Safari Advice Tips

Best Cars for Self Drive Honey Moon Safaris

Do you have any plans of going for a honeymoon soon but you do not know which safari car is the best to use? Honeymooners on safari in Uganda or Rwanda have no reason to worry about how they can get to their dream destination because our classic and pocket friendly safari rental cars have you covered. We are premier providers of 4×4 safari rental cars in Uganda and Rwanda and you choose from our 4×4 station wagons to safari land cruisers, safari vans, super customs, compact Toyota Rav4 among others.

4×4 safari vans

Our 4×4 safari vans for hire are a perfect choice for honeymooners. They have a pop-up roof for you to have excellent view of wildlife with your dear one while on a honeymoon holiday in Murchison Falls National Park, Queen Elizabeth National Park, Lake Mburo National Park, Semuliki National Park.  They have carrying capacity of 5 to 10 people and they come with adequate space for you and your luggage.

Rent one of our safari vans and a driver who is experienced, knowledgeable and well-versed with routes to key honeymoon destinations and you won’t regret thereafter.

Toyota Rav4

Get the best of your honeymoon trip with our classic 4×4 Toyota Rav4 to any of your dream honeymoon safari destination in Rwanda or Uganda. Our Rav4 rental cars consist of incredible features like air conditioning, FM radio, powerful engine, steering, 3-5 doors and many others. Our Toyota Rav4 rental cars are the best SUV model rental car ideal for honeymooners on excursion in Uganda or Rwanda.

Land Cruiser V8

Rent our classic Land Cruiser V8 for your honeymoon safaris in Uganda or Rwanda and have lots of lasting memories. They come with the best interior and they are capable of tackling any kind of terrain in the remote country side. Our 4×4 Land Cruiser V8 have incredible features like seating capacity of 4 to 5, 5 door, 4wheel drive, air conditioner, CD player, automatic transmission, centralized door lock, air bag both for driver and clients.

Customized Super Customs

Get value for your money with our 4×4 customized super custom safari vans for safaris with carrying capacity of 5pax, air conditioning, pop-up roof, clear windows. They are pocket friendly, comfortable and can be rented plus a driver.

In conclusion, in case of any plans to embark on honeymoon in Uganda or Rwanda, look no further than our classic safari rental cars and you won’t be left in regrets.

Tips Travel Tips

Best Cars for Long Self Drive Safaris in East Africa

Are you in need for rental car deal long distances? Get the best long-term rental cars and explore Rwanda in unique way with our classic 4×4 Toyota Rav4, Toyota Axio/Toyota Fielder 1500cc to sedan car hire.

Roof Tent Land Cruiser V8/VX
Hire 4×4 roof tent land cruiser v8 and explore Rwanda comfortably. Our roof tent land cruisers comprise of camping gear making them ideal for campers on self-drive camping tour in Rwanda.

Toyota Land Cruiser TX
Get on a long-distance safari in Rwanda with Toyota Land Cruiser TX and explore Rwanda in a unique way. This category of rental cars accommodates about 5 visitors and comprise of air conditioning, FM radio and others. You can opt for manual or automatic transmission Toyota Land Cruiser TX.

Toyota Corona Axio
Hire Toyota Corona Axio and have the best of your long-distance safari in Rwanda. Our Toyota Axio rental cars come in automatic transmission and they are the best for long distant trips. They have a powerful engine, AM/FM radio, CD player, front fog lamps, 123000km mileage, rear camera, air conditioning, armrests, mirrors among other features. You can hire one of our 4×4 or 2-wheel drive Toyota Axio at pocket friendly rate and you hit the road in a new style.

4×4 Toyota Rav4
Get the best of your long-distance safari in Rwanda with our classic 4×4 Toyota Rav4 rental car. Our selection of Toyota Rav4 rental cars come both in automatic and manual transmission options with exceptional features like FM radio, air conditioning, powerful steering, engine, adequate space for cargo and for you to stretch your legs. Our Rav4 rental cars have a carrying capacity of about 4 to 5 people and they are perfect choice for self-drive tours in East Africa.

Prado Land Cruiser
4×4 Prado Land Cruisers come with pop-up roof for you to have breathtaking view of wildlife especially while on a game drive in Akagera National Park. They accommodate up to 5 visitors and their interiors are exceptionally designed with adequate space for luggage and visitors to stretch their legs.

In summary, with the above selection of classic rental cars, we believe that you will have the best of your long-distance safari in Rwanda. For any assistance, please simply get in touch with our reservation team we shall have you sorted.

Tips Travel Tips

Driving in Africa: Useful Tips to Know

Are you looking to driving in Africa? A self-drive safari offers a great way to explore some of the African countries by yourself. With the increased availability of maps and travel guides including the GPS Navigator, today it is easier to explore several destinations on a self-drive in Africa. However before renting out a car from an agency, here are some things that you should know.

  • it’s better to Book well in advance

When traveling to Africa particularly Uganda –its better you book your car rental in time to avoid being overcharged when you arrive at the airport, during low seasons some companies tend to cut-off price and during peak seasons they run out of vehicle due to very many bookings so, It is vital you book your car well in advance rather than arriving at the airport and risking higher prices, or even worse, no car at all. If this is done well you cut any extra cost that may ruin your safari.

  • Don’t get trapped into extras when you arrive

This goes to booking in time, this last-minute booking may put you into extra charges, if you get at the airport don’t get talked into any extras that are not needed during your booking, before confirming your car hire booking its better you untick any extra you don’t need –so if this is done prior to your safari you will avoid being trapped into extras when picking your car as your tired and impatient after a long flight and check-in.

  • Comparing like for like

Before confirming with any car hire travel agencies, you should communicate very well with the agent so as to get clear information about the car, size, and the number of doors, air conditioners, and the type of fuel. At times it’s not easy to make a perfect comparison between offers on different websites because few car hire companies guarantee the exact model you will get when you arrive at the airport. So research the full details of the contract and terms and conditions before you confirm the booking if this is done well your safari will be memorable.

  • Second driver charges

It is very better to inform your travel agent that you will be sharing the car, although most companies ensure only one person, you may find you have to pay a heavy premium for a second driver. So in case of compensation caused by the second driver without the notice of the travel agencies you may have to pay the damages caused. So consult with your agent to clarify if a second driver is allowed to avoid extra costs.

  • Fuel

When placing your booking, don’t accept to pay full tank in advance before your arrival, this service is often offered at the pickup desk. It’s advised to fuel it as soon as you leave the airport. Most companies offer unlimited mileage so you should be assured of it in the deal when you book, or that additional mileage charges are reasonable and will not bump up your bill too much.

  • Damage

Ounce you receive yourself drive car make sure that you check carefully any damage on it to avoid paying uncaused damages. You should report any damage found to the travel agent and he should note them before you leave and if possible ask for a copy of the pre-existing damages and keep them and you can also take photographs of the car just in case before you start your journey.

  • Speeding Fines

Always ask for the traffic rules and speed limits as traffic rules differ from country to country, so to avoid extra costs you must obey with the laws governing the road.

  • Pay in advance

If you have confirmed with your car travel agency its better you pay in advance to avoid disappointment or extra charges when you arrive at the airport.

Safari Advice Tips

Best Time to Visit Gorillas in DR Congo

Planning to take part in gorilla safari adventure in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) but you do not know when it is favorable or the best time to travel?

When you think of a safari to any destination in Africa, first you need to be aware of when to get to that dream destination and so it is a case with gorilla trekking safaris in the DR Congo. For beginners, gorilla treks in the DRC are conducted in the Virunga National Park and Kahuzi Biega National Park. The two parks offer refuge to distinct gorilla species with mountain gorillas thriving only in Virunga and the eastern lowland gorillas in Kahuzi Biega National Park.

Trips to see these unique creatures can be done at any time of the year however, regardless of this fact, you to put into consideration two important seasons-the dry and wet season.

Depending on what your travel interests are, the dry season is usually regarded as the most ideal season for one to explore more about these Great Apes in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). This season comes with favorable weather conditions and the ground is normally kept relatively drier making it a bit easier for one to hike through the park’s dense vegetation and steep slopes while in search for these amazing creatures.

The dry season equally is experienced twice a year with the first phase that starts from June to September while the second one begins from December to February. The advantage with trekking gorillas during this season is that, weather conditions are favorable as it comes with low rainfall amount received compared to the rainy season. However, the fact that DR Congo lies astride equator and given the kind of habitat where these creatures thrive, you have to expect rains at any time of the day. As well, note that the northern part of the Virunga National Park experiences its dry spell from December to February then when you to the south, the dry season is experienced between April and October.

On the other hand, the wet season which is also best known as the low season, is good for gorilla trekking given the advantage that it has. In the northern side of the Virunga National Park, the wet or rainy season is experienced from April to October while the southern part experiences it from late November to early March.

However, the DR Congo generally experiences its rainy season from October to November while the long wet season begins from Mid-March to late May. December features as the busiest month of the year when it comes to safaris in the Virunga National Park. For any plans to explore what this magical country has to offer for its visitors, please note that most visitors prefer visiting from June to September and then February as they are characterized by low rainfall amount. During this period or even other seasons, you are encouraged to secure your permit early enough to avoid last minute struggle that may result into disappointments as there is high demand for gorilla permits.

The wet season is characterized by heavy rainfall amount and dense vegetation cover and in the Virunga National Park it is experienced from March to May and October to November. The ground normally becomes muddy, slippery and this makes it a bit challenging for one to hike through the steep slopes and thick vegetation while in search for these creatures. Whether you plan to trek gorillas during wet or dry season, there is need for you to pack appropriately for your adventure. In your packing list, consider the following items a must-water proof hiking boots that are light weight, water proof daypack, gardening gloves, rain jacket or poncho, camera with no flashlight, walking stick (this one can be got at the park headquarters or lodge), insect repellent, sweater, a valid gorilla permit, long sleeved shirt or t-shirt, hat, sun glasses, first aid kit, snacks, bottled water a mention but a few.

In conclusion, if you have any plans to pay a visit to DRC for a safari this coming holiday, take note of both the dry and wet season as each comes with its advantages and disadvantages.


Experiences Guides

Guide to Visiting the Mountain Gorillas

Plan a visit to the mountain gorillas in Africa using our resources. Here is exclusive information about gorilla trekking, best places to go, when to go and more. Trips to see remaining in 3 African countries of East Africa; Rwanda, Uganda and Democratic Republic of Congo. Make an adventure of a lifetime with us and track mountain gorillas beyond two countries and maximize your travel excitement with the largest primates on planet earth.

We’ll track gorilla families in Volcanoes National Park; Rwanda and learn about what it takes to habituate them from their natural wild state till they are calm and accommodating to humankind for tourism activities.

Cross over a few kilometers into Uganda’s Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park and get mesmerized by the rugged terrain, thick and mist covered forests. Get extra doses of excitement by tracking these wild giants again and take great note of comparisons and similarities for they are never the same. Walk at leisure in the communities close to the park that have lived with the Mountain Gorillas all their lifetime. Share their experiences, listen to their music and moving stories, dance to their tunes. Wash off the fatigue of taming African jungles with an adrenaline raising boat cruise on Lake Bunyonyi; the second deepest lake in Africa. The cool breezes will sooth your body and big swarms of beautiful birds tweeting in the air and magical views of floating islands calm your nerves. You have a big volume of wonderful experiences and authentic stories to live with and talk about all your lifetime.

Plan a Gorilla Visit

When should I track Mountain Gorillas in Uganda?Tourists want to get the best out of the fee they pay for gorilla tour and usually some tourists ask questions like; when is the best time for gorilla trekking?. While Mountain Gorillas can be trekked throughout the whole year, it is more pronounced during the drier months of June, July, August and early September then December up to February are the most preferred months for Gorilla trekking. No is guarantee is there that it will not rain in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest since it is a tropical rain forest and it is influenced by micro conditions of the area.

How much is Gorilla Tracking Permit in Uganda or Rwanda?

To obtain a gorilla permit, you should pay USD 600 to the Uganda Wildlife Authority. There are some months where there discounted permits at US$450 and this during the months of April. Following an announcement from the Uganda Willdife Authority all gorilla permit bookings from July 2020, the price for the gorilla permit has been increased to US$700 per person.

How can I reach Bwindi Impenetrable National park?

The park is located in south western Uganda and is divided into four regions. Buhoma region in North, Ruhija region in the east, Rushaga and Nkuringo in the south. Each of this region has got habituated gorilla families for trekking/ tracking. If you are to trek gorillas in Bwindi Impenetrable National park, then you will need to mind about the specific regime where you are going as this will affect the lodge to be booked, gorilla as well as your transport.

When should I book my Gorilla permit/Tour?

Your Gorilla permit should be purchased three (3) months in advance to shortage most especially during the high season. The date you wish to travel should known by the tour company you wish to travel with.

What is included in a gorilla permit?

A gorilla permit allows you one hour with mountain gorillas in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Mgahinga or Volcanoes National Park. Included in the cost are park entry fees for the respective parks, services of National Park guides/rangers who will escort you to the forest. Gorilla Tracking Uganda will ensure that you secure permits in advance

How long is a Gorilla Trek in Uganda or Rwanda?

Mountain gorilla trekking exercise can take from twenty minutes to three quarters of the day so one needs to prepare for both. This depends on several factors that include, mountain gorilla movements, where the gorillas stayed the previous night and the mood of the gorillas. It may also depend on the people in your group since the guides/rangers move following the slowest person in the group. Gorilla Tracking Uganda trading as Encounter Africa Safaris is happy to provide all relevant advice.

What is the age limit for Trekking Gorillas?

The age limit for gorilla tracking (Uganda and Rwanda) and golden monkey trekking (Uganda) is 15 years. The authorities are very strict on this, so kindly make sure all clients and children are 15 or older in order to avoid any sad incidents like guest(s) kids being refused to track!

The age limit for trekking chimpanzees in Uganda is 12 years old and children 10 years and older are allowed to trek golden monkeys in Rwanda as long as they are accompanied by an adult. Children under 15 years are allowed to Dian Fossey’s tomb – although the latter hike is a stiff one so we do not recommend that either to children under 12-13 years.

What should I pack for Gorilla trekking?

You need to prepare very well for your gorilla trek in Rwanda or Uganda, we advise trousers, long sleeved shirts or blouses, long socks to enable you tack in your trousers, garden gloves, a hat, sun glasses, hiking boots, insect repellents and some energy giving foods.

Do you have any questions about Gorillas?

In case you have any questions about Gorilla tracking, you will send an email with the tour company you are travelling with.

What is gorilla habituation experience?

The Gorilla habituation experience is an activity in Bwindi Impenetrable National park where tourists are allowed to stay four hours with mountain Gorillas after paying USD 1500 for a gorilla habituation permit. The Gorilla habituation safaris are currently taking place only in Rushaga located in southern part of Bwindi Forest.

The experience of Gorilla tracking with a booked Tour Company of your choice.

In Uganda, most tour companies organize safaris for Gorilla tracking and are conducted in depth with knowledgeable guides. They guarantee you a highly personalized gorilla trekking experience safari in the National Parks of Bwindi Impenetrable and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park. The endangered apes have been drawing for decades to the mountainous slopes of Virunga. The National park Bwindi is quite a threatening name and rightly so as thick jungle looms before you set off in search of hairy cousins.

It is not easy to get there because it is hard work. There is nothing interesting as the magical hour you spend with the Mountain Gorillas. The close proximity changes images of devoted mothers which care for their young cheeky babies clambering through the trees and awesome light of a massive silverback which will remain with you forever. Your sole journey to Uganda for Gorilla tracking will make you feel rewarded. Other activities which can be carried out along side Gorilla tracking in Uganda include; Chimpanzee trekking at Kibale Forest. This offers you a glimpse into the lives of our primate brothers. An additional tour is to Murchison falls national park where you will see the mighty Nile squeezes through a tiny seven meter gap. The tree climbing lions at queen Elizabeth National park are also interesting to your safari in Uganda.

Safaris with most tours and travel companies

African safari featuring gorilla trekking in Uganda, Rwanda and Congo are intoxicating affair with a greater diversity of animals. You are called upon to visit the gorillas in the wild on exciting guided safaris offered by selected tour operators. A combined safari will enable you see a lot of amazing African animals including the big five as well the scenic landscapes that will make you fall in love with Africa.


Mountain Gorilla Trekking: A Lifetime Experience Only Done in Africa

Gorilla trekking is the most interesting wild life encounter in the whole world which can only be experienced in Africa. It entails hiking in the tropical rain forests of Africa before reaching these rare endangered species. Though challenging, trekking is so much interesting since from the start to finish as the jungle envelops the hikers in its sounds associated with the calls of unseen birds, the soft hum of insects, the whispering of countless leaves, wrapped in emerald shadows, travelers also glimpse the secret lives of the rainforest’s shy creatures including the mountain gorillas.

Mountain gorillas being the close relatives of human beings sharing 98.3% of human genes, they are so susceptible to human diseases and therefore a distance of seven metres is encouraged between the trackers and the mountain gorillas. Trekking time can range from 45 minutes to 8 hours depending on the location of a gorilla family. All gorillas live in families with each family headed by a dominant silver back that plans for the entire family and defending it against all external attacks, every gorilla is so much attached to its family and cannot join another family even if the two different families come in contact. Female gorillas are the mums in the family who nurse and cater for the young ones sin the entire family.

Once a trekking group approaches the gorilla family all other things are left with the porters except non flash cameras. While on a gorilla trek, trekkers are reminded of the seven meter distance and quietness as they observe the gorillas and take photographs for the maximum of one hour.

Mountain gorillas in Africa can be trekked in the following places:


Uganda is a home to half of the mountain gorillas in the whole world. Approximately 480 gorillas are situated in Uganda in the two national parks of Bwindi impenetrable forest national park and Mgahinga gorilla national park both in south western Uganda. Trekking in Uganda is interesting because there are 13 gorilla families with 12 in Bwindi and 1 in Mgahinga all available for trekking.

More still, the tow national parks are 7-8 hour drive from the international airport of Entebbe and this provides travelers an opportunity view other attractions and natural features en-route to the gorilla national parks. Travelers to Uganda also come in contact with other wild life for example the golden monkeys, elephants and many bird species which all provides a memorable experience to travelers never to forget.


Trekking in Rwanda is an easy in, easy out game. It is done in the volcanoes national park located only two hour drive from the international air port of Kigali. This short distance allows short time travelers to trek mountain gorillas in that they can even trek on the day of arrival despite tie long distance in Uganda. Trekkers in Rwanda can also pay a visit to the Dian Fossey grave site and will also encounter different animal and bird species which all adds to the final tourism experience.

There are 10 gorilla families in the volcanoes national park available for trekking and a gorilla permit is sold at 750usd quite expensive compared to Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Democratic republic of Congo

Although done at a relatively low rate as compared to Uganda and Rwanda, mountain gorilla trekking in the DRC is now going on. It is done in the virunga national park and a gorilla permit is sold at 450usd which is quite cheaper compared to Uganda and Rwanda.

In the last years, the political instabilities in the Democratic Republic of Congo and the neighboring Rwanda led to the death and fleeing of many mountain gorillas since their habits the tropical rain forests were used by the rebel groups for hiding. This put trekking and tourism at a standstill but however at present the country has stabilized and gorilla trekking is done peacefully. There are other attractions such as the world’s largest lava lake at the summit of mount Nyiragongo among others.

Conclusively, mountain gorilla trekking is the best wild life encounter that provide memorable experience.  It can be done in only three countries of Uganda, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo and therefore travelers can choose to trek in any of the three or visit all the three countries for the greater and memorable experience.


A Walk Through Time in Namibia

Namibia officially the Republic of Namibia is a country in southern Africa whose western border is the Atlantic Ocean. It shares land borders with Angola and Zambia to the north, Botswana to the east and South Africa to the south and east. Although it does not border Zimbabwe, less than 200 metres of riverbed (essentially the Zambia/Botswana border) separates them at their closest points. It gained independence from South Africa on 21 March 1990, following the Namibian War of Independence. Its capital and largest city is Windhoek.

Part 1 : CNN’s Soni Methu explores the magnificent rock formations and ancient trees dotted all over the Fish River Canyon.

Check it out!

Part 2 : The Formation of Africa’s Biggest Canyon.Soni Methu meets Goldbeck who shares his extensive knowledge of Namibia’s Fish River Canyon.

Part 3 : CNN’s Soni Methu takes a mule trail tour to the bottom of Namibia’s incredible Fish River Canyon.

Photo Credit : Namibia Tourism

For information on Travel to Namibia – practical advise, details of accommodation, attractions, going on the safari etc, please check out Namibia Tourism Website.


More Tourists Opt for Uganda Gorilla Treks

It should be noted that Rwanda and Uganda are found in East Africa and bordering each other. Following the 5th May 2017 implementation made by Rwanda Government through the Rwanda Development Board – a body responsible for the country Tourism.  Rwanda increased Gorilla permit from US$ 750 to US$ 1500 per permit. Uganda discovered a clear pass for it to sell her Gorillas found in Bwindi Impenetrable and Mgahinga National parks.  It was a clear picture that tourists will divert to trek the cheaper Uganda Gorillas at US$ 600 per permit.

Currently, Uganda is selling more Gorilla permits than Rwanda and the dominating safari is 2 days gorilla safari. In the past, one day Rwanda Gorilla trekking safari was dominating before the increase of their Gorilla permit.

The opening of Rwanda boarders for visitors to reach Bwindi Impenetrable and Mgahinga national parks to trek Gorillas is an indicative that Rwanda has fully supported Uganda gorilla tourism.

Kigali International Airport is a major entry point for the two days Uganda Gorilla safari visitors. Two days Gorilla trekking trip is among the Uganda’s shortest tours but possible when the trip start in Rwanda.

Uganda and Rwanda use one East African tourist visa to allow tourists visit two nations. For that case, Rwanda has directly and indirectly marketed Uganda Mountain Gorillas.

Rwanda offers direct flights from different destinations – Rwandair and Rwanda Airbus have transported visitors to enable them trek Uganda Gorillas.

Rwanda constructed good roads connecting to Uganda to facilitate Uganda tourism industry. Kigali- katuna road is first class, Musanze – Kyanika boarder road is also in good condition to facilitate tourism in Uganda and Rwanda.

The good Hotels/ Lodges/ camps in Rwanda to accommodate international visitors. Kigali is the major pick and drop off points for Uganda Gorillas trekkers. Some visitors spend the nights in Kigali before and after Gorilla trekking in Bwindi impenetrable and Mgahinga national parks.

The hospitality of the people of Rwanda to accept and welcome visitors who come to trek Gorillas in Uganda or Rwanda.

Rwanda has few Gorilla groups to satisfy the high growing demand. The alternative is in Uganda where more than 12 Gorilla groups are found.

It is a shorter distance from Kigali Airport compared to Entebbe International airport to Bwindi Impenetrable or Mgahinga National parks. It’s approximately 4 hours and 8 hours respectively. For that note, Visitors find it convenient to use Kigali Airport into Rwanda and then drive to Uganda through Katuna boarders and back.

Both Bwindi Impenetrable Forest and Mgahinga national park are found in south western Uganda near Uganda- Rwanda boarders. Clients can easily combine Rwanda safari with Uganda Gorilla trekking since the cost of Uganda gorilla permit still low compared to that of Rwanda. Clients can do other activities in Rwanda like boat cruises, Golden monkey trekking, Columbus monkey trekking, chimpanzee trekking, cultural tours and community walks among others.

Rwanda makes it easy to get East African tourist visa to facilitate tourism in East African countries including Uganda.


An Encounter with the Virunga Gorillas

Mountain gorilla are endangered apes that were on the verge of extinction in the 1990’s because of the civil wars where their natural habitats had been turned into fighting grounds and hiding places for soldiers. After a lot of conservation efforts by the Rwandan government, the mountain gorilla population started increasing steadily and today volcanoes national park is a home to half of the total mountain gorilla population in the Virunga massif that extends from northwestern Rwanda, south western Uganda and southeastern DRC.
Mountain gorillas are some of human’s closest wild animals with over 98% of their DNA similar to humans. They prefer living in the forested mountain and are vegetarians that feed on plant leaves, shoots and wild fruits. They are mobile animals that move from one place to another as they look for fresh food ad for new places where they will spend a night.
Volcanoes national park has a total of 10 habituated mountain gorilla families. Each mountain gorilla family is tracked by a group of strictly 8 tourists every day, which they spend with one hour as they observe, take photographs and learn more about the life of these greatly endangered apes.
Tourists going for gorilla tracking first assemble at the national park headquarters very early in the morning where the local traditional dancers entertain them as they take a cup of hot tea or coffee. They are allocated to the mountain gorilla family they will be tracking then briefed about the safety procedures to follow while in the forest. Some of the safety procedures include

  • Following the guides instructions especially while in the forest
  • Keeping a reasonable distance a way from the mountain gorillas
  • Minimizing noise especially when in the presence of the mountain gorillas
  • Not using flash photography
  • Avoiding imitating the behavior of the mountain gorillas like beating the chest as it may send a wrong impression to the mountain gorillas.

After being briefed, the tourists are led to the forested mountains under the protection of two armed rangers. These carry guns they use to fire bullets to scare away other dangerous wild animals that could be encountered while tracking mountain gorillas. A hike through the forested mountains is very exciting with views of other wildlife species in the national park like birds.  The trek takes about 1 to 8 hours depending on the movement of the mountain gorillas. It’s a little hectic and a physically demanding activity however its always better for those who cannot hike for long distances to inform the guides or their tour operators early enough to ensure that they are allocated mountain gorilla families that can be got to after relatively shorter times of trek.
Alternatively there are porters for hire that can carry luggage and always help tourists to go move through the difficult parts of the forest. These porters can also carry some one on locally made stretchers up hill or down hill and can therefore be of great help in case their services are needed. They can be hired at about $10 to $15.
Mountain gorillas can be encountered at any time of the year however tracking can be more easy during the dry season because its always easy to move through the forests which may not be the case during the wet season. Tourists interested in mountain gorilla tracking should acquire permits that are sold at $750 each and can be obtained from the Rwanda development board or through a trusted tour operator.
Volcanoes national park can be got to by road transport from Kigali a drive that takes about 2 to 3 hours.

Travel Tips

Planning a Gorilla Safari – 5 Things to Know

In a lifetime everyone has the right to encounter something out of the world, an experience that they will wish to take home with them, and just boastfully narrate to their relatives and friends in form of a deeply captivating story. Deciding to embark on a gorilla safari results in one of the few experiences that many people desire to have. The few who have experienced this still tell the same story but in different versions every day.
Yes for many, the climax of the trip to the gorillas is standing still and looking into the dark pensive eyes of the mountain gorillas is such a magical experience that will never fade off your memory! some travelers try to take a “selfie” with the mountain gorillas in the background, and share it with jealous friends. At that point, all your preparations have held truth; and all the nights of anxiety are no more. But what are those little things that might make the entire safari even more gratifying? Here is my short list;

  1. Make sure you travel at the right time of the year. If you are not so sure about your fitness levels, I advise travelling during the dry season when the soils aren’t boggy. The best months of the year to track the gorillas would be December to late February and from June to September during the dry season.
  2. Remember to book your permit in time, preferably before you set off. Due to the high demand, over 70 people travel to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park daily for the Uganda Gorilla Safari experience, while others are placed on hold. You surely don’t want to be among the miserable lot that has to wait.
  3. All Uganda’s gorilla tracking trailheads are traversed on foot, with some hikes lasting 8 hours. As humans are playful, the gorillas might decide to play hide and seek so hikers should check that they are basically fit to climb through the jungle even for long duration like these.
  4. The rains are rarely predictable, so tourists should pack a pair of solid shoes, preferably jungle boots, a jacket and an umbrella. On a sunny day I would advise you to travel with a fine cap or hat, sun glasses (in case you find that you need them), smear yourself with sunburn lotion, and also come along with a good insect repellant.
  5. The other thing to mind about when planning your safari is choosing the right tour operator. The criterion for choosing the tour operator is somewhat crazy, but basically a company with a good customer reputation would be a good choice. With the right tour operator you won’t have to worry about sleeping uncomfortably, or arriving later than 8am when the gorilla trekking exercise has commenced. These are just a few things that will complement your holiday and make it more enjoyable. A hint to search for the specialty tour operators who may know better about the process of organising a gorilla safari, choices of lodges and campsites where to stay and how to craft tour itineraries.