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National Parks

Explore Bwindi Impenetrable National Park

The name bwindi derives from a local phase mubwindi bwa nyinamukari originally referred to as mubwindi swamp. The forest was proclaimed impenetrable forest in 1932 until 1991 when it was gazette as a national park and therefore named bwindi. In Uganda, Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is one of the attractions that makes it pearl of Africa and gifted by nature. This is the most popular of all Uganda’s national parks and it attracts a good number of tourists all year round interested in mountain gorilla safaris. It harbors about 460 mountain gorillas, chimpanzees, birds and clonus monkeys.

It is the richest in terms of eco systems in Africa and the diversity of species is an attribute to this park. The park also habits 220 species of butterflies, 120 species of mammals, 348 species of birds, 1000 flowering plants including163 species of trees and 104 species of ferns. This is a part of Verandas that is shared by three countries, Uganda, Rwanda and DRC Congo. In this Magnificent forest there are Mountain gorillas found in three countries and those that are found elsewhere are low land gorillas. In Uganda there are two National parks where you can find these gentle apes. Besides Bwindi there is Mgahinga National park which is also on the border of Uganda and Rwanda. In Mgahinga, there is only one family called Nyakagezi. Sometimes it moves and crosses to Rwanda. There are 880 gorillas remaining in the whole world and these reside in virunga massif. Uganda’s Bwindi and Mgahinga are blessed with 408 mountain gorillas the rest are in Rwanda’s Volcanoe and DRC’s Virunga National park. According to the census which is done every after 5 years, the gorilla population has increased. This is due to increased conservation and awareness about the importance of gorillas.

Bwindi has four regions that is Buhoma, Rushaga, Ruhija, and Nkuringo. In each region there is a park headquarter and there are different families in each region. In Buhoma there is Bitukura, Oruzogo and kyaguliro. Rushaga has Nosie, Mislay, Kahungye, Busingye and Bweza, and Nkuringo there is only one group family called Nkuringo family. A visitor is free to track gorillas from the region of his interest but for the families, you are a located a particular family to track from the park headquarters depending on how physically you are. This is because some families needs a lot of hiking yet others are a bit near. Therefore people who do not want a lot of hiking or unable, are allocated groups which are near.

Mountain gorillas

There are about 1060 individuals of mountain gorillas. Gorillas are unique apes and are rarely found elsewhere except in Uganda Rwanda and DRC. They are close relatives and live in families. Each family is headed by a dominant male called the silver back. A family can have more than one silver back but the dominant one is the leader of the family. Sometimes other silver backs can fight the dominant male and split the group into two or it can take over after over powering the dominant male. A silver back grows grey hair on the back and can weigh up to 280 kg. It is the one to lead the family and alerts the group in case of emergency like a female giving birth, crossing water bodies, attack from another group and many more. In most cases it alerts the group by chest beating.

Gorillas have gestation period which lasts from 8 and a half to 9 months and babies are born hairy and with long teeth. When there is a female with a baby, the group reduces the movement speed not to leave the mother behind since it moves on three legs while holding a baby. They have a life span of 45 years to 60 years plus and when a gorilla dies, it buried after carrying out a postmortem.

Gorillas from 1-5 years are called infants, 5-7 years are called juvenile (birth age) 1-12 years are called black backs and 13-14 years are called silver backs. A family consists of babies, juveniles, black backs and silver backs. Sometimes the group can split into two. Each family or group establishes a territory where it moves around while searching for food.

They sleep in nests and every each day, gorillas make new nests. Since they are close to humans in terms of DNA, any disease that attacks humans can also attack gorillas that’s why tourists are not allowed to track gorillas with air born diseases.

Once you encounter these endangered gorillas, the experience is worth it. It is emotional to come into contact with a silver back that can way up to 280 kg. It is a life time experience and no one will ever regret tracking gorillas.

Eight visitors are allowed to track gorillas per day per group. This is done to limit human presence with the gorillas since they are wild animals. A visitor is allowed to stay 1 hour with the gorillas take photos, videos and after you are led back to the park headquarter by a guide.

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National Parks

Explore Kidepo Valley National Park, Uganda

Kidepo valley game national park boasts of a great number of animal species than any other park in Uganda. The park’s Game viewing is far the best with lots of game like the bush duikers, leopards, cheetahs, striped hyenas, lesser kudus, buffaloes, jackals, lots of antelopes, bush babies and lots more Game.

The remote Kidepo Valley National Park boasts of great hiking adventures with beautiful sceneries of Lamoj Mountains with a short drive from the Headquarters, the Kanangorok Hot Springs located 11 km from Kidepo river valley are a fantastic spot to visit with great photographic views of lions on Ant Hills, others spots not to be missed, the Narus Valley in the south west of the park with great views of hyenas, leopards and a vast number of wildlife.

The Nature walks leading you to the Karamajong communities in their Manyatta huts, traditional Karamajong wears spears, arrows and bows from their home steads can be a captivating moment for all those looking for African Cultural safaris this is the place to be and you can much enjoy on guided game drives in safari Land Cruiser jeeps.

Narus Valley is rising and falling grassland plain surrounded by faraway mountains. This valley provides permanent water, and through most of the year its wildlife gathers here. Therefore, this area is properly supplied with game tracks, having 4 loop circuits that explore the valley close to Apoka as well as facilitating to photography. Several creatures for example lions, reed bucks, Jackson’s hartebeests, oribi, buffaloes and giraffes are visible within the valley.  Cheetahs plus leopards are as well seen but in smaller numbers.

Kidepo Lions

The Narus dam together with the water hole close to the Tourism Centre is ideal observation place for game, particularly throughout the dry season. At the far southern tip of the Katurum loop, there is the Katurum kopje (a site of an abandoned lodge) is an eye-catching destination with outstanding views north over the valley in the direction of the Morungole Mountain range giving the right gestures for photography.

Cheetah in Kidepo National Park

Mount Morungole towers to 2,750 meters and it is crossed by River Kidepo and River Narus which nourish the wildlife plus the natural habitat of this park. The Morungole Range defines the southern boundary of this park and soars from these plains a couple of kilometres north-east of Apoka. This area may be visited on foot in the company of a ranger. The slopes of the mountain are habitat to the IK people, who are the tiniest ethnic group found in Uganda, and have their own special culture. All this enriches the photo gallery giving you a variety to choose about.  Enjoy such safaris with the tour operator in Uganda at a relatively lower price.

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National Parks

Exploring Nyungwe Primates Forest

The popular Nyungwe National Park is a true rain forest in South Western Rwanda. It is most famous for hosting chimpanzees, our closest cousins. This tropical rain forest occupies 1,015 sq. kilometers and adjoins the Kibira National Park of Burundi forming a large contagious forest.

The park typically receives an excess of 2, 000 mm of precipitation annually.

Nyungwe Forest is a prime destination for primate safaris in Africa. The park protects 13 primate species that can be easily seen within the park. Chimpanzees are the most sought after animals in the park and the park hosts about 500 – 1000 individuals.  The monkey population is also high including the acrobatic Rwenzori colobus and the localized L’Hoest’s monkey. Nyungwe also a suitable destination to birders, botanists and walkers with about 130km walking trails as well as boasting as the region’s only suspended canopy walk area.

Chimpanzee Tracking

This renowned tropical rain forest is one of the few places where you can see chimpanzees in their natural habitat. Chimpanzees can easily be tracked at any time.

Nyungwe Chimpanzee

Located in South Rwanda, this is one of the oldest forests in Africa, which is one of the reason it boasts such a high level of diversity. Scientific opinion is that Nyungwe, along with other forests of the Albertine Rift, was largely unaffected by the drying up of the lowland areas during the last ice age, and thus become a refuge for forest plants and animals which have subsequently recolonised areas such as the Congo Basin.

One of the central planks in ORTPN’s tourism – diversification programme is Nyungwe National Park, 980 square kilometers of hilly jungle cloaked terrain in the country’s South – West, o the boarder with Burundi and the DRC, and surely one of the undiscovered gems of African environmental tourism.

Ranging between 1,600 and 2,950 meters in altitude, the park is contiguous with Kibira National Park in Burundi, together with the two protected areas form the largest block of forest in East Africa. Nyungwe was originally set aside as a reserve in 1933, which although relatively effective, still saw it lose about 20 per cent as its area by 1984, when a coordinated forest-protection plan was implemented. It was elevated to national park status in March 2004 and is famously known now for primates trekking in Rwanda.