Sunday, January 23, 2022

Rwanda Safari – Gorilla & Primate Safaris

Embarking on Rwanda safaris is the only option to discover the untold wealth of natural wonders in this land of a thousand hills. Most safaris tailored to Rwanda include budget gorilla safaris for group and private visitors to Volcanoes National Park in the northwestern part of the country, home to thousands of Mountain Gorillas.

Safaris in Volcanoes National Park are not only about trekking Mountain Gorillas or tracking Golden monkeys, there is a chance to explore other exciting points of interest in the park together with stirring activities that turn Rwanda the most thought after Safari destination in East Africa. From year to year, numerous travellers flock in to explore the hidden treasures of Rwanda, starting from the sweeping views of rolling hills, chimpanzee tracking and canopy walk in Nyungwe Forest National Park to Virunga Mountain ranges.

Not mentioned in the Gishwati Mukura National Park that is renowned for Chimpanzee tracking. Hikes to Dian Fossey grave yard and Karisoke research centre, nature walks along with bird watching in different Rwanda’s birding hot spots. You can further head to Akagera National Park in the Eastern part of Rwanda to have a glimpse of the African big fives together with numerous savanna grassland dwellers. For a deep insight into Rwanda’s culture and history, a visit to Iby’wachu cultural village and genocide sites is more rewarding. Rwanda Safaris further extend to Kigali for city tours and visits to different local communities for the local experience.

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Best time to go on a Rwanda Safari.

Safaris in Rwanda mostly dwell around Gorilla trekking, then other activities are just additions. Gorilla trekking is considered feasible all year round but the best time recommended in Rwanda is during the dry season. Rwanda’s dry season starts from mid-December to early February and June to September. This period offers the easiest hiking conditions, trails in the Jungles are free from mud and the weather is just comfortable.

Bisoke Hike

For an adventure in Rwanda, a one-day Bisoke hike is here for you. Also known as Bisoke, this volcano is one of the active volcanoes within the Virunga Massif. It lies between the borders of Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo standing at 12175 feet high. Its peak and the greater part of it is in Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park. It is one of the easiest Mountains to hike in Rwanda, feasible even for novice hikers. The trekking up to the summit takes about 6 – 7 hours. Climbers who are short of time can do this even in three hours.

It is a less demanding hike but hikers should be healthy, physically fit and with all hiking requirements ready to deal with the muddy trails, stinging insects and thorny plants. Bisoke hike is more than nature encounters to unmatched panoramic views of crater lakes, alpine vegetation, fog-filled summit, rolling hills, and towering volcanoes along with stretching forests. During the hike, chances are high that you will behold one of the habituated Gorilla families in Volcanoes National Park. It starts in the morning after a briefing conducted at the park offices. From the briefing point, visitors are transferred for about 40 minutes up to the starting point.

Porters are also available for hire at a cost of $10 USD. Porter’s work is to help in carrying your luggage and passing the difficult sections by pulling you up. Reaching the summit is everyone’s dream. After the excitements, descend back. The permit for this one-day experience costs $75 per person.

Mount Karisimbi Hike

Karisimbi Mountain hike in RwandaAt a height of 4507 m, Mount Karisimbi ranks the highest volcano in the Virunga region and eleventh in Africa. This inactive volcano lies between Rwanda and DR Congo borders surrounded by other volcanoes such as Nyiragongo, Bisoke and Mikeno. Its name Karisimbi is a Kinyarwanda word which means “White Shell”. It was named relating to the snow that covers the Volcano’s summit during the dry season. This volcano is renowned for its caldera and two crater lakes. Visitors to Volcanoes National Park usually combine this experience with the Gorilla trek. It may be strenuous but this is a lifetime adventure not to miss. All trails to the top winds through dense forests, steep slopes and lush vegetation’s that are worth beholding with your open eyes.

Trails are muddy during the rainy season; it’s recommended to do the hiking during dry seasons between January – March and July – October. It’s a two-day experience and requires physical fitness, good shape such that you can navigate through the steep and difficult sections. You can hire porters for additional help at a cost of $20 USD per person. From the top, hikers are impressed by stunning views of inland vegetation, other towering Virunga volcanoes like Nyamuragira, Muhabura and Nyiragongo. All expedition which includes ascending and descending take about thirteen hours. The permit costs $400 USD per person.

Dian Fossey Hike

A visit to Volcanoes National Parks seems incomplete without a visit to Dian Fossey’s graveyard, a conservationist who started the campaigns towards saving the lives of Gorillas. This graveyard is located near her established Jungle Safaris RwandaKarisoke Research centre between Mountain Bisoke and Karisimbi. The experience can be done a day before your Mountain Gorilla trekking or after. Being part of the hike is one of the best ways to commemorate Dian Fossey, a great Wildlife Conservationist in Africa. At her research centre, you will learn about her works and also contribute to the project she started in 1967.

On the way to the graveyard, you can come across unique plant species, wild animals like elephants, antelopes, primates like Golden monkeys and more. Ascending to and descending back takes about 4-5 hours and the permit costs $75 USD per person.

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