When the COVID19 pandemic outbreak was announced in December 2019, travel and tourism plus wildlife safari adventures were greatly affected. These came to a standstill once governments instituted lock-downs prohibiting travel and social gatherings within the same country or town. For nature lovers, this was a setback as lock-downs were extended over a long time of up to 5 months.
As lock-downs are being eased and tourism slowly taking pace, a post COVID19 lock-down wildlife safari is very ideal. The East African region is known worldwide for its wildlife wonders offering unique wildlife safari experiences.
Since lock-down was instated, there has been limited tourism activities in East African national parks enabling rejuvenation of wildlife. A wildlife safari to any of East Africa’s national parks now will be enjoyable offering fresh and exclusive encounters. We have listed some of the leading safari destinations you can opt for to revive your tourism love.
Volcanoes national park situated in the northwestern part of Rwanda about a 3 hours drive from Kigali, Rwanda’s capital city. The national park is a home to mountain gorillas and golden monkeys, over 180 bird species.
Mountain gorillas and golden monkey tracking are leading wildlife safari activities done in this park offering outstanding primate encounters. The mountain gorilla tracking experience starts with a briefing about the regulations to follow while in the forest. Tourists are then led to the forest as they enjoy the sound of nature from the birds and small insects. The hike takes 2 to 6 hours depending on the movement of the mountain gorilla. Tourists are given an hour in the presence of the gorillas taking photos keeping a 7 meters distance from them.
Gorillas have 95% DNA similar to humans therefore meeting gorillas in the wild is a unique man and wildlife encounter. This an excellent way of getting over the anxiety that pilled over during the COVID19 lock-down.
Golden monkey tracking also starts with a briefing and then tourists are guided to the forest to meet them. Golden monkeys are covered in golden fur and live in the bamboo forest. They are pure vegetarians that mostly feed on bamboo shoots. For birders, you can’t miss out on seeing the major bird species while on a guided walk.
Other Wildlife Safari Adventures in Volcanoes National Park
Volcanoes national park has a number of mountains where one can do hiking for those interested in mountain climbing. Mount Bisoke has a crater lake and can be hiked in one day (a return trip). There is also Mount Karisimbi that is hiked in two days, spending a night in the mountain. While on the mountain hikes you are rewarded with scenic views of the Virunga volcanoes and the surrounding environment.
The views are priceless and refreshing therefore ensure to include volcanoes national park on your post COVID19 wildlife safari destinations. Remember to wear a mask and test for COVID19 because mountain gorillas can contact human diseases and need protection.
This beautiful safari destination is located in western Uganda just 4 hours drive from Kampala Uganda’s capital city. Lake Mburo National park has diverse wildlife species savanna wildlife like antelopes, over 315 bird species.
The park is an ideal escape for a post COVID19 lock-down with game drives where most wildlife is seen. Boat cruises are done on lake Mburo where you see animals especially hippos that spend time in the shallow waters. You can have guided nature walks here bringing you up-closer to animals like zebras and antelopes.
There is horseback riding in this beautiful park with horses owned by Mihingo lodge. Ensure to book for this activity in advance as priority is given to Mihingo Lodge guests. You can also do a cycling wildlife safari in the park but should also be booked in advance. Lake Mburo national park is situated near the Ankole community where one can have a cultural experience. You will get an opportunity to milk a cow and get to know more about the local people’s culture.
The park is easily accessed by road and the nearest savanna park to get to from Kampala. For those looking for relaxing nature encounters after lock-down, there could be no other option than this.
If in Kigali you can also visit Akagera National park that is located in the eastern part of Rwanda. This is only Savanna national park in Rwanda with Africa’s finest wildlife species. Often seen animals include lions, Rhinos, Elephants, buffaloes, giraffes, leopards, antelopes including Topis, water-bucks among others.
The park offers an opportunity for a boat cruise along lake Ihema where you see crocodiles and hippos. There are also as primates like baboons and various bird species in Akagera national park. Major activities in this park include game drives, boat cruises along Lake Ihema and birding excursions.
The time people have spent without working because of the lock-down has left many bankrupt which has greatly affected tourism. The above suggested post COVID19 wildlife safari destinations can be explored in a day a thus less spending yet enjoying. If your budget allows, you can spend a night in the park as people have been locked down for long. A night or day excursion in the park is very important at this point in time for nature lovers.