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Go Chimpanzee Tracking in Uganda & Rwanda

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Kibale Chimpanzee

Chimpanzee tracking is a very interesting activity to include in one’s safari. This activity brings one into close range with mans closest relatives; the chimps. Uganda is blessed with more chimps than Rwanda, and this is explained by the numerous places one can visit to encounter these primates while on a Uganda safari. And what better place to start with than one of the biggest and gifted National parks in Uganda;

Queen Elizabeth National Park;

Situated just in the South western part of Uganda, Queen Elizabeth National park is a hub for Wildlife Safaris in Uganda. With a diverse Wildlife, it draws several Wildlife enthusiasts including those who are interested in an encounter with the chimps. Getting to Queen Elizabeth National park is easy and you can make it using any of the two below options.

  • Either embark on a 7-8 hours’ drive from Kampala to the park. Travel via Kampala –Masaka – Mbarara highway
  • Or board a scheduled or private charter from Entebbe International Airport to either Mweya or Kasese Airstrip.

Out of the four major areas that make up Queen Elizabeth National Park, Kyambura gorge is the main habitat for the Chimpanzees. Apart from Chimps, this valley is inhabited by an abundant of different bird species, monkeys, baboons, reptiles and insects. The tracking in the gorge is usually offered in sessions including mornings and afternoons; therefore you are free to choose from any of these times depending on your itinerary.

From Queen Elizabeth National Park, we can look at the biggest chimps national park in Uganda; Kibale Forest National Park; this Park is second to none when it comes to chimps as it’s known as the asylum of Chimpanzee in Uganda. With a number of different primate species, this Park is actually named the primate capital of Uganda.

Located in the western part of Uganda next to Fort Portal town, this rain forest is always evergreen and also part of its area is occupied by the renowned Kibale forest National park, a home to multiple primates and other wildlife species. In addition to the chimps tracking experience, there are lots of things to keep you occupied including the visit to Bigodi wetland sanctuary, a home to different bird species including both indigenous and migratory birds.

In Uganda chimps are not only found in National Parks but also other protected areas, which include;

Ngamba Island Sanctuary, located in the middle of Lake Victoria. This sanctuary was created to protect endangered chimps species. The island can only be accessed by a boat to and from. Once on the island, one can either watch them feed as they also go through their daily routine. Or can also participate in the feeding of the chimps.

Kalinzu Forest Reserve; Located in southwestern Uganda on your way to Queen Elizabeth National Park, you will find Kalinzu forests reserve another destination to for a remarkable chimps tracking experience.

This reserve is blessed with huge numbers of both habituated and wild chimps. The habituated chimps are now open to public viewing after one acquires a chimps tracking permit. It is just a few kilometers to Queen Elizabeth National park, that is why it’s believed that most of the game that breathe life into the reserve’s lush habitats migrate from this nearby protected area.

A day spent in the reserve is very much worth it. After tracking the chimps, you can engage in bird watching, forest and nature walks.

Budongo Forest Reserve; Budongo is amongst the most prominent reserves in Uganda. It is a must see if you are after primate encounters, bird watching, forest and nature walks. Known for its beautiful Mahogany trees, Budongo reserve is part of the gigantic Murchison Falls Conservation area.

Considering the above chimpanzee protected areas in Uganda, Rwanda is not left behind as it gifted with the beautiful evergreen rain forest of known as Nyungwe Forest National Park. Occupied by a tropical rainforest, Nyungwe Forest National Park is the only place to go for Chimpanzees tracking while in Rwanda. It hides itself just in the South western region of the country. Getting there from Kigali takes about 6-7 hours by road, looking at the speed used and stopovers included. Besides Chimpanzees, Nyungwe’s luxuriant habitats are inhabited by a number of Wildlife species including different bird’s species, reptiles, insects and other primates.

Amazing Facts About Silverback Gorillas

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silverback Gorilla

Silverback gorillas live high in the mountains in two protected parks in Africa. They are also referred to as mountain gorillas. The silverback gorilla is a type of ape found in the tropical rain forests. Silverback gorillas continually wander through their home ranges of 10 to 15 square miles, feeding and resting throughout the day. Because gorillas are nomadic, they build new nests each day at dusk, constructing them out of bent branches in a tree or using grasses on the ground. Silverback gorillas have long black hair and their thick, shaggy coats help to them keep them warm in cold climates. Adult male gorillas are called silverbacks because of the silver saddle of hair on their backs.

Mountain gorillas have a stocky build, with a broad chest, long, muscular arms and wide feet and hands. Their arms are longer than their legs. Gorillas live in groups, each gorilla family with a silverback as the leader to protect and scare away other animals that may tempt to harm them, while protecting the other gorillas, it stands erect on its hind legs, tearing up and throwing plants, drumming on its chest with its hands and fist, stamping its feet hard on the ground, striking the ground with its palms and galloping in a mock attack on all fours.

Silverback male gorillas are around six feet tall while the females are around five feet tall. Silverback gorillas weigh approximately 350 pounds about twice the weight of normal adult man. Gorillas are herbivores, and eat only plants. They spend most of their day foraging for food and eating bamboo and leafy plants. Silverback gorillas were not even known to exist until 1902.

The fact that mountain gorillas are roughly 1000 in existence today reflects what humans have done to the population. Today, their habitat is being destroyed when people use land for farming and cut trees for different purposes. And this is one of the reasons why mountain gorillas have become the most endangered species of gorilla. Poachers who capture and kill these animals to make a profit are also contributing to their decline. If aggressive action is not taken to preserve gorillas and their habitat, kids in future generations may never know what it’s like to see a real gorilla.

General facts about the silverback gorillas;

  • Their natural habitat is the tropical rain forest of central Africa.
  • Silverback gorillas can live from 40-50 years and slightly longer in captivity.
  • Silverback gorilla is the name given to the adult male gorillas because of the silvery fur running across their backs and hips.
  • Gorillas and humans have a very similar genetic make-up. They both share 98% DNA.
  • They live in groups or communities with a clearly defined social structure. A dominant Alpa leads the group of other males, females, and young in daily activities such as eating and sleeping.
  • Adult gorillas are approximately six times as strong as a man.
  • Gorillas are mainly herbivores that feast on a variety of plants, roots, herbs, fruits, bamboo, tree bark and occasionally, insects. Adults can easily eat up to 66 pounds (30kg) of food per day.
  • Standing up to 6 feet tall (182 cm) with arms that extend up to 8 feet (243 cm) wide, gorillas are the largest living primates.
  • Gorillas are known for being very intelligent animals. In the wild they communicate through vocalizations, body language, facial expressions and gestures. In capacity they have been known to learn sign language.
  • Gorillas spend the morning and evening hours actively searching for and eating food while midday is spent playing and resting. Each evening they make their own nests, mostly out of vegetation, before going to sleep for approximately 13 hours.
  • Although generally quiet and calm animals, they can become aggressive towards one another. Dominant males, in particular, will beat their chest, scream, roar and bark while standing upright in a show of power.

Would you like to see silverback gorillas? Why not book a gorilla trek to Rwanda, Uganda or DR Congo and get to meet these amazing apes in the wild of Africa.

What to Expect on Safari in Rwanda

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Rwanda Mountain Gorilla

Our modern-day lifestyles can sometimes be a bit monotonous, and every once in a while it’s worth taking a step away from your day-to-day routine to embark on an adventure into the wilderness for some well deserved rest and relaxation. 

With so many destinations to choose from, here is more information about why you should go on a safari holiday to Rwanda.

 

Often rеfеrrеd to аѕ ‘The Land of a Thоuѕаnd Hillѕ’, Rwanda iѕ a landlocked country lосаtеd in East Afriса, bordered bу Burundi in the south, Ugаndа in the north, the Dеmосrаtiс Rерubliс оf Congo in the west and Tanzania in the east.

Be ѕurе to саrrу your camera with you thrоughоut уоur triр because at every point of your journey you’ll encounter something worth photographing. A safari in Rwanda will аllоw you tо сарturе a widе rаngе of nаturаl wоndеrѕ, from wildlife, national parks, historical and cultural muѕеumѕ, wаtеrfаllѕ аnd lаkеѕ. Rwanda will captivate your senses.

 

Entrenched in its history, Rwanda rеmеmbеrѕ the trаgеdу оf the gеnосidе thаt tооk place in 1994 аnd killеd over a milliоn реорlе. Today, however, Rwаndа is a соuntrу with friеndlу реорlе who grееt viѕitоrѕ with a ѕmilе оn their faces.

One of the most popular safari activities  is gorilla trekking in the Volcanoes National Park. The park also offers you golden monkey tracking, a Dian Fossey tombs tour, and cultural tours, which can all be experienced on a three-day gorilla safari in Rwanda.

 

Rwanda has one of the highest concentrations of primates, with about 13 species recorded. These are found in Nyungwe National Park and include chimpanzees, colobus monkeys, mangabeys, baboons, vervets, red tailed monkeys, blue monkeys and over 350 bird species. If this weren’t enough to lure you to the area, then activities such as primate tracking, birding, forest and canopy walks, and wilderness adventures are just a handful of the other popular tourist activities on offer.

In the eastern part of Rwanda lies Akagera National Park, which is located about a three-hour drive from the capital city, Kigali. Akagera is famous for big game viewing, birding, and boat cruises on Lake Ihema. The Akagera National Park management team, African Parks, has recently successfully introduced lions to the area, and two females have since had cubs.

There is a wide variety of professionally customised tour packages on Rwanda Gorilla Safaris’ website for you to choose what suits your interests.

 

Experience a Game Walk in the Okavango Delta

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Okavango Delta Walk

Another exciting day on our over landing trip with a game walk through the bush! In the Okavango Delta we had a top guide and it was an amazing experience!

After are afternoon/evening walk on the first day, the second day we had to wake up very early for our morning game walk. The group was split up in teams of 5, and our group of course took the longest game walk of 4 hours!Starting in the early morning it was not too hot, and we were hiking along nicely finding some tracks of lion and hyena close to the camp. The first animals we actually saw were Tsessebe, which are antelopes who prefer to stay in the wetlands.

It was quite a big herd and seeing them run through the marshes was an amazing sight.We crossed the wetlands and got to a big open plain. Here our guide somehow saw the bottom of a zebra in the bush. How he recognized this, I have no idea, but after trekking trails through the bush we found them. No more than 100 meters away was a small herd of zebra, later joined by a blue wildebeest bull.By this time we were really feeling the heat and our water was running low, so we headed back to camp.

On our way back an elephant crossed our path and we waited as it crossed the plains. Besides all these mammals, before we found our way back to the camp we also spotted a beautiful eagle in the sky. At the camp we took a well-deserved dip into the river.In the evening Christmas dinner was served, a lovely turkey roasted by our wonderful cook Moses. After dinner we went on a game drive or boat ride with the mokoro’s and spotted a buffalo to top of a great day of wildlife spotting in the Okavango Delta.Next day we left the Eco-friendly environment of the Okavango Delta with our Mokoro’s and headed back to our campsite in Maun where the overland truck awaited us.

Guidelines to Planning Budget Safaris in Uganda

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Uganda Self Drive Safari

Organizing a trip to enjoy the natural environment of a country, spread with different national parks is not something very hard to do nowadays. However, you have to do some planning in order to enjoy and learn a lot from your wildlife trip most especially to the budget tourists who have to find the best way to minimize costs at the best way possible. It is not easy for them as when you might book a cheap lodge but it might be worse than the minimal requirements of a budget lodge and also transportation may become so hard for budget tourist as the vehicle he/she might have hired may not be able to handle the raged roads that lead to the park and in the end he/she loses the leisure and excitement.

Making an expedition to the national parks is very much captivating and exciting for wildlife lovers. Most national parks in Uganda are found in the remotes areas of the country but participating in the adventurous trip of exploring the national park needs serious planning for everyone as they are expenses incurred and also there are certain things you have to carry with you in order to enjoy the trip in particular for the budget tourists where certain items are not organized by the tour operator. So here are the guidelines the budget traveler has to follow on the wildlife safaris in Uganda;

Make a proper expenditure plan

This is done through knowing the various items you are supposed to pay for and project how much money you are supposed to pay for each item on the tour. This makes at least to know the total summation of money, you are likely to spend on the time and know if there are any additions or reductions.

Furthermore carry some extra money with you than what the tour agent has proposed in order to get stuck in case of any increment in the price of any tour item. This is because there always fluctuations of prices of commodities in Uganda each and every day.

Know your limits

If you are budget traveler to the national park do not get carried away, when you see cool restaurants and lodges. These fancy things will drain your pockets and you will have no money left with you and in the end you may fail to pay the other bills you may have incurred on the tours. This can be a total disgrace if you fail to clear up your bills as it ruins your societal reputation and integrity.  But this does not necessary mean you do not have to look for something good. Look for some good but less costing to enjoy your trip with fewer worries.

Carry those minor items that may lead you to spending more money

It is good for a budget tourist to carry tour items like sunscreen lotions, sunglasses, insect repellents, toiletries and tour clothes which are of help on the wildlife safari. If those items are carried with him or her, there is no chance of him or her spending money on them in Uganda which saves him/her money on the tour.

With the above guidelines a budget traveler is guaranteed of having an enjoyable and exciting wildlife safari in Uganda without his/her pockets being strained.

5 Things I Learnt About Ringing Black Sparrowhawks

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For the past three years I have been observing a pair of black sparrowhawks that nest just down the road from my family’s house in Tokai.

A couple of weeks ago I was invited by the Black Sparrowhawk Project to assist them in ringing three new chicks. Strangely, in the days leading up to the ringing, I had my best sparrowhawk sightings to date, including seeing chicks in a nest and their mother bringing them food. I was even able to watch the mother bring down a feral pigeon right in front of me.

The ringing itself was an incredibly enriching experience. I was able to witness new aspects of sparrowhawk behaviour, learn about their adaptations, and get an insight into what it takes for scientists to gain an understanding of these birds so that we can ensure their protection. Best of all, I was finally able to see the chicks up close after spending weeks barely glimpsing them in the nest.

Here are five things I learned about what is required to ring these magnificent birds.

1.      Tree climbing

There are some serious risks involved in this part of the operation. At the start of each ringing, Mark Cowen had to climb up the tree with his climbing gear to reach the nest, photograph the chicks in the nest, put them in bags and lower them down to the other researchers on the ground. All the while, both parents repeatedly and relentlessly dive-bombed him. Sometimes the female would strike his helmet, resulting in a loud crack. The bombardment eventually got so bad that at one point Mark had to cover his helmet with a thick blanket for additional protection.

2.      Taking blood samples

Dr. Petra Sumasgutner had to take blood samples from each of the three chicks. This is an essential element of the research because it allows her to look at the cell count of the birds, including blood cell count, and to determine whether or not the birds had any internal parasites or genetic problems. The institute has done a great deal of work in helping to increase our understanding about this population of black sparrowhawks.

3.      The ringing

After the chicks had been weighed, each chick was fitted with three rings. One leg bears two of the rings and the other only one. A SAFRING, with a different number for each chick, is the primary ring fitted onto one of the chick’s legs along with a green and a blue ring. Each chick has a different ring combination so that they can be accurately identified in the future. These rings are an important tool in determining the range of individual sparrowhawks here, as well as population size.

4.      Anatomy check

All three of the chicks are examined after the operations have been completed to determine what stage of growth they’re at, how developed their feathers are and whether or not they are displaying traces of hunger (which are side-effects from malnutrition that can lead to problems with the chicks’ development that could affect them in later life). Additionally, the chicks’ wings and facial features were photographed. It was amazing to be able to look at the features of these amazing birds from such close quarters. It really gave me a completely new perspective.

5.      Getting up close and personal

I learned a lot of new things about black sparrowhawks while observing the chicks up close and watching the parents. Both the male and the female sparrowhawks had different calls to one another, which meant they could be accurately identified even when they were perched among thick branches. The legs and talons of the chicks were adapted for a life of specializing in hunting, and their eyes, which were light brown, would turn bright red when they were adult. I could also see the bird’s specialized trachea and watch as their claws reflexively grabbed at everything they saw.

Currently, all three chicks are doing well. They’ve lost all of their white fluffy feathers and are now no longer in the nest but perched in the branches of the nest tree with their parents. It won’t be long before they start hunting for themselves and leave their parents’ territory to start their own families.

Interesting Facts About The African Big Five

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Africa is home to some of the world’s most popular wildlife, including the famous “big five”. Since wildlife safaris are among the top Africa holiday activities, you may find it helpful to know some fun facts about these big five animals.

The big five consist of buffalo, elephant, leopard, lion and rhinoceros. They were given this name, not because of their massive sizes, but because of how difficult and dangerous it was to hunt them down. In the earlier days when there were less restrictions on hunting, big game hunters considered it a great achievement to capture or kill one of these animals.

The African cape buffalo is a big and very intimidating cow-like animal with a dark-skin almost black in color. These ill-tempered animals are reputed to have killed so many trophy hunters, more than other animals did, hence their inclusion in the big five. During your safari in Africa, you will see large herds of buffaloes (as many as 2000 members) in the top game reserves in Kenya, Tanzania and South Africa. Occasionally however, you may spot a solitary buffalo bull, an extremely dangerous and ill-tempered animal, especially if it is wounded.

Older buffalo bulls have a darker skin than the females and the younger males. The older males also have a hard shielding protecting the base of their skulls.

You can find more facts about the cape buffalo at the Animal files website and this animals facts website.

The Elephant
No other animal on land rivals the African elephant in size. Yet, despite its huge size, the elephant is a peaceful animal when it is not threatened. Unfortunately however, in many places in Africa, human beings have encroached into lands that were previously the habitats for elephants and other wild animals. Inevitably, this has led to conflicts between man and elephants e.g. when man seeks to protect his farm, and the elephants are looking for pasture in their traditional grazing fields. This human-wildlife conflict has often resulted to cases of elephants killing people.

Some fun facts about the African elephant

  • Like human beings, elephants show great respect for their dead. They bury them under tree branches and mourn for them. I have also heard of reports that when elephants come across the bones of a dead elephant, they stop briefly to pay respect (see this information in the Animal planet website for example).
  • They have very good memory. Elephants remember and can retrace their grazing routes even if they revisit them after several years.
  • Male and female elephants stay and graze in different herds, only getting together during the breeding season.

You can find more information about African elephants in the pbs.org nature website.

Lion
If you have read the book The Man-eaters of Tsavo width= or perhaps watched the movie by the same title, then you know that African lions are very ferocious hunters. Like many other animals however, lions do not normally attack men unless cornered or injured. That does not mean you should attempt to get any close to a lion in the jungle. In your safaris, it is only wise to stay in your vehicle at all times.

Some fun facts about the African lions:

  • Unlike all the other African big cats, lions are social animals, living in prides consisting of up to three males, several more females and their cubs.
  • Though they are the reputed “king of the jungle”, lions are actually quite lazy. Their renowned hunting prowess is mostly because they hunt in groups. A lion can not chase their prey for very long distances.
  • The female lions (lionesses) do most of the hunting, while the males defend their pride’s territory.
  • Only the males have manes, the long bushy hair around their necks and heads. However, some maneless male lions are found in Tsavo national park in Kenya, and in Senegal in West Africa.

You can find more interesting information about the African lion at the national geographic website and in the lion lovers web site.

Leopard

In my opinion, the leopard is the most beautiful of the African wild animals. Sadly, it is also a very elusive cat, not easily spotted during the day. Among all the big cats of Africa, leopards are the most adaptable, and can be found living in greatly varied environments. If you are not very familiar with African animals, you can easily confuse between a leopard and a cheetah. But if you have a keen eye, you will notice that they are remarkably different from their body-build to the shape of their skin spots. This newsletter article by go2africa.com can help you distinguish between many of Africa’s similar looking animals.

Some fun facts about Leopards:

  • They are nocturnal, hunting mostly at night and spending the day resting on tree branches.
  • After a successful kill, leopards prefer to drag the bodies of their prey up the tree branches, away from other stronger predators like the spotted hyenas and lions.
  • Despite their relatively small size, leopards are very strong and bring down much larger animals. Some unbelievable incidences concerning leopards have been recorded, like a leopard killing a crocodile in Kruger national park in South Africa.

Rhino
Perhaps no other animal has caught the attention of animal conservationists than the African rhino. There are two rhino species found in Africa: the white rhino and the black rhino. The main distinguishing feature between the two species is the shape of their mouths. The white rhino has a broad square-lipped mouth while the black rhino’s mouth is more pointed, almost triangular. Both species are endangered species, having been almost wiped out by poachers. Due to their size, rhinoceros have no other natural predators apart from man.

Some interesting facts about African rhinos

  • They have a very poor eyesight, but very good sense of smell and hearing.
  • Due to the poor eyesight, rhinos tend to charge very easily at offending objects.
  • The white rhino is primarily a grazer, feeding mostly on grass, while the black rhino is a browser, feeding on leaves, bushes, plant shoots, etc.
  • Despite the color reference, the two species have no remarkable difference in skin color.

Africa Big Five Safaris Booking
Go African Safaris offers a great array of African safari packages, including big cat safaris to such destinations as Kenya, Tanzania, and South Africa. Click here to see some of these packages.

Taking a Gorilla Tour in Uganda’s Bwindi Forest

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Taking an option of doing Mountain Gorilla trekking in Uganda’s Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is great decision made which results into an ultimate adventure to narrate as a story to your fellow travelers when you meet up in other amazing destinations elsewhere.

This experiential rewarding activity done in Uganda usually involves meeting with the mostly wanted shy endangered ground dwelling herbivores Mountain Gorillas in the Jungles of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. It’s not that most travelers just like visiting Uganda because it’s the only destination available but rather it’s due to some major attracting factors.

They include ease of accessibility, wide range of different Wild life species, different other exciting attractions, favourable climatic conditions, stable financial status, good service providers characterized, flexibility and stable security.

Looking forward to meet Uganda’s Mountain Gorillas on your Uganda Safari Tour vacation, Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is the best recommended and fascinating Park to go for variety of these apes even on the rest of the continent.

It is located in the South Western part of Uganda lieing along Uganda’s border with Democratic Republic of Congo not very from Queen Elizabeth National Park.

It’s very easy to drive from the Buhoma sector side of Bwindi and access Queen Elizabeth National Park via the Ishasha sector route. Bwindi presents thick impenetrable tropical rainforest, bogs, shrubs and swampy areas which provide good habitat to its various species.

Popularly known for hosting variety of Gorilla species, Bwindi Impenetrable National Park has over eighteen Gorilla families habituated for trekking experience.

These families are grouped in Bwindi’s four sectors including Buhoma sector, Ruhija, Rushaga and Nkuringo sector with each sector inhabiting more than two Gorilla families.

How to get there.

Being located in the South western part of Uganda, the best route of reaching this Park from Kampala is Kampala- Masaka- Mbarara highway including enroute stop over at the equator in Kayabwe before reaching Masaka town for some brief explanation about the equator, photographs and snacks.

Then continue with the journey using suitable 4×4 wheel drive Safari jeep, lunch is usually provided enroute in Mbarara town.

It takes about 9-10 hours for the drive from Kampala up to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park in the South Western part of Uganda depending on speed used and traffic along the way plus enroute stop overs associated.

Gorilla trekking in Bwindi.

This usually involves meeting with the shy endangered ground dwelling herbivores Mountain Gorillas in the Jungles of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, this amazing experience is usually started in the morning after a briefing conducted at the Park offices or starting point to highlight about how to behave while in the Jungle, along the way and in presence of these apes.

After briefing a park ranger guide and armed officers are assigned to a group of eight trekkers for the journey heading to the Jungle in search of these apes for interaction, Park ranger usually inquire from Gorilla trackers via radio calls about the exact location of these apes in the Jungles.

Gorilla trackers are usually the first to go early in the morning to exactly locate where these apes spent their last night.

After locating these apes in the Jungles, you are allowed to stay in their presence for only one hour while seeing them playing, feeding, laughing plus taking photos and videos of them provided you are not using a flush camera.

After one hour session with the Gorillas, next step is vacating the place back to Park offices or starting point for Gorilla trekking certificate award, its advised that when heading for a Gorilla trek in Uganda you come along with your packed food for eating while in the Jungle because most of the times lunch time reaches when Gorilla trackers are still in the Jungle being unable to come back for lunch.

Gorilla trekking requires a permit and this permit in Uganda costs $600 USD per person usually booked in advance before your trekking dates such that it’s processed in time.

Besides Gorilla trekking what else? While in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, you can also do bird watching, visit the Batwa people in their local communities and more.

 

Walk With Lions on an African Safari

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Walk with Lions

Looking for the best safaris in Africa? Why not try out this Best of adventure travel in Africa rated to be among the best 15 Africa Safaris:

Walk with Lions & Swim with Elephants This adventure is offered by some of the most renowned adventure travel experts; the Pathfinders Africa! On this expedition: you will enjoy Walking with Lions and Swimming with Elephants. A great wildlife experience for people of all ages, giving you the chance to get up and close with two of the Big Five. This expedition takes place in Zimbabwe at the private game park, Antelope Park, home to a major African Lion Rehabilitation and Breeding program. The expedition is 7 days long and all accommodation and meals are taken care of in the expedition cost. The expedition includes the following activities:

  • Walking alongside wild lions
  • Playing with lion cubs
  • Experienced guides at your side
  • Feeding the elephants
  • Ride on the back of swimming elephants
  • Various other wildlife experiences

If you want to experience all of this, check out the Pathfinders Africa – Walk with Lions and Swim with Elephants expedition. Tomorrow I will review the Scuba Diving in Mozambique expedition. I can’t wait to cover this expedition, as I will be doing my scuba diving course in Cape Town shortly. If only the water was as warm in Cape Town as it is in Mozambique! We are interested in your feedback and comments. What do you consider to be a true adventure in Africa? Let us know and we’ll pass it onto the guys at Pathfinders.

Exploring Serengeti National Park

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The Serengeti National Park is one of Africa’s best national parks. Located in the northern part of Tanzania, the Serengeti ecosystem lies in the Mara and Simiyu regions. If you are looking to a wildlife safari in Africa, Serengeti is the park that will not disappoint you. The wilderness is filled with large numbers of animal and the plains make big game viewing easier.

The park is famous for its annual migration of over 1.5 million white bearded (or brindled) wildebeests and 250,000 zebras that cross the Mara River that is filled with numerous Nile crocodiles. The spectacle of the migration is one of the world’s seven wonders and you can witness this every year. The Serengeti National Park of Tanzania is a continuation of the Masai Mara National Park of Kenya and you can easily combine an African through both national parks.

As well as the migration of ungulates, the park is well known for its healthy stock of other resident wildlife, particularly the “big five”, named for the five most prized trophies taken by hunters:

Lion:

The Serengeti is believed to hold the largest population of lions in Africa due in part to the abundance of prey species. More than 3,000 lions live in this ecosystem. The park offers better chances of meeting the “King of the Jungles” than any other national park in Africa.

African Leopard:

These reclusive predators are commonly seen in the Seronera region but are present throughout the national park with the population at around 1,000.

African Elephant:
The herds are recovering from population lows in the 1980s caused by poaching and are largely located in the northern regions of the park.

Black Rhinoceros: mainly found around the kopjes in the centre of the park, very few individuals remain due to rampant poaching. Individuals from the Masai Mara Reserve cross the park border and enter Serengeti from the northern section at times.

African Buffalo: still abundant and present in healthy numbers.