Zambia has been voted as one of the safest destinations in the world to visit. It is a country that shows great potentials in tourism activities and has the most unspoiled landscapes. Since Zambia has more remote wilderness, you will be able to enjoy a game-rich safari free from crowds as compared to other destinations. One of the most attractive destinations to visit in Zambia is Victoria Falls. The great waters of the Zambezi River will provide you with plenty of activities that will keep you active acc through your safari.
Here is a list of the top 8 things to do in Zambia, Africa:
GUIDED WALKING SAFARIS IN SOUTH LUANGWA :
If you want to experience a wildlife sanctuary with all your senses, then a walking safari becomes the best way of doing so. On any given walking safari, your adrenalin will be racing, and your senses heightened. You will be able to come across features such as lion feet and groups of wildlife patronizing the sanctuary. This is the best destination for birders in Zambia. South Luangwa National Park boasts of more than 400 different bird species. The most common birds include Red-faced yellow-billed storks, avian, pelicans, and the great white egrets.
CANOEING ON THE ZAMBEZI RIVER :
When you canoe along the Zambezi River, you will experience a wide range of wildlife from the comfort of your boat. The activity will be more enthralling when you come across the several rapids and falls caused by the river tributaries. This is one of the best activities to engage in when you visit Zambia. In other words, it provides you with a magical combination of leisurely paddling with the seasonal experience of exciting rapids, leading to maximal satisfaction.
EXPERIENCE THE MIGHTY VICTORIA FALLS :
This is one of the most famous Zambia experiences you can have. There are various ways through which you can experience what is otherwise termed as ‘Smoke that Thunders.’ It is interesting to note that some of the most outstanding views of Victoria Falls are found on the Zambian side of the gorge. The decision on how you can visit the falls solely depends on you as you can either take a guided walking safari tour or visit the Falls independently. Nevertheless, you can also enjoy the general overview impression of the Falls by using a helicopter.
GAME DRIVES ALONG LUANGWA RIVER :
By undertaking this activity, you will experience varied and rich escarpments since the Luangwa River meanders through the extensive rift valley. Some of the most common wildlife you are likely to see include crocodiles, hippo, and leopards. For birders, this activity offers you an opportunity to see up to 450 different bird species.
SUNSET CRUISES ON THE ZAMBEZI RIVER :
It is a magical experience to watch the African sun as it sets over the Zambezi River. You have options of having an intimate encounter by either joining the sunset boat cruise or using a smaller boat. During such navigations, you will see different animals such as hippo, elephants, and different bird species on a sunset cruise.
NIGHT DRIVES IN ZAMBIA NATIONAL PARKS :
What you witness in a game drive during the day may be less exciting compared to night drives. You are likely to experience a wider array of nocturnal animals such as the prowl, hyenas, honey-badgers, porcupines, mongooses, civets, and genets. Additionally, you will be likely to experience lions and leopards doing other things other than sleeping. They hunt mostly at night, and you may have the opportunity to see a kill. The birders are not excluded because they are likely to see owls, dikkops, and nightjars.
EXPERIENCE THE THRILL OF DEVIL’S POOL :
This activity deserves a better heading because it offers you an incomparable swimming experience. The best time to visit Devil’s Pool is from late September when the Livingstone Island water levels are extremely low. You can therefore take a dip on the edge of the falls among the rocks which form a kind of bathing pool.
VISIT LIVINGSTON MUSEUM :
This is the largest and the oldest museum in Zambia. Some of its most common exhibits include possessions of David Livingstone, instruments, and photos. Within the museum, there are model villages of various ethnic groups which offer you an opportunity to understand Zambian culture.
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South Africa is well known as one of the best destinations for wildlife viewing. However, if you want to enjoy your experience fully, then it is advisable you plan your visit during the winter. In the steamy lush bushes, the local secret has it that mild winter acts as a welcome relief from the unbearable summer heat.
Here are the top 10 reasons why you should visit South Africa during the winter:
SUCCESSFUL SAFARIS :
During winters, there is sparse vegetation, making it easier to wade through the lush bush trails within the major game parks and reserves. Sparse vegetation and dry weather also play a significant role in drawing thirsty gems towards the waterholes. As such, it becomes very easy to see the Big Five such as the rhino, leopard, buffalo, elephant, and lion. It is a lucky occurrence that the favorable weather conditions experienced during the winters do not lead to large crowds and queues of safari vehicles since most tourists prefer visiting during the summer to combine both animal viewing and sun enjoyment.
GREAT AFFORDABILITY :
You will be enthused to know that demands to visit South Africa are inversely proportional to temperature changes. This means that as the temperatures become more favorable during the winters, the demand to visit reduces proportionately. What follows is the low-season pricing on accommodations and flights. If you want to enjoy the best price bargains, book your safari earlier, i.e., three to six months before your actual travel.
QUIET SIGHTS :
As noted earlier, the peak seasons in South Africa are often during the summers (between November to March). During such a time, you will notice that there are always long queues and jam-packed accommodations. However, during the winter, you will see a very different scenario. The museums are refreshingly quiet, the beaches on the garden route are peaceful and you can enjoy the tranquil wine tasting rooms in the Cape Winelands without interference.
FLEXIBLE TRAVEL :
Because there is greater affordability and availability of resources during the winter, visitors often have the flexibility to travel spontaneously. In other words, there are no restrictions of having to plan everything before the actual safari or book all the night’s accommodations before leaving home. Winter offers you a free chance to listen to what other guests say, then make a choice on the best regions that appeal to you.
ALTERNATIVE ACTIVITIES :
During winter, the snow on the ground and the weather facilitate the enjoyment of other exhilarating outdoor activities. Are you planning to enjoy either snowboarding or fancy skiing in Africa? Then you should plan and visit Mountainous Lesotho during the winter, and enjoy Afriski, which is considered the major ski resort in South Africa. Additionally, during the winters, the whale-watching activities increase, and the yearly Hermanus Whale Festival is often held in September.
POPULAR PURSUITS :
All the activities that South Africa is famous for such as diving and hiking are best supported during the winter. You will note that cooler weather is ideal for safaris and hiking alike. Some people think that it may be chilly. However, a cup of coffee is always set on board and is sufficient in warming you up. During winters, the mercury is below its summer highs, and therefore, it is more pleasant when you visit the bushes.
MINIMAL MALARIA RISK :
When you visit Kruger and other northeastern parts of South Africa, you are likely to be infected with malaria. However, for mosquitoes, the breeding conditions are often less favorable during the winters, reducing the risks of contracting malaria. However, it is still recommended that you use some of the usual precautionary measures such as the application of DEET-based repellent and prophylactic medication.
It is advantageous to visit during the winter because the four-legged inhabitants of the bush rarely hibernate during that time. However, it is noted that the Capetonians may hibernate. The four-legged inhabitants include wild dogs, warthog rutting, wildebeest, and the impala. Elephants often migrate to winter grazing grounds, making it easier to see them.
INDOOR ENTERTAINMENT :
If you are planning to be part of the culture appreciation team, go shopping, enjoy the cuisine and wine that South Africa is globally recognized for, then you should plan your trip during the winter. Cape Town’s V& Waterfront or Johannesburg’s 44 Stanley are must-visit destinations if you want to enjoy boutique retail. Nevertheless, you have the freedom to choose between the numerous hundreds of Wineland’s testing rooms.
CELESTIAL SOUTH AFRICA IN THE WINTER :
During the southern winter, the heavens are likely to be clearer. There are also other sea-and land-based benefits to enjoy during the winter. Lower temperatures facilitate clearer skies, consequently enhancing better stargazing. You will have to take a night sky safari in the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, Cederberg range, and Sutherland.
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Are you thinking of having a safari full of cultural highlights and wildlife viewing? If yes, then you should think about Mozambique as a must-visit destination. This is a country that borders South Africa, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Tanzania, and the Indian Ocean. Like these adjoining countries, Mozambique is a perfect destination for wildlife viewing and offers more features that tourists can enjoy. When you visit this country and travel to view the underwater gems, laidback coastal settlements, and the capital Maputo, then you will Understand why Mozambique is extensively diverse.
Here is a list of 10 best and unique places to visit In Mozambique:
Once you arrive in Mozambique, you should visit the breathtaking capital city Maputo. This city serves as a home to about one million people. Additionally, it portrays various architectural styles, islands off the coasts, markets, and wide garden complexities to discover. Of great importance, do not forget to visit the train station established in the early 20th century, from where you will be able to see green façade as well as high rising arches.
Additionally, patronize the city until you reach the Maputo Fortress, a place that used to be the stronghold for the Portuguese. Another destination that will help you establish the true taste of natural treasures found in Mozambique is the Tunduru Botanical Gardens. When you visit this garden, you will see a wide range of both flora and fauna and escape the hot midday sun by hiding under tree shades.
BAZARUTO ARCHIPELAGO :
Along the 2500km coastline of Mozambique, you will come across the Bazaruto Archipelago which is considered one of the top crown jewels. Be keen and take your time to explore the 5 primary islands located within this Archipelago. There are groups of flamingos that often dominate the deserted islands of the Archipelago.
However, this is not the only reason why you should visit this destination. You will realize that often, you are going to encounter rich biodiversity past the spectacular sandbars. You will have an opportunity to see dugongs, dolphins, and whales repeatedly pop their heads above the water. Nevertheless, you can engage in diving activities when you visit the Archipelago.
GORONGOSA NATIONAL PARK:
This Park is home to a wide range of flora and fauna. You will realize that within the park, most of the iconic African animals such as antelopes, hippos, lions, and elephants are easily seen. A view of this park will take your breath away since it is primarily characterized by distinct river systems, lakes bushlands, and grassy plains.
With your binoculars, you will sight different birds such as the majestic African fish eagle, crowned crane, and bee-eaters. If you want to best navigate through the park, you will use a kayak tour, guided walking tour, or a jeep safari.
QUIRIMBAS NATIONAL PARK :
When you visit Gorongosa National Park and you still need to experience more of the Mozambique biodiversity, then you should head straight to Quirimbas National Park. This is a destination that has been listed by UNESCO as a biosphere reserve and comprises both islands and the mainland. Within the 11 islands found here, you will experience a unique ecosystem comprising several smaller animal species, extremely large humpback whales, beautiful coral reefs, and massive mangrove forests.
This is a laidback settlement found in the coastal region of Maputo town. It has solely developed as a tourist town and although it is not as unique as the destinations discussed earlier, it remains to be one of the best places to visit. If you want to see fresh produce from both sea and land, then you should stroll through Xai-Xai town, one of the best trading hubs in Mozambique.
From the town, you will be able to discover rocky outcrops and beaches along the Indian Ocean. Additionally, you will engage in activities such as snorkeling to see rare species of dugong as they float in regions of shallow waters.
INHACA ISLAND :
Few miles away from the capital Maputo, you take a boat ride to reach Inhaca Island. One of the most enthusing discoveries you will make once you are on the Island is that it greatly differs from Maputo in terms of sights and atmosphere. During the weekends, you will establish that many tourists and locals flock to the adjoining resorts and beaches to enjoy.
If you are a birder, this is a must-visit destination for you since it hosts more than 300 bird species. Additionally, you will be able to see many humpback whales and manta rays roam around in the ocean.
PONTA DO OURO :
When you visit the southern border of Mozambique adjacent to South Africa, you will find Ponta do Ouro. This is one of the best beach resort towns you can ever visit. It is one of the most recognized tourist spots in Mozambique. You will be able to have an opportunity to swim with dolphins and enjoy the most outstanding beaches. The shorelines that you will see are undeniably outstanding and the beach is worth traveling to.
LIMPOPO NATIONAL PARK :
This Park is part of the large international nature reserve. On the South African side, it is known as the famous Kruger National Park. Despite receiving little international acknowledgment, Limpopo National Park remains to be one of the most outstanding destinations. You will have an opportunity to see animals such as lions, crocodiles, buffalos, and elephants when you visit this park. Nonetheless, other animals such as cheetah and hyenas are also easily seen through the park. The Park boasts several lodges, which makes it a perfect reserve to visit during a multi-day trip.
This is a modest seaside town, serving as a home to about 5000 people. Despite the low population number, you will realize that Tofo is one of the most promising destinations that you can visit. On its lands, you will see attractive sand dunes which give you an opportunity to capture the best photography ever. On the other hand, its beaches are the best for walking and basking in the sun. The divers are not left behind. The beaches are safer, and you can enjoy your diving activities to the fullest.
ILHA DE MOCAMBIQUE :
This destination is otherwise known as Mozambique Island. It is in the northeastern region of Mozambique. Unlike the other islands, Mozambique Island is characterized by remnants of medieval architecture and colorful mansions.
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An African country, Ethiopia has never been colonized. It has excelled in keeping its colorful cultural identity over time. Such success can be evidenced by the presence of deep-seated customs permeating the country, many indigenous villages, and numerous historic fortresses. When you plan and visit Ethiopia, you are bound to experience incredible destinations that differentiate it from other countries in Africa. It is indeed a country of unmatched culture and nature. Ranging from volcanic craters, shimmering lakes to rugged mountains, you will have many activities to engage in when you visit Ethiopia.
Here is a list of the top 8 best things to do in Ethiopia:
If you are thinking about some of the most diverse ecosystems in Africa, then Lake Tana must come to your mind. It is the main source of the infamous Blue Nile River. Additionally, it remains to be the largest lake in Ethiopia, covering an area of about 50 miles of the northwest Ethiopian highlands.
Supposing you want to explore and enjoy nature offered by Lake Tana, then a boat trip becomes the best way. Cruising through the water, you will be amazed by the abundance of mammals such as hippos, different bird species, fish, and softshell turtles. Such an experience will make you keep coming for more.
NATIONAL MUSEUM OF ETHIOPIA :
This is where you will be able to understand more about Ethiopian history. It is amazing that this museum has three unique exhibits from where thousands of archeological and artifact findings are displayed. Take your time and visit the most enthralling exhibit known as the paleoanthropological section from where you will be able to see the remains of early apes or hominids. You will see the remaining skeleton of “Lucy” which is believed to be the oldest remains of any human ancestor.
BLUE NILE FALLS :
When you eventually visit the Blue Nile Falls, its dramatic thundering will surely take your breath away. The fall is not so tall since it is only about 138 feet high. However, you will like its three-streamed waterfall that is often shrouded in a fog of mist, raging in unison with faint rainbow shimmers.
You should note that making your way to the falls may be hectic and therefore, the assistance of a tour guide is called for. There are different ways through which you can navigate to reach the falls. For instance, you may use a motorboat or steep trek to the viewpoint. For the ultimate experience, you should not visit the falls during dry seasons from January to March because little water will be oozing down the falls.
RIFT VALLEY LAKES:
Across the world, it is recognized that the lakes found within the Ethiopian Rift valley are some of the deepest and the oldest. Such lakes are found located between Somalia and Ethiopian plateaus. They have continued to play significant roles in building Ethiopia’s economy. Some of the lakes you can visit include Lake Awassa, Lake Ziway, Lake Chamo, and Lake Abaya. You will have an opportunity to view birds, crocodiles, and even do fishing.
SIMIEN MOUNTAINS NATIONAL PARK :
When you visit the lush green valley and the jugged peaks of the Siemen Mountains, you will have an opportunity to see the Siemen Mountains National Park located in between. This is one of the most attractive destinations you can visit in Ethiopia. Within the center of this park, you will see Ras Dashan, which is the tenth highest in Africa and the highest in Ethiopia. It is not just the jaw-dropping natural scenery that will move you, but also the diverse wildlife range such as the spotted hyenas, baboons, and caracals roaming through the mountains.
ROCK-HEWN CHURCHES OF LALIBELA :
Visiting Ethiopia offers you an opportunity to see one of the greatest Ethiopian Christianity symbols, the Rock-Hewn Churches of Lalibela. These churches were named after King Lalibela who built them in the 13th century with an intention of recreating the city of Jerusalem. These churches play significant roles in the Ethiopian Orthodox religion to date.
DEBRE DAMO :
Before you even reach the Debre Damo itself, you will be impressed by the nature of the journey it takes. The Debre Damo building is located on top of an extensive plateau and can only be accessed by using a thin leather belt to climb 50 feet along the cliff. When you manage to reach the top of the cliff, you will have succeeded in visiting one of Ethiopia’s oldest religious buildings. You will be amazed to establish that today, Debre Damo hosts 150 self-sufficient monks, growing their own food and keeping cattle.
Have you ever heard of the hottest place on the planet? If no, then you should realize it in Dallol. By visiting this destination, you will experience toxic gas bubbles, boiling sulfuric pools, and muddy hot springs. The average temperature of this place is 95 degrees Fahrenheit across the year. It is not only the unusual temperatures that will enthuse you when you visit Dallol, but also its unique landscape.
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If you have ever visited Namibia before, then you understand the sheer wonder and the wealth of attraction found in it. At the beginning of each year, Namibia gets the highest number of persons listing it as a must-visit destination for the year ahead. Etosha pan with its unique and awe-inspiring nature has been named as the primary destination for anyone who visits Namibia.
Here are the top 5 reasons why you should explore Namibia’s Etosha Pan:
THE SHEER ABUNDANCE OF GAME :
For any big game enthusiasts, Etosha is the best destination to visit. Four out of the 5 big five are present and often sighted at Etosha. The four include leopards, lions, rhinos, and elephants. This is not to say there are no other games. You will experience other animals such as the gemsbok, hyena, cheetah, and giraffes. In general. Etosha pan boasts as a home to about 114 species of mammals and additional 340 species of birds. It is one of the best destinations in Africa from where you can easily spot black rhinos. When you visit Etosha during dry seasons, you are likely to enjoy a wider range of carnival wildlife drawn in to drink water from the life-giving waterholes.
THE DRAMATIC LANDSCAPES :
One of the interesting features that make Etosha be well known is its vast salt pan located at its center. The pan is always so big, and can easily be observed from space. Additionally, the Etosha pan has a moon-like surface which provides unique vistas and enthralling backdrops to the game viewing and landscape photographs. When you visit the pan during the wetter summer months, you will establish that it is always filled with water thus acting as a shimmering oasis to birdlife. For photographers, you will be moved by the beautiful scenery established when the sun sets over the open, vast landscapes of Etosha.
THE AFFORDABILITY :
When you compare Etosha pan to some of its neighbouring regional contemporaries, you will realize that it remains one of the most affordable destinations. Within the park, there are several budget accommodations, which offer you the value for money as deserved. You will enjoy a wide array of amenities including some of the most luxurious ones without having to break the bank.
THE ACCESSIBILITY :
Although many people note that the Etosha’s vast and barren landscape gives it a remote feeling, you will surely agree that it is one of the most accessible destinations in Africa. The roads in this park are good and well-signposted, facilitating an easy four-hour drive from the capital of Namibia and the transport hub of Windhoek. It is a fulfilling experience to travel on Etosha’s well-maintained roads which do not necessarily demand 4×4 vehicles. When you visit the park, you can often pick maps at the gates and enjoy a self-driving.
THE CHANCES TO EXPLORE BEYOND THE PARK :
It is evident that Etosha pan offers much to experience when you visit. If that is not enough, then you should know that Etosha is also located in close proximity to several other Namibia must-visit destinations. For instance, the aptly-named and dramatic Skeleton Coast is found near Etosha pan. Additionally, the newly established Omulunga Palm Route taking in several of Namibia’s cultural highlights and lesser-known games passes through Etosha. Towards the west, you will find Kaokland, which is known for its free-roaming black rhinos and desert-dwelling elephants.
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Virunga Primates and Lake Kivu have some of the most interesting facts you should know especially when you are enthused in tracking primates. You are likely to witness the highest number of gorillas when you visit this game park. If that is not enough, then you should know that birders are not left behind since Lake Kivu provides perfect scenery to watch birds such as the fish eagles among other species. Planning a safari and visiting Virunga Primates and Lake Kivu is worth your time, and the experience you will receive is the utmost fulfillment.
Here is a list of 10 facts about Virunga Primates and Lake Kivu National Park:
HOME TO GORILLA SPECIES:
Of all the facts about Virunga Primates and Lake Kivu National fact, serving as a home to gorilla species is the most significant. Often, people travel to this park and get a perfect opportunity of experiencing different species of gorillas, an activity that remains quite interesting. The mountain gorillas are considered a rare species in Congo. If you want to see such gorillas, then you have to grab your camera and organize a trip to Virunga Primates.
In addition to the mountain gorillas, you will also have a chance to see some of the eastern lowland gorillas. Perhaps you are wondering distinguishes these gorilla species? You should note that the difference is based primarily on their habitats, characteristics, and number of family teams.
HOME TO ENDANGERED SPECIES :
There are many endangered wildlife species found in Virunga and Lake Kivu National park. Supposing you are interested in seeing some of the rare species such as the okapi, mostly known as the forest giraffe, and the giraffe zebra which has significant similarities with both the giraffe and zebra, then this game park is a must-visit destination. The mountain gorillas are another group of endangered species that you are likely to experience. You will be moved by the beauty of some of these endangered species, and by far, you will always want to keep coming back to visit the park.
HOME TO 3 GREAT PRIMATE SPECIES:
This park is predominantly occupied with the three primate species or apes, which include the chimpanzees, the mountain gorillas and, the lowland gorillas. Particularly, you will have to visit the Sekwenkwe gorilla orphanage from where you will see orphaned gorillas that are victims of poaching. All the history related to the orphanage will be unveiled to you once you visit the Virunga National Park.
ONE OF THE RICHEST NATIONAL PARKS IN AFRICA:
In terms of natural resources and biodiversity, Virunga Primates and Lake Kivu National Park are considered one of the richest not only in Congo but in entire Africa. Virunga boasts of hosting more than 2000 species of plants. Once you arrive in the park, you will notice that there are several swamps that serve as a home to several species of birds and other grassland species including the sacaton grass, papyrus sedge among others. There are also minerals such as gold uranium and oil in this park.
HOUSES THE TALLEST MOUNTAIN OF THE VIRUNGA MOUNTAINS :
If you want to see and enjoy the tallest mountain of the Virunga known as Mount Karisimbi, then you must visit Virunga Primates and Lake Kivu. Mount Kirisimbi stretches far, reaching Rwanda. All across the Virunga Mountains which extend in three countries including Congo, Rwanda, and Uganda, you will experience incredibly rich biodiversity that will definitely shape your urge of wanting to come back for more. Apart from seeing gorilla families, you can engage in activities such as birding, canoeing in Lake Kivu, hiking on the Virunga Mountains, and anti-poaching patrols.
MOST ACTIVE VOLCANO :
When you visit Virunga, you are likely to see Nyamuragira Mountain, which erupts after every two years and is considered the most active volcano in Africa. The massive eruptions from these mountains are a threat to both flora and fauna found in the park. Nonetheless, such eruptions are a great tourism attraction to scientists who would like to understand the earth’s crust. You will also hike Mount Nyiragongo, another active volcano that is said to have erupted more than 32 times since 2002. The experience is absolutely fascinating.
THE FIRST PARK TO BE ESTABLISHED IN AFRICA :
With more than 125 years in existence, Virunga Primates and Lake Kivu are considered the oldest par in Africa. It was established by the King of Belgium with an intention of preserving wildlife and particularly the Mountain gorillas. When you visit this park you are going to have an opportunity of experiencing the golden old days. Through the help of a tour guide, you will be able to establish some of the earliest habitats originally occupied by hunters and gatherers who depended on some of the forest products such as natural herbs, fruits, and living creatures.
COMPOSED OF FOUR MAIN SECTORS:
The total area covered by this park is about 3000 square miles. The four sectors include the Lake Kivu, the southern, central, and Northern sectors. You will be moved by the unique biodiversity and landscapes found in each of these sectors. Some of the common features you must experience include the montane tropical forests, active volcanos, and mountain gorillas found in the southern sector; the Rwindi plains, Ishasha river valley, and Lake Edward located in the central sector, among other features. Your safari shall definitely be full of experience and fun.
A UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE SITE :
Due to the exceptional wildlife found at Virunga Pirates and Lake Kivu National Park, it has been identified and made a UNESCO internationally recognized site. It is therefore termed as one of the most biodiverse protected areas in the world. The park participates actively in supporting local communities and has a vision of harnessing natural resources to establish more opportunities for the natives.
HOME TO 40% OF MOUNTAIN GORILLAS :
As noted earlier, the entire population of highly endangered mountain gorillas is found particularly within Bwindi National Park and Virunga Massif. These parks span regions of Rwanda, Uganda, and the Democratic Republic of Congo. You should however note that about 40% of the total gorilla population is found within Virunga National park and the Lake Kivu region. Often, they live in the lush and dense forests of the Virunga volcanoes.
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Here is a list of 5 best safari parks and game reserves in Rwanda:
In the recent past, Rwanda has suffered harsh and turbulent history. However, it is currently gaining both environmental and economic resurgence, placing it as one of the top tourist destinations to visit in Africa. If only you didn’t know, Rwanda is a landlocked country located in the East Africa region. It is one of the countries that boasts majestic volcanoes, dense vegetation, lush and spectacular wildlife. You want to reach dizzying mountain peaks, monkey around with gorillas, and wade through plush vegetation, then the best you can do is to plan and visit Rwanda.
PARK NACIONAL VOLCANS :
Any trip to Rwanda is highlighted by a visit to Park Nacional Volcans. If you are interested in tracking silverback gorillas, which are a rare species inspiring the Hollywood blockbuster Gorillas in the Mist, then this is the park you must visit. Out of all the attractions you could experience in Rwanda, gorilla tracking is ranked third.
Through tracking, you will be able to learn and know more about gorillas than before. Park Nacional Volcans is therefore considered as a home to the most endangered gorilla species. It is made up of five fascinating volcanoes steeping in bamboo and lush forest. Out of these volcanoes, Karisimbi is the tallest, rising to heights of over 4,500m. Since climbing mountains is one of the most fulfilling attractions in Africa, Rwanda charges fair prices to ensure that you enjoy yourself when you visit Park Nacional Volcans.
NYUNGWE FOREST NATIONAL PARK:
When you visit Rwanda, do not fail to travel to the Southwestern part. This is where you will find Nyungwe Forest National Park, which is considered the largest and most significant biodiversity destination. You will be surprised to know that this park has more than 1000 species of plants, hundreds of species of birds, and about 75 different types of mammals. Nonetheless, it also has about 13 primates’ varieties.
For natural wildlife lovers, this park offers you a paradise. Flora and fauna are found in abundance within this park. This park survived the Ice Age and currently, it serves as a home to the oldest rainforest in Africa. You can undertake activities such as tracking chimps and rare monkey species such as the Angolan Colobus that frequently swing enthusiastically on the trees of the forest. You can opt to trek along the Nile and the Congo rivers and experience more monkeys and gorillas, and also see the magical water springs leading to the headwaters of the Albertine Nile.
PARK NACIONAL DE L’AKAGERA :
This park was constructed in 1934 basically to protect the regions surrounding the Kagera River. It was considered one of the best wildlife reserves in entire Africa. However, due to political violence observed in the 1990s, many emigrants occupied this park, reducing its area, and making it a region of concentrated charities. It took the efforts of different organizations such as the Akagera Management Company and the African Parks Network to transform the park into the natural paradise it once was.
Currently, the bird-watching experience offered by this park is unparalleled. It has several species of eagles, raptors among other birds that often soar through the skies. If you want to watch zebras roaming the wild while the area is brimmed with elephants and buffalos, then this remains to be one of the parks you can visit. Measures have been enacted to ensure there is no poaching here, an aspect that has ensured the re-introduction of both black rhinos and lions.
MUKURA FOREST RESERVE :
In entire Africa, there are only a few remaining montane forests, and Mukura is one of them. It rises to an altitude of about 2,600m and remains to be one of the most continuous and extensive regions of forest in Rwanda. Here, you will have an opportunity to see about 150 different animal species. It is estimated that there are about 1000 species of birds and over 293 reptiles and amphibians species in this park.
GISHWATI FOREST RESERVE:
This reserve has been seen as vanishing over time. It has lost about 99% of its initial land coverage, courtesy of human intervention and natural disasters to some extent. However, several efforts have been made since 2001, ensuring reforestation of the area is done, which have increased the parking area by approximately 1000 acres.
Despite the challenges faced, the Gishwati reserve is still one of the leading attractions in Rwanda, and it clearly portrays why Rwanda has been referred to as the “Land of a Thousand Hills.” When you visit the reserve, you will witness many undulating and fascinating hills areas and will be able to experience some of the idyllic tea plantations surrounding the edges of the reserve. The destination is absolutely breathtaking.
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Any time you hear the topic about African Safari, then Kenya must come into your mind as one of the best destinations to visit. Of great interest is that Kenya is considered the birthplace of African Safari and, the first country to introduce the Big 5 concept. If you are enthusiastic about experiencing a wide array of animals, then Kenya is a must-visit destination for you. However, knowing the best parks and reserves you can travel to may be a challenge. Keeping that in mind, it is essential that you know some of the best game parks and reserves in Kenya, to make your safari as easy.
Here are the Top 5 game parks and national reserves in Kenya:
MASAI MARA NATIONAL RESERVE :
This reserve is considered the jewel of Kenya’s wildlife viewing areas, and rightly so. It lies within a varied land of woodland savannah, wide grassland, and riverine forest. Therefore, it acts as a home to the largest predator population all year round. By implication, in this reserve, you will be able to see a pride of lions and cheetahs executing their hunt in open plains. Additionally, you will see leopards stalking in the forests, making your safari more attractive.
Perhaps you are wondering the best time to visit the Masai Mara National Reserve. You should know that the ultimate time is from July through to September, when thousands of wildebeests will be migrating across the Masai Mara River, in what is considered the Great Migration. Nonetheless, in Masai Mara, you will also find some of the best camps and lodges such as the famous Governor’s camp lying along the Mara River. Such camps allow you to track wildebeest migration effectively.
LAKE NAKURU NATIONAL PARK :
If you are a birder, then Lake Nakuru Park is the perfect destination for you. Here, you will be able to see thousands of flamingos gathering at the lake as well as many other bird species that call the park home. It is said that currently, the number of flamingos found here has reduced significantly. Nonetheless, the number is known to rise up to about 1.5 million. This park is a paradise to birders!!
If you are not a bird enthusiast, it does not imply that you should not visit this park. There is ideally something for everyone in the park. Starting from 1983, Lake Nakuru National Park has been declared a rhino sanctuary. Currently, the park is home to impressively healthy populations of both white and black rhino. Additionally, you may opt to move southwards past Flamingo Hill to a known lion spotting region from where you will see several lionesses sleeping in trees. By chance, you may also see a few leopards.
LAIKIPIA NATIONAL RESERVE:
If you visit the northwest region of the snow-capped Mount Kenya, you are bound to see Laikipia plains which are considered one of the top premier tourist destinations in Kenya. The wildlife view found in this plane is considered extraordinary when compared to other regions in the country.
In terms of wildlife population, Laikipia is considered second after Masai Mara. It also serves as a home to the most endangered mammals than any other reserve in East Africa. Supposing you want to see some of the endemic species of animals such as the reticulated giraffe and Gravy’s zebra, then plan your trip and visit Laikipia plains. If that is not enough, then you should know that the Laikipia reserve is home to 50% of the total rhino population in Kenya.
MERU NATIONAL PARK:
In the early 1990s, this park experienced massive poaching which led to a decrease in wildlife species. However, with the current poaching controls, it is becoming one of the most fascinating wildlife viewing destinations in Kenya. Although it has remained to be one of the least visited wildlife destinations, that works in its favor because its vast land stretching to an area of about 870 km remains unspoiled, waiting to be discovered.
Despite the low number of visitors compared to other established parks, you should note that the game viewing opportunities and the animal population here match that of any other park in Kenya. The most common wildlife you will view in this park includes the Big 5, cheetah, and other savannah species. To an advantage are the numerous streams running through the park, facilitating an excellent view of hippo, African fish eagles, and crocodiles.
SAMBURU NATIONAL RESERVE:
The name of this reserve is derived from the occupant people, the Samburu. It is a smaller park in Kenya. However, the fascinating wildlife viewing experience it offers makes it rank as one of the best destinations. Within its unrestricted savannah grasslands passes the Ewaso Nyiro River which attracts many animals such as the Nile crocodile. It is also vital to understand that this park acts as a home to the “Samburu Special 5,” which includes beisa oryx, gerenuk, reticulated giraffe, Somali ostrich, and the Grevy’s zebra.
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