Explore the forgotten treasures of the Great Western Rift Valley on the borders of Uganda, Rwanda and Congo. In these stunning areas live the mountain gorilla, the chimpanzee, some of the great game of Africa and hundreds of amazing birds.

 Undeniably the most unique primate that survives in the forgotten forests of Africa is the gorilla, both the mountain gorilla and the lowland gorilla.

 In contrast to the six billion human beings living on crowded planet earth, there are only some seven hundred Mountain Gorillas left on the borders of Uganda, Rwanda and Congo.

Seeing the mountain gorillas is an awesome experience.

Gorillas once inhabited the entire rainforest that stretched from the coast of West Africa to the western arm of the Great Rift Valley.

During the Ice Age, the climate dried out and the extensive forests receded into two pockets; the gorillas became divided into the Western and Eastern populations, which then developed into three subspecies: the Western Lowland Gorilla lives in the lowland rainforests of West Africa (Congo, Cameroon, Gabon), the Eastern Lowland Gorilla inhabits the forests of eastern Congo, and the Eastern Mountain Gorilla is found only in the Ugandan Bwindi forests and the Rwandan Virunga volcanoes.

The Eastern Mountain Gorilla is one of the world's rarest animals.

Only about 600 remain in the entire world, with approximately half that population in the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest in Uganda and half in the Mgahinga Gorilla National Park in Rwanda.

Since these animals cannot live in captivity and there are none in zoos, the only way to see them is in their natural habitat.

AFRICAN CLASSIC ENCOUNTERS organizes tracking in Bwindi and Mgahinga in Uganda or in Parc National des Volcans in Rwanda, staying at unique eco-lodges at these parks.  Their expertise and knowledge of mountain gorilla safaris is unrivalled. Tracking in Djomba in the DRC will become available in due course.

There are a few travel choices to consider.  Tailor-made flying safaris give the discerning client the option to fly by private charter light aircraft directly to the key attractions in these areas.  The short flights are usually no more than an hour, allowing more quality time trekking.

In particular check out the 3-day flying safaris from Entebbe to the following gorilla parks: Parc National Des Volcans in Rwanda, Bwindi in Uganda, and Mgahinga in Uganda.

A stunning 7-day safari to see gorillas in Bwindi, chimps in Kibale and game in Queen Elizabeth National Park is a wonderful option to enjoy optimum viewing.

From Kigali exclusive transfers by helicopter to the Volcanoes National Park is available.


TRAVEL NOTES

SCHEDULED SAFARIS

FLY IN SAFARIS

WHEN TO GO

WEATHER

Uganda and Rwanda are both near the Equator. As a result the climate does not change much and they can be visited throughout the year.

The rainy seasons tend to be from March to April and October to November, but this varies in different areas and it can rain any time of year, especially in the gorilla parks areas.

Travel can be slower in the rainy season but the views are often better. Gorilla tracking can be muddier but it can certainly be done. In the mountainous areas it is much colder than on the plains and the rainfall is greater.

The temperatures on the plains tend to be between 60°F and 80°F and in the mountainous areas they can go down to 40°F in certain months.

So our advice is to travel when it is most convenient and usually the rain, which is often for short periods, is part of the great experience.

You might avoid tracking in the "official" rainy season only to find that it pours throughout your visit during another period!

For this reason the eco-lodges do not close during the rainy season as they do in savannah countries.

WAY TO GO

The best way to go is through Europe.

From the USA flights are directly to South Africa with connecting service to Uganda or Rwanda.

To ensure the best planning of such an extraordinary trip, consult an African specialist.

WHAT TO DO AND SEE

UGANDA

In Western Uganda lies the magnificent Queen Elizabeth National Park (commonly referred to as QE), with the ice-covered peaks of the Rwenzori Mountains as a backdrop.

It is rich in wildlife, including the tree lions at Ishasha, and is a haven for bird-watchers.

Chimpanzees can be seen in the steeply forested sides of the Kyambura Gorge, near Queen Elizabeth National Park; and the Kibale Forest.

Further south, in the chain of eight blue Virunga volcanoes strung out on the borders of Uganda, Rwanda and Congo, at the heart of Africa, lives the mountain gorilla.

The combination of volcanoes, volcanic lakes and steeply terraced hillsides make this a dramatic area.

The remaining mountain gorillas live further north in the Bwindi forest in Uganda.

 

 RWANDA

 In addition to seeing the mountain gorillas in Rwanda, visitors can see the primates in the beautiful afro-montane forest of Nyungwe, renowned for its large groups of colobus monkeys, chimpanzees, a variety of orchids and unusual birds.
 

Wildlife can be seen in Akagera, a fantastic small wetland savannah Park.

 

DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO

As the DRC gradually opens up, a number of attractions will become accessible: the mountain gorillas in Djomba and Bukima, the eastern lowland gorillas in Kahuzi Biega, the live volcanoes of Nyiragongo and Nyamulagira and the chimpanzees and bonobos (dwarf chimpanzees).

 

TANZANIA

The chimpanzees of Mahale and Gombe, near Lake Tanganyika, made famous by Jane Goodall’s pioneering work, live in these magnificent forests near Africa’s deepest lake.

 

CLICK HERE FOR RESERVATIONS FOR GORILLA TREKKING

Gorillas in the mist - African Classic Encounters.com

JOURNEYS OF DISTINCTION

   

ROMANCING THE WILD