Month: May 2016

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Top 10 Things to Do in Rwanda

Rwanda is one of the smallest countries in Africa located in East Africa and borders Uganda, Burundi, Tanzania and Democratic Republic of Congo. Rwanda is rugged with various hills, the reason she is called a country of a thousand hills.

Rwanda covers a of 26,338 square kilometers, with a population of about 12 million people. The country’s population is divided between 3 different tribes; the Tutsi, who are the minority, the Hutu who are the majority and the Batwa who have a smallest population.

Rwanda is a landlocked, lying 75 miles south of the equator in the Tropic of Capricorn, 880 miles ’as the crow flies’ west of the Indian Ocean and 1,250 miles east of the Atlantic Ocean which makes her the heart of Africa.  The country is covered with water bodies which include 23 lakes and numerous rivers, some forming the source of the River Nile.

The country is largely on a high altitude with the highest point being the peak of Mt.Karisimbi which lies at 4519 meters above sea level and the lowest point is at Rusizi River at 950 meters above sea level.

The country faced a gruesome genocide in 1994 that saw over 800000 people dead most of who were the minority Tutsi and a few sympathetic Hutu. This genocide was orchestrated by the Hutu who were then in the ruling government and was against the Tutsi who were then fighting the ruling government. The genocide that lasted 100 days was sparked when the plane that was carrying the then president Juvenal Habyarimana was brought down in Kigali and he died there together with the then Burundi’s president as they returned from Tanzania from peace talks.

Rwanda has various tourist attractions which include animals of the wild that protected from poachers and roam free in the vast national parks, the Mountains with great scenery, the genocide memorials, cultural museums, cultural and nature walks. Listed below are the ten tourist attractions you cannot miss while on Rwanda tour.

  1. Gorilla Tracking
    One of the most exciting experiences in the world is gorilla tracking and this is done in Volcanoes national park in Rwanda. This involves trekking in the mountainous forest in search of the gorillas. Gorillas are the most exciting primates that share 98% DNA with humans making them the closest relatives to human beings. These animals live in groups headed by a dominant male called a silverback. Each family is visited by a maximum number of 8 people per day and there are 10 habituated gorilla families.
  2. Chimpanzee tracking
    Chimpanzees are the other exciting primates after the gorillas. The chimpanzees are also closer to human beings and research shows they share 99% DNA with human beings. The chimpanzees live in Forests and feed on leaves, fruits, insects and even fresh! In Rwanda, the chimpanzees live in Nyungwe Forest National park which is located in Southern Rwanda bordering Burundi. The forest Covers over 1000 square kilometers and is one of the world’s most beautiful and pristine mountain rain forests and Africa’s oldest ever green forest, Apart from the chimpanzees, Nyungwe Forest national park is a home to other 12 primate species including a 400-strong troop of habituated Ruwenzori Black & White Colobus monkeys, vervet monkeys, baboons, blue hoerst monkeys.. The forest is also a birder’s paradise with over 300 species, including 16 endemics, and is home to 75 different species of mammal.
  1. Colobus monkey tracking
    Like chimpanzee tracking, colobus monkey tracking is done in Nyungwe forest national park. Colobus monkeys are also one of the rare monkey species and most of the world’s remaining colobus monkeys can be found in the forest. This therefore makes colobus monkey tracking in Rwanda one of the most exciting adventures.
  1. Forest Canopy walk
    This is done in Nyungwe Forest National Park as well. Scenic as it is, the canopy was constructed on top of the forest and the walk on this platform offers a great opportunity to explore the entire Nyungwe forest from top. This offers an opportunity for close eye level contact with the birds, see the waterfalls in Nyungwe Forest. Nyungwe Forest canopy walk is one of the exciting forest canopy walks in Africa.
  1. Bird watching is one of the thought after tourist attractions in the world. Among the world’s birding spots is Rwanda. Rwanda has 728 bird species 29 of which are endemic to montane rain forest and Rift Valley of which Rwanda forms part. Birding is done in Nyungwe Forest National park, Volcanoes National park, Akagera forest National park, Congo Nile trail among others.
  1. Golden Monkey Tracking
    Golden monkeys are endangered monkey specie only found in the virunga mountain ranges with many monkeys living in Volcanoes national park in Rwanda. The golden monkeys live in groups of 30 members and above and feed on leaves, stem and fruits and sometimes insects. These monkeys are so playful and interesting to watch. Golden monkey tracking in volcanoes national park in Rwanda therefore makes it an interesting tourist activity.
  1. Cultural walks
    Rwanda has a unique culture that is so entertaining. There is also many cultural heritages to visit which includes the national museum in Butare, Nyanza palace, the Belgium museum, the intore cultural dancers. There are Batwa in Rwanda who have a unique tradition and learning about their way of life is interesting.
  1. Historical and educational tours
    Rwanda is a country of history ranging. Rwanda’s genocide is one of the historic genocides in the world and may tourists will come to learn about history of mankind which includes conflict and conflict resolution. There are several genocide memorials set up across the country which include Gisozi memorial museum, Nyamata church, Ntarama church, Murambi genocide memorial among others. When you visit these sites, one will learn more about the effects of human conflicts. There is also Dian Fossey grave site in volcanoes national park and tourists always hike to her grave site to pay her respect and also learn more about her historic work of conserving the lives of the mountain gorillas which were under threat from poachers and she was assassinated as a result of her noble effort.
  1. Rwanda has three volcanic mountains that form part of the Virunga mountain ranges. These include Mt.Karisimbi, Mt.Bisoke, Mt.Muhabura. These mountains are all scenic in their nature and for hiking adventure lovers, these are a must hike. The crater lake on top of Mt.Bisoke is so fascinating and hiking Mt.Bisoke can be done in a day. Mt.Karisimbi can be hiked with in two days and the hike to Mt.Muhabura.
  1. Game drive and boat cruise
    Like most African countries are famous for, Rwanda has one of the most scenic savanna park. Akagera National Park located in the eastern part of Rwanda forms part of Rwanda’s flat land with great savanna. The park has various game that include Zebras, lion, elephants, buffaloes, giraffes, impalas, bush bucks which are best seen during game drive. Other game includes hippos, crocodiles which are seen during a boat cruise on Lake Ihema which is within the park.
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Top 5 Amazing Waterfalls in Uganda

We live in a wonderful world full of beauty, charm and adventure but in Africa, Uganda is outstanding destination with a lot to enjoy and explore all around. The presence of several rivers and waterfalls makes it superb for travelers to engage in most exciting adventures which the entire East African region offers. Apart from wildlife, birds, primates, landscape, mountains, lakes,  waterfalls are one of Uganda’s best-kept nature gems attracting many tourists to just be close. Tourists visiting Uganda for the first time need to have a perfect itinerary in order to get the happiest pleasing experience in every place they visit.

There are many amazing water adventures to explore in this majestic country and one gets the firsthand experience on water as they discover the beautiful scenery with in the waterfall, surrounding lake, rocks and islands. Like a blink of an eye, vegetation’s, and water sound welcome you every time you approach a place with a water fall and getting closer makes you get immersed in nature as the cool exotic winds wave saying thanks for coming. Among the many reasons for visiting Uganda, water adventures is one of them because the country has many lakes, rivers, and waterfalls. Even in terms of other tourist activities, Uganda has a lot to offer including mountain gorilla tracking, chimpanzee trekking, wildlife viewing, bird watching, mountain climbing, cultural excursions etc.

Uganda being a destination that attracts all kinds of travelers in Africa, the country has something for everyone. Visitors to Uganda can enjoy safari experiences in different parts of the country especially Western and Eastern.

1. Murchison Falls

One can go partying with loved ones, enter several forests on different adventures but nothing is better than cruising in the mighty falls of Murchison. Beyond doubt it’s the fall in Uganda where one can explore the country’s beauty on a relaxed safari holiday through a savanna national park. One of the best ways to witness the fascinating Murchison falls is taking on a boat cruise upstream from Paraa and get impressive front view of the falls a must see for every guest to the park.

The 2 hour boat takes you upstream giving you the best view of these mighty falls, probably the most scenic waterfalls along the Nile river, the world’s second longest river. During the cruise, you will see a great range of flora and fauna including the Nile crocodiles basking in the sun, hippos, and other wildlife coming for a drink of the Nile waters. (Citation: Murchison Falls Park Travel Guide)

#Other Cruises
Uganda offers other exciting boat cruise tours in other parks like Queen Elizabeth on the magical Kazinga channel,Itanda falls famous for Uganda white water rafting, lake Mburo boat cruise,source of the Nile boat trips with the outstanding sunset cruise,lake Victoria boat tour etc.

2. Sipi Falls

The Sipi falls in the western side of mountain Elgon are among the most visited in Uganda. These falls are found in Kapchorwa District, Northeast of Sironko and Mbale town. They are composed of a series of three tall waterfalls all plunging their waters over the slopes of Mount Elgon (the fourth highest peaks of Africa).

3. Sezibwa falls
The Sezibwa Falls are the most interesting! These waterfalls are formed when the River Sezibwa known locally as a “human born river” flows over rocks. The falls are found in present Buikwe District (former part of Mukono District). A day trip to these falls is possible from Kampala, the capital of Uganda.

The falls are revered by the Baganda Community and are managed by the Buganda Kingdom. The Baganda People attach alot of dos and donts to the falls, and this is a great place to learn about the culture of the Baganda People. (Citations: Buganda Tourism)

4. Kyabirwa falls,

5. Itanda Falls

Karuma falls, Ripon falls, Owen falls etc.

Is Uganda next on your list, don’t even miss out visiting Uganda’s beautiful islands of Lake Bunyonyi and Ssese for ample relaxation and fun. Spare 3-7 days minimum to enjoy a safari in Uganda and explore the country’s best parks and adventures during your Africa visit. It doesn’t matter if you looking at visiting multiple destinations across the region find the most fitting itinerary with Uganda inclusive.