7 Days Uganda/ Rwanda /Congo Safari – Trip Report


On Jun 26 2023, Nabil Al-Ghossein and Bruce Phelp landed at Kigali International Airport, Rwanda to enjoy the 7-days Uganda, Rwanda and Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) Safari expedition package, one of its kind, offered by the Active African Vocation – Tour Company. Their safari trip began on 26th June 2023 and ended on 2nd July 2023, with great appreciation of the Active African Vocation – Tour Company’s customer oriented tour services that turned their dream tour to Uganda, Rwanda and DRC Congo come true. Long live Active African Vocation – Tour Company.

Setting the Scene

7- Days Uganda/ Rwanda /Congo Safari Tour Stage setting

Clients: Nabil Al-Ghossein and Bruc

Clients: Nabil Al-Ghossein and Bruce

After landing at Kigali International Airport -Rwanda, Nabil Al-Ghossein and Bruce Phelp spent their first night at “Four Point by Sheraton Kigali” where Active African Vocation – Tour Company professional driver-guide picked them to get started with their dream tours in Uganda, Rwanda and DRC Congo: The road safari trip commenced, first, with a 100+ kms distance road drive from Kigali to Kisoro- Uganda,via Kyanika boarder post. Then proceeded to DRC-Congo, partly through rambling road networks characterized by smooth tarmac road, dusty murram road and very rough rural road. After DRC-Congo, the two returned to Rwanda to catch their return flight to Newyork:

Day 1-(26th June,2023): Experience:

After driving for more than seven (7) hours, Nabil and Bruce finally, arrived at base of the Virunga Volcanoes in Kisoro Municipality – Uganda. They spent their first night at Ichumbi Kisoro Hotel, relaxed and refreshed in preparation for their next day Gorilla trekking activities.

Day 2:(27th June,2023) Gorilla trekking Experience in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park

After enjoying a 6:00am breakfast, Nabil and Bruce proceeded with the anticipated life-long memorial experience: It started with a 30 -40 minutes drive on a very rough rural road, ascending from the base of the Virunga Volcanoes right from Kisoro town to the Virunga Volcanoes Mountain park office. They arrived on time, joined other tourists at the office premises, and ready to receive the official briefing from the head ranger, in a bid to learn the does and don’t while in close interaction with the Gorillas in their wildness.

Following a short briefing, the lead ranger had to ensure that each tourist is well prepared for the Gorilla trekking before setting off: Among other things, often stressed during the tourists briefing are: each tourist is required to be dressed in good jungle boots, a pair of trousers -befitting a long walk through rough bushes on a mountainous landscape; to carry along a walking stick, a parked lunch, inclusive of at least 1.5 Litres of water, to

wear a face mask (not to spread or acquire diseases from the Gorillas), a porter- (payable USD20 minimum) hired from the local community to assist the tourist when need arise, a camera to take memorial videos and pictures, provided, one observes the simple rule of the game – of never to use a flash light, while interacting and taking videos and pictures of the Gorillas, as it may provoke them into unexpected behaviours; and submission of a valid Gorilla trekking permit to the park office.

After mastering the rules of the game, then the lead park ranger together with other two armed military soldiers, one in front and one at the back of the row, lead the tourist into the enjoyable bushy foggy scaring-like jungle vegetation to trek the Gorillas. Gorillas keep changing location in search of food on the mountain.

After locating the Gorillas, Nabil and Bruce together with other tourist spend up to 1 hour seeing and interacting with the Gorillas: Gorillas live as a family. Each family is known by its name, often assigned by the rangers based on its peculiar behaviours. The Silver-back male Gorilla is the head of the family, and stands out as the dominant male Gorilla. Seeing and interacting with the Gorillas for one hour, marks the end of the Gorilla trekking activity of that particular day, with no subsequent activities within the park, other than descending the mountain to return to park office to receive, each, a Gorilla trekking certificate awarded by Uganda Wildlife Authority, in honour of their carriage, support and ability to trek gorillas in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park- Uganda. Gorilla trekking activity experience is none but a life time set of memories.

Nabil and Bruce proceeded to the cultural trail in the communities in and around Mgahinga Gorilla National Park, because the time to do so was still in their favour. After enjoying the community culture trail, the two returned to Ichumbi- Kisoro Hotel for dinner, and overnight accommodation.

Day 3 – (28th June,2023): Golden Monkey trekking Experience in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park

On the third day, Nabil and Bruce concentrated their energy on Golden Monkey trekking at Mgahinga Gorilla National Park. In practice, the Golden Monkey trekking experience of the day was similar in its initial stages, as it was characterized by an early morning breakfast, before driving to the Mgahinga Gorilla National Park office for a short briefing in preparation for the Golden Monkey Trekking adventure at Mgahinga Gorilla National Park. The briefing session is a cornerstone for every successful trekking occasion at Mgahinga Gorilla National Park.

Nabil and Bruce Experience with Golden Monkey trekking at Mgahinga Gorilla National Park started immediately after the briefing by the lead ranger guide; and ensuring that all tourists were well equipped with the necessary requirements: appropriate jungle dressing, a walking stick, parked lunch with sufficient drinking water, a face mask, a porter, a camera, binoculars, and submission of a valid permit for trekking Golden Monkey at Mgahinga Gorilla National Park.

Nabil and Bruce successfully trekked the Golden Monkeys. On locating the Golden Monkeys, they spent one hour (1hr) viewing them, taking videos and

pictures. before descending the volcanoes mountain landscape to converge at the park office to receive a Golden Monkey Trekking certificate awarded by Uganda Wildlife Authority in appreciation.

On Day 4- (29th June, 2023): Nabil and Bruce Gorilla Trekking Experience at Rwanda Volcanoes Mountain Gorilla National Park

Nabil and Bruce then transferred to Rwanda to trek the gorillas. They travelled to the countryside, traversed steep highlands and wandered into the beautiful crop estates, en route to Musanze, at Rwanda Volcanoes Mountains Gorilla National Park.

After receiving a short briefing, Nabil and Bruce, were allocated a Gorilla family group to trek at Rwanda Volcanoes Mountains Park, of course, together with other tourists. They started trekking the gorillas, walking through thick bushes until they finally reached the place where the gorilla family group was. Watching mountain gorillas is breath taking, though reckoning the lead guide’s instructions is central to successful trekking of the Mountains Gorillas. This is one of the life-time experience.

After the trekking the Gorillas in Rwanda, the two visited one cultural center to witness and enjoy the Rwanda cultural resource gala- of the Biwachu. Later, the visitors enjoyed a wonderful dinner served at their place of accommodation, at the Mountain Gorilla View Lodge

On Day 5:- (30th June, 2023) Nabil and Bruce’s Tour Experience in Congo

No sooner Nabil and Bruce finished breakfast than they commenced on a scenic journey to Bukavu- DRC- Congo. The journey was characterized by wonderful views of the hills in Rwanda, long journey through dense forests, rough road drive scenery landscape in DRC-Congo. The two spent an overnight at Begonias; relaxed and refreshed in preparation for Gorilla trekking on the following day.

On Day 6- (1st July 2023): Nabil and Bruce’s Tour Experience with the lowland Gorilla tracking in Kahuzi Biega – DR Congo

Tracking Gorillas in the lowland areas of Kahuzi Biega National park was another great experience for Nabil and Bruce because the Lowland Gorillas trekking adventure greatly differ from that of the mountain gorilla trekking in that the lowland gorillas are bigger in size, stay in bigger family size groups among other things. The 6th day of their tour in Africa was earmarked by an early heavy breakfast, followed by a debriefing at the park office, before, setting off to the lowland bushy vegetation cover to track Gorillas in DRC- Congo.

Gorillas trekking adventure in DRC-Congo was another amazing memorable experience, Nabil and Bruce enjoyed during their safari tour in DRC-Congo. While in DRC-Congo, the two slept at Begonias lodge, relaxed and refreshed, in preparation for a return journey to Kigali International Airport, the next day.

On Day 7 – (2nd July, 2023) Nabil and Bruce’s Return Journey experience from Bukavu- to- Kigali- to catch their return flight

After taking their morning breakfast, the two embarked on their return road trip from Bukavu-DRC-Congo to Kigali city- Rwanda, to fly back to their home country after enjoying a successful Seven (7) Days Uganda/ Rwanda /Congo Safari Tour adventure offered by Active African Vocations Tour Company.

Here below is one of our visitor’s feedback review pertaining our services and the safari tour experience in general. This is a clear testimony of what drives our tour company business to the second level.

“Now back in Paris. The trip was amazing, we really enjoyed every second of it.

The trekking in Rwanda, Congo, and Uganda were great! I personally preferred Uganda but Bruce liked Rwanda more. In terms of the lodges, we loved the one in Rwanda (I think it was called Gorilla View something), but the Uganda lodge was average (service was great and staff super nice, but the building is not in an amazing state and the room felt to be still in construction, beds not very comfortable and bathroom very basic). Begonias in DRC also had several bad reviews, hence why we decided to change hotels in the last 2 days. Both Mantis and Orchids were great and was a no brainer for us given the small difference in price.

Also, Moses is a superstar and we had a blast with him! We’ll definitely be reaching out again if/when we want to plan another trip in the region. As a heads up Bruce and I are considering visiting the Bonobos in Congo as well as the Western Lowland Gorillas and Chimpanzees, but that’s more of a next year trip.

Thanks again for all the help, support, and flexibility throughout the booking process and last week. Really appreciate all the hard work Billy, Moses, and yourself put in to make our trip memorable!”

Best, Nabil