During the winter of 2015-2016 we had the opportunity to travel to Rwanda and Uganda for two weeks. The trip was organized and set-up by Prime Safaris, a friendly travel agency in Kampala which I can recommend to everyone visiting the region. There is a lot of beauty, culture and diversity packed in the heart of Africa and with small story, I hope to showcase some of it. This video got shared by Africa Geographic and the video got over 10K views in the first month. We hope you enjoy it aswell.
From the impressively clean capital, Kigali, to its diverse national parks, Rwanda is becoming more and more popular destionation. My personal favourite will be, without doubt, Nyungwe Forest National Park, which is about a six-hour drive from Kigali. This park amazed me in every single aspect, from its peaceful, natural setting and fresh air, to the stunning tea plantations and presence of different kinds of monkeys.
However, the highlight of our trip was trekking to the mountain gorillas in the Volcanoes National Park. Although we were a little bit unlucky as it started raining just as we encountered these fascinating animals, it was still a magical experience. Just like humans mountain gorillas really don’t enjoy the rain and they wrap themselves to stay warm during the rainfall. In the footage however these raindrops contrast beautifully with their black fur, resulting in astonishing footage which we are more than satisfied with.
We’re still surprised by the diversity of Uganda. Mountains, wildlife, lakes… Uganda has it all. Lake Bunyonyi, where the video starts, has an island called Punishment Island where the locals used to abandon unmarried pregnant girls to die of hunger, an exceptional story. At this location we were lucky: the small layer of clouds just made a soft fill light which was perfect for this location. No harsh shadows or overexposed skyline, but an equally lighted, magical looking like. Meanwhile, Murchison Falls and Queen Elizabeth National Park both offer a wide variety of wild animals. While we had a boat drive we caught a horde of elephants bathing in the lake. The biggest elephant made a defensive move, which can also be seen in the video, while the little elephants fled to the shore. This was a mesmerising experience!
The Rwenzori Mountains are among the highest mountains in Africa, and if we’d had more time, we’d have definitely tried to hike to the top. While visiting the Kibale Forest National Park we encountered a group of chimpanzees battling with a group of red colobus monkeys. These monkeys are in generally quite sweet until they eat a certain fruit that makes them drunk. When drunk they think they can take on everybody, including chimpanzees. But the chimpanzees hunt them and eat them when drunk, as they’re stronger, but during our trek the red colobus monkeys actually managed to outnumber the chimpanzees and scare them away. This was stunning to watch! Unfortunately for the video it would need atleast a full minute to understand what’s happening, so we decided to cut it out of the final version.
All these experiences proved that getting off the beaten track and choosing less mainstream travel destinations like Rwanda or Uganda can give you memories that will last a lifetime. This is the beauty of Africa at its best.