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Whereas mountain gorilla trekking adventures have become the most sought after experiences in world, there is still need to enhance on this primate adventure if a destination is to remain relevant for a longer period of time. And Bwindi like any destination where this lifetime adventure is conducted in Africa needs to improve on its gorilla trekking experience to make it exceptional from others that offer the same experience especially Volcanoes National Park in northwestern Rwanda and Virunga National Park in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park lies in further southwestern Uganda and it is Uganda’s second destination where gorilla trekking is conducted. The other is Mgahinga National Park and it is also situated in southwestern Uganda. For long Rwanda has featured as the prime gorilla tracking destination in East Africa and Africa at large. And this is attributed to its remarkable primate adventures that are incorporated with cultural encounters, accessibility to Volcanoes National Park where you will spend about 2 to 3 hours drive from Kigali. Besides, Rwandan government has also positioned itself as luxury gorilla tracking destination and in order to meet its set goals, it is vigorously marketing its products through ‘Visit Rwanda’ campaign, establishment of up market accommodation facilities like Bisate Safari Lodge. Today, you can obtain permits in Rwanda at $1500.

Significance of enhancing gorilla trekking adventures in Uganda

Uganda a lot more to do so as to benefit from gorilla tracking safaris despite its position as a second best destination and features the largest number of mountain gorillas compared to Rwanda and DRC. Despite all these endowments, Uganda has not done a lot in marketing itself as a leading destination and yet it offers relatively affordable gorilla trekking permits compared to Rwanda. Uganda’s permits are sold at $600 per visitor. Interestingly, you can still reach Bwindi or Mgahinga National Park through Kigali and Uganda has enjoyed peace and stability for long.

However, while on safari safety starts with you and don’t rely on general peace a fact that anything can happen depending on the area that you will be and the time for instance traveling at night is not safe in Uganda just like any country. Enhancing gorilla tracking in Uganda won’t only increase the number of trekkers/boost the country’s tourism sector but it will offer more employment opportunities to locals.

To enhance your gorilla experiences, Uganda has introduced Gorilla Habituation Experience which is only conducted in Bwindi National Park and in only Bushaho and Bikingi gorilla group. Permits for this experience cost $1500 per visitor and allows you to spend 4 (four) hours on face to face encounter with gorillas unlike the usual treks where you will spend only an hour.

Improving gorilla tracking adventures in Uganda will however, attract more visitors and also position the country among the leading gorilla safari destinations in the world. Gorilla safaris should also be incorporated with cultural encounters or a cup of tea/coffee during the morning briefing in Bwindi and Mgahinga National Park. The 2 National Parks are surrounded by numerous communities including the Batwa and Bakiga that are renowned for the most thrilling cultural experiences and they can entertain visitors during briefing at the park headquarters before setting off to the field to look out for their habituated gorilla families. For example, today we have the batwa experience in Buhoma sector of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and the Batwa Trail in the magnificent Mgahinga National Park and all these attract many tourists from different parts of the world in addition to gorilla tracking. You have a chance to learn more about the history of the Batwa, their ways of life and cultures.

The routes to Bwindi or Mgahinga should be improved to enable visitors to navigate whether during dry season or wet season. Currently, one must have a 4x4 car to access these 2 gorilla parks in Uganda especially in the rain season. The roads are impassable without a 4x4, and with land slides. Besides, airstrips adjacent to the parks in Uganda not only in Bwindi National Park and Mgahinga should be improved or upgraded to allow visitors take flights straight from Entebbe International Airport/Kajjansi airfield.

Extending for about 1442 square kilometers, Kidepo Valley National Park is the third largest National Park  and one of the best Uganda safari destinations, standing at an elevation of 900 to 1200 meters above sea level. This secluded National Park boasts of unsurpassed sceneries not seen in any other Park in the East African region and provides outstanding and sweeping savannah and extensive rolling rugged mountain landscapes making the Park an endowed site for flora species. It consists of a shallow valley system with dry mountain terrain while on its south-west is the Narus Valley, north-west by Napore range, north is Mount Lotuke in South Sudan and finally Morungole range on the south of the Park.

This remote site is found in north-eastern Uganda bordering South Sudan and Kenya, and is characterized by different ecosystems such as the dense miombo-like woodland, semi-desert scrub, the riparian woodland such as Kigelia and Borassus woodland, open thorn scrub, long and short grass open-tree savannah, granite outcrops and montane forest offering shelter to more than 480 species of birds including 21 Afro-tropical highland species (especially within Lomej, Morungole, Lonyili and Zulia due to their Mosaic forest, thicket and savannah), 32 Somali-Masai Biome species, 4 Guinea-Congo forest biome species and 16 Sudan and Guinea savannah species of birds.

Just like there are numerous wildlife and birds species such as cheetahs that are not found elsewhere in Uganda, Kidepo Valley National Park is also a haven to a number of extraordinary species of birds that cannot be sighted in other National Parks in Uganda such as Ostriches, Karamoja Apalis and Black-breasted Barbets. Interestingly, it is also the second only to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park in terms of diversity of rare and most sought-after species of birds.

Besides the mentioned, other species of birds that can be sighted within Kidepo Valley National Park include Violet-tipped Courser, Jackson's Hornbills, Mouse-colored Penduline Tit, Black-winged Pranticole, Brown-rumped Bunting, purple heron, Black-faded Waxbills, Singing Bush lark, Ethiopian Swallow, Abyssinian roller, Emin’s Shrike, Fox’s Cisticola, African Grey Flycatcher, Straw-tailed Whydahs, Abyssinian ground hornbill, Black-rumped Waxbill, Golden Pipit, Red billed Oxpecker, African-pied Hornbills, Fox’s Weaver, Lesser Kestrel, White-billed Buffalo Weavers, Yellow-billed Shrike, White-bellied Go-Away bird, Rufous and Chestnut Sparrow, Yellow and red spotted Barbet, Jackson’s Hornbills, Grey-capped Social Weavers, Brown-backed Woodpecker, Ring-necked Spurfowl, Black-breasted Barbets, Steel-blue Whydahs, Eastern Yellow Hornbills, White-crested Turaco, Black-headed Plover, Rufous Chatterer, Yellow-spotted Petronia, Standard-winged Nightjars, Bruce's Green Pigeon, Little Green Bee-eater, White-headed Buffalo Weavers, Speckle-fronted Weavers, Red-fronted Barbets, Red-winged Lark, Taita Fiscal, Chestnut- crowned Sparrow Weavers, Abyssinian Scimitar bill, Clapperton’s francolin, Pallid Harrier, Dusky-turtle Dove and the Hartlaub’s Turaco among others.

There are some places in the Park that are birding hot spots and they include the Park Headquarters as well as Apoka Rest Camp overlooking the southern Narus Valley. Some of the notable species found here include the Silverbird, Little Weavers, Scarlet-chested Sunbird, Vinaceous Dove, Yellow-billed Shrike Hoopoe, Superb Starlings, White-faced Scoops Owl, Ruppell's Starlings, Nubian Woodpecker, Red-cheeked Cordon-bleu and Mosque Swallow among others.  There is also a small permanent waterhole at the border of the Safari Camp that attracts several seedeaters like the Yellow-rumped Seedeater in addition to the Broad-tailed Warblers, Yellow-billed Shrikes, Clapperton's Francolin, Crimson-rumped Waxbill, Black Coucal, African Moustached warblers and Marsh Tchagra and interestingly, other animals such as Buffaloes, Lions and Elephants are also found within the area.

Best Time to visit Kidepo Valley National Park

Bird watching in Kidepo Valley National Park is an all year activity much as the perfect time to conduct the activity is March to May because during this time, you will encounter all the specials and numerous transit migrant species.

Other attractions within the Park include exceptional mammals such as Bohor reedbucks, Cheetahs, Stripped Hyenas, Bat-eared foxes, Caracals, Zebras and birds such as the Ostriches and many others.

DR Congo is mostly known for lowland and mountain gorilla tracking in Africa. Today let us look at Okapis in Congo. If you are looking for the best safari destinations that offer visitors with authentic African experiences then look no further than Okapi Wildlife Reserve. The reserve was established in 1992 and became a World Heritage Site in 1996. Its creation was largely to offer refuge to the rare okapi, plant species and other numerous wildlife species together with the lifestyle and culture of native people and others.

Okapi wildlife reserve extends up to 13700 square meters of the Ituri forest and it is credited for its intense plant and animal diversity in Africa. About 5000 out of the 30000 okapis thrive within the reserve and this represents approximately a sixth of the okapi population on earth today. The okapi feature as the only famous cousin of the giraffe with similar striped pattern on the hind and a deep purplish coat. The reserve also rewards visitors with its most spectacular sceneries especially from most of the waterfalls on the Ituri and Epulu Rivers. About one 5th of Ituri forest lies within okapi wildlife reserve with a Pleistocene largely covered by thick evergreen “Mbau” and humid semi rainforest, swamp forests that thrives along the shores and clearings locally called as “edos” and Inselbergs.

Saving okapi in DR Congo

Okapi Wildlife Reserve is also proud of more than 101 mammal species, 17 apes some of which include the 13 diurnal and 4 nocturnals, 7500 chimpanzees and others. Approximately 1500 rare plant species are found within the reserve. Besides, Okapi Wildlife Reserve features as one of the Important Birding Areas in Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and about 376 bird species call this protected area their home most of which include the endemic Congo Peafowl (Afropavo congensis), the golden napped weaver, yellow legged weaver, lyre tailed honey guide and black collared lovebird. The biggest number of forest ongulates thrive within the reserve with 14 species that include the six (6) types of Cephalophus and not to forget the intense number of forest elephants that count about 7500 individuals plus the bongo, the dwarf antelope (Neotragus batesi), Leopards, forest buffaloes, the giant forest hog, the water chevrotains (Hyemoschus aquaticus) and variety of indigenous species from the Congo River Basin.

When to visit the Okapi Wildlife Reserve

Okapi Wildlife Reserve can be visited at anytime of the year, but it can be best explored from June to August. These months are characterized by limited rainfall.

For visitors who intend to visit this reserve, remember to obtain visa for Republic of Congo, malaria and yellow fever vaccination certificate and these documents should be obtained a week or two weeks in advance. You may also require a trekking permit for the Okapi Wildlife Reserve and usually clients are encouraged to travel in groups.

How to reach to Okapi Wildlife Reserve

Okapi Wildlife Reserve lies 40 kilometers west of Mambasa along the route between Beni and Kisangani and its main headquarters is found about 300 meters from Epulu town. For visitors who are in Kinshasa, you can take a flight up to Bunia where you will continue up to Epulu where the okapi wildlife reserve can be easily reached. As well, flights can be arranged from Kisangani or you can opt to rent a 4 (four) by 4 (four) safari car take about 8 (eight) hours’ driving to Okapi wildlife reserve. Another option is available for visitors who are in Uganda, whereby they can take flights from Entebbe International Airport but visitors are encouraged to spend a night prior visiting the wildlife reserve.

Where to stay in Okapi Wildlife Reserve

Okapi Wildlife Reserve has no luxury accommodation facilities but visitors can spend a night in one the nearby budget, mid range and camping options at the headquarters. The best areas for your stay over include New Cosmos Hotel which is located around Bunia, Vukuke Guest House and Guest House Du Canon around Kisangani and others.

With above discussion, Congo has much more to offer than gorilla tracking. Okapi Wildlife Reserve is one of the few safari destinations in Africa that offer visitors with true African experiences given its untouched natural wonders. If you are interested in exploring more about the rare okapi and other rare bird species in the DRC then consider this reserve a must to include in your bucket list.

Kisiizi waterfalls is both a natural and significant cultural/historical attraction in Uganda because what you will see when you visit the area is not just a waterfall but an area that used to be a death trap. This magnificent waterfalls lies within River Kyabamba, at a stone throw away from Kisiizi Hospital in Rukungiri district bordering Kabale (dubbed the Switzerland of Uganda due to its numerous Hills) in the south-western side of Uganda.

The beautiful Kisiizi waterfall is at around 40 meters high and pours its waters into a deep gorge before proceeding with the flow of the mentioned River. Tourists who visit the waterfalls are always welcomed by a spray from the falls at over 100 meters away and this welcomes you to the mysterious yet sad history of the area. Much as tourists always add this attraction during their longer gorilla trekking or wildlife safaris, you can also make a short trip to this site because it is not only that waterfall you will amazed at but also other interesting attractions such as the numerous bird species, cultural experiences and the nearby forest.

Historically, this waterfall is said to have greatly contributed to the moral value of Bakiga people because it used to be a place where pregnant unmarried girls were thrown as a way of teaching other girls how to behave well. When a girl form the area got pregnant before marriage, she would be escorted by her father and brother to the top of the falls then pushed down the cliff and eventually dies as a way of avoiding premarital sex in society. However, what anyone fails to understand is why the men responsible wouldn’t also be punished? This story reminds us of the adulterous woman in the Bible who was accused of committing adultery but no one mentioned the man with whom she was committed the formidable act with.

This act went on but stopped when one of the victims was brought to the site but had a perfect plan in that she held her father and brother and all the three of them fell down the cliff and died. This is when the practice came to an end because members of the society thought the girls would not allow dying alone but instead with their brothers and fathers. Besides being a cultural site, the area around Kisiizi waterfalls is also a birding Paradise with numerous species of birds including the Pied Crows, Yellow-backed weavers, Grey crowned cranes, African black-headed Oriole, Long-chested eagles, white-browed robin-chat, African Paradise flycatcher, Malachite Kingfisher, Black-headed weavers, Grey Herons, Ross Turaco, African firefinch, Augur Buzzard, Double-toothed weavers, Haddad Ibis, African Harrier hawk, Hammerkop, yellow-billed storks, Lesser stripped swallow, African pied wagtail, black-winged red Bishop, Purple-breasted sunbirds, Scarlet chested sunbirds, Speckled mousebirds, Mottled widowbird, Mackinnon’s Fiscal, Black kites, Bronze Mannequin, the Emerald spotted wood Dove and many others. This makes bird watching one of the must-do activities around the waterfalls.

Besides that, Forest walks are conducted within the nearby Forest but also picnics can be enjoyed from the area. These walks also reward tourists with the stunning views of the Kigezi hills and valleys.

Also, tourists can enjoy cultural experiences within the villages around the waterfalls. While here, you can visit some of the homesteads to see how a typical family goes around with daily activities such as cultivating gardens and harvesting food in addition to preparation of the local cuisines and also enjoy it.

If you are interesting in taking photographs within a natural and beautiful area, then the Kisiizi waterfalls is where you must be during your visit within the region. The backdrop of the waterfalls, birds and lush forest are perfect for photography.

How to Reach the Kisiizi waterfalls

Kisiizi waterfalls are found at approximately 400 kilometers from Kampala City, only 22 kilometers South of Rukungiri Town and about 46 kilometers north of Kabale Town.

Are you planning to visit Africa’s finest Gorilla trekking destination; Bwindi Impenetrable National Park for gorilla trekking safaris? Are you confused about where to spend your nights during the trip? If the answer to the questions is yes, then the Mantana Tented Camps are what you need to book with for a memorable gorilla safari. These Camps are owned and managed by the Mantana Safari Company, one of Uganda’s oldest Companies.

These Camps are lavishly furnished and decorated with large tents at the heart of the wilderness offering a combination of excitement and comfort to guests who visit the accommodation facility. There are 8 spacious tents with each of them featuring en-suite bathrooms with showers, private veranda, serene bedroom, living/seating area and dressing room. There is a dining area where full-board meals are offered and a bar is present at the site.

There is also a restaurant and well equipped kitchen that is managed by qualified chef who prepared both local and foreign cuisines for guests as well as committed and hospitable waitresses who serve food and drinks on time. The bar is well stocked with all kinds of alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks. The accommodation facility is popular for the serene environment and a perfect place to unwind after a tiring gorilla trekking day and you can enjoy open fires that bring the true taste of a traditional African night. Any guest who visits the Mantana Tented Camp agrees that it offers standard facilities that suit guests accompanied with hospitable staff especially the waiters/waitresses who deliver timely services without delay.

Besides in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Mantana Safari Company also owns beautiful Lodges in other Parks such as Mantana Tented Camp in Kibale Forest National Park at about 2 kilometers before Kanyanchu Park Headquarters, Mantana Lake Mburo Tented Camp situated within Uganda’s smallest savannah National Park-Lake Mburo National Park.

In conclusion, Mantana Tented Camps within Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is a magnificent and lavish accommodation facility for tourists who visit the country for gorilla trekking safaris. Some of the facilities to enjoy include 8 spacious tents with en-suite bathrooms, dining area where full-board meals are served, a well stocked bar with all kinds of alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks, well equipped kitchen that is managed by qualified chef who prepared both local and foreign cuisines for guests as well as committed and hospitable waitresses who serve food and drinks on time.

Are you planning to travel for conference meetings in Uganda but you do not know which car to use? Whereas the largest number of visitors traveling to Uganda comes mainly for safari experiences in the protected areas or any famous tourist attractions in the country, others may opt for business tour and after may be go for leisure.

Hiring a private car is undoubtedly the safest and most comfortable way to get you around Kampala city centre where your conference will be conducted. We have several saloon cars that are best for business visitors who are searching for the pocket friendly and private means to traverse in Uganda. Whether you prefer traveling on self drive or with a driver, all your needs can be addressed within expected time. Take advantage of cheap car hire in Uganda by booking early / in advance, give your self time and contact different car rental agencies in Uganda. This means, you get offers from different service providers. Below are some of the best sedan cars for you to rent in Uganda;

The Toyota Rav4

This type of car is a 4wd SUV and features among the famous sedan vehicles not for taking a safari to national parks in Uganda but also for visitors traveling for conference meetings in the country. The Rav4 comes with better air conditioner, comfortable seats, enough space for luggage and good exterior view worthy for your conferences in Uganda. They can be hired at a pocket friendly price and costs exclude that of fuel.

4x4 Rav4 - 5 Doors

The Toyota Premio

This is kinder the oldest sedan vehicles in Uganda but most first time drivers enjoy navigating using it for several years now. It comes in a four door and it is less costly and best for conference or business visitors looking for budget transportation means to and from the point where the meeting is held.

Mercedes Benz

For visitors who are interested in VIP transportation and need to impress the delegates, the Mercedes Benz is worthy choosing. They come in S, C, E or GL class and they offer the best comfort and better exterior and interior with leather seats, air conditioners, MP3 or CD players as well as adequate space for luggage. The price is within the visitor’s budget and isn’t exploitative.

If you are planning to travel to Uganda for conference meetings within Kampala or any big town and you need the pocket friendly and classic sedan vehicles to rent, simply contact our car hire company and your dreams will come true.

Uganda is one of the endowed destinations in the world. It comes with amazing scenery from mountains such as Rwenzori and Mount Elgon, magical nature, culture, vegetation-thick tropical rain forests, bamboo, grasslands and many more, wildlife in its spectacular national parks and wildlife reserves.

The notable wildlife to catch a glimpse in Uganda include the rare mountain gorillas, golden monkeys, red tailed monkeys, olive baboons, black and white colobus monkeys, chimpanzee and many more primates as well as mammal species African elephants, leopards, buffaloes, hyenas, rhinos, lions, hippos and bird-life such as green breasted pitta, shoe bill stork, black bellied bustard as well as many migratory bird species. Below are some of the reasons why you need to rent a car in Kampala for a safari in Uganda;


No one needs to be in exposure, that is renting a car for a roadtrip in Uganda is the best ideal option that gives you that total privacy that anyone would wish to have while on safari. Hiring a car allows you to freely communicate on phone privately, interact with family members, friends, listen to music, and even adjust clothing based on the weather pattern.

Maximum Comfort

Every one deserves to travel in the most comfortable car while on holiday in Uganda. Hiring one for your trip gives you adequate space for your cargo as well as open windows or air conditioner that will make you feel at home.

Time saving

Renting a car for a trip in Uganda is one of the ways to save some money while on safari and also manage your time. You have freedom to pick it at agreed station or return it as agreed with car Hire Company. It also allows you to do things at your own pace, make stopovers as many times as you wish.


Renting a car in Uganda makes you the manager of your own trip with or with no driver guide. You have opportunity to purchase drinks, make stopovers at beautiful areas in the country and explore them and then continue to the final destination of your interest. You may not find this kind of flexibility when you use public means of transportation.

Extra Services

Most car rental companies in Uganda offer extra service for you to enjoy your trip. Among these include; gorilla permit bookings, Chimpanzee permits bookings, accommodation reservations, GSP, Road Maps and a phone with local SIM for easy communication while on your road-trip in Uganda. Other rental agencies such as 4x4 Uganda offer a full camping  gear including electric fridge because it is not easy to get Ice in most parts of the country. Please note, a 4x4 car is highly recommended for a successful self drive trip in Uganda, and these are only offered by 4x4 Uganda Limited.

Basing on the above tips, you need to rent a vehicle in Kampala to help you achieve your dreams in distinct destinations and remotest areas in the country. There are very many benefits that come as result of renting a vehicle in Uganda and to enjoy them more, simply contact us and we shall be at your service.

Are you searching for the car rental for self drive or guided tour in Rwanda and Uganda? With variety of our excellent car rentals, clients need not to be worried with adventures in Rwanda. Based on our experience in this field, our clients won’t regret taking up our car hire services while on vacation in the Land of a Thousand Hills and the Pearl of Africa. If you are planning to spend your vacation in these spectacular destinations, we have variety of cars for you to rent and you will certainly make your dreams come true in Africa. Whether you are interested in city tours, self drive or guided safari to national parks, historical sites your interests shall be covered. Below is a list of incredible and most popular rental cars in Uganda and Rwanda that you should try out.

4x4 Toyota Rav4

This is the leading compact crossover SUV. It comes in small size and it is pocket friendly to visitors who intend to visit Rwanda and Uganda for vacation whether on self drive or guided safaris. It is the most sought after car for self drive tours basically because it features as the least fuel consumer compared to the rest of cars. This type accommodates from two to five visitors comfortably and it has adequate space for cargo packing.

4x4 Rav4 - 5 Doors

4x4 Safari Land Cruiser

This comes as a 4 x 4 Land Cruiser and it accommodates up to six visitors with adequate room for travelers’ cargo and equipment. It is air conditioned, with pop up roof that allows visitors to view the wide range of wildlife species as well as the surrounding attractions of their interest along the way. Compared to the rest of cars, the Land Cruiser is the best for you to navigate through the remotest areas on East Africa to explore its stunning protected areas. They are pocket friendly, comfortable and reliable for safaris. Alternatively, you can also Rent a Safari Land Cruiser 7 seater and this accommodates about 6 to 7 people.

Safari Land Cruiser, Highly recommended

4x4 Toyota Land Cruiser VX/V8

This is equally good for exploring Rwanda and Uganda. This car has air conditioner and it accommodates up to 5 visitors. There is a pop up roof which allows visitors to view wild animals while on game drives as well as the vast areas along their way. They come in two categories-manual and automatic transmission, petrol and diesel engine and you are free to choose the one which best for you.

4x4 Toyota Super custom

This is a 4wheel drive vehicle perfect for visitors who are planning to travel with their families or even small groups. The Toyota super custom accommodates up to 7 visitors comfortably and they have adequate room for one to stretch his or her legs as well as packing space for cargo. They have a modified sky room of them as well for one to adjust in case of any need for sun light. Some Super Customs come with Pop-up roof for excellent game viewing and photographing.

4x4 Super Custom with Pop-up Roof

4x4 Toyota Prado (TX / TZ / GX)

For travelers who are planning to travel in a group this is the best option for you. This type accommodates up to 5 visitors and it comes in a 4 wheel drive and it is best for game drives, with big space for luggage.

4x4 Land cruiser TX, with a Pop Up Roof

Minivans/Toyota Hiace

Toyota Hiace is another 4wheel drive car that is suited for group travelers interested in wildlife viewing. This accommodates up to 10 travelers.

With the above listed car rentals we believe that you will have the best vacation in Rwanda. Hire one and you will have the best comfort that you have ever thought about in your life.

Rwanda’s tourism sector has stood for long mainly because of the unique tourist attractions and the most exciting tourist activities in the Volcanoes National Park. The park is located in Musanze province, northwestern part of the country. It is mainly credited for its remarkable five of the eight Great Virunga Volcanoes which include Gahinga volcano, mount Bisoke, Sabyinyo, Muhabura and Karisimbi; the unique endangered mountain gorillas, Rivers and Lakes, Caves and others. Volcanoes National Park was gazetted around 1925 which makes it one of the ancient conversational areas in the whole of Africa. There is a lot more in offer for visitors to excite their minds while on safari to this protected area.

Below are some of incredible tourist activities for you to engage in Volcanoes National Park.

1- Mountain gorilla trekking

Mountain gorilla trekking adventure in Volcanoes National Park plays a crucial role towards Rwanda’s tourism sector.  About ten (10) families have been designated for visitor to catch a glimpse of these unique creatures while they are still in their natural habitat. Among others include the Susa A family, Sabyinyo, Amahoro, Hirwa, Ugenda, Agashya, Kwitonda, Umubano, Karisimbi and Bwenge among others. Like any gorilla destination, trekking permit is a must to have in the Rwanda Volcanoes National Park and permits are obtainable at $1500 per tourist. One permit allows you to track one habituated group in a group of eight visitors. Permits are accessible through a local tour operator or through the Rwanda Development Board head office. Your trek takes you from one hour to eight hours but this will depend on your speed, nature of the habitat and location of the gorilla family that will be allocated to you to track. Volcanoes National Park is about 2 to 3 hours’ drive from Kigali International Airport.

2- Golden monkey tracking

Besides tracking mountain gorillas in Rwanda, the Volcanoes National Park is where silver meets gold! The golden monkeys are a few fascinating creatures that are worth tracking while on safari in Rwanda. They are largely found within the Great Virunga Mountains ranges of Volcanoes National Park and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park in Uganda. The golden monkeys are a sub species of the Sykes monkey also famous as the blue monkey. There are 2 groups that have been habituated for visitors to track all of which consist of 80 individuals. The adventure begins at 7:00am local time. For lifetime experiences with these striking creatures, permits can be purchased at $100 per visitor. The trek can last up to four hours with only one hour of face to face encounter with the primates. Most of these unique species largely live within the bamboo forest of Volcanoes National Park and can be sighted playing or feeding.

3- Bird watching

Volcanoes National Park is exceptionally one of the Important Birding Areas (IBAs) in Rwanda. It refuges more than 200 unique species of birds with mainly the Albertine rift endemics. The notables for you to spot include the Rwenzori Turacos, Rwenzori double collared sunbird, Handsome Francolin, strange weaver, dusky crimson wing, collared apalis, archer’s ground robin, Grauer’s rush warbler, red faced woodland warbler and many more. Birding safaris can be combined with primate safaris in Volcanoes National Park while you are on safari in Rwanda.

4- Dian Fossey tomb hike

The Dian Fossey tomb hike is one of the remarkable activities and experiences that you shouldn’t miss out while on safari in Volcanoes National Park. This adventure allows you to explore more about Dian Fossey’s conservation life. She is credited for devoted work to save mountain gorillas that today the world boasts about. She is credited for her book which later turned into “Gorillas in the Mist” movie. This mainly talks about Dian Fossey’s life and her research camp in the Volcanoes National Park. The treks usually take up to 3 hours where you find the beloved gorillas “Digit” and her resting site. She established Karisoke research center to help her research work around 1967 and she carried out research on mountain gorillas for 18 years. Unfortunately, she was mysteriously murdered in 1985. The hike to the tomb site rewards visitors with the stunning features and wildlife species, birds and not to forget primates. This lifetime adventure currently costs $75 per person.

5- Volcano hiking

Volcanoes National Park offers refuge to several volcano mountains which are worthy hiking while on safari in Rwanda. For hikes life changing hikes, you can climb Mount Bisoke which features the most beautiful Crater Lake on its top. The adventure takes visitors up to (7) seven hours plus the two that you spend while descending back to the starting point. The hikes start at 7:00am with briefing from park official and then you will be assigned a guide. Mount Bisoke stands at 3711 meters above sea level and it features a number of stunning floras, and offers opportunity for visitors to catch a glimpse of the remarkable views of Virunga Volcanoes and the Crater Lake “Ngezi.” The hikes are less strenuous and even a person without experience can hike through it.

6- Hiking through the Karisimbi Mountain

This volcano features as the highest out of all the 8 Great Virunga Volcanoes. It stretches up to 4507 meters above sea level and features as the sixth highest in Africa. To hike to its summit, you need two days and above where you will first camp around 3700 meters and catch a glimpse of stunning Mount Bisoke. The second day takes you to the summit and return to where you started from. The hike rewards visitors with views of many geographical features, vegetation and sceneries. This mountain was named after amasimbi which denotes white shell in Kinyarwanda due to its white capped summit. The trek is breathtaking compared to Bisoke Mountain but the experiences thereafter are worthy it.

7- The twin Lakes walk

Rwanda comes with twin like Lakes that join each other. They include Lake Bulera and Ruhondo. The hike to these Lakes rewards visitors with magical views of not only the Lakes but also the Russumo waterfalls. You will also meet local residents paddling the canoes while others riding the wooden boats. The walk also comes with views of several bird-life like cinnamon breasted bee eater, common moorhen, paradise fly catchers, and stonechat, grey throated tit, long crested eagle, African marsh harrier and many more. This activity can be done in the morning and afternoon.

8- Cave exploration

Musanze caves feature among the few most historical sites in Rwanda. They are situated within Musanze town just adjacent to Volcanoes National Park. The caves have existed for over 65 million years and they have 31 entrances and extend up to 21 kilometers inside. They were formed from the flow of Basalt layers of Lava that spread form Virunga Volcanoes of Sabyinyo and Bisoke. The musanze caves offered home to many people as well as storage of supplies and food by the kings of Rwanda during the war time. The exploration lasts for two hours and visitors pay $50. It can be done in the afternoon with an escort. Other caves include the Busasamana caves which are located one kilometer and links up to many other caves such as Kazenze, Mudende and Busasamana regions. There is also Mugongo cave for you to explore and all these are among the famous 52 caves.

9- Buhanga sacred forest nature walks

Buhanga forest lies outside the Volcanoes National Park boundaries. Buhanga sacred forest features the rarest flora and diverse historical and cultural experiences of the Rwandan traditions. It is believed that most monarchical kings of Rwanda used to bath around the forest prior taking over kingship and at the end the site was referred to as a sacred place and people never cultivated on it or even cut down trees. It is also believed to sometimes change colors during certain seasons which mark the year. The walks through this forest can be done in the morning or afternoon. The trails are made of Lava stones and they extend throughout the forest.

10- Cultural encounters

For cultural experiences, visitors can pay a visit to Iby’Iwacu cultural village. This a local community project set forth by ex-poachers at the park but today they have chosen to support conservation and protection of mountain gorillas and other wildlife species. The project was largely to transform poachers from their acts to support conservation efforts in the park. You can combine cultural experiences in this village with gorilla trekking safaris and explore more on traditional styles.

In conclusion, Volcanoes National Park rewards visitors on safari in Rwanda with a number of exciting and unforgettable experiences given its distinct activities that are worthy participating. However, access to the activity centers requires a strong 4x4 car due to the nature of the roads. To those on self drive tours, you can hire a 4x4 car in Kigali at good price and recommended cars include Land cruiser, Rav4 and others.

Located in the southern part of Kivu province, west of Albertine Rift Valley, Kahuzi Biega National Park is remarkably one of the most stunning conservation areas in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). It is one of the incredible UNESCO World Heritage Sites that feature largely Eastern Lowland gorillas. Other UNESCO World Heritage Sites in DR Congo include Virunga National Park famously known for gorilla tracking, Okapi Wildlife Reserve, Salonga National Park and Garamba National park among others.

This conservation area covers an area of 6000 square kilometers which makes it one of the largest parks in the Congo. It straddles between altitude 700 and 3300 meters. Nearly, 10% of the protected area’s landscape features high mountains of mainly the extinct volcanoes that include Mount Kahuzi and Mount Biega where the park derived its name. Its establishment evolves from a zoological reserve in 1937 on mount Kahuzi with the aim of preserving the eastern lowland gorillas by the Belgian colonial government.

Before the reserve occupied an area of about 750 kilometers but it was reduced to 600kilometers in 1970 leading to creation of the Kahuzi Biega National Park with about 300 individuals of lowland gorillas. Later, it increased up to 6000 kilometers in 1975 and it was designated as a World Heritage Site in 1980. Kahuzi Biega National Park comes with two wet seasons each year and receives an annual rainfall of about 1200mm to 1800mm. This falls from the month of April to May and from October to January and the temperatures range from 19 degrees Celsius to 21 degrees Celsius.

The notable tourist attractions in this stunning protected area include the following;


Kahuzi Biega National Park comes with spectacular tropical rain forest with over 1178 species of plants. It makes up part of the Congo basin that features marshland and Riverine forest flora, thick wet equatorial rain forest in the west low land sector while the eastern mountain area comes with endless forest vegetation ranging from 600 to 2600 meters in altitude.

 Eastern Lowland gorillas

The Eastern Lowland gorillas form the largest part of tourist attractions in Kahuzi Biega National Park. These rare apes also make up the biggest number of all the sub species of gorillas in the world. They come in a jet black coat which changes into silver at maturity time just like the rare mountain gorillas. The Eastern Lowlands can be distinguished using their short muzzle, big hands, body, shorter body and head hair. These unique creatures mainly live in widest altitudinal range unlike other gorilla sub species as they can be found within the low-land area, transitional and mountainous altitudinal tropical rain forests. They are famous as the most harmonious and social living in families of 5 to 30 individuals with the silverback also known as an alpha male being their leader in the group whose responsibility entirely is to safe guard the rest of the members and establishing a home range of the family. Kahuzi Biega National Park refuges about 181 individuals of these amazing apes in the wild.

The gestation period of a female lowland gorilla is about eight and half months and breastfeeds for at least one year. They young one first crawls for about 9 weeks and starts walking after 35 weeks. They take from 3 to 4 years while with their mothers and later they can start their independent life and mating takes place at around 11 or 12 years. The alpha male gorilla can enter into deadly fight once he encounters a strange family resulting into injuries. At this moment, lots of hooting, rising on their legs, slapping and tearing vegetation, beating their chest with their cupped hands, thumping the ground with their palms and kicking with leg will be the order of the day.

Eastern Lowland gorillas depend mainly on fruits, seeds, plants, stems and tree barks as well as other minor insects especially termites and ants. Males can weigh about 163 kilograms and females can be half the male’s weight. The males can stand straight up to 5 inch and females about 5 or less. They have longer arms compared to their legs and they are shy but social, they are diurnal species and hence mostly active around day time, their lifespan reached up to 50 years while in the wild and they mostly have over 25 vocalization sounds that they use mainly for communication.

 Other wildlife species

A part from the unique eastern lowland gorillas, the park also comes with other fascinating species especially the unique eastern chimpanzees, forest elephants, owl faced monkey, bongo, forest buffaloes and eastern need clawed Galago, mount Kahuzi African climbing mouse, forest hog, Anubis baboon, leopards, hippos and many more.


Kahuzi Biega National Park is a home to about 349 distinct species of bird. The notable birds to spot include 4 species of which are listed on the IUCN Redbook list and they are the Yellow crested helmet shrike, Congo peafowl, Rockefeller’s sunbird and African green broadbill and many more. There also 44 species of amphibians, 69 reptile species and many more.

Mount Kahuzi

Kahuzi volcano stretches up to 3317 meters above sea level and it comes with the tallest peak in the in the whole of Kahuzi Biega National Park. It also covers the western side of Lake Kivu on the Albertine rift valley. It experienced its eruption effect about 12000 year ago and it inhabits most of the vegetation zones which are also determined by its altitude. The vegetation zones range from wet lowland rainforest, transitional rainforest and montane forest. The wet equatorial rain forest and a transitional forest between 1200 meters and 1500 meter altitude, transitional forest vegetation lies from 600 meters to 2600 meters. From 2000 to 2350 meters lies swamp forest vegetation that is interconnected with mountain forest. The bamboo forest thrives from around 2350 to 2600 meter altitude and higher from 2600 to the top at 3330 meters is mainly the alpine zone that comes with dry savanna grassland and endemic plants especially the senecio Kahuzicus.

Lwiro sanctuary

Lwiro sanctuary is Congo’s rehabilitation center that refuges mostly orphaned chimpanzees and monkeys. It set up around 2002 and it lies in the Tshivanga tourist center in an old Belgian research center. About 55 chimpanzees and 60 species of monkeys are taken care of in this sanctuary.

In conclusion, Kahuzi Biega National Park offers a lot more than just trekking for the eastern lowland gorillas. With variety of attractions to enjoy in this stunning park, we believe you will have the most remarkable experiences in life.