EXPLORE THE UNIQUE FASCINATING BIRDS OF UGANDA.

I present to you birding as one of the top safari activities one shouldn’t miss out on your Uganda safari. Uganda is one of the popular heavens of birders worldwide with over half of Africa’s’ bird species having birds that are complicated to find in the parts (countries) of Africa.

Uganda’s rain forests are the perfect crib of over 1000 recorded bird species and these birds can be seen at mabamba island, lake mburo national park, Murchison falls national park, semuliki national park, Bwindi impenetrable national park, queen Elizabeth national park, sese island to mention but a few.

The birdlife checklist of Uganda includes the following;

  • Abyssinian ground hornbill
  • African darter
  • African emerald cuckoo
  • African fish eagle
  • African green pigeon
  • African grey parrot
  • African jacana
  • African paradise flycatcher
  • African skimmer
  • African spoonbill
  • Black and white casqued hornbill
  • Black headed gonolek
  • Black winged red bishop
  • Broad billed roller
  • Cattle egret
  • Common moorhen
  • Common ostrich
  • Crowned lapwing
  • Eastern grey plantain eater
  • Egyptian goose
  • Giant kingfisher
  • Goliath heron
  • Great blue turaco
  • Great white pelican
  • Grey crowned crane
  • Hamerkop
  • Helmeted guineafowl
  • Hoopoe
  • Lappet faced vulture
  • Lesser flamingoes
  • Lilac breasted roller
  • Long crested eagle
  • Malachite kingfisher
  • Marabou stork
  • Northern carmire bee-eater
  • Palmnut vulture
  • Pied kingfisher
  • Pink backed pelican
  • Red billed oxpecker
  • Red cheeked cordon bleu
  • Red throated bee-eater
  • Ross’s turaco
  • Saddle billed stork
  • Scarlet chested sunbird
  • Secretary bird
  • Shoebill stork
  • Silvery cheeked hornbill
  • Speckled mousebird
  • Spur winged lapwing
  • Water thick knee
  • Woodland kingfisher

Uganda has also got a number of Albertine rift endemic species and these are as follows;

  • Fox’s Weaver
  • Blue-headed Sunbird
  • Short-tailed Warbler
  • Ruwenzori Nightjar
  • Rwenzori Turaco
  • Red-throated Alethe
  • African Green Broadbill
  • Red-faced Woodland Warbler
  • Handsome Francolin
  • Collared Apalis
  • Mountain Masked Apalis
  • Archer’s Robin-Chat
  • Dwarf Honeyguide
  • Grauer’s Warbler
  • Dusky Crimson wing
  • Rwenzori Batis
  • Purple-breasted Sunbird
  • Regal Sunbird
  • Shelley’s Crimson-wing
  • Stripe-breasted Tit
  • Grauer’s Rush Warbler
  • Kivu Ground Thrush
  • Yellow-eyed Black Flycatcher
  • Strange Weaver
  • Chapin’s Flycatcher

The top 10 bird species to enjoy on your birding safari in Uganda.

Shoebill (balaeniceps rex)

This is also known as the whale headed stork having the adults colored grey and the young ones appear browner. It’s a large bird which classified with the herons and the pelicans under pelecaniformes. Shoebills are aquatic preys and this makes them easily found in wetlands and swamp areas. the shoebill is large with sharp beak making it have a few potential predators a part from the crocodiles and the humans.

The standard winged nightjar (carprimulgus longipennis)

this is a nocturnal bird specie among the nightjar family and its mostly found in the dry savannahs with scrubs. The bird is variegated grey with a browner collar. The standard winged nightjar feeds on insects in flight and its mostly seen with the flying foxes.

The short-tailed warbler (urosphena neumanni)

The bird is mostly known as the neumann’s warbler and its found in tropical rain forests. This is a short tailed small bird with grey brown, dull greenish and white colored.

The Shelley’s crimson wing (cryptospiza shelleyi)

This bird is found at lower levels and its brightly colored and its about 13 centimeters long. The shelley’s crimson wing can be spotted near water, moist forests and in bamboo thickets.

The great blue turaco (corythaeola cristata)

This is the largest bird under the turaco species with a predominantly grey – blue plumage and an upright blue-black crest. This bird is mostly found in the African tropical rain forests.

The African green broadbill (pseudocalyptomena graueri)

This bird is also known as the grauer’s broadbill commemorating the German zoologist Rudolf grauer. The African green broadbill feeds on the fruits, flowers, seeds, flower buds and some a few invertebrates. Its mostly found in the moist rain forests though its endemic to the Albertine rift mountains.

The Doherty’s bush shrike (telophorus dohertyi)

This a skulking but colorful bird mostly found in the forest habitats. It’s mostly heard with its loud whistling territorial call than its seen as it moves quietly in the thick undergrowth as it feeds on arthropods mostly the grasshoppers and the beetles.

The green breasted pitta (pitta reichenowi)

Its found in the deep tropical forests and its one of the two pitta bird species found in Africa.

The black breasted barbet (lybius rolleti)

These feed on insects, fruits, and the tiny reptiles. This is a bird species from the lybiidae family having its female laying 2 – 4 eggs and they are incubated for aperiod of 13 – 15 days by both the female and the male.

The bar tailed trogon (apaloderma vittatum)

This birds primarily feeds on insects and fruits. This bird falls under the trogonidae family and it lives in forests.

The top hotspots of birding in Uganda

Bwindi impenetrable national park

With its bamboo areas, water falls at buhoma trail and the mubwindi swamp trail in ruhija hosting over 347 bird species including 76 of the 144 guinea congo forest biome species, 24 of the 25 albertine rift valley species, 4 of the 12 Lake Victoria biome species plus 68 of the 86-afro tropical highland biome bird species found in Uganda.

Murchison falls national park

This park has got the shoebill as the main bird attraction and a number of savannah forest birds, water birds and the Albertine rift valley bird species. Murchison falls national park is a sweet home of over 451 bird species.

Semuliki national park

The park is located western region of Uganda and it has got ntandi, sempaya and river kirumia areas as the best birding sections. Semuliki national park has got about 9 hornbill species among its present 400 bird species.

Kibale national park

Kibale national park is found in the southwestern part of Uganda with over 350 bird species in its areas of magombe swamp and bigodi wetlands.

Lake mburo national park

The park has got 300 and more bird species and they easily seen in the areas of rwoyo camp, salt lick area at miriti, in the forests of warukiri and rubanga plus the landing stage waysides.

The other birders destinations include queen Elizabeth national park with over 500 bird species,  mgahinga gorilla national park with over 180 bird species, Rwenzori mountains national park with almost 217 bird species, nile river birding in jinja  were you expect over 60 bird species,  echuya forest reserve  with its 150 and more bird species, the royal mile at budongo forest  holding over 250 bird species, zziwa rhino sanctuary  having the shoebill and many more bird species, mabamba island to mention but a few.

 

Nakasero Hill Kampala

Nakasero hill is one of the seven hills of Kampala. It is located in the city centre with Kampala’s central business district and many other government offices. It is bordered by other hills of Kampala which include Mulago sitting on the northern side, Makerere in the northwest, Old Kampala to the west, Mengo and Namirembe to the southwest, Nsambya is in the south, Kibuli to the southeast and Kololo is in the eastern direction.

Nakasero got its name from a Luganda word “ebisero” which refers to locally woven baskets. It is said that a group of ladies used to weave the local baskets form this hill and sell them to different parts of the country and the continent. People started calling this place “ewobusero” and later on modified to Nakasero.

There are two state houses in Uganda and one is located on this Nakasero hill Kampala while the other is located in Entebbe. Lower parts of the hill on the southern and western sides largely host commercial and ordinary business activities including shops, public transport stations, hospitals and restaurants. As you get close to the top of the hill, there are government buildings including the Parliament Buildings and Kampala Capital City Authority Buildings among others. It is an administrative centre with a variety of government offices such as the High Court of Uganda, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Headquarters of Bank of Uganda, Ministry of Health, ministry of Internal Affairs and Government Analytical Chemistry Laboratory among others.

The hill hosts many of the diplomatic missions to Uganda and a number of ambassadors residing on the northern and the eastern slopes of Nakasero. Embassies found at the hill include the Embassy of France, embassy of Finland, embassy of Spain, Embassy of Italy, Embassy of Denmark, Embassy of Kenya and many more.

Nakasero hill is home to the headquarters of several banks which include DFCU Bank, Centenary Bank, ABC Bank, Housing Finance Bank, Stanbic Bank Limited, Uganda Development Bank, Bank of Africa (Uganda), United Bank for Africa and East African Development Bank and Bank of Baroda.

Nakasero hill is known to be the home of many of the most luxurious hotels and restaurants in Kampala including Kampala Serena Hotel, Kampala Sheraton hotel, the Pearl of Africa Hotel, Grand Imperial hotel, Imperial Royale Hotel, Kampala Intercontinental Hotel and Kampala Hilton Hotel among others. These hotels and restaurants serve a lot of people from the surrounding offices. There are clubs and casinos such as Kampala Club and Kampala Casino among others.

Besides the different kinds of work that is carried out at hill, people that live and work around Nakasero and the surrounding areas find time for worship. You may get surprised to see lots of people during the days and hours scheduled for prayer at places of worship such as All Saints Church for the Anglicans, Christ the King Church for the Roman Catholics, Nakasero mosque for the Muslims and Watoto Church for evangelists. These places of worship are some of the famous ones around Kampala.

Some of the great primary education institutions in Uganda are found on Nakasero hill. They include Nakasero Primary school and Buganda Road Primary School. Other important services and facilities around Nakasero hill are hospitals and clinics. A number of them including Case Clinic, St. Catherine hospital and Nakasero hospital have built trust because of the excellent medical care and services that they offer.

Locally, when you talk about Nakasero, the first thing that will cross the mind of most people around Kampala is Nakasero market. Also known as Nakasero Farmers Market, it is popularly known for fresh fruits, vegetables and many other foods. The market is surrounded by other shops selling different kinds of items such as dinnerware and other items to use in the house.

Nakasero is one of the places where a number of facilities, services and developments for Kampala city have been established and almost every service can be got here.

Uganda Wildlife Education Centre in Entebbe

Uganda Zoo – Uganda wildlife Education Centre is popularly known as Entebbe Zoo, it was established in the 1952 by the britsh colonial government of Uganda and it was intended to act as a reception Refugee Centre for the wildlife animals that were found injured and recovered from Poachers.

In 1994 the Entebbe Uganda wildlife education Centre full was formed to take care of the zoo purposely for the Education goals. Apparently it is one of the most respected and recognized conservation education institutions in the world. The Uganda Wildlife Centre holds the responsibility of educating the local people of Uganda about the significance of the biodiversity conservation. UWEC holds a responsibility of rescuing and rehabilitating the injured, confiscated and orphanage wildlife.

The Uganda wildlife Education Centre has played a big role in successful breeding endangered wildlife species which are hand raised in captivity and later reintroduced back into their natural environment in the wild.

The Entebbe Uganda Wildlife education Centre is close to Entebbe international Airport and it is a 10 minutes’ drive on road. It is dominated by impressive ecosystems such as the savannah, wetland and Forest. UWEC is situated on 70 acres of land in Entebbe. It acts as the coordinating wildlife zoo for all the zoos found in East Africa, West Africa and central Africa as it was initiated by the Pan African Associations of zoos and Aquaria (PAAZA).

The Entebbe Uganda Wildlife Education Centre is one of the great tourism site situated in Entebbe Uganda. A tour to the Uganda Wildlife Education Centre will offer you a chance to feel and taste the East African wildlife that is found in the various national parks and reserves. Visitors will get an insight to get a close sight at the wildlife animals, and participate in the feeding of the animals together with the animal keepers, engage in food preparation and explore the animal pharmacy. Entebbe Uganda wildlife Education Centre is home to a diversity of impressive animals which are always on the tourist list when they visit various national parks in Africa such as the lions, elephants, the endangered rhinos, leopards, giraffes, chimpanzees  among others.

The best experience at UWEC is when visit opt be care takers of the animals, here you will have a chance to get close to animals like the lion, southern white Rhinos, baby elephants, shoebill stork and give them breakfast. This will require you to wake up from your Bandas and move to the kitchen to prepare food for the animal, then jump on the tractor and keep moving from one animal section to another. You will feed both animals and birds. However for anyone to qualify feeding the animals in UWEC, you be required to get a vaccination from the health doctor found at UWEC.

The Entebbe wildlife Education Centre features a number of education programs, offers opportunity to internship as well as volunteers programs which is found on the site or off site and these favor both Ugandans and foreigners.

The Entebbe Uganda Wildlife education Centre is open throughout the year to all travelers who would like to explore this amazing Uganda zoo.

How to get to the Uganda Zoo

The Entebbe wildlife Education Centre can be accessed from both Kampala capital city and from Entebbe international airport on road using 4×4 wheel safari vehicles. From Kampala to Entebbe wildlife Education Centre, it is about 45.5 kilometers and it will take you a 55 minutes’ drive via Kampala – Entebbe Express highway. Whilst from Entebbe international airport, it will take you about 7 kilometers and it’s a 20minutes drive.

A tour to the Entebbe Uganda Wildlife Education Centre offers you an insight to explore other tourist attractions that are close to the Zoo such as Ngamba Island, Lake Victoria scenic beaches, and Entebbe international Airport and Entebbe botanical Gardens.

Rwanda Art Museum

The former Presidential Palace Meseum Rwanda which is now a museum is one of the memorial sites in Kigali that any traveler should not miss to visit on their Rwanda safari. The Presidential Palace museum Rwanda was the home to the former president of Rwanda before his death which led to the 1994 Rwanda genocide.

On 6th April 1994, the plane that was carrying the Rwandan president Juvenal Habyarimana and the Burundian president Cyprian Ntaryamira was shot as it was trying to land in Kigali. By coincidence, the plane fell in the compound of president Habyarimana and the wreckage can still be seen there. Both presidents were Hutu and this initiated the most brutal massacre in Rwanda between the Hutu and the Tutsi. They shot and slaughtered each other leading to deaths of about 1,000,000 Rwandese.

Today, this home is a memorial site and Rwanda art museum that was set aside as a remembrance for the beginning of the Rwanda genocide. After about 26 years now, tourists who spare time and go there get a chance to see the remains of the plane that was carrying n the presidents.

The late Habyarimana wanted a beautiful foundation of his house and so he hired a French architect who drew an initial plan for the house. The house was constructed in 1976 and by 1980, it was complete and he started living there. The house was big and has several rooms where he carried out different things. There are secret routes in the house leading to where he used to keep disobedient people to be tortured and another room where he used to do witchcraft from among others.

You will be shocked at how strange the Rwanda presidential palace museum looks with some rooms looking very good while others looking totally bad yet under the same structure. It is said that it was as a result of the president’s worry and suspicion due to the extremely terrifying period during his leadership as the president of Rwanda.

There are several sensors in the house which made immediate alerts to the president in case of any movements in the restricted areas. A number of weapons were found in the house. The most inquisitive area in this housed was the upper floor which had a chapel and witchcraft room on opposite sides. It is said that the witchcraft room is where the late Habyarimana with the help of his watch doctor, consumed magic portions and made animal sacrifices.

The outside areas around the house are in good condition. There is a tennis court, a swimming pool, an outdoor bar and playground equipment. The gardens are well maintained with beautiful trees and flowers separated by stone walkways to keep them in good condition. There are the remains of the concrete pond near the center of the behind garden. The concrete pond stored a 300 pound python, a pet that the president treasured a lot. Its duty was to fend off evil spirits and also impart fear in any person who came to the palace yet they were not in favor of the president. After the president’s plane had been shot, it destroyed some things around his palace including the pond of the python creating way for it to escape and it is said that no one ever saw it again.

The wreckage from the plane sits near the palace yard. It involves the remains of Habyarimana and the 60 passenger jet.

Location of the presidential palace museum in Kigali / Rwanda Art Museum

It is located about 4 kilometers from Kanombe airstrip, in the eastern part of Kigali. From Kigali city, you drive through the airport road which will take you via Kanombe military hospital, then Kanombe primary school on the right on the dirt road. You’ll then get to a junction with various routes and you’ll turn to the left, a route that will lead you to the museum gate.

To access the Presidential Palace Museum Kigali, you are required to pay an entrance fee of Rwf 6,000 if you are not a resident of Rwanda and residents are required to pay Rwf 5,000 after showing their residency cards at the entrance. Photos are not allowed inside the palace building but you can take them from outside. You are required to pay extra Rwf 2,000 in order to take the photos. An exploration of the entire palace could last for about 2 hours or less. There are guides to take you around the palace and answer all your questions.

Consider checking out on where one of the bloodiest massacres in the world started, see the remains of the reasons to why the genocide started and have a story to tell about this sad memory of Rwanda.

Iron Donkey Guest House

The hotel is situated in Gulu district and it is about 200 meters away from Gulu main Market. Offers accommodation with free parking space, free WIFI internet all over the property, free private parking room service is available at the hotel and there is a 24 hour front service.

The hotel services full English breakfast as a complimentary for its guests every morning or American Breakfast. The hotel comprises of various types of accommodation which include; Single rooms, Budget Double Room, 4- bed Mixed Dormitory room, budget double rooms and standard rooms.

Red Chilli Rest Camp, Murchison Falls National Park

Red Chilli Rest Camp – A cool place to stay at in the southern part of Murchison falls national park for midrange and budget accommodation on your budget safari to the park is Red Chilli rest camp. It is located a few metres from the ferry crossing area/Paraa dock where people connect from by use of the ferry from one side to another (southern and northern side). Therefore guests staying at Red Chilli Rest Camp quickly connect to the northern side when heading out for game drives. This is the area where boats to the bottom of the falls and to the Albert delta start.

The lodge has comfortable safari tents and bandas that are well furnished with public and private bathrooms. The lodge offers camping services and those interested in camping carry their camping gears while the camp provides toiletries, the cooking area, modern bathrooms and security at the campsite.

The lodge has a comfortable open thatched shelter dining area which offers beautiful views of the river Nile. It serves delicious meals for breakfast, lunch and dinner. On some days, the barbeque area is active. The bar is always fully stocked with a range of drinks.

Red Chilli rest camp staff set a camp fire in the evening for its quests who wish to have a moment of sharing experiences and watching the sunset.

Red Chilli rest house has expertise and boasts in conducting game drives in their giraffe. It is an open game drive van that enables you to enjoy your game drive with clear views around the savannah plains of the park. the 4 hours game drive in the Giraffe costs $140.

11 Day Virunga Tour

11 Days Virunga Tour – This tour gives an expedition the oldest national park in Africa that boasts for housing 3 great ape species. It takes you through the park’s wide biodiversity that has not been visited by many. Prepare to for the long safari that comes with the most breathtaking moments; gorilla trekking, chimp habituation/trekking and hiking to Nyiragongo volcano among others.

Summary of the tour

  • Day 1: Grande Barriere to Mikano lodge in Virunga national park
  • Day 2: Gorilla trekking
  • Day 3: Gorilla trekking
  • Day 4: Chimp trekking/habituation
  • Day 5: Transfer to Lulimbi tented camp
  • Day 6: Nature walk and game drive
  • Day 7: Bird watching
  • Day 8: Hiking to Nyiragongo volcano
  • Day 9: Descend to Kibati and connect to Tchegera Island
  • Day 10: Activities at the Island
  • Day 11: transfer to Goma and Grande Barriere

Detailed itinerary of the 11 day Virunga tour

Day 1: Grande Barriere to Virunga national park

Be at Grande Barriere boreder post by 10:00am to be checked in at the Virunga tourist office, you’ll obtain two gorilla trekking permits and then be transferred to the park through Goma town. You’ll check in at Mikeno lodge in Rumangabo, have lunch and relax.

Day 2: Gorilla trekking

You’ll wake up early, have breakfast and go to Bukima ranger post to prepare of gorilla trekking. You’ll get guidelines, present your gorilla permits and start the trek. You may encounter other animals but when you spot the gorillas, you’ll have an hour with them for photos, interaction, viewing them play and feed and learning about their behavior. You’ll go head back to Bukima camp to relax, have lunch and later on, you may decide to go for other activities like visiting the park’s Bamboo projects birding, nature walk.

In the evening, you’ll be served with a delicious dinner and you’ll thereafter rest.

Day 3: Second gorilla trekking

Have your breakfast and head to the starting point at Bukima ranger post. Meet with the ranger guide, and start the trek. After an hour with the gorillas, you’ll head back to Bukima camp, have lunch and be transferred to Mikeno lodge where you’ll relax and later on may visit Senkwekwe gorilla orphanage center which is a few metres from the Mikeno lodge. You’ll get back to the lodge, have dinner and rest.

Day 4: chimpanzee habituation/trekking  

Chimpanzee trekking in Virunga national park is more less a habituation experience. The local guides will lead you to the area where they had earlier spotted the chimps so that you can view them, interact, learn about their behaviors and watch them feed and play. The trek starts at 6:00am. After this experience, you head back to the lodge for breakfast and then relax. Later on, you may walk around the park headquarters or rest till evening. You’ll have your dinner and overnight at Mikeno lodge.

Day 5: Transfer to Lulimbi tented camp in the Ishasha plains

You’ll have breakfast at Mikeno lodge at pack your stuff to leave for Lulimbi tented camp which is located in the east of the park close to River Ishasha. You’ll check in and have lunch, and later on go for a nature walk with a guide. In the evening, you may relax around the camp and watch the calm water of the river and the beautiful scenery around alongside the residents of the river that is the hippos. You’ll be served with dinner and thereafter rest.   

 

Day 6: nature walk and game drive

After breakfast, you’ll have yet another nature/safari walk through the savannah plains around Lulimbi, expect to spot animals like warthogs, antelopes, elephants and birds. You may also get involved in monitoring elephants with the rangers. You’ll get back to the lodge, relax and have lunch. Common sightings while at the camp are elephants, hippos and a variety of birds.

There will be an evening game drive to the plains of Ishasha for where you may spot lions, elephants and more. When you arrive at the camp, you’ll prepare yourselves for dinner and thereafter rest.

Day 7: Birding and walking along Lkae Edward

After breakfast, head out for birding along Lake Edward, you’ll spot a avarity of birds, hippos and have views of beautiful scenery of the surrounding area and the mountains like the Rwenzori ranges. Get back to the camp, have lunch and relax.

Day 8: Hiking to Nyiragongo volcano

After having breakfast, you’ll leave Lulimbi camp and be transferred to Kibati post to go for hiking. Wear your hiking boots, carry a rain jacket, torch and other thick clothe, pack drinking water and ensure that your camera is well charged. Present your hiking permits and start the hike that will take up to 6 hours to arrive at the summit. Great views of the Volcanioc Lake and thereafter check in at Nyiragongo shelters where you’ll have your meals and rest.

Day 9: Descend to Kibati and connect to Tchegera Island

After having breakfast, start descending to Kibati and be transferred to Goma town to one of the ports where you’ll get on the boat and ride to Tchegera Island where you’ll have lunch and relax. The area has a very perfect relaxing environment which rewards you with beautiful sceneries and a cool Breeze form Lake Kivu. After dinner, you’ll be free to rest.

Day 10: Tour around the Island

This day will be spent enjoying the exciting activities at the island; kayaking, snorkeling and walking around the island.

Day 11: transfer to Goma- Grande Barriere

After having breakfast, transfer the guests back to Goma and drive them to Grande Barriere where they will head to their hotels, residence or to Kigali.

The package includes;

  • Accommodation
  • Gorilla permits
  • Hiking permit
  • Transpoirt from Grande Barrirere throughout the trip and back to Gradne Barriere

 

 

 

Best travel insurance for African Safari

Best travel insurance for African Safari – find out why you need the African safari Travel insurance, its cots, how to get insured and so much more.

What to consider while choosing your African safari Travel insurance

There is a lot to enjoy when you choose to visit Africa on safari due to fact that every tourism destination delivers the best and incredible lifetime rewarding experiences. Some of the life time activities to enjoy include the great gorilla trekking experience, wildlife viewing, mountain climbing, and boat cruise safaris, white rafting, exploring the savannah landscape among other activities.

As you prepare for any safari activity, one of the first elements that will lead to the success of your safari is travel insurance. Travel insurance is an important thing that you should not forget on your Africa safari and the following are some of the reasons why you need African travel insurance.

Why you should consider African safari Travel insurance

Every time you are planning to move from continent to another it is important to have to travel insurance a sigh which shows that you care about yourself when you travel. It is important to note that safari destinations in Africa are safe but just the way anything  can happen at home even in Africa it can be possible but remember this is a different continent such as falling sick, accidents among other natural disasters.

If travelers have a travel insurance policy it becomes very easy to go about such challenges and it as well as give for you a peace of mind on yourself if you have a travel insurance policy thus if anything happens it becomes easy to cover it.

An insurance policy is some important for everyone, however we advise travelers to know which insurance they need to get if planning a safari to Africa.  For example, travelers should be inquisitive towards choosing a travel insurance that fits the journey plus the full coverage of your entire safari. Thus they should not choose any travel insurance due to the fact that the travels insurances are not equal some may not cater for the full coverage of your safari.

Must elements that your Africa safari travel insurance should cover

As earlier mentioned you need to get a traveler insurance that has full coverage of your journey as well as the entire safari. Six elements that travelers need to take into consideration while choosing travel insurance, they include:

  • Medical, this should be one of the considerations that must be included on the travel insurance however, this is not a guarantee that you going to fall sick or you are going to get injure, it is an essential element that shouldn’t miss out on your safari insurance. The medical coverage should not be for minor injuries only but as well as exclusive injuries, accidents and silliness.
  • Travel destinations, travelers need to carry out enough research of the destinations he/she is going to, so that he communicates to the insurance agent to include them among the travel destinations since is a common thing that standard travel insurances tend to leave out these destinations.
  • Medical repatriation, this is quite costly and it covers airlifts plus medical evictions back to your country and used in case of emergencies. We advise travelers to at least make a small deposit towards it that will be recognized to secure you in case of any emergences.
  • Activities, most of the insurance policies don’t cater for the adventure activities such as white water rafting, hot air balloon safaris, bungee jumping among others such it is important to communicate to your insurance agent in case you are to enjoy any of the adventure activity together with your family on any safari in Africa.
  • Game viewing, this activity is always on the safari list for a lot of travelers who come to Africa and majority are interested in viewing the African big five animals as well as other exciting wildlife in the African jungle. Therefore it is important to communicate to your agent which safari activity you are going to enjoy especially game drive activities, nature/ forest walks, among others.
  • Curtailment and cancellation, this is an important element to consider due to fact most of the African safaris are very costly although you are in Africa you may choose to cancel before you return home unexpectedly.
  • Person belongings, these may be part of the valuable equipment and luggage you are carrying on your African safari. It is normal and very possible that you can lose or forget your luggage on an aircraft or in any destination either in Africa or at any transit point. Thus you can include this in your travel insurance and it is important to know how much your belongings are worth of before you proceed to sigh the travel insurance agreement so that they are covered as you go for your safari.

In conclusion, it is also important to given in your correct age, as well as any healthy complications to the insurance agent due the fact that it may affect the recommended insurance policy as well as the cost. It also important to carefully read and analyze your insurance policy so that you don’t miss out including important elements necessary to cover your safari before you sigh the policy.

Best travel insurance for African Safari – find out why you need the African safari Travel insurance, its cots, how to get insured and so much more.

Volcanoes national park Rwanda activities – The park has several attractions ranging from flora and fauna, wildlife, bird species and a lot more and thus have enabled a lot of activities around the volcanoes national park. The park is located in north western part of Rwanda covering an area of 160sqkm covered by the tropical rain forest which is a home to a variety of wild game. The park extends up to the boarders of the Virunga national park in Congo, with in the Virunga, there are over five volcanoes which include Karisimbi, Bisoke, Gahinga, Sabinyo, Muhabura all together forming the Virunga conservation area.

While at volcanoes national park, you are able to do a lot of activities that will give you the best of your safari tour to Rwanda. The activities include;

Gorilla trekking in Vocanoes National Park Rwanda

Volcanoes national park Rwanda is famously known to be harbouring the highest number of the gorillas and this has turned out to be one of the popular activities in the volcanoes national park. Mountain gorilla trekking is the highly recommended adventure activity by many visitors who visit the national parks in Africa.

Gorilla trekking is more exciting, adventurous and comes with a lot of fun has you get to meet and interact with these huge giants in their natural habitat. For any traveler taking part in this activity, is required to have a valid document that allows him/ her to trek the gorilla.

This documents / gorilla permits are issued by Rwanda Development Board a body governing the national parks in Rwanda, the gorilla permit goes $1500 per person to trek gorillas for one hour while in Uganda it’s at a fee of $600 per permit and its per person trekking for one hour with the gorilla in their natural habitant from the time you meet the gorillas and this activity is a legible to persons above the age of 15 year.

On the same spot, you can also go for gorilla habituation experience, this is a lot more exciting as you get to spend a lot more time with the gorilla for a period of four hours from the time you encounter them. The gorilla habituation permit is $1500 per permit including the guides and park entry fees and these requirements are the same as gorilla trekking, only the time spent with the gorillas differs.

We at adventure in the wild safaris, we offer all the tour packages for gorilla trekking and gorilla habituation experience, contact us and we will be able to respond to you and give you much more detailed information.

Golden monkey tracking

Volcanoes national park harbors a larger number of primate species where by tourists have an opportunity to study and research much more on golden monkeys but its not much popular than the mountain gorilla trekking. Golden monkey trekking starts early with a short briefing at Kinigi head office about the dos and the don’ts of the primates then you set off in search for the monkeys along the swamps and the forests during the walk in the forest, you may also have an opportunity to sight other  animal species, birds and a lot of butterflies in the forest and along the swamps  since monkey move a lot in search for food. The golden monkey tracking fees goes for $100 per person trekking.

Bird watching activity

Volcanoes national park offers an I deal spot for bird watching activities, the park harbors several bird species some of which are so unique in nature that may not be spotted anywhere. These species are spotted around the rainforest, some hide along the canopy and this is best done during early morning as you may have an opportunity to view the rift valley endemic species of birds. Volcanoes national park in Rwanda is best suitable for birders with a lot of bird species to see there.

Hiking in Volcanoes national park Rwanda

Hiking is much more interesting although mountain gorilla trekking is the most popular activity, but you can also do hiking and volcano climbing in the park. With steep mountain slopes almost reaching the skies with clear views will offer you an opportunity to view the all of volcanoes national park at one angle. You will do a hike on any of the mountains listed below;

Hiking Mount Bisoke

Mt.  Bisoke hike is one of the most exciting activities in volcanoes national park in Rwanda. The hike to the volcano can take roughly 6 hours climbing to the top and 2 hours descending to the bottom of the mountain and it would be much easier for experienced hikers as they get to spend lesser time hiking to the top. With clear views of the crater lake on the top of the mountain.

To hike mt. Bisoke, the permit goes for $75 per permit to hike to the top of the mountains.

Hiking Mount Karisimbi

Mt. karisimbi is one of the highest among all of the 8 Virunga volcanoes and its shared between Rwanda, Uganda and democratic republic of Congo. The mountain is dormant with the height of 4,507 meters making it the 11th highest among the mountains of Africa. The mountain boarders he Albertine rift and east African rift in the west, mikeno to the north, mt. Bisoke to the east and Nyaragongo to the west all together forming the Virunga conservation area. This is one of the highest tourist destinations in Rwanda and mostly taking park in hiking activities around the park.

The mountain top is covered by snow mostly in the dry seasons of June- August thus the name karisimbi from the word ‘amasimbi’ derived from the local language to mean snow. The permit to hike mt. karisimbi goes for $400 per permit.

Gahinga hike

 Mt. Gahinga with the height of 3,474m is one of the most preferred destination for many hikers that engage in hiking activities in volcanoes national park.  To get to the top of the mountain, it takes about six hours to get and to descend to the bottom.as you hike, you will come across the creator lakes, swamps with lobelia and also during the hike, you may have an opportunity to sport some primates like the golden monkeys under the thick bamboo forests and climbing on top of the trees, this is so interesting and much more interesting to look at them.

Nature walks in Volcanoes National Park Rwanda

Nature walks in volcanoes national park is mostly done on foot led by arranger guide to different locations during this activity, you will be able to sight and have clear views of different attractions at a close range.

There are several attractions to be explored on foot ranging from the vegetation, the tropical rain forest, with a lot of forest activities like birding, as you will have unforgettable experience of being in the wilderness. Not only that, the park also offers communities through the communities with in the parks boundaries.

Guided walk to Iby’lwacu cultural village

This is a great experience as you get to interact with the locals in the community. You will learn about the Rwandan culture, also see a lot of cultural dances and music, art and craft, cultural ritual ceremonies, homestead structures and many more as you may also wish to join the dance or any other activity. This is whole a lot of experience when you visit Rwanda and have a safari tour to the volcanoes national park.

Note that the fee paid for this activity helps in the development of the communities around in delivery of services which intern improves on people’s standards of living thus bringing about development in African countries.

Visit to the Musanze Cave

Musanze cave is situated in the middle of the volcanoes national park at the north western

Rwanda. Musanze caves has become one of the most tourist destinations. A Rwanda safari without a visit to the Musanze caves, is not a complete safari package so for any gorilla safari to Rwanda, have a visit to the musanze caves to sum up your safari you won’t regret the time spent there it comes with a lot ox exciting and so adventurous and fun. The musanze cave was introduced in to tourism market in 2013 by Rwanda Development Board to diversify tourism products.

Dian Fossey Trail

 While visiting volcanoes national park in Rwanda for the renowned gorilla trekking, you may also opt for the hike to the Dian Fossey Trail one of the most exciting activities to top up your gorilla trekking safari to volcanoes national park. The trek takes a bout 30 min drive from the park head quarters down to the trails where you will find the Karisoke research camp and from the research Centre to the Dian Fosse grave takes about one and half hours walk with much rewarding sceneries to view like the forest hogs, animals like elephants and primate animals with a variety of bird species with all this attractions , you will have the best of your Rwanda safari.

Lakes Burera and Ruhondo

These lakes harbor a lot of water animals like the Buffalos, Crocodile, water bucks and many other animals drinking water along the lake shores. They are mostly viewed during the boat cruise on the lakes down to the island where you will enjoy the cool breath-taking atmosphere around your shoulders as you cruise downstream.  Not only that you will also have an opportunity to view a lot bird species along the lake shores including Baglafecht Weaver, Great White Pelican, Yellow-billed Stork, Yellow-backed (Black-headed) Weavers, Grosbeak Weaver, Common Moorhens, the Red-rumped, Pied Kingfisher, Grey Heron and the African Spoonbill and many more.

Kyanika / Cyanika Border between Rwanda and Uganda

Kyanika border / Cyanika Border is a border which divides Uganda from Rwanda, the border is situated in Kisoro town in Kigezi sub-region, the city is located next to Cyanika/Kyanika, across Uganda’s external Rwandan boundary. This is about 10.5 kilometers (7 mi) southeast of the town of Kisoro, where the headquarters of the district is located. The town has developed over time due to the fact that there are a lot of business activities taking place in both countries. The relation between Uganda and Rwanda is based on business terms and interrelationship basis, by road from Kampala, the border rests at about 488 kilometers south western direction of Uganda.

Cyanika border, has boosted the tourism industry because of its strategic location within the vicinity of different national parks in Uganda, Rwanda and the DR. Congo such as Bwindi impenetrable forest national park, Mgahinga gorilla national park, lake Bunyonyi and the volcanoes national park in Rwanda. These border interconnect Uganda and Rwanda and its mainly used by the tourists visiting Uganda and Rwanda for gorilla trekking safaris. Gorilla trekking is one of the greatest adventure experiences that many tourist visiting east Africa come to take part in they either visit Uganda gorilla trekking safari, or Rwanda gorilla trekking safari depending on the interest of the tourists.

Travellers crossing the kyanika border with tourist cars transporting tourist, buses either from Uganda to Rwanda, or from Rwanda to Uganda, will be required to present their I identification ID from Uganda, for the case of tourists, you will be required to show the tourist visa as an identification key before you can cross to either of the countries. These exercises are normally done at the immigration office, its faster, secure and instant its mainly done to promote security in both countries.

Point of interest at the Kyanika border

The following specific points of interest are within or outside the city limits; these are the interesting tourist sites situated along the border of Uganda and Rwanda.

Mgahinga Gorilla National Park; Mgahinga gorilla national park is one among the three parks that make up the Virunga conservation area as well as volcanoes national park and Virunga national park. Mgahinga national park, lies within the border of Uganda and Rwanda in southwestern part of Uganda in the district of Kisoro. Mgahinga national park, is widely known to be the home of the mountain gorillas the park inhabits one gorilla family that is opened for gorilla trekking in Uganda, tourist in Uganda, can also take part and visit Mgahinga national park for gorilla trekking experience. There also other activities offered at the park, besides gorilla trekking, that is monkey trekking, bird watching experience, the park harbours a number of different bird species, tourists in Rwanda and visiting Uganda, can use the kyanika border to cross in to Uganda then connect to Mgahinga gorilla national park for gorilla trekking experience. Mgahinga national park is one of Uganda’s smallest national park but it offers number of tourist attractions to visitors visiting the park.

Lake Bunyonyi; The following additional (Place of many small birds) is situated in southwestern Uganda between Kisoro and Kabale and is near to the Rwandan border. Between 2004 to 2009, the lake featured on the 5000 Uganda shilling note under the heading ‘ Lake Bunyonyi points of interest within or outside the city limits. The lake is one of the smallest lakes in Uganda visited by many tourists who come in to Uganda. Lake Bunyonyi is purposely visited for boat cruise in the lake, during the boar cruise, you will be opened to a lot of water animals such as hippos, buffalos, crocodiles and many bird species seen around the shores of the lake. Lake Bunyonyi Lake Bunyonyi although it’s one of the smallest lakes, but it’s also the second deepest lake in Africa. The lake in length stretches about 25km and in width, it’s about 7km, a maximum depth of 40 m (130 ft) but some tourist guides and locals insist that it much deeper, about 900 m (3,000 ft) making it the second deepest lake in Africa.

Kyanika Central Market; every boarder has got a town located within the borders, the kyanika border / Cyanika Border has a central market that has prompted a lot of trading activities in the area, people from different towns and communities travel to this border purposely to trade their goods. this market has helped to boost the business activities of the local people since they are able to get income that can be used in the improvement of people’s standards of living thus bringing about development. Many travellers/ visitors crossing the border mainly make stop overs at kyanika central market to purchase some of the refreshments and items they need.

How to get to Kyanika border / Cyanika Border

By road, getting to kyanika border is about 9-10 hour from Kampala the capital city of Uganda. For the people taking public transport that is busses, like Gateway, horizon bus companies operate for about 4-5 busses a day transferring from Kampala to Kisoro town and also from Kisoro to Kampala. The bus in lives Kampala by 7:am in the morning and by 4:00pm it will have arrived at Kisoro town. And the busses living Rwanda, set of by 6:00 am and take about 5-6 hours’ drive from Kigali city to the kyanika border. The other alternative is air transport, for travellers taking air transport, there is domesticated chartered flights operating from Entebbe international airport and landing at the airstrip in Kisoro then you can connect to kyanika border in case you are entering in Rwanda.

Accommodation facilities around the border

For all accommodation facilities located near to kyanica border are found in Kisoro district in Uganda before you cross the border to Rwanda. Therefore, for all travellers who may not be used to long drives for example from Kampala to Kisoro which takes about 9-10 hours, this is a bit tiresome and you may need to take arrest and relax so that you can continue with your journey the next day. Kisoro has a number of lodges that you can choose from. The accommodation facilities are in different categories that is midrange, budget and luxury lodges. Some of the lodges include;

Nkuringo safari Lodge; the lodge is situated just 14km from Kisoro town. The lodge borders lake mutanda, the accommodation facilities are designed in tented camps with self-contained rooms with bathrooms and toilets with a bar and lodge the restaurant serves both local and international dishes for the best interest of the clients.

Kisoro tourist hotel; the hotel features good self-contained rooms, the lodge provides good and quality service to the customers, meals both local and international dishes are served at the hotel. The lodge too offers ample parking space for cars in case you are driving your own vehicle. The environment features good gardens used for guest’s relaxation at the hotel.

Clouds Mountain Gorilla Lodge; the lodge provides luxurious accommodation for the clients the lodge offers services like a fire place for clients’ relaxation and consists of 8 cottages with great interior view form the lodge. The lodge provides accommodation and meals for the guests sleeping at the lodge. Clouds mountain gorilla lodge is situated in Kisoro town closest to Mgahinga national park which is the lodge for travellers trekking gorillas in Mgahinga gorilla national park.

Golden Monkey Guesthouse; the lodge provides quality accommodation for the guests, the lodge has profession staff that provides quality service to the visitors ranging from housekeeping, security, bar and restaurant serving both local and international dishes for the guests’ interest. The lodge has in total 16 rooms with wireless internet connection, ample free parking space among others. Clouds monkey guesthouse is situated in Kisoro town and takes about 22 minutes’ drive to Mgahinga gorilla national park.

Muhavura Motel; Motel Muhabura is located in Kisoro near St. Francis Mutolere Hospital. There are a range of services at Muhabura Motel including a garden and a restaurant. It is located 1.5 km from a small crater and has a 24-hour front desk that offers a restaurant for guests. Motel Muhabura offers 4 types of accommodation His house has separate living rooms. Microwaves and dedicated dining areas were required in the kitchens. There is a separate tub and shower in the toilets. Guests can use free wireless Internet access to surf the web. Cable TVs are supported Every space comes with a computer and a TV at the motel. A tub and free toiletries are given in the private bathroom.

Mgahinga Gorilla National Park and Volcanoes National Park are also national attractions. The lunch is offered free of charge. There is free Wi-Fi in public spaces and free self-parking is also available. Smoking is allowed at the hotel in designated areas.

children are welcome, but additional beds are not provided, an extra person, may be required to pay some small charge depending on the property policy.