When it comes to safari destinations, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) may not feature in most of travelers list given the many reasons. However, it is such a magical travel destination any traveler can think of exploring on African safari. The DRC is blessed with natural wonders and visitors have something to enjoy. The attractions in the Democratic Republic of the Congo range from nature to historical sites, each offering travelers on Congo safari with rare experiences.
Attractions in the DRC
Unlike other African states, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) is blessed with diversity of primate species. It hosts not only the mountain gorillas but also other primate species including the Eastern lowland gorillas in Kahuzi Biega National Park, Maiko National Park, bonobos, golden monkeys which thrive within only the Virunga Conservation Area of which the Virunga National Park of the DR Congo part to mention but a few. These set the DRC aside from the rest of the world. Other primates include Allen’s swamp monkeys.
The Democratic Republic of the Congo is a birder’s paradise. It hosts diverse bird species that make it a premier birding destination. The notable birds to look out on Congo birding tour include Congo peafowl, black herons, shoebill, ibis, Hammerkop, pheasants, francolins, bush warblers, African barbets, kingfishers to mention but a few.
Virunga National Park
Set in the Eastern side of the DR Congo, the Virunga National Park is such a magical protected area visitors on Congo safari should count a must-visit. This park was founded in 1925 by King Albert 1 of Belgium which makes it one of the ancient national parks in Africa. It is probably one of Congo’s premier tourist sites given its iconic attractions that allure several of visitors on Congo safari. Virunga National Park was founded primarily to protect the endangered mountain gorillas and its boundaries also extended north to cover the Rwindi Plains, the Rwenzori Mountains range and Lake Edward.
Lola ya Bonobo
Lola ya Bonobo features as the only sanctuary on planet earth where the orphaned bonobos thrive. It is set south of the suburb of Kimwenza at the Petites Chutes de la Lukaya, Kinshasa in the DRC. It was established in 1994 by Claudine Andre and hosts close to 60 bonobos. Lola ya Bonobo is such an incredible site visitors on Congo safari should consider a must-visit.
The Congo River
The Congo River features among the deepest rivers on planet earth and ranks second after the Amazon River as the most extensive rivers. Congo River Basin is hosts over 700 species of fish as well as crocodiles.
The Democratic Republic of the Congo boasts itself of numerous magical waters including the Livingstone waterfalls and Boyoma falls. On Congo safari, these waterfalls are must-visit and you will be amazed by their breathtaking sceneries. The Livingstone waterfalls are feature huge rapids and cataracts on the lower course of the Congo River in western Equatorial Africa, downstream from Malebo Pool. These waterfalls derive their name from the famous explorer David Livingstone. Boyoma falls were once called the Stanley falls and consist of 7 cataracts.
Historical building/sites make up part of the DR Congo’s iconic tourist attractions. You can explore different historical buildings within and out of the Congo’s city center-Kinshasa and they include the Chapel of the American Baptist Missionary Society that was set in 1891 and a Roman Catholic Cathedral in 1914.
The best way to explore the DR Congo is by paying a visit to some of its caves. The notable caves to explore on Congo safari tour include Dimba Cave, Matupi cave-Orientale, Thysville caves also known as Mbanza Ngungu caves Bas Congo and Kakanda malachite caves.
Mountains are some of the major attractions in the DRC. Among the many magical mountains to explore on Congo safari include Mount Nyamuragira-one of the powerful volcanoes in African content. For hikers, Mount Nyiragongo is another incredible mountain you should count a must-hike. It is set within the Virunga National Park and it is known for its powerful lava lake.
Lake Kivu is a magical attraction of its own. It forms part of the great lakes in Africa and hosts the 10th largest inland Island on planet-Idjwi Island. There is also tshegera that is found within the border area of Virunga National Park. Lake Kivu hosts different fish species including the Clarias, Barbus, Haplochromis, Nile Tilapia, Tanganyika sardine, Limnothrissa miodon to mention but a few.
Uganda is one of the most stunning safari destinations with diversity of tourist attractions readily available for visitors on Uganda safari to explore. Uganda is a landlocked country in East Africa and despite its status, it stands out as one of the premier tourist destinations. Its attractions range from wildlife, waterbodies, birds to magical mountains. A visit to this remarkable country is never boring but rather full of excitement.
Attractions in Uganda include;
National parks and wildlife reserves
Uganda is comprised of magical wilderness areas where most safaris are conducted. The nature of its national parks and wildlife reserves is what distinguishes this magical country from the rest of the world. Currently, Uganda is composed of 10 national parks and 12 wildlife reserves. Paying a visit to anyone of these wilderness areas is the best way to discover Uganda. These protected area harbor variety of unique attractions that are worth exploring on Uganda safari. The parks in Uganda include Murchison Falls National Park, Queen Elizabeth National Park, Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park, Mgahinga Gorilla National Park, Lake Mburo National Park, Kidepo Valley National Park Rwenzori Mountains National Park, Kibale Forest National Park, Semuliki National Park, Mount Elgon National Park, Katonga Wildlife Reserve, Toro-Semuliki Wildlife Reserve and Pian Upe Wildlife Reserve.
Mountain gorillas are of doubt Uganda’s star tourist attractions. With fewer than 1004 of them still thriving on planet earth, about half of them are all confined within Uganda’s Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park. To see mountain gorillas in Uganda, you need $600 to book a gorilla permit although this rate is expected to change to $700 starting 1st July, 2020. You can secure your gorilla permit through our reservation team!
Besides mountain gorillas, most tourists on Uganda safaris are attracted to see the big African game which are confined in different savanna areas and also rate Uganda among the premier safari destinations. On a game viewing tour in Uganda, expect to see the African bush elephants, lions plus the tree climbing lions, buffaloes, rhinos, leopards. You will also come across the Rothschild giraffes, warthogs, antelopes, birds and many others. There are also several species of primates for you to see including the rare L’Hoest monkeys, red colobus monkeys, red tailed monkeys, mangabeys, black and white colobus monkeys, vervet monkeys and many others.
Uganda is a popular premier bird watching destination in African continent. It boasts of over 1080 bird species, consisting of about 10 percent of all the bird species on planet and 60 percent of the bird species in Africa. Bird watching experience in Uganda involves identifying different bird species like the shoebill storks, the African green broadbill, green breasted pitta, shelley’s crimsonwing, great blue turacos, standard winged nightjars, short tailed warblers, black breasted barbet, Doherty’s bush shrike, bar tailed trogon, African spoonbill, yellow billed oxpeckers, long crested eagle, black bee-eaters, pelicans, flamingoes, chocolate backed kingfisher to mention but a few.
The source of the Nile
When it comes to Uganda safaris, expect to see not only the big game or mountain gorillas but also explore the mighty source of the Nile in Jinja. For adventure lovers, a visit to the source of the Nile is worth it as you will have a chance to take part in different adrenaline adventure experiences the white-water rafting, bungee jumping, kayaking, jet boating, boat cruise and many more.
Waterfalls are some of the magical attractions worth exploring while on Uganda safari. A visit to anyone of Uganda’s waterfalls lets you to enjoy their breathtaking sceneries. They include Kisiizi waterfalls, Murchison Falls, Karuma falls, Aru falls, Ssezibwa falls, Mpanga falls, Sipi falls, Bujagali falls, Nkusi waterfalls on Lake Albert, Mahoma water around Ruteete, Ripon falls and Owen falls.
Uganda is comprised of numerous most stunning mountain ranges, all offering magical view. They are distributed in various parts of the country and they include among others the Rwenzori mountain range, Mount Kadam, Mount Morungole, Mount Moroto, Mount Zulia, Elgon, Mount Muhabura, Mount Gahinga to mention but a few.
Uganda is surrounded by numerous water bodies including the beautiful lakes. Among the many scenic lakes to explore on Uganda safari include Lake Victoria-this is one of the largest fresh water bodies on planet earth. This water body is shared by Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania. It harbors over 200 fish species, 350 bird species and many other species. It here where you can find the beautiful Ssese archipelago that is comprised of 84 distinct islands and for honeymooners, it is such a magical to be. Lake Bunyonyi is another scenic lake in Uganda. It is set around Kisoro and Kabale, consisting of 29 islands. Other lakes to explore in Uganda include Lake George, Lake Edward, Lake Mutanda, Lake Bisina, Lake Mburo to mention but a few.
Rwanda is that one exceptional tourist destination visitors on Rwanda safari should consider a must-visit. Regardless of its size, Rwanda features among the few most outstanding destinations in Africa. It known for its pristine protected areas, iconic wildlife, unique culture and dark history.
Attractions in Rwanda
Mountain gorillas are Rwanda’s iconic attractions visitors on Rwanda safari should consider a must-see. Treks to see mountain gorillas in Rwanda are conducted only in Volcanoes National Park which is approximately 2 to 3 hours from Kigali capital city. Volcanoes National Park is set in northwestern Rwanda, straddling in an area of about 160sq.kms. To track mountain gorillas in Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park, you require a gorilla permit, each costing $1500. To obtain a gorilla permit in Rwanda it is easier, simply get in touch with our reservation team or contact the reservation team at Rwanda Development Board (RDB).
Rwanda safaris are conducted in anyone of the country’s four national parks; Volcanoes National Park, Akagera National Park, Nyungwe Forest National Park and Gishwati Mukura National Park. Volcanoes National Park is set in northwestern side of Rwanda and straddles within an area of about 160sq.kms. It hosts some of the endangered mountain gorillas, strikingly beautiful golden monkeys, bush pigs, spotted hyenas, black fronted duikers, buffaloes, red tailed monkeys, black and white colobus monkeys, forest elephants, over 300 bird species including among others the Archer’s ground robin, Rwenzori double collared sunbird, handsome francolin. Volcanoes National Park also harbors five of the eight Great Virunga Volcanoes.
Nyungwe Forest National Park is set in Southwestern Rwanda, just at the border with Burundi. It is one of the best preserved montane forested parks in Africa, hosting over 13 species of primates including among others the chimpanzees, red tailed monkeys, blue monkeys, olive baboons, black and white colobus monkeys, grey cheeked mangabeys, L’Hoest monkeys and over 310 bird species. Nyungwe Forest National Park is popular for chimpanzee tracking, hiking, birding, canopy walk and nature walks/hiking.
Akagera National Park is set in northeastern Rwanda. It is the only park in Rwanda where you can view the big five game (leopards, rhinos, elephants, lions, buffaloes) plus other savanna wildlife species like Masai giraffes, zebras, several antelope families, hippos, crocodiles, over 520 bird species to mention but a few. This park was gazetted in 1934 and sits in an area of about 1122sq.kms.
Gishwati Mukura National Park is a newly established national park in Rwanda. It opened for visitors to explore in 2019. Its establishment makes it the fourth national park in Rwanda. It hosts about 20 chimpanzees, L’Hoest monkeys, over 232 bird species and many others.
Birds are some of the fascinating attractions Rwanda has to offer the world. About 700 bird species call Rwanda their home and they are distributed in different sites. The notable birds to look for on Rwanda birding tour include shoebill stork, Hartlaub’s duck, spur winged goose, crested guineafowl, scaly francolin, African fish eagle, double toothed barbet, woodland kingfisher, great blue turacos, African openbill, yellow billed stork, saddle billed stork, pelicans, bee-eaters, goliath herons, secretary bird, vultures to mention but a few.
The beauty of Rwanda also lies on its scenic mountains. On Rwanda safari, the best mountains to explore include the Virunga Mountain ranges, five of the eight are all confined within the Volcanoes National Park in Northwestern Rwanda. They include Mount Muhabura, Mount Sabyinyo, Mount Gahinga, Mount Karisimbi and Mount Bisoke. You can also visit Mount Huye which is close to Butare in the Southern Rwanda.
Culture and historical sites
Rwanda is known for its unique culture and iconic historical sites. There are many cultural and historical sites to visit on Rwanda safari and they include among others the Murambi genocide site, Gisozi genocide site, Bisesero memorial site, Gisenyi genocide site, Nyamata genocide site, Nyanza genocide site, Nyarubuye memorial site, Ntarama genocide site; Dian Fossey tomb site, Presidential palace museum, Hotel des Mille Collines and Iby’Iwacu Cultural Village for cultural experiences.
Rwanda features several of magical lakes making them exceptional attractions in this landlocked country. They include among others twin Lakes-Lake Ruhondo and Burera; Lake Kivu, Lake Muhazi, Lake Rweru, Lake Cyohoha, Lake Ihema.