With so many Safari activities that are carried at Mgahinga gorilla national park, Gorilla tracking stands out to be most interesting and loved activity by the tourists in general. About 75% of the tourists that come in to this national park are more interested in watching and touring Mountain Gorillas than other activities like game drive, launch cruise etc due to the point that mountain Gorillas have features of a human being in behavior and character. It is estimated that Uganda alone has total population of about 400 primates which for this case Mgahinga has a few of them compared to Bwindi impenetrable national park which has over 85% of the these primates.

The spectacular Mgahinga Gorilla national park has one habituated gorilla family that inhabits the Nyakagezi gorilla group although sometimes they tend to move or migrate to the nearby countries of Rwanda and Democratic republic of Congo due to the fact that, the national park is just located near the boarders of both DRC and Rwanda. Due to the fact that both Mgahinga Gorilla national park and Bwindi impenetrable national park are near to each other, tourists are able to visit both national parks at the same time. Furthermore, a one day trek in the park with a well explained guide taking you though the behaviors of these primates is life time experience. The atmosphere in the forests of Mgahinga calls for Gorilla tracking as the main safari activity compared to other activities.

Gorilla trekking as an activity starts from Ntebeko entrance in the morning hours at 8:00am taking around 2-4 hours. While during the activity, the visitor is expected to at least spend one hour with them closely studying their behavior and characteristics after all when the hour ends, the Gorillas start to behalf differently and that is why, one hour is given. Some of the requirements that are needed to do this activity include packed food and a liter of water is also needed. the other things are bringing rain coats, proper foot wear shoes that are above the ankle plus also a camera to take some photos of these amazing primates. Maximum of eight people are needed in a group to trek these unique primates.

Before one treks these amazing Gorillas, one is required to have a Gorilla permit identifying the type of Gorilla group to be trekked which costs about 650 dollars per day depending on the best season for Gorilla tracking. Furthermore, the best period to do this activity is in the dry season of the months of June to October and then from mid December to the end of February as the roads leading to the national park are not as muddy making the movements of both cars and the tourists much easier to use either within or outside the national park compared to the wet seasons of the months of March, April, May, having muddy roads making the movements of tourists much different to use. The permits during the dry season tend to be much expensive at around 650 dollars than in the wet seasons were the permits go as low as 350 dollars due to low number of tourists visiting the Mountain gorillas.

Getting there is the main thing as one can use either road transport or Air transport given the cheapest fees charged according to one’s ability to pay. For one to use road transport to get towards to the park from Kampala, one needs a car which takes him or her 8 hours a distance of about 350 kilometers should be covered compared to air transport where one uses a charter from Entebbe to Kisoro air strip taking only one hour reaching their.

There are number of lodges one can stay in when going for a Gorilla tracking as these lodges are either located within or outside the park and these include: from Ntebeko, there is Volcanoes mount Gahinga Safari lodge and Amajambere lavacu camp. In Kisoro, there is Kisoro travelers Rest hotels and River Muda Hotel. In Lake Mutanda, there is Lake Mutanda chameleon hill lodge.

In Africa, you will find a lot of forests that are home to a wide array of flora and fauna, deserts with scotching sun that witness some of the most dangerous sand storms and a wide array of historical and cultural landmarks that bear testimony to the changing fortunes of the continent. A single trip to the African continent is not adequate to explore the continent; it requires many tours to see the major Africa tourist sites that range from renowned safari parks like Masai Mara, Kruger, Serengeti, Chobe to amazing off the beaten path destinations like Bwindi Impenetrable Foest National Park, Gombe, etc. Some of the top tourist sites of Africa are;

  • Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe/ Zambia,
  • Obudu Ranch in Nigeria,
  • Anse Lazio in Seychelles,
  • Ingall in Niger,
  • Cape Town in South Africa,
  • Pyramids of Giza in Egypt
  • Masai Mara in Kenya.

Anse Lazio in Seychelles

The Anse Lazio in Seychelles is one of the finest beaches of Africa and even of the world in general. From finest sand and lush surroundings to clear turquoise-blue water and lovely granite borders, this beach destination has it all to make your vacation memorable. It is the most popular beach in Seychelles, add this to your basket of tourist site selections, you will forever remember your visit to this natural antique.

Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe/ Zambia

Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe/ Zambia is one of the most popular natural wonders of the world and countless number of tourists from all over the world visits the site every year. The spray of the waterfall is amazing and makes you feel that you are in the middle of a torrential rainstorm. The experience of visiting the Victoria Falls cannot be expressed in words; you have to come to the site and experience the magic of Victoria Falls.

Ingall in Niger

Now, If your interest is in the indigenous culture of the African continent, then do not forget to visit the Ingall in Niger. Located on one corner of the Sahara Desert, it is the site, where the Touareg and the Fulani nomads come together every year for once a week. This is the ideal time to witness their dance, costumes, culture and music. This particular event is called the’ Cure Salee’.

Obudu Ranch, Nigeria

Again, it will be incomplete for you to end up your vacation in Africa without paying a warm visit to the Nigerian great Obudu Ranch. Obudu Ranch is a decent home to many African wildlife, birds etc. If you are probably coming with your children, you must have in mind that they will always ask for a revisit of this wonderful and memorable tourist site, located away in a very peaceful and serene environment in the heart of Nigeria, in West Africa.

Loango Lope, Gabon

We now proceed to the eastern side of Africa to the country called Gabon, which is sometimes referred to as “a haven for wildlife”. Gabon houses a lot of unimaginable tropical beaches and scenes, where elephants, whales, dolphins, hippos graze and swim around in total freedom. Some of the great tourist sites in Gabon includes, Loango, Lope (the home of gorillas) and many others.

The Loango Park is possibly one of the most outstanding wildlife destinations in African and the world as a whole. It conserves miles of unspoiled beaches fringed by freshwater lagoons and dense equatorial forest. At the Loango Park, you will see hippos, buffalo, leopards, elephants and gorillas walk along the sand, just as natural as you may think of.

Bwindi Impenetrable National Park

If you love nature and the primates, don’t miss to pay a visit to the Bwindi Impenetrable forest and Mgahinga National park in Uganda, Virunga National Park in Congo (former Zaire), Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda and Lope park in Gabon. Bwindi, Mgahinga and PNV offer the best locations for mountain gorilla trekking, while Congo and Gabon are the best places to see the lowland gorillas. You will be amazed at the sight of different species of primates, both mountain gorillas and lowland gorillas, chimpanzees, golden monkeys, mandrills and other species of monkey. Also expect to see beautiful singing and colorful birds.

Cape Town, South Africa

We now take a journey to the Southern part of Africa, where South Africa is situated. Cape Town in South Africa is a good representative of the modern and progressive Africa. Anyone who visits the city falls in love with it for many reasons, which cannot just be expressed by mere written words. The city boast of a table-shaped mountain smack in its middle, and it is surrounded by some of the most beautiful beaches and world class vineyards.

Egyptian Pyramids

Northern part of Africa, is another wonderful tourist destination, it is the part where modern technology and mathematics seem to evolve, it serves as the world’s first center for learning, research and development. Any tour of Africa is incomplete without Egypt; it is the home to the Pyramids of Giza, the only extant Seven Ancient Wonders of the World. The whole site comprises of over 2 million blocks of stone weighing in at over 2 tonnes each, a very perfect architectural display. It was built to honor the Egyptian pharaoh Khufu in 2650BC.

Masai Mara National Park

Returning back to East Africa, we now take a look at the world home for Antelopes and mountains, Kenya. Masai Mara, Kenya is the place for you, if you are obsessed with wildlife. The ideal time to visit the place is during the period between July and October. It is the only place in the world, where you can witness the spectacle of migration of more than a million wild beasts from a hot-air balloon. The place offers unparalleled glimpses of wildlife, especially gigantic and terrifying Antelopes, so do not forget to visit the place when you visit Africa.

But then, that is not all, travel sites in Africa are inexhaustible and there are numerous other breathtaking tourist sites scattered throughout the continent.

While on a gorilla safari in Rwanda, if the sight of gorillas doesn’t leave you breathless, then altitude at 9,000ft above sea level, may well do. What happens when you come face to face with an endangered mountain gorilla? I opted to crouch. I had fallen behind, with my back to the rest of our trekking group, when suddenly I was confronted by a young male coming the other way. It was a moment I’ll long never forget. Dark, unblinking eyes fixed me in an instant. Then, all huge knuckles and hairy shoulders, he approached. Fascinated, I was rooted to the spot. He sauntered past, no more than a foot away.

Beautiful Rwanda a country determined to make the most of its natural assets; is renowned for its mountain gorillas and in fact they didn’t disappoint. Found in the far north-west of the country, in the Volcanoes National Park, ten groups of eight visitors get to spend an hour each day with each family group and proximity to some of this planet’s last remaining mountain gorillas.

While at park headquarters Fidel, our guide, briefed us highlighting the dos and don’ts throughout this Rwanda gorilla tour. “ we’re assigned and visiting the Sabyinyo family group,” he explained. “this family comprises 12 gorillas, including the largest silverback, Guhonda. His name means ‘chest beater’. All of the gorillas have names; we distinguish them by the shape of their noses.”

Our trek through thick and bamboo forest, fat-leafed foliage was relatively sedate, but at nearly 9,000 feet above sea level, it still occasionally had me panting for breath. During our hour with the group, which passed incredibly quickly, we were also lucky enough to get very close to Guhonda. He, too, eyed us up, almost posing.

Further turns around clumps of bamboo brought us to a huge blackjack, a smaller male and a tiny baby. We watched enthralled as he clambered and tumbled around in the bamboo. He was charming. Father looked on unperturbed as visitors feet away snapped like mad with their cameras. It was so close, so intimate, I felt almost embarrassed.

The gorilla family group we were assigned was apt. The lodge where we were staying was called Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge was outstanding, one of the most comfortable of the accommodation around this park. It was here I was asked an unexpected question. “How is the Queen?” Merarry, the receptionist, was a keen royalist; he even knew the national anthem! But why? Despite the country’s lack of prior connection with British colonialists, Rwanda’s membership was officially welcomed to the Commonwealth last year; the 54th and newest member.

The future is what everyone in this tiny East African country is fixed on. Putting past horrors behind them, a new generation of Rwandese is making ambitious plans for development, build a new Rwanda. This includes tapping into the business and cultural opportunities the Commonwealth offers, and new allegiances with anglophone neighbours – Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda.

Unsurprisingly, tourism is an integral part of the mix. The Rwanda Development Board (RDB), which looks after tourism, is working hard to encourage visitors to do more than just visit the gorillas. Develop a diverse tourism sector for longer visitor stay.

A two-hour drive brought me to Kigali City, the capital. The road dipped and swooped past tiny mud huts perched precariously on steep hillsides, each an island in a sea of banana and cassava plants. The warm air was full of the scent of eucalyptus and cooking smoke. Previously a backwater, Kigali now throbs with urban life – but with little of the chaos of many African cities. I shared a dinner at funky lounge bar Republika with friends.

We drank cold beer and munched burgers laced with hot piri piri sauce, surrounded by the hubbub of Kigali’s movers and shakers. And they certainly know how to move. Rwandans love to dance. The dance floor at Top Tower nightclub on a Friday night was stacked with waggling bottoms and flailing arms to an eighth-floor backdrop of the night-time cityscape.

After the urban excitement of Kigali, I took a Rwandair internal flight to Kamembe in the far south-east of the country. A one-hour drive brought me to another of Rwanda’s park highlights – Nyungwe Forest. Nyungwe is a big part of RDB’s tourism plans. Covering an area almost the size of Hampshire, it’s the largest slice of protected medium-altitude rainforest in Africa, stuffed with species – orchids, birds, reptiles and, in particular, chimpanzees. It’s the kind of place visitors ought to hang around longer to see.

Previously the problem used to be the accommodation stay: just a cheap hostel or campsite. But that has changed. I was booked and slept into the beautiful Nyungwe Forest Lodge. Hidden among slopes covered with tea plants, it features designer chalets with balconies overlooking the rainforest.

A 4.30am start meant there wasn’t long to enjoy its comforts, but the early start was worthwhile. Above me the night sky was cloudless, with a sprinkling of stars; the wind in the rainforest was the only sound. We picked up our excellent guide, Kambogo, and bumped along in a 4WD for an hour. Dawn revealed pools of cloud in the valleys below, which the rising sun turned from white to gold in moments.

We set off following a signpost marked “Rukizi Trail”. Kambogo led at a cracking pace. “The trackers radioed to say the chimps may move soon!” he said. We forked onto a smaller trail. The slope became much steeper and the rainforest mulch under my boots more slippery.

We burst onto a wider trail to meet up with our trackers. They guided us at gentler pace to a clearing that dropped away, offering views of enormous fig trees. It took a while to spot them, but there we eventually saw a family of chimps, swinging high in the trees, cramming their mouths with figs. As with the gorillas, our watching time was limited to an hour, but we were unable to get anywhere near as close.

The Nyungwe forest isn’t just for hard-core trekkers, though you do need a level of fitness. There are guided walking trails, waterfalls, remarkable bird life and lots of monkeys. The latest attraction is a 220ft-high aerial walkway offering immense rainforest views. But just as we arrived it began to rain. “We can’t do the walkway if it’s raining. It’s a safety precaution,” says Kambogo. Secretly, I’m relieved. I get vertigo. That drop was already making my head spin.

As we walked back, the rain became heavier. The final stretch of path revealed a huge gap in the canopy. I stepped into the gap and looked out at precipitous hills unrolling towards Lake Kivu on the horizon. Cooling rain ran down my face. Suddenly, a brief halo of sunlight lit the rainforest, with its centuries-old trees. Amid all the excitement of progress, I thought, Rwanda’s bright future is inextricably linked to the wonders of its primeval past.

South west of the smallest country in East Africa, Rwanda, is where you find the tropical rainforest of Nyungwe. First established as a forest reserve in the 1930s, the Nyungwe forest national park is one of the country’s finest destination if you were to visit Rwanda, being one of Africa’s pure tropical natural rain forests, the park is well protected and well gazzeted to just suit your experience. It is located in the Albertine rift and just of late, the park received a national park status making it the largest high altitude rain forest in East Africa that is protected.

With over 300 bird species, Nyungwe is one of the best and magnificent bird destinations still remaining on the continent with approximately 280 bird species, 25 of which are facing extinction, their beautiful and wonderful features and sounds just comfort you and make you feel at home while in this forested amazing park. The species include the great blue turaco, the green naked weaver, the blue headed hornbill, the brown headed horn bill as well as all other bird species that are a must watch while at the park.

Nyungwe is also home to one of Africa’s greatest concentrations of man’s closest friends and that is none other than the great chimpanzees with their beautiful light brown coloureed face, coupled with a variety of other primates for example the colobus monkeys and white haired monkeys,The most amazing of the monkeys are the magnificent golden monkeys and the owl faced monkey, actually if you are looking for where to find these extinct creatures, then look nowhere else but the Nyungwe national park, their playful moves and stunning noises just wrap up your experience in this tropical gazzeted climate.

While at the park, you can have a handful of stunning activities that will just make your visit to the park a must tell when you return home, have yourself the;

Nature walk and the Community based eco-tourism.
The wonders in the in the park are the most amazing while in the park and you will have a must to tell experience when you go for a nature walk and community based tourism with in the forest while viewing a variety of beautiful butterflies, orchids, monkeys and wonderful insects as well as other stunning animals. Of late the park also has 4 Cultural villages that provide wonderful experiences that just even go beyond wildlife viewing where you will be able to experience the mixture and love of people with their culture.

Primate tracking
Another stunning activity in the park is the primate watching, this begins early morning after enjoying your morning breakfast at your favorite lodge where you will be able to see the thirteen species of primates that appreciated Nyungwe Forest to be their home, what will be a must see are the closest relatives to man, the chimpanzees, the owl-faced guenons and Angolan black and white colobus monkeys that will come your way and tracking these creatures is acceptable to 4 to 6 people per track just making a memorable experience.

Bird watching.
Since the place is covered with thick vegetation coupled with tall tropical trees what would you expect? Of course beautiful birds that harbor in these trees,Nyungwe is home to almost 278 bird species, 25 of which are endangered and running out of existence .well prepared with your binoculars and your protective gear, you will have to see and listen to the sweet sounds of the Great Blue Turaco, the Crowned Hornbill and the Blue-Headed Sunbird, green headed weaver and other astonishing birds.

Hiking
Here we are, at the top of your experience ,the place also offers almost 13 hike trail and the most amazing one is the“Igishigishigi”, just as you hear its name so funny and unique, the experience you will get while hiking is also fun as its name after hiking for 1.7 km beginning near the Uwinka Reception Centre. The name Igishigishigi is in Kinyarwanda but translated in English, it means a tree fern. The trails range from fair to complex and from 1.7 kms to 10.6 kms in their length and if you really want to describe Rwanda, then go for hiking in the Nyungwe forest national park.

Accommodation will just wrap up your experience at the park and you will leave to tell when you have your stay in the Nyungwe forest lodge, Gisakura guest house and their beautiful and wonderful rooms and services.

Maasai Mara (Masai Mara) is situated in south-west Kenya and is one of Africa’s Greatest Wildlife Reserves. Together with the Serengeti National Park in Tanzania it forms Africa’s most diverse, incredible and most spectacular eco-systems and possibly the world’s top safari big game viewing eco-system.

Made famous by the abundance of the big cats, Lion, Leopard, Cheetah and the Great Wildebeest Migration and the Maasai people, well known for their distinctive custom and dress.

There is a wide selection of places to stay in and around the Maasai Mara and the conservancies surrounding it . The conservancies surrounding the Maasai Mara have restricted number of vehicles allowing a more private game viewing of wildlife.DSC06062 Maasai Mara National Reserve

Safaris including the Maasai Mara are without a doubt some of the best you ever get. To get the best out of your safari time, try a book at seven day safari at least and cover two or more other destinations.

The Maasai Mara Ecosystem (see our map) holds one of the highest lion densities in world and this is where over TWO MILLION Wildebeest, Zebra and Thomsons Gazelle migrate annually.

Maasai Mara National Reserve stretches 1,510 sq km (580 sq miles) and raises 1,500-2,170 meters above sea level. It hosts over 95 species of mammals and 570 recorded species of birds.

Distance

It’s about 270 km from the capital Nairobi City and takes about 5-6 hours by road or 40-45 minutes by flight. The road is great for the most part. There is a section from Narok town to Sekenani Gate that is dirt road but fairly good. The other road through Lemek and Aitong town is not good day all, very bumpy.

Best Time To Visit

With the wildebeest migration in JULY – OCTOBER, this is the best time to see this incredible movement of animals. Although it is not guaranteed that the wildebeest get to Maasai Mara, it has yet to let us down. Also, December to February are great times as it is dryer and good for the Big Cats.

NOTE: The Maasai Mara is an all year round destination with the big cats, and all the big game still in the Maasai Mara Ecosystem.

Admit it. There are times when you wish you could get away from it all by moving to your own private island. Well, some cruise passengers actually can at least for a day. Each of the following cruise lines below offer passengers a day of fun in the sun on their very own private island. For many cruisers, this stop is the highlight of the trip. After all, what could be better than sitting on a white-sand beach, drinking a pia colada and soaking in the rays without crowds?

“It’s a wonderful destination, we will come back next year for sure!”

All of these islands have pristine shores, swaying palm trees, aquamarine waters and lots of ocean-side adventure. There usually are fees for shore excursions and equipment rental. Every destination offers something a little different for cruise passengers.

View of buildings on the coast of tropical island San Andres y Providencia

Even at first glance, CocoCay looks like the quintessential Caribbean hideaway. There are wide stretches of beach in quiet coves, island huts in bright Caribbean pinks and blues, and a colorful straw market offering Bahamian crafts and goods.

Many of the island buildings look brand new and they are. In 2002, the company invested more than US$ 21 million to turn this 140-acre (0.5 km) slip of land into a destination their passengers would never forget. Nature trails wind through the isle, which is home to wild chickens, peacocks and occasional iguanas. Those seeking solitude will enjoy the hammocks that are hung under coconut trees in quiet locations.

English Harbour, Hurricane Hole

Sea lovers have plenty of activities to choose from. Hop on a jet ski (US $ 95 for 50 minutes) and speed across waters so clear that you can see orange starfish 20 feet below, or don a snorkel mask and explore life under the sea up close.

For a great view of the island, try your hand at parasailing (US $ 79 per hour). You’ll soar 200-400 feet in the air and maybe even take a cooling dip in the water before returning to the boat.

Children will enjoy Caylana’s Castle Cove and SeaTrek Aqua Park (US$ 15 adults, $10 children). Its floating sand castle and aquatic trampolines are just the things for those who are young at heart.

A staff of 45 people lives on CocoCay, and it’s obvious they take pride in keeping the island’s natural beauty in top condition. Their pampering service makes the island experience so pleasurable that you won’t want to leave when dusk falls all too soon.

“Disney knows children, so it’s no wonder that they feel at home on Castaway Cay”

The cruise ship docks right at the island (other cruise ships use tender boats to ferry passengers back and forth), so youngsters can head right down the ship’s ramp and out to explore Castaway Cay. There is a beach just for families, and Scuttle’s Cove is a safe and fun club for children. Parents need some time on their own, so there is Serenity Bay, a secluded beach for adults. For a little pampering, have a relaxing massage in the open-air cabanas at the seaside spa.

Street in Key West

Game for a little exploration? Then grab a bike (child seats are available for little ones) and hit the trails (US$ 6 per hour). This is, after all, a secluded island getaway, and there are miles of empty shoreline and tropical forest to explore.

If you prefer the water, check out the Walking and Kayak Nature Adventure ($60). Participants walk with a guide through the island’s lush fauna and kayak through an ecologically sensitive mangrove environment. If paddling wears you out, just jump in for a refreshing swim in the crystal clear island waters.

Teens can get into their own adventure on The Wild Side (US$ 35), an excursion that includes snorkeling, biking and kayaking. Families who want to adventure together can try the Seahorse Catamaran Snorkel Adventure (US$ 49 adults, US$ 29 children). This easy 45-minute sail takes you out to calm waters and unspoiled coral reefs. Even younger children will enjoy floating in the turquoise Caribbean Sea with schools of colored fish.

View of the Caribbean Sea

Visitors to the tiny islet of Motu Mahana (Polynesian for sunlit island) are greeted with the sounds of Polynesia. Les Gauguines, an eight-woman song and dance troupe, perform beguiling love songs in their Polynesian tongue while guests enjoy a scrumptious feast under the shade of thatched huts. After lunch, guests can relax in the sea or wade for yards in the shallow waters while waiters wearing bathing suits offer tropical drinks to those in need of refreshment.

Try out the complimentary water sports like kayaking or snorkeling. For a different experience, board a motorized outrigger canoe and head to the beautiful island lagoon of Taha’a. Taha’a is known for two things: producing vanilla and black pearls.

Guests can take a four-wheel drive tour into the hills to tour the vanilla plantations (US$ 65) or view French Polynesia’s rare jewel, the black pearl, at the Motu Pearl Farm (US$ 64). From there, head to the lagoon for some quality time with the region’s underwater fauna. There is even a small lagoonarium where rays, turtles, sharks and fish are enclosed in four different pools.

Admit it. There are times when you wish you could get away from it all by moving to your own private island. Well, some cruise passengers actually can at least for a day. Each of the following cruise lines below offer passengers a day of fun in the sun on their very own private island. For many cruisers, this stop is the highlight of the trip. After all, what could be better than sitting on a white-sand beach, drinking a pia colada and soaking in the rays without crowds?

“It’s a wonderful destination, we will come back next year for sure!”

All of these islands have pristine shores, swaying palm trees, aquamarine waters and lots of ocean-side adventure. There usually are fees for shore excursions and equipment rental. Every destination offers something a little different for cruise passengers.

View of buildings on the coast of tropical island San Andres y Providencia

Even at first glance, CocoCay looks like the quintessential Caribbean hideaway. There are wide stretches of beach in quiet coves, island huts in bright Caribbean pinks and blues, and a colorful straw market offering Bahamian crafts and goods.

Many of the island buildings look brand new and they are. In 2002, the company invested more than US$ 21 million to turn this 140-acre (0.5 km) slip of land into a destination their passengers would never forget. Nature trails wind through the isle, which is home to wild chickens, peacocks and occasional iguanas. Those seeking solitude will enjoy the hammocks that are hung under coconut trees in quiet locations.

English Harbour, Hurricane Hole

Sea lovers have plenty of activities to choose from. Hop on a jet ski (US $ 95 for 50 minutes) and speed across waters so clear that you can see orange starfish 20 feet below, or don a snorkel mask and explore life under the sea up close.

For a great view of the island, try your hand at parasailing (US $ 79 per hour). You’ll soar 200-400 feet in the air and maybe even take a cooling dip in the water before returning to the boat.

Children will enjoy Caylana’s Castle Cove and SeaTrek Aqua Park (US$ 15 adults, $10 children). Its floating sand castle and aquatic trampolines are just the things for those who are young at heart.

A staff of 45 people lives on CocoCay, and it’s obvious they take pride in keeping the island’s natural beauty in top condition. Their pampering service makes the island experience so pleasurable that you won’t want to leave when dusk falls all too soon.

“Disney knows children, so it’s no wonder that they feel at home on Castaway Cay”

The cruise ship docks right at the island (other cruise ships use tender boats to ferry passengers back and forth), so youngsters can head right down the ship’s ramp and out to explore Castaway Cay. There is a beach just for families, and Scuttle’s Cove is a safe and fun club for children. Parents need some time on their own, so there is Serenity Bay, a secluded beach for adults. For a little pampering, have a relaxing massage in the open-air cabanas at the seaside spa.

Street in Key West

Game for a little exploration? Then grab a bike (child seats are available for little ones) and hit the trails (US$ 6 per hour). This is, after all, a secluded island getaway, and there are miles of empty shoreline and tropical forest to explore.

If you prefer the water, check out the Walking and Kayak Nature Adventure ($60). Participants walk with a guide through the island’s lush fauna and kayak through an ecologically sensitive mangrove environment. If paddling wears you out, just jump in for a refreshing swim in the crystal clear island waters.

Teens can get into their own adventure on The Wild Side (US$ 35), an excursion that includes snorkeling, biking and kayaking. Families who want to adventure together can try the Seahorse Catamaran Snorkel Adventure (US$ 49 adults, US$ 29 children). This easy 45-minute sail takes you out to calm waters and unspoiled coral reefs. Even younger children will enjoy floating in the turquoise Caribbean Sea with schools of colored fish.

View of the Caribbean Sea

Visitors to the tiny islet of Motu Mahana (Polynesian for sunlit island) are greeted with the sounds of Polynesia. Les Gauguines, an eight-woman song and dance troupe, perform beguiling love songs in their Polynesian tongue while guests enjoy a scrumptious feast under the shade of thatched huts. After lunch, guests can relax in the sea or wade for yards in the shallow waters while waiters wearing bathing suits offer tropical drinks to those in need of refreshment.

Try out the complimentary water sports like kayaking or snorkeling. For a different experience, board a motorized outrigger canoe and head to the beautiful island lagoon of Taha’a. Taha’a is known for two things: producing vanilla and black pearls.

Guests can take a four-wheel drive tour into the hills to tour the vanilla plantations (US$ 65) or view French Polynesia’s rare jewel, the black pearl, at the Motu Pearl Farm (US$ 64). From there, head to the lagoon for some quality time with the region’s underwater fauna. There is even a small lagoonarium where rays, turtles, sharks and fish are enclosed in four different pools.

Despite the past civil wars and unrests, that disrupted safaris to the Democratic Republic of Congo, the country is undeniably a hidden treasure. The less visits to Congo has kept the country fresh and her tourism attractions out of the crowd which make it make one of the unique tourism destination you should not miss on an African safari. Presently, peace has been restored in Democratic Republic of Congo and tourism is done successfully. The country is naturally gifted with natural forests, beautiful sceneries, lakes, rivers and hospitable people all, which make your stay an experience for a lifetime. The forests are a home to a variety of wildlife such as the mountain gorillas, eastern lowland gorillas, bonobos, and various bird species among others. The key reasons to visit democratic republic of Congo include among others:

Mountain gorillas

Democratic republic is one of the few countries, which host the inhabited mountain gorillas in the tropical rain forests of Virunga national park.  The country is believed to houses quarter of the world’s mountain gorillas while the remaining population reside in Rwanda’s volcanoes national park and Uganda, Bwindi impenetrable forest national park and Mgahinga gorilla national park. Gorilla trekking is the focus for most travelers to Congo and eight-gorilla families namely, Rugendo, Munyaga, Mapuwa, Lulengo, Kabirizi, Nyakamwe and Humba have been habituated for trekking. Each gorilla family is allocated to a group of eight people and an interaction lasts for an hour.  Interestingly gorilla trekking is done at a relatively low rate 450usd for a permit compared to 600usd in Uganda and 1500usd in Rwanda. Budget travelers can therefore take advantage o this and experience this memorable experience at a low rate. The less visits to Virunga National Park are an opportunity for travelers to interact with the mountain gorillas out of the crowd. Travelers are given mouth masks to ensure safety of these endangered species but the other trekking rules and regulations are similar to other gorilla destinations.

Volcano hiking

Second to mountain gorillas, volcano hiking is a must do on your safari to the Democratic Republic of Congo. The country is a home to two active volcanoes namely Nyiragongo volcano and Nyamuragira volcano both situated in the heart of the Virunga national park. Mont Nyiragongo is the most hiked volcano whose summit of the volcano is a home to the word’s largest lava lake and the views from the top during the day are surely beautiful. Travelers are allowed to stand at the edge of the lava and steer at the boiling lava in the lake with fumes of bubbling gas. The frames of fire are clearly seen at night hence requiring travelers to stay overnight at the summit to witness this memorable experience.

Nyiragongo last erupted in 2002, which led to the displacement of many people especially from the town of Goma while Nyamuragira is very active and travelers

Despite the exciting experience, climbing to the summit is strenuous and travelers must be physically fit. Wear decent walking boots, gardening gloves, hire porters and walking sticks to ease movements. Hiking begins with a simple briefing at the starting point in which travelers ate introduced to the rules and regulations in the hiking process.  Whereas the temperatures making it too hot in the hiking, the condition at the summit is a different story. It really gets cold at the top associated with wind blowing. Travelers are therefore required to carry warm sweaters and jackets, warm trousers, extra socks, thermals, hats and stockings.

Eastern lowland gorillas

Not only is DRC a home to mountain gorillas but also to the critically endangered eastern lowland gorillas in Kahuzi Biega national park. Lowland gorillas are the largest gorilla specie, which is, differentiated form other species by a short muzzle, large hands and stocky body. An encounter with eastern lowland gorillas is absolutely an experience of its kind due to the endangerness of these gorilla species in that less than 3800 individuals survive in the whole world.

Garamba national park

Garzetted in 1931, Garamba national park is one of the Africa’s oldest national parks in Democratic republic of Congo situated in the   Orientale province. Garamba is an interesting tourism spot which houses the surviving population of Congo giraffe also with the hybrid elephants that are not found else where in the world hence one of the world heritage sites categorized under the IUCN.

Conclusively therefore, Democratic Republic of Congo offers it all that you desire for. Book now, travel to Congo and enjoy a unique memorable experience that cannot be got elsewhere in the world.

What most travelers want to know before their actual trip is to find out if Africa is really safe for them to visit. Africa per say constitutes about 54 countries with several island groups thus making it the most diverse continent in the world. Like other continents, Africa consists of both developed and those battling countries and this means that it is not a hundred percent safe. Africa has for long been known as a war zone continent and yet the latter isn’t true. Worldwide, there is no place that is a hundred percent secure and safe. That said, it important that you carry out personal research on specific country you intend before embarking on actual trip.

Like any continent, crime and violence cuts across but level may differ from country to country. The known ones that have experienced high crime rate include Liberia and Sierra Leone. Due to this, one needs to be careful while on safari in such countries. At one point, South Africa also encountered carjacking and muggings. Continent wide, pickpocketing and theft is there but what is important is for you know which areas and what time you visit and avoid carrying valuables anyhow.

Prior your actual trip to Africa, it is important that you get vaccinated against diseases like hepatitis A and B, yellow fever, rabies and also protect yourself from malaria or get medicine that lasts for the period you intend to spend at the destination. Besides, you need to be keen on what you eat or drink just for your safety and health. Dealing with roadside vendors can be more risky and better if you visited a good restaurant or hotel to have a meal. Also, take only bottled water otherwise avoid drinking water anyhow as this will protect you from typhoid, cholera, dysentery, parasitic infections and many more.

Like other continents, there are those specific countries that historically are known for not being safe and in Africa, Algeria and Mauritania have had a dangerous view for western travelers as they have been targets of Islamic fundamentalists and kidnappers. Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, Somalia, South Sudan, Southeast Chad and others are some of the countries that historically have had political instabilities. Before traveling to these countries, you must consult first with your embassy to know the current situation.

While on safari or self-drive tour in the park or any tourist sites in Africa, make sure that you observe all the stipulated rules and regulations. Besides getting closer to wild animals like lions and hippos, be keen on the snakes too as you walk and better if you are on boots and long pants. You can also come along with insect repellents to keep you safe from mosquitoes that may make you get malaria.

For women travelers, Muslim countries like Somalia, Egypt and Libya women tend to be a major target of violence and in case they do not observe specific social convention for instance avoiding sleeveless shirts or short skirts. Women have to cover their heads in case they are planning to pay a visit to any mosque or other religious destination.

Some important and simple safety tips for you are;

Have some case with you, do not keep the wallet in your back pocket, do not keep mobile phone or wallet on the table of café or restaurant, be careful while in a restaurant or withdrawing case at ATMs, avoid wearing expensive jewelry, be protective of your ID and passport and many others.

Conclusively, safety in Africa remains a question of debate but like any continent, Africa isn’t 100 percent safe but it is ideal for safaris. Before embarking on actual trip, make sure that you contact your embassy to ascertain the current safety and security situation of that particular country you intend to visit.

Plan & Book a Congo Safari to visit Virunga National Park ( Mikeno Mount) in Democratic republic of Congo arranged by Congo Gorilla safaris the destination experts in offering safaris to Congo starting for Kigali Rwanda for ultimate safari.

Mount Mikeno is a dormant volcanic mountain located in the Democratic Republic of the Congo section of the Virunga Mountains along with Mount Nyiragongo, Mount Nyamulagira, Mount Karisimbi, and Mount Bisoke. At 4,437 metres (14,557 ft) Mount Mikeno is the second highest peak in the Virunga Mountains after Karisimbi, and the 13th highest mountain of Africa. Mikeno means “poor” and is so named for its harsh slopes which preclude human habitation.

Location

Located in DR Congo Mikeno stands at a height of 4,437 m and is neighbored with Mt Bisoke, Mt Nyiragongo, Mt Nyamulagira, and Mt Karisimbi.

Mount Mikeno lies completely within Virunga National Park and is known for the critically endangered mountain gorillas that live on its slopes.  Expeditions to observe Mikeno’s gorillas typically leave from the nearby Bukima Patrol Post.

Getting there

International Airline Travel

Mikeno, Nyiragongo and Nyamulagira, although entirely within the Democratic Republic of the Congo, are also best reached from Kigali. Whether climbing in the eastern DRC is currently advisable is of course quite another matter.

Most tourists fly into the Kigali international airport and take a 3-hour taxi ride to the border crossing at Gisenyi, Rwanda. International flights often arrive in the evening, so we recommend spending the night in Kigali and leaving for Virunga the next morning. Most Kigali hotels will arrange an airport pick up for a small additional charge. Taxis typically charge $100-$120 from Kigali to the border. Hotels can arrange the taxi for you. Domestic airlines in the DRC fly into Goma, but the airport is not up to international standards.

Please note: A Yellow Fever vaccination certificate is required to enter Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Transportation to and from Virunga National Park

Virunga National Park is offering one-way and round trip transportation for the following locations. You can also find transportation options specific to the various lodging and activities from within their booking pages. All pricing reflects per seat booking.

Climate

The best months of the year are January (short dry period) and July and August (long dry period). With some luck, June and September are fine as well. Even in the dry period, short afternoon showers are frequent, so be sure to start early and bring rain gear. The temperatures at the base are ideal all year round, thanks to the altitude. In Goma (1500m), Musanze (1800m) and Kisoro (2050m), they range between 20°C and 28°C during the day, and 10°C and 15°C at night.

What to bring

Hiking boots, Rain jackets, walking sticks not need for mountaineering gears, water proof bags, packed food and water.