Serengeti National Park
Serengeti National Park is one of the most famous parks in Africa and is synonymous with wildlife and classic African scenery. It is Tanzania’s oldest park and a Unesco World Heritage Site. It is home to the spectacular wildebeest migration and offers top-class wildlife viewing throughout the year.
Every year, over 2 million wildebeest, zebra and gazelle migrate from the Serengeti to the Masai Mara Reserve in Kenya. If you’re there at the right time, you can spot herds of wildebeest and zebra stretching to the horizon.
Each year around the same time, the circular great wildebeest migration begins in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area of the southern Serengeti in Tanzania and loops in a clockwise direction through the Serengeti National Park and north towards the Masai Mara reserve in Kenya. This migration is a natural phenomenon determined by the availability of grazing. The initial phase lasts from approximately January to March, when the calving season begins – a time when there is plenty of rain-ripened grass available for the 260,000 zebra that precede 1.7 million wildebeest and the following hundreds of thousands of other plains game, including around 470,000 gazelles.
During February, the wildebeest spend their time on the short grass plains of the southeastern part of the ecosystem, grazing and giving birth to approximately 500,000 calves within a 2 to 3-week period. Few calves are born ahead of time and of these, hardly any survive. The main reason is that very young calves are more noticeable to predators when mixed with older calves from the previous year. As the rains end in May, the animals start moving northwest into the areas around the Grumeti River, where they typically remain until late June. The crossings of the Grumeti and Mara rivers beginning in July are a popular safari attraction because crocodiles are lying in wait. The herds arrive in Kenya in late July / August, where they stay for the remainder of the dry season, except that the Thomson’s and Grant’s gazelles move only east/west. In early November, with the start of the short rains the migration starts moving south again, to the short grass plains of the southeast, usually arriving in December in plenty of time for calving in February.
About 250,000 wildebeest die during the journey from Tanzania to the Maasai Mara National Reserve in southwestern Kenya, a total of 800 kilometres (500 mi). Death is usually from thirst, hunger, exhaustion, or predation
Gorilla trekking is worth the cost, energy and time. Past travelers have reviewed the experience as unforgettable, magical and life-changing worth every single coin. Despite the high costs, discomfort and time, gorilla watching tours in Rwanda, Uganda & Congo remain one of the best wildlife experience worth your precious time. We can confidently assure you that a close encounter with the endangered species is an incredible lifetime experience, which no traveler coming to Africa should ever miss. The exhilarating thril that one gets on seeing the silverback gorilla, the human-like characters of gorillas in their families and their social interactions make these gentle giants worth visiting. The gentle and beutiful giants live in the jungles of Bwindi, Volcanoes, Mgahinga and Virunga national park. Gorilla watching is a thrilling experience, which has impressed some tourists to do it over and over again despite all the challeges.
Gorilla trekking Rwanda prices
Trekking mountain gorillas in Volcanoes National Park Rwanda calls for $1500 to buy a gorilla permit. Rwanda gorilla permits were increased in May 2017, when the Rwanda Development Board (RDB) doubled permit price from $750 to $1500. The main reason for the increament of the gorilla permits was to improve gorilla conservation and the livelihoods of local people living adjacent to the park. In other words, money earned from the sale of gorilla permits is used to support gorilla conservation while 20% is given to local people to improve their standards of living which i found it a worthy cause.
Gorilla permits Uganda
Uganda Permits are affordable. A single gorilla permit in Uganda costs $700 for foreign non-residents, $600 for foreign residents. Therefore one permit of Rwanda equals 2 permits in Uganda. This makes Uganda an affordable gorilla tour destination especially for those traveling on a budget.
Gorilla permits Congo
The Democratic Republic of Congo offers the cheapest gorilla permits at only $450. The reason for low-cost gorilla permits in Congo is civil conflicts and political fights which have made Congo one of the insecure travel destinations. Also, the rampant kidnap and killing of park rangers in Virunga national park, home to the endangered mountain gorillas is a threat to gorilla tourism in the park hence fewer visits. In all gorilla destinations, gorilla-tracking costs outweigh other wildlife experiences.
Is gorilla trekking worth the effort and discomfort?
Yes, all the discomfort and fatigue disappear the moment you set your eyes on the silverback gorilla. You will surely like it. Gorilla trekking is a strenuous adventure, which entails hiking through the thick jungle forests with muddy and slippery grounds. The hiking time can vary from 30 minutes to full day depending on the location of the gentle giants. Expect wet, gloomy, muddy and slippery grounds, thorny bushes and ground insects during your search for the gorillas. If you are trekking in Bwindi Impenetrable forest, expect hiking to high altitudinal areas, which is surely tiresome. However, upon reaching the gorillas, you will not regret the efforts and believe that this once in a lifetime magical experience is worth the discomfit and energy.
Time to spend with gorillas
Tourists spend an hour in the company of mountain gorilla family. This hour is counted from the time tourists reach gorillas. Travelers are reminded to fully utilize this hour, observe carefully the social characters of gorillas, spend photos, capture videos and enjoy the company of these gentle giants in their native habitats. REMINDER: The time to spend in the jungle before reaching gorillas can be as short as 30 minutes to several hours depending on the location of gorillas and their speed of movements.
If you want to spend more time with gorillas, book a gorilla habituation experience, which allows you to spend four hours with mountain gorillas. This experience is only done in the Rushaga sector south of Bwindi Impenetrable forest national park. A single gorilla habituation permit costs $1500 but the experience is worth the price.
How many people allowed
8 people every day visit a gorilla family for an hour. Gorilla family allocation depends on physical fitness, age and hiking abilities of a traveler. You are therefore reminded to disclose your hiking abilities to your guide so as to get a gorilla family for you.
In general, gorilla trekking is worth the costs, energy and time. The increased number of visits to see gorillas in Uganda and Rwanda each day is evidence that gorilla trekking is never disappointing. Book a gorilla trekking tour to Uganda, Rwanda or Congo today, meet face to face with the gentle giants and enjoy this lifetime experience.
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Masai Village Visit
Masai Village Visit is a formidable activity to do while in Kenya.
You’ve seen pictures of them – adorned with the brilliant red, blue and purple patterns of the shukas they wear. The men with their spears, tall and proud. The women bejeweled with bright beaded earrings and scarves. These are the some of the oldest inhabitants of East Africa, the Maasai people.
They live in small mud-thatched villages, surrounded by their cattle and smaller livestock. For hundreds of years the Masai have roamed these lands of Kenya and Tanzania, living a free, nomadic lifestyle. Their traditional lands now comprise much of Kenya’s national parks.
A highlight of your safari vacation is a visit with these Maasai people. Many of the tribes welcome visitors to their villages to view up close their culture and lifestyle.
Arriving at the Village – An Explosion of Colour
The first thing you’ll notice as you enter a village is the many vivid colours of the Masai’s garments. The bright shukas or sheets they wear contrast strongly with the greens and browns of the landscape.
Adding to this display of colour is the brightly beaded jewelry – necklaces, bracelets and amulets – worn by the women and men.
This beadwork, while very appealing, has more than just an ornamental value. The women who create it express their identity and social status with these handcrafted pieces.
You’ll see displays of this beaded jewelry for sale, and you can help support the village with a purchase… as well as bringing home an authentic souvenir from your travels.
Music and Dance
You may get to experience the villagers singing and dancing… and you might even be able to join in! The Maasai are known for their rhythmic call-and-response singing. Perhaps their most widely known dance is the adumu or “jumping dance”.
The warriors form a circle with one person entering the center. This dancer will jump higher and higher to the rhythms of the singers. As he jumps higher the singers will raise the pitch of their voices.
Sometimes guests are invited into the circle, adding to the dancing fun!
Standing in muted contrast to the colourful villagers, you’ll see the browns and grays of the Maasai’s houses, called bomas. Small structures with thatched roofs, it is the job of the Maasai women to build these sturdy dwellings.
The women begin with a framework of timber poles and interweave smaller branches to form a structure. This is then covered with a mixture of mud, grass, cow dung, urine and ash. The entire structure is no more than 3 x 5 m in area and stands only 1.5 m tall.
Yet the family cooks, eats, sleeps and socialises in this modest structure – even sharing space with small livestock! You may be able to peek inside to experience a very different lifestyle.
The men also participate in constructing this homestead. It is their responsibility to build the protective fencing around the village to keep lions and other predators away from the livestock.
We’ll Be Your Guide
We’ll provide you with opportunities to enjoy a visit to a Masai Village. On your Incredible Adventure to the Masai Mara Reserve or Amboseli National Park, you can partake of this optional excursion. The cost is only $20 and payable to the village chief. Just ask your driver/guide who will make all the arrangements.
Should you have any other special requests for your safari adventure please don’t hesitate to ask your guide or contact our offices. You can contact us online here.