Gorilla Trekking In Uganda Rwanda Info

About African Mountain Gorillas

Mountain gorillas are the biggest primates in the apes’ family found only in Uganda, Rwanda and Democratic Republic of Congo. Mountain gorillas are among the endangered species out listed by The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). They consist of two sub species and tested to have about 98% of the Human DNA thus one of closest relative of man.

They are habituated in the thick forested areas of the Tropical Rainforest. Mountain gorillas feed on leaves, shoots, fruits and pith. Their foods contain a lot of water and moisture which makes them to rarely take water. They stay in troops headed by a male silver-back that guards the group from the enemies.

Mountain Gorillas have well-coordinated and divided programs reflecting the nature of man’s daily activities. Their morning time is to look for food and their mid-day period is for rest. Resting period is very important time for the gorillas since they use that time for creating and strengthening relationships within the group.

mountain-gorilla

Mountain Gorillas in Africa

Gorilla Trekking in Uganda

Gorilla trekking is best done in two national parks. Trekking gorillas in Bwindi National Park offers tourists one of the greatest tracking experiences. On addition tourists can also track down other Primates and also spot different bird species with in the park. Bwindi Impenetrable forest currently has about 13 gorilla families available for tourism purposes, and among these we have Mubare, Habinyanja, Bitukura, Rushegura, Oruzogo, Kyaguriro, Mishaya, Nkuringo, Nshongi, Businjye and Kahunje among others. Uganda also has one gorilla group in Mgahinga National Park known as “Nyakagezi group”. It is available and habituated for tourism purposes. However, this group is not stable as it some times crosses the International boarder to Virunga National Park in Democratic Republic of Congo. It should be noted that gorilla tourism in DR Congo is interfered by insecurity in the area, and the destination currently receives very few tourists.

A gorilla trekking permit costs US$600.00 for foreign non residents and can be booked through tour operators, or direct from Uganda Wildlife Authority Headquarters. Foreigners living and working in any of the East African countries (Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda and Burundi) have a discount of US$125.00 on each gorilla permit. Ugandans have to pay 250.000.00 Uganda Shillings to get a gorilla trekking pass.

Other tourist activities around Bwindi and Mgahinga National Parks

In addition to gorilla trekking in Uganda, we have other tourist activities around these parks such as; forest walk through different trails, bird watching, local community tours, Batwa Experience in Bwindi Forest, Batwa Trail, Mt. Gahinga hiking and Golden Monkey tracking in Mgahinga National Park.

batwa-trail

Batwa Experience

Gorilla Trekking in Rwanda

On the other hand, tourists can also choose to track Gorillas in Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda to enrich their experiences. Gorilla tracking in Rwanda also provides the best tracking experience and on addition tourists can involve themselves in various activities like bird watching, horseback riding, among others while on their safaris in Rwanda. Volcanoes National Park also has over 10 gorilla families habituated and available for tourism purposes namely; Sabyinyo, Umubano, Karisimbi, Ugenda, Ntambara, Group 13, Susa and Amahoro among others. The price is gorilla permits in Rwanda is a bit higher than Uganda at US$750 compared to Uganda at US$600 for foreign non residents. Foreigners living and working in East Africa with valid work permits pay US$450 per person, while foreigners living and working in Rwanda pay US$350.

Other tourist activities around Volcanoes National Park

According to Mathias, a tour operator from African Jungle Adventures Limited, there are other tourist activities one can undertake in addition to tracking gorillas in Rwanda and among these we have golden monkey tracking, hike to Dian Fossey Tombs, Mountain Bishoke hiking, Mt. Karisimbi hiking, local community walks, Cultural Village tours, Caves Exploration / Caving, Nature walk and meeting gorilla doctors. You can choose to participate in all activities depending on your budget, time and interests. The more the activities, the more the number of days one should spend on the trip.

Musanze Caves Entrance

Musanze Caves Entrance

Gorilla Trekking Lodges in Rwanda and Uganda

We have many accommodation options in and around all mountain gorilla destinations in Uganda and Rwanda, catering for all tourists of all classes. These accommodation options include lodges, hotels, Inn, Motels, Camps and categorized into Budget/basic, Deluxe/Mid range and luxury/High-End options.

Accommodations around Bwindi national Park in Uganda include Gorilla safari lodge, Wagtail Eco Camp, Gorilla Forest camp, Mahogany Springs lodge, Bwindi Safari Lodge, Gorilla Resort, Buhoma community Rest camp, Buhoma Lodge, Gorilla Mist Camp, Gift of Nature Lodge, Bakiga Lodge, Nshongi Gorilla Resort, Clouds Mountain Gorilla Lodge, Chameleon Hill Lodge, Rushaga Gorilla Camp, Trekkers Tarvan, Cook Land Camp, Nkuringo Camp site, Nkuringo Gorilla Camp and some other hotels, Inns and motels in Kabale and Kisoro Towns. Around Mgahinga National Park we have Gahinga Gorilla Lodge.

On the other hand, among the popular Rwanda gorilla trekking lodges around Volcanoes National Park and nearby Musanze town include Sabyinyo silverback lodge, Virunga Lodge, Gorillas Nest Lodge, Mountain Gorilla View, Le bambou Gorilla lodge, Kinigi Guest House, Villa Gorilla, Volcanoes Gorilla Hotel, Hotel Muhabura, Hotel la Palme and Saint Anne Hotel among others.

mahogany-springs-cottage

Mahogany Springs Lodge

Uganda and Rwanda Gorilla Trekking Comparison

Some tourists prefer to track gorillas in Uganda and others prefer to to it in Rwanda for different reasons. Some of the major reasons to determine where to take a gorilla trip include price/cost, driving distance, and difficulty.

The cost of gorilla permits in Uganda is much cheaper than in Rwanda by US$150 per gorilla permits as earlier seen above. In addition, Uganda has promotional gorilla permits in low seasons of April, May and November where each permits costs US$350 from US$600.

Regarding driving distance, it takes only 90 minutes to drive from Kigali to Volcanoes National Park in Rwnada. For Uganda side, it takes between 8 to 10 hours drive from Kampala to Bwindi impenetrable forest and Mgahinga National Parks. There is a shorter option where one can access Uganda gorilla parks from Kigali (Rwanda) in less than 4hours’ drive via Cyanika or Katuna boarders.

Records have it that, tracking gorillas in Rwanda is much easier / less strenuous compared to Uganda. Also Rwanda has good visibility, one can easily take clear photos and videos unlike in Bwindi Impenetrable forest that can not allow clear photos.

Top 10 African Countries Hosting Gorillas

Gorillas exhibits some similar characteristic with human beings making Gorilla trekking more interesting – looking into the eyes of our close relative is a memorable experience. In Africa, mountain Gorillas, cross River Gorillas and Low land Gorillas are found but in some countries like Democratic Republic of Congo, both Mountain and lowland Gorillas co- exist. Below is the list of countries famous for protecting Gorillas.

1. Nigeria
Cross River gorillas are found only in Cross River State, where the government has invested heavily in tourism infrastructure. However, the chances of seeing gorillas in cross river state are still low. Less than 200 individual gorillas are thought to be here, spread across an area of 12,000 km² which includes Afi Mountain, Mbe Mountain, and the Okwangwo Division of the Cross River National Park. For this reason, scientists are cautious about habituating any.

cross-river

Cross River Gorillas

2. Cameroon
Cross River gorillas live in the English-speaking part of Cameroon bordering Nigeria, in small pockets of forest that are the focus of a conservation project but with no tourism component yet. The only captive Cross River Gorillas can be seen at the Limbe Wildlife Centre, which also cares for about 15 WLG orphans with a long-term goal – funding permitting – of rehabilitation back into the wild.

3. Equatorial Guinea
The Monte Alen National Park is a spectacular forested park, and its rugged terrain served to protect it from commercial logging. As yet, there are no habituated Western Lowland Gorillas. The tourism infrastructure is in very early stages of development, and trained locals have started to conduct guided day Gorilla treks.

africa-western-lowland-gorilla

Western Low Land Gorillas

4. Gabon
Gabon made a bold bid to diversify its economy by creating 13 National Parks in 2002, most of them containing gorilla habitat. The WLG habituation programme at the Mikongo Conservation Centre in Lopé National Park was terminated in 2010. But although visitors are no longer taken on specific gorilla-spotting treks, visitors can still see them while looking for other animals and birds. Moukalaba-Doudou National Park has some of the highest densities of gorillas, and an eco-tourism project has begun there with help from The Gorilla Organization. Loango National Park offers the rare combination of rainforest and Atlantic beach, where hippos have been seen surfing, whales and dolphins surface offshore and the forests are home to gorillas, chimpanzees and forest elephants – my idea of heaven!

5. Angola
Western Low Land Gorillas are found only in the Cabinda enclave, the part of Angola north of the mouth of the River Congo. There is little in the way of tourism infrastructure, but if it is adventure.

6. Congo
Since the loss of the habituated Gorillas to Ebola in 2002, the nearby Odzala National Park now presents one of the best options for seeing Western Low Land Gorillas. It is currently home to two habituated family groups that can be seen by visitors. They can also be seen from hides as they visit bais.
One of the best places to track WLGs is Bai-Hokou in the Dzanga-Ndoki National Park. A WWF project has succeeded in habituating a group, and a calm contact is likely, though the dense forest and low light beneath the canopy make photography challenging.

8. Rwanda (Land of A Thousand Hills)
Rwanda is about the size of Wales, with good main roads (making it quick to get around) and a relatively well-developed infrastructure. But it is the work of Dian Fossey, as dramatised in the film Gorillas in the Mist, that really makes Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park many people’s first choice for a mountain gorilla tracking. Relaxed gorillas and relatively open habitat – montane vegetation, often with stunning views – greatly improve the chances of good gorilla watching. In Rwanda, Gorilla trekking takes place in Volcanoes National park where visitors clearly see the peaks of virunga ranges. Each gorilla permit in Rwanda costs US$750 for foreign non residents and US$475 for foreign residents (Living in East Africa – Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Burundi), US$375 for foreigners living and working in Rwanda, US$300 for East Africans and 30.000 Rwanda Francs for Rwandese. Permits can be booked through travel agents and Rwanda Development Board (RDB) offices in Kigali. Apart from mountain gorilla tracking, Volcanoes National Park also inhabits the rear golden monkeys. Here tourists also do mountain climbing to Bishoke and Karisimbi, as well as hike to the tombs of the Late Dian Fossey, the American primatologisit who spend close to 2 decades studying and habituating Mountain gorillas in Rwanda. Know more about her works by watching her movie “Gorillas in the Mist”.

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Mountain Gorilla in Rwanda

9. Uganda (The True Pearl of Africa)
In Uganda, Gorilla trekking exercise is done in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga National park. Mgahinga National Park is part of the tri-national Virunga Conservation Area, and its habituated gorillas often cross into Democratic Republic of Congo. Uganda is gifted with almost half of the world’s remaining mountain Gorillas found in the Virunga crescent. Uganda gorilla tracking permits cost US$600 each for Foreign none residents, US$475 for Foreign Residents and UGX250000 for Ugandans. However, In Uganda, they have low season rates where, each gorilla permit costs US$350 for Foreign Non Residents. This happens in months of April, May and November. Please contact your Travel Agent for updates. Here we have over 10 habituated gorilla families that include Nsongi, Nkuringo, Bitukura, Mishaya, Oruzogo, Kyaguriro, Rushegura, Mubare, Kahunje, Businje, not forgetting Nyakagezi of Mgahinga National Park.

african-gorillas

Mountain Gorillas in Uganda

10. Democratic Republic of Congo
Three of the four sub-species are found in Democratic Republic of Congo. Gorilla tourism with habituated groups began here in the mid-1970s, in Kahuzi-Biega National Park, a stronghold of eastern lowland gorillas and this park still offers one of the best gorilla-viewing experiences. Bukavu is the nearest town (with some beautiful lakeside hotels), but check the security situation if entering Democratic Republic of Congo from Rwanda. Mountain gorilla tourism in Virunga National Park is also excellent when the country is stable. Things have improved since the early 2009 arrest of rebel leader Nkunda, but the area is still unsettled. However, even during the troubles many people visited the gorillas at Djomba on day trips from Kisoro, Uganda, because permits were available in the DRC and sold out in Uganda.

congo-mountain-gorillas

DR Congo Mountain Gorillas

Africa Safari – Birding in Murchison Falls

Enjoying Bird watching at Murchison national Park in Uganda

Uganda the peal of Africa is birding destination and is the only single country in Africa where bird lovers can enjoy the views and the nice melodies of the world’s rare bird species. The high counts of birds in the country which can be watched easily in the various national parks have attracted various bird lovers to undertake birding tours in Uganda.

birding-murchison-fallsMurchison falls national park is Uganda’s largest and oldest located in the north western part of the country and for long the park is well known for its endowments of the different wildlife species and the most remarkable being some of the Big five animals namely; the lion, Leopard, Elephants, Buffaloes and even the White Rhinos which can be tracked in the Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary. These exceptional wildlife have attracted various tourists from all over the world to Uganda with the intention of having memorable experience with the big five animals and few tourists know about the potential of the park to offer best memorable birding experience.

The varied natural habitats of Murchison falls National Park in Uganda make it to be the favorite home of different bird species. The Park boasts of an estimated record of 451 bird species which can be easily enjoyed by bird lovers.

The remarkable list of birds which can be enjoyed in the park includes Uganda ‘s national bird the Grey Crowned Crane as well as the endangered world species of the rare Shoebill Stork and also the largest heron in the whole world, that is to say, Goliath Heron. The particular species which can be seen along the banks of the world’s longest River Nile include the Blue-headed Coucal, Piapiac, Swamp Flycatcher, Silver bird, Squacco Heron, Red-throated Bee-eater ,White-browed Sparrow Weaver, African Jacana, African Quail-Finch, as well as the Sandpipers, Black-headed Gonolek, Denham’s Bustard, Eastern Grey Plantain-eater and Abyssinian Ground-Hornbill among other exceptional bird species.

Bird watching in the Murchison falls national park can be best enjoyed in the Nile-Lake Albert Delta which is a wide, quiet stretch of water, where the placid Victoria Nile pours its water into Lake Albert. This particular area is key birding area in the park and its papyrus-lined banks are blessed with numerous birdlife and the remarkable bird species here include the Goliath Herons as well as the Great Egrets, plus African Fish Eagles. Above all is the mostly wanted to watch bird species of the rare shoe bill well known as the world’s endangered bird species.

Uganda safari destination of Murchison falls national park also provides a launch cruise which starts from the Paraa area and takes the visitors 3 hours ride in the wonderful waters of the Victoria Nile which bisects the park into two parts. During this activity visitors can enjoy the views of different bird which will be feeding and moving in the river banks.

 

Take a Uganda Safari Adventure and Experience True Uganda

I had for a long while been itching to have Uganda gorilla safari experience and nature with all of its superbness. Wondered about the beauty that lay within this country, the hidden treasures buried somewhere deep in the heart of the savanna plains, rolling hills and huge rainforests. But, finally my dream came true when I had a great opportunity of traveling to Uganda.

murchison-fallsA nation situated right in the heart of Africa with the all of its glory. For sure I had an amazing and memorable time as I explored all the beauty of this east African country. To be completely forthright; I had always wanted to travel but I never truly thought I could bear the cost of a safari. With all the vehicle costs, accommodation, park entrance charges, tour guide fees among other expenses. However this happened a week ago, out of no where a chance just presented its self. I was astounded to find that a safari is actually affordable. I couldn’t wait to book my safari that I had been thinking for quite a long time. The safari vehicle was very comfortable with an open rooftop and I had a seat by the window, the tour guide was a professional driver, very knowledgeable and so patient with us, the eco lodges were amazing with stunning views and their service; now that a story if another time.

murchison-falls-2The Uganda safari had everything I had ever dreamt of and beyond. We visited Murchison Falls National Park in north western Uganda. You won’t believe all the wildlife we sow, from the big 5 like; Elephants, Buffalos. We also enjoyed an uninterrupted view of the wildlife in this park, thousands of elephants, buffaloes, giraffes, water bucks, antelopes. I took photos of the mighty falls on river Nile the heart of this national park that I had heard in stories about. Also, I managed to capture in one of the photographs the beautiful rainbow colors along the falls, and an unbelievable amount of eye-catching birds along the shores of the Nile.

elephants-murchison-fallsFrom Murchison Falls National Park, we went for gorilla trekking in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, where we tracked into the jungle searching for the amazing rare and endangered mountain gorillas. The experience was some how tiresome but memorable and amazing because it took us like 6 hours hiking in the jungle and when we reached where the gorillas are, we were give a full hour to interact, observe and take photos of these amazing primates has they do their daily work. I can hardly wait to see what I can experience in more days with so much to see in different national parks to explore. This safari really refreshed my minds and I returned home when am a new person, try it and then see what happens.

gorilla-bwindi-ugandaWabwire Mike, my tour guide was very perfect, knowledgeable, and experience where by he answered every question which came in my mind and this safari has made me to think of taking another taking also a Rwanda gorilla safari in Volcanoes National Park. Mike was good in communicating in English and this eased my communication with him on the safari and I think I will use this same company and I will also ask for Mike as my guide if they allow them to cross to Rwanda or they have Rwanda guides.

gorilla-trekking-bwindiAfrican Jungle Adventures Ltd is the tour company I will again use when taking the Rwanda gorilla safari the next summery time of 2016 since it was organized out and offered me the best services as their motto says Gorilla Safaris beyond your expectations.

The Uganda Museum – Kampala

Dating far back to 1908, the Uganda Museum can be considered as the custodian of Uganda’s past. The building which is considered to be great historical significance to the Pearl of Africa Uganda, her citizenry and the number of travelers that undertake safaris in Uganda contains range artifacts that were collected over time symbolizing the process of modern day man’s civilization and past.

The Uganda Museum is located along Kiira Road in Kamwokya Kampala and is one of the significant tourist attractions that can be encountered in Kampala city by tourists on guided or self drive Uganda safari. The Museum houses a range of ethnographic items that bring out the traditional Ugandan society and the process of its civilization. The hunting equipment, music instrument s which can be played freely, archaeology, entomology and weaponry are among the artifacts in the Uganda Museum.

uganda-national-museum

The Uganda Museum is considered to be the oldest in East Africa and its setting up stretches back to 1902 when objects of interest were called by George Wilkerson. In 1908, the British Protectorate government formally established the Museum at Old Kampala hill in a small Sikh temple. The excavations continued spearheaded by Bishop J. Wilson, Church Hill, E. Lanning, P.L Shinnie and E, L. Wayland from 1920 to 1940s leading to increase in the number of artifacts. Thus a bigger space was required and Margaret Trowel School of Fine Art at Makerere University was considered in 1941. In the process, the funds for construction of a more spacious and established Museum were raised and by 1954, the Uganda Museum had got a home on Kitante hill the place where it has lived up to today. This history in its self presents a rich trail that a tourist on safari in Uganda could opt to explore in detail.

Besides the exhibits in the Museum gallery, the Uganda National Museum is also a haven for educational tours that appear in form of demonstrations, outreach programmes, workshops and a range of complimentary services. The traditional huts in the Museum back yard depict a range of tribal communal stings ad their different architectures which are worth exploring while on Uganda safaris. The traditional canteen on the site offering traditional cuisine gives the taste of the Ugandan tradition. There is also a gift shop where one can get a souvenir to take back home. The German Architect Ernst May is credited to have designed the Uganda Museum structure.

Self Guided Short Tours around Kampala City

Kampala has so many interesting that one can explore on a self drive or guided tour around. Alternatively, you can hire car with drive in Uganda and explore the city along side other natural and historical wonders of the country. Among the reputable car rental companies in Kampala include Self Drive Uganda Limited, 4×4 Uganda Limited, Uganda Car Rental and Road Trip Uganda among others. Below are the detailed options short trips around Kampala.

Kampala City Tour: Itinerary

Pick you up at 8:30 am from agreed spot, and start on the drive through Kampala City to the Independence monument, then to the Parliament of Uganda from where you will continue to Rubaga and Namirembe Cathedrals before proceeding to the Kabaka’s Lake.

Visit Kasubi Tombs – the traditional royal tombs of the Kabaka’s of Buganda

Lunch break at Ekitobero Restaurant

Visit the crafts village at National Theatre before heading back ending your day’s excursion.

The above Includes

Entrance Fees

Land Cruiser / Minibus or Super Custom i.e. for 1 – 8 Pax

Coaster bus i.e. for 10 – 25 Pax

An English Speaking driver / Guide

Fuel (Gas)

floods-kampala

Flooding in Kampala

 

1 Day Nile Express Tour/ White water rafting

Itinerary

Depart Kampala, head to East of Uganda to Jinja passing sugar plantations & colorful road side fruit /vegetable markets. Stop at the Owen Falls Dam and the submerged source of the Nile.

Lunch break at Jinja Nile Resort

Visit Bujagali falls where several rapids are situated close together. You will enjoy the quiet of the water and know the quiet times of the day.

Return to Kampala in the afternoon, with a brief stopover either at Ssezibwa Falls or Mabira Forest.

The above Includes:

A visit to the source of river Nile

A visit to Bujagali Falls

Entrance Fees

Land Cruiser / Minibus or Super Custom i.e. for 1 – 8 Pax

Coaster bus i.e. for 10 – 25 Pax

An English Speaking driver / Guide

Fuel (Gas)

The above excludes:

Local & International Flights

Airport transfers

Drinks

Tips

Accommodation in Kampala (day prior & on completion of the excursion)

Souvenirs

Plus any other items of personal nature

Alternatively, you can enjoy half day or full day white water rafting adventure on River Nile. Rafting fees are US$115 per person (half day), and US$125 per person full day. Other activities may include quad biking, horse riding and bungee jumping.

rafting-jinja

White water Rafting

 

1 Day Royal Martyrs Trail Tour

Itinerary

Your driver / guide will pick you from your Hotel in Kampala at 8:30 from where you will start the drive by visiting Old Kampala, where St Mathias Mulumba was killed;

The head to Kasubi Tombs. The Tombs are a huge dome like structure that houses the remains of four former Buganda Kings: Mutesa I, Muwanga II, Daudi Chwa II and

Edward Mutesa II.

Visit Kabakas Lake which was dug out on the orders of Kabaka Mwanga in the 1880’s as an escape corridor to Lake Victoria.

Continue with the drive past Namirembe Cathedral, where Bishop James Hannington’s remains were buried; then to Rubaga Cathedral, where archives on the lives of 22 Catholic martyrs are kept.

Head to Naguru where you will stop over for lunch at the Capital Palace or Arch Apartments

After lunch start take on a walking safari through the trails of the martyrs up to Namugongo shrine. This is the spot where in 1886 more than 20 newly converted Christians were burnt alive.

Spice up the day with a visit to Ndere Centre (Optional). Transfer back to Kampala town.

Transfer back to town. End of Excursion

The above Includes:

A visit to St. Mathias Mulumba, Namirembe & Rubaga Cathedrals

A visit to Kabaka’s Lake, Kasubi Tombs & Namugongo Martyrs Shrine

Entrance Fees

Land Cruiser / Minibus or Super Custom i.e for 1 – 8 Pax

Coaster bus i.e for 10 – 25 Pax

An English Speaking driver / Guide

Fuel (Gas)

Africa Gorilla Safari – Nkuringo Sector in Uganda

Having face to face encounter with the mountain gorillas at Nkuringo trekking sector in Bwindi-Uganda Safari News:
Gorilla trekking experience is one of the wonderful experience that Uganda the number destination boast of, and this experience is got from different sectors in Bwindi national park where over 10 groups of mountain gorillas have been habituated and opened for tourist to fulfill their dreams of having face to face encounter with the interesting mountain gorillas.
Nkuringo sector is one of the remarkable regions in southern Bwindi national park where traveler on Uganda gorilla safari can enjoy his one hour of face to face encounter with gorilla primate species. Nkuringo gorilla area is located on the southwest side of the Bwindi forest and offers access to one family of gorillas known as Nkuringo. However, from here you can access other gorilla groups nearby in Rushaga area, just 30 minute drive fron Nkuringo. Among the gorilla groups in Rushaga include Mishaya, Nshongi, Kahungye and Businjye among others. The word Nkuringo means round hill and this means trekking gorillas in this area involves tourists hiking the hills which is bit challenging but the experience is very much rewarding because along the way when searching for the gorillas, one can have an encounter with the real African wilderness experience.
Trekking gorillas in this area offers tourists an exciting but challenging experience because the activity is done through walking in the steep hills forest side. But the region is not busy compared to Buhoma. The Nkuringo gorilla group which can be found here currently has 19 individual members with one silver back the one in charge of protecting the group. The interesting Nkuringo gorilla group is worse spending time with because through the one hour interaction visitor will leave with only joy and happiness without even remembering the hectic hike he or she went through to reach to the gorillas.
Besides watching gorillas, a visit to this area will offer the visitor with an opportunity to discover the interesting Bakiga culture through village walks, and here visitors can have cultural encounter filed with vibrant dance performances and cultural workshops organized by community groups.

Getting around Nkuringo Area, Southern Bwindi National Park

Nkuringo area can be accessed by Road from Kampala or Entebbe International Airport via Masaka – Mbarara Highway. However, this is a long journey taking between 8 and 10 hours drive. From Kabale town, Nkuringo sector is about 2 hours drive, and from Kisoro town, it can take about 1 hour drive. Due to the poor nature of the roads in Bwindi national park, a 4×4 vehicle is recommended because roads tend to be impassable especially in rainy seasons, its steep and slippery.

From Kigali; The Capital city of Rwanda, Nkuringo gorilla area can be accessed with in 4-5hours drive via Katuna or cyanika boarder. This favors a combination of Uganda and Rwanda gorilla safari packages that offer an opportunity of two (02) gorilla treks in both countries. In other words, tourists combine gorilla tracking in Rwanda (Volcanoes National Park) and Uganda (Southern Bwindi National Park) because, it takes less than 2 hours to cross from Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda to Southern Bwindi forest, the world’s top gorilla safari destinations.

By Air; One can fly from Entebbe International Airport or from Kajjansi Airstrip to Kisoro Air strip, then travel by road to Nkuringo area and this journey takes less than 2 hours. You can use private charter flights offered by Eagle Air and Kampala Aero Club among others. Aero Link Uganda has daily scheduled flights to Kisoro Airstrip from Entebbe International Airport and vice varsa.

Accommodation around Nkuringo Gorilla Area

The area has a good number of accommodation units for all levels of visitors, ranging from budget to deluxe and high-end lodges. Still more are under construction. These include Chameleon Hill Lodge on Lake Mutanda, Nkuringo gorilla Camp and Clouds Gorilla Lodge. Others in Rushaga region (nearby) include Wagtail Eco safari Camp, Nshongi Gorilla Resort and many other camp sites.

Jeffrey’s Bay, Wild Coast beautiful beaches and diving

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The truth is that it was quite an impression, but the boat was very fast and quite enjoyed. After we were sailing about 20 minutes until Dalf spotted a shark fin. He had a good view. It was a hammerhead shark. It is so called because it has a very wide jaw that seems to be a hammer. This was very tiny, but impressed. Then threw the anchor and began to take on water the “chum”, like when I went to see white sharks. It is a mixture of fish and blood. At a few minutes and several shark fins swimming around the boat saw … it was like a movie, gave quite an impression. And the best thing we had to throw us there in the middle. To that sharks are approaching and all the while off the boat so that they can see throw a kind of metal box that is full of fish. She is tied to a buoy and sink about 10 meters. As we had longer a stand out and the boat moved a lot I was quite dizzy. These sharks scary, but I wanted to jump into the water sooner.

Dalf gave me a few pointers on how to behave once inside. He said the most important thing is to sit still and not turning away from the sharks swim. Nor can move his hands quickly to hold back or move underwater. Sharks detect vibrations and can be thought to be a fish. So we hit the water and we were about ten feet deep, at the same height as the cabinet, pretty quiet. It was awesome. There were about seven or eight sharks. They were black tip sharks and measured between 2 meters and a half and three. They were everywhere. There was very poor visibility so only saw up to 4 or 5 feet away. We were in the middle of the ocean surrounded by beasts. But the truth is scarier before diving once inside. They went to his roll and passed us. But sometimes you did not realize and had one underfoot or you another appeared behind. It was a very exciting experience. Even with good visibility must be much nicer. Then we sailed a bit more to the coral reef and made a second dive.

This time the normal sag without sharks. The visibility was terrible, did not see things until I had before the careto. A couple of times I went ahead a shark and did not see it until it was in front of the nose. It was a shame why were many corals and tropical fish. The place was nice but could not enjoy it much. We passed a cave where there quietecitos six sleeping sharks had. We also saw a giant turtle, I think that is the biggest I’ve ever seen. But we were little while because it was very cold and the visibility not worth lengthen more.

After the experience with sharks spent a day in the city of Durban. That was my last stop before heading to Johannesburg. It is the country’s third largest city, has a major port and the largest concentration of Indian population in the world (apart from India, of course). Years ago many Indians came in search of work and mostly live in Durban. The hostel, the Happy Hippo, was in a huge old building, renovated, and was very chulo.Estuve strolling downtown and visiting the Victoria Street Market.

This market was more Asian than African style. They sold many species. Store what surprised me most was selling bags and … a rather rare species mix. Let’s see, in these markets is very common that every store sells a lot of different things. But is that this bag had everything on the walls and tables amid a species. I was funny. It’s like going to a shoe store and also sell you fruit … not entirely logical. Overall not ended liking the atmosphere of the city. It was as modern but very left. There were quite a stray and I think I was asked more times money in a single day in Durban throughout the trip. What I like is the boardwalk. It is quite wide and nice and you can see lots of people surfing on the beach and children playing in the various public pools that are along for the ride. It is also quite spectacular football stadium, the Moses Mabhida Stadium. It was built for the World Championships in 2010 and is very modern. There is a sort of giant arch over the stadium. You can climb up a funicular and there is a platform from where you can see the whole city. But that day I could not go because it was windy and it was closed.

What to Know Before Choosing a Gorilla Trekking Destination

These rare and endangered mountain gorillas are found in only three countries in world which are; Uganda, Rwanda and Democratic Republic of Congo. In Bwindi Impenetrable Forest and Mgahinga Gorilla National Parks are the only destinations where gorillas are found in Uganda. In Rwanda and Democratic Republic of Congo mountain gorillas are found in Volcanoes National Park and Virunga National Park respectively.

Gorilla trekking experience and procedures followed are almost the same in all countries however with regards to gorilla trekking fees; charges thoroughly change depending on the tourism board of the each country and some other facts. For example gorilla trekking permit in Rwanda costs USD750, it is more expensive because it’s possible to make a 1 day gorilla trek and the distance from the airport to Volcanoes national park is only 2-3 hours drive. In Uganda a gorilla permit costs USD600, it is cheaper than that of Rwanda because it is impossible to make a 1 or 2 days gorilla trekking trip in Uganda because it takes 8 – 10 hours drive from the Entebbe Airport to Bwindi Forest or Mgahinga Gorilla Park where gorillas are found. In Democratic Republic of Congo, a gorilla permit costs USD450 just for only one reason which is the country is not politically stable and there is a lot of rebel groups in Virunga Forest where gorillas are found the thing which make gorilla trekking in DRC risky.

Also most half of the mountain gorilla population in the world inhabits the Virunga Massif ecosystem shared by Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park, the DRC’s Virunga National Park, and Uganda’s Mgahinga National Park. The rest of the population lives on a separate mountain in Uganda’s Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park. Not like other primate species like; chimpanzees and monkeys that live in captivity mountain gorillas can’t be found in zoo they can only be found in their natural environment.

Uganda offers the most permits with up to 12 gorilla groups and two of them are strictly for research purpose (at most, 96 gorilla permits are given out every day) fallowed by Rwanda with 10 gorillas groups and also two gorilla groups for research purpose, Democratic Republic of Congo has just 5 gorilla groups with only three safe for gorilla trekking by tourists. Then again, to avoid distressing the timid animals, just eight tourists are allowed to visit in each group every day (joined by park rangers and trackers) to hike searching for every gorilla group habituated to human observers sharing about 95% of human genes. In DRC, some of the time six people only allowed to track in every group every day in order to reduce the chances of transferring diseases from tourists to gorillas.

Having a gorilla trekking permit in all countries is a guarantee for trekking mountain gorillas, however sighting them is not a guarantee since they are in their natural environment, they are free to move to different places in search for food, however since they are followed on a daily basis, the possibility of sighting them is around 98%. Gorilla trekking in all countries sometimes seem to be tiresome and hard since in most cases it involve passing through muddy, steep mountain slops for a few hours so a reasonable degree of fitness is required as gorilla trekking, may go from a half to full day and keep in mind trekking gears like sturdy pair of walking shoes, long sleeved shirts or blouses, strolling sticks, this is given to you at the national park headquarters, bottled drinking water and in most cases packed lunch. Once you meet them obviously you will forget all the inconveniences you’ve experienced during the process of searching them and you will be given a maximum of one hour to stay with them while watching and taking photography and are also you remained to keep a distance of 23 feet (7metres) from these animals.

Regarding gorilla sighting Rwanda offers the best clear photography in light of the fact that the upper slopes of volcanoes National Park have open fields and stands of bamboo forest where verdant vegetation is not all that thick. Since Bwindi is almost an impenetrable forest clear view of these animals are not always possible, mothers and baby gorillas can be high up in trees feeding or playing and hug silverback always like to take nap inside dense thickets, obviously on every day you have find gorillas in their habitat and photography can be possible and whatever the case may be gorilla trekking experience remains the same and memorable.

Every country offers all type of accommodation ranging from up market to budget accommodation. Some of the accommodation facilities in Uganda’s Bwindi Impenetrable Forest include; Chameleon Hill lodge, Clouds Mountain Gorilla Lodge, Lake Mutanda Lodge, Silverback Lodge, Lake Mutanda Lodge, Buhoma Lodge, Gorilla safari Lodge, Ruhija Gorilla Friend Camp. In Volcanoes National Park Rwanda there are accommodations like; Gorilla Nest Lodge, Le Bombou Lodge, Sabyinya Silverback Lodge, Kinigi Guest House. Virunga National Park in DRC there is accommodations facilities like; Orchid safari Lodge, Coco Lodge, Hotel Horizon.

Trekking mountain gorillas is among the most interesting adventurous activities in the world let us hold hands to protect these endangered species, by going for gorilla trekking, you are contributing in the conservation activity because some of the money you pay for gorilla tours goes on the conservation activities, book with us with any gorilla safari in Rwanda, Uganda or Democratic Republic of Congo we hire to take you where you can’t reach by yourself.

South Africa Tour – Jeffrey’s Bay, Wild Coast beautiful beaches and diving

South Africa: Ride through Jeffrey’s Bay, Wild Coast beautiful beaches and diving with sharks at Aliwal Shoal

After returning the car to Cape Town and say goodbye to Judith, started my route to Johannesburg. I had two weeks to get there, where I had to catch the plane back home on December 14th. Cape Town to Johannesburg there are over 2000 km if you go along the coast, so I had many hours of road. In South Africa there is a company, Baz Bus, which has devised a transportation system for backpackers and independent travelers who are pretty good. Their buses link Cape Town to Johannesburg, via Port Elizabeth and Durban, and stopping at the most interesting points of the coast. What makes it different from other buses is that Baz Bus has agreements with most backpacker hostels are on the road and the bus picks you up and drops you off at any of them. In addition, you pay a “pass” for several days, during which time you can stop as many times as you like on the route.

ride

Is the concept known as “Hop-on Hop-off bus”. The truth is coming out a little more expensive than local buses travel more. But if you consider that leave you at the door, so you save on taxis in the end the price difference is small. As was pretty fair and was quite tired of moving public transport time, I decided to buy the Baz Bus pass for two weeks. The bus is actually a pretty uncomfortable minibus, with narrow and not reclining seats. Also, why is pretty slow going and constantly stopping to let people pick. But also, if you go with patience, something that has been indispensable for the whole trip, still quite practical. Several parts of the route there are few people on the bus and then you can average apalancarte. It also has its charms why you’re finding the same people several times as everyone makes stops similar.

The South African coast has many interesting places to stop, beautiful beaches and plenty to do. But did not have much time and did not want to be changing site every day so I decided to make about three stops along the way and take it easy, but I know I have been many places to see. My first destination was Jeffrey’s Bay, a small coastal town, near Port Elizabeth. Why is famously one of the main sites in South Africa for surfing, and every year several international competitions. But I do not surf. The main reason I stopped there is because I had a friend who had met a few months earlier, at Victoria Falls. It is called Athena, is half American half Greek, and has been traveling the world for over six years. No overlooked because her hair is full of very long blonde dreadlocks. It was a month working in a hostel in Jeffrey’s Bay, the Hardrock Backpackers.

So I settled there. The first day she worked and rested and I spent many hours carrying bus the day before. The next day Athena had the day off and I was teaching the people. We were walking along the beach which is curiously full of giant jellyfish. Athena is the queen getting free stuff and discounts. That day two German young girls had booked a horseback riding along the beach. Athena did a few tricks and got us a place on the tour without paying anything. Perfect. So we went to a horse a few kilometers from Jeffrey’s Bay. We would do a tour of two hours. The first part of the ride was for several paths between fields. The scenery was beautiful and there was nobody. At some point we cross the sand dunes to the beach. All the way back we did walking on the water side. We did not find anyone in the whole time. It was lovely to be with the horses in the arena. A great experience. The next two days were spent very relaxing, sunbathing on the beach and watching the people who surfed.

 

My next stop was in the part of coast known as Wild Coast. For logistical issues the bus had to spend a night in Port Elizabeth, in the Lungile Backpackers. Although not quite see anything of the city because I arrived at eleven at night and left at seven o’clock the next day. I settled in Cintsa, a small town in the western part of Wild Coast. This part of South Africa, as the name suggests, is pretty wild. There are few buildings, there are mountains, green fields and long unspoiled beaches. In Cintsa there is only a backpackers hostel, the Buccaneers Backpackers. Actually, it’s like a lodge in the mountainside with several houses, pool and a camping area. It has stunning views of the beach. You have to walk about 15 minutes to get to the water. The site is spectacular and there like a sea inlet that forms a lagoon, just before the beach. I settled on camping in the woods, very nice. I spent four days very quiet. Although I had pretty bad luck with the weather was sunny and only one day.

Before arriving in Durban wanted to make a stop in a small town known as Umkomaas. The interesting thing about this site is not the people but the coral reef that is in the sea, known as Aliwal Shoal. Moreover, it is a very busy by different species of sharks area and is one of the main attractions for divers. I did not want to leave South Africa without seeing these amazing animals up close, so there was already booked days ago a part of my budget for this activity. I stayed in the center of diving, Aliwal Dive Centre. That day was the only one diving so few would go on the boat. Iba Dalf, that would be my guide, a young boy who wanted to come to see the sharks from the boat and another man wearing the boat. It is a fairly large and very fast zodiac. The have in the dive center and you have to take in tow to the beach. Login with zodiac is not logistically easy. The sea is quite moved and during the first few meters, where the waves bite is compulsory to wear a lifejacket because it is quite dangerous. What next?? Click to read more

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