The Big 5 animals are not only the most loved and famous animals in Africa, they are also among the most dangerous animals in the world. However thousands of tourists fly into Africa mainly to spot the Big Five animals. Not everybody who flies to Africa get a chance to tick all of the Big Five animals off the list (the leopard specifically is hard to find).

We give you the lowdown on precisely where there are high chances to spot the Big Five animals in Uganda.

Elephant
The African elephant is recorded as the most vulnerable on the IUCN Red List. Elephants are found in 37 nations crosswise over sub-Saharan Africa they are wiped out in Gambia, Mauritania and Burundi. Elephant population is noticeably more divided over the African continent all the more as of late because of loss of habitat and human-elephant conflict, additionally because of poaching for ivory – the main cause, truly, for their decrease in numbers. In Uganda tourists can spot African Elephants in most of national parks in the country like Queen Elizabeth National Park, Kidepo valley National Park, Murchison Falls National Park and others, a trip to Uganda is a sure deal that you will see the Elephants

Buffalo
Buffalo is recognized as the most dangerous wild animal on the planet (there is no animal more dangerous to man), the Cape buffalo, or the African Buffalo is found in savannas woodland, or bushveld. They live near water bodies and lean prefer tall coarse grasses and shrubbery. In Uganda buffalos can be spotted in almost all the national parks in the country like; Kidepo Valley, Murchison Falls, Queen Elizabeth National Park and other wildlife parks in the country.

Rhino
Uganda is viewed as one of the few countries in Africa where you can stop the white rhino in the wild principally in reserves like the Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary. One of 3 subspecies of the critically endangered black rhino can only be spotted Namibia and South Africa. Big Five lover who travel to Uganda must not miss the Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary found in approximately 180kilometers north of Kampala in Nakasongola district.

Leopard
The leopards are also regarded endangered animals and they are found across sub-Saharan Africa and they are found in numerous nations of the world. In Africa they have extinct from about 37% of their verifiable range, especially in a region known as the Sahel belt, Nigeria and South Africa.

Their most prominent threat is a lot of hunting, and poisoning of carcasses for saw danger to domesticated animals, and change in living space because of development. Be that as it may, they are especially versatile and can keep living near people provided they access to prey and can find shelter.

Lion
In Africa tourists can spot lions in numerous nations in sub-Saharan Africa yet the majority of them are found in eastern and southern Africa (77%). They live, be that as it may, in just 22% of their historical territories and are wiped out in Gabon and numerous different nations where they initially lived, similar to Egypt, Algeria, Tunisia, Lesotho, Israel, and Iran.

The primary dangers to lion are a reduction in the number of their prey, and unpredictable killing by man (to ensure domesticated animals or themselves). However there are numerous lions in those zones that are protected and all around oversaw. What's more, since they are so looked for after by tourists, their presence in a national park or game reserves generates revenue – a motivating force for conservation.

In Uganda lions can be spotted in several national parks like Kidepo valley National Park in the far north eastern part of the country, Murchison Falls National Park and Ishasha sector of Queen Elizabeth national Park.

What do you always consider before you plan for any safari to that particular area of your interest? Most people choose places because they have never been there or the children demand to go to specific places. You may be lucky to have once or twice visited Africa but I assure you that you are missing a lot if have never planned a safari in Uganda.A holiday in Uganda by their nature has an element of surprise, excitement and danger associated with it, its beautiful topography and amazing landscape and its geological setups. What makes a country to pearl of Africa? It is the fact that Uganda is name to be pearl of Africa due its beautiful flora and fauna that actually lays grounds to be a frequently visited destination for tourists across the globe and this actually makes it to be the best for you and family.
I really assure you there are a multiple of most excising activities that will make your memorable daysever.
Uganda has beautiful flora due to its remoteness especially in western region. This has provided grounds for unique and tropical climate that has favored mixed types of vegetation as well rains received. This type of vegetation provides habitats for a number of animal kingdom members.

Gorilla tracking safari in Uganda

There are various national parks in Uganda which offer lifetime experience of wildlife safari. Queen Elizabeth National Park offers wide range of wildlife like climbing lions in Ishasha sector, hippos and huge crocodiles along the Kazinga channel that connects lake George and Edward, herd of elephants and many more. Bwindi National park and Mgahinga national park are famous for mountain gorilla tracking tours. Kyambura gorge is the best destination for chimpanzee tracking in Africa.

Kyambura is actually the only area within Queen Elizabeth National Park where one can see the habituated chimpanzees on any of the chimpanzee trekking tours, (However, reservations for Chimpanzee tacking are actually made at Mweya Visitor Information Centre within the spectacular Queen Elizabeth National Park). This office also offers information on game drives, and in addition sells postcards plus maps in addition to other species of primates such as the red-tailed monkeys, black and white colobus monkeys, Olive baboons as well as vervet monkeys.

Black and White Colobus Monkey

The Chimpanzee habituation process took close to 2 years and habituation simply meaning that these chimpanzees are familiar with humans and can carry on with their day to day activities in the presence of humans.

A number of different bird species that you have never heard of before are at your displace in those scattered trees in queen Elizabeth national park that include Martial Eagle, Bar-tailed Godwit, Black-rumped Buttonquail, Shoebill, African Skimmer, Lesser plus Greater Flamingo, Chapin’s Flycatcher, White-tailed Lark, Corncrake, Pinkbacked Pelican, Verreaux’s Eagle Owl, Papyrus Canary, White-winged Warbler, African Broadbill, Papyrus Gonolek and the Black Bee-eater.

A Boat Cruise to the Bottom of the Falls

Uganda is also blessed with highland areas that include Mount Elgon and mount Rwenzori among others.

Africa's longest river (Nile) has its source in Jinja (Uganda), the source is visisted by a boat cruise. On its journey from Uganda to the Mediterranean sea in Egypt, River Nile goes through Murchison Falls National Park, the biggest in Uganda. A fantastic boat cruise to the bottom of the falls offers memorable experience as you sail with Hippos and crocodiles. A hike to the top of the falls is unforgettable.

Everyone always considers what he or she buys or consumers basing on how much he or she is spending on each item thus making one a rational consumer. Customers or consumers always opt for services that are at affordable prices since money is a scarce resource. And of course people that make use of these car rental services always wanted to use less for more benefit on their trips.
Some of the simple ways on how to save money on car rentals are provided below;

Try avoiding big car rental companies

It is a fact that big car rental agencies always raise their standards and at times and ends up charging high prices for the car hire services even when these services are similar with medium companies. They are always fixed and do not appeal to everyone. Look for small car hire companies in your destination of interest for the best quote and good services. It is true that small and medium car rental companies provide comfortable and full packages because they always take their customers to be precious since they may not have a flow of customers at a given time. And though they are small or medium Agencies, they offer similar car rental services as big companies.

Consider companies that give discounts

Travelers always consider this to be a greatest way of saving money as you are given car hire services at reduced price. Companies always give discount coupons to their loyal customers in a specified period of time of traveling and also to clients that hire cars for long period of time. This always acts as one of the ways of promotion.

Deal with relatively small cars

Of course smaller cars are cheaper than big cars but this depends on the size of your travel mass, for example if you are traveling like a family, you can opt to a small car. But if you are travelling alone or few people, there is no need of travelling by a big car. A small car can serve you the same purpose and at a cheaper price. A live example is Toyota Rav4 Vs Toyota Prado, renting a Rav4 is cheaper than renting a Prado but they serve almost similar purpose, they are both 4 wheel drive (4wd), and the maintenance cost as well as cost of fuel is cheaper with a Toyota Rav4.

4x4 Toyota rav4

Consider long term rates

Try putting into consideration renting a car for a long period of time like two (02) weeks or more. The longer the hiring time, the less the cost incurred. This is because car hire companies tend to give some discounts to customers who hire cars for a long period of time.

Opt for travel packages

If you are going for a vacation in Southern or Eastern Africa and you opt to hire a car for self drive to facilitate transportation services, always do it with a tour and travel company because they work hand in hand with car rental Agencies in order to simplify some work for the traveler. By using a tour and travel agent you will have around your tour items all booked at once; that is, accommodation, car, entry fees and food and these always come with a discount. Further more, Travel Agencies can book for you a car and a professional driver / tour guide at a very low price, and all items mentioned above can be booked for you at a discounted price unlike when you book them by your self. In other words, tour operators are given discount on some items on the safari like accommodation and entry permits, and a discount can not be given to you as an individual.

In 2016, the Kenyan tourism industry recorded a 17% increase in earnings. This was because of deluge of international tourists from nations like the China, US and India.
Najib Balala, the Tourism Cabinet Secretary said Kenya recorded 877,602 tourists a year ago, up from 752,073 tourists in 2015. To cite Balala, "I am glad to report that 2016 arrival and receipts signal better times ahead for the tourism industry that had been assailed by insecurity and different challenges."

He said that the development and recuperation of Kenya's tourism industry can be ascribed to several new measures for improving security and efforts for fortifying the industry’s demand by removing tax, relaxing visa rules and developing infrastructure.

Kenya had encountered a slump in tourism after several of terror attacks focusing on Nairobi and traveler resorts in Lamu and Mombasa. Balala said that China has dominatingly grown to contribute 5% of all visitors travelling to Kenya. Other African nations likewise contributed almost 29% of all visitors travelling to Kenya in 2016.

Gorillas are one of the majestic animals in the world one can ever meet. Due to the fact these animals are so intelligent in the way they live their lives. Although some people look at them as beasts that can endanger human life, this is not the case they are wonderful animals are peaceful and herbivorous animals that cannot feed on human flesh.

The mountain gorillas are so wonderful to meet as they bring one close to nature in such a way one can easily fall in love with way they lead their lives and you can feel so petty for the people who destroy their homes. Gorillas live in very organized family, for example you can never find a gorilla on its own in the jungle. Each and every gorilla has a family it is attached to and in the family it might be a father, a mother, a child in the family or a relative to the silver back.

These gorillas are found in the small country of Africa called Rwanda located in the eastern part of the continent. This country has embarked on conserving these gorillas which has given opportunities to the people who would love to see the gorillas in their environment. People have not disappointed to the chance give to them as many people throughout the year visit this country for gorilla trekking safaris.

Rwanda has seven habituated gorilla families that can be watched by the tourists. These gorillas are found in volcanoes national park on Virunga ranges that is share by Rwanda, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. This Virunga region holds 480 gorillas half of the world’s mountain gorilla population (480) and the part that is found in Rwanda of the Virunga has 320 mountain gorillas. This makes Rwanda to having a third of the world’s mountain gorilla population.

Virunga Mountains where Gorillas Live

Mountain gorilla trekking experience is incredible as one does not need to travel for long distances to see the gorillas and the gorillas in Rwanda are seen clearly and easily as the volcanoes national park forests are not so thick. Visitors strictly spend one hour with gorillas as they watch them move around, feed, play and at times the young gorillas come near the visitors with an intention of playing. The visitors are also able to take wonderful pictures and videos in the jungle.

Mountain gorillas are one of four the subspecies of gorillas and the other being the western lowland gorillas, eastern lowland gorillas and the cross river gorillas. All gorillas are primates and classified as apes due to their well developed brains, digits on the endings of the limbs and also do not have a tail at the back. The other apes are mankind, orangutans, gibbons and chimpanzees and this means that gorillas are also among the closest cousins of mankind. These gorillas are called the mountain gorillas due to the nature of their habitats. The mountain gorillas live in forested mountain ranges of Virunga and Bwindi Forests in the east central African region. The three countries with the mountain gorillas are Rwanda, Uganda and DR.Congo.

Silverback Gorilla in the Jungle

There are less than 900 mountain gorillas left in the world today. Uganda has the biggest percentage of gorillas almost inhabiting a half of the total population and the rest of the countries share the rest. Mountain gorillas are regarded as endangered species of animals by the international union of conservation for nature (IUCN) and this means they will get extinct in the forthcoming generation if conservation efforts are not made. The decrease in the population of mountain gorillas is due to habitat loss where by the local people are settling in areas where the gorillas stay.

Diseases are also a major factor for the decreases as very many helpless gorillas die of epidemics. For instance in the early 2000s, hundreds of gorillas died due to the outbreak of Ebola in Congo and some parts of southwestern Uganda. The Ebola was transmitted to the gorillas by the local people who were infected since the gorillas have almost the same immunity as mankind. Other causes of fall of gorilla population are civil wars that are occurring in the forests of Congo and also poaching of the gorillas for bush meat.

However, measures have been put in place to conserve and protect the gorillas from getting extinct as protected areas have been put in place like Bwindi impenetrable national park and Mgahinga Gorilla Park in Uganda, in Rwanda there is volcanoes national park and Congo Virunga national parks. Also different organization plus the governments of the three countries have come up to protect the mountain gorillas. One way of protecting and conserving the gorillas is visiting them in their protected areas since it creates awareness of how important gorillas are to people as they bring joy and excitement in their lives and also the some money paid to see the gorillas is injected in the gorilla conservation work.

Visiting the mountain gorillas is much more than conservation, gorilla trekking experience comes with discovery, excitement and enjoyment. When one visits the gorillas in their natural environment he/she will see unique characteristics that cannot be found in any other animals that is the way they take care of their young ones, family organization and also their ability to use tools like tree branches to gather food and also for shelter. During the gorilla trekking experience, the visitor is able to take very beautiful photos of the gorillas if you are lucky enough you can also take a selfie with a gorilla! It is really an interesting moment to visit the mountain gorillas in their nature habitat. One can book a 15 day tour in Rwanda and Uganda to allow you track the gorillas twice in both Bwindi Impenetrable Forest in Uganda and Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda. The same tour exposes you to all the hidden treasures of the 2 destinations such as Kidepo valley, Kibale Forest, Murchison Falls and Queen Elizabeth National Parks among others, see the African Big 5 animals as well as the chimpanzees.

View of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park Uganda

There are very many online tour operators that you can contact to book yourself a gorilla trekking safari and have fun with the mountain gorillas in their natural environment before their extinction. A gorilla permit goes from 600 us dollars in Uganda, Rwanda 750 us dollars and DR. Congo 400 us dollars.

There are very many people out there who would like to see the gorillas in their natural environment. I guess you have seen gorilla caged in the zoo and they are normally two or three in the cage. All I can tell you is that these gorillas do not interact as they are supposed to.

Gorillas are nomadic animals which move from one place to the other looking for feeding areas in the jungles and are social animals which enjoy company of very many gorillas that is around 8-10 gorillas in the group. In the jungle is where they feel more comfortable as they independently do their own things other than being restricted like the way they are kept in the zoos.

The life span of a gorilla is normally 45 year in their natural habitat but a gorilla in captivity only spends 35 years on earth according to by the World Wildlife fund (WWF). This means that gorillas have more life when they are in the jungle where they feed on more organic and nutritious foods of the wild fruits, tree shoots, stems, leaves, flowers, vines and the small vertebrates.

In the jungle is where these gorillas normally express their natural intelligence in the way they lead their lives. This is why they are among the closest cousins of man. Due to their intelligence, many people have traveled to their natural habitats to see the gorillas.

There are many kinds of gorillas in the world from the western and eastern lowland gorillas, the cross river gorillas to the mountain gorillas. Gorillas are found in ten African countries; that is, the countries in the western, the central and eastern parts of Africa.

But for our case we shall enlighten you on the mountain gorillas that are found in Uganda, Rwanda and The Democratic Republic of Congo. Here we find over 20 habituated gorilla families available for tourism purposes, mountain gorilla trekking is one of the main foreign exchange earner for those countries.

Rwanda has seven habituated gorilla families found in volcanoes national park in the Virunga region which is straddles Rwanda, Uganda and the DR.Congo and Uganda has ten habituated gorilla families in Bwindi impenetrable national park in the southwestern part of the country and one habituated family at Mgahinga national park in the Virunga region. A 5 day African gorilla safari can combine Bwindi and Volcanoes National parks with 2 gorilla treks in both gorilla destinations.

The only way to see these amazing animals is by taking a gorilla safari that are normally organized by various tour companies and these have affordable tour packages and this can be proofed by going to the internet.

The other way to trek the gorillas, one may get in the Rwanda and Uganda, hire a car in Uganda and take a gorilla tour safari on your own. In other words, it is a self drive gorilla safari.. This is the most adventurous experience one can ever encounter.

Gorilla tours are truly awesome as one get in touch with nature and one of man’s closest cousins in their natural environment.

Phenomenal is one of the many words that can be used to describe the beautiful, breath taking Murchison Falls National Park. Found in Uganda at the northern end of the Albertine rift valley and the largest national park in Uganda. Murchison Falls is one of the places one should go to have a wonderful time and experience the biggest connection with Mother Nature.

With its exotic beauty, Murchison Falls National Park has become one of Uganda’s biggest tourist attractions. There are so many different activities one can do here like; Nature walks, hiking, sport fishing on the Albert Nile where by you stand a chance of catching 20 kg big fish for yourself. A boat cruise at the Albert Nile is worthy a talk as here one get to enjoy the sea bliss as one breathes in the fresh Uganda air and also has a glance on the aquatic life that is hippos from the distance, the elephants at the bank of the river and also so many interesting birds at the shores.

While at Murchison national park, you can get to explore a lot of wildlife and see many different wild animals like; Giraffes, Buffaloes, white hippos and crocodiles on the banks of the longest river in the world, the Nile River when you take a half day game drive. You get to know why these animals are called wild as they hang out in an environment where the fittest and the most resilient survive.

Visiting Murchison Falls National Park would not be complete without getting to see its centre piece, the one thing that makes this place what it is, the Murchison falls. It’s white, rapid waters flowing from the River Nile, gushing down and drifting off into Lake Albert. The sight of this is simply amazing. At the top of the fall, you witness how the mighty Nile forces its way through a narrow stream of about 6 metres down the Lake Albert as it makes a devil like sound and sprouting water fountain as it is subdued in Lake Albert.

Murchison Falls National Park is a place that one should definitely go to, so grab your family or friends and take a trip here to have a fun and delightful time. Many people who have visited this park have had a good experience and the experience has given them a second reason to pay a visit one more time.However note that, some parts of the park are inaccessible during rain season, and you are advise to rent a 4x4 Toyota prado, Land rover, Land Cruiser Hardtop among others. Those are the most common safari vehicles used in Uganda especially in Murchison Falls National Park.

Tours to see the mountain gorillas in Africa have become one of the leading and most adventurous activity in the world. Thousands of visitors to Africa visit Volcanoes National Park Rwanda to take part in the daily gorilla tours to see these gentle giants in their natural habitat.

mount-karisimbi-view-rwanda
Mountain Karisimbi View in Rwanda

While on your gorilla tour in Rwanda, never miss adventurous trek to the peak of mountain Karisimbi, requiring on 2 days and 1 night camping in the mountains.

About Mountain Karisimbi in Rwanda

Mount Karisimbi is the highest of the eight volcanoes in the magnificent Virunga Mountains. It has a huge dome, now dormant, that dominates the range, more in girth than in height.

Karisimbi means White shell in Kinyaruanda, which refers to its often white-capped summit. Interestingly, this cap results not from snow but from hail and sleet which accumulate in the higher elevations from its frequent storms.

Mountain Karisimbi is situated in Volcanoes national Park which is also known as the Parc National Des Volcans, located in northern Rwanda, less than 2 hour drive from Kanombe International Airport.

Mountain Karisimbi stand at an elevation of about 4507m above sea level. The mountain is situated along the border between Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Rwanda on the western branch of the Eat African Rift valley.

Climbing Mountain Karisimbi is a strenuous and it requires a minimum of 2 days hike. The climb starts early in the morning taking 6 hours and involves navigating through the Bisoke side before reaching the first stopping place at an altitude of 3,700 metres for overnight camping before finishing off the journey the next day.

The hike to the summit of Mountain Karisimbi rewards the view of several bird species, monkeys and some times mountain gorillas to lucky visitors. As you climb Mountain Karisimbi, be a ware of rain which can come at any time due to the altitude. Therefore, it is advisable to move with rain Jackets.

Some level of fitness is needed to climb mountain Karisoke and it is wise to hire porters to help you carry your day pack and hiking equipment. No prior climbing experience required.

You need 4-5 day safari package in Rwanda to combine gorilla tracking and mountain Karisimbi climbing and the itinerary can be as below in brief;

Proposed Itinerary for Gorilla Tour and Mt. Karisimbi Hiking in Rwanda

Day 1: Kigali city tour, lunch, Transfer to Volcanoes National Park

Day 2: Gorilla Tracking, afternoon relaxation

Day 3: Start Mt. Karisimbi hiking, overnight camping in the mountains

Day 4: Reach the summit, descend to the base, relax at your lodge or drive back to Kigali where the tour ends.

Other Tour Activities around Virunga Region

Your visit to Virunga region not only rewards you with mountain gorilla tracking but also other interesting tour activities such as golden monkey tracking, community tours around the Virungas in Rwanda, Uganda and DR Congo, forest hiking, visiting the tombs of Dian Fossey, Mt. Bisoke hiking, Trekking the active volcanoes of Nyiragongo and Nyamurangira in DR Congo and many others.

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.

nyungwe-forest-water-chanel-rwanda
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.

baby-gorilla-in-bambou-forest-rwanda
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.