Rwanda and Uganda

Close Encounters with Mountain Gorillas and other Primates

Parc National des Volcans in Rwanda
Parc National des Volcans in Rwanda with Mount Sabyinyo to the right
On both countries lies a historical and political burden of recent history which is still associated to the names of Uganda and Rwanda. Meanwhile both countries gained an excellent reputation for sustainable eco-tourism, which has become an important source of income. In the footsteps of the world-renowned primatologists Diane Fossey and Jane Goodall  who both revolutionized the research through their observation techniques and their conservation efforts you can observe close both mountain gorillas and wild chimpanzees and you get unique insights into their daily routines.

Both countries have a lot more to offer than the primates, even if they are completely different from each other. Large natural reserves and national parks with abundant wildlife, places of great cultural and historical importance, like the source of the Nile. The most important, you can enjoy the hospitality of the polite residents of the two East African countries. 

Primates in the Bigodi Wetland Sanctuary and Kibale National Park

Despite all the euphoria for the mountain gorillas, the main destination of many thousands of nature lovers each year from all over the world, one should not forget the small beauties of both countries. The Bigodi Wetland Sanctuary is such a fascinating place, located in Magombe swamp in Uganda. Travel guides would write "This place is worth a detour". The sanctuary is home to a rich biodiversity and, in addition to all the trees, plants, birds and other wildlife, it hosts several primates species like the red colobus monkey, black & white colobus monkey, vervet monkey and many others. The Sanctuary is a community based project and the economic gain flows into community projects for the benefit of the residents to give them a future. Not surprising poaching has decreased as a result.

The adjacent Kibale National Park is a tropical rainforest located in south-west Uganda and is also home of many birds and mammals but the most popular among them are the Chimpanzees. To walk through the forest and observe this primates (our closest relatives) in the canopy or on the ground is a very fascinating experience and very different from observing Mountain Gorillas. Chimpanzees are far more difficult to observe as they swing fast through the forest from one tree to another, feed, play, hunt other monkeys or fighting between different groups.

Close Encounters of Mountain Gorillas in Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda

To get eye to eye to Mountain Gorillas, one of the closest relatives of human beings, is an amazing and unforgettable moment which you have only once in your life. Gorilla Tracking in The Volvanoes National Park in Rwanda or in the Bwindi Impenetrable National Park in Uganda gives you the privilege to stay for a while with this primates who live in distinct groups in the wild. All the gorilla groups are habituated to the presence of people and and you are allowed to stay one hour with them in their natural habitat. To be close to Mountain Gorillas and facing the Silverback and observe a part of their daily life and capture some pictures with your camera is really breathtaking. I had an opportunity to stay with “Group Thirteen” in Rwanda and with the "Habinyanja Group" in Uganda.

Close Encounters of Mountain Gorillas in Bwindi Inpenetrable National Park, Uganda

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