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Meet the Gorillas & Chimpanzees in Uganda

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Bwindi Mountain Gorillas

As far as tourism is concerned, whenever one hears Uganda, what comes in any foreigners mind is the primate excursions that are always carried out in this country. And not only that, but what also rings a bell to them is the gorilla tracking as well as chimpanzee trekking. However, there are distinctive features that separate these two primates in the way they are tracked and how best one can prepare for both to have an ultimate experience.

Where they are both found in Uganda;

Chimpanzees in Uganda are located in different places but habituated chimpanzees only exist in Kibale National Park located in western Uganda, Kyambura Gorge located in Queen Elizabeth National Park, Kalinzu forest located closer to Queen Elizabeth National Park and Budongo Forest in Murchison Falls National Park located in Northern Uganda. We also have orphaned chimpanzees in Ngamba Island which is approximately 23 km in Lake Victoria and can be accessed by boats.

On the other hand, habituated gorillas are found in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga National Park. According to the 2013 mountain gorilla census, it was discovered that Bwindi Impenetrable National park has almost half the number of mountain gorillas in the whole while the other population of gorillas are in the Virunga Ranges shared between Uganda, Rwanda and the Democratic republic of Congo. Today Bwindi is one of the most popular parks for gorilla safaris on the African continent.

Gorilla and chimp trekking experience compared

When compared, gorilla tracking is a more organized activity both in Uganda and Rwanda and chances of seeing gorillas is above 90%. This is because gorillas live in families each headed by a dominant silver back. In Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, the activity is so organized in such a way that early in the morning, there is an advanced team that goes to the forest to look for where the gorillas would have slept and once they find them, then they communicate to the park head quarters to inform the guides where gorillas are. It’s from here that tourists plus their guide will start the trek to look for gorillas starting from where they slept the previous night until they find them. Once they have found them, they are given one hour to observe and take photographs.

Chimpanzee trekking on the other hand is not as organized as gorilla trekking and chances are high in Kibale National Park and Budongo forest to other places such as Kyambura Gorge and Kalinzu forest. The same process of having an advanced team applies to chimps but chimpanzees on the other hand live in communities of around 100 individuals or more and during the day, these communities breakup into small parties to reduce on food competition. Each party is therefore tracked by 6 people. Once you have found the chimpanzees, you are allowed only one hour to view and photograph them.

Family composition

A family of habituated gorillas is trekked by a maximum of 8 people in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga while Chimpanzee parties in Kibale National Park is restricted to only 6 people. While a habituated gorilla family can only be seen by a maximum of 8 people PER DAY, chimpanzee parties are trekked twice in a day (morning and afternoon). Taking a close look at chimp trekking in Kibale National Park, a maximum of 18 people do trek chimps both in the morning and in the afternoon. It is arranged in such a way that each chimpanzee party is trekked by 6 people thus 3 parties for 18 people. The fact that chimpanzees keep on breaking into small parties and regrouping, at a given point, you might find yourselves trekking the same party (18 people) they can join together. This tends to cause confusion amongst tourists if not briefed very well. This sometimes leads to congestion and kills the whole Eco- experience as expected by clients. Mountain gorillas tend to be on ground in most cases and depending on the height of the vegetation, they are better seen compared to chimpanzees which are in most cases up in the trees (Not all the time though as so many people have found them on ground).

What to pack for gorilla or chimp trekking

Both gorilla and chimp trekking requires one to have hiking boots, garden gloves, long sleeved trousers and shirts, rain jackets, sun glasses, huts, a hiking stick and some energy giving foods to give you that extra strength when needed. You might not need a porter for chimp trekking in Kibale but we highly recommend one for Bwindi Impenetrable National Park for your gorilla trek.

Gorilla and Chimp permits

In Uganda, you require a permit to either trek gorillas or chimpanzees. Gorilla tracking permit for Bwindi Impenetrable National Park costs USD600.00 which normally goes down from that in low seasons (Feb-may) to the tune of USD350.00. enabling you to save USD150.00. The above includes trekking gorillas, a guide for the trek and park entrance fees. Chimpanzee trekking permits in Uganda vary according to where you will be trekking them. In Kibale, a permit is USD150 while in Kyambura is at USD50.00 per person and includes guide, park entrance and viewing chimps.

Distances compared

Gorilla trekking is done in Bwindi and Mgahinga and they are approximately 8-9 hours from Kampala while driving and it also depends on which side of Bwindi you are going to. If you are flying, then it might take you around about one and half hours to Bwindi or Kisoro. Kibale National Park is about 5-6 hours from Kampala; Kyambura Gorge is approximately 7-8 hours drive from Kampala while Budongo is also approximately 5-6 hours drive to northern Uganda.

Explore Bwindi, the Mountain Gorillas’ Paradise

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Located in South Western Uganda, Bwindi is one of the best hotspots for adventure travel in Africa. This renonowned impenetrable forest is home to nearly half of the remaining total population of the majestic mountain gorillas. Gazetted as a national park in the 1990s, these mist covered hills intertwined with large plains blanketed are the best destination where travelers go for gorilla trekking in Africa. Join us on a journey and explore one of Uganda’s oldest tropical forest that has survived through the last ice age for about 25000 years.

About the Forest
Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National park covers an area of about 327 sq km. Characterized by tangled vegetation draped over a deeply fissured landscape of steep slippery hills, the forest is home to incredible wildlife though it is most renowned for hosting the endangered mountain gorillas. The park’s highest altitude is at 2,607m above sea level (southern part) and the lowest at1,160m above sea level in the northern part.

This thick impenetrable forest was first gazetted as two crown forest reserves one being Kayonza and another being Kasatora in 1932. The two forest reserves were later combined in 1942 to form the Impenetrable Central crown forest. In 1964, the reserve was designated as an animal sanctuary to boost the protection of mountain gorillas and was renamed Impenetrable Central Forest reserve. In 1966, two other forest reserves became part of the main reserve, increasing its area to almost 321 square kilometers (124 sq mi) and was managed as both a game sanctuary and a forest reserve.

In 1991, the Central forest reserve was turned into a national park and named Bwindi Impenetrable National park. Gorilla tracking became a tourist activity in April 1993 with one habituated gorilla family of Mubare but since then other 8 groups have been habituated for tracking including Rushegura, Kyaguriro, Oruzogo, Habinyanja, Nshongi, Bitukura, Nkuringo as well as Kahungye groups.

The park was declared a world heritage site by UNESCO in 1994 because of its rich biodiversity which includes a variety of threatened and endangered species on the IUCN’s red list.

Things to See in Bwindi Forest
The park’s rich biodiversity includes about 120 mammal species of which 10 are primate species, and 45 are small mammals and is believed to be one of East Africa’s richest faunal communities. The park also has a long list of birds, about 350 species including the Albertine rift endemics, 310 species of butterflies, 51 reptiles, 88 moths and 27 species of frogs, chameleons, geckos and many endangered species.

The park is believed to have one of East Africa’s richest flora that includes over 1000 flowering plant species including 200 species of trees and 104 species of ferns. The northern (low altitude) sector is rich in species of the Guineo-Congolian flora. These include two species internationally recognized as endangered, the Brown mahogany and Brazzeia longipedicellata. This rich flora has been a result of the forest’s location being at the meeting point of the plain and mountain forests producing the afromontane vegetation that is rare in Africa. The area harbors a high population of endemic species of the Albertine Rift.

Bwindi is the remaining home to some of the globally threatened species that include, high-profile mammals such as mountain gorilla, chimpanzee, l’Hoest’s monkey, the giant forest hogand African elephant; birds such as African green broadbill, Grauer’s swamp warbler, Turner’s Eremomela, Chapin’s flycatcher and Shelley’s crimson-wing; butterflies such as African giant swallowtail and Cream-banded swallowtail; carnivores like the side-striped jackal, African golden cat and African civet.

Gorilla Trekking in Bwindi Forest
The park’s most popular specie is the Endangered Mountain Gorilla believed to be man’s evolutionary cousin and the largest ape in the world. Bwindi shelters almost half of these gentle apes whose population in the world is estimated at about 750 individuals and their existence and survival is endemic to Bwindi and Mgahinga in Uganda, Virunga area in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Volcanoes in Rwanda. It is believed that Bwindi Forest shelters a population of about 340 gorillas according to the Gorilla census in 2006. The reduction in number of this critically endangered species is attributed to habitat loss and poaching by human beings.

Also present in this thick forest are 10 species of primates 7 of which are diurnal. They include common chimpanzee, L’Hoest’s monkey, black and white colobus, red-tailed monkeys, vervets, blue monkey and olive baboon.

Would you like to go gorilla trekking in Uganda? Join us at Go Gorilla Trekking as you embark on one of the most rewarding and highly sought after African safari. Trek our cousins and take a look at other wildlife species in the Pearl of Africa and East Africa at large. You will be able to assess the evolution theory of mankind as you take a glance at the 13 primate species in this magnificent country including our closest cousin the chimpanzee.

Wildlife Photography Safaris in Uganda

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Uganda a block of East Africa hosts an incredible variety of habitats and wildlife. The conservation of these habitats into National Parks and Wildlife Reserves is the cornerstone for wildlife viewing. One of the most important geographical features of the region is the Great Rift Valley. The large depressions within the Rift Valley fed by streams have become great Lakes, around which many species of wildlife can be found.

They include several National Parks and Wildlife Reserves and concentrate on different aspects of wildlife observation. Some Uganda safari packages focus on a particular interest or activity like bird watching, primate viewing. Some safari guidelines bases on national Parks are too often selected for quantity of animals, certainty and ease of viewing on the game drives. Some National Parks became so popular that they are overcrowded with too many minibuses and jeeps getting careless and scaring animals. Animals move around, seasons change weather varies. There is no way of knowing what each day will bring and there is no guarantee that you’ll see absolutely everything you are after, but most safaris give an amazing wildlife experience!

The long stay is an important aspect, the more time you have to go on safari the more you will see! The chosen travel style will also greatly enhance your wildlife experience; Camping safari will offer you a different experience than lodge safari a part from Katara lodge in queen which provide wildlife view verandah. The game drives are the most common way to observe African wildlife and for most visitors the backbone of their safari. Game drives should be undertaken in a customized 4 x 4 drive vehicle with a driver-guide who has experience and knowledge of the area.

The game drives can be organized at any time of the day but you will have the best chances to encounter wildlife in the early morning and late afternoon. It is cooler and animals are then most active. A first-time visitor will want to see plenty of game, mainly large animals. Although the major animals are important, we advise not to get too caught up with ‘Big Five’ fever, the African wilderness has so much more to offer, especially its incredible bird-life, smaller mammals, primates, reptiles, trees and other plants… If you are receptive to learn about the different aspects of nature and conservation your trip will be much more meaningful and pleasurable.

Top 10 Beautiful and Breathtaking Places in Uganda

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20 Reasons Why I Love Uganda

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I Love Uganda

Uganda’s natural sheer beauty and hospitality makes it stand out from the crowd to be the pearl of Africa, everything about Uganda is exceptional good, the country is safe from civil unrests unlike the neighbors which give more peace of mind and comfort to visit Uganda. Here are more reasons why I love Uganda

  • Home to endangered mountain gorillas.

Uganda is not an ordinary destination. It is one of the only three countries where mountain gorillas live in the whole world. Of the estimated 1000 mountain gorillas left in the whole world, about 420 mountain gorillas call Uganda their mother land! You can visit these amazing rare apes on an organized gorilla safari to Bwindi forest national park and Mgahinga gorilla national park in south western Uganda.

  • Hospitable people

Uganda takes the crown of being hospitable and loyal, their friendliness and warm smile is welcoming and they care so much to help. A Ugandan will never bypass without a greeting or uttering a word like “Gyebaleko” literally meaning well done.

  • Favorable climate

The equator cuts through Uganda, leaving the country with a good climate.in Uganda even if rains, there will be sunshine shortly and the temperatures are cool and conducive too.

  • Fresh food

Uganda has fertile soils and tropical rain fall, fresh vegetable and fruits are a guarantee. Enjoy the local dishes too like oluwombo, grasshoppers, Rolex a delicacy on the street market

  • Birding destination

The pearl of Africa has a record of 1,008 bird species at different transitional locations including endangered species and the rift valley endemics. Some of the bird species include the rare shoe bill stork, grey crowned crane, African grey parrot, Great blue turaco, Ross’s turaco, Eastern grey plantain-eater, African emerald cuckoo, Coucals. For the bird lovers you have all the reasons to love Uganda.

  • Ease access

Uganda is a land locked country connected to the World through a number of International Airlines which ease travel means, you can alternatively arrive among other east African countries and cross borders by road transport for another experience.

  • Plenty of wild life

Up to 10% of Uganda’s total land is covered by national parks and game reserves where you will find the big five mammals like lions, leopards, buffalos, elephants, rhinos. Other wildlife includes giraffes, jackals, warthogs, chimps, mountain gorillas, primates and birds.

  • Home of primates

Uganda has over 5000 total number of primates and over 10 species these include; chimps, l’hoest monkeys, red tailed monkeys, blue monkeys, patas monkeys, black and white colobus monkeys, golden monkeys, olive baboon and many others.

  • Political stability

Uganda is enjoying time of peace and people are liberal respecting each other, this gives tourist much comfort to come explore Uganda.

  • Gifts of nature

By nature Uganda is gifted look at the snowcapped mountain Rwenzori, lakes and rivers, hot springs in kitagata and water falls like sipi falls, Murchison falls to mention but a few.

  • Adrenaline adventures

The source of the Nile originates in Uganda flowing to Egypt up to Mediterranean Sea. At the source of the Nile is where your adrenaline goes high with it’s a grade 5 white water rafting and bungee jumping. While here you can also enjoy other activities like quad biking, horse riding and mountain biking.

  • Cultural diversity

There are more than 50 ethnic tribes in Uganda from the East, North, West and South. You will also find more than 50 spoken languages offering authentic enjoyable experiences.

Mountains

Test your hiking skills with Uganda’s mountains. Rwenzori Mountain is the highest mountain with its highest peak at margarita. You can also hike Mount Elgon, one of the oldest volcanic mountains with its highest peak at wagagai.

  • Forest

For the love of botany, Uganda has numerous forests like Mabira forest, Kariju forest, Budogo forest, 1,000 flowering plant species and almost 200 different types of trees. The forests are diverse and you will also find primates and different bird species.

  • Affordable costs of living

Among all the east African countries, Uganda is considered to be the cheapest in terms of cost of living. Food is plenty and cheap, houses for rent are cheaper compared to the neighboring countries.

  • Source of Lake Victoria

The largest water body in Africa is in Uganda with so many islands for a get a way, sand beaches to relax on the fresh cool breeze from the lake.

  • Cheap means of transport

In Uganda you can never get stranded on the road, cheap means of transport less 1 dollar shilling will take you to your nearest destination. Bodabodas are also quick means of transport at rush hour during jam. Remember to wear your helmet!

  • Coffee

Uganda grows some of the best coffee in the world – you can testify to this once you visit and taste it.

  • Safaris

Uganda offers the best safari game drives in its national parks like Queen Elizabeth national park, Murchison national park, Kidepo national park where you will stop amazing wild life in the savannah wood lands.

  • Kampala city

Kampala city is relatively calm and being the capital city you will find a lot to explore. These include temples, cathedrals, markets, galleries, areas of historical significance, and museums. You can also enjoy many different markets selling a variety of produce, clothing, and crafts.

Oh Uganda! 15 Great Reasons to Visit the Pearl of Africa

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Uganda is one of the best travel destinations in East Africa. There are many reasons why you must visit the pearl of Africa. Some of these are explained below as follows.

1. The people of Uganda

The people are some of the world’s population that has gone through very bad experiences most especially that of Idi Amin Dada, violence and many of them sought refuge in the nearby countries. The people of Uganda didn’t give up even though they went through a lot of harassment. The people have gone back to work to rebuild their nation and have remained the friendliest and most welcoming people on the continent of Africa, and most probably in the world. The people of Uganda love visitors and they love to sing and dance for them to make them appreciate. It makes no sense to visit a place, admire its animals and landscape and not take the time to know the people who own the place. Take time to know the Ugandans.

2. The old kingdoms

Before the colonial masters took over Africa, there were kingdoms in most of the nations that were well functional in the role of governing people and also helping in maintaining culture. Some of the monarchies were so powerful and well administered that even the colonialists wisely thought to work alongside rather than against them. Uganda had 4 kingdoms by 1992, this included; the Buganda, Toro, Busoga and Bunyoro Kitara. These kingdoms have got kings who are the leaders of the kingdoms. The kingdoms are fully recognized by the law of the land and do assist the central government as they yield political influence on the people. a visit to these palaces will give you the insight to the past lives of the Uganda people before and after the colonial era. the Baganda had the burial grounds of their kings renovated not so long ago and this should make for an interesting visit. The Pearl has many facets that make it all the more valuable.

3. Amazing Rivers, waterfalls and the Lakes

The longest river in the world, the Nile is fed by Lake Victoria, the largest freshwater lake in Africa, and second largest in the world. The river snakes its way 6000 km north wards to empty itself into the Mediterranean Sea at the Nile delta in Egypt. Lake Victoria is a mini ocean in this land locked country with the beautiful beaches, palm trees under whose shade you may take a cool drink as you take in the activities on the lake as the breeze and breaking waves soothe you most likely into a nap.  There are also excursions available out on the lake to some 84 of the most idyllic islands that make up the Ssese Islands archipelago.  Most of these islands are well-inhabited and lie in the north-west of the lake. The Nile starts its northward bound trip at the Rippon falls in Jinja, a sight which has won Uganda a prestigious accolade for being voted one of the wonders of the world. The Nile offers water sports like rafting, fishing, kayaking, and many great adventures.

Murchison falls, Rippon falls, Sipi falls, Bujagali falls and Owen falls are a few of the more than 10 waterfalls to be found throughout Uganda with its many rivers and the inland lakes. Other than the mother of all lakes, Lake Victoria, the Pearl of Africa is dotted with many beautiful lakes like jewels on the crown of this beautiful land to include Lake Albert, Lake George, Lake Edward, Lake Buhera, Lake Bujuku, Lake Bugondo, Lake Bunyonyi, and Lake Bisina.

4. Agriculture of the country

Many of the people are not aware that the pearl of Africa goes by many names, another one being the banana republic. This name has nothing to do with the type of government that rules the country, but rather the country’s ability to grow lots of bananas among the foods. In case you are known as a health conscious person, taking care of your caloric intake, as you should, then Uganda, with here many fresh fruits is the place to visit. Uganda is blessed with lots of fruits including; Mangoes, papaya, jack fruits, oranges and many more. Plantains or bananas or matooke in the local lingua are among Uganda’s top cash food crops with cassava, millet, sorghum, maize, beans, sweet potatoes, and groundnuts. Uganda’s export earners in Agriculture are tobacco, cotton, tea and coffee. In fact, both varieties of coffee beans, the Robusta and Arabica, are grown here. Incidentally, the Arabica variety was introduced in Uganda in the 1900s, but the Robusta is an indigenous plant. According to Africa Big Five Safaris, “Coffee tours are organized through guides with knowledge of coffee farming, processing, and roasting,” while talking about Arabica coffee grown on the slopes of Mount Elgon.

5. Lots of Wildlife

The pearl of Africa is a unique country and due to its abundant rains and tropical climate, tracks of land easily can turn into the impenetrable forests. Nature decided to reward Uganda a healthy dose of the African elephant with its high appetite and huge need for water daily. As the big animals trek the Savannah grasslands looking for foliage, they effectively keep the land from being overgrown with trees and shrubs. It is here where you will find the king of the jungle lounging in the shade while his cousin, the leopard, will be up to the tree, both waiting for the unsuspecting zebra, antelope, or wildebeest that will be dinner.  In the 1970s, the rhino was becoming virtually extinct in Uganda due to indiscriminate poaching. The effort to reintroduce the animal in the country since 2001 has seen the population grow to 20 white rhinos with the most recent addition having been born at the Ziwa Sanctuary in August 2017. The most dangerous of all mammals, the Cape buffalo, is also to be found here where it finds lots of grass to graze on. The many waterways, including the Nile River, are habitations of the hippo, which you would most likely mistake for small islands on the river if you are not familiar with their habits of submerging the head, legs, and torso underwater and only leaving the back exposed.  The crocodiles are in abundance and so are the many species of primates. Heading this primate list is the largest concentration of mountain gorillas in the world and the sister chimpanzees. Giraffes, gazelles, and loads of other animals populate the Savannah and forests of the Pearl of Africa.

6. Birds

Uganda is also blessed with variety of birds. Are you interested in bird watching, Uganda has got over 1000 varieties of birds. The grey crown-crested crane has been the emblem on the Ugandan flag well over a century, having been selected by Sir Frederick Jackson, the then governor of the Ugandan British Protectorate in 1893. This beautiful bird stands more than 3 feet with long black legs and a neck that competes with its slender legs for length. On its head, it proudly wears a fringe of pearl grey feathers. The three colours of the Ugandan flag, Yellow, Black and Red, make up the colors of the crested crane’s head.

What makes Uganda a paradise for birding is the diverse climatic conditions from dry savannah to tropical rain forests. The European birds and the native birds live together during migration seasons and share the beautiful environment. You can also catch the Barn Swallow and European Bee-eater, two European birds that love visiting Uganda regularly. At Mabamba Wetland Bay, you will find the Shoebill Stork, the Saddle Billed Stork while the Goliath Heron and African Grey Parrot can be sighted in the Murchison Falls National Park. The Standard Winged Nightjar loves to come out and feast on the white ants, which appear in plenty in the Teso region when it is warm or, as they say in Uganda, during the white ants season.

7. The mountains of Uganda

With the mountains of the moon and the Blue Mountains, Uganda is blessed with Best Mountain in Africa. The country has got over 15 mountains that offer different flora and fauna and amazing trekking safaris. The tallest mountain in Uganda is the snow capped mount Stanley, standing at 16762 feet above sea level. Mount Stanley is one peak along the Rwenzori ranges in the southwest of Uganda. From Lichen to Bamboo forests, from the rare moon striped mouse to otter shrew, and anything in between, is the goodies hidden within the mountain. Mountains include; Stanley, Speke, at a height of 16,043 feet (4,890 meters). It is also within the Rwenzori range, and here you will find leopards, antelopes, chimpanzees, and elephants among other smaller animal species.

Mount Rwenzori also known as the mountains of the moon and is the longest mountain range in Africa and is found at the border of Uganda and DRC. The mountain has got four peaks apart from Stanley and Speke, these include; Mount Emin, Gessi, Luigi di savoia. Many people enjoy hiking the mountain range and experiencing the different kinds of vegetation as they go up the icy peaks. They are also a great place for bird-viewing. Mount Elgon at the border of Uganda and Kenya is also an extinct volcano whose highest peak is named Wagagai and is on Uganda side. The mountain is famous for climbing, hiking and mounteering.

8. The Rain forest of Uganda

Due to its tropical climate and rains in most parts of the country, the country has forests that are home to variety of animals, birds, reptiles and insects, not to mention the many plant species. Though most of the original or primary forests have been lost over the years through deforestation, encroachment of farmlands and growth of towns and villages, there is still a good area under forest cover that is worth a visit. One of the reasons why people love visiting Uganda is to go on a mountain gorilla trek. This is the main destination for those raring to go on a gorilla trek in Uganda. you will also get a bonus of meeting other members of the primate family that are added to the 345 mammals that are found in Ugandan forests, 500 plant species, tens of amphibians, more than 1000 birds and 160 reptiles.

9. The climate of Uganda

Uganda’s longest border is the lake on one side followed by a range of mountains that almost surround this land locked country. The climate is mostly tropical with temperatures ranging from 21-25 degrees celicus, but of course, would be much cooler in the mountains with the top of Mount Elgon often covered with snow. A small part in the north is dry while the rest of the country receives annual rain fall in the region of 1000m to 2000mm. the climate of Uganda is so perfect that one would feel like it’s a holiday each and every day.

10. Safety and Security

‘The political climate in the country is so stable since democracy was restored in the 1980s. Other than the war with the lord’s Resistance Army that lasted almost 20 years, the country has been politically stable. This stability has enabled the nation to recover and grow economically as well as democratically. There have been a few discontent voices in the opposition, but they have not seemed to shake the stability and steady progress of Uganda and Ugandans. A special tourism police unit has been created specifically to protect tourists. “They are there for your safety and wellbeing.  They even protect tourists from fraudulent, fake tour operators as arrests of them recently shows.

11. The availability of the accommodation;

There is no one who starts on a journey into the unknown without making arrangements of where they will stay. As you promise to visit Uganda, you will find a lot of accommodation options online; you can make a choice based on your pocket and the area you will be visiting. These are classified based on budget, moderate and  up market or luxury.

The 5 Best Outdoor Adventure Activities in Uganda

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Many people want vacations where you eat, drink and relax, and other times they look for a little more adventure to challenge their life. Uganda is a place where you can find both and summers are great time to visit though it has a lot to offer year round. While on a Uganda safari you can find out why natural beauty is magical. If you an adventure seeker, here are the top 10 things to do in Uganda.

1. White Water Rafting

The River Nile has many rapid waterfalls with stunning views, rapids that make water spot a great amazing adventure in Uganda. If you’re looking for a perfect day trip on the Nile, White Water Rafting is something that can’t disappoint.  To do rafting in Uganda make sure you spend your previous night in either Kampala or Jinja.The adventure kicks off in the morning around 9.00am and ends at 4pm. Dress in light clothes, carry enough sun cream, no need to have hiking boots ,sandles can do. Join others on the journey to explore the Nile beauty. You don’t have to be experienced to enjoy the activity but you should be brave and ready to face the fast moving rapids of different falls.

2. Bungee Jumping

When you go rafting don’t forget to experience Bungee Jumping in Jinja a famous adventure capital of Uganda. All you need is a minimum of two days  to experience the Nile historical resources which include source of the Nile, Bujagali falls, Itanda falls, Kalagala falls and the styled Indian buildings .Just to take you back Bungee jumping and White water rafting at the 5 grade rapids of the Nile is another unforgettable in Uganda.

3. Mountaineering

Mountaineering is a top rewarding adventure enjoyed in Mount Elgon and Mount Rwenzori the famed World Heritage Sites offering opportunity to see nature at its best. Be the one to witness the wonderful views of rainforests, bamboo forests, alpine vegetation and clouds in close range. Trekking Rwenzori and Elgon is incredible and unique because of you feel, see and relax in nature. The ascending bit will put a smile on your face passing through various vegetation, valleys, and glaciers.

4. Gorilla Trekking

Uganda also known as the pearl of Africa has many incredible tour adventures but gorilla trekking is one of the most loved and outstanding forest jungle experience you can never find anywhere other than Uganda, Rwanda and Congo. I believe no adventure seeker can miss to track mountain gorillas in either Bwindi impenetrable forest or Mgahinga National Park. The time is now to grab the opportunity of spending time with endangered mountain gorillas and live with happy wildlife memories that last for life. Uganda’s prime tourists attraction “Mountain Gorillas “ are trekked daily Monday –Sunday  in groups of eight  and tourists must follow the gorilla trekking rules and regulations for safety purposes. Pack right and dress right for the trek as advised by gorilla trekking specialist. Being fit is a must because the activity is quite challenging.

5. Hiking

Hiking might not be the main tourist attraction for travelers to Uganda but it’s still one of the best way to experience the beauty of landscape, birds, animals and people. While mountain Ruwenzori fame for best hiking trails, there are so many others worth to be explored including Sipi Falls, Mgahinga national park Volcanoes, Lake Bunyonyi islands, Mountain Elgon etc.

Finding the Gorillas in the Tropical Rain Forests of Uganda

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The endangered gorillas are one of the most sought after animals in this world by nature lovers. There are two species of gorillas and four subspecies of gorillas that is the western gorillas comprising of west lowland gorillas and the cross river gorillas and the eastern gorillas comprising of mountain gorillas and the eastern lowland gorillas. The gorillas are endangered species of animals in that in the near future if not conserved and protected, they may get extinct in the near future. The gorillas belong to the ape family where mankind falls. These animals have a 98 DNA similarity with mankind as their respiratory, nervous and immune systems are the same. These are one of our closest cousins.  The gorillas always inhabit in cool and forested areas. Uganda is one of the countries with the best habitats for the gorillas in Bwindi impenetrable forests and Virunga massif.

In the tropical rain forests in the Kigezi region southwest of Uganda, there exists one of the subspecies of gorillas the mountain gorillas. These subspecies of gorillas are only found in Uganda, Rwanda and dr. Congo. The mountain gorillas get the name from the location of their habitats. The mountain gorillas live in the very dense tropical rain forests in the highlands of East Central Africa.  The mountain gorillas are only about 900 individuals in the world and being share by the three East Central Africa and Uganda shelters a half of the total population about 480 individuals. The mountain gorillas in Uganda were protected and gazzatted in Bwindi impenetrable national park and Mgahinga national park in the kigezi region. These two national parks where created to protect the gorillas that were decreasing drastically due to loss of habitats, poaching, disease and the civil war in Congo. In these tow national park is where the gorillas re monitored and protected by a national body of Uganda Wildlife Authority.  The national parks are open to the public to visit the mountain gorillas in the wild. Some families of the mountain gorillas in these parks were habituated where by the tourists can come and hang out with them. In Bwindi impenetrable national park there are 12 families available for gorilla trekking and two for gorilla habituation and in Mgahinga there is one family available for gorilla trekking.

Gorilla trekking is the common main activity taken by tourist to watch the gorillas in the wild. It involves hiking the tropical rain forests of Uganda in search of the gorillas. This takes 2-8 hours to find the gorillas as these huge primates are nomadic animals that never stay in one place for a day. The tourist under the guidance of the patron walk on the steep trail following the previous foot prints to track the gorillas.

When the gorillas are met, the trackers have rules to follow like staying a 7 meter gap, keeping their voices low and also putting off their camera flashes. The tourist interact with the gorillas for one hours as they observe the gorillas communicating, playing with their young ones and also observe how they relate amongst them and their relating is so intriguing as you might find their humans.

Trekking in these tropical rain forest of Uganda as you search for the gorillas is always a very captivating experience, an experience you can never forget in your entire life as the gorillas are a beauty to watch and interact with.

10 Ways Ugandans Can Find Cheap Flights In 2018

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How Ugandans Can Save on Flights

You are probably planning to undertake a trip but worried about expensive tickets which are undeniably painful for every traveler because you are actually spending your little yet hard-earned money and wouldn’t wish to waste it thus the reason we all wish to know some of the ways of saving on tickets or getting cheaper ones.

Most airlines offer some good deals and packages for destinations but then, you will need to know about such opportunities so as to save money. Surprisingly, good and discounted deals usually appear on computer screens but travelers normally ignore them or seem not to be interested but when you check after some time, you will discover that the rates have increased/gone higher than the previous time.

You will notice that most Ugandans don’t actually travel outside the country because of the expensive flight tickets thus making their dreams (of visiting dream destinations for studies) shuttered thus the following are the simple ways you can actually save some money on flight tickets;

Avoid special dates/days

Usually, the flight rates for special dates are higher than other normal dates thus you should always avoid them if you wish to save more money on flight tickets for your safari. For instance, the beginning of winter and the first five Fridays of Summer are not good dates when it comes to booking flights.

Always do research or search for better/cheaper rates before booking

Don’t just inquire from one airline but rather search from others too, because in most cases, they charge different rates for their flights. Therefore, make sure you search for more than one booking provider before comparing rates of the service providers then choosing the best deal.  Don’t worry; the market is always full of better options hence it’s your duty to grab any opp0rtunities of better rates so as to save more money on flight tickets.

Opt for the indirect flights

If you have plenty of time and not in a hurry, opt for the indirect flight because in most cases charge less for them as compared to the direct flights. Much as it will consume a lot of your time, in the end you will be able to save more money on flight tickets.

Buy tickets/book earlier

This is very crucial during the peak season but remember that last minute bookings may also cost you a great deal of money. In most cases, the carrier ticket costs usually go high in the two weeks of previously flying thus if you are preparing to travel, make the bookings before the due date.

Utilize more than one search Engine

If you are planning to buy tickets, always inquire from more than one booking agent then compare their prices then choose the best one.

Book on Sundays

It is an obvious thing that most people like traveling on Fridays thus making the ticket prices to go high on Friday and Saturday, so the best time to travel or book a ticket is on Sunday to save more money (up to 30%) on flight tickets.

Take advantage of the hotel discounts that are offered

Most booking agents or websites not only offer great deals on saving money on flight tickets but also wonderful discounts for most hotels thus you can have a real budget safari that includes flights as well as accommodation inform of hotels and hostels.  Therefore, you should look out for the service providers that also offer packages for hotels as well.

Always avoid hidden charges

Hidden charges are definitely an addition to your flight ticket cost thus make sure to choose a service that doesn’t have any hidden charges to allow you save more on flight tickets during your trip

Clear browsing history

It is said that when you visit a ticket booking site for more than once, you will notice that the prices for the same tickets are higher than the previous time since your cookies show that you already have visited the site thus to avoid such occurrences, make sure to always clear the browsing history before you consider buying the ticket.

5 Reasons Why Renting a Car is Cheaper

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In most cases, getting a ride or drive is the first thing that someone needs to consider when planning to visit Uganda for any kind of activity-vacation/holiday or work related. Due to the long distance from Kampala to various destinations, unfavorable weather conditions and improved infrastructures inform of roads, driving is also the fastest and cheapest way to get around this country. Much as some tourists opt for purchase their own cars (especially if staying longer or actually settling), most of them are going for car hire services in Uganda.

Sometimes, it is better to hire a car during Uganda safaris than buying if at all you are staying longer and here are the reasons;

  1. Buying your own car is always an expensive option

It is obvious that it is always cheaper to hire a car than buying it each time you are in Uganda for a safari. This allows you to save money for other expenses and explore more activities and book for more comfortable accommodation facility while on the Uganda safaris.

2. You can be able to drive your dream car even when it’s too expensive to afford

We all have dream cars yet are sometimes very expensive to afford but you can actually hire the same car and drive it, in the end feel fulfilled for driving your dream car. Whichever your dream car is, you can actually be able to drive it before you die by hiring it during the safari.

3. Public transport means are too slow or too costly

Firstly, public transport means are always not flexible thus you wouldn’t wish to use and secondly are also too expensive and sometimes too slow. Therefore, the best you can do is to hire some of the comfortable yet faster 4 WD vehicles during Uganda safaris.

4. You won’t incur overhead costs and parking fees when you leave country

The car you have rented/hired can be returned back to the car hire or tour and travel company after the rental period and your deal is done but if you had bought, you will be forced to pay parking fees for the period you will be gone which is expensive in the long run thus it is a perfect idea to hire a car for the time you are in Uganda. Otherwise, the best option would be to sell the car when leaving if you feel it will be expensive and in-affordable to pay the fees.

5. You can be able to drive anywhere you wish

Buying a 4WD vehicle that goes to all destinations in Uganda with different terrains is better than buying a saloon car that cannot be able to reach some places especially the murram roads that become muddy during rainy seasons.

In conclusion, renting a car for your travels is cheaper because public transport means are costly and slower, you can drive to any part of Uganda you wish, you can actually drive your dream car even when it’s expensive to purchase and you will not be required to pay parking fees when leaving the country after the safari.

5 Reasons Why You Should Use Chauffeur Driven Services in Uganda

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In most cases, tourists prefer self-drive safaris or driving themselves around destinations in Uganda but hiring a chauffeur is always a good idea and you will understand the reasons why after reading through this detailed article. Uganda is popular for its lovely climate, phenomenal landscapes, spectacular national parks as well as friendly people who will make your stay in this country comfortable and memorable.

With all the beauty of the country but traffic jam within Kampala City and yet you wouldn’t wish to get stuck. You may not know all the shortcuts within Kampala City thus you may need to hire a chauffeur to be able to maneuver through the hectic traffic jam within the City without much difficulty. Therefore, the following are the genuine reasons you won’t regret hiring a Chauffeur during your safari in Uganda;

Most of the drivers have more idea of the country than you do

It is very obvious that the Chauffeurs have wide knowledge about the country, its spectacular attractions, perfect entertainment spots as well as routes to reach the destinations you wish to reach during Uganda safaris. While using a driver, you will not need a Map or GPS because he/she will be the map and GPS to the places you wish to explore.

You won’t have to worry about driving

Once you hire a chauffeur, all you have to do is sit and relax as you are being taken to your destination. You will not have to worry about finding your way around, how to beat traffic jam or maneuver through the city and how to use the road with other awful and careless road users especially the motorists, locally known as boda boda. All that will be catered for by your experienced driver. Don’t even worry about mechanical breakdowns or how to solve them once they arise because most of them have equipments and have knowledge on solving such minor mechanical problems.

Not only that, you can be able to do other things such as online chatting, making phone calls and checking your email when being driven thus you don’t have to worry about driving.

They are certified and well trained drivers

Most of these drivers are certified and well trained people who are very experienced in road trips within the country because most of them are very familiar with the routes, customer car, defensive driving, vehicle mechanics, International highway code, skills on road signs, good communication and safety as well as traffic rules of Uganda. Therefore hiring a chauffeur means hiring someone with all the mentioned skills. Besides that, they have enough experience in their work because most of them have done it for years thus know the different destinations and road networks, slippery and muddy routes, sharp corners, black spots and rock points.

You will be able to use the same driver throughout the whole safari

Using a Chauffeur means you will be using the same driver throughout the trip and because of the experience and passion for their job, they drive without interchanging in-between the journey thus you will be very secure and comfortable in your trip. However, rare cases of changing drivers happens in case of injury or sickness in the middle of the journey.

Hiring a chauffeur is better than public taxis

Taking a trip with a hired car that is chauffeur driven is far more comfortable than using the usual public taxis because the cars are very comfortable, well maintained and have air-conditioning so that you enjoy a peaceful trip during safari. Therefore instead of opting for public transport means, you would rather go for a car rental company with good services.

They are flexible with your needs thus you can also do other things not in the itinerary

Most Chauffeur drivers are trained to be flexible to meet the needs and preferences of the clients. They have passion in their work and are very welcoming and friendly thus you will be able to inquire about anything you are not sure of. Interestingly, these drivers are flexible for tailor-made itineraries according to the requests of clients.

Safari in Murchison Falls National Park

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Nature Adventure Uganda is one of the best travel companies that unleash your dream life offering the best private car rental in Uganda services to travelers willing to take private trips in Uganda. No wonder the Murchison Falls are one of the main attractions in Uganda where we have great experience. And, as such, we would expect a good number of visitors enjoying them. Bird life is superb: a flock of African Skimmers here – always awestruck, Red throated Bee eaters there, African Fish Eagles and Yellow Billed Storks everywhere.

Hippos are also in great abundance, Elephants, buffaloes, Bush buck, Jackson’s Harte beest and warthogs are peacefully roaming the shore. When it is hotter and drier (from December to March) you see greater numbers of animals coming to the river to drink. As you reach the falls, you notice a lot of huge crocodiles amongst the largest ever seen amassed together. The place is called “Croc Bar” and is very aptly named: in fact, all those monster crocs are happily waiting for the big Nile Perch coming down from the falls, either dead, or injured, or traumatized or groggy. And it is a big feast for the reptiles: Nile Perch can weigh up to 100 kg and provide an endless source of food.

At Murchison Falls National Park game drives which normally last the best part of a day on the northern side of the Victoria Nile, mostly in an area generally known as “the Delta” or “Buligi”, as well as along the Albert Nile. Once crossed the Victoria Nile on a ferry at Paraa, and left behind a narrow bend of Riverine forest, you find yourself climbing up a series of rolling hills, interspersed with valleys traversed by a few ephemeral, seasonal streams.

In the fresh air of the early morning, the scenery was just magnificent and quite reminiscent of certain parts of the Masai Mara, but with totally different trees (most notably, impressive Borassus palms). Animals start to appear everywhere, in spite of the longish grass: a group of Defassa Water buck by a sandy watercourse, elephants browsing by the road, hundreds of Jackson’s Hartebeest going peacefully about their daily routine, big herds of buffaloes down in the valley, journeys of Rothschild Giraffes walking up the hills, or standing on the ridges, providing a fascinating skyline.

Proceeding westwards, in the direction of Delta Point and the Albert Nile, the scenery changed subtly: no more hills, but short grass plains with patches of light woodland, gently are descending towards the northern tip of Lake Albert and the big river. Thousands and thousands of graceful Uganda Kobs grazing, resting, staring at us, with the backdrop of the Albert Nile and the western wall of the Albertine Rift, whilst the Blue Mountains of the Congo are visible to the south. It is stunning and peaceful at the same time, and you could have contemplated the view for ages.

 

 

Meet the Tree Climbing Lions in the Ishasha Sector

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Tree Climbing Lions

Planning to travel to Uganda and you are wildlife enthusiast include game drive for sightings of the big cats as one of the most anticipated take away. However, the increasing population densities and lifestyles around national parks and protected areas have continued to exert a lot of pressure on wild game, especially the big cats.

Visitors who yearn to get up close to wild African fauna, a safari trip is a rewarding adventure to see lions in the northern area such as Kasenyi plains. Normally on wildlife game drive in the northern area lions can be spotted, especially on the early morning game drives here. Tree climbing lions is one of the must do activities while in Uganda. Uganda is unique with its Gorillas, Chimpanzees, countless of Birds species and the Tree Climbing Lions are another one of the unique features that make Uganda the Pearl of Africa. Ishasha sector of Queen Elizabeth National Park is the best place to see tree climbing lions in Africa.

Ishasha sector

The Ishasha sector is notably recognized for its resident Tree climbing lions that are an exceptional attraction and one among the highlights on all safaris taken within Queen Elizabeth National park. In the southern section of this park, the Lions are now and again spotted hanging on branches of huge fig trees whereas the Uganda Kob (which is the major food to these lions) grazes in the plains of the Ishasha sector.

The Ishasha sector is located near the fur most south-western rim of Queen Elizabeth National Park which is not only the most well liked park but also the most traveled to national park within Uganda. The landscape in this section of the magnificent park is considerably different from that found in other parts of Queen Elizabeth National Park. The Ishasha Sector within Queen Elizabeth National Park is habitat to the internationally renowned tree-climbing lions which are actually unique to this very place. The males of these exceptional lions have black manes.

When looking for the big cats, study the body language of prey species such as giraffes and zebras. If they are all staring fixedly in one direction they might have spotted a lion in the grass; and if you see one lion, look again. There could be more around.

The Ishasha climbing lions are very scarce in the whole of Africa but on your Uganda safari combining Queen Elizabeth National Park and Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, you will at least take one game drive alongside the Ishasha Plains, the lions can be found there in the fig trees and if lucky. Besides lions you will view countless of antelopes, herds of buffaloes, huge elephants and if lucky you can spot a leopard and many more wildlife.

At least once in a lifetime everyone has that precious right to encounter something special out of the world, that experience that will make them wish they could take it with them at home and make their families and friends feel the same way, such a great feeling that will always stay on their hearts.

Encounter Wildlife Tours in Lake Mburo National Park

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Have a wildlife tour in Lake Mburo National Park and get exposed to many species hosted in the park. Lake Mburo national park is located in the western part of Uganda near the Kampala – Masaka – Mbarara highway, this park is different from other parks as it’s the best park to view gigantic eland, impala, zebras and acacia associated birds. Common mammal species hosted in the park include warthogs, buffaloes, oribi, defassa, water bucks, and reed bucks and eland antelopes.

Nature Adventure Uganda customized for me unforgettable Uganda Safari combing the Lake Mburo national park where I witnessed many tourist attraction activities which take place in the park like nature walks, game drives, horse riding, bike riding and others. There are also other attractions like Rwonyo forest camp, Lake Mburo, salt licks, Rubanga forest and conservation education centre.

Then upon your arrival at Entebbe national airport and you will be welcomed by our guide and company representative and you will be headed to your hotel of residence for resting and refreshment while preparing for tomorrow’s journey to Lake Mburo National Park.

In Uganda very early in morning after your breakfast you will be leaving for your journey with your guide from Kampala to Lake Mburo National Park via Masaka – Mbarara tarmac highway and you will have a stopover at the equator for some photographs, adventure and some snacks as well and thereafter proceed with the journey and you will have your lunch at Rwakobo Rock Lodge in the park and there after proceed with the game drive into Lake Mburo national park.

There other various activities in Lake Mburo National Park therefore, the next day very early in the morning after your breakfast you will go for game drive and this is the park’s activity which provides you with a great opportunity of spotting many bird species hosted in the park like shoe bill, papyrus ,yellow warbler, African fin foot ,saddle billed stork ,brown chested wattled plover, carrutter’s cisticola, tabora cisticola, great snipe and others, mammal species like warthogs, buffaloes, oribi ,defassa and others, zebras and are sighted in different game tracks.

There is also boat cruise which is another interesting activity in Lake Mburo and this is where you also get a chance of seeing a variety of wildlife like crocodiles, hippos, and other bird species. Nature walks are also done and conducted on foot with the help of an armed guide who explains to you about the various flora and fauna.

Later you can visit the various attractions like Rwonyo rest camp, salt licks, conservation education centre and thereafter your tour will be done and the next day will be for leaving Lake Mburo National Park back to Kampala via Mbarara – Masaka high way for your return flight from Entebbe Airport back home with a great experience about the wildlife of Lake Mburo National Park.

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