Similarities between Nyungwe Forest and Volcanoes National Park:

Both Volcanoes and Nyunge forest National Parks are found in Rwanda – the country of a thousand hills.

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Water Channel in Nyungwe National park Rwanda

Both parks host primates. Volcanoes National Park hosts Mountain Gorillas and Golden Monkeys while Nyungwe Forest protects 13 primate species including Chimpanzees, vervet monkeys, mona monkeys, olive baboon among others.

Nyungwe and Volcanoes National Parks are ranked among the world heritage sites. In other words, both parks are world heritage sites.

Both parks protect birds- therefore; birding can be conducted in Nyungwe Forest and Volcanoes National Parks.
Both parks are accessed from Kigali city/ Airport.

Both Parks are known internationally.

The two parks are under control of Rwanda Development Board (RDB) to ensure welfare of all wildlife.

Volcanoes and Nyungwe Forest National Parks were officially opened for tourism activities.

Nyungwe and Volcanoes National Park are home for Rwanda’s major tourist attractions, Chimpanzees and Gorillas respectively.

Both Parks offer employment opportunities to people hence reducing unemployment rates.

Differences between Nyungwe Forest and Volcanoes National Park:

Nyugwe National Park is dominated by rain forest while Volcanoes National park bamboo forests.

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Baby Gorilla in bambou forest Rwanda

Nyungwe National Park is Larger than Volcanoes National park – the park lies within the 2,040 square kilometres (790 sq mi) while Nyungwe forest Spreads over 1,020km².

Nyungwe became a National Park in 2004 as Rwanda sought to increase its tourism beyond the country’s mountain gorillas of Volcanoes National Park, and is certainly worthy of its status because of its spectacular biodiversity While Volcanoes National Park in 1929. There fore, Nyungwe is one of the newly officiated parks in Rwanda.

Nyungwe forest protects 13 primate species more than Volcanoes National Park’s two species (endangered mountain gorillas and rare golden Monkeys).

Nyungwe Forest National park is dominated by tall trees than Volcanoes National Park which is dominated by bamboo.

Volcanoes National Park is situated in Virunga Mountain a range which is not the case with Nyungwe Forest National park.

From Kigali, reaching Volcanoes National park is 2 hours drive while Nyungwe is 6 hours. Therefore, Nyungwe Forest National Park is situated far away from Kigali capital than Volcanoes National Park.

Volcanoes national Park hosts the chief tourist attraction in Rwanda – which is Mountain Gorillas.

Statistically, Volcanoes National park receives more Visitors than Nyungwe Forest National Park. This is because tourists come to Rwanda mostly to see Gorillas – this is according to annual RDB statistical data. It should be noted that, Rwanda has a perfect destination for gorilla tracking in the world in its Volcanoes National park, regarded to be the leading Rwanda safari park, thus receiving a huge number of tourists than other parks.

Volcanoes National Park is situated in the northern part of Rwanda while Nyungwe National park the South West corner of Rwanda.

Volcanoes National park surrounded by volcanic peaks while Nyungwe National park is surrounded by tropical forests.
It is only in Nyungwe Forest National park where canopy walk is conducted.

queen-elizabeth-parkA safari to Uganda to visit Queen Elizabeth National Park one of the most loved and travelled to park in the country will be so amazing for you, this is on the grounds that in just three days, you will be able to explore the magnificence of this extensive protected area which has continued attracting more tourists from different parts of the world to come forUganda tours. The park has a variety of tourist activities and attractions which are so amazing to the eyes of anybody wishing and planning to visit it. Some of the attractions in the park include; a variety of wildlife species, primates like chimpanzees in kyambura gorge, Kazinga channel, salt lake and many others.

On the first day you will arrive in Uganda at Entebbe International Airport and will be transferred to this beautiful national park, on arrival, check in at the lodge of your choice since this park has a wide range of accommodation facilities from luxury, mid range and budget lodges, so your safari budget will choose what kind of accommodation you will have. This first day at the lodge gives a chance to enjoy an evening game drive within the national park and get an opportunity to see numerous wildlife species including; the kobs, elephants, monkeys, lions, buffalos and many others. You can also have an optional night game drive where you will have the chance to see Nocturnal animals in the park.

The second day is an exceptional one since you get an opportunity to view and track the chimpanzees in Kyambura Gorge, these primates are so amazing to watch in their habitants. You are normally given a maximum of one hour to watch these chimps and take some photographs. Toward the evening, you will participate in a boat cruise of the Kazinga channel were you get an opportunity to see many water animals drinking water to cool off the hot sun, some of the animals you will see here include; hippos, crocodiles, many bird species, buffalos and among others.

The third and the last day in Queen Elizabeth National Park will be special in the way that you will enjoy an early morning game drive to see the early risers. Continue to the salt lake in Katwe and after that sign out at the lodge and transfer back to your Kampala or to your next destination. Get the chance to enjoy different vegetation cover as you go back to Kampala and this makes the end of our trip to Queen Elizabeth National Park in the western Uganda.

mv-kalangalaIn the event that you were wondering where you could see the largest lake on your safari, then don't wonder any more, what I'm talking about is the interesting and breathtaking lake which is the biggest fresh water body in Africa. This lake is situated in East Africa and shared by three countries – Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania and it is among the reasons for the increased number of tourists to East Africa. The lake was named Victoria after the Queen of England by the European Explore John Hannington Speke who was the first European to discover it in 1858 while on his campaign to find the source of the longest river the Nile. From then, several tours have been made to this spot making it one of the most visited destinations in Africa.

This lake is among the few African safari destinations that capture your attention by all means before you fly out of this God gifted destination. Aside from adding to the tourism industry of the region, the lake also serves different purposes to both the local people and tourists. The lake covers an area of 68800 square kilometers making it the world's third biggest lake after the Caspian sea and the Lake Superior in North America.

This amazing lake extends to the three East African countries and Uganda share 45% (12,000 sq mi) of the lake, Tanzania share 49% (13,000 sq mi) and Kenya share 6% (1,600 sq mi). To be honest, you will have nothing to tell if your safari to East Africa does not include a visit to this amazing lake.

The most interesting and entertaining tourists attraction on the lake is the amazing Ngamba Islands in Uganda which is more than only an island however it is also home and a chimpanzee sanctuary. The island harbors just about 50 chimpanzees well cared and catered for you appreciate nature. Its location on Lake Victoria makes it a perfect and beautiful hidden island, so why would u miss to visit this amazing island.

Another amazing tourist attraction on Lake Victoria are the well known Ssese islands, you can't imagine since you have to visit these awesome islands. The islands are so breathtaking to an extent that you might think you are not on a lake. With delightful and pleasant looking beaches and resorts coupled with a cool wind from the lake, simply be guaranteed of an amazing experience which makes you feel at home. The islands have additionally got magnificent accommodation destinations that are their own and as you enjoy the cool wind, the wonderful sounds and sights of the birds on the island simply wrap up your tour in the region.

Another great and must see destination on Lake Victoria is the Rusinga island and this is on the Kenyan side of the lake. The island is most known for its terrific and amazing bird life with a variety of interesting bird species like the malachite king fisher, the stunning white necked dove and geese among others. This gives a conductive environment for bird lovers which is accompanies by spectacular views of the prehistoric monitor lizards prowling the banks of the island.

Being the mouth of almost the entire nation's rivers like the Kagera, Katonga, Nakiyanja among others, the lake also gives life to them since after a long journey of conveying their water, they all pour and rest in Lake Victoria implying that the lake additionally give life to these amazing rivers. The lake shores have give birth to the important swamps that contributes to the formation of rainfall which additionally fosters the region's awesome climate in general making it an automatic welcome to this amazing region.

lake-victoriaThe lake is also blessed with a variety of animals that will spice up your visit as you explore it and these include the amazing hippos and crocodiles found on most islands. You will see these animals and other interesting bird species like the malachite kingfishers while on your boat cruise on this breathtaking and lovely lake.

After exploring and enjoying the exciting tourist attractions on this lovely lake, obviously this comes with a variety of other adventurous activities that are amazing and breathtaking like kayaking where you can choose to jump into the lake and swim in this fresh water. The activity is amazing since the waters are calm and friendly. This activity gets more interesting when the sun is setting at evening oozing out a cool wind and an unwinding experience.

Sport fishing is additionally another interesting activity you can do while on Lake Victoria. Actually most of the Ugandan fish is gotten from nowhere else yet mainly on this lake, so be guaranteed that among your catch might be the huge Nile perch that can be as heavy as 30kilogrammes. Other fish you can catch on your sport search are the tilapia, silver fish, mud fish among other fish so don't miss to embrace Uganda tours with sport fishing.

Chimpanzee tracking is additionally a must do activity while on this lake particularly at their great sanctuary on the Ngamba island. Get a great opportunity of chanting, playing, and associating with almost 50 chimpanzees on this island.

So please if you were searching for something amazing and astounding that you can include in your tour itinerary, don’t forget to include this amazing lake.

MAJOR TOURIST ACTIVITIES IN RWANDA

The things to do in Rwanda are not many, but so unique. The country is long passed its war torn days and now is one of the safest countries to visit in Africa. I was blown away when I first arrived in the country because it didn’t feel like Africa at all, it felt like Germany. Unlike other Eastern Africa countries there is strict law and order, there isn’t any garbage on the streets, and lawns are manicured to impossible perfection.

The country is extremely small and there is one thing that everyone knows you can do in Rwanda, gorilla trekking. I would implore you to get to know the people of the nation as they have been through very tumultuous times and have risen above that to create a very unique place in Africa.

Kigali city tour

Kigali is the capital city of Rwanda, very unique and very clean, strategically located in the heart of Rwanda; Kigali is a gorgeous city with great weather. In Kigali, you can visit Gisozi Genocide memorial museum to know more about the 1994 unrest in Rwanda. If you come to Africa and fail to reach Kigali, you have really missed a lot. Other genocide memorial museums around Kigali include Nyamata and Ntarama churches, located 30 - 35km from Kigali city.

Gorilla trekking in Volcanoes National Park

Gorilla trekking is the climax of all safaris in Rwanda – visiting Rwanda with out reaching mountain Gorillas in Volcanoes National Park is a big mistake. A very unique experience when you can get inches away from Gorillas is something that you can’t put a price on. The largest groups of gorillas are in Uganda but you can also have a great experience in Rwanda. Volcanoes National Park hosts ten habituated Gorilla groups which are set for tourism. These include Susa, Group 13, Hirwa, Ugenda, Karisimbi, Sabyinyo, Umubano and others. Every gorilla group is tracked once by 8 people maximum per day. This aims at reducing human impact on the gorilla habitat.

To go gorilla tracking, you must have a gorilla permit, obtained in advance because their demand is very high throughout the year. Each gorilla permit in Rwanda costs US dollar 750 for foreign non residents, US dollars 450 for foreign residents living in East Africa excluding Rwanda, US dollars 375 for foreigners living in Rwanda, US dollars 300 for East African residents (Ugandans, Kenyans, Tanzanians, Burundians and 30.000 Rwanda Francs for Rwandans.

Gorilla in the Jungle

Chimpanzee trekking in Nyungwe National Park

Chimp trekking is the second thought for activity after mountain gorilla trekking in Rwanda. Rwanda’s chimpanzees are found in Nyungwe forest national Park. The park is known for its rich biodiversity and being the most endemic species- rich area in all of Africa. Other primates include the Grey-cheeked mangabeys, blue monkeys, ververts, golden monkeys, baboons, Red tailed monkey, L’Hoest’s monkeys among others. Here we currently have only 2 habituated Chimps groups and tracking activity starts early at 5am from the park headquarters. Each Chimpanzee tracking permit costs US dollars 90, booked through tour operators or Park offices directly.

Forest and Canopy walk

Also takes place in Nyungwe National Park, with about 4 trails where you can take a guided walk in the forest. Each trail takes different duration. We also have adventurous canopy where one gets a fantastic view of the forest and birds.

Game drives

Rwanda is famous for protecting a variety of wild animals and birds – Akagera national Park is situated in Eastern region of Rwanda. Boat cruise on Lake Ihema leaves a lot to be desired.

Lake Kivu

Part of the Great Rift Valley, Lake Kivu is the border between Rwanda and Democratic Republic of Congo. A great relaxing region where tourists are safe to visit and swim (ask locals where) and it’s also extremely picturesque. Make sure that you try to visit cities like Kibuye, Goma and Gisenye near the DR Congo border. On Kivu Lake, we have a boat ride to the hot springs, or to the coffee Island.

Butare or Huye

This is the cultural hub for the country and was once the most important city before 1965. Here you will find a great national museum that will show the great history of Rwanda and also it’s entrance into the modern world. Visit the nearby Nyabisindu (Nayanza) where you can find the impressive royal palace of Rwanda’s fuedal monarchy.

Dian Fossey’s grave yard

The American researcher Dian Fossey set up a research center high in the Virunga volcanic mountains midway between Karisimbi and Bisoke, naming it the Karisoke Research centre. Now all that remains are some foundation stones and signs detailing what were there. She is buried there next to her beloved mountain gorilla digit. A guide leads the strenuous 3-4 hours hike. You will need at least good 6hours to do the round trip, allowing time to explore.

Dina Fossey Grave Yard

Gisenyi is a bustling market town on the edge of Lake Kivu and not far from the border of the Democratic Republic of Congo (worth a wander to if you have a spare half hour to see the bustle of truckers and coaches sorting out visas to cross into or from Goma). There are hot springs just out of town and also the major brewery that brews the local Primus beer and has a license to brew Guinness. You can visit on weekdays by prior arrangement.

Golden monkey tracking in Volcanoes National Park

These elusive cheeky creatures hang out quite low down in the park, so are a good warm up for the gorillas. At $ 100 a permit they are also considerably cheaper. You will get a guide to accompany you and tell you facts about their habitat and habits.

Rwanda National Ballet

Watch a performance of the Rwanda National Ballet, famous for its traditional dancing and singing.

Virunga Volcanoes

Climb the Virunga Volcanoes between Ruhengeri and Gisenyi. Nyiragongo in the Democratic Republic of Congo is the most commonly climbed volcano from Gisenyi. The Parc National des Volcans region is composed of volcanic mountains, of which two, Nyamuragira and Nyiragongo, across the frontier in the Democratic Republic of Congo, are still active. These are best trekked rather than climbed, and are still for the intrepid. In Rwanda we have Mout Bishoke hiked in one day, and Karisimbi that requires two days.