A visit to the two best African countries – Rwanda and Uganda is one of the amazing encounters in ones’ lifetime. The countries encompass the best African destinations including national parks where adventurous travelers go for memorable experience. One can visit both country for a safari and take part in different experiences including a combined Rwanda gorillas and Rwenzori hike. This combined package is one of the most adventurous trips one will dream for a lifetime, as you will have an incredible hiking experience as you trek the gorillas on the mountains of Volcanoes national park, and later, head for a great hiking experience in the Rwenzori mountains, to experience the beauty of the ice covered and glaciated peaks.
Where to go for a combined safari
Volcanoes national park
Located in the northern part of Rwanda, Volcanoes National Park is one of the destinations to go during the combined gorilla and mountaineering experience. The park is located in Musanze town formerly known as Ruhengeri which is known as the base for gorilla trekking activities in Rwanda. With a total area of 160 square kilometers of rainforests, the park comprises of beautiful landscapes which is composed of five of the eight volcanoes in the Virunga mountains namely Karisimbi, Bisoke, Muhabura, Sabyinyo and Gahinga and protects half of the world’s mountain gorillas that are divided into 10 gorilla groups. These majestic creatures can be seen and watched during mountain gorilla trekking safari after a purchase of a gorilla permit from RDB at USD 1500 per person per trek.
Gorilla trekking experience
This is one of the most booked activity on the African continent and it takes place in only four destinations with Volcanoes national park inclusive. Gorilla trekking starts from the park headquarters with a registration and briefing of the trekkers about the dos and don’ts during the activity. After, you are directed to the gorilla group which you are trek and then follow the appointed ranger guide to the park rain forests in search of the mountain gorillas and once found, you will be allowed to spend some time in their presence as you enjoy their daily lifestyles feeding, grooming, playing and others. After, you will head back to the starting point where you will pick your certificates of recognition.
Rwenzori mountains national park
Also known as the Mountains of the moon, Rwenzori mountains national park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site named after magical and ice glaciated Rwenzori mountains – the highest in Uganda and the third highest on the African continent. Located in the south western Uganda, Rwenzori ranges are among the best destinations for hiking experiences on the African continent aside Mount Kenya and Mount Kilimanjaro of Tanzania. It stretches over districts of Kasese, Bundibugyo and Kabarole and they stand at a height of 5,109 meters with Margherita on Mount Stanly as the highest summit.
There are different packages for the Rwenzori mountains from the 1 day to 9 days mountaineering hike. There are different routes used to hike to the summit of the mountains and among these include the Kilembe route, a privately-owned route and the central circuit route which is owned by the community or locals. All the routes offer amazing views of different features like lakes, rivers, beautiful plant life, waterfalls and glaciers.
Best time to visit the countries for a combined trip
Both Uganda and Rwanda can be visited all year round but the best season is in the months of January, February, June, July, August, September and December where there is less rainfall and sometimes no rain at all. During these months, the trails are always dry and unslippery thus making the movement and hiking experience a bit easier.
A sample itinerary of the combined Rwanda Gorilla Trek and Rwenzori Trek
Day 1: Arrival in Kigali
Day 2: Transfer to Volcanoes national park
Day 3: Gorilla trekking experience
Day 4: Golden monkey tracking and cross to Uganda
Day 5: day 5 to 11 (hike Rwenzori mountains)
Day 12: Drive back to Kigali for departure flight.
In conclusion, combining mountain gorillas and Rwenzori hiking require a moderate level of physical fitness, so it’s important to be adequately prepared. Make sure to obtain the necessary permits for gorilla trekking in advance, as they have limited availability and are often booked several months in advance.Read More
Rwanda is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Africa. This small country known as the land of a thousand hills, attracts millions of visitors from all over the world who visit the country all year round for gorilla trekking tours into the Volcanoes National Park (PNV), chimpanzee watching in Nyungwe Forest, wildlife game viewing and cultural tours. There is so much to see, from beautiful beaches at Lake kivu, to luscious tropical rainforests jungles, that it can be a hard task to decide where to go. Here are the top things to see in Rwanda, Africa!
Gorilla Trekking in Rwanda
Mountain gorillas are one of Rwanda’s most famous attraction. Gorillas are a star attraction that has attracted thousands of visitors to Rwanda. From celebrities to nobels, gorilla trekking is an adventure activity that has been undertaken for the last 30 years, and up to today, it is a rare experience that one should enjoy in Rwanda. On a gorilla trek in Rwanda, Visitors enjoy trekking through the dense tropical rainforest looking for the magnificient jungle giants that stole Dian Fossey’s heart and dedicated all her life to the jungles!
No trip to Rwanda is complete without a visit to Kigali, a populous city in Rwanda that is not only the capital but also a place filled with attractions. Kigali boasts of a wealth of attractions, from incredible shopping, sight seeing, and of course the ommissible visit to its genocide memorial sites and cultural sites. You will be spoilt for choice when it comes to this city, so be sure to create an itinerary of the things that you do want to see to avoid missing out.
Lake Kivu is the best place to visit on a leisure holiday to Rwanda. Its beaches, that are not frequented by visitors have been kept natural, attractive and unspoilt, readily available for ecotourists to visit them. Lake Kivu is home to some of the most stunning beaches in Rwanda. In order to experience everything Kivu has to offer, you should go on a tour, or hire a four by four vehicle and drive around the island yourself. You can also immerse yourself in nature by camping under the stars.
Nyungwe Forest National Park
This national park is one of the best places to visit in Rwanda, renowned for chimpanzee tracking. It is a unique nature reserve, which home to several primates that include chimpanzees and monkeys. The park is also home to interesting insects, amphibians, birds, and animals.
One of the best ways to experience any of the above attractions is to go on a guided tour through the forest or book a chimpanzee tracking safari in Rwanda. Guided tours will be able to conveniently transport you from one location to another, while experienced guides will be able to escort you around the best attractions each area has to offer.Read More
With only about 5 days in Rwanda, you are wondering whether there are exciting ways to explore the beauty of this small remarkable country. Make use of your limited time in this country to explore the Kigali Genocide Memorial site, see local handicrafts and try haggling at the busy Kimironko market during the legendary Kigali, indulge in a cultural experience by visiting Iby’Iwacu Cultural Village, embark on a tour of Volcanoes National Park with options of trekking endangered mountain gorillas and golden monkeys, enjoy a chimp trek and Canopy walk in Nyungwe Forest National Park. For our most selling 5 days in Rwanda package, we recommend spending your time to;
On the first day, you arrive in Rwanda early, where a Company Driver guide will be waiting to pick you up and drop you at the Hotel for meals (depending on the time of arrival). Explore the best of Rwanda’s Capital City (Kigali) and the spectacular countryside that surrounds it. Depending on the amount of time at your exposure, you try haggling at the Kimironko local market, take a tour of the Kigali Genocide Memorial Site, and craft market but these places are visited while paying attention to the time. This is because on this day you will proceed to Volcanoes National Park within the Northern Province while relishing views of the countryside and you will be there late in the evening for check-in.
Begin the second day with breakfast and preparation for the adventure of the day. This is followed by a registration and briefing process at the Kinigi Park Headquarters in anticipation of unforgettable experiences. Keep your backpack and other trekking gear on hand while exploring the jungles for mountain gorillas and in the afternoon you can opt to relax at the Lodge, visit the Iby’Iwacu Cultural Village or take a boat ride along the Twin Lakes of Bulera and Ruhondo.
On the third day, you will return back to the verdant and incredibly beautiful jungle, this time to track the endangered and frisky golden monkeys, and the pre-tracking process (briefing and registration) is similar to the one done the previous day. The morning begins as early as 6:00 am with breakfast then continues for a briefing by 7:00 am and so far two habituated troops occupy the foothills of Mount Sabyinyo. In the afternoon you are transferred to Lake Kivu shores for unwinding while enjoying views of the calm Lake as well as surrounding rolling hills.
The next day you continue to Nyungwe Forest National Park, where chimpanzees a trekked in addition to the canopy walk. This journey comes with a scenic drive while relishing views of the jaw-dropping countryside with terraced hills and views of the iconic Lake Kivu. In the afternoon you will already be in Nyungwe Forest National Park for a hot meal, cold shower and later have another once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to exploring the breathtaking canopy walk where numerous species of primates, birds, and unique species of trees will be seen.
On the last day be up early for breakfast and another briefing/registration within Uwinka Reception Center then undertake the trek for Chimpanzees deep in their natural habitat. Once found, participants are provided one hour of observation and photography before continuing back to the Lodge. The thick Afro-montane forest makes chimp treks challenging but the playful and human-like traits of these creatures make treks worthwhile. Next, we drive back to Kigali City via the beautiful Royal Palace at Nyanza and Ethnographic Museum in Butare, if time allows. Note that this is just one of the ways how to spend 5 days safari in Rwanda.
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Mount Karisimbi is the highest of the eight volcanoes in the Virunga Mountains. It is a huge dome, now dormant, that dominates the range, more in girth than in height. Its name in Kinyarwanda means white shell, which refers to its often white-capped summit. Interestingly, this cap results not from snow but from hail and sleet which accumulate in the higher elevations from its frequent storms. It is located within the Parc National Des Volcans, and many of the volcanoes are connected by good trails.
This stratovolcano is part of a group of volcanoes in the Bufumbira field which is an eastern region of Virunga. The going is quite steep and good navigation is required not only through the lower slopes, but also on the mountain itself. It consists of secondary jungle and in the most gives an earie appearance.
Mount Karisimbi is an inactive volcano in the Virunga Mountains on the border between Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Standing tall at 4,507 metres. The name Karisimbi is derived from the world amasimbi in Kinyarwanda which means “white shell” to refer to the white-capped summit which is often seen on top of the mountain.
The climb starts early in the morning and involves navigating through the Bisoke side before reaching the first stopping place at an altitude of 3,700 metres for overnight camping . The next day you wake as early as 5:30AM for your breakfast and early departure. The trail gets steeper, much as the fog closes in and ground gets muddy. The terrain gets tougher here. At about 4,000m, you are above the tree line, the slopes become more exposed and here you need to wear your gloves and hat. After about 2 hours ascent, you start on your last hundreds meters of climbing, walking on volcanic scree. The wind starts getting harder and visibility drops to 25m. Suddenly, you realize you cannot climb t anymore, you are at the summit! The Congolese border is just within a few feet from here. The descent back to the car park takes about 6 hours (including breaks at the camp and the others).
Climbing Mt Karisimbi is a strenuous but adventurous 2-day hike. Between Karisimbi and Bisoke is the Karisoke Research Centre which was founded by Dian Fossey in order to observe the mountain gorillas living in this area.
At the park headquarter, they will provide guides but trekkers should have suitable clothing and equipment. This activity needs to be arranged at least 2 days in advance. Cost is $400 per person and includes the guide but you may need to pay an extra approx. $10 for tent hire. For more than 2 people you pay US$300.Read More
Would you like to experience Rwanda differently? Why not go on a tour through Rwanda’s ecotourism destinations.
A Typical Itinerary in Rwanda
Rwanda is one of the famous countries inhabiting mountain gorillas. With arrival to Rwanda city then proceed to Parc National des Volcans. Head to hotel for dinner and rest for the next day. On day two, after early breakfast, we head for a briefing about Gorilla trekking in Rwanda at the Kinigi Station, then head straight to the slopes of the Forest. Gorilla trekking tours in Rwanda is no-longer quite strenuous, we send an advance team so you can move direct to the spot where the advance team has located the Gorillas.
Go Gorilla Trekking
Maximum permitted time with the Gorillas is 1 hour, return to the lodge and rest. You can choose to go gorilla tracking in Parc National des Volcans with no advance team. Tracking the gorillas through the light mountain forest on the slopes of the Virunga is a magical experience. If you are lucky you can get to the gorillas, spend an hour with them, and be back at the base in time for a late lunch! Some gorilla families however are more elusive, and tracking can take a full day, especially when it is wet and muddy then back to the lodge for dinner and rest for the next day as you wait for your flight to your next destination for wildlife experience.
Iby’wacu Cultural Village
If you wish, you can visit the Iby’iwacu Cultural Village, which will give you a fascinating insight into the traditions and history of Rwanda’s people. Rwanda Gorilla Safaris gives you all the pleasure to travel to Rwanda and enjoy all the gorilla families and wildlife at a relatively cheaper prince hence enabling you achieve your life time dream. Book now and experience the Rwandan gorillas,wildlife, birds and all other primates including the unique cultures in Rwanda.
With very early have a cup of tea / coffee and proceed for a morning game drive to catch up with early raisers and predators returning to their hideouts. The game drive will reward you with chances to see a variety elephants, buffaloes, lions, Maasai giraffe, gazelles, impala, baboons, oribi, Butchel’s zebra, topi, bush baby, leopard and bush buck among others. Return to the Lodge and relax to lunch time. In the afternoon, you take a nature walk with a guide from the park, learning about the flora and fauna of the forest. Alternatively, you could go on a short trek to search for one of the troops of golden monkeys which inhabit the forest (this would need to be pre-booked, and is an additional cost).Read More
Rwanda is one of the smallest countries in Africa but it cannot be under looked where it comes to tourism. Rwanda has lots of interesting things to see from wildlife, people and culture, physical features like the lakes, rivers, valleys and the mountains, the architecture and other tourism ancillary services. The latter have made Rwanda one of the most popular tourism destinations in Africa.
Due to the high influx of tourists coming to Rwanda, there are tours organized for discovering the beauties of the country. The most known tours are the Kigali city cultural tours, wildlife tours, primate tours and gorilla tours. Fortunately enough these tours are as affordable as Rwanda has cheap accommodation but of quality, the transportation fare is also relatively low and the cuisines in Rwanda are very affordable and delicious. There are no worries of spending much money while on a tour in Rwanda.
Here are some of the tours that are undertaken by the visitors in details:
1. Kigali Tours
The Kigali city cultural tour which normally involves visiting the cultural, traditional and historical places in Kigali city like the presidential palace, Kigali genocide memorial site which commemorates the plight of the civil in 1994, the parliament, Nyamata spiritual church the most powerful spiritual centre in Rwanda, the Kimironko market place which is the largest market in Rwanda where very many cultural and traditional commodities are found.
2. Game Viewing Tours
There are wildlife tours in Rwanda which leads to Akagera national park in the Gatsibo. The park has 8000 large animals. The common animals you can see while at a wildlife safari are impala, topi, eland, oribi, Masai giraffe, Defassa waterbuck, reedbuck, bushbuck, sable, roan antelope ,Burchall’s zebra hippo and crocodile. The lion has been introduced and they are planning on bringing the rhino to the park to make a place for the big five mammals that is a park with the lion, elephants, leopard, buffalo and rhino. People interested in common wildlife come to this park to encounter these big mammals in their natural setting.
3. Chimpanzee Tracking Tours
There also the primates tours that take to Nyungwe national park. This park’s large forests make it the ideal place for the primates to inhabit that is the chimpanzees, the grey cheeked mangabey, vevet monkeys, and black and white colobus. These animals are very exciting animals to watch the chimpanzees in particular. Chimpanzees are intelligent animals that make them one of the closest cousins of man. At Nyungwe, there is also a canopy walk where tourists walk on elevated trails about 50metres having an Ariel view of the park.
4. Gorilla Tours
Rwanda offers the best gorilla tours in Africa. There are several gorilla trekking expeditions offered by several tour operators in Rwanda. Mountain gorilla tracking in the Volcanoes National Park in Northern Rwanda has put this less known country on the world tourism map. Mountain gorillas are also primates but these are more than primates as when watching them, the trackers have a very good view and interaction of them as they are ground animals and very peaceful. These are animals are found in the Virunga ranges in the northeastern part of Rwanda at volcanoes national park. Many people who have watched these elusive animals have got testimonies to tell to the friends and relatives back home. At the basement of the park where the gorillas are found, there are the golden monkeys which are rare species of monkeys.
With the above tours one cannot fail to enjoy exploring Rwanda. These tours can also be combined to make a full package of Rwanda experience.Read More
A 4X4 WD vehicle with a pop-up-roof and wide non-tinted windows that nicely open up. All your equipment will be packed in the vehicle so there is no need to worry that you may loss it to someone else’s property. Since this is a private Photo-Safari in Rwanda the vehicle will solely be yours so you don’t have to worry about other people joining you in the vehicle.
Using a bean bag/a window mount you can rest your camera on for clear as well as steady shots of whatever will be in front of you whether it is the beautiful scenery, a Lion or a giraffe. A private English-Speaking Guide: he will be very knowledgeable about the needs of any photographer and his only agenda will be to ensure that you acquire the finest Photo opportunities through this safari.
He will basically be Sensitive to your preferences and will drive the vehicle following your instructions to enable you have great pictures.
Private Nature Walks: We organize private walks in several instances. In this instance a visit to Volcanoes National Park to see the impressive Mountain gorillas. Most times this safari will be accompanied by a knowledgeable safari guide conversant with the area, the wildlife as well as can be able to highlight some other things you could have missed out.
Our Rwanda tours are enjoyed by persons with a great interest in not just wildlife but photography as well, and encompass all levels, from amateurs to advanced professionals. Eco Tours Rwanda gives you a cheaper safari yet unforgettable and a once lifetime experience.
To have an amazing gorilla photography safari and tour in Rwanda, try your best to avoid subjects that are positioned in bright sunlight as the sun on their fur blows out completely and it is almost impossible to correctly expose this dark animals and its bright green surrounds in the same frame. Should you have no option but to shoot in bright sunlight, try for close-up images instead, avoiding as much of the green blown out vegetation.
Weather conditions also play a vital role when photographing Gorillas in Rwanda. Soft overcast conditions are the best. Do not be deterred by rainy conditions as these do expose a very different side of Gorilla behavior.
Make sure you are well prepared though with a default camera setting that allows you an adequate shutter speed in these darkened conditions as well as protection for your gear.Read More
Most travels in Africa sticks to wildlife national parks, capital city, sanctuaries, natural forests but end up missing out on the gems that are close by. Rwanda has variety in the tourism industry including the beautiful lake famed for sunbathing and water sports “Kivu”. This lake is charming and adorable for couples and weekend gateways even for those seeking for a relaxing cool atmosphere after a long day in the forest jungle. The best part of it is that Lake Kivu activities suit everybody both the young and old.
Lake Kivu is just 3hours drive from Kigali and sited in a few kilometer distance from Volcanoes National park. The minute for water spots is fun and the first thing to blow your mind away is the beautiful islands that look as if they are always taken care of. The islands are many in number and appear joint to one another if viewed in a far distance but their attractive shapes and green vegetation provide the most breathtaking atmosphere for guest who come around for leisure and water sports. The sprinkled hotels that cater for all guests ranging from budget to Luxury make the lake and its island lovelier because guests get what they need in the right time.
Another thing that makes Lake Kivu special is the magical sunset which makes guests remembers all the special moments even after returning back to their homes. Here one needs to be close to the lake waters either on a boat ride or chilling outside your hotel in right strategic angles as you enjoy a cold drink. Watching the sun sink is one of the best moments for all tourists though photographers enjoy it more. Sometimes you may not take a photo but hardly take your eyes off it due to its striking colorful rays.
Once there the colour of the sky will make your day and even force you to take up another lake activity for more happy times. Besides you can’t move close to water and fail to deep your toes in the lake water and this prime lake islands are a home to different water bird species making it the birders paradise.The sandy beach that fronts Lake KivuSerena hotel aretoo calm and nice for sunbathing and chilling. If you are planning to get married abroad in an exotic beach setting, Lake kivu should be your first choice in Rwanda. But the most special magic moment that truly captures all your memories of your Rwanda summer vacationas well as the first day on the island, is the afternoon boat ride under a hot sun. Make it appoint not to miss a visit to the nearby islands on the lake together with a lovely hot spring.
From here you can continue to Democratic Republic of Congo for a Congo gorilla tour or visit other Rwanda attractions. The next Rwanda attraction that would highly recommend is Rwanda gorilla tracking and golden monkey trekking in volcanoes National park since both attractions move hand in hand. If tourists start from Kivu they end up in volcanoes either way which means a lot to those seeking for amazing things to do on a Rwanda tour. Tourist find it hard to leave lake Kivu wishing to have spent more days in lake kivu sand,& water environment that call for more stays but heading out for an Equally relaxing exciting adventure in the next town of Musanze add more value to any summer holiday in Rwanda. One can also try out other park activities like mountain hiking, Dian Fossey grave visit, birding and many more since they have also become popular in the recent years.
The two great Rwanda attractions can be visited in day’s trips Lake Kivu and volcanoes national park because they are close to Kigali. Other attractions to check out are Nyungwe forest the chimpanzee forest, Akagera National park Rwanda’s best wildlife viewing park and Kigali city. For those coming to Rwanda this summer, there is still plenty of reasons to stay for a few more days and explore everything the country has to offer.Read More