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Rwanda: A Great Destination for Primate Safaris

Many people around the world would like to have fun with their family as it is always euphoric to watch your loved smiles and enjoy themselves. There are very many place in this wonderful world to hang out with a family like beaches, resort hotels and recreation centers but these have always been visited by families and too much of everything can with boredom and in the less fun. Nowadays safari trips have become the buzzing travel idea for every family.

Safari trips to Africa to see the exotic animals and also feel the love from the mother of hospitality is always very interesting and exciting. Africa has very many safari trip places for familes but none beats Rwanda.  Rwanda is some country located in the east of Africa and it is one of the smallest African countries however, Rwanda might be small in size but very large in biodiversity and this why it is one of the top tourism destinations in Africa as scores of travelers come to Rwanda to have a good time.

Rwanda is known to the land of a thousand hills and in those numerous hills there are hidden natural treasures from the climate, wildlife, natural physical wonders to the traditional culture that every man would have to see before he/she retires to his/her permanent bed.  These attractions can best be encountered with your loved ones in order to have a memorable moment.

Here are some of the top attractions and places a family can enjoy while on a primate safari in Rwanda:

The mountain gorillas at volcanoes national park

Mountain gorillas are one of the four subspecies of gorillas. Gorillas are one of the great apes that belong to the same classification as man. These animals are referred to as one of the closest cousins of mankind with a 95% DNA similarity. These are very interesting to watch them in their natural environment as they display very intriguing traits and the onlooker might think these are humans. Many people who have watched these animals have been left buzzing and they have considered gorilla trekking as one of the best experience they have ever had in their entire lives. Rwanda is one of those few countries with the mountain gorillas. The mountain gorillas are endangered species of animals with a small population of about 900 individuals left in the world. Rwanda has a third of this population of 320 mountain gorillas. The gorillas in Rwanda inhabit at volcanoes national park in the northeast of the country. It takes travelers 2 hours to reach the national park from Kigali the capital of Rwanda. Come to Rwanda with your family to enjoy the mountain gorillas in their natural setting as they are very many lodges to stay and dine in with family while doing a gorilla trekking safari. Note that gorillas are tracked by people above the age of 16 years since the tracking require immerse physicality to do it.

In addition to the gorillas, volcanoes national park has the Diana Fossey tombs and the Karisoke research centre. This is the centre which gives a traveler the full details of the history of gorillas in Rwanda and Diana Fossey was a female primatologist that fought tooth and nail to save the gorillas from being hunted down by the natives and other groups in the 1940s. So it is worth to visit those two memorable places.

Still at volcanoes national park there are golden monkeys at its basement. These are very unique monkeys with a glittering golden colour at their back which looks so beautiful to watch. Apart from their beauty, these monkeys are also very playful and interesting to watch as they jump from one canopy to another.

Rwanda also has very many cultural sites and historical for the family to enjoy namely the Kigali genocide memorial, Nyamata powerful church, the presidential palace, the market place, the parliament and the Kigali convention building. These wonderful great places give travelers a profound insight of Rwanda’s rich history and culture. These can be experience while the family takes a Kigali city tour. What is more interesting about visiting these places in Kigali, the family is able to also dine in one of the finest restaurants in the country.

The 13 different species of primates at Nyungwe Forest National Park;

Rwanda has is also known as the capital of primates as it is only of the places with the highest concentration of common primates with a whooping number of 13 species namely chimpanzees, blue monkeys, red tailed monkey, black and white colobus and grey cheeked mangabey to mention but a few. These beautiful and interesting small primates are found in Nyungwe national park, a montane forest found in the southwest of Rwanda at the border of Burundi and Rwanda.   These primates are very incredible to watch especially the chimpanzees which also belong to the ape world. The chimpanzees are the closest relatives of mankind with a 98.8% DNA similarity and therefore watching the chimpanzees in their wild always leaves the trekker so much mesmerized due to their intelligence.  Chimpanzee trekking is next to gorilla trekking experience in terms of rewarding the visitors. A family will always enjoy the experience with the chimpanzees and the different species of monkeys because they are very playful and lovely animals to watch in the wild.

The big mammals at Akagera national park

Rwanda is less known for having the big common wild animals but these do exist in Rwanda at Akagera national park in southeast of the country. National park is the most visited place by families due to the presence of these common animals. On a game drive around the park, the tourists have an opportunity to see animals like the elephants, giraffes, errands, antelopes, zebra and a small number of lion that were recently introduced in the park. The history normally known as the behind scenes is an awesome scheme for the visitors.

A picnic at Lake Kivu

Lake Kivu is most serene water body in Rwanda and a picnic here is always an amazing experience for a family where they can engage in swimming, sunbathing, playing beach sports and also a boat ride. A day at this epic lake always makes the family bond and at the same time unwinds off the normal stress the usual family environment brings. In the evening of the day, the family can always rest at Kigali Serena hotel which is by the lake. This is a five star accommodation facility where a family can always have the best treat of the night.

With a Rwanda, a family have a variety of attractions to enjoy as these can be blended all together for every family member with different interests to enjoy his/her trip in the country.

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11 Things to Do in Uganda

Gorilla tracking

The Impenetrable Forest is home to more than half of the world’s remaining endangered Mountain Gorillas. You absolutely must go to Bwindi Impenetrable Forest and do the gorilla tracking. Spending an hour with a gorilla troop is possibly one of the most memorable and amazing experiences in life.

A trip to Uganda’s Bwindi Forest and Mgahinga National Park guarantees a visitor a chance to meet these elegant apes in their natural habitats. You might be wondering why gorilla tracking is more successful during the dry seasons but the answer is that it is during this period that the parks are accessible with less mud. The primates can also be seen easily during the dry seasons as they freely roam about the whole park in search for water and food.

Gorillas are endangered creatures and the only way of helping them to survive is to get involved! A gorilla permit is not cheap but the experience is worth every penny. By purchasing one you will be contributing to the survival of these marvelous primates and the conservation of their rain forest home.

Bird watching

Uganda being a pearl of Africa has been regarded as the birders’ paradise due to its increasing list of bird species. Almost in every Uganda’s tourism destination is fully occupied with different bird species. The country boasts of over 1037 bird recorded species, about 60 % of the total bird species on the African Continent. These include both tropical and savanna species with the former reaching their eastern limit of their territory. Some of these species are migratory only coming to Uganda to breed and then go back later after breeding; a live example is of the grey headed gull. If you are interested in bird watching, you are recommended to surely travel with your camera and Binoculars because you might find out new species to add on your birds list. Some of the most exciting bird spots include Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, Queen Elizabeth National Park with the highest number of birds for any single destination on the continent; about 607 recorded bird species.

Chimpanzee Tracking

Although the gorilla trek has to be the main highlight but when it comes to outstanding moments, the chimp trek is the best of them. Kibale National Park has the biggest population of chimps on earth and is the best place to observe them. Uganda boasts of the highest density of primates in the whole world, with habituated Chimpanzee visible in dense tropical rain forests. The chimp trek is a fantastic experience and is quite different from the gorilla trek as it involves being very vigilant and fast to understand where the chimps are and how to find them.

Explore the river Nile

Visit the town of Jinja and find the glorious river which flows through eleven countries. It is the longest river in the world and you will encounter it few more times during your Uganda travel. If you like adrenaline water sport, don’t miss out on the white water rafting in Jinja or see its rich animal life on its shores in the Murchison Falls National Park.

River Nile in Uganda offers great opportunities for white water rafting and bungee jumping. Lakes, waterfalls, channels; the water element is prevalent in the Ugandan landscape which even features the source of the mighty Nile.

Wildlife or game viewing

Game viewing has put Uganda on the world scene. With over 1500 mammal species in the country, many visitors are attracted to come and look at them in their natural homes. A game drive in some of the country’s national parks is a lifetime experience which guarantees you a chance to see numerous wild animals like, lions, leopards, elephants, buffaloes, giraffes, kobs, zebras, antelopes and many more. These animals are easily seen during the dry season as they converge around water points to sip some for cooling their bodies. It is a wonderful experience to view some herbivorous wild animals grazing in the magnificent green plains.

The most popular and visited national parks for wild game safaris in Uganda is Murchison Falls National Park, Kidepo Valley and Queen Elizabeth. If you prefer less visited places, don’t miss out on the Kidepo national park. It is far northeast and just below the Sudan border. Seeing all the animals in their natural inhabitant is one of the best experiences of the Uganda travel.

Rhinos tracking in Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary

Despite the fact that you cannot find Rhinos in Uganda’s National Parks, you have another alternative to find them in Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary, where 15 white rhinos are living in a big fenced area. The area is unfortunately behind the fence in order to protect them from the wild hunters which killed many rhinos in the country during 1982. Almost 20 years went by, before Uganda got its first male and female couple from Kenya again. From then, the Uganda Wild Authority started a breading program in which they want to revive the white rhinos in Uganda again. When they become many again, they will be released in the wilderness.

Mountain hiking in Uganda

Uganda offers some of the most challenging and thrilling hiking adventures in the world. Taste your physical fitness as you try out on Mountain Rwenzori to reach its snow cape (summit). It is a great opportunity to view a snow covered summit near the equator. You can also have a hike to mountain Elgon the largest extinct volcanic base in the world. Rwenzori Mountains provides the most challenging mountain experience. Mount Elgon is an affordable option and ideal for a casual climber. You can also explore and try to climb the 3 volcanoes in Uganda such as Mountain Muhavura, Mountain Sabinyo and Mountain Mgahinga. The south western part of the country has volcanoes like Mgahinga which are also good for hiking.

Cross the Equator

Traveling around Uganda will serve you with crossing the famous Equator line. If you are time limited, choose the more touristic circle on the east side. If you have enough time, rather go to the west side, as there are no shops, no tourists and no people. You can easily have the famous circle only for yourself and make many photos while you have one foot in the northern hemisphere and one in the southern.

Visit the Ngamba Island

The Ngamba Island is seated on 100 acres of land. It was set up by the Born Free Foundation (UK), International Fund for Animal Welfare (USA), the Jane Goodall Institute (Germany and Uganda), The Uganda Wildlife Education Centre Trust (UWECT) and the Zoological Board of New South Wales (Australia) to offer a secure home to orphaned chimps whose return to their natural habitat is not possible while educating the public about these animal species and the importance of conserving the fragile forest habitat. Ninety eight out of the 100 island acres are forested and separated from the area of the visitor by an electric fence. The island is a home to 40 orphaned chimpanzees which are an endangered species found in forests and 20 of which have been brought to the island from when the sanctuary opened.

Have a relaxation on Beaches

As a pearl of Africa, Uganda has many wonderful attractions that push visitors to its shores each year. This land-locked country has many wonderful beaches, 80% of which can be found in the Entebbe area with Clean, beautiful white-sand, sunrises and remarkable rare birds species. At these Beaches, Ugandans and visitors to Uganda spend a lot of quality time with their families and friends enjoying themselves. These beaches tend to attract big crowds on weekends and public holidays.  The main attractions at the beaches include swimming and eating the whole tilapia fish. Examples of beaches are, Munyonyo, Lutembe, lido, imperial beaches to mention but a few.