Uganda has many attractions as a safari destination: it’s the source of the Nile, has fantastic birding, great scenery and wonderfully friendly people, as well as some good wildlife viewing in parks such as Queen Elizabeth, but what sets it apart from it’s East African neighbours is its primates, and in particular its mountain gorillas and chimps.
I’m told that while Uganda and Rwanda have less than 15% of the chimp and gorilla populations in the whole of Africa, those two countries are responsible for over 90% of research on those two great apes.
What this means for visitors is that you get the chance to be extraordinarily close to wild but habituated primates, sometimes within just a few feet, and those same animals will ignore you almost completely. Theyare not tame, but have been habituated to people over a period of years, and this gives us a great opportunity to watch them.
Gorilla trekking in particular is expensive, the permit alone in Uganda is $500 per person per day, and a good level of fitness is required to walk through the forests in search of the gorillas, but not only can you have a unique experience, but you also know that money from your permit is going towards the conservation of great apes. It’s no coincidence that out of all the populations of wild gorillas in the world, only one population is increasing: the mountain gorillas of Uganda and Rwanda, who are the most viewed and whose governements now have a great financial incentive to protect them.
There are other primates to be seen; Kibale Forest in Uganda and Rwanda’s Nyungwe Forest boast 13 species of primate each, and recently in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest we saw four speces of monkey walking between lodges: black and white colobus, L’Hoest, red-tailed and grey-cheeked mangabey, not to mention the Goliath Beetle, about six inches long and making the sound of a small aircraft! Impressive stuff!
Visits to Uganda or Rwanda can be arranged as stand-alone safaris or as extensions to a safari in Tanzania or Kenya – contact us for further details on : firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information on Uganda and Rwanda and sample itineraries see: www.journeyintoafrica.com
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