Planning safaris in Africa do not forget to visit the most latest ranked CNN tourist destinations in Africa. Among them include the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park, Uganda, Virunga National Park, Congo, Masaai Mara Reserve, Kenya, Serengeti National Park, Tanzania and Kruger National Park, South Africa.
The Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park, Uganda
The Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park is a bio – diverse, mountainous area in southwest Uganda. It’s home to many of the world’s remaining mountain gorillas, who feed on roots, leaves and fruits from the park’s many tree and fern species. Restricted numbers of viewing permits help protect the endangered gorilla families.
In the park, rough paths weave amid dense forests, which are home to many butterflies and birds. This park has 4 sectors and each habiting different gorilla families that promote gorilla tours to travelers visiting Bwindi forest every year.
This is the old site that was first opened for the travelers to see mountain gorillas in the mist and this sectors families like Mubare group, Habinyanja and Rushegura gorilla families. Mubare family is the oldest group and this is very suitable for older tourists as it is so near after the starting point of trekking.
This sector is so much known to offer with the most luxurious lodges, mid-range and budget loges to travelers. Among them include the Gorilla Forest Camp, Bwindi Gorilla Lodge, Mahogany Springs Lodge, Engagi Safari Lodge, Buhoma Lodge, – Silver Back Lodge, Trackers Safari Lodge, Buhoma Haven, – Kitandara Camp, Gorilla Resort, Buhoma Rest Camp & Bwindi View Inn among others respectively.
This sector is so much visited by tourists interested in mountain gorilla watching in the mist and with interest to search for birds. The sector offers the Mubwindi swamp which is so perfect to birders and some times with chance they spot mountain gorillas in this wetland. Among the gorilla families here include the Oruzogo, Bitukura and Kyaguliro. Lodges on your stay include the Ruhija Gorilla Safari Lodge, Gorilla Mist Camp, Trekkers’ Tavern, Broad Bill Camp, Gift of Nature Lodge, Gorilla Friends Nature Camp & Cuckoo Land Camp among others.
This is gorilla watching hub by offering quite high population of mountain gorillas and having very many gorilla families 05 in total and they include the Kahungye, Bushingye, Mishaya, Nshongi and Bweza and now the sector offers the Bushaho and Bikingi families for Gorilla Habituation Experience, this experience always takes 04 participants for each group and it is 04 hours maximum staying with the apes taking videos and photos. Gorilla Habituation Experience cost $ 1500 USD for Foreigners, $ 1000 USD for Foreign Residents and $ 210 USD for East African Residents.
Among the lodges to stay on your gorilla trek or experience include the Rushaga Gorilla Camp, Gorilla Safari Lodge, Gorilla Valley Lodge, Ichumbi Gorilla Lodge, Nshongi Gorilla Resort and Wagtail Eco Camp among others.
This is second oldest sector and it has only one gorilla family known as Nkuringo group and this is so much loved by tourists as it is said gorillas in this family are so much amazing and welcoming to visitors. Among the lodges to stay on your visit include the Clouds Mountain Gorilla Lodge, Chameleon Hill Lodge, Nkuringo Gorilla Camp, Bwindi Jungle Lodge, Mutanda Lake Resort and the Bwindi Back packers for the budget travelers with passion to see mountain gorillas in the mist.
While planning for your gorilla trekking adventure, think about the gorilla trekking permit. On average per day the park receives like 50% of visitors and as you plan for this holiday you can secure your permit in advance like 3 month prior to your time of visit. Permits are sold based on first come, first serve and a permit cost $ 600 USD in high season and $ 450 USD in low season (April, May & November) every year.
Excursions to do
Although Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park is so much known for gorilla safaris, there is others tourist attractions to take like canoeing at the shores of Mutanda Lake and Lake Bunyonyi, birding safaris in Uganda, nature walks and community based tourism.
Bwindi Forest is bordered with the Mgahinga Gorilla National Park which is part of the Virunga mountains and travelers going to this park experience the gorilla trek visiting the Nyakagezi gorilla family that is found on the undulating slopes of mount Gahinga. Gorilla permit cost $ 600 USD and all gorilla families each it is 08 people to visit per day. Further more you can trek the golden monkey, Batwa trail and Mgahinga Volcano.
The Virunga National Park, Democratic Republic of Congo
The Virunga National Park, formerly named Albert National Park, is a 7,800-square-kilometre National Park that stretches from the Virunga Mountains in the south, to the Rwenzori Mountains in the north, to the Rwenzori Mountains in the north, in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo, bordering Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda and Rwenzori Mountains National Park and Queen Elizabeth National Park in Uganda.
Virunga National Park is known for the gorilla trekking, chimpanzee habituation and the unforgettable mount Nyiragongo volcano hiking experience, the permit cost $ 400 USD peak season and $ 200 USD low season (Mid – March to Mid – May) every year. The Chimpanzee Habituation cost $ 100 USD and the Nyiragongo Volcano Hiking costing $ 300 USD.
You can experience gorilla trek in Congo combing mountain gorillas and Eastern Lowland gorillas in Kahuzi Biega National Park in the Eastern Congo. The permit for the lowland gorillas cost $ 400 USD throughout the year and if you have long vacation you can enjoy also the visit to the Lwiro chimpanzee sanctuary protecting the rescued chimpanzees from the poachers in Democratic Republic of Congo.
Among other National Parks to visit are as below: