A Tale of Two Safaris: Rwanda and Kenya

Oct 4th, 2018, 01:22 AM
  #41  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
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According to the Visit Rwanda website it is still recommended to book gorilla tracking in advance, so apparently they are filling most of the slots. When I was there in 2002 I could have booked an additional day on the spot, but had to get back to Kigali for my flight. In any case, it’s vitally important to keep gorilla visitor numbers low. IMO Rwanda would rather have high end tourism than large numbers like you get in places like Ngorongoro Crater.

Yesterday I dug out my gorilla permit issued by ORTPN back in 2002, which I had saved as a souvenir. The fee in those days was $250. Chimpanzee tracking in Nuyungwe N P was also $250.
Heimdall is offline  
Oct 4th, 2018, 02:04 AM
  #42  
 
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Uganda has its advantages too, so I don't mean to be one-sided about Rwanda. When my daughter and son-in-law drove their Land Rover from Cairo to Cape Town they chose Uganda, not so much because of the lower fees, but because they could also see chimpanzees, which they enjoyed as much as the gorillas. Rwanda has chimpanzees in Nyungwe N P, at the other end of Rwanda from Volcanoes N P, and sightings aren't guaranteed.

For anyone who has mobility issues Rwanda would be a better choice, because some gorilla families are only about 30 minutes from park headquarters over fairly easy terrain.
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Oct 4th, 2018, 04:27 AM
  #43  
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Heimdall, I'd really clarify this.
>>For anyone who has mobility issues Rwanda would be a better choice, because some gorilla families are only about 30 minutes from park headquarters over fairly easy terrain.<<

If anyone has mobility issues at all, I wouldn't even recommend gorilla trekking. I'm young and athletic and in very good shape and I found the terrain not easy at all, and we had an intermediate hike. The golden monkeys, maybe, but definitely not the gorillas. I wouldn't want to mislead anyone into thinking that the gorillas are right off the parking lot on flat land in Rwanda. There are no guarantees that you'll get assigned to any "easy" family. It's all contingent on the negotiating by your guide and how many other people are looking for "easy" that day.
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Oct 4th, 2018, 04:45 AM
  #44  
 
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I really enjoyed this informative trip report and excellent photos. I know it's the photographer and not the camera that matters, but I do want to ask what focal length telephoto lenses you used. Also, was the sensor full-frame or cropped?
Fra_Diavolo is online now  
Oct 4th, 2018, 05:03 AM
  #45  
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Fra_Diavolo, thank you! Other than what was lost in my uploading/downloading/uploading to get them on here, these are all straight out of the camera. I do no photoshopping/lightroom, I just don't have the patience for it.

I use the Sony RX10 iii, which is a bridge camera with a Zeiss lens. Full specs are here. It is cropped to 2.7 I believe.

While I do a crazy amount of practicing (zoos, farms, sunrises/sunsets) at home before I go, the one thing about safari in Kenya especially in the conservancies and on these gorilla treks is that we are remarkably close at many sightings so as not to need the reach or digital zoom. That obviously helps with IQ.
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Oct 4th, 2018, 05:37 AM
  #46  
 
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Amy, I know it was a long time ago when did my trek, but then the park rangers assigned gorilla families according to fitness levels, which is what I should have written instead of "mobility issues". According to Visit Rwanda, which is the official Rwanda Development Board website, that is still the practice:
"Visitors gather at the Volcanoes National Park headquarters in Kinigi at 7am, and are allocated a family group on the day according to fitness levels, as well as being briefed on protocols and rules for visiting the gorillas."

Perhaps these days tour operators interfere with the process, but that would be unfair to people who book directly.
Heimdall is offline  
Oct 4th, 2018, 05:55 AM
  #47  
 
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Thanks, Amy! All that practice paid off. Hope your next safari is as exciting as this past.

FD
Fra_Diavolo is online now  
Oct 7th, 2018, 05:59 PM
  #48  
 
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Thank-you Amy for the time and details you put into this great trip report!!
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