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Image of The Month | July 2018

The tiny central African country of Rwanda is the fourth smallest country on the continent. Despite being home to more than 12 million people, making it one of the most densely populated countries in the world, Rwanda is one of the cleanest, thanks to its zero-litter policy and ban on plastic bags. The neat, patchwork landscape of small, cultivated farms, together with beautiful forest-clad mountains, rolling hills, plateaus and grasslands belie the tragic recent past of this friendly, landlocked country. Miraculously, this resilient country and its people have recovered remarkably – it offers much to tourists and is an absolute delight to visit.

Although the chance to get ‘up close and personal’ with Mountain Gorillas can provide visitors to Rwanda with absolutely unforgettable experiences, another standout primate species to be found in the forests of Rwanda’s western national parks is the rare and elusive Golden Monkey (Cercopithecus mitis kandti), featured as our Image of the Month for July 2018. Social groups of this species – sometimes numbering as many as 60 individuals – inhabit montane forests of the Virunga Mountains, including the areas of dense bamboo in Volcanoes National Park in north-western Rwanda. Also, a very small sub-population occurs in Nyungwe Forest National Park in the south-west of the country. Despite the protected status of these two national parks, a small amount of habitat loss and degradation continues. Our featured species thus has a small, somewhat fragmented distribution in Rwanda, living at altitudes between 2,500m and 3,550m above sea level, mostly in bamboo and bamboo forest mix. And overall, the Golden Monkey population is considered to be decreasing and severely fragmented, which is why it is regarded as Endangered by the IUCN.

The Golden Monkey’s diet comprises primarily young bamboo leaves and shoots, various fruits, flowers and invertebrates, especially moth and butterfly larvae gleaned from leaves. Being an opportunistic feeder, however, diet can easily be influenced by the seasonal availability of fruit.

Close social living demands effective communication that is not only clear and individually specific, but that does not result in overt aggression and possible injury as well. As a result, much of the close distance signals in these groups are given using a variety of facial expressions. Close proximity to these delightful primates can allow visitors to observe and record these intimate interactions. They are very playful and inquisitive, and tracking down a habituated group presents exceptional opportunities for observation and photography.

Join us on an upcoming tour to Rwanda and be enthralled by not only Golden Monkeys and Mountain Gorillas, but by a myriad of unforgettable experiences!

Upcoming tours to Rwanda:

Rwanda Mountain Gorilla Safari II 2018
11 – 15 November 2018 (5 Days)
Tour Price: US$2,500 *€2,200 *£1,950 *ZAR33,980

Rwanda Mountain Gorilla Safari I 2019
19 – 23 May 2019 (5 Days)
Tour Price: TBA

 Rwanda Mountain Gorilla Safari II 2019
11 – 15 November 2019 (5 Days)
Tour Price: TBA

*Alternate currencies are for comparative purposes only

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JR - Private Rwanda

Trip has been wonderful! Dale is second to none! Really thrilled to have him and Eric (driver)!

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LH - Best of Botswana & Vic Falls 17

We were very lucky to have such knowledgeable guides, Shadow had the ability to place us in the right spot at the right time when other guides were still thinking about it. It was nice just to sit and observe the interactions.
Great tour, the mix of participants also worked well. Many eyes help spot things which might otherwise be missed (back seats are higher and sometimes you just catch a glimpse that the front seat people miss).

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EB - Best of Botswana & Vic Falls 17

Great communications and customer service.
One of the best trips I’ve been on. The sightings were fantastic, Andre was great, the food phenomenal and the support staff exceptional!
Andre was an excellent guide in all regards and made sure everything went smoothly.

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I.T - Best of Botswana & Vic Falls 17

The tour was excellent. The staff from the Safari company were also excellent.

South Africa & Botswana
LH - Tailor-made South Africa & Botswana October 2018

I want to thank all of you at Rockjumper who worked to give me and my six friends the trip of a lifetime! The trip was perfectly planned; we saw a wonderful array of sights in perfect settings and lodgings all throughout the thirteen days. Logistically, everything worked like clockwork and it took all the stress out of traveling.

But without a doubt, what made the trip so incredibly special was our tour guide/leader, Rainer Summers. He not only lead us to the sights, through airports and into the bush but he managed to keep us all together, without losing anyone for more than five minutes – and I can assure you: that was not an easy task. (We really are not senile – just a bit independent).

His knowledge of what we saw and where to take us, especially in Cape Town improved our experience greatly. His knowledge of the wildlife and its social structure and behavior at Mala Mala and in Botswana increased our appreciation of what we saw exponentially. Nothing was too much trouble whether it was showing us how to use binoculars or camera or how to spot birds.

He also made sure that everyone was comfortable and at ease in all situations. He anticipated everyone’s needs and he ensured that we all had what we needed and/or wanted everywhere.

But most of all, Rainer was delightful to be with. He was fun and his wit and sense of humor made him a great companion. He is a tremendous asset to your organization. We all would like to return to Africa and Rockjumper’s tours but we will want to have no one but Rainer with us!!! We cannot envision a tour leader who could top this experience.

So, thank you for arranging the tour and a special thanks for choosing Rainer to be our guide. It was a magnificent experience and a week later, I am still wishing I was in Africa!

Sincerely,
LH

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