Water sports are part of the interesting activities you can enjoy within the Land of a thousand Hills. The activity tremendously relies on the weather which sometimes determines the level of safety and is always the priority when dealing with human life. Not only that, perfect timing while considering the changing wind is also very important.

Rwanda, sometimes known as the Switzerland of Africa or the Land of a thousand Hills is not only known for mountain gorilla tracking but also other activities including exhilarating water sport activities. This country is one of the exceptional destinations in East Africa where water sport activities are conducted hence you can visit to enjoy some of the activities. The best places to engage in waters sports in Rwanda include Lake Kivu, Lake Ihema and Lake Muhazi.

Of all the mentioned places, Lake Kivu is the most preferred destination for water sport activities such as Kayaking, swimming, fishing, canoeing in addition to exhilarating boat rides among others. This fresh water Lake has crystal clear water and a sea atmosphere in addition to its temperate climate that is very conducive for tourists who visit the destination.

Most lakeshore hotels are found within Lake Kivu and they offer wonderful water sport equipments for hiring, reservations and booking through their Reservation offices/front desks. This lake can be visited and the water sport activities can be enjoyed at anytime of the year. Other hotels within Karongi also offer water sport activities in addition to the equipments.

Jambo Beach-Lake Muhazi’s largest and pristine sandy beach is found at approximately 60 kilometers/37 miles East of Kigali City. Just along the shores of the Lake you will see some boats that are always driven by the local tour guides who are very familiar with the area hence will make you enjoy the entire Rwanda safari experience. Not only that, Lake Ihema also offers opportunities of boat rides as well as fishing for tourists who visit Rwanda for safaris.

Lake Kivu is the largest of the numerous freshwater bodies within the Land of a thousand Hills hence a perfect get away spot for leisure along the western banks of this wonderful Lakes. For those who would like active adventures, Nyungwe Forest the best destination for primate safaris is just a stone throw away from Lake Kivu. You can stay in Kibuye and go for chimpanzee tracking.

There are also a number of other Lakes that include twin Lakes of Bulera and Ruhondo which are near Volcanoes National Park, the capital for gorilla trekking hence perfect for relaxing after the adventurous activity. Lake Muhazi is about 90 minutes drive from Kigali City and is one of Rwanda’s beautiful treasures. It is located in eastern Province of Rwanda of Rwanda and is a perfect place for a day trip away from the Capital where you will relish fresh fish as you watch sunset over the small boats along the shores of this Lake.

Akagera National Park is a home to over 10 Lakes, some of which are watering places for cattle and wildlife species as well as being a birding spot. The country’s Lakes offer tourists with an insight to the traditional African lifestyles. The bird species here are spectacular and the notable ones include African fish eagles, Pelicans, the grey crowned cranes, Kingfishers and the elusive shoebill stork.

Gisenyi Town is one of the best Resort Towns in Rwanda, about an hour’s drive from Volcanoes National Park. Other Resort Towns include Rusizi, which is near Nyungwe Forest National Park and characterized by narrow valleys and Karongi with spectacular beaches and wonderful accommodation facilities that overlook the pine-covered hills.

In conclusion, besides gorilla trekking that draws thousands of tourists into Rwanda, this country is also famous for water sports that include canoeing, fishing, kayaking, boat rides and swimming, to mention but a few. These exhilarating activities are conducted from Lake Kivu, Lake Ihema and Lake Muhazi among others.

Looking to traveling Uganda and wondering about the best adventures to undertake? We have it all and we would like to share these “must do” things if you are looking to a trip if a lifetime!

Uganda is undeniably the pearl of African for many reasons. This stunning country offers wide range of adventures, areas for chilling, cultures, sceneries and many more. There are also ten magnificent national parks that come with amazing attractions that thrill visitors while on Uganda safaris. For the most enjoyable and rewarding safari in Uganda, below are some of the exciting activities that you should consider par taking while on your African safari.

Safari

Uganda is famous as one of the perfect safari destinations with wide range of safari activities. Visitors can spend more than three days in Uganda depending on someone’s budget. The prominent safaris include mountain gorilla trekking adventures in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest and Mgahinga National Park in southwestern Uganda. About 480 individuals of mountain gorillas thrive within Uganda making it a home to the largest population of these rare apes.

There are four main tracking areas where gorilla trekking is conducted with the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest. They include Buhoma, Ruhija, Nkuringo and Rushaga area and each of them come with distinct habituated families for visitors to track. Permits for this lifetime adventure costs $600 per person and only one group will be assigned to you to track in a group of eight visitors.

You will also have a chance to go for game drives in most of the savanna grassland protected areas where you will spot most of big game including the lions, elephants, buffaloes, rhinos, leopards and many wildlife species. And the notable destinations to catch a glimpse at these unique creatures include Queen Elizabeth National Park, Murchison Falls National Park, Lake Mburo National Park, Kidepo Valley National Park and others.

Chimpanzee adventures

Besides mountain gorilla trekking, there is also chimpanzee trekking which rewards visitors with magical encounters of the chimpanzees while they are in their natural habitat. There are over 5000 chimpanzees that thrive in various parts of Uganda and more than 1500 of them are found in Kibale Forest National Park. Each destination has its own price for this lifetime adventure and in Kibale National Park the permits cost $150 per visitor and for visitors who may wish to extend their stay in Uganda they can engage in chimpanzee habituation experience which takes visitors the whole day following the semi habituated chimpanzees in the wild and the permits for this experience are sold at $220.

Bungee jumping

For breathtaking adventures, bungee jumping shouldn’t miss out in your travel plan. This is mainly conducted at the source of the mighty Nile-Jinja and offers visitors a chance to kiss the waters of the mighty River Nile. A side from bungee jumping, you may also engage in white water rafting, quad biking, kayaking, Boat cruise, horseback riding and many more.

Cultural encounters

For a complete safari in Uganda, make sure that cultural experiences do not miss out in your travel itinerary. For authentic African cultural encounters, consider visiting Ndere Cultural Center a must to visit while you are on safari in Uganda. While at this center, you come across different tribal groups which display various cultural dances and performances. If you are interested in gorilla trekking, you can also visit the Batwa pygmies in their community and you will have a lifetime experiences. The Batwa are known to have stayed peacefully with the forest for over 500000 years but due to conservation reasons, they were evicted and now they are marginalized group around Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park and Mgahinga National Park.

Sport fishing adventures

For anglers, Uganda should be one of the best destinations for you to challenge yourself with breathtaking sport fishing. This adventure allows you to catch the Nile perch and it is conducted in Lake Victoria, Murchison Falls National Park, the source of the Nile at Jinja and many others.

In conclusion, Uganda is undeniably the pearl of Africa. There are a lot of amazing attractions that are worth exploring by travelers while on safari in Africa. If you are interested in authentic African experiences, this is the right spot for you to catch a glimpse at most of the big game, chimpanzees, mountain gorillas, the rare golden monkeys, birds as well as get thrilled by most of its cultural experiences.

The Giraffe Center is a non-profit organization founded by Betty and Jock Leslie-Melville in 1979. Situated in Langata, just 20 km outside Nairobi City Center, the Center is dedicated to educating the Kenyan youth in conservation of the environment and the preservation of endangered wildlife and their habitats.

Giraffe Centre located in Langata, where the endangered Rothschild giraffe are being raised. This is where tourists/ visitors get the opportunity to hand feed these gentle creatures, as well as get fantastic close up photo shots. Feeding the giraffes is facilitated by a well built, raised platform from where visitors can feed these tall animals with ease. It was established in order to protect the endangered Rothschild giraffe, giraffe Camelopardalis Rothschild, which is found only in the grasslands of Africa. In 1979, Leslie-Melville added an education Centre to his giraffe sanctuary.

By 1983 he had raised enough money to establish the Giraffe Visitor’s Centre as a tourist destination in Nairobi. The center is also home to several warthogs which freely move around the area along with the giraffes. The main attraction for visitors is feeding giraffes from a raised observation platform. . By 2008, the Trust had successfully raised over 82 infant African Elephant calves.

In addition to the rearing of orphaned rhinos & elephants, the Trust also contributes to part of the electrical fencing of the northern boundary of the Tsavo National Park, continues to pressure cites to uphold the ivory ban through aggressive public campaigns, works to repatriate other animal species, runs de-snaring operations and a Mobile Veterinary project, as well as establishing many boreholes & windmills and general conservation issues in Tsavo National Park.

Their conservation is a success story in Kenya and the world. Come interact with their handlers and hear the terrible stories behind their journey to the orphanage email us for inquiries at (info@terrain-safaris.com)

WHAT YOU MUST KNOW BEFORE YOU BOOK

  • At least 2 people are required for this activity to take place.
  • A single person may book this tour, but must select and pay the price for 2 travelers to cover operational costs.

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.

A primate is a mammal of the order Primates, any member of the group of animals that includes human beings, apes and monkeys and a few related forms. In taxonomy, primates include two distinct lineages, strepsirrhines and haplorhines. The order Primates was traditionally divided into two main groupings: prosimians and anthropoids (simians). Prosimians have characteristics more like those of the earliest primates, and include the lemurs of Madagascar, lorisoids, and tarsiers. Simians include monkeys, apes and hominins. More recently, taxonomists have preferred to split primates into the suborder Strepsirrhines, or wet-nosed primates, consisting of non-tarsier prosimians, and the suborder Haplorhines, or dry-nosed primates, consisting of tarsiers and the simians.

Primates are characterized by large brains relative to other mammals, as well as an increased reliance on stereoscopic vision at the expense of smell, the dominant sensory system in most mammals. These features are more developed in monkeys and apes and noticeably less so in lorises and lemurs. Three-color vision has developed in some primates. Most also have opposable thumbs and some have prehensile tails. Book Primate Safari in Rwanda to visit the various primates mentioned in the article below.

Under primates we;

  • Chimpanzees
  • Golden monkeys
  • Black and White colobus monkeys

Chimpanzee and Primate tracking in Nyungwe national park

Nyungwe forest is situated in south-west Rwanda between Lake Kivu and the international border with Burundi. Nyungwe forest national park is Rwanda’s Leading chimpanzee tracking safari destination for primates and birding tours in Rwanda. Nyungwe forest Rwanda is the source of Africa’s great rivers. Rain that falls on the east side feeds the Nile and on the west runs to the Congo. The Congo-Nile Divide is a mountain range that runs north to south through Rwanda.

Beyond gorillas that made Rwanda famous, wildlife all over will be thrilled to know that they can track three more species of primate on their Rwandan holiday: Chimpanzees, Black-and-white colobus monkeys, and the endangered Golden monkey.

Chimpanzees in Nyungwe forest

Chimpanzees are the closest living evolutionary relatives to humans, sharing a common ancestor with humans. They share 99% DNA with human beings. These chimps can be tracked in Nyungwe and Kibale National Park. Chimpanzees live in a leaner hierarchy in which more than one individual may be dominant enough to dominate other members of lower rank. Typically, a dominant male is referred to as the alpha male. Male grow up to 1.7 m high when standing, and weigh as much as 70 kg; the female is somewhat smaller.

Chimpanzees make tools and use them to acquire foods and for social displays; they have sophisticated hunting strategies requiring cooperation, influence and rank; they are status conscious, manipulative and capable of deception; they can learn to use symbols and understand aspects of human language including some relational syntax, concepts of number and numerical sequence; and they are capable of spontaneous planning for a future state or event. Chimps communicate in a manner similar to human nonverbal communication, using vocalizations, hand gestures, and facial expressions.

Chimpanzee tracking can be done all year-round in Nyungwe Forest, rain or shine, and while it is never guaranteed that you will see them, sightings are very common and guides are skillful in tracking them. The experience differs from gorilla tracking as the chimps are running around, so the sightings are a bit more sporadic and rushed, but worthwhile nonetheless.

Chimpanzee groups live high in the canopy of Nyungwe National Park, and catching your first glimpse of one crashing through the forest after hiking into their territory is nothing short of astonishing. During the rainy season, a troop of chimpanzees often moves into Uwinka and the colored trail as well, and it is up to the tourist to decide whether to pay extra to track them. You may be able to hear chimpanzees before you see them; from somewhere deep in the forest, an excited hooting, just one voice at first, then several, rising in volume before stopping abruptly or fading away.

Golden monkeys in Nyungwe forest

These striking golden monkeys are a treat for the eyes. With their bright orange fur contrasting the green rainforests of the Virunga Mountains, it’s a photographers dream, Visitors meet with their guides at Volcanoes National Park’s Kinigi Headquarters and the visit is done once per day, time will be allocated once booked.

The thirteen primate species which are found in Nyungwe represent something like 20-25% of the total number in Africa, an extraordinary figure which in East Africa is comparable only to Uganda’s Kibale forest. Furthermore, several of these primates are listed as vulnerable or endangered on the IUCN red list, and Nyungwe is almost certainly the main stronghold for at least two of them. The most celebrated of Nyungwe primates is the Rwenzori Colobus a race of the more wide spread Angola colobus which is restricted to the Albertine Rift.

Black and White Colobus monkeys

They are closely related to the brown colobus monkeys of genus Piliocolobus. The word “colobus” comes from Greek and is so named because in this genus, the thumb is a stump. Colobuses are herbivorous, eating leaves, fruit, flowers, and twigs. Their habitats include primary and secondary forests, riverine forests, and wooded grasslands; they are found more in higher-density logged forests than in other primary forests.

These charismatic monkeys sometimes referred to as Ruwenzori Colobus – take up the final place in Rwanda’s Big-4 primate species. Nyungwe Forest is again home to this attractive species. Because they live within sizeable groups (one of the habituated troops has more than 200 individuals), an encounter with Colobus Monkeys in Rwanda often exceeds sightings anywhere elsewhere in Africa.

Chimpanzee and primate tracking in Kibale national park

Kibale National Park is a national park in southern Uganda protecting moist evergreen rain forest. It is 766 square kilometers (296 sq. mi) in size and is located between 1,100–1,600 meters (3,600–5,200 ft) in elevation. Kibale is one of the last remaining expanses to contain both lowland and montane forests. In eastern Africa, it sustains the last significant expanse of pre-montane forest

The park is home to a total of 70 mammal species, most famously 13 species of primate including the chimpanzee. It also contains over 375 species of birds. Kibale adjoins Queen Elizabeth National Park to the south to create a 180km-long corridor for wildlife between Ishasha, the remote southern sector of Queen Elizabeth National Park, and Sebitoli in the north of Kibale National Park.

In Kibale national park, there is what we call chimpanzee tracking and chimpanzee habituation experience.

Uganda is probably one of the best places in the world to see habituated wild chimpanzees. Most people do not realize that they have a choice between chimpanzee tracking and a Chimpanzee habituation experience. People come to Uganda for the Mountain Gorillas and Chimpanzee tracking. There are 4950 chimpanzees within Uganda; Kibale Forest alone has the most with almost 1500 Chimpanzees. Most visitors visit the chimpanzees much like the Mountain Gorillas for one hour there is however another option that allows you to be with chimpanzees all day long in the forests of Budongo or Kibale Forest it is the habituation experience all day with chimpanzees in their natural setting.

Chimpanzee tracking experience

Chimpanzee tracking is where by a trekker goes to the forest to view the already habituated chimpanzees. The habituated chimpanzees are normally confined in one area and are not aggressive and stubborn. They are friendly. Chimpanzee tracking can take 1-3 hours. When your guide comes to a standstill, you might sometimes think that you are lost. Don’t worry your guide is an expert you can rely on him as he tries to locate the chimps. By 11 a.m. the chimps take finally a rest and this is the best time to approach and observe them closely. It’s only at that moment that you realize that they have been habituated. They tolerate you when taking a rest and continue their daily duties. When you are lucky you see them on the ground. With the appropriate photo equipment you can take some good pictures. Sometimes they are high in the trees and you will need your binoculars to observe them well. You will stay about one hour with them.

Chimpanzee habituation experience

CHEX is a process that is used to make these largely wild apes approachable by human beings without causing any harm. This experience entails getting the chimpanzees used to the presence of humans (to remove the fear of humans from the group), a process that takes up to two years and today you are part of that process by your all day presence in the forest.  With Chimpanzee Habituation Experience it means an early breakfast, a packed lunch and you are off before dawn breaks into the forest. You meet your guide and you are off to where the chimpanzees built nests the night before. Dawn is just breaking and the chimpanzee community you are going to be with the rest of the day is rising from their sleep. It’s a unique, all-day trek and there’s no telling where the chimpanzees will lead you. Their movements are unpredictable whether it’s uphill, downhill or on even ground, you follow the agile group, sometimes at challenging speeds through dense vegetation, for rare, up-close encounters.

Primate walk in Kibale forest

This walk starts from Kanyanchu River Camp at 8:00 am or 3:00pm. It lasts for 2-4 hours and it is the most popular walk, highlighting the diversity of different animals and plant species within the forest. This walk is restricted to four groups of four persons each, in the morning and the same number in the afternoon.

Other primates in Bigodi wetland sanctuary

This is a small sanctuary which protects the Magombe swamp, adjacent to Bigodi trading centre and immediately outside the park boundary. The sanctuary is known for a wide range of biodiversity including species of primates such as red colobus monkeys, black and white colobus monkey, grey-checked mangabey, red tailed monkey, L’Hoest monkey, vervet monkey, blue monkey and baboon. Mammals like sitatunga, bush pigs, bush bucks, otters, mongoose and Chimpanzees. 138 bird species have so far been identified; one of the main bird species found in the sanctuary is the great Blue Turaco.