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Covid19 Status Report in East Africa

Covid19 Status Report in East Africa

East Africa is now open for international travels. Yes, even amidst the increased positive cases of covid19, all governments have reopened entry for international travels to revive the tourism industry that was hardly hit by the deadly virus. In the early days of 2020, East Arica and whole whole world was struck by the pandemic which spread all through like a wild fire. All countries rushed to restrict travels by closing land borders and international airports in a bid to contain the spread of the virus across countries. Travelers who had initially postponed trips due to travel restrictions are called upon to rebook and travel again. In addition, those who intent to travel in the near future are advised to book now and secure the trips especially in mountain gorilla trekking where permits are on a high demand. However, before booking any safari to Africa, travelers are advised to first check the covid19 status of a specific country to get ready.

Covid19 status in Uganda

As of 23rd, the status of covid19 in Uganda indicate

Confirmed cases (only Ugandans) 6,712

Active cases 1,173

Cumulative Ugandan recoveries 2,788

Contacts listed 38,328

Samples tested 457,128

Contacts completed follow-up 28,437

Contacts under follow-up 9,891

Under quarantine 3,095

Covid19 status in Kenya

37,218 confirmed cases

24,147 recoveries

659 deaths

Covid19 status in Rwanda

4,722 confirmed cases

2,991 recoveries

27 deaths

Covid19 status in the Democratic Republic of Congo

10,537 confirmed cases

10,041 recoveries

271 Deaths

What are the common signs and symptoms of covid19?

Travelers are also reminded to keep checking for the common signs and symptoms of the deadly virus. These include

  1. Fever
  2. Dry cough
  3. Tiredness
  4. Aches and pains
  5. Sore throat
  6. Diarrhea
  7. Headache
  8. Conjunctivitis
  9. Skin rash
  10. Discoloration of fingers
  11. Difficulty in breathing (Shortness of breath)
  12. Chest pain
  13. Loss of speech or movement

How to prevent the spread of Covid19

Whenever traveling or interacting with different people, please take note of the following ways to stop the spread of covid19. These include:

  • Wash hands regularly with soap and running water
  • Sanitize with alcohol based hand rub
  • Wear a mask when in public
  • Keep a distance (At least 4 meters)
  • Do not touch the eyes, nose and mouth
  • Couch in the elbow
  • If fever, cough and high temperatures, seek medical attention

Guide for trekking gorillas amidst covid19

For those visiting to trek gorillas in Uganda, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo, take note of the following guidelines:

  1. Keep a distance of 10 meters away from the gorillas
  2. You must test negative for covid19
  3. Carry your gorilla permit
  4. Do not look direct into the eyes of the gorilla
  5. Don’t trek when sick
  6. Do not touch the gorillas
  7. Do not litter in the park
  8. Spend strictly an hour in the presence of the gorillas
  9. Stay within your group

Keep updated on the status of covid19 in Uganda, Rwanda, Kenya, Tanzania and the Democratic Republic of Congo to ensure safety on your African safari


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Baby Gorilla Born in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park

Baby Gorilla Born in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park

Mgahinga Gorilla National Park is celebrating the birth of a new bay gorilla in Nyakagyezi gorilla family. The new baby was born on 2nd September 2020 and was discovered by park rangers who were checking on the gorillas that morning. Nshuti, the mother of the new baby gorilla was found holding her little one and they were all very fine. Nshuti is locally translated as peaceful in Kinyarwanda language. Nshuti is one of the adult female gorillas in Nyakagyezi gorilla family very humble and welcoming to all visitors. The new baby gorilla has brought the total number of mountain gorillas in Nyakagyezi gorilla family to eight. Similarly, new baby gorillas have been born in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National park, the sister park to Mgahinga Forest. The recent gorilla baby boom is in Buhoma sector north of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park. Africa Adventure safaris offer tailored Uganda gorilla safaris to Mgahinga Gorilla National park.

Nyakagyezi is the one and only gorilla family in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park. In 2019, Mgahinga was temporary visited by Rwanda’s Hirwa gorilla family, which stayed in the park for close to 8 months. Travelers would book Hirwa gorilla permits via Uganda Wildlife Authority but the money collected from the sale of permits was shared between Uganda and Rwanda. Apparently, 8 gorilla permits are issued everyday for those who want to visit Nyakagyezi gorilla family. Booking gorilla permits to Nyakagyezi family can be done directly with Uganda Wildlife Authority in Kisoro district. Alternatively, you can book with Africa Adventure Safaris, the number one travel company in Uganda, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo as confirmed by excellent Trip advisor reviews.

Guide to trekking Nyakagyezi family amidst Corona Virus

While Mgahinga Gorilla National Park is reopened for tourism, travelers are urged to follow the guidelines to ensure their safety and for the endangered gorillas. The guide to trekking Nyakagyezi gorilla family entails:
• Keep a distance of 10 meters away from the endangered gorillas
• Mandatory hand washing with soap and running water
• Mandatory hand sanitizing
• Travelers must have tested negative for corona virus within 72 hours
• Wear face masks
• No visiting gorillas when having any signs of cough and flu
• Avoid direct eye contact with the endangered gorillas
• Do not use flashlight cameras
• Keep your voices low. Do not shout for the gorillas. It threatens them
• Visitors below 15 years are not allowed to trek gorillas
• Do not touch gorillas
• Do not litter in the park. Leave only the footsteps
Conclusively, the birth of new bay gorillas in Nyakagyezi gorilla family is a blessing for tourism in Mgahinga Gorilla National park and Uganda as a whole. Africa Adventure Safaris is at your service for tailor made Uganda gorilla safaris to Mgahinga Gorilla National Park.


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Why you should go for a Uganda safari holiday after Covid-19 lockdown

Why you should go for a Uganda safari holiday after Covid-19 lockdown

With international travel restricted worldwide due to the spread of Covid-19, curious travelers have been left highly frustrated by the lack of movement to their desired destinations.

After seeing the devastating economic effects resulting from Covid-19 lockdown across the world, many countries have opted to ease some of the measures in order to allow economic activities to take place. Unfortunately, tourism activities around the world are still under lockdown with countries still cautious not to open up airports for foreign visitors since it may accelerate the spread of Covid-19 in their countries.

However, on a positive note for travelers, there are a few countries that have opened their airports for tourists though with strict measures that visitors have to adhere to in order to reach their tourist destinations and enjoy their experiences. These include Kenya and Rwanda who opened up airports for foreign visitors including tourists at the beginning of August.

For Uganda, preparations are already underway and government is finishing plans on the appropriate measures to be put in place that will safeguard tourists and those who will get touch with them during their safaris as well as the animals to be visited.

For the meantime, lets continue our preparations for the thrilling Uganda tour with great expectations and here are some of the key experiences that you should consider adding to your Uganda safari bucket list;

Gorilla trekking

Perhaps the best wildlife experiences in Uganda, gorilla trekking has in recent years emerged as travelers’ favorite with majority of them visiting the Pearl of Africa opting for it. Uganda hosts more than half of the world’s population of mountain gorillas in her two gorilla parks of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park. mountain gorillas are endangered with their global population currently at around 1,063 individuals and they are only found in only 3 countries in the world including Rwanda and DR Congo. The magical hour that travelers spend in front of these great gentle giants fully rewards all the costs and the hustle they undertake to reach them with many going back describing the experience as the best in the wild.

chimpanzee tracking

The experience of tracking chimpanzees in Uganda is so amazing especially at Kibale Forest National Park which is referred to as the “primates’ capital of the world.” Unlike gorillas which are rarely seen even in their habitat, chimps exist in large numbers and commonly seen playing and going about their business almost everywhere in their habitat. Both chimps and gorillas share about 98% of the human DNA and expect to see some breathtaking human-like behavior exhibited by these intelligent primates in front of you.

game viewing

Uganda is one of the best game viewing destinations on the African continent with over 400 mammal species including the famous “Africa big five” in over 10 game reserves across the country. Some of the common big game in Ugandan parks include lion, leopard, elephant, buffalo, rhino, giraffe and zebra. Others include antelopes, warthog, waterbeest, bushbuck, hippo, among others.

bird watching

Uganda is also the ideal destination for bird watchers with over 1,000 species of birds found within her national parks and these include Albertine Rift endemics like the famous Rwenzori Turaco. Some of the best places for bird viewing in Uganda include Queen Elizabeth National Park which has over 600 bird species, Semuliki National Park and at Kibale Forest National Park.

source of the Nile experience

The source of the Nile, the longest river in the world is at Jinja along the northern shores of Lake Victoria, the second largest fresh water lake in the world. Some of the breathtaking water experiences at the source of the Nile include white-water rafting, kayaking, bungee jumping and boat cruise.

mountain climbing

For adventurous travelers and hikers, climbing to the snow caped top of Mount Rwenzori is one of the most exciting and challenging experiences in Uganda. Mount Rwenzori is the third-highest mountain in Africa with its Margarita peak standing at 5,109 meters above sea level.

cultural and historical tours

Cultural tours in Uganda are very exciting which include visiting some of the extraordinary tribes in the country like the Batwa in the Southwest near the gorilla home of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and the Karamojong near Kidepo Valley National Park. Historical tours in Uganda include visiting the Kasubi tombs in Kampala where Buganda kings are buried, and Uganda Martyrs shrines at Namugongo where the Uganda martyrs who were executed by Kabaka Mwanga for their Christian faith were buried, among others.

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Poacher who killed a silverback gorilla jailed for 11 years

Poacher who killed a silverback gorilla jailed for 11 years

Felix Byamukama, the man who killed “Rafiki”, a silverback gorilla in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park in June has been sentenced to 11 years in jail after pleading guilty to illegally entering a protected area and killing a gorilla.

According to Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA), Byamukama had said earlier after his arrest that he killed the gorilla in self-defense after it had attacked him. He also pleaded guilty to killing other animals including a duiker, bush pig, as well as being found in possession of wildlife meat.

Previously, Byamukama had admitted to UWA that he and other 3 men had entered Bwindi Impenetrable National Park with the intention of hunting smaller animals but he killed Rafiki in self-defense when he was attacked.

Investigations carried in the aftermath of Rafiki’s death found out that the great ape was killed by a sharp object that penetrated and damaged his internal organs. Rafiki went missing on 1 June and his body was found the following day by a searching team from UWA.

The team from UWA launched an operation to find out the killers in which it tracked Byamukama to a nearby village, where he was found with hunting equipment.

Byamukama will now serve 3 sentences concurrently, leading to 11 years in prison though it falls short of the life sentence prescribed I the Wildlife Act. The other 3 suspects who were arrested together with Byamukama denied the charges and have been remanded back in jail awaiting trial.

Rafiki was the leading silverback of a 17-member gorilla group and was believed to be around 25 years old by the time of his death. The group was one of the habituated gorilla families in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park which were being visited by tourists.

After the demise of Rafiki, conservationists were worried that the group would be taken over by a wild silverback who would not want to come into contact with humans hence affecting tourism. However, UWA has since confirmed that the group is still intact and led by a backback from within the family.

Rafiki was one of the favorite gorillas to tourists who used to visit the park and the news of his death left many conservationists and wildlife lovers highly gutted.

The death of Rafiki at the hands of poachers was one of over 300 incidents that were recorded during the months of lockdown according to UWA. National parks around the country have been closed during the Coronavirus pandemic to control the spread of Covid-19 to both people and animals but this has paved way for the increase in poaching cases.

Mountain gorillas are a very important component of Uganda’s tourism fetching the country the a good amount of revenue from gorilla safaris for trekking these endangered primates in Bwindi and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park.

There are about 1,063 mountain gorillas in the wild in total according to the latest gorilla census in 2018. This population is distributed between Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and in the parks within the Virunga Massif in Rwanda, DR Congo and Uganda.

In 2018, mountain gorilla was removed from the list of critically endangered species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), thanks to the intensive conservation efforts that have led to a steady increase in their population in the previous few decades.

Gorilla safaris to trek mountain gorillas in their nature habitat are arranged throughout the year in Uganda, Rwanda and DR Congo. Due to the high demand for the activity and conservation regulations, travelers are advised to book for gorilla trekking permits at least 6 months in advance. The best season to trek mountain gorillas is the dry season between June and September and between December and February.

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Understanding gorillas and how they live in their natural habitat

Understanding gorillas and how they live in their natural habitat

There is a lot to discover and learn about the several aspects of gorillas and how they live their daily life in their natural habitat. From feeding and movement to mating and parenting as well as aspects related to size and appearance, the complete knowledge about gorillas seems to be inexhaustible.

Today let’s at some random facts about gorillas in relation to their knowledge, weight, conservation, safety and memory.

Gorillas do learn from one another

Gorillas may not lack speaking abilities possessed by humans to pass on ideas and thoughts to one another but they are still able to learn from one another. It is not easy to understand how gorillas learn but research has shown that this aspect plays an important role in the daily life of gorillas. Researchers have shown that gorillas are even able to learn through imitation which includes copying specific body motions. One of the key areas in which gorillas have mastered knowledge is recognizing snares in their natural habitat. Researchers state that gorillas are able to learn that snares are dangerous even before being caught in one just by watching the reaction of older group members.

How much do gorillas weigh?

Gorillas are the largest and heaviest great apes on the planet and their weight ranges significantly from infancy to adulthood. There is a great deal of sexual dimorphism in gorillas with significant physical differences between male and female gorillas. The weight of male gorillas ranges between 4 to 450 pounds in their lifespan while females weigh almost half as much as their male counterparts once they are fully grown.

How do gorillas react to the presence of humans?

For any gorilla group to be visited by humans, they have to be first taken through the process of habituation which aims at making them used to the presence of humans. At first, the rangers and trackers identify a wild gorilla family and start visiting it frequently to study its territory and behavior and in the process the animals start getting used to humans gradually. Once the group has been fully habituated, it is opened for tourism and tourists can start visiting it under the guidance of rangers and tour guides. The habituation process helps to eliminate the hostility of gorillas towards humans which is evidenced by their calm nature during the visits. Gorillas are generally harmless to humans and they remain in this state throughout the visit unless they are provoked through continuous eye-contact, physical threats and interfering with their infants.

Do gorillas have predators?

Gorillas don’t have may predators in the wild compared to other animals although leopards can sometimes attack them but not as frequent as they do to other primates like chimpanzees. Their large size and cohesive social groups help to reduce the threat from leopards. That said, the biggest threat and largest predator to gorillas remain to be humans unfortunately! Humans poach gorillas for food and lay snares in their habitat to catch other animals which end up injuring and sometimes killing gorillas themselves. Gorillas are also victims of other human activities like deforestation, mining, land degradation which end up affecting gorillas through climate change and habitat loss.

Which country offers the best gorilla trekking experience?

There are gorilla trekking safaris in all the 3 countries where mountain gorillas are found and that is Rwanda, Uganda and Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The experience of trekking of trekking gorillas almost feels the same in all the 3 countries. However, variations in the price of gorilla permits, accommodation, infrastructural development, security and distance traveled determine the level of satisfaction trekkers may get after the experience. Rwanda ticks all boxes when it comes to good infrastructure like roads, good accommodation and short distance travelled from the capital to the gorilla trekking destination but the country’s gorilla permit is the most expensive at $1,500 per person.

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What are the biggest threats facing gorillas?

What are the biggest threats facing gorillas?

Most of the gorilla subspecies are critically endangered facing a risk of extinction in the near future if drastic measures are not taken to save from the many threats they are facing. The steady increase in the number of mountain gorillas which live in the Virunga Mountain Ranges of Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Rwanda, and Uganda in the past few decades made this subspecies to move from critically endangered to the endangered category according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). However, the other 3 gorilla subspecies are still critically endangered. These include the eastern lowland gorilla found in the lowland forests of eastern DR Congo, the western lowland gorilla found in lowland forests of central and western Africa and the cross-river gorilla living along the Cross River along the border of Nigeria and Cameroon.

The success in increasing the number of mountain gorillas unlike other gorilla subspecies can be attributed to the incredible conservation work done by the respective wildlife agencies from the 3 countries where these great apes are found. Their effort has also been complimented by the work done by non-government conservation organization bodies to protect these animals for example the Dian Fossey Fund which focuses on protecting gorillas in Rwanda and DR Congo while carrying out research on the same species. Over the past 4 decades, the number of mountain gorillas has risen from just about 250 individuals to 1,064 living in the wild today thanks to the combined conservation efforts from the several stakeholders.

However, despite the conservation efforts to protect mountain gorillas and ensure that they continue to thrive in the wild, they still face several challenges threatening their lives and this gets even worse when it comes to other gorilla subspecies with less care.

Here are some of the major threats facing gorillas in the wild today

Poaching

There is both direct and indirect poaching going on in the gorilla habitats with gorillas killed every year by humans either intentionally or while trying to snare other animals. Gorillas are poached primarily for consumption or bush meat trade while others are killed for body parts. Infant gorillas are also hunted for pet trade which is illegal.

Habitat loss

Habitat loss affects many animal species including gorillas. Their native forests are destroyed every year by humans for activities like settlement, farming, among others. Such activities have led to forest fragmentations which have resulted into isolated animal populations leading to additional issues like inbreeding. The poachers also pounce on this to escalate bushmeat trade as they use the opened up roads to penetrate the previously inaccessible areas transport the products easily.

Climate change

Like to humans, climate change affects gorillas too! The gorilla food supply is affected by the changes in rainfall patterns and temperatures. This is because thermal tress leads to forest fires which destroy their habitat and lead to the emergency of new diseases which may be deadly to gorillas. The diverse effects of climate change on humans living near gorillas also force them to put more pressure on gorillas themselves. Humans tend to turn to forests as a source of food and water as the supply of these resources gets affected during a drought which affects crop yields and water supply.

Mining

Mining has mostly affected the endangered Grauer’s gorillas which have lost almost 80% of their population in the past 20 years. This is because mining paves way for poaching after the extraction some rare earth minerals like coltan in gorilla habitats which is used in making electronic devices like cellphones and laptops. Gorilla conservationists advise that in order to help lessen the mining of coltan in gorilla habitats, we should always try to recycle our old devices.

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Gorilla safaris in Uganda

Gorilla safaris in Uganda

Gorillas safaris in Uganda

Gorilla safaris are the most popular tourist activity in Uganda attracting thousands of travellers from across the world who come to see the endangered mountain gorillas in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park, Uganda’s two homes for these gentle giants.

Uganda has the highest population of mountain gorillas in the world with both Bwindi and Mgahinga protecting over 500 gorillas out of the global population of about 1,063 individuals. Bwindi Impenetrable National Park protects the majority of these gorillas with about 450 of them living within its boundaries.

Uganda gorilla safaris are regulated by the Uganda Wildlife Authority which has set up gorilla trekking guidelines that aim at protecting these endangered primates while at the same time giving a traveler the best trekking experience. Throughout the gorilla trekking process, gorilla conservation is prioritised considering the fact that mountain gorillas are endangered whose population was at the brink of extinction a few decades back. It was not until 2018 that mountain gorillas were declared as endangered after being upgraded from the critically endangered category by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). This was a result of the steady increase in the population of mountain gorillas thanks to the intensive conservation efforts undertaken by wildlife authorities in the region and non government conservation organisations to protect these great apes. The population of mountain gorillas was estimated to be around 250 individuals in the early 1980s, and their current population of about 1,063 animals shows such a significant success in their conservation.

Uganda gorilla tours are arranged in a way that 8 trekkers are allocated to visit one group of mountain gorillas per day and they are permitted to spend one hour in their presence. Bwindi has got about 15 groups of habituated mountain gorillas with each group having an average number of about 20-30 gorillas. With such impressive numbers, tourists have almost 100% chance of meeting their allocated gorilla group during their trekking experience. Trekkers usually spend 2-4 hours hiking through the dense montane forest of Bwindi before reaching their allocated gorilla group but the time depends on where exactly the family is hanging out at on that particular day. After finally reaching their assigned gorilla family, tourists are urged to observe a few protocols including avoiding touching gorillas, not littering in their habitat, avoiding direct eye contact with them, observing a distance of about 7 meters between them and the gorillas and not making noise in their presence.

To trek mountain gorillas in Uganda, a traveller is required to purchase a gorilla trekking permit which is sold at $700 per person for foreign tourists. Uganda gorilla permits are always limited on market due to high demand given that they are relatively cheaper than in Rwanda where a permit is sold at $1,500 per person. The strict gorilla conservation regulations also limit the number of permits sold to tourists by restricting the number of visitors per gorilla group to only 8 per day. Due this challenge, tourists are advised to book for their Uganda gorilla trekking permits at least 6 months in advance to enable local tour agents to process and obtain them in time from the tourism authority. Booking your Uganda gorilla safari in time also allows enough time to the agent to arrange all the necessary facilities including transport and accommodation on the traveller’s behalf.

Most travellers combine their Uganda gorilla safaris with other tours to experience a comprehensive Uganda safari. These include game drives for game viewing in large savannah parks like Murchison Falls National Park and Queen Elizabeth National Park. Here travellers have a chance to see some of the amazing game species like lion, leopard, buffalo, elephant, giraffe, antelopes, zebra, among others. Chimpanzee tracking, bird watching, mountain climbing and cultural tours are some of the other popular safari activities travellers can enjoy in Uganda in addition to their gorilla trekking experience.

 

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UWA Arrests Four Poachers Over Death of the Gorilla

UWA Arrests Four Poachers Over Death of the Gorilla

UWA personnel on 12th June 2020 arrested four local people suspected to have killed Rafiki silverback gorilla of Nkuringo family in southern Bwindi Forest. The arrest was after post mortem results which showed that Rafiki sustained injuries with sharp objects which penetrated is left part of the abdomen up to the internal organs. An investigation was done to check home of local people living in the national park borders. Among the arrested suspects was Byamukama Felix a resident of Murole village, Ntebeko parish in Nyabwishenya sub county kisoro district, Felix was found with bush meat in his house pus various hunting devices which included spears, wires, snares, dog hunting bell and ropes among others. The home of Felix Byamukama was checked on 4th June 2020. Having been asked several questions, Felix admitted to have killed Rafiki gorilla. However, Byamukama said that he killed the gorilla in self-defense when Rafiki gorilla attacked him. In his confession, Byamukama said that him and his friend Evarist Bampabenda had gone to hunt in the forest when Rafiki gorilla charged and attached them. In self-defense, Felix speared it leading to its death.

Felix further confessed that he shared the gorilla meat with Mubangizi Yonasi and Museveni Valence who are his fellow poachers in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park. The four poachers were arrested on 7th June 2020 and are currently held in custody at Kisoro policy station awaiting trail. At the moment, the four suspects are help at Kisoro policy station waiting for the trial
Poachers kill Rafiki gorilla

Rafiki goes missing
On 1st June 2020, park rangers in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National park noticed that Rafiki gorilla was missing in Nkuringo Gorilla family. This called for an extensive hunt in the whole of Bwindi forest and the neighboring communities. The dead body of Rafiki silverback gorilla was found on 2nd June 2020 in Hakabo area inside Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park.

Poaching of gorillas in Bwindi Forest
Over the years, poaching has been a major treat to the survival of the endangered mountain gorillas in Bwindi Forest and other neighboring gorilla parks in Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Most gorillas are killed by local people for bush meat while others fall victims of snares trapped to catch other wild animals in the forest not necessarily the gorillas. As of the 2018 gorilla census, the world has 1006 mountain gorillas half of which live in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park. The other gorilla live in the Virunga conservation area shared by Mgahinga Gorilla park in Uganda, Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda and Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Other threats to gorilla tourism in Africa include habitat loss, diseases and civil conflicts especially by rebel groups in gorilla parks.

About Nkuringo gorilla family
Nkuringo gorilla family is the oldest gorilla family that was established in 1997 making it the oldest gorilla family in southern Bwindi. At the death of Rafiki gorilla, Nkuringo gorilla family had 17 membrers inclusive of 8 adult females, 3 infants, 1 silverback, 3 black backs and 2 juveniles. Each day, eight people visit Nkuringo gorilla family.

Trekking to see Nkuringo gorilla family
The Uganda gorilla trips to trek Nkuringo gorilla family can be started from Kigali Rwanda or Entebbe International Airport. The drive time from Kigali to Nkuringo sector is roughly 5 hours via Cyanika border. On the other hand, driving from Entebbe International Airport to Nkuringo sector takes a full day via Kampala Masaka Mbarara kabala road. The trek to see Nkuringo gorilla family lasts for between 2 to 8 hours or more. However, travelers are 99% guaranteed to see gorillas at the end of the trek. The 2 Days Uganda gorilla trek starting and ending in Kigali Rwanda is also recommended for you.

Getting ready to trek Nkuringo Gorilla Family
Physical fitness is key for any one visiting Nkuringo gorilla family. The gorilla family is located in the hilly regions of Bwindi, which make it one of the hard to trek gorilla families in Bwindi. Travelers are reminded to practice physical exercises especially hiking to ensure physical fitness. Moreso, travelers visiting Nkuringo gorilla family are reminded to carry enough drinking water and energy giving snacks. Other essentials to pack for Nkuringo gorilla family trekking include:
1. Hiking boots/shoes
2. Gardening gloves
3. Long sleeved shirt
4. Insect repellants
5. Rain jackets/sweater
A 1 Day Uganda gorilla trek starting from Kigali Rwanda starts off at 3:00am driving for 5 hours to Bwindi Forest Nkuringo head quarters. At 7:00am travelers are registered and introduced to the rules and regulations of gorilla trekking. The trek to see gorilla’s starts at 8:00am lasting for between 2 hours to a full day depending on where gorillas will be located that day. After an hour with gorillas, travelers descend and are transferred back to Kigali. Africa Adventure Safaris helps you book and arrange Uganda gorilla tours to Bwindi at affordable rates.

We regret the loss of Rafiki Gorilla. With hands together, lets work to fight poaching and promote sustainable gorilla tourism in Uganda the pearl of Africa.


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UWA releases guidelines for tourism activities to control spread of Covid-19 to animals

UWA releases guidelines for tourism activities to control spread of Covid-19 to animals

The Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) has released guidelines that will followed by tourists and those working in national parks in order to control the spread of Covid-19 to animals in national parks.

Here is the full list of all the guidelines released by UWA

GUIDELINES AND COVID-19 MEASURES FOR HANDLING TOURISM SERVICES AND ACTIVITIES AT THE HEADQUARTERS AND PROTECTED AREAS (DRAFT)

PRESENTED TO TMM BY THE UWA TASKFORCE ON COVID-19 22 MAY, 2020

PURPOSE OF THE GUIDELINES

Both the Uganda Wildlife Act, 2019 and the Wildlife Policy 2014 provide for conservation and sustainable management of wildlife resources, coordination, monitoring and supervision of activities related to wildlife management in Uganda. This mandate is legally vested in UWA. In order to carry out its mandate UWA relies heavily (95%) on internally generated revenue from tourism revenues. However, the parks have been closed to tourism due to the current COVID pandemic and lockdown measures instituted by H.E the president. UWA has therefore made guidelines for the different activities along the tourism chain to ensure that following the resumption of tourism activities in the various protected areas, all our visitors and staff are safe from COVID-19 and that we do not register any case within our estates

SCOPE OF THE GUIDELINES

These guidelines cover management the different touch points of tour operators and visitors planning visit, or visiting our protected areas and engaging in the various tourism activities and using the different services that UWA offers. The guidelines are for touch points both at Headquarters and in the national parks and wildlife reserves.

KEY AREAS

1. TOURISM INFORMATION CENTERS AND RESERVATIONS OFFICE

i. All Staff and visitors shall wear the right face masks that have been prescribed by MoH (Visitors will carry their own masks while staff masks will be provided by the UWA)

ii. At the Headquarters reservations office, a tent shall be provided in the upper garden to act as a waiting area for the clients. The sitting arrangement will be in such a way that social distancing is observed and that all are facing seated facing in the same direction

iii. To ensure the smooth flow of visitors in (ii) above we shall use a First In First Out (FIFO) mechanism and in the absence of a queuing machine, one ranger from law enforcement will be provided to guide with the movement of the visitors as well as enforce all other guidelines (washing hands, distancing, masks)

iv. Only 5 visitors will be allowed to enter the reservations office at a go so as to enforce social distancing measure

v. At the Information centres in the different CAs and towns where visitors are not as much, we shall allow only one client to enter at a time. The rest will be provided with chairs to wait from outside while observing social distancing

vi. Staff should inform the visitor of the general government approved covid operational guidelines

vii. Staff shall explain to the visitor the UWA safety COVID measures (DOs and DONTs) during their tour and stay within the protected areas.

viii. The above guidelines (vi and vii) shall be made visible at all customer interaction touch points and digitally

ix. A manageable limited number (5 visitors) should be allowed into the reservations office

2. PARK ACCESS AND EXIT

i The tourists shall be required to provide a certificate that shows that they are COVID negative, either provided by our MoH or the relevant authority from the country most recently visited

ii. All tourists shall be expected to come with their own masks and wear them as prescribed by MoH and in the rightful areas. Tourists to BINP, KNP, and Kyambura shall be required to have N95

iii. Temperature screening will be done at the key tourism gates of the different National Park

iv. Those with temperatures above 37.6 degrees Celsius shall not be allowed into the protected areas and shall be advised to seek medical help through the mechanisms set up by MoH in the different districts.

v. Every tourist shall have wash and disinfect their hands at all entry points to the protected areas. Sanitary alcohol sanitizer dispensers as well as hand washing facilities with soap shall be installed at all entry points.

vi. All common areas with heavy tourist contact shall be disinfected regularly before, and during visiting hours. These include information counters, service desks, waiting areas, park offices and toilets. Toilets in particular should be cleaned at least every 2 hours

vii. All rangers and clerks at the entry gates shall be required to wear facemasks when dealing with tourists.

viii. Where applicable, transparent screens will be fitted at all, park gate counters

ix. The staff manning the gate will only allow visitors who have the prescribed face masks and who have washed/ sanitised to enter the park

x. All staff will be trained on the use of the masks, infrared thermometers and other general measures required when handling tourists

3. TOURIST VEHICLES AND BOATS WITHIN THE NATIONAL PARK

i The National guidelines issued by MoH shall be enforced by tourists while in visiting the National Parks i.e

• Saloon cars – 3 persons (This does not include the guide, where one is requested and paid for)
• Buses, mini buses and omnibuses – Half capacity
• Overlanders – Half capacity
• Concessionaire delivery vehicles, pick-ups and lories – 2 persons
• Private boats and launches – Half capacity
• Tour operator game drive vehicles and UWA owned game drive vehicles – 6 persons

ii. Social distancing should be observed within the vehicles

iii. Tour operators and service providers will be regularly reminded to disinfect their cars regularly

iv. UWA owned vehicles will be washed everyday before use and disinfected daily through spray pumps

v. Every protected area shall provide a safe location where this spraying can be done, and where they tour operators can also park their cars to disinfect the

vi. All tour operators shall be encouraged to provide their drivers with an alcohol rub/hand sanitizer for frequently or alternatively wear gloves. Caution should however be taken to remove this sanitiser whenever the car is parked

vii. All other precautionary measures have to be enforced ie washing hands, social distancing and cautiously using masks

4. KEY TOURISM ACTIVITIES

Briefing of tourists

i Before engaging in any tourism activities, the tourists shall be given the usual briefing regarding the activities they are about to engage in. In addition to this, the guides shall remind the tourists about the risk / looming dangers of covid and brief them on the general preventative measures government has instituted and the measure they will be expected to abide by while in the Protected Areas, and remind them that it’s both for their safety and that of the wildlife.

ii. These guidelines and measures shall also be printed and displayed in key visible areas within the park such as the briefing areas, the gates, the information centres, the canteens, to mention but a few.

Gorilla and Chimpanzee Tracking

The existing gorilla and chimpanzee tracking rules and guidelines (see annex) will remain in force to prevent any human to animal transmissions. These include

• 8 and 6 tourists will be allowed to track the gorillas and chimpanzees respectively
• The tourists must keep 7m away from the gorillas and chimpanzees
• Tourists who during the briefing are observed to be overly coughing shall not be allowed to track
• Tourists who during the briefing are observed to be sick shall not be allowed to track. These include tourists with signs flu, and those who report to have diarrhoea and stomach upsets, malaria etc

ii. While the forests are dense and don’t have any specific trails for tracking, the assigned UWA guides shall try as humanly possible to ensure that there is social distancing among the tourists while the tracking takes place

iii. The tourists shall be encouraged to carry light equipment to minimise the need for potters while they undertake the tracking. This will be communicated to potential tourists through the tour operators and other fora

iv. Due to the reported side effects of putting on masks for long periods and in high altitudes, the number of breaks during the tracking shall be doubled to give tourists time to breathe fresh air.

v. During these breaks, social distancing should be observed

Game Drives

i The regular park rules shall appy

ii. The vehicle guidelines above shall also apply

iii. Where a guide is requested, the guide shall sit at the front and shall continuously remind the tourists about the need to social distance

iv. Masks shall be worn at all time

v. Where a tourists gets side effects due to putting on a mask for a long time, the tourist shall inform the guide who will find a safe and secure place to park the vehicle and allow for the tourists to get fresh air while maintaining social distance

Boat Cruises

i The regular park rules shall appy

ii. The boat and launches guidelines above shall also apply
iii. The UWA owned boats must be cleaned and disinfected everday before any boat cruise activity

iv. The concessionaire shall also be required to clean and disinfect their baots everyday before any boat activities

v. The guide shall enforce social distancing while on the boat.

vi. Masks shall be worn at all time while on the boat

vii. Where a tourists gets side effects due to putting on a mask for a long time, the tourist shall inform the guide who will find space within the boat for this cliemt to get some fresh air for a few minutes. This shall be away from the other tourists

Large groups and Events Large groups such as school groups shall be subjected to the following guideline…..

Other Activities

All tourism activities with in the procted areas shall be enforced in a manner that ensures all guidelines are adhered to

5. ACCOMMODATION, RESTAURANTS AND CURIO SHOPS

All our UWA owned accommodations, restaurants, canteens and shops together with all concessionaire accommodations and services shall be run in a manner that provides a safe environment both for staff and tourists as per the guidelines and measures designed by MTWA and UTB (See attached annex). The UWA PA COVID taskforce shall ensure the implementation and enforcement of these guidelines, which include among others:

i Having a covid committee that enforces all the measures in the accommodation facilities and monitors the tourists

ii. Ensuring social distancing, hand washing and respiratory hygiene measures at all the accommodations

iii. Ensuring that the necessary equipment an medical kits are provided by the facilities

iv. Ensuring all technical and maintenances services such as dish washing and laundry equipment, dispensers are regularly checked and cleaned

v. Ensuring that restaurants, breakfast and dining rooms and bars are enforcing observing social distancing and hygiene measures such as hand washing and sanitising

vi. Ensuring that housekeeping and cleaning is done regularly, with emphasis on disinfecting the different surfaces

6. ADHERENCE TO NATIONAL GUIDELINES AND DIRECTIVES.

Notwithstanding these Guidelines, all Guidelines and Directives issued from time to time by MoH on COVID-19 hall supersede these guidelines and shall be observed to the dot.

7. ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES IN IMPLEMENTING THE GUIDELINES

i Top Management: Provide oversight and direction in day to day management of Tourism activities as well as sponsor the acquisition of long term technology based measures such as the booking and reservations system and the digitising of the park gates, and provide all the necessary resources to enforce the measures

ii) UWA Task Force on COVID-19: Review the current situation in all UWA estates and advises the Executive Director on matters of prevention and management of COVID-19.

iii) PA Task Force on Covid-19: Address field specific issues and coordinate with the UWA HQ Task Force

iv) Chief Wardens: Ensure that management of tourism activities in the Protected Areas are properly done and in a safe manner as per the guidelines, and provide all the necessary resources to enforce the measures

v) Law Enforcement Manager: Coordinate and ensure that the guidelines issued are being adhered to by both the staff and the tourists to the dot

vi) Human Resources Manager: Have oversight over staff issues and coordinate emergency health services

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Uganda Re Opens Savannah Parks For Tourism

Uganda Re Opens Savannah Parks For Tourism

Uganda savannah parks are reopened for tourism after close to three months of closure. The of good news of reopening Uganda savannah parks was shared on 5th June 2020 by the Uganda Wildlife Authority informing the general public that game parks in Uganda are now open for tourism. The conclusion to reopen game parks was after a wide consultation with various related stake holders experienced in wildlife who assured UWA that tourism the wild animals will be safe from the deadly virus. However, the primate parks in Uganda, which are Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, Kibale Forest and Mgahinga Gorilla National Parks, are still closed for tourism. The opened national parks in Uganda include Murchison Falls, Queen Elizabeth, Kidepo Valley, Semliki Valley and Lake Mburo National Parks. These are the top game viewing destinations in Uganda with high concentration of wild animals. Mores, Uganda Wildlife Authority put guidelines as recommended by the ministry of Health and the President of Uganda. The rules and regulations of visiting savannah parks in Uganda
1. Mandatory Temperature screening using non-contact infrared thermometers at the key tourism gates of the different protected areas.
2. Mandatory hand washing/sanitizing at all entrances of all UWA premises and protected areas
3. Mandatory face masking while in the park
4. All vehicles doing game drives in the park will carry half the normal carrying capacity as directed by the president of Uganda
5. Boats in Murchison Falls, Queen Elizabeth and Lake Mburo National Parks will also carry half the carrying capacity
6. Saloon cars will note be allowed to do game dives in national parks
7. Large group of people exceeding 25 people will not be allowed in the park at the same time
8. Destination events such as wedding, birthdays and photo-shoots will not be allowed in the parks
9. Travelers are reminded to carry personal sanitizers

Is it safe to visit Savannah Parks?
Yes, even when corona Virus is still spreading in Uganda UWA assures potential travelers to savannah parks of their safety.
• Uganda Wildlife Authority has gone further to train their staff on hoe to check temperatures for the incoming travelers
• Also, staff at all National parks have been given appropriate wears to ensure safety
• All staff on duty shall sanitize visitors when entering the park

How to book a Uganda safari?
Africa Adventure Safaris is at your service for tailor-made game safaris to Murchison Falls, Queen Elizabeth, Kidepo Valley, Semliki Valley and Lake Mburo National Parks. We offer you exceptional game viewing experiences giving you chance to meet and interact with numerous wildlife at affordable rates. Our 3 Days Murchison Falls National Park tour is the suitable package for you to explore and enjoy Uganda’s oldest and largest National Park

Conclusively therefore, the reopening of Uganda’s Savannah National Parks gives hope for continuous game safaris in Uganda. Potential travelers are urged not cancel trips but rather postpone and travel tomorrow to promote sustainable tourism in the Pearl of Africa


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Answers to questions on rare facts about gorillas

Answers to questions on rare facts about gorillas

Gorillas, with whom we share about 98 percent of our DNA in common are truly man’s closest relatives living in the wild. Researchers have done a wonderful job in their study about gorillas through which they have established many amazing facts about these apes to help us understand our cousins better. However, the wonderful facts about these gentle giants seem to be endless with more of them being discovered each day that passes.

This time we are discussing other five amazing aspects about gorilla life through a question-answer approach to enlighten your understanding of these great apes.

Q1: What are gorilla personalities like?

Each gorilla has got a different personality just like we humans. Like human children, young gorillas tend to be energetic and playful, however, they usually calm down and spend less time playing as they mature. But this does not mean that adult gorillas don’t engage in playing at all, though gorillas are generally shy and are considered neophobic. This aspect explains why gorillas have to first go through a process of habitation by researchers in order to make them get used to the presence of humans before they can be visited by tourists.

Q2: How do gorillas interact with other wildlife?

Although gorillas are the largest primates on the planet, they are generally shy and always display fear before anything new (neophobic). Though curious, but due to this fact, they are generally timid. However, they may still interact with other wildlife given the opportunity despite their neophobia. Researchers have observed a group of gorillas investigating a baby antelope nervously after meeting it in their habitat.

Q3: Do gorillas get bored?

Although humans have tried to assign human-like emotions to animals, it is not easy to understand what an animal may be thinking at a given moment. It is far easier to interpret behaviors like aggression in gorillas than boredom. Animal scientists acknowledge that although it is okay to anticipate animal behavior, it is important that we don’t place our human emotions on them. However, they also admit that it is possible that gorillas and other animals get bored just like humans do. In the anticipated boring times, increase in play by juvenile and adult gorillas is observed as they try to pass time.

Q4: Do gorillas eat invertebrates?

While gorillas are herbivores, they have been observed eating invertebrates in addition to plant-based items. However, this habit is not common among mountain gorillas, it is more associated with Western lowland gorillas which have been observed eating termites and ants occasionally.

Q5: What is the best temperature range for gorillas?

Gorillas live in different temperature zones depending on their species and therefore their best temperature range depends on where a particular species live. For example, mountain gorillas live at higher altitudes than other gorilla subspecies and their longer hair help them to adapt well to the cold temperatures. Other gorilla subspecies with shorter hair may perhaps not survive in such cold conditions at high altitudes. The daytime temperatures in the mountain gorilla habitat are between 50- and 73- degrees Fahrenheit, with colder nights. The temperatures in the habitats of other gorilla subspecies are warmer.

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Postcovid19 Rwanda Gorilla Safaris

Postcovid19 Rwanda Gorilla Safaris

Rwanda gorilla safaris in Volcanoes National Park will resume shortly after the defeat of the novel corona Virus in the country. The outbreak of Covid19 in Rwanda forced Rwanda Development Board to hurriedly close Volcanoes National Park and temporariry suspend all gorilla trekking tours that had been booked to protect the endangered gorillas from catching the deadly virus. Its now 2 months since Volcanoes National Park was closed in a bid to prevent the spread of the deadly virus to the endangered mountain gorillas Travel operators and travelers were advised to reschedule their gorilla trekking permits to any future date up to 2022. Fortunately, rescheduling of gorilla permits to any later date calls for no penalty or rescheduling fee.

Why trek gorillas in Rwanda after Covid19?
Rwanda, the land of a thousand hills should be your postcovid19 gorilla safari destination. Yes, Rwanda is a luxury gorilla tor destination in Africa offering you the very best gorilla encounters in the wild. The ease of access to Volcanoes National Park (roughly 3 hours drive) from Kigali International Airport gives short time travelers. This gives them chance to visit and trek the endangered mountain gorillas to enjoy the best wildlife experience. Volcanoes National park is best for 1-Day Rwanda gorilla trek. Travelers doing a 1-Day Rwanda gorilla trek set off from Kigali at 4:30 am to reach the park by 7:00 am for a pre gorilla trekking briefing. The trek to see gorillas lasts for between 30 minutes to several hours depending on the location of the allocated gorilla family and gorilla’s speed of movements. However, travelers are 99.9% sure of meeting the gorillas at the end of the trek.

What if travelers fail to see the gorillas?
In rare cases where travelers fail to meet the allocated gorilla family at the end of the trek, they are given another chance to trek the next day. Travelers will be allowed to visit a different gorilla family without paying. Failure to see gorillas on the first day of trekking may be due to bad weather and any other natural factor. However, if a traveler fails to reach the gorillas due to his/her physical inability or sickness, he will not be allowed to trek again unless he pays for a new gorilla trekking permit. Travelers intending to visit gorillas are therefore advised to do physical exercises to avoid disappointments.


Cost of Rwanda Uganda Safaris

The cost of Rwanda gorilla safaris is $1500 for all travelers regardless of one’s nationality. Rwanda’s gorilla permit prices were hiked in 2017 from $750 to $1500 transforming Rwanda into a luxury gorilla safari destination. The reason for the increase of Rwanda gorilla permits was meant to promote mountain gorilla conservation and ensure sustainable gorilla tours in the land of a thousand hills. Also, the hike of Rwanda tours was meant to support local communities living adjacent to Volcanoes national park. A gorilla permit booking in Rwanda is recommended at least 6 months prior to the trekking date. Gorilla permit booking can be done directly with Rwanda Development Board or Africa Adventure Safaris, the number one gorilla safari company in East Africa


Guide to Rwanda gorilla trekking

At the start of the trekking day, travelers gather at Kinigi park headquarters for guidelines and pre gorilla trekking briefing. Travelers are then introduced to the rules and regulations of gorilla trekking to ensure the safety and the safety of the endangered mountain gorillas. The dos and don’t of gorilla trekking in Rwanda include:
• Carry your permit to the trekking date
• Do not trek when sick. Mountain gorillas are susceptible to human diseases
• Avoid direct eye contact with the mountain gorillas
• Do not use flashlight cameras
• Do not touch the gorillas
• Keep a distance of seven meters way from the gorillas
• Keep your voices low
• Keep within your groups
The postcovid19 Rwanda safaris should be at the top of your bucket list on your next Africa safari. Book your Rwanda gorilla permit today, get ready and wait to enjoy this lifetime experience after the defeat of Corona Virus.


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Two baby gorillas born at Bwindi Impenetrable National Park

Two baby gorillas born at Bwindi Impenetrable National Park

The gorilla community in Uganda’s Bwindi Impenetrable National Park has been joined by two baby gorillas that were born in the park last week. The two baby gorillas were born in the Muyambi and Nshongi gorilla families according to the Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) that manages the park.

Currently, the sexes of the two babies are not yet known because the infants are still tightly guarded by their moms. According the statement released by UWA to the press, the infant gorillas are thought to have been born on April 25 and May 1 and they caused huge excitement in their respective families.

“Mother Kabagyenyi and Silverback Bweza and Nshongi are tightly guarding the baby gorilla while in Muyambi group silverback Muyambi and unnamed mother are soothing and warming their new family member,” UWA said in a statement sent to the New Vision on Sunday.

About Nshongi Gorilla group

Nshongi was the first gorilla group to be habituated in the Rushaga sector with at least 35 individuals who later started splitting. By the time the latest member of the family was born, the group had remained with only nine individuals and the addition of the infant makes them 10 currently. The mother of the baby, Kabagyenyi joined Nshongi family when she was a semi-adult about five years back. Leading silverback Bweza, the head of the family later started mating with Kabagyenyi and eventually she became pregnant leading to the birth her first baby. Kabagyenyi is estimated to be around 10 years old.

About Muyambi Gorilla group

Muyambi is the latest habituated gorilla group in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and was opened to tourism in 2019. So far, Muyambi group has the lowest number of gorillas in the park with just six individuals. The mother of the new infant is still unnamed and joined the group from the wild. Muyambi, the leading silverback of the group formed his own family after splitting from the Mubare group as an adult member.

UWA said that the birth of the new mountain gorillas is a testimony to Uganda’s successful conservation efforts. The authority added that the enhanced integrity of protected areas has led to a general increase in the Uganda’s wildlife population.

Other gorilla groups in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park

There are about 15 habituated gorilla groups in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and they include; Nkuringo gorilla group, Mishaya gorilla group, Orugozo gorilla group, Mubare gorilla group, Habinyanja gorilla group, Rushegura gorilla group, and Bitukura gorilla group. Others include Kyaguriro gorilla group, Kahugye gorilla group, Bweza gorilla group and Busingye gorilla group.

The population of mountain gorillas in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park

The recent mountain gorilla population census in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park indicated that there are 459 individual gorillas in the park. some of these gorillas belong to the habituated groups that are visited by tourists while others are still wild. Currently, the global population of mountain gorillas is around 1,063 individuals.

Mountain gorillas in the Virunga Mountains

The rest of the mountain gorillas live in the 3 parks of the Virunga Massif which include Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda, Virunga National Park in Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park in Uganda. Together, these 3 national parks have a combined mountain gorilla population of 604 individuals.

These statistics indicate that Bwindi Impenetrable National Park in Southwestern Uganda has got the highest population of mountain gorillas in the world. Indeed, the presence of mountain gorillas in Bwindi in relatively large numbers has led to park being known for gorilla safaris than any other kind of tourist activity. Gorilla trekking in Bwindi attracts the highest number of tourists in Uganda more than any other tourist attraction in the country.

The combined advantage of having a large population of mountain gorillas and a relatively cheap gorilla trekking permit (at $600 per person) makes Bwindi one of favourite gorilla trekking destinations in the world.

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UWA Relaxes Gorilla Trekking Permit Policy

UWA Relaxes Gorilla Trekking Permit Policy

In a bid to encourage continuous gorilla tourism in Uganda, the Uganda Wildlife Authority has relaxed its gorilla trekking permit policies. Having temporarily suspended gorilla trekking, gorilla habituation and other research related activities Bwindi Forest and Mgahinga Gorilla National Parks, The Uganda Wildlife Authority has relaxed in its former permit policies. This aims at allowing gorilla permit reschedules rather than cancellation by travelers who had booked and those who want to make future bookings. The move to relax the gorilla tracking permit policy in Uganda is to give travel operators and travelers enough flexibility so as to avoid losses of business. The policy applies to all travel operators and clients. Those who paid full or the 30% booking fee. Travel operators and travelers can now reschedule their gorilla permits up to 2 years without any penalty.

Postcovid19 Uganda gorilla safaris
Uganda wildlife authority assures the public about the continuity of gorilla safaris in Bwindi Forest and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park after the defeat of Corona Virus. The good news is that the ministry of health and the whole public of Uganda is stably defeating the deadly Covid19. Uganda has registered a total of 79 cases of corona virus with 52 recoveries and no death. The increasing rate of recoveries in Uganda with decreasing rates of new cases gives hope for the re opening of gorilla tours to Bwindi and Mgahinga forests in the near future. However, the strict gorilla trekking rules and regulations will be emphasized for those who will make it to the endangered species. These include:
• All travelers must wear masks to spread the spread of the virus
• A distance of 10 meters I away from gorillas is a must
• Do not trek gorillas when having any sign of sickness
• Children below 15 years are bot allowed to trek gorillas
• Spend strictly an hour with gorillas
• Do not use flashlight cameras
• Keep with in your group (donot move alone in the forest)
• Speak on a low tone
• Do not litter, eat or do anything in the park
Travelers are advised to hire porters and walking sticks when goring to trek gorillas to avoid hiking difficulties in the jungle.

Gorilla tours in Uganda
All gorilla safaris to Uganda are currently on halt. Uganda Wildlife Authority suspends all gorilla trekking activities in Mgahinga Gorilla and Bwindi Forest National Parks. As of now, there are no travelers allowed to visit mountain gorillas in both gorilla parks. However, conservation activities are still ongoing in the national park but with a minimum effort. Park rangers continue to monitor the wellbeing of mountain gorillas in the jungle forests. Uganda is home to half of the world’s mountain gorillas, which make it the first stop center for gorilla safaris in Africa. 18 gorilla families have been habituated for trekking 17 of which live in Bwindi Forest and 1 in Mgahinga National park. Uganda gorilla families are Mubare gorilla family, Habinyanja gorilla group, Rushegura gorilla family, Oruzogo gorilla family, Bitukura gorilla family, Bweza gorilla group, Nshongi gorilla family, Kahungye gorilla group, Busingye gorilla family, Kyaguliro gorilla group, Nkuringo gorilla family, Katwe gorilla family, Christmas gorilla family, Mishaya gorilla family and Nyakaggezi gorilla group in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park. Each gorilla family is different from the other in terms of size, location and story of formation. More so, 2 gorilla families namely Bikyingi and Bushaho) are undergoing habituation experience in Rushaga sector south of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park.

Gorilla tour costs in Uganda
All travelers visiting to see mountain gorillas in Uganda are required to have permits. Permit prices in Uganda vary depending on the travelers nationality. Gorilla permits in Uganda cost $700 for foreign residents, $600 for foreign residents and UGX 250,000 for East African residents. For those who want to do gorilla habituation experience, a permit costs $1500 for all visitors. Everyday, 8 gorilla habituation permits are issued everyday. Uganda Wildlife Authority issues all gorilla permits. Gorilla permit bookings are recommended at least 6 months in advance to ensure timely and proper planning. Alternatively, you can boo through Africa Adventure Safaris, the number one gorilla safari company in Uganda and the whole of East Africa.

Conclusively, the relaxing of gorilla tracking permits in Uganda is of great help for the travel operators and travelers. Take the chance, do not cancel the trip but postpone your Uganda gorilla safari to save tourism in the Pearl of Africa.


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Game Safaris in Rwanda

Game Safaris in Rwanda

Travel to enjoy guided game safaris in Rwanda’s Akagera National Park. Perched in south eastern Rwanda, Akagera National Park is Rwanda’s only game park, home to the big five game and the best place for game viewing experiences. Driving through the open savannahs of the park while overlooking the endless hills of Rwanda in the opposite is a magical experience you ought to enjoy. Rwanda’s game safaris in Akagera National Park are normally done as a complement to mountain gorilla trekking, golden monkey trekking in Volcanoes National Park and chimpanzee trekking and colbus monkey trekking in Nyungwe Forest National Park.

Cost of Game safaris in Rwanda
Rwanda gama safarisTravelers dong game safaris in Akagera National Park are ought to pay park entrance fees costing $ 50 for foreign adult non-residents and $30 for foreign children. Adult East African residents pay $35 while East African kids pay $20. The park entrance fee is inclusive of self-drive in the park valid for 24 hours. Travelers with extended time in the park will be asked to renew their entrance permits for the other 24 hours. The vehicle entrance fees to Akagera National park are $12 for Rwandan /EAC for registered small and mini bus vehicles equivalent to 10,000 RWF and $24 for over lander vehicles. Foreign registered vehicles are charged $40 while over lander cars cost $100.

Guided game viewing in the Park
If you want a guided game drive with the park ranger, it costs $25 half day and $40 for a full day. Guided game drives is the best option for viewing numerous wild animals grazing, browsing and hunting in the open savannahs. Park rangers help you spot different animals such as Giraffes, Topis, bushbucks, duikers, Oribis, Bohor reedbuck, Zebras, buffalos, Klipspringer, Impalas, buffalos, Elephants, Sitatunga, lions, leopards, hippos and rhinos among others.

Time for Game viewing
Game viewing is best done in the early morning and evening hours to catch-up with wild animals feeding before retiring for day and night rest respectively. Morning game drives start at 7:00am while the evening game drives are done at 4:00pm. Also, night game drives are conducted to allow travelers see nocturnal animals like bush babies. Travelers are advised to keep with in the vehicles for safety reasons

Best season for game viewing in Rwanda
Game viewing is best done in the dry season in the months of June, July, August, September, December, January and February. During this time, there are fewer rains, which make game viewing and photography quite easier. Also, wild animals tend to gather at water points for drinking water, which make their viewing easier. On the other hand, wet season in the months of March, April, May, October and November are good too. The vegetation is so green and the scenery so beautiful.

Other tourist activities in Akagera National Park
Besides game viewing, travelers to Akagera National Park have a variety of other tourist activities to do and see. These include:
• Bird watching
• Boat ride/cruise on Lake Ihema
• Fishing at Lake Shakani
• Nature Walks
• Camping

Other tourist activities in Rwanda
Rwanda gorilla safarisIf you have extended time, explore Rwanda’s other treasures located in different corners of the country. The popular things to see and do in Rwanda besides game viewing include:
1. Chimpanzee Trekking in Nyungwe Forest National Park
2. Canopy Walk in Nyungwe Forest
3. Mountain gorilla trekking in Volcanoes Par
4. Golden Monkey trekking
5. Twin Lakes Exploration
6. Visiting the Musanze caves
7. Ibyiwacu Community tour
8. Kigali City tour
9. Volcano Climbing (Mt Karisimb and Mt Bisoke)
Its undeniable that game viewing is a must do on your Rwanda safari. Contact Africa Adventure Safaris, book a game safari to Akagera National Park for a memorable wildlife experience.


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Bitukura Gorilla Family

Bitukura Gorilla Family

Located in Ruhija sector, east of Ruhija of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park, Bitukura is one of the 17 habituated gorilla families in Bwindi Forest National Park. For those who have visited it before, Bitukura gorilla family is undeniably one of the most peaceful and calm gorilla families in Bwindi. Unlike other gorilla families which undergo a 2 years’ habituation experience, Bitukura was habituated for one year (2007) and opened for trekking in 2008. Its therefore a simple to visit gorilla group, a not miss on your Uganda gorilla tour to Bwindi Forest. Bitukura gorilla family is led by Ndahura dominant silverback gorilla. Also, the family has more other 3 silverbacks who live peacefully under the leadership of Ndahura. The other silverbacks in Bitukura gorilla group include Karamuzi the 2nd silverback, Rukumu as the 3rd silverback and Rukara as the 4th silverback gorilla. The name Bitukura was derived from the river where this gorilla family was first seen.

Family members of Bitukura Gorilla Family
Altogether, Bitukura gorilla family comprises of 13 members each of which plays a different role for the betterment of the family. Members of Bitukura gorilla family include:
• Ndahura (Dominant Silverback)
• Karamuzi (Silverback)
• Rukumu (Silverback)
• Rukara (Silverback)
• Kadogo (Infant)
• Mubwindi (Infant)
• Mugisha (juvenile)
• Obia (blackbuck)
• Twakire (black back)
• Betina (Adult female)
• Muhara (Adult female)
• Kamuga (Adult female)
• Kabandize (Juvenile who migrated from Kyaguliro gorilla family)
Each of these family members play a different role in the family, silverbacks guard and protect the family from external attacks, adult females nurse and feed the babies while black backs and juveniles play tirelessly in the family keeping it active and lively.

Gorilla Permits for Bitukura Gorilla Family
Every day, Bitukura gorilla family has 8 gorilla permits available giving chance to 8 lucky travelers to visit and trek this peaceful family. Due to the high demand for gorilla emits in Ruhija, gorilla permit booking is advised at least 6 months before the trekking date. Permit booking can be done directly with Uganda Wildlife Authority or through Africa Adventure Safaris, the number one travel agent in Uganda, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Other Gorilla Families in Ruhija Sector
Besides Bitukura gorilla family, Ruhija is home to other gorilla families habituated for trekking. The other gorilla groups in Ruhija sector include Oruzongo family and Kyaguliro gorilla group. Each family has 8 gorilla permits available each day. Altogether, Ruhija sector has 24 gorilla permits available every day.

Best time to trek Bitukura Gorilla Family
Dry season between the months of June, July, August, September, December, and January are the best time to trek and visit Bitukura gorilla family. During this time, there are no or fewer rains that make it easy to walk through the jungle forest. However, Bitukura gorilla family can be visited all year round. Despite the difficulty in trekking during low season, travelers during this time enjoy lots of discounted services in lodges, hotels and travel companies.

Rules and regulations of trekking Bitukura gorilla family
At the start of the trekking day, travelers gather Ruhija park headquarters for briefing and registration. While there, travelers are introduced to the rules and regulations of trekking to ensure the safety of the endangered gorillas and travelers. The dos and don’ts of gorilla trekking apply across all gorilla families in Uganda, Rwanda, and Congo. These include:
1. Keep a distance of seven meters away from gorillas
2. Avoid direct eye contact with gorillas
3. Do not use flashlight cameras
4. Do not trek when sick
5. Do not litter in the park
6. Do not run when gorillas charge at you
7. Do not touch the gorillas
8. Keep your voices low
9. Keep within your group
10. Turn back your face when sneezing/coughing
More so, travelers are advised to pack the appropriate essentials to ensure a less challenging and peaceful gorilla trekking experience.

The packing list for trekking Bitukura gorilla family include:
• Long-sleeved shirts/blouses
• Long pants
• Hiking boots/shoes
• Gardening gloves
• Sun glasses
• Hat
• Rain jackets
• Sweater/scarf
• Energy giving snacks
• Drinking water
• First aid kit
A Bwindi gorilla tour to visit Bitukura gorilla family is an exceptional experience you ought to enjoy. Contact Africa Adventure Safaris today, reserve your permit and enjoy a magical encounter with the humble Bitukura gorilla family.

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Measures taken to protect gorillas from Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Measures taken to protect gorillas from Coronavirus (COVID-19)

As the novel Coronavirus continues to paralyze both life and business as it spreads around the world, concerns have been raised about the position of wildlife regarding this pandemic. In particular, stakeholders are concerned about the safety of gorillas which are always visited by international travelers, majority of whom come from countries that are already affected by COVID-19.

There is fear that if by any mistake any traveler who may have contracted the virus can easily spread it to the animals once they get in touch while in the wild. One of the main terrifying factors is that majority of the travelers who come for gorilla safaris to trek mountain gorillas in Uganda and Rwanda come from countries that are severely hit by the virus. Such countries include the United States, United Kingdom, Italy, Germany, France, Australia, among others.

In response to the above concerns, governments and other conservation organizations that are in charge of protecting gorillas gave come up with some measures and guidelines to ensure that gorillas and other wildlife species remain safe and protected from Coronavirus. Governments through wildlife authorities like the Uganda Wildlife Authority and the Rwanda Development Board together with other conservation organizations like the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund have all come up with several measures to protect gorillas and other animals from COVID-19.

Some of the measures taken by authorities to protect wildlife from coronavirus include the following;
• The government of Uganda has restricted travel to and from countries that are already affected by Coronavirus in in order to control its importation into the country. The government has gone on to categorize these countries into categories 1 to 3 depending on the severity of the outbreak in such countries. Travelers from severely hit countries (category 1) like China, Italy, South Korea, United States, United Kingdom, Spain, among others have been advised to postpone their travel to Uganda. Those who cannot avoid coming to Uganda from these countries will be subjected to a 14-day quarantine period in isolated places at their own cost before being allowed to go wherever they want to. This also includes tourists who are intending to visit several wildlife destinations including trekking gorillas.
• Thorough testing for Coronavirus is also taking place at several entry points including airports at Entebbe and Kigali and at border crossings to ensure that those may exhibit symptoms of COCID-19 or test positive are quickly isolated before accessing wildlife destinations like national parks and other areas.
• Wildlife authorities are also ensuring that all the staff working with wildlife at all national parks including rangers, vets and trackers are all tested and give protective gear like gloves for both their protection and that of animals.
• Other measures include limiting the time that both the wildlife staff and the tourists have been spending in the presence of animals. Distance between humans and the animals is also strongly emphasized to limit any chance of virus transmission to the animals.

Other conservation organizations like the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund that is dedicated to protect gorillas in Rwanda and Democratic Republic of Congo have also come up with some protective measures in order to combat the spread of coronavirus to the animals. Some of their measures include;
• Limiting the time staff spends in the presence of animals while doing their daily activities like monitoring the health of gorillas. After checking on all the animals, the staff moves 100 meters away from them to maintain a protection presence.
• All field staff are subjected to daily health checks before going to meet the animals and anyone found with symptoms or fever are isolated and advised to seek medical attention.
• Other measures include staff wearing masks while in the field, undertaking mandatory and regular hand washing and sanitizing by all staff, placing posters that explain symptoms of COVID-19 and its control measures at several work areas to educated both staff and the community. Community engagement programs by the organization have also been temporarily suspended to reduce the risk of exposure.
With the above measures undertaken by both wildlife authorities and conservation organizations, there is optimism and hope that gorillas and other animals will be safe and well protected from the coronavirus pandemic.

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Mubare Gorilla Family

Mubare Gorilla Family

Dwelling in Buhoma sector north of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park, Mubare is Uganda’s oldest gorilla family that was habituated in 1993. The gorilla group was first discovered in 109991, it was taken through 2 years of habituation process and opened for trekking in 1993. Mubare was the first gorilla group Habituated in 1993 Mubare is the oldest gorilla family in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park. The gorilla family was named after Mubare hills where it was first sighted. On his formation, Mubare gorilla family was first led by Ruhondeza the giant silverback. Unfortunately, Ruhondeza died in 2012 at the age of 50 and was given a decent burial. Kanyonyi the son of Ruhondeza took over leadership and it’s the present leader of Mubare gorilla family. Mubare is an interesting gorilla family, the first priority for most travelers who book to trek Uganda gorilla families in Bwindi Forest National Park. Mubare gorilla family is home to 11 members comprised of the silverback, adult females, juveniles and infants.

How best to trek Mubare Gorilla Family
Mubare gorilla family is best visited from Kabale district. Buhoma is the easily accessible gorilla sector in Bwindi Forest National Park when driving from Kampala Masaka Mbarara and Kabale route. If crossing from Kigali Rwanda, Katuna border is the best entry point to trek Mubare gorilla family. If you have limited time, opt for a flight from kajjansi airstrip to Kihihi airfield in Kabale. From there, our driver guide will transfer you to Buhoma sector for gorilla trekking.

Gorillas permit cost to trek Mubare gorilla family
A single permit to trek gorillas in Mubare family costs $700 for foreign residents, $600 for foreign non-residents and UGX 250,000 for East African residents. Booking an be done directly with Uganda Wildlife Authority or through Africa Adventure safaris, your number one travel company. Due to high demand for Uganda gorilla tours, we recommend early booking at least 6 months in advance.

Other gorilla families in Buhoma sector
Besides Mubare gorilla family. Buhoma sector is home to other gorilla families, which include Habinyanja gorilla group, Rushegura gorilla family, and Katwe gorilla family. Each gorilla family is visited by 8 people per day. Whereas traveler spend strictly one hour with gorillas, the trek before meeting the gentle giants can take over 7 hours depending on where gorillas will be located that day.

Physical fitness
Yes, Buhoma sector is located on high altitude, which requires climbing uphill before meeting gorillas. Travelers are ought to be physically fit and mentally ready to deal with the hikes. Trekking to see gorillas start with registration and briefing at the park headquarters.

When is the best time to trek gorillas
The dry season between the months of June, July, August, September, December, and January is the best time to trek gorillas. During this time, there is less or no rain which makes it easy to trek through this jungle forest. However, gorilla trekking is also done in the wet season in the months of March, April, May, October and November. Trekking gorillas in low season is cheap with discounted accommodation and transport services. Also, there are fewer crowds of travelers during the wet season, which is an added advantage.

Gorilla families in Bwindi Forest
Altogether, Bwindi Impenetrable Forest is home to 17 gorilla families habituated for trekking. These gorilla families are split in four gorilla sectors namely Buhoma in the north, Ruhija in the east, Rushaga and Nkuringo in the southern sector of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park. Gorilla families in Bwindi Forest include:
• Mubare
• Bitukura
• Rushegura
• Habinyanja
• Oruzogo
• Nkuringo
• Nshongi
• Mishaya
• Kahungye
• Bweza
• Busingye
• Katwe
• Christmas
• Kyaguliro
Apparently, two more gorilla families (Bushaho and Bikyingi) are undergoing habituation experience and will be open for trekking anytime soon. Gorilla habituation experience costs $1500 allowing you to spend four hours with wild mountain gorillas.
Mubare gorilla group is an exceptional gorilla family to visit in Buhoma sector of Bwindi Forest National Park. Book a Uganda gorilla tour today, reserve your permit and get chance to visit Uganda’s oldest gorilla family.


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Park Entrance Fees To Volcanoes National Park

Park Entrance Fees To Volcanoes National Park

What’s the park entrance fee to Volcanoes National Park has been and is still one of the commonly asked questions by travelers booking Rwanda gorilla safaris. Yes, most travelers have often asked how much entrance fees to Volcanoes National Park especially those booking private tours, not through travel operators. There is no specific answer to this question. The entrance fees to Volcanoes National Park depends on the activity a traveler intends to do. Its very common for Same people to pay different entrance fees to Volcanoes National Park if they are doing different tourist activities. Volcanoes National Park is the most visited National Park, which receives the highest number of travelers on Rwanda safaris. The park entrance fees to Volcanoes National park are as follows:

Gorilla Trekking permit
If you are visiting Rwanda for gorilla trekking, a single Rwanda gorilla permits cost $1500 each. This cost is inclusive of the entrance fees, park rangers fee, gorilla conservation fee and other government taxes. Each day, Rwanda Development Board has 72 gorilla permits available or issuing. Apparently, Volcanoes National Park is sheltering 9 gorilla families each visited by 8 people per day. Permits are sold on a first come first serve basis. Travelers are therefore advised to book as early as 6 months prior due to high demand for permits. You can book directly with Rwanda Development Board or through Africa Adventure Safaris, your number one gorilla safari company in East Africa. In late 2019 Rwanda’s Hirwa gorilla family migrated to Uganda and is now living in Mgahinga Gorilla National park. A gorilla permit is a must-have for every traveler visiting to trek mountain gorillas in Volcanoes National Park. It allows you to spend an hour with the endangered gorillas. The cost of a gorilla permit in Rwanda is uniform for all travelers despite one’s nationality.

Golden Monkey Permit
Volcanoes National ParkThe permit to trek golden monkeys in Volcanoes National Park costs $100 for foreign non-residents and $65 for foreign non-residents. Golden monkey trekking is the second most done tourist activity in Volcanoes National Park. An encounter with these playful lively creatures is a lifetime experience. Like in gorillas, you are advised to book as early as 6 months prior to avoid last-minute disappointments.


Mount Bisoke Hike

Hiking to the summit of Mount Bisoke costs $75 for foreign non-residents, $60 for foreign residents and $55 for Rwandese and East African residents. Members of the East African community pay $65 but the experience is worth the penny, energy and time. All bookings can be done directly through the Rwanda Development Board or Africa Adventure Safaris.

Mount Karisimbi Hike
Mount Karisimbi is the most hiked Virunga Volcano in Volcanoes National Park. The permit for hiking karisimbi volcano cost $400 for foreign non-residents, $250 for foreign residents, and $200 for Rwanda/East African community citizens. East African Community Foreign citizens pay $300. Mt Karismbi is the tallest Virunga volcano, which stands at 4,507 meters (14,787ft) above the sea level. The summit of Mt Karisimbi Volcano overlooks other Virunga Volcanoes, Volcanoes National Park and the neighboring local communities. A 2 Days Karismbi hiking tour is a perfect package to conquer this mountain. Mount Karisimbi is locally translated as “snow” and is located in Rwanda’s border with the Democratic Republic of Congo. Contact Africa Adventure Safaris; book your Mt Karsimbi hiking tour for an exceptional hiking experience at affordable rates.

Mount Gahinga Hike
Volcano climbing in Volcanoes parkThe permit to hike Mt Gahinga costs $75 for foreign non-residents $60 for foreign residents, $65 for East African Citizens and &55 for Rwanda citizens. Mount Gahinga is one of the easy to hike Volcano among the 8 chain of Virunga Volcanoes. Mt Gahinga is located in Rwanda’s border with Uganda.


Dian Fossey Graveyard Hike

Buy a permit at $75 for foreign non-residents, $60 for foreign residents and $55 for Rwanda and East African Residents ad hike to the graveyard of Dian Fossey, the late American primatologist who lost her life to save the then critically endangered mountain gorillas in the Virunga Conservation Area. You will learn about Dian Fossey’s works and campaigns to save gorillas that were on the verge of extinction. A hike to Dian Fossey graveyard also gives you a chance to meet other wild animals and birds in Volcanoes National park.


Guided Forest/Nature Walks

A guided walk through Volcanoes National Park costs $55 for foreign non-residents $40 for foreign residents and $35 for Rwanda and East African citizens. Walking on foot through Volcanoes Park is the best way to explore and discover the hidden gem and natural beauty of Volcanoes National Park. Enjoy the sweet sounds of birds singing up in the trees and the cool quiet ambiance.

Camping Fees
Do you want to Camp near Volcanoes National Park, the experience costs $30 for foreign non-residents and $10 for foreign residents. Africa Adventure Safaris is at your service to tailor-make your Rwanda camping safari.

In general, the park entrance fees to Volcanoes National park Rwanda depend on which activity (activities) you intend to do. Each activity calls for different pay, but all experiences are worth it.


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1 Day  Gorilla Flying Safari to Bwindi Forest

1 Day Gorilla Flying Safari to Bwindi Forest

Do you know you can do a 1 Day Bwindi gorilla tour starting and ending in Entebbe Uganda? Yes, you can fly to Kihihi and trek gorillas in Bwindi forest. Whereas many people have initially known it as impossible to trek gorillas in Bwindi forest from Entebbe in one day, the perception is wrong. Everything is possible with Africa Adventure Safaris. We offer you 1 Day gorilla trekking tour to you can easily fly to trek Bwindi gorillas in the shortest time possible. Whereas most Uganda gorilla tours to Bwindi Forest take a full day of driving from Entebbe/Kampala, You can easily fly from Kajjansi airstrip in Entebbe and land into Kihihi airstrip in Kabale or Kisoro airstrip. From there, you easily connect to Bwindi Forest or Mgahinga Gorilla National Parks for gorilla trekking experience. Uganda flying safaris to see mountain gorillas give short time travelers a chance to visit and see the endangered mountain gorillas in their natural habitats as quickly as possible. Whereas a 1 Days Uganda gorilla tour normally starts from Kigali Rwanda, you can still do a 1-Day gorilla tour to Bwindi Forest starting and ending in Entebbe Uganda. Aero link and Fly Uganda are the leading flying companies for domestic and chattered flights across Uganda.

1 Day Uganda gorilla tour to Bwindi from Entebbe

This one-day gorilla tour to Bwindi forest starts ad ends in Entebbe Uganda. You will arrive at Entebbe international airport very early in the morning, meet your driver guide from our company and transfer to Kajjansi airstrip. Board a domestic flight to Kihihi/Kisoro airstrip from where you will drive to the respective park headquarters in Bwindi Forest or Mgahinga Gorilla National Parks. You must be at the park headquarters by 7:00am for registration and briefing about the rules and regulations of gorilla trekking in Uganda. You will be put together in-group of eight each allocated a gorilla group to trek. The hike to see mountain gorillas starts at 8:00am and it may last between 30 minutes to over 7 hours depending on where mountain gorillas will be that day and their speed of movements. After meeting the gorilla family, you will spend an hour in their presence the one-hour with gorillas is counted from the time you set your eyes on the gorillas. As soon as you see the gorillas, the ranger guide sets the clock and the interaction with last for an hour strictly. This is the time to hold your cameras tight, keep calm and take as many pictures as possible. Remember to keep a distance of seven meters away, remove the flashlight from your cameras and keep your voices low. After the encounter with gorillas, hike back to the starting pint, meet your driver-guide and transfer back to Kihihi/Kisoro airstrip for your connecting flight back to Entebbe.
Tour inclusions
The 1 Day Uganda flying tour includes:
• Gorilla Trekking permit
• Domestic flight fares
• Full-time English speaking guide
• Bottled drinking water
• Packed lunch
• Conservation fee
• Miscellaneous
Tour exclusions
This trip excludes:
• Visa fees
• International flights
• Porters fee
• Tips
• Alcoholic beverages
• Extra activities not in the itinerary

What to Pack for a 1-Day Uganda gorilla trek from Kigali?
Yes, make sure y pack the right gears for your one-day Uganda gorilla tour starting and ending in Entebbe Uganda. Among the things to wear for gorilla trekking include hiking boots/shoes, gardening gloves, hat, sunglasses, insect repellant, drinking water, and energy-giving snacks.
Book an I day Uganda gorilla flying safari to Bwindi Forest/Mgahinga gorilla National Parks with Africa Adventure Safaris.


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Kampala City Tours -Places to Visit

Kampala City Tours -Places to Visit

Kampala city tour is a not miss on your next Uganda safari. Kampala, the Capital of Uganda is a first stop Centre for all Uganda safaris to all parts of the country and the starting and ending point of most safaris in Uganda. In other words, Kampala city is where travelers connect to different directions in different corners depending on the next destination and interesting tourist activities. Whether you are going for gorilla trekking in Bwindi Forest/Mgahinga Gorilla National park, game viewing in the open savannah parks, bird watching, water rafting at the Nile river, Mountaineering or even a cultural tour to Batwa pygmies, YOU MUST pass through Kampala. For that matter, Kampala city is the best place for Uganda city tours. Kampala is surrounded by interesting tourist sites in its suburbs plus the magical tours within the city its self. You will meet many people, many cars and experience how different businesses are run in this small city. Following the strenuous gorilla or chimpanzee trekking experience, you ought to relax and chill off all the fatigue. Kampala City tours entail the following:

Visit local markets and shopping malls
Enjoy a visit to the local markets on your Kampala City tour. The most visited markets in Kampala are Owiino for clothes and Nakasero market for food. You will find all kinds of Uganda’s fresh foods in these markets plus low-cost second hand and first-hand clothes. The market place in Uganda is very interesting giving you the chance to interact with local business people, bargain and if possible support local businesses in Uganda. Shopping malls are best to buy snacks and other essentials to make your safari a success. The leading shopping malls in Kampala include Oasis Mall, Acacia Mall, Ham shopping mall, Freedom City Mall, Ntinda Shopping Centre, Senana Shopping malls, Owino Shopping Mall, Mukwano Centre Shopping Arcade and Haruna shopping Mall. These malls serve you with quality products of all types at affordable rates.

Kasubi Tombs
If you want to learn about Buganda’s kingdom, cultures, beliefs, and norms, Kasubi Tombs is your best place to visit. Being burial ground for the former Baganda kings and other members of the royal family, a visit to Kasubi tombs goes you all the information you require about the kingdom of Buganda. Kasubi tombs are one of Uganda’s UNESCO heritage sites and a must-visit on your Kampala city tour. Expect to find elders who will tell you about the history of Buganda kingdom. Also at the scene are traditional tools such as drums, spears, shields, trumpets, and backcloths (Orubugo). A traditional dance will be performed introducing and welcoming you to Buganda’s culture.

Religious sites (Mosques, Cathedrals, and Temples)
Do not miss visiting the top religious sites in Uganda on your Kampala city. These are the headquarters for all religious dominions in the whole country. Religious tours in Kampala take you to Kibuli Mosque, Namirembe Cathedral, Rubaga cathedral, and Bahai Temple and Namugongo shrine where Uganda Marty’s were slain.

Makerere University
Being the largest, best and oldest institution of higher learning in Uganda, Makerere University is a not miss on your Kampala city tour. Makerere University is divided into different colleges, which include college of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, College of Business and Management Sciences, College of Computing and Information Sciences, College of Education and External Studies, College of Engineering, Design Art and Technology, College of Health Sciences, College of Humanities and Social Sciences, College of Natural Science’s, College of Veterinary, medicine, Animal Resources & Bio-Security and the School of Law. These colleges are further divided into schools and then subdivided into courses.

Other tourist sites in Kampala include
1. Uganda Museum
2. The parliament of Uganda
3. Mengo Palace
4. Old Taxi Park
5. Bars and restaurants
In general, you can enjoy Uganda safaris without necessarily going to trek gorillas, game safaris or going upcountry. Kampala city offers it all you need to know and learn about Uganda.


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Comparing Mountain Gorillas & Eastern Lowland Gorillas

Comparing Mountain Gorillas & Eastern Lowland Gorillas

Most travelers have often mistaken mountain gorillas and Eastern Lowland gorillas. Much as they all belong to the eastern gorilla species, the two gorilla species are different in one way or the other. Before booking and confirming a gorilla trip, travelers are ought to fully understand the difference between mountain gorillas and eastern lowland gorillas and then decide on which ones to visit or to visit both. Gorilla trekking remains the best wildlife e experience that no traveler should miss on his/her travel to Africa. A 1 Day gorilla tour in the jungle is a magical experience that happens once in a lifetime. The difference between mountain gorillas and eastern lowland gorillas depends on the location, size, and physical outlook. Africa Adventure Safaris brings you comparisons between mountain gorillas and eastern lowland gorillas

Habitats
Like their names, Mountain gorillas live in mountainous regions while Eastern lowland gorillas live in lowland areas. Mountain gorillas (Gorilla beringei beringei) dwell in two regions i.e Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National park in Uganda and the other population live in Virunga conservation area comprised of Volcanoes National Park Rwanda , Virunga National Park in Congo and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo. On the other hand, Eastern lowland gorillas only survive in Congo’s kahuzi biega National park in eastern Congo. Every traveler who wants to see Eastern lowland gorillas must, therefore, travel to Kahuzi Biega National Park. Mountain gorillas live in areas of higher altitudes of about 1,500 – 4000 meters (8000 – 13,000ft). On the other hand, lowland gorillas live in low altitude areas. Mountain gorilla’s lice comfortably in thick-forested lands while lowland gorillas are found in lowland forests. The park is home to roughly 1000 eastern lowland gorillas. Regarding the population of mountain gorillas, the 2018 gorilla census in the Virunga Massif confirmed that mountain gorilla numbers have increased to 1006 shared between Uganda, Rwanda, and Congo. The steady increase in mountain gorillas gives hope for sustainable gorilla tourism in Africa.

Physical appearances
Regarding physical structures, mountain gorillas have shorter arms, shorter jaws, larger teeth and Nose. On the other hand, eastern lowland gorillas have shorter head and body hair. Mountain gorillas have long thick fur much more compared to that of eastern lowland gorillas. Adult males(silverbacks ) or mountain gorillas have white fur on their backs which is not a case with lowland gorillas. Lowland adult males instead have a brown fur at tier backs

Size
Eastern Lowland gorillas are the largest gorilla species in Africa. The size of eastern lowland gorillas is bigger compared to mountain gorillas. On average, a silverback mountain gorilla weighs over 195 kilograms while Male eastern lowland gorillas weigh over 210 kilograms. Lowland gorillas are much heavier and stronger compared to mountain gorillas.

Social behaviors
A family of mountain gorillas can have more than one silverback at the same time but with one dominating. On the other hand, a family is eastern lowland gorillas MUST have one adult male gorilla. You cannot find 2 silverbacks in an eastern lowland gorilla family. One silverback gorilla is in charge of all adult females in the group and has all the rights to mate with them.

Communication behaviors
Whenever mountain gorillas are annoyed, they isolate themselves from each other to cool. When a silverback gorilla is angry, he emits a strong odor in the armpits, which tells other family members that, the dad s stressed and not happy. He needs private time. On the other hand, eastern lowland gorillas seem not to show any communication sign when stressed.

Similarities Between Mountain & Eastern Lowland Gorillas
Both mountain gorillas and eastern lowland gorillas have longer arms than legs hence they both walk with arms. More both, both gorilla species are herbivores whose diet comprise of leaves, shoots, fruits, roots, and vines. At times, gorillas at small insects and reptiles in the jungle.

Whether you choose to visit mountain gorillas or eastern lowland gorillas, gorilla trekking remains the best wildlife experience in the world. Contact Africa Adventure Safaris today, book your gorilla safari to Uganda, Rwanda and Congo and enjoy this lifetime experience.


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Uganda’s Least Visited National Parks

Uganda’s Least Visited National Parks

Explore Uganda’s least visited National parks for a magical experience with Africa Adventure Safaris. Leaving out the most visited national parks of Uganda (Bwindi forest for gorilla trekking, Queen Elizabeth, Mt Rwenzori, Murchison falls parks) and the alike, The pearl of Africa has more to explore. We bring, Uganda’s 4 least visited national parks, which you need to explore on your next Uganda wildlife safari. These parks offer you a unique travel experience and a true feeling of African wilderness. It’s undeniable that most past travelers on Uganda safaris have missed a chance to explore some of the country’s hidden treasures. In total, Uganda has 10 national parks and several game reserves located in different parts of the country. The hidden national parks in Uganda include:

Kidepo Valley National park

animals in Kidepo Valley National ParkLocated in the extreme northeastern part of Uganda, Kidepo Valley National park is undeniably a hidden treasure. Those who have been there before reviewed this park as a true Africa’s wilderness. The mesmerizing scenic landscapes and abundant wildlife make Kidepo valley National park a not miss on your Uganda safari. The park spreads over 1442 square kilometers bordered by South Sudan and Kenya. Game drives through the savannah plains of Kidepo gives you a close encounter with wild animals such as Giraffes, elephants, lions, buffalos, cheetahs, black striped jackals, Hyenas, mountain reedbuck, aardwolf, and Uganda Kobs among others. More so, Kidepo Valley National park is home to over 475 bird species hence the best spot for bird watching in Uganda. Kidepo is the second to Queen Elizabeth National Park in sheltering the highest number of birds in Uganda. The birds in Kidepo park include White-faced scoops owl, Long-tailed nightjars, Black-breasted barbet, pygmy falcon, African grey flycatcher, standard winged nightjars, white billed weavers, Abyssinian roller, Golden pipit, Rufous Chatter, Greater Kestrel, Chestnut Weaver, Northern Carmine Bee-eater, and Jackson’s hornbill among others. The vegetation cover in Kidepo Valley National park comprises of Savannah grasslands, semi-desert shrubs and Riparian woodlands among which provide food and habitat for wildlife in the park. The top tourist activities in Kidepo Valley National park include
• Game Viewing
• Hiking (Morungole Mountains, Lamoj mountains & Lotukei Mountains)
• Picnicking at Kidepo river
• Bird watching
• Visiting the Kanangorok hot springs
• Cultural tours to the Karamojong or IK people
• Camping
• Nature walks

Getting to and around Kidepo Valley National park
Kidepo Valley National park can be accessed by road and air transport. By road, the park is roughly 13 hours drive from Kampala city/Entebbe international airport. The notable routes to Kidepo Valley National park include Kampala – Mbale – Sironko – Kotido –Kidepo. Alternatively, you can use Kampala – Lira – Kotido – Kidepo. Another route is Kampala – Soroti – Kotido -Amuria and finally to Kidepo. The long hours of driving offer you scenic views along the way which makes your whole experience enjoyable and memorable.
By air, travelers fly from Kajjansi airstrip in Entebbe to Lomej airstrip and then connect to the park by car.

Accommodation in Kidepo Valley National Park includes Apoka Safari Lodge, Kidepo Savannah Lodge, and Nga Moru Wilderness Camp all serving you with first-class food and sleeping services at affordable rates.

Mgahinga Gorilla National park

golden monkeys in Mgahinga National ParkMgahinga Gorilla National park has remained a hidden gem in southwestern Uganda. Mgahinga is Uganda’s smallest National park covering 34 square kilometers located in kisoro district. However, despite its small size, Mgahinga Gorilla National Park is home to the famous endangered mountain gorillas (Nyakgyezi gorilla family) hence one of the four places to see mountain gorillas in Africa. In addition to gorillas, Mgahinga Park is also home to the endangered golden monkeys hence the v best place for primate safaris in Uganda. More so, Mgahinga is home to 3 extinct Virunga volcanoes (Mt Gahinga, Mt Muhabura, and Mt Sabyinyo) making it the best place for hiking safaris. Mgahinga is also a Centre for Batwa cultural trail giving you the chance to learn and experience the traditional forest life of Batwa pygmies. The top activities in Mgahinga Gorilla national park include:
• Mountain Gorilla Trekking
• Golden Monkey trekking
• Bird watching
• Cave exploration (Ngarama cave)
• Batwa cultural trail
• Nature/forest walks
• Caldera walk

The recommended lodges/camps in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park include Gahinga Lodge, Mubano Hotel, Mgahinga Safari Lodge, Amajambere Iwacu community Camp, Virunga Hotel, Traveler’s rest Camp and Rugigana campsite among others. These serve you with quality food and sleeping services at affordable rates. You can access Mgahinga Gorilla National park by road driving from Kampala –Mbabara –Kabale -kisoro route. Also, fly from Kajjansi airstrip to Kisoro airstrip and then drive to the park.

Pian Upe Game Reserve

Spare time and visit Pian Upe, Uganda’s largest game reserve located in the greater Karamoja region. Pian Upe game reserve is a true African wilderness, home to countless wild animals including lions, giraffes, Topis, Leopards, greater kudu’s Dik dik, and Roan antelopes among others. The reserve is also home to baboons, Vervet monkeys and black and white colubus giving you the best primate encounter. Some lodges/ Hotels near Pian Upe game reserve include Mount Moroto Hotel, Karamoja Safari Camp and Lavender Inn among others.

Semuliki Valley National park
Semliki National parkLocated in Bwamba county Bundibugyo district, Semilki Valley National park is yet another least visited park in western Uganda. The park spreads over 220 square kilometers and was established in 1993 to diversify tourism products in Uganda. Semulki Valley is home to over 435 bird espies hence one of the top Uganda birding spots. The birds in Semuliki Valley National Park include Abyssinia Ground hornbill, Black Coucal, Greenwood hoopoe, shoebill, Red-necked falcon, African pygm goose, Marsh tchagra, Red-necked falcon, African Crake and Pennant – winged nightjar among others. Also, the park is home to over 374 butterfly species making it the best spot for butterfly safaris in Uganda. Go game viewing in Semliki Valley National Park to see wild animals such as buffalos, leopards, bush babies, Elephants, Mona monkeys and hippos among others. Do not miss visiting the great Sempaya hot springs to on your Uganda safari to Semliki Valley National park.
The lodges in Semliki Valley National Park include Semliki Safari Lodge, Ntoroko Safari Lodge, and UWA Bandas and Kirimia Guest house among others.

Africa Adventure Safaris take you to explore Uganda’s least visited National Parks for a great experience. Contact us today and we shall take you to discover the hidden gem in Kidepo Valley, Pian Upe game reserve, Semliki Valley and Mgahinga Gorilla National parks rewarding you with an exceptional experience.


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Travel Documents Required for Gorilla Trekking

Travel Documents Required for Gorilla Trekking

Are you planning a gorilla safari to Uganda, Rwanda or the Democratic Republic of Congo? you ought to have the following list of travel documents to allow you to see the endangered gorillas. In all gorilla destinations, the government requires certain travel documents that every traveler visiting to see gorillas must-have. Short of these, a traveler will be denied access to the endangered gorillas in their natural habitats. The reasons for travel documents are to clarify information about the traveler, confirm safety from any sicknesses hence ensuring the safety of endangered gorillas and promote sustainable tourism in Africa. Travel agents require these documents during gorilla tour bookings. Also, you will be asked to present these documents at immigrations and at respective borders. Check the list of travel documents for gorilla trekking in Uganda, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo with Africa Adventure Safaris.

Gorilla Permit

Gorilla permit information in Uganda

Uganda Gorilla Permit

This is the number one must-have for any traveler visiting to trek gorillas in Uganda, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. A gorilla permit is a pass to see gorillas without which you cannot access the endangered gorillas. Rwanda gorilla permits cost $1500 each and $450 in the Democratic Republic of Congo. In Uganda, the cost of gorilla permits varies depending on the travelers’ nationality. Uganda gorilla permits cost $700 for foreign non-residents, $600 for foreign residents and UGX for East African residents. Uganda Wildlife Authority in Uganda, Rwanda Development Board in Rwanda and the Management of Virunga National Park in Congo issue gorilla permits. Each day, Uganda has 144 gorilla permits available for issuing Rwanda has 80 permits while Congo has 64 gorilla permits available every day. Gorilla permit availability depends on the number of gorilla families habituated in that particular country. Due to the popularity and high demand for gorilla tours in Africa, travelers are advised to book for permits at least 6 months in advance to avoid last-minute disappointments.

Visa
Visa is yet another must-have travel document by every traveler going to see mountain gorillas in Uganda, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Travelers can apply for visas online with respective embassies before the traveling date. Here, a traveler visits the immigration page for a respective country, opens the application form, fill in the required information and submit. You can apply for a single Visa to Uganda, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Alternatively, you can apply for a single East African visa which allows you to visit Uganda, Rwanda, and Congo without applying for single visas. A traveler will freely cross borders and stay in any of the three countries with no disturbance for 90 Days. The permit costs $100 and is accessed at the entrance of either Uganda, Rwanda, and Congo depending on which country the trip starts from.

Passport

Travel documents to Rwanda

Rwanda Passport

Every foreigner trekking to see gorillas in Uganda, Rwanda and Congo must have a valid passport. A photocopy of the original passport is required during the booking process while the original passport is required at entry points to mountain gorilla destinations. Passports help to tell the actual information about the traveler, date of birth, nationality, gender, and names. However East African citizens without passports can only presentational Identity Cards.

Other travel documents
Yellow Fever Vaccination certificate
Ensure to go for yellow fever vaccination before traveling to see mountain gorillas in Uganda, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Remember to carry your vaccination certificate because you will be asked for it at the entry point to any East African country. Mountain gorillas are endangered gorillas susceptible to human sicknesses. Any traveler with yellow fever can, therefore, expose the endangered gorillas to danger.

Citizenship Identity Card
For travelers who are citizens in Uganda, Rwanda or Congo, endeavor to carry your citizenship Identity Card to prove that you are indeed a citizen.

Tip for gorilla trekking in Uganda, Rwanda, and Congo
Check out the gorilla trekking tips and advice with Africa Adventure Safaris to ensure a memorable gorilla encounter. These include
• Do not trek when sick
• Carry your permit
• Keep a distance of seven meters away from gorillas
• Do not use flashlight cameras
• Avoid direct eye contact with the gorillas
• Do not touch the gorillas
• Do not litter in the park
• Do not run when a gorilla charges
• Dress right for the jungle (hiking boots, gardening gloves, hat, sunglasses, sweaters, long-sleeved shirts, long pants and rain jackets among others.

Conclusively, mountain gorilla trekking is a dream come true for most travelers on African Safaris. Plan your gorilla safari today, get your travel documents in time and enjoy this once in a lifetime experience with Africa Adventure Safaris.


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New York Times Lists Uganda among the Top 52 Places to Visit in 2020

New York Times Lists Uganda among the Top 52 Places to Visit in 2020

Uganda made it again to the New York Times’ list of the top 52 places to visit in the year 2020. The pearl of Africa was ranked one of the five African countries which the New York Rimes has recommended as must-visit destinations for every traveler in 2020. While explaining why visit Uganda, New York Times described the Pearl of Africa as the Private Capital, home to the highest population of the world’s endangered mountain gorillas hence the best gorilla safari destination in Africa. Mountain gorillas in Uganda live in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest and Mgahinga Gorilla National parks both in southwestern Uganda. Also, Uganda is home to over 1000 bird species some of which cannot be found elsewhere in the world. More so the revival of Uganda Airlines has made connectivity to all tourist attractions in the Pearl o Africa quick and simple. Unlike in the past, travelers can now book direct fights from most African countries to Entebbe International airport without making unnecessary stopovers.

Other Countries That Were Listed by New York Times
Besides Uganda, the Pearl of Africa listed other 51 top countries every traveler must visit in 2020. These include among others:
1. Washington
2. The British Virgin Islands
3. Rurrenabaque, Bolivia
4. Greenland
5. Kimberley Region, Australia
6. Paso Robles, California is widely loved by wine lovers
7. Sicily
8. Salzburg, Austria.
9. Richmond
10. Richmond
11. U Street

How were the top 52 must-visit countries selected
For a period of over 4 months, a team of US travel editors, travel professionals, correspondents and contributors analyses all world countries to choose the best ones. Many things such as unique attractions, sustainability, rich history, stability and accessibility were considered. The question was “WHY THIS PLACE THIS YEAR”

About gorilla trekking in Uganda
Gorilla trekking is undeniably the most done tourist activity in the Pearl of Africa. Over 60% of tourist arrivals to Uganda opt to visit mountain gorillas Bwindi Forest and Mgahinga Gorilla National Parks. Interestingly, short time travelers can also trek gorillas by booking Kigali to Bwindi gorilla trekking within the shortest time possible. Fortunately, Uganda gorilla tours cost $700 per permit, which is affordable compared to $1500 in neighboring Rwanda. Alternatively, you can do a gorilla habituation experience, which allows travelers to spend four hours with the gorillas. A habituation permit costs $1500 but the experience achieved is worth it. Uganda gorilla families include Mubare, Habinyanja, Rusehgura, Nkuringo, Katwe, Oruzongo, Busingye, Bitukura, Nshongi, Mishaya, Bweza and Nyakagyezi among others. Each day, a group of eight people visits one gorilla family for an hour’s interaction hence 144 gorilla permits available every day. For purposes of timely planning and gorilla family allocations, gorilla permit booking is recommended at least 6 months in advance.

Tourism growth in Uganda
Over time, the Pearl of Africa has achieved growth in her tourism industry. National parks have registered an increased number of tourist arrivals coming to do and see different treasures after which Uganda was named the Pearl of Africa. In the year 2018, the high number of tourists in Uganda came from Europe. Increased tourist numbers in Uganda were registered from Europe by +13.8%, Asia +10.2%, America at +9.2% and the Middle East at +9.7%. Also, Uganda registered a 6.1% increase in the number of African travelers in the year 2018. The number of international travelers also increased from 1,402,409 in 2017 to 1,506,669 in 2018.

Check the list of the New York Times’ top 52 countries to visit in 2020, pick the country of your choice, go and explore the world with Africa Adventure Safaris.


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A Visit To See The Shoebill Stork In Uganda

A Visit To See The Shoebill Stork In Uganda

A visit to see a prehistorical shoebill stork is a highlight of Uganda birding safaris. With no doubt, over 80% of birding travelers to Uganda choose to visit the iconic shoebill stork before thinking of all other bird species in the Pearl of Africa. Despite the many bird species that call Uganda home, the shoebill stork stands out as the most visited bird species in Uganda. Each day, a new number of travelers check in to Uganda to have a close encounter with the endangered shoebill stork. Birding tour to see the shoebill stork complements other tourist activities in Uganda including mountain gorilla trekking in Bwindi Forest/Mgahinga Gorilla, golden monkey trekking, game viewing in open savannah parks mountain climbing to Mt Rwenzori, Virunga Volcanoes, Chimpanzee trekking in Kibale Forest and Cultural tours among others which together make a complete Uganda safari package.

Where to see shoebill stork in Uganda
birding tours to see shoebill storkMabamba bay wetland on the shores of Lake Victoria is a major destination to see shoebill stork in Uganda. Each day, a new number of travelers are seen canoeing through the boggy Mabamba wetland to have a glimpse of this endangered bird specie. Mabamba bay wetland is one of the important bird areas (IBA’s) in Uganda, a must-visit for every birder to Uganda. Shoebill in Mabamba swamp is well seen in the morning but can also be seen all day through. A 1-Day birding tour to Mabamba wetland offers you the best shoebill stork encounters. Other bird species in Mabamba wetland include yellow-billed duck, Angola Swallow, African Jacana, Olive bellied Sunbird, Blue-breasted bee-eater, Swamp Flycatcher, Long-tailed Cormorant, Glossy Ibis, African Fish eagle and White-winged tern among others. Our experienced birding guides will help you spot the shoebill stork and also explain key features about this endangered bird specie. Interestingly, Mabamba bay wetland is located close to Entebbe International air[port which makes connectivity easy and convenient for fewer time travelers. The trip to see shoebill stork can be done at the start or end of your Uganda safari.
Lake Mburo National park is yet another destination to see shoebill stork in Uganda. The shoebill stork in Lake Mburo lives with 350 bird species that live in this savannah park. Other Birds in Lake Mburo include African fish eagle, Red papyrus Genelok, Abyssinia ground hornbill, Black Papyrus Genelok, Coqui Francolin, Brown-chested Lapwing, Bateleur and grey crowned crane among others.

About shoebill stork
Scientifically called Balaeniceps rex, a shoebill stork is a rare bird that some people call a whale headed beak. Shoebill stork is named after its shoe-shaped bill with which it strikes fish from deep waters. Shoebill stork is believed to be related to Goliath from the early Oligocene of Egypt and Paludavis from Miocene in Egypt also.

Physical description of a shoebill stork
The height of a shoebill stork ranges from 110 to 145cm depending on the age while the length between the beak and tail is between 100 to 140 cm. The wingspan measures between 230 to 260cm. The male adult shoebill weights between 5-6 kilograms. Legs are dark-colored and long measuring between 21 to 25 cm with large feet. The shoebill’s neck is shorter and thicker compared to other birds in the same category such as herons.

Habitats
All over the world, shoebill storks live in freshwater swamps of Uganda, Rwanda, Congo, Zambia, Tanzania, Sudan, and South Sudan. Shoebill stork can migrate from one place to another depending on food availability, habitat changes and threats especially human disturbances.

Social behaviors
Generally, a shoebill stork is a peaceful and quiet bird specie known for its slow movements. In most cases, shoebill stork stays still for long periods the reason why it has been nicknamed “Statue Like”. These rare birds like to live in poorly oxygenated waters with plenty of fish to feed on. The shoebill stork stalks its prey, waits patiently until it strikes and captures it.

Do you want to see the iconic shoebill stork on your Uganda birding safari? Contact Africa Adventure Safaris and enjoy a magical encounter with this rare bird in its natural habitat.


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Sport Fishing Safaris in Uganda

Sport Fishing Safaris in Uganda

Sportfishing has currently become common on all Uganda safaris. Unlike in the past when sport fishing was rarely heard of in Uganda, the venture has presently become popular and many upcoming travelers ask to add sport fishing on their itineraries. Whereas most safaris to Uganda comprise of gorilla trekking, chimpanzee tours, bird watching, mountaineering and game viewing, sport fishing is yet another exceptional activity that makes your Uganda tour a lifetime experience. Take part in catching the Nile perch, which can weigh u to 100 kilograms, fish along with locals who sing and dance calling the fish to come nearer and have fun. Sportfishing in Uganda is one form of water-based tourism in the pearl of Africa. The activity is done on the rivers and lakes in different parts of the country. Altogether, Uganda is believed to shelter over 360 fish species, which include Nile perch, Tilapia, Catfish, Tigerfish, Ferocious fighter, Lunch fish, and barbell fish among others. Africa adventure safaris bring you the list of top sport fishing in Uganda to ensure you get the very best sportfishing experience in the Pearl of Africa. The top sportfishing destinations in Uganda include:

Lake Victoria
Uganda Fishing Safaris If you want to catch the world’s largest Nile perch, lake Victoria is the best spot for you. Both half and full-day sport fishing excursions are done on Lake Victoria to give travelers the very best sportfishing experience. Sportfishing on lake victoria is done on speed boats of between 18 and 30 feet with twin outboard engines. Travelers going for sport fishing on lake victoria are reminded to carry sunglasses, hats, rain jackets and creams to deal with all weather conditions on the lake. Sportfishing on Lake Victoria costs roughly $125 but the magical feeling is worth the penny. The period between October to March is considered the best time for sport fishing on Lake Victoria.

Bottom of Murchison Falls – Murchison Falls National Park
The bottom of the mighty Murchison falls is yet another sport fishing destination in Uganda. Avid anglers to the bottom of the falls have chances of catching the Nile perch, catfish, Tilapia, Catfish and tiger fish among others. The known points for spot fishing at the bottom of Murchison fall are, near the crocodile pool for the Nile perch and near Nyamusika cliffs for the catfish. Sportfishing at the bottom of Murchison falls is best done in the months of January to March and July to October. The sportfishing permit at the bottom of Murchison falls costs $50 for 1 day and $150 for 4 days. Remember to carry sunglasses, a hat, screen lotion, and insect repellent when going for sport fishing in Murchison Falls National Park.

Lake Mburo – Lake Mburo National Park
Lake Mburo situated within Lake Mburo National park is known to shelter over 6 fish species with tilapia being the commonly caught fish species. Mazinga is the best spot for sport fishing on Lake Mburo and hence the target for all anglers to this small lake. Sportfishing in Lake Mburo complements other tourist activities in the park such as boat cruising, game viewing, bird watching, nature walks milking experience and horseback riding among others. A combination of these makes a complete Uganda safari package to Lake Mburo National Park.

Sipi Falls –Mt Elgon National Park

The three- Sipi waterfalls are also another sport fishing destination in the Pearl of Africa. Sportfishing at Sipi falls takes place at the top of the falls where the angling method with multiple hooks is used to catch numerous fish. Sipi falls are located within Mt Elgon National park and a must-visit on your Uganda safari to eastern Uganda.

Sportfishing Equipment
Various equipments are required to ease sport fishing in all destinations in Uganda. Among the sportfishing equipments every angler must-have for this venture include:
• Line cutter
• Fishing bait
• Fishing Hooks
• Sinkers
• Extra Line
• Fishing floats & stoppers
• Needle Nose pliers
• Bobbers
• Fishing Ledgers
• Sun Screen
• First aid kit
• A couple of lures
• Fishing rods
• Fishing reels

Tips for sport Fishing in Uganda
Africa Adventure Safaris brings you tips for sport fishing in Uganda and Africa as a whole. These include:
1. Always go along with an expert
2. Secure the right boat
3. Have the right equipment’s
4. Avoid seasickness
in general, sport fishing is an exceptional experience you should not miss out in Uganda. Contact Africa Adventure Safaris today, book your sport fishing safari to Lake Victoria, the bottom of Murchison Falls, Lake Mburo and Sipi falls, catch the live Nile perch and enjoy this once in a lifetime experience.


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UWA Gives UGX 4.189 Billions to Communities Around Murchison Falls Park

UWA Gives UGX 4.189 Billions to Communities Around Murchison Falls Park

As an initiative to support and appreciate local communities adjacent to National Parks, Uganda Wildlife Authority recently handed over UGX 4,189,834,069 to local communities surrounding Murchison Falls National park. The money was handed over by Professor Ephraim Kamuntu, the minister of tourism, wildlife antiquities at Bulisa district headquarters. This money will be shared between Pakwach, Kiryandongo, Nwoya, Oyam, Bulisa and Masindi districts, which surround Murchison Falls National Park. The money was shared under the revenue sharing scheme that allocates 20% of total tourism revenue aimed at promoting the local livelihood of local people and promotes a positive local attitude, which enhances tourism development and progress. In his speech, Minister Kamuntu thanked locale people who have worked hand in hand with the Uganda Wildlife Authority to promote wildlife conservation in National parks and protected areas all over Uganda. In April 2019, UWA did the same by giving out UGX 4billions to local communities around Mgahinga and Bwindi Forest National parks, homes to the endangered mountain gorillas. Revenue sharing has improved relationships between local people with the Uganda Wildlife Authority team, which has helped to solve human-wildlife conflicts. Among the people who attended this meeting was Residents District Commissioners of the six districts, technical officers, local councils chairpersons, and Chief Administrative officers among others.

Revenue shared is collected from park entrance fees to savannah parks, activities such as launch cruise and game viewing, sell of chimpanzee permits for the chimpanzees and gorilla permits in Mgahinga Gorilla and Bwindi Forest National Park. This money is used to support local projects such as building schools, health centers, water tanks and houses for those relocated to new places for wildlife conservation. Also, local leaders were urged to make sure money is equally distributed for the best of local people and the improvement of local livelihood. On the other hand, local people were asked to support wildlife conservation and help the government to fight against all illegal practices especially poaching and encroachment in National parks.

Benefits of the tourism sector
With no doubt, tourism is currently a major source of revenue for the government of Uganda. Over 50% of Uganda’s foreign exchange earning is from tourism, which has improved the country’s gross domestic product. More so, several employment opportunities such as waiters, waitress, park rangers, local guides, housekeepers, lodge/hotel managers and porters among others have been created for local people. This earns them a living hence improving their standards of living.

About Murchison Falls National park

Murchison Falls

Located in Northwestern Uganda, Murchison Falls is Uganda’s oldest and largest national park spreading over 3,892 square kilometers of land and was established in 1952 a must-visit of all Uganda Safaris. The park comprises of Karuma wildlife reserve, Bugungu wildlife reserve, and Budongo forest. The mighty Murchison falls in the heart of the park is the highlight of Uganda safaris to Northwestern Uganda. Also, Murchison falls national park has a high concentration of wild animals such as African buffalos, giraffes, elephants, lions, waterbucks, warthogs, Elands, Topis, Uganda Kobs, Impalas, chimpanzees, Patas monkeys, olive baboons, and Jackson’s heartbeats among others.

Tourist activities in Murchison Falls National Park
Travelers to Murchison falls national park have an endless list of things to see and do. These include among others:
• Game viewing/ Game driving
• Hike to the top of Murchison Falls
• Launch Cruise to the bottom of the falls
• Bird watching
• Nature walk
• Chimpanzee trekking in Budongo Forest

How to get to Murchison falls National park
Murchison Falls Park can be acceded by road or air transport depending on the client’s budget and available time. The distance from Kampala to Murchison Falls National park is roughly 6 hours drive through Masindi. At times, Travelers stop at Zziwa Rhino sanctuary to make their safari a complete package.

Where to sleep in Murchison Falls National park

Where to sleep in Murchison Falls Park

Chobe Safari Lodge

Wondering where to sleep in Murchison Falls National park? No worries, a variety of lodges and hotels have been built to serve you with first-class food and sleeping services ensuring your comfortable stay in Murchison Falls National Park. The top lodges/safari camps in Murchison Falls National park include Paara Safari Lodge, Sambiya River Lodge, Murchison River Lodge, Pakuba Safari Lodge, Amuka Safari Lodge, Baker’s Lodge, Chobe Safari Lodge and Bwana Tembo Safari Camp among others.

About the power dam project in Murchison falls
Uganda tour operators and visitors have been are still mad at the plans of the government to contract a hydropower dam at Murchison falls. However, Minister Kamuntu comforted people that an environmental impact assessment is being conducted to find out whether dam construction will not affect the waterfalls. Murchison falls will, therefore, stay conserved as the iconic tourist attraction in Murchison Falls National Park and Uganda as a whole.

In general, the sharing of tourism revenue with local communities adjacent to Murchison Falls National park is a good and positive move. Contact Africa Adventure Safaris, book a Uganda safari to Murchison Falls and explore the true African wilderness.


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Chimpanzee Trekking In Budongo Forest

Chimpanzee Trekking In Budongo Forest

Budongo Forest is one of the few places to trek chimpanzees in Uganda. Whereas most of Uganda chimpanzee tours are done in Kibale Forest National Park, Budongo forest offers travelers with an experiential chimpanzee trekking experience at affordable rates. The rainforest is located in northwestern Uganda en route to Murchison falls National Park and it spreads over 825 square kilometers of land. Chimpanzee trekking is the major tourist activity attracting a high number of travelers to this rain forest. Budongo ranks as Uganda’s biggest mahogany forest which comprises of Kaniyo Pabidi and Busingiro eco-tourism sites and Busingiro. Besides chimpanzees, Budongo Forest is home to over 370 bird species, 460 tree species, 24 primates, 130 moths and 9 primates among others. A combination of these offers you with a memorable wonderful experience making your Uganda safari a complete package.

About chimpanzee trekking in Budongo forest
Like said already, Budongo forest is one of the best sites to go for chimpanzee trekking in Uganda. Each day, 24 chimpanzee permits are available costing $100 each. You can book for permits directly with Uganda Wildlife Authority or through Africa Adventure Safaris, the number one travel agent in Uganda. Due to high demand for permits, travelers intending to trek chimpanzees are advised o book and reserve for permits as early as 3 months in advance. More so, Budongo Forest has 20 chimpanzee habituation permits for those who want to spend extended time with these endangered species. Chimpanzee habituation permits cost $230 each but the magical experience you get is worth the penny. Children aged below 12 years are not allowed to trek chimpanzees in Budongo Forest National Park. The trekking rules and regulations in Budongo are similar to those in Kibale, Kyambura gorge and Kalunzu forests. The habituated chimpanzee communities in Budongo forest include Sonso Chimpanzee community, the Waisoko Chimpanzee community, Waibira community, and Kaniyo Pabidi chimpanzee community. Each community is different from the other one in terms of size, location ad history of formation.

Getting to Budongo Forest
Are you wondering how to the to Budongo Forest? No worries. The rain forest is roughly 7 hours drive from Kampala capital/Entebbe in a 4×4 wheel drive. Budongo forest is located in Masindi en route to Murchison Falls, Uganda’s largest and oldest national park. In most cases, chimpanzee trekking in Budongo forest is added as a complement to other wildlife experiences in northwestern Uganda especially game viewing and boat cruise in Murchison Falls Park. You can use road transport driving there or else fly to Pakuba airstrip for those of you who have limited time.

Other activities to do in Budongo Forest
Besides, chimpanzee trekking/habituation experience, travelers to Budongo forest have an endless list of activities to do. These include among others:

Bird watching
With over 370 bird species inhabited there, Budongo forest is undeniably a haven for birders. Bird watching in Budongo forest is best done during nature walks mostly in the morning and evening hours. You will listen and enjoy the sweet melodies of birds singing endless up in the trees above you. Binoculars and experienced birding guides make your bird watching experience in Budongo Forest magical and memorable. The bird species in Budongo forest include Parmoptila woodhouse, yellow-footed flycatcher, Pita reichenow, African dwarf kingfisher, grey-headed sunbird, Brown twinspot, Little green sunbird, Crowned eagle, White spotted flutfftail, African pied wagtail, Black kite, Fork tailed drongo and white thighed hornbill among others.

Forest/Nature walks
Join forest/nature walks in Budongo Forest to experience the natural feeling of the rain forest. Forest walking helps you explore all the hidden gem of Budongo forest enjoying the fresh air and the cool environment. Forest walks are a chance to see and meet various animals, birds and even spot different plants and tree species in Budongo Forest, do not miss it.

In addition, you can visit the neighboring Murchison falls National park for game viewing, hike to the top of the falls, and a boat cruise to the bottom of the falls. All these offer you a complete Uganda safari experience that you will live to remember.

In general. Budongo forest is Uganda’s hidden gem worth exploring. Contact Africa Adventure Safaris today, book a Uganda safari to Budongo forest, trek chimpanzees, do forest walks and bird watching for a memorable experience.


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New Bird Species Discovered in Uganda

New Bird Species Discovered in Uganda

Bird watching is one of the key tourist activities in Uganda, an exceptional experience that attracts a high number of travelers to the Pearl of Africa. It’s undeniable that Uganda is a haven for birders being home to over 1065 bird species sited in different parts of the country. Over time, Uganda birding safaris have progressed with an increase in the number of Uganda birding safaris confirmed by travel operators and birding companies. In the past four years, a team of Uganda ornithologists and scientists has discovered 11 new bird species, which give hope for improved Uganda birding tours in the coming years. Incoming birders to Uganda have a chance to see new bird species, which they have seen before. Interestingly, some of these bird species are endemic to Uganda and cannot be seen anywhere else in the world. A one Professor Derrick Pomeroy who also sits on the East African Committee for birders confirmed the new set of bird species. Bird watching complements other tourist activities in Uganda like mountain gorilla trekking, game viewing, mountaineering, cultural trips, and chimpanzee trekking among others which together make a complete Uganda safari package. The newly discovered bird species in Uganda include:

1.Crested Barbet (Trachyphonus Vaillantii)

New Bird species in Uganda

Crested Barbet

Sited in Lake Mburo National Park, crested barbet is a new bird species every birder to Uganda should not miss seeing. The bird species was first sighted in 2016 by a team of ornithologists who had gone fro a birding trip in Lake Mburo National park. Other bird species in Lake Mburo National Park include the shoebill stork, saddle-billed stork, Greenwood hoopoe, Tabora Cisticola, Papyrus Yellow Warbler, great snipe, African finfoot, African fish eagle and Abyssinia ground hornbill among others. Birders are advised to bring binoculars for closer and greater views.

2.Red Fronted Parrot (Poicephalus Guglielmi tiny cisticola)
For those who want to see the red-fronted parrot, its found in Murchison falls National park. The new bird has added on the population of birds in this park giving assuring travelers of a memorable bird watching experience. The other birds seen in Murchison Falls National park include open billed stork, secretary birds, grey-headed kingfisher, Giant kingfisher, Osprey, Black-bellied bustards, Long-toed plover, and Black-headed Lapwing among others.

3.Purple Grenadier (Uragaethus Ianthinogaster)
4. Capped Cordon bleu (Uragaethus Cynocepharus)
These two bird species were sited in Karamoja region in northeastern Uganda in 2016. Karamoja regions is known to have many other bird species which include White-bellied Canary, Purple Grenadier, Grey warbler, Straw Tailed Whydah, Steel Blue Whydah, Magpie Grenadier, and Buff Crested Bustard among others. Birding in the Karamoja region is done at Narus river (Kidepo Valley National Park) and in Pian Upe game reserve all offering travelers with an exceptional birding experience.

5.Blue Cuckoo Shrike (Coracina Azurea)
6.Blue-Headed Bee Eater (Merops Muelleri)
7.Eurasian Sparroe Hawk (Accipiter)
These birds live in Kabwoya wildlife reserve in Hoima and were discovered in 2017. Other birds in Kabwoya game reserve include Francolin, Black-faced Apalis, Dusky Crimson, and Grauer’s Warbler among others. The reserve is also home to numerous animals which include Patas Monkeys, Vervet Monkeys, Uganda Kobs, Impalas, warthogs and bushbucks among others.

8.Black Collared Barbet (Lybius torquatus)

Black Collared Barbet

This new bird was discovered in 2018 in the swampy areas of Lake Mburo National Park. Black-collared Barbet adds to the population of birds in Lake Mburo and Uganda as a whole.

Migratory birds to Uganda
Every day in the months of October, Uganda receives over 1,000,000 birds especially the white-winged black terns which migrate from chilly winter in Europe and other North American regions. These birds return in March and April hence the best time to see them in Uganda.

Contribution of Birding Safaris to Uganda tourism
Uganda birding trips generate over $7,000 (shs26m) which money has improved Uganda’s Gross Domestic Product. Also, birding promoted employment opportunities for birding guides earning them a living to improve their standards of living.

With the newly discovered bird species, Uganda remains your best birding destination in Africa. Contact Africa Adventure Safaris today, Book a birding safari to any of the birding spots and enjoy a memorable bird watching experience in Uganda.

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Uganda Airlines Launch Direct Flights to Mombasa

Uganda Airlines Launch Direct Flights to Mombasa

Travelers from Uganda can now fly direct from Entebbe international airport to Moi International airport at the Coastal town of Mombasa, Kenya. On 11th November 2019, Uganda Airlines successfully launched its first direct flight to Mombasa. Bombardier CRJ900 jet flight UR 342 set off from Entebbe airport at 11:30 am and landed at Moi Airport at 1:40 pm. In total, the flight had 74 passengers on board who included Prof Ephraim Kamuntu, the Honorable Minister of Tourism, Wildlife and Antiquities, Jean Byamugisha, the CEO of Uganda Hotel Owners Association, Lily Ajarova, the CEO of Uganda Tourism Board, Gloria Tumwesigye, the CEO of Association of Uganda Tour Operators (AUTO) plus other business passengers that were traveling to Mombasa. The newly launched direct flights between Uganda and Kenya will surely ease connectivity between the two countries giving travelers the chance to beauties of Magical Kenya and the Pearl of Africa. In order to encourage more tourists to the coast, Uganda Airlines is presently offering promotional fares of a one-way ticket from Entebbe International Airport to Moi International airport. Travelers are tipped to fly now and enjoy the promotional fares for a one-way ticket

Direct flights to Entebbe international airport will also encourage more people to visit the top tourist attractions in Uganda especially the famous mountain gorillas in Bwindi Forest/Mgahinga gorilla national parks, source of river Nile, The Uganda Equator, tree-climbing lions of Ishasha sector, Chimpanzees in Kigali Forest, Murchison Falls and the snow-capped Mount Rwenzori. Direct flights from Entebbe to MombasaA combination of these offers you a memorable Uganda safari experience within the shortest time possible. On the other hand, Mombasa is a hub for beach holidays best for honeymooners and other luxurious relaxed African Safaris. Travelers are advised to visit Uganda for adventurous experiences like mountain gorilla trekking in Bwindi forest and end their safaris from the beaches of Mombasa making the whole trip fun and memorable. Travelers trekking gorillas in Uganda have direct flights to gorilla Bwindi forest ad Mgahinga gorilla national Park plus other savannah parks of Murchison Falls, Queen Elizabeth, and Kidepo Valley National Park. Aero link and Fly Uganda offers scheduled flights to these parks 3 times daily from Kajjansi airstrip in Entebbe to Kisoro and Kihihi airstrips and other airfields in respective national parks.

For business people, direct flights from Entebbe International airport to Moi international airport are the best option for you. Trade Uganda is currently the leading port user through which a variety of goods out of Mombasa (Merchandise and Vehicles) are bought and sold. If you want to expedite the clearance of goods at the port, a direct flight is the best option for you.

What to see and do in Mombasa

There are a lot of tourist attractions and activities in Mombasa. The top-visited destinations in Mombasa are the coastal gateways best for weddings, family holidays and celebrating marriage/wedding anniversaries among others. Also, endeavor to visit the old town, Fort Jesus and resorts along the Indian Ocean.

Other flights to Mombasa

In addition to Uganda Airlines, travelers to Mombasa can use airways and Rwanda air. However, these two flights have an hour’s stopover in Nairobi, which can cause a delay for short time travelers.

Other Direct Flights from Uganda

On 13th Nov 2019, Uganda Airlines further launched direct flights to Kilimanjaro, Serengeti and Ngorongoro crater. Travelers can now fly direct from Entebbe international airport to explore all beauties of Kenya and Tanzania in the shortest time possible.

In general, Uganda Airline’s direct flights to Mombasa are a great achievement for Uganda. Book a direct flight from Entebbe International airport to Moi international airport within the shortest time possible with Uganda Airlines.
DETAILED ITINERARY FOR BWINDI GORILLA SAFARI

Day 1: Depart Kampala to Bwindi
Depart from Kampala at 7:00 am and head towards southwestern Uganda. A brief stop at the Equator allows you time for photographs and refreshments as well as a visit to the craft shops.
Uganda safaris
The journey affords you views of the long horned Ankole cattle in Mbarara, the rolling hills, terraced landscapes and the beautiful panorama of Kabale. We have a lunch break en route in Mbarara with an option of visiting the Igongo cultural center to experience the Ankole culture. Continue to Bwindi Impenetrable park and arrive late evening. Overnight at Gorilla Resort or Buhoma Community bandas  ( HB)

Day 2: Trekking Mountain Gorillas in Bwindi NP
After breakfast and briefing by park ranger guides, depart with picnic lunch boxes for a 30 minutes  to 8 hours trek in search for the Mountain gorillas as you hike up and down slippery slopes with dense mist covered vegetation. This strenuous quest will eventually bring you to the face of one of the most sought after creatures – the mountain gorillas.
Uganda Gorilla ToursUpon encountering these awesome primates, a full hour will be left to you to interact with them as you observe and learn their behavior;  take photos and return to the lodge for dinner and overnight.

Day 3: Bwindi Gorilla Forest – Kampala
After breakfast, transfer to Mbarara traversing the magnificent scenery of Kabale, arriving in time for lunch at the lodge. Upon completion of the gorilla adventure, transfer back to Kampala arriving in the evening at the hotel of your choice or onward  transfer to Entebbe for your departure flight.

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Included in this tour package;

  • Gorilla Permit
  • Cultural entertainment
  • Park Ranger Fees
  • Relevant Government Taxes.
  • Full Board Accommodation (2 nights) and en-route meals as indicated in the itinerary.
  • Full-time English speaking Driver/Guide
  • Ground Transportation by a 4×4 safari vehicle
  • Airport transfer, as long as your flight is on the same day on which the safari ends.

Exclusions

  • Airfares
  • Visa Fees
  • Personal Insurance
  • Expenses of personal nature such as; drinks, tips, laundry, telephone, cigarettes, accommodation & meals not indicated in the itinerary and optional activities.

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UWA Penalties In National Parks

UWA Penalties In National Parks

Uganda Wildlife Authority set penalties for people who misbehave in National parks and other protected areas in all parts of the country. The penalties are meant to ensure the safety of wildlife and travelers in the park. Travelers are reminded to read, understand and remember all rules and regulations guiding tourism in Uganda national parks to avoid falling victims of any offense which attracts a penalty. Each offense attracts a different penalty. These include:
Off tracking driving – – —————– US$ 150 Per incident
Over speeding – ————— UGX 100,000 per incident
Smart Card Loss —————US$ 20
Default on Tariffs ————— US$ 150


National Parks Regulations in Uganda

Do not camp or make campfire anywhere in the national park
Do not drive off tracks. Follow the tracks demarcated in national parks
Do not make sounding motor horns in the park. These disrupt wildlife
Do not drive the park in the park beyond 7:30 pm and before 6:30 am.
Don’t bring any pets in the park
Do not leave any litters in the park
Firearms are restricted in the park
Do not pick flowers or any plants in the park
Do not exceed the speed limit (40 km per hour) when driving through the park
Keep all entrance and payment receipts for inspection.

Gorilla Trekking Rules/Regulations
Uganda wildlife authority set rules/regulations to guide gorilla trekking in Bwindi forest and Mgahinga gorilla national parks. The rules are taught to the travelers during the pre gorilla trekking briefing at the park headquarters at the start of each gorilla trekking day. The dos and don’ts of gorilla trekking in Uganda include:

Before meeting gorillas
• Do not visit the endangered gorillas when sick
• Bury human waster 30 meters deep
• Only 8 people must trek a gorilla family


When with the gorillas

• Keep a distance of 7 meters away from gorillas
• Do not eat in the presence of gorillas
• Do not smoke when with gorillas
• Do not drink alcohol in the presence of gorillas
• Turn back your faces when coughing or sneezing
• Spend strictly an hour with the endangered gorilla
• Do not use flashlight cameras
• Keep within your group
• Speak at a low tone
• Do not run when a gorilla charges
• Do not touch the gorilla

Chimpanzee trekking Rules

These apply in all chimpanzee habits in Uganda, which include Kibale Forest National Park, Kyambura gorge in Queen Elizabeth National Park, Karinzu forest and Budongo forest in Murchison Falls National Park.
1. Do not enter the forest when sick
2. Do not leave any litter in the forest
3. Bury your waste 30cm deep
4. Keep quiet or speak at a low tone when with the chimpanzees
5. Keep seven meters away from chimpanzees
6. Do not mimic Chimpanzees Vocalization
7. Do not eat near chimpanzees
8. Do not chase/ run after chimpanzees
9. Do not use flashlight cameras

Distance Between Uganda National parks from Kampala
Since Kampala is a gateway to all national parks in Uganda, the distance between national parks and Kampala has been a concern for most travelers. Africa Adventure Safaris brings you details about the distance from Kampala to Uganda national parks. These distances are in kilometers.

Kidepo Valley national park ————————–571 Kilometers
Bwindi Forest National park ————————-512 Kilometers
Mgahinga gorilla national park————————482 kilometers
Rwenzori Mountains National Park ——————- 398 Kilometers
Queen Elizabeth National Park —————————-389 Kilometers
Semuliki National Park————————————-387 kilometers
Kibale Forest National park—————————-358 Kilometers
Murchison Falls National Park————————–305 Kilometers
Lake Mburo National park——————————–255 Kilometers
Mt Elgon National park————————————-299 Kilometers

For details and more travel information and advice to Uganda national parks, Contact Africa Adventure Safaris, your number one travel company.

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Top National Parks In Western Uganda

Top National Parks In Western Uganda

Uganda, the pearl of Africa has 10 national parks scattered in different corners of the country. Each of these national parks is unique and exceptional in its own kind in terms of attractions, activities, location and history. Despite the 10 parks and many other protected areas, Uganda has, western Uganda stands out as exceptional. Over 60% of all tourist arrival in Uganda opts to visit western Uganda. There are endless treasures to explore and enjoy on your Uganda safari to western Uganda. The best national parks to visit in western Uganda include:

Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National park
Uganda gorilla toursLocated in Kabale and Rubanda districts, Bwindi Impenetrable forest national park is the number one top visited national park in Uganda. The former home for Batwa pygmies shelters half of the world’s mountain gorillas hence the center of gorilla safaris in Africa. The impenetrable forest is home to 17 gorilla families, which have been habituated for trekking. Each day, 136 travelers have a chance to trek gorillas in Bwindi Forest. Among the gorilla families in Bwindi forest include Mubare, Rushegura, Habinyanja, Bwengye, Oruzogo, Busingye, Nkuringo, Mishaya, Katwe, Christmas, Bweza, Kahungye, Bitukura, Kyaguliro, and Nshongi, gorilla group. Fortunately, gorilla trekking in Bwindi costs $600 per permit, which is faraway cheap compared to $1500 in neighboring Rwanda. More still, the Rushaga sector south of Bwindi forest is a Centre for gorilla habituation experience in which wild mountain gorillas are trained to get familiar with human presence before they are declared free for trekking. Bikyingi and Bushaho gorilla families are currently undergoing training and will be opened to trekking soon. Besides gorilla trekking, Bwindi forest is the best place for bird watching, forest/nature walks, waterfall hiking, and Batwa cultural experiences, which together make a complete safari package. Also, Bwindi has a variety of lodging facilities such as Mahogany Springs Lodge, Gorilla Safari Lodge, Bakiga Lodge, Bwindi Forest Lodge, Buhoma Lodge, Clouds lodge and Ichumbi lodge which serve travelers with luxury, midrange, and budget food and sleeping services with quality value.

Queen Elizabeth National park
Queen Elizabeth National parkRanked Uganda’s second-largest national park, Queen Elizabeth National park is a must-visit on your Uganda safari to western Uganda. The park is home to the highest number of wildlife hence the best spot for game viewing in Uganda. Among the animals seen in Queen Elizabeth National park include Elephants, lions, waterbucks, elands, Topis, Impalas, Uganda kobs, Buffalos, warthogs, Hippos and the famous tree-climbing lions among others. Besides animals, QENP is home to numerous bird species spotted on the banks of Channel channel that connects Lake Edward and Gorge. A boat cruise at Kazinga channel offers you a fresh feeling of the cold breezes plus spectacular views of animals and birds. Still in Queen Elizabeth National park, visit the different crater lakes which include Katwe salt lake, Lake Munyanyange for flamingoes, Lake Nyamunuka which has healing water and Lake Bumnyampaka among others. Each lake is different from the other. More so, go for chimpanzee trekking in Kyambura gorge and enjoy a magical encounter with the calm and friendly chimps of this area. Lion tracking in the plains of Kasenyi offers you with the best experimental lion experience in Uganda at only $50. The top lodges in Queen Elizabeth National park include Mweya Safari Lodge, Ishasha wilderness Cap, Kasenyi Safari camp, Ihamba lodge, Park b view Lodge and Marafiki Safari lodge among others. The friendly and experienced staff at all these lodges serve you with excellent food and sleeping services all days and nights.

Kibale Forest National park
Also known as the “primate capital” of Africa, Kibale Forest National park is a center of chimpanzee safaris in Uganda. The rain forest hosts over 5000 chimpanzees and hence the best place for Uganda chimpanzee safaris. Besides, Kibale forest is home to more 12 primates, who include mangabeys, blue monkeys, Vervet monkeys, red-tailed monkeys, black and white Colobus, baboons and many others. The high numbers of primates that call Kibale forest national park their home make it a first stop Centre for Uganda primate safaris. Also, kibale forest offers you with excellent Chimpanzee Habituation Experience (CHEX) in which travelers spend a full day learning and enjoying the company of their closest relatives (chimpanzees).

Murchison falls National Park
Murchison falls national parkFound in northwestern Uganda, Murchison fall national park is Uganda’s largest and oldest park. The park has a high concentration of wild animals and hence the best spot for game viewing in Uganda. The park is called after the mighty “Murchison Falls” which flow in the heart of the Park. Game drives through the open savannahs of the park offer you excellent views of numerous wild animals which include giraffes, lions, leopards, buffalos, leopards, Uganda kobs, Topis, Hippos, waterbucks, Jacksons heartbeats, Oribis and elephants among others. Also, a boat cruise to the bottom of Murchison falls offers you the best views of birds, the calm river Nile waters, fishing villages and wildlife in the park.

Rwenzori Mountains National Park
A hike to Margarita peak of Mount Rwenzori offers you the best mountaineering experience in Uganda. The ice-capped mountain is located in Kasese district in the borders of Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. The top of Margarita offers you the best views of local communities, gardens and Rwenzori National park and all the wildlife in the park.

In general, western Uganda has it all you need to see and do on your Uganda Safari. Go gorilla trekking in Bwindi Forest, visit Murchison falls, tree-climbing lions in the Ishasha sector and hike to the top of Mount Rwenzori for a memorable experience with Africa Adventure Safaris.

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Oldest gorilla family in Bwindi gets newborn gorilla

Oldest gorilla family in Bwindi gets newborn gorilla

Mubare, the oldest gorilla group in Uganda’s Bwindi Impenetrable National Park has received a newborn gorilla, born to Businza, one of the female gorillas in the group.

Mr. Peter Mbwebwe, a warden for Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) who broke the good news of this new infant in the family says that both the newborn and the mother are in good condition.

“We celebrate a newborn in Mubare group. Mother Businza and baby in good shape,” said Mr. Mbwebwe.

The historical Mubare gorilla family was the first habituated gorilla group in Bwindi when the park first opened for gorilla safaris in 1993 following its successful habituation process of 2 years. The group was named after the beautiful Mubare Hills where it was discovered and currently the area is part of the Buhoma sector where the group can be trekked by visitors.

Female gorilla Businza with her newborn baby

Great news for gorilla conservation in Uganda

The addition of this latest baby gorilla means that the gorilla conservation success story is just getting better thanks to the efforts from the Uganda Wildlife Authority and other conservation partners and wildlife stakeholders.

According to the latest gorilla census, there are about 1004 mountain gorillas in both the two locations where their population is found, which is in Bwindi and in the Virunga Mountains of DR Congo, Rwanda, and Uganda. However, most amazingly, more than half of this population is found in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park

The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) last year removed mountain gorillas from its Red List of the critically endangered species following the steady increase in their population in the previous decades.

What are the other gorilla families in Bwindi?

Currently (2019), there are 19 habituated gorilla families in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park that are available for travelers to trek. The gorilla families are divided in the park’s four sectors of Rushaga, Buhoma, Ruhija,and Nkuringo and they are as follows;

Rushaga Sector: Nsonji, Mishaya, Bweza, Kahunjye, Businjye, Rwiji, Muchunguzi, and Bikyinji gorilla family.

Buhoma Sector: Mubare, Rushegura, Habinyaja, and Katwe gorilla family

Ruhija Sector: Bitukura, Kyaguriro, Mukizo, and Orugozo gorilla family

Nkuringo Sector: Bishasho, Nkuringo and Christmas gorilla family

What does it take to trek mountain gorillas in Bwindi?

Currently Bwindi Impenetrable National Park boasts as the best gorilla trekking destination both in terms of cost and gorilla variety. In addition to being a home to the highest number of mountain gorillas and gorilla families, the cost of trekking these incredible primates is less than half cheaper than that of Rwanda.

A gorilla trekking permit that allows to see mountain gorillas in Bwindi is sold at $600 compared to $1,5000 of Rwanda’s trekking permit. DR Congo would have the cheapest gorilla permit at about $450 but the security concerns in the region around Virunga National Park where Congo’s mountain gorillas are found makes it risky for travelers to go there leaving Bwindi as the most ideal gorilla trekking destination for all categories of travelers.

How to trek mountain gorillas in Bwindi

After securing your gorilla trekking permit at $600 per person, trekkers assemble at the headquarters of their trekking sector early in the morning for briefing where they are told about a few dos and don’ts of gorilla trekking and also allocated a gorilla group to visit.

Reaching your allocated gorilla group may take between 2-6 hours depending on where the animals are. Trekkers are allowed to spend one hour in the presence of these elusive gorillas while they are free to take pictures and video of these animals without interrupting their freedom. Avoiding noise and getting so close to the animals are among the most emphasized dos and don’ts in the process of trekking.

Click here to book a gorilla safari to trek mountain gorillas in your favorite destination

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Gorilla Trekking Boots/Shoes

Gorilla Trekking Boots/Shoes

Planning to travel for a gorilla trek? Hiking boots/shoes are must-have if you want to have a successful mountain gorilla encounter. During gorilla tour inquiry, Africa Adventure Safaris always advise travelers to come with hiking boots to ensure a memorable gorilla trekking safari in Uganda, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Trekking boots MUST be the first item on your packing list for gorilla trekking. Without the right footwear, your gorilla encounter is likely to go wrong. Travelers are advised to look for light waterproof hiking boots/gears to ensure a peaceful gorilla trek with less or no difficulty at all. For those who fail to bring, respective gorilla park headquarters have boots for hire at a small cost. Inform Africa Adventure Safaris in time so we can book the boots for you in advance and avoid any disappointment.

Why bring hiking boots

Footwear for gorilla trekking

Waterproof gorilla trekking boots

For those who have trekked gorillas before, they clearly understand what importance is hiking boots on a gorilla trip. Waterproof boots keep your feet dry and clean through muddy and slippery forest trails. Also, hiking boots ease your movement through thick underneath bushes and also protecting your feet from ground insects. In addition to the boots, endeavor to bring long stockings that reach up to the knees. Tuck your trousers into the stockings and your legs will be safe from stinging nettles, thorny bushes, and rough scrubs. NEVER ever take sandals and open shoes for gorilla trekking unless you want to have the worst experience. Similarly, do not bring white sneakers or tennis shoes, they will disappoint you. Also, never bring new brand shoes for trekking, they will wear out from the jungle forest.

What else to wear /pack or gorilla trekking
In addition to hiking bots, travelers tracking mountain gorillas are reminded to bring other essentials, which ensure a memorable gorilla tour. Among other things to pack for gorilla trekking include:
Long-sleeved shirts/blouses: These protect your arms from scratches of thorny bushes, bites by mosquitos and other forest insects. Also, the long-sleeved shirts keep you warm in cool forests

Gardening hand gloves: These protect your hands from getting dirty of mad. Also, gardening gloves protect your hand no be hurt when you grab forest trees and bushes for support in steep hikes. Touching the ground is inevitable during gorilla trekking but gardening gloves will spare your soft hands and nails for ladies.

Rain jacket: Forest rains can pour at any time of the day despite the season. Travelers are therefore reminded to carry a rain jacket whether it’s raining or not. Rainfall is too much during the wet seasons between the months of March, April, May, and October & November. If you are traveling during the low season, a rain jacket is a must-have.

Ponchos/sweaters: Generally, mountain gorillas live in cool forested areas that require you to have a sweater or Pocho. This keeps you warm throughout ensuring a lifetime experience.

Waterproof hat: This protects your head from direct sun and water drop falling off trees. For ladies, hats help to protect your hair from getting dirty and wet.

Sunglasses: These protect your eyes from direct sun and insects.

Insect repellant: Remember to carry and apply insect repellents to prevent against insect bites some of which can be dangerous.

Bottled drinking water: Endeavor to carry enough drinking water to quench hiking thirsty.

Energy giving snacks: Remember to pack some energy giving snacks, some yellows, apples and break to keep you strong throughout the hiking.

Camera and extra batteries

In conclusion, hiking boots are a must-have for every traveler trekking mountain gorillas. Having the right footwear is key to a successful gorilla encounter in the jungles of Bwindi, Mgahinga, Volcanoes and Virunga National Parks.

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What’s the day of Gorilla Trekking Like?

What’s the day of Gorilla Trekking Like?

Is your gorilla trekking day coming closer? Are you wondering how the start and the entire day of the gorilla trek will be like? No worries, Africa Adventure gives you a highlight on what the day of gorilla trekking entails from start all through to the end. It’s obvious that most if not travelers coming to see mountain gorillas are very expectant and anxious on how the day can be like. It’s obvious that some travelers have fear for the hikes, others fear long walks while others are so anxious and cannot wait to meet face to face with a giant silverback gorilla. Trekking to see mountain gorillas can be such a long day, which starts very early and sometimes ends late in the day. The following is a guide about the day of gorilla trekking:

Transfer to the park headquarters

Gorilla briefing

Pre – gorilla Trekking Briefing

The day starts with you and your drive transferring from your hotel/lodge or camp to the respective national park headquarters for registration and pre gorilla trekking briefing. There is no single lodge you will find at the park headquarters but rather at some distance away. It’s at the park headquarters that travelers are introduced to the dos and don’ts of mountain gorilla safari for the safety of travelers and the endangered gorillas. All travelers are expected to have reached the park headquarters at 7:00 am when the briefing starts. For those trekking gorillas in Bwindi forest, the park has four headquarters one in each sector (Buhoma, Ruhiija, Rushaga, and Nkuringo) of Bwindi forest national park. Endeavor to trek gorillas in a sector where your lodge is located to avoid long drives in the morning. Also at the park headquarters, travelers are put together in groups of eight each given a gorilla family to trek. Any traveler who misses the gorilla briefing session stands high chances of missing to see gorillas. In fact, anyone who misses a briefing misses seeing gorillas.


Transfer to the gorilla trekking starting point

Bwindi Hiking trailsWhereas some treks start from the park headquarters, others begin a distance away from the briefing point hence require travelers to drive there. Fortunately, this distance s normally short and not steep taking roughly 20 minutes drive. Hiking starts there as you trek through the thick jungles with no clear path. Thankfully to your ranger guide who will slash a narrow path for you. Also, hiking time before reaching gorillas is unpredictable. It can be as short as less than an hour or take several hours depending on where gorillas will be located that day. Endeavor to follow the directions trackers who visit gorilla gorillas early to find out gorilla locations and avoid bouncing.

Meeting the gorillas

gorilla watching

An encounter with gorillas

You finally reach the gorillas and experience that magical feeling of being meters away from the silverback gorilla. You will spend an hour in the company of a gorilla family enjoying their human-like characters of gorillas. You will see the silverback guard a family like a human dad, see adult females nurse their babies while juveniles play continuously to keep the whole family lively hence a thrilling encounter. Trust me!, You will not remain the same. The allowed time to spend with gorillas is strictly an hour to take pictures, capture live videos and have fun with your lost relatives. A close encounter with mountain gorillas is ranked the best wildlife experience in the world, the top bucket list adventure on every African Safari.

Hiking back
Having spent an hour with gorillas, hike back to find your driver-guide at the starting point. Fortunately, hiking back is not as strenuous as hiking up. You will be full magical memories with gorillas hence find it easy to reach the starting pint within no time. Meet your driver-guide, pick your trekking permit and transfer to your hotel or the next destination.

Conclusively, an encounter with the endangered mountain gorillas will give you a new beginning. Get ready, book your next gorilla trip to Uganda, Rwanda or Congo, Contact Africa Adventure Safaris for booking and be part of this memorable encounter.

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Trekking Gorillas in Mgahinga Forest From Kigali

Trekking Gorillas in Mgahinga Forest From Kigali

You can now trek Uganda gorillas in Mgahinga forest National park from Kigali Rwanda. Flying to Kigali and crossing to Uganda for gorilla trekking is the best alternative for short time travelers. It only takes 5 hours drive from Kigali to Mgahinga forest saving you a full day driving (roughly 10 hours) from Entebbe international airport to Mgahinga gorilla national park. Mgahinga is Uganda’s smallest park located in Kisoro district in southwestern Uganda. The park is home to Nyakagyezi gorilla family and the endangered golden monkeys plus numerous bird species.

How to trek gorillas in Mgahinga from Kigali
If you are doing a 1 days Uganda gorilla trek in Mgahinga gorilla national park from Kigali, you will leave Kigali at 3:30 am. Meet your driver-guide at your hotel in Kigali or the airport, drive through Kigali and cross via Cyanika border in Kisoro connecting to Mgahinga Forest. The park is roughly an hour’s drive from Kisoro town hence the easy to reach gorilla national park in Uganda. Drive for 5 hours, reach Ntebeko park headquarters at 7:00m and join a pre gorilla trekking briefing. You then embark on a hike to meet the endangered gorillas, which lasts, between 30 minutes to 7 hours, spend an hour with Nyakagyezi gorilla family, hike back and drive to Kigali for your return flight.

Gorilla permits in Mgahinga Gorilla National park

Uganda gorilla permits

Gorilla Permit in Uganda

Only 8 gorilla permits are available in Mgahinga forest every day. Nyakagyezi is the only gorilla family in Mgahinga forest visited by a group of eight people every day. Each gorilla permit costs $600 and will cost $700 from 1st July 2020. All permits are bought directly from Uganda Wildlife Authority or through Africa Adventure Safaris your number one travel company in Uganda. Gorilla permit booking is recommended as early as 6 months before the trekking date due to high demand for Uganda gorilla trips. A 1-day Uganda gorilla trip to Mgahinga costs roughly $900 inclusive of
• A gorilla permit,
• Ground transport,
• Park ranger fees,
• Bottled drinking water
• Packed lunch,
• Government taxes,
• Miscellaneous
• Full day English speaking guide.
The tour cost excludes
• Driver /porters Tip
• International flights
• Personal shopping
• Insurance
• Extra activities not in the itinerary
• Alcoholic beverages

What to pack for gorilla trekking in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park
You must pack the appropriate essentials if your gorilla safari is to be successful. A full packed trekking list is a key for a successful gorilla trekking safari in Mgahinga and all other gorilla destinations in East and Central Africa. Other the things you must pack for gorilla trekking include:
1. Hiking boots to ease your movements through the jungle
2. Gardening gloves to protect your hands
3. Sunglasses/hat for protection from direct sun
4. Rain jackets to protect from unpredicted forest weather
5. First aid kit
6. Drinking water
7. Energy giving snacks
8. Long-sleeved shirts
9. Long pants
10. Long stockings tacked into the trouser
11. Insect repellant

Other tourist activities to do in Mgahinga Gorilla park beyond gorillas
Mgahinga gorilla national park offers travelers an endless list of memorable travel activities and attraction. Other tourist activities to do in Mgahinga gorilla national park beyond gorilla trekking include:
Golden monkey trekking
It’s undeniable that golden monkey trekking is second to mountain gorilla trekking in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park.

Golden monkey trekking in Uganda

Golden monkeys in Mgahinga Forest

Of recent, over 90% of travelers to Mgahinga forest opts to visit golden monkeys. Interestingly. A permit to trek golden monkeys cost $100, which is less compared to $600 for a mountain gorilla permit. Contact Africa Adventure Safaris, book your golden monkey permit and be part of this memorable adventure.

Batwa cultural trail
Join batwa pygmies into Mgahinga forest national park to learn more about Batwa’s traditional forest life. There you are guided into Mgahinga forest o collect honey, pick medical herbs and hunt just the way these pygmies did during their stay in the jungle. Taking part in the Batwa cultural trail is the best way to learn about the traditions, norms, and cultures of Batwa pygmies. The Batwa experience costs $80 per person.

Volcano climbing
Mgahinga forest national park is home to 3 extinct volcanoes i.e Mt Muhabura, Mt Gahinga, and Mt Sabinyo hence the best place for hiking adventures. Hiking to the summit of ay volcano offers you best views of other Virunga volcanoes, Virunga conservation area, and the neighboring local communities. Booking a Uganda hiking tour, climb to the top of the Virunga volcanoes and enjoy this memorable experience with Africa Adventure Safaris.

In general, you can fly to Kigali Rwanda and trek mountain gorillas in Mgahinga gorilla national park. Contact Africa Adventure Safaris today, book your gorilla adventure to Mgahinga, hike the Virunga Volcanoes, learn about Batwa pygmies and trek golden monkeys for a remarkable experience.

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Monkey Trekking In Uganda

Monkey Trekking In Uganda

Join and enjoy exceptional monkey trekking for a memorable Uganda safari. Unlike most Uganda safaris comprise of trekking gorillas an chimpanzees, opt for an optional monkey trekking in the ingle forests of Uganda for a once in a lifetime magical encounter. Uganda is home to numerous monkey species found in different rain forests in all corners of the country. Monkeys are one specie of primates, which you ought not to miss on your Uganda safari. The top spots for monkey trekking in Uganda are Kibale Forest National park, Budongo Forest, Mgahinga gorilla National park are other forested areas all over Uganda. The must-visit monkey species in Uganda include among others:

Golden Monkeys

golden monkey trekking

Golden Monkey in Mgahinga Forest

Living in the jungles of Mgahinga gorilla national park, golden monkeys are the most visited monkey species in Uganda. This monkey specie is scientifically called Cercopithecus kandti and is endemic to Mgahinga forest. Anyone who wants to meet golden monkeys face to face must travel to this rain forest in southwestern Uganda. The golden hair distinguishes golden monkeys from other monkey species. In addition to gorilla trekking and chimpanzees, golden monkey trekking has presently become a favorite for most travelers to southwestern Uganda. The playful and lively characters of golden monkeys make your experience memorable. A permit to trek golden monkey costs $100 including park entrance fee, which is honestly fair and affordable even for budget travelers compared to gorilla trekking permits at $700. To ease trekking Golden monkeys are habituated into communities, which comprise of roughly 100 or more members.

Red tailed Monkeys
Look out for red-tailed monkeys up in the trees of Kibale, Bwindi and Semliki national parks. Red-tailed monkeys are scientifically called Cercopithecus ascanius distinguished from other monkey species by a long red tail, measuring over 17 inches. The main diet for red-tailed monkeys include flowers, shoots, buds, leaves, and small insects. An alpha male leads a group of between 20-30 monkeys which live and do everything together. Also, red-tailed monkeys have big cheeks, which they use to store food for along time. Chimpanzees, eagles, and leopards are major threats to the survival of red-tailed monkeys. The monkey species are named after their long red tails.

Black and white Colubus

Monkey trekking in Uganda

Black & White Colobus in Kibale Forest

Scientifically called Colobus angolensis, black and white colobus monkeys are the most seen monkey species seen almost in every forested area in Uganda. You can see black and white colobus at Entebbe botanical gardens, Kibale Forest, Mabira forest, Budongo forest, Bwindi forest, Mgahinga forest, Kyambura gorge and other forested areas in Uganda. Black and white colubuses are herbivorous which feed on fruits, leaves, flowers, shoots, and buds.

Blue Monkeys
Visit to trek blue monkeys in Mgahinga, Kibale, Budongo, Bwindi and Mabira forests rewarding you with a memorable monkey trekking experience. Blue monkeys are also called Cercopithecus Mitis which belong to the old world monkeys distinguished from other monkey species there dark blue-grey and white throat. Like other monkeys, blue monkeys feed on leaves, fruits, and shoots and flowers.

De Brazza Monkeys
Visit De Brazza monkeys commonly seen in most swamps, bamboos and mountain forests across Uganda for a memorable experience. The monkey species is distinguished from other monkeys by its grey fur, white rump, black limbs and reddish-brown back whit white stripe running down the thighs. De Brazzza monkeys are mostly seen in Semilki and Mount Elgon National parks. These monkeys communicate with booming sounds and shaking the heads especially when annoyed. The major threats to the survival of De Brazza Monkeys include habitat loss, chimpanzees, humans, and leopards.

Other monkey species in Uganda include
• Grey Cheeked Mangaby
• L’Hoest Monkey
• Patas Monkey
• Colubsu Monkey
• Pottos
• Bush Babies
Conclusively, monkey trekking is one of the not miss travel experiences in Uganda. Trek into the rain forests of Uganda, meet different species of monkeys in their native habitats enjoy their social behaviors, learn their characters and enjoy this lifetime experience.

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Chimpanzee Habituation Experience

Chimpanzee Habituation Experience

When it comes to chimpanzee tours, we mostly talk about chimpanzee trekking leaving most people unaware of the exceptional chimpanzee habituation experience. The activity is a full day encounter with the endangered chimpanzees in the rain forest of Kibale Forest national park. Chimpanzee habituation gives travelers a chance to spend extended time to learn and enjoy the social behaviors of chimpanzees in their natural habitats. Just like in gorilla Habituation, chimpanzee experience habituation is about training and familiarizing wild chimpanzees to human presence before declaring them free for usual trekking. The traveler in chimpanzee habituation experience is not only a visitor but also a trainer taming wild chimpanzees to get used with human presence. Uganda is estimated to shelter roughly 1950 chimpanzees 1500 of which live in Kibale Forest National park. Chimpanzee habituation is a tiring experience as you are often moving fast through the dense forest so as to not lose the chimps.

Difference between chimpanzee trekking and chimpanzee habituation experience

Chimpanzee tours in Uganda

Habituated chimpanzees in Kibale Forest NP


Whereas most travelers have mistaken chimpanzee trekking and habituation to be one, the two experiences differ but rather one leads to the other. Chimpanzee habituation is the first step, which all chimpanzees go through before they are open to travelers for trekking. It’s a 2-3 years training process of wild chimpanzees to make them used with human presence. On the other hand, chimpanzee trekking entails visiting habituated chimpanzees to learn more about their social behaviors and spend time with them. Unlike in chimpanzee trekking where travelers spend an hour with chimpanzees, chimpanzee habituation experience is a full day encounter with the endangered species in the jungle forest. Spending an entire day with the chimps, from locating them via their pant hoots in the morning to them nesting at night is a magical experience that happens once in a lifetime. Only four people are allowed to take part in chimpanzee habituation along with other a team of rangers, chimpanzee doctors and conservationists.

How much is a chimpanzee habituation permit
Well, you must have a valid chimpanzee habituation permit to be part of this memorable experience. A single permit to habituate chimpanzees costs $1500 but the magical experience you get is worth the penny. You can obtain a chimpanzee habituation permit directly from Uganda Wildlife Authority or through Africa Adventure Safaris your number one travel company offering exceptional Uganda chimpanzee safaris. Due to limited permits, intending travelers are advised to book as early as 6 months in advance to avoid disappointments associated with last-minute bookings. You are required to pay a 30% booking fee and complete the payment 90 days before the actual date.

What to expect on the chimpanzee habituation day?
The day of habituating chimpanzees begins with a briefing about the rules and regulation of chimpanzee habituation. Here travelers are introduced to-dos and don’ts while with chimpanzees to ensure the safety of these endangered species. The briefing takes place at Kanyanchu visitor information center. Also, travelers register with the park, present their permits and are put in groups of four. Hiking to meet the wild chimpanzees starts at 8:00 am. Packed lunch is a must-have since you will spend the whole day in the jungle. Actually, the actual time spent with wild chimpanzees is strictly 4 hours. However, when added to several hours you spend hiking before meeting them and then hiking back makes it a full day.

Rules of Chimpanzee Habituation Experience
1. Do not take part when sick
2. Keep a distance of seven meters
3. Do not use flashlight cameras
4. Speak with a low tone
5. Do not litter in the park
6. Do not touch or feed the chimpanzees
7. Those below 15 years old are not allowed to habituate chimpanzees
8. Keep within your groups

Packing list for chimpanzee habituation experience
You must be very ready for this full-day habituation experience in the jungle. Ensure to pack appropriate essentials if you want to have a memorable encounter with the wild endangered chimpanzees. Among the key things you must pack for chimpanzee habituation include:
• Hiking/Trekking boots to easily walk through the jungle forest
• Gardening gloves to protect your hands from thorny bushes and muddy grounds
• Ponchos and sweaters for the unpredictable forest rains
• Long-sleeved shirts and blouses to protect your arms from rough bushes
• Hat to protect your head
• Sunglasses for your eyes
• Drinking water
• First aid kit
• Energy giving snacks
Chimpanzee habituation experience remains an exceptional experience of it won kind. Contact Africa Adventure safaris today, book your chimpanzee habituation trip and enjoy a full day of a close encounter with the wild endangered chimpanzees in their native habitat.

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About Mountain Gorilla’s Social Groups

About Mountain Gorilla’s Social Groups

Mountain gorillas live in families also called social groups. Each social group is different from the other in terms of size, leader and history of formation. Extensive understanding of gorilla social groups, leadership, roles and formation is very crucial in gorilla tourism and conservation. You ought to know how a gorilla family you are trekking came about and how it has thrived all through. Gorilla trekking is a magical experience and the best wildlife encounter ranked number one travel activity in the whole world. Hundreds of travelers who flock into gorilla destinations each day is proof that gorilla tracking is indeed a once in a lifetime experience. Check out detailed facts about gorilla social groups in Uganda, Rwanda the Democratic Republic of Congo with Africa Adventure Safaris

More adult females than Males
In mots gorilla groups, the population of adult female gorillas outweighs the males. It’s common to find one dominant silverback gorilla living with multiple adult females and the young ones.

Gorilla Group

A gorilla group chilling together

The silverback is the owner of all adult females in his family and has the right to mate with each adult female he wants at any time. Also, the dominant silverback is the controller of the family. He determines the movements of a group, when to sleep, where to sleep and also defend the family from any external attack. The role of adult females is to nurse the babies and serve other motherly roles in a family while the juveniles and babies keep the family lively and fun.

A mature male gorilla must do any of the three options:

  • Stay in a group and fight for leadership
  • Two adult male gorillas cannot live in one family peacefully. Therefore once a male gorilla matures, he has to fight for dominance over the group. This gorilla has to fight hard to overpower the ruling dominant silverback and send him out of the family to take over. If successful, he will take over the leadership of the family to perform all fatherly roles in a home.

  • Strikeout to for his own family
  • If an adult male gorilla cannot take over the leadership of his maternal family, he must strike out to form his own family. The male gorilla will start by stealing some adult females from his previous group and other gorilla families in the neighborhood. He has to fight with other silverback gorillas so as to win the love of adult females who end up following him. He may start with a few members, roughly 3 and will increase with time as new babies are born.

  • Form a bachelor group
  • If an adult male gorilla fails to take over from his dad to make his own family, he will join a bachelor group. In this group, male gorillas train themselves in fighting tactic and skill that can help them become leaders. There will choose a leader of this group who determines the movements and activities of the family.

    A gorilla chooses to leave or stay in his/her native family
    When they become adults, both male and adult females have a choice to either leave or stay in their native families. The adult male gorilla leaves their native families to make their own families while adult females leave to join other gorilla groups. Therefore, it’s obvious that a female gorilla may join more than one group hence can produce babies of different mothers. However, some gorilla’s especially adult females tend to stay in their original families until death.

    Gorillas have a dominance hierarchy
    Different gorillas play different roles in their families. The hierarchy among males includes a dominant silverback that is the overseer of the whole group determining where to sleep and eat. The second hierarchy of gorillas protects the family from external attacks while the third hierarchy is in charge of resolving conflicts within a group. Regarding hierarchy among adult females, those who have stayed in a family for long are the bosses. While the new ones feel low. Also, a female gorilla most loved by a silverback is the boss lady of the family, a female who has a new baby is treated with respect by the silverback and also other adult females.

    Gorilla families vary in size
    Yes, do not be surprised when you see a gorilla family having only 2 members and the other one having over 60 members. The strength of a silverback to conquer and grab members form other gorilla families to determine how big his family will become. Pablo group in Rwanda is widely recognized for having the highest number of gorilla individuals. Great thanks to Gicurasi, the present silverback f Pablo group who has fought to expand the families size.

    Generally, mountain gorillas are interesting creatures worth visiting. An hour with a gorilla family rewards you with a lifetime experience. Book a gorilla safari to Uganda, Rwanda and Congo, trek the endangered species and enjoy this memorable experience.

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    Uganda Wildlife Authority Sets New Gorilla Permit Prices For 2020 & Beyond

    Uganda Wildlife Authority Sets New Gorilla Permit Prices For 2020 & Beyond

    With effect from 1st July 2020, Uganda gorilla permits will cost $700 each. After many years of selling gorilla permits at $600, the Uganda Wildlife Authority has made a move to increase her gorilla permit by $100 to $700 or visitors trekking gorillas in Uganda. The new cost was set in the recent meetings by Uganda tour Operators Association who all supported the idea and promised to works hand in hand with Uganda Wildlife Authority and Uganda Tourism Board. However, despite the increase, Uganda’s permits are still affordable and at low cost compared to neighboring Rwanda, which costs $1500 each.

    Reasons for the increase of gorilla permits in Uganda
    Conservation of the endangered mountain gorillas is the major reason for the increase of gorilla permit prices in Uganda. Money collected from the sale of gorilla permits is used to fund various conservation projects, par park rangers, trackers, tourism police and mountain gorilla doctors who all ensure gorillas are in good health. Mountain gorillas are one of the endangered species, which were once at the verge of extinction. However, great thanks to conservation bodies, gorilla lovers and local communities who have jointly supported to conserve gorillas.

    Expected benefits

    The fact that $700 is still far less to $1500 in Rwanda, Uganda expects to receive the highest number of travelers to see gorillas in Bwindi and Mgahinga. Also, Uganda Wildlife Authority will get enough funds to support gorilla conservation projects and also support the local people living near gorilla parks. Uganda Tourism Board will as well get enough funding to market and create new tourism products in the Pearl of Africa. 20% of the total revenue collected from the sale of gorilla permits is given back to communities to improve local livelihood.

    Mountain gorillas in Uganda

    Uganda gorilla groups

    A mountain gorilla family in Bwindi Forest

    According to the 2018 gorilla census, Uganda is home to over 600 mountain gorillas, which is half of the world’s mountain gorillas counting to roughly 1004 species. These gorillas inhabit the jungle forests of Bwindi Impenetrable and Mgahinga gorilla national parks. Gorillas in these parks have been habituated into 18 gorilla families of which 17 live in Bwindi and 1 in Mgahinga. Gorilla families in Uganda include Mubare, Rushegura, Kyaguliro, Bweza, Katwe, Christmas, Kahungye, Habinyanja, Nkuringo, Oruzogo, Bitukura, Nshongi, Mishaya, Busingye, Bweza, Kutu and Nyakagyezi. More so, 2 gorilla families namely Bikyingi and Bushaho are undergoing through habituation experience in Rushaga sector south of Bwindi Forest National park. Gorilla habituation permits cost $1500 for 4 hours interaction with the wild gorillas undergoing training. Interestingly, each gorilla family is unique in its own kind. The social characters of gorillas in every family, the number of individual gorillas, and history of gorilla family formation vary from family to family. Each gorilla family is visited by 8 people per day.

    How to Book gorilla Permits in Uganda
    Book your Uganda gorilla permit through Africa Adventure Safaris, your best safari company. With over 15 year experience of booking gorilla permits and arranging gorilla safaris, AAS is the number one travel company to deal with based on their excellent trip advisor reviews. Due to high demands for permits, travelers are advised to boom at least 6 months before the trekking date to reserve the permits and avoid last time disappointments.

    What’s the best time to trek gorillas in Uganda
    The dry season between the months of June to October and December to February is regarded as the best time to trek gorillas in Uganda. Travelers Trekking in Bwindi Forest. This season is also known as the peak season associated with less or no rains which make it easy to trek through the jungles of Bwindi and Mgahinga gorilla national parks. However, gorillas can trek all year round. The low season or wet season of rains has its own advantages, which include fewer crowds and discounted hotel/ Lodge services.

    What to pack for gorilla trekking
    Endeavor to park essentials for gorilla trekking. The gorilla trekking packing list includes among others:
    1. Hiking boots/shoes
    2. Rain jackets
    3. Ponchos and sweaters
    4. Hats
    5. Sunglasses
    6. Gardening gloves
    7. Cameras and extra batteries
    8. Energy giving snacks
    9. Enough drinking water
    A traveler with the appropriate packing list is assured of an enjoyable and flawless mountain gorilla encounter.

    Reminder: While with the gorillas, travelers are reminded to follow the trekking rule and regulations to ensure safety for themselves and the gorillas. The dos and do not of gorilla trekking include:
    • Keep a distance of 7 meters away from gorillas
    • Speak at allow tone
    • Keep within your group
    • Do not use a flashlight camera
    • Do not litter
    • Don’t trek when sick
    • Turn your faces when coughing
    • Do not touch or feed gorillas
    Lastly, visit Uganda to trek gorillas, buy a gorilla permit at $700 and enjoy a once in a lifetime experience in Bwindi forest and Mgahinga Gorilla National parks with Africa Adventure Safaris.

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    Chimpanzee Trekking In Kyambura Gorge

    Chimpanzee Trekking In Kyambura Gorge

    Join chimpanzee trekking tour in Kyambura gorge and discover the hidden gem of Queen Elizabeth National Park. Chimpanzee trekking in Kyambura gorge is a great add-on to your game viewing and Kazinga channel launch cruise on your Uganda safari to Queen Elizabeth National Park. Descend and track through the fabulous kyambura gorge settled between the savannahs of QENP, Uganda’s second-largest national park. The gorge comprises of a rain forest and a river flowing in its heart. A hike through the gorge feels magical accompanied by the loud shouts and laughs of chimpanzees that call you from a far distance. Listening to the sounds and signs of chimpanzees is a wonderful experience that you live to remember. Fortunately, the trek to see chimpanzees in Kyambura gorge is quite simple compared to the strenuous Kibale Forest National park and the nearby Kalinzu forest. Kyambura gorge chimpanzee treks make your wildlife safari to Queen Elizabeth National Park a complete safari package. Besides chimpanzees, kyambura gorge is home to numerous primates which include baboons red-tailed monkeys, black and white Colubus, and Vervet monkeys among others. Also, expect to see and listen to the sweet melodies of birds lie African finfoot, African fish eagle, African Kingfisher, blue-headed bee-eater and falcons among others. In other words, Kyambura gorge is one of the birding spots in Queen Elizabeth National Park. The permanent river in this forest is a water source for most animals in the park especially hippos the other water animals.

    How much is a chimpanzee permit in Kyambura gorge?
    A chimpanzee permit in Kyambura gorge costs only $50 3 times less compared to $150 in Kibale Forest National park. Kyambura is, therefore, the best chimpanzee destination for budget travelers offering you a memorable chimpanzee encounter at a relatively low rate. Permits can be booked directly from Uganda wildlife authority or through Africa Adventure Safaris your ultimate safari company. Travelers are reminded to book and pay for the permits in advance to ensure timely planning and permit reservations.

    What to expect – How is the experience like?
    Whereas the hike may not be strenuous, walking through kyambura gorge is not a walkway. It involves hiking up and down hills in search for the endangered chimpanzees. Expect to walk passed muddy and slippery forest grounds, which are ever wet regardless of the season. Also, expect thick and thorny bushes, it’s a jungle. You will meet other primates especially different money species and hippos which call Kyambura gorge their native home.

    How to prepare for chimpanzee trekking in Kyambura gorge
    The fact that you will be hiking through a thick forest, you ought to prepare enough and be ready for the jungle. Travelers are therefore reminded to do physical exercises like walking, and hiking to get ready.

    What to pack for chimpanzee trekking in Kyambura gorge
    Regarding what to wear and pack for chimpanzee trekking, you must have the following if your experience is to be enjoyable.
    • Hiking boots for easy movements
    • Long pants to protect from thick bushes
    • Gardening gloves to protect from hands horny and rough bushes
    • Hat to protect your head
    • Sunglasses for your eyes
    • Poncho and sweater for warmth in the cold forest
    • Rain jacket in case it rains
    • Hiking stick for support
    Also, remember to carry insect repellents since you will be roaming in the habitat of numerous insects.
    Carry enough drinking water, roughly 2 liters and energy-giving snacks to keep you strong during this hike.
    You must also be mentally prepared to avoid disappointments.

    What are the rules and regulations of trekking chimpanzees in Kyambura gorge?
    It’s like in other chimpanzee and gorilla treks, travelers to see chimpanzees in Kyambura gorge MUST follow the rules and regulations of trekking. These include:
    1. Do not trek when sick – Chimpanzees are susceptible to human diseases
    2. Keep a distance of seven meters way from chimpanzees
    3. Do not move alone in the forest – It has wild animals
    4. Do not use flashlight cameras
    5. Do not litter the forest
    6. Keep your voices low

    Generally, Kyambura gorge remains your ultimate chimpanzee trekking destination. Contact Africa Adventure Safaris today, book a Uganda safari to Queen Elizabeth national park, trek chimpanzees in Kyambura gorge and be part of this lifetime experience at affordable rates.

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    Tourist Attractions In Western Uganda

    Tourist Attractions In Western Uganda

    It’s definite that western Uganda outcompetes other regions when it comes to remarkable tourist attractions and activities that offer memorable experiences. It’s evident that over 80% of tourists to Uganda opt for western region to explore the hidden gem. Therefore, any Uganda safari booking without visiting the western region is incomplete and missing. A combination of undulating plains, Great Rift Valley, lakes, rivers, beautiful landscape and a variety of birds, primates and other wild animals offer you a lifetime experience. Western Uganda comprises of six districts, which include Fort portal, Kiruhura, Mbarara, Kasese, and Rubirizi. Top tourist attractions in western Uganda include:

    Queen Elizabeth National park
    Located along with Fort portal Mpondwe road in Rubirizi district, Queen Elizabeth national park is Uganda’s second-largest national park spreading over 1,978 square kilometers of land. The park is also one of the most visited parks in Uganda known for its high concentration of wild animals. The main activities within Queen Elizabeth National park include game viewing, lion tracking in kasenyi plains, katwe salt mines, Munyanyange crater lake,

    Queen Elizabeth National Park

    Flamingoes at Lake Munyanyange

    nature walks and the famous launch cruise at kazinga channel. Game drive in the park offers you great chance to see numerous animals such as elephants, lion, leopards, waterbucks, warthogs, elands, Uganda kobs, buffalos, Topis, L’Hoest gazelles, hippos, ground, and tree-climbing lions among others. Also, the shores of Kazinga channel shelters numerous birds which include white egrets, saddle billed stork, Africa fish eagle, African kingfisher, Long tailed Cormorants, white winded, swamp nightjar, African morning dove, Little bee eater, and Knob billed ducks among others. Also, trek chimpanzees in Kyambura gorge in the eastern corner of Queen Elizabeth National Park.
    Accommodation /Lodges in Queen Elizabeth National Park
    • Mweya Safari Lodge
    • Kasenyi Safari camp
    • Katara Lodge
    • Engazi Game Lodge
    • Park View Lodge
    • Kyambura game lodge
    • Queen Elizabeth Game lodge
    • Pumba safari lodge
    • Ihamba lakes Safari Lodge
    • Buffalo safari lodge

    Kibale Forest National park
    Kibale forest is a stretch of lowland and montane forest located in Kabalore district western Uganda. The moist rain forest is home to chimpanzees and other 12 primates including black and white monkeys, L’Hoest Monkeys, Colobus Monkeys, Red tailed Monkeys and blue monkeys among others. The rain forest is therefore, the best place for Uganda primate safaris. Besides primates, Kibale forest shelters numerous terrestrial mammals which include duikers, bush pigs, forest elephants, Giant forest hogs, Bushbucks, African buffalos, and warthogs among others. For birders, Kibale forest shelters over 325 bird species which include black-eared ground thrush, yellow potted nictaor, African Pitta, Blue-breasted kingfisher, African grey parrot, Collared Apalis, Little greenbul, Pigeon, red chested Owlet, Afep Pieon, and little green bull among others. Nature walk within the forest and to Bigodi wetland sanctuary offers you a fresh feeling of the natural environment. Also, spare time to visit Amabare Ganyina Mwiru in fortporal and learn about the historical attachments of these stalagmites and stalactites to the Banyonyoro.
    Accommodation/lodges in Kibale Forest National Park
    • Primates Lodge
    • Crater Safar Lodge
    • Rweteera Safari Park
    • Ndali Lodge
    • Isunga Lodge
    • Chimpanzee forest camp
    • Kyaninga Lodge

    Lake Mburo National Park
    Explore Lake Mburo National park located in Kiruhura district, a few kilometers from Mbarara city. A drive to LMburo Park gives you scenic views of the Ankle flat farms with long-horned cows. The park was originally a hunting area, which was transformed into a national park in 1963. Top tourist activities in Lake Mburo national park include a boat cruise, game safaris, night game drives, bird watching, nature walks, Rubanga forest, salt lick, Fishing, milking experience, cycling safaris and horse riding among others. The park has a variety of lodging accommodations, which offer luxury, mid-range and budget food and sleeping services at affordable rates.
    Lodges in L Mburo national park include:
    • Mihingo Safari Lodge,
    • Mburo Safari Lodge,
    • Mantana Tented camp
    • Arcadia Lodge
    • Mpogo Safari lodge
    • Rwakobo rock resort
    • Rwonyo rest camp

    Bwindi Forest National Park
    We could not miss out mentioning Bwindi forest national park in southwestern Uganda. Sheltering the highest population of endangered mountain gorillas, Bwindi forest is a must-visit destination in Uganda. Gorilla trekking is undeniably the most done tourist attraction in Uganda, which attract a high number of travelers to Uganda from all parts of the world. Fortunately, Bwindi forest is strategically located in easy connection from Queen Elizabeth, Lake Mburo & Kibale forest national parks. A gorilla trek in Bwindi can, therefore, be combined by other activities in other western Uganda parks.
    Lastly, western Uganda is naturally endowed with exceptional tourist attractions worth visiting. A Uganda safari to kibale forest, Queen Elizabeth, Lake Mburo, and Bwindi forest national parks offers you a remarkable experience.

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    Uganda Hosts A Tourism Night In Cairo

    Uganda Hosts A Tourism Night In Cairo

    While many people flock to Cairo for the African Cup of Nations (AFCON), Uganda Tourism Board has gone further to use this as a platform for promoting her tourism products and services. ON 2nd July 2019, Uganda Tourism Board organized the “AFCON 2019 night on the Nile” in Cairo aimed at promoting Uganda tourism products to in Egypt and encourages increased Egyptian travelers to the Pearl of Africa. The Ugandan Embassy in Egypt worked together with UTB to make this night enjoyable and memorable. The come together party attracted over 200 outbound tours and travel operators in Egypt who joined a night cruise on River Nile, the world’s longest river. While on the cruise, Uganda Tourism Board showcased Uganda’s top tourist attractions including wildlife, culture, mountains, and people after which Uganda was dubbed the Pearl of Africa. Among the delegates that were on the night Nile cruise were official from Uganda Tourism Board, Aggrey Ashaba, the football club chairman, officials from Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA), businessmen from all over the world, member of Uganda and Egypt parliaments plus many journalists from various media houses especially from Uganda and Egypt.

    Aims of Uganda tourism Night in Cairo
    The tourism night was aimed at fostering Uganda tourism in Cairo and Egypt as a whole. Various Uganda tourism products were exhibited and introduced to Egyptian travel operators and travelers. These tourism products included the famous mountain gorillas in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest and Mgahinga gorilla national parks in southwestern Uganda., the snow-capped Rwenzori mountains, loving and hospitable people plus amazing wildlife in the open savannah park of Uganda. For the past years, Uganda has been on average receiving 3500 travelers from Egypt which number is hoped to increase with this new initiative.

    Also, the tourism night was a platform for networking between Tourism operators in Uganda and those in Egypt. It was an opportunity for travel operators from Uganda and Egypt to share experiences and knowledge on how to promote tourism and increase the number of tourist arrivals to Uganda and Egypt. Travel operators promised to work together to promote joint Egypt and Uganda.

    More so, the tourism night was meant to strengthen and push further the already existing tourism relations between Uganda and Egypt. For a long time now, Uganda and Egypt have shared long-standing relationships and the two countries have never been in a collision. Uganda and Egypt share River Nile which has its source in Uganda and one of the reasons why the country was dubbed the “Pearl of Africa’.

    Which Uganda products are marketed in Cairo?
    Like said already, the Uganda Tourism Board is showcasing various Uganda tourism products to the Egyptian market. Among these include:

    Mountain gorillas
    Inhabiting the jungle forests of Bwindi and Mgahinga Gorilla National parks, mountain gorillas are major tourist attractions in Uganda. The pearl of Africa is home to over 600 mountain gorillas, which is half of the world’s surviving mountain gorillas. Also, Uganda offers travelers with affordable mountain gorilla tours to Bwindi forest at $600 for a gorilla permit compared to $1500 in neighboring Rwanda. Africa Adventure Safaris is your trusted travel operators in Uganda ready to serve you with tailor-made gorilla safari packages to Bwindi Forest and Mgahinga gorilla national parks at affordable rates.

    Unique culture is another tourism product y should not miss out in Uganda. The pearl of Africa has over 54 tribes each with different culture, norms, and traditions. The heart welcoming Ugandans with wide smiles make your stay in the country safe and comfortable. Egyptians were urged to visit Uganda and enjoy the warm welcoming of Ugandans while enjoying Uganda’s traditions an cultures that have splendid for over 1000 years back.

    What happened at the tourism night?
    The night cruise was full of fun and excitement as traveler operators from Uganda and Egypt shared their experiences. Also, Uganda Tourism Board presented a painting of life-size mountain gorilla to the Ambassador of Uganda to Egypt. This will be placed at the Ugandan Embassy in Cairo as a reminder to Egyptian about the must-visit tourist attractions in Uganda. In the same way, Gamil Maha, a famous female artist from Egypt, made many paintings of Uganda’s attractions. Different stalls were put up on the ship to sell various tourism products, traditional and cultural merchandise of Uganda for the Egyptian to buy. Also, Uganda local cuisines were serviced at the cruise accompanied by cake cutting and merrymaking.

    In general, the hosting of the African Cup of Nations in Cairo has come with great benefits to Uganda. The Uganda Tourism night in Cairo will with no doubt receive an increased number of Egyptian tourists who will improve the tourism industry in the pearl of Africa and also strengthening the ties between Uganda and Egypt.

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    Where To See Mountain Gorillas In Africa

    Where To See Mountain Gorillas In Africa

    Are you wondering where is the best place to see gorillas? The magical experience of trekking mountain gorillas has become trips to see gorillas a dream for most travelers to Africa. The questions of where to see mountain gorillas, which country is best for gorilla trekking and which country offers affordable gorilla tours have continuously been asked by first-time travelers who intend to visit these gentle giants. Are you comparing gorilla trekking experience in Uganda versus Rwanda? No worries, Africa Adventure Safaris bring you details about which country is safe and affordable for gorilla trekking. Gorilla trekking is a magical experience and the most done tourist activity in Africa, which draw the highest population of travelers from all over the world. The gentle giants survive in only three countries of Uganda, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Anyone who wants to track and see gorillas must, therefore, visit any one of the three countries or possible countries for accurate gorilla trekking comparisons.

    Where to visit gorillas in Africa
    Uganda – The Pearl of Africa
    Sheltering over half of the world’s mountain gorillas, Uganda is a premier gorilla destination. The small landlocked country is home to over 500 mountain gorillas habituated in 18 gorilla families 17 of which live in Bwindi Impenetrable forest and while 1 family lives in Mgahinga gorilla national park. Where to see gorillas The high gorilla families in Uganda guarantee travelers availability of gorilla permit even for the last time travelers. Interestingly, Uganda gorilla permits are quite cheap costing $600 compared to $1500 in neighboring Rwanda. Uganda, therefore, ranks as the best gorilla destination with best gorilla prices and worth, many gorillas, more permits and optional gorilla trekking national parks (Bwindi & Mgahinga). Besides trekking, Uganda offers visitors with exceptional gorilla habituation experience, which give travelers ample time with endangered species in the jungle. Gorilla families in Uganda include Mubare, Habinyanja, Rushegura, Oruzogo, Bitukura, Kyaguliro, Nshongi, Mishaya, kahungye, Busingye, Bweza, Nkuringo, Katwe, Christmas and Nyakagyezi gorilla families. Bushaho, Bikingi gorilla groups are still undergoing habituation in Rushaga sector south of Bwindi. Gorillas in Bwindi are split into four regions, which are Buhoma in the north, Ruhija in the east Nkuringo and Rushaga in the southern section of Bwindi Forest.


    Rwanda –Land of a Thousand Hills

    If you are looking for luxury gorilla trekking safaris, look no further than Rwanda. The double increment of Rwanda gorilla permit costs from $750 to $1500 in 2017 transformed the country into a luxury gorilla destination. The land of a thousand hills is home to 10 gorilla families which inhabit Volcanoes National park. The reason for the double increment of gorilla permits in Rwanda was to promote conservation and improve the standards of living for the local people. Rwanda gorilla groups include Igisha group (Susa B), Kurira group (Susa A), Amahoro group, Umubano family, Karisimbi family, Sabyinyo group, Kwitonda group, Hirwa family, Agasha family, Bwenge group, Titus group, Muhoza family and Pablo family. The close location of Volcanoes National park to Kigali international airport make Rwanda the best gorilla trekking destination, especially for short time travelers.

    Democratic Republic of Congo

    Join Congo gorilla safaris to Virunga national park home to 8 gorilla families. Congo is the least visited gorilla destination due to continuous rebel activities associated with kidnaps and killing of park rangers in Virunga National Park. Due to insecurity,Kahuzi Biega national park the park was in May 2018, closed for tourism and reopened in Feb 2019. Congo offers the cheapest gorilla safaris at $450 per permit hence the best gorilla destination for budget travelers. Gorilla families in Congo include Rugendo, Munyaga, Mapuwa, Lulengo, Kabirizi, Bageni, Nyakamwe, and Humba gorilla families. Virunga national park is a UNESCO world heritage site due to its diversity. Besides mountain gorillas, Congo is home to the eastern lowland gorillas in Kahuzi Biega National Park.

    NOTE: In all gorilla destinations, 8 people visit each gorilla family for an hour. Gorilla permit booking is recommended in advance for timely planning and gorilla family allocations. Permits can be booked direct fro Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) in Uganda, Rwanda Development Board (RDB) in Rwanda and ICCN in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Alternatively, book through Africa adventure, the leading tour and Travel Company specializing in gorilla tour bookings and reservations.

    Book a gorilla trekking tour to Uganda, Rwanda, and Congo with Africa Adventure Safaris meet face to face with endangered mountain gorillas in the wild, enjoy their company of your lost relatives and be part of this memorable experience.

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    Posted by admin in News
    UWA To Fight The Construction Of A Power Dam At Murchison Falls By ERA

    UWA To Fight The Construction Of A Power Dam At Murchison Falls By ERA

    You must have heard about the proposal to construct a hydropower plant at Murchison falls. The proposal was submitted to the Electricity Regulatory Authority (ERA) on 7th June 2019 by Bonang power project dam at Murchison falls. However, the proposal was bitterly rejected by conservationists, tour operators, nature lovers and the entire tourism fraternity in Uganda. Within 2 weeks after the announcement, over 3000 people have signed the petition against the construction of a hydropower plant at Murchison falls national park. If you haven’t yet, join the petition to save Murchison falls at the verge of destruction. The proposed dam is to be constructed on top of the mighty Murchison falls about 65 kilometers west of the recently constructed 600 MW Karuma Hydropower dam which will be officially commissioned in 2020. The Construction of a dam at Murchison falls was termed as “unthinkable” by Uganda Wildlife Authority and vowed to fight the project. Similarly, part of Bugoma forest home to over 500 chimpanzees is to be destroyed for sugar cane plantation. Situated in the hearty of Murchison falls national park, Murchison falls is one of the natural wonders after Which Uganda was called the “Pearl of Africa”. The falls is undeniably one of the top tourist attractions in the country, a must visit by most travelers on Uganda safari.

    Who are the petitioners?
    Many people have reacted in resistance to the construction of the power project at Murchison falls. The top petitioners in this are the Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA
    0, a government body responsible for tourism and wildlife conservation in Uganda together with Uganda Tourism Board (UTB) responsible for tourism product development and marketing in Uganda and lastly the Association of Uganda Tour Operators (AUTO) which joins together all travel and tour operators in Uganda. These bodies have initiated the campaign (“SAVE MURCHISON FALL”) via social media networks mainly facebook, twitter, watsup, and emails urging lovers of Murchison fall to petition against the hydropower project proposal. Interestingly, the campaign has been welcomed and joined by several people counting to over 25,000 by now.

    Why opposed to dam construction
    The construction of the Murchison falls dam will definitely shut tourism to the mighty falls. This will limit the number of tourist arrivals to Murchison falls national park since the falls are a major attraction in the park. Also, the construction of a power dam is against the efforts to promote tourism in Uganda. The petition was initiated by Amos Murungi an environmentalist and welcomed by many nature lovers who willingly signed the petition via social media especially watsup, Facebook, Twitter, and email. Murchison falls is one of the target areas where Bonang Power Limited plans to construct hydropower dams. Other areas in Question include Ayago, Uhuru, and Kiba. The construction of a power dam at Murchison Falls will generate 2,550 MW of electricity creating reliable supply to the country and enhancing economic development. Murchison falls is one of the major tourist attractions in Uganda, which attract thousands of travelers to the park. A boat cruise to the bottom of the falls is a must do, a hike to the top of the falls offers visitors spectacular views of the falls and the park while the delta area which forms part of Murchison fails is the best sport for lots of birds and water animals such as hippos, crocodiles, and hippos among others.

    About Bonang Power Project
    Bonang is a power company that was established in 2014 by tycoon Ernst Moloi with its headquarters in Norway. Some people say that the project has other offices in South Africa but we are not certain. Since its establishment, Bonang has successfully built 2 power dams and the one at Murchison falls will be the 3rd.

    About Murchison falls national park
    Spreading over 3,893 square kilometers, Murchison falls national park is Uganda’s biggest park located in northwestern Uganda on the shores of Lake Albert. The park was established in 1952 hence Uganda’s oldest national park comprised of Bugungu and Karuma falls and wildlife reserve. The park is named after the mighty Murchison falls in which Nile River squeezes through a 7-meter gorge to fall for 43 meters with a thunderous roar to form the Nile Delta with a permanent rainbow. The vegetation in Murchison falls National Park comprises of main savannahs while woodland and riverine forests cover other areas. These serve as food and habitats for various birds and wild animals. The park is known to have a high concentration of wildlife which includes over 76 mammal species and over 451 birds hence one of the notable birding spots in Uganda. Popular tourist activities in Murchison falls national park include:
    • Game Viewing
    • Sport fishing
    • Hike to the top of Murchison falls
    • Bird watching
    • Forest walks
    • Boat Cruise to the bottom of the falls
    In conclusion, the construction of a hydropower project will kill tourism in Murchison falls national park. Join the petition today and save Uganda’s mighty falls for sustainable tourism.

    Posted by admin in Blog, Uganda
    Uganda Airlines Behind the Schedule for its First Commercial Flight

    Uganda Airlines Behind the Schedule for its First Commercial Flight

    Uganda airline may not operate its first commercial flight as was scheduled earlier. The national airline was planned to reach the skies in July 2019 but this may not work out due to unfinished tasks. Till now, Uganda Airline has not received its air operator’s certificate (AOC), which permits it to run commercial air transport operations. The certificate is to be issued by the Uganda Civil Aviation Authority once the national carrier meets all standards. The national carrier has so far finished two first phases and is working on accomplishing the third and fourth phases before July 2019. Other requirements include the perfect personnel and other necessary requisites to put a house in order. Uganda airline was revived in April 2019 when it received its first set of 2 Bombardier CRJ planes after several years of non-operating. This gave hope for the revived operations of the country’s national carrier.

    What is AOC?
    The Air Operators Certificate is an authorization given to an aircraft to operate commercial businesses. The AOC tell details about the aircraft such as airports it flies to and out, the purpose for operating, aircraft type, registration number and the geographic area where the aircraft will cover. Uganda Civil Aviation Authority will permit Uganda airlines to operate when all phases are complete.

    What is required to get an Air Operator’s Certificate?
    Besides, completing the four phases, an aircraft is required to have some other basics before it’s allowed to the operator for commercial reasons. Among the requirements are personnel (qualified workers), physical assets and a strong system that guarantee the safety of employees and the general public. Without these, an aircraft cannot be given a certificate to operate. Also, the airline is required to acquire a human resource, technical control team, supplier contract negotiations for Operational services, catering and fuel services before it’s allowed to fly into the skies. Uganda airlines is also expected to get a brand for its self, uniform design and also set up permanent commercial offices. More still, the national carrier is required to have a distribution network for all members of the airline association, reservations/ bookings systems, online methods and payment gateways among others. Fortunately, Uganda radio network (URN) confirmed that all requirements are almost done which gives hope for near future operations.

    Way forward
    The management of Uganda airline has not given up yet on meeting the deadline. For the few remaining days, the ministry is focused on tackling basic requirements. These include hiring a number of service providers to make bookings and handle cargo in Uganda and different travelers destinations. Uganda airlines are currently renting offices but will soon set up permanent offices in Kampala and Entebbe. Marketing strategies such as consigning with travel agents to sell tickets are yet to be complete. Regarding air space rights, Uganda has so far signed bilateral air service agreements with Canada, Israel, and Switzerland. This is a good move so far. The country is still negotiating for air space rights with Oman, Spain, and Qatar, which will be complete soon.

    Who are the new board of directors for Uganda airlines?
    Just like any business, Uganda airlines have a board of directors running all the operations. These include Ahabwe Perez the minister of State for local government, Benon Kajuna, Godfrey Ssemugooma, Catherine Aside, Rehema Mutazindwa, Charles Hamya, and Aziku Zua. These people are tasked to ensure smooth airline operations and make sure the airline is self-sustainable. The ministry of works and permanent secretary encouraged the board of directors to be efficient without giving any room for incompetence. The board is also tasked to ensure consistent value and quality services avoiding all mistakes that led to the collapse of Uganda airline.

    Generally, the revival of Uganda airlines is an achievement for Uganda tourism and travel. The yet to start flights will obviously promote tourism and ease movements to and from the pearl of Africa. Fly with Uganda airlines; get the best services at affordable rates not compromising the value.

    Posted by admin in Blog, Uganda
    Dark Tourism in Uganda

    Dark Tourism in Uganda

    Dark tourism refers to trips to sites of the episode of human violence. It is a visit to the sites of murder and places of past horror. For example Visits to the furnaces of Auschwitz, the killing fields of Cambodia, the area surrounding Chernobyl, National September 11th Memorial & Museum and the visit to the Genocide Memorial in Rwanda.

    The term Dark Tourism was first used by British scholars John Lennon and Malcolm Foley, when they wrote their book titled ‘Dark Tourism: The Attraction of Death and Disaster’, that was later published in 2000. After a dozen of years, the University of Central Lancashire, located in Northern England, launched the Institute for Dark Tourism Research, a first academic center -of-its-kind headed by Philip Stone, who has a doctorate in Thanatology (the study of death) and previously worked in the tourism industry. Stone describes Dark tourism as commercialization of death.

    During July 1861, several sightseers could pack picnic baskets before heading out to witness one of the earlier battles of the American Civil War. What sets Dark Tourism apart as something new, however, is the tourism industry’s packaging and marketing of such places.

    Last year on Halloween, The Guardian published an article exploring the growing trend of people visiting murder sites and places of past horror where they mentioned a new tour to the home of 1980s’ California serial killer, Dorothea Puente, who buried her victims in her yard, both front and back.

    Of recent, Dark tourism is on a steady rise as nations are going ahead to gazette dark tourism sites to tap the growing influx of travelers across the globe. There are now established locations near the Syrian-Israeli border where visitors gather to glimpse a piece of the action, the killings, and clashes between the two conflicting sides.

    Some people have wondered whether dark tourism is really necessary since it may portray a negative image to the community. Could it be that people are making money from the death and suffering of others? which image would it give to the survivors or those who lost their loved ones?.

    Such questions need to be addressed such that the community well understands its impact and intention. Dark tourism, like any other tourism product, definitely earns revenue for a country but also helps in benefiting those who are still faced will the effects of the past horror through direct employment as guides as well as revenue sharing from the government. Dark tourism also helps in educating and reminding the people about the past incidences of human torture such that people can guard against similar actions from happening again after understanding their real effect. People may not understand the magnitude and the impact of certain incidences if they are not shown the real effects of that incidence.

    Uganda has a number of sites of past human horror which have not been given enough attention. The Luwero triangle massacres of the early 1980s caused by the conflict between Obote’s regime and the NRA rebels, where the government soldiers are alleged to have employed the scorched earth policy and burnt down villages in search for the rebels, is one of the unforgettable sites where thousands were sent to their graves. The skulls were collected and lined along the road for commemoration and this can be well marketed for dark tourism.

    The Kibweetere slaughter in Kanungu where a self proclaimed prophet, Joseph Kibweetere locked his followers in a church and sent them a blaze in 2000, is an ideal site for development and marketing as a remarkable dark tourism site. Several sites of human violence in the Northern and Eastern parts of the country emanating from the long conflict between the government and the LRA rebels have been given less attention but could be great dark tourism sites helping the survivors to recover from the tragedies if they are promoted for tourism.

    Posted by admin in Blog
    Uganda Joins African Tourism Board

    Uganda Joins African Tourism Board

    Uganda tourism is celebrating her membership to the African Tourism Board. The pearl of Africa finally managed to qualify as a member of the African Tourism Board, a great achievement that will put Uganda safaris to the next level. The addition of Uganda as an associate of ATB comes 2 years after the BBC described Uganda as the friendliest country in the globe. The combination of beautiful landscapes, favorable climate, wildlife, birds, distinctive culture, excellent hotels, and hospitable people make Uganda an exceptional travel destination. It’s after these stunning beauties that Church Hill dubbed Uganda “ the Pearl of Africa”. African Tourism Board was pleased to recognize Uganda as one for their members whom they promised to support and work with especially in the revival of Uganda airlines. The revival of Uganda airlines will help to make Uganda’s key USBs known to the world. African tourism Board was initiated in 2018 and has since become a catalyst for responsible tourism and travel, ensuring quality tourism services in Africa.

    What makes Uganda a special tourism region?
    It’s undeniable that the Pearl of Africa is richly blessed by nature. Travelers who have been to this land have enjoyed the beauty of Uganda, which offers travelers a remarkable travel experience at affordable rates. The top travel attractions in Uganda include:

    Mountain gorillas
    Uganda shelters the world’s highest population of mountain gorillas. The Pearl of Africa is home to half of the world’s mountain gorillas inhabited in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest and Mgahinga gorilla national parks in southwestern Uganda. 18 gorilla families namely Mubare, Habinyanja, Rushegura, Nkuringo, Bweza, Nshongi, Busingye, Kyaguliro, Bitukura, Oruzogo, Mishaya, Katwe, Christmas are habituated in Bwindi Forest and the one Nyakagyezi family in Mgahinga gorilla national park. These families are split in for regions (Nkuringo, Rushaga, Ruhija, and Buhoma), which make up Bwindi Forest National Park. Also, two families, Bushaho and Bikyingi are undergoing habituation experience and will soon be open for tourism. A single gorilla permit in Uganda costs $600 which make Uganda gorilla trips much cheaper compared to neighboring Rwanda @ $1500 per permit.

    Chimpanzees
    In addition to gorillas, the Pearl of Africa shelters the highest population of chimpanzees in Africa. Chimpanzee trekking in Uganda takes place in Kibale Forest (main chimpanzee destination), Kalinzu Forest, Kyambura Gorge in Queen Elizabeth and Budongo forest en route to Murchison falls national park. Travelers can also do chimpanzee habituation experience, which allows you to spend a half day with the endangered chimpanzees in their native habitats.

    Culture
    Uganda’s culture is exceptional and worth exploring. The country has a wide range of ethnic groups whose languages, beliefs and norms differ. Some ethnic groups including Batwa pygmies and Karamojong are so indigenous in their dressing, food and cultural practices in general. A cultural visit to any local community in Uganda will not leave you the same. Also, Ugandans are recognized as the most hospitable, friendly and loving people easy to interact and stay with. Visit Batwa pygmies in southwestern Uganda and learn more about their traditional forest life.

    Birds
    Besides wild animals, Uganda is a leading birding destination in Africa. The Pearl of Africa is home to over 1031 bird species 58 of which are endemic to the country. Among the bird species in Uganda include shoebill, Grey-breasted pitta, African green broadbill, Great Blue Turaco, Shelley’s Crimsoning, Standard-winged Nightjar, Short-tailed Warbler, Doherty’s Bush-shrike, Bar-tailed Trogon, and Black-breasted Barbet among others. The top birding spots in Uganda include Mabamba Bay wetland, Bwindi forest, Mabira forest, Kazinga channel, Mgahinga Forest, Kibale Forest, Bigodi wetland, Murchison Falls and Lake Mburo national parks.

    Water bodies
    The Pearl of Africa is endowed with beautiful water bodies all over the country. Lakes, rivers, and waterfalls across the country support various water activities like water rafting, boat cruising, sport fishing, and waterfall hiking among others. Enjoy white water rafting at the source of the Nile, visit the mighty Murchison falls in Murchison falls national park and Siipi falls in My Elgon national park.

    Mountains
    Uganda offers travelers with the very best mountain climbing experiences. Hike to Margarita, the highest peak of Mt Rwenzori for a memorable hiking experience. Other Uganda hiking trips include Mt Elgon, Mt Muhabura, Mt Gaginga and Mt Sabyinyo in Mgahinga gorilla national parks. Hiking travelers to Uganda are reminded to be physically fitted and prepare in advance.

    The membership of Uganda to the African Tourism Board is a great achievement that will push Uganda’s tourism to the next level. The beautiful landscapes, wildlife, bird, and people make Uganda a premier travel destination in the world.

    Posted by admin in News, Uganda
    New Flight Services From Masaai Mara To Uganda

    New Flight Services From Masaai Mara To Uganda

    With effect from 1st June 2019, Air Kenya is set to launch direct flights from Masai Mara national park to Uganda. The new initiative will allow travelers to fly direct from Masai Mara in Kenya to Bwindi forest National park, Murchison falls national park, Queen Elizabeth and Kidepo Valley National parks in Uganda. This is a great move to promote joint Uganda Kenya tourism by allowing travelers to explore the two countries within the shortest time possible. The direct flights will save travelers the stresses associated with long driving hours and Kenya Uganda border crossing. The new initiative comes 5 months after Air Kenya suspended the coastal routes of Lamu, Malindi, and Diani on 11th January 2019. The reasons for air Kenya’ suspension of 3 coastal routes were to specialize on fully serving regions that needed more services better than the coat. With the new service,

    What are the costs?
    A one-way flight from Mara to Entebbe airport will cost $US 340. Those flying from Mara to Kisumu will pay $US 200 while flights from Kisumu to Entebbe costs $US 150 per person. The prices are fairly good affordable for most if not all travelers.

    What to expect
    There are lots of benefits travelers should expect from Kenya Uganda direct flights. The flights through Kisumu help travelers enjoy the beauty of magical Kenya with rewarding them with a thrilling pre gorilla trekking experience and other wildlife experiences in Uganda, the Pearl of Africa.

    Connecting From Entebbe Airport to Uganda national parks
    On reaching Entebbe, travelers with will pack and transferred to their respective parks by Aero link, a Kenya Ugandan Subsidiary. Aero operates direct flights from Kajjansi to Bwindi, Murchison Falls, Queen Elizabeth, and Kidepo Valley national parks giving you a memorable experience of a truly East African Safari Circuit.

    How to do a Kenya Uganda Tour
    A 4 Days Kenya Uganda flying safari is a perfect package to enjoy Kenya’s Masaai Mara game viewing and mountain gorilla trekking in Uganda. On the first day, you arrive in Kenya and transfer to Masai Mara, have an evening. On the second day, enjoy game viewing in open savannah plains of Masai Mara and in the evening fly to Uganda to Bwindi Forest. The third day is a full day encounter with the endangered mountain gorillas in the impenetrable forests of Bwindi. On the fourth and last day, fly back to Kenya for your return flight.

    How to book a Kenya Uganda Tour
    Africa Adventure Safaris tailor makes a suitable Kenya Uganda safari for you at affordable prices. ASS is your reliable travel operator in East Africa known for reserving gorilla permits and other wildlife experiences as well as guiding you throughout for a remarkable experience. And east African visa will enable you to explore the beauties of Uganda and Kenya with no difficulties.

    In general, the introduction of Kenya Uganda flights is a relief to travelers especially those on short holidays. Book a Kenya Uganda safari, enjoy the game in Masai Mara, trek mountain gorillas in Bwindi and enjoy other wildlife experiences within the east African circuit within the shortest time possible.

    Enquire Now

    Posted by admin in News, Uganda
    Murchison Falls; Tours & Safaris

    Murchison Falls; Tours & Safaris

    The mighty Murchison falls is one of the remarkable tourist attractions after which Uganda was dubbed the Pearl of Africa. Also known as kabalega falls, Murchison falls is situated in the heart of Uganda’s oldest and largest national park (Murchison falls national park) between Lake Kyoga and Lake Albert on the while Nile. The strong waters squeeze through a seven-meter gorge falling 43 meters down into the devils’ cauldron forming a permanent trademark rainbow at the bottom of the falls. Sir Samuel Baker and his wife were the first people to discover Murchison falls in 1864 during their trail in Uganda. Walking to the top of the mighty Murchison falls reward travelers with a magical thunderous roar of wild waters. Also, the top of the falls is the best site to see the park, wildlife, birds and local communities in the neighborhood. The mighty cascade drains the last of the river’s energy, transforming it into broad, placid stream that flows quietly across the rift valley floor into the lake.

    About Murchison falls national park
    Spreading over 3,893 square kilometers, Murchison falls national park is Uganda’s biggest and oldest park that was established in 1952. The park is located in northwestern Uganda lying at the northern end of the albertine Rift valley. Murchison falls national park is bisected by Victoria Nile, which plunges 54m over the remnant rift valley wall to create the dramatic Murchison falls. Vegetation in the park comprise of savannahs, shrubs, forests and swamps which provide food and habitat to animals and birds in the park.

    Activities and Attractions in Murchison Falls
    Murchison falls national park is a center for tourism in Uganda with a variety of attractions and activities.

    Game viewing
    With a wide concentration of wildlife, game viewing is the most done tourist activity in Murchison falls national park. Game drives in the open savannahs of Murchison falls reward travelers with spectacular game viewing experiences. Game drives are well done in the early morning and evening to catch up with animals browsing and hunting before retiring for day and night rest. Expect to see numerous animals such as giraffes, elephants, buffalos, Uganda kobs, warthogs, waterbucks, elands, lions, leopards, cape buffalos, hippos, Jackson hartebeest, crocodiles, red tailed monkeys, patas monkeys and oribis among others.

    Boat cruising
    A boat cruise at the bottom of the falls is a must do on your Uganda safari to Murchison falls national park. Cruising reward you with a fresh feeling of cold-water breezes and fresh air pus marvelous views of the falls and the park. Expect to see various water animals including crocodiles, hippos and monitoring lizards on the riverbanks. Water birds like ducks, bee-eaters, cormorants and fish eagles are also spotted. Travelers are reminded that boat cruising is done two times a day i.e morning and afternoon lasting for 2 hours each session.

    Bird watching
    Besides game, Murchison falls national park is home to over 451 bird species. Birding is well done in forested, swamp areas of the park as well as the bottom of the mighty falls. Among the birds you should expect on your bird watching trip to Murchison falls national park include African Quail-Finch, Black-headed Gonolek, Blue headed Coucal, Eastern Grey Plantain eater, Malachite Kingfishers, Blue headed Coucal, Squaco Heron, Grey crowned cranes, Silver bird and Speckle fronted weaver among others. Our professional birding guides explain to you all the unique features of each spotted bird.

    Nature walks
    Join thrilling forest/nature trails through the low hills, forest and swampy areas of Murchison falls national park, Nature walk is the best way to explore and discover the beauty of this park on foot. You will meet various birds and animals some of which are hard to see on a game drive. Most animals seen during forest walking are primates, which include red tailed monkeys among others. The best place to do forest walks in Murchison falls National Park includes Rabongo forest and in Kaniyo Pabidi forest.

    Where to sleep in Murchison Falls NP
    The leading accommodation facilities in Murchison falls national park include Paraa safari lodge, Pakuba lodge, Baker’s lodge, Sambiya river lodge, Chobe safari lodge, Budongo eco lodge and Palm Gardens among others. These offer you excellent food and sleeping services at affordable rates.

    Other activities that can be done on a Uganda tour to Murchison falls national park include chimpanzee trekking in Budongo forest and Rhino tracking at Zziwa rhino sanctuary.
    Enquire Now

    Posted by admin in safaris, Uganda
    Drive Time to Bwindi Forest National Park

    Drive Time to Bwindi Forest National Park

    Visiting Bwindi forest to track and see mountain gorillas is one of the most done things on Uganda Safaris. The impenetrable forest is located in southwestern Uganda bordered by Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. The park is home to the highest population of mountain gorillas, the key tourist attractions in the Pearl of Africa. Bwindi Forest is located roughly 448.8 kilometers from Entebbe international airport hence one of the furthest tourist destinations in Uganda. Traveling by road is the common means of transport most travelers use to reach Bwindi. For luxury and short time travelers, Aero link and fly Uganda offer direct flights from kajjansi airstrip to Kihihi airstrip in Kabale district. However, driving is the most affordable way of getting to this impenetrable forest.

    Driving from Entebbe
    The drive from Entebbe Airport to Bwindi forest takes roughly 9-10 hours to cover up the 44.8.8 kilometers. This full day of driving is impossible for short time travelers denying them a chance to visit the famous mountain gorillas. A 3 Days Uganda gorilla tour to Bwindi forest is the appropriate travel itinerary to visit and track the endangered mountain gorillas in Bwindi if you are landing at Entebbe airport. With this itinerary, the first full day is for transferring to Bwindi, second day for trekking gorillas and the third (last day) is for traveling back. Despite the long distance, travelers who drive from Entebbe to Bwindi enjoy a variety of enroute add-ons. These include a stopover at the equator for photographs and beautiful scenic viewing. A lunch stop at the igongo cultural center in Mbarara is a not miss. You will also enjoy fresh fruits, street foods (Muchoma, gonjas, roasted maize) on your way to Bwindi forest. This amazing pre-gorilla trekking experience makes the whole safari exceptional and memorable.

    Driving from Queen Elizabeth National park
    If you want to combine your gorilla tour with game viewing, the 6 Days Uganda gorilla and wildlife safari is a suitable package for you. Here you visit Queen Elizabeth national park for game viewing and course boat cruise at kazinga channel and then connect to Bwindi forest through Buhoma sector north of Bwindi. The drive from Queen Elizabeth National Park to Bwindi is roughly 4 hours via ishasha sector home to the famous tree-climbing lions.

    Drive from Kigali Rwanda
    Alternatively, travelers can fly to Kigali international airport in Rwanda and then connect to Uganda. Interestingly, connecting from Rwanda to Bwindi is much easier and quick for travelers with limited time. Upon reaching Kigali airport, travelers drive for 4 hours through Cyanika border in kisoro district or Katuna border in Kabale district connecting to Bwindi Forest. The scenic driving through the rolling hills of Rwanda and kabale make this journey more interesting and enjoyable. Clients doing 1-Day Uganda gorilla tour are required to set off from Kigali at 3:30am to reach Bwindi at 7:00am catching up with the pre gorilla trekking briefing. After trekking, travelers drive back to Kigali for their return flights. Connecting from Rwanda to Uganda is therefore the simplest way to trek mountain gorillas in Bwindi impenetrable forest national park.

    What is required to cross from Rwanda to Uganda?
    Border crossing from Rwanda to Uganda requires some documents. Among these travel documents include valid passport and visa. Travelers connecting through Rwanda are advised to use a single East African Visa, which allows you to move freely in Uganda and Rwanda with no disruption. With Gorilla Trek Africa, you are guaranteed safe border crossing having done Rwanda Uganda trips for over 15 years now.
    Bwindi forest is an exceptional travel destination you cannot afford missing on your Uganda safari. Book a customized Uganda gorilla trek trip to Bwindi from either Entebbe or Kigali Airport to be part of this memorable encounter.

    Enquire Now

    Posted by admin in Uganda
    Revived Uganda Airlines To Open Direct Routes From Major Tourism Source Markets

    Revived Uganda Airlines To Open Direct Routes From Major Tourism Source Markets

    After close to 19 years of non-operating, the along awaited Uganda airlines finally revives to operation. Uganda airlines finally revive! There was too much excitement at Entebbe international airport on 24th April 2019 when Uganda’s warmly received the first two jetliners of Bombardier CRJ900S carrying the Uganda flag. Uganda airlines confirmed that two remaining Bombardier CRJ900S would be received in July and September this year and these will be flying across the regional routes on the continent. Uganda further expects other two airbuses A330-800 Neos scheduled to launch long haul flights in December 2020 and January 2021. The two will operate direct flights from far away cities like London, Amsterdam and Guangzhou offering serving travelers with safe and comfortable travels.

    Why Celebrations?
    Having been down for over 20 years, the renewal of Uganda airlines is a great achievement, which puts an end to long waiting since 2001. In other words, there will be no more stopovers in cities like Kigali, Nairobi and Addis Ababa before proceeding to Uganda unlike before. The revived airlines will open direct routes from major tourism source markets enabling travelers to fly direct to Uganda without hindrances and unnecessary stopovers.

    What is expected?
    The revival of Uganda national carrier will obviously help to promote tourism in the Pearl of Africa by enhancing direct flight routes to Uganda for tourists. Despite the initial inconveniences associated with various stopovers, Uganda has seen a rise in the number of tourists over time. In 2019, Uganda received a total of 1.7 million travelers an increase from 1.4 million travelers that had been received 2014. The revival of Uganda airlines will undeniably shoot the number of travelers high out competing for the neighboring tourism destination.

    Also, traffic at Entebbe International airport will rise with no doubt. The airport currently has the traffic of over 1.8 million passengers a rise from 1 million passengers in 2014, which is a great achievement. Also, Uganda airline will create new job opportunities for Uganda’s. These will work as air hostesses and pilots among others earning them an income reducing on unemployment levels in the pearl of Africa. Traveling with Uganda airline s will also reduce the money spent on other countries. Ugandans will now use Uganda airlines, which will keep all our money within Uganda’s economy. No more foreign exchange expenditure through travel by foreign airlines. It was realized that Ugandans spent USD 400 annually in travel, which has kept Uganda’s economy lagging behind.

    About Tourism in Uganda
    Uganda also dubbed as the pearl of Africa is naturally gifted with numerous attractions that offer travelers with magical experiences. Of recent, Uganda was ranked by CNN among 25 most beautiful places in the world full of hidden and overt beauty in every corner. Uganda’s Bwindi impenetrable forest national park, a premier gorilla safari destination in the world was ranked number one travel destination. The other places that were recognized de by CNN include Samburu in Kenya, Mount and Toubkal in Morocco among others. Among the various attractions why Uganda is ranked among the most beautiful countries in the world include mountain gorillas in Bwindi forest, source of River Nile ( the world’s longest river), the mighty Murchison falls, big game, birds, Culture and Margherita peak of Mount Rwenzori among others.

    The beauty of Uganda was also recognized by Jean-Paul Boutibou, the vice president for commercial aircraft at Bombardier who praised the pearl of Africa for her unmatched beauties. Jean-Paul further described Uganda as a remarkable destination, which every travel should add, on his/her bucket list to Africa. Jean further talked about her life experiences with mountain gorillas in Bwindi forest, Chimpanzees in Kibale forest and the snow-peaked Margherita of Mount Rwenzori. To promote sustainable tourism, Ugandans are urged to protect wildlife, avoid encroaching on natural forests and wetlands for future generations.

    The revival of Uganda airlines is an answered prayer. Fly direct to Uganda, visit gorillas in Bwindi, enjoy other beauties in the pearl of Africa for a memorable experience at affordable rates.

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    Posted by admin in News, Uganda
    About Mountain Gorillas

    About Mountain Gorillas

    Mountain Gorillas: The rare apes bringing tourists to Southwestern Uganda
    Listed among the world’s primates under critical threat, mountain gorillas are currently the largest living apes. They are covered with black fur, have a broad chest and arms most especially a fully grown male gorilla popularly known as a silverback. These rare primates are considered to be among man’s closest relatives and similar to humans, they live in families that are led by a dominant silverback. The gorilla family also comprises of juvenile gorillas, young gorillas as well as females

    Currently the remaining mountain gorilla population lives in only three countries on the entire planet in the forested mountains of southwestern Uganda, Northwestern Rwanda and the eastern part of Democratic Republic of Congo in the four major gorilla national parks of Mgahinga Gorilla Park, Bwindi impenetrable national park, Volcanoes National park and Virunga National park respectively with Bwindi impenetrable forest National park having the highest mountain gorilla population. Mountain Gorilla Safaris; Over the years, mountain gorilla safaris have increased as a number of people from the different corners of the world visit Bwindi to have a one on one encounters with these rare primates and guess what! They never get disappointed! An encounter with the mountain gorillas in the forested mountains of Bwindi as described by many is “Breathtaking, Once in a lifetime experience, Amazing Experience, Unforgettable! Awesome Experience, name it all! Above all, it gives that human feeling of meeting your long lost friend or relative.

    The gorilla experience starts with an early morning briefing at the park headquarters where tourists gather and they are given information about what to expect while in the forest. This also includes information on the do’s and don’ts while with the gorillas toMounatin gorillas
    to ensure the safety of both the gorillas and the tourists. From here the tourists are led to the forest amidst sighting of a number of wildlife species including birds, vegetation species, insects and other wildlife in the forests. This hiking process takes a 1 to 5 hours or more tracking the gorillas and largely depends on the movement of gorillas since they are mobile animals and often times move from one place to another looking for fresh vegetation to feed on as well as new places where they can build their nests and rest.

    On getting to the gorillas, tourists are strictly allowed in the presence of the gorillas for one full hour and then they can clearly see the gorillas as they feed, relax and go on about their routine at the moment in the wild. The young ones as always don’t shy away from having fun and are seen jumping up and down running around their mothers. One can take as many photographs as they want though flash photography is strictly not allowed.

    In the southern sector of Bwindi however, there is another unique gorilla experience that is referred to as the Mountain Gorilla Habituation Experience. This is the ultimate experience that comes with 4 full hours in the presence of the gorillas. The gorilla habituation experience just as normal tracking starts with a briefing in the morning though takes a full day as clients participate in the behind the scenes of what rangers go through to make gorillas get accustomed to human beings presence in their midst.

    From there, tourists are lead back to the park headquarters from where they are awarded their certificates of participation and then can be driven back to their lodges or to their next destinations depending on schedule.

    A mountain gorilla-tracking permit currently costs $600 per person and a gorilla habituation permit costs $1500 per person. Note that a gorilla permit is only valid for a day and anyone seeking more time with the gorillas can buy another gorilla permit and track or habituate on another scheduled date. The gorilla permits are strictly sold at the Uganda Wildlife Authority and can be purchased from there or can be got through the different tour operator who gets them from the wildlife authority on behalf of their clients. Important to note though is that these are very scarce due to high demand and therefore anyone seeking to undertake a mountain gorilla safari should ensure to secure the gorilla permit in advance before they are fully booked

    The best time to visit mountain gorilla is in the dry season from June to September and from December to March though one can still go for a gorilla tour in the months of April, May & November.

    Given that Bwindi is covered with a tropical rain forest, rainfall can occur at any time of the year and its therefore always better to have a waterproof jacket just in case it rains. For a great trek, one is also advised to wear strong hiking shoes or boots, long-sleeved shirts, and trousers to avoid skin irritation and scratches from the vegetation. Hiring a porter can also be useful as some times the trails get rough to hike and you might need a hand.

    Enquire Now

    Posted by admin in Mountain gorillas, News
    Bwindi Impenetrable National Park named among world’s best hiking trails

    Bwindi Impenetrable National Park named among world’s best hiking trails

    CNN Travel has named Uganda’s mountain gorilla home of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park as one of the best hiking trails in the world. Bwindi was placed in number 15 out of the 23 ranked hiking trails.

    “Wildlife walks don’t come more fascinating than a trip to Uganda’s Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, where you can get up close and personal with the area’s mountain gorilla population”, read part of the document from CNN Travel about Bwindi Impenetrable National Park.

    Why Bwindi ranks high?

    Bwindi impenetrable national park is located in Southwest Uganda and it is home to more than half of the global population of mountain gorillas. Currently, the estimates show that there are about 1000 mountain gorillas in the world and about 600 of them are found in Bwindi. The remaining population of mountain gorillas are found in the 3 national parks within the Virunga Mountains, that is, Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda, Virunga National Park in DR Congo and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park in Uganda.

    The park is commonly known for breathtaking gorilla safaris and gorilla tours that are arranged for travelers to trek mountain gorillas throughout the year. The rugged and steep terrain of Bwindi coupled with its dense vegetation makes the park one of the most adventurous in the region for hikers.

    What to see & do in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park

    Gorilla trekking is the main safari activity in Bwindi. 99 percent of Bwindi visitors come for gorilla trekking though there are other complimentary tour activities like birding in the park. with more than 15 habituated gorilla families available for visitors to track in Bwindi, there are almost 100 percent chances for visitors to meet and interact with their allocated gorilla family/group.

    How to go get to Bwindi for a gorilla safari?

    Safaris to Bwindi to trek mountain gorillas are usually organized through reliable local tour agents like Gorilla Trek Africa and Africa Adventure Safaris. They will help you to book your gorilla permit which is always done in advance due to limited availability of the permit on the market. Once your permit has been booked, the agent will also help you to book your accommodation and arrange your transport to ensure that you have a successful trip that will last in your memory for a lifetime. They will also brief you on what to pack for your gorilla safari.

    How gorillas safaris are organized in Bwindi

    Trekking mountain gorillas in Bwindi Impenetrable national park is subject to securing a gorilla permit. A gorilla permit to track gorillas in Bwindi is currently sold at $600 per person. Once the permit has been secured, trekkers gather at park headquarters for briefing early morning on the day of trekking. Trekkers are briefed about the dos and don’ts of gorilla tracking and then grouped into groups of 8 trekkers per group. Each group is allocated to track a single gorilla family for a maximum of an hour.

    The trek to reach the gorillas in Bwindi can last for 2-6 hours depending on how close or far you find your allocated gorilla group. Trekkers are also assigned a guide who helps them to find the gorillas and also keep reminding them about the dos and the don’ts in the process of trekking.

    Once the gorillas are reached, the experience with them is unexplainable, some trekkers even become emotional and shade tears of joy and sympathy as they fall in love with these awesome and great apes. You are allowed to take photos of gorillas as they play, eat and move around though flash cameras are discouraged as well as noise and careless movements. At the lapse of the allowed hour in the presence of gorillas, the guide will tap you that it’s time to go back but experience gathered from being close to the gorillas is a lifetime one.

    When to go to Bwindi?

    There are both a peak season and a low season in gorilla tracking. The peak season happens between June and September and December to January and that is the best time to trek the mountain gorillas in the jungles of Bwindi. This is a dry season and the hikes are less difficulty compared to the rainy season though it can always anytime in Bwindi.

    What else to see in Bwindi?

    Although Bwindi may be more known for gorilla safaris, there are several other wildlife species in the park that visitors can see including large mammals like elephants, primates like monkeys and baboons. There are over 23 bird species in Bwindi including Albertine Rift endemics. There are also guided forest walks through the dense rainforest of Bwindi that introduce you to other natural treasures of this magnificent wild.

    Posted by admin in Blog, News
    Horseback Riding in Uganda

    Horseback Riding in Uganda

    It’s obvious that trekking mountain gorillas, visiting chimpanzees, bird watching and cultural encounters are the most done wildlife experiences in Uganda. However, the pearl of Africa is much more than that. Horse riding is yet another off beaten way to explore and enjoy the beauty of Uganda. It’s a magical experience, which most travelers have often missed on their Uganda safari. Horse riding is a way of refreshment and is normally done as a complement to other tourism activities in Uganda. Enjoy the unique rides through local villages, tea plantations, valleys, hills, and national parks. Horse riding can be by one traveler or a group of travelers ride at the same speed. First-time riders are taught how to move the horse hence no need for experience. Alternatively, travelers with experience in horse riding can ride together at high speed with plenty of cantering. Interestingly, horses are trained and hence know what to do and when. A simple briefing will help you horse ride with no difficulty.

    What is the riding time?

    The stretch of riding time is a traveler’s choice depending on his/her time and budget. Riding can be for a short time as 30 minutes to three hours depending on the client. The starting time is 10 am for the morning shift and 2 pm for the afternoon shift. The reason for morning and evening rides is to help travelers enjoy the magical sun down and sunsets respectively.

    Where to do horse riding in Uganda

    Are you wondering where you can go for horse riding in Uganda? No worries, we bring to places where you can go for horse riding in Uganda. These include among others:

    Lake Mburo national park
    Horseback riding is the best way to explore and enjoy the beauty and wildlife of Lake Mburo national park. Run by Mihingo lodge, horse riding is one of the exceptional experiences every traveler should miss on his/her Uganda safari to Lake Mburo national park. Here travelers ride through the savannah vegetation of Lake Mburo to explore different spots within the park such as lake Mburo, rivers and swamps and local communities. Riding is for four-five hours rewarding travelers with spectacular views of different wildlife grazing, hunting, and browsing in the park. 6 people are allowed on each trip, which is an opportunity for group travelers to enjoy together. While on your horse riding through lake Mburo expect to see a variety of wild animals, which include zebras. Impalas, common eland, oribis, African buffalo, leopards, waterbucks, warthogs, bush pigs, reedbucks, giraffes, Uganda kobs, jackals, and hippos among others. For birders, expect to see African finfoot, Mosque swallow, Tabora Cisticola, Great painted snipe, Abyssinian ground hornbill, yellow-winged swamp warbler, yellow-rumped tinker bird, papyrus gonolek and shoebill among others.

    Source of the Nile
    Enjoy exceptional Nile horse riding safaris at affordable rates. Travelers to Jinja have a chance to ride across and to the source of River Nile the longest river in the world. Source of the Nile horse riding starts from the Nile source through local communities and local tea farms for an exceptional experience. In other words, horse riding is one to explore the banks of river Nile, jinja and hills overlooking the Nile river valley.

    The cost of horse riding
    The cost for horse riding at the source of the Nile is $40 for one hour, $50 for one and a half hours, $60 for an hour and half sunset safari, $60 for 2 hours riding safari and $80 for a three hours ride. The experience and enjoyment are worth the penny.

    Tips for horse riding

    Travelers going or horse riding safaris are advised to consider the following tips seriously:
    • Properly wear the horse riding gear
    • Be gentle and free with the reins
    • Mount the horse with confidence
    • Sit upright and relaxed. Do not sprawl
    • Do not hold the saddle horn
    • Keep your eyes where you are going
    • Take full control of the horse

    In general. Horse riding is one of the magical experiences that last for a lifetime. Book a horse riding safari to Uganda, enjoy this exceptional venture at affordable rates with Africa Adventure Safaris your number one travel agent in Uganda and Rwanda.

    Posted by admin in Blog, safaris, Uganda
    Boat Cruising/Launch Trips In Uganda

    Boat Cruising/Launch Trips In Uganda

    Do you want to enjoy Uganda beyond seeing mountain gorillas? Boat cruising is yet another exceptional way to relish the splendors of Uganda. In addition to numerous wildlife, the Pearl of Africa is naturally blessed with freshwater lakes and rivers that make your boat cruising dream come true. It’s a magical feeling sailing on top of the calm freshwaters with spectacular views of the surroundings. Also, known as launch trips, boat cruising is normally done as a relief after tiring experiences such as gorilla trekking, mountain climbing, and chimpanzee tours to give travelers a fresh feeling before they return to their homes of origin. To make your Uganda safari complete, we combine our boat trips with other wildlife experiences such as game viewing, gorilla watching, cultural visits, mountain climbing and bird watching among others. The top spots to do boat cruising in Uganda include:

    Kazinga channel
    Situated in the heart of Queen Elizabeth national park, kazinga channel offers you a memorable boat cruising experience. This 8 meters longs and 40 meters deep channel connects Lake Edward and George in the western rift valley. A boat at cruise at kazinga channel starts at Lake George and ends at lake Edward, making it so interesting. Enjoy the fresh feeling of the water airs plus great views of numerous wildlife such as hippos, crocodiles, elephants, buffalos, and monitoring lizard among others. Besides wildlife, a boat cruise at kazinga is best for birders. Expect to see a variety of bird species such as African kingfisher, Squacco Heron, Long-tailed Cormorants, wattled plovers, yellow-backed weavers, fish eagle, water-thick-knew, Knob-billed ducks, African jacana, white-winged terns, Papyrus Gonolek, squacco heron, malachite, thin-tailed nightjars, black bee-eater, and black ramped buttonquail among others. Also, you will view the nearby fishing villages making your experience memorable indeed. Launch cruises are done two times a day in the morning at 9:00 am and in the afternoon at 2:00 pm lasting for thrVictoria.

    Lake Victoria
    The largest freshwater body in Africa offers you the best luxury boat cruise trips in Uganda. A boat ride to any of the island on lake victoria mainly Ssese island for the honeymoon, Ngamba Island for chimpanzees and Kalangala Island among others is worth doing. Enjoy sailing on the calm clear waters of lake victoria with clear views of various fishing villages and human activities. Fortunately, speed and engine boat have been introduced on lake Victoria to ease your cruising experience memorable.

    Source of the Nile
    Imagine cruising right at the source of the longest river in the world. Wow, a boat ride to the source of the Nile is an exceptional feeling that last for a lifetime. Posing your boat at the point where river Nile starts flowing is a magical experience, which thousands of travelers have over time come again and again to experience. Expect to see some birds and animals on the river shores, which make you experience much amazing.

    Murchison falls
    Cruise to the bottom of the mighty Murchison falls in the heart of Murchison falls national park, Uganda’s largest and oldest national park. Also known as a delta Nile cruise a boat ride to the bottom of Murchison falls make your Uganda safari to Murchison falls an experience to remember. See for yourself how water strongly squeezes through that narrow gorge before pouring down into the devils ‘cauldron forming a rainbow. Also, look out for crocodile, hippos, buffalos, and waterbucks, which are spotted on the riverbanks. For birders, expect to see birds like African Darter, Goliath Heron, secretary bird, black-headed plover, osprey, white-faced whistling duck, veracious dove, rock pratincole, yellow-billed stork, pied kingfisher, long-tailed nightjar, long-toed plover, Malachite Kingfisher, Blue-napped Moosebird, Black-billed Barbet, Abyssinia ground hornbill, piapiac, yellow-fronted tinker bird and White-rumped seedeater among others. Like at kazinga channel, boat trip at Murchison falls are done two times at 9:00 am and 2:00 pm daily lasting for three hours.

    Lake Bunyonyi
    Found in the extreme end of southwestern Uganda, Lake Bunyonyi is exceptional in its own kind. The small lake (Lake Bunyonyi) is the second deepest lake in Africa after lake Tanganyika and comprise of 29 islands. A boat ride to any of the islands on Lake Bunyonyi is a life-changing experience. Cruise to the punishment island where pregnant unmarried Bakiga girls, would be left to die in isolation and to the Akacuraniko Island believed to have turned upside down. Interestingly, each island on Lake Bunyonyi has a different story that is worth listening. More still, the swampy shores of Lake Bunyonyi house many little birds like the levillant cuckoo, Herons, African Harrier Hawk, the levillant, slender-billed ball fetch, cardinal woodpecker, Herons and African harrier hawk among others.

    Tip for boat cruising in Uganda
    Travelers intending to do boat cruise in Uganda are reminded to be extra careful and responsible. While on a boat cruise;
    • Avoid hanging over the side railings of the boat
    • Wear life jackets and keep them on fit to prevent drowning in case of any tragedy
    • Avoid boozing and smoking on the boat
    • Ensure the boat is balanced both sides, in front and back
    • Properly check the boat before the start of the cruise to make sure it’s in a safe state
    With a variety of water bodies, the pearl of Africa is undeniably the best place for boat cruising and launch trips. Book a boat trip to the source of the Nile, kazinga channel, Bottom of Murchison falls, lake Victoria and on Lake Bunyonyi for a magical experience.

    Posted by admin in Blog, News, Uganda
    Tracking Mountain Gorillas in Uganda

    Tracking Mountain Gorillas in Uganda

    A Uganda gorilla safari leads you to Bwindi Forest National Park in Southwest of the country, a home to more than half of the global population of the endangered mountain gorillas.

    Tracking mountain gorillas is the main tourist activity in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park (BIMP). Gorilla tracking was first established in the park in 1993 at park headquarters at Buhoma, however, today there are several trailheads which host separate gorilla safaris in the park. These include Ruhija, Nkuringo and Rushaga.

    Today there are 15 habituated gorilla families that can be tracked in Bwindi, an experience described by many past trackers as the best wildlife encounter in the world. Gorilla safaris are one of the major wildlife highlights of African travel.

    No one can fully describe the exhilaration attached to the experience of first setting eyes straight into those of a mountain gorilla. Gorillas are awesome, bulky up to three times of the average man though the shaggily luxuriant coat also adds to their size. Surprisingly gorillas are remarkably peaceful despite their fearsome look.

    In fact, tracking mountain gorillas would be considered such a dangerous activity had they possessed the aggressive temperament of the little vervet monkey, baboon or even a human being.

    The hard bought gorilla permit ($600 each) allows you to spend one magical hour with the gorillas that can never be erased from your memory. There are two categories of gorilla permits sold at Bwindi. One is the gorilla tracking permit sold at $600 per person that allows you to track gorillas for one hour. The second category is of gorilla habituation permit that is a bit pricy at $1,500 but more rewarding than the former. With the habituation permit, you are taken to take part in the habituation process of a gorillas, a process that is aimed at making gorillas used to people and it lasts for four hours each day.
    Note that the above fees include park entry and guiding but not a porter in case you use one.

    There are several accommodation facilities around the park to compliment your gorilla safari in Bwindi. The lodges around the park range from budget to luxury, tented camps are also available. All the four sectors where tracking is done have got accommodation around them, it is your choice to pick the category that suits your budget.

    Planning your gorilla tracking safari as an independent traveler can be a bit challenging, you don’t need to go through all that hustle. There are several credible tour operators that can help organize for you a memorable gorilla safari this trip for you so that just wait to enjoy your experience without any worries. The operator will help you to make all the necessary arrangements including buying your gorilla tracking permit, booking for your accommodation with meals and arranging your transport.

    One major advantage of planning your gorilla tracking trip with a local agent is that gorilla permits are always scarce on the market and they need to be booked in advance. Therefore, the agent will do everything possible to ensure that such permits are obtained once they receive your order.
    Unlike in the past when tracking gorillas was limited to only one sector in Bwindi, the introduction of three more tracking sectors in Ruhija, Nkuringo and Rushaga has made securing a permit a bit easier.

    In addition to Bwindi, Mgahinga Gorilla National Park at the border with Rwanda is Uganda’s other gorilla safari destination. Mgahinga is known to have one gorilla family, “Nyakagezi” and a lot of golden monkeys. Permits to Mgahinga can be bought from the Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) office at Kisoro.

    Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is also a unique birding destination with over 23 Albertine Rift Endemics found in her thick forests. Other primates in the park include the black-and-white colobus and L’Hoest monkeys that can be seen during a forest walk. A cultural tour around the park leads you to the Batwa Pygmies who were evicted from the forest after gazetting the area for tourism. The group has amazing cultural activities including their traditional folk songs to crown your gorilla safari experience in style.

    Posted by admin in Blog, News
    Top things to Avoid on Your Uganda Safari

    Top things to Avoid on Your Uganda Safari

    Uganda has on several occasions been ranked among the top tourism destinations each traveler must visit before he or she dies. The country is naturally endowed with beautiful sceneries, amazing wildlife, hospitable people, birds, lakes, rivers, and intresting history among others. The combination of these makes a complete Uganda safari package which attracts thousands of travelers from all over the world. Over years Uganda tourism board has registered an increased number of travelers coming for gorilla watching, chimpanzee trekking, bird watching, game viewing and other wildlife experiences rewarding them with lasting memories. Just like traveling to any destination, there are risks involved. In this documentary, we are not talking a boy what to see and do in Uganda but rather the things every traveler must avoid on a Uganda safari to ensure his safety and his/her property. The following are things you must avoid in Uganda.

    Avoid self-driving
    Much as some travelers opt for self-driving in Uganda, this act is highly discouraged for the first time travelers. If you are visiting Uganda for the very first time, PLEASE get a driver guide to avoid getting lost or bumping into troubles. Many risks including taking wrong routes are likely to happen on a safe drive safari, which can be time wasting and also waste money. Also, Uganda has traffic rules, which every driver must follow to avoid accidents. Also in Uganda, most roads are not well marked which could make a first self-driver get lost in a new environment. Fortunately, Gorilla Trek Africa offers travelers driver guides to take them around making it easy, quick and enjoyable.

    Avoid crossing the road anyhow
    Whether driving or walking, never cross a Ugandan road anyhow. All people using the road are advised to read carefully and follow the traffic rules to avoid problems. If you are planning to join a road, you are advised to look, right, look left and then cross. Also, travelers walking are advised to consider using a zebra crossing, which is a sign of pedestrians crossing. Even if you are driving on a high way road, avoid over speeding and road traffic rules.

    Avoid public transport and use of Boda Bodas
    It’s okay to use public means of transport but not for the first time traveler. In most cases, taxi drivers and boda-boda riders take advantage of the first time travelers who do not know exactly where they are going. Also, tourists in public means of transport are overcharged compared to other people in a taxi, which is not fair. Travelers using public transport are advised to first ask other people in the taxi about the actual cost to avoid being cheated. Boda-bodas are so far the quickest means of transport in Uganda but the highest cause of accidents. Travelers are highly discouraged to board any boda-boda they come across since some riders are also robbers.

    Avoid clubbing and traveling at night in Uganda
    Nightlife and clubbing is one of spending free time in Uganda but highly discouraged for the first time travelers. Clubbing is all about drinking, eating and dancing with people returning home very late or even in the morning. This is not surely good for someone who is not familiar with the environment. First-time travelers are therefore are advised to avoid going into these clubs which are some times are associated with robbery and fighting by this who are drunk. If you decide to go for clubbing, avoid leaving your drinks in the one without anyone attending to it. Also, avoid flashing a large sum of money, which can attract the attention of many people some of whom are thieves. If you have valuables like phones, ATM cards, avoid exposing them.

    Avoid foods that might make you sick
    For the first time travelers, please avoid foods from street vendors such as Rolex, chapatti, roadside snacks, fast foods and roasted maize among others. Similarly, avoid eating raw uncooked things such as salads; raw cabbages, which can cause stomach upset for those no used to them. For those with buffest in hotels, make sure the food is kept hot to avoid eating cold foods, which are not good for you. Fortunately, some most moderate and upmarket lodges provide bottled water for other clients.

    Avoid drinking tap water in Uganda
    Travelers are reminded to avoid drinking any water they come across. Avoid drinking water from the tap, wells, ponds, rivers, and lakes since it’s not safe. Before drinking any water, make sure it has treated and boiled to avoid drinking contaminated water. Bottled water is the very recommended water to buy in Uganda especially that one of Rwenzori bottling company.

    Avoid leaving valuables/cash in your room
    As soon as travelers check into the lodge/hotel, they are advised to keep their property in the safe in their rooms and put their security code that no one knows about. For the rooms, which have no safes, travelers are reminded to keep their valuables especially driving cards, cash, ATM and other travel documents with the front desk that promise to keep them safe. While going into the field for gorilla trekking, game viewing ad forest walks, travelers are advised not to carry any property which can get lost in the jungle or be exposed to harsh weather conditions.

    Avoid swimming where not sure
    Uganda is undeniably endowed with natural lakes and rivers, which flow in different corners of the country. For that reason, swimming is one of the best activities travelers like to take part in especially during their free times. However, travelers are reminded not to jump onto any water they come across. Some waters are homes to hippos, crocodiles, and others infected with bilharzia. Swimming in Uganda is mostly done at Lake Mutanda and lake Bunyonyi all in southwestern Uganda. Also, travelers are advised to make use of the swimming pools at most lodges.

    Avoid getting ill on a safari
    Before and during your Uganda safari, travelers are reminded to seek medication to prevent any kind of sickness. As we all know that prevention is better than cure, travelers are advised to go for immunizations, carry insect repellents, eat hot food, swallow anti-viruses and use Sani-wipes to avoid contracting diseases.

    We are ever ready to ensure your safety and comfort in the pearl of Africa. Boo your Uganda safari, avoid the above mistakes, enjoy Uganda activities especially gorilla watching and other wildlife experiences at affordable rates.

    Posted by admin in Blog, News, Uganda
    Uganda Travel Agents Opt  Agri-Tourism to Boost Arrivals

    Uganda Travel Agents Opt Agri-Tourism to Boost Arrivals

    There are numerous things to see and do on a Uganda safari ranging from the common gorilla watching in Bwindi/Mgahinga gorilla national park, game viewing, game viewing, cultural tours, bird watching, chimpanzee trekking and mountain climbing among other activities. To diversify her tourism offers, the pearl of Africa has introduced agritourism to increase tourist arrivals. Pineapple farming is a focus for the travel operators who will offer this package as part of Uganda safari packages. The idea started in July 2018 when a pineapple farm was launched in Luwero district to promote agritourism. The pineapples are now ready and travelers are called on to visit take visit the farm for a new experience. A visit to a pineapple far will complement other attractions in Uganda which include rich fauna and flora, rolling hills, magnificent landscapes, mountain gorillas, chimpanzees, national parks with wildlife gem, over 1.200 bird species, hospitable people, conducive weather and diverse culture among others. Travel operators believe that a ripe sweet pineapple is an agritourist charm that can attract more visitors to the pearl of Africa. Private travel operators all over Uganda have been urged to be creative and offer incoming holidaymakers a variety of new travel not only to national parks and other tourist destinations all over the country.

    How is the experience?
    When tourists come, they are guided to pineapple gardens to learn and take part in all experiences farmers go through from planting to harvesting and making pineapple juice. These reward travelers with a deep understanding of how pineapples are farmed harvested and processed into different products before they are consumed. While going to the garden, each tourist is given a knife to go hunt for the biggest and most ripe pineapple. Travelers then roam all over the garden searching for the biggest and most ready pineapples. When travelers return from the garden, farm managers assess all collected pineapples and the person with the biggest ripe pineapple is rewarded with a gift of their harvest. Travelers are then guided on how to get different products from pineapples from slicing, heating, drying, and packing. Uganda exports pineapples to Europe and Asia, which earn the country foreign exchange.

    Benefits
    There are lots of benefits which local people, travel operators and the government expect from this new form of tourism. The introduction of agritourism is a great achievement for Uganda’s tourism industry and all the stakeholders. Farmers whose gardens will be visited are at a great advantage assured of a ready market for their products. At the same time, travelers will achieve a great understanding of how pineapples are planted, harvested and processed.

    Target Market
    Chinese are presently Uganda’s target market has shown much interest in exploring and discover why Uganda is called the pearl of Africa. After visiting all continents, the Chinese have picked a special interest in Africa and Uganda. Last year, Uganda Tourism Board registered a great increase in Chinese tourist travelers. Luckily, the Chinese come both as tourists and investors, which make them exceptional people to deal with. In order to promote Uganda’s tourism products in China, Uganda Tourism Board is to hire public relations firm to liaise with tour operators, airlines and other companies in China. Already, Uganda’s embassy in China and its consulate in Guangzhou are marketing tourism activities and attractions in Uganda to expose what the pearl of Africa offers. In the same way, the Uganda Tourism Board (UTB) has conducted a number of promotional initiatives including road shows in Guangzhou, Beijing, and Shanghai to make Uganda’s tourism products known to Chinese. Besides China, Uganda Tourism Board is extending Uganda’s market to Europe and the United States of America.

    Uganda earns over 1.5 billion U.S dollars annually from tourism which figure is expected to double by 2020. Agritourism is hoped to earn Uganda increased revenue, which will increase the country’s gross domestic product.

    Posted by admin in News, safaris
    Uganda Safaris Through Rwanda

    Uganda Safaris Through Rwanda

    There are many Uganda safaris you can do through Rwanda. Rwanda Uganda safaris have presently become common due to the high costs of Rwanda tours that discourage some travelers especially those travelling on budget leaving them with crossing to Uganda as the only option. Travelers interested in doing Uganda safaris through Rwanda fly into Kigali international airport and then cross to Uganda through katuna border in kabale or Cyanika border in kisoro district. Connecting from Kigali international airport in Rwanda to Uganda takes roughly 4 hours drive, which is far better than driving for the whole day (roughly 10 hours) from Entebbe international airport. The most done Uganda tours through Kigali include among others:

    Gorilla trekking in Bwindi/Mgahinga
    A 1-day Uganda gorilla trip is well done through Kigali. Here travelers setoff from Kigali at 3:00am driving for 4 hours to attend the pre-trekking briefing in Uganda’s Bwindi/Mgahinga gorilla national parks. Travelers who want to trek in Rushaga sector south of Bwindi are advised to cross through Cyanika border in kisoro while those to trek in Buhoma sector north of Bwindi are advised to cross through katuna border in kabale. After briefing, travelers then roam in the jungle for between 30 minutes to 7 hours in search of mountain gorillas depending on the gorilla families’ location and speed of their movements. Whichever time traveler’s slope from watching gorillas, they immediately drive back to Kigali for their return flights. A 1 day Uganda gorilla trip has made it possible for short time travelers giving them a chance to trek gorillas and enjoy this once in a lifetime experience. The double increase of gorilla permit costs in Rwanda from $750 to $1500 diverted the would have been Rwanda travelers to Uganda where gorilla permits are cheap at $600 for foreign residents, $500 for foreign residents and 250,000shs for East African residents.

    Game viewing
    Uganda game viewing safaris can also be done through Kigali Rwanda. Here travelers drive through Kigali-kabale-Mbarara route to Queen Elizabeth national park. It takes roughly 6 hours through ishasha sector south of Queen Elizabeth, Uganda’s second largest national park.

    Batwa cultural trail
    Those who want to meet and experience the batwa cultural trail in Mgahinga gorilla national park can do it better through Kigali. Here travelers cross through Cyanika Uganda border, drive 2 hours from kisoro town to Mgahinga to meet the batwa pygmies. Batwa cultural trail is the best way to experience the traditional forest life of batwa pygmies who lived in the forest as their permanent settlement. Batwa lead travelers into the forest to hunt, search for medicinal herbs, collect honey and perform other cultural rituals. A traditional dance is presented to entertain travelers making their experience awesome.

    Virunga volcano climbing
    Uganda is a home to three Virunga volcanoes i.e Mt Sabyinyo, Mt Gahinga and Mt Muhabura all in Mgahinga gorilla national park. Mt sabyinyo is in the border of Uganda and Rwanda hence can be hiked from either side. The three volcanoes together with the other five volcanoes in Rwanda and Congo make a chain of the Virunga volcanoes. Travelers hiking in Uganda from Kigali are advised to wakeup very early to catch up with the hiking time.

    Golden monkey trekking
    Mgahinga gorilla national park in southwestern Uganda is one of the two destinations to trek golden monkeys. Mgahinga forest is a home to 2 communities of golden monkeys, which have been habituated for trekking. Interestingly, a permit to see golden monkey costs $100, which is fairly cheap but worth the penny. The other population of golden monkeys lives in Rwanda’s volcanoes national park northwestern Rwanda. Golden monkeys re lively creatures and monkey specie, which is distinguished from other monkeys by their golden fur.

    Visit to lake Bunyonyi
    Do not miss chilling and canoeing at lake Bunyonyi in the far corner of southwestern Uganda bordering Rwanda. Lake Bunyonyi is one of the outstanding tourism features in southwestern Uganda which o traveler should miss oh his Uganda tour.it takes 3 hours and 30 minutes fro Kigali airport to Bunyonyi.

    In conclusion, Uganda trips have been made easy by connecting through Rwanda. Book a Uganda safari, fly into Kigali and cross over to Uganda for a memorable affordable experience in the pearl of Africa.

    Posted by admin in African Safari, News
    Ruhija Sector Of Bwindi Forest National Park

    Ruhija Sector Of Bwindi Forest National Park

    Why Visit Ruhija Sector Of Bwindi Forest National Park
    Gorilla tours to Bwindi are done in four sectors that make up Bwindi Impenetrable forest national park. The four gorilla regions are Buhoma, Rushaga, Ruhija and Nkuringo each of which is exceptional in its own way. In this documentary, we zero down to Ruhija sector and the reasons you should visit it on your gorilla safari in this impenetrable forest. Situated in the Eastern part of the national park, Ruhija is a best sector worth exploring. The exceptions that make Ruhija a best stop for your Uganda gorilla safari include among others:

    Mountain gorilla Trekking

    Mountain gorillas are a key attraction for all visitors to Ruhija sector. This region is a home to three gorilla families namely, Kyaguliro, Oruzogo and Bitukura all available for trekking every day. Like in other sectors, 8 people visit a gorilla family each day, hence 24-gorilla permits available in Ruhija everyday visit each family in Ruhija region. A traveler has a choice to select which gorilla family he/she wants to trek depending on the availability of permits. Trekkers are reminded to carry the appropriate packing list with hiking shoes, long pants and rain jackets to ease gorilla trekking. A gorilla permit is a must have for everyone going to see mountain gorillas costing $600 for foreign non residents, $500 for foreign residents and 250,000UGX for east African residents. Potters are highly recommended to carry you bag and give support where necessary. Travelers are also given packed lunch since the actual time to send in the forest is unpredictable and changes depending on the toughness of the hikes, location f gorillas and traveler’s physical fitness.

    Batwa pygmy encounters
    Do not miss out visiting Batwa communities in the boundaries of the forest. Batwa are the indigenous dwellers of Bwindi forest that were evicted to the forest edges in 1991 when gorilla tourism was introduced in the park. An encounter with the Batwa rewards you with an extensive understanding of their traditional forest life, norms, and cultures. Batwa elders guide you into the forest to demonstrate their initial forest practices like hunting, collecting honey, and picking medicinal herbs. Batwa further demonstrate their traditional songs and dances as a form of entertainment to visitors.

    Visiting community projects
    While in Ruhija, visit and support community based projects owned and run by local people. Different community projects especially crafts, baskets weaving and bee keeping have been established to support local livelihoods. These projects receive tourism funding and are a key source of employment for local people some of whom are former porters. Tourists who visit these projects are given a chance to take part in these activities, which make them feel part of the community, an experience they cannot forget. Tourism projects have been a source of occupation for women, men and youth, earning them a living to improve their standards of living. Local projects also help to generate delicate balance between the environment, wildlife conservation and sustainable development in Ruhija and the whole Bwindi.

    Bird watching
    For birders, Ruhija is a best spot for bird watching. The region is a home to nearly 23 endemic bird species which include grey bush shrike, starred robin, yellow streaked greenbul, hornbills, Turacos, Dusky Crimson Wing and yellow-eyed black fly-catcher among others. Ruhija is therefore a recognized Important Bird Area (IBA) for its global conservation importance. Travelers are reminded to bring binoculars for easy spotting. Experienced guides help you spot birds and explain the unique features for each spotted bird specie, which make this experience indeed exceptional.

    Forest walks
    A nature walk through this quite cool impenetrable forest is an experience of its own kind. This walk is a best way to discover the entire gem in the forest, waterfalls, caves and rocks which make it mote beautiful. Expect to meet animals and enjoy the sweet sounds of birds singing up in the trees.

    Comfortable lodges
    Travelers to Ruhija are assured of comfortable, safe and luxury lodging services at affordable prices. Popular lodge in Ruhija include Bakiga Lodge, Gorilla Mist Camp, Trekkers Tavern lodge and Agandi lodge among others. Professional chefs, waiters, house keepers are available 24 hours to serve you with quality food and sleeping services. Travelers are advised to book for accommodation at least 2 months before travelling for timely preparations.

    Cool and conducive weather
    The cool stinging breezes that cover up the whole of Ruhija region especially at night make this region exceptional. The extreme but conducive cold weather in Ruhija is attributed to the hilly terrain and dense forests, which make up the region. In the morning hour’s dawn, forest fog stays until 11am good for photography. In the night travelers are given warm water bottles to provide them with some warmth and get away with freezing in the coldness.

    In general, Ruhija sector in eastern Bwindi is surely worth visiting. Book a Uganda gorilla safari to Bwindi forest national park, meet the endangered gorillas in their natural habitat and enjoy this once in a lifetime experience.

    Posted by admin in Blog, News, Uganda
    Uganda’s Bird watching safaris

    Uganda’s Bird watching safaris

    Uganda Birding safaris
    Bird watching safaris in Uganda are flourishing with a huge gem of over 1,000 bird species that have attracted attention in recent years. Uganda’s story of bird watching is a bad to good narration. There was always a scuffle between bird watchers and the residents who settled around the birding places. Back then, residents could chase bird watchers with machetes suspecting them to be land grabbers who were trying to inspect and take their land forcefully. However, the continued efforts of several organizations to promote and shape bird watching like the Uganda Bird Guides Club has now helped to turn the Pearl of Africa into an Ornithologist’s dream. The presence of thousands of bird species in Uganda’s variety of rainforests makes the Pearl of Africa one of the bird watching destinations in Africa and the world at large. To ambitious bird watchers, a 14-day itinerary Uganda Birding Tours
    allows you to view 450 to 500 species, which is almost half of Uganda’s richness of the booming bird list that stands at 1,080 species. This number makes Uganda to posses about half of the continent’s total bird list that stands at 2,310 species. One of the favorable factors that gifts Uganda with this impressive bird gem is her conducive climate all year round enabling bird bleeding and while attracting migration of hundreds of others from different parts of the continent. On several occasions, bird watching is done as a complement to other tourism activities in Uganda especially gorilla trekking in Mgahinga and Bwindi, game watching, mountaineering and cultural encounters among other activities to make a complete Uganda safari package.

    Where to find birds in Uganda

    Some of the most experienced bird watchers in Uganda point out some of the best spots for a fruitful bird watching safari in Uganda. These include Mabamba Wetland, Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park, Semuliki Valley in Semuliki national park, Budongo Forest, Mgahinga National Park, Murchison Falls National Park, Kibale Forest, Queen Elizabeth National Park and Lake Mburo National park. Others include Kidepo valley national park though not well marketed.

    Bird watching experts, The Uganda Bird Guides highly recommend Mabamba Swamp on the edge of Lake Victoria as one of Uganda’s Important Bird Areas (IBA). The site is a home for the elusive Shoebill Storks an endemic for East and Central Africa

    Bwindi Impenetrable national park, which is majorly known for incredible gorilla safaris, is another destination recommended to curious birders. The montane forests of the Kigezi highlands offer one of the finest birding in Africa with over 23 Albertine Rift endemics. The species in this bird gem include some that are globally threatened like the African Green Broadbill and Shelly’s Crimson Wing.
    Other Uganda’s bird watching spots like Queen Elizabeth national park qualify as top bird watching sites by holding such huge numbers of birds and a great variety of species. The park is the most prevalent of any protected area in Africa with over 600 bird species.

    Today’s excellent Uganda birding safari are as a result of the great work done by the birding pioneers of Uganda who were very instrumental in installing this exciting door activity on the Uganda’s itineraries back in the late 1990s. The team took it upon themselves to educate and sensitize both locals and the media on how to conserve and promote birding in Uganda.

    The recent International recognitions involving Uganda’s birding effort are clear indicators of a success registered so far in the activity. In October this year Uganda participated and emerge second through the triumph of 23-year-old Ashley Brian Baboineki at the international Youths Birding Competition hosted by Singapore Tourism Board. The competition had 78 participating nations.

    Uganda also shined at the Global Big Day in May when 429 bird species where found from across the country by a group of 34 birders that were identified by an experienced network of local guides and the Uganda Tourism Board. Uganda’s impressive numbers put her in the first position in Africa ahead of Kenya, South Africa, Tanzania, Zimbabwe and Zambia who were also critical of the success of Africa’s tally.

    Uganda’s ambitions to promote birding were also indicated by the formation of the Uganda Women Birders in 2013 to attract more women into birding and nature guiding as a profession. This women club has been growing with time with the assistance from tourism authorities including Uganda Wildlife Authority and Uganda Tourism Board. The club has grown from 5 members to 30 female guides who are recommended for jobs in tour companies as a way of supporting them.

    Posted by admin in Blog, News, safaris, Uganda
    What Makes Kampala City Exceptional

    What Makes Kampala City Exceptional

    What Makes Kampala City Exceptional
    Have you been in Kampala city before? Are you planning a Uganda safari via Kampala? The capital of the pearl of Africa is an exceptional place to be. Whether you are a business person, an investor of even a traveler on a holiday? Kampala city has something outstanding for you. Unlike other cities, Kampala is suitable for all kinds of life let it be professional, business and simple life with out compromising quality. Being it a gateway to all tourism spots, most Uganda safari holidays start and end in Kampala. A city tour exploring the seven hills of Kampala is a not miss for all travelers to the pearl of Africa. After long safaris in the remote areas, for gorilla safaris, mountain climbing and local cultural encounters, a traveler needs some free time to chill off the stress before traveling back. Several hotels luxury, midrange and budget have established in all corners of the city to serve you with excellent food and sleeping services. Also, several apartments have been built for business people hence smooth flow of all kinds of business. Kampala city is Uganda’s commercial center hosting all prominent offices in different corners. Kampala therefore hosts the highest number of people in Uganda doing different kinds o work. The green vegetation and red rooftops that surround Kampala make it indeed a best place.

    Low cost of living
    With no doubt, Kampala offers the lowest cost of living compared to other cities in the neighboring countries. Low cost of living does not mean low standard services but rather an affordable life for all people at all budgets. Transport in the city is cheap especially in public transport where there are taxis at shs500 only from one place to another. Also, there are several restaurants to serve you with plenty of food at a relatively low cost. At 10,000, you cane get good ready food in a restaurant accompanied with fresh juice or water. It’s therefore rare to feel hungry while in Kampala. Also, the city has local markets for example owino selling plenty of fresh foods and clothes at low cost. Also, snacks like chapattis, Rolex and sumbis are available everyday costing as low as sh500 to make your life easy in Uganda’s capital city.

    Tourist attractions
    For travelers, a Kampala city tour to different tourism spots makes your Uganda safari a complete package. Reach out to Uganda Museum, Baha’i temple, Kasubi tombs, Makerere University, Uganda martyrs shrines in Namugongo, Gaddafi mosque, Namirembe hill, Mengo palace, Afriart gallery, Kampala Hindu temple, Parliamentary house and Bulange royal building. Also luxury hotels like Sheraton Hotel, Serena Hotel, and Imperial royale hotel, Hotel Africa, Pearl of Africa Hotel and the common wealth resort Munyonyi among others. These places are good for fun and relaxing.

    Good for shopping
    If you are a shopper, Kampala, city offers you whatever you want at affordable prices. Are you looking for clothes, fabrics, utensils, cosmetics and all other households, Kampala sorts you. The leading shopping malls in Kampala include Forest Mall, Grand imperial shopping Mall, Tirupati Mazima Mall, Ntinda shopping Centre, Acacia mall, Oasisi Mall, Pioneer Mall, Mukwano Mall, Lugogo mall, capital shopper, Kamu Kamu Plaza, quality shopping village, Metropolis shopping mal and Owino market among others. All these serve you with fresh, clean and updated services in all quantities at affordable prices. Visit any of the shopping malls on your stay in Kampala for a memorable stay.

    Fortunately a lot of transformation has been achieved in Kampala under the management of Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA). Through KCCA, local markets have been transformed to international standards while roads such as the Entebbe expressway have been constructed to ease the connectivity from Kampala to Entebbe international airport for those who have connecting flights.

    In general, Kampala city is an exceptional city to be for a unique experience. Enjoy a Kampala city tour; go for shopping, walking and chill off your stress in the capital city of the pearl of Africa.

    Posted by admin in News, Uganda
    Uganda Flying Safaris

    Uganda Flying Safaris

    Uganda Flying Safaris
    Scared of long distances and many driving hours? No worries, scheduled flying safaris make your Uganda safari short and easy. There are direct flights from Kajjansi airstrip to most national parks and other tourism spots to ensure you get to your desired destination as quick as possible. The scheduled flights give short time travelers a chance to enjoy exceptional Uganda safaris by flying to any tourism destination of their choice, Aero link and fly Uganda make your flying safari a success at reasonable rates. All flights start out from Kajjansii to different airstrips depending on the traveler’s itinerary. Interestingly, all flights can be adjusted to meet traveler’s available time. Initially, all-domestic flights in Uganda have been operated by Aero link, but thanks to fly Uganda which has also launched flights starting with Bwindi impenetrable forest national park starting on 2nd November 2018. In the short time to come, Fly Uganda will extend its flying safaris to other national parks to make your Uganda safari memorable.
    Africa adventure Safaris helps you book your scheduled flights to any destination of your choice served with excellent inflight services all-inclusive in the flight fares.

    Flights to Bwindi forest national park
    Gorilla trekkers to Bwindi forest national park fly from Kajjansi to kihihi airstrip, which takes roughly an hour. From kihihi, travelers are transferred to Buhoma sector north of Bwindi forest to catch up with the gorilla trekking session. This save travelers 10 hours of driving from Kampala to kabale giving those with limited time a chance to see the endangered species in the shortest time possible. Bwindi is a home to half of the world’s mountain gorillas with 17 gorilla families habituated for trekking everyday. Direct flights to Bwindi make Uganda gorilla safaris easy even for travelers with limited time hence increased tourism revenue from the sell of gorilla permits.

    Flights to Mgahinga gorilla national park

    Travelers flying to Mgahinga land at kisoro airstrip in kisoro. From there travelers drive a few kilometers to Mgahinga to meet face to face with the endangered species. Safaris to Mgahinga gorilla national park also reward you with exceptional batwa cultural encounters, hiking Virunga volcanoes and golden monkey trekking among others.

    Flights to Queen Elizabeth national park
    For travelers to Queen Elizabeth national park, you fly from Kajjansi to kasenyi airstrip. Kasenyi is well known for the high centration if wildlife normally seen grazing and predators hunting. Expect to see herds of elephant’s buffalos, lions, antelopes, Uganda kobs and many other animals in the park. Game viewing is well done in the morning and evening hours to catch-up with animas feeding before retiring to rest. Travelers are therefore reminded to book flights in the time favorable for game viewing.

    Flights to Kidepo valley national park
    Kidepo is Uganda’s furthest national park located in northeastern Uganda. Air transport is the best way to reach kidepo valley national park. Travelers driving from Kampala to Kidepo normally spend two nights with en-route sleepovers due to long distance. With flying safaris, travelers fly from Kajjansi to Apoka airstrip saving you the very many hours on the road. A Uganda safari to kidepo valley is an exceptional off beaten experience. Do not miss out a cultural encounter with the kalimajongs and IK people for memorable cultural experiences.

    Flights to Murchison falls National Park
    Murchison falls is Uganda’s largest national park in northwestern Uganda and is a home to the mighty falls after which the park derives its name. Here travelers fly from Bugungu in the north or Pakuba airfield in the western part of the park. Travelers to Murchison falls national park. A boat cruise at the bottom of Murchison falls and a hike to the top of the falls is an experience of its own kind. Also Murchison falls hosts a high number of animals, which include elephants, buffalos, giraffes, waterbucks, warthogs, Jackson’s heartbeat, lions, and hippos among others. The hot air balloons in kidepo national park reward you with in-flight views of animals, vegetation and local communities in Murchison falls.

    How to book Uganda flying safaris
    To book any domestic flight, contact the sales team at Aero link or fly Uganda. Alternatively, Africa adventure Safaris helps you book your Uganda flying safari at affordable rates. Travelers are also reminded to book fro flights at least 2 days before the actual day to ensure timely preparations.

    In conclusion, you can fly to any tourism destination in Uganda. Book a Uganda flying safari to Bwindi, Murchison falls, kidepo valley and queen Elizabeth national parks with Aero link and Fly Uganda affordable rates.

    Posted by admin in News, safaris, Uganda
    Lodges/Camps in Bwindi Forest Np

    Lodges/Camps in Bwindi Forest Np

    Where to Sleep In Bwindi Forest National Park
    Are you planning a gorilla safari to Bwindi impenetrable forest national park? Do you wonder where you will stay for your overnight? Bwindi forest has a variety of luxury/ budget and midrange lodges and tented camps all set to offer you comfortable, safe and excellent food and sleeping services. Fortunately, all accommodation facilities in Bwindi are well furnished and strategically over looking the park and the neighboring communities. Also, all lodges have well-built cottages with private verandah and some with forest views. The rooms are spacious with comfortable beds, en suite bathroom with flush toilet and a hot shower or Bath tubs, Mosquito Proof rooms. In some rooms there are safety deposit boxes. All the luxury lodges have a lounge area with a bar dining facilities, fireplace, recharging facilities with Wi-Fi Internet access available among others. Lodges in Bwindi are scattered in four sectors namely Buhoma, Ruhija, Rushaga and Nkuringo in the north, east and southern regions of the park. Therefore, the choice of the lodge to stay depends on the sector and the gorilla family a traveler intends to trek. Fortunately, most lodges are situated a short distance from the trekking starting pint which saves the client energy to travel long hence giving them enough time to rest. Travelers are reminded that the cost of lodging services vary from lodge to lodge based on standards of each lodge but services in all lodges are worthy the price. Choose from our selection of best lodges in Bwindi to ensure a memorable stay in the home of endangered mountains:

    Luxury Lodges in Bwindi Forest
    Among the luxury lodges in Bwindi forests split in all sectors
    Luxury Lodges in Bwindi Include;
    Lake Kitandara Tented camp in Buhoma Sector
    Mahogany Springs in Buhoma Sector
    Buhoma Lodge in Buhoma Sector
    Gorilla Safari Lodge in Rushaga Sector
    Agandi Uganda in Ruhija Sector
    Chameleon Hill Lodge in Rushaga Sector
    Silverback Lodge in Buhoma Sector
    Ruhija Gorilla Safari Lodge in Ruhija Sector
    Clouds Mountain Gorilla Lodge in Nkuringo Sector Trackers Safari Lodge in Buhoma Sector Sanctuary Gorilla Forest Camp in Buhoma Sector Volcanoes Safari Bwindi Lodge in Buhoma Sector Nkurungo Bwindi Lodge in Nkuringo Sector

    Deluxe and Budget accommodations provide accommodation arrangement without compromising quality and comfort. The accommodation is offered in tents, cottages or cabins, which are placed on raided wooden floors covered by grass thatch making it ecofriendly. Just like the luxury lodge, deluxe and budget lodges have the main building with the restaurant/well-stocked bar, the fireplaces, Back-up power generator, Laundry services and Mosquito nets among others. Interestingly, the cost of services in deluxe lodge is quite cheap which make it a best option for travelers on a budget.

    Budget accommodation facilities in Bwindi
    Gorilla Mist Camp in Ruhija Sector
    Bakiga lodge in Ruhija Sector
    Crested Crane Bwindi Hotel in Buhoma Sector
    Trekkers Tavern in Ruhija Sector
    Rushaga Gorilla Camp in Rushaga Sector
    Buhoma community Rest Camp in Buhoma Sector
    Wagtail Eco Safari Camp in Rushaga Sector
    Ruhija Community Rest Camp in Ruhija Sector

    Midrange or Deluxe lodges;
    Bwindi Jungle Lodge in Rushaga Sector
    Ichumbi Gorilla Lodge in Rushaga Sector
    Silverback Lodge in Buhoma Sector
    Engagi Lodge in Buhoma Sector
    Buhoma community haven lodge in Buhoma Sector
    Gorilla valley Lodge in Rushaga Sector
    Mutanda Lake Resort in Rushaga Sector
    Gorilla Close up Lodge in Ruhija Sector

    Conclusively, travelers to see mountain gorillas in Bwindi forest national park are assured of safe, comfortable and high quality food and sleeping services at Affordable rates. Choose fro our list of selection of lodges, book a lodge/tented camp of your choice and enjoy your stay in the natural habitat of the critically endangered mountain gorillas.

    Posted by admin in News, Uganda
    Uganda Strengthens Fight Against Poaching

    Uganda Strengthens Fight Against Poaching

    Uganda Strengthens Fight Against Poaching
    Close to 500 game rangers have been passed out by the Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) to beef up the security of wildlife in the country’s national parks and game reserves after under going training at Murchison Falls Training Ground in Nwoya district. The group, which consists of 393 men and 97 women aged between 22-30 will be deployed in different conservation around the country to add on the already existing force in the field. The training was carried out for four months conducted by UWA in conjunction with the UPDF’s fourth division Gulu. In 2005, the same recruitment also took place where 200 rangers and 400 UPDF men were seconded to UWA under Special Wildlife Integrated Force for Tourism (SWIFT).The passing out ceremony was presided over by the president of Uganda Yoweri Kaguta Museveni who congratulated the graduates and the Uganda Wildlife Authority for building manpower to protect the parks. He said that lawlessness in the parks has been going down for the last five years, which has made the number of animals in the park to go up, especially the elephants.Also, the fight against poaching guarantee increased Uganda safaris for gorilla trekking in Bwindi, game viewing and other related packages in the Pearl of Africa.

    The President also blamed the “mediocrity” of the Uganda Tourism Board (UTB) for not doing enough to promote the Ugandan Tourism Industry. The President said Uganda has unique potential in tourism with high plateau area with the lowest part 650meters above sea level and the highest part more than 5,000 meters above sea level saying that this should be the basis for promotion of the sector.

    The president said that the promotion of the potential of wildlife has been poor due to poor performance of the Uganda Tourism Board. He says that some countries have very little to offer yet they attract more tourists mentioning Spain as an example that attracts 50 million visitors per year.

    Concerning the development and improvement of the tourism sector, Museveni said there is need to work on the roads in the parks and he called the UWA management to have a master plan and he will look for money for it. Museveni also advised UWA to construct airport or aerodrome near the park to help in transportation of tourists by overcoming the hustle of traffic jam in Kampala. The president also advised that in order to combat the issue of conflict between human beings and wildlife, electric fence could be put in place and some plants that animals don’t like, like red pepper should be planted to deter the animals from straying into community land.

    The president also said that he has instructed Uganda Revenue Authority to introduce scanners at all borders to track the vehicles that might be used to smuggle animal products. The newly passed out rangers are expected to boost the security of wildlife that has always been threatened by poachers in the parks where they will be deployed. The most endangered animals in Uganda parks include elephants, buffaloes, and antelopes that are always hunted by poachers for products like meat, husks, hides and skins, among others.

    The rangers will also be very instrumental in offering security to tourists against some dangerous wild animals like lions and leopards that may attack tourists while traversing through the game parks enjoying activities like game drives, game viewing, chimpanzee and gorilla tracking, among others.

    Posted by admin in News, Uganda, WildLife
    UWA Translocates 15 Giraffes from MFNP to Kidepo

    UWA Translocates 15 Giraffes from MFNP to Kidepo

    UWA Trans locates 15 Giraffes From Murchison to Kidepo Valley National Park
    The Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) together with the Giraffe Conservation Foundation in August this year started the process of trans locating 15 giraffes from Murchison Falls National Park to Kidepo Valley National Park. The main reason for the trans location process is to promote conservation through enhancing the ecosystems with sparse populations while depopulating the high-density areas to ensure ecological balance and sustainable conservation while rewarding travelers with unbeatable Uganda safari experience besides the famous mountain gorillas.

    The move is aimed at increasing the population of the Rothschild’s giraffes in the Kidepo Valley National Park that has been low for a long time estimated to be around 47 animals. At the same time the trans location relieves Murchison Falls national Park of ecological pressure brought about by a huge number of the giraffes of about 1,200 individuals. Indeed the scarcity of the Rothschild’s giraffes in Kidepo has been causing some major concerns among the visitors since they had to drive for a couple of kilometers around the park looking for these rare species.

    This year’s trans location comes after registering success in the same process last year when 19 giraffes were trans located from the Northern to the Southern bank of Murchison Falls National Park and later 2 giraffes were also trans located from the Northern bank of the Park to the Uganda Wildlife Education Centre at Entebbe.

    The trans location process was carefully planned in order to avoid the tragedy that happened in Kenya where 11 rhinos died immediately after trans locating them. Although the Kenyan Ministry of Wildlife and Tourism reported that the deaths were due to the high-saline level of water that the Rhinos drank in the new location, other sources indicated that it was due to poor process planning and management and poor veterinary care.

    In order to ensure that exercise runs successfully, the process included identifying which animals would be moved and darting to make them unconscious to allow rangers check their heart rates. The animals would then be secured with ropes and placed in the recovery cart. Moving the animals to the new location is done using customized transport trucks that are lined with cushions to protect the giraffes. UWA reaffirms that all precautionary measures are being undertaken by experts to ensure the giraffe trans location is smooth and successful.

    In addition to the Rothschild’s giraffe population that is being boosted in Kidepo Valley National Park, there is a variety of other attractions in this remote destination found in Northeastern Uganda at the borders with South Sudan and Kenya. Among the famous attractions of Kidepo include the amazing game drives that lead visitors to thousands of game including the rock loving lions, elephants, large herds of buffaloes, leopards, zebras, hartebeests, antelopes, warthogs, waterbeests, numerous bird species and a variety of small species like the leopard tortoise, among others.

    The park has also got an amazing landscape, which is flat allowing you to have incredible game drives to all the corners of the park. Binoculars are placed in various corners of the park to enable you view the distant animals and other fauna and flora species within the park. Seasonal Rivers run through the park including the Narus River that flows through the Narus valley that divides the park into two sections, Narus and Kidepo.

    The communities around Kidepo Valley National Park are also worthy a visit because they are so unique and awesome. These include the IK on the slopes of the Morungole ranges in the Northern part of the park and the Karamajongs in the Southern part. Their unique culture and activities will blow your mind and can never be rubbed off your memory.

    The remoteness of Kidepo valley national park comes with a distinctive advantage to her visitors to enjoy uninterrupted game views and other tourist activities within and around the Park. The long distance to Kidepo makes it free from the traffic and the congestion of visitors, which are evident in other Parks that are relatively near from the capital Kampala thus a reward to travellers who endure the long journey to this distant destination.

    Posted by admin in News, safaris, Uganda
    New Gorilla families in Bwindi forest national park

    New Gorilla families in Bwindi forest national park

    Bwindi is a popular gorilla safari destination in southwestern Uganda. The impenetrable forest is widely known for sheltering the highest number of mountain gorillas that give high number of travelers a chance to meet “face to face” with the critically endangered mountain gorillas in the jungle. With no doubt, Bwindi is surely gifted by nature. We bring the good news of more two-gorilla families, which have been opened, for trekking. The newly introduced gorilla families bring a total of fully habituated gorilla families in Bwindi impenetrable forest national park to 17 hence an opportunity for many travelers to access gorilla permits and trek mountain gorillas. The other gorilla families in Bwindi are Mubare gorilla family, Habinyanja gorilla family, Rushegura gorilla family, Oruzogo family, Bitukura gorilla family, Kyaguliro family, Nshongi gorilla family, Mishaya gorilla group, Kahungye gorilla family, Busingye gorilla group, Bweza family, and Nkuringo family. In addition, two more groups namely;Bushaho and Bikyingi gorilla families are yet to be opened for trekking in Rushag setcor of Bwindi impenetrable forest national park bringing the total number of mountain gorilla families in Uganda to 21 including Nyakagezi family in the sister Mgahinga gorilla national park.

    The two new families come along with 16 extra gorilla permits since each family is visited by eight travelers each given one permit. Gorilla trekking is the most done activity in Uganda, Rwanda and Congo which bring in the highest number of travelers from all parts of the world and the whole world to have a taste of this once in a lifetime experience. The breaking news called for celebration by travel operators in Uganda and travelers who had been struggling to get gorilla permits. Uganda of recent faced a scarcity on gorilla permits due to high demand for gorilla safaris by the incoming travelers and the high cost of gorilla permits in the neighboring Rwanda.

    The major aim for the introduction of new gorilla families in Uganda was to address the high demand for gorilla permits in Bwindi, which would at times put the management of Bwindi on tension. On the same day UWA introduced new gorilla families, it put an end to ground payments for the permits. For that case, all travel operators were asked to pay for permit at UWA head quarters to avoid risks of handling cash on ground. Also, UWA is putting up strategies to develop an improved cashless system saving tour operators risks of carrying large sums of money to UWA head quarters to make payments. Fortunately, Travelers are assured of their safety in the presence of these two new families just like with other groups. The two families successfully went through a habituation process for three years and are not wild to travelers.


    Which are these new gorilla families

    You should be enthusiastic to know these newly introduced gorilla families. These are Christmas and katwe gorilla families. The two families are in Buhoma and Nkuringo sectors of the park in the north and southern parts of Bwindi respectively and these include:

    Christmas gorilla family
    Sited in Nkuringo sector south of Bwindi impenetrable forest national park, Christmas has become a third gorilla family in this region along side Nkuringo and Bushaho gorilla families. The family is headed by Christmas as a dominant silverback, which some people believe, was born on Christmas. The family has a total of 9 members including 3 adult females, 3 black backs, and two babies. Fortunately, travelers intending to trek Christmas family have a variety for accommodation services including clouds mountain gorilla lodge, and Nkuringo Bwindi lodge, which serve travelers with excellent food and sleeping services.

    Katwe gorilla family
    This is anew family in Buhoma sector north of Bwindi impenetrable forest national park. Katwe family joins the other three families of Mubare, Habinyanja and Rushegura making a total of habituated gorilla families in Buhoma to four. The ease of access to Buhoma from kabale town and availability of luxury accommodation facilities make Buhoma the first choice of most gorilla trekkers in Bwindi impenetrable forest national park. Presently, there are 32 gorilla permits in Buhoma hence an added chance for most gorilla trekkers in Bwindi impenetrable forest national park. The family under went through a habituation process for 3 years which h made it familiar to human presence hence guarantee travelers of their security in presence of these gentle giants. Investigations are still undergoing about the actual number gorilla members make up this family but its trekking has already started. The accommodation facilities in Buhoma sector include among others mahogany springs lodge, Buhoma lodge, Bwindi forest lodge, Engagi lodge, Trackers safari lodge, Silverback lodge, and Buhoma community haven lodge. These lodges are luxury, midrange and budget serving excellent comfortable food and sleeping services to travelers at affordable rates.
    Uganda gorilla treks in Bwindi impenetrable forest national park/Mgahinga gorilla national park can be complemented by other activities such as batwa cultural trail golden monkey trekking, forest walks and volcano climbing which all make your safari an experience for lifetime.

    In general, Uganda celebrates the increase of habituated gorilla families in the four sectors of Bwindi impenetrable forest national park. Book a Uganda safari to Bwindi, meet face to face with the critically endangered mountain gorillas in the jungle and enjoy this life changing experience.

    Posted by admin in News, safaris, Uganda
    Guide to  Gorilla trekking in Uganda

    Guide to Gorilla trekking in Uganda

    Planning a Uganda gorilla safari to have an encounter with these endangered mountain gorillas in their natural habitat? Africa Adventure Safaris is a solution. An in-depth understanding of basic facts concerning gorilla trekking is very essential for a successful trek. Gorilla trekking is a highlight for most if not all trekkers to Uganda drawing thousands of travelers from all parts of the world and the best wildlife encounter in the whole world. Uganda is a home to approximately 75% of the world’s mountain gorillas making it the best destination to trek gorillas. Among the basic facts every travelers should know include the following:

    Where to trek gorillas in Uganda
    Trekking in Uganda is done in the tropical rain forests of Bwindi impenetrable forest national park and Mgahinga gorilla national park both in southwestern Uganda. Bwindi is a home to 12 habituated gorilla families scattered in the sectors of Buhoma, Ruhija, Rushaga and Nkuringo. On the other hand, Mgahinga gorilla national park has one habituated gorilla family named Nyakagyezi available for trekking. Despite in the past decades where Nyakagyezi family would cross borders to the neighboring Rwanda and the DRC, the family has now stabilized in Mgahinga available for trekking.

    Health status and physical fitness
    Mountain gorillas share approximately 99.8% of human genes hence the closest relatives to human beings susceptible to human diseases. The close relativity therefore requires all trekkers to be free from every sicknesses especially air borne like flue and cough to avoid the spread of human wildlife diseases. Regarding physical fitness, gorilla trekking is not a walk away venture but rather an adventurous as trekkers hike in the dense forest with thorny bushes and slippery grounds. Physical fitness is therefore important for easy and flexible movements in the dense, muddy and slippery forests grounds while searching for the mountain gorillas.

    The best time for trekking
    Dry season in the months of June, July August, September, December and February is the best time to trek gorillas. During these months, there is limited or no rain at all which make it easy to hike through the dense forest and photography. However, gorillas can also be trekked in the wet season between the months of March, April and Novembers. During this period, gorilla permits are offered at a discounted rate, which is an added advantage especially to the budget travelers. Additionally, accommodation facilities (lodges and hotels) charge low cost prices in the wet seasons, which help travelers to get high quality services at low rates.
    The challenge in the wet season is the heavy rains, which make the grounds muddy and slippery hence difficult to hike through.

    Gorilla permits
    This is a pass to see gorillas without which a traveler is not allowed to take part in trekking. A Gorilla permit requires advance booking and payment of the deposit for timely allocation of specific gorilla family. This permit is valid for an hour after which it is claimed expired and trekkers have to return to the starting point. A single gorilla permit in Uganda costs 600usd and 450usd in the peak and low seasons respectively in the two national parks. Gorilla permits are accessed from the Uganda wildlife authority a government body responsible for wildlife conservation and tourism in Uganda. 8 permits are issued out for each gorilla family meaning that eight people are the maximum number of trekkers allowed to trek one gorilla family every day.

    How to dress
    Trekkers must dress right for comfortable and quick hikes in the jungle. The attire recommended for trekking involve hiking boots for easy movements in slippery ad muddy grounds, hand gloves to protect from thorny bushes, rain jackets and sweaters for the cold weather and un predictable rain shower, hats and sun glasses for protection from direct sun, long sleeved shirts and pants help to protect the travelers from bites by ground insects.

    Briefing and trekking time
    A simple briefing by the park rangers is the start for every trekking. Its in the briefing that the trekkers are told the rules and regulations while with the gorillas such as keeping a distance of seven meters away from the gorillas and turning their backs in case of sneezing or coughing.
    Immediately after briefing at around 8:00am, trekkers hike into the forest in search for the gorillas. The actual time to spend in forest is not specific but varies depending on the location and the movement of the trekked gorilla family. On reaching the gorillas, trekkers spend an hour as they take photographs and observing the human like characters of the gorillas. At the end of an hour, the permit expires and trekkers descend back to the their respective lodges.

    Where to stay
    There are standard hotels and lodges in and out for the two national parks serving trekkers with quality services at negotiable prices. The services vary from luxury, budget and mod range services at varying prices but quality services. These hotels and lodges among others include Mahogany springs, Bwindi lodge, Buhoma lodge, Chameleon hill lodge, Bakiga lodge, Nkuringo lodge, Clouds gorilla lodge, Gorilla Mist Camp and Gorilla Safari Lodge in Bwindi impenetrable forest national park. For the case of Mgahinga, there is travelers rest camp in kisoro and Amajambere Iwacu Community Camp at the entrance of the national park.

    Conclusively therefore, trekking mountain gorillas in Bwindi impenetrable forest national park is an extra ordinary experience that no traveler should miss out.

    Posted by admin in News, safaris, Uganda

    Updated Guide to Gorilla Tracking in Rwanda

    Are you planning a Rwanda gorilla safari? Africa Adventure Safaris brings you a guide for successful gorilla trekking safari in Volcanoes national park. Rwanda is one of the African countries that have had an unfriendly history of the genocide that claimed the lives of many native Rwandese, destroyed the countries image at the international scene and discouraged tourists visitation. However for the last one and a half decade, the Rwandan government through the Rwanda Development Board has tremendously changed the once bad image to a better one which has made Rwanda one of the most visited African destinations especially for gorilla safaris and tours.

    Mountain gorillas are among the endangered species on the planet only remaining in three countries Rwanda inclusive. Currently, they are the major tourist attractions in Rwanda and for any adventurous tourist interested in viewing these rare species in their natural setting, Rwanda is the best destination to go to. The Rwandan government in collaboration with other organizations has played an important role in ensuring the protection of these incredible species.

    These rare species reside in the Virunga volcanoes that cuts across Uganda, Rwanda and democratic republic of Congo however Rwanda is more blessed to have al most half of the 880 mountain gorillas in volcanoes national park which is the only place where gorillas can be easily tracked, accessed and interacted with. The park has seven gorillas groups and therefore anyone on a gorilla safari can’t fail to trek and miss any of them.

    Of all the gorilla groups in volcanoes national park, Susa group has 41 gorilla members and is very famous for her twins Impano and Byishimo. The park is just a 2 hours drive from Kigali and all those interested in participating in gorilla safari treks there should make their booking in in time because of the high demand and in order not to be disturbed.
    Best time for a gorilla trekking tour
    Gorilla safaris in Rwanda can be made at any time of the year however it’s very challenging during the wet season because of the wet slippery grounds that makes hiking especially in the hilly areas difficult and sometimes impossible. Therefore for one to have a better gorilla safari experience, its better to go tracking in the dry seasons of December, February, and June- September.

    Price of gorilla permits
    They are currently at $1500 and can only be obtained from Rwanda Development Board offices In Kigali or through tour operators. For conservation reasons, only 80 gorilla permits are issued daily therefore in order not to miss a gorilla tour, you should make early bookings. The permits are inclusive of park entrances, guide fees and an hour of interaction with the gorillas. To be on a safe side, its better to make as many consultations as possible especially if it’s your first time in the country.

    The trekking process
    This largely depends on the gorilla group allocated to trek, the time/season of your visit and the day’s weather. Some gorilla groups can be got just after a 15 or 20 minutes hike but if you are unlucky, you might take 4-5 hours of hiking before finding them. In the wet season and on a rainy day it’s even worse because the rain slows you down especially while on a hill or muddy area. Sometimes the rain makes a gorilla safari impossible therefore mind a lot on the time of the year you visit the country.

    Volcanoes national park being in a hilly environment, there are many chances of uphill hiking and this is why the elderly and all those who cannot walk for longer distances are allocated to gorillas families that are near or that can be accessed after a short period of time.
    For tourists coming from colder countries, Rwanda might seem to be hotter and therefore to adjust to the countries temperature while on a gorilla safari, it’s better to first spend a few days there before the trek.

    The gorilla trekking day
    On this day, you are expected to wake up early and report to the park headquarters by 7:00 am at Kinigi for briefing about the code of conduct while hiking and while interacting with the gorillas and other necessary safety measures. The 80 people are then divided into 8 groups and allocated to individual guides who keep in touch with the park headquarters by use of communication gadgets or radio calls to report any emergencies.
    As you hike, the guides explain about all the outstanding wildlife species in the forest because the gorilla safari is not just about gorillas alone. It encompasses the forest, the vegetation types there, the people around and much other interesting wildlife encountered on the hike.

    The trekking codes of conduct
    Having identified the gorillas, you are supposed to behave well around them because they are very sensitive mammals and since they share around 94.5% DNA like humans, they easily understand most of human’s behavior towards them. You are not allowed to get to close to them especially if have any infection that can easily be transferred to them for example cough and flue. This is one of the reasons why only one group of 8 people is allowed to visit a gorilla group each day. Getting to close to them might also be dangerous because they remain wild animals and can therefore attack you incase you invade their privacy a lot.
    Distances of 20-30 meters from them is recommended and if they attempt to get closer, just move back peacefully and gently without shouting or making a lot of noise.
    You are given a maximum of an hour to interact and take photos however meals are not allowed during this time and during the whole trekking process because you can easily raise their appetite and trigger them to attack you.

    Vital gorilla trekking tools
    Raincoats or water proof jackets are a necessity because of the unpredictable rains that can drop any time of the day. It’s also very important to wear body covering clothes and hand gloves to ease movements through the thick rough bushes and prevent skin irritation as well as a walking stick for support while going up hill. Boots or strong shoes are highly recommended so that you do not get stuck in the mud incase of a down pour. You can also pack water and some few snacks because if you take a long time hiking, you are given a break to have your snacks.

    Generally if you are planning for a gorilla safari to Africa, Rwanda will give you an impressive gorilla experience you can never forget in your life time. Its so amazing to learn to view how these rare species and one of mans closest live their lives in the famous Virunga volcanoes. Just prepare yourself and head to Rwanda for a magical gorilla safari and tour experience.

    Posted by admin in News, rwanda
    New Travel Experiences In Kisoro

    New Travel Experiences In Kisoro

    New Travel Experiences In Kisoro
    Kisoro district is indubitably full of wonders, those who have been there before have experienced how charming it feels to stay in kisoro. The region is one of the beautiful places in Uganda blessed with a variety of intriguing features which include the majestic mountain gorillas, Virunga volcanoes, crater lakes (bunyonyi & Mutanda), unique cultures and beautiful flora and fauna which together make your Uganda safari to kisoro an experience for lifetime. The beautiful rolling hills of kigezi region after which Uganda was dubbed the pearl of Africa make it more amazing. The outstanding views of the eight Virunga volcanoes shared by Uganda, Rwanda and democratic republic of Congo make it more amazing. Much as gorilla safaris, golden monkeys, volcano climbing and batwa cultural trail have been a focus for most of the past travelers to Mgahinga, New travel experiences have been introduced to diversify tourism in the region. The new tourism products in kisoro have been introduced b the Mgahinga cultural and crafts center with the support of Uganda tourism board and the government. These new activities will complement the already existing tourism products making your Uganda gorilla safaris to southwestern Uganda a lifetime experience. Among the newly introduced tourism products in kisoro district include:

    Mountain biking
    Mountain biking is the best way you can explore the entire gem in kisoro region. Great thanks go to ultimate cycling Uganda, which has mapped three biking trails to help travelers visit different sites in kisoro district and the neighboring communities. Each of these trails takes a different routes and directions through local centers, gardens and homes covering different distances. Also, the starting points vary depending on the location of a traveler. The Mgahinga trail stretches 60 kilometers starting from the Mgahinga cultural and crafts Centre. Travelers ride through the gate of Mgahinga gorilla national park as they proceed to Rwanda DR Congo border. On their way back, travelers ride through kisoro town ending their ride at the Mgahinga cultural center.

    For those in kabale, the 80-kilometer ichuya trail start from lake bunyonyi via regions of kacyekano, Muko and Ichuya ending at the Churchill point. This trail helps travelers to explore much of Kabale region and all its beauties. Bwindi trail is the longest trail of all the three. The trail start from kabale town through Bwindi forest, Mutanda region ending at Mgahinga gorilla national park. Mountain biking is an opportunity for travelers to encounter local people in their farms, homes as well as exploring other attractions in the region.

    Caving
    Ngarama cave has been the only visited cave in Mgahinga hence a need for more caving products for travelers. To make it more enjoyable, Mgahinga cultural and Crafts center has packaged two more caves in Mgahinga park to reward travelers with extensive and exceptional caving experience. The newly discovered caves are Sooko cave at the bottom of Mount Mgahinga and Ruhengo cave at the foothill of Mt Sabinyo. Local guides have been trained on how to do it best and have also given the all the necessary requirements such as torches, gumboots and hand gloves to ease caving and ensure memorable experiences. Local guides disclose the secrets about each cave the great role they played in sheltering local people who would seek refugee especially in times of tribal wars. The caves are believed t have existed for thousands of years.

    Caldera expeditions
    Kisoro region was in the past years affected by volcanic eruptions, which led to the formation of calderas. Among the caldera features in kisoro include volcanic mountains with crater lakes at the top. A hike to any caldera is a memorable experience, which help you appreciate what nature can do. Also, a walk to the summit is an opportunity for travelers to meet new people making your experience more enjoyable.

    Churchill point
    Do not miss a hike to the Churchill point on top of Kanaaba Mountain in Echuya forest in kisoro. It’s on this hill that Churchill appreciated the beautiful sceneries of Uganda realizing that the country is indeed the pearl of Africa. Churchill point reward travelers with clear views of kigezi rolling hills which stretch to infinity, the green vegetation, natural forest of Bwindi, Virunga volcanoes, the Echuya forest stretching from lake Bunyonyi and all other natural beauties that make south western Uganda indeed the Switzerland of Africa.

    Conclusively, kisoro district offers it all you need to meet and exceed your travel needs on a Uganda safari. Enjoy memorable gorilla treks, golden monkey tours, volcano climbing, mountain biking, caving, caldera expeditions and Churchill point rewarding you with memorable experiences in the pearl of Africa.

    Posted by admin in Blog, News, safaris, Uganda
    Uganda to Celebrate the Debut Gorilla Festival

    Uganda to Celebrate the Debut Gorilla Festival

    Uganda to Celebrate the Debut Gorilla Festival
    For the very first time, Uganda is ready to celebrate a gorilla festival set for 6-8 October in Mgahinga Gorilla national park at the foothill of the Virunga mountain range in kisoro district. The festival is aimed at promoting Uganda gorilla tour packages and disclose the newly produced tourism products in Uganda to the outside world. Mountain gorillas are a key attraction in the festival and some gorilla babies will be named just as the kwita izina ceremony in Rwanda. This is the first time Uganda is openly naming gorillas. Also, the mountain gorilla festival is Uganda’s opportunity to understand and celebrate the value of conserving the critically endangered mountain gorillas. Also, the festival’s main target is to emphasize the risks of the critically endangered mountain gorillas in the Virunga massif shared by Rwanda, Uganda and Democratic republic of Congo. Mgahinga cultural and craft center in cooperation with the Uganda tourism board and Uganda Wildlife Authority are the organizers of this amazing festival. Over 200 people including travelers, conservationists, local people, and other players in the tourism sector are expected to grace this festival.

    Rwanda has for the last decades been the only country celebrating the birth of iconic mountain gorillas. This year, Rwanda will celebrate the naming of 18 baby gorillas at the head quarters of Volcanoes National Park a home to the majestic creatures. It’s very crucial for Uganda to celebrate the gorilla festival being a home to over 50% of the world’s surviving mountain gorillas.

    Other activities that will take place
    The gorilla festival is not only about mountain gorillas but rather a variety of other activities. The attendees will have an opportunity to enjoy and celebrate other activities, which have been introduced in Mgahinga gorilla national park and kisoro district as a whole. The extra activities include among others:

    Cycling/Biking
    Cycling is one of the new tourism products that have introduced in the Virunga region. Here travelers ride on bicycles through local gardens, plantation and homes. This help travelers to explore local villages and activities which bring in close contact with local people which increase their understanding of local traditions, customs and cultures. Cycling is organized by the ultimate cycling Uganda together with the Uganda cycling federation to reward travelers with extra experiences which make a stay in Mgahinga indeed a life changing experience. At the end of the ride, every participant will plant a tree for the wellbeing of mountain gorillas and local people. Bamboo trees serve as food and habitat for gorillas while local people use them for construction poles, charcoal, firewood and herbs for medicine. Cycling is the most environmental friendly transport, which help in conserving the natural environment leading to sustainable conservation. Tree planting will also help to solve local people’s conflicts with park managers encouraging local support for tourism in the park.

    Caving
    A safari to Mgahinga gorilla national park without caving is surely incomplete. Ngarama cave is the focus for most caving trips in Mgahinga guided the Batwa during their famous Batwa cultural trail. The cave was initially the place of worship foe batwa pygmies to perform their rituals and offer sacrifices to their gods for prayer and thanks giving. Fortunately, two more caves assessed to be thousands of years old have been discovered in the park but are not yet open to tourism. Local guides have been trained and equipped with all necessary tools to ensure memorable caving experience.

    Virunga Volcano Climbing

    A hike to the summit of any volcano is an experience you should not miss out. The volcanoes in Mgahinga gorilla national park are Mt Gahinga, Mt Muhabura and Mt sabyinyo. Interestingly, each Volcano is unique on its way hosting an awe-inspiring feature at the summit. Mount Muhabura has a crater lake with crystal clear water; Mgahinga has a crater swamp while Mt sabyinyo summit is shared by Uganda, Rwanda and Congo. This helps travelers to be in three at the same time. Home stays and caldera expeditions are other tourism products that have been introduced in kisoro district.

    How much is charged to attend the gorilla festival
    Just like other festivals, the Uganda gorilla festival comes with a cost. Each participant will pay ush200, 000 (55$) to allow him/her be part of this three days festival. The fee is an inclusion of meals, tour activities and transport for those traveling from Kampala to kisoro. Those who will sleep over in tents, lodges or hotels will pay extra money for accommodation

    In general, Uganda the pearl of Africa is an exceptional destination with diverse tourism activities and attractions. The cou8ntry has 10 national parks, mountains, rivers valleys, forests, and hospitable people, which make Uganda a place to stay.

    Posted by admin in Blog, News, Uganda
    Rushaga Sector of Bwindi Forest National Park

    Rushaga Sector of Bwindi Forest National Park

    Rushaga Sector of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park
    Rushaga is one of the four sectors that make up Bwindi Impenetrable forest national park a home to the highest number of mountain gorillas in the world. Rushaga is an exceptional region situated in the southern part of Bwindi. The high cost of gorilla tours in Rwanda have presently made Rushaga a popular sector to see and interact with these critically endangered species. Rushaga is mostly visited by travelers connecting from Kigali through Cyanika border in Kisoro district. A gorilla trek to Rushaga sector is an special experience which come along with other experiences like clear views of the Virunga volcanoes especially the Virunga, Gahinga and Muhabura in Mgahinga gorilla national park and lake Bunyonyi which is the deepest crater lake in Uganda, and the second deepest in Africa. Among the reasons why you should visit Rushaga sector of Bwindi include among others:

    High number of gorilla families and availability of gorilla permits

    Rushaga is well known for sheltering a high number of habituated mountain gorilla families available for trekking. The sector is a home to five gorilla groups which guarantee travelers a chance to access permits unlike other sectors. These families include Nshongi, Kahungye, Busingye, Mishaya and Bweza gorilla group. These gorilla families vary in size but an interaction with any of the five is a memorable experience. Just like in all gorilla destinations, ach gorilla family in Rushaga is led by a silverback, which determines the movements and daily activities within the family. Everyday there are 40 gorilla permits available to issue out in Rushaga which guarantee access to permits even those who book at the last hour. The availability of many gorilla families give travelers an opportunity to choose which gorilla family he/she wants to trek.

    Gorilla habituation

    Besides gorilla trekking, Rushaga reward travelers with memorable mountain gorilla habituation experience. Its only in this sector that wild mountain gorillas are trained to make them familiar with human presence before they are declared free for trekking. Presently two gorilla families namely Bushaho and Bikyingi are undergoing habituation experience. In habituation, each gorilla family is visited by a group of four travelers for four hours interaction. Unlike in gorilla trekking where eight people are allowed to interact with a gorilla family, only a group of four people are allowed to interact with a family undergoing habituation. Travelers are expected to have a valid habituation permit which cost 1500usd for four hours interaction. A habituation permit which cost 1500usd is a must have by all travelers.

    Ease of access from Kigali
    For those connecting from Kigali, Rushaga is the first stop point. The sector is roughly 3 hours drive from Kigali through Cyanika border. Also, Rushaga sector can be easily accessed by air. Here travelers can use a charter flight to kisoro airstrip from where you connect to Rushaga.

    Availability of lodges

    Rushaga sector is well served with a variety of luxury, midrange and budget lodges, which serve travelers with excellent food and sleeping services. The available lodges in Rushaga sector include gorilla safari lodge, chameleon hill, Ichumbi lodge, Mutanda lake resort, Bwindi jungle lodge and gorilla valley lodge among others. These lodges hire professional, knowledgeable staff who not only offer excellent services but basic knowledge about gorilla tourism in Bwindi impenetrable forest national park. Also these lodges organize other activities such as community visits and forest walks, which make your safari to Bwindi a complete package.

    Other sectors in Bwindi
    Buhoma sector situated in the northern part of Bwindi impenetrable forest national park. Gorilla families in Buhoma are Mubare family, Habinyanja family, and Rushegura family. Buhoma has a unique history being the first sector to be visited by first travelers. Mubare is the first gorilla family to be habituated in Bwindi impenetrable forest national park.

    Ruhija sector is located in the eastern part of Bwindi impenetrable forest national park. Gorilla families in Ruhija sector are Oruzogo family, Bitukura family, and kyaguliro family.

    Nkuringo sector is also located east of Bwindi impenetrable forest national park. Travelers to this sector get a chance to trek Nkuringo gorilla family, which reward them with a lifetime experience.

    On the actual of trekking, all travelers to Rushaga are advised to gather at Bwindi impenetrable forest national park head quarters in Rushaga at 7:00am for a briefing. In general, Rushaga is an exceptional gorilla region you should not miss out on your gorilla tour to Bwindi impenetrable forest national park.

    Book a gorilla safari to Bwindi, meet face to face with the critically endangered species in their natural habitat and enjoy this once in a lifetime experience.

    Posted by admin in News, Uganda

    UTB Asks government to cut Visa Fees

    A Uganda tourist entry Visa today cost $100 equivalent to over Shs300,000 charged per tourists from the previous $50 doubled last year, which is actually the most expensive visa fee out of the rest of East Africa. On the other hand the single East African Visa, which grants visitors access to all East African countries including Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda goes for the same amount – $100. This makes destination Uganda a difficult destination to sale, with the unfavorable Visa rates which are too high. Uganda’s high visa fees scare away some tourists, opting to visit other East African countries where it is cheaper. In Kenya, Rwanda and Tanzania visa fees is $50 per tourist.

    Destination Uganda has so much to offer tourists with a variety of adventure activities which attract tourists to this destination. Uganda’s biggest trade mark is the rare endangered mountain gorillas which can only be found in 2 other destinations in the entire world. At present tourists are looking at Rwanda’s volcanoes national park as a more preferred destination mainly because of ease of access. With just about 2 hours drive from the Kigali international airport, accessing Volcanoes national park is much more convenient for all types of travelers as compared to 8-9 long hours of drive from Kampala or Entebbe international airport. Rwanda is a much easier destination for budget, business travelers with less time.

    Uganda still is blessed with numerous unique wildlife which can be seen in the different national parks spread around the country.
    Uganda’s neighboring country’s of Kenya and Tanzania offer a more authentic wildlife adventure experience as compared to the experience in Uganda. Still, Uganda’s unique trade mark the mountain gorillas can also be seen in Rwanda, her neighbor.

    With Ugandan visa prices being high, Uganda will be missing out on a large number of potential tourists and hence losing foreign exchange and general unemployment for local tour operators.

    Posted by admin in africa, Blog, News
    World Investors to Boost Conservation Tourism in Uganda

    World Investors to Boost Conservation Tourism in Uganda

    With a major aim of boosting tourism and wildlife conservation in the country, Uganda for the time hosted the conservation and tourism investment forum on 6th October 2017. The forum was a platform for top government officials, responsible tourism bodies, private investors and all senior business figures from all parts of the world to gather and discuss how best Uganda can be marketed nationally and internationally as well as to attract more private investors and travelers from parts of the world to visit Uganda. It was realized that despite Uganda’s beautiful nature, rift valleys, lakes, rivers, mountains, hospitable people, birds and mostly half of the world’s endangered mountain gorillas, the country still receive few travelers as it was expected. Uganda’s government and responsible bodies have therefore realized a need for extensive marketing and private investment so as to boost conservation tourism hence attracting a large number of tourist arrivals into the country. The need to boost tourism and promote wildlife conservation in Uganda was the main reason for the launching of conservation and tourism investment forum by the government and responsible tourism bodies.

    While in the meeting, the government of Uganda disclosed tourism to private investment calling upon all private investors and other conservation organizations to support tourism as well as marketing the country o the outside world. The conducive climate and strategic location of Uganda in the heart of East Africa make it a best country to stay.

    New marketing strategies were raised especially encouragement of private sector investment as an additional source of capital to complement the traditional sources of conservation capital. It was also an opportunity for the government to market its beauty and all the treasures to lure and attract more investors and tourists to come and explore what Uganda offers ranging from mountain gorillas and much more. Private investors were also called upon to take part in management of protected areas in conjunction with the government and other responsible bodies.

    The Uganda Tourism Board enlightened private investors about the importance of natural resource conservation in boosting tourism sector in ten country calling upon all private investors and Non Governmental organization to take part in management of natural resources hence tourism development. Some private investors such as Max Graham the founder of elephant conservation group space for giants welcomed the idea appreciating that Uganda has it all to offer but only lacks extensive marketing and investment. The private investor also confessed that all other private investors have been waiting for government’s invitation for a joint management and marketing of Uganda’s tourism resources.

    Private investors were also concerned about Uganda’s political security as well as security of wildlife in respective national parks for the smooth running of tourism activities in all parts of Uganda. In response, the president of Uganda “His excellence Yoweri Kaguta Museveni” assured travelers of a tight security system and a strong army, which has been and will continue to ensure peace in the country ensuring of all investments. Also, the anti poaching measures that were put by the Uganda wildlife authority have increased a population of elephant’s population.

    Also, there should be good and easy connectivity to uganda national parks and other tourism spots a cross the country. This therefore calls for extensive investment in maintaining roads connecting to Murchison falls national park and Kibale forest reserve among others. New roads to kidepo valley national park and Bwindi impenetrable forest national park are under construction assuring investors and traveler’s easy connectivity to all national parks and other tourism spots in all parts of the country.

    With the participation of private investors and government authority, Uganda tourism is hoped to boost. The Uganda tourism bard a body responsible for marketing and new product development is assured of great turn up in terms of tourist arrivals into the country. Uganda hopes to receive over million travelers by 2020 based on the 1.3 million travelers that were received in 2016.

    Conclusively therefore, all private investors and non-governmental organization are called upon to support tourism conservation in Uganda hence boosting tourism sector.

    Posted by admin in Blog, News
    Uganda Gorilla Tours

    Uganda Gorilla Tours

    Uganda Gorilla Tours are the leading tourist activities in Uganda with thousands of travelers flocking Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park each year to trek the mountain gorillas.

    Gorilla tours and Gorilla safaris in Uganda take place everyday in Bwindi and Mgahinga national parks, the country’s two homes for mountain gorillas. Both parks are estimated to have a total of about 500 mountain gorillas though majority of these live in Bwindi whose gorilla population accounts for more than half of the global number. Bwindi has got about 15 habituated gorilla families and each family has an average number of about 20-25 mountain gorillas while Mgahinga has got one habituated gorilla family. The rest of the gorillas in Uganda are still non-habituated and therefore cannot be visited by tourists.

    Gorilla Trekking in Uganda is done under conservation regulations aimed at protecting mountain gorillas given that they are endangered animals. Some of the key gorilla trekking conservation regulations include limiting the number of visitors per gorilla group per day to 8. Others include include; tourists are restricted to spending only one hour in the presence of gorillas, touching a gorilla or getting near it is prohibited, no making noise in the presence of gorillas, no littering in the gorilla habitat, avoiding direct eye-contact with a gorilla is advised, among others.

    To trek mountain gorillas i Uganda, one is required to have a gorilla trekking permit which is sold at $700 per person. Travelers are advised to book their Uganda gorilla trekking permits at least 6 months before their tracking dates. Gorilla permits are always limited on market due to the high demand and the strict gorilla conservation regulations. Booking your gorilla trekking permit in advance allows a local tour agent enough time to process it from the tourism authority and also to arrange all other necessary facilities for the traveler like accommodation and transport in time.

    Uganda gorilla safaris are usually supplemented with other wildlife encounters including game viewing in large savannah parks like Murchison Falls National Park, Queen Elizabeth National Park and Kidepo Valley National Park. Some of the best game species to see in these parks include the Africa “big five” which include lion, leopard, elephant, buffalo, and rhinoceros. Other amazing species to be seen in these parks include the endangered Rothschild giraffe, zebra, warthog, antelopes, among others.

    Many travellers also combine their Uganda gorilla trekking safaris with another primate visit for chimpanzee tracking. This is always possible since chimpanzee tracking is far cheaper than gorilla trekking and combining the two trips gives a traveler a comprehensive experience of a Uganda primates safari. Chimpanzees are very numerous in number compared to gorillas and they are readily seen in different parts of the country. The major hotspots for seeing chimpanzees in Uganda include Kibale Forest National Park, Kyambura Gorge in Queen Elizabeth National Park, Murchison Falls National Park and at Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary on Lake Victoria near Entebbe International Airport.

    In addition to wildlife encounters, gorilla trekkers in Uganda also enjoy some cultural experiences by visiting some amazing communities after  their gorilla trekking encounters. These include a visit to the Batwa pygmies who live near Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park. The visit to Batwa not only provides travellers with a unique and amazing cultural experience but also helps to support livelihoods in this community since some of the proceeds from the money paid by tourists are directed towards community development. Some of members in the Batwa community are former poachers who have reformed through training and sensitisation and are now working as tour guides and porters to earn a living.

    Posted by admin in Blog, News
    Uganda Gorilla Groups

    Uganda Gorilla Groups

    Gorilla Families in Uganda
    Though Uganda is known for sheltering more than half of the World’s remaining mountain gorillas which live in 39 families, it is important to know these groups and their unique characteristics to find out which group suits particular interests. Uganda gorilla tours are in Bwindi impenetrable forest national park and Mgahinga gorilla national park situated in south western Uganda.

    Of the 39 groups/ families, only 12 are habituated for tourism of which 11 are in Bwindi and one in Mgahinga parks, and then the 13th one for Research in Ruhija area of Bwindi while the rest roam in the wild jungles unfamiliar to human beings. The families sometimes meet with each other and on some occasions, severe fights have broken out leaving some badly injured.

    Habituation of Gorillas in Uganda started in 1991 with the Mubare family. Since then, more families have been habituated, totaling to 13 gorillas families including one for research. It is paramount for one to know these groups in detail, where they live, how they behave and what to expect if allocated one or which group to choose in case one is given a chance to choose the group to track. The habituation process usually takes 2 years but some groups took a shorter time to be habituated because of being in close range with the habituated families where rangers and tourists would pass by them often hence becoming familiar to human beings.
    gorilla families in Bwindi forest

    The question of which gorilla group is best for tracking will always depend on one’s interests as there are no universal standards for measuring good or bad because it lies in the eyes of the beholder. What one person calls good may be bad for another, likewise, one may prefer the group that is closer to the tracking point whereas another may prefer the one that is farther and gives a hiking challenge. On this basis therefore, allow me shade light on these families and you will choose for yourself the one that is best to you.

    Mubare Group
    This is the oldest group which was first habituated in 1991 and got its first official tourists in 1993. The group was named after Mubare hills where it was first sighted by UWA rangers. The group started with 12 members under the command of great silver back known as ‘Ruhondeza’ which means ‘the one who over sleeps’. Ruhondeza’s great leadership saw the group size expand to 18 individuals in very few years but his over expansionist policy and ambitious character cost him loss of many members in the years that followed. His constant battles with wild groups weakened him later and his protectionism and selfish character made him to kill or exile the upcoming silver backs leaving the family with no back up force for protection. In the year 2009, tragedy struck when the group lost about 3 of its members with one adult dying of a fractured skull leaving behind a little baby that died a few days later and was found on Ruhondeza’s bed.
    gorilla families in Bwindi forest

    Ruhondeza was attacked in his old age in March 2012 by a wild silver back and was forced into exile in the neighboring village of Rubona though with severe injuries. He lived among the people for a few months and was later found dead in June the same year. He was given a descent burial near UWA headquarters at Buhoma and the function was graced by a number of community residents, UWA officials and many conservationists. He is still hailed as the father of Gorilla tourism in Uganda and at the age of 50 years, he is regarded as the oldest silver back ever known in the country

    At his demise, the family disintegrated and his successor, Kanyonyi took over the mantle and has since increased the members from 5 to 8 that live currently and probably still hopes to expand the group size further more. The group is found in Buhoma area and is composed of 9 members with one silver back.
    The group is a great priority for most trackers as it roams with in close proximity to the UWA headquarters at Buhoma and is sometimes regarded as easy to track.

    Habinyanja Group
    This group was first habituated in 1997 and received the first tourists in 1999. The name Habinyanja was derived from a Rukiga word, ‘Nyanja’ which means a ‘water body’ and therefore Habinyanja group got its name from the Swamp in the jungles of Bwindi where the group was first sighted.
    gorilla families in Bwindi forest
    At the time of habituation, the group had 30 members under the leadership of a silver back known as ‘Mugurusi’, a Rukiga word that means ‘an old man’. At the time of his death, his 3 sons had grown and began a succession dispute over who could claim the father’s throne. The three silver backs were Rwansigazi which means ‘the youthful one’, Mwirima which means ‘darkness’ and Makara which means ‘charcoal’.

    After several fights, there was no sole winner and the group remained under the interim leadership of Rwansigazi and Mwirima but the two had several divergent and parallel characters that would not allow them stay together for long. Whereas Rwansigazi wanted to adventure many places in the forest, Mwirima was not different from his father Mugurusi and wanted to remain in a small range. Due to these differences, it was inevitable that the group would split given the fact that it was even very large.

    In 2002, Rwansigazi peacefully left together with other family members that liked moving in a wider range leaving Mwirima and the lazy members to form their own family. Rwansigazi’s group retained the name of Habinyanja and Mwirima’s group was named Rushegura. It is important to note that, the two groups continue to crisscross each other even today and no fights have been recorded but rather friendship still reigns between the two families

    The group has 18 members including 2 silver backs and is popular for its drama and commotion triggered by constant fights for dominance and family leadership between the two silver backs; Makara and Rwansigazi. It occupies Buhoma area and is somehow strenuous to track as the tourist needs about 3-8 hours.

    Rushegura Group
    gorilla families in Bwindi forestThe Rushegura group was formed in 2002 when Mwirima and a group of other members parted ways with the Habinyanja group. The group derived its name from the tree species locally known as Ebishegura which was abundant in the group’s home range. The group started with 12 individuals at the time of breakaway but due the good leadership skills of late Mwirima, the family size is now 19 members including one silver back.

    The group is a very calm and peaceful family and has now permanently settled in Bwindi though it used to roam across the border with Congo. It is also in the Buhoma area and sometimes shows up in the compound of Gorilla Forest camp. The founding leader of the group passed away this year and the leadership has been taken by an ambitious black back called Kabukojo. Tracking the group is not onerous as it is always not far from Buhoma village.

    Bitukura Group
    This group was named after River Bitukura that flows in Bwindi forest where the group was first sighted. It was the only gorilla group habituated for tracking in the Ruhija area until when Oruzogo family was habituated and opened for Tourism in 2011.
    gorilla families in Bwindi forest

    The group was first habituated in July 2007 and officially opened for tourism in October 2008, becoming the easiest group to be habituated in Bwindi. The group was originally having 24 members but with constant disputes, some left the group and joined others. They were however graced by the birth of a new baby in 2013. The group is said to enjoy harmonious living with Kyaguriro group that is meant for research and their close relationship is said to have yielded monthly get-togethers where the two families are seen playing and making fun together.

    The group is one of the most peaceful groups in Bwindi and is composed of 14 members including 4 silver backs but no fights have been experienced and the group lives in great harmony with one another which has been attributed to good leadership of Ndahura, the dominant silver back. There are few budget accommodations in this area though one may stay in Buhoma and drive early in the morning for about an hour and a half to track this group.

    Mishaya Group
    This group occupies the verdant forests of Rushaga in the south eastern part of Bwindi. The group was named after its founder silver back called Mishaya who broke away from Nshongi group in 2010 with other 9 members. The group was officially open for tourism in 2011 hence becoming one of the newest groups for tracking.
    gorilla families in Bwindi forest

    Mishaya is known as a fighter who often attacks and defends his family against any raiding group. It was from this background, that Mishaya was able to expand the group to 12 members. By 2013, due to loss of members to other groups, Mishaya group had only 7 individuals with one silver back (Mishaya) which is the only adult in the group.

    Tracking this group, tourists start their walk from the UWA headquarters at Rushaga or take a 30 minutes drive to the trail head.

    Oruzogo Group
    The group was opened for tourism in 2011 and is found in Ruhija section of the park. The group is led by the dominant silver back known as Tibirikwata and is popular for its playful and energetic juveniles. The family is composed of 23 members including one silver back and is a favorite for many tourists.

    This family can be tracked from Ruhija but needs one to secure accommodation within the area to be able to cope up with the pre-tracking briefing. However, due to limited budget accommodation options, one may as well sleep in Buhoma but has to leave very early at around 5am for an hour’s drive to the park headquarters in Ruhija for pre tracking briefing.

    Nshongi Group
    This is the group that gave birth to Mishaya group in 2010. Nshongi group was first habituated in 2007 and officially opened for tourism in 2009. By 2009, the group was the largest with 36 members including 4 silver backs and 7 black backs all living harmoniously. In 2010, Mishaya broke away with some members to form his own family leaving Nshongi with 26 members. The group was later split into another group called Bweza with 10 members in 2013 leaving Nshongi with only 18 members.

    Nshongi group occupies a large forested area in Rushaga where one is likely to be graced by the sights of other primates. It got its name from the R. Nshongi that flows with in its home range. Nshongi river was named following its dark colour that resembles honey which is called ‘omushongi gwo Bwoki’ in Rukiga.

    The Nshongi group has a unique characteristic where by Nshongi, the dominant silver back reigns over silver backs that are older than him which is a rare case among the primates.

    Kahungye Group
    This group also occupies Rushaga area and was consisting of 27 members with 3 silver backs at the time when it was opened for tourism in 2011. Barely a year later, the group split into two giving birth to Busingye family that too lives in Rushaga.
    The group consists of 13 members with 3 silver backs under the leadership of Rumansi and only the silver backs have names.

    Busingye Group
    This is another splitter group from Kahungye which broke away in 2012. This was a result of the ambitious silver back called Busingye which means ‘peace’. Busingye is not a symbol of his name as he is known for his fights with other gorillas and his raiding character where he forces other groups’ members into his own whenever there is an encounter.
    As by the year 2014, the group consists of 9 members with one silver back (Busingye), 3 infants, 2 adult females and 3 juveniles. The group also inhabits Rushaga area with the former groups mentioned.

    Nkuringo Group
    This group is located in Nkuringo area of Bwindi national park. The group derived its name from the hill where they were first sighted. Nkuringo is a Rukiga word meaning ‘A round hill’. After 2 years of habituation, the family was opened for tourism in 2004. The family was led by a silver back called Nkuringo who passed away in 2008 leaving behind his mature sons; Rafiki and Safari.
    Among other reasons for its habituation was because they used to attack peoples gardens, destroying sweet potatoes, and banana gardens. Habituating them was one way of compensating the community through tourism revenue as well as ensuring the Mountain gorilla conservation.

    The family is now composed of 19 members with 2 silver backs. After the death of his father, Safari took over the leadership role and in November of 2008, the group was blessed with the birth of twins; Muhozi and Katungi though the latter died of illness after one and a half years. This is the only group in Nkuringo area and is probably the toughest group to track but very rewarding as it requires one to have good stamina to endure the trek.

    Bweza Group
    This group consists of 7 members with one silver back and is one of the splitter groups of the larger Nshongi group. In 2010, Bweza was among the members that broke away under the leadership of Mishaya to form Mishaya group.

    However in 2012, Bweza discovered that his ambitions would not be fulfilled under Mishaya’s rule hence decided to break away with a group of 6 other members to form their own independent group. Despite UWA’s speculation last year that the group would reunite with Mishaya, it has remained independent and is open for tracking in the Rushaga area.

    Nyakagezi Group
    This group is under the leadership of Mark; a great Silver back who is very adventurous and often leads the group across borders of the 3 countries (Rwanda, Uganda and D R Congo). Since November 2012, the group has tried to remain stable on the Ugandan side and with the birth of a young one in 2013; the hope for their stay has been increased.

    The group has 10 members including one silver back and is the only habituated group in Mgahinga Gorilla national park. Tracking this group is uncertain because of their unpredictable character and the permits can only be booked at the park headquarters in Mgahinga after the rangers have sighted where the group is.

    Kyaguriro Group
    This is the only habituated gorilla group in Uganda reserved for research alone. The group is composed of 15 members and occupies Ruhija area. It is said that the group has been a great ally of Bitukura to the extent that some adolescent females have been reported to leave Bitukura for it.

    Those are the Gorilla families so far and the list will always be up dated as new groups come in. I hope with that little information, one will be able to get an insight of the gorilla group he/ she will be allocated.

    Posted by admin in Blog, News
    what is killing Uganda’s Tourism Potential

    what is killing Uganda’s Tourism Potential

    What is Killing Uganda’s tourism potential
    Located in East Africa, Uganda the pearl of Africa is blessed with diverse natural and ,manmade resources which include mountains, forests, different vegetation types, cultural and historical sites diverse cultures and sub cultural groups, it is also a home for half of the rare endangered mountain gorillas located in Bwindi impenetrable forest national park and Mgahiga national park south western Uganda and many other animal such as elephants, lions, buffalos, rhinos, monkeys, baboons and different bird species for the birders, the pearl Africa borders Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, Democratic Republic of Congo and south Sudan .

    However, despite of the interesting tourism features in Uganda, the country has not realized its targeted proceeds from tourism for the several years past compared to its neighboring countries such as Kenya, Tanzania and recently Rwanda whom they share borders . The total tourism receipts for example in 2014 fell from shs56b to shs42.6b which is 24% of the total revenues collected, this was according to the Uganda wild life authority’s latest auditors general report 2013/2014. The limited benefits from tourism in Uganda are attributed to the following:
    According to Jossy Muhangi, the public relations manager at the Uganda wild life authority, negative publicity of the country in the outside world countries (tourist origins) is the main cause for low growth of tourism in Uganda. Uganda is still known for insecurity because of the lord’s resistance army rebels mostly in the northern parts of Uganda which threatens most tourists and hinders them from touring to Uganda despite of its unique and interesting tourism features. Also, the fragile security situation in the Horn of Africa, especially in Somalia where al-Shabaab militants have created an undesirable environment hinder travelers to Africa and partly to Uganda killing tourism in the country.

    More still, the outbreak of the epidemics especially Ebola in West Africa also limited tourism in Uganda, tourists were so much scared for their lives and safety from this dangerous epidemics that was spreading at a higher speed leading to the death of many people in the shortest time including tourists. Up to present, most travelers still know that Ebola still exists and cannot travel to Uganda hence killing tourism in the country.
    In addition, the anti homosexuality law that was passed by the parliament of Uganda in 2013 had a great impact on the growth of tourism in the country, it is believed that most travelers to Uganda come from countries were homosexuality is a right for people and even some of the them participate in the game. This anti homosexuality law that was passed and signed restricted most travelers from visiting Uganda hence killing tourism in Uganda.

    Also, the political rivals in Uganda led by the opposition parties has made Uganda especially in Kampala the capital and the main hub in the country un conducive for then travelers, the most opposing party is the forum for democratic party (FDC) and such rivals and fights with the police of Uganda discourages travelers to the country hence killing tourism in Uganda.
    Conclusively, According to the Uganda tourism board spokesperson Vincent Mugaba, the lack of a clear cut strategy for promoting tourism both at home and abroad coupled with the unscrupulous expenditures on the unrewarding public relations promotions by the Uganda tourism board is the main cause. He also argued that Uganda is not the only country facing declining tourist numbers but also the immediate neighbors, like Kenya who actually spend a lot on marketing their countries. However, Uganda as a tourism destination is trying to tap every opportunity possible to market tourism so as to promote tourism in the country and cover up for the decline in the past.

    Posted by admin in News, Uganda