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Golden Monkey Habituation in Uganda

Golden Monkey Habituation in Uganda , Mgahinga National Park .

Golden Monkey Habituation is a very exciting Safari Activity carried out in Mgahinga National Park and the Habituation Permit costs US $140 per person interested.

The Golden Monkeys live in big families of about 30-40 and above making it very interesting to go on the habituation experience which involves following the monkeys for a period of 4 hours watching them jump, communicate, play excitedly as they watch you walking beneath them in the forest.

Golden Monkeys live hierarchically with a dominant Male/ Alpha leading the groups followed by the Adult Females then the juveniles/ babies.

Unlike Golden Monkey Tracking which costs US $90 per person spending only an hour with the monkeys, Golden Monkey Habituation takes 4 hours in the presence of the Monkeys.

 What to Carry for Golden Monkey Habituation Experience

  • Leather Rainy Jacket
  • Hiking/ Trekking Boots
  • Hut
  • Sun Glasses
  • Binoculars
  • Camera with no flash
  • Woolen Gardening Gloves
  • Bottled water and Snacks

 How to Get to Mgahinga National Park for the Habituation Experience

Transferring to Mgahinga National Park can be done by public road transport, private road transport where you can hire a driver guide to transfer you to the park to experience remarkable Golden Monkey Habituation Adventure Experiences.

Flying There:

Travelers on a fixed schedule can fly to Mgahinga National Park by boarding a flight from Entebbe international Airport or the Kigali International Airport which takes them to Kisoro Airstrip where they are picked up and transferred to Mgahinga National Park to enjoy Golden Monkey Habituation.

By Road:

Travelers can hire a Car with a driver to transfer them to Mgahinga National Park and can as well as opt to board a bus (public means) to transfer them from Kampala to Kisoro South West of Uganda.

Climbing Kilimanjaro Tanzania

Why is Kilimanjaro such a popular mountain to climb? Firstly, all the major routes are non-technical treks. You don’t need any special climbing equipment other than suitable clothes and boots. No need for ropes or crampons. Kilimanjaro also has easily reached trails. There’s no two week walk to reach the mountain base before your begin your ascent. It’s a super-high mountain that can be climbed within a week or so. Very few mountains of such proportions offer this opportunity.

To have climbed to almost 6000m above sea level is an achievement on a grand scale. One that can re-define your life. You’ll need to draw on all of your inner resources to reach the summit. Climbing Kilimanjaro stretches your endurance on every level, physically, mentally and emotionally. Described by many climbers as a life-changing experience, you’ll test and build your inner strengths.

Sharing the Kilimanjaro experience with others frequently creates and cements life-long friendships. Along the journey you’ll support each other through the tough times and learn to laugh in the face of adversity.

Over the last few years it’s become an increasingly popular way to raise money for charity. There are many companies who arrange charity climbs. Of course, you can climb and raise money for your favourite charity independently. If your goal is fundraising let us know on booking and we’ll spread the news through our social media links.

Who can climb

Lots of people can climb. Currently over 40,000 people a year attempt the summit challenge.

Climbers must be over 10 years old but there is no upper age limit. The current record holder for the oldest to reach Uhuru peak is an impressive 86 years.

You must be reasonably fit. Your climb experience will much more enjoyable if you have properly prepared yourself. You don’t need to be at athlete level, it’s about endurance not speed. As long as you can do multiple days walking of at least 6 hours per day you should meet the basic fitness levels needed. You can read more about fitness and preparation here.

How to climb

It is not possible to climb Kilimanjaro on your own. You must be accompanied by a Kilimanjaro National Park (KINAPA) registered guide for any walks or climbs within the National Park. Only TALA (Tourist Agents Licensing Authority) licenced operators can buy the permits that are required for entry to the Park. There are some climb companies that ‘sub-contract’ the permit buying to get around being fully licenced.

When to climb

There are two main climbing seasons, Mid June to late October and mid December to mid March. You can climb at other times of the year but you’re more likely to have inclement weather, especially in the  April and May rainy season. Over recent years ,however, the rains have been less likely to follow the typical patterns and you might have a climb in mid November with no rain at all.

June and July are the coldest months, but the weather is often more stable with a greater chance of days with clear skies and fabulous views of Kibo.

August and September tend to be very busy. Mid December, January and February are warmer but usually wetter. With a peak in climbers on the mountain over Christmas and New Year.

Mountain weather is inherently unpredictable so you must always be prepared for the worst possible conditions and hope for the best.

How to Apply for East African Tourist visa

How to Apply for East African Tourist visa

THE EAST AFRICAN VISA AND VISA IN GENERAL

East Africa comprises of 5 major countries majorly Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda and Burundi. Above all the actual founder member countries of this East African visa are Uganda Kenya and Tanzania, with major common goals of uniting all the east African member states. South Sudan is the newly young member state to join the east African community in April 2016 with the major aim of enjoying the political, social and economic gains that accrue from this conglomerate. Rwanda too which is still a member of the franco phone countries still joined as another young member state. This has given Rwanda the chance to host the 2020 common wealth heads of government meeting. However, the major question of the day is about applying for the East African visa. With this kind of visa ,one has to apply it in the duration of 6 months before the expiry of his/her passport. More still, one has to submit his/her application 3 weeks before arrival to any destination in East Africa. East Africa Tourist Visa allows one to enter the East African states numerous times as long as one has not moved out of these member states. This visa expires after 90 days when one is still in those member states.

 How can I get east African visa and which countries can I visit with this visa?

  1. An application for an East Africa Tourist Visa may be made with several options to allow the process be as smooth as possible manually or online by submitting EATV Form 1 that gives highest authenticity on your computer to finish the whole process. Make sure a printed receipt is got.
  2. The application may be made prior to the intended date of travel the reason towards this is that, the applicant may be given the opportunity to arrive the destination when the visa is approved entry into Kenya, Rwanda or Uganda.

Kenya: For those beginning their trip in Kenya, you can find information on the visa application process on the consular section of your local Kenya embassy’s website the same applies to those of Uganda and Rwanda , the most frequent question is that, I paid for my east African visa, but can I visit Tanzania with this visa? The answer is that NO, much as Tanzania and Burundi are member states but on visa issues its different, for those who intends to visit Tanzania, you can pay your visa directly to Tanzania customs at any entry point .

East African Tourist Visa

Please always mark your point of entry before you apply for the East African visa.

Rwanda: For those beginning their trip in Rwanda, you can apply through the Rwanda Online Visa Application System. Under Type of Visa, select EAST AFRICAN VISA there’s an open option to ask your local embassy or its advisable always to have an inquiry mind as will it assist you to apply wisely.

Uganda: For those beginning their trip in Uganda, you can find information on the visa application process on the consular section of your local Uganda Embassy’s website

Applying the East African country means,one can only visit the 3 countries , Uganda Kenya and Rwanda , only though Tanzania and Brurundi are member states but they are isolated when it comes to East African means, with this visa means once can stay within the member states as long as one acquired the multiple entry visa. https://www.migration.gov.rw/index.php?id=233 this is just an example in that assuming my first entry country to be visited is Rwanda, east African visa means your entry visa must be done on the point entry in other wards, you must consider your point of entry.

Single entry means you can travel through the member state countries without exiting but if you exit the member state, means coming back, you will be required to pay an entry visa fee to return back.

Multiple entry visa: this means one can have multiple entries within the member states however if one exit’s to a non-member states, means you be required to pay again for the re-entry into the member state. For example( if one enters Rwanda with an east African visa, then on his visit plans to tour DR Congo, this mean automatically you have lost the east African visa so entering into Rwanda or Uganda again, you will be required to pay for another visa to enter Rwanda) you need to take note of this.

Does one require advance applications to enter Rwanda?

Previously Rwanda used to make it compulsory to every visitor who intended to visit Rwanda, it was mandatory for everyone to apply for the visa online in advance but as of today 2018 oct, Now getting a visa to visit Rwanda is hassle free and visa can be got upon arrival at any entry point be it at Kigali international airport or at Katuna, Cyanika, Hamrwa , Gisenyi or at Rusumo boarder . so what you only need to prepare is a copy of your passport size and visa fee$30 .

Burundi as another tourist destination, with its interesting places of visit such as Kibira national park, lake Tanganyika and Giteega cultural museum has made it so difficult to acquire visa upon arrival even if what’s talked about in the lonely planet about the transit visa for 3 days , all these doesn’t work, better ply for the Burundi visa in advance before you get to Burundi just to avoid the last minute disappointment as it happened to us few weeks ago.

Uganda , with no interests to visit any of the member states or planning to stay within Uganda alone, Uganda charges 450 for the single entry visa irrespective of who you’re except for those with diplomatic red passport unlike DR Congo which violates the low of diplomatic passport, it charges everybody who enters Dr Congo solid and not only does it charge tourists with red passports but it’s the only country that charges airport taxi charge to every client that is flying out of the country.

Entering Congo Dr from Rwanda means, entering Congo through Bukavu Ruzizi boarder or Kamembe or through Grand barriers and petit barrier one entry into one province guarantees you entry into another province provided it’s a tourist visa with an expiry date /time of 2 weeks.

The only possible way to get Congo visa is through a travel agency ,and this visa must be a tourist visa and its never multiple, it only guarantees you visit within the interstate provinces of North kivu around Goma, Virunga National Park and South kivu in areas of Bukavu and Kahuzi Biega National Park such visa  is  always well monitored with approval from Kinshasa which is the capital city of DRC Congo the former( Zaire) much as Virunga park is closed for a while but soon it will be reopened  soon always apply your visa in advance to avoid last minute disappointment. Don’t forget to have yellow fever vaccination cards as you plan your visit to Congo.

Best Attraction to visit in Kahuzi Biega National Park

Best Attraction to visit in Kahuzi Biega National Park

Very many scholars argue and think that tourism in Congo thrives on Virunga National Park. However, the opening of kahuzi Biega national park to the world for tourism has faded away this notion. This national park is a new tourism site that has been less traveled hence offering the adventure kind of experience unique to the travelers. Kahuzi biega national park is found in the Eastern part of the Democratic republic of Congo covering a total land area of approximately 600,000square kilometers.

A visit to Kahuzi Biega National park will yield a bunch of adventure derived from the various activities that one indulges in and the following are the most striking ones;

Lowland Gorilla trekking

This park accommodates the greatest number of Eastern gorillas in the region. So this national park has become a top attraction for lowland gorilla tours in Africa. Two eastern lowland gorilla families have been habituated and ready for trekking which has provided travelers with a lifetime experience.

Lowland Gorilla Trekking Congo Due to the close relativeness of the gorilla specie with human beings (98.8% human genes) making them susceptible to human diseases. Masks have been provided to all trekkers to avoid the spread of human wildlife diseases.

Travelers learn how gorillas play different roles in their respective families, silverback as dads defending and planning for the entire family, adult females nursing the babies whereas the juveniles playing and entertaining the whole family. This interaction gives trekkers a real family experience like that of human beings. An hour spent with the gorillas is a lifetime experience that every traveler lives to tell about.

Just like mountain gorillas, you also need a gorilla permit to trek these lowland gorillas. A gorilla permit is still booked and applied for in advance from the liaison office of Kahuzi Biega national park in Bukavu.This  permit also costs $400 USD and it is valid for only that date it is issued for and not transferable.

Volcano Hiking

There is also hiking to over 2 volcanos in this park. There are two inactive volcanic mountains within the heart of Virunga national park which trekkers participate in hiking. More still, bamboo and subalpine vegetation, which harbor various animals, cover these volcanoes hence providing travelers a chance to encounter animals such as owl-faced monkeys and a variety of birds.

Birding

Birding in CongoBeing a home to approximately 342 bird species 42 0f that are endemic to the national park, kahuzi biega is a paradise for great lovers of birds. Among the birds spotted include African green broad bill, yellow crested helmet-shrike, Congo peafowl and Rockefeller’s and many others. The national park is one of the threatened sites put under the protection of the international union conservation area (IUCN).

Nature walks

Travelers here follow trails in the tropical rainforest to different tourism sites. These trails lead to different sites such as the Tshibiti waterfalls trails to three waterfalls in the national park. Experienced guides lead travelers and help in spotting different vegetation types and wildlife in the national park. Sweet sounds of birds singing up in the trees are heard by the travelers and of course fresh air which freshens the minds of traveler. By the time travelers leave the forest, they have clear minds and more knowledge about wildlife in the national park hence a memorable experience.

Tshiabati waterfalls trail

This trail follows a well-defined and demarcated foot path that runs very close and adjacent to the 2 rivers thus providing a better, clear and spectacular view of the water falls. This path is made up of various steps that one strolls on his way to and from the waterfalls.SO this means that there is no room for wheelchairs and pushchairs.So in order to go for this trail, you must wear assorted hiking boots and shoes that are up to this task.

Lwiro Chimpanzee sanctuary:

Lwiro chimpanzee sanctuary is located 50km in Bukavu south of L.Kivu.It is also located just 10km from Kahuzi Biega national park.Tourists that wish to go and trek champanzees in Congo are generally advised and argued to go and visit these orphaned and isolated chimpanzees in this fascility.This facility is located in the former prison of Mobutu.

Lwiro primate rehabilitation and rescue facility is on the grounds of CRSN, Lwiro. Although its main focus is chimpanzees, it houses many other species, including baboons and a variety of monkeys and this provides great tourists attractions to Lwiro like visiting the local Community, Birding & adventure species in Congo.

What to Wear

Just like one visiting these primates in their habitat, also these chimpanzees in the sanctuary have to be taken care of since they are susceptible to human diseases especially the air borne diseases. So one with any kind of disease should not come near to this sanctuary. So masks should be wrapped around one’s mouth in order to control the spread of such diseases to these primates in the sanctuary.

Planning a volunteering Safari tour to Lwiro Chimpanzee Sanctuary, find the complete list of the essential packing list of clothes and needs to enable your stay in Congo, staying with the apes the entire day, learning how they feed, play and move. Even if its Congo Gorilla Trekking holiday to visit the Eastern lowland gorillas in kahuzi Biega national Park close to the Lwiro Rehabilitation centre.

 

Best Attraction to visit in Virunga National Park

Best Attraction to visit in Virunga National Park

Attraction to visit in Virunga National Park Congo

Virunga National Park was established in 1925 as Africa’s first national park and was formerly named Albert National Park. The vegetation cover of this park includes forests, Savannah, lava plains, erosion valleys, swamps, active volcanoes with the glaciated peaks of the Rwenzori Mountains. It was mainly founded to safe guard endangered Mountain Gorillas that were constantly poached and killed during the Congo civil War.

Virunga National Park is a sensational place to visit as it harbors a number of other animals like chimpanzees, hippopotami, bird species, forest and Savannah elephants and lions. The park is now secured and also known for its two amazing active volcanoes of Mt. Nyiragongo and Mt.Nyamuragira located in the massifs of the Rwenzori and Virungas mountains.

Things to do in Virunga National Park Congo

 Mountain Gorilla Trekking in Congo

This is the most sought after activity in the Virunga national park. Gorilla Trekking is a significant practice done and a life changing experience in the Virunga National Park and is worth due to the existence of the primates in that area.

Gorillas are sub divided into family groups with different attributes with silver backs that act as leaders. The silverback’s powerful presence, his calmness, the care that mothers show their young and the playful juveniles is overwhelming. Mountain gorillas are good natured and fascinating to watch. Trekking begins at Bukima Patrol post and usually takes about 1-2 hours of hiking in each direction with a park ranger depending on where the mountain gorillas spent the previous night. Visitors are always required to wear surgical masks when in the presence of gorillas so as to safeguard the health of Virunga’s gorillas.

Congo Gorilla trekking

It’s always advisable to cancel if one has a cold, fever, diarrhea or persistent sore throat since mountain gorillas are extremely susceptible to human illnesses especially human respiratory viruses and other common ailments.

For one to trek Gorillas at Virunga National park, you must have a gorilla permit that costs $400 USD  for international adult and the Congolese residents at $150.

Gorilla families/ groups in Virunga National park

Just like any other gorilla trekking destination, Congo is not exceptional and it has over 6 gorilla families. Due to the security quagmire in that country, no one knows the actual number of gorillas that this country harbours. However,the last census carried out in 2013,indicated that Congo has over 100 gorillas with about 7 new borns. So below are its currently known and habituated gorilla families.

Munyaga Family

This family is led by Munyaga the dominant silver back with Bilali as the dominant female. The group has 7 individuals with two siverbacks. The group is located in Bukima post near the Goma area. This is the most recent group to be discovered and habituated.

The dominant female joined this group from the Rugendo family and came with two babies and one died in infancy. The Dominant male is missing for now and the group is temporarily headed by Mawazo who moved from the buhanga family.

Kabirizi Family

This group is also found near the Goma area and it’s headed by the dominant silverback Kabirizi. The group has 34 members with two silverbacks.The Group derives its name from the ICCN director who died in a fatal car accident in the 1990s. The group was formerly known as Ndungutse led by Ndungutsehimself who died during a rebel war in the area.

Lulengo Family

This group has 6 members with one silverback and is led by Lulengo himself. It’s found in Jomba near Bunagana. Lulengo was part of the Rugambo family which was the first family to be habituated.This sliver back got its name from the former technical director of the Virunga national Park who was killed by a land mine.

Humba Family

This family has 16 gorillas and one silverback. It is found in the Bukima area near the Goma sector. Humba is the dominant silverback and he heads this group himself.This is the calmest family in this park is it is preferred to be tracked by everyone. Humba split from the Rugendo his father in 1998.

Mapuwa Family

The group is found in Jomba near Bunagana. It has 15 members with one silver back.  Mapuwa is the head of this family and he is also son to Rugendo and brother to Humba.He left his father in 1998 to form his group and has been head since then. He is so protective of his family more than any other siver back.

Rugendo Family

Rugendo is the father to Humba and Mapuwa. This group has 6 members with 3 silver backs. This was the first group to be habituated in 1989. When Humba split for his father, there was a decrease in number because he left with some members.The group then reduced t0 8. There was increase there after due to concecutive births but the instability in the area claimed the life of some of the gorillas including Rugendo himself in 20

When is the Best time to go for gorilla trekking

Gorilla Treks in Congo

There has been an ongoing debate on what the best time to trek is or track gorillas in Uganda. Several arguments and opinions have been voiced in different avenues including online forums such as TripAdvisor, lonely planet among others. The fact is that gorillas in Uganda can be tracked throughout the year and clients almost get the same satisfaction. This is because clients tend to avoid rainy season forgetting that Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is located in an Equatorial Forest where chances of rain are very high daily.

Mountain gorillas which are among the most endangered species on planet earth are located in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and the Virunga ranges which are shared amongst three countries such as Uganda (Mgahinga National Park) Democratic Republic of Congo (Virunga National Park) and Rwanda in Volcanoes National Park. And because these primates are highly endangered, clients pay highly to view or trek them. Because of the current price of gorilla permits which are at US $1500 in Rwanda and US $600 in Uganda, clients would love to maximize their experience when it comes to gorilla trekking and the best time to visit them.

Uganda being crossed by the equator has a modified equatorial climate with two rainy seasons and because of this people tend to associate these rainy seasons with the best times to trek gorillas. This is true because when it is raining, it becomes hard to hike and trek in the impenetrable forest because of the heavy rains that make the trails too slippery. That notwithstanding, some gorilla families need to drive for some time to reach at the beginning of the trail heads and because of this, if you don’t have a four wheel drive vehicle you might not make it to the gorillas. Besides that, vegetation tend to grow something that reduces chances of proper visibility and photography. All the above combined, the best time to visit the gorillas is to avoid the most rain seasons in Uganda.

Thus the best time is in June, July, August, September and part of October but because of global warming it is even becoming very hard to predict when it is going to rain or not. The above are just the views of the Author but might not necessarily present the real facts on ground and opinions of other people.

How to obtain a gorilla permit in Congo

Gorilla Safaris CongoThe Congo gorilla trekking permit costs US $400 and you can only obtain this permit through applying and booking for it from the Virunga national park liaison office located in Goma. Virunga National Park is managed by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and its this organization that has the mandate to issue you this gorilla permit on behalf of Virunga national park through their office in Goma. Once you have got this permit,then you are free to head to the starting point of the trek at Bukima for briefing and allocation of a gorilla group to be visited and then it is here that the actual gorilla  trekking exercise begins from.

Senkwekwe gorilla Orphanage centre

The Senkwekwe Orphanage Centre refers to a facility that was created to take care of orphaned gorillas from Goma plus those that were rescued from poachers. This centre is located in Rumangabo near the park headquarters .This facility was named so after a dominant silverback called Rugendo who was assassinated in 2007 with three other members.

Sekwenkwe Gorilla OrphanageThis is the only facility in the world over that caters for the orphaned gorillas with 4 gorilla families that were rescued from being killed and these include Maisha,Ndeze,Ndakasi and Matabishi.Maisha and Koboko were the first to be rescued from Rwanda and then they interacted and connected with the others.

Eastern lowland gorillas that are also orphaned from anywhere in the region are also transferred to the facility as well.

So please when you visit this facility, you spend a good time with these primates watching their day today activities, feeding them, playing with them as well as watching how they play with each other.

Mount Nyiragongo Hiking

Mt. Nyiragongo is a beautiful volcano covered with vegetation and sometimes is dusted with snow that features the world’s largest lava lake. It is a home to a variety of animals, including chimpanzees, monkeys and bushbuck. Nyiragongo is greatly feared during eruptions because of the low silica content of its lava that flows extremely fluid.

Trekkers to the summit of Nyiragongo volcano always begin at the Kibati patrol post, 30 minutes by car from Goma and one hour from Rumangabo. Normally the park rangers lead all treks and porters are always available for hire. The fitness of each group determines on the average time required to reach the summit usually takes 4 – 6 hours. So there is no definite time taken to the summit of this volcano. This is due to the fact that all people do not have the same level of fitness so they can’t climb and reach within the same time frame.

Mountain Nyiragongo Volcano

Climbs always begin at 10:00 am with a ranger station. Check in at the Kibati station by no later than 9:15 am on the day of their climb. Trekkers are strongly advised to bring full rain and cold weather gear as the temperatures at the summit are usually below freezing. Failure to bring proper gear leads to hypothermia. International adults pay US $300 and US $90 for the nationals.

Chimpanzee Habituation/Trekking

Chimpanzees habituation in Virunga National Park started in February 2014 when Congolese team trained by Frankfurt Zoological Society started living in the forests around park headquarters in Rumangabo.

Though these chimpanzees are always on probability to be seen but when seen they are really a good activity to engage in.Guests interested in tracking these primates always leave their hotels as early as possible in order to catch a glimpse of these primates. However, the rangers set off very early in the morning and go into the forest and first spot where these chimps are and then afterwards come for the guests after knowing that they are present.

Groups are limited to only 4 people and time with the chimpanzees is restricted to one hour. Chimpanzee habituation had come to a standstill due to the civil unrest1992-2001 and this had put the whole chimpanzee tourism to an end.

Visitors are always advised to cancel if they don’t feel well at the time of their planned walk i.e. if they have a cold, fever, diarrhea or persistent sore throat because just like gorillas, chimpanzees are extremely susceptible to human illnesses. Most chimpanzees have died after being exposed to human respiratory viruses and other common ailments.

Nature Walks in Virunga

Nature walking usually entails transferring from one destination to another for purposes of appeasing the mind. Taking time to trail through various paths to spot different forms of nature like birds and relaxing from the noise of civilization and stress. During this nature walk, one strolls through the thick forest vegetation especially in the thick forest of Tongo.

Birding in Virunga Park

Bird watching in CongoWatching different species of birds using either your ears or eyes, telescopes, binoculars in their natural habitat is a way of relaxation and taking time. The sounds and noise from the tremendous bird species usually rise you up very early in the morning at around 5:00 am as they sing in the trees. You are compelled to get out of bed as these sounds extra ordinary and persuasive. This makes your experience in Virunga National Park exceptional and rare to find anywhere else. In Virunga National park there are number of different bird species that inhabit the thick forest vegetation namely the Grey-throated Barbet, Double-toothed Barbet, Yellow-billed Barbet, Madagascar Bee-eater, Narrow-tailed Starling

Landscape viewing

Virunga national park is the best site for viewing the spectacular montane landscapes in the neighboring countries. These include the snow summits and the jagged relief of the Rwenzori Mountains, the volcanoes in the virunga conservation area together with the Afro alpine vegetation of tree ferns and the dense forests. More still, travelers see the eroded valleys spotted in the ishango and Sinda regions. The views provide travelers with extra ordinary experience since they do not need to travel to the places viewed while in the Virunga National Park.

Gorilla trekking rules

To minimize possible transmission of human diseases, visitors are asked to maintain a distance of 7m (about 22 feet) from the gorillas. If you are sick with a cold, flu or other contagious illness, please do not visit the gorillas.

Viewing time is limited to one hour.

Maximum 8 visitors per group.

Spitting in the park is strictly prohibited.

Should you need to cough, cover your mouth and turn away from the gorillas.

When with the gorillas, keep your voice low.

Try not to make rapid movements that may frighten the gorillas.

If a gorilla should charge or vocalize at you, do not be alarmed, stand still, look away from the gorilla and follow your guide’s directions.

Do not litter.

Flash cameras are not allowed in the gorilla parks.

How to obtain a Congo Visa when visiting Virunga National Park

Congo is one of those countries whose visa is not so easy to attain. This is because this country has very few embassies the world over that you can go to and apply for the visa. More still,this country does not have an online visa application portal. So this makes it a little bit difficult to obtain their visa.So the only easier way to obtain this visa is to go through through the tour companies that organize trips to Congo. So you just send your passport copy with the visa fee of $100 USD to these companies and then they apply this visa on your behalf.So on your arrival,you find your visa ready with the immigration office at the border and they just hand it over to you without any hassle.

 

List of African primates to be visited on Africa Safari

List of African primates to be visited on Africa Safari

Among the top tourists attractions in Africa for safaris are the primate watching experience in the most known destinations that are habitat to these primates found in the topical rain forests and mountains. If planning for a primate safaris in Africa, dont miss visiting the  smaller primates of Africa such as Baboons and Monkeys are of the more common inhabitants. They live in trees and mountains and their most feared predator.

Africa Safari Journeys

3 Days Gorilla Trek RwandaAfrica is one of the major interesting destination to visit though it looks as the dark continent into the eyes of many people from the western countries.However,Africa’s uniqueness is reflected in a number of interesting features or wonders that are associated with this iconic part of the planet earth “Africa’. Being a wildlife destination, it’s still being looked at as the primates territory. Whoever thinks of going on an African safari, he thinks of Kruger national park south Africa, Serengeti national park in Tanzania and Ngorongoro crater , Masai mara national park in Kenya,  but am sure no trip to  Africa can be complete without a visit to endangered mountain gorillas in virunga massif ( virunga massif comprises of the 3 national park that replaced the oldest Albert national park ( Virunga National Park)  in Congo DRC or the greater Zaire,  but now the park was subdivided into 3 major parks known as , Volcanoes national park, Mgahinga national park and Virunga national park.

Major Primates in Africa open for Watching

There are 4 major primate species found in Africa and they all share 97% human DNA test that means it’s our responsibility to save our closest apes  before their extinction . Once a specie is lost, its lost for good, the major cause for this has been due to increased human activities that has led to much pressure and competition between humans and the scarce resources that is happening on our continent Africa.

Bonobos in Central DRC,

These are some of our closest ancestors for we share 98.7% human DNA, they are only and only found in the Congo basin, these primates share unique feature which almost differentiates them slightly from humans, bonobos are proved to be among the peaceful apes where any grudge in the society can be amicably solved with a single dose of sex , scientifically sex acts as lubricant  to  calm down the situation almost the same way how married couple could solve affairs and in this way, life could come back to normal. These guys have gone far to be wise in such way that females are the dominant leaders in the societies which means there will be endless peace in the ecosystem unlike human who are always at war due to greed for power and never been contented with the little that they have thus giving a big thumb to the bonobos, in fact this is the opposite among the mountain gorillas where only the dominant male silver back is the leader of the group and owns sole ownership of all females in the group. This has not been the case with the bonobos given the case of how things are done  in the book of the animal farm where “the big ones survive”.

The gestation period of bonobos is 240 days equivalent to 34 weeks/8month compared to 280 days which is 9 months for the humans. This justifies the remaining small difference in percentage between humans and Bonobos but all in the family of primates since they all have same features of primates such as, 5 apprehensive hands and feet, brain, shoulders and hips. Bonobos have a life span of 40 years.

Chimpanzees:

This is another sub specie of primates that share the close DNA as humans, chimpanzees are graded as among the endangered species by IUCN, because of their scarcity due to human trafficking with an intention of keeping them as pets and the desire for money. More credit efforts has been given to Jane Goodal for her work towards saving the endangered primates in their wilderness, her institute at Gombe national park in Tanzania and Ngamba island chimpanzee sanctuary , chimpanzees are spread in many places in Africa  like , Kibale forest national park, Budongo forest part of Murchison falls national park,  Virunga national park, kyambura gorge, Mikeno sector part of Virunga national park and Nyungwe forest national park.

Chimpanzees are known to be well interacting and they live in big numbers, chimps eat almost everything that humans eat, their life is entirely lived on insects, fruits, ants and meat from black and white colobus monkeys which is their favorite meat next to ficus tree fruits. Chimpanzees can live up to 50 years, they have a highest level of socialization  where the group is headed by the alpha male , the biggest group can reach up to 30 chimps, hunting is done jointly  as group. Chimpanzee reach maturity at age of 13 years and only a single baby is born. Jane Goodal has made the life of chimpanzees common into the eyes of many primatologists,  whoever travels to Uganda cannot miss going on either normal chimpanzee trekking in kibale forest national park, where the trekking permit costs $150 while  chimpanzee habituation experience cost $200

GORILLAS:

Rwanda Gorilla TrekkingGorillas are classified into 3 sub species which include the mountain gorillas beringei beringei,Eastern Lowland Gorillas,  western Lowland gorillas, (gorilla gorilla) cross river gorilla (beringei brauei), These gorillas are spread across west Africa although Eastern Lowland gorillas are found only found in Democratic republic of congo in the famous parks of Kahuzi biega national park & maiko national park yet the western lowland gorillas across Congo, Equatorial Guienea and Gabon. It has been difficult to estimate the number of lowland gorillas due to their habitat being dense and less accessible to gorilla doctors who normally carry out gorilla census.

Gorillas have been ranked among the endangered species by IUCN of which this body calls for every ones efforts towards saving the lives of the great apes, basing on the recent census there’s over 798 mountain gorillas left in the world from the recent census done by gorilla doctors. The major threats to mountain gorillas has been largely from human activities due to competition for land for agriculture something that has led to the destruction of the habitat.

Man has gone ahead to put up measures to increase sustainability of mountain gorillas in their natural habitat, by setting up several organizations which are playing key roles to ensue there’s harmony and continued support of mountain gorillas. In the process to conserve mountain gorillas, humans as the cleverest among apes and have gone ahead to save their ancestors or close relatives by setting up various measures through which some revenue is raised. Among these is through gorilla trekking as well as setting up carrying capacity measures.

Western Low land gorillas, This sub specie of gorillas is just as the name describes.They are dominantly found the central African republic , Angola, Cameroon and equatorial guinea  congo basin in the ituri forest and also within the kahuzi biega national park and gorilla pass Eastern Lowland gorillas goes for $400 and the Habituation experience for the gorilla is 600$$$  with a big magnitude in price difference they are in and they live in the mountains of Kahuzi and Biega forest family of G.gorillas and in family of Hominid. These gorillas are less habituated compared to the mountain gorillas they live close proximity with the villages and other communities which are conservationist in conservation .one to book these permits is booked at kawuzi biega park head offices.

Gorilla Tour AfricaMountain gorillas, Mountain gorilla live across the virunga massif in the territories these inclusive of the great virunga national park formally known as the Albert cook national park currently it’s the virunga national park in Congo Drc around the mikeno sector and Bukima regions. In Rwanda mountain gorillas occupy the lesser volcanoes national in the areas around kinigi and kwam chechru, these are the former territory where the late Dianne fosey used to operate from.

Mountain gorilla live within a life expectancy between 35-50 year and no one know how its life span is in captivity, female gorillas reach maturity at 10 year the ,female  have a gestation period of 8.5moths and only a single baby is born, its very rare for gorillas to produce twins irrespective of where mountain gorillas live, they have a uniform way of living but the life of mountain gorillas is at threat due to increased human activities and pressure on land and other natural resources, unlike the western and eastern low land gorillas, but mountain gorillas have been made popular into the eyes of karisoke research centre which was started by the late dian fossey through her activities  such as currying out the daily protection of mountain gorillas in their natural habits, they do this by making sure that gorilla population is monitored and taken good care of , the organization does the responsibility of education the communities and future generation about the importance of protecting the natural habitat not only that but also the organization take the role of helping the communities around the protected areas by giving them subsides in form extending other social services like free medical facilities, electricity and health.

Another area where to see Mountain gorillas is Bwindi impenetrable forest and mgahinga national park , all these 2 places are found in the south western part of Uganda in the northern sector of Bwindi. If one is to see gorillas in Uganda, its advisable to book

Gorilla families distribution Bwindi natural habitat Open for Uganda Gorilla Trekking

Gorilla distribution in the wild is influenced by a number of factors political social and natural factors will determine the population size of the gorilla individuals in particular group. Also, I think it’s key to note that this is a changing situation. Un habituated groups can become habituated for gorilla trekking and vice versa that’s before you factor in gorilla politics. Habituated groups can split on grounds of fighting for superiority in the group among the silverbacks, or become unstable and unsuitable for visiting- for example in the event of the death of a silverback, this happened last year when the only silverback in the “M group” died due to falling off from the branch of the tree which it had climbed. This led to the crumbling of this gorilla family to join other groups leaving the ”M group” non existing.

Bwindi as habitat for a number of a thousand living organism including the primates so, protecting this forest, means you’re directly or indirectly protecting the planet earth and ensuring sustainability of the endangered species. While on gorilla trekking, a lot has been written on various topics about gorilla trekking such as comparison of gorilla trekking Bwindi Vs volcanoes national park. In fact the degree of which is better or worse depends on number of factors  but all in all, They both ‘look good’ regardless of the exact location you find them. Family size may vary and thus the number of young ones in the group determines your enjoyments and  the timing at which you find these gorillas inn, even the weather forecast at the time of visit, even the mood and experience of who is your ranger guide on the trek etc but on the whole you will enjoy your audience.

A .  EASTERN PART (Ruhija) this part lies about 26km away from Kabale town and about 50Km away from Buhoma, one can access this point any time and on time for the gorilla trek , one can spend a night at Buhoma and trek the gorillas in Ruhijja however it requires one to set off from Buhoma as early as 6:00Am. The same as if one is leaving Kabale or Lake Bunyonyi trekking at Ruhijja. although, one can stay at Ruhijja for there is a good  number of lodges operating from this point.

  1. Bitukura.(8 gorillas in the group)
  2. Oruzogo.(24 gorilla individuals)
  3. 3.Kyaguliro.(9 individuals.)

 b) NORTHERN PART(Buhoma)

  1. Rushegura.( This is the oldest gorilla family that stays around buoma , the oldest point where gorilla trekking began from in the late 90s .
  2. Mubare.this group that disappeared after the death of the silverback thus leading to crumbling of the group since the males alone couldn’t take the group any further. Thus this marked the end of the m group.
  3. Habinyanja.

 c)SOUTHERN PART 

  1. Nkuringo.
  2. Nshongi.
  3. Rushaga.
  4. Mishaya.
  5. Kahungye.
  6. Bweza.

d) Mgahinga National park

  1. Nyakagezi family. This roams between Mt Muhabura, Mgahinga, and Sabinyo. Its known as the best gorilla family with 4 silverback and 3 babies that leave everyone on the trek speechless.

How to Book & Secure a primate Permit for Trekking

These permits that the writer tries to explain include the gorilla permits and the Chimpanzee Permits.

A permit is strictly restricts one person per permit and there 3 ways of acquiring a pass , the bet option is through your local travel agent or directly boo it through the reservation office of UWA( Uganda wild life authority)R,DB Rwanda development board through the new irembo booking system, Virunga national park for congo, the same process applies to gorilla permit booking

In Nyungwe forest, chimpanzee trekking costs $90, and a permit is valid for a single entry and all activities begin in the morning at 8Am in the morning, it’s worthwhile to add primates trekking  onto your bucket list on top of the African big five game safari.

That’s why we call upon all human as the only saver to the endangered chimpanzees , by creating sensitization and mass awareness about the importance of saving the natural habitat, by saving the natural habitat, this means saving the lives of thousands of other living species that live in this eco system with the primates. Measures such as established carrying capacity to the daily number of visitors who go to visit these chimpanzees, not only that but also stopping animal trafficking has also been set up to see that there’s sustainability of these scarce apes.

A big thumb goes to Jane Goodal and her efforts to save chimpanzees in Africa. Unlike their counterpart the bonobos, chimpanzees and bonobos are difficult to track since they can move for long distances through tree to tree without touching the ground in search for food though they both make nests every day by 6:00pm, they begin to make nests where they can spend the night, nests are built in the tree branches which acts as comfortable bed that is made up of leaves and small tree branches. Gorillas make nests on the ground.

Classification  gorilla trekking  options for Gorilla Tours

Short  gorilla trekking

While going on gorilla trek, there several options  that arise after the organizers realized the challenges that are associated with gorilla trekking , These uniforms rules are derived from the various questions that most clients come up with. We offer a range of options for trekking the classic easy trek. You can choose to go for the easiest trek, this is normally designed for elderly people, those with flights that same day and trekking can range between 1-2 hours  and those with mobility issues,to join other trekkers in an easy  group at times on special requests, we can arrange a private exclusive  trek for you.

medium gorilla trekking, with this option, the difference is in the walking/trekking distance and terrain where to get to find the gorillas.Gorillas are mostly sighted around 2400m-3400m as the case for trekking in volcanoes park.The medium trek goes for about 3-4 hours to get to where the gorillas live or are but still after finding the gorillas, still you have to continue walking with gorillas until one hour is over so some level of fitness may be required to coup up with the speed of gorillas , in gorilla trekking there is no exclusive gorilla trekking unless on buys all the  recommended carrying capacity in a group 8 permits , otherwise the trekking will be mixed up with other people from different companies, nationalities.

Long gorilla trek

You’re all advised to note if you wish to join a trek that’s is long trek, means those who op to go on such trek must be in perfect state to go hike across up trails and down trails and one must be in perfect state this is majorly for strong and young people who can walk for many hours in the jungle gorilla trekking is different since every day is a different experience depending on the place, weather of the day and location where you find the gorillas.

East Africa Vs South Africa In Tourism with Primate Safaris Rwanda

East Africa Vs South Africa In Tourism with Primate Safaris Rwanda

Primate Safaris Rwanda has been offering Gorilla Safaris in Rwanda, Uganda, Congo for over 10 Years now and we have expanded the horizons of operation to include Central Africa Destinations like Democratic Republic of congo. According to Safari Operators Manager   by Names of Luke who has visited Tanzania and been able to advise the possibility of the Rwanda Gorilla Trekking & Tanzania Safari and found out that its an crediable Safari adventure of a Life time.

Find a Complete comparison of East Africa Safari vs a South African Safari Trip with Primate Safaris Rwanda.

When it comes to tourism in the black continent of Africa, there are two major playing regions in the whole continent as far as this sector is concerned-East and South Africa. However, when we critically analyze the role played by each of these regions, we can deduce that of the two regions one is more suited for visiting than the other. Various factors can be assessed to give us a clear view of this entire fracas.

Deciding where to go in Africa is your first decision when planning your safari. Each destination offers an experience that is unique and awe-inspiring: whether you travel to Eastern Africa or Southern Africa the wildlife will astound you. On your adventure to any of these regions, some of your most memorable and meaningful experiences will be among the people you meet traveling with exceptional guides and sharing stories with indigenous people like the Zulu of South Africa or the Maasai of Kenya and Tanzania.

However, various scholars have tried their level best to exhaustively draw a distinction between attractions in the East African region to those in the South African region. This analysis is normally intended to see which region has more attraction and which one satisfies the adventurer’s tastes and preference.

There are many factors to consider in deciding where to go on safari. As an African travel specialist, i have spent much of my time on African safari tours. I can help you decide where to go on safari in Africa basing on the highlighted factors below;

wildlife safaris in Afica

Southern Africa and East Africa are 2 very popular and well-visited areas for holidays & safaris. However, the question that we normally have to answer is; “If I had to choose… Which is better – East Africa or Southern Africa?”

By composition of countries, South Africa edges East Africa since South Africa has over seven countries which include; South Africa,Namibia,Zimbabwe,Botswana,Malawi,Zambia and Mozambique yet East Africa currently has five countries which include;Tanzani,Kenya,Uganda,Rwanda and Burundi.However,DR   Congo and Southern Sudan are on the verge of entering this conglomerate. So by virtual of the countries found in each region, one might think that the more the countries in the region, the more the attractions in that region since they tend to be evenly distributed in each country and this factor plays in favor of South Africa.

The general land scape in these two regions differs totally. In East Africa, most of the tourist attractions are found in hilly and mountainous areas which make it a little bit avid for mountaineers and climbers. Such areas include; Mt Kirimanjalo, Mt Rwenzori, Mt Elgon, Serengeti plains,Ngorongoro crater as well as the mountainous areas of Mgahinga in Uganda.Yet on the other hand, south Africa has semi-arid and desert areas that attract several tourists to that region. Such areas include; skeleton coast and Namibia desert found in Namibia, Kalahari desert found in Botswana and northern South Africa plus the Kruger national park of South Africa.

The wildlife species found in the two areas are essentially the same; most of the predators and plains game can be seen in both regions and only some birds and a few mammals and reptiles are distinct between the regions. The major differentiation is in the numbers of certain species and the general experience a visitor will have when viewing them.Forinstance Botswana and Zimbabwe are home to 80% of Southern Africa’s 300,000 elephants and huge herds are a common sight along their northern borders and East Africa offers herds of zebras and wildebeests in the hundreds of thousands. The annual migration between the Masai Mara in the north and Tanzania’s Serengeti in the south is a spectacle unequaled anywhere on earth today.

Wildlife Tours Tanzania

The weather is another factor to influence the influx of tourists to any of this region. The weather also varies between the regions. In Southern Africa, while each country varies, the rains generally fall between November and March with the rest of the year being mostly rain-free and most of the camps stay open year-round. The rainy or “green” safari season in Southern Africa offers benefits such as herbivores having their babies, lush green landscapes and dramatic skies, all of which combine to create superb photographic opportunities.However,in East Africa, October marks the beginning of the “short rains” while April brings “long rains. Many of the safari camps close during the long rains due to difficult driving conditions.

Another important factor to look at is the density of tourists & Accommodations in these two regions .The major differences between East Africa and Southern Africa for safaris is the density of tourists, the safari accommodations and the safari vehicles. Southern Africa is known for its luxury tented safari camps and huge tracts of wilderness areas with very low tourist densities, making for a private safari experience. For the most part, Southern Africa is dominated by huge land concessions, which are owned or leased by luxury safari camp operators, and these concessions are for the sole use of the individual camp and its guests. With an average camp size of only 10-16 guests and only one or two vehicles for the entire concession, one can drive all day and not encounter anything but wilderness and wildlife. While East Africa, in general, has earned a reputation for a high density of tourists staying in hotel-styled lodges.

However, there are a growing number of luxury lodges cropping up in East Africa, particularly in Tanzania and these lodges offer a far more exclusive experience than the large safari lodges which may have typified Kenya and Tanzania.

Safari vehicles also play a pivotal role in determining the region in which one to have a safari in.In south Africa, especially in the private safari lodges, the safari vehicles used here are modified, open-air Land Rovers which also add to the intimacy of the experience. On scheduled tours, companies use converted 10-Seater Land Cruisers, mini-busses & Overland Trucks. Whereas in East Africa the most common safari vehicle in East Africa is the mini-van with its pop-up roof, whereby passengers stand up to take pictures while peering out of the roof or sit in the enclosed vans. More and more companies also make use of 7-seater Land-Cruisers or Land-Rovers with pop-up roofs.

Culture is also another area of interest to put some emphasis in order to determine the region where one should go for a trip in Africa. Different tribes can be visited in Southern Africa such as Zulus, Swazis, Himbas & the bush men. In contrast, East Africa has more tribes and a lot of history about them which gives them an added advantage over South Africa. East Africa’s most prominent tribes have a very rich culture that really appeals to the tourists and such tribes include; Baganda, Masai, Basoga, Batwa, Turkana and Karimajong.

The cost of a safari in these two regions also matters a lot. Most tourists look for a region where they can see a lot of attractions on a very limited budget. This is more so eminent in East Africa where the standard of living there is comparatively low compared to the one of South Africa. However, both regions have a wide range of accommodation standard on offer which will suit everyone’s budget.

Another point of contention is the park entrance fees. In both countries, it is mandatory to pay before one accesses entrance into these parks. Comparatively all the park entrances are fair but it is said that East African fees are relatively higher compared to their counterparts in South Africa. However, it is only Tanzania in East Africa with relatively highly priced park entrances but all the other countries have fair park entrance rates.

Why choose primate Safari in Rwanda

Planning an African Gorilla Safari holidays can be a great opportunity to visit the mountain gorillas, but Choosing the reputable safari company is quite challenging , there emerged the Ultimate gorilla expeditions limited