Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. Tracking Mountain Gorillas in Bwindi is arguably one of the most worthwhile wildlife encounters in Africa. It is a 321km tropical forest in South-Western Uganda that is over 20,000 years old. It is blessed with over 450 gorillas, of which over 200 are habituated and open for tourism. It has the highest number of habituated families, 18, each made of 7-35 members comprising of infants, sub-adults, mothers, juveniles and alpha males.
While chimps have 98.7% common D.N.A with humans, gorillas are slightly above 98%. Ironically, they seem to connect more with visitors of the human race (than chimps do). You will sense a strong chemistry as they look at you as much as you are staring at them during the one hour you will be permitted to dwell in their presence.
First though, you will have to brave a 1-5hours hiking excursion through the forest in search for a random location where they are roaming in search for food and wild fruits. Throughout this hike, you will be accompanied by a very enthusiastic ranger guide who is very knowledgeable about the park’s flora and fauna.
Bwindi’s popularity and appeal is partly because it offers a varied choice of safari options across most budgets. Accommodation ranges from large family-friendly lodges, luxurious eco-friendly lodges, intimate camps and budget bandas. Whatever your safari arrangements are for the Bwindi, you can be sure of plenty of dazzling primate action.
If you are a big fan of luxury, you fly there. On the part of gorillas, while permits to track one of the habituated families costs $600, the habituation experience costs $1,500. Read more…
Volcanoes National Park. Most of our clients wholeheartedly agree that trekking to see the mountain gorillas in Volcanoes National Park is something that every nature lover should experience at least once in their lifetime. Found in the North Western part of the country, just two hours away from Kigali International Airport, Volcanoes lies at 1,1607-2,607meters above sea level. It is made of five dormant volcanoes that cover over 125 km² of Virunga region. These are Mt. Sabyinyo (3.674 m), Mt. Gahinga (3.474 m), Mt. Bisoke (3711 m), Mt. Muhabura (4.127 m), and Mt. Karisimbi (4.507 m). Each of these is endowed with five vegetation zones starting with forest, bamboo forest, grassland, swamp and heath. The first two are a favourite haven for the gorillas thanks to their abundance of edible plant species and fruits.
It is a must visit if you want guaranteed chances of encountering gorillas. For more than 10 years now, none of the 10 habituated families to which it is home have ever migrated back into the neighbouring Virunga National Park of Congo, or Mgahinga National Park of Uganda. The one hour you will spend with these majestic giants seems short, but it is sufficient enough for you to observe them in detail. This will give you a good understanding why humans are said to have evolved from apes. Staring at them is like staring at yourself in the mirror because they are so much like us except for the fact they are extra hairy, an adaption for survival in a very cold high altitude setting. On this note, you are advised to wear warm clothing and carry a raincoat, just in case a sudden shower happens. Read more…