Gorilla Tracking in Uganda, Rwanda

Rwanda is one of the East African community members and one of the best tourism destinations on the African continent because of its various tourism attractions that range from the natural stuff like wildlife and manmade like cultures. This is a pretty interesting country to visit and any one is free to visit any time of the year. It is true that those who have never visited , toured or done a safari in Rwanda will have a different idea about the country after reading various books about well-known Rwandese genocide that took place in 1994 which is more than 20 years ago. Most of this rewritten information is biased and so discourages so many potential tourists from visit Rwanda and in-turn miss out on the adventure and the fun.

 

The truth is that there really so much to see and learn about Rwanda which the books and the internet will never give you. There are few facts that many people may not know about Rwanda as a tourist destination and yet are of great importance to the tourism business.

 

Rwanda is a home for more than the Mountain Gorillas

Rwanda just like Uganda and Dr. Congo is a home to hundreds of mountain gorilla therefore a perfect destination for a gorilla tracking safari. Much as they are truly amazing creatures, they are not the only remarkable attractions in this country. There are so many other primates found in Nyungwe and volcanoes national park that also attract hundreds tourists and these include various monkey species like the golden monkeys, chimpanzees, among others.

Other primates in Rwanda.

Gorilla poachingIn the entire world, mountain Gorillas can only be seen in Uganda, Rwanda as well as the Democratic Republic of Congo - DRC. During Gorillas Tracking Safaris within Uganda these gorillas can best be seen in Bwindi National Park (with 12 habituated gorilla families) as well as in Mgahinga National Park (one habituated gorilla family). Within Rwanda, these can best be seen in Volcanoes National park (10 habituated gorilla families), and then in the D.R. Congo there are over 9 gorilla families in Virunga National Park.

Silverback mountain gorillaWhat is a Silverback Gorilla?

A silverback is the dominant fully grown male gorilla in a family of Gorillas. Similar to a father in a family, the silverbacks take duty of heading their gorilla families. Each group or family of gorillas is led by only one silverback that has dominance over other members in the gorilla group. You may discover that some of the gorilla families have more than a single silverback however; the strongest of them all will take the headship. During Gorilla Tracking Safaris in Uganda and Rwanda, you will have an opportunity to see these giant apes.

birds in ugandaUganda has been and sis till known for being a home to an exceptionally large population of birds thus a great birding site across the region. There are more than 1500 different species that live in different birding sites in Uganda they choose where to stay depending on the type of vegetation type which ranges from the savannah vegetation, there is the semi-desert, the montane tropical rain forests, some prefer to stay in the wetlands or near the Lakes and rivers as well as those that prefer the Afro-Alpine zones and the thick forest like the Bwindi impenetrable rain forests. amazing Birding Safaris Uganda. The thick forests around the globe are homes the most sought birds.

olive baboons RwandaAlso referred to as (Anubis baboon), the Olive Baboons can only be seen in just 25 countries on the African continent among which is Rwanda, Uganda, Tanzania, Mali and Ethiopia among others.

They are very social and prefer to live near human settlement where they can easily snatch some food staffs including yellow bananas, potatoes and various other food items. So during your visit to these aazing creatures, remember to keep your car windows rolled up since baboons are known for going through people’s personal belongings as they search for food.

Ssese island beach ugandaSsese Islands are among the Uganda’s biggest tourism destinations to an extent that they haven’t been really explored and utilized as a great tourism destination that they are. Ssese islands are found in the northwestern side of Lake Victoria which is the largest lake in Africa and second largest in world and shared by Uganda Kenya and Tanzania. It is a great place to visit on your Safari in Uganda. This is actually an archipelago, composed of 84 different islands although many of them are not really known to the public.  

Owl faced monkeysThe Owl- Faced monkeys are a shy and very hard to find species. Because very little is actually known about their ecology as well as conservation status due to their limited range within central Africa, Rwanda’s Nyungwe National Park not only offers a great research base but also a good conservation area for this unique species.

These Owl- faced monkeys are quite fascinating to look at. They have a beak-sharp nose and an oval face similar to that of an owl. They are hardly seen however during your walk in the forest, you may be lucky to run into them during your Safari in Rwanda. Their coats are gray in color with white stripes running from their forehead to the tip of their pointed nose.

Nyungwe national park is among the wildlife habitats in African having the largest diversity of primate species. In addition, there are 14 mammal species that are endemic to the Albertine-Rift region.

Dents mona monkey NyungweThe Dent’s mona monkey is an Old-World-monkey belonging to the Cercopithecidae family. It is not a very common monkey but can be seen in Rwanda, the D.R Congo, Central African Republic and in western Uganda.

In Rwanda, the best place to see them is in Nyungwe National Park which is home to various other primates including the chimpanzees, Red tailed Monkey, baboons, blue monkeys plus so many others.

Nyungwe forest National park is located in southwestern and it’s the largest National Park in the country and most renowned for having the largest variety of primates in the country.

Gorillas Volcanoes HotelPreviously referred as Ruhengeri, Musanze Town is Rwanda’s most popular and commonly visited to en in Northern Rwanda. People visiting Volcanoes National on Rwanda Gorilla Safaris; normally make stopovers in this town for shopping, to enjoy the vibrant nightlife as well as to relax. Musanze town is the commercial, administrative as well as service headquarter in Rwanda.

Nshongi gorilla groupThe Nshongi gorilla group living in Rushaga in the southwestern region of the Impenetrable Bwindi forest is the largest habituated mountain gorilla group and can easily be seen during our Uganda Gorilla safaris. This is the largest habituated of the mountain gorilla (Gorilla beringei beringei) families, a sub species of the eastern gorillas.

The group was named after River Nshongi along whose banks this group was first seen. This river has a color similar to that of honey.

republic of RwandaStarting today 1st August 1, 2016, the government has effected its new Visa Fees and now, tourists visiting on Safari to Rwanda are required to make a payment of either 50 US Dollars, or 35 UK Pounds, or 45 Euros depending on the currency of your convenience.

Transit Visa Fees are now at either 30 US Dollars, or 20 UK Pounds, or 27 Euros.

No so long ago the neighboring republic of Uganda also reduced their Visa-fee from $100 US Dollars to just $50 US Dollars. And the good news is that the tourist destination countries of the East African community which include Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda and Kenya are currently charging a uniform fee for their tourist visas which is 50 US Dollars.

Buniga Walk BatwaIn case you ask yourself why several conservation agencies including the IGCP are jointly working with the local Batwa people living in this area, we advise that you imagine one of the locals sitting next to a trap waiting for the wildlife to fall into his snare as he waits for meat to carry back to his family to feed on.

One of the local guides within Buniga Forest who leads tourists during the guided forest walks revealed to us that before joining the tourism industry, he used to trap wildlife living in this forest. He went on to show us how they skillfully made the traps a skill that was passed down to him by his grandfather. They used to make traps which were centered on capturing either one of the limbs or the neck; however, some traps were designed to crash the backbones of monkeys.

gorilla tracking rwandaRwanda is among the very few places in the world you where you can track the eastern lowland mountain gorillas considering that it has a number of habituated mountain gorillas. There are ten (10) habituated families of mountain gorilla available to the public to be tracked. In Rwanda depending on your physical fitness, you can always ask to trek a family that nearby and less tiring; this may take 1 to 2 hours to trek. In fact Rwanda offers a gorilla trekking experiences that takes less hours compared to other gorilla tracking destinations.

Traditional music itesoThe Iteso are part of the people who stay in eastern Uganda especially in the districts of Soroti and Kumi. Others are in Palisa and Tororo districts. The political uncertainty of the early 1990’s forced a great number of Iteso to move as far as Iganga district. Historians believe that they are part of the Lango group which is said to have migrated from Abyssinia. You can visit these people during our amazing Uganda Cultural Safaris. Before the first half of the 18th century they had occupied the shores of L. Salisbury.

kyabazinga busoga kingBeing one of the most ancient kingdoms in Uganda, Busoga Kingdom has a political, social and economic organization similar to that of other inter-acastrian kingdoms. It is made up of five politically organized districts that like Bugiri, Kamuli, Mayuge, Iganga and Jinja. Jinja was turned into a municipal council which is the central part of Jinja and the industrial hub of Busoga. The Kingdome is led by a traditional king known as the Kyabazinga and it can best be explored on our Uganda Cultural Safaris.

elephant dead ugandaAt the beginning of this week on Monday, a fully grown male elephant was found dead within the Mweya Peninsula of the renowned Queen Elizabeth National Park of Uganda.

Jossy Muhangi The Public Relations Manager of the Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) said that the carcass of this dead elephant which was alleged to be 35 years old was discovered lying close to a ground transformer and the electrical cables attached were attached to an electricity pole close by.

Rwanda cultural safarisRwanda found in East Africa on the African continent is a landlocked country that lies at crossroads of East and central Africa. However this small country is a member of the East African Federation together with other countries including Kenya, Uganda, Burundi as well as Tanzania.

Also commonly referred to as a ‘Land of a Thousand Hills’, the country has been popular on the international tourism scene because of its exciting Safaris in Rwanda that include wildlife game viewing as well as Gorilla Tracking Safaris within the Volcanoes National Park; it offers another amazing safari product which is worth enjoying during your visit and this is the Rwanda Cultural Safari package.

chimpanzee habituation UgandaThe Chimpanzee Habituation Experience is the best way to spend an entire day with the chimpanzees. This is entirely different from spending a single hour with them during the ordinaryChimpanzee Tracking Safaris in Uganda. Many visitors that travel into Uganda are not aware that they have two options of either spending the entire day with the chimps during the Chimpanzee Habituation Experience or spending an hour with the chimps during the Chimpanzee tracking Safaris.

akagera lion cubsA few years ago, Rwanda came up with the plan of reintroducing lions into the famous Akagera National Park which is among the commonly visited destinations on a Safari in Rwanda. This decision was made after a year without seeing any single lion moving around in this park which meant that they had either been killed or died natural death to extinction. The plan was to get lions from Kenya but this did not happen because there were so many critics that came along more so from some Kenyan conservationists who argued that Kenya was not really prepared to let go of their lions and Akagera national park in particular was not ready at all to receive those animals therefore shooting down this great plan between KWS and Rwanda Development Board.

Dian FosseyTalking about a Mountain Gorilla Safari in Rwanda is considered entirely partial if we don’t talk about the several years that late Dian Fossey committed to studying and staying with the these gentle mountain gorillas in the verdant forests as well as the Rwanda mountain gorillas. During that time she managed to write a book entitled "Gorillas in The Mist" that after sometime was shot into a movie in Hollywood - Gorillas in the Mist. Although the natural habitat of mountain gorillas across the entire planet is found in just 3 countries Rwanda, Congo and Uganda, Dian Fossey decided to establish her research within the mountainous slopes of Volcanoes National Park found in Rwanda.

gorilla permit rwandaTo track mountain gorillas in Rwanda, one needs to have a gorilla tracking permit and below we have highlighted the current cost of these permits

   USD $750 per person for non-nationals

   USD $375 for foreign residents

   30,000 Frw for Rwandan citizens

What to expect on a Rwanda Gorilla Safari

On your Rwanda Gorilla Safari, the gorilla tracking adventure begins early in the morning and so it will be better if your accommodation is close to the entrance of the gorilla park. At 7:00am, you will converge at the park headquarters where you will be briefed about the guidelines and etiquette of gorillas tracking, and then you will be divided into groups of 8 people before heading out into the forest.

uganda chimpanzee safariChoosing to take a Chimpanzee Safari during your Safari in Uganda is among the most exciting adventure activities you can enjoy in the country.

An opportunity toTrek the chimpanzees within their natural habitat is a very unique and thrilling experience which you will not be able to enjoy in any other part of the world except the jungles of Uganda.

Gsilverback gorillaorillas are a rare species, their physical appearance and behavior have marveled many and for that reason millions and millions of people have traveled from all parts of the world for a Safari in Uganda  to enjoy a Gorilla Tracking Safari during which they will have an opportunity to see them. In this article we have pointed out some interesting facts that you may not know about gorillas

olive baboons ugandaThis kind of primate belongs to the papio Anubis species which is why they are sometimes referred to as the Anubis baboons. It is the commonest species and it can be found in 25 countries on the African continent only. There are 2 species that are commonly seen in East Africa, these Anubis and the yellow ones which fortunately you will have a chance to see on your Uganda Safari. They are mainly ground dwellers, very intelligent and also crafty.

bird watching uganda

A Mabamba swamp is located in Entebbe along the shores of Lake Victoria. This swamp is quite big cutting across a long narrow bay with Cyperus papyrus along its border heading towards Lake Victoria, and a wonderful stopover while on Safari in Uganda. Somewhere in the middle of the swamp is an open water body, very small like a water channel and sometimes it cuts a portion of the swamp away from the main swamp forming some sort of islands and it at times sail away.

IbyIwacu Village VisitAccording to the Rwanda development Board, the Iby’iwacu is the most booming Cultural Villages in Rwanda because it receives the highest number of tourists who travel from all parts of the world to enjoy a Safari in Rwanda. Iby’iwacu means treasure of our home and the Iby’Iwacu cultural village is non-profit making society project which is located in Musanze along the foot of volcanoes and it actually intends to better the lives of all ex-poachers in the area close to the park. Volcanoes National Park (PNV) is very supportive of this project and does so through providing them with conservation incentives like rewarding ex-poachers, provide goats to slaughter instead of the gorillas.

aziz experienceCultural tourism is one of the things to do if you wish to have a real connection with the local people. You will be amazed by how rich the Rwanda culture really is and this is something you can only find out if you get close to these friendly people; this great opportunity you will enjoy during your Safari in Rwanda. They will to walk you through their tradition life style which includes the music and dances, tradition dishes, farming methods, among other experiences. You can always explore all this if you go for the Aziz life experience.

national budgetThe ministry of finance recently made it public that they will be reducing on the government ministries’ budgets so that they can clear the increasing budget deficit that the country is facing. This is something that is really frightening to the tourism stakeholders because the prosperity of the industry highly depends on how good the government invests in it which is very evident in Rwanda. There was a signification increase in the amount allocated to the tourism sector in this financial year which ends in June 2016 and this was done to help the Pearl of Africa widen its markets so that we can receive more visitors. The more dollars flowing into the country, shows how good the sector is performing.

Rushaga gorillaThere are a number of reasons why one needs to track gorillas in Uganda particularly in Rushaga Area found in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. Bwindi National Park is among the world heritage sites, and it’s popular for its resident population of mountain gorillas. Within this park the number one tourist activity is gorilla trekking conducted during your Uganda Gorilla safari in 4 trail-heads which include: Rushaga, Buhoma, Nkuringo and Ruhija. Although Rushaga area has more habituated gorilla families compared to other parts in Bwindi Forest, it receives fewer guests. Today we have taken time to explain to you why this part of Bwindi Forest is worth visiting and more so why is worth doing your gorilla tracking safari here.

chimp habituationUganda prides in miles and miles of thick tropical forests which provide habitat to a number of different types of primates including mountain gorillas that are listed among the IUCN critically endangered species (these are found in Bwindi Forest and Mgahinga National Park in which Gorilla tracking is done), man’s closest relatives the Chimpanzees (which are found in budongo forest within Murchison Falls National Park, in Kyambura Gorge found in Queen Elizabeth National Park, and in Kibale National Park where chimpanzee tracking is done), blue monkeys, the colobus, L’Hoest among many others. The large number of primates within these different game parks has made it one of the best destinations across East Africa to see primates.

semiliki safari lodgeSemliki Park is located in the west of Rwenzori in Western Uganda and cuts across the semliki valley. This park is largely covered by the Ituri forest which is an extension of that great Ituri forest from Congo which is also one of the most bio-diversified and oldest there is in Africa. The flora is mainly one tree species which is the Cynometra alexandri and some few other evergreen vegetation as well as swamp forests. The fauna on the other hand is pretty amazing and worth seeing on your Safari in Uganda, it includes over 400 species of birds, over 53 mammals among which 27 are big mammals. You can find tiny antelopes and two types of flying squirrels that you may never find anywhere else in East Africa.

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