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
Gorillas once inhabited the entire rainforest
that stretched from the coast of West Africa to the western arm of the Great
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:
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
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
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.
FLY IN SAFARIS
WHEN TO GO
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
To ensure the
best planning of such an extraordinary trip, consult an African specialist.
WHAT TO DO AND SEE
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.
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
Wildlife can be seen in Akagera, a fantastic small wetland
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).
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
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JOURNEYS OF DISTINCTION