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Go Gorilla Trekking in Rwanda

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Rwanda is one of the few countries with mountain gorillas and one can never talk about tourism in Rwanda without mentioning gorilla trekking. So first thing when a tourist wants to visit Rwanda the mountain gorillas come first because it’s a niche tourism product around the world. Gorillas are one of the endangered animals in Rwanda. Gorillas are in hundreds in Rwanda and thanks to American naturalist Diana Fossey who worked tirelessly to save them she made them known to the tourists and the government of Rwanda. That’s why they are the main tourism product in Rwanda today.

The government of Rwanda took the opportunity to protect these animals in volcanoes national park in the Virunga mountain ranges found on the borders of Rwanda, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo which are all found in the northern part of the country, one has to pay 750 us dollars to see these wonderful creatures. The park is well gazetted and with exquisite accommodation accessible like; Hotel Des Mille Collines, Kigali Serena Hotel, Hotel Chez Lando, Grand Legacy Hotel and many more in Kigali.  One can opt to stay near the national park with many hotels of choice depending on your budget and these include; Mountain Gorilla View Lodge, Le Bambou Gorilla Lodge, Kinigi Guest House and for high end travelers consider Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge, Mountain Gorilla Nest (Jack Hanna House) and Volcanoes Virunga Lodge, these can give a visitor the finest and fancy life while taking a gorilla safari. They offer a wide range of services it’s upon your budget that you take one of them.

It is not only being few gorillas in the world that make viewing mountain gorillas so special but the unique character and the way they live that make them very interesting animals. That is why a naturalist Dian Fossey made them her family. They are one of human’s closest living relatives. Before one comes to view mountain gorillas in Rwanda he/she should put in mind that one is not going to easily spot a mountain gorilla like in a zoo but he/she is going for a jungle trek. You will have to reach the national park by 7:00 am in the morning. Get in to a group of eight people then get ready for a thrill of an excursion.  You will have to move around the forested mountains to see the gorillas and you will be led by a well experienced gorilla patron. You will be following the footprints of gorillas as you move with your carved walking sticks around the tropical forests until you track them down. This is a very adventurous activity which takes around 3-8 hours to find the gorillas. So one is supposed to dress like a jungle man. Gorillas normally walk in a group of around 6-10 individuals led by the silver back the male gorilla and they are very shy animals. You are supposed to be careful when you reach them. You should keep a self-distance of about 22 feet away from the gorilla although this is at times difficult as the gorillas will come towards you to play. You should also keep your voices low and no flash cameras. Then you will take picture of them feed, and play around the young ones. Note that you will be given only one hour to interact with these habituated gorillas

It is really an awesome moment beyond all superlatives! As it is an emotional and a lifetime experience to interact with these primates. Thousands of tourist fly to Rwanda to view these incredible beasts. If you have not taken a gorilla safari you better book a gorilla permit and come to Rwanda to watch them before they get extinct.

Top 5 Safari Experiences in Uganda

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Canoeing on Lake Bunyonyi

Uganda, small as it is will usher you into the beauty beyond your imagination. The country will give you every kind of experience from hiking the snowcapped mountain, adrenaline adventures, birding safaris, striding at the equator, boat and launch cruise to mention but a few. Highlited below are the top safari experiences in Uganda.

Gorilla tracking experience

For every traveler, gorilla trekking is the highlight because these endangered species are tourism gem. Mountain gorillas are found in Uganda, Rwanda and democratic republic of Congo but only Uganda host a big percentage population in the whole world.it is an amazing and life experience moving up and down in the steep tropical rain forest amidst thorns, shrubs to finally meet a gentle shy family of mountain gorillas going about their day. If you have not considered gorilla tracking, this is an experience not to miss while on a Uganda safari. Gorilla tracking involves spending one hour with a selected gorilla family observing their ways from playing, feeding and resting mean while you can also take photographs as many as you want but with caution flash photography is prohibited and stay back away form the gorillas 7 meters. This helps them to keep calm and not feel threatened.

Gorilla habituation experience

This is an awesome experience that most people don’t take so much important but gorilla habituation is the kind of behind scenes of to what a fully habituated gorilla family is. The experience involves spending 3 full hours in the tropical rain forest with a semi habituated family going through the habituation process. Gorilla habituation experience goes in depth to understand the process the mountain gorillas go through before they are open for tourism. The experience involves taming the mountain gorillas look at human beings not as a threat thus you will behave friendly while with them. Forexampe walking on knuckles, chewing on the green leaves. Gorilla habituation is only in Bwindi forest national park Rushaga sector.

Game viewing safari experience

Uganda has ten national parks and countable number of game reserves where there is beauty in the wilderness. Fortunately, they are all open for tourism and only your choice on a Uganda safari will limit you. The parks include; Murchison falls national park, queen Elizabeth national park, lake Mburo national park to mention but a few. These parks have notable mammal species like lions, leopard, jackals, elephants, herds of buffaloes, giraffes, hyenas, warthogs, crocodiles, hippopotamus among other. All these can be viewed on a game drive safari in any of the national parks not forgetting the famous tree climbing lions of ishasha sector queen Elizabeth national park.

Primate walk experience

The notable primate while on a Uganda safari is chimpanzee, our little cousin sharing 98% DNA with humans. Visit Kibale national park, the primate capital to meet the naughty chimps in the rain forests, you can as well track or participate in the chimpanzee habituation experience all in Kibale. Other places to see the chimps include queen Elizabeth national park in Kariju forest, Imaramagambo forest and Budongo forest in Murchison falls national park. Besides chimpanzee there are other primate species and these are the black-and-white colobus, red-tailed monkey, grey-cheeked mangabey, l’hoest and blue monkeys, olive baboons, patas monkeys and the only remaining endemic specie golden monkeys in Mgahinga gorilla national park.

Cultural experience

Uganda is not only beautiful and gifted with nature it has is a stunning with a mix of cultures from north, east, west and central Uganda. There are great places to visit and dig more into the tradition and rich cultural history of Uganda. Visit the ik people of Karamojong a small tribe of people at mount murongole who are cattle keepers, the Batwa people of the south western Uganda, they are commonly known as the first people of the forest who lived there for ages before they were convicted in 1992 to conserve the mountain gorillas. Compliment your Uganda safari with a cultural experience and enjoy the traditional dances and music, food and rich history of the various ethnic groups.

Uganda Gorillas, Golden Monkeys & Batwa Experience

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Golden Monkeys in Uganda

Gorilla trekking is most the attracting activity in Africa and in the world only found in Uganda, Rwanda and Democratic Republic Congo. Within Uganda, Gorilla trekking is done in Bwindi Impenetrable forest and Mgahinga gorilla national park in the south western Uganda. Trekking gorillas is now the leading tourism attraction for safari tour holidays in the world.

Gorilla trekking is the park’s main attraction and those wishing to track gorillas must obtain a gorilla permit to watch them. Observing these mountain gorillas lasts not more than one hour during trekking but one major factor is that there is no guarantee what time or how long it will take to find the mountain gorillas on your day of trekking; this depends on where the gorilla group is located. The trek can be from 2 to 8 hours after tracking in the morning which normally starts at 8:00am

Gorillas that are visited by people have undergone a gorilla habituation exercise; Gorilla Habituation is a process through which a gorilla family gets used to human existence. Habituation of a group usually takes about 2 -3years and after this exercise, people can be allowed to trek that particular family with all its members.

When you compare the prices for gorilla trekking in the three countries, Uganda Rwanda and Congo, Uganda trekking gorilla permit cost USD600 in the pick season and during the low season the permit cost USD450 for months April, May and November, and in Congo the gorilla permit cost USD400. When you look at Rwanda, it increased its gorilla permits from USD750 to USD1500, so for those planning for gorilla trekking safaris, you can still do gorilla trekking in Uganda or Congo at affordable price. The process for tracking mountain gorillas is the same in the three countries and all experiences are the same with only 8 people per gorilla group and a maximum of one hour is allowed to watch and observe the gentle apes. Remember Uganda has more than half of the world’s total population of mountain gorillas the rest live in the nearby Virunga Mountains.

Discover Golden monkeys in Mgahinga Gorilla Park found in Uganda, Rwanda and DR-Congo in the Virunga Volcanoes mountains, Golden Monkeys are sub-species of the blue monkey which are found in the bamboo forests of the Virunga Mountains.  We have Golden Monkey Experience that cost USD100 and Golden Monkey Tracking at USD50 both offering a lifetime experience. The two hours trek in search of golden monkeys is very much rewarding experience  to the trekkers because the trekking trails through green bamboo forest avails the visitors with the chance of seeing the hand some regal sun bird, Kivu grounds, interesting bird species such as the olive woodpecker, African hill babbler and other wild life. This makes golden monkey trekking a must do activity since it provides memorable experience which no visitors should miss on this or her safaris in Uganda.

Besides golden monkey trekking, take a safari in Mgahinga gorilla park to encounter the Batwa cultural experience who are hunter-gatherers and fierce warriors have for so long depended on the forest for shelter, food and medicine and the interesting and most rewarding experience here is having chance to take Batwa Cultural Trial which is a unique cultural trail led by local guides from the Batwa community, and visitors will learn about the historical life of the Batwa as a hunters-gatherers in the forest, and watch ,participate in the wonderful performances done by the Batwa in the sacred Ngarama Batwa cave. The memorable experience can only be got here in Uganda so for any potential tourists looking for destination to visit in Africa should book his or her safari with Budget Gorilla Trekking at only $80.

Gorillas of Uganda are not to be missed, the location of Bwindi and Mgahinga makes it easy to add on your tour other activities including the Batwa Cultural Experience with the original people of the forest the pygmies and the Golden Monkey tracking, Lake Mutanda and Lake Bunyonyi. Tourist prefer going to rain forests of Uganda, Rwanda and Congo trekking mountain gorillas and many of our clients end up doing double gorilla trekking because of the thrilling experience in either countries.

Double Gorilla Trekking in Uganda

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Mountain Gorilla in Uganda

The double gorilla trekking safari takes you to the thick jungle rain forest of Uganda’s Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park to relive the experience of tracking down the thrilling mountain gorillas twice. Double gorilla trekking safari gives visitors the opportunity to trek and visit gorillas 2 times visiting two different gorilla groups and relaxing game viewing tour in Lake Mburo National Park. Double gorilla trekking tours is spiced by cultural tours with Batwa along with wildlife and boat cruise on Lake Mburo National Park.

Double gorilla trekking safari offers a magical encounter that highlights any other wildlife experience in Africa and Budget Gorilla Trekking is ready to offer you the adventure experience in Uganda. The most popular activity to engage with mountain gorillas is gorilla trekking and this can be done only Africa including countries of Uganda in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park, Rwanda in Volcanoes National Park, and in Democratic Republic of Congo Virunga National Park.

Bwindi Forest was gazetted as a national park in 1991 and then declared as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1994 supporting approx. 480 mountain gorillas of which 14 gorilla families are habituated and dedicated for gorilla trekking in Bwindi forest regions including Buhoma, Ruhija, Nkuringo and Rushaga regions. Gorilla trekking takes place in these areas and only 8 people are allowed to trek one gorilla group in the company of park ranger guides.

You will embark on the double gorilla safaris adventure by travelling southwards to Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park home of 14 habituated mountain gorillas. The drive to the park takes about 10 hours from Kampala. Take a stopover at Uganda’s equator for snacks and photographers, lunch can be taken at Agip Motel along Mbarara road. Arriving the at Bwindi forest in the late in the evening for dinner and overnight at your preferred lodge.

The first day of the double gorilla trek starts with an early morning breakfast after you transfer to the park for a briefing by the park warden. After the briefing, you are then distributed in groups of 8 people per gorilla family then your guide will give you highlights details about the way of life of the gorillas you will be tracking and after will lead you inside the forest to see the shy, intelligent mountain gorillas. Gorilla trekking is strenuous but worthwhile on encounter of these gentle giants.

Once you reach the, you are allowed to spend one hour while watching and observing these great apes as you stand 7 metres way from them while taking photos and videos of them. The excitement of you coming across with these creatures will wipe away the fatigue you have once you see the adults feed the young ones, sleeping, playing, while taking photos and videos of them. Looking into the brown eyes of a silver back gorilla has got to be one of Africa’s top wildlife.

The second day of gorilla trekking takes you to trek a different gorilla group ready with your hiking boots, rain gears, drinking water, snacks, long sleeved shirts and trousers, gaiters, sun screen, skin repellent and gloves ready to search the endangered mountain gorillas. The trekking may take 2 to 8 hours’ depending on the location of gorillas in the jungle, so expect to walk long distance in steep and muddy conditions, but it is well worth the effort. Keep an eye out for forest species like wild elephants, chimpanzees, bush bucks, and various colourful birds. When the gorillas are sighted, visitors will be guide to within 7 meters from the gorillas, sit around them for a maximum of one hour while gazing into their brown eyes.

While at Bwindi forest, discover villages that live side by side with the gorilla on a village walk. Different activities include meeting with the traditional healer, visiting various homesteads, watching the local performers from the Batwa communities and to share their experience on how they co-existed with the wildlife and raised families in this jungle. The Batwa were hunter gathers and did an incredible job of co-existing with wildlife. Today you will meet some of the Batwa and they will take you through the forest and share how they lived and depended on the forest and survived attacks from the animals.

After breakfast, proceed to Lake Mburo national park centered on a series of swamp-fringed lakes rich in bird life while its green acacia woodland harbours wildlife like the Zebra, warthog, Elands, Impala among others which can be seen even as you enter the park. On arrival, you have an evening game drive and go at the lodge reserved for you for dinner and overnight.

Morning game drive starts right from the lodge which attracts zebras. You can have the whole morning in the park looking for the plains game including cape buffaloes, zebras, antelopes, Uganda Kob, impalas, giraffes, elands, among others. After lunch, the afternoon rewards you with boat cruise on Lake Mburo which will give you quite close to a school of hippos and crocodiles plus water birds at the shores of the lake including; Fish Eagles, Pelicans, Black crake, Heron, Cormorant, and the rare shoe bill stork. Return to your lodge for a relaxed evening, dinner and overnight.

Tree Climbing Lions Experience in Uganda

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Tree Climbing Lions

When you hear about tree climbing lions you cannot believe that they  exist in the world. Uganda is the only country where you can watch these experienced  amazing mammals among the predators. Am Bruce Julius from United Kingdom, and as I was searching for the company that could give me and my family a wonderful tour package, during my search I browsed on the link for a Uganda tour operator based company Nature Adventure Africa Safaris Limited in Kampala.

This is where I found this wonderful package of a three day tree climbing lion experience. I contacted them for this package and they gave me details about the tree climbing lion plus a good itinerary which we were to use while heading to the field, I bought it at an interesting rate after reaching a consensus. I organized my family and within 4 days we booked our air tickets and we started our journey to Uganda.

On reaching Uganda, we were picked up from the airport by Moses with his Hospitable team plus an experienced driver in a 4×4 wheel super custom which had comfortable seats and we were taken at Namirembe Guest House where we spent our night since we reached in wee hours. Very early in the morning after a warm coffee, we started our journey to the west of Kampala via Masaka road to Queen Elizabeth National Park approximately 410km and this took us around 6hours.

We reached at around 12:15pm GMT, and in this process we were given two game rangers who escorted us one in front and another one behind and the reason behind this was to give us protection against these angry predators.

We started off our activity of tracing these lions and for sure it was so amazing in that. We found them in the fig trees around the Ishasha sector one of the areas of interest within the park where these lions are habituated.

If you are not keen enough you cannot see these mammals unless you have  experienced guides and for our luck we had them which facilitated quick tracing of the lions. Surprisingly, we found these lions in the fig huge trees whereby we had a chance of even seeing them climbing these tree which was every ones wish and the major reason as to why we came to Uganda to witness how really lions can climb trees like monkeys.

These proved it to us!!!!!!, this amazing package cannot be got any where else other than Nature Adventure Africa Safaris Limited, indeed we had a nice experience with the tree climbing lions and this prompted me even to take some photos.

After this great activity, we traveled back to Entebbe where I slept in Airport View Hotel while preparing for our early morning flight back to my homeland, United Kingdom. Moses made it possible for me to reach the airport in time and I would like to forward my gratitude  thanks to Moses and the company for the great, wonderful  and irrefutable services that were rendered to us while in Uganda as we were experiencing tree climbing lions that left us nodding our heads.

5 Mind Blowing Facts about Fish

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It sounds funny to think that a little Chihuahua would be able to stop a thief. If you think about it, other than yapping and possibly causing lots of harm with their sharp little teeth, any criminal could easily pick up the Chihuahua and the dog’s effort to stop crimes would be in vain. However, Carly, a Chihuahua from St. Johns, Canada became a hero when her yapping alerted her owners of a man that was trying to steal her fur sibling, a Newfoundland named Silas.

Little guard dog in alert

The pet owners let her dog’s out around 8:00 p.m. and a minute later Carly started barking nonstop. Dooling went out to investigate and saw a man dragging her Newfoundland down her driveway.

“I said -Excuse me, what are you doing?- he told me he’s taking his dog and I said -No, you’re not!

Without hesitating, the woman self-described as short walked up to the man and punched him on the face, then took her dog back home with her.

The man had come prepared with his own leash and had hooked up the leash to Silas’s leash. There was no way that I was going to be able to wrestle the dog out of his hands so the only thing I could think was just punch him, said Dooling.

After hitting the man, the criminal ran off down the street. It’s an inconvenience or a nuisance, you could say, when she does bark, but she’s my guard dog. Some people have big Dobermans I have a Chihuahua.

Meet the bravest little dog

As for her dogs, Dooling said Silas was subdued for much of the night and next day after the near-theft, while Carly the Chihuahua was on high alert, barking at anything that passed by the windows.

We have been reading posts on social media regarding people stating that there have been attempts to steal dogs from backyards. At this time we would like to remind everybody that any suspicious activity *needs* to be phoned in to us so patrol division can be dispatched and investigate.

Additionally, if you see that a friend has something posted on their Facebook of this nature please encourage them to call.

The mysterious pooch was discovered by a journalist and their news crew who were in the Bang Rakam District of Thailand reporting on drought conditions. The news crew revealed that they spotted the dog after it ran out of a house near to where they were filming. They then turned the camera on the adorable animal and shot a short video clip which was uploaded to Thai news site Matichon on November 12.

Never underestimate the power of a yappy Chihuahua

A daring dachshund proved herself a rare breed of heroine after she saved two boys from a savage bear attack. The super sausage dog raced into action after spotting two boys being ravaged by a massive black bear in Russia.

Bear attacks boys in Russia

The giant animal attacked the youngsters soon after they emerged from their village shop. “He caught up with Stas first. The bear threw him to the ground, began to trample him, bite him, he grabbed his head, then shoulder and back. I watched – and ran at the bear. I didn’t think about myself or what would happen. I just wanted to save my friend.”

“Nikita ran and saved me. He hit the bear’s head with a stone.”

At this point the bear, which now had a sore head, turned on Nikita, gnawing and clawing him, leaving Stas wounded and frightened. At this moment a little dachshund called Tosya arrived on the scene and barked furiously at the bear. Now the beast left Nikita and chased the darting dog into the forest.

Tosya diverted the bear well away from the village, before losing the wild animal and returning safely home. According to one report, the dog , hailed as a heroine, was rewarded with cake.

Bear cub alerts tourists

Both children were rushed to hospital, with Stas suffering scratches, bites and bruises, while Nikita had more serious wounds, with deep cuts on his hands, and bites on his legs.

Nikita’s mother Maria Nikonova says: “It was a shock. I couldn’t believe that bears can attack children in the middle of the village. It was terrible to look at all these lacerations, his torn clothes all covered in blood.”

Hunters tracked and shot the bear, which had earlier left a village couple marooned in their house as it laid waste to their garden. A bear cub created absolute havoc by running inside a coffee shop, running around the coffee shop and attempting to jump on tables.

Laughter can be heard on the clip, and everyone was quickly moved out of the way of the bear and it ran out of the shop again. It is thought that the cub might have been lost and disorientated or separated from its mother.

The smell of food, coffee and pastries may also have attracted the bear to explore inside. Hilariously, the shop advertises itself as a place where tourists can get close to nature – in this case, far closer than anyone would expect.

Explore Jinja, the Adventure Capital of Uganda

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Jinja is located at the northern end on Lake Victoria in South Eastern Uganda. Lying just north of the Equator, but at an altitude of 3,750 feet (1100 meters) above sea level, it enjoys a very pleasant climate with temperatures ranging from 63 to 82 degrees F. (17 degrees to 28 degrees C). Jinja is spread out with few high-rise buildings outside city center. It retains a much more ‘laid-back’ feel relative to the nearby capital of Uganda, Kampala and is currently undergoing major renovation – for example the recent construction of a new multi-storied central market and road repairs as well as many new hotels promoting tours of Uganda for travelers visiting the city and its tourist attractions.

As you approach Jinja from Kampala, the district’s most significant geographical feature is immediately obvious. Jinja ‘Town’ is situated on the east bank of the River Nile, where the longest river in the World, the Nile starts its 6,670 km journey from Lake Victoria to the Mediterranean Sea. After what can be a very slow section getting through Kampala traffic to Mukono, the drive to Jinja passes through an interesting parts of Uganda with small townships, farmland, and Mabira Forest, tea & sugarcane plantations.

You cross the Nile at the Owens Falls Dam (completed in 1954) and will find Jinja a laid-back contrast to Kampala – a very friendly place with a focus on tourism and welcoming hospitality. White water rafting at its best in Jinja on the White Nile – you might get wet, but you will never forget the experience of rafting on the Nile at Jinja in Uganda. You can take it a bit easy with a family float for you and children. Jet boat up the River Nile Rapids at incredible speeds and enjoy the wild of the River Nile without being immersed in it except a bit of spray.

Simply a most awesome experience. Tandem kayaking with a most knowledgeable guide to take you down the rapids of the River Nile. You can also try River Surfing, another option at Jinja along the River Nile. Take a Sunset Cruise with dinner and drink at Jinja – simply a most enjoyable experience while at Jinja on the White River Nile.

Take a two-day house boat safari on Lake Victoria – Jinja.  A great way to relax and chill out in a most novel way in Uganda. Fish, relax, enjoy the scenery including fishing villages along the shore.  Two Crew members are on board – your food is prepared for you and you the houseboat can accommodate up 8 – sleep on top or below, two bathrooms are available.

Horseback riding safari along the Nile and there is even an overnight horseback riding safari of two days – another way to enjoy the Nile, visit Villages and hamlets along the journey and take in the culture and sights. All-Terrain Vehicle Quad biking along the River Nile taking in the sights and the local cultures as you ride through various villages. Visitors to Jinja find this an exhilarating experience.

Mgahinga Gorilla National Park: All You Need to Know

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Mgahinga Gorilla National Park is a national park in the far south-west corner of Uganda covering the northern the slopes of the three Virunga Volcanoes: Mt Muhavura, Mt Gahinga and Mt Sabyinyo. Mgahinga is the smallest of all national parks of Uganda, but it forms part of a cross- border system of contiguous reserves in Rwanda and DRC extending over some 430km of the higher Virunga.

The park is about 10km south of Kisoro and is bordered to the south the republic of Rwanda and to the west by the Democratic Republic of Congo. Each of these countries protects its own portion of the Virunga, in the Parc national des volcanoes and Pac national des Virunga respectively. The three parks together from an area of 434 square kilometer Virunga conservation area VCA

Mgahinga is one of two locations in Uganda where mountain gorillas live, with the other being the Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. The park has one habituated gorilla group called the Nyakagezi, although this group sometimes crosses the border into Rwanda. The national park also includes three of the eight Virunga volcanoes: Mount Muhabura, Mount Gahinga, and Mount Sabyinyo, all of which lie on the Uganda/Rwanda border. Any of these can be climbed in one day from the park headquarters.

The park protects 76 mammal species, including the golden monkeys, black and white colobus mountain gorillas, leopard, elephant, giant forest hog, bush pig, buffalo, bushbuck, black- fronted duiker and several varieties of rodents, bats and small predators. Only 115 birds species have been recorded here, possibly a reflection of the park’s small size, the park is still of great interest to bird watchers, as several of the species recorded are localized forest birds, and 12 are considered to be endemic to the Albert Rift region.

Getting there:

By road, one can access the park by use of a car from Kampala via Kabale to Kisoro. This journey takes about 9 to 10 hours.
By air, one can board a plane from Entebbe to Kisoro Airstrip which is near the park. This is the quickest mode of access and it takes about 1 hour. There are daily scheduled flights which must be booked long in advance with your local Uganda safari operator.

When to visit the park

The best time to visit the place for tracking is during the two dry seasons when the park is easily accessed. It is during this time that the thick forests can be penetrated easily and when the paths are not as muddy as it is in the rainy season. The two dry Seasons best for Gorilla Safari are; mid-December to end of February and June to October. However, gorilla tracking tourism is possible throughout the year.

What to see and do:

Gorilla trekking

The moment you visit the park, the welcoming atmosphere is an evidence of adventure filled of natural beauty. A day ‘trek through the forests of Mgahinga with a well-trained guide who explains the gorillas’ behavior along the way is a lifetime experience. The gorilla trekking safari starts from Ntebeko Entrance gate around 8:00amin the morning daily taking 2-4 hours. A visitor is expected to budget for his/her time well while with a gorilla family since the maximum time allowed to spend with them is one hour.

Mountain hikes

Guided day hikes are available to each of the three volcanic peaks in Mgahinga. A reasonable level of fitness and an early start are required for any of the mountain hikes, and good boots, rain gear and warm clothes are recommended. This starts at the base camp a few kilometers from the entrance gate and the round trip will take at least nine hours. Two trails – Mount Sabyinyo and Mount Muhavura require more than a day covering 14km and 12 km respectively. They are also much steeper than the day hikes as you climb to the tops of each of these volcanoes. The views, though, cannot be beat! On the Sabyinyo hike you get to stand in Uganda, DRC and Rwanda at the same time.

Golden monkey tracking

The next best thing to seeing after the mountain gorilla is the chance to track the golden monkey, a little- known bamboo- associated taxa primate listed as endangered by the World Conservation Union. Endemic to the Albertine Rift, the golden monkey is characterized by a bright orange- gold body, cheeks and tail, contrasting with its black limbs, crown and tail end. More likely, however, is that the Virunga volcanoes harbor the only remaining viable breeding population of this localized monkey.

Nature walks:

Half- day nature trails concentrating on the forest zone run out of Ntebeko. Of particular interest to birders, the Sabyinyo Gorge Trail ascends through the heath around Ntebeko into a stand of bamboo forest before following a small stream through a lushly forest gorge. The bamboo forest is a good place to see the pretty golden monkey, as well as handsome francolin, kivu ground thrush and regal sunbird. The evergreen forest harbours such localized birds as Rwenzori turaco, western green tinker bird, olive woodpecker, African hill babbler, Archer’s ground robin, and so many others. And other trails leads to Rugezi swamp and Garama Cave.

The Batwa Trail:

A welcome diversion from the usual tawdry visits to impoverished Batwa/ Pygmy communities, this initiative provides a genuine opportunity to experience something of tradition Batwa forest culture. The event follows a trail along the lower slopes of Mgahinga Volcano to Garama Cave involves visitors and their Batwa guide in a range of practical interactions such as fire lighting, bivouac building, target practice with a bow and arrow and food gathering. The song culminates with a memorable performance of Batwa song and music in the Batwa’s council chamber in Garama Cave. The Batwa Trail is a partnership between UWA and the worthy United Organization for Batwa Development in Uganda.

Birding

The three to four hour Gorge Trail between Gahinga and Sabyinyo can provide a spectacular sightings of the Dusky turtle Dove, Cape Robin-chat, Kivu – ground Thrush, Olive Thrush, Brown-crowned Tchagra, Bronze Sunbird, Regal Sunbird, Blue-headed Sunbird, Rwenzori Batis, Black-headed Wax bill and Streaky Seed eater.

Accommodation

When at Mgahinga Gorilla National Park, one should not worry about accommodation because there are various lodges suitable for relaxation and overnight. These are found in Ntebeko, Kisoro and Lake Mutanda. In Ntebeko, the accommodations are; Volcanoes mount Gahinga Safari lodge and Amajambere Iwacu camp. The lodges in Mutanda include; Lake Mutanda Chameleon Hill Lodge. In Kisoro, the lodges where a visitor can stay are; Kisoro Traveler’s Rest Hotel and River Mucha Hotel

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