What Make Uganda And Rwanda Safe Destination For Gorilla Trekking
Want to know what makes Uganda and Rwanda safe destinations for gorilla trekking? A safe destination is a happy holiday spot and in Africa, Uganda and Rwanda are the safest destinations for gorilla trekking. One saves his or her hard-earned money to enjoy a holiday and get away from the hassle of everyday life. No one would like to visit a holiday destination where he or she is uncertain of returning home alive.
Rwanda gorilla trekking happens in Volcanoes National Park which lies in the North Western part of Rwanda. The park occupies about 160 sq km. The topography of Volcanoes National Park is generally mountainous. Its five Virunga Volcanoes form a beautiful green view of elevated highlands and valleys. These volcanoes include Mountain Karisimbi, mountain Bisoke, mountain Muhavura, mountain Sabyinyo, and Mountain Gahinga.
About 13 gorilla trekking families are residents of Volcanoes National Park some of which include Amahoro family, group 13 family, Hirwa gorilla family, and many others
Uganda gorilla trekking safaris happen in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga National park both located in the fur south Western Part of Uganda. The vast size of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park prompted the authority to divide it into two sectors the southern sector and the Northern sector. The park has the biggest number of habituated gorilla families in the world so far which are grouped into gorilla trekking areas for easy administration.
Uganda’s gorilla trekking areas include the Buhoma area, Ruhija area, Nkuringo area, and Rushaga area.
Highlights Of What Makes Uganda And Rwanda Safe Gorilla Trekking Destinations
- Political Stability in Uganda and Rwanda
- Regulating Gorilla trekking Stake Holder
- Involving Gorilla Research Organs
- Good Road Network to the gorilla trekking Parks
- Proximity to the Airport to and from the gorilla trekking Parks
- Functioning Gorilla Park Administrations
- Limiting the Number of Gorilla Trekkers
- Having a Well Trained Ranger Team in Gorilla Parks
Political Stability In Both Uganda And Rwanda
Uganda and Rwanda have enjoyed a great number years of political stability. For Uganda after the 1980s war government has kept the country with less major political instability. You can visit the parks including Bwindi Impenetrable National Park with no fear of any one stopping you to rob or point a gun at you. The involvement of top security organs in conservation like the tourism police.
After the Rwanda genocide of 1994, the country has embarked on rehabilitating the victims and protect the conservation parks too which were affected by this era. Volcanoes National Park is the major Wildlife Park of Rwanda and the main foreign exchange earner of the country. Rwanda government safe guards all activities in the park by involving the rangers and other internal security organs.
Both Uganda and Rwanda have created a conservation relationship that caters for the wellbeing of the gorillas. This is why one gorilla trekking family can freely move from Uganda and meander into Rwanda without prohibitions. The mountain gorillas are free ranging apes that meander the forest searching for a meal to sarticify there belling. The Nyakagezi Gorilla family in Mgahinga National park sometimes wonders into Rwanda.
Regulating The Gorilla Trekking safari Stake Holders in Uganda and Rwanda
Both Uganda and Rwanda have regulations and policies that bind all stake holders involved in gorilla trekking activities. Be it the lodges, tour operators, the ranger guides, the rangers, gorilla researchers and so many others.
This is under the Uganda Wildlife Authority or Rwanda Development Board policy to avoid scammers. The stakeholders must be trained and registered by the government for quicker monitoring of their services to their clients.
Involving Gorilla Research Organisations
A number of research organizations both local and International are involved with gorillas conservation both in Uganda and Rwanda. Starting with Dian Fossey the fallen American Philanthropist who started the Karisoke Research Center in Rwanda. Her work gave birth to gorilla trekking after she realized that involving humans in the conservation of mountain gorillas is one way to protect them.
Some of them participate in gorilla habituation, treating the gorillas, do checkups on the gorillas, up take gorilla census over a certain period and so much more. These help in conserving the gorillas which has led to an increase in their population in Rwanda and Uganda and keep them used to the presence of humans. Some of the organizations include Gorilla Fund, UNESCO, Gorilla Doctors,
A lot of advice about the life and behavior of the gorillas is provided by these organizations. This has led to improvement in gorilla trekking adventures over time.
Good Road Network to Gorilla Trekking Parks
Getting to the gorilla trekking parks from Kampala or Entebbe or Kigali has been made better with an improved road network. Despite the fact that parks like Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Mgahinga National Park in Uganda, or Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda are located in purely remote areas. Their accessibility was hard in the past, but the roads have been worked upon, and more construction is happening.
Some public transport from the city Kampala is available to Kabale in Uganda then you can connect with a transfer vehicle to Bwindi I impenetrable National Park through different routes.
In Rwanda public transport is available from Kigali City to Musaze and then catch a transfer vehicle to Volcanoes National Park.
In Uganda, a domestic daily air transport service is operating opening up this earlier remote area more. You can either land in Kihihi Air Strip or Kisoro Airstrip from Kajjansi Airstrip or Entebbe Airport. This option has been taken by those afraid of long drives on bumpy roads
Both Uganda and Rwanda have charter flight arrangements but you have to book in advance.
Proximity to the Airport Before Or After Gorilla Trekking Safari
Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda is a few hours from Kigali Airport. The drive may take about 3 hours to 4 hours on a winding scenic road. This is the reason why one can disembark from the early morning international flight and catch up with gorilla trekking briefing at ORTPN on the same day.
In Uganda Bwindi, Impenetrable National Park may be about 8 hours to 9 hours apart from Entebbe Airport but with domestic daily flights to upcountry Air strips that is Kihihi and Kisoro Airstrip, it’s quicker and easier. The domestic flights take about 2 and half hours to the Airstrips and then you connect with a transfer vehicle for another hour to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park.
Even on departure day from either Uganda or Rwanda after a gorilla trekking safari, you easily connect to the international airport at any time.
Functioning Gorilla Park Administrations In Uganda and Rwanda
Rwanda Development Board is responsible for overlooking the functionality of Volcanoes National park. In Uganda, Uganda Wildlife Authority is responsible for all activities in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga National Park.
These bodies ensure that park rangers are trained to standard, park trail maintenance, organize and participate in mountain gorilla census and so much more. These bodies have policies that govern gorilla trekking in either Uganda or Rwanda that have to be followed by all stakeholders.
They administer penalties to defaulters and reward the hard workers. All of these aim at keeping good standards of the parks in order to provide value for money to tourists coupled with gorilla conservation during gorilla trekking.
Limiting the Number of Gorilla Trekkers
Massive gorilla trekking would lead to the loss of food for the mainly vegetarian mountain gorillas. The number of gorilla trekkers is limited to a maximum of 8 trekkers to avoid trampling on the vegetation.
During gorilla trekking in Uganda or Rwanda, one must attend a briefing at the ranger station that is ORTPN in Rwanda and Uganda Wildlife Authority park offices in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park or Mgahinga National Park in Uganda. The rangers take you through the rules and regulations of gorilla trekking and the prevailing behavior of the gorillas.
You are later divided into groups of a maximum of 8 trekkers to follow a particular gorilla family for the day. If the number of trekkers was more, it would be hard for the rangers to individually take care of the tourists which would lead to losing some in the wilderness or even them experiencing less fun. The mountain gorillas would feel ambushed by many people struggling to gain visibility of them. This agitates the mountain gorillas causing them to go into hiding.
The mountain gorillas are habituated to be in the presence of only 8 people on a day.
Having a Well Trained Ranger Team in Gorilla Parks
Having professional and knowledgeable ranger guides during gorilla trekking makes it a fun experience in the wilderness. Uganda wildlife Authority and Rwanda Development Board have equipped their staff with wide knowledge about the gorillas and even update them about the history of individual gorillas.
The rangers freely give out information about a gorilla family which makes the trek interesting and by the time you locate the gorillas you feel a deeper connection with them.
Early morning, a group of rangers conducts some surveillance on the mountain gorilla families to be trekked. They give feedback to the authorities based on their observation from which escorting rangers base the information they give out to tourists for the day. Gorillas just like humans have dynamic behavior based on the conditions prevailing in the forest.
Although gorilla trekking parks in Uganda or Rwanda are safe for gorilla trekking, your personal safety is paramount. You need to protect your belongings because different people live and visit these destinations. The presence of cameras may not favor your durable items.
Pack the right gorilla trekking gears to enjoy the fun in the forest taking note that the topography of this area is generally mountainous. Sometimes you may be required to hike to the slopes to locate the mountain gorillas.
Update your tour company in case of unfamiliar behavior while at the destination or in the lodge, this is for better follow-up. At Encounter Africa Safaris, we aim at giving value for money and happiness to our clients on safari is our goal.