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Tourist Activities in Akagera National Park – Rwanda

Akagera National Park derived its name from Akagera River and it is only savanna grassland national park in Rwanda. If you are interested in exploring more about the big five game while on Rwanda safari then this is the best destination that you should consider in your travel plan. A visit to this park offers you a feeling like you are in the vast savanna grassland protected areas in Kenya and Tanzania. For dramatic wilderness experiences, visit Akagera National Park and you will be filled with lots of amazing natural wonders.

Game Drives/Nature Walks

Akagera National Park features as the only safari destination in Rwanda where you can embark on an exciting game drive. A game drive at this park allows you to explore the natural wonders that Rwanda offers to the world besides the rare mountain gorillas. A fact that it is the only open savanna grassland conservation area in the Land of a Thousand Hills, a game drive on its tracks rewards you with amazing views of its remarkable wildlife species. While on game drive, you will spot out wildlife species like savanna elephants, buffaloes, leopards, lions, rhinos, giraffes, sitatunga, topis, roan antelopes, Bohor reedbuck, zebra, Defassa waterbuck, duikers, Oribis, Klipspringer, olive baboons, bush buck, impalas, vervet monkeys, blue monkeys, side striped jackal, mongoose, vive rid, serval, several birds and many others. Those of you will take a bit a longer game drive; make sure that you have packed some snacks or lunch and drinking water. You can also engage in nature a walk which allows you to explore variety of wildlife species while on foot.

Night Game Drives

Besides day game drives, you can also embark on a night game drives where you will spot out most of the nocturnals. This wilderness experience is a bit unique from the day drives as it allows you to spot out the predators that prowl at night especially leopards, lions, civets, hyenas, bush babies/galagoes (otolemur crassicaudatus and Galago moholi) serval cats and others. There are also several nocturnal birds and bush baby for you to sight out and this experience lasts for 2 hours.

Bird Watching

Akagera National Park features as one of the Important Bird Areas in Rwanda. This park offers refuge to more than 520 bird species. While on birding safari at this park, the notable bird species for you to sight out include threatened papyrus gonolek which are only restricted to papyrus swamps, swamp flycatcher (Muscicapa boehmi), shoebill stork, red faced barbet and many more.

Boat tours

If you are interested in exploring most of the aquatic life in Rwanda then a boat cruise is the best option for you. Boat cruises are conducted along Lake Ihema, a famous refuge to most hippos in East Africa and huge crocodiles. Lake Ihema is Rwanda’s second largest Lake after Lake Kivu. The recreational boat rides at this park can be done during day and at the sunset which equally rewards you with spectacular views of hippos, the Nile crocodile and several species of birds. Boat rides can also be planned at Akagera Game Lodge.

Sport fishing

Akagera National Park is one of the perfect destination that you can pay a visit if you are interested in challenging and yet exciting sport fishing adventures. Sport fishing at this park is done on Lake Shakani which is in the south. The notable fish species in this lake include the tilapia and catfish.

Helicopter adventures or aerial safaris

Akagera National Park offers one of the best aerial experiences in East Africa. This amazing adventure allows you to explore the spectacular landscapes of Akagera National Park while on air. Akagera National Park comprises of beautiful swamp fringed Lakes and open savanna grassland which extend to the Tanzania plains.
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Gorilla Permits Bookings – Uganda and Rwanda

Gorilla Permits In Uganda And Rwanda

Are you planning to go for gorilla trekking or gorilla habituation in Bwindi or Volcanoes National Park Rwanda? Have you already secured a permit or you have not yet because you do not know how much it costs? Well, with a permit at hand, you are definitely on upper hand to see gorillas although this doesn’t guarantee you a hundred percent that you will see one. In gorilla trekking, one permit is equal to one habituated gorilla group by securing one in advance gives you in an added advantage. Once you are assigned to one habituated gorilla family, you will be accompanied by a trained park guide who takes trekkers through the entire trekking process in the thick forest to see the rare mountain gorillas.

Mountain gorillas are only found in Uganda, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) but at a moment, the DR Congo Virunga National Park is currently closed till 2019. To be part of gorilla trekking in any of the destinations, you need to have a permit at hand and in Uganda, you need $600 if you are foreign non-resident, $500 if you are a foreign resident and those within East African community you need to have shs.250000. With two more new habituated gorilla families that have been opened for this life changing adventure, over 136 permits are always available for visitors to book. You can book one through a local tour operator/company and for this case, you don’t need to look any further because we are among a few most trust worthy tour companies you can deal with and we can make your dream come true in Africa.

The other alternative is for you to book directly with a reservationist at Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) whose headquarters is based in Kamokya-Kampala. However, most tourists prefer dealing with the ground tour operator why, because the process is simpler and the fact that about 80 percent of the available permits are always given to tour operators and only 2o percent remain with UWA of which the process tends to be tiresome if dealt directly with Uganda Wildlife Authority. The process for booking a permit is almost the same as that of UWA whereby you will be required to contact a reservationist to help find out the availability of permits and then book one for you once you are done making money transfer to company’s account/UWA’s account. You will also be required to submit your details especially your names, passport number, nationality and other necessary details.

For those you who may want to enhance their experiences further, there is also gorilla habituation experience which is only conducted in Bwindi National Park and only in Uganda. Permits for this extraordinary adventure cost $1500 per person for foreign non-residents, $1000 for foreign residents and shs.750000 for East African community residents.

A gorilla permit is generally a license which is issued to visitors on gorilla safari and it is what offers trekkers opportunity to have a face to face encounter with these rare creatures for only an hour. A face to face encounter with these dramatic creatures is undoubtedly a magical experience of lifetime.

In Rwanda, you can secure one at $1500 through a local tour operator or through a reservationist at Rwanda Development Board (RDB). Interested visitors on gorilla safari to any of the destinations are always advised to book their permits in advance at least three to six months earlier to avoid any disappointment. Note that demand for these permits is very high and can even be worse when it is a dry season which is also a high/peak season and they can be few. Also it is important to note that only eight trekkers are allowed to track. The dry season/high season usually begins from June to September and this is normally the longest dry season and the short one starts from December to February. During this period, the demand is high and you need to book one early enough.

Conclusively, a gorilla permit is a must to have if you are to be allowed to track mountain gorillas in either Uganda or Rwanda or even the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Book one in advance your dreams will be achieved in africa!

Ngiri Reserve Congo

If you are planning to spend your next safari holiday in the Democratic Republic of Congo and you are looking for the most exceptional conservation area to visit then Ngiri Reserve is the best choice that you should make and you won’t regret thereafter. The Ngiri Reserve is natural wonder of its own. It lies in the western side of Equateur province, Bomongo, Makanza and Bikoro border. A 1000 square kilometer reserve stretches to the north from the Congo River confluence and River Ubangi and its establishment is mainly to for refuge to most of its vast biodiversity and ecosystem. Initially, it was proposed to form the Ngiri triangle in 1975, an area which lies between Ubangi, Congo and Ngiri Rivers, however this was not accomplished.

But it was revived by World Wide Fund in the Lake Tele-Lake Tumba landscape project which included the Tumba Ngiri Maindombe wetland. Around 2010, the cooperation agreement between governments of the Republic of Congo and that of the DR Congo on the Lake Tele-Lake Tumba landscape offered for establishment of Ngiri reserve and the Mabali -scientific reserve to add on the Tumba-Lediima reserve in the DR Congo and Lake Tele community reserve in the Republic of the Congo. The Ngiri nature reserve was established by a decree of the Ministry of Environment in March 2011 with the engagement of the World Wide Fund (WWF).

Ngiri Reserve mainly consists of swamp forest, several streams and Rivers. Ngiri River flows from the north to south via the center of this conservation area prior connecting to the Ubangi. The large zone which surrounds the Ngiri nature reserve comprises of the changing marshy grassland savanna, swamp forests and seasonally flooded forests. The savanna is usually burnt during dry season while in some cases, it floods and the usual species of trees which grow here include the Entandrophragma palustre, Uapaca heudelotii Coelocaryon botryoides and Oubanguia Africana and Guibourtia demeusei.

The weather and climate of Ngiri reserve

Ngiri Reserve receives relative rainfall amount all year round and in average, it is about 1770 mm approximately 70 in though in most cases can be a bit heavier than that especially from August-October and lighter amount is received between April and May. Ubangi and Ngiri usually receive the highest amount especially from September-November whereas the Congo side receives its highest amount of rainfall around October and December.

Ngiri reserve features as the best breeding area for most of the aquatic birdlife specifically the African darters, reed cormorants, purple herons and in the low season, the rosy bee eaters and African river martins are attracted to this area, making it one of the best birding areas in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Besides, it is the only area in the DR Congo where you will spot the Congo sunbird. There are also African bush elephants and Allen’s swamp monkeys. The area is inhabited by few people who largely engage in fishing and hunting as a source of living. Most of the settlements are around Bomongo which also features as the only town which is near to this protected area and the capital Equateur province, Mbandaka is located in the south while the Tshuapa River enters the Congo from the east.

In conclusion, Ngiri Reserve is remarkably one of the best protected areas in the DR Congo and if you are planning for African safari, it should be a must to include in your travel plan. For bird lovers, the reserve is best for you to spot out the Congo sunbird and other bird species and not to forget variety of wildlife species that thrive within the reserve.

Ajai and Matheniko Wildlife Reserves

Ajai Wildlife Reserve

Situated within North-western Uganda in Arua district, Ajai Wildlife Reserve is the only Game/Wildlife Reserve found in the district or West Nile region and stands at an elevation of 658 meters above sea level. Historically, this Reserve was put under the personal watch and protection of a local powerful Chief named Ajai in 1937 and until 1980, it was protected as one of the few remaining populations of white Rhinos in the country that are now extinct in the Reserve but only found in one place in the country-Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary.

When the locals began hunting Rhinos of the Reserve, the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) sponsored an anti-poaching project that was conducted in the Reserve in the 1960s much as it did not stop the poachers from hunting them until they became extinct. However in 2008, the Uganda Wildlife Authority took a step to privatize the operations of the Reserve and special consideration was offered to the Uganda Wildlife Safaris Limited, a hunting and Photographic Tour Operator.

This exceptional 166 square kilometers Wildlife Reserve is comprised of plains of grasses, swamps and woodlands offering shelter to different wildlife and bird species. Much as it was originally established to protect the white Rhinos (which eventually became extinct due to poaching), other wildlife species are inhabited in the Wildlife Reserve and they include Hippos, Antelopes (Uganda Kobs, bushbucks, Sitatunga, common duikers, Oribis, waterbucks and Lelwel hartebeests), Lions, leopards, primates (black and white colobus monkeys, Olive baboons and Vervet monkeys), Warthogs and Buffaloes. Reptiles at the Reserve also include Nile crocodiles, snakes especially Pythons. Ajai Wildlife Reserve is also a wonderful spot for bird watching.

Climate and weather experienced around Ajai Wildlife Reserve

This destination lies on the western banks of the Albert Nile and is dominated by grass and experiences a tropical climate with heavy rains received from March to May and October to November.

How to Access Ajai Wildlife Reserve?

Since it is a bit challenging to reach Ajai Wildlife Reserve due to the poor state of roads that lead to it, it is very accessible by road from Gulu district. Unfortunately, there are also no accommodation facilities within the Reserve thus tourists intending to visit the site have to either connect to Murchison Falls National Park and within Gulu or Arua Towns for overnight/s. It is about six and a half hours’ drive by road from Kampala and just few minutes flight for air transport (landing at Arua or Gulu Town). Include this Wildlife Reserve in your itinerary for Murchison Falls National Park, the closest National Park within the area to have a memorable experience during Uganda safaris.

Besides Ajai Wildlife Reserve, Uganda is known for many other Reserves across the country that include Karuma, Katonga, Bugungu, Pian Upe, Matheniko, Bokora Corridor, Toro-Semliki and Kabwoya Wildlife Reserves that can be explored during Uganda safaris.

Therefore, Ajai Wildlife Reserve is one of the numerous Wildlife Reserves in Uganda under the management pf Uganda Wildlife Authority and offers numerous wildlife species such as waterbucks, Oribis, bushbucks, warthogs, olive baboons, Hippos and common duikers as well as several species of birds.

Matheniko Wildlife Reserve

On top of exploring the 10 National Parks, tourists can visit Wildlife Reserves during Uganda Safaris and one of which is the Matheniko Wildlife/Game Reserve. This spectacular site is found in the Conservation Area of the Karamoja sub-region in north-eastern Uganda and so far the 5th of the most threatened Wildlife Protected Areas in the country. Much as few tourists visit this destination, it offers exceptional wildlife and bird species as well as unforgettable wildlife experiences.

Situated within Moroto district, Matheniko Wildlife Reserve is part of the corridor of Conservation Areas in the Karamoja sub-region that extend from Kidepo Valley National Park through Pian Upe and Bokora Corridor Wildlife Reserves but on the north-eastern side to Matheniko Wildlife Reserve is the Uganda-Kenya border. Additionally, this Protected Area lies within the Somali-Maasai environment of semi-desert grassland with portion of it being scrubland and stands at an elevation of 1070 to 1830 meters (3510 feet to 6000 feet) above sea level.

Unlike other Wildlife Reserves within the region, Matheniko Wildlife Reserve offers shelter to fewer species of wildlife thus making it less busy compared to the others. It stretches for approximately 1520 square kilometers (590 square miles) and is managed by the Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA).

Climate and Vegetation of Matheniko Wildlife Reserve

Due to its location, the average rainfall of the Reserve is estimated at about 670 millimeters with heavy rainfall being experienced from months of March to May and also in November and its landscape is dominated by Red Acacia and the desert date (scientifically known as Balanites aegyptiacus), bush willows (combretum apiculatum),  Red spike-thorns (Gymnosporia senegalensis) and Harrisonia abyssinica. There are also a wide range of common shrubs and these are the butterfly pea (scientifically known as Clitoria ternatea) and the wooly caper bushes (Capparis tomentosa).

Attractions within Matheniko Wildlife Reserve

Much as they are in small numbers, wildlife such as mountain reedbucks, Blue duikers, lesser kudus, common duikers, Roan antelopes, waterbucks, Uganda Kobs, Bohor reedbucks, Elands, wildcats, Bright’s gazelles, spotted hyenas, Oribis and Topis are common within Matheniko Wildlife Reserve.

Some birds are also found within the Reserve and they include Egyptian swallows, Grey Cuckoo shrike, Eastern bronze-napped pigeons, Alpine Chat, Dusky Turtle Doves, Thick-billed honey guide, Cattle egrets, Lemon Doves, Hartlaub’s Turaco, Ostriches, Abyssinian ground hornbills, red-billed oxpeckers, African Hill Babblers, Black-throated wattle-eye, the mountain yellow warblers and the Pygmy Falcon among others.

Besides that, there are several Rock Paintings within Matheniko and Bokora Corridor Wildlife Reserves and are said to date back to 3000 years and are said to be works of Nilotic people and Kushites.

When it comes to places to spend overnights, there are no accommodation facilities much as the Uganda Wildlife Authority has put a lot of emphasis on developing tourism infrastructures of the Wildlife Reserve in the past years where bidders were invited in a Campaign to raise funds for constructing a facility (6-roomed Guesthouse) within Matheniko Wildlife Reserve.

Therefore, Matheniko is one of the important sites you can visit within the Karamoja sub-region of North-eastern Uganda and boasts of wildlife species such as lesser kudus, common duikers, Roan antelopes, waterbucks, Uganda Kobs, Bohor reedbucks, Elands, wildcats, Bright’s gazelles, spotted hyenas in addition to birds such as Egyptian swallows, Eastern bronze-napped pigeons, Cattle egrets, Hartlaub’s Turaco, Abyssinian ground hornbills, red-billed oxpeckers, the mountain yellow warblers and many others.

Mikeno Lodge in DR Congo

Are you planning to go for mountain gorilla safari in Congo (Virunga National Park) but you are wondering about where you spend a night before or thereafter your breathtaking adventure? Have you ever heard about Mikeno Lodge? Well, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is one of the three only countries in the world where the rare mountain gorillas are inhabited and to realize your dreams with these special creatures while they are in their natural home has been facilitated by presence of luxury and comfortable accommodation facilities and Mikeno Lodge is one of a kind lodging facilities that shouldn’t miss out in your travel plan.

This lodge is features as a luxury facility and it is only one and half hours drive off Goma and it comes with huge bungalows and the best restaurant. Mikeno Lodge and its restaurant are situated in the forest and they present the most spectacular views of the mighty rift valley and the Nyiragongo and Mikeno Mountains. If you are a nature lover, you can as well embark on nature walks and exploration of local areas of your interest or simply sight out most of the bird species and several of resident blue monkeys, colobus monkeys, baboons and chimpanzees that come around the lodge area. The cost of accommodation goes at $330 per person for single room, $475 for double and $705 for triple including breakfast, lunch, dinner and 16 percent of government value added tax but excluding transport cost.

If you are looking for hidden natural wonders then Mikeno Lodge is one of the best options for you while on safari to Virunga National Park. The lodge’s bungalow accommodation is spacious, luxurious and offer adequate privacy that any traveler wishes to have while on safari, each of which features incredible trees or offer spectacular valley views. Every bungalow also features its own fireplace that the staff light each evening while visitors are out enjoying their dinner. The lodge features materials such as thatch, mahogany and lava stone from the Virunga Mountains that make it one of the most beautiful places compared to the rest of the lodging facilities in the Virunga National Park.

Mikeno Lodge features 12 detached bungalows all of which present comfortable atmospheres for visitors while in the jungle. Each of the bungalows features en-suit bathrooms; stone curved sinks, baths and showers. The main lodge comes with open plan communal areas where visitors can chill, share a drink and sit down for dinner. The balcony comes with stunning views of the luxuriant vegetation and the traditional African structure with a thatched roof where communities gather for outdoor meals and get togethers. The lodge has professional chefs that make about 3 (three) course meals in the onsite restaurant using the lodge’s very own vegetation garden and this offers you opportunity to have a taste of fresh products. There is also a fully deigned room and stocked bar for you to relax in the evening.

The lodge is strategically located in away that visitors can engage in mountain gorilla trekking and chimpanzee trekking in the Virunga National Park. It is just within a walking distance of the Senkwekwe center at Rumangabo that takes care of orphaned gorillas. You can also take a cultural walk to the nearby local communities and coffee plantations and visit the Widows Workshop-a project operated by the park that assists rangers’ widows learn significant skills that they can support their families.

Also, children are also welcome to have a stay at Mikeno Lodge however certain adventures have limitation especially hiking the Nyiragongo Mountain which requires persons above 12 years and for mountain gorilla and chimpanzee trekking, you have to be 15 years and above. However, there are some activities that can be organized for children as well as parents embark on strenuous mountain hike at Nyiragongo or mountain gorilla and chimpanzee trekking.

In conclusion therefore, Mikeno Luxury Lodge is not only for visitors to have comfortable accommodation but also a place for one to have the most exciting and interesting experiences while on mountain gorilla trekking, chimpanzee adventures, hiking Mountain Nyiragongo, nature walks, bird watching and many more.

Things to Do in Lake Kivu Rwanda

Lake Kivu features among the leading safari destinations that are frequently explored by visitors on Rwanda safaris. Considerably, it forms a section of the African Great Lakes just at the border between Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) along the Albertine rift that makes up the western branch of the Great East African rift valley.

Lake Kivu features the outlet of River Ruzizi that flows to the south feeding into Lake Tanganyika. Count Adolf von Gotzen was the first European and German national to explore the Lake around 1894 and the Lake turned to be main dumping ground for genocide victims during the 1994 Rwanda genocide.

The Lake covers an area of around 2700 square kilometers at altitude of about 1460 meters. 58 percent of its waters are located in the DRC while the rest in Rwanda. Lake Kivu’s bed straddles on the rift valley floor and it is continuously being pulled apart making volcanic activity and enhancing its depths to its recent maximum depth of about 1575 feet approximately 480 meters that makes it the 18th deepest Lake in the world and the best tourist attraction that is worth including in the bucket list while on your African safari in Uganda and Rwanda.

This Lake also comes with Idwiji that features as the 10th biggest Island in the world. There is also the stunning Tchegera Island that is situated around the Virunga National Park, DR Congo. Several Lake shores settlements are also available most of which include the Kabare, Bukavu, Kalehe, Sake and Goma in the DR Congo while in Rwanda the settlements are featured at Cyangugu, Kibuye and Gisenyi.

After gorilla tracking in Volcanoes National Park, spend time at Lake Kivu and enjoy activities like;

  • Swimming

Lake Kivu is perfectly one of the fresh water Lakes with no crocodiles, hippos and Bilhazia. It features cool temperatures and if you are interested in cooling yourself during a hot sunshine, this is the perfect place that you should consider visiting. It is from this Lake that you can find beaches around its shores that come with fine sand where one can easily chill out in the mild sun after having amazing swim in the Lake. For exceptional swimming experiences, you can choose to start your swimming around Kibuye, Cyangugu and Gisenyi.

  • Hiking and biking adventures

Visitors can also embark on a walk in the Lake’s beaches. Hiking adventures are worth taking while on safari in Lake Kivu especially for honeymooners. This comes with incredible views of the fresh water Lake and cool breezes from the waves that reward visitors with lifetime experiences.

  • Water sports

You can set off for a local canoeing experience or use speed engine boats to cruise along the fresh water Lake so as to discover more about what this incredible country holds for the world. The boat cruise can be done within few meters on the Lake and interestingly, you can even have dinner especially for long boat rides to the main islands like Napoleon and Amahoro Island. Lake Kivu is worth visiting especially if you want to get out of the stress.

  • Exploring Nyamirundi Island

Nyamirundi Island is located next to Gisenyi and much of coffee cultivation and processing is done in this place. A visit to the Island helps one explore more on the entire coffee processing and have opportunity to taste the locally processed and made coffee. You can explore more about other crops that are cultivated in the Island especially the bananas and other main food crops. Nyamirundi Island offers visitors with remarkable views of the terraced gentle slopes that come with coffee and banana plantations.

  • Exploring Imbabazi orphanage

Imbabazi orphanage was established by the late Rosamond Carr to take care of the orphans whose parents lost lives during the terrific Rwandan genocide of 1994. Carr stayed in Rwanda for a good time and became close friends with Dian Fossey the famous American primatologist and conservationist. At the time of the genocide, the orphanage was transferred to another area because of the insecurity reasons and after the bloody genocide, it was permanently set up around Gisenyi and cares for about 400 orphans. This orphanage was re-established and well built and currently it features the most stunning gardens and restaurant which prepare delicious and standard food as well as amazing views of the surrounding areas including the Virunga Mountains.

  • Wind surfing and many other water sports

Lake Kivu’s waters feature waves which support most of the water sporting experiences especially windsurfing, speed boat rides, sport fishing, kayaking and many more. You can hire kayaking and wind surfing gear around Gisenyi.

From the discussion above, Lake Kivu is one of the unique tourist attractions on its own way that are worth adding in the bucket list. It supports a number of exciting activities for visitors on Rwanda safari to enjoy with their dear ones.

Best Lodges in Murchison Falls National Park Uganda

Uganda is an east African landlocked nation whose diversity landscape includes the snow-topped Mountain Rwenzori and large Lake Victoria which is the largest lake in Africa and the 2nd largest fresh water lake in the world. The abundant wildlife in this country incorporates chimpanzees and also the variety of different rare birds. The remote Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is famous for being home to the rare and endangered mountain gorilla. Murchison Falls National Park in the northwest is known for its 43m-tall waterfall and wildlife, for example, hippos. All these make put Uganda on the top best tourist destinations in the world.

Whenever a tourist thinks of visiting a certain destination, he/she will first think of where to stay during his/her safari. Accommodations have throughout the years been set up in strategically prime tourism destinations in different wildlife parks in the country. These range from budget lodges to high-end luxury safari accommodation.

The choice for a tourist to stay at a specific safari lodge frequently comes down to the vicinity of the lodge to the tourist’s desired tourist activity, the tourist’s budget and the availability at the lodge at a particular time.

Below are the two perfect safari lodges to consider when planning a safari Murchison Falls National Park in Uganda.

Murchison Falls National Park is found in the northwestern part of Uganda on the shore of Lake Albert. The park got its name from the Murchison Falls which is found in the heart of the park. Murchison Falls National Park is home to variety of wild animals including, Elephants, Hippos, Buffaloes, antelopes, warthog among others, the Kaniyo Pabidi mahogany forest which is also part of the park is home to chimpanzees and the Lake Albert Delta is home to the rare shoebill storks.

Paraa Safari Lodge
The lodge is perfectly situated in the heart of Murchison Falls National Park overlooking the world’s longest river, The River Nile. Paraa Safari Lodge is first class luxury accommodation set deep in the Uganda’s wilderness, the lodge offers an exceptional blend solace, unwinding and adventure. The lodge is the perfect accommodation for luxury visitors to Murchison Falls National Park and from the lodge you can enjoy all the tourist attractions in the park like morning and afternoon game drive through the park, boat cruise to the bottom of the falls, Barker’s trail, bird watching, chimpanzee tracking and others.

Bakers Lodge
The Baker’s lodge is found in the heart of Murchison Falls National Park on the southern bank of the mighty River Nile which divided the park into two. The lodge has 10 suites on raised decks to take a full advantage of cool breezes and amazing views of the lake. The lodge derived its name from the from the historic English explorer Samuel Baker who is mostly remembered as the discoverer of Lake Albert, as an explorer of the Nile and interior of central Africa, the lodge is a safari styled and perfectly established within a large private areas with a direct river access.

Interesting Things To Do Within Mgahinga National Park

Mgahinga National Park is situated within south-western Uganda and stretches for about 34 square kilometers, making it the country’s smallest Conservation Area but everything it offers is beyond its size. This site is where silver meets Gold because it’s the only place in Uganda where both the Mountain gorillas and Golden monkeys are found.

As small as it is, Mgahinga National Park is a home to three of the eight Virunga Volcanoes (the Mufumbiro Mountains) including Sabinyo, Gahinga and Muhabura as well as the famous Batwa Trail that gives tourists an insight to the life of the Pygmies-the original inhabitants of the Forest before it was gazetted into a National Park in 1991. Therefore, the jaw-dropping activities tourists who visit this Park can enjoy include;

Gorilla trekking

One of the reasons why Mgahinga National Park is popular is because of gorilla trekking tours and is part of the extensive Virunga Conservation Area that also comprises of Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda and the Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo. There is so far only one habituated gorilla family known as the “Nyakagyezi family”, thus only 8 gorilla permits are available daily. Participants are required to wear long sleeved shirts, long trousers, strong waterproof hiking boots and cotton socks and carry backpacks, snacks, drinking water and walking stick on the day of trekking.

Golden monkey tracking

Mgahinga National Park is the only place in Uganda where Silver meets Gold because it’s the only Park where both Mountain gorillas and Golden monkeys are found. The endangered Golden monkeys are also habituated (for at least two years) thus are able to be seen by tourists without them shying or running away. They are characterized by their golden bodies, cheeks and tails with black limbs and beautiful crowns on their heads and tail-ends. Unlike mountain gorillas that are found on the upper slopes, Golden monkeys occupy the Bamboo forests thus are easier to track but are more playful thus sometimes difficult to have clear sightings.

Nature walks or Hiking

Nature walks around the foothills of the Virunga Volcanoes offer tourists with the once in a lifetime opportunity to see numerous bird species, dense vegetation, Rugezi Swamp and the spectacular views of the surrounding Lakes and Agricultural villages as well as farmlands.

The Batwa Trail

The Batwa were the original inhabitants of the dense forests of Mgahinga and lived as hunter-gatherers before they were displaced after it was gazetted into a National Park in 1991.  They depended on the forest for shelter, food and medicine but now live at beggars at the edges of the Forest and the only time they enter the Forest is when taking tourists during the Batwa Trail. During this activity, they introduce tourists to their ancient lifestyles such as constructing of grass-thatched houses, making fire by rubbing sticks, obtaining herbal medicine for treating ailments and climaxed with a visit to the sacred Garama Cave where sorrowful traditional songs are sung by the local women.

The Batwa Trail

Mountain or Volcano Climbing

As earlier mentioned, Mgahinga National Park is a home to three of the eight Virunga Volcanoes (Sabinyo, Gahinga and Muhabura) and all of them can be climbed by tourists, with each of them lasting a full day. The Peaks of these Mountains reward climbers with the jaw-dropping views of the other Virunga Volcanoes as well as Lake Edward, the Rwenzori Mountains and the lush mist-covered Bwindi Impenetrable Forest.

Bird watching

Much as it is the smallest Park in the country, it rewards birders with magnificent views of over 117 species of birds and most of the trails take tourists through the Park’s most spectacular scenery especially in the valley between Sabinyo and Gahinga Volcanoes as well as through the dense Bamboo and montane forests where the outstanding Rwenzori Turaco can be spotted.

Other bird species you are likely to see in the Park include the Red-faced woodland warblers, Pin-tailed Whydah, Paradise flycatcher, Double-collared sunbirds, Rwenzori Batis, Blue-headed coucal, Kivu-ground thrush, black-headed waxbill, Doherty’s bush shrike, Dusky turtle Dove, Rwenzori nightjar, Grey-capped warblers, Chubb’s Cisticola, the streaky seed-eater, Black kites and the Cape robin-chat among others.

Uganda Wildlife Education Centre (UWEC)

Uganda wild life Education Centre (UWEC) is the start point for any Uganda safari package! It is located at Entebbe town, one of the countries key cities in Uganda. Entebbe area has the major entry point in Uganda and that is, Entebbe International Airport (EBB). This is a great opportunity for UWEC as it received many tourists from different parts of the world visiting Uganda. It is less than 10 minutes drive from the airport, and it is sorrounded by many accommodation units such as Imperial Resort Beach Hotel, Entebbe Traveller’s Inn, Golf Course Hotel, Laico Lake Victoria Hotel, The Boma Hotel, Sunset hotel and many more. Once someone checks in his or her hotel, she / he can take a visit to UWEC.uwec

The Centre was created in 1950s by the government of Uganda with the assistance of the Wildlife Conservation Society in New York and managed by a Wildlife Trust. The Centre is one of the greatest attractions in Entebbe which is leading to safaris in Uganda and also the only one found in Uganda.

Uganda wildlife Education Centre was created to assist the confiscated, injured and orphan animals which have been taken away from smugglers and poachers. The Centre accommodates different wildlife species like vervet monkeys, DeBraza monkeys, over 120 bird species can be observed by tourists on Uganda holidays like African fish eagle, the Great Blue Turaco, Giant King Fishers, elephant, giraffe and very many others.

Uganda wildlife Education Centre is a Centre where wildlife education together with leisure is offered. The Centre is not a Safari Park or Zoo, so visitors on Uganda vacation can enjoy their leisure time in this Centre.

The Centre keeps some species which are already extinct in the wild and could have disappeared completely without captive environment. The Centre keeps the animals for the future generation and to awaken people on wildlife conservation in different Safari Parks for future benefits through improved tourism in Uganda.

For tourists who want to enjoy the view of wild animals in their natural habitats, the good news is that you can have a chance to enjoy seeing animals in their natural habitats. Uganda has ten national parks blessed with unique wild life. Game drive is the major activity tourists do to sight the different wild games in the parks. Murchison falls, Kidepo valley and Queen Elizabeth national parks have the greatest and different wildlife species ranging from the biggest, tallest to the smallest and they are the most visited national parks by tourists.

More parks to see unique, rare and endangered wildlife include Kibale national park that inhabits 13 primate species, and this is the highest concentration in Africa. Among the primates in Kibale forest include chimpanzees, colobus monkeys, Blue monkeys, Grey cheeked mangabeys, Red-tailed monkeys and Olive baboons among others. The popular tourist activities here include Chimpanzee tracking and habituation experience, bird watching and forest walks among others.

Another place to visit include the impenetrable forest of Bwindi national park and Mgahinga National park, located in south western Uganda, both famous for mountain gorilla trekking in Uganda. They inhabit more than half of the world’s remaining population of the endangered mountain gorillas, with over 14 gorilla habituated gorilla groups. Apart from gorilla trekking, Bwindi impenetrable national park is also famous for gorilla habituation experience in the southern sector of Rushaga.

How Do Gorillas Defend Them Selves

Like any other living creature, Gorillas also have enemies known as predators – man is the chief enemy of Gorillas. Man kills gorillas on traps, gun shoots, spears among others – in some countries like Democratic Republic of Congo, Gorillas are killed for meat and some times for fun. The only predator to prey on gorillas is the leopard. Walter Baumgärtel found the remains of several gorillas after they had been killed by leopards in the Virunga Volcanoes. Another case has been confirmed in Gabon, where a sick young gorilla was killed by a leopard.

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Charge bared teeth, when facing a predator or detect any threat, the dominant male (silverback) in a group of gorillas will often charge it with teeth bared. In so doing, the enemy animal or man can be scared and disappear.

Beating of chest, While running toward the aggressor, the gorilla may beat his chest, scream or shack or break vegetation. In the process the enemy may disappear.

Pick sticks or break sticks, sometimes, gorillas even pick up and swing sticks at the threat or in the air. If the aggressor stands his ground, the gorilla will often break off the attack, as it is primarily designed as a bluff. However, if the animal turns and runs, the gorilla interprets this as weakness, and pounces on it. Large male gorillas are much stronger than humans or any predators that may attempt to hunt them.

Gorillas run away from the aggressor or enemy, female gorillas often fears to attack the aggressor and decides to run away from the enemies. Like female humans, female Gorillas are weaker than male. They some times run towards the male silverback for rescue.

The large size of Gorillas scare aggressors, Large males form harems of several females, their offspring and a few subordinate males. The dominant male will defend the group from all threats. Dominant male gorillas may exceed 400 pounds in weight, while females and subordinate males are typically smaller. The size of gorillas is enough to thwart most predators, and the primary species that threatens them is humans.

Moving with silverback for defense, like fathers at home, silverbacks are the strongest in the each gorilla group – they are taken as rescuers and defenders of the gorilla groups.

Gathering and moving in groups, Gorillas protect themselves by living in groups that are protected by a large, dominant male and by being secretive.

Gorillas Climb trees, gorillas are skilled climbers that can flee to the trees if pursued by a predator.

Gorillas live in rain forest habitats that have few large predators.

Silverback males give off a particularly intensive smell and emit characteristic sounds.

If you are interested in seeing the mountain gorillas in their natural habitat? It is possible! Most of you have seen these gentle giants in zoos, but you should go gorilla trekking in Rwanda or Uganda or DR Congo to see them in their natural environment. Organize and book a safari to any of the those destinations and you will be among the privileged people to see them in African wilderness! Many Rwanda safari operators organize cheap and amazing safaris to see the mountain gorillas in Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda, likewise, there are many Uganda tour operators organizing memorable gorilla safaris to Bwindi Impenetrable Forests and Mgahinga national Park in south western part of the country!