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Rwanda Park Profiles
National Parks for your Rwanda Tour
Parc National des Volcans
Regarded by photographers and wildlife enthusiasts alike as the best place to observe Mountain Gorllas in the wild; but why? Simply speaking, the habitat of scrub secondary forest or human plantations creates a much more open environment for observing the Gorilla families. So instead of maybe only seeing the interactions of one or two members of the group (which can be the case in the thick primary forest of Bwindi, Uganda), you see the whole or most of the group from a clear vantage point. This is exciting for the keen photographer, as you can then 'zoom in' on the particular gorilla interaction you want to focus on, whether it be youngsters playing, a silverback being groomed or two sub-adults wrestling in preperation for leading their own gorilla group in the future. The accommodation for access to Parc des Volcans is only a 3 hour drive from the Kigali; thus making it the most accessible Gorilla Trekking location in Africa.
Nyungwe Forest National Park
This park contains an astonishing 13 primate species; which represents 25% of the total found in the whole of Africa. A half-day drive from Kigali brings you to the increibly diverse and beautiful Nyungwe Forest, where there is a variety of accommodation, from backpacker style dormitories to luxury 4 start lodges. Wildlife Oberservation is based around a network of trails which give you access to different primate species or specialise in birds. Highlights include chimp trekking, following troops of Ruwenzori colbus numbering 400 and viewing the beautiful and highly localised L'Hoest's Monkey. It is also a birders paradise with around 280 different species , with 26 regional endemics; easily more than any other location in the country and therefore worth including it on your Rwanda tour.
Akagera National Park
After years of heaving poaching and encroachment, Akagera is slowly 'rising from the ashes' thanks to private sector support from South Africa, which involves building a fence around the whole reserve to keep livestock out, anti-poachng patrols, working with local communities and animal re-introductions. When Wildlife Trails visited in 2010 we were pleasantly surprised by the amount of wildlife we saw and hope that the recent progress of the park continues. Around half of the parks 11 antelope species were easily observed and there are good populations of Zebra, Buffalo and Elephant. There is the opportunity to take boat safaris on the large lakes within the park, where you can observe very high concentrations of Hippo and Crocodiles. Some of the savannah birds represented here are the beautiful lilac-breasted roller, black-headed gonalek, little bee-eater and brown parrot. The fence is due to be completed in late 2013 and then animals such as Lions and Rhino will be re-introduced - such ambition should be supported by more visitors; so please book your Rwanda Tour!
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