zoo with activities like wildlife viewing, behind-the-scenes program, keeper for the day, chimpanzee viewing, among others. When leaving Entebbe, join the roadside markets popularly on days like Tuesday in Kitoro town for some little shopping or watching the daily lives of Ugandan people in the local markets before proceeding to Kampala.
Kampala capital is about 40km from Entebbe town, it is a perfect place to have a road trip because the city is absolutely rich when it comes to city tours. The city has a variety of sites that any visitor can enjoy during a road trip in Uganda including religious sites cultural sites like Ndere cultural center, historical sites, archeological sites, museums, and monuments among others. Religious sites to visit include; the Namugongo shrine, Bahai temple, Gadafi mosque, Namirembe, and Rubaga cathedrals.
Historical sites include the Uganda museum, the parliament of Uganda, and the Ndere cultural center. Cultural sites to explore include Entanda cultural sites and Sezibwa falls. All these make the capital Kampala one of the best places for a self-drive road trip.
Igongo cultural center
This is a cultural center located in the western Uganda area along Masaka-Mbarara road in Mbarara district. This is an awesome spot for travelers to have a stopover for lunch or even for an overnight stay. Igongo culture is currently the major cultural center in the entire west and southwestern region of Uganda. This center has a museum that showcases at least most of the traditional aspects of the Ankole people. Visitors have a taste of the Ankole culture through the traditional foods that are served in the restaurant and on the displays. A road trip to western Uganda must never miss the Igongo cultural center for a great cultural experience.
Lake Mburo National Park
This is a special site where every part is lively with a variety of natural wonders. This park is one of Uganda’s smallest protected areas covering only 260 sq. km and being a savannah park it harbors several mammals like Buffaloes, Impalas, Zebras, and numerous bird species including the rare shoebill stork which can be sighted in particular parts of the country.
The Park is generally a beautiful place with sculptured landscapes and rolling grassy hills with abundant forest galleries, seasonal and permanent swamps. Road trip travelers can explore the park through different activities like birding for over 313 bird species in the park, boat trips in Lake Mburo are remarkable to see diverse water animals and marine species like crocodiles, hippos, and the birds, a forest walk in Rubanga forest with beautiful sounds of over 40 bird species. Fishing and nature trails are some of the best alternatives in Lake Mburo Park. Accommodation for night stays like Mantana luxury tented camp and Mihingo lodge is available around the park. From here you can proceed to Queen Elizabeth National park.
Queen Elizabeth National park
Also situated on the western side of Uganda is Queen Elizabeth National Park. This is the best next and closest destination to Lake Mburo national park during a road trip in Uganda. It offers the best wildlife safaris in Uganda due to its diversity with wildlife. Incredible safari activities like game viewing for large herds of elephants, lions, buffaloes, Uganda Kobs, wild dogs, and lions among others.
The launch cruise allows travelers to float along the 40-kilometer Kazinga channel while watching the abundance of bird species flying over, the crocodiles, hippos, and monitor lizards, Buffaloes on the channel cooling off the hot weather.
You will later join the Ishasha sector for the rare tree-climbing lions and the park’s multiple crater lakes like Lake Katwe where salt is mined traditionally. Accommodation in the park is available with a variety of facilities ranging from luxury, mid-range, and budgets like Mweya safari lodge, Ihamba lodge, Katara lodge, mazike safari lodge, Kyambura game lodge, Bush Lodge, Simba Safari Camp, and various campsites at Mweya peninsular.
Fort portal is a town located in western Uganda greatly famous for its cultural heritage of the Tooro people. Fort portal is the right place to explore while encountering sites like the crater fields, like the Ndali- Kasenda crater in the northwest of Fort portal town. These crater fields are impressive with beautiful scenery and also offer beautiful hiking experiences. Best of all is the cultural and heritage sites like the Karambi tombs where the Tooro kings are buried, the Tooro Royal palace with its magnificent building, and the Amabere ganyinamwiru caves that showing the Chwezi era that make the road trip culturally rewarding.
Tea cycling is also another experience as you ride in the famous Mpanga tea plantation while viewing the beautiful lush tea estates. After the fort portal tour, the visitor can proceed to Kibale forest national park.
Kibale forest national park
Kibale National Park is found in the borders of Fort Portal and is the capital of primates in the entire world with up to 13 species of primates including Chimpanzees, black and white Colubus Monkeys, Red Colubus, and L’Hoest monkeys. The major attractions in Kibale national park are the Chimpanzee and over 300 bird species that can be explored on foot. The park is best for activities like chimp trekking, nature walks, and birding in the Bigodi wetlands with a variety of bird species.
Bwindi Impenetrable National Park
This is home to more than half of the world’s last remaining population of endangered mountain gorillas. The park has over 20 habituated gorilla groups available for tracking. Gorilla tracking and habituation experience is the main tourist activity to this park. Other tourist attractions include bird watching, Batwa community tour, and Forest walks.
Gorilla permits are in high demand throughout the year and each costs US$600(to be increased to $700 effective 1st July 2020), and US$1500 for gorilla habituation experience and can be acquired through a trusted travel agency.
Clouds Mountain gorilla lodge, Nkuringo gorilla camp, Lake Mutanda resort, Rushaga Gorilla Camp, Gorilla Mist Camp, Havens Gorilla Lodge, Bakiga Lodge, Buhoma Community Rest Camp, and many others are the accommodation facilities available in the park.
Murchison Falls National Park
This is Uganda’s biggest and oldest National Park located on the northwestern side of the country. The park derives its name from the magnificent Murchison falls which is the main tourist attraction to this park. The main tour activities here include game viewing, a fantastic boat cruise to the bottom of the falls, hiking to the top of the falls, nature walks, night game drives, chimpanzee tracking, birding, and habituation experience in Kaniyo Pabidi forest reserve among others. Ziwa Rhino sanctuary is the only place for Rhino tracking in Uganda.
Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary:
Ziwa Rhino sanctuary is home to Uganda’s wild Rhinos, the sanctuary is located about 176km north of Kampala the capital of Uganda along Kampala- Gulu highway just before Murchison falls national park. Ziwa is a great adventure place for families and groups with children. Imagine walking on foot while tracking with the children is so adventurous with an armed ranger, one can get as close as 30 feet to Rhinos. Guests can also have fun on the boat ride and sighting the ancient Shoebill stork which is one of the rare bird species in entire Africa. Ziwa sanctuary is absolutely one of the best destinations for family safaris with an amazing experience of tracking Rhinos in the sanctuary, plus great meals and accommodation from Amuka Safari lodge.
It’s Important to Understand the places you must never miss in Uganda as you plan your self-drive trip, all the regions in Uganda are uniquely gifted with special tour attractions that can only be discovered in a single self-drive road trip. The best places to visit have been shared to make it easy for you to choose which place to add to your itinerary.
Rwanda is a renowned destination for luxury safaris in Africa. Situated in Central Africa, this tiny country is a great addition to a safari in East Africa given its closeness to the famous destinations such as Serengeti of Tanzania, Masai Mara National Park, of Kenya as well as the Kilimanjaro Mountains. Nature Adventure Africa has come up with the 10 Days Luxury Safari in East Africa that enables you see the mountain gorillas and explore the classic destinations for game viewing in East Africa. Beyond the gorillas, there is a lot to see in Rwanda itself! We bring to you some of the biggest highlights that will make you fall in love with Rwanda;
Situated in western Rwanda, Lake Kivu covers the Rwanda – Democratic Republic of Congo border consisting of beautiful beaches, great tropical weather, and beautiful scenery. Lake Kivu offers the perfect place for rest and recuperation, especially after your gorilla safaris and chimpanzee safaris as well as game drives in Rwanda’s top Parks; Volcanoes, Nyungwe Forest and Akagera National Parks, respectively.
Among the most popular activities to wallow in while at the Lake include; sunbathing, swimming, and water sports like Kayaking, wind surfing & canoeing. Lake Kivu can be visited as part of your Rwanda safari itinerary and time spent at the Lake is never regrettable. The Lake is a magnificent inland sea enclosed by steep, green terraced hills and beautiful Islands.
The Lake can easily be accessed from Kigali or in any of the country’s three major Parks, namely; Volcanoes Park (after trekking mountain gorillas or golden monkeys), Akagera Park (after game drives), and Nyungwe Park (after chimpanzee safaris). Lake Kivu is strategically situated on the tourism circuit making it an ideal stopover while you explore Rwanda’s adventurous areas including national parks, genocide memorial sites, among others.
Lake Kivu covers most of the western border of Rwanda with major tourist areas being Gisenyi, Kibuye, and Cyangugu, which lie along the lake shores.
Rubavu – previously known as Gisenyi – is a large town on the northern edge of Lake Kivu, which is an hour’s drive from the famous Volcanoes National Park – Mountain Gorilla refuge, and an ideal place to relax after gorilla trekking. Once, a colonial beach resort of note, Rubavu’s waterfront is lined with fading old mansions, hotels and trendy bars on the lakeshore, ideal for sundowner cocktails.
Karongi, half way along the lake, is a popular beach resort with hillsides covered in pines and eucalyptus serve as a backdrop to the sparkling lake. At dawn and dusk, the sound of local fisherman singing carries across the water as they paddle in unison.
From Rubavu in the north, the Congo Nile Trail extends 227 kilometers of breathtaking landscapes all the way to Rusizi in the south of Lake Kivu. The trail gently curves back and forth as it weaves through hills and mountains beside the lake with eucalyptus trees lining the road and every inch of the hills seemingly terraced with bananas.
For adventurous travelers, an exciting way to explore Rwanda is a kayaking tour on Lake Kivu, or mountain biking or hiking one of the 6 off-the-beaten path stages of the spectacular Congo Nile Trail. Visiting the beautiful and deep Lake Kivu is an exciting experience and of course so memorable. After your gorilla safaris and chimpanzee safaris it is therefore a great decision to go visit the beautiful Lake Kivu which offers several amazing activities to engage in.Read More
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
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!
Track mighty mountain gorillas on an exclusive private guided safari to Rwanda, taking you to the misty Virungas Volcano rain forest. Rwanda has five volcanoes, twenty- three lakes and numerous rivers, some forming the source of the river Nile. The country lies 75 miles south of the equator in the tropic of Capricorn.
Rwanda with a land area of 26,338km and is bordered by Uganda to the north, Tanzania to east, Burundi to the south, and the democratic republic of Congo to the west. One of the largest cities in Rwanda, Musanze is a bustling city hosting almost all tourists visiting the world famous mountain gorillas.
Musanze has been the base point for gorilla visit and is cradled against a stunning backdrop of Karisimbi, Bisoke, Sabyinyo, Gahinga and Muhabura volcanoes. The city is rich with cultural tourism opportunities, caving, birding and fishing on the nearby lakes. The city is also only a 45- minute drive away from Gisenyi and the stunning Lake Kivu.
Price of a Rwanda Gorilla Permit
Non Residents – $750
East African Residents – $450
East African Citizens – $300
Rwandan Residents – &375
Rwandan Citizens – 30,000
Proper preparation is important in terms of dressing and equipment’s. Please bring the following items with you,
- Long trousers/ pants- to avoid stinging nettles the trousers must be strong enough to withstand occasional pulls from thorns.
- Long sleeved shirts/ t-shirts. To avoid stinging nettles
- Gloves- These are required to avoid injury to your hands. Remember the grounds are wet and slippery.
- Hiking boots- Please bring average waterproof sturdy walking boots reaching ankle level not mountain climbing boots. Something light and hardy will do.
- Warm cardigan- Volcanoes can get extremely cold. A warm cardigan is required to keep off cold.
- Long sleeved Rain Coat or anorak -it can rain anytime in Volcanoes National Park even on hot days, its among the reasons why Volcano Gorilla safaris rank high in Africa. The downpours are heavy and extremely cold.
- Water proof container for your cameras. Yes I know there are waterproof cameras but even they to be sure just put them in a waterproof container. When you are slipping and falling in muddy grounds you do not want your precious photos damaged.
- If you desire headgear (hats), a baseball cap is recommended as gorillas are familiar to them.
- Enough water- minimum of 2 liters of drinking water to avoid dehydration. Carry four just in case the hike proofs longer than expected. Sometimes it can be 8 hours.
- Film Camera- A film camera for domestic use is recommended.
- A camera
- If you are interested in birds, you can bring Field guide to birds of East Africa and a pair of binoculars.
On the day of your gorilla trek
On the day of your gorilla trek, you’ll set off very early in the morning after your breakfast to track to the gorillas from the edge of the forest. Your driver/guide will pick you from your lodge and will drive you to the park headquarters. The guides here speak excellent English and are very good. They will be taking you to a specific group of ‘habituated’ mountain gorillas, which they know well and are used to human visitors. You’ll be divided into 8 people and after a briefing on safety and gorilla trekking etiquette; you’ll be driven to the start of the trail to reach your mountain gorilla group. Your guide will then lead you along generally clear paths up into the forest, in radio communication with the trackers that stay with the group so that they can be located. Often the gorillas will be spread around a small area of dense vegetation. They’ll continue with their feeding and interactions, nonchalant about their visitors, though watching you with interest. Occasionally one, often a playful youngster, will approach you with curiosity sometimes coming so close that you’ll have to move away. The various groups and their locations will obviously change from time to time: mountain gorillas often climb higher in the dry season and descend during the rains, they might move on due to pressure from wild gorillas and individuals will often join other groups. When tracking gorillas, it’s possible to request to visit a specific group once you are at the park headquarters, but this can never be guaranteed.
Other activities in the park
Other activities in the park are Golden monkey tracking, hike to the Dian Fossey grave site, tour to the twin lakes of Burera & Ruhondo, mount Karisimbi volcano hike, hike of Bisoke volcano, Cave tours in Musanze, bird watching and community ecotourism in Iby’Iwacu cultural village.Read More
Golden monkey tracking in Rwanda is one of the exciting safari activity that shouldn’t be missed by any tourists as these primates do have a golden fur coats on top of their backs as it gives a good colour that is beautiful to watch and it can be only be done in volcanoes national park which is located in the northwest of Rwanda unlike in Uganda where it can be done in Bwindi impenetrable national park. There are two habituated golden monkeys that live in this national park where each group consist of around 70 and 100 members respectively members of which, most of them live in the Bamboo forests. Golden monkeys are endangered species and unique in nature located in the Virunga mountain ranges as it spans near the border of Rwanda, democratic republic of Congo and Uganda.
It is always a fun experience when tourists come and see these stubborn primates that do move up from tree to the next tree feeding in the bamboo forest leaves. The craziest part of these primates is that they do move close the tourists in about few meters which is a good sight for seeing these golden monkeys by tourists as they give a good impression to the tourists to come again and watch colorful primates.
For one to see these colorful primates, a permit is needed as it costs around 100dollars to watch which is normally booked around 3 months back before one alives at the park. Rwanda tourism board is the body responsible for the issuing of golden monkey permits in Uganda. A group of eight people are needed to this activity as it may not take a long period of time watch. Furthermore, when one reaches at the park in the morning hours, he will be required to check on his permit whether the permit is available, and then after he will be taken though the all procedures and protocols needed to do this activity by an English speaking guide.
What is interesting about Golden monkeys trekking compared to mountain Gorillas tracking in Rwanda is in two things one being that in golden monkeys trekking where there is no limit of number of people needed to do this activity which is not in mountain Gorillas were they state a certain number of people needed to do this activity (8 people are needed in one group as it can encourage tourists to do both golden monkeys tracking and mountain Gorillas at the same time. The second part which is interesting is that it is normally done in low land areas as not too much fitness of the body is needed to do this activity unlike mountain Gorillas which is done in mountains as the name suggests.
To start trekking in volcanoes national park of these primates, one is needed every early in the morning at the national park head quarters at 7:00am to get a gorilla permit just in case haven’t got your permit to do this activity. Their after, you will be transferred to Sabinyo volcanoes which takes about 10 to 15 minute drive before which you will be briefed what is needed to do this safari activity. Tourists are given one hour to spend time with these primates as they take photographs moving together with them to their places they live.
Furthermore on these golden monkeys, they do have long tails at the back of their body which helps them do balance up in the branches of trees during their movements from tree to another which is not with the mountain Gorillas as the name suggests. When you look at what they do in their daily live is that, they do like and love digging sweet potatoes in the soil and do clean them when want to eat.
There are some requirements that are needed to do this activity that include having long trousers, long sleeved shirt, a hat light-rain-Jacket, poncho, water proof hiking boots which might be used at any time of the year when rain has occurred, plus also food like snacks which might be either be given to you by the park staff or brought by you from your home that are needed during the course of tracking never know how long is the trip. A porter who can carry these items is needed just when you start your Golden monkey tracking in the park to carry and safe guide your items
There are number of hotels and lodges that are both situated in and out of the volcanoes national park having various rates of accommodations ranging from budget, midrange to luxurious accommodations. This gives a wide section of lodges to be booked within time which are normally booked by Safari companies on behalf of the tourists these include the following home inn, Virunga Hotel, Red rocks Rwanda, La Palme hotel, villa hotel.Read More
There are a few countries in the world where gorillas are found in their natural habitat. Surprisingly there are only 10 African countries that host mountain gorillas. These great apes are divided into two different species of gorillas; the Eastern Gorilla and the Western Gorilla. Of these countries, few have developed gorilla tourism – the sustainable adventure activity of tracking these giant apes.
Today gorilla tourism is becoming an important aspect of protecting the gorillas, species that IUCN has listed as endangered! The activity of tracking these apes deep into the African forests raises revenues that are needed to manage the national parks where these creatures are protected. There are a few countries where gorilla tourism has been developed and most travelers focus on visiting the mountain gorillas that are found within only 3 countries though efforts have also been put towards promoting tours to the low land gorillas and cross river gorillas.
Mountain gorillas are only found in Uganda, Rwanda, and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The lowland gorillas are found in Gabon, Cameroon, and other countries. Meeting close with these rarely seen apes is known as a breathtaking moment in life very difficult to forget. It’s always very important to first know where to track/trek from and then continue with the process of organizing your gorilla safari in their natural habitat. Here are the most popular gorilla destinations include the following.
For mountain gorillas visit These Countries;
This small African country is thought among one of the popular gorilla tours in Africa because it hosts the rare mountain gorillas, it’s one of the few countries in the world for housing the endangered mountain gorillas, it’s said to be the most popular safari destination in the world housing almost a half of the world’s remaining mountain gorillas. Many trackers prefer tracking in this country since gorillas in this area are easy to found, and for those who need shorter distances, Rwanda offers the best since it’s only about 2-3 hours’ drive from Kigali to kinigi park headquarters. The park is easily accessed due to good roads and a relatively well-developed infrastructure, with very many accommodation types around the park for an overnight ranging from budget to up-market accommodation. Habituation efforts were due to the works of Dian Fossy who was a primatologist and research who monitored and habituated these apes to human standards for a period of over 18 years, his work was documented in the film Gorilla in the Mist, which is a must-see film for anyone before tracking these apes, it’s so interesting, her works made Rwanda very popular for gorilla tracking safaris that make many peoples first choice for a mountain gorilla safari. Only one park in Rwanda habituates these apes volcanoes national park located in Ruhengeri Musanze district in the north-western part of Rwanda. The park habituates 10 gorilla families which are ready to receive visitors every day. Tracking activities begin very early in the morning after reporting at the park headquarters in kinigi for short briefings about the whole process of gorilla tracking from the park wardens and senior ranger guide. Tracking time is unpredictable it can go from 1-8 hours depending on a gorilla family tracked. The chance of sighting Rwanda mountain gorillas is a most 98% and above.
Almost a half of visitors to Uganda came specifically to track mountain gorillas in the forests of Bwindi impenetrable national park and Mgahinga gorilla forest national park in the southwestern part of Uganda. This pearl of Africa as it’s sometimes referred to be is one of the three countries in the world hosting the rare mountain gorillas and it’s one of the major Mountain gorilla tours in Africa. Uganda houses the highest percentage of these apes over 480 individuals are living in Uganda out of the estimated 900 remaining mountain gorillas in the world. Mgahinga National Park is part of the tri-national Virunga Conservation Area, and its gorillas frequently cross into DRC and Rwanda in search of a new adventure, however, they have shown some consistency in the last two years. Climbing to the top of Mt Sabinio, where Rwanda, Uganda, and DRC meet, is an outstanding way to see the whole mountain gorilla kingdom in Mgahinga. The Park is home to one gorilla family called Nyakagezi gorilla family.
Bwindi national park is home to 11 gorilla habituated families and gorilla tracking activities are conducted every day at the park starting with short briefings about gorilla tracking and also get assigned to a ranger guide. Access to the park is very possible with good infrastructure; sighting is a guarantee when tracking with Uganda about 98%& above. Tracking activities last for only one hour in a group of 8 members who are allowed to visit these apes per group.
- Democratic Republic of Congo
DRC is gifted for housing three/of four subspecies of gorillas making it one of the best gorilla safari tours in Africa. like Uganda and Rwanda, DRC is among the three countries in the world for housing the endangered mountain gorillas, other species include the eastern low land and the western lowland gorillas. The chances of tracking/trekking all these subspecies are very high. Gorilla tourism with habituated groups began here in the mid-1970s, in Kahuzi-Biega National Park, a stranglehold of eastern lowland gorillas; the park still offers one of the best gorilla-viewing experiences in DRC. The country is considered to have some political instabilities however, tracking activities are still organized and gorilla tracking activities are conducted every at the park in Virunga national park a gifted park housing these remaining mountain gorillas. Rwanda is the easiest point to enter DRC, although still the country can be entered from kisolo Uganda. infrastructures are not good as it is in Uganda and Rwanda however, chances of seeing gorilla species is very high and the activities are guided by well-armed ranger guides who escorts you deep in the forest to have a chance of seeing these giant apes in the forests of Virunga and Kahuzi-biega national park is high with about 95% mountain gorillas, 70% lowland gorillas and about 50% western lowland gorillas.
Cameroon is also mentioned as one of the African countries offering gorilla tours in Africa, it houses a sub specie gorilla known as cross river gorillas, and these apes majorly live in a small section of forest that is a center of a preservation project but with no tourism element yet and they are found in the English speaking part of Cameroon bordering Nigeria. Spotting these apes is possible at the Limbe wildlife center however the center also is home to about 20 western low land gorillas orphans. Sighting of the western lowland gorillas is made in the French-speaking part of Cameroon in Campoma’an national park in the southwestern part of the country. Not like the top three where sighting is a guarantee, sighting these gorilla species is not a guarantee, chances of seeing the cross river gorillas are only about 50%, and sighting the western lowland gorillas is just about 70%
Gabon is also mentioned among the most popular for lowland gorilla tours in Africa, it houses the western lowland gorillas and the habituation program started at the Mikongo conservation center in Lope national park and was ended in 2010. Although no specific gorilla tracking arrangement and specific gorilla trekking spot ever recorded, these apes can be seen while tracking other wildlife which makes all activity more magnificent. Moukalaba-Doudou National Park has some of the highest numbers of these apes, and an eco-tourism project has begun there with help from The Gorilla Organization. The chances of sighting the western lowland gorillas are about 70%.
The choice remains yours to choose which destination to go for gorilla tracking, however, the best gorilla tracking destination is Uganda and Rwanda with the highest habituated gorilla families and tracking activities are safe. Gorillas are habituated to human standards and they can be tracked safely in their natural habitat without any harm caused to humans.Read More
Kidepo valley national park harbors a great diversity of animal species than other parks in Uganda. These include carnivores, ungulates, and primates. Though this park is less visited, it is one of the best places to enjoy a wildlife safari in Uganda.Stuck in the remote north eastern part of Uganda, Kidepo can be visited all year round. Here are the top things to do in Kidepi National park
On a safari through Kidepo, there are high chances of viewing tree climbing lions that always sits on sauces trees along Narus valley or on the rock just as you enter the Apoka Park Headquarter. Right from Apoka Rest Camp other animals that can be seen include elephants, leopards, bush duikers, jackals, bush bucks, bush pigs, kavirondo bush babies, buffaloes and much more.
The Park boasts of an extensive avifauna. 465 species have been recorded Birds of particular interest include the ostrich and the Kori bustard which are principally associated with arid regions. The park also has outstanding numbers of birds of prey. In this category, 58 species of birds that have been recorded. Amongst these 14 are believed to be endemic to Kidepo and the Karamoja region.
Hiking and Scenery viewing
Hiking can be carried out on Lamoj Mountains just a few kilometers from the Park Headquarters.
During safaris in Kidepo valley national park, tours to the local communities in the neighboring villages can also be arranged. The local community near the park stages cultural dances and performances. Traditional dances such as the Emuya of the Naporre and Nyangia, Larakaraka and Apiti dances of the Acholi are worthy to see and participate into.
Nature Walk and cultural visits to the Karimajong Manyatta (homesteads) where you will probably see kraals belonging to local communities, traditional costume, stools, spears headdress, knives, bows and arrows and jewelry among others are also interesting and worthy to take during a safari holiday in this park.Read More
Going to a vacation in a place you’ve never been before and engage in very many interesting things before is a moment in life very difficult to forget. With interesting national parks like Murchison Falls National Park, Lake Mburo National Park and Queen Elizabeth National Park, many tourists today take family safaris in Uganda. Did you know that you can take a self drive safari in Uganda and discover amazing sites with your family? Going to a vacation with your family is also good however it’s better to do it with a family car which is safe and comfortable.
There are several car rental agencies in Uganda that offer comfortable cars which can accommodate you with all your family members. Most of the cars are 4×4 wheel drive (a reuiremement for upcountry roads) and a family car takes up to a maximum of 6 passengers. You can choose from both manual and automatic cars with air conditioner. A family sized supper custom is suitable for both towns running and for afar distanced places. Other family cars include safari land cruiser 4×4 minivans uniquely designed with a pop up roof and classic safari cars come with rooftop mounted tents that you can use for camping. This car can accommodate to up to 8 people and it has enough space for cargo hence making it suitable for family trips.
Choosing a best car can be a truly complicated affair, so if you’re trying to decide which family car you should rent check on our family car review for the best choice for an incredible family vacation and memories that you and your children will treasure forever. When you chose to enjoy with all your family members you don’t want to waste a minute on unforeseen transport delays, weather condition or any other potential bumps in the road, we offer the best cars which will never leave you regretting.
Sites to Explore
When on a Uganda safari with your family, you will enjoy a number of things within Kampala Uganda’s capital and its largest city, you can decide to do Kampala city tour with your children, you can visit traditional sites like the Kasubi tombs where 4 kings of Buganda where buried, visit the Namugongo shrine where the martyrs where buried for failing to renounce their religion, if not that you can decide to go to the beach along Entebbe with your children and enjoy Uganda’s freshest lakes, or you can go to Jinja to visit the source of Nile the longest river in Africa. Not only that but also you can take your family to Uganda’s national parks like Lake Mburo national park, Queen Elizabeth N.P, Kibale and Murchison National Parks among other to enjoy various parks activities like game watching, boat cruise, bird watching among other interesting activities.
Book with us a family rental car, it will give you the flexibility to come and go as you pleased. Drive at your own pace taking breaks wherever you want! A self drive in Uganda will give you the most unforgettable time and moments with your loved ones.Read More
Rwanda is a small landlocked country and Mountains run down its western side of the large Lake Kivu sitting along the western border. The country is blessed with lakes, waterfalls and ancient forests which boost 200 species of trees, 300 species of orchids, many not documented. However, when it comes to wildlife, Rwanda has variety including the famous mountain Gorillas, chimpanzee, and rare golden monkeys. Animal magic is the best way to sum up the land of thousand views wildlife. The volcano hills, flora and fauna, montane forest of Nyungwe and volcanoes, Akagera National park are present day Rwanda’s wildlife territory which are highlights to several tours to Africa. Thousands come to Africa particularly to Rwanda after browsing all Africa tour destinations and find Rwanda second to none. Are you looking at visiting Rwanda soon? Check out the countries best wildlife spots and make it appoint to at least visit one.
The Volcanoes National park
Africa’s famous park protects steep slopes of Rwanda section of the Virunga Mountain arrange of six extinct and three active volcanoes which straddle the boarder of Uganda and Democratic Republic of Congo. Volcanoes green part offers a beautiful calm forest coloured with massive stands of bamboo and Alpine moorlands dominated by lobelia and Sececio plants similar to those found in Mount Kenya and Kilimanjaro. The park has has at least something for everyone taking a safari in Rwanda including the 50kim forest walking trails, tours to the twin lakes and Caves, Golden monkey trek, bird watching tours, Gorilla tracking adventure, fascinating section of mountain climbs like Karisimbi & Karisoke, culture tours among others.
Among the 880 remaining mountain gorillas in the world over 480 are protected here with only 80 tourists are allowed in their park domain per day many of which book their Gorilla tracking permit in advance. The Park also hosts the world famous Annual Baby Gorilla Naming Ceremony the Kwita Izina which attracts many all over the world hence making it the most wildlife haven in Rwanda.
The Oldest Forest in Africa
The largest montane forest in Africa Nyungwe is a home to 13 primate species and the only place to track chimpanzees in Rwanda. Visitors to the forest enjoy extra ordinary birding experience, panoramic view point on the canopy, forest walks without missing out the forest hogs, otters, duikers, civets, and elephants though. It’s a right place to explore the natural beauty of Rwanda’s forests. If time permits you can also combine your visit with gorilla tracking which makes your experience more thrilling and exceptional. The most common tours done are the three days chimpanzee tracking tour with an optional forest walk and the five day Gorillas and chimpanzee trek tour Rwanda.
Lovely Lake Kivu
Lake kivu is a Rwanda extension holiday option of several tourists covering a total surface area of some 2730 km2 and stands at a height of 1463 m above sea level. The tropical gardens, beach sandy and an open plan of the Serena hotel makes it indeed a lovely place for beach, honey moon and weekend gateways. Besides the ringed hills, hot springs and the sandy beaches offer excellent lakeside resorts, water sports and Island tours to guests who visit the place. Sun bathing, swimming, walking, fishing, rural village tours, boat ride are other leisure activities which can keep you busy through your stay. With Lake Kivu accommodation you can chose to sleep with in or in the nearby town of Kibuye and changugu.However, other Rwanda wildlife casts include a wide range of antelopes, Zebras,Buffalloes,Giraffes, Hipos,Lions,Leopards,spotted hynas, golden cats and giant forest hogs mosty spoted in Akagera National park. Having traveled extensively in Africa I learnt that Rwanda prides it selves in having the best wildlife and this is a guarantee to you.Read More