If you have been following recent developments in the tourism circles of East Africa, probably you’ve had of the fact one Rwanda gorilla safari gorilla families named Hirwa crossed borders into Uganda and now is currently habituating in the For How Long Do Gorillas Live? Rwanda Safari Newsneighbouring Mgahinga Gorilla National Park of Uganda which shares its boundaries with Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park. This, therefore, means that as of today Mgahinga Gorilla National Park has got 2 gorilla families that can be visited while on your gorilla safari Uganda adventure. However, since this gorilla family was habituated by Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park it means Rwanda is receiving less gorilla revenues.   Volcanoes National Park is Rwanda gorilla trekking safari experience as it is home to over 10 gorilla families that are visited during gorilla trekking safari Rwanda such as. Besides gorilla trekking in Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park or Mgahinga Gorilla National Park, you can still very much ably enjoy a Uganda gorilla trekking safari when you visit Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. Gorilla tours Uganda to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park give you an opportunity to meet any of the 18 gorilla families that exist in this park. You can also enjoy a Congo gorilla safari with a Congo safari to Virunga National Park. When you visit Virunga National Park, be sure to a magical moment with the Mountain gorillas as this park is home to 8 gorilla families that have been habituated to give you the ultimate Congo gorilla trekking safari experience.  During your Congo gorilla tour which can be 3 days Congo gorilla trekking safari, 3 days eastern lowland congo gorilla safari and 5 days Congo gorilla safari with Nyirango mountain hike you can also decide to visit Kahuzi Biega National Park as this park is home to the incredible eastern low land gorillas.

The Hirwa group

Mountain gorillas in Volcanoes National Park

Mountain gorillas in Volcanoes National Park

Hirwa family is named after a Kinyarwanda word Hirwa which means lucky one. This family came into existence after bitter brawls erupted between Munyinga the leader of this family and the leader of Susa family because Munyinga always wanted to mate with the females in the Susa family which already had a dominant silverback. After bitter disputes between the Munyinga and the leader of Susa group, Munyinga was allowed to break away from Susa group with 2 adult females and start a family of his own, Munyinga also managed to annex other female gorillas during the early stages of forming the Hirwa group and now this group consists of 16 members which include odd defying set of twins. The Hirwa family habituates the slopes of mt. Sabyinyo.

Reaction to Hirwa’s migration into Uganda

Reacting to media reports of gorillas from the Hirwa family (in Rwanda) crossing over to Mt. Mgahinga Gorilla National Park in Southwestern Uganda, Rwanda Development Board – RDB’s Chief Tourism Officer, Belise Kariza said that the occurrence wasn’t new as gorillas have always moved freely in the Virunga massif without any physical and political barriers. Rwanda expects Kampala to fulfil its obligations on revenue sharing after a group of gorillas in Volcanoes national park (North) crossed to neighbouring Uganda on August 28th, 2019.

Ms. Belise noted that, while animal transboundary migration was uncontrollable, the case of Virunga massif was eased by the Greater Virunga Transboundary Collaboration (GVTC) initiative that was created in 2015. She said countries several times have agreed that tourists can track the migrated gorilla groups and in return a revenue-sharing remittance. Belise cited a case of Kwitonda group that moved from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) to Rwanda.

“Through the Greater Virunga Transboundary Collaboration initiative, when gorillas cross to another country and are visited by tourists, revenues earned are shared between the two countries,” said Belise.  “We expect Uganda to fulfill its obligations and share revenues from “Hirwa” group that crossed recently from Rwanda,” she added.

The GVTC initiative calls for good faith among the parties in managing gorillas from partner states. It stipulates that member countries will protect each other’s gorilla families when they move across the international borders, permitting the country of origin to monitor the gorillas at least once a month.

It also notes that the gorilla group that moved can continue being tracked with the host country taking 50% of revenue generated from gorilla tourism from the family, during the period the gorilla family is resident in another country.

This means that the money collected from the sale of gorilla permits [Hirwa family] currently living in Uganda will be shared 50-50 between Rwanda Development Board (RDB) and Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA).

According to Dr. Andrew Seguya, the Executive Secretary at Greater Virunga Transboundary Collaboration, he says that the 2015 GVTC preamble recognises earlier initiatives like the 2006 treaty meaning tourists will be required to pay 50% [$750] of the Rwanda gorilla permit cost [$1500] to RDB, then RDB informs UWA in advance of the tourists desire to pay the balance [$750], then they will be taken to track the Hirwa gorilla family.

“Basically Transboundary movement of gorillas is a very positive development as it increases the habitat of the gorillas, demonstrates the positive gains in the conservation of the three states of DRC, Rwanda and Uganda in that the Virunga Massif is safe ecologically for the gorillas to freely roam,” said Dr Seguya.

What else to expect on an Africa safari to Rwanda and Uganda

Wild Animals in akagera national park

Wild Animals in akagera national park

Besides gorilla trekking, these countries have more to offer. A case in point is a thrilling Rwanda wildlife safari experience to Akagera National Park, although Rwanda is a country that is majorly dominated by rolling hills which gives rise to its catchphrase name as a land of thousand hills, a Rwanda safari to Akagera will surprise as you get ushered into the land of sprawling savanna lands that are actually an extension of the savanna plains of Tanzania which borders this park in the East. Akagera park is composed of extensive swamps that are interconnected with a system of lakes such as Lake Ihema, Shakani and Gishanju. A Rwanda safari tour to Akagera puts you in a unique position to encounter a whole lot of fascinating African wildlife mammals such as the Africa big five which include lions, leopards, cape buffaloes, African bush elephants and rhinos. Other animals here include the giraffes, Sitantungas and a wide variety of antelope species.

Since Akagera is formed as a result of an extension Tanzania wildlands into Rwanda, you can comfortably enjoy an Africa wildlife safari in Tanzania with a Tanzania wildlife safari to tropical savanna national parks in Tanzania such as Lake Manyara National Park, Tarangire National Park, Ngorongoro Conservation Park and Serengeti National Park., however, holds a special place in the hearts of hardcore Africa wildlife safaris goers because a Tanzania safari tour here comes with a possibility of catching glimpses of the great wildebeest migration and if the timing of your Africa safari adventure is in sync with the occurrence of this natural wonder where millions of wildebeests and other animals embark on a journey of a lifetime from the southern ends of Tanzania’s Serengeti national park all the way intoMasai Mara National Reserve in southern Kenya, you will be in position to watch a spectacle unfold right before your eyes as these seemingly careless wildebeests plunge themselves one after the other as if someone is chasing after them into the Grumeti River which is filled with thousands of hungry Nile crocodiles that are waiting to devour and feast on these crossing animals. A similar Africa safaris tours experience like that in Serengeti national park can be had when you make a Kenya wildlife safari to Masai Mara National Reserve which is connected to the Serengeti national park at its southern boundaries. Other Kenya safari destinations that are worth considering for an epic Africa wildlife safari adventure include Nairobi National Park, Lake Nakuru National Park, Tsavo East National Park, Aberdares National Park and Amboseli National Park. East Africa being country of extensive savanna grassland plains, you still enjoy a similar Africa safaris adventures when you make a Uganda safari to any of Uganda wildlife safari destinations such as Lake Mburo National Park Uganda, Queen Elizabeth National Park, Kidepo Valley National Park Murchison Falls National Park Uganda. This Uganda safari tour experience gives you an enchanted opportunity to enjoy thrilling encounters with several of the 5 big Africa game which includes lions, leopards, cape buffaloes, African bush elephants and rhinos as well as a variety of other wild mammals.

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