Friday, May 13, 2016
Climbing Mount Nyiragongo, mountain gorilla tracking and Lake Kivu combination of Rwanda and DR Congo
5 days Climbing Mount Nyiragongo, mountain gorilla tracking and Lake Kivu combination of Rwanda and DR Congo In 2014 Virungas National Park authorities announced that the route to climb Mount Nyiragongo has been re-opened for tourism. Mount Nyiragongo is a spectacular stratovolcano that hosts one of the worlds largest and rarest lava lakes, making it one of Africa’s most exciting and rewarding hiking experiences. Lava lakes are without a doubt one of the most impressive forms of volcanic activity that any outdoors enthusiast could hope to witness. Once you have reached the summit on your Mount Nyiragongo climb, you will be able to observe its bubbling lava cauldron (from a safe distance) and feel this volcano’s energy, as it heaves and breathes. An overnight stay at Mount Nyiragongo’s crater edge will allow you to enjoy this spectacle in the dark, but also at dawn and dusk when its alluring beauty is enhanced. Mount Nyiragongo, in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo rises majestically to an altitude of 3470m overlooking the Virungas National Park and associated Albertine Rift valley. The climb up Mount Nyiragongo is not technically difficult and reaching the top should not take longer than 5 hours. To further ensure an unforgettable experience this tour includes a mountain gorilla trekking experience in the neighbouring Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda. Coming face to face with mountain gorillas is a hugely primal and humbling experience, if not life-changing. Between these two walking adventures you will also enjoy a short and relaxing visit to the idyllic shores of Lake Kivu. Detailed Itinerary Day 1: Arrival in Kigali and transfer to Volcanoes National Park On arrival at Kigali International Airport, met our representative and whisked off to enjoy some of Kigali’s main attractions. Depending on your arrival time the following sites may be incorporated into your visit: The Caplaki Handicrafts Market (the perfect place to browse for Rwandan souvenirs), the Kimironko City Market where all types of colourful and tasty food is sold, or the Gisozi Genocide Memorial & Education Centre, the site that houses over 250 000 victims of the 1994 Rwanda Genocide and stands as a vivid testimony to the courage and reconciliatory efforts of the Rwandan people. After a light lunch in Kigali restaurant you will drive north towards Ruhengeri and on arrival at Volcanoes National Park you will settle in at Hotel Muhabura. Here you will have the chance to freshen up, explore your surroundings and later indulge in a delicious home-cooked dinner at the lodge’s restaurant before your gorilla trekking experience the following day. Overnight at Hotel Muhabura Day 2: Mountain gorilla trekking at Volcanoes National Park After breakfast we take a short drive to the Volcanoes National Park headquarters and meet with the local rangers that shall lead your mountain gorilla trekking experience. An informative talk on etiquette required for gorilla trekking will precede the actual walk, Once the gorilla trekking groups/family are formed you will start your climb towards the different territories and areas in the mountains where your allocated mountain gorilla family/group resides. Gorilla trekking can take between 2 and 7 hours and you could climb to altitudes in excess of 2 350m (7 500 feet). Although the climb can be physically demanding the beauty of the forest and surrounding scenery always makes the trekking a worthwhile experience. Once the gorillas are located all fatigue is forgotten. Looking deep into the expressive brown eyes of mountain gorillas is surely the most exciting and poignant wildlife encounter that Uganda, Rwanda, DR Congo and Africa has on offer – and arguably one of the most profound natural history experiences in the world. When the group returns from the hills a transfer will take you to the mellow lakeside town of Gisenyi where you will check into the Paradis Malahide Hotel for a delicious lunch, well-earned shower and rest. No activities have been planned for this afternoon, in order to allow all participants to decide whether they want to rest before tomorrow’s assault on Mount Nyiragongo, or enjoy a leisurely swim in Lake Kivu. Dinner and overnight at Paradis Malahide Hotel Day 3: Climbing Mount Nyiragongo After an early wake-up call, breakfast and a swift transfer to the Rwanda/Congo border post, you will cross into the Democratic Republic of Congo and drive on towards the Kibati patrol post at the base of Mount Nyiragongo, a mere 50km outside Goma. After a safety debrief and final check of everyone’s packs and equipment you begin the climb towards Mount Nyiragongo’s summit. The party will be lead and escorted by a set of rangers/guides and a small contingent of porters. For the first two hours of the walk you will traverse a lush pristine forest, where towering trees offer a welcome shelter from the sun until you emerge from the forest onto a small plateau with commanding views that stretch towards the infinite horizon, with Lake Kivu, Bukavu, Rwanda and Burundi at your feet. You are now standing on the lava flow remnants of Mount Nyiragongo’s 2002 eruption.
Monday, May 9, 2016
12 days Uganda & Rwanda Safari, Gorilla tours Uganda, tour Rwanda, Rwanda gorilla safaris, Uganda chimpanzee & gorilla’s safari vacations.
12 days Uganda & Rwanda Safari, Gorilla tours Uganda, tour Rwanda, Rwanda gorilla safaris, Uganda chimpanzee & gorilla’s safari vacations. This 12 day safari package combines of the best places to visit while on tour to Uganda and Rwanda. The safari holiday allows one to experience the best of both worlds in Uganda and Rwanda. Trek the gorillas twice, 1st in Bwindi and then have a second gorilla trekking serving in Volcanoes National Park Rwanda. In Uganda the safari package takes us to the most game rich national parks, including chimpanzee trekking in Kibale Forest National Park. Enjoy a boat cruise along Kazinga channel, spot the tree climbing lions of Ishasha, meet local people, try local food and buy local crafts. This is a must join safari package for folks wishing to explore authentic Africa while on a dream safari. Day 1: Arrival Entebbe Meet and greet at Entebbe airport by your safari guide. Transfer Boma Guest House Entebbe. Entebbe is a quiet and relaxed old colonial town. Entebbe is located on the shores of Lake Victoria only 45 kms from Kampala the capital city. There is plenty to see and do in Entebbe including visits to Uganda Wildlife Education Centre and various beaches dotted all over Entebbe. Birders can go birding at Entebbe botanical gardens. Golf enthusiasts can play a round of gold at Entebbe Golf Club. or go for swimming in the cool fresh waters of Lake Victoria. Day 2: Transfer to Kibale Forest National Park, evening Bigodi swamp walk. After breakfast, the tour package sets off from Entebbe, avoiding the chaotic Kampala rush hour traffic. We hit Mityana road very early and head towards Fort Portal in Western Uganda. This is a fairly long drive through beautiful scenic places, pine plantations and villages along the way. We anticipate a stop-over for lunch in Fort Portal town. After lunch in the late afternoon, proceed through long swathes of beautiful tea plantations enroute to Kibale Forest National Park. We arrive and proceed to do a guided Bigodi swamp walk in the Bigodi wetland sanctuary. On the guided tour expect to see many types of primates including the colobus monkeys, black and white colobus monkeys, red tail monkeys, vervet monkeys, L'Hoest monkeys and mangabeys. For avid birders, there is massive birding opportunities in Bigodi. You will be snapping away at papyrus gonoleks, great blue turacos, hornbills, weavers, cuckoos, kingfishers, flycatchers and lots of other bird species that call Kibale their home. Diner and overnight at: Kibale Forest Cottage /Kibale Primate Lodge/Papay Lodge. Day 3: Full day Chimpanzee Habituation Experience or Chimp tracking 4hours. The full-day Kibale Chimpanzee Habituation Experience gives visitors a chance to work with a chimp community which is undergoing habituation. If you arrive early you will get a chance to witness the chimpanzees waking up from their overnight nests between 6:00 - 6:30am before they go about their daily business, mating feeding, looking for food, breast feeding, playing, resting, patrolling and cheekily jumping from tree to tree until about 7pm when they return to build new nests for the night. When you join the chimp habituation expedition, you will participate in the Wildlife Authority initiative to habituate chimps to the presence of human beings while conserving their natural environment. This will arguably be one of the highlights of your Uganda safari package. Diner and overnight at: Kibale Forest Cottage /Kibale Primate Lodge/Papay Lodge. >/p>Day 4: Transfer to Queen Elizabeth National Park, afternoon boat cruise on the Kazinga Channel After breakfast, leaves Kibale Forest National Park and the playful chimps and heads to Queen Elizabeth National Park another wildlife gems in Uganda's tourism arsenal with plenty of cats, buffalos, warthog, bushbuck, waterbuck ,elephants, tree climbing lions in the Ishasha sector of the park, chimps in Kyambura Gorge and plenty of other exciting game watching and birding opportunities.. You will get beautiful views of the legendary mountains of the moons-The Rwenzoris as you drive up to Kasese, a former mining town. There will be plenty of game viewing opportunities along the route the moment you enter into the park as wildlife and animals freely cross the road. Lunch is anticipated at Mweya Safari Lodge your accommodation for the next 2 days. After a brief relaxation at Katara Lodge you will join a lunch trip on the Kazinga channel in the afternoon. The launch trip takes on average 2 hours and is a great opportunity to see wildlife and game as it comes out to the banks of Lake Albert to drink in the beautiful Ugandan afternoon sun. The amount of animals and birds you will see on the cruise, will surely go down as another one of the highlights of your Uganda safari. The launch trip will later be topped up with an evening game drive through the park before retiring to Mweya Safari Lodge for the night. Diner and overnight at: Katara Lodge/Mweya Safari Lodge/ Kyambura Game Lodge. The Kazinga Channel is 36 km long and situated between lakes Edward and George. While on the afternoon boat cruise you will see plenty of elephants, hippos, crocodiles and lots of bird species.Among the birds to be seen are the pelicans, fish eagles, cormorants African skimmers, saddlebilled storks, and many other birds only unique to Uganda. The Kazinga channel separates Queen Elizabeth National Park into the Mweya Northern sector and the Maramagambo Kyambura and Ishasha southern sector. Day 5: Morning game drive, afternoon transfer to Ishasha southern sector. In the morning after breakfast, we go for another game drive this time focusing on the game tracks near the Kasenyi fishing village area. We are sure to see a number of kobs and hippos that concentrate in the fishing village of Kasenyi on the shores of Lake George. We also get the chance to interact with locals who live in these villages and get to understand how the co-exist with the game and wildlife around them. We return to the lodge for lunch before proceeds for 3 hours drive to Ishasha on game drives in search of the famous tree climbing lions in the Ishasha sector of Queen Elizabeth National Park. Diner and overnight: at Jungle Lodge OR Savannah Resort Hotel Day 6: Morning Game drive and transfer to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. In the morning we go for another game drive in a search of the tree climbing lions. We also get to see herds of buffalo, elephants, kobs, oribis, and if we are lucky leopards and the lions. Hippos also live here on the banks of the Ishasha river in large numbers plus a number of birds species. The tour go’s through beautiful terrains in the beautiful Kigezi region before arriving in Buhoma for our gorilla trekking expedition the following morning. Diner and overnight at: Mahogane Springs Lodge/ Silverback Lodge or Buhoma Community Camp. Day 7: Mountain Gorilla tracking in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. Bwindi is popular for gorilla trekking expeditions as it hosts the rare endangered Mountain Gorillas, a privilege it shares with the Volcanoes National Park of Rwanda and Virunga National Park of the DRC. Over 440 mountain gorillas which is 1/2 of the world's mountain gorillas live in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park including a high number, currently14 habituated gorilla families/grougs which can be tracked by tourists. The Buhoma sector of Bwindi National Park is situated on the North Western corner of Bwindi. Buhoma is popular for gorilla trekking given that it is home to 3 gorilla families which can be trekked from Buhoma as the base. Buhoma has a fair number of very well organised communities run projects which explore the Bakiga and Batwa Pygmies, including their cultural lifestyles, way of life, tribal dances and performances. Same can be experienced through homestay arrangements and natural walks through the local villages. Buhoma offer enriching bird watching opportunities to bird lovers including the chance to see various Albertine Rift endemics e.g the Short-tailed Warbler .Visitors are also able to explore the Buhoma area through mountain biking, hiking through the forest, hikes to the waterfalls and village walks. Diner and overnight at: Mahogane Springs Lodge/ Silverback Lodge or Buhoma Community Camp. Day 8: Transfer to Lake Bunyonyi. In the morning we depart from the fantastic Bwindi Impenetrable forest and proceed to our next magical location Lake Bunyonyi, land of the birds. Our journey takes us through beautiful Kigezi undulating hills with the most awesome scenery. We arrive at Lake Bunyonyi in the early afternoon and embark on a boat ride on this most beautiful and picturesque lake Bunyonyi, the 2nd deepest lake in Africa and 3rd deepest in the world. The lake is ideal for swimming for those who want to take a cool dip after a gorilla trek the previous day. Diner and overnight at: Bird's Nest or Lake Bunyonyi Overland Resort. Day 9: Transfer to Volcanoes National Park Rwanda. After breakfast, we depart from Lake Bunyonyi and proceed to Volcanoes National Park Rwanda, via the border crossing of Cyanika. We anticipate arriving at lunch time, and checking into our lodge for lunch. After lunch we spend time exploring the greater Virunga area, visit the twin lakes of Bulera and Ruhondo, visit a local school, local market in Ruhengeri or a cultural Ibi'wacu village to discover local Rwanda culture, norms, practices and entertainment. We may alternatively explore the newly launched caves in Musanze. Diner and overnight at: Mountain Gorilla View Lodge or Gorillas Nest Lodge. Day 10: Morning gorilla trekking or Golden Monkey tracking. Transfer to Gisenyi. After a very early breakfast you may go for gorilla trekking again, this time in Volcanoes National Park. For clients who do not wish to trek twice, we embark on golden monkey tracking through the forest or visit the Dian Fossey grave. We later return to the lodge for lunch and afterwards transfer to the lakeside town of Gisenyi on the shores of Lake Kivu. Diner and overnight Lake Kivu Serena Hotel or Paradis Malahide Resort. >/p>Day 11: Lake Kivu Gisenyi-Congo Nile Trail & Boat Ride. We wake up very early and participate in the Congo Nile Trail and visit local villages in the Gisenyi area close to the DRC border town of Goma. We later return to the hotel for breakfast and later have a boat ride on the lake or other water sports activities on Lake Kivu including swimming, jet skiing, kayaking, beach volleyball etc. Diner and overnight Lake Kivu Serena Hotel or Paradis Malahide Resort. Day 12: Transfer to Kigali. After breakfast, we transfer to Kigali. Arrival to Kigali and then we embark on 3 hrs Kigali city tour which includes a genocide memorial visit, shopping for crafts at Kimironko market and later connect to the airport for your outbound departure flight.
Friday, May 6, 2016
6 days Rwanda Gorillas, Chimps, Golden Monkey Tour and Lake Kivu Safari This Rwanda vacation package explores the Lake Kivu, Gisenyi where one is able to participate in the Congo Nile Trail, have a boat ride on the lake and relax by the beach for a perfect Rwanda beach holiday. The tour package starts with many lifelong dream of trekking gorillas in Volcanoes National Park of Rwanda. This is a luxury gorilla and lakes tour staying at the luxurious lodges like Mountain Gorilla view Lodge and the 5 star Serena Hotels in Kigali and Lake Kivu. This Rwanda gorillas and Rwanda Chimps tour is primarily for visitors making trips to Rwanda and wish to exclusive trek Rwanda's primates in Nyungwe and Rwanda's mountain gorillas in Volcanoes National Park. What a better way to enjoy the best of both worlds. Very few holiday tours focus on just Rwanda Chimps and Rwanda gorillas. You will find that most journeys combine either gorillas with the lakes or Akagera with the gorillas or simply Nyungwe chimps alone with a night's stay on the shores of lake Kivu in Kibuye. The Rwanda tour starts with a tour of Kigali city on day one of your holiday safari. We visit a genocide memorial site in Gisozi, shop for some crafts and visit the Kigali museum, before travelling to Nyungwe Forest with a stop-over in Butare to visit the King's Palace at Nyanza and a museum. We later arrive at Nyungwe Forest where the tour package allows you to track the chimpanzees, do a canopy walk and the Colobus Monkeys. The safari then takes us to Kibuye for a relaxing day on the shores of Lake Kivu. It is from here that the tour then takes us to Volcanoes National Park via the lakeside town of Gisenyi. The tour saves the best for last. The ultimate dream of trekking the mountain gorillas in their natural habitat. Armed with your gorilla permits as souvenirs, the tour returns us to Kigali for your flight back home. This package is all about Rwanda's chimps in Nyungwe, Rwanda's mountain gorillas, with Rwanda's lakes, history, culture and nature walks sprinkled in between. Day 1: Arrival at Kigali Airport Rwanda , do a Kigali city tour(depending on arrival time to Kigali) You will be met on arrival at Kigali airport by our tour driver/guide for the tour while in Kigali. You will be briefed about your holiday safari with details of the trip flow, activity schedule, accommodations etc. Any questions you may have will be addressed. We will then conduct a tour of Kigali city where the history and current developments of Kigali will be explored. Kigali is the economic and financial hub of Rwanda. Kigali has a rich history and is surrounded by beautiful hills and perhaps one of the cleanest city environs in Africa. You will simply be amazed. Perfect gateway for what we hope will be an amazing 6 days with us on the chimps and gorillas tour of Rwanda. While on the Kigali city tour we shall visit the genocide memorial in Kigali, a very moving testimony of Rwanda's un-flattering past. After lunch, the road leads South of Rwanda to Butare the former capital city of Rwanda and educational hub that hosts Rwanda's leading intellectual institutions of higher learning. The tour holiday is scheduled to stop over enroute to visit the King's Palace in Nyanza, an art museum before we proceed to Nyungwe Forest National Park for our chimpanzee trekking expeditions. Nyungwe Forest is famed as the only travel destination in the world where one is able to see up to 13 primates species in a solitary location. The primates species to be found here include, angolan colobus monkeys, white colobus monkeys, the chimpanzees, the blue monkeys and the L'hoest's monkeys. The populations and concentrations of the habituated primates stands at a staggering number of over 500 primates in some troops of chimps and monkeys. We check into your lodge and later in the afternoon go for canopy walk. You will hike through thick rain forests, expansive green tea plantations and enjoy magnificent views of this pretty part of Africa . Diner and overnight at: Nyungwe Forest Lodge or Gisakura Guest House. Day 2: chimpanzees tracking in Nyungwe Forest. After breakfast you report to Nyungwe park head quarters for pre chimp trekking briefing. You will proceed to the forest in search of the chimpanzees. You later return to the lodge for lunch and in the afternoon immerse yourself in either of the options activities like canopy walk, tea plantation expedition learn hoe tea is harvested and visit local factory, you will be able to taste some of the best freshly prepared tea. Diner and overnight at: Nyungwe Forest Lodge or Gisakura Guest House. Day 3: Morning transfer to the shores of Lake Kivu- Kibuye. in morning, we depart Nyungwe Forest National Park for the equally exciting destinations ahead of us on this tour of Rwanda. We depart Nyungwe and head to Kibuye a beautiful rather calming town bang on the shores of Lake Kivu. Lake Kivu is regarded as one of Africa's great lakes and the 6th largest lake in Africa. Rwanda is currently prospecting for commercial natural gas in Lake Kivu. There is plenty of activities on the lake including boat rides, dug- out canoe cruises etc. Diner and overnight at: Moriah Hills Resort. Day 4: Transfer to Volcanoes National Park. we transfer to Volcanoes National Park via another beautiful lake side town of Gisenyi. We drive through beautiful lush green countryside and expansive tea and sometime coffee plantations. You will meet local Rwandans on the way going about their daily economic activities. We anticipate to stop in Gisenyi for lunch, where you may spend a few hours relaxing on the tropical beach on the shores of Lake Kivu. In the afternoon we embark on a 1.5hrs transfer to Volcanoes National Park. Diner and overnight at: Mountain Gorilla View Lodge Day 5: Gorilla Trekking in Volcanoes National Park Rwanda. After a very early breakfast your driver guide will transfer you to the park headquarters for gorilla trekking briefing. You will be assigned into groups of 8 and allocated a gorilla family/group to trek. Once the trek is completed and you have met the gorillas, you will return to the base of the mountains. Your tour guide will return you to the lodge for lunch. Afterwards you may choose to relax at the lodge, take a guided walk to Ruhengeri local market where you get an opportunity to purchase local artcrafts, Rwandan fabrics, local foods, Rwandan coffee, and souvenirs. Alternatively, we shall visit the spectacular twin Lakes, of Lake Burera and Lake Ruhondo and enjoy the great views of the Virunga mountains and volcanoes chain. Diner and overnight at: Mountain Gorilla View Lodge FB Tour Day 6: Transfer to Kigali and departure.>/p> After breakfast, we embark on a leisurely 2.5hrs transfer back to Kigali. If we did not have the chance of doing the Kigali city tour on day of arrival, same will be conducted on this day including a visit to the genocide memorial at Gisozi. We later transfer to the airport for your outbound departure flight.