For several times I have been reading about Africa and quite five years I have been reading about Africa and my emphasis has been on countries like South Africa, Zambia, Namibia, Tanzania and Kenya and my interest on these countries I have been for whole along planning to go and see the big cats and other wildlife, but later on, read about the wild beet migration between Kenya (Masai Mara national park) and Tanzania (Serengeti National Park) and started to save my money before I contact any travel company in these countries to arrange for such amazing expedition in East and Southern Africa.
Then as I went on researching about traveling to Africa, I came across Rwanda and Uganda and the first thing to know about these 2 countries is the mountain gorillas that can not be found anywhere else in Africa apart from the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Rwanda is much known for the mountain gorilla safaris in Volcanoes National Park Rwanda, and the 3-day gorilla safari Rwanda package is the top-selling to most tour operators because it offers extra opportunities to track the rare golden monkeys or climb mount Bisoke and visit Gisozi genocide memorial museum in Kigali. the country is famously known as the land of thousand hills which attracts very many international tourists to Rwanda.
Uganda, on the other hand, is much known for inhabiting half of the remaining world population of the mountain gorillas in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, waterfalls, big game viewing includes cats and the Big five African Animals, sightseeing and then the amazing culture of the several regions, but nothing is much interesting than the Batwa culture who were once forest dwellers in the Virunga.
When my sister who was volunteering with Peace Corps in Uganda and Rwanda returned back home I had to much interact with her consulting her about Rwanda and Uganda, and she told about these countries and by the time she left for another African country Tanzania for her work she had already inspired me to travel to Africa and that is Uganda and Rwanda.
With my first visit to Africa, I traveled to Tanzania to visit my sister and I spent 3 months in Tanzania where I visited parks like Serengeti National Park, Olduvai Gorge, Ngorongoro Conservation Area that is regarded to be the world’s 8th wonder, Tarangire National Park and Zanzibar. From here then I started with her to plan our gorilla safari in Rwanda and Uganda, and on my search who would arrange the best safari I met African Jungle Adventures online and started to arrange a 10-day safari package combining Uganda and Rwanda, and it was based on Mid-range lodges / deluxe lodges and comfortable 4×4 safari jeep. Then in the due process, Steve sent us a detailed tour itinerary/travel program and quotation and it was finally fitting in our budget and we went ahead to confirm the safari and Steve advised us to pay first only money for gorilla permits and then pay cash upon arrival, and this built trust between us and this service provider and therefore for genuine service I highly recommend everyone to travel with this company. They have their main offices in Kampala (Uganda Capital) and a sales office in Kigali, the Capital city of Rwanda.
Then upon our arrival at Kanombe International Airport, we meet our guide Emma and then transferred us to Chez Lando Hotel in Kigali where we had our overnight stay, and then the following day we went to Volcanoes National park Rwanda, a home to mountain gorillas in Africa. The park is located about 2 hours drive from Kigali city. At first, we visited the Gisozi genocide memorial museum in Kigali, lunch at Kanakazana, later we hit the road north words to Parc National Des Volcans. Apart from gorilla trekking, another specific interest we had was to visit the Dian Fossey Center at Karisoke, once a great primatologist who advocated for the survival of the mountain gorillas in the mist. Much of her work can be seen in the movie known as “Gorillas in the Mist”. Dian Fossey spends here close to 20 years studying and habituating the mountain gorillas. However, she was murdered by poachers in 1985. She is always remembered and her gravesite is visited by many tourists from different parts of the world. We also had to track the rare golden monkeys, also found in this park.
Then, after being filled with such experience, we crossed to Uganda through Cyanika border to southern Bwindi National Park. This park today inhabits 14 habituated gorilla families available for tourism purposes. We arrived and checked in Lake Mutanda Resort with a fantastic view of the lake, after which we took a fantastic boat ride to some islands on this lake. The following day, we spent the whole day with the Batwa once forest dwellers participating in their cultural performances, and then evening we relaxed at the shores of this volcanic Lake.
The next day, we went for the amazing gorilla trekking experience on the Uganda side, we would do this in Rwanda but gorilla trekking in Rwanda a permit cost $ 750 dollars compared to Uganda where the permit cost $ 600 dollars for foreign nonresidents and it is much interesting that after this experience, you are awarded gorilla certificate for surviving the trek. It also acts as a souvenir! We tracked the Nkuringo gorilla group, a very amazing experience but you must be physically fit to make it. You are also advised to hire a porter for only US$15. Hiring a porter is the direct creation of employment opportunities and big support to the conservation of mountain gorillas because some porters were once poachers.
From Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, we connected to Queen Elizabeth National Park. The southern sector of this park is so amazing with tree-climbing lions. Though I had seen them in Tanzania, It was greatly exciting to see them again in the Ishasha sector of this park in Uganda. Here we also so other animals and we had a fantastic boat cruise along the Kazinga Channel that connects Lake Edward and George. Birdlife is prolific with over 600 species, mammals like Elephants and buffaloes seen drinking water in the shores, marine wildlife like Nile crocodiles, and Hippos also seen basking along the shores. Here we stayed at Mweya safari lodge. Our trip ended with Chimpanzee habituation experience in Kibale National park and white water rafting and Bungee jumping in Jinja.