Highlights: The mountain gorillas filled Virunga Mountains, encompassing virunga national park congo, volcanoes national park Rwanda, Nyungwe forest national park , and Uganda’s Bwindi Impenetrable Forest; the adjacent to Queen Elizabeth National Park and Kibale National Park, both in Uganda, famous for chimps and a dozen other primates.
Since 2000, Africa’s central highlands have seen a dramatic rise in gorilla tourism, most of it from the United States. Rwanda is easier on trekkers, with its gently graded walks into the mountains, while Uganda’s dense jungle, which holds a larger gorilla population, requires better fitness.
But a safari to the region no longer need focus solely on gorillas. Thanks to sounder conservation policies, Uganda is seeing a resurgence in plains game at its parks. Volcanoes Safaris recently opened the Kyambura Gorge Lodge on a former coffee estate on the edge of Queen Elizabeth National Park—perfectly sited for lion, elephant, and chimp tracking. The operator can round out a trip with stays at its Bwindi Safari Lodge or across the border at Rwanda’s Virunga Lodge.
For a traditional safari experience, consider the recently rebuilt 36-room, 21-tent Chobe Safari Lodge, in Uganda’s Murchison Falls National Park. Since the establishment of the Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary, it’s now possible to see the Big Five in the country again.