While on safaris to African continent, there are activities that you want to do to enrich your experiences. Well the excellent news is that Uganda and Rwanda can offer you the best activities which will give you many reasons to take a holiday to East Africa. The two (02) East African destinations are ranked as one of the must see destination in Africa due to a variety of attractions and unique cultures that you may not find anywhere in the world.
White water rafting is one of the exciting adventures activities done in Uganda on the mighty River Nile. This is the longest river in Africa and the second in the world. Enjoy white water rafting adventure activity and become wild while exploring beautiful second longest river in the world. This is an experience you will love to take with you back home. It is conducted in Jinja district where the River has its source, about 1 hour drive from Kampala Capital. Other attractions / activities here include Bungee Jumping, Kayaking, Quad biking, horse riding around local communities and bird watching. Along the way to Jinja, enroute attractions include Mabira forest (Nature walk and birding) and Sezibwa falls
The 2 countries are famously known for inhabiting the only remaining population of the mountain gorillas in the world. Mountain gorilla is an endangered specie and according to the gorilla census report of 2011, there are only 880 individuals left in the whole world. Half of this population is found in the Virunga chain of volcanic mountains shared by Uganda (Mgahinga National Park), Rwanda (Volcanoes National Park) and Democratic Republic of Congo (Virunga National Park). The rest of the population is found in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park located in south western Uganda and one of the major tourists hub in East Africa.
Tracking the mountain gorillas down to Bwindi National Park offers surprising experience as you encounter with the Batwa community (Pygmies) that are historically known to be the “Keepers of the forest”. Hiking in the forest in search for mountain gorillas in Uganda is hectic and strenuous but the thrill of encountering these gentle giants is worth the effort. Mountain gorillas leave in groups and each group is headed by a male Silverback. Bwindi Impenetrable National Park has 14 gorilla groups today habituated for tourism. There is also 1 gorilla group found in Mgahinga National Park. The number of people visiting each gorilla group / family is limited per day to 8 persons maximum. In this case, one must posses a gorilla trekking permit sold by Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) at the head quarters in Kampala. Each gorilla permit / Pass costs US$600 for foreign non residents and US$475 for foreigners living / working in East Africa. Uganda’s pay only 250.000 Uganda Shillings to see the gorillas in the wild. Gorilla tourism around these parks has led to development of many accommodation options for tourists and these include lodges, hotels and camp sites.
Gorilla Tracking in Volcanoes National Park Rwanda attracts many tourists into the country. The park is located 90 minutes drive from Kigali Capital and is one of the cleanest and safest cities in Africa. The park has 10 gorilla groups. Like in Uganda, one must posses a gorilla permit to track gorillas in Rwanda booked through Rwanda Development Board headquarters in Kigali. Rwanda gorilla trekking permit costs US$750 each for Foreign non residents and US$475 for foreigners living / working in Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania and Burundi. Foreigners working / living in Rwanda pay only US$300 each, and Rwandan citizens pay on 30.000 Rwanda francs. Still like in Uganda, gorilla tourism has also influenced the development of many lodges around Volcanoes National Park and hotel in the nearby Musanze town and the popular ones include Virunga lodge, Le Bambou Gorilla Lodge, Kinigi Guest House, Mountain Gorilla View Lodge, Sabyinyo lodge and hotels like La palme and Muhabura hotel.
Not only will you trek down the Mountain gorillas in Rwanda and Uganda but also the Chimpanzees, also known as chimps are the closest living evolutionary families to Human beings. They shared a common ancestor with human beings about four millions years ago. Chimpanzee trekking in Kibale National Park (Uganda) gives you the opportunity to meet the living relatives of human being who have not yet changed and where historical nature of man is stored. Other places to see chimps in Uganda include Cyambura gorge in Queen Elizabeth National Park, Karinzu forest reserve and Budongo Forest in Murchison Falls National Park. In Rwanda, we have chimpanzee tracking, Black and white colobus monekys in Nyungwe National Park and Golden monkey tracking in Volcanoes National Park. Whoever interested to visit the mountain gorillas in Rwanda and Uganda, click here for more information, itineraries and booking procedure.
Uganda, a must visit destination sounds right. The wonders of Uganda are beyond measures. The only mountain with snow cape in the hot and dark continent is Rwenzori Mountains, also Known as Mountain of the Moon has one of the challenging and exciting adventures that enrich tourists experience while on their holidays to Uganda. Climbing this mountain to the top is the most beautiful memory you will want to take home and gossip about. During mountain climbing different species of birds can also be spotted thus enriching your experience.
A Uganda safari to the savannah side of the country presents you the Africa wild games. A game drive is the only way to explore in these beautiful national Parks while on your safari in Uganda. Among the African wild games include the Big Five. Game drive done in Kidepo national park, Queen Elizabeth National Park, Lake Mburo and Murchison Falls National Park a gives you the chances of seeing different animal species, birds, etc. Uganda is the only country in the world where one can see the Big 5 animals in Africa and the mountain gorillas in the wild. The African Big 5 animals are; Rhinos, Leopard, Lion, Buffalo and Elephant.
In Rwanda, game drives are conducted in Akagera National Park with boat ride along Lake Iheme. Another tourists attraction in Rwanda are the genocide memorial museum such as Gisozi museum in Kigali, Nyamata Church, Ntarama Church, Murambi techinical school and Bisesero among others as well as historical museums like Nyanza king’s palace and Rwanda National Museum in Butare.