safaris

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.
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Posted by admin in safaris, Uganda
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
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’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
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
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
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
How is it Like to Trek Mountain Gorillas?

How is it Like to Trek Mountain Gorillas?

Are you planning a gorilla tour to Uganda, Rwanda or Congo? An encounter with mountain gorillas is an amazing, awesome, magical, unforgettable, humbling, and eye-opening experience every travel should add on his/her travel bucket list. The experience is surely everything that past travelers have adored as wonderful, moving, spell binding and moving bringing you close to these beautiful creatures in their rapidly retreating habitat. Though it’s quite an adventure to bush walk through the jungle while stepping around the tracks of forest elephants a face-to-face encounter with the world’s critically endangered mountain gorillas is undeniably an experience of its own kind. Regardless of the strenuous and un predictable hours of wondering in the jungle, the outcome of seeing these magnificent animals make you forget about how difficult it was to get to them. There are no words that can describe fully how it feels like being the gorillas but the experience is an immersive wildlife encounter. Upon the confirmation of your gorilla safaris, the actual day of meeting gorillas finally comes for you to enjoy a glimpse of being so close to the splendid gentle giants in their natural habitats. Gorilla safaris are only done in Bwindi impenetrable forest national park in Uganda and the Virunga Massif, which comprise of Volcanoes national park in Rwanda, Virunga national park in DRC and Mgahinga gorilla national park in Uganda.

Briefing and allocation of gorilla families
At the start of each trekking day, travelers transfer to the national park headquarters to join others for a briefing about trekking rules and regulations. The briefing id all about safety precautions by the travelers aimed to keeping mountain gorillas health for sustainable tourism. This is done as early as 7:00am to catch up with hiking it before set sets in. Travelers are then divided into groups of eight each of which is allocated to one gorilla family and there the hiking begins.

Hire porters and carry walking stick
Hiking starts right away after the briefing and porters are very invaluable in the hiking session. The porters (former poachers) help in carrying knapsack, provide guidance, support by holding travelers hands in the slippery slopes, which make trekking quite easy for travelers. The terrain comprises of hills, holes and thick vines, small creek and rock bed that make hiking quite difficult hence a need for a porter. Also hiring a porter is an indirect support for the local communities who formerly depended on the forest for a livelihood.

The actual trekking and meeting the gorillas
This entails hiking up and down in search of mountain gorillas and the length of trekking can be as short as 30 minutes to a full day depending on the location of the allocated gorilla family and the speed of their movements. Hiking is very enjoyable and travelers make it easier making sure that all travelers move at the same pace and speed. Rangers are helpful and ensure trekking is done in bits where at some point the “slowest” person leads the whole group and all others travelers move at his/her pace. On reaching the gorillas, travelers keep following the gorillas as they eat, swing from trees, fart and poop requiring them to move at the same pace so as to observe and enjoy all their activities.

How long to be with the gorillas
Though hiking may take several hours, a face-to-face encounter with mountain gorillas lasts for an hour. Travelers should therefore keep keen, calm and steady to utilize this one-hour. This is the time to observe carefully gorillas human like characters such as silverbacks defending family members while female adults nurse the young ones. Remember to remove the flash light form the camera and take as many photographs as possible future reference. Enjoy the company of a 650-pound Silverback escorting his family of wives and babies as gently as possible.

REMINDER:
Carry your Gorilla permits

The permit is expensive but absolutely worth it to protect these brilliant animals and support the local communities. All travelers must have gorilla permits as a pass to see the majestic giants in the jungle. Also travelers are reminded to book for the permits as early as six months before trekking the date for easy planning. The cost of a gorilla permit vary in each country where Rwanda offers the most expensive permits at 1500usd, Uganda at 600usd and DRC at 450usd. Any travel without a permit is not allowed to see the gorillas. A permit allow travelers to spend an hour with the gorillas after which the trekking is declared done.

Follow the rules and regulations
To ensure a successful and peaceful gorilla trekking experience, all travelers are reminded to follow the rules and regulations taught during briefing. These include keeping a distance of seven meters distance a way from the gorillas, keeping low tone, keeping within their groups, and not to litter anything in the forest. Looking direct into the eyes of mountain gorillas is discouraged since it puts them on tension and can therefore behave wild to defend them selves. The reason for the seven-meter distance is to avoid the spread of human wildlife communicable disease, which are harmful to the endangered gorillas and the travelers.

Best time to trek mountain gorillas
Though gorilla trekking can be done all year round, the experience is most enjoyable in the dry season. This is in the months of June, July, August, September, October, December, January and February. During this season the grounds hiking through the dense forest is quite easy with less sliding and muddy grounds unlike in the rainy season where the grounds become extremely muddy and slippery making it hard to hike.

Conclusively therefore, gorilla trekking is a spiritual experience you should not miss, book a gorilla safari now and enjoy a lifetime experience you will live to remember.

Posted by admin in Blog, News, safaris
Wildlife & Beauty  Key to Uganda’s Tourism Sector

Wildlife & Beauty Key to Uganda’s Tourism Sector

It’s undeniable that wildlife and beauty are key features for the success of tourism sector in Uganda. Gifted by nature, the pearl of Africa is blessed with a variety of wildlife and beautiful sceneries where something awaits you in all parts of the country. A combination of wild animals, birds, forest, rivers, lakes, mountains, valleys, and green vegetation make Uganda safaris exceptional travel experiences.Each day that passes, thousands of travelers visit different tourism spots in Uganda among which are national parks, game reserves, cultural and historical sites which reward them with memorable experiences. At the end of the 11 million dollar five year biodiversity project, the US ambassador in Uganda recognized the contribution of wildlife and beauty in boosting Uganda’s tourism sector. Participants also revised new strategies which promise to attract billions ways to the new conservation based tourism. Also, the US ambassador reveled that the 1.3 billion dollar earned from tourism sector depends on its wildlife and natural beauty situated in all parts of the country.

In order to avoid wildlife conflicts in national parks and all protected areas, Uganda government has initiated various community-based projects in local areas adjacent to national parks. The Budongo community group in Budongo forest adjacent to Murchison falls national park is one of the community based projects, which have been put by the government of Uganda. Local people in Murchison falls national park were given 200 beehives as a way to avoid human wildlife conflicts. Similarly, the government plans to add more 800-bee hives after Budongo community project has registered with the government as a cooperative
Looking at Uganda’s wildlife, Uganda is a home to roughly 480 mountain gorillas, which is half of the world’s total population of mountain gorillas. The pearl of Africa is blessed to be one of the three countries which host the critically endangered mountain gorillas along with Rwanda and Democratic Republic of Congo. Uganda shelters 13 habituated gorilla families 12 of which reside in Bwindi impenetrable forest national park and 1 in Mgahinga gorilla national park all available for trekking. The high number of gorilla families’ which guarantee travelers availability of gorilla permits even for the first time travelers.

Besides mountain gorillas, Uganda is a home to the rare golden monkeys, which live in Mgahinga gorilla national park in southwestern Uganda. Uganda and Rwanda are the only two countries, which shelter the critically endangered golden monkeys in Mghinga and Volcanoes national parks respectively. Fortunately, golden monkeys are trekked at 100usd that is relatively cheaper compared to mountain gorillas at 600usd.

Kibale forest national park is a home to over 1450 chimpanzees, which offer travelers a memorable chimpanzee trekking experience bringing you close to the close relatives of human beings. More still, kibale national park is a home to a variety of baboons, L’Hoest monkeys, black and white colubuses, olive baboons, red tailed monkeys, bush babies, grey-cheeked mangabey and pottos among others hence an added advantage for the travelers. Still in kibale, expect to see forest elephants, duikers, and bush pigs hence traveler’s opportunity to interact with wildlife hence a memorable experience.

Murchison falls and Queen Elizabeth national park are best for wildlife viewing. The two national parks shelter the highest population of wildlife, which are seen browsing and grazing in the open savannah grasslands. Travelers are blessed to have a close look at herds of elephants, lions, buffalos, lions, leopards, giraffes, zebras, impalas, Uganda kobs, waterbucks, warthogs, oribis, Jackson’s heartbeats, hippos and crocodiles among others. Game viewing is a highlight for most if not all travelers coming to Uganda safaris. Besides Murchison falls and Queen Elizabeth, Kidepo valley national park in north Eastern Uganda and Lake Mburo national park in Mbarara district.

Sheltering over 1050 bird species, bird watching is Uganda’s best offer which attract thousands of travelers from all parts of the world. Uganda’s popular birding spots include The popular birding the Mabamba bay wetland sanctuary, kazinga channel in queen Elizabeth national park, Murchison falls national park, semuliki national park, kibale forest national park, Mgahinga gorilla national park, Budongo forest, Lake Mburo and Rwenzori mountains national park. The spied birds include crested francolin, African fish eagle, lilac-breasted roller, rare African fin foot, cheeky bronze tailed sparkling, long eared owl, golden winged sunbird, Archers’ robin –chat, pied kingfisher, black-collared lovebird, Casiin’s spine tail, African dwarf kingfishers, African open-billed stork, and papyrus gonolek among others. Experience birding guides help travelers in spotting different birds while explaining in details the unique characters of each spotted bird.

Uganda is a best mountain climbing destination in Africa being a home to various mountains, which include the famous mount Rwenzori (mountain of the moon), mount Elgon, Mount Gahinga, Mount Muhabura and Mount Sabyinyo. The summit of each volcano provides travelers with beautiful sceneries of the local communities, vegetation, rolling hills hence rewarding travelers with memorable experiences.

Conclusively therefore, visit Uganda the pearl of Africa, enjoy wildlife safaris, bird watching, mountain climbing, gorilla trekking and chimpanzee trekking all rewarding you with a lifetime experience.

Posted by admin in Blog, News, safaris
Nature Walks in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park

Nature Walks in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park

Walking or hiking through Mgahinga gorilla forest national park on foot is undeniably the best way to explore and enjoy the treasures that nature offers on your Uganda safari with no limitation. Forest walks also called nature walks or hiking trails entail travelers footing through the forest following different trails depending on the targeted end point. Each trail take you to a certain attraction such as waterfalls, swamps and caves among others just for you to see and enjoy. A forest walk is an opportunity for travelers to listen to the sweet sounds of birds singing up in the tress as well as enjoying the quite cool forest environment. Travelers are also assured of meeting and interacting with various wild animals such as the critically endangered mountain gorillas, golden monkeys, duikers, baboons, elephants, giant forest hogs and bushbucks among others. The choice of which trail to follow therefore depends on the interest of the travelers and the physical fitness reminded that some trails are surely strenuous but the experience is memorable. Hiking trails in Mgahinga gorilla national park include among others:

Sabinyo gorge walk
Forest walks in Mgahinga
This is a 5-6 hours walk meandering in the lower slopes of Mount Sabyinyo taking travelers through different vegetation zones all the way to the gorge. Sabyinyo gorge walk is a very strenuous yet enjoyable hike which reward travelers with spectacular views of the Virunga volcanoes, Bwindi forest, neighboring communities, Mgahinga national park and wildlife in the park. Additionally, the trail is a best birding spot and travelers spot different bird species which include Rwenzori Turaco, white necked raven, ibis, grey capped warbler, waxbills, pin –tailed whydah, paradise flycatcher, yellow vented bulbul, olive pigeon, Rwenzori nightjar, pin tailed whydah, black kite, speckled mouse birds and olive woodpecker among others. The trail starts in the bamboo forests proceeding to the deep forest a habitat for numerous birds and wild animals. Fortunately, ridges have been put to ease the hiking whereas bridges help in crossing over water streams making the experience more enjoyable. Travelers are reminded to carry enough drinking water, hiking boots and energy giving snacks to keep them strong in the tiresome long hike.

Batwa trail
Hiking trails in Mgahinga
Batwa trail is the most interesting trail in Mgahinga national park where Batwa pygmies demonstrate their traditional forest life to the travelers. The trail entails Batwa, the formers dwellers of the forest lead travelers into the forest while singing their traditional dances and songs for entertainment. On reaching the forest, Batwa practice their former activities such as hunting, gathering fruits and collecting honey among others as travelers watch or take part. The Batwa also take travelers to their popular spots such as the Ngarama cave where they used to offer sacrifices to their gods and preforming other rituals. A batwa cultural trail is done at a cost of 80usd which money is used to support the Batwa who were evicted to the edge of the forest when gorilla tourism was introduced in the national park. It’s a half-day interaction with the indigenous forest dwellers, which provide travelers with in depth understanding of the Batwa, their histories and their former forest life.

Border trail
This is a moderate walk to Uganda border with Democratic Republic of Congo done in the lower slopes of Mount Sabyinyo. The trail takes five hours through different vegetation types hence a chance for travelers to meet and interact with wild animals such as golden monkeys, duikers, mountain gorillas and many bird species. While in the trail, travelers can also hike up to the caldera at the top of Gisozi hill which reward you with spectacular views of the Mgahinga gorilla national park, the neighboring Bwindi, Virunga volcanoes and the adjacent communities.

Hiking to the visitors information center
This is the shortest trail just a few minutes from the national park entrance point. Here travelers are introduced to all facts about Mgahinga gorilla national park such as the vegetation zones, wildlife, Virunga volcanoes, batwa pygmies and birdlife in the national park. There are also different symbols at your display as well as various articrafts for sale. Some animals come at the center hence a chance for travelers to see these animals without strenuous hikes. You can also view the Virunga volcanoes mainly Sabyinyo, Bwindi impenetrable forest and the farmlands which all provide you with a memorable experiences.

Besides forest walks, Mgahinga gorilla national park offers much more which include among others:
Mountain gorilla trekking
The national park is a home to Nyakageyzi gorilla family, which is available for trekking. In the past, Nyakagyezi used to cross borders to Rwanda and Democratic Republic of Congo but has presently settled in Mgahinga for trekking. Just like in the neighboring Bwindi, Gorilla trekking in Mgahinga comes with a cost of 600usd for an interaction of an hour. The family is led by Mark as dominant silverback and comprise of 10 members which include Rukundo, Nshuti, Mutagamba, Bugingo, Nvuyekure, Mathew and mark among others. Fortunately, new babies are being born hence the family expanding day by day.

Golden monkey trekking
Mgahinga Gorilla park
This is yet another interesting activity done in Mgahinga Gorilla national park. The park is one of the two parks sheltering these endangered species along side Volcanoes national park. Golden monkey trekking is a not miss activity done at relatively fair rate 100usd but the experience is memorable. Golden monkeys are lively and playful animals, which are distinguished from other monkey species by a golden fur on the back. Golden monkeys live in large groups of 60-80 members compared to mountain gorillas, which make an encounter with them more interesting and enjoyable.

Hiking the Virunga volcanoes
Mgahinga gorilla national park is a home to three extinct volcanoes, which are Mount Sabyinyo, Mount Gahinga and Mount Muhabura. A hike to the top of any volcano is a great experience, which reward travelers with great views of the neighboring communities, other Virungas in Rwanda and Democratic Republic of Congo as well as the rain forest of the national park.

Conclusively therefore, visit Mgahinga gorilla national, park, do nature walks, gorilla trekking, Golden monkey trekking and hike the Virunga volcanoes rewarding you with a memorable experience.

Posted by admin in Blog, News, safaris
Popular Reasons to Visit Uganda

Popular Reasons to Visit Uganda

A Safari to the pearl of Africa is surely a life changing experience that all travelers have. Which ever corner you travel to, some thing new and unique awaits to meet and exceed your travel expectations. A safari to Uganda is an experience of it own kind associated with beautiful sceneries, national parks, rich culture, hospital people, peace and security which all together make a satisfactory travel package in Uganda not hardly found in other tourism destinations.

Mountain gorillas
Uganda is a place to see the endangered mountain gorillas. There are roughly 880-mountain gorillas surviving in the whole world 400 of which reside in Uganda’s tropical rain forests of Bwindi impenetrable forest and Mgahinga gorilla national parks both in southwestern Uganda. This makes Uganda a unique tourism destination with the endangered gorillas hardly found in the universe. There are over 36 gorilla families in Uganda 13 of which have been habituated and opened for trekking. More still, the remaining population for mountain gorillas is shared by Rwanda in volcanoes national park and DR Congo in virunga national park. More still, Uganda’s mountain gorillas are trekked at a cost of 600usd in the peak season and 450usd in the low season. Besides trekking, gorilla habituation experience is another interesting thing not to miss out and is only done in Uganda worldwide. It’s a process of familiarizing wild gorilla to the presence of people done between 2-3 years. At present, two gorilla families of Bushaho and Bikyingi are undergoing habituation in Rushaga sector of Bwindi impenetrable forest national park.

Chimpanzees
Chimpanzee trekking is yet another interesting experience that brings you closer to the close relatives of human beings sharing approximately 99.9% of human genes. The tropical rain forest of Kibale forest national park is a home to the highest population of chimpanzees in Uganda and Africa as a whole. These inhabit the tropical rain forest of kibale forest national park and there are approximately 5000 chimpanzees inhabiting there. This therefore makes Uganda is a stop center for chimpanzee trekking. Besides chimpanzee, kibale forest national park offer you an opportunity to encounter other animal such as Colubuses, Olive baboon, Vervet monkeys, Grey cheeked mangabey, L’Hoest monkeys, Red tailed monkeys, Black and white Colubuses, and nocturnal animals such as Pottos and bush babies along with various bird species. A variety of wildlife in the national park makes the entire experience interesting and memorable. Chimpanzee habituation is also worth doing and is only done in Kibale forest national park.

Game/wildlife viewing
Mostly done in the open plains of Murchison falls National Park, Queen Elizabeth national park, Kidepo valley national park and Lake Mburo national park. A safari to Uganda exposes you to a variety of wildlife. The open savannahs provide spectacular views of various wildlife, browsing, grazing and hunting in the open grasses. Game drives one in morning and evening hours is the best time to see wildlife. A variety of animal both herbivores and omnivores are seen and these include Buffalos, lions. Leopards, elephants, zebras, giraffes, warthogs, waterbucks, cheetah and Oribis among others. A boat cruise at the mighty falls of Murchison and kazinga channel provide good views of wildlife on the shores of the lake.

Birding
Uganda is a home to over 1,050 bird species, which make it a haven for birders. Among the birding spots in Uganda include Mabamba bay wetland, Bigodi wetland sanctuary, Budongo forest, kazinga channel and Lutembe bay wetland sanctuary among others. The most spotted birds in Uganda include shoebill, papyrus Gonolek, swamp flycatcher, pied kingfisher, black kite, African jacana, lesser jacana, African marsh harrier, grosbeak, Veillot’s black weaver, Flamingoes, Ibises and yellow-billed stork among others. You are reminded to come along with binoculars for clear views and experienced guides help to explain in details about each spotted bird specie.

Culture
Not only does Uganda offer wildlife experiences but authentic culture. Uganda people are known for hospitality and easy to associate with. There are over 54 tribes in Uganda each with unique traditions and cultures. The Batwa pygmies in southwestern Uganda are the most visited people with unique traditions and cultures. While with the Batwa, travelers are introduced to the Batwa traditional forest life such as fruit gathering, hunting and traditional dances. Travelers also visit the Karamajong in Kidepo Valley national park northeastern Uganda. Travelers always take part in these traditional activities, which make them feel as part of the community an experience they cannot forget.

Conclusively therefore, travel to Uganda and enjoy a memorable expereince.

Posted by admin in News, safaris, Uganda
Bwindi Gorilla Permits Uganda

Bwindi Gorilla Permits Uganda

Call it gorilla trekking or tracking or whatever, it’s one of those really thrilling, lifetime experiences you should take time for before you leave planet earth. Despite years of civil unrest in the region where mountain gorillas live, conservation efforts have found success. The gorilla population increased from 620 animals in 1989 to over 950 species today.

gorilla trekking in RwandaThe exhilaration attached to the first setting eyes on a wild mountain gorilla is difficult to describe. If you have never tracked the mighty mountain gorillas, don’t miss this once in lifetime opportunity of tracking at discounted rates in Uganda. In Uganda, mountain gorillas live in forests high in the mountains, at elevations of 8,000 to 13,000 feet. They have thicker fur, and more of it, compared to other great apes. The fur helps them to survive in a habitat where temperatures often drop below freezing.

During the pick season of June-September/December to February, Gorillas in Uganda are tracked at a rate of 600$ paid by foreign non-residents, 500$ paid by foreign residents and 250000 Ugandan shillings paid by east African residents. Yet in the same sense, that magical one hour spent with the gorillas does not come cheaply considering that a permit goes for US$750 in Rwanda – but it is unusual to find someone who regretted the financial outlay.

In the Low season months / rainy seasons, Bwindi gorilla permits are discounted to 350$ for foreign non residents, 300$ for foreign residents and 150,000 for east African residents while in Rwanda prices are constant at 750$. In Uganda, ten families have been habituated in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest national park, and so can host 80 persons tracking the mountain gorillas on any day. Only 8 persons can visit a given gorilla family per day. Has Gorilla tracking prices been impacting your decision to travel to Africa for this thrilling activity? Now your prayers answered by the Uganda wildlife authority that is rewarding you a holiday package at such a discounted rate.

Uganda’s Bwindi and Mgahinga National Parks have slight edge over the rest because its gorillas are the most wholly habituated, and they are often found in less dense forest which makes photographing easier. Uganda’s pride is in the ability for one to do the gorilla trek holiday even in 3 days and fly back home.
Bwindi is located 500 km from Kampala city and a drive can take 8 hours plus. In that sense, you will spend at least 3 days for your gorilla trek tour – one traveling to Bwindi, another doing the gorilla trek, and the other driving back to Kampala/Entebbe. There is so much to be admired by your eyes along the way to Bwindi that is quite enchanting with great sceneries all through like the Equator, Lake Mburo National Park (for some Queen Elizabeth National Park with abundant wildlife), terraced mountains with flowing rivers, and a lot of rural Africa.

Tourists can access Bwindi impenetrable national park either by road or flying over from Entebbe to towns near to Bwindi including Kihihi and Kisoro to track the gorillas. A round flight ticket costs $500 with AeroLink Uganda. In that case you will need to arrange your transfer from the airstrip to Bwindi, and back as well please talk to your agents.

Another option of accessing Bwindi forest is from Rwanda. Its just 4 hours from Kigali driving into Bwindi forest, much more nearer that driving from Kampala to Bwindi.

Posted by admin in News, safaris

Gorillas Watching in Volcanoes National Park Rwanda

Volcanoes National Park lies in northern Rwanda and borders Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Mgahinga National Park in Uganda. The national park is a haven for the Mountain gorilla – with over 400 of these gentle giants making the park their home. Volcanoes national park is home to ten habituated gorilla families and 8 other groups that are still under research making the entire total of 18 groups.gorilla trek Rwanda
The park is also home to five of the eight volcanoes of the Virunga Mountains (Karisimbi, Bisoke, Muhabura, Gahinga and Sabyinyo) which are covered in rainforest and Bamboo.

The park was the base of operations for famed naturalist Dian Fossey. She spent 20 years here living and working with the gorillas and campaigning for their protection. She was murdered here and although her death remains a mystery the likely culprits were the poachers she had fought against for so long. Her life here is immortalized in the film; “Gorillas in the Mist”. It is largely because of her influence and her setting up of the Karisoke Research Centre that saved these gentle giants and today Rwanda is able to receive travelers from all over the world to visit gorillas in Rwanda in the Parc National des Virunga (PNVi).

When coming to Africa for your gorilla tour, plan for at least a 1-4 hour trek through the forest, led by experienced trackers who have spent their entire lives living in or close to the forest. Your trek will be enchanting as you weave through overhanging vines, moss-covered Hagenia trees and giant Lobelias that thrive in the tropical climate. You may spot golden monkeys or see buffalo, bush duiker and a wide variety of bird life. But the high point, of course, one of the greatest wildlife experiences on earth, will be spending an hour with the gentle giant gorillas as they go about their daily life, feeding, playing, resting and raising their young.

From one of these lodges you will launch your hike into the forested slopes in search of one of the gorilla families. Be warned though that gorilla tracking is no walk in the park. You do literally have to track down the gorillas who could have moved a significant distance from the day before. Relatively few permits (80 per day) are issued to see the gorillas and your time with them is restricted to one hour.

Accommodation in the Parc National des Virunga (PNV)

Mountain Gorillas Nest
So close to the entrance of Volcanoes National Park that you can ‘almost’ roll out of bed and onto your gorilla tracking hike, Mountain Gorillas Nest has 40 rooms available and being this close to the park it’s no surprise that most visitors to the gorillas choose to stay at Mountain Gorillas Nest Lodge rather than anywhere else.
Your stay might not be exclusive and romantic but you can share in the joys of seeing the mountain gorillas with your fellow travelers. Built in a grove of trees, the rooms are arranged in a large semi-circle around a central courtyard. The rooms are all en-suite and there is also a spacious restaurant with a large bar. The food is simple, sufficient and electricity is supplied by a generator. The staff here has seen a million visitors head out on gorilla treks, so if you are worried in the slightest simply ask. They also provide morning wake ups so that you don’t miss your gorilla appointment!

Kinigi Guesthouse
In the shadows of the Virunga Volcanoes and right near the entrance of the Volcanoes National Park is the Kinigi Guesthouse. Kinigi Guesthouse has 20 rooms and after the recent renovation they can be said to be comfortable and more than adequate, but one can stop short at calling them luxurious. Run by a local women’s’ co-operative most of the proceeds from your stay here will go into supporting the community. Be warned though that several facilities that one expects to be inclusive are not and you will be asked to make a donation, for instance when you have your laundry done.

There is also a bar and lounge area where you can relax and chat with your fellow gorilla trackers and swap stories about what you saw on your hike. The renovations have brought with them a generator, so all the rooms offer electricity and hot water. While sparsely furnished the rooms are warm and comfortable and if it’s gorillas you are interested in, you won’t mind that this isn’t a luxury lodge!

Virunga Lodge
Boasting one of the most stunning locations anywhere in Africa, the recently opened Virunga Lodge sprawls across a 2,175m hilltop overlooking Lakes Burera and Ruhondo to the southeast. The view is phenomenal with four of the Virunga volcanoes to the northwest and the shimmering waters of the lakes far below. Each of the individual cottages has a verandah with some comfortable seating, because you will be doing quite a bit of just sitting and enjoying the unfolding panorama. The spacious stone and wood chalets are spread out around the hill to allow guests maximum privacy.

Built in an eco-friendly fashion and adhering to eco-guidelines means that the lodge has full electricity supplied by solar panels, but it also means going to the bathroom can be a bit of an adventure. All the toilets operate in a well designed eco-friendly principle and it may require a bit of getting used to, especially the pouring ash down to flush! Friendly staff goes out of their way to make your stay here an enjoyable one. In the mornings they pour piping hot water into your shower (which operates on a ‘bucket’ system) and deliver fresh hot chocolate or percolated coffee depending on your desire.

The main reason to visit this eco-friendly lodge is for the gorillas. Situated just an hour away from the Volcanoes National Park entrance where all gorilla tracking activities leave from guests is woken at 5am for the journey. Once there you will be in the capable hands of trained guides who will lead you out into the jungle in search of a gorilla family. On your return to the lodge you might also want to spend some time in the library reading about the wonders of nature that you have just witnessed!

Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge
Situated only one kilometer from the edge of Volcanoes National Park in northern Rwanda, Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge is the newest lodge catering to gorilla seekers. Sister Camp to the popular luxury Governors’ Camp in Kenya’s Masai Mara, the lodge features the same attention to detail, luxurious finishes and well trained staff that the more established Governors is known for.

At 2,150 metres it’s not surprising that all of the separately positioned cottages have spectacular views from their private balconies. At this height it can get quite misty and cool, so the fireplace, warm bedding and warm smiles will all make you feel at home and comfortable. At the main lodge you can relax at the bar or in the dining room, which of course all feature amazing views. For those who are interested there is a community awareness centre where you can find out more about efforts to protect the endangered gorilla as well as socio-economic development efforts since Rwanda’s most recent troubles.

The primary reason to visit this area is of course for the gorillas. Volcanoes National Park is home to some 300 mountain gorillas and there are ten habituated families that you can visit. All hikes leave from the visitors centre which is only a kilometer from the Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge. The price for a gorilla permit is $750 and its very necessary to book ahead of time you expect to travel to Africa for the actual gorilla trek. For any questions and tips for your upcoming rwanda safari, please feel free to contact Africa adventure safaris and our travel consultants will be able to tell you much more about what is required.

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Big Five safaris in Uganda

Big Five safaris in Uganda are a must-do for anyone fascinated by wildlife. Big Five refers to buffalo, elephant, lion, leopard and rhino and the term comes from the animals considered most dangerous to hunt. Now the thrill comes from photographing them in their natural habitat.

Did you know?
It takes a while to develop ‘bush eyes’ and spot wildlife while on Ugandan holiday.
If you’re looking for a Big Five tour in Uganda you can opt to go to almost any region in Uganda, but the Queen Elizabeth National Park in western region and Murchison falls national park remains an iconic tourism draw card. The Big Five (lion, leopard, elephant, rhino and buffalo) abound in the park, and you see them by self-drive, guided drives or guided walks.
But remember, you are not in the middle of a National Geographic documentary. You may well see all Big Five; you may well not, although your chances are high in Uganda. Drive slowly, stop at waterholes, listen for the warning calls of birds, watch when other vehicles stop, and always keep your eyes open.

In Uganda, Prepare to be awed. To see a leopard dozing in the bough of a tree, spotting a white rhino half-hidden in thick shrubs, finding a pride of lions in the shade after a kill, or watching a large herd of elephants or Cape buffalo move soundlessly across the road – these are all priceless moments. Always remember that you’re dealing with wild animals, and that you’re in their territory. There are rules of engagement relating to Big Five safaris in Uganda. Read your guidebook carefully and heed the words of your ranger at all times. Accommodation for Big Five safaris in western region is either within the Queen Elizabeth National Park or on the neighboring communities such Kyambura, Kasese and Kihihi. Some lodges pride themselves on showing the Big Five to guests in record time, and you’ll even walk away with a certificate.

Once you’ve done Big Five activities in western Uganda, it’s time to ‘sweat the small stuff’ and learn about wondrous creatures like the dung beetle…

Travel tips & planning info

How to get here
If you’re heading for Queen Elizabeth national park, you can fly to Kasese airfield/Mweya and be picked up there. Or your lodge can arrange a charter flight from Entebbe international airport or Kajjansi airfield. Or hire a vehicle in Kampala and drive yourself in Queen Elizabeth. It’s best to hire a van or because you will have more leg room, and you’ll sit up higher for spotting game. Reserve well in advance

Tours to do
Game drives in your own vehicle are fun, but nothing can beat a ranger’s practiced eye. Go on a drive or walk guided by a ranger. You will learn plenty, and see much more than you might have on your own.

How to get around
Drive yourself in Queen Elizabeth National Park, the roads are excellent. Arm yourself with a good map you can buy on arrival. Or take a guided game drive. If you stay at a private lodge you will be driven in an open-air game vehicle by your ranger.

Length of stay
If you’re keen on seeing all of the Big Five, give it at least five days in Uganda. But remember, there are no guarantees in the wilderness.

What to pack
Carry your camera, lightweight binoculars, hat and sun block. Even in the height of dry season, take a jacket along for night drives. While in Uganda’s park, Try to dress predominantly in dull bush colors of khaki and olive green.

Where to stay
If you have kids, stay at one of Queen Elizabeth’s bigger lodges which have a pool, a restaurant and spacious rooms. Good tip: it’s always better to make a telephone booking than on line. Check with the private lodge if they take kids – not all do.

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8 Days Uganda Safari – Wildlife Tours in Uganda

The 8 days Uganda gorilla safari features gorilla tracking in Bwindi, Chimpanzee tracking in Kibale, game drives and boat cruise in Queen Elizabeth National park and the tree climbing llions.

Day 1: Arrival and Transfer to Kampala
Upon arrival, you will be received by our company representative who will transfer you to Kampala for refreshment and overnight at Nexus Resort(budget)/ La Petit Village (deluxe)/ Sheraton hotel (Luxury).

Day 2: Kampala – Bwindi National Park
Your guide will pick you from your hotel early in the morning and drive you to the south westernside of the country through a verdant country side. You will be fascinated by the traditional drummakers, a photo shoot at the Equator and the Ankole long horned cattle near Mbarara town. With a lunch stop in Mbarara, proceed further south west through the fascinating scenery of Kabale with rolling hills adorned with terraces. You will reach Bwindi impenetrable forest in the evening and check in at Buhoma community bandas(budget)/ Silver back lodge(deluxe)/ Mahogany Springs(Luxury)

Day 3: Bwindi Impenetrable National Park
Early in the morning, Report to the park headquarters with a picnic lunch for briefing by the senior park ranger guide. Enter the forest and enjoy its beauty and freshness being home to more than half of the world’s mountain gorillas. Proceed through the dense vegetation to trek for these endangered primates depending on where they built their nest the previous night. For conservation purposes, time allowed with the Gorillas is one hour. Observe the gentle giants as they feed, groom the young, make love and play. If time allows, after tracking, you may take a community visit as you experience the life style of the local communities. Visit a traditional herbalist, black smith and a local brewery to see how beer is brewed using local methods. Enjoythe traditional dances offered by the community. Overnight stay at Buhoma community bandas(budget)/ Silver back lodge(deluxe)/ Mahogany Springs (Luxury).

Day 4: Bwindi Impenetrable National Park – Queen Elizabeth national park
We shall drive through the country side passing through traditional homesteads and farms. Continue on to Queen Elizabeth National through the southern part of the park (Ishasha sector) as you look out for the tree climbing lions resting in the fig trees. You may as well be rewarded by the sight of cobs, water bucks and other antelopes grazing in the Ishasha plains. Have lunch and continue to the upper part of the park with an evening game drive. Retire and check in at Mweya Safari lodge/ Katara lodge (Luxury)/ Enganzi lodge (deluxe)/ Simba lodge (budget)

 

Day 5: Queen Elizabeth National Park
Take a 6.30 am morning game drive to catch up with the early raisers like the leopard, lion, spotted hyena among others. The park’s diverse ecosystem of grassy plains, tropical forest, rivers, swamps, lakes and volcanic craters is home to an incredible abundance of wildlife. As youtake the Kasenyi trail, look out for buffalos, elephants, giraffes, warthogs, topis, kobs, waterbucks, bush bucks, bush duikers among others. Also to expect is a stupendous bird life that includes the martial eagle, the Woodland kingfisher, the great blue turaco, the grey plantain eater among the 606 species recorded in the park. Return to the lodge for a late breakfast. After lunch go for the afternoon launch cruise on the Kazinga Channel. This is a home of a variety of water birds including the African Fish eagle, the African Skimmer, pelican, the pre-historic looking shoe bill and on a hot day, hippos, elephants, buffaloes and waterbucks can be sighted as they bathe and drink water at the water edge. Crocodiles are common residents and are regularly sighted along the channel banks. Dinner and overnight at Mweya Safari lodge/ Katara lodge (Luxury)/ Enganzi lodge (deluxe)/ Simba lodge (budget).

Day 6: Queen Elizabeth National Park – Kibale Forest National park
After breakfast, you will transfer to Kibale forest national park famed for its highest population of primates in Africa and home to the Chimpanzee. You will pass through Kasese as you enjoy the captivating sight of the Rwenzori glacial peaks’ well decorating the sky line’s back ground and arrive in Kibale in time for lunch. After lunch, you will embark on a nature walk through Bigodi wetland for primate and bird watching. Overnight stay at Primates lodge (luxury)/ Mountains of the Moon (deluxe), Rwenzori view guest house (budget)

Day 5: Queen Elizabeth National Park
Take a 6.30 am morning game drive to catch up with the early raisers like the leopard, lion, spotted hyena among others. The park’s diverse ecosystem of grassy plains, tropical forest, rivers, swamps, lakes and volcanic craters is home to an incredible abundance of wildlife. As you take the Kasenyi trail, look out for buffalos, elephants, giraffes, warthogs, topis, kobs, waterbucks, bush bucks, bush duikers among others. Also to expect is a stupendous bird life that includes the martial eagle, the Woodland kingfisher, the great blue turaco, the grey plantain eater among the 606 species recorded in the park. Return to the lodge for a late breakfast. After lunch go for the afternoon launch cruise on the Kazinga Channel. This is a home of a variety of water birds including the African Fish eagle, the African Skimmer, pelican, the pre-historic looking shoe bill and on a hot day, hippos, elephants, buffaloes and waterbucks can be sighted as they bathe and drink water at the water edge. Crocodiles are common residents and are regularly sighted along the channel banks. Dinner and overnight at Mweya Safari lodge/ Katara lodge (Luxury)/ Enganzi lodge (deluxe)/ Simba lodge (budget)

Day 6: Queen Elizabeth National Park – Kibale Forest National park
After breakfast, you will transfer to Kibale forest national park famed for its highest population of primates in Africa and home to the Chimpanzee. You will pass through Kasese as you enjoy the captivating sight of the Rwenzori glacial peaks’ well decorating the sky line’s back ground and arrive in Kibale in time for lunch. After lunch, you will embark on a nature walk through Bigodi wetland for primate and bird watching. Overnight stay at Primates lodge (luxury)/ Mountains of the Moon (deluxe), Rwenzori view guest house (budget)

7: Kibale Forest National Park – Chimpanzee tracking
After an early morning breakfast, report to the park headquarters with your packed lunch for briefing by the senior park guide. Proceed to track man’s closest relative of all the apes in this vast forest. You are likely to encounter other primates like olive baboons, bonobos, red colobus, black and white colobus, red and blue monkeys, grey cheeked mangabey among others as well asa wide diversity of birds. If time allows, you may take an optional evening visit to the crater lakes of Ndali. Retire for an overnight at your lodge.

Day 8: Kibale Forest National Park-Kampala
You will check out at the lodge after breakfast as you drive back to Kampala through Mubende. You may take an optional visit to Nakayima Tree which is believed to be the house for a goddess Nakayima and her spirits and some locals go to seek their favor. Proceed with an en route lunch in Mityana or Kampala depending on where time for lunch will find you. Upon arrival in Kampala, do the last minute shopping and take a brief tour around the city, then transfer to the airport arriving in time for your departure flight.
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