Where Do I Start? The traveler's Guide To Mountain Bisoke. (2019/2020)

Where Do I Start? The traveler’s Guide To Mountain Bisoke. (2019/2020)

Mountain Visoke (also Bisoke) is an extinct volcano within the Virunga Mountains of the Albertine Rift. It straddles the border of Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

It is located roughly 35 km northeast of the town of Goma and adjoining Lake Kivu. The mountain is positioned inside Rwandan Volcanoes National Park and Congolese Virunga National Park. The steep slopes of the peak are densely coated with equatorial rainforest and alpine meadows.

Where Do I Start? The traveler's Guide To Mountain Bisoke. (2019/2020)The summit doesn’t collect snow, however, it is often covered in fog. Bisoke is among the mountains considered a habitat for the endangered mountain gorilla, and the Karisoke Research Center founded by Dian Fossey is situated in the valley to the west.

Mt Visoke stands at a height of 3700 meters, it has the standard conic shape of a “perfect” volcano and in its crater lies a deep crater lake.

For those fascinated by climbing Mt Visoke, the high elevation demands additional energy of climbers and the entire excursion can take between 5 hours and the entire day depending on the speed of the walk and the frequency of stops.

The ascent typically takes around three hours. An eruption in 1957 formed two small cones on the north flank, 11 km from the summit. A walk around the crater rim is recommended, allow seven hours for the complete journey. Lake Ngezi (9,843 ft./3,000 m), a small, shallow crater lake, provides the best hike experience in the park.

It takes solely three to four hours round-trip from the Visoke departure level. In the course of the climb, you will cross a series of different vegetation habitats beginning with bamboo forests, then moving into Hagenia – Hypericum forest and finally transferring through Senecio – Lobelia bush near the summit.

bush near the summit.

Where Do I Start? The traveler's Guide To Mountain Bisoke. (2019/2020)Interested hikers should know the hike might be very hectic for the inexperienced hikers because this high elevation requires you to have a lot of strength to climb, and also to walk through that whole excursion. This may be a whole day adventure depending on your speed but at the end of it, you will realize that it was worthwhile.

There are 2 cones on the northern side, just 11km away from the peak and these were formed by an eruption that happened in 1957. Also, no hiker should ever miss the walk along the crater edges, visit Lake Ngezi which is a small and shallow crater lake.

You can go for the Bisoke mountain hike after gorilla tracking in Volcanoes national park. Reservations should be made prior to your arrival like so that necessary arrangements are made.

Don’t spend time stressing about the preparations of your Mountain Bisoke Safari, let the experts do it for you. Contact Friendly Gorillas Safaris for you all you Rwanda Safari. Simply visit our page for inquiries by clicking here.

The top 4 activities you must do on your Nyungwe forest national park safari

The top 4 activities you must do on your Nyungwe forest national park safari

The top 4 activities you must do on your Nyungwe forest national park safari

Located in the southwestern part of Rwanda, Nyungwe forest national park is one filled with stunning beauty as it offers memorable wildlife experiences.

Nyungwe Forest is a high-altitude, mountainous rain forest conserved in 2005, the Government of Rwanda declared Nyungwe a national park. This is the highest level of protection in Rwanda.

The top 4 activities you must do on your Nyungwe forest national park safariThe forest hosts 13 species of primates including the Angola colobus found in groups of 300-400 animals, which is an attribute unique to Nyungwe.

Nyungwe’s forests extend to altitudes occupied by few other forests in Africa; 1600-2950 meters above sea level.

A visit to Nyungwe takes you through the great Nyungwe rainforest, comprised of ancient trees, swamps, and grasslands, which have all favored the inhabitation of various wild and bird species.

If you have never visited the Nyungwe rainforest, it is one of Rwanda’s natural wonders with which the country has progressed into one of the African tour destinations.

The rain forest covers 1000 square kilometers, making it one of the largest tropical rain forests in East-central Africa. Nyungwe national park is bordered d by Burundi in the south, Lake Kivu and the Democratic Republic of Congo in the west.

The forested national park is a water catchment area in Rwanda receiving over 2000mm of rainfall annually and is also an origin for river Congo.

Let’s count down some of the activities to do at Nyungwe National Park.

Chimpanzee trekking

This park is a sanctuary for over 400 chimpanzee individuals, making it a home for the highest number of chimpanzees in Rwanda.

The top 4 activities you must do on your Nyungwe forest national park safariThis park is majorly known for its chimpanzee trekking activities. Trekkers are required to transfer to any of the three starting points of Gisakura, Uwinka and katabi where are briefed about the dos and don’ts.

Trekking these chimps requires a trekking permit which is a must to each trekker. It is also recommended to keep a distance of seven meters from the chimpanzees, this helps avoid the spread of human/wildlife diseases.

Forest walks and hiking.

Hiking the Nyungwe forest is the best way to explore the beauty of the Nyungwe forest national park. With the wide number of hiking trails, you will have the chance to explore the interior forest.

These trails lead to different destinations such as waterfalls caves and swamps. The hiking trails include Igishigishigi trail, Bigugu trail, Ngabwe trail, Isumo waterfall trail, Kamiranzovu marsh trail, Karamba birding trail, Source of the Nile trail, Irebero trail, Muzimu trail, Imbaraga trail, Congo Nile trail, Umoyove trail, and Rukuzi trail to mention but a few.

Bird watching

The park is also home to over 300 bird species; it is one of the best birding spots in East Africa.

Nyungwe is named as “the most important site for biodiversity conservation in Rwanda” by Birdlife International.

Among the bird species in this park include; Rockefellers sunbird, Chapin’s flycatcher, Great blue Turaco, red collared mountain babbler, Rera grauer’s rush warbler, Rwenzori Turaco, white-tailed flycatcher, Rwenzori batis, barred long-tailed cuckoo, Rwenzori nigh jar, Rwenzori hill babler, yellow-eyed black flycatcher, Congo bay owlet, mountain sooty boubu, the Neumann’s warbler and many more.

Monkey trekking

Nyungwe forest national park is home to over 300 monkey species, there are very few other places with such a wide number of monkeys. This will make your safari even more enjoyable.

Among the monkeys in this park are the L’ Hoests monkeys, black and white colubus, blue monkeys, and red-tailed monkeys.

Monkey trekking is a very joyful experience, monkeys are very playful animals and watching them play makes a safari very enjoyable.

How to reach Nyungwe National Park

The park is quite accessible as you can either drive from Kigali or fly there.

Traveling by road

The is 225km from Kigali, and your tour operator will provide you with the best vehicle to get there. In case you want to make the adventure on your own, you will need to either go by bus or hire a car.

Traveling by air

If you are looking for a much faster means of transport, then you can book a flight with RwandAir. The airline offers domestic flights and one of its domestic routes is Kigali-Kamembe. RwandAir offers a minimum of 9 flights a week from Kigali to Kamembe International airport.

Kamembe airport happens to be a short 32km from Nyungwe forest lodge, which offers helicopter pickups. It is quite a convenient arrangement if you can afford it.

A safari to Nyungwe Forest national park shouldn’t be difficult if it well planned. Hire Friendly Gorillas Safari for your Rwanda safari, get in touch with them or inquire by clicking here


Uganda or Rwanda gorilla safaris - Track Gorillas in Uganda or Rwanda?

Rwanda gorilla tracking – Reasons to visit Gorillas

Gorilla trekking is one of the most looked for safari activities in Africa and there are only three countries that provide tourists with this thrilling experience in the world.
Mountain Gorilla trekking can be done at Volcanoes national park in Rwanda, Virunga national park in Congo, Mount Mgahinga national park and Bwindi impenetrable forest national park in Uganda.

Don’ts while trekking gorillas in Rwanda or Uganda

Rwanda gorilla toursGorillas live in the Virunga massif conservation area shared by three countries and then Bwindi forest in Uganda, these great apes are man’s closest relatives with 98% DNA for humans but they were almost getting extinctions in the 19th century but thank God for the conservation efforts.

While trekking mountain gorillas there are some of the things you should not do while with the gorillas this can be seen below:

  • Flash photography will not be allowed while trekking mountain gorillas and the reason is gorillas don’t Like flashlights, unlike golden monkeys who love flash cameras and therefore may be provoked and become cruel.
  • A five-meter distance must be kept when in the presence of gorillas, this will make them feel relaxed and also help in no infecting them with human diseases as their vulnerability to diseases like flu. This also helps keep them for longer.
  • Tourists must keep a close distance to each other while with the gorillas; being scattered will not be allowed. This helps those who may be fearing to be a bit confident.
  • Lower your voices: However much you will be allowed to ask your guides questions but the voices must be kept low at all times.
  • You will not be allowed to touch gorillas, as they are wild animals no domestic. However, a few times some gorillas come and approach people. This is somewhat exceptional though.
  • The maximum time and the usual time for tourists to observe gorillas is strictly one hour though the visit can be ended early if the gorillas become nervous.Rwanda gorilla safari
  • Do not drink or eat while with mountain gorillas this is because the food droppings left after can increase the risks of transmitting diseases to the gorillas.
  • After the visit, tourists must keep their voices low until there about 200 meters away from the mountain gorillas.
  • In case of a gorilla charge, do not take a picture or try to run away this will worsen the situation and also leave the gorillas to pass by.
  • When the gorillas charge you must follow the instructions of the guide, for example, crouching down slowly this will help them cool down.
  • Do not look directly into the gorilla’s eyes. This may scare or make them cruel.
  • Do not cough or sneeze in the direction of gorillas, if you feel the urge kindly turn away and cover your mouth, he will reduce the spread of viruses and bacteria.

In case you’re feeling ill or you have a contagious disease you can stay behind and visit another group when you’re well or get your money refunded. Gorilla permits cost $600 in Uganda, $1500 in Rwanda and only $400 in Congo.

The above does not make Uganda or Rwanda gorilla tracking any hard. Just follow the above simple rules and you will find Gorilla tracking an amazing encounter you ever had.

Need a Gorilla safari or simply Gorilla tracking permit today, Contact us now.

Uganda or Rwanda gorilla safaris - Track Gorillas in Uganda or Rwanda?

Uganda or Rwanda gorilla safaris – Track Gorillas in Uganda or Rwanda?

Gorillas in Uganda or Rwanda?

Should I track gorillas in Uganda or Rwanda? That’s a quest asked by many when deciding to track mountain gorillas. Your success, Safety, and budget are a priority when tracking the Mountain Gorillas in Uganda, Rwanda. Wellbeing – Security is the Focus.

In this article, we have put together well researched and analyzed points to help you better decide whether or not to track gorillas from Uganda or Rwanda.

Gorilla permit cost: Uganda and Rwanda gorilla safaris have different gorilla permit prices, the guests pay for permits from 600 USD to 1500 USD for Uganda and Rwanda gorilla permits respectively. This includes park entrance and community development fees for both parks.

Security (National stability): There have been no security issues in both Rwanda and in Uganda. Alongside the military, there is the Presence of Armed Guides for your Gorilla Trek. Uganda has the additional Police force called the Tourism Police that work hand in hand with the Tour operators.

Is it safe to track Gorillas in Uganda or Rwanda?

Uganda and Rwanda are two of the most secure nations to track mountain gorillas – neither one of the countries has its African variants of drive-by shootings, weapon proprietorship is very restricted here and one of the most secure spots to be in either Uganda or Rwanda is on a Gorilla Trek in Bwindi Impenetrable Park, Mgahinga Gorilla Park, and Volcanoes National Park.

No guest can’t wander alone into Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda or Bwindi Impenetrable Forest or Mgahinga Gorilla Park in Uganda – they are dependable with a guide and are fully escorted. This is a defensive measure that is taken by Uganda and Rwanda for every one of the individuals who come to visit the mountain Gorillas in either nation.


Top Places to visit in a Rwanda Safari

Known as the land of a thousand hills, Rwanda’s stunning scenery and warm, friendly people offer unique experiences in one of the most remarkable countries in the world. It is blessed with extraordinary biodiversity, with incredible wildlife living throughout its volcanoes, montane rain forest and sweeping plains.

Travelers come from far and wide to catch a glimpse of the magnificent gorillas, yet there is so much more to see and experience.

1. The Gorillas in the Virunga Mountains

Virunga National Park is a national park in the Albertine Rift Valley in the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. It was created in 1925 and is among the first protected areas in Africa. Gorillas in these mountains are shared with Rwanda, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. These three countries share the few remaining gorillas in the world. People visit Volcanoes National Park to track these Mountain gorillas. People come from all over the world to spend one hour with these great apes,.they are herbivores that live in groups and like humans, they is always a dominant male which is the silverback and it is the head of the family. To track Gorillas in Rwanda you need at least 2 days and tracking gorillas in Rwanda is not as strenuous as it is in Uganda. A gorilla permit that allows you to track Gorillas in Rwanda Costs USD 1500.

2. Kigali Genocide memorial

The Kigali Genocide Memorial is the final resting place for more than 250,000 victims of the Genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda. It honors the memory of the more than one million Rwandans killed in 1994 through education and peace-building. While visiting this memorial you will be told to sign a visitor’s book from which you might spot lots of people’s names that are familiar.

3. Kabgayi Church museum

3 km from Gitarama along Butare road lays the massive cathedral of Kabgayi. This is the oldest in the country dating back in 1925. This was the first settlement area of the Catholic Bishop. With a huge size and peaceful interior, the church is worth a visit and there is a small museum beside it.

4. Akagera National Park

Named after the Akagera River running along its eastern boundary, Akagera NP is warm and low-lying with undulating plains supporting a cover of dense broad-leafed trees with acacia woodlands and grasslands.

The park harbors over 20 mammal species. The eastern side is wet and it is known to harbor almost the largest number of hippos in Africa. Other animals to view on the lakes on the eastern side are crocodiles, Lions, leopards and black rhinos which are present in small numbers. You can go for boat trips on Lake Ihema to view some of these animals. For birders this is another paradise on earth, the birdlife is extraordinary: not only the rarities that will have passionate birdwatchers in ecstasy but also Africa’s most inspiring concentration of big waterbirds. A visit to this park is truly rewarding

5. Nyungwe forest

It is a montane forest that is remarkably rich in biodiversity with 75 mammal species, 120 butterflies, 275 birds and over 100 varieties of orchids. The forest is well known for its primates and chimpanzee tracking can be arranged at a short notice and a small fee. Other primates in this forest include several other monkeys L’Hoest monkeys. The roads to the forest are good and with excellent rent houses and the campsite to provide the necessary services to you while in the forest. A nature walk through this forest can be truly rewarding.

6. Musanze cave

Musanze is believed to have been constructed by a local king and that it has been used as a refugee on several histories whereas during the 1994 Massacre it was used as a killing site and recently the place is still littered with human remains. Musanze the now Bat colony is located in Ruhengeri 2 Km from the Gisenyi road. It has an entrance a large as a cathedral. The entrance is littered with marked black volcanic rubble and at the opposite end there lies a natural bridge formed from the lava flow from one of the Virunga Mountains.

7. Rusumo Falls

The falls is located at the Eastern part of Rwanda at the border with Tanzania. It is an amazing and spectacular fall that is a part of the distant headwaters of the river Nile. It’s not worth missing while crossing the border of Rwanda with Tanzania.

8. Rwanda National Museum

This is located in Butare city in Huye and it is known to be the most tourists’ attraction in Butare. The museum is known to have probably the finest ethnographic collection in the whole of East Africa. It has spacious rooms that allow the exhibitions to be appreciated and enjoyed. Exhibitions provide information not only on pre-colonial history but also on the process of development of the country (Rwanda) to her modernity today. AT the museum you can organize for the Ntore dancers to entertain you in the traditional dances of Rwanda.

9. Lake Kivu

Located in the Albertine rift and apart of the Great Rift Valley, Kivu is a large freshwater deposit that marks the western border with DR Congo. This lake is a tourist’s center with fresh waters safe to swim. It has nice beaches with splendid landscapes and the sunset is usually astounding. You can spend a weekend in one of the beaches.