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72 Hours in Melbourne

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Melbourne Guide

Stately city of the south and a vibrant, elegant melting pot with its roots in the great Gold Rush of the 1850s…

Think Australia and most people usually think Sydney Opera House, Red Centre, Great Barrier Reef. They think kangaroos, deserts and shrimps on the barbie.

But these days savvy travelers also think Melbourne, stately city of the south and a vibrant, elegant melting pot with its roots in the great Gold Rush of the 1850s Melbourne, capital of the southern state of Victoria, has about four million inhabitants and is set on the shores of Port Phillip Bay. Less raucous than Sydney, Melbourne is Australia’s home of ‘old money’ and has a quieter way of life with a strong focus on culture and fine food.

Which is not to say there isn’t all the glamour and excitement a visitor would need to pack into three or four days. Sure, Melbourne rocks – but with style.

The city is laid out in a large rectangle and has a lively and cosmopolitan pulse. A river runs through it – the slow moving Yarra, with its headwaters in the nearby mountains. As much as the bayside beaches, the river and its adjoining parks are the city’s playgrounds.

Melbourne is big and modern – it has the world’s tallest residential building – but it reveals the heady days of 19th century in its massive public and private buildings, many dating from a shining, golden moment when this was the richest place in the world.

The city has many faces – elegant and luxurious in what is known as the ‘Paris End’ of the business district; head-jerking in the many ethnic enclaves – Vietnamese, Italian, Greek, Turkish, Chinese, Spanish and other communities who have made their home in one of the world’s most cosmopolitan cities. Some of these enclaves are just a lane or two, while others cover the banks of the Yarra or a busy CBD street. One glance at a map and it’s obvious that Melbourne is a planned city: a tidy, balanced grid of neatly angled streets. But beneath this sense of everything in its place restraint lies a restless creative energy constantly pushing back at the city’s seeming conservatism.

City arcades: The city’s network of shopping arcades is Australia’s most extensive with the Block Arcade (between Collins and Elizabeth streets, built in 1891) its undeniable crowning glory. Here you’ll find imported Italian mosaic floors, glazed ceilings supported by elaborate iron-lace columns, and octagonal glass domes. Royal Arcade (between Bourke Street Mall and Little Collins Street, built in 1869), is Melbourne’s oldest and features two wonderful folklore giants of the ancient Britons Gog and Magog, who strike the hour.

Other arcades such as Collins two3four, Australia on Collins, The Walk, the Galleria Shopping Plaza and Centrepoint Mall offer an impressive mix of large flagship stores, unique owner-operated shops and quality cafes and foodcourts and all the arcades sit within a block of each other off Little Collins Street.

The laneways: This is a world just waiting to be explored; a web of lanes, alleys, little streets and arcades. Some lanes have been reborn and hum with quirky city life. Others are still waiting to be discovered. Check out Punch Lane or the combined office-retail-residential project between Little Lonsdale and Lonsdale streets Car-free, café-lined Degraves Street (in the Flinders Quarter) is a streak of gently undulating umbrellas hiding patrons from the midday summer sun (or mid-winter drizzle). Nearby funky Block Place (in the Collins Street precinct)is an intimate niche so narrow that the awnings from opposing businesses kiss overhead, while The Causeway, just across Little Collins Street, is another deep ravine of outdoor tables and, in nearby Centre Place, key-hole cafés buzz with diners. The lanes either side of the Chinatown strip (Little Burke Street) are a rich source of indoor Asian eateries and have been for well over a century. But the mother of all alfresco lanes is Hardware Lane where traffic gives way to a long line of trees, plant-thick window boxes and a canvas sea of awnings lapping gently at the tables’ edge.

The bar scene: The most successful product of Melbourne’s laneway renaissance is the boom in bars. Single, unassuming doorways, often with just a discreet sign, open into sumptuous and often spacious interiors. Some are designer cool, while others are miscellaneous mixes of carefully chosen, jumble-sale furnishings. These funky watering holes can be found throughout Melbourne’s lanes including Meyers Place, Bennetts Lane, Bullens Lane, Sniders Lane and Market Lane.

CITY FRINGE

Extending around the bay are a number of inner suburbs, each with its own distinct character and personality. A short tram (streetcar) ride from the city centre, Melbourne’s suburban neighborhoods are a must see for anyone wanting to experience what life here is really all about.

Melbourne’s melting pot of cultures is reflected in its microcosmos of restaurants, cafes, bistros and bars. Fashionable, eclectic and eccentric – Melbourne’s dining spots offer a dizzying spread of the world’s great cuisines, serving meals from the substantial and classic to the truly exotic.

In the city, you can enjoy afternoon tea in the genteel surroundings of a nineteenth-century hotel, watch and be watched in buzzing laneway cafés and bars, or handpick a bottle of Yarra Valley chardonnay at the latest über-chic hangout. Head out a little further and explore one of Melbourne’s specialist eating destinations – Richmond for cheap and cheerful Vietnamese dishes, Carlton for Italian classics, Fitzroy for tantalising Spanish tapas.

Planning a Gorilla Trekking Safari

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Bwindi Gorilla Trekking

I have always wanted to do something unusual in my life. However, I have honestly never come across anything that is worthwhile and thrilling. Recently though, I read about some activity called gorilla tracking on the internet. The members of my chat room said only interesting things about this activity and it left me wondering whether I was the only one who had not done it.

I knew at this moment that I wanted to do this on my next holiday vacation. I am not sure whether it was because of the need to keep up with the trend or for the thrill that the activity promised. However, now that I have done some research on the subject, I have come to realize that the activity is one of the most exciting and amazing activities in tourism at the moment.

The prospect of seeing the mountain gorillas in the natural habitat on an activity commonly referred to as gorilla trekking and not viewing them in some enclosure at the zoo is exciting enough. The mountain gorillas are so rare in the world that they are found in two conservation areas in the world, Virunga and Bwindi areas. Yes, I did my research and I have a few of the facts at hand right now like the gorillas cannot survive in confinement and because of this reason, you will not see these amazing primates in a zoo or something like that.

I have heard from some of the people who have been on such trips that you can get as close as 10 metres of the primates and who in their right mind would pass up an opportunity like this to interact with our near similar relatives. It is always good to enjoy these kinds of experiences with your friends by your side and because of this I hope to go with some of my friends. Knowing the kinds of people my friends are, I have a strong feeling that they cannot say no to this.

I have also learned that tracking the mountain gorillas in Rwanda is on constant increasing demand and that I must book my gorilla tracking permit well in advance. Rwanda is also a very beautiful country and I have been assured that this will be a life changing experience as I will meet people who enjoy the forest life and in some way they are not obsessed with the luxury that life in the city offers.

I am therefore in the process of booking a safari to Rwanda with the best deal that I got from Go Gorilla Trekking. I have been communicating with several tour companies organising safaris in Rwanda and i chose GGT because of their available discounts and quick communications that are straight to point. I have also been told that Rwanda has one of the lowest crime rates in the world and that I will enjoy my trip safely and without any interruptions.

Also, from my correspondences with Go Gorilla Trekking, i have realized that Rwanda has very good hotels which is surprising for a country which in 1994 was embroiled in a catastrophic genocide. There are several luxurious, mid range and budget hotels. Though i have been traveling frequently on budget, am looking at staying in midrange accommodation. The trip promises an exciting and amazing experience and I am looking forward to enjoying my time in this small east African country and I promise to tell my story to whomever wishes to listen.

5 Most Popular Tourist Destinations in Africa

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Amboseli Wildlife

Many people are turning to Africa when making plans for their next vacation. Many of these are familiar to some extent with the opportunities offered by the continent to potential tourists. There is no doubt that Africa is the most preserved and intact, its climate in most of the countries is warm all year round and the savannahs are home of the largest herds of wild animals in the world. The other advantage is the prices in Africa which are lowlier compared with those in developed countries.

Below are the 5 most popular tourist destinations in Africa

Kenya

Kenya is the most popular tourist destination in eastern Africa; it has great beaches with bright white sand and coral reefs which break down the large waves of the Indian Ocean far from the shore.  This country is known worldwide for its many national parks and wildlife species. The most common park is Masai Mara national reserve. Its situated in South western Kenya and is home to variety of wildlife species like the crocodiles, elephants, hippos, lions, hyenas, leopards, antelopes, zebras, buffaloes, and lots of local fauna.

Egypt

Egypt is well known among the European tourists. The reasons are many but it’s close to Europe and has got great resorts like Sharm el sheikh and Hurghada. You can enjoy the opportunities of swimming and diving, even during the coldest months of the year. Apart from the crystal waters of the red sea, Egypt is unique for its great culture. Get to visit the Egyptian pyramids which are the most wonderful structures of antiquity. The pyramids and tombs, painted in all sorts of Hieroglyhs that will help you to get to know the world of unearthly rich pharaohs.

South Africa

South African Republic is the most diverse country in Africa. You will find many developed and modern cities like Johannesburg, Cape Town, Durban, and Pretoria, which with their skyscrapers, museums and the shopping centres remind of Europe and America. The climate here varies from mild Mediterranean in the southern most parts of the country to hot tropical in the north. This is where the two oceans meet; that is the Atlantic Ocean and Indian Ocean. South Africa is the best place for surfing on the continent and offers very excellent opportunities for safari tourism. The most impressive is Kruger national park.

Morocco

Morocco is known as the most colourful African country; it’s the homeland of the Moors and is famous for its cities, which seem to have come up out of the fairy tales. The Marrakech is the most famous city in the country. You can see the fiery red martin land scapes of Morocco; it’s the desert oasis of flowers, palms, and the tropical shrubs. The warm climate and abundant sun shine that make it so suitable for tourism all year round and in winter months when you avoid the summer heat. Get to visit the mosques, squares and palaces that will give you so many impressions.

You can as well walk along the narrow streets and colour markets where you will see many of the colourful stalls that offer all sorts of souvenirs, exotic spices, perfumes, clothes, carpets and many more.

Madagascar

Madagascar which is the largest African island and is very exotic and attractive tourist destination. It has got very beautiful and scenic coastline with great beaches, but what makes the island world famous is the great wildlife species. Due to its geographical isolation of Madagascar from the rest of Africa, you will find a wide variety of primates that evolved separately from the mainland species.

What You Need To Know About Your Checked Baggage

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Checked Baggage

When it comes to air travel, many travelers are more concerned with their carryon luggage than they are with their bags that will be handed over to airport staff. These bags, commonly referred to as checked baggage, are just as important, if not more important, than your carryon luggage. For this reason, there are a number of different factors that you should take into consideration, when packing your bags for your next flight.

One mistake that many travelers make, when it comes to checked baggage, is including prohibited items in their bag. In addition to prohibited items, there have also been instances of travelers trying to hide illegal items in their checked luggage. Although it may seem like a good idea at the time, it isn’t. In fact, with today’s airport security screening, it is virtually impossible for you to get away with storing prohibited or illegal items inside your checked baggage. This is mostly due to the fact that the screening process has dramatically changed from what it was in the past, say ten years ago.

In the past, certain airlines only randomly searched checked baggage. Many times, these searches were only implemented if airline officials or airport security had probable cause. Today, all bags are checked, including your checked luggage. Most checks will quickly be done, but, in some cases, more extensive searches may be conducted. A quick check of your luggage may include rummaging through all of your belongings, looking for anything out of the ordinary. An extensive search could include searching all of your clothing pockets and baggage compartments. In the event that you are subject to one of those checks, it is likely that you will be caught if you are trying to conceal a cigarette lighter or other prohibited items.

Since your bags will be checked, all of them, you are advised against locking your baggage before heading to the airport. After your bags have been properly screened, some airlines will allow you to replace the locks on your checked baggage, but not all will. For this reason, you may want to reconsider storing expensive items, such as electronic equipment, in your bags. In addition to the possibility of theft, you will find that items packed inside your checked luggage are at a higher risk for being damaged then those that are in your carryon bags.

When packing your bags, which will be checked at the airport, it is also advised that you carefully pack them. There are a number of items, including sharp objects, which are prohibited from being stored in your carryon luggage, but those items can be placed in your checked baggage. As previously mentioned, airport security will likely examine those bags. Even during a quick examination, they will rummage through your belongings. For that reason, you are advised to properly package and secure all items that can be considered dangerous, such as those with sharp edges or points. This extra precaution may not only affect your safety, when you to go unpack your bags, but the safety of all airport security officials, especially those screening your luggage.

By taking the time to familiarize yourself with all travel rules, including the airport screening process, you should be able to pack your bags for your next flight, the right way. The wrong way, although you may not necessarily think about it at the time, could have serious consequences.

Gorilla Trekking in Uganda or Rwanda

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Without any doubt, Uganda and Rwanda are known as the best destinations for gorilla tracking in the whole world, however truth it may be, there has been several debates in contrast which provides the finest regard to gorilla trekking experience, and photography. It must be put into consideration that mountain gorillas are regarded as endangered species and according to the last population census carried on them in 2013 there about 1000 individuals left in the world and among these a half of the world’s population live in Uganda’s Bwindi impenetrable forest located in the south western part of Uganda over 400 individuals live in this park. the rest are found within the Virunga ranges which are shared by Rwanda within the volcanoes national park in the north western region of Rwanda, the Virunga National Gark in the democratic republic of Congo and the Mgahinga Gorilla National Park in Uganda. People who have got chance to track in each country have different experience in contrast and views, however what we have here are certainly not the reality however its reliant on people’s views.

Travel time to the mountain gorilla tracking parks

Gorillas in Rwanda can be reached in just a drive of about 2-3 hours from the Kigali Rwanda’s capital city to volcanoes national park located in Ruhengeri Musanze district in the north western part of Rwanda. In contrast, Uganda Gorillas are found in the south- western part of Uganda in a drive of about 9-10 hours from Kampala Uganda’s capital and largest city up to Bwindi impenetrable national and Mgahinga gorilla forest national park. When comparing the driving distance Rwanda takes it all due to a shortest distance it covers to the gorilla park. However some of the clients yet said that the long distance from Entebbe to Bwindi impenetrable forest or Mgahinga gorilla forest national park gives an experience it filled with striking views, a stopover at the equator-crossing and certainly the kigezi adulating hills making the total safari exciting.

Gorilla tracking fee (Permits)

No one is allowed to track gorillas without a gorilla permit and it’s advised to book earlier prior to your tracking date at least 3-5 months before you set up your safari and this applies to both countries. Rwanda gorilla permits costs $ 750 per person per tracking and this includes the park entry fee plus the ranger guides and permits in Rwanda are acquired at the Rwanda tourism board Offices (ORTPN) found in Kigali (close to the PNV). Whereas in Uganda gorilla permits are at a fee of $ 600 per person per tracking, park entry fee and ranger guides is included on that money, and permits are bought at the Uganda wildlife Authority (UWA). Uganda gorilla permits fees are subjected to seasons in the high seasons gorilla permits are got at $600 while the low seasons April –May they costs $350 per person including the park entry fee both in Bwindi and Mgahinga. Thus this means that gorilla tracking within Rwanda is more expensive in comparison to gorilla trekking within Uganda. If you track in Uganda you end up saving about $150 in the high season and about $350 in the low seasons and will use the rest of the money to track the chimpanzees within Kibale National Park or Queen Elizabeth N.P

Gorilla Family distribution

In terms of allocating gorilla families within Rwanda, the gorilla families and permits are allocated basing on health, age, interest and physical fitness of a tourist and this is made clear during the briefing before the gorilla safari commences. Those who are adventurous and physically fit are allocated to hard families and those who are weak, old, less physically fit are given easy to find gorilla families which are close. But in Uganda this is not the case, Gorilla permits are sold on first came first served basis without considering the, age, health and fitness along with other essential variables. So gorilla tracking in Rwanda is more flexible than in Uganda.

Watching and Photography

Mountain gorillas in Rwanda can be viewed easily and photography is much clear as compared to the Bwindi impenetrable forest gorillas. Rwanda Volcanoes National Park gorillas are found in the bamboo forests and short grass that has caused it better when it comes to viewing plus photography. The impenetrable forest of Uganda at times results into bad visibility as well as photography because of the tall grass. However viewing in some families in Uganda is clear like in the Nshongi family within Rushegur, Nshongi among other have better views.

Accommodation Compared.

When it comes to lodging and accommodation, Uganda is far much better compared to Rwanda. Uganda has several accommodations within the four trails that are Rushaga, Ruhija, Nkuringo and Buhoma. In each trail you can still find at least 2 up market accommodations and also other alternatives to mention some lodges include (Luxury) Buhoma Lodge/ Mahogany Lodge/ Chameleon Hill Lodge/ Lake Mutanda Resort (mid-range) Engagi Lodge/ Silverback Lodge / Gorilla Safari Lodge/ Gorilla Resort Bwindi/ Gorilla Mist Camp, (budget)Ruhija Gorilla Friends Camp or Travelers Rest Hotel, Gorilla Valley Lodge or Buhoma Community Campground. In terms of Rwanda, there a number of lodges however only one sticks out and that’s Virunga Lodge that is usually full and costly. Other lodges include Sabyinya Silverback Lodge, Gorilla nest Lodge, (luxury) Le Bombou Lodge and Kinigi Guest House.

Apart from gorillas which other activities done

Besides mountain gorillas Uganda is blessed by very many natural wonders it hosts over 1012 species of birds, it’s where in the world you can spot the tree climbing lions in the famous part of Queen Elizabeth national park Ishasha area, you can see them sited on fig trees or tree blanches, still It has got the source of the Nile the longest river in the world, where it begins 3000 kilometer journey to the Mediterranean Sea. It’s located in Jinja and around the Nile you can try river rafting and bungee jumping. And many fishing activities can be arranged on Lake Victoria the biggest fresh lake in Africa, Uganda houses 10 national parks and reserves which provide uncrowded viewing of the varied animals, birds and plant species, the famous Rwenzori mountains also provide challenging expedition. Uganda was chosen the very best location by lonely planet. All these among other attractions make Uganda the best in terms of tourist attraction, Rwanda has only three national parks that’s volcanoes national park, Nyungwe forest national park and Akagera National park

How to Protect Endangered Gorillas

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Rwanda Gorillas

Mountain gorillas are primates that are highly endangered and currently inhabiting the forested jungles in only three countries on earth (Uganda, Rwanda and DR Congo) at an estimated population of 900 on the whole planet. The number of mountain gorillas was greatly reduced by the increased poaching as well as civil wars in which national parks would be turned into fighting grounds and hiding places for the soldiers and in the process destroying wildlife mountain gorillas inclusive.

Mountain gorillas are very magical and unique animals that offer incredible wildlife experiences while on mountain gorilla safaris and therefore there is need for mountain gorilla protection to ensure sustainable mountain gorilla tourism in east and central Africa. The protection of mountain gorillas is a collective effort that can be done by all the participants and it can be done in the following ways.

Going For Mountain Gorilla Safaris

This is usually the first and major step to ensure protection of mountain gorillas. Mountain gorilla permits are sold at $750, $600 and $500 in Rwanda, Uganda and DR Congo respectively. The money collected from these gorilla permits is used in ensuring conservation, paying the game rangers some of whom are ex poachers and a given percentage taken for local community development. Giving back to the community enables the local people to realize the importance of the mountain gorillas and in turn they are used as conservation agents.

While on a mountain gorilla safari, an encounter with these incredible animals makes one get to know more about them, which also acts a motivator for conservation.

Supporting Local Community Projects Near The National Park

There are many local people who live near the mountain gorilla national parks and many of them engage in small business that can enable them earn a living like producing a number of hand made crafts, while others have small eateries that prepare local cuisines. Supporting the local people enables them to directly get income, which prevents them from doing illegal acts like poaching as they seek to earn a living.

A case in point is the Ibyiwacu cultural village in Rwanda (at the outskirts of volcanoes national park) where a number of former poachers are employed as cultural tour guides and entertainers.

Not Going For A Mountain Gorilla Safari When Sick

Over 98% DNA of the mountain gorillas is similar to humans, which makes them very vulnerable to contracting humans diseases especially airborne and contagious diseases like flu. For many years, researchers have discovered that many mountain gorillas actually die because of infectious human diseases. For the well being of these endangered species, it’s not good for some one who is sick to go for gorilla tracking.

Keeping A Reasonable Distance Away From The Mountain Gorillas

On encounter with the mountain gorillas, tourists are recommended to keep at least a 7 distance meters away from the mountain gorillas. This is done to minimize chances of disease transmission between the gorillas and tourists and to also minimize chances of natural behavioral change of the mountain gorillas. There are instances when the mountain gorillas come towards the tourists especially the young mountain gorillas but however much you may want to be close or touch them, you should just move a way from them and avoid touching them.

Avoiding Buying Products Made Out Of Wild Animal Body Parts

There are some poachers who hunt die wild animals mountain gorillas inclusive. After killing these wild animals, they use their body parts especially the skin to make crafts. Buying these products encourages poachers to continue their illegal activities, which threatens the life and wellbeing of the wild animals.

Donating to mountain gorilla conservation projects and also spreading the mountain gorilla conservation message as a way of sensitizing people are also ways that can be used to protect mountain gorillas.

Guide to Gorilla Trekking in Uganda & Rwanda

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Apart from the common experience of game viewing, there is a unique life-time experience which you can enjoy on an African Safari known as Gorilla Trekking. Get a chance of meeting these rare primates face-to-face in the wild on your tour. However, there are few places in the world where you can find these great apes which share some characteristics with human beings.

Where to do Gorilla Trekking from

Though it’s a splendid experience that can never be forgotten by a tourists, gorilla trekking is restricted to a few remote destinations in Africa and these are; Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Uganda and Rwanda. In DRC, you can mainly find the lowland gorillas while mountain gorillas are found in Uganda and Rwanda. The largest number of mountain gorillas in the world is found in Uganda with over 400 gorillas (in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest and Mgahinga National Park) and the rest are in Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park as well as the DR Congo’s Virunga National Park. Spending an hour with these rare primates in their natural habitats is a rewarding life experience which you will live to tell.

The most interesting fact about gorillas’ lifestyle is that they reflect much about our human family structure. They live in families each with a leader, have affections just like human beings, and make emotional gestures. These features make gorillas one of man’s closest creatures next to chimpanzees.

When to travel and what you should expect

This is one of key questions that most tourists ask as they plan to go on a trekking safari to Uganda and Rwanda. What is good about these destinations is that they share almost the same climate and a combined itinerary to both of these countries is possible. The best times to visit these East African countries for gorilla trekking is during the two dry seasons of mid –December to February and June to September. However, the conditions in the rain forests where gorillas live remain humid, dry and wet even when it’s a dry season and a trek is always tough. This is why you must be extremely fit for the physical exercise of climbing the tough terrains and penetrating through dense forests. Carry the necessary equipment to aid your movements in the jungle and where needs be, carry a trekking stick for creating paths in the dense rain forests. The life-time experience guaranteed during the trek is worth the roughness of the terrain and the hardships gone through.

Once your dream of having a glance and meeting the mountain gorillas has come true, settle for about an hour looking at these elegant primates in the company of a well trained guide. Witness the enchanting lifestyle of the gorillas as they protect their babies from harm. Young gorillas are fond of playing and tumbling about the whole area while their mothers try to look for food. All this goes on when the male great silverback is looking on to ensure full security of the whole family. A spine-tingling experience of looking into the soft-brown eyes of a mountain gorilla is an unforgettable experience that is also guaranteed.

How to go on a Gorilla trekking safari

Different from other tourism adventures, gorilla tracking is associated with many regulations that one has to meet before he/she is allowed to trek. But first you must make sure that you book with an experienced tour company to have a thrilling experience while on your tour.

Before you trek the gorillas in Uganda or Rwanda, it is mandatory to obtain a gorilla trekking permit which acts as an authorizing document. The permits are highly demanded especially during the dry season and therefore, we highly recommend that you book in time to avoid inconveniences.

A safari to Africa offers tourists a chance to witness some of the hard-to find nature’s spectacles. It is only in Africa where one is assured of viewing a vast herd of wildebeest that cross the Serengeti, stylish leopards, rumbling families of elephants in the Chobe and many more. But the most interesting adventure on your African Safari is an encounter with great apes (Mountain Gorillas) of Rwanda and Uganda.

About gorilla trekking

Mountain Gorilla trekking simply means penetrating through dense forests, hiking steep mountains through narrow paths in search for gorillas. It involves walking with a trekking stick for lashing the foliage following a guide. You must be in good health conditions in order to have a successful trekking experience because it is more of physical. Eat well before the activity to have enough energy required. Also equip yourself with the necessary gadgets that you will use while in the including; Brocken-in hiking boots that protect your ankles, knee-high gaiters and double layered socks.

In case you are sick, don’t force yourself to trek because gorillas are highly susceptible and can contract human illnesses like cold or any other contagious disease.

When to go gorilla trekking

Though it’s possible to trek at anytime of the year, there are best times for a gorilla tour to Uganda and Rwanda that a tourist should take note of. These countries have the same weather conditions because of their same geographical location. You are recommended to go trekking during the dry seasons of mid –December to February and June to September when the rain forest where the gorillas live are not too muddy.

Maximum respect to gorillas is required from you for a peaceful view of the mountain gorillas. Avoid any irritating behavior and always keep a distance of more than 6 meters away from the primates. For those with cameras, make sure that you switch off the flush to avoid scaring away of the gorillas.

Gorillas are habituates to human behaviors and you will be surprised to see a gorilla continuing with its own business once encountered. In most cases, they don’t mind about people and they simply continue with what they have been doing be it napping, foraging and grooming. Unless disturbed, a gorilla cannot attack a person and this is why visitors enjoy their company.

A lot can be written and read about mountain gorillas but unless you make a real trekking safari to Uganda and Rwanda, you will not experience a hard-to forget thrilling adventure.

Go Gorilla Trekking in Rwanda

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Gorilla tracking is one of the most popular things to do in Rwanda. Almost a third of travellers who make it to Rwanda include gorilla tracking on their trip itineraries. Rwanda is one of the three countries where travelers visit the endangered mountain gorillas in their natural habitat. The other countries where travelers can see the mountain gorillas in Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). These are the only countries that host these rare species on earth!

In in all countries, gorilla tourism has been developed and today the mountain gorillas can be tracked safely in their natural habitat on pre-planned gorilla trekking safaris into the jungles of various parks within Uganda, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. These parks are Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park and Mgahinga National Park in Uganda, Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda and the Virunga National Park in Congo.

Why Go Gorilla Tracking in Rwanda

Rwanda is regarded as the best gorilla safari destination in the world and gorillas can be tracked in volcanoes national park (Parc Nationale Des Volcanoes). This park is located in Northern Rwanda, a region called Ruhengeri.

Location

Volcanoes National Park is located just about 2-3 hours from Kigali, the capital of Rwanda. This makes it possible to take day trips and 2 days trips to the gorillas within the park. Therefore if you are looking to short haul travel, Rwanda is the best choice for you.

Better Infrastructure – The road to Ruhengeri is in the best condition if compared with Uganda and Congo.

Good weather condition – Do not get worrie about the weather. The conditions are good for travel throughout the year.

The Earliest Places to See the Gorillas

Rwanda is the oldest place to embrace gorilla tourism

Follow in the Footsteps of Dian Fossey

Diane Fossey made Rwanda very popular for gorilla tracking as she was against the massive killing of these species by the poachers and she studied the behaviours of these giant apes for a period of over 18 years, however her work was put to an end when she was killed by the said poachers whom she had made her self un popular.

Planning a Gorilla Trek

Tracking gorillas begins at the park headquarters to get a short briefing about the do’s and don’ts while with the gorillas and also get assigned to the group booked for, and then after head to the forest but being guided by a ranger guide.

It is recommended to go gorilla trekking with tracking gears such as strong shoes/boots, long sleeved shirts or blouses, a non flash camera bottled water.

Don’t forget to go with packed lunch as meeting these giants is unpredictable it can go to half or full day passing through muddy and thick forest, but ounce you meet these giant you will forget all the troubles you’ve gone through.

Upon meeting the gorillas, you have up to one hour you are allowed to spend with these giants while observing their behaviors, taking photos and also watch them while doing their daily activities such as playing, feeding making nest among others.

In fact you will be so proud to be among the 8 members allowed to track gorillas in each group. It’s really a breathtaking moment in life one should never wish to miss in life.

Best 5 Honey moon destinations in Africa

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If you have decided to get married and decide to stay with that special person in your life. What better way to celebrate your love than taking an adventurous safari to Africa to make new memories that will last. Africa offers some of the most beautiful scenery and the memorable experiences. Below are the 5 honey moon destinations in Africa;

Kenya

This country provided the back drop for the Oscar award winning movie, out of Africa, it’s a country with tightly packed package of incredible safari experiences boasting of exotic wildlife, beaches, beautiful resorts and stunning scenery. Explore all the tourist sights, walk through the natural sanctuaries, shop, dine and relish the bliss. Kenya is one of the best honeymoon destinations blessed with varied pleasures.

The things to do in Kenya on a honey moon include; wildlife adventure at Masai Mara plain, beach pleasures at Mombasa, feed your instagram / facebook with pictures as mount Kilimanjaro, try the white water rafting at Sagna and enjoy an unforgettable cycle ride to hell’s gate.

Mauritius

This is a heaven on earth , One of the few places left in the world where you can look forward to walking up every morning in paradise with great fresh clean air, no loud and horrible noises and dramatic views that are hard to imagine. This is a perfect spot for breath-taking scenery, beautiful beaches and high end hotels, which makes it a perfect spot for newlyweds to make their once in a lifetime memories.

The common things to do in Mauritius on a honeymoon include; island hopping, the romantic cruise through Port Louis, snorkelling, scuba diving and Kayaking, pampering spa session, enjoy a romantic walk on the beach and also escape the city to poudre D or village to Listening to love stories of Paul & Virginie. The best time to visit is April to December.

Comoros Island

One of the most beautiful islands of East Africa, Comoros is an extremely romantic location for couples on honey moon. The breath-taking palm fringed beaches, turquoise beaches, sunsets, luxury resorts, great food, nightlife and the bevy of water sports to create the unforgettable memories.

The main things to do in Comoros Island include; the spa session, snorkelling, scuba diving, or sailing with your partner, candle lit dinner with delicious cuisine, exploring the pristine islands, scale through the Dos du Dragon and also taking a day trip to Moroni island- the perfumed island. The best time to visit is April to December.

Madagascar

This is one of the most beautiful places on earth. From its great scenery that seems right out of a fairy-tale to the famous wildlife that occupies the island. It has an array out activities for both the indoor and outdoor lover. You can have a visit to one of the national parks and have a date with the Lemur.

The things to do in Madagascar on a honeymoon include; have a date with the lemurs at the national park, travel through Tsingy de Bemaraha, one of the greatest national parks, laze around the sandy shores, swimming, take pictures of the clear blue waters, explore the Andasibe Mantadia national park for gam drives, savor the delicious food and drinks and watch the traditional display of Malagasy culture.

Zanzibar

It’s bound on all sides by some of Africa’s best coral beaches, Zanzibar is post card perfect. Filled with incredible experiences, a honey moon in Zanzibar is as great as you visit in quite economical costs. The tropical rain forest leads to the sandy shores which extend to azure waters. The main things to do in Zanzibar on a honeymoon including; taking romantic walks on the beaches, watch the sunset with your love, have a tour around the spice island, play on the beautiful beaches of Zanzibar, shop f0or lovely wares at Kiponda street, Learn about the history and culture of Zanzibar at Zanzibar galley and Relish delicious cuisine at the food stall. The best time to visit is from June to October.

10 Things to Know About Gorilla Trekking

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Gorilla trekking is one of the best adventure tourist activities in the world.  Uganda and Rwanda are some of the world’s best destinations for gorilla trekking safaris in Africa. The Volcanoes National park in Rwanda, Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park and Mgahinga National Park in Uganda hosts the largest number of mountain gorillas hence the biggest gorilla trekking experience. Here are 10 things to know about gorilla trekking in Africa:

  1. The experience is expensiveGorilla Trekking is an expensive activity. In Uganda , the permit to see the mountain gorillas cost US$ 600 while in Rwanda it costs US$ 750. To that note therefore, many clients find it hard to pay for gorilla trekking permit, Air ticket, Visa and so on.
  2. The trekking requires maximum level of fitness – many people likes gorilla trekking but experience is strenuous and it involves climbing mountains and sloping down, crossing rivers and moving through slippery trails among others.
  3. Some forests habour dangerous insects, animals and reptiles. The fact that Gorilla trekking is conducted in Forested areas, trekkers stand higher chances of getting Malaria from Mosquitoes, Sleeping sickness from Tsetse flies among others.  However, we advise all our clients to move with mosquito repellent.
  4. Gorilla trekking is tiresome – trekking involves moving through the forest while searching for the mountain Gorilla and the time to meet Gorillas in unpredictable and some times takes a full day.
  5. Gorilla permits are on a very high demand and are booked in advance yet some clients prefer paying on arrival. Any delay to pay for the permits can make a client miss trekking when all gorilla permits are sold out.
  6. Gorilla permits are non refundable -once the client has paid for the gorilla permit and misses to come on the safari then, the Uganda wildlife Authority (UWA) OR Rwanda development Board (RDB) will not make refund by can only allow rescheduling.
  7. Gorilla tracking starts early morning yet some people find it hard to wake up early especially on cold days. Early in the morning, Gorilla trekking trails are filled with fog and dew which hinders visibility and smooth walking to meet Mountain Gorillas.
  8. Gorilla trekking is strictly done under instructions – only one hour is given to stay with Gorillas, No flash cameras, 7 metres distance must be left between Gorillas and the trekkers among others. Some people are not used to strict instructions.
  9. Gorilla Tracking is Safe!Many travelers think that gorillas are violent creatures and thus can cause harm to human beings. However, gorillas are peaceable animals unless provoked. once you follow the set gorilla watching rules, you will definitely enjoy the company of these great apes safely.
  10. There are strict rules to gorilla tracking that follow ecotourism. Children below 16years are not allowed to trek Gorillas yet some parents prefer trekking Gorillas with their children. Only one hour is allowed to stay with Gorillas –some clients find it less to maximally view gorillas and take photos.
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