Guide to Gorilla Trekking in Rwanda

Guide to Gorilla Trekking in Rwanda

Are you planning a gorilla safari in Rwanda? African Apes Holidays gives you a handy guide to trekking Rwanda gorillas in Volcanoes National Park. Rwanda is now open for tourists who want to visit the endangered mountain gorillas. For over the years, mountain gorilla trekking has ranked as a top wildlife experience in the world. Our guide to gorilla trekking in Rwanda entail how to book a gorilla permit, when to visit, what to carry and answers to all frequently asked questions about gorilla trekking in Rwanda. Volcanoes National Park is a first stop Centre of gorilla safaris in Africa located 3 hours from the airport. Other population of mountain gorillas in Africa lives in Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Gorilla permits in Rwanda (Prices and booking process)
Gorilla permits in RwandaA gorilla permit is a first thing you should secure to trek gorillas in Rwanda. It’s a pass to see gorillas and you cannot be allowed to visit the endangered gorillas without it. Everyday, Rwanda Development Board issues 80 gorilla permits to first come travelers who want to visit these endangered species. Each permit in Rwanda costs $1500 paid by all people irrespective of one’s nationality. In other words, even Rwanda nationals and citizens also pay the $1500 to visit the gorillas. However between June to 31st December 2020, Rwanda different Board is offering discounted gorilla permits at $200 for Rwanda nationals and East African citizens. Rwanda gorilla permit booking is recommended at least 6 months in advance. The reason for early booking is the high demand and low supply of permits in Rwanda. You can book directly with Rwanda Development Board or through African Apes Holidays, your trusted gorilla safari company in Rwanda and East Africa. On booking, travelers are asked to pay 30% booking fee on the permit. Payment to zero balance is required at least 90 days to the trekking date. Anyone who fails to finish the payment in time will lose the permit and the deposit money which is non refundable.

Gorilla families in Rwanda
Having secured your permit, the next thing to think about is which gorilla family to visit? Volcanoes National Park has 10 habituated gorilla families. You have a chance to visit any one of the 10 gorilla groups. Whereas gorilla family allocation is done by park rangers. You can choose a gorilla family of your choice. Tell this to your travel agent and guide before the trekking date and he/she will inform park rangers to allocate to you that specific gorilla family of your choice. Rwanda gorilla families in Volcanoes National are Hirwa family, Karisimbi (Susa B) Family, Sabyinyo family, Susa A family, Agashya family, Kwitonda family, Amahoro family, Ugenda gorilla family, Bwenge family and Umubano family. Eight people per day visit each family.

What to carry for gorilla trekking in Rwanda
Make sure to carry the right attire for gorilla trekking in Volcanoes National Park. The packing list for gorilla trekking in Rwanda should include hiking boots/shoes, scarf, rain jacket, garden gloves, hat, sunglasses, insect repellants, drinking water, energy giving snacks, and long pants. Any traveler with the right attire is assured of a peaceful gorilla trek. You can get plastic hiking boots for hire at Kinigi Park headquarters.

When is the best time to trek gorillas in Rwanda
Dry season in the months of June, July, August, September, December, January and February is the best time to trek Rwanda gorillas. Photography is best during tis time. Also, hiking through the forest is quite simple in the dry season unlike in the rainy season when forest grounds become slippery and muddy. However, wet season in March, April. May, October and November is also good. During low season, travelers have high chances of discounted services in hotels, lodges and transport services. Low season is the best time for budget travelers.

Where to stay for gorilla trekking in Rwanda

Accommodation in Rwanda

Bisate Lodge

A variety of lodges, hotels and camps have been established in Rwanda to offer you with first class food and sleeping services at affordable rates. The top lodges in Volcanoes National park include Mountain Gorilla View Lodge/ Bisate Lodge, Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge, Virunga Lodge, Da Vinci Gorilla Lodge, Five Volcanoes Lodge, Kinigi Guest House, Gorilla Solution Lodge and Amakoro Songa Lodge. These lodges have well trained staff who ensure a smooth service delivery system.

How to get to Volcanoes National Park
Volcanoes National Park is located roughly 2-3 hours drive from Kigali International Airport. Road transport is the best means to get to and around gorilla park of Volcanoes National Park. Travelers fly into Kigali airport and drive north westwards through the city to the park.

African Apes Holidays is your best guide for gorilla trekking to Volcanoes National Park

Posted by African Apes in Travel News
Forest Walks/ Nature in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park

Forest Walks/ Nature in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park

Forest/nature walks are one of the interesting travel experiences in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park. Trekking through the jungle forest on foot is a best way to explore all hidden treasures in the jungle. Armed park rangers guide travelers into the forest to visit different attractions including waterfalls, caves and swamps among others. The sweet melodies of birds up in the trees make the whole experience magical. Walking slowly in the forest gives you a true feeling of quite, cool and natural feeling of Mgahinga Gorilla National Park. Moreso, a forest walk through Mgahinga is a chance to see other different plant species, birds and wild animals, which you will meet on your trek. Nature walks are normally done as add on gorilla trekking, golden monkey trekking and other wildlife experiences to make a complete safari package. The top walking trails in Mgahinga Forest National Park include:

Batwa Cultural trail

Walking trails in Mgahinga Park

Ntebeko Cave

Batwa cultural trail is the most done nature walk in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park. The experience is about learning and experiencing the traditional forest life of Batwa pygmies who lived thousands of years in the jungle. In this experience, Batwa pygmies guide travelers into Mgahinga Forest to perform some indigenous batwa activities such as hunting, fruit gathering, collecting honey, picking medicinal herbs and making fire. Also, Travelers are taken to visit Ngarama cave where batwa pygmies would perform traditional ritual and offer sacrifices to their gods. Ngarama caves were also used as a hiding place for batwa pygmies in cave of any insecurity. More so, Batwa pygmies perfume their traditional dances, songs and poems telling their story of traditional forest life. Travelers are given chance to take part in these traditional practices which make them feel as part of the community. Batwa cultural trail costs $80 per person which money is used to support batwa community projects and improve Batwa’s standards of living.

Sabinyo Gorge Walk
Walking trails in Mgahinga ForestEnjoy a 5-6 hours Sabinyo walk in the sloped of the extinct Sabinyo Volcano. The gorge walk is a tiresome and strenuous experience but worth the effort You will meander through different vegetation zones of Mt Sabinyo which give you chance to see numerous birds, plants and animals. The Sabinyo walk also offers you spectacular views of the Virunga volcanoes, Bwindi Forest, Local communities, gardens and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park. Ridges have been built to ease trekking through this trail, which at times gets slippery especially in the rainy season. Physical fitness is essential for everyone taking part in Sabinyo forge walk. Sabyinyo Volcano is located in the borders of Uganda and Rwanda. It can be hiked from either sides but Uganda is the best starting point for hiking Sabyinyo Volcano. The trail is also a best birding spot sheltering numerous bird species.

Border trail
The border trail takes you to Uganda border with the Democratic Republic of Congo. Trek through the forest in the slopes of Sabinyo volcano with great chances top see birds, wild animals and different vegetation types. A hike to Gizosi hill offers you great views of Virunga Volcanoes, local communities and all other attractions in Uganda and the neighboring Congo.

Hike to Ntebeko Information Centre
You can as well hike to Ntebeko Visitor information center where registration of gorilla trekkers and pre trekking briefing is done. As its name says, Ntebeko is the center of all information about Mgahinga Gorilla National Park. There are lots of documentaries, maps and sculptures to give you all the basic information you need to know about this jungle Forest. A park warden will tell you the story of formation, wildlife and general tourism in Mgahingta Gorilla National park

NOTE: Among the things you need for a successful nature walk include walking stick, closed hiking boots, insect repellents, rain jacket, hat, sunglasses, drinking water and energy giving snacks among others.

Other things to see and do in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park
In addition to nature walks, travelers to Mgahinga Gorilla National Park have an endless list of amazing things to see and do for a great experience. These include among others:
Mountain Gorilla Trekking
Gorilla trekking to see Nyakagyezi gorilla family, the only gorilla group in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park. Nyakagyezi family has 12 members headed by Mark as a dominant silverback gorilla. Nyakagyezi family is fully settled in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park and ready to receive visitors each day. 8 travelers are allowed to visit this family each day at the same time meaning 8 gorilla permits available everyday issued on the first come first serve basis. The other place to do Uganda gorilla tours is Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National park.

Golden Monkey Trekking:
Activities in Mgahinga Park Golden Monkey trekking is yet another interesting activity to do in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park. The experience gives you chance to interact with the playful and lively golden monkeys in their natural habitats. The permit to trek golden monkeys cost $60 exclusive of park entrance fees.

Golden Monkey Habituation Experience
Take part in training the wild golden moneys to make them familiar with people. A traveler in golden Monkey habituation experience hikes long researchers, primate doctors and conservationists to tame these endangered species. The 2-3 years habituation experience is the first stage all primates go through before they are opened to travelers for trekking. Golden Monkey habituation experience costs $100 exclusive of park entrance fees.

Virunga Volcano hiking
Mgahinga Gorilla National Park is home to three extinct volcanoes offering memorable hiking experiences. The volcanoes in Mgahinga Park are Mt Sabinyo, Mt Gahinga and Mt Muhabura. Each Volcano has a different story and a different experience of hiking. A hike to the summit of any one of the three volcanoes is an exceptional experience you will live to remember. Volcano climbing is the best experience for adventure travelers.
Bird watching
Activities in Mgahinga ParkSheltering over 180 bird species, Mgahinga Gorilla National Park is a best spot for Uganda birding safaris. 12 species of birds are endemic to This Park and cannot be found anywhere else in the world. The notable birds in Mgahinga Park include Cape Robin Chat, African Paradise flycatcher, Pin tailed whydah, Speckled mousebird, Scarlet tufted malachite sunbird, African Olive Pigeon, Olive woodpecker, Kivu ground thrush and Alpine Swift. Bird watching in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park is best done from April to mid May and October to November.
African Apes Holidays helps you to organize nature walks and other wildlife experiences in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park at affordable rates.

Posted by African Apes in Travel News
Guide to Choose a best Travel Agent

Guide to Choose a best Travel Agent

Travel agents are the quickest way to book gorilla safaris in Africa and other related wildlife experiences. Choosing the best travel company is a first assurance that your safari will be a success. YES, a trusted and organized travel agent ensures to book your gorilla permit, accommodation, reserving for you a best travel vehicle and a professional guide in time. However, a bad travel agent can ruin your whole trip! Travelers intending to book gorilla tours in Uganda, Rwanda, the Democratic Republic of Congo and the whole world are therefore advised to be slow and ensure to contact a trusted travel agent. African Apes Holidays gives you a guide on how to choose a best travel agent for your gorilla safari in Africa. The guide entails:

Registered Member
choosing the best travel agentBefore confirming any trip, please check to see whether the travel agent you are booking with is a trusted company. In Uganda, confirm that your travel agent is at least a registered member of the Association of Uganda Tour Operators Association (AUTO), Association of Tour Agents (ATA) and the like. In Rwanda, make sure the travel agent is a registered member of Rwanda Tourism Board. A registered travel agent gives you assurance that its known and you will have a back up from the respective body your company is registered with in case of any misbehavior. More so, booking a gorilla s tour through a registered travel agent assures you aces to gorilla permits even in high prices. When booking gorilla permits, registered travel agents are given priorities unlike the unknown companies. Also, registered travel agents are offered discounted gorilla permits at certain points to support their businesses.

Trip advisor reviews

Check trip advisor to see past travelers experience with the como0onay you are booking with. Any company that has many positive and excellent trip advisor reviews is the best to book with. Read accurately the reviews to learn how the whole booking process was done. Avoid booking with a travel agent who has negative reviews with travelers complaining of poor services. You can ask a travel company to give you links to all platforms they are registered with to confirm their performance.

Communication
Does your travel agent reply to your email in time? Is he/she this person who takes 3 days without replying? Consider booking with a travel agent who responds timely to your emails. In normal cases, a serious agent responds to client’s emails within 12 hours or less. Timely replies is an assurance that your travel agent is available for you and ready to serve your interested. Also, timely replying indicates that a traveler has all the answers to your questions. A traveler who takes too long without replying you either has no answers or he/she is busy in other things. A serious travel agent will always take his/her clients as a first priority.

Check and compare the Prices
When booking, contact different travel agents and compare their prices. In the process of booking, each travel will give you a safari quote indicating prices, the inclusions and exclusions. Compare different quotes from different agents for the same travel itinerary. If possible ask for a break down and see how the final cost was reached. Relate the prices to the trip advisor reviews and decide whether the company is worth the quote it has given you. Similarly do not rush to book with a cheapest travel agent; their quality of service may not be good.

Why book with African Apes Holidays
African Apes Holidays is your best travel company for tailored gorilla safaris, birds and other wildlife experiences in Africa. With over 5 years in tourism service, African Apes Holidays has all answers to your travel questions. Our team of reservations is at your service to tailor make your suitable travel package. More so, we have a team of professional driver guides to take you to all tourism destinations you want to visit. Contact us for bookings and any other travel related questions and advises.

Conclusively, choosing a best travel agent is the best step to consider when booking gorilla safaris in Africa. African Apes Holidays is your best and trusted travel agent in Uganda, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Posted by African Apes in Travel News
Entrance fees to Nyungwe Forest National Park

Entrance fees to Nyungwe Forest National Park

The actual entrance fee to Nyungwe Forest National park is $40 for foreign non-residents and foreign residents. However, park entrance fees are normally included in the package a travel is interested in. Different travel activities in Nyungwe Forest National Park call for different charges inclusive of the park entrance fee. Its obvious that whoever visits Nyungwe Forest is interested in doing a certain activity. Nyungwe forest is the second most visited park in Rwanda. Nyungwe Forest is located in southwestern Rwanda and is a center of Rwanda chimpanzee trekking tours. African Apes Holidays gives you a detailed breakdown of entrance fees to Nyungwe Forest National Park:

Chimpanzee trekking permits
Chimpanzee trekking in Nyungwe Forest costs $90 for foreign non residents, &60 for foreign residents, RWF 5000 for Rwanda nationals, $10 for East African community citizens. Rwanda citizen students pay RWF2500, foreign resident students pay $30 while East African Community students pay $5. This cost is valid for 24 hours. Like in the gorillas, a chimpanzee permit expires within an hour of seeing these primates. Nyungwe Forest is home to roughly 400 chimpanzees habituated into two communities. The gorillas live in Uwinka and Chamudongo Forests. A traveler can therefore trek chimpanzees in either forest. Travelers are required to reach Uwinka park headquarters as early as 7:00am for briefing and registration. Trekking to meet chimpanzees starts at 8:00am and the actual time to spend before meeting chimps is unpredictable. Depending on where the primates will be that day, the trekking time range between 30 minutes to a full day. However, travelers are 99% sure of meeting the gentle giants at the day of the tour. The allowed time with chimps is strictly an hour.

Canopy walk
Entrance Fees to Nyungwe ForestCanopy walk in Nyungwe Forest costs $60 for foreign non-residents, $50 for foreign residents, Rwf 5000 for Rwanda local residents, $10 for East African Citizens. Rwanda student citizens pay Rwf5, 000; East African Community students pay $5 while foreign resident students pay $25. Canopy walk is the second most done travel activity in Nyungwe Forest National Park. The 2 hours walk 60 meters on top of the forest is an exceptional; experience you ought not to miss. The experience offers you excellent aerial views of Nyungwe Forest, Virunga volcanoes, local farms and neighboring communities.

Trekking other primates
Entrance fees to Nyungwe ForestDo you want to trek other primate species in Nyungwe Forest? The experience costs $60 for foreign non residents, $40 for foreign residents , Rwf5000 for Rwanda nationals, Rwf1,500 for Rwandan citizen students, $ 3 for East African Community students while Foreign resident students pay $20. The cost is inclusive of the park entrance fees, guide fee, conservation fee and contribution to local communities. Monkey species in Nyungwe Forest National Park include
1. Grey cheeked Mangabey
2. Common Chimpanzees
3. Olive Baboons
4. Silver Monkey
5. Vervet Monkey
6. Ruwenzori Colobus
7. L’Hoest Monkey
8. Red Tailed Monkeys
9. Golden Monkeys
10. Dent’s Mona Monkey
11. Hamly’s Monkey

Bird watching
Nyungwe Forest National Park is home to over 275 bird species making it a birding spot in Rwanda. Foreign non-resident birders pay $50 and $40 for foreign residents. Birds in Nyungwe Forest National Park include Yellow eyed black flycatcher, Red faced woodland warbler, Red collared babbler, Blue headed sunbird, Ruwenzori Apalis, Archer’s robin chat, Ruwenzori apalis, strange weaver, Dusky crimson wing, Regal sunbird, Buff throated apalis, Kivu ground thrush, Red throated alethe and Handsome francolin among others. January to June is June is the best time for bird watching in Nyungwe Forest. November to April is the best time to see migratory birds in Nyungwe Forest National Park.

Accommodation in Nyungwe Forest
Accommodation in Nyungwe FoerstAmong the top lodges and hotels in Nyungwe Forest National Park include One and Only Nyungwe House, Nyungwe Nziza Eco lodge, Kitabi Eco Centre, Nyungwe Top View Hill Hotel, Gisakura Guest House, Gisakura Family Hostel, Café Resto Bar Keza, Uwinka Campsite, KCCEM Guesthouse. These facilities offer excellent food, sleeping and in-room services at affordable rates. Prices range in Budget, Midrange and Luxury depending on the standard of the lodge/hotel.

How to book a Rwanda safari to Nyungwe Forest
Do you want to book a chimpanzee, canopy walk or any other tour to Nyungwe Forest? African apes holidays is at your service. We offer tailor-made Rwanda safaris for chimpanzee trekking, mountain gorilla safari s and other related experiences at affordable prices.

Other top places to visit in Rwanda
Entrance fees to Nyungwe ForestBesides Nyungwe Forest, travelers on Rwanda safaris are advised to visit other top places in Rwanda for a complete Rwanda safari package. The other top paces to visit in Rwanda include:
• Volcanoes National Park in northwestern Rwanda. This is a center of mountain gorilla trekking, golden monkey trekking, Dian Fossey hike, Mt Karisimbi hike and Musanze caves among others
• Akagera National Park. The park is home to the big five game. Game drives through the park offer you excellent views of numerous wild animals such as Elephants, lions, zebras, girafees, Hippos, buffalos, Rhinos, Kobs, waterbucks, Topis, warthogs, Impalas and duikers among others.
• Gishati Mukura National Park. This is Rwanda’s newest National park a home to numerous monkey and bird species
• Kigali City. The city tour takes to genocide memorial centers, shopping malls, art galleries and local markets.
• Iby’Iwacu community village to learn and experience Rwanda’s traditions, norms, culture and beliefs.
Pay attention to park entrance fees in Nyungwe Forest National Park before confirming any Rwanda safari to this Park. Contact African Apes Holidays for more advice and bookings.

Posted by African Apes in Travel News
Safety Tips For Gorilla Trekking

Safety Tips For Gorilla Trekking

Is gorilla trekking safe? Safety is a concern for all travelers booking gorilla safaris in Africa. How safe is gorilla trekking in Uganda, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo is one of the common asked questions in gorilla tour bookings. Travelers want to be sure of their safety while with gorillas in the jungle forests of Africa. For the first time travelers, gorilla tracking is indeed threatening given the huge size of a silverback gorilla, his serious looks and the forested nature of gorilla habitats. However, African Apes Holidays guarantee your safety on your gorilla tour to Africa. YES, we give you gorilla trekking safety tips to ensure your safety and that of the endangered mountain gorillas. These include:How to be safe in gorilla trekking

Keep a distance away from the gorillas
Please, do not come so close to the endangered gorillas. Keep a distance of at least seven meters away from the gorillas to give them some free space. Coming so close to gorillas looks like you are encroaching on their privacy, which can cause them to charge at you. Moreso, keeping a distance is one o= way of preventing the transmission of communicable diseases especially flue and cough from humans to the endangered gorillas. Similarly, people can catch some animal diseases if they come so close to the gorillas. These endangered species share over 99% of human genes. This makes them to susceptible to human illnesses, which can be deadly to them.


Safety in gorilla trekkingWear closed shoes and gardening gloves

You must dress right for the jungle if you want to be safe. Closed shoes are recommended to protect your feet from sharp stones and sticks. Also, closed shoes protect your feet from dirty mud, which at times can be slippery making it hard for one in sandals to walk through. The shoes should also be waterproof to ease your movements. More so, gardening gloves protect your hands from thorny bushes and dirty grounds. At some point in gorilla trekking, travelers are forced to touch down or grab bushes for support especially after rain. Your soft hands will be safe with gardening gloves. The other things to carry for gorilla trekking include long sleeved shirts/blouses, insect repellants to prevent poisonous insect bites, rain jacket, hat and sun glasses. A walking stick and porter are also helpful in gorilla trekking.

Avoid direct eye contacts with the silverback gorilla
Do not look direct into the eyes of the silverback gorillas. During the pre gorilla trekking briefing, travelers are asked not to look direct into the eyes of the gorillas. Direct eye contact irritates the gorillas. It makes a silverback gorilla scared forcing him to behave wild. Keep focused on your camera, observe silently the human like characters of the gorillas and utilize this hour to the maximum.

Keep within your group
Do not split from your group! Gorilla trekking at time s takes several hours of roaming in the jungle before meeting the endangered species. During this time of hiking, travelers are reminded to keep within their group of sight. Splitting and moving alone in the jungle so risky and dangerous for you.

Listen to your ranger guide
You will be assigned two armed park rangers to escort you on your gorilla tour experience. These rangers are experienced with gorilla behaviors and can tell when a gorilla is in good or bad mood. If the ranger guide tells you to step back, please do for your own safety.

Do physical exercises
Travelers warming up for gorilla trekking are also advised to do physical exercises to ensure fitness. A hike up and down hill to see gorillas is a strenuous activity, which require fitness. Some travelers who are not fit find it hard to make it to the gorillas. Examples of physical exercises recommended for physical fitness include walking, stretching, and long hikes among others.

Do not trek when sick
If you feel any sign of sickness, please do not insist to trek the endangered gorillas.

Safety remains key for every successful gorilla trekking experience. Contac African Apes Holidays for more gorilla tour advice and bookings!

Posted by African Apes in Travel News
Entrance Fees to Volcanoes National park

Entrance Fees to Volcanoes National park

There are entrance charges to Volcanoes National Park travelers must pay before he/she is allowed into the Park! The entrance fees to VNP depend on the activity a traveler is visiting to do. YES, different travel activities call for different charges. In other words, there is no uniform park entrance fee. In most cases, the entrance fees are inclusive of the activity, conservation fees, local community contributions and government taxes. Rwanda Development Board puts Park entry charges to support conservation programs in the park and limit unnecessary visits into the park. Volcanoes National Park is the center point of Rwanda tourism-offering travelers with numerous travel activities for different experiences. The Park is located in northwestern Rwanda bordered by Mgahinga National Park in Uganda and Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Entrance fees to Volcanoes National park include:

Gorilla Permit charges
Cost of Rwanda gorilla toursEach gorilla permit to trek gorillas in Volcanoes National Park costs $1500 paid by all travelers including Rwanda nationals. In the corona period between June 2020 to 31st December 2020. Rwanda Development Board is offering discounted gorilla permits at $200 for East African citizens and foreign residents while international residents still pay the usual $1500. Mountain gorilla trekking is the most done travel experience in Volcanoes National park. Over 80% of all travelers to VNP choose to trek gorillas as their number one activity. The park is home to 10 gorilla families with 80 gorilla permits available each day. Rwanda Development Board issues put the permits. The Rwanda gorilla permit is inclusive of park entrance fees, conservation fee, government taxes and 20% contribution to local communities. Booking gorilla permits in Rwanda is recommended at least 6 months in advance.

Golden Monkey Permits
Trekking golden monkeys cost $100 for foreign non-residents, $80 for foreign residents and $65 for Rwandese and East African citizens. The permit fee is inclusive of park entrance fees, conservation fees and government taxes. Golden monkey trekking is the second most done travel activity in Volcanoes National Park. Trekking golden monkeys is usually done as an add on to gorilla trekking to make a complete package. Two communities of golden monkeys are habituated for trekking in Volcanoes National park. The other population of golden monkeys lives in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park, southwestern Uganda.

Mount Karisimbi Hiking
Cost of Mt Karisimbi hikingDo you want to hike Karisimbi Volcano? The experience costs $400 for foreign non-residents, $300 for foreign residents and $200 for Rwandese and East African residents. Mt Karisimbi stands at 4,507 meters above the sea level and its the highest volcano in the Virunga Conservation Area. The summit of Mt Karisimbi overlooks other Virunga volcanoes, Rwanda’s rolling hills, Volcanoes National Park and the neighboring local communities. The slopes of Mt Karisimbi are home to Karisimbi gorilla family. This gives travelers high chances of meeting this famous gorilla family. Our 2 Days Mt Karisimbi hiking tour is a suitable package to conquer this Volcano. Physical fitness is key for anyone hiking Mt Karisimbi. Travelers are therefore reminded to do physical exercises in preparation for this adventure.

Musanze Caves
Musanze caves are a yet another interesting features in Volcanoes National Park. Visiting Musanze caves cost $50 for foreign non-residents, $30 for foreign residents and RWF 4000 for Rwandese and East African residents. You will see numerous bats hanging facedown on the walls of caves. A 2-3 hours walk through Musanze caves is an adventurous experience. The entrance and exit points are at different locations.

Dian Fossey Graveyard Hike
Dian Fossey hikingDian Graveyard Hike costs $75, $60 and $55 for foreign non-residents, foreign residents and Rwanda citizens respectively. Dian Fossey is an American Primatologist who sacrificed to save the endangered mountain gorillas, which were at the verge of extinction. A hike to the graveyard of Dian Fossey is a way of commemorating the works of Dian Fossey to gorilla conservation in Volcanoes National Park and the whole of Africa. Poachers killed Dian Fossey.

Mt Bisoke Hike
The permit to hike Bisoke volcano costs $75 for foreign non-residents, $55 for Rwanda nationals and $60 for foreign residents. Mount Bisoke is one of the easy to hike volcanoes in the Virunga Conservation Area. The volcano stands at 3711 meters above the sea level with great views of Rwanda and the neighboring local communities. A 1 Day mount Bisoke hike helps you to hike this volcano.

Conclusively therefore, having the knowledge of park entrance fees is essential for everyone visiting Volcanoes National Park. Contact African Apes Holidays for more details and advice. –

Posted by African Apes in Travel News
Baby Gorilla Born in Ruhija Sector

Baby Gorilla Born in Ruhija Sector

Another baby gorilla has been born in Ruhija sector of Bwindi Forest National Park. The new baby was born on 11th October 2020, bringing the total of newborn babies to 7 since March 2020. The baby gorilla was born to Twijukye, an adult female gorilla in Mukiza gorilla family. The new baby gorilla has raised the number of mountain gorillas in Mukiza family to fifteen. Uganda Wildlife Authority continues to celebrate new gorilla births in Uganda which has increased on the number of these endangered species in Africa’s pearl.

Gorilla baby boom in Uganda

Bay gorilla boom in Uganda

Baby gorilla in Bwindi

Since the start of covid19 lockdown in March 2020, Uganda has experienced a great baby boom in mountain gorillas with now 7 births in this shortest time. In a few months back, more other 6-baby gorillas have been born in Uganda, 5 in Bwindi Forest (Rushaga and Buhoma sectors) and 1 baby in Nyakagyezi gorilla family in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park. The birth of baby gorillas is a great achievement for Uganda Wildlife Authority and the entire Uganda Tourism fraternity. More so, the birth of new baby gorillas gives hope for sustainable Uganda gorilla tours for the future generation. Uganda is home to over 600 mountain gorillas, which count to half of the world’s total gorilla population. 18 gorilla families have been habituated in Uganda to ease trekking. These gorillas in Bwindi Forest are split into four sectors, namely, Buhoma in the north, Ruhija in the east, Rushaga and Nkuringo in the south. These sectors make up Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park.

About Ruhija Gorilla sector
Located east of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park, Ruhija sector is worth visiting. Habituated gorilla families in Ruhija sector include
1. Bitukura gorilla group, which derive its name from River Bitukura where the gorilla family was first sighted. Bitukura family was opened for trekking in 2008 and is normally seen along Ruhija trekking trail. Bitukura apparently has 13 members with four silverbacks, 4 adult females, 3 infants and 2 juveniles.
2. Oruzogo Gorilla Family: Oruzogo gorilla family was opened to tourists in 2011 and is one of the most visited gorilla families in Ruhija sector. Bakwate is the head silverback gorilla family in Oruzogo gorilla family who leads the other 16 family members. The family name “Oruzogo” is the name of a local plant, which dominates the home range of Oruzogo gorilla family.

3. Kyaguliro gorilla family: Kyaguliro is the oldest gorilla group in Ruhija sector, which was habituated in 1995. The family was initially reserved for research purposes but was later opened up for travelers to visit. In 2016, Kyaguliro family split into two after a misunderstanding between the then silverback Mukiza and another immigrant silverback named Rukara. Apparently, Kyaguliro gorilla group comprise of Kyaguliro A led by Rukara and Kyaguliro B led by Mukiza silverback. Kyaguliro A group comprise of 10 members who include 1 silverback, 3 Adult females, 2 infants, 2 black backs and 2 Juveniles. Similarly, Kyaguliro B group comprise of 10 members who include 4 Adult females, 1 silverback, 4 infants and 1 black back.
Everyday, each gorilla family is visited by a group of 8 travelers for an hour

Top activities in Ruhija sector
New baby gorilla born in RuhijaTravelers visiting Ruhija sector have various things to see and do in this region to reward them with a memorable experience. The top tourist activities in Ruhija sector include:
• Mountain gorilla trekking: This is the most done tourist activity in this sector. 32 gorilla permits are available in Ruhija for first comers.
• Batwa community tours to learn and experience the traditional forest life of Batwa pygmies in Bwindi
• Community project tours to schools, bee hives and local markets
• Bird watching
• Nature/Forest walks

Other sectors in Bwindi Forest

Besides Ruhija sector, Travelers to Bwindi Forest can visit any other of the three sectors in the Park. These are Buhoma in the north, Rushaga in the south and Nkuringo. Each sector has different gorilla families and offer different trekking experience. Each morning, travelers drive to different park head quarters depending on which sector one is visiting. Buhoma sector is easily accessed from Kabale while Rushaga sector is well accessed from Kisoro district.

Conclusively, the birth of a new baby gorilla in Ruhija sector is a blessing for tourism in Uganda. Book a Uganda gorilla safari today and meet the new babies born in Bwindi Forest at a close range.

Posted by African Apes in Travel News
Covid19 Standard Operating Procedures for Primate Trekking

Covid19 Standard Operating Procedures for Primate Trekking

Whereas primate trekking in Africa is now open for both local and international travelers, the endangered primates are still at a risk of catching the deadly corona virus that is still roaming like wild fire. Respective conservation bodies in Uganda, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo have put covid19 Standard Operating Procedures to ensure safety of the endangered primates and travelers. Primate trekking entail gorilla trekking, chimpanzees and golden monkey tracking. Primate especially chimpanzees and mountain gorillas are man’s close relatives which share over 98% of human gens. This make them susceptible to human communicable illnesses especially, corona virus cough, flue and cold among others. Before confirming any gorilla tour of chimpanzee safari, all upcoming primate trekkers are advised to read extensively and understand all Covid19 standard Operating procedures for gorilla tours and other primates in Uganda, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo.SOPs for covid19 African Apes Holidays brings you detailed SOPs for primate trekking in Africa. These include:
1. All travelers must have tested negative for covid19 72 hours before travelling. These results are requested at the airport and also respective primates national Park
2. Travelers must wash hands thoroughly with soap and clean running water
3. Sanitize hands with alcoholic based content
4. All travelers and park rangers must wear masks all through
5. Park rangers, wardens and porters must be covid19 negative
6. When in the presence of gorillas, chimpanzees or golden monkeys, travelers must keep a distance of 10 meters away
7. Travelers must wear leather gardening gloves to avoid direct touching on surfaces already touched by other travelers
8. Any traveler showing any signs of sickness, flue, cough is not allowed to visit the endangered primates
9. Travelers are advised to carry light bags to avoid a need of hiring a porter. Porters are not allowed given the limited number of people allowed to be together
10. Only eight people are allowed to trek a gorilla family
11. Interaction with the endangered gorillas, chimpanzees and golden monkeys is limited to an hour
12. Visiting chimpanzees is limited to only six people per group
13. Temperature screening at each park entrance is a must
14. Travelers and park rangers must keep a distance of 2 meters away from one another
15. Park rangers will allow several breaks to allow travelers remove masks and breathing some fresh air.
16. Each group of eight people are briefed separately to avoid large crowds
17. Six travelers are only allowed to visit each chimpanzee community

More guideline for Mountain Gorilla, chimpanzees and golden monkey trekking
SOPs for primate trekkingApart from the Covid19 standard operating procedures, travelers visiting to trek gorillas, chimpanzees and golden monkeys in Uganda, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo must adhere to other rules and regulations of primate trekking: These include
1. A valid permit is must have for each traveler. No one is allowed to visit the primates without a permit
2. All travelers must be aged 15 years and above
3. Avoid looking direct into the eyes of the endangered primates. It irritates them forcing them to behave wildly
4. Do not use flash light cameras
5. Keep your voices low while in the jungle. Primates normally love a quite environment
6. Do not litter anything in the park. Leave nothing but only the footprints
7. Do not touch the primates. Touching a by gorilla or chimpanzee will make a mother or silverback charge at you

What to carry for primate trekking in Africa?
Are you wondering on what to carry for your gorilla, chimpanzee or golden monkey trekking safari in Africa? Check the list of what to pack for primate trekking in Africa with African Apes Holidays
• Light hiking boots/shoes. The shoes should also be waterproof to prevent your feet from getting wet and muddy
• Gardening gloves to protect your hands from touching dirty surfaces and thorny bushes
• Rain jackets to deal with the unpredictable Forest weather
• Long sleeved shirts
• Long pants
• Sun glasses
• Hat
• Insect repellant to prevent insect bites
• First aid kit for any emergency
• Bottled drinking water
• Extra batteries for the phone and camera
• Energy giving snacks
• Warm sweaters and scarf for cold nights
Conclusively, observing covid19 standard operating procedures in primate trekking is highly recommended. Contact African Apes Holidays today, book a gorilla safari in Africa or any other primate safari, follow the SOPs and enjoy the once in a lifetime experience.

Posted by African Apes in Travel News
Postcovid19 Gorilla Tour Deals

Postcovid19 Gorilla Tour Deals

Wow, enjoy postcovid19 discounted gorilla safaris and other wildlife safaris. African Apes Holidays is offering discounted postcovid19 gorilla safari deals to Uganda, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. The discounted offers are to welcome our traveler’s back to the field after several months of no travel due to the pandemic covid19, which put restrictions to travels all over the world. All countries had closed international travels and land borders to contain the spread of the virus across countries. However, tourism has now reopened for international travel with airports and land borders opened. Our postcpivd19 travel deals include among others:

Mountain gorilla trekking:
Postcovid19 travel dealsWe offer discounted gorilla trekking safaris to Uganda, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. YES, the reopening of gorilla tours has come with discounted rates to enable you meet the endangered species at a budget price. Our gorilla tours take you to Bwindi Forest National Park and the Virunga Conservation area shared by Volcanoes, Mgahinga and Virunga parks in Rwanda, Uganda and Congo respectively. Are you traveling on a tight schedule? No worries, our 1 Day gorilla trek in Rwanda or 2 Days Uganda gorilla tour is a best package for you. This gives you chance to meet and interact with the endangered gorillas in the shortest time possible. Gorilla habituation experience in Rushaga sector gives you chance to spend four hours with the endangered gorillas and is the best experience for researchers.

Game viewing tours
Enjoy our pocket friendly game viewing safaris to explore the wilderness in Africa. We take you to see numerous wild animals in the open savannahs of Murchison Falls, Queen Elizabeth, Kidepo Valley, Lake Mburo and Akagera National parks rewarding you with memorable experiences. The guided morning and evening game drives give you chance to see various wild animals such as buffalos, elephants, lions, leopards, Hyenas, giraffes, Zebras, Rhinos, Waterbucks, warthogs, Topis , hippos and elands among others. In most cases, our game viewing tours entail boat rides on the water bodies within a particular park and visits to local communities, which together make a complete safari package. Fortunately, our game viewing safaris only require park entrance fee, accommodation, transport ad driver guide. Seeing wild animals is not for paying if you are already inside the park.

Chimpanzee trekking
African Apes Holidays further offers discounted chimpanzee trekking tours in Uganda and Rwanda. Enjoy our tailor made chimpanzee safaris to Kibale Forest National Park (the primate capital in Africa) and Nyungwe Forest National Park in Rwanda. Chimpanzees share over 99% of human genes, which make them our closest relatives. Observing human like characters of chimpanzees within their communities is a lifetime experience which you should not miss. The other places to see chimpanzees in Uganda include Kyambura Gorge in Queen Elizabeth National Park, Budongo Forest and Kalinzu Forest. Travelers visiting to se chimpanzees have high chances of seeing other wild animals in the forests such as red tailed monkeys, Black and White Colubus, Vervet monkeys, baboons and blue monkeys among others.

Mountain climbing

Postcovid19 travel deals

burning Nyiragongo Volcano

Join our mountain hiking experiences in Uganda, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Hike to the top of the snow caped Mt Rwenzori, Mt Gahinga, Mt Sabyinyo or Mt Muhabura in Uganda. Our Rwanda hiking tours include 2 Days Karisimbi hiking whose slopes shelter the famous Karisimbi gorilla family. More so, enjoy our 1-Day Bisoke hike for the short Rwanda hiking experiences. In Congo, enjoy a 3 Days Nyiragongo Volcano hike for a lifetime hiking experience. The summit of Nyiragongo volcano shelters the world’s largest lava lake, which glows in the night.

Other discounted offers in Africa
Other special offers by African Apes Holidays include bird watching tours, community visits, golden monkey trekking and forest/nature walks among others.
In conclusion, enjoy discounted postcovid19 travel offers for gorilla trekking and game viewing in Uganda, Rwanda and the democratic Republic of Congo with African Apes Holidays

Posted by African Apes in Travel News
Why Gorilla Trekking for an Hour

Why Gorilla Trekking for an Hour

Gorilla trekking is strictly for an hour in Uganda, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. YES, travelers visiting to see the endangered gorillas in Bwindi Forest, Mgahinga, Volcanoes and Virunga National Parks are only allowed to spend an hour with the gorillas. Despite the very many hours you may spend in the jungle before meeting the gorillas, an encounter with these endangered specie lasts for an hour. The actual trekking time is uncertain but ranges between 30 minutes to 7 hours depending on where gorillas will be that day, physical fitness of a traveler and the hiking speed. An hour with the gorillas is counted from the moment a traveler sets his/her eyes on the gorillas. When this time comes, travelers are reminded to keep calm, be keen and utilize this one-hour very well. The magical feeling of spending an hour with the gorillas is undeniably memorable. The reasons why gorilla trekking is limited to an hour include:

Mountain gorillas are endangered

Gorilla Trekking time

A baby gorilla in Bwindi Forest

YES, mountain gorillas are one of the endangered wild animals in the wild. They share over 98% of human genes, which make them so susceptible to human illnesses and other diseases. For this case, conservation bodies in Uganda, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo limit the time people spend with gorillas to limit chances of human wildlife disease transmission. The whole world has 1006 mountain gorillas surviving in the jungles of Uganda, Rwanda and Congo. The low population of gorillas in the world calls for strict conservation. For over 6 months in 2020, governments in Uganda, Rwanda and Congo closed doors to gorilla trekking in order to protect the endangered gorillas from catching the deadly corona virus. However as of 6th October 2020, gorilla tours to Uganda, Rwanda and Congo are open and travelers are allowed to visit and trek the gorillas. Therefore, the endangered nature of gorillas is one of the reasons why gorilla trekking is restricted to an hour.

Conservation purposes
Gorilla tracking is also restricted to an hour for conservation purposes. YES, allowing travelers to spend the whole day with endangered gorillas is not right. Trekking is limited to an hour to conserve nature and promote sustainable gorilla safaris in Africa.

Gorillas need time to do their daily duties

Trekking to see gorillas

A magical encounter with gorillas

YES, like in a human family, mountain gorillas have daily activities, which they cannot do in the presence of people. Travelers are therefore limited to an hour to allow the endangered species do their routine work in peace. Every early morning, the silver back back gorillas wakes up the entire family to start up movement to anew destination, they move slowly as a family and build a new nest in the evening for a night. Gorillas need a private time to play together, mate, breastfeed and rest.

Can I spend more time with gorillas?
YES, you can spend more time with the endangered gorillas in a gorilla habituation experience. Only done in Rushaga sector, south of Bwindi Forest National park, gorilla habituation experience allows you to spend four hours with the gorillas. The experience is about training wild gorillas to get used with human presence. Travelers join a team of conservationists, gorilla doctors and researchers to train a wild gorilla family. Apparently, Uganda has two gorilla families (Bushaho and Bikyingi) undergoing habituation. The experience lasts for between 2 to 3 years before a gorilla family is declared free for trekking. Habituation experience costs $1500 per person but the magical feeling that comes with it is worth the price. Each day, 8 habituation permits are issued on first come first serve basis. Permit booking is recommended at least 5 months in advance. Booking can be done directly with Uganda Wildlife Authority or African Apes Holidays, the number one gorilla safari company.

How to prepare for your gorilla trekking
Are you planning a gorilla safari in Africa? Are you wondering how to get ready for this magical experience? No worries, African Apes Holidays guides you on how to best get ready for gorilla trekking. Firstly, reserve your permit in advance to avoid disappointments. Also ensure to do physical exercises such as jogging, walking, and hiking to ensure physical fitness. Make sure your travelling bag has all the essentials. Among the things you must carry for your gorilla tour experience include hiking boots, gardening gloves, scarf, energy giving snacks, first aid kit, rain jacket, extra batteries for the camera, long sleeved shirts, long pants and bottled drinking water. More so, check with your medical doctor to ensure you have no any health issues.

Who is and not allowed to see gorillas?
All people aged 15 years and above are allowed to do gorilla trekking in Uganda, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. The elderly and heavily pregnant women are advised to hire porters to carry them to and from the jungle. Travelers showing any signs of sickness like flue, cold and cough is not allowed to visit the endangered gorillas to avoid risks of disease transmission.

Conclusively, an hour with the endangered gorillas is a lifetime experience you ought to enjoy.

Posted by African Apes in Travel News
Virtual Gorilla Naming in Rwanda

Virtual Gorilla Naming in Rwanda

2020’s Rwanda naming ceremony was Virtual. YES, gorilla lovers and travel enthusiasts celebrated the annual gorilla naming ceremony from their living rooms. Unlike in the past years where thousands of people would gather at Kinigi Park headquarters to witness the gorilla naming ceremony, this year’s (2020) Kwita Iziina was celebrated virtually. This was the first time to celebrate gorilla naming virtually since 2005 when the activity was initiated. The cause for change in gorilla naming celebration was due to covid19, which restricted public gatherings and international travels. The Virtual Kwita Izina ceremony took place on 24th September 2020 on the world Gorilla Day. 24 baby gorillas born between June 2019 and September 2020 were given names for easy identification just like in human homes. The event was broadcasted virtually on Rwanda Television giving people chance to attend and enjoy right from their living rooms. 2020 gorilla naming was initially planned to take place in June 2020 but was later cancelled and switched to virtual to avoid the spread of the deadly corona virus.

The only people who reported at Kinigi Park head quarters were park rangers, veterinary doctors and trackers who check on the wellbeing of the endangered mountain gorillas everyday. This team was honored to give the little gorillas respective names. The event started early in the morning and guides gave a live virtual tour to Volcanoes National Park for those who were tuned in. A few speakers from Rwanda Development Board gave a highlight on gorilla naming ceremony and general gorilla conservation in the land of a thousand hills. Also, cultural performances by local artists were performed to make the ceremony lively. The virtual program was live on Visit Rwanda YouTube at 3pm Kigali time and translated in English.

Arsenal players name bay gorillas in a virtual ceremony
Arsenal players name baby gorillas in RwandaInterestingly, 3 arsenal players named three of the 24 baby gorillas that were named virtually. The three players are Pierre Emerick Aubameyang, the striker of Arsenal football club. Aubameyang named his baby gorilla “Igitego” which means goal. Igitego baby gorilla was born to Pasika in Mafunzo family on 5th July 2019. Hector Bellerin, the defender of Arsenal football club named his baby gorilla “Iriza”. Iriza was born to Igihembo in Kwitonda gorilla family on 11th October 2019. Iriza locally means first born. Bernd Leno named the other baby gorilla “Myugariro” which locally translates as “defender”. Myugariro was born to Kubaha in Amahoro gorilla family on 28th September 2019. In 2018, Rwanda Development Board signed a 3 Years partnership with Arsenal football club. The “Visit Rwanda” logo features on the sleeves of Arsenal players. RDB’s partnership with Arsenal is aimed at promoting Rwanda gorilla safaris to the outside world encouraging more travels to the land of a thousand hills. In 2019, Rwanda Development Board reported a 5% boost in UK tourism which earned over Rwf 36 billion.

About Gorilla Naming ceremony
Rwanda Development Board started Kwita Izina in 2005. The major purpose for the new initiative was to create awareness of gorilla conservation in Rwanda and also diversify tourism products in the country. Kwita Izina is a Kinyarwanda word, which means, “to give a name,” related to a human culture where a family together with friends and relatives makes a party to celebrate and give a new baby an official name. Since 2005, over 300 mountain gorillas have been given names on different occasions.

Gorilla Tourism in Rwanda
Gorilla tourism has for the past over 25 years been Rwanda’s leading industry. YES, gorilla trekking contributes over 60% of Rwanda’s total revenue. In 2019, Rwanda Tourism Statistics indicated that Rwanda generated $498 millions which is a 17% increase compared to 2018. Most of the money is collected from the sale of Rwanda gorilla permits, which cost $1500 each. In 2017, Rwanda Development Board double increased her gorilla permit prices from $750 to $1500, which transformed the country into a luxury gorilla tour destination. Volcanoes National Park is one of the four national parks, which shelter the endangered gorillas in Africa. Other places where gorillas live are Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park/Mgahinga Gorilla National Park in Uganda and Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo. 10 gorilla families have been habituated for trekking in Rwanda. These are Susa A Group, Amahoro gorilla family, Sabyinyo gorilla group, Kwitonda gorilla family, Hirwa gorilla family, Kwitonda gorilla family, Agashya gorilla family, Ububano gorilla family, Ugenda gorilla family and Bwenge gorilla group. Each family is visited by 8 people a day which guarantee 64 permits available everyday.

How to book a Rwanda gorilla tour
Are you ready to trek to Rwanda? Gorilla tour bookings in Rwanda can be done directly through Rwanda Development Board, the government body responsible for gorilla conservation and tourism in Rwanda. Also, you can book through African Apes Holidays the trusted gorilla safari company in Rwanda. Our Rwanda gorilla safaris range from 1-Day gorilla trek in Rwanda to several days depending on the traveler’s choice and available time. The nearness of Volcanoes National Park to Kigali International airport make it a first stop center for gorilla safaris in Africa. The park is located roughly 2 hours and 30 minutes drive from Kigali, which make it suitable for short time travelers. Gorilla permit booking is recommended at least 6 months before the trekking date.
In general, the virtual naming of baby gorillas in Rwanda was a great initiative. We continue to celebrate new babies in Volcanoes National Park and Africa in general.

Posted by African Apes in Travel News
Facts About Mountain gorilla trekking

Facts About Mountain gorilla trekking

Gorilla trekking is undeniably the most done tourist activity in Africa. However before confirming any gorilla tour, you ought to clearly understand the basic facts about gorilla trekking. YES, gorilla safaris in Africa attract the highest number of travelers to Africa especially to Uganda, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Travelers who have encountered these endangered species review the experience as magical and life changing. For the past over 20 years, gorilla treks have been the top bucket list for most travelers to Africa, and a dream for many. Each day, hundreds of travelers, men and women come from all parts of the world to enjoy this once in a lifetime experience while others continue to make future gorilla safari bookings. The things you should know about gorilla trekking include:

Where to trek gorillas in Africa?

Facts about gorilla trekking

Bwindi Forest

There are only two regions where mountain gorillas live. The endangered species live in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park Uganda and the Virunga conservation area shared by Virunga National Park in Congo, Mgahinga Gorilla National Park in Uganda and Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda. Bwindi is home to the highest number of world’s gorillas (half the population) making it the premier gorilla safari destination in Africa. Altogether, Africa has 36 habituated gorilla families split between Uganda, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Each gorilla family is visited by a group of 8 people a day meaning 288 gorilla permits available each day. Gorilla permit booking is recommended at least 6 months before the trekking date. Do you want to spend more time with the gorillas? Join our gorilla habituation experience in Rushaga sector, south of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park. The experience allows you to spend four hours in the company of gorillas giving you ample time to learn the lifestyle of gorillas.

Best time for gorilla trekking
Mountain gorillas can be visited all year round. However, the best time to trek gorillas is in dry season between June, July, August, September, December, January and February. In most cases, this period is associated with or no rains which make it easy to trek through the jungle forest. Also, photography is excellent during this time unlike in the rains. The gorillas also tend to move to areas of low altitude during this time, which make it easy to find them after a short trek. On the other hand, you can trek gorillas during low season in the months of March, April, May, October and November. Visits are generally low during this time, which assure travelers availability of gorilla permits in all gorilla regions. Also, most service providers especially hotels, lodges and transport companies normally give discounted services to travelers in the low season. Low season is therefore the best travel time for budget travelers

Physical fitness and healthy status
Physical fitness is essential for those visiting to trek gorillas. YES, hiking up and down hill in the jungle forests of Bwindi or any other gorilla park is not a joke. The strenuous walk requires one to be physically fit and able to hike. Therefore, travelers are reminded to do physical exercises and to ensure fitness before the trekking date. At times, travelers who are not fit have found it challenging to reach the gorillas in high altitudinal areas. In the same way, you MUST be in good health in order to see the gorillas. The endangered species share over 98% of human genes, which make them susceptible to human illnesses. Tr5avelers are therefore reminded to go for medical checkups to confirm no sickness before coming to see gorillas. During the pre gorilla trekking briefing, travelers who show any signs of sickness like coughing, cough, sneezing and general weakness are not allowed to trek gorillas.

What to pack for gorilla trekking

Getting ready for gorilla trekking

Gorilla trekking packing list

You ought to pack the essentials of gorilla trekking. YES, any traveler planning to visit gorillas must pack the right attire to ensure peaceful, comfortable and stress free gorilla hikes. Among the things to carry for gorilla trekking include:
1. Closed hiking boots/shoes. These ease movement through the jungle forests, which at times get slippery and muddy. The shoes should however be light
2. Gardening hand gloves: These protect your soft hands from touching dirty mad and thorny tree trunks for support
3. Long sleeved pants tacked into stockings. These protect your legs from thorny bushes
4. Long sleeved shirts/blouse to protect your arms
5. Sun glasses and hat to protect from direct sun and droplets
6. Rain jacket. Forest weather is so unpredictable. It can rain any time of the day despite the season.
7. First aid kit incase of any emergency
8. Energy giving snacks to keep you strong
9. Bottled drinking water
10. Scarf

Where to sleep on a gorilla safari
Are you wondering where to sleep on your gorilla safari in Africa? No worries, a variety of hotels, camps, and lodges have been built in all gorilla national parks to offer you excellent food and sleeping services at affordable rates. These lodges are categorized into budget, midrange and luxury depending on the client’s choice and budget. The top lodges in Bwindi Forest include Buhoma Lodge, Mahogany springs Lodge, Bwindi Forest Lodge, and Gorilla Safari Lodge and Virunga Lodge in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park. In Volcanoes National Park, you can stay at Mountain Gorilla View Lodge, Sabyinyo Lodge and Da Vinci Lodge among others. All lodges have well trained staff to ensure an excellent service delivery system.

Gorilla Trekking Rules and Regulations
facts about gorilla trekkingAt the start of every gorilla tracking day, travelers are gathered at the respective park headquarters and briefed about the rules and regulations of gorilla trekking. These rules are put to ensure safety of the endangered gorillas and travelers themselves. The Guidelines for gorilla trekking include
• Do not trek gorillas when sick
• Avoid direct eye contact with gorillas
• Do not use a flash light camera
• Do not touch the gorillas
• Keep a distance of seven meters away from the gorillas
• Keep within your group. Do not scatter alone in the jungle
• Keep calm when a gorilla charges
• Turn back your face when sneezing or coughing
The knowledge of basic facts about gorilla trekking is essential for everyone planning a gorilla safari to Africa. Contact African Apes Holidays for bookings and more travel advice

Posted by African Apes in Travel News
Uganda Reopens Airport and Land Borders to Tourists

Uganda Reopens Airport and Land Borders to Tourists

Is Entebbe international airport open for international flights? YES, Uganda has reopened Entebbe airport and land borders for tourism after six months of closure in a bid to curb the spread of the deadly corona virus. All flights to and from Entebbe airport were shut since March except for evacuation and repatriation flights and cargo and so were all land borders to Uganda, Rwanda, Tanzania and the Democratic Republic of Congo. This has given hope for the re start of Uganda safaris which had been halted. The restriction on travels negatively affected many sectors especially the tours and travel industry, which mainly entails aviation. Fortunately, His Excellency the president of Uganda announced the good news of reopening on 20th September 2020 during this 20th address on covid19 pandemic. Flights are set to start effective 1st October 2020. In this speech, the president announced “The international airport and land borders will now be opened for tourists, coming in and going out, provided they tested negative 72 hours before arrival in Uganda”. However, this will be on condition that tourist and returning Uganda’s will not be mixed. For that case, travelers will be driven straight from Entebbe International Airport to their destinations or to the designated transit hotels. Travelers, who had therefore postponed their trios due to travel restrictions, are hereby called again to get ready, come and explore the Pearl of Africa.

Uganda reopens the airport

President Museveni giving a national adress

In the same way, Uganda’s citizens returning from abroad and tested negative for covid19 will be allowed to home directly without quarantine as previously. However, the ministry of health will get addresses for all returning citizens for follow up.

Any passenger arriving in Uganda MUST posses a negative Covid19 polymerize chain reaction (PCR) test from an accredited laboratory in the country of origin. In the same address, the president of Uganda lifted the lockdown in all border districts across the country, which had been restricted for close to 3 months. Ugandans are therefore now allowed to travel to all parts of the country without restrictions. However, all people are reminded to practice SOPs to fight the spread of the deadly virus.

Scheduled flights in Uganda
Are you ready to travel? The Uganda Civil Aviation Authority has already cleared 13 flights to and from Entebbe International Airport on 1st October 2020 while more 10 flights have already been confirmed for2nd October 2020. However, it is mandatory for everyone traveling out to have negative covid19 results done within 72 hours before the flight.

Operating Airlines in Uganda
The authorized airlines operating flights to and from Uganda include the Uganda Airlines (National carrier), Brussels Airlines, Kenya Airlines, Turkish Airlines, Fly Dubai, Air Tanzania, KLM, Tarco Aviation, Ethiopian Airlines, RwandaAir, and Qatar Airways. All these airlines are expected to resume flights effective 1st October.

Preventive measures of Cocid19
Even after testing negative for covid19, endeavor to follow the SOPs and apply preventative measures to prevent the risk of catching the virus. The preventative measures for corona virus include:
1. Wash hands thoroughly with soap and running water
2. Sanitize with alcohol based hand hub
3. Do not touch the eyes, nose and mouth
4. Keep a distance of at least 4 meters away from each other
5. Mask up your face when in public
6. Stay well when you feel unsafe
However, the best preventative measure of corona virus is to avoid being exposed to the virus.

Top Travel experiences in Uganda
The fact that Uganda is now open for tourism, African Apes Holidays brings you a list of top travel experiences you must do on your new Uganda safari. The post covid19 top Uganda travel experiences include:
Mountain gorilla trekking

Uganda reopens for gorilla trekking

Mountain gorillas in Bwindi

Visiting to see the endangered mountain gorillas in the jungles of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest and Mgahinga Gorilla National Parks is the number one travel experience in Uganda. Over 90% of travelers to Uganda choose to trek gorillas as their top bucket list given the magical feeling that comes with this encounter. The Pearl of Africa is home to half of the world’s mountain gorillas, which make it a premier gorilla tour destination. 18 gorilla families hare habituated in Uganda guaranteeing travelers availability of 144 gorilla permits a everyday. The cost of Uganda gorilla safaris is $700 for foreign non-residents, $600 for foreign residents and UGX 250,000 for East African residents. Apparently, the initiation of Rwanda Uganda gorilla trekking has made it easier to do short Uganda gorilla treks including 1-Day Uganda gorilla tour starting and ending in Kigali Rwanda. Gorilla tours in Uganda are normally complemented by batwa cultural tours, bird watching and forest walks making the whole experience more enjoyable.

Chimpanzee trekking
Chimpanzee tracking ranks second to mountain gorillas on Uganda safaris. Visit Kibale Forest National Park, the primate capital of Africa and get chance to spend ample time with the famous chimpanzees in their natural habitats. A chimpanzee tour to Kibale Forest also offers you great chances of seeing other primates such as colubus monkeys, Vervet monkeys, black and white monkeys, red tailed monkeys and many more. Other places to see chimpanzees in Uganda include Kyambura Gorge in Queen Elizabeth National Park, Kalinzu Forest and Budongo Forest.

Game viewing

Uganda reopens for tourism

Giraffes in KVNP

Enjoy guided game drives in Uganda’s savannah parks for excellent game views. The best game viewing parks in Uganda are Kidepo Valley National Park, Murchison Falls National Park, Queen Elizabeth National Park and Lake Mburo National Park. Morning and evening game drives are done giving you chance to interact with various wild animals in the wilderness. Expect to see numerous animals such as elephants, buffalos, lions, leopards, giraffes, Zebras, Topis, Waterbucks, Hippos, and Bush pigs among others. Our experiences guides help you spot different animals.

Mountaineering/Volcano Climbing

Uganda Hiking tours

Snow capped Mt Rwenzori

Are you an adventurer? Be part of our mountain hiking experiences to the top of the snow capped Mount Rwenzori for a memorable experience. A 10 days Rwenzori hiking safari gives you chance to reach Magherita , the highest peak at the mountain. Other hiking experiences in Uganda include the Virunga Volcanoes (Mt Gahinga, Mount Muhabura and Mt Sabyinyo) in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park. Also, Mt Elgon offers best mountaineering experiences. Travelers coming for Uganda hiking tours are advised to do physical exercise to ensure fitness.
Other top things to see and do in Uganda include bird watching, city tours, white water rafting, Lion tracking, Boat cruising and community tours among others. A combination of these makes a complete Uganda safari package offering you a memorable experience.

Conclusively, the reopening of Entebbe International Airport and land borders for tourist into and out of Uganda is great news for tourism in the Pearl of Africa. Contact African Apes Holidays today, book your Uganda safari and enjoy the postcovid19 Uganda safari experiences at affordable rates.

Posted by African Apes in Travel News
Activities For Children on a Gorilla Safari

Activities For Children on a Gorilla Safari

We all know that children below 15 years are not allowed to trek mountain gorillas in Uganda, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Which alternative activities that children can do while parents trek gorillas is one of the frequently asked questions by most travelers planning gorilla safaris in Africa. Are you planning a family trip and wondering which activities can your kids of below 15 years will do while you trek gorillas? No worries, African Apes Holidays offers you a list of suitable activities for children on a gorilla trip to make your safari fun for everyone. Gorilla trekking is the leading primate safari experience in Uganda, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo, which bring the highest number of travelers from all over the world. Age restrictions is one of the major concerns in all gorilla national parks across Africa. The top activities for children on a gorilla safari include among others:

Nature/Forest walks
What to do with kids on a gorilla safariWhile parents trek into the jungle in search of the gentle giants, children can go for a guided nature /forest walk. In most cases, nature walks are done a short distance from the hotel and can last for up to two hours but at a relaxed speed. A nature walk is the best moment for children to pick up beautiful flowers, look up for birds in the trees and small forest animals especially monkeys. Walking on foot through the forest is the best way to explore and enjoy the quite natural en environment. Children will follow different trails to visit some tourism spots such as waterfalls, which make the whole experience more enjoyable.


Community visits

Activities for kids on a gorilla safariChildren are also taken to visit local communities neighboring gorilla national parks in Uganda and Rwanda. The most visited local villages are for batwa pygmies where kids are taught about the forest life of these Batwa people and how they lived harmoniously with wild animals for thousands of years. More so, local people who perform traditional dances, songs and skits introduce young kids to local community’s traditions, norms and customs, entertain children. Children are also guided to neighboring village schools where they get a chance to interact with fellow kids. Community visits also involve touring medical centers and other community projects. Kids are allowed to take part in some local activities such as grinding sorghum and peeling plus traditional dances, which make them, feel as part of the local community.
If you are doing a Rwanda gorilla safari in Volcanoes National Park, children can visit the Iby’iwacu community village to learn more about Rwanda’s traditions, norms and customs.

City tours
A city tour especially to the beautiful Kigali is a not miss for kids. While children are taken to various art galleries, local markets and shopping malls, which is an interesting, experience. The other interesting activities for kids in Rwanda include Heaven restaurant & inn Playground, City Arts classes, Pili Pili sandbox and pool, Fazenda Sengha Horse Farm, Spiderman Game Center, Playground at Mamba Club, Playground at La Palisse Hotel, Play Area at Bamboo Chinese, Pool at Umubano Hotel and Play area at Monaco Café. Parents are very assured that kids will have a good time on a gorilla tour to Africa.

Photography
What to do with kids on a safariKids are well versed with the camera can go for photography near the hotel as their parents trek the gorillas. Photography goes along with filming which is indeed an interesting activity.

What to pack for kids of an African safari
In order to ensure safety and comfort of children on your gorilla safari to Africa, parents are reminded to pack the following for the kids:
Snacks and drinks: Safaris to see gorillas normally take long hours before travelers come back. More so, parents go with packed lunch into the jungle. It’s therefore wise to pack enough snacks and drinks for the kids to keep them strong in absence of their parents

Playing toys
Endeavor to bring playing toys for your children. These will keep them busy throughout and kill the boredom. However, do not carry big heavy toys to reduce on the baggage.

First aid kit
Parents are also reminded to bring a first aid kit for safety in case of any accident. The fact that kids can at times be playful, sliding and falling on sharp objects is inevitable. A first aid kit is therefore a must have on an a gorilla safari in Africa.

Warm sweaters and jackets
Gorilla parks (Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, Volcanoes, Virunga and Mgahinga Gorilla National Parks) are generally cold especially at night and in the morning hours. Travelers are therefore reminded to bring warm sweaters to save kids from cold nights.

In general, traveling with kids is undeniably an interesting experience you should try. African Apes Holidays offers you suitable activities for children while travelers trek gorillas in Uganda, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Posted by African Apes in Travel News
Who Is Eligible to Trek Gorillas

Who Is Eligible to Trek Gorillas

Gorilla safaris in Africa are undeniably the most done travel experiences in the world. YES, over 50% of all travelers who visit Africa choose to do mountain gorilla trekking as their top bucket list. The magical feeling of being close to the giant silverback gorilla, observing the mother characters of adult female gorillas and how the entire gorilla family lives is a remarkable experience worth doing. However before making a gorilla booking, travelers are reminded that not everyone is allowed to see these endangered species! Who is allowed to visit and spend time with these endangered gorillas? African Apes Holidays gives you a detailed guide on whom persons are allowed to trek gorillas in Uganda, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo without any restrictions. The eligibility of gorilla trekking entail:

Travelers aged above 15 years
Who is allowed to visit gorillasYES, any traveler below 15 years of sold is not allowed to participate in mountain gorilla trekking. The reason for age limit in gorilla safaris is due to the strenuous nature of hiking trails to see the gorillas, the long hours spent in the jungle and other risks involved in gorilla tracking. The other reason for age limit is due to the endangered nature of mountain gorillas. Young children may find it hard to adhere to the rules and regulations of gorilla trekking such as keeping a distance of seven meters away from gorillas and keeping calm during the gorilla encounter. While parents are trekking gorillas, children below 15 years are normally taken for a guided nature walk or a community tour in the neighboring local villages. However when a child is yet to celebrate his/her 15th birthday, the parents are asked to write and sign a consent letter to Uganda Wildlife Authority in Uganda or Rwanda Development Board in Rwanda. In this letter, the parents agree to take responsibility of any risk that may happen to the child.

Travelers with a valid permit
Every traveler visiting to see gorillas must have a valid gorilla permit. Also known as a gorilla pass, a mountain gorilla permit is a document, which allows a traveler to visit the gorillas. No traveler is allowed to see gorillas without a permit. Apparently, Rwanda offers luxury gorilla tours costing $1500 paid by each traveler. However in the corona virus period, Rwanda Development Board is offering discounted gorilla permits at $200 for foreign residents in Rwanda. On the other hand, a gorilla permit in Uganda costs $700 for foreign non residents, $600 for foreign residents and UGX 250,000 for East African citizens. Gorilla permit booking is recommended at least 6 months in advance to ensure timely planning. You can book directly with UWA in Uganda or RDB in Rwanda. Alternatively, book through African Apes Holidays, the trusted gorilla safari company in Uganda, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Travelers with no any sickness
Before making any trip, travelers are asked to check with medical doctors to confirm they have no sickness. During pre gorilla trekking briefing, travelers are asked to present medical certificates to the park officials. Any traveler with any signs of flue, cough or cold is not allowed to visit the gorillas. Mountain gorillas share over 99% of human genes, which make them susceptible to human diseases. In this period of Covid19, travelers are asked to present negative covid19 test results. During gorilla encounter, travelers are asked to wear masks, sanitize, wash hands with soap and running water and keep a distance of 10 meters away from gorillas.

Physically fit travelers
Who is eligible to trek gorillasBesides having a gorilla permit, travelers trekking to see mountain gorillas should be physically fit. Gorillas live high altitude areas, which require some physical fitness. Hiking up and down hill through Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park and other gorilla parks is not a walk away. At times, gorilla trekking take over 7 hours before meeting the gentle giants. Travelers who are therefore not physically fit find it hard to reach the gorillas. In order to ensure physical fitness, potential travelers are advised to do physical exercises such as jogging, walking, and hiking among others.

Conclusively, travelers aged 15 years and above are eligible to trek gorillas in Rwanda, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. For more travel advice and gorilla bookings, contact African Apes Holidays

Posted by African Apes in Travel News

1 Day Mgahinga Gorilla Tour

Join our guided 1 Day Mgahinga Gorilla Tour with African Apes Holidays. Visit and spend ample time with the famous Nyakagyezi gorilla family, the one and only habituated gorilla group in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park. Fly into Kigali Rwanda and trek gorillas in Uganda (Mgahinga Gorilla Park). Travelers doing a one day Uganda gorilla trek to Mgahinga starting and ending in Kigali Rwanda involve departing from Kigali at 3:30am, driving for 5 hours to Kisoro via Cyanika border, the entry point to Uganda.
short uganda gorilla tours

Detailed itinerary

Wakeup very early, prepare and at 3:00am set off from Kigali and drive via Rwanda’s rolling hills and cross to Uganda. The drive time from Kigali to Mgahinga is roughly 5 hours. Report at Ntebeko visitor information centre for the pre gorilla trekking briefing and registration. At 8:00am, start off the trek to meet the endangered gorillas in their family. Trekking time range between 30 minutes to several hours depending on where mountain gorillas will be located that day. Also, the trekking time depend on the speed of the slowest person in the group.

After meeting the gorillas, you spend an hour in their presence. This hour is counted from the time a traveler sets an eye on the gorillas. Travelers are reminded to keen calm, take as many as pictures as possible, capture live videos and enjoy the human like characters of the gorillas. Nyakagyezi gorilla family recently received a new baby gorilla bringing the total number of gorilla members to 9.

After seeing the gorillas, hike back, receive your trekking certificate and drive back to Kigali for your return flight.

Tour inclusions

  • Gorilla permit
  • Full time English speaking guide
  • Bottled drinking water
  • Pick up and drop-off
  • Packed lunch
  • Park entrance fees
  • Government taxes
  • Miscellaneous
  • Tour exclusions

  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Extra activities not in the itinerary
  • Personal expenses
  • Shopping
  • Driver tip
  • Porters fee
  • Posted by African Apes in Travel News
    Bigodi Wetland Sanctuary

    Bigodi Wetland Sanctuary

    Located in the outskirts of Kibale Forest National Park, Bigodi wetland sanctuary is a not miss on your Uganda chimpanzee tour in the primate capital. YES, this garzeted swamp forest is a hidden gem you need to discover. Most travelers who have been to Bigodi before review it one of the best and most interesting tours in Uganda. The swamp spreads over 4 kilometers squared located south of Kanyanchu visitor information center. A guided nature walk through Bigodi wetland sanctuary entails walking on board walks which is so adventurous but enjoyable. Interestingly, travelers who visit Bigodi wetland sanctuary experience the true African way of living and conflicting crop raider animals especially baboons and vervet monkeys. The walk lasts for roughly 2 hours but the magical feeling is worth the time and energy. Local community manages the wetland sanctuary and all profits collected from visitors are used to fund local community projects such as schools and health facilities. In most cases, Bigodi wetland walk is done as a complement to chimpanzee tracking and other tourist activities in fort portal. Also, the experience is a best option for children below 15 years who are not allowed to track chimpanzees. The experience is also best for bird watching and primates. Early morning trip with good sunshine is best for photography. The 3 Days Kibale Chimpanzee and Bigodi wetland tour is a suitable package for you. It gives you chance to trek the endangered chimpanzees and walk through this amazing wetland.

    Walking around a swamp is a really scenic walk. The walk entails passing by several farms, empty fields, and kids selling woodcrafts, dirt road. The sightings of monkeys is absolutely incredible, with groups of red-tail monkeys, vervet, black and white as well as red face colobuses, l’host, and more, visible every hundred meters or so.


    Best experiences in Bigodi wetland sanctuary

    There are several amazing things to see and do in Bigodi wetland sanctuary. YES, travelers to this hidden gem are assured of a great experience which include among others:
    Bird Watching

    Bigodi wetland sanctuary

    Birds in Bigodi Wetland

    Bird watching is the top experience done in Bigodi wetland sanctuary. Sheltering over 200 bird species, Bigodi wetland is a haven for birders. Among the birds in Bigodi wetland sanctuary include Hornbills, Papyrus Gonolek, Cuckoos, Waxbills, Weavers, Kingfishers, yellow rumpled tinker bird, Spotted Bardet, Dusky Crimson, Flycatchers, Collared Apalis, African Pitta, Western Nictor, Little greenbul and blue breasted kingfisher among others. Binoculars are very helpful to zoon birds at a further distance.

    Community visits
    Do not miss visiting the local communities who manage the wetland sanctuary. Endeavor to visit different local community projects such as KAFRED and Bigodi Women group. Experience how local people make different craft materials such as mats, baskets, handbags and beads among others. Ensure to support local women by buying crafts and help them earn income to support their families and improve their standards of living. If time allows, visit Bigodi secondary school, one of the projects funded by Bigodi wetland sanctuary.

    Animal watching

    Bigodi wetland sanctuary

    Black and White Colubus

    Bigodi wetland is home to numerous wild animals inclusive of primates, mammals, reptiles and amphibians. Animals seen in Bigodi wetland sanctuary include common chimpanzees, Blue monkeys, black and white Colubus, Vervet monkeys, Baboons, Grey cheeked Mangabey, bushbucks, Sitatungas, bushbucks, otters and African Elephants among others. The experienced guides on ground will help you spot these different animals.

    What to wear to Bigodi Wetland Sanctuary
    The packing list for visiting Bigodi wetland sanctuary should entail closed shoes, Long pants tacked into stockings, a rain jacket since it may rain any time, insect repellants (there are very many ground insects), camera and warm sweaters. `Botteld drinking water and energy giving snacks will keep you Strong throughout

    Generally, a visit to Bigodi wetland sanctuary is well worth it. Also endeavor to support the valuable work of KAFRED (Kibale Association for Rural and Environmental Development).

    Posted by African Apes in Travel News
    How to Get to Mgahinga Gorilla National Park

    How to Get to Mgahinga Gorilla National Park

    Several travelers ask possible means to reach Mgahinga National Park. Could you be among those who have been wondering how to get to and around Mgahinga National Park? No worries, African Apes Holidays offers you guide on various ways you can reach Mgahinga Park. Well, depending on where you are connecting from and your and your next destination after Mgahinga, there are many ways to reach this amazing park. Both air and road transport means are available to ensure you reach Mgahinga Park safely and as quick as possible. The park is one of Uganda’s popular tourist destinations being a center of gorilla trekking, golden monkey tracking, batwa cultural trail and volcano climbing among other tourist activities. Mgahinga Gorilla National Park covers Uganda’s share of the Virunga massif bordered by Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda and Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Mgahinga is located in Kisoro district in southwestern Uganda

    Getting to Mgahinga Gorilla Park by road

    how to get to Mgahinga National Park

    Driving From Kampala to Mgahinga Park

    You can comfortably get to and around Mgahinga Gorilla National Park by road. If you are landing at Entebbe International Airport, Mgahinga Gorilla National Park is roughly 10 hours drive from Kampala. This requires a whole day of driving along Kampala Masaka, Mbarara Kabale and Kisoro highway. Driving from Kampala to Kisoro is undeniably a longest distance but very exciting and enjoyable. A drive via the plain savannahs of Ankole, local communities, small towns and rolling hills of kigezi offer you the best pre trekking experience making the whole magical. A stop at the Uganda equator for photography is a MUST for everyone driving to southwestern Uganda. On the other hand most travelers these days love flying into Kigali International Airport and then drive through Kigali crossing to Kisoro district via Cyanika Border. Cyanika is the entry point from Rwanda to Uganda in Kisoro district. Driving from Kigali to Mgahinga is the shortest route possible which last for roughly 5 hours drive hence suitable for short time travelers.
    A traveler visiting Mgahinga National Park starting and ending at Entebbe airport needs roughly 3 days Uganda gorilla tour. The first day is for driving from Kampala to Mgahinga, second day if gorilla trekking or any activity of his/her choice and the third day is for traveling back to Entebbe airport for a connecting flight.

    Do you want to do a 1-Day Uganda gorilla tour which start and end in Kigali? Book our one-day gorilla trip to Mgahinga Gorilla National Park with African Apes Holidays. The 1-Day Uganda gorilla trip to Mgahinga entails waking up very early at 3:00am and driving for 5 hours to Mgahinga to join the pre gorilla trekking briefing at 7:00am. You visit the gorillas and in the evening drive back to Kigali. The introduction of Kigali to Mgahinga/Bwindi Gorilla trekking has made it easy for short time travelers giving them chance to visit the endangered gorillas in the shortest time possible.

    Getting to Mgahinga National park by Air
    Besides road transport, luxury travelers can as well get to Mgahinga Gorilla National Park by air transport. Book a scheduled flight from Kajjansi airstrip in Entebbe to Kisoro airstrip. The flight time from Entebbe to Kisoro is roughly an hour and 10 minutes. Enjoy the scenic aerial views as you fly above Ankole plains and Kigezi rolling hills. Aero link and Fly Uganda offer you confortable and affordable flights from Entebbe to Kisoro. This saves long hours of driving, which at times becomes exhausting.

    Top tourist activities in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park
    Travelers on Uganda safaris to Mgahinga Park have an endless list of exciting things to see and do. The top tourist activities and attractions in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park include:
    1. Mountain Gorilla Trekking:

    Gorilla trekking in Mgahinga Park

    Nyakagyezi Gorilla Family

    This small park is home to Nyakagyezi gorilla family ready to receive visitors’ everyday. Nyakagyezi family is comprised of 9 members led by Mark as a silverback. Nshuti is an adult female gorilla that gave birth to a new baby gorilla a few days back. Each day, UWA issues 8 gorilla permits to those who want to visit Nyakagyezi gorilla group. Booking gorilla permits to trek Nyakagyezi family can be done either in Kampala or Kisoro UWA head quarters. Alternatively, you can book through African Apes Holidays, your ultimate gorilla safari company in Uganda. Like in the sister Bwindi Forest Park, each permit to trek gorillas in Mgahinga National Park costs $700 for foreign non residents, $600 for foreign residents and UGX 250,000 for East African residents. Gorilla permit booking is recommended at least 6 months before the trekking date. In 2019, Mgahinga Gorilla Park was blessed to shelter Rwanda’s Hirwa Gorilla family, which had migrated from Volcanoes National Park. Hirwa stayed for close to 8 months in Mgahinga but later returned to Rwanda.

    2. Golden Monkey Trekking

    Top activities in Maghinga Park

    Golden Monkeys in Mgahinga Park

    A trek to see golden monkeys is yet another must do activity in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park. Mgahinga is the only park to see golden monkeys in the whole of Uganda. The other population of endangered golden monkey’s lives in Rwanda’s Volcanoes National park. The playful and lively characters of golden monkeys make an encounter with them more fun and magical. Fortunately, trekking golden monkeys is quite cheaper costing $100 compared to mountain gorillas. This makes it affordable for all travelers including those traveling on budget.

    3. Volcano climbing
    Mgahinga Gorilla National Park is home to three dormant Volcanoes, which are part of the Virunga chain of Volcanoes. A hike to summit of Mt Gahinga, Mt Sabyinyo or My Muhabura is an exceptional experience you will live to remember. The summit of any of the three volcanoes offers you spectacular views of the Virunga Conservation area, other Virunga volcanoes and local communities in the neighborhood. Physical fitness is key for everyone going for hiking in Mgahinga National park. Mt Gahinga is the shortest volcano suitable for the aged the physically unfit.

    4. Batwa Cultural Trail

    Activities in Mgahinga Park

    Batwa pygimies in Mgahinga

    Visit the Indigenous batwa pygmies for an exceptional cultural experience with African Apes Holidays. This whole experience entails Batwa pygmies guiding travelers into Mgahinga Gorilla National Park to experience the traditional forest life of these bush people. Some of the activities done in Batwa cultural trail include visiting Ngarama cave where Batwa used to offer sacrifices and perform ritual, Picking medicinal herbs, collecting honey and hunting among others. More so, you will enjoy the traditional dances and songs of Batwa about their initial forest life. Batwa cultural trail costs $80 per person and this money is directed to improving the lives of batwa pygmies who were evicted rom the forest to the neighboring communities. Therefore taking part in the Batwa cultural trail is one way of supporting Batwa pygmies.

    5. Bird watching
    Are you a birder? Mgahinga Gorilla National Park is a birder’s haven sheltering over 180 bird species 20 of which are endemic to the albertine region. Among the birds in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park include African Paradise Flycatcher, Black Kite, Pin tailed whydah, Cape robin chat, speckled mouse bird, African Olive Pigeon, Moorland Chat, Alpine Swift, Blue headed Coucal, and Scarlet tufted malachite sunbird among others. The best time for bird watching in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park is from April to mid May and from October to November. If you want to see migratory birds in Mgahinga Park, November to April is the best time. May and June is the nesting season.

    Do you want to book a Uganda flying safari to Mgahinga Gorilla National Park? African Apes Holidays makes it easier for you at pocket friendly prices

    Posted by African Apes in Travel News
    Gorilla Baby Boom in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park

    Gorilla Baby Boom in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park

    Good News!! Mgahinga Gorilla National Park is celebrating the birth of the new baby gorilla in Nyakagyezi gorilla family. The baby gorilla was born on 2nd September 2020 and was found by park rangers during mountain gorilla monitoring. The new baby gorilla is born to Nshuti, an adult gorilla family in Nyakagyezi gorilla family. The new baby has raised the number of mountain gorillas in Nyakagyezi family to 9. Uganda Wildlife Authority continues to celebrate the baby boom in the two gorilla national parks. Nshuti gorilla is a very peaceful member of the Nyakagyezi gorilla family who always welcomes people into the family. Nshuti is a local Kinyarwanda word locally translated as “peaceful”. Since the closure of gorilla parks in March 2020 due to corona virus pandemic, the two parks mainly Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park has seen a huge baby boom. Most babies in Bwindi Forest have been born in Buhoma sector north of the impenetrable Forest.

    About Nyakegyezi gorilla family
    Over the years, Nyakagyezi has been the only habituated mountain gorilla family in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park. In its early days of habituation, Nyakagyezi gorilla family would cross over to the neighboring Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo, which made it hard to for travelers to visit them. However at the moment, Nyakagyezi has fully settled in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park and is available for trekking everyday.


    Gorilla baby boom in Uganda

    A baby gorilla in Nyakagyezi Family

    Trekking to see Nyakagyezi gorilla family
    Each day, Nyakagyezi gorilla family is visited by a group of eight travelers. Trekking time to see gorillas last between 30 minutes to several hours depending on where the gorillas will be located that day. After meeting the gorillas, travelers spend an hour in the company of gorillas. This hour is counted from the time travelers meet gorillas. Travelers are reminded to keep calm and keen and use this one-hour to observe gorilla’s behaviors, and take pictures for memories. Trekking can be done via Entebbe international airport or Kigali International airport. Alternatively, you can fly into Kigali Rwanda and cross via Cyanika border connecting through Kisoro district. Mgahinga Gorilla National Park is located a short distance from Kisoro district. If you have limited time, a 1-Day Mgahinga gorilla tour is a suitable package for you. Here travelers are picked very early at 3:00am from Kigali, drive for 5 hours to catch-up with pre gorilla trekking briefing at Ntebeko information Centre. Travelers spend an hour with gorillas and thereafter drive back to Kigali for a return flight.

    A valid mountain gorilla permit is a must have for every traveler visiting the Nyakagyezi gorilla family. Each permit costs $700 for foreign non-residents, $600 for foreign residents and UGX250, 000 for East African residents. Gorilla permit booking can be done directly with Uganda Wildlife Authority or through African Apes Holidays, your number one gorilla safari company. Due to limited availability of gorilla permits in Mgahinga gorilla national park, travelers are advised to book as early as six months prior.

    In general, we continue to celebrate the birth of new baby gorillas in Uganda’s Gorilla National Parks. Book your Uganda gorilla tour today and get a chance to see the baby gorillas with African Apes Holidays.

    Posted by African Apes in Travel News
    All National Parks in Uganda Reopened for Tourism

    All National Parks in Uganda Reopened for Tourism

    Good News! All Uganda National Parks are now open for tourism. Uganda Wildlife Authority informs the general public about the reopening of all national parks and protected areas in Uganda for tourism. This relief comes after 5 months of no tourism in Uganda national parks since March 2020 when the country was locked down to control the spread of the deadly corona Virus. Entebbe international airport and all border entry points to Uganda were also closed restricting all visitors from outside countries from entering into Uganda. The reopening of Uganda National parks started in June 2020, when Uganda Wildlife Authority reopened Savannah parks of Murchison Falls Park in North western Uganda, Kidepo Valley National Park in north eastern Uganda, Lake Mburo National Park in western Uganda, Queen Elizabeth National Park and Semliki Valley National Park. However, the primate national parks of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National park, Mgahinga Gorilla National Park for gorilla safaris in Africa and Kibale Forest National park home for the endangered chimpanzees had not officially been opened for tourism until 3rd September 2020 when UWA officially declared Primate parks in Uganda open for gorilla trekking and chimpanzee tours giving travelers chance to meet the amazing primates in their natural habitats.
    In the same way, Entebbe International Airport is set to reopen on 1st October 2020 allowing check ins for all travelers from all parts of the world. The good news for the reopening of Entebbe International Airport was announced by the government on 3rd September 2020.
    We therefore call upon all travelers who had cancelled and postponed their trips to rebook and get ready for Uganda safaris with African Apes Holidays.

    Guide to Visiting Uganda National parks amidst corona Virus

    Whereas Uganda Wildlife Authority reopened national parks for tourism, all visitors to these protected areas MUST adhere to the following guidelines to ensure safety of wildlife and prevent the further spread of the deadly virus. The rules to follow when visiting any of Uganda National Parks include:
    1. Mandatory wearing of face masks when inside the park. A face mask is a must have for anyone visiting the national park. Travelers are advised to keep on their masks when with the animals
    2. Mandatory temperature screening with the anti-contact infra-red thermometers at all entrance points into national parks. Anyone who measures high temperatures is not allowed to enter.
    3. Mandatory hand washing with soap and sanitizing at all entrance points to national parks and other protected areas across Uganda.
    4. All visitors must have tested negative for corona virus within 72 hours before coming to Uganda
    5. Keeping social distance is highly recommended. For those going to trek gorillas in Bwindi Forest/Mgahinga Parks, you must keep a distance of 10 meters away from the primates
    6. Salon cars are not allowed to do game drives in savannah parks of Uganda
    7. Travelers are advised to carry extra masks
    8. Any traveler with any signs of sickness, fever, cold and cough will not be allowed to enter into the park
    9. Visitors to national parks are also reminded to carry personal sanitizers

    How to book a Uganda safari?
    You can book your Uganda safari directly with Uganda Wildlife Authority head offices in Kampala. Alternatively, you can book through African Apes Holidays, the ultimate safari company offering tailor made Uganda safaris and other related tour packages across the country. If you are visiting to see gorillas and chimpanzees, permit booking is recommended at least 6 months in advance to ensure timely planning

    The state of Corona virus in Uganda
    Uganda registered her first positive corona virus case in march 2020. In a bid to prevent the spread of the deadly virus, the government rushed to lock down the whole country including a ban on all travelers to and outside the country. Thereafter, the government eased the lock down to allow businesses operate and avoid the rapid fall of the country’s economy. As of 3rd September 2020, Uganda has registered 3353 positive cases, 33 deaths and 1564 recoveries. Great thanks to the Ministry of health and Uganda’s at large who have worked together to stop the spread of the deadly corona virus.

    Conclusively, the reopening of Uganda National Parks for tourism is great news for the country. Tourism is the major source of foreign exchange earning for Uganda which contribute over 45% of the country’s gross domestic product. Book now, come and experience the pearl of Africa with African Apes Holidays

    Posted by African Apes in Travel News
    Weather Conditions In Rwanda

    Weather Conditions In Rwanda

    Weather patterns in Rwanda is one of the key things you must understand extensively before planning your Rwanda safaris. YES, a wide knowledge of Rwanda weather forecasts and the difference in seasons help you know when is the best time to travel and which activities are suitable for a certain period of time. Located south of the Equator, Rwanda has the most pleasant weather. Its neither hot nor cold but rather conducive throughout the year. Low altitudinal areas in parts of Akagera National Park are generally warm throughout while the areas of higher altitude in Volcanoes National Park center for gorilla trekking, Nyungwe Forest for chimpanzees/canopy walk and Lake Kivu are normally cold but favorable still.
    Weather in Rwanda

    Dry season
    Dry season also known as peak season in Rwanda is from June to August with July being the driest months of the year. The peak season is generally dry with less or no rains at all. Most travelers’ love visiting Rwanda in the dry season given the ease of doing all tourism activities. The peak season is undeniably the best time to do most if not all tourism activities in Rwanda. Mountain gorilla trekking/Golden monkey tracking in Volcanoes National Park, Chimpanzee trekking in Nyungwe Forest and Mt Karisimbi hiking are all best done in the dry season. Therefore, Rwanda receives the highest number of travelers in the peak season. Demand for gorilla permits and chimpanzees are generally high in this season, which require travelers to book in advance. Permit issuing is done on first come first serve basis.
    Rwanda weather

    Rainy season
    The land of a thousand hills has two rainy seasons between the months of March to May and September to November. Rains in November at times extend to December. Rainfall in Rwanda normally is in form of downpour, which lasts for a few hours. However immediately after the rain, sun sets in enabling tourism and other economic activities to go on well. Bird watching is best done in the rain season giving you chance to see migratory birds. Also, game viewing and photography in Akagera National Park is well done in the wet season. Vegetation is very green giving the very best scenic views. In most cases, low season is associated with less visits which calls for discounted services in hotels, lodges, travel companies and other service providers.

    What to pack when visiting Rwanda
    Are you ready for your Rwanda gorilla safari? Check what to pack to Rwanda with African Apes Holidays.
    • Hiking shoes if you trekking gorillas, golden monkeys or even hiking Karisimbi Volcano
    • Warm jackets, sweaters and scarf. Rwanda generally gests cold during the night and at times during day times.
    • A hat
    • Hand Gloves
    • Insect repellants
    • Sanitizer is a must have in the period of Covid19

    NOTE: All travel activities in Rwanda can be done all year round. Whereas there can be disruptions in some activities such as nature walking and primate trekking, travelers are assured of best experiences in Rwanda despite the season.

    In general, Rwanda, the land of a thousand hills has conducive weather throughout the year. The mixture of wet and cold weather patterns makes it a best place to visit and live in.

    Posted by African Apes in Travel News
    Kibale Forest Re opened for Chimpanzee Trekking

    Kibale Forest Re opened for Chimpanzee Trekking

    We last informed you how UWA had closed all Uganda chimpanzee tours to Kibale Forest National Park in a bid to prevent the spread of the deadly corona virus to the endangered chimpanzees. YES, for close to 4 months, Uganda Wildlife Authority suspended all visits and research related activities in Kibale Forest National Park. However, we bring you the good news! The primate capital has been reopened for chimpanzee trekking, chimpanzee habituation experience, forest walks and all other tourism and research related activities in the park. Despite the increased number of Covid19 positive cases in Uganda, the Uganda Wildlife Authority together with the ministry of tourism and Uganda Tourism Board have put in place measures to ensure chimpanzees and travelers are safe from the deadly virus. African apes Holidays is at your service t book a chimpanzee permit and arrange a tailor made chimpanzee trekking tour to Kibale Forest National Park at affordable rates.

    Chimpanzee trekking in Kibale Forest
    Cahimpanzee trekking in Kibale ForestVisiting to see chimpanzees are the most done travel; activity in Kibale Forest National Park. Over 90% of all visitors to this park opt to trek the endangered chimpanzees as the first priority. The rainforest is home to the highest number of chimpanzees and primate capital in Africa. Travelers going for chimpanzee trekking in Kibale Forest are required to have permits which allow them to visit and spend ample time with man’s close relatives. The cost of chimpanzee permits in Kibale Forest National Park is $200 for foreign nonresidents, $150 for foreign residents and UGX 150,000 for East African residents. These fees are inclusive of guide fees, park entrance fees for the day, government taxes, conservation fees and contributions to community development projects. Permit booking is recommended at least 4 months in advance to ensure timely planning. A 2 Days chimpanzee tour to Kibale Forest is a suitable package for you.


    When is the best time to trek chimpanzees in Kibale Forest

    Chimpanzees can be visited all year round from January to December and all experiences are awesome. However, the experience is best done in dry season in the months of June, July, August, September, December and January. During this time, there is little or no rains which ease movements through the jungle. Also photography is best in the dry season. On day of trekking, travelers wake up very early and transfer to Kanyanchu visitor information center for briefing and registration. Travelers are introduced to the dos and don’ts of chimpanzee trekking which include among others:
    1. Wearing a face mask
    2. Sanitizing with soap and water
    3. Keeping a distance of 10 meters a way from the chimpanzees
    4. Avoiding direct contact with chimpanzees
    5. Keep voices as low as possible
    6. Avoid littering in the park
    Hiking to see chimpanzees starts at 8:00am lasting for between 30 minutes to several hours depending on where chimpanzees will be located and travelers hiking speed. Travelers spend an hour with the chimpanzees, taking pictures, capturing videos and enjoying the human like characters of the endangered species.

    What to pack for chimpanzee trekking in Kibale Forest
    Travelers visiting engendered chimpanzees in Kibale Forest are reminded to pack the right attires to ensure peaceful and enjoyable chimpanzee encounter. Among the things to pack for chimpanzee trekking include:
    • Hiking boots/shoes
    • Gardening gloves
    • Long sleeved shorts
    • Long Pants
    • Sun glasses
    • Hat
    • Bottled drinking water
    • Energy giving snacks
    • Rain jacket
    • First aid kit

    Other activities to do in Kibale Forest
    Besides chimpanzee trekking, visitors to Kibale Forest have an endless list of things to see and do on their Uganda safari to this tropical rain forest. Other top activities to do in Kibale Forest include:
    Chimpanzee Habituation Experience: Also known as CHEX, the experience is about training wild chimpanzees to make them familiar with people before they are opened for trekking. The half-day experience entails travelers following up chimpanzees in the wild while imitating the primate’s behaviors. This experience lasts for between 2-3 years done by a team of park rangers, researchers and primate doctors. The experience is similar to gorilla habituation experience done in Rushaga sector south of Bwindi Forest National Park. Chimpanzee habituation experience costs $250 for foreign non residents, $250 for foreign residents and UGX 150,000 for East African residents but the magical feeling that comes along with it is worth the money. The rates are inclusive of park entrance fee, conservation, guide fee and some portion goes to local communities.

    Bird watching: In addition to being home of the primates, Birding in Kibale Forest National ParkKibale Forest National Park is a paradise for birders. The rain forest shelters over 372 bird species which include Abyssinian Ground Thrush, African Piatta, Afep Pigeon, Blue breasted kingfisher, Brown illadopsis, Grey Parrot, Masked apalis, Ruwenzori apalis, Crowned eagle, White naped pigeon, Brown chested alete and Yellow rumped tinkerbird among others. March to May and From September to November is the best time to see birds in Kibale Forest National Park. If you want to see migratory birds, November to April is the best time for you.

    Nature /Forest Walks: Explore Kibale Forest National on foot for a nature/forest walk. The experience is the best time to discover all hidden gem in the park while enjoying the sweet melodies of birds above you. Nature walking is usually done in the evening and it’s the best time to spot different medicinal plants in the forest. Also, the experience give you chance to meet various animals species in the forest making the whole experience more enjoyable.

    Bigodi wetland Sanctuary:
    Nature walking in Kibale ForestA walk to Bigodi wetland sanctuary on the fringes of Kibale Forest National Park is a not miss for all travelers to this park. The animal filled walk is a best complement for chimpanzee trekking to make a complete safari package. Travelers on this walk are assured to seeing an expansive variety of plants, animals and birds, which call this wetland home. Walking on the dancing boards is so chilly and worth a try!

    Conclusively therefore, the reopening of Kibale Forest National Park is a relief for primate lovers. Book now and enjoy a close encounter with the endangered chimpanzees in Kibale Forest with African Apes Holiday, your number one primate company in Uganda.

    Posted by African Apes in Travel News
    New Baby Rhino At Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary

    New Baby Rhino At Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary

    It was great joy in Uganda as we welcome the new baby Rhino at Ziwa Rhino sanctuary. Jabali was born on 18th August 2020 at Ziwa. Jabali becomes the sixth born to its mother Bella one of the first and original Rhinos to this Sanctuary. Bella was brought in from Kenya and has contributed to the growing rhino population in Uganda. A team of University students from Deakin University in Austria named the new male calf. The total population of the Rhinos now stands at 32. This means so much to the Ugandan tourism sector with the increased number of Rhinos.

    What to do at Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary
    Rhino tracking. Tracking the southern white rhinos is the biggest activity at Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary. After a long time without Rhinos in Uganda, the introduction of these forest giants gave many more reasons to visit this landlocked country.

    Birding
    Ziwa is a birder’s haven with up to four birding trails, the Sanctuary has a recorded number of over 300 bird species. Guided birding walks through this protected area will be so rewarding. Look out for bird species like the blue spotted dove, African black crake, African fish eagle, African blue flycatcher, red headed weaver, saddle billed stork, ring necked dove and African fish eagle among others.

    Guided nature walks
    Visitors have an opportunity to get out of their safari cars and explore the sanctuary on foot. The trained ranger guides will share great insights of the sanctuary as you encounter wildlife like the Oribis, waterbucks, duikers and Uganda kobs.

    Shoebill Canoe Ride
    The shoebill stork is Uganda’s most sought after bird specie found in few areas of this country. The canoe ride happens at the 10km lugogo wetland and the canoes are provided by the community as a way to earn a living. Apart from the shoebill stork, you will be able to set your eyes on the white crested turaco, palm nut vulture, Egyptian goose, and the African fish eagle among others.

    Night walks
    Night walks are a rewarding experience that uniquely introduces you to the wild in the night. There are a number of nocturnal animals in Ziwa that you may want to see.

    OTHER TOP TOUR ACTIVITIES TO DO IN UGANDA
    Gorilla tracking and Habituation experience
    Gorilla tracking is a Uganda’s leading tour activity attracting visitor from all over the world. A face to face encounter with a mature silverback is every traveler’s dream, watching the gorillas feed, play and go about their daily activities. Uganda is blessed to be home to the largest population of mountain Gorillas sheltering more than half of the world’s total population of mountain Gorillas. Over 20 habituated gorilla families 19 in Bwindi impenetrable forest National Park and one in Mgahinga Gorilla Park in southwestern Uganda.


    Chimpanzee tracking

    Uganda is gifted with a high number of Chimps making Chimpanzee tracking one of the most exciting tour activities as you meet these our relatives. It is believed that chimps share with humans 98% DNA. Kibale National park in western Uganda is home to over 1500 chimpanzees making it the largest population of Chimps in one place in East Africa. You will also have an opportunity to watch other primates and several bird species. Chimpanzee tracking can also be done at Kyambura Gorge in Queen Elizabeth National Park.
    Conclusively therefore, rhino tracking is one of the best wildlife experiences not to miss on your Uganda safari. Contact African Apes Holidays today, visit the new baby rhino and feel the joy.

    Posted by African Apes in Travel News
    Bwindi Forest Receives 5th Baby within 6 weeks

    Bwindi Forest Receives 5th Baby within 6 weeks

    Bwindi impenetrable Forest, Uganda wildlife authority and all mountain gorilla lovers in Uganda and abroad are jubilating the birth of the 5th baby gorilla in Buhoma sector north of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park. The new baby gorilla was born to Ruterana, an adult female gorilla in Rushegura gorilla family in Buhoma sector. Rushegura family received another baby gorilla a few days ago, which indeed calls for celebration! The new baby gorilla has increased the number of mountain gorillas in Bwindi Forest to 18. Ruterana mother gorilla was born on 1st Jan 2002 aged 18 years old. The new baby gorilla is her third offspring within 18 years.

    Other baby gorillas born in Bwindi Forest
    The other baby gorilla was born in early August 2020 to Kibande adult female gorilla in Rushegura gorilla family still in Rushegura Gorilla Family. Kibande mother gorilla is one of the senior’s adult females in Rushegura gorilla family and she is a kingmaker and a planner in Rushegura gorilla family.

    The baby boom in Bwindi Forest National Park
    Baby gorilla tours in Bwindi ForestThere has been great baby boom in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park in the past 5 months since the start of corona virus lockdown in March. The endangered mountain gorillas were feared to catch the deadly corona virus, which called for the closure of Bwindi Forest and a halt on all tourism and research activities to curb the spread of this disease. However, in June 2020, Uganda Wildlife Authority eased the lockdown and reopened the park for mountain gorilla trekking. Mountain gorilla lovers who cancelled their travels are called on to come and do their gorilla treks. However, Entebbe International Airport is still closed to international flights. All travelers visiting to see mountain gorillas in Uganda’s Bwindi Impenetrable Forest and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park are advised to fly into Kigali Rwanda and do Kigali to Bwindi gorilla trekking. A 3 days Uganda gorilla tour starting and ending in Kigali Rwanda is a best package for you. On the first day, travelers are picked from Kigali airport and driven to Bwindi Forest, on the second day; travelers are guided to visit the gorillas while the third day id for traveling back to Kigali for a return flight.
    Do you have a tight schedule and wondering whether it’s possible to see the gorillas? No worries, African Apes Holidays offers a 1 Day Bwindi gorilla tour starting and ending in Kigali Rwanda. Here travelers leave Kigali at 3:00am, drive to Bwindi Forest, trek gorillas and in the evening drive back to Kigali. Our short gorilla tours give short time travelers a chance to see the endangered mountain gorillas in the shortest time possible.

    Gorilla Families in Bwindi Forest
    Bwindi Forest is home to 17 habituated gorilla families making it home to the highest number of gorillas in the whole world. The high number of gorilla families assure travelers availability of gorilla permits and hence a chance to trek the endangered gorillas. Each gorilla family is visited by 8 people a day hence 136-gorilla permits available everyday. Gorilla groups in Bwindi Forest are split in four sectors, which are Buhoma in the north, Ruhija in the East, Nkuringo and Rushaga in the southern sector. The names of gorilla families in Bwindi Forest are Mubare, Habinyanja, Rushegura, Nkuringo, Oruzogo, Bitukura, Busingye, Kyaguliro, Mishaya, Nshongi, Katwe, Muyambi and Christmas gorilla families. More so, Bwindi Forest has 2 gorilla families undergoing habituation experience. These are Bushaho and Bikingyi gorilla families each visited by 4 people per day for a four-hour’s interaction.

    Cost of gorilla tours in Uganda
    Each gorilla permit to visit gorilla family in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest and Mgahinga Gorilla National park costs $700 for foreign non residents, $600 for foreign residents and UGX 250,000 for East African residents. On the other hand, a permit for gorilla habituation experience costs $1500 for four hours. African Apes Holidays help you book and reserve gorilla permits as well as arranging tailor made gorilla tour packages. All gorilla permit bookings are recommended at least 6 months in advance to ensure timely planning.

    What to pack for gorilla trekking in Uganda
    Are you set to trek gorillas in Bwindi Forest National Park? Remember to pack the essentials to ensure peaceful gorilla encounter. Among the things to pack for gorilla trekking in Uganda include:
    1. Hiking boots
    2. Gardening gloves
    3. Sun glasses
    4. Long sleeved shirts/blouse
    5. Long pants
    6. Sun glasses
    7. Hat
    8. Energy giving snacks
    9. First aid kit
    10. Insect repellants
    Generally, we continue to celebrate the birth of baby gorillas in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park. Gook your gorilla today and get a chance to visit the newborn babies in Bwindi Forest with African Apes Holidays.

    Posted by African Apes in Travel News
    Explore Sipi Falls

    Explore Sipi Falls

    Located in Kapchorwa district eastern Uganda, Sipi falls is a bucket list worthy adventure on your Uganda safari. A hike to the top of the three series waterfalls is an adventure that leaves you yearning for more. Viewing all the three waterfalls in one day is such an awesome experience that you ought to enjoy. The whole area is cool and breezy due to high altitude. The top of the falls offers scenic views of the green vegetation, Mt Elgon, karamoja region, Lake Kyoga, and neighboring local communities. According to those who have been there already, Sipi falls is a stunning natural beauty, a not miss for every traveler on Uganda safari to Eastern Uganda. In some cases travelers combine Sipi falls with other wildlife experiences especially gorilla safaris in Africa. The easiest route to reach Sipi Falls is the Budadiri through the Sasa trail, which later descends to the Sipi trail. Hiking through tea plantations and local gardens make the whole experience awesome.

    Three Sipi Falls
    Travelers hiking to sipi falls follow different trails given the threesome waterfalls. The biggest waterfall is located at 100 meters high and it’s the most visited waterfall among all the three. Actually, most people know this as the only Sipi waterfall. The second waterfall is located at 85 meters high over a sharp cliff forming a pool below. The water that flows from the second fall meets another cliff at 65 meters high forming the third waterfall. This waterfall is also referred to as the “Twin Fall”. The waterfalls form Sipi River, which flows, through local farms, bushes and forests in the area.

    Best time to visit Sipi falls
    Dry season is the best time to explore the mighty Sipi falls. Hiking in the rainy season is difficult since the steps get slippery and wet. During the wet season, the waterfall becomes stronger and scary for first travelers but magical for adventurers. Therefore, the waterfall can be vised all year round. Travelers advised to be physically fit in order to deal with the steep slopes.

    Activities at Sipi Falls
    Travelers visiting Sipi falls have a long list of things to see and do which together make a complete package. The top things to do at Sipi Falls include:
    1. Hiking: This is the number one activity to do at Sipi Falls. Travelers hike to explore the three waterfalls located at different altitudes. Visiting the three falls takes roughly 3 hours but the magical feeling is worth the hike.
    2. Abseiling & Rock Climbing: Do not miss out abseiling and rock climbing on your Uganda safari to Sipi Falls. The experience involves travelers descending down on the rock cliffs of the waterfall. A double rope s tied around the waist of a traveler and fixed on the highest point of the cliff. Traveler’s drop off the 100m ridges above Sipi River. The experience is undeniably scary but worn it for adventurous travelers. More so, travelers involve in climbing up and down the steep rocks at the edge of Sipi Falls.

    3. Visit the Arabic Coffee Plantation: Visit the coffee plantations on the lower slopes of Mt Elgon. Coffee planting is the major source of income for local people in Mt Elgon region. Travelers are taken through different processes in which Coffee is harvested, roasted and processed into different products. Also, a visit to coffee plantations is an opportunity to meet and interact with local people and their living styles.

    4. Cultural Tours: A visit to local communities around Sipi falls offers you great cultural interaction. The common people visited are the sabiny whose traditions, culture and norms will interest you. These people are known for practicing female genital mutilation, the uncommon practice in Uganda. Enjoy the traditional dances and songs, take part and enjoy the indigenous culture of these people. Another interesting activity among the Bagishu is imbalu ceremony which is the circumcision of all males above 10 years.

    5. Bird watching: Birding watching is yet another interesting activity around Sipi Falls. Over 275 birds live in the forests and bushes around Sipi River. Among the birds seen at Sipi falls include Baglafetcht, Tecazze sunbird, bush shrikes, jacksons francolin, African blue flycatcher, Moorland Francolin, Black collared Apalis, Black shouldered Kite, Tacazze Sunbird, and over 87 Afrotropical highland biome species. Our experienced birding guides help you spot different species and explain unique features about each spotted bird specie.

    6. Mountain Biking: You can also enjoy a ride on the Rocky Mountains at Mt Elgon along the sipi falls. Mountain biking is an adventurous activity, which is not for the faint hearted.

    7. Walk to Sipi River: Join a walk down to Sipi river, enjoy the cool breezes and embrace the scenic beauty along the Sipi River. The banks of the river shelter some bird and plant species all at your disposal.

    How to Book a trip to Sipi Falls
    Gorilla is at your service to book and arrange a suitable short Uganda tour to Sipi Falls. Our 1-day or 2 days Sipi falls tour helps you discover this beautiful falls in the shortest time possible.

    Travelers who want to spend an overnight stay at Sipi falls can sleep at Sipi River Lodge, Sipi Sunset Lodge, Rafiki Lodge Sipi and Lacam Lodge. These lodges serve excellent food and sleeping services at affordable rates. African Apes Holidays help you book the accommodation services at fair prices.

    In general, Sipi Falls is a must visit on your short Uganda safaris. Contact African Apes Holidays today, book now and travel to explore Uganda’s natural beauty

    Posted by African Apes in Travel News
    Gorilla Trekking in Uganda Vs Rwanda

    Gorilla Trekking in Uganda Vs Rwanda

    Comparing gorilla trekking in Uganda and Rwanda is common among travelers visiting Uganda and Rwanda. Over years, visit to see mountain gorillas in the jungle has ranked as the best wildlife experience, which attracts the highest number of travelers from all over the world. Each day that passes, hundreds of travelers check into Uganda and Rwanda to have a taste of this magical feeling. Rwanda and Uganda is the leading gorilla our destinations that offer exceptional gorilla safari experience. The difference in gorilla trekking in Uganda and Rwanda is one of the frequently asked questions by most travelers making gorilla tour bookings. Also, some travelers who have enough time and money have done double gorilla treks in both Uganda and Rwanda to draw accurate comparisons between the two destinations. Are you asking which country is best for gorilla trekking between Uganda and Rwanda? African Apes Holidays brings you detailed comparisons between gorilla trekking in Uganda and Rwanda. The comparison between gorilla trekking in Uganda and Rwanda is based on:

    Cost of gorilla permits
    The cost of gorilla trekking in Uganda and Rwanda is different. Each country set a certain cost of mountain gorilla permits based on the country’s conservation goals and policies. A single gorilla permit in Rwanda costs $1500 paid by all travelers. The cost of Rwanda gorilla permits was doubled in 2017 by RDB from $700 t0 $1500. On the other hand, a Uganda gorilla permit costs $700 for foreign non-residents, $600 for foreign residents and UGX for Ugandans and East African residents. Rwanda is therefore a luxury gorilla safari destination best for up high-end travelers. However during the covid19 lockdown, Rwanda is offering discounted gorilla permits at $200 valid between June to December 2020. Gorilla permit bookings can be done through African Apes Holidays. Alternatively, contact Rwanda Development Board and Uganda Wildlife Authority in Rwanda and Uganda respectively.

    The number of mountain gorillas
    Gorilla Trekking in Uganda Vs RwandaUganda has the highest number of mountain gorillas in the whole world. The pearl of Africa shelters half of the world’s total gorilla population, which gives many travelers a chance to see these endangered species. Uganda gorillas live in two gorilla parks, which are Bwindi Impenetrable Forest and Mgahinga gorilla national park both in southwestern Uganda. Altogether, Uganda has 18 habituated gorilla families which are Mubare, Habiyanja, Kyagulilo, Oruzogo, Kahungye, Nkuringo, Busingye, Bweza, Rushegura, Nshongi, Mishaya, Bitukura and the one and only Nyakagyezi family in Mgahinga. More so, Uganda has two gorilla families (Bushaho and Bikingyi) undergoing habituation experience in Rushaga sector south of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park. On the other hand, Rwanda has 10 habituated gorilla families that include Karisimbi, Sabyinyo, Agashya, Hirwa, Kwitonda, Umubano, Amahoro, and Susa A gorilla families.

    Availability of gorilla families
    Each day, Uganda has 164 gorilla permits available while Rwanda has 80 mountain gorilla permits available. The availability of gorilla permits depend on the number of habituated gorilla families each country has. Each gorilla family is visited by a group of eight people meaning 8 permits per gorilla family. If you want to do gorilla habituation experience, 8 permits are available each day given the 4 people allowed to visit each gorilla family.

    Ease of access to gorilla parks
    Volcanoes National park Rwanda is roughly 2 hours and 30 minutes from Kigali International Airport. On the other hand, Uganda’s Bwindi Forest and Mgahinga Gorilla National parks are located 10-hours drive from Entebbe airport and roughly 5 hours drive from Kigali International Airport. Given the short distance from the airport to Volcanoes National park, Rwanda is suitable for short time travelers compared to Uganda. However, the recent introduction of Kigali to Bwindi /Mgahinga gorilla trekking give short time travelers a chance to trek Uganda gorillas starting and ending in Kigali Rwanda. A 1-Day Uganda gorilla trek starts at 3:30am with a pick up from Kigali driving 5 hours to catch up with a pre gorilla trekking briefing at the respective park headquarters in Bwindi. After seeing the gorillas, travelers are driven back to Kigali for a connecting flight.

    Gorilla addon activities
    Gorilla trekking add-ons are key when comparing the trekking experiences in Uganda and Rwanda. Given the long distance of travel from Entebbe to Bwindi, Uganda has numerous pre gorilla trekking experience compared to Rwanda. Among the addon activities to do in addition to gorilla trekking in Uganda include game viewing, cultural tours, chimpanzee trekking and bird watching among others. However, Rwanda also has gorilla addon activities, which make a complete Rwanda safari package.

    Ease and difficulty in trekking
    comparing gorilla trekking in Uganda & RwandaBwindi Forest National Park, the center of Uganda gorilla tours is located on a risen altitude compared to Volcanoes National Park. Trekking in Bwindi forest especially in Nkuringo and Buhoma sector is undeniably strenuous and tiresome compared to Volcanoes National park. Bwindi is therefore suitable for adventurous and aged travelers. However, hiring to see mountain gorillas in both parks is energy consuming. The length of a gorilla trek depends on the location of the gorillas, travelers’ hiking speed and gorilla’s speed of movements. It can last for between 30 minutes to a full day. However, travelers are 99% assured of meeting the endangered species at the day of the day.

    When is the best time to visit gorillas?
    In both regions, dry season in the months of June, July, August, December, January and February is the best time to visit the endangered gorillas. This season has little or no rains, which make it easy to trek through the jungle forests in search of the gorillas. On the other hand, the wet season in the months of March, April, May, October, and November comes with discounted offers in hotels, and others service providers.

    What to carry for gorilla trekking
    Travelers visiting to see mountain gorillas in Uganda are advised to carry the right attire to ensure a peaceful and enjoyable gorilla trek. Among the things o pack for gorilla trekking as recommended by African Apes Holidays include hiking boots/shoes, gardening gloves, hats, sunglasses, rain jacket, long pants, long sleeved shirts/blouse, and insect repellants. Bottled drinking water and energy giving snacks are also recommended. A hiking stick and porter are very helpful and highly recommended.
    Conclusively, the comparisons between gorilla trekking in Uganda and Rwanda are best on different things. Ensure to understand the differences and thereafter book a suitable package with African Apes Holidays.

    Posted by African Apes in Travel News
    Mt Karisimbi Hiking

    Mt Karisimbi Hiking

    Hiking to the summit of Karsimbi Volcano, the highest volcano in the Virunga conservation area is a must-do for all travelers on Rwanda safaris in Volcanoes National park. Named after “Amasimbi” translated as snow in Kinyarwanda local language, Mt Karsimbi is capped with snow hence the name “Karsimbi). The dormant volcano stands at 4507 meters above the sea level (17905feet) overlooking the whole of Rwanda region, volcanoes National park, local communities, and other attractions in neighboring Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Mt Karsimbi is the most hiked Virunga volcano on Rwanda hiking tours. In most cases, travelers book Mt Karsimbi hiking as an add on activity to mountain gorilla trekking to make a complete package. The slopes of Mt Karsimbi shelter Karisimbi gorilla family which gibe travelers hiking a chance to meet and interact with the endangered species on a good day. Mt Karisimbi is located in Volcanoes National Park on the borders of Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Our 2 Days Mount Karisimbi volcano hike is a suitable itinerary to explore the famous Mt Karisimbi

    Guide to Mt Karisimbi Volcano hiking
    African Apes Holidays give you a guide to peaceful and enjoyable Mt Karisimbi hiking. Travelers planning Rwanda safaris to hike Mt Karisimbi are reminded of the following:
    Physical fitness is key for everyone hiking Mt Karisimbi. Travelers are advised to do physical exercises when preparing for mt Kairsimbi

  • Carry enough drinking water to quench the thirsty that comes with hiking
  • Carry enough energy-giving snacks to keep you strong
  • Wear closed light hiking shoes/boots to protect your feet from hot rocks which are a time slippery
  • A porter is highly recommended
  • Walking stick is a must-have
  • Carry sleeping bags
  • Warm jackets and sweaters are recommended for night coldness
  • Gardening gloves protect your hands from getting hurt
  • Cost of Hiking Mt Karsimbi
    Hiking Mt Karsimbi costs $400 per person. This cost is inclusive of the park ranger’s fee, hiking fee, and government taxes. However, the permit fee excludes tips, sleeping bags, and other personal expenses. Booking can be done through African Apes Holidays or directly with the Rwanda Development Board. Permit booking is recommended at least 4 months in advance to ensure timely and proper planning.

    Best Time for Mt Karisimbi Hiking
    The dry season in June, July, August, December, January, and February is the best time for hiking Mt Karisimbi. During this time, the mountain slopes are less slippery which makes it easier climbing and downhill. However, the volcano can be hiked all year round with no limit.

    Other Virunga Volcanoes
    Besides Mt Karisimbi, the Virunga Conservation Area comprise more other seven volcanoes. Two of these are active while the rest are dormant. The Virunga volcanoes include:
    Mt Nyiragongo Volcano (3470 meters) in Virunga National park in the Democratic Republic of Congo
    Mt Nyamuragira (3058 meters) in Virunga National park Democratic Republic of Congo
    Mount Mikeno (4437 meters) in Congo
    Mount Muhabura (4127 meters) in Rwanda Uganda3058) borders
    Mount Sabyinyo (3674 meters) in the borders of Uganda Rwanda and Congo. It can be hiked from either country but best hiked in Uganda
    Mount Bisoke (3711 meters) in Rwanda
    Mount Gahinga (3474 meters) in Uganda

    NOTE: Nyiragongo and Nyamuragira are the only active volcanoes in the whole Virunga Conservation Area. Mt Nyiragongo has a boiling lava lake at the summit while Mount Nyamuragira is out of bounds for the hikers.

    Other things to see and do in Volcanoes National park
    In addition to Mt Krsimbi hiking, travelers on Rwanda safaris to Volcanoes National Park have many more things to do and see to make a complete package. The top things to do in Volcanoes Park include:

  • Mountain gorilla trekking
  • Golden monkey trekking
  • Dian Fossey graveyard hike
  • Bird watching
  • Musanze caves
  • Ibyiwacu community tours
  • Twin lakes
  • Hiking Mount Bisoke
  • Forest walks
  • Kwita Izina (Baby gorilla naming ceremony)
  • Conclusively, therefore, hiking Mount Karsimbi is an exceptional experience you should not miss on your Rwanda safari. Contact African Apes Holidays, tell us about your travel dates and we shall make you for the very best Mt Karsimbi hiking itinerary

    Posted by African Apes in Travel News
    Rwanda Reduces Travelers Visiting Golden Monkeys to 12

    Rwanda Reduces Travelers Visiting Golden Monkeys to 12

    Rwanda Development Board has reduced the number of travelers visiting to trek golden monkeys in Volcanoes National park from 16 to 12. The reduction in the number of travelers trekking the endangered mountain gorillas is aimed at protecting the endangered species from contracting he deadly disease. Golden Monkey trekking is one of the most done tourist activities on Rwanda safaris. The other populations of golden monkeys live in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park in southwestern Uganda. In March 2020, Rwanda Development Board closed travel activities in Volcanoes National Park for mountain gorilla trekking, chimpanzee trekking in Nyungwe Forest National Park and all other travel and research activities all over Rwanda. A 2 Days golden monkey trekking tour to volcanoes national park is a prefect package to visit these endangered primates

    Cost of golden monkey trekking in Rwanda
    Golden monkey trekking costs $100 for all travelers allowing you to spend an hour in the company of the endangered golden monkeys. The cost of trekking the endangered species is quite cheap compared mountain gorillas, which cost $1500, paid by all travelers.

    How to book golden monkey trekking in Rwanda
    Rwanda golden monkey toursAfrican Apes Holidays help you book a tailor made golden monkey trekking tour to Volcanoes National Park. Booking through African Apes Holidays saves you time and the hustles associated with booking for yourself. Alternatively, you can book directly with Rwanda Development Board, a government body responsible for tourism and wildlife conservation in Rwanda, the Land of a Thousand Hills.

    When is the best time to trek golden monkeys in Rwanda
    Dry season in the months of June, July, August, September, December, January and February is the best time to visit the endangered golden monkeys. This season normally has little or no rains, which make it easy to trek through the jungle forests. However, golden monkeys can be visited in the low season in the months of March April, May, October and November. The wet season normally has low visits, which guarantee availability of golden monkey permits even for last minute bookings. More so, travelers in low season normally get discounted offers from service providers especially in hotels and lodges. Low/wet season is the best time for budget travelers. Also, golden monkey trekking permit bookings is recommended at least 6 months in advance to ensure timely planning

    What to Pack for golden monkey trekking in Rwanda
    Travelers on Rwanda safaris to trek golden monkeys are reminded to pack essential things to make trekking quite easy and less difficult. Among the top things to carry for golden monkey in Volcanoes National park include:
    1. Hiking boots/shoes to easily trek through the jungle forest
    2. Gardening gloves to protect your hands from thorny bushes and sharp stones
    3. Sun glasses to protect your eyes
    4. Hat to cover your head and hair
    5. Long sleeved shirts and blouses to protect your arms from bushy scratches
    6. Long pants for your legs
    7. Insect repellents to prevent toxic bites from dangerous forest insects
    8. First aid kit for any emergencies
    9. Bottled drinking water
    10. Energy giving snacks
    NOTE: Golden monkeys are very playful animals, which run and jump tirelessly up in the tree branches. You are therefore reminded to hold your cameras tight


    Other things to see and do in Rwanda

    Hiking Dian Fossey GraveyardBesides golden monkey trekking, travelers to Rwanda have an endless list of things to see and do on their safaris in Rwanda. These include:
    • Mountain gorilla trekking. Rwanda has 10 habituated gorilla families with 80-gorilla permits available everyday. Trek to see gorillas is the most done tourist activity in Rwanda attracting a high number of travelers from all over the world. Rwanda offers the most luxury gorilla tours @1500 for a permit.
    • Bird watching
    • Mount Karisimbi hiking
    • Kigali city tour
    • Local community tours; Ibyiwacu community tour
    • Visiting the Musanze caves
    • Dian Fossey graveyard hike
    • Visiting Lake Kivu
    • Canopy walk for aerial views
    • Chimpanzee trekking in Nyungwe Forest
    • Big five game in Akagera National Park
    • Bulera and Buhondo Twin Lakes

    In conclusion therefore, the reduction in the number of travelers visiting golden monkeys in Volcanoes National Park is of a good cause. Contact African Apes Holidays today, book a Rwanda safari and enjoy a close encounter with the endangered species

    Posted by African Apes in Travel News
    Gorilla Permit Cancellation Policy

    Gorilla Permit Cancellation Policy

    Gorilla permit cancellations are inevitable in gorilla safari bookings for some unavoidable reasons at some times. A wider understanding of the gorilla permit cancellation policy in Uganda, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo is highly recommended for anyone planning a gorilla safari in Africa. While making gorilla safari bookings, travelers are always reminded to read and understand the cancellation policy for gorilla permits before confirming any gorilla trip to Bwindi Forest, Mgahinga Gorilla, Volcanoes and Virunga National Parks, the only homes for the endangered gorillas. The cancellation policy is put by government bodies responsible for wildlife conservation and gorilla tourism. These bodies are Uganda Wildlife Authority in Rwanda and Rwanda Development Board in Rwanda. Gorilla permit cancellation policy tells the travelers all costs involved when canceling any gorilla trip at a certain period of time. Over time, mountain gorilla trekking has been ranked as the best wildlife experience in the world. The magical experience is a focus for over 80% of all travelers on African safaris. Gorilla permit cancellation policy majorly tells how much loss a client incurs when he/she cancels the already booked gorilla permit. Late cancellation calls for a zero refund
    91 days or more = 75% refund
    46 -90 days = 50% refund
    5-24 days = 25% refund
    0-8 days = 0%

    When to book a gorilla permit in Uganda, Rwanda and Congo
    Gorilla permit booking is recommended at least 6 months before the trekking date to ensure timely planning and gorilla permit allocation where need be. Travelers are further asked to pat 30% of the total gorilla permit fee. The permit is then removed from the availability list and reserved for a client. Clients are however asked to pay full amount 90 days to the trekking date. If a client fails to pay the balance at the recommended time, the permit is put back on sale and available for everyone who wants to book it.

    Gorilla permit costs in Uganda, Rwanda and Congo
    Information on the gorilla permit costs is key when booking a gorilla tracking safari in Uganda, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Whereas mountain gorillas are the same, the cost of trekking these endangered species is different in each country. Apparently, Rwanda sells the most expensive gorilla permits at $1500 each which make it a luxury gorilla safari destination in Africa. However, between June to 31st December 2020 amidst Covid19 pandemic, Rwanda Development Board is offering a huge discount @$200 for those interested in visiting Rwanda gorillas in Volcanoes National park. Uganda gorilla permits are priced depending on the travelers’ nationality @700 for foreign nonresidents, $600 for foreign residents and UGX 250,000 for East African residents. On the other hand, a Congo gorilla permit costs $450 to see gorillas in Virunga National park. Congo is therefore a suitable gorilla safari destination for budget travelers. If you want to spend more time with the gorillas, buy a gorilla habituation experience permit costing $1500 allowing you to spend four hours with wild gorillas undergoing habituation experience


    How to book a gorilla permit in Uganda, Rwanda, and Congo?

    Wondering how to book a gorilla permit? African Apes Holidays help you book and reserve gorilla permits to trek gorillas in Bwindi Forest, Mgahinga Gorilla, Volcanoes, and Virunga National Park in Uganda, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo respectively. Alternatively, you can book directly with the Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) in Uganda and Rwanda Development Board (RDB) in Rwanda. Booking through a travel agency saves you hustles is the easiest way which saves you all the hustles and stress involved in gorilla permit bookings. Mountain gorilla permits are issued on the first come first serve basis

    Best time for gorilla trekking
    The dry season in the months of June, July, August, September, December, January, and February is the best time to trek gorillas in Africa. This season normally has less or rain at all which makes it easy to hike trek through the jungle forests with too much undergrowth. However, travelers visiting in the peak season are advised to book as early as possible due to the high demand for gorilla permits. The low/wet season in the months of March, April, May, and November is normally rainy which makes gorilla trekking more difficult. However, most service providers mostly lodges and hotels tend to give discounted services during low season to encourage more travel. Low season is the best time for budget travelers.

    Cancellation policy for travel agents
    Besides the gorilla permit cancellation policy for the government, Travelers are also reminded to read and agree with the booking terms and cancellations with travel agents. Each travel operator has booking terms and conditions for his company
    In conclusion, ensure to read the cancellation policy when booking and before confirming a gorilla trekking tour to Uganda, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo

    Posted by African Apes in Travel News
    Nature/Forest Walks In Bwindi Forest

    Nature/Forest Walks In Bwindi Forest

    Nature/forest walking is one way of discovering and exploring the hidden gem in Bwindi Forest. A guided walk through the impenetrable jungles of Bwindi is undeniably an exceptional experience you should not miss out on your Uganda gorilla tour to Bwindi. The experience has presently become common where many travelers desire to explore this jungle forest on a walk. Fortunately, different hiking trails have been designated in Bwindi unlike in mountain gorilla trekking where travelers have no direct path to the endangered gorillas. Forest/nature walking is an add-on experience to gorilla tours in Bwindi Forest. Each trail starts and ends at a certain point. Forest walks offer you great chances of seeing numerous trees and plant species, birds and wild animals in the forest. The hiking trails in Bwindi Forest are categorized into short, medium and long split in four sectors of the national park, some trails like the Buhoma Nkuringo trail start from one sector and ends in the other. The common hiking trails in Bwindi Forest National Park include:

    Munyaga River trail
    Munyaga river trail is the most hiked trail in Buhoma sector north of Bwindi Forest National park. The trail is done along the Bizenga creek connecting to Munyaga river lasting for roughly 2 hours. More so, the trail is in some way circular starting and ending at the same point without backtracking. The scenic views of River Munyaga are best for photography. More so, Munyaga trail is the best spot for bird watching. The banks of river Munyaga shelter various bird species such as red-headed bluebill and African Emerald Cuckoo among others. It is therefore the best trail for bird watching.

    Waterfall trail
    Also located in Buhoma sector, the 3 hours’ waterfall trail is yet another interesting trail to hike on your Uganda tour to Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park. The trail slashed in 1970 majorly to build a road connecting to Kisoro. However, the road was not constructed there leaving it for only people walking on foot. The scenic views of the beautiful waterfall make it more enjoyable. You will meet many local people on this trail giving you a chance to interact with them

    Rushura Trail
    Join the Rushura trail to the summit of Rushura, the highest hill in Buhoma sector north of Bwindi Forest National Park. Hiking the Rushura trail starts near Buhoma park headquarters lasting for roughly 3 hours to reach the Rushura hill summit at 1915 meters above the sea level. Travelers hike through terraces, local farms and the forest which make it more enjoyable. The summit of Rushura hill offers great views of the jungle forest, Virunga volcanoes, Rwenzori mountains and the western rift valley plus local people’s farms and homesteads.

    Mujabajiro Loop Trail
    This trail entails ascending through the forest canopy across the Mujabajiro creek to Rukuburi hill for scenic views of the Virunga Volcanoes and the entire Bwindi Impenetrable Forest. The hiking trail takes for between 3-4 hours but the magical feeling that comes along is worth the effort. In 1992, the trail was caught by fire which destroyed the vegetation leaving the trail so open. However, the vegetation has grown and its surely beautiful

    River lvi trail
    River lvi trail is one of the longest hiking trails ascending and descending south of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park. The 6 hours walk follows the old road which is mostly used by local people going to gardens and Nteko local market. The trail starts in Buhoma sector ending in Nkuringo. It, therefore, crosses from the northern sector to the southern sector of Bwindi Forest National park. The scenic views of River lvi is best for photography

    Kashasha River Trail
    Kashasha river trail starts in Buhoma and ends in Nkuringo sector. The 5-6 hours’ trail takes you through steep forests taking you up to 600 meters above the sea level. Travelers who use a vehicle along this route take roughly 7 hours’ drive. Walking is therefore easier than driving along this trail. Moreso, the scenic views along the trail, encounters with different wild animals and birds make it more enjoyable and fun

    Bamboo Trail
    The guided bamboo trail takes you through bamboo forest of Bwindi National park. It’s a steep hike to 0ver 2007 meters above the sea level overlooking the Virunga volcanoes and the entire Bwindi Forest. More so, the trail takes you through different vegetation types which include afro montane forests. Ryamunyonyi hill is the highest point of the bamboo trail and the summit offers great views of the beautiful lake Bunyonyi.

    Mubwindi Swamp Trail
    This trail descends along a path through the forest to Mubwindi swamp, home to numerous birds and forest animals. The walk gives you great chances of meeting numerous birds and wild animals along the way. Also, the joyful birds which sing endlessly above you in the trees make this trail more colorful

    What to park for nature/forest walks in Bwindi Forest
    African Apes Holidays brings you a guide on what to pack for forest/nature walk in Bwindi Forest National Park. Travelers are reminded to carry essentials to make their walking experience less difficult. Among the things to carry for forest walking in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National park include:
    • Closed walking shoes/boots
    • Hat
    • Sunglasses
    • Bottled drinking water
    • Insect repellants
    • Rain jacket for the unpredictable forest weather
    • Long pants
    • Scarf and sweaters
    • A walking stick is a must-have for everyone going for a nature walk. The fallen rotten forest leaves and vegetation make the ground slippery and at times difficult to walk through. A walking stick will, therefore, give you support

    Best time for Nature walks in Bwindi Forest
    The dry season in the months of June, July, August, September, December, January, and February is the best time to do nature /forest walks in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National park. The forest grounds in this time are dry making it easy to walk through. However, if you are interested in seeing many birds, the rainy season in March, April, May, and November is the best.

    Other activities to do in Bwindi Forest
    Besides nature walks, Bwindi Forest National park offers travelers a variety of many more travel activities to make a complete package. The other things to see and do in Bwindi Forest National Park include:
    1. Mountain gorilla trekking, the number one travel activity in Bwindi Forest. The forest is home to the highest number of the world’s mountain gorillas with 17 habituated gorilla families. A gorilla permits in Bwindi costs $700 for foreign nonresidents, $600 for foreign residents and UGX 250,000 for east African residents
    2. Mountain gorilla habituation experience is yet another interesting activity done in Rushaga sector, south of Bwindi Forest National Park. Habituation is the process of training wild gorillas to make them familiar with human presence
    3. Bird watching
    4. Community visits
    In general, forest/ nature walks are a not miss on your Uganda gorilla safari to Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park. Contact African Apes Holidays today, book your walking tour for a memorable experience

    Posted by African Apes in Travel News
    Tips For Group Tours

    Tips For Group Tours

    Dp you want to join a group tour? Travelling as a group is not only lively but also exceptional. Traveling in a company of your mates, family, workmates or close friends is undeniably fun. Given the magical feeling the experience comes with, group tours have nowadays become popular. Choosing the right group mates is key when planning a group tour. A group tours best for a people’s person who love to meet and associate with new people. Group tours help travelers share most costs such as accommodation and transport making it affordable and best option for budget travelers. African Apes Holidays specialize in organizing customized group tours to explore various travel destinations including national parks, museums and local communities. Do you want to trek gorillas as a group? We help you communicate to the responsible government bodies to give chance trek one gorilla family as a group. Are you a solo traveler looking out to join a group, African Apes Holidays offers special offers to Uganda, Rwanda and teh Democratic reoublic of Congo. The tips for choosing a group tour include:

    Check the itinerary
    Before joining any group tour, first check travel activities in the itinerary. Make sure that proposed itinerary suits your travel interests, time and budget. Are your desired destinations in the itinerary? Are your favorite activities included? First confirm the flexibility of the itinerary before joining any group tour. Check out each day of the itinerary, the start time, pickup destination. Accommodation and which activity to do when and where. Also, check whether the itinerary has free time to do optional activities or tightly packed.

    Choose your age mates and the right size
    Endeavour to join a group of travelers in your age blanket to avoid boredom during the trip. In most cases, people in the same age group have a lot of things in common. If you are in your 20’s never join a group of people in their 50’s. Difference in age means difference in tastes and preferences. Moreso, understanding the size of your group is vital before joining. A group tour may be smaller with maximum 10 people while others can be very big with over 50 people. Each group size has advantages and disadvantages. Small sized groups tend to move faster with most members having almost similar preferences while a large group is cost friendly with all costs shared among many travelers.

    Understand the pace of the itinerary
    Does the flow of the itinerary favor you? If no, please do not rush to join that group safari. If you want to join a relaxed trip with some days off, check how the itinerary flows, which and how may activities to do everyday. Some people like a no break itinerary while other love a relaxed trip with some free days. Make sure you choose the itinerary that moves at your pace. Fortunately, African Apes Holidays offer a variety of group tours both relaxed and rushing. Just contact us, inform us about your interests and we shall get you a suitable group tour.

    Check what is included and excluded in the cost
    You should also underhand how the trip is costed to avoid being cheated. When a travel agent gives you a quote, try to breakdown the cost, price it yourself and compare the two quotes. Also, before confirming any group tour, first check what is included and excluded in the cost. At some times, a trip cost make look favorable to you but with huge hidden costs. Understanding what is included and excluded in the itinerary help you whether the trip suits you budget.


    Choose between the tours available

    African Apes Holidays normally has a variety of grip tours available. Ask for different options compare them and choose the one that suits you. Understand the type of people in each trip, their lifestyles, tastes and preferences.

    Book with a local tour operator
    Its wise to book with a local tour operates based in the travel destination you are interested in. Local tour operators have diet access with most service provide especially hotels and lodges. Also, local tour operators have the first hand knowledge on how activities can be done in a smooth way without back tracking. A local tour operator like African Apes Holidays also helps you book ground activities such as mountain gorilla trekking, cultural tours and all other activities with no difficulty. Local tour operators are also cost friendly compared to international agencies.
    Generally, group tours are amazing and more fun compared to solo travels. African Apes Holidays offers you cost friendly group tours to Uganda, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo to meet, satisfy and exceed your travel expectations.

    Posted by African Apes in Travel News
    How to Get Ready For Gorilla Trekking

    How to Get Ready For Gorilla Trekking

    A trek to see mountain gorillas is undeniably an everlasting memory, a wish and dream come true for most travelers on African Safaris. YES, gorilla trekking is the top bucket list for most travelers on African safaris to Uganda, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Spending an hour in the close proximity with the silverback gorilla and the entire family is a lifetime experience that will never cease to amaze! To some travelers, wildlife viewing in Africa remains incomplete unless one visits mountain gorillas in their natural habitat. However despite the excitement that comes with looking direct into the red eyes of the silverback gorilla, the experience is a real adventure which entail hiking up and down hills through thick jungles. In order to ensure a tress free and enjoyable gorilla safaris in Africa, you ought to prepare and get ready in Advance. African Apes Holidays gives you tips on how to get ready for gorilla trekking. These include:

    Choose where to trek gorillas

    Where to trek gorillas

    A silverback gorilla in Bwindi

    First decide on where to go for gorilla trekking. Is it in Uganda, Rwanda or the Democratic Republic of Congo? African Apes Holidays gives you detailed comparisons between gorilla trekking in both destinations to help you choose a gorilla destination of your choice. Mountain gorillas only survive in the jungles of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, Volcanoes, Mgahinga Gorilla and Virunga National Parks. Anyone who wants to see these endangered species MUST therefore visit any of the four national parks. Alternatively, you can choose to trek gorillas in two different parks for comparisons and dynamic experience. Gorilla trekking experience in each national park is exceptional in its own way and worth doing. Among to consider when choosing where to go for gorilla trekking is the price of gorilla permits. Rwanda offers the most luxury gorilla tours @$1500, Uganda gorilla permits cost $700 or foreign non resident, $600 for foreign residents and UGX 250,000 for East African residents while Congo gorilla permits cost $450 each making it the best gorilla safari destination or budget travelers. Between 18th June to 31st December 2020, Rwanda Development Board offers discounted gorilla permits $200 for East African citizens and $500 for foreign residents) to encourage more travels amidst Covid19 pandemic.

    Choose a travel company
    Having decided on where you want to go for mountain gorilla trekking, choose your desired and trusted gorilla safari company to guide you on this lifetime experience. African Apes Holidays is your ultimate gorilla safari company in Uganda, Rwanda and Congo helping to tailor made a suitable package to suit your budget and interests. Just tell us your travel dates and the number of people and we shall do the rest for you. On your behalf, African Apes Holidays books a gorilla permit, designs an itinerary and also books suitable accommodation for you at a fair cost. Choosing the right travel operator is key for every successful and enjoyable gorilla safari.

    Do physical exercises
    While preparing for this amazing adventure, ensure to do physical exercises to ensure fitness. The uphill climb is a no joke for the unfit while the downhill trek is usually tougher than expected. The hiking is physically challenging on a steep terrain especially in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park. Also, there is no defines route to follow but rangers slash bushes to create a path. The wet forest grounds with fallen leaves and vegetation often make it difficult to hike through. However, the magical feeling of meeting face to face with the endangered gorillas is worth the effort. For that case, traveler planning a gorilla trip is advised to do physical exercises to ensure fitness. The recommended exercises include walking, jogging, Step-ups, Goblet Squats, Stairmasters, Downhill lunges and hanging knee raises among others.

    Choose what to carry for gorilla trekking

    Getting ready for gorilla trekking

    Gorilla trekking packing list

    Before setting off for a gorilla trekking safari, make sure your travel bag has the required essentials. Among the things you must carry for gorilla trekking include:
    1. Hiking boots/shoes. These help you to easily hike through the muddy and slippery jungles without your feet getting hurt. Never carry open shoes for gorilla trekking
    2. Gardening gloves. These help to protect your hands when you touch the ground. There are times when hiking becomes steeper requiring you to crawl up and down hill. Also, gardening gloves protect your hands from getting dirty with mad
    3. Fully charged camera with extra batteries. A camera is key for everyone visiting gorillas. Its only the pictures that you will go back home with after the gorilla trip
    4. Rain jackets. Forest weather is so unpredictable; it can rain any time any day despite the season.
    5. Insect repellants to protect from insect bites which can be poisonous at times
    6. Warm jackets, sweaters and scarf to deal with cold nights in these jungle Forests. It normally gets very cold at night
    7. Bottled drinking water to quench the thirsty that comes with panting and sweating during the trek
    8. Energy giving snacks t keep you strong
    9. Hat and sun glasses
    10. Long sleeved shirts/blouses to protect your arms from scratches
    11. Long pants tucked into the stockings
    12. A first aid kit is help helpful incase of any injuries
    NOTE: A porter and a walking stick are very recommended if you want to have a less difficulty gorilla tracking experience.

    Visit your Doctor for check up
    Before boarding on a plane, please visit the medical Centre for check up. Ensure you have no any sickness to avoid embarrassment on the day of trekking when you are stopped from visiting the gorillas if any sickness is detected. A yellow fever certificate is a must have for anyone visiting gorillas in Uganda, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo

    Pre gorilla trekking briefing
    Geeting ready for gorilla trekkingAt the start of every trekking day, all travelers gather at the respective park head quarters for pre gorilla trekking briefing about the rules and regulation of gorilla trekking. These guidelines are put to ensure safety of the endangered gorillas and travelers. The dos and don’t of gorilla trekking include:
    • Keep a distance of 10 meters away from the gorillas
    • Avoid direct eye contact with the gorillas
    • Do not trek when sick. Mountain gorilla are susceptible to human sicknesses especially cough
    • Keep within your groups
    • Keep your voices low
    • Do not use flashlight cameras
    • Turn back your face when coughing or sneezing
    • Do not litter in the park. Leave only the foot steps
    African Apes Holidays wishes you the best on your gorilla safaris in Africa. For any inquiries and travel advice, contact us and we hope to welcome you soon.

    Posted by African Apes in Travel News
    Lake Mburo National park

    Lake Mburo National park

    Spreading over 370 square kilometers of Land, Lake Mburo National Park in Lyantonde is Uganda’s smallest savannah National park, a real and brilliant gem for animal lovers. The national park is initially a controlled hunting area which was later transformed into a game reserve and then upgraded into a national park in 1983. Visiting lake Mburo is the perfect choice to break up a long journey from Bwindi impenetrable/ Mgahinga Park for gorilla trekking or Lake Bunyonyi to Kampala or Entebbe International Airport. Lake Mburo National Park is usually used as a ‘pitstop’ at the start or end of most Uganda safaris. Based on the excellent reviews of past travelers, the experience in lake Mburo National Park is far unique when compared to other National parks in Uganda. The co-existence of wild animals and cattle grazed in the park make it a unique destination to visit. It’s undeniably amazing to see beautiful Zebras eat on the same grass with cattle. The park is named after Lake Mburo in its heart, 20% of the park is covered by wetlands and swamps. 12 primates and over 350 birds call this small park home. Among the wild animals seen in Lake Mburo National Park include zebras, warthogs, waterbuck’s impalas, hartebeest, hyenas. eland, oribi, leopard, topis, reedbuck, hippos, and buffalos.

    Top things to see and do in Lake Mburo National Park
    Travelers to Lake Mburo National park have an endless list of things to see and do for a memorable experience. Check the must-do tourist activities in Lake Mburo National Park with African Apes Holidays

    Game Viewing
    Game viewing is the number one tourist activity done in Lake Mburo National Park. Morning and night game drives done in the open savannahs give you a chance to see and interact with different wild animals grazing and hunting. Despite its small size, Lake Mburo National Park has a high concentration of wild animals which include zebras, warthogs, waterbuck’s impalas, hartebeest, hyenas. eland, oribi, leopard, topis, reedbuck, hippos and buffalos. among others. Our experienced guides help you spot different animals like leopards hiding in the acacia trees making your game safari enjoyable and memorable. Night game drives are best to see nocturnal animals such as bushbabies among others. A 2 Days L. Mburo National Park tour is a suitable package to explore this small park.

    Boat Cruise
    A boat cruise on Lake Mburo is a not miss for every traveler to Lake Mburo National Park. The shores of the lake is the best spot for water animals including hippos, buffalos, and crocodiles plus many more birds in the swampy areas. Also, a boat cruise gives you an overview of the park and different wild animals feeding. Photography on a boat cruise is very so amazing.

    Bird Watching
    Sheltering over 350 birds, Lake Mburo National Park is one of the best birding spots in Uganda. Bird watching in Lake Mburo National Park is best done in Miriti and Walukiri swampy valleys and also on the shores of Lake Mburo. Some of the birds seen in Lake Mburo National Park include Rufous Bellied Heron, Grey-crowned Crane, Coqui Francolin, Brown Chested Lapwing, Emerald Spotted wood, White-headed Barbet, Yellow-breasted Apalis, Nubian Woodpecker, Green-Wood hoopoe, Long-tailed Cisticola, and Red-Shouldered Cuckoo-shrike among others. The best time for bird watching in Lake Mburo National Park is in the morning and evening hours. Travelers are reminded to bring binoculars for enormous bird spotting.

    Fishing
    Fishing is yet another interesting tourist activity to do in Lake Mburo National Park. The lake is home to 6 fish species which are Tilapia, Catfish, Ngara, Barbeller and Ferocious Fighter. Mazinga is the best fishing spot in Lake Mburo National park. Travelers are given a chance to take part in the fishing experience which makes the whole experience more enjoyable and memorable indeed.

    Visit Kate Salt Lick
    Visit the Kate salt lick point in the heart of the park to see how animals gather around a shallow water hole to lick salt. Armed park rangers will guide you to this point and explain to you how this whole experience of wild animals licking slat started. Morning hours is the best time to visit the salt lick point. The journey to Kate Salt Lick is a chance for travelers to see and meet various wild animals and birds in the park.

    Milking Experience
    Visit the nearby local communities to be part of the memorable milking experience. Here travelers are taken through a session of milking local cows which makes them feel like part of the community. Also, travelers are taught different stages in which milk is processed into different products including yogurt and Ghee among others. Milking is done very early in the morning before cattle setoff to feed for the day.

    Horseback riding
    Horseback riding is an exciting adventure experience you ought not to miss on your Uganda safari to Lake Mburo National Park. Here travelers rise on horses to explore different parts of the Park such as lakes, swamps, and rivers. Horseback riding is also best for game viewing in Lake Mburo National Park.

    Accommodation in Lake Mburo National Park
    Wondering where to sleep in Lake Mburo National Park, No worries. The park has a variety of budget, midrange and luxury lodges, hotels and camps to serve you with excellent food and sleeping services at affordable rates. The top lodges in Lake Mburo National Park include Mihingo Lodge, Rwakobo Rock, Mburo’s Eagle Nest, Leopard Rest Camp, Mpogo Lodge, Courtyard International Hotel, Arcadia Lodge and Mburo Safari Lodge among others. Professional staff are trained at every lodge to serve you all day and night. African Apes Holidays help you book accommodation services at any lodge of your choice in Lake Mburo National Park.

    Best time to visit Lake Mburo National Park
    The dry season in the months of June, July, August, September, December, January, and February is the best time to visit Lake Mburo, National Park. During this time, the vegetation is short which makes photography and game viewing clear. On the other hand, the wet season in the months of March, April, May. October and November call for discounted services in hotels and lodges hence the best time for budget travelers. However, Lake Mburo National park can be visited all year round.
    Conclusively, Lake Mburo National Park is a real gem to discover on your Uganda safari. Contact African Apes Holidays today, book a Uganda game safari to Lake Mburo and enjoy the true wilderness.

    Posted by African Apes in Travel News
    Why Trek Gorillas in Uganda

    Why Trek Gorillas in Uganda

    Are you wondering what makes Uganda the best gorilla tour destination? Why trek gorillas in Uganda? Well, there are countless advantages of trekking gorillas in Uganda. The pearl of Africa Uganda is one of the three countries to see mountain gorillas together with Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Each day, hundreds of travelers check into Bwindi Forest and Mgahinga gorillas National Park to experience the lifetime gorilla trekking experience. Based on our past travelers’ excellent reviews about gorilla trekking in Uganda, The Pearl of Africa is undeniably the best place to trek gorillas. The reasons to trek gorillas in Uganda include among others:

    A high number of mountain gorillas

    Why trek gorillas in Uganda

    Members of Bweza gorilla family

    Uganda shelters the highest population of mountain gorillas in the world. The Pearl of Africa is home to half of the world’s total gorillas which make it the best gorilla tour destination. Gorillas in Uganda have been habituated into 18 gorilla families 17 of which live in Bwindi Forest while 1 Nyakagyezi gorilla family lives in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park. The high number of mountain gorilla families guarantee the availability of gorilla permits giving many travelers a chance to visit the endangered gorillas. Gorillas in Bwindi forest are split into four sectors which are Buhoma in the North, Ruhija in the east, Rushaga, and Nkuringo sectors in the south. The availability of gorilla permits in Uganda also gives last time travelers a chance to visit gorillas unlike in other countries where gorilla permits sell out easily.

    Low-cost gorilla permits
    Uganda offers the low-cost gorilla permits making it the best gorilla tour destination. A single gorilla permit in Uganda costs $700 for Foreign non-residents, $600 for foreign residents, and UGX 250,000 for Uganda and East African residents. The cost of Uganda gorilla tours is therefore way cheaper compared to $1500 in neighboring Rwanda. Uganda is therefore the best gorilla safari destination for budget travelers. Gorilla permit booking in Uganda is recommended at least 6 months before the trekking date. African Apes Holidays is your ultimate gorilla’s safari company to book your permits at saving you the hustles of private booking. Alternatively, you can book directly with the Uganda Wildlife Authority, the government body responsible for gorilla tourism and conservation in Uganda


    Gorilla Habituation experience

    In addition to gorilla trekking, Uganda is the center of the experimental mountain gorilla habituation experience in which wild gorillas are trained to make them familiar with people. Gorilla habituation experience is 2-3 years of training gorillas before they are opened for trekking. Habituation is, therefore, the first step that gorillas go through. Apparently, Bushaho and Bikyingi gorilla families are undergoing habituation experience and each family is visited by four people for four hours each day. A gorilla habituation permit costing $1500 is a must-have for every traveler going to take part in this memorable experience. African Apes Holidays help you book gorilla habituation permits as well as arranging the trip. A 1-day gorilla habituation experience starting and ending in Kigali Rwanda is worth doing.

    Quick connectivity from Kigali Rwanda

    The ease of connectivity from Kigali Rwanda to Uganda’s Bwindi Forest/Mgahinga Gorilla National Parks save travelers long hours of driving from Entebbe International Airport. The drive time from Kigali to Bwindi is roughly 5 hours hence the best option for short time travelers. A 2 day Uganda gorilla trek is a suitable package for you. If you have limited time, you can do a 1 Day Uganda gorilla trek which involves early pick up from Kigali, gorilla trekking in Bwindi Forest, and drop off at Kigali after gorilla trekking. A 1 Day Uganda gorilla tour starts at 3:30 am to cover up the 5 hours’ drive and catch up with the pre gorilla trekking experience in Uganda. Rushaga sector, south of Bwindi Forest is the best sector for Kigali to Bwindi gorilla trekking.

    Gorilla trekking add-ons
    Uganda has much more to offer in addition to gorilla trekking to make a complete Uganda safari package. The gorilla trekking add-ons in Uganda include golden monkey trekking, volcano climbing, Batwa community visits, bird watching, Forest/Nature walks, chimpanzee trekking and game viewing in the open savannah parks across the country. A combination of all these activities give you the most exciting and enjoyable Uganda safari on the same trip

    Peace and security in Uganda
    Uganda is the safest gorilla safari destination in Africa assuring travelers safety during gorilla trekking. Since the start of gorilla tourism in the early 1990s, Uganda has never registered any rebel attack in Bwindi Forest/Mgahinga which makes it the best destination to see gorillas. More so, Uganda tourism police and the armed park rangers are ever patrolling the national park to ensure the safety of gorillas and travelers.
    In general, there are many reasons as to why you should trek mountain gorillas in Uganda. Contact African Apes Holidays today, book a Uganda gorilla tour to Bwindi Forest/Mgahinga and enjoy the discounted gorilla permits in the Pearl of Africa

    Posted by African Apes in Travel News
    Rwanda Game Safaris

    Rwanda Game Safaris

    Be part of our guided Rwanda game safaris to Akagera National Park to see and enjoy the company with the big five game. Located in Eastern Rwanda, Akagera National park is Rwanda’s only savannah park sheltering a high concentration of wild animals. Game viewing is the number one tourist activity in this park. Randa game safaris are mostly done as a complement to mountain gorilla trekking in Volcanoes National park and chimpanzee trekking in Nyungwe Forest National park to make a complete Rwanda safari package. Morning and evening game drives in the Akagera National Park are done to help travelers with various wild animals feeding, playing, and resting. While game driving through the park, expect to see numerous wild animals which include Lions, Buffalos, Hippos, Zebras, Elephants, Topis, waterbucks, Warthogs, Hyenas, Elands and serval cats among others.

    When is the best time to do game Safaris in Rwanda
    Gm safaris in Rwanda can be done all year round. However, dry season in the months of June, July, August, September, December, and January to February is the best time to visit Akagera National park. During this time, wild animals gather at the water pints for drinking water which makes it easy to see them. However, the rain season is best for beautiful sceneries. Moreso, accommodation facilities in Akagera National Park tend to give discounted food and sleeping services.

    Where to sleep in Akagera National park
    Wondering where to stay on your Rwanda game safari to Akagera National park? No worries. An endless list of budget, midrange and luxury lodges, hotels and camps have been constructed in Akagera National park to offer you with first-class food and sleeping services. The recommended accommodation in Akagera National park include Akagera Game Lodge, Ruzizi tented Camp and Akagera Rhino Lodge among others.

    What to pack on a Rwanda Safari
    Travelers visiting Akagera National park are reminded to carry and pack essentials to ensure a safe, enjoyable and comfortable stay. Among the things to carry for game safaris in Rwanda include

  • Camera with extra battery
  • SunGlasses
  • Hat
  • Binoculars
  • Insect repellants
  • Energy giving snacks
  • Sweaters and scaff for morning game drives
  • Flat comfortable for a safari
  • Day Pack
  • Toiletries
  • Medical Kit
  • Sun protection gear
  • Easy and friendly clothes
  • Other activities in Akagera National Park
    Besides game viewing, travelers to Akagera National park have optional activities such as boat cruise at Akagera river, nature walks, bird watching, camping and scenic viewing among others. African Apes Holidays is at your service to arrange extra activities to ensure a peaceful and enjoyable Rwanda Safari in Akagera National Park.

    In conclusion, a Rwanda safari without game viewing in Akagera National park is incomplete. Contact African Apes Holidays today, book a game safari to Akagera National Park and visit to see big five game at affordable rates

    Posted by African Apes in Travel News
    Trek Rwanda gorillas @$200

    Trek Rwanda gorillas @$200

    Enjoy Rwanda’s discounted gorilla permits to Volcanoes National Park with African Apes Holidays. Rwanda gorilla tours and permits have been discounted to $200 to give all travelers chance to be part of the magical mountain gorilla trekking experience at the lowest price ever. YES, you can trek Rwanda gorillas in Volcanoes National Park for as less as $200 per traveler. The new initiative was introduced following the reopening of Rwanda national park to tourism after 3 months of no tourism in the land of a thousand hills. The $200 applies to Rwanda locals, east African citizens and foreign residents. On the other hand, foreign non-residents in Rwanda will pay $500 a huge discount from the previous $1500. The discounted permits in Rwanda will be valid till December 2020. The reopening of gorilla tours in Rwanda was announced by the Rwanda Development to relief travelers and tour operators a relief from the stresses of the corona virus that hindered travels all over the world. All tourism, research and other related tourism activities in Rwanda had been suspended for three months to prevent the spread of the deadly Covi19 to wild animals especially the endangered primates. Apparently, all national parks in Rwanda including Nyungwe Forest National Park, Gishwati Mukura and Akagera National Park are open for tourism. A 1-Day Rwanda gorilla trek starting and ending in Kigali give short time travelers a chance to visit gorilla in the shortest time possible.

    How to trek Rwanda gorillas amidst Covid19 Pandemic?

    Rwanda gorilla tours

    Keep distance from the gorillas

    Travelers who are already in Rwanda are at a big advantage of trekking Rwanda gorillas in Volcanoes National park at a discount. More so, travelers with chattered flights flying direct to Rwanda are allowed to trek Rwanda gorillas. The reason for emphasizing chartered flights direct to Rwanda is to avoid stopovers, which can lead to the spread of the virus. African Apes Holidays, helps you book and reserve discounted Rwanda gorilla permits as well as tailor making a suitable Rwanda travel itinerary to meet, satisfy and exceed your travel expectations. Alternatively, you can book directly through Rwanda Development Board, the government body responsible for mountain gorilla conservation and tourism in Rwanda.


    Positive trend in Rwanda Tourism a week after the re opening of national parks

    A week after the reopening of national parks, Rwanda Development Board has so far seen a great positive trend in the number of tourist arrivals. The country has so far received groups of travelers visiting mountain gorillas in Volcanoes National Park, chimpanzee trekking in Nyungwe Forest and big five game in Akagera National Park.

    Guide to visiting Rwanda amidst Corona Virus
    In order to ensure safety of travelers and wild animals, Rwanda Development Board ha put directives to be followed by all travelers to Rwanda. On the actual day of visiting gorillas or any other wild animals in all National Parks, all travelers gather at respective park head quarters for briefing. The guide for visiting Rwanda amidst corona virus include:
    1. Compulsory temperature testing for all travelers
    2. Sanitize with an alcohol based hand rub and wash hands with soap for at least 20 minutes
    3. Mask up your face
    4. Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth
    5. When visiting gorillas or chimpanzees, keep a distance of 10 meters away from the primates
    6. Sneeze and cough in your bent elbow
    7. Avoid hand shaking
    8. Keep a distance from each other
    9. If you feel any fever, cough and difficult in breathing, seek the medical attention
    10. Follow the guide of your park rangers

    Top tourist activities in Rwanda

    Game viewing in Rwanda

    Game Viewing in Akagera National Park

    Whereas Rwanda has numerous natural attractions and activities, some activities are exceptional. Check the top things to see and do in Rwanda with African Apes Holidays, your trusted safari company in Rwanda and the whole of east Africa. The must do activities in Rwanda include:

    • Mountain gorilla trekking in Volcanoes National Park, which bring in the highest number of travelers to Rwanda. The country is home to over 400mountain gorillas habituated into 10 gorilla families. Rwanda is a luxury gorilla safari destination in the world.

    • Big five game in Akagera National park is a not miss on your Rwanda safari. The park is home to numerous wild animals, which include lions, elephants, rhinos, buffalos, hippos, giraffes, waterbucks, Impalas, warthogs, Topis, zebras, black tailed mangose, serval cats and black masked civet among others. Day and night game drives are done to give travelers chance too see various wild animals grazing, feeding and hunting.

    • Chimpanzee Trekking in Nyungwe Forest National Park is yet another must do tourist activity in Rwanda. a permit to trek chimpanzees in Rwanda costs $100 which is fairer even for budget travelers. Chimpanzee trekking can be done either in the main forest or in Cyamudongo forest. Hover, all experiences are exceptional.

    • Golden Monkey trekking in Volcanoes National Park is worth doing at $100 only

    • Canopy walk in Nyungwe Forest complements chimpanzee trekking making a full package.

    • Mount Karisimbi hiking offers you gives you chance to stand at the summit of the highest volcano in the Virunga conservation area. A 2 Days Mt Karisimbi hiking tour is a suitable package for you

    Best time to visit Rwanda
    Whereas Rwanda can be visited all year round, Dry season in the month of June, July, August, September, and December to February is the best time for most tourist activities in Rwanda. Gorilla treks, chimpanzee tours and mountaineering experiences are best done in the dry season. On the otherhadn, the wet season in the months of March, April, May, October and November comes with discounted offers in lodge and mots service providers.

    What to Pack for Rwanda safaris
    Wondering on what to pack on your Rwanda safari? No worries,, African Apes Holidays brings you the packing list to Rwanda. The must carry things to Rwanda include:
    1. Hiking boots/shoes when going for a trek
    2. Lon sleeved shirts /blouses to protect your arms
    3. Long pants to cover your legs
    4. Insect repellents
    5. Warm sweaters and jumpers. Rwanda is very cold at night
    6. Sun glasses and hat
    7. Energy giving snacks
    8. Camera with extra batteries
    9. Gardening gloves for your hands
    10. Rain jackets for the unpredictable weather
    Grab the chance and trek Rwanda gorillas at a discount. Contact African Apes Holidays today, book your Rwanda trip and enjoy Rwanda’s lifetime experiences at discounted prices.

    Posted by African Apes in Travel News
    Rwanda Re opens for Tourism –  Discounted Gorilla Permits

    Rwanda Re opens for Tourism – Discounted Gorilla Permits

    Rwanda has finally reopened for tourism after three months of no tourism in the country. The good news for the reopening of Rwanda’s national parks was announced on June 17th 2020 by the Rwanda development board. More interestingly, the reopening came with great promotion for those visiting to trek gorillas in Volcanoes National Park. Effective from 18th June to 31st December 2020, Rwanda Development Board is offering discounted gorilla permits at $200 discounted gorilla permits at $200 for Rwanda nationals and East African community citizens living in Rwanda while foreign non residents will pay $ 500 per permit. The discounted permits in Rwanda for the next 6 months is a great relief for primate lovers while dream is to visit gorillas in Rwanda.

    Sanitise for Corona Virus

    Remember to Sanitise

    Rwanda Development Board is also offering special Rwanda safari packages for families, big groups and corporations visiting Volcanoes National Park home for the endangered gorillas and Nyungwe Forest National Park for chimpanzee trekking. However, travelers are reminded that the price for Rwanda gorilla permits will go back to the initial $1500. In May 2017, Rwanda Development Board double increased its gorilla permit costs from $700 to $1500, which transferred Rwanda into Africa’s luxury gorilla destination.

    More so, Rwanda is allowing the resumption of international travel for charter flights for foreign travelers. Rwanda Development board will exempt all international travelers from the exiting anti coronavirus measures, which stop travelers from entering Rwanda. In the meantime, all commercial flights in Rwanda are still on suspension till further notice.

    Directives for Visiting Rwanda Now

    Preventive measures for corona virus

    Wear a mask

    While Rwanda is allowing travels amidst corona Virus, the government, Rwanda ministry of Health and Rwanda Development Board have put directive for all those visiting national park. Firstly, all domestic tourists to Volcanoes and Nyungwe Forest National Parks MUST test negative for corona Virus 48 hours before the visiting date.
    Secondly, foreign travelers traveling with charter flights MUST have tested negative for Corona Virus within 72 hours before arrival. They will be tested again before visiting any primates. The recommended COVID19 test centers in Rwanda are Amahoro National Stadium in Kigali city on appointment only while another private test Centre is at Petit Stade. More test centers will se established according to demand.

    Discounted gorilla permits in Rwanda
    Grab the chance to and trek Rwanda gorillas at discounted prices. The major reason for discounted Rwanda gorilla permits is to encourage more travels to Rwanda. Its undeniable that in the past 2 years, most budget travelers were cut off from trekking gorillas in Rwanda due to very high prices @$1500. For that reason, mots of the would have been Rwanda tourists ended up crossing to the neighboring Uganda to trek gorillas in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest and Mgahinga Gorilla National Parks where gorilla tours were quite cheaper. The Kigali to Bwindi gorilla trekking safaris have been s common in the past 2 years before the outbreak of the deadly corona virus since March 2020.


    When was tourism in Rwanda suspended?

    All tourism and research activities in Rwanda National Parks were suspended since March 2020. Primate parks of Volcanoes for mountain gorillas, Nyungwe Forest and Gishwati Mukura National parks were closed first to prevent the spread of the deadly corona virus to the endangered mountain gorillas and chimpanzees. Shortly after, Akagera National Park home to the big five game and all other tourist destinations in Rwanda were closed. Kigali International airport was also closed and no domestic or international flights were allowed except for emergency. More so, border points to the neighboring countries especially Uganda and Congo were closed to avoid the spread of the virus across borders.

    Impacts of Covid19 on Rwanda Tourism

    Gorillas in Rwanda

    Baby gorilla with mum in VNP

    Corona Virus has negatively affected Rwanda tourism during the lockdown. The ban on travels into Rwanda led to the cancellation of many trips some of which were due. Some travelers postponed trips till unknown further date while others cancelled totally and asked for refund. The government of Rwanda has lost over 70% of its revenue or this financial year. over 50% of Rwanda’s Gross Domestic Product has been through the sell of mountain gorilla which is not the case now. Also, service providers such as lodges, hotels and transportation companies have lost a lot of revenue. Many jobs have been lost in the process, which had increased the unemployment rate in the small land locked Rwanda. However, with the reopening of tourism in Rwanda, we hope for the best in the shortest time possible.

    How to Book a Rwanda safari amidst Corona Virus?
    Do you want to book and Enjoy Rwanda’s discounted offers amidst corona Virus? African Apes Holidays is at your service to book and reserve for you a discounted gorilla permit in Rwanda. We offer tailor made Rwanda safari packages for gorilla trekking in Volcanoes National Park, Chimpanzee trekking in Nyungwe Forest, Kigali city tour and game safaris in Akagera National Park at affordable rates.

    The reopening of Rwanda tourism is great news for travelers and tour operators. Book today, follow the guidelines, stay safe and enjoy Rwanda’s promotional offers on gorilla trekking and other Rwanda safaris across the country with African Apes Holidays.

    Posted by African Apes in Travel News
    Four Poachers Arrested for Killing Endangered Silverback Gorilla

    Four Poachers Arrested for Killing Endangered Silverback Gorilla

    Uganda Wildlife authority is mourning the loss of Rafiki, the dominant silverback of Nkuringo gorilla family in Rushaga sector south of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park. Four local people suspected to have killed Rafiki were arrested after finding wild meat in their homes. The bad news for the loss of the beloved Rafiki was shared on 12th June 2020 by the Uganda wildlife Authority. On the fateful morning of 12th June, park rangers found the remains of the dead Rafiki, which had gone missing for 2 days.
    In their statement, UWA reported to the public “We have arrested four people over the death of Rafiki, the silverback of Nkuringo Gorilla group in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. They will be prosecuted in the courts of law.
    Four poachers arrested for killing a gorilla in Bwindi

    The four suspects were arrested after the one Bayamukama Felix admitted for killing he silverback. However, in his statements, Byamukama confessed to have killed the silverback in self-defense when the silverback charged at him. Byamukama further confessed to have shred the meat with Amos Kazongo 52 and Beinomugisha Fidel. Rafiki silverback was aged 25 years believed to be one of the oldest mountain gorillas in Nkuringo gorilla family. Safari and Rafiki were left as adult silverbacks after the death of the then Nkuringo silverback who died in April 2008.

    Threats to gorilla tourism in Uganda
    Poaching is one of the key threats to the survival of mountain gorillas in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park and all other gorilla destinations all over the world. Other threats to gorillas include loss of habitats, civil conflicts b rebel groups in parks, diseases and at time natural death.

    About Nkuringo gorilla family
    Trekked in Rushaga sector, south of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park, Nkuringo gorilla family is one of the hard to trek gorilla families best for adventure travelers to Bwindi. Nkuringo family was the first gorilla family to be habitauted in southern Bwindi in 1997 which make it worth visiting. The gorilla family is named after Nkuringo hill where it lives. Nkuringo hill gives travelers clear views of the Virunga Volcanoes, Mafuha forest, Lake Bunyonyi and the neighboring Congo attractions. A 3 Days Bwindi gorilla tour gives you chance to trek Nkuringo gorilla family. Moreso, travelers doing a 1 day Uganda gorilla trek starting from Kigali Rwanda can easily trek Nkuringo gorilla family due to the close connectivity from Cyanika border to Rushaga sector south of Bwindi Forest National Park. Another gorilla family in Nkuringo sector is Christmas one of the newly habituated gorilla families in Nkuringo

    Guide to Trekking Nkuringo gorilla family

    gorilla families in Uganda

    Nkuringo gorilla family

    The fact that it is located in upper part of Bwindi Forest, Nkuringo gorilla family is one of the tough to trek gorilla families. Travelers visiting Nkuringo gorilla family should therefore be physically fit and mentally ready to conquer the strenuous hike. Trekking time ranges between 2 to 8 hours but you are 99% sure of meeting the endangered gorillas at the end of the day. Trekking Nkuringo gorilla family starts at 7:00am with a pre gorilla trekking briefing about the dos and don’ts of trekking. The guidelines to trekking Nkuringo gorilla family include:
    1. Keep a distance of seven meters away from the gorillas
    2. Ensure physical fitness
    3. Do not use flashlight cameras
    4. Do not look direct into the eyes of the gorillas
    5. Keep your voices low
    6. Keep within your group, follow the guidelines of park rangers
    7. Do not litter in the park, leave only the footsteps
    8. Carry enough drinking water
    9. Carry enough energy giving snacks
    10. Keep clam when a gorilla charges

    What to wear for trekking Nkuringo gorilla family
    In order to ensure peaceful and less stressing gorilla trekking experience, African Apes Holidays gives you a list of what to wear when trekking Nkuringo gorilla family. The right attire for trekking Nkuringo gorilla group include:
    • Hiking boots/shoes for easy movement through the jungle forest
    • Gardening gloves to protect your hands
    • Long pants tucked into the boots
    • Long sleeved shirts and blouse for protecting your arms
    • Hat for protecting your head
    • Sunglasses for your eyes
    • Rain jackets for the unpredictable forest weather

    Best time to trek Nkuringo gorilla family
    Dry season in the months of June, July, August, September, December, and February are the best time to trek Nkuringo sector. The less or no rains in this season make it easy to trek through this jungle forest. However on the other hand, Nkuringo gorilla family can be trekked all year round. The wet season in March, April, May, October and November. Trekking gorillas in the wet season comes with les crowds in the park and discounted offers from service providers especially the lodges.

    Other gorilla families in southern Bwindi

    Gorilla families in Rushaga sector

    Members of Bweza gorilla family

    Besides Nkuringo gorilla family in Nkuringo sector, southern Bwindi is home to many more gorilla families in Rushaga sector. The gorilla groups in Rushaga include Nshongi family, Busingye family, Mishaya group, Kahungye family and Bweze group. Each gorilla group is visited by a group of eight people per day for an interaction of one hour.

    Kigali to Bwindi Gorilla trekking
    Travelers flying into Kigali Rwanda can easily do Kigali to Bwindi gorilla trekking tours in the shortest time possible. Bwindi Forest is roughly 5 hours drive from Kigali Bwindi compared to a full day (over 10 hors) of driving from Entebbe international airport. Travelers with limited time find Kigali to Bwindi gorilla tours most appropriate. A 2-Day Uganda gorilla tour from Kigali to Bwindi gives entails a pick up from Kigali airport, overnight in Bwindi, gorilla trekking and departure on the second day. If you are doing a 1 Day Bwindi Gorilla trek, pick up is at 3:30 am, 5 hours drive via Cyanika border to attend a pre gorilla trekking briefing at the respective park head quarters. After seeing gorillas, travelers are transferred back to Kigali for their connecting flights. Rushaga sector is suitable for travelers a 1 Day Uganda gorilla trek starting and ending in Kigali Rwanda. African Apes Holidays help you organizes a short Uganda gorilla trek starting and ending in Kigali Rwanda.

    Conclusively, the killing of Rafiki silverback gorilla is a setback and hindrance to the flourishing of gorilla safaris in Uganda. Uganda Wildlife Authority is urged to extensively sensitive local people on how peaceful they can live with the gorillas to prevent poaching and promote sustainable Uganda gorilla tours.

    Posted by African Apes in Travel News
    Why Need Travel Insurance on a Safari

    Why Need Travel Insurance on a Safari

    Travel Insurance is key for anybody travelling. Traveling has presently become a norm for most people across the world. Whereas travelling is mostly for fun, the industry entails a lot of risks ranging from accidents, sicknesses, loss of baggage, injuries and death at times. For that case, every traveler is advised to have to have a valid travel insurance to help him/her cover up in case of any risks.
    Travel comes in different forms and activities, which include primate safaris (gorilla trekking, chimpanzee trekking, golden monkeys), game viewing in open savannahs, bird watching, forest/nature walks, mountaineering, boat safaris, camping, bungee jumping, white water rafting, walking safaris and cultural visits among others depending on the traveler’s interests. Are you going for a mountain climbing adventure or trekking through jungle forests to trek gorillas? The activity is adventurous with high risks of injuries, insurance is highly recommended. While making gorilla tour bookings and other safari activities, we normally encourage and assure travelers of their safety, however in case of any miscellaneous, a travel insurance helps to cover up the required expenses.

    What Does Insurance Cover?
    Among the expenses that a travel insurance policy covers for include:
    1. Loss of travel bags
    2. Stolen travel bag
    3. Accident on the trip
    4. Death on the trip
    5. Emergency medical expenses
    6. Cost of canceling a trip
    7. Personal liability for example when a traveler is charged for causing any damage or loss while on a safari.

    What is not covered in the travel insurance policy?
    Some things that are not covered by the travel insurance policy include:
    • When a traveler is having a pre existing medical condition such as
    1. Any condition waiting for an operation
    2. Any check up whose test results are not ye out
    3. Any minor condition when you visited a doctor some time back
    4. Hereditary sicknesses such as sick cells
    5. Any other serious sickness including cancer, Heart problem and other respiratory diseases

    Other keynotes
    • Travelers seeking a travel insurance are normally asked whether they are taking any kind of medication
    • Also, travelers are usually asked whether there is any hereditary sickness in his/her families or whether any of the close relatives have any medical condition that calls for attention
    • A travel who cancels his/her trip due to the medical conditions of a family, relative of friends will not receive any insurance coverage for his canceled trip
    • Make sure you disclose all pre existing medical conditions to your insurance company when buying any travel insurance
    Travelers wit any health issue when traveling are reminded to check whether all medical equipment for the medicine being taken are covered
    Also, make sure you have full time help for any emergency calls

    KEY REASONS TO HAVE TRAVEL INSURANCE
    There are many benefits of having a travel insurance card, however, these five are the major reasons why every traveler MUST have a travel insurance card. These are:
    1. Do not lose a vacation investment. This happen s when a miscellaneous for example loss of a loved one of sickness occurs few days to the travel date. In most cases, there is no refund from the travel agent but insurance can refund the money you had paid for the cancelled trip
    2. Medical emergencies overseas in case you get an accident, broken legs or any other injuries on your trip in a foreign country. Travel insurance helps you cover up these expenses
    3. Travel insurance is a must in the Untied states Department of State
    4. It covers up minor mishaps which can easily ruin your trip such as loss a loss of a travel bag or missed flight

    Other Important Travel Documents
    Check the list of travel documents you require on any Africa safari with African Apes Holidays. These include:
    • Visa card
    • Yellow Fever vaccination
    • Health insurance card
    • Passport
    • Invitation letter from the hosting company
    • A gorilla permit when visiting gorillas
    • Chimpanzee permit when visiting chimpanzees
    • Passport photos
    Conclusively, a travel insurance is a requirement for anyone planning a safari to Africa and a cross the world. Get it today, book your favorite trip and enjoy nature to the fullness.

    Posted by African Apes in Travel News
    UWA opens Savannah Parks For Tourism

    UWA opens Savannah Parks For Tourism

    Uganda Wildlife Authority has reopened savannah parks for tourism after close to three months of temporary suspension. Effective from March 2020, the Uganda Wildlife Authority suspended all travels to all national parks to prevent the spread of the deadly virus to wildlife. Travelers and animal lovers can now visit and do game drives in the open savannah parks across the country.  The national parks open for tourism are Murchison Falls National park, Queen Elizabeth National park, Kidepo Valley National Park and Lake Mburo National park. These are the top game parks in Uganda sheltering a high concentration of wild animals. After close to three months of no tourism in all Uganda National Parks and protected areas, the Uganda Wildlife Authority has re-opened savannah parks for tourism. However, primates National Park which including Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park, Mgahinga Gorilla National Park and Kibale Forest National Park are still closed to protect the endangered mountain gorillas and chimpanzees from catching the deadly coronavirus.  Part activities such as destination wedding, giveaway, birthdays, and all related activities will not be allowed in the parks. However, all travelers to open parks Must follow the new rules and regulations as out by the Uganda Wildlife Authority as directed by the Ministry of Health and the president

    Guidelines for Visiting Savannah Parks in Uganda amidst Corona Virus

    1. Mandatory washing of hands using soap and sanitize for not less than 20 seconds. Hands must be continually washed after every few hours to keep clean
    2. Mandatory temperature screening using non-contact infra-red thermometers at every entry point to the National Park. If a client moves out of the park, he/she will be screened again on the return
    3. All vehicles into the national park must carry half the carrying capacity. This is to ensure the social distance between the clients to avoid close contact
    4. Salon cars will not be allowed to do game drives in the park
    5. Boats for those doing launch cruise in Murchison Falls, Kazinga channel and Lake Mburo will only carry half the carrying capacity
    6. All travelers must wear face masks every time they are in the open. Remove face masks only when in the room
    7. Keep a distance of at least 4 meters from each other
    8. Travelers are also advised to carry personal sanitizers
    9. Large travel groups for more than 25 people are not allowed in the parks
    10. Destination parties such as weddings are not allowed till further notice

    In the same way, the Uganda Tourism Board (UTB) gave directives for all hotels, lodges and restaurants which must be followed.

    In general, the atrial opening of Uganda National Parks to tourism gives hope for tourism in the Pearl of Africa in the near future. Travelers planning to visit mountain gorillas in Bwindi Forest/Mgahinga National parks plus Chimpanzee trekking in Kibale Forest National parks are urged to keep prepared, plan ahead and be ready to ensure this lifetime experience soon after the defeat of corona Virus in Uganda.

     

    Posted by African Apes in Travel News
    Hiking Trails in Nyungwe Forest National Park

    Hiking Trails in Nyungwe Forest National Park

    Hiking trails in Nyungwe Forest National park are one of the must do travel activities on your Rwanda safaris. YES, a guided hike/walk on foot is the best way to discover and explore the hidden gem in Nyungwe Forest National Park. Nyungwe Forest has the highest number of hiking trails, which lead to different attractions, the waterfalls, rivers, caves and former hunting grounds among others making the whole experience more enjoyable. Nyungwe Forest is home to 13 primates which include chimpanzees, Colubus monkeys, vervet monkeys, silver monkeys, L’Hoest monkeys, red tailed monkeys, baboons plus several mammals, birds ad butterflies among others. Hiking trails also called nature/forest walks complement other tourist activities including the common chimpanzee trekking, canopy walk, bird watching and monkey trekking among others. Hiking trails in Nyungwe Forest National Park are categorized into shorty, medium and long depending on the location and the hiking time required. The common hiking trails in Nyungwe Forest National Park include:

    1. Kamiranzovu Marsh Trail
    Hiking trails in Nyungwe ForestOriginating from Kamiranzovu swamp, the waterfalls the most hiked waterfall in Nyungwe forest national Park. Hiking to Kamiranzovu water fall lasts for between 3 to 4 hours depending through marshes and the swamp. The waterfalls stretches for 6 kilometers divided into the lower part composed of huge rocks and the other part of the falling waters. A hike to Kamiranzovu waterfall starts from Gisakura reception Centre following a brief guide by the park ranges. Travelers are escorted by two armed rangers o ensure safety. The many beautiful orchid flowers at the banks of the waterfall make photography more beautiful. Also, the swamps around the waterfall shelter numerous bird species hence the best spot for bird watching. The volume and speed of Kamiranzovu waterfall is high during the rainy season.

    2. Imbaraga Trail
    The 10 kilometers long Imbaraga trail is yet another interesting trail in Nyungwe Forest National Park. The hike to Imbaraga trail starts at Uwinka Information center lasting for roughly 6 hours to reach the end point. The trail is mots followed by travelers going for canopy walk giving them, an added experience. Also, travelers hiking to Imbaraga trail have high chances of meeting the famous chimpanzees in the forest. Imbaraga trail is a strenuous hike but the magical feeling that comes with it is worth the energy.

    3. Ngabwa Trail
    Ngabwa trail hiking starts at Kitabi information center lasting for about 3 hours hike via different vegetation zones. The 5 kilometers Ngabwa trail is a best spot for bird watching being home to numerous birds such as Regal sunbird, Rwenzori Batis, Congo ground Thrush, Rwenzori Turaco, Red faced woodland Warbler, Red collared mountain Babbler, Crowned Hornbill and Chinspot Batis among others. The trail is also famous for chimpanzees, L’Hoest monkesy, colubs monkeys and Mangabeys among others.

    4. Igishigishi Trail
    Hiking trails in Nyungwe ForestAlso known as the canopy walk trail, the Igishigishi trail is the most hiked trail in Nyungwe Forest National Park. The trail stretches for about 2.5 kilometers lasting for roughly 2 hours walk to complete it. Igishigishi trail offers you exceptional aerial views of the forest, Virunga volcanoes and other attractions in the neighborhood. The trail starts at Uwinka Information center preceded by a short briefing about the safety guidelines.

    5. Bigugu Trail
    Bigugu trail is the most challenging trail to the Bigugu paek standing at 2,950 meters above the sea level. The 7 kilometers Bigugu trail lasts for about 6 hours hike offering you clear views of Lake Kivu. The trail is the best spot for bird watching sheltering various bird species such as African Paradise Flycatcher, Regal sunbird, Handsome francolin, Buff throated Apalis, Arcer’s robin chat, Ruwenzori Batis, Strange Weaver, Red collared babbler and Stripe breasted tit among others. Physical fitness is key to easily hike via this trail which gets muddy and slippery especially in the rainy season.

    6. Isumo Waterfall Trail
    Isumo waterfall is yet another interesting trail not to miss on your Rwanda safari to Nyungwe Forest National Park. The trek lasts for about4 hours via tea plantations. The beautiful views of Isumo falls with colored flowers on its banks offers you picnic views. Travelers have high chances of seeing many primates and birds along the trail. Isumo waterfalls end point of this trail.

    7. Irebero Trail
    Hiking trails in Nyungwe ForestLocally translated as viewpoint, Irebero trail offers travelers stunning views of lake Kivu, Nyungwe Forest, Tea plantations and the Virunga Volcanoes. The trail is moderate with less difficulty in hiking. Irebero trail stretches for 3.6 kilometers twisting around the two highest summits on the Uwinka ridge.

    8. Muzimu Trail
    Trekking through the shrubs and open health vegetation, Muzimu trail is a remote and less visited trail in Nyungwe Forest National Park. The less visits o Muzimu trail offers the off beaten kind of experience to all travelers. Walk through Muzimu trail starts from the forested buffer zone and later into an open with clear views of Nyungwe Forest and Virunga Volcanoes.

    9. Umugota Trail
    Named after the common Syzygium tree specie commonly seen in tis trail, Umugota trail is worth visiting. The trail stretches taking roughly 3 hours walk. The trail take you through dense forest cover with high chances of meeting primates like chimpanzees, colubus monkeys , birds and mammals. Umugote trail offers you best views of the southern Nyungwe Forest and volcanic mountains in Burundi.

    10. Uwinka Trail
    Hiking trails in Nyungwe ForestUwinka trail starts from Irebero trailhead ending at Kamianzovu marsh trailhead and is one of the difficult hikig trails in Nyungwe Forest National Park. Uwinka trail stretches for 17.8 kilometers which require over 8 hours to hike to the end.

    11. Karamba Birding trail
    The trail is formerly the gold mining area in Nyungwe Forest National Park. Karamba birding trail is known to have the highest bird species in Nyungwe Forest. The birds seen along Karamba trail include Ruwenzori Apalis, Ruwenzori Batis, Handsome Francolin, Dusky Crimsonwing, Archer’s Robi Chat, Shelley’s Crimsonwing, Red faced woodland, Buff throated Apalis and Stripe breasted tit among others. Karamaba birding trail stretches for 4 kilometers and is one of the easy to hike trails.

    Other hiking trails in Nyungwe Forest include:
    12. Rukuzi trail
    13. Umuyove Trail
    14. Congo Nile divide trail
    15. Buhoro trail

    What to wear for hiking trails in Nyungwe Forest
    What to wear for hiking trails in Nyungwe ForestCheck for what to wear for hiking trails in Nyungwe Forest National Park with African Apes Holidays your number one Rwanda safari company
    • Wear hiking boots/shoes to easily walk through muddy grounds
    • Long pants
    • long sleeved shirts/buses
    • Hats and sunglasses
    • Gardening gloves for your hands
    • Carry a rain jacket, it may rain any day any time in the forest

    More tips for hiking trails in Nyungwe Forest National Park
    • Don’t forget a walking stick
    • Carry enough drinking water
    • Carry energy giving snacks
    • Keep within your group
    • Binoculars help you zoom birds and other attractions format a distance

    Other things to see and do in Nyungwe Forest National Park
    Atractions in Nyungwe ForestBesides hiking trails/ nature walking, travelers to Nyungwe Forest National Park have an endless list of attractions and activities to see and do. The top tourist activities in Nyungwe Forest include:
    1. Chimpanzee trekking as the number one tourist activity in the forest
    2. Canopy walk for greater aerial views of the forest
    3. Bird watching
    4. Colubus trekking

    Conclusively, hiking trails/nature walks in Nyungwe Forest National Park are a not miss on your Rwanda safari. Contact African Apes Holidays, book your Rwanda safari and enjoy the beauty of Nyungwe Forest on your hiking trail experience.

    Posted by African Apes in Travel News
    Robots to Fight Covid19 in Rwanda

    Robots to Fight Covid19 in Rwanda

    As a new strategy the prevent the further spread of the deadly Virus, Rwanda has deployed 5 humanoid robots to help in the fight. Rwanda ministry of health received the 5 robots from the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) in mid May 2020. The new robots will help to ease service delivery systems in Kanyinya health Centre were Covid19 patients are treated. Rwanda was the first African country to introduce robots to assist medical workers in the fight against the deadly corona virus. Upon arrival, the five robots where given Kirwanda names which are Akazuba, Urumuri, Mwiza, Ngabo and Ikizere. Other countries that have used robots to help in fighting against deadly corona virus include China, Switzerland, South Korea and Belgium These were the first countries to register corona virus which has claimed thousands of l people and infecting millions. Rwanda registered her first covid19 positive case in March 2020 and was the first East African country. The government immediately put the whole country under lock down for close to 2 months with minimal business in operations. The major aim for the introduction of the anti tech robots in Rwanda is to limit the chances of health workers from catching the deadly Corona Virus. Health workers are at the frontline and susceptible to catch the Virus

    How do Zoro robots operate?
    Robots help to fight Covid19 in RwandaLike all other robots, the Rwanda copvid19 robots will be computerized. YES, everything will be under the control of the computer. One robot has a capacity to screen between 50 to 150 people per minute, which will ease the work of screening for the new patients. While addressing some Rwanda officials, one robot assured them of the positive results. In its computerized address, one robot said” I have been so resourceful in China, South Korea, Switzerland, Belgium and Netherlands”. This gave confidence to medical workers at Kanyinya facility that indeed; the country will fight Corona Virus with the help of the robots. The things that will be done by the robots in fighting Corona Virus in Rwanda include:
    1. Screening the new suspects
    2. Measuring temperatures for the suspects and patients
    3. Delivering food to Covd19 patients
    4. Delivering medication to the Covid29patients in their wards
    5. Check people not wearing masks and alert them to wear masks
    6. Monitoring corona Virus patients
    7. Notify health workers about new detectives
    8. Keep records of all Covid19 patients in the hospital
    9. Address and give guidelines to the patients

    Cost of Anti Tech Robots
    Each robot is estimated to cost roughly £2,700. However, the services of these robots is worth the penny. The anti tech robots are manufactured by a Belgium company. All countries are advised to purchase the robots to ease the fight against the deadly Corona Virus.

    Corona Virus Cases in Rwanda
    Since March when Rwanda registered her first Corona Virus positive case, the number has raised to 369 positive cases, 244 recoveries and no death as of 27th May 2020. The country was locked down for 2 months to curb the spread of the virus. On 4th May 2020, the government eased the lockdown by allowing essential workers to go back for work, private cars and public cars to operate but carrying a minimum number of passengers as specified by the government. Markets were also allowed to operate but with a high observation of social distance.
    REMINDER: WEARING A FASLK MASK IN PUBLIC IS A MUST FOR EVERY BODY.

    Tourism in Rwanda Amidst corona Virus
    About Corona VirusApparently, all Rwanda safaris to Volcanoes National Park, Nyungwe Forest National Park, Akagera National Park, Gishwati Mukura National Park and all other tourism destinations in Rwanda are on a temporarily suspension till further notice. Gorilla Trekking and chimpanzee tours were the first activities to suspend fearing the spread of the deadly virus to the endangered mountain gorillas and chimpanzees. Fortunately, Rwanda Development Board relaxed on its gorilla permit and chimpanzee permit cancellation policy to allow travel operators reschedules the already booked permits to a future date. Travel operators can now reschedule and book Rwanda gorilla permits and chimpanzee safaris to any date till 2022 without any penalty. Shortly after the total defeat of Corona Virus, Rwanda will reopen for tourism to reward travelers with amazing wildlife experiences. For the meantime, embrace Rwanda’s virtual gorilla tours and experience gorilla trekking from your sitting room.

    Cost of Post covid19 Rwanda Safaris
    Are you planning to visit Rwanda post covid19? Wondering on the cost of Rwanda safaris? No worries, African Apes Holidaysgives you the details. The cost of Rwanda safaris varies depending on which tourist activity you intend to do, the number of days for a trip, number of people on a trip and the choice of accommodation. For those visiting to trek mountain gorillas, a single Rwanda gorilla permit costs $1500 inclusive of the park entrance fee and conservation fee. Chimpanzee safaris in Rwanda costs $100 and golden monkeys cost $100. However, travelers receive a higher quote depending on which safari activities you choose to do. Contact us today, specify which trip you intend to do and we shall give you a safari quotation to suit your budget.

    Conclusively therefore, the use of anti tech robots to fight corona Virus in Rwanda is a great achievement for the government of Rwanda. We congratulate the ministry of health in Rwanda and hope for the best.

    Posted by African Apes in Travel News
    Primate Trekking in Rwanda

    Primate Trekking in Rwanda

    Primate trekking rank number one when it comes to Rwanda safarisRwanda safaris. YES, over 50% or more of travelers to Rwanda choose to trek primates yearning to enjoy the magical feeling of meeting face to face with the endangered primates in their natural habitats. Primate safaris in Rwanda bring in the highest Foreign exchange earning into Rwanda improving the country’s gross domestic product. Do dream of visiting the endangered mountain gorillas, chimpanzees or the golden monkeys? Rwanda primate safaris are the suitable package for you. Primates share over 99% of human genes which make them man’s close relatives. Our 5 Days Rwanda primate’s safari is a suitable package to visit and enjoy magical encounters with Rwanda’s primates. The humanlike characters of primates in their families make them a must on any Rwanda safari for a memorable experience. Primate trekking in Rwanda entails:

    Mountain gorilla trekking
    Primate safaris in RwandaDone in the bamboo forests of Volcanoes National Park, mountain gorilla trekking is the most done tour is activity in the land of a thousand hills. Rwanda is one of the three countries that shelter the endangered gorillas alongside Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Volcanoes National Park is home to over 350 mountain gorillas habituated into 10 gorilla families. Rwanda is second to Uganda in sheltering the high number of mountain gorillas. In 2017, Rwanda transformed into a luxury gorilla tour destination following the hike of their gorilla permit prices from $750 to $1500 each. 80 gorilla permits are available everyday in Rwanda served on first come first serve basis. Rwanda gorilla treks range from 1-Day gorilla tour to over 10 days Rwanda gorilla and wildlife safari depending on the traveler’s budget and time. Rwanda gorilla groups include:
    1. Amahoro Gorilla group
    2. Susa A gorilla family
    3. Sabyinyo Gorilla Group
    4. Karisimbi Gorilla Group
    5. Hirwa Gorilla Family
    6. Agashya gorilla group
    7. Kwitonda gorilla family
    8. Titus Gorilla Group
    9. Umubano gorilla family
    10. Pablo Gorilla Family
    Each gorilla family is visited by a group of 8 travelers a day for an hour. Hove, trekking time to see gorillas can range between 30 minutes to 7 hours depending on the location of the gorilla family, the travelers hiking speed and the movement seed of the gorillas. However, whether it takes short or long, travelers are 99% guaranteed a chance to meet the gorillas.


    How to book a Rwanda gorilla safari

    African Apes Holidays is your ultimate gorilla safari company to book and reserve your Rwanda gorilla tour. Contact us today, inform us about your travel dates and we shall arrange for you the best Rwanda gorilla package at affordable rates. Gorilla permit bookings in Uganda are recommended at least 6 months before the trekking date. More so, you can book directly with Rwanda Development Board.

    Chimpanzee Trekking in Nyungwe Forest National park
    Primate safaris in RwandaEnjoy guided chimpanzee trekking in Nyungwe Forest National Park with African Apes Holidays. Rwanda safaris to trek chimpanzees in Nyungwe Forest National Park Nyungwe Forest National Park are among the top most done activities in Rwanda. Chimpanzee trekking in Nyungwe Forest is done in the main forest home to over 60 individuals and in Cyamudongo Forest home to over 30 individuals. A Rwanda chimpanzee permit costs $100 inclusive of the park entrance fee and conservation fees. Besides chimpanzees, Nyungwe Forest is home to other primates such as Olive baboons, Vervet monkeys, Grey cheeked Mangabey, Red tailed monkeys, Golden monkeys, L’Hoest monkeys, Silver monkeys, Dent’s Mona Monkey, Ruwenzori Colobus, and Hamlyn’s monkey. The other tourist activities to do in Nyungwe Forest include canopy walk, colubus trekking, bird watching, waterfall hiking, and forest/nature walks among others.

    Golden Monkey trekking in Volcanoes National Park
    Do not miss golden monkey trekking in Volcanoes National Park. a permit to trek golden monkeys cost $100 which is relatively cheap compared to the gorillas in the same forest. Enjoy a magical encounter with the playful, lively and beautiful golden monkeys in their natural habitats. Volcanoes National Park is home o over 500 golden monkeys while the other population lives in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park. Fortunately, treks to see golden monkeys costs $100, which is quite cheap, compared to mountain gorillas in the same forest

    Guidelines for Primate trekking in Rwanda
    • You must carry a permit your respective primate permit
    • Its not a guarantee to see primates especially in the major forest However you are 99% guaranteed
    • Travelers to Cyamudongo Forest have high chances of seeing chimpanzees
    • Trekking time ranges between 2 hours to 7 hours
    • Do not trek when sick
    • Keep a distance of seven meters away from the primates
    • Avoid direct eye contact with the primates
    • Do not litter in the park
    • Keep your voice low

    What to pack for primate trekking in Rwanda
    Travelers visiting to trek primates in Rwanda are reminded to pack the essentials to avoid any difficulties while in the jungle. Among the things to carry for primate trekking in Rwanda include:
    1. Hiking boots/shoes for easy movements through the jungle forests
    2. Gardening gloves to cover and protect your hands
    3. Sun glasses for the eyes
    4. Hat for the head and hair for ladies
    5. Insect repellants
    6. Energy giving snacks
    7. Log sleeved shirts and blouses
    8. Long pants
    9. Rain jackets/coats for the unpredictable forest rains
    10. Warm sweaters and jackets
    11. Extra batteries for the camera
    12. First aid Kit.
    Primate trekking in Rwanda offers you the best wildlife experience. Contact African Apes holidays today, book a Rwanda safari to trek mountain gorillas, chimpanzees and golden monkeys at affordable rates.

    Posted by African Apes in Travel News
    Gorilla Safaris in Africa