Gorilla Trekking in Rwanda Vs Congo
Planning to take a gorilla trek in Africa? Rwanda, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo are some of the best places where tourists can enjoy gorilla watching in Africa. When it comes to making a choice on where to go gorilla trekking, many travelers become confused and some decide to visit the different parks on a single gorilla safari and enjoy this brave once in a lifetime experience! In this post we compare gorilla tourism in both Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Tourism is one of the major economic activities in Rwanda – the country is nick named “the country of a thousand hills”. Rwanda has three National parks namely, Volcanoes National Park, Nyungwe Forest National Park and Akagera national Park. Other tourist attractions in Rwanda include Lake Kivu, Genocide memorial museums, Local art and craft shops, Fruit markets, Kigali city among others.
The chief Rwanda’s tourist attractions include mountain Gorillas, Chimpanzees, colobus monkeys, Golden monkeys, the Virunga mountain peaks and many others. The Country is designed in mountainous regions making it a must visit!
Democratic Republic of Congo is one of the largest countries in Africa endowed with lots of tourist attractions namely Mountain and low land Gorillas, Bonobos, lot of birds and wildlife, Virunga Mountains among others. Tourism in Democratic Republic of Congo is not well developed due to political instabilities which some times force tourism activities halt. On the other hand, Rwanda is peaceful and tight security to ensure smooth flow of tourist activities.
In terms of marketing tourism, Rwanda is far better than D.R.C – per annum, Rwanda advertises her tourist potentials to be known worldwide.
The Kwita Izina – Gorilla naming ceremonies which are conducted every year markets the country’s tourism to a great extent. Gorilla naming is meant to introduce new born Gorillas to the world – young Gorillas are named and the ceremony is attended by many tour operators from different corners of the world.
It is only 2 and a half hour drive from Kigali International Airport to Volcanoes National Park, 1 and a half hour from Kigali to Akagera National Park and Nyungwe Forest National Park is 8 hours drive. The short distances enables visitors spends little time on a Rwanda gorilla safari – therefore, tourists on tight schedules should visit Rwanda. In addition, the good roads in Rwanda promote Rwanda tourism than that of Democratic Republic of Congo. The roads to Rwanda’s National Parks are well constructed to simply the transportation of visitors from one destination to another.
Rwanda’s mountain Gorillas are easily found – the shortest trek is approximately 2-3 hours. Gorilla trekking safari is the climax of all trips in Rwanda and being the simplest trip leads to promotion of Rwanda tourism.
Presence of Akagera National park with lots of wild animals and birds – morning and afternoon game drive exposes tourists to animals like Elephants, buffaloes, warthogs, waterbucks, common or cape eland, roan antelope, hippopotamuses, sitatunga, burchell’s zebras, orive common baboons, giraffes, crocodiles, little bee eaters, open billed stock, marabou stock black headed gonolek, robin charts among others. Birds like Ring-necked Francolin, Madagascar Pond-heron, Shoebill, Pallid Harrier, White-spotted Flufftail, Red-faced Barbet among others.
Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park hosts ten habituated mountain Gorillas which are exposed to tourism. The more Gorillas groups a country protects, the famous the country become and the reverse is true.
Nyungwe Forest National park is known for protecting 13 primates including chimpanzees, olive babon, Vervet monkey, Mona Monkey, Grey Cheeked Mangabey, Angla Colobus Monkey, Blue Monkey, L’Hoest Monkey among others. The listed primates add positive impacts to Rwanda’s Tourism over that of Democratic Republic of Congo.
The people of Rwanda are hospitable and welcome foreigners – this is because, most of the people learnt a lesson from the 1994 civil unrests which costs the lives of a thousand people. It should be noted that tourists need to meet people who are friendly. On the other hand, Democratic Republic of Congo citizens feel uncomfortable with foreigners as they suspect them to be spies.
Tourism in D.R.C rag behind due to the fact that many of the tourist attractions like the primates and other wildlife are killed by rebels while others depart the country to the nearby countries like Uganda, Rwanda and others. It is also unfortunate that some people kill wild animals for meat/ food – the process has resulted into tourism failure.