06/19/18

How To Access Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park?

There is nothing more stressing than getting lost while on your way to your dream destination. Imagine you are on self drive safari or even guided tour to Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park and along the way you drive for kilometers off road and only to be told that you got lost. Not only can this be a waste of time but also a waste of money a fact that fuel will be consumed to return to the right route.

Bear in mind that there is no one who is perfect on the road so, if you are planning to spend your next vacation in the splendid Bwindi National Park, there is need for you to be well versed with different routes. This park is located in southwestern Uganda and it is about 8 to 10 hours’ drive from Kampala which also 46 kilometers from Entebbe International Airport that is a major entry point to Uganda. If you are planning to spend a holiday in this park, you will need at least 3 days and more a fact that you will spend an entire day driving from Kampala and the next day will be for you to engage in various activities at the park.

However, if you are from the neighboring Rwanda, 2 days are enough to get to Bwindi and take park in the gorilla safari adventure. This route is from Kigali Airport to Kisoro town through Cyanika boarder or Kabale town through Gatuna boarder.

Bwindi National Park can be reached by road and air. If you opt to drive, you will choose among the many routes that take you up to the park. If you are at Queen Elizabeth National Park for a tour, you can drive from Mweya to Bwindi approximately 160 kilometers’ drive and you will spend at least three to four hours driving. Equally, you can start your safari from Kampala to Kabale via Kanungu to Buhoma area and this is tarmac route and covers over 414 kilometers.

The other route also starts from Kampala to Ntungamo to Rukungiri and then to Buhoma area approximately 390 kilometers’ drive on tarmac and 82 kilometers on murram route. You may as well as set off from Kampala to Kabale to Ruhija to Buhoma about 95 kilometers and the other begins from Kampala to Kabale to Nkuringo sector.

Alternatively, you can use a bus from Kampala to Butogota where you will rent a taxi that will connect you to Buhoma sector. However, you won’t find a public transport means at Nkuringo but there are some cars for you to rent around Kisoro and Kabale towns. But to be on safer side, it is better that you plan your vacation with a recognized travel agent which is well versed with routes and attractions for you to enjoy along the way.

For those of you who have short time in Uganda, then a flight is the best option for you. You can take a flight from Entebbe International Airport and Kajjansi Airfield and then land in Kisoro or at Kayonza airstrip if you are to track gorillas in Buhoma area.

If you are tracking gorillas in Southern Bwindi National Park (Nkuringo or Rushaga sectors), then you fly to Kisoro airstrip. Aerolink Uganda offers daily scheduled flights from Entebbe International airport to different airstrips in Uganda such as Kihihi, Kisoro, Pakuba, Apoka and Bugungu among others. There are also charter flights offered by Kampala aero club.

06/11/18

Top Hiking trails in Uganda

Hiking is a typical adventure experience in Uganda that is quite unique & interesting for anyone to get involved while on a vacation.

  • Hiking to Margherita Peak.

Mountain Rwenzori is a world heritage site that otters the opportunity to see nature and its best. Due to its numerous peaks with the highest peak at 5,109 meters which is Margherita.

Margherita is the highest peak of mountain Rwenzori. It’s the third highest mountain in the whole of Africa. It has a unique, fantastic and a true beauty that offers unremarkable hiking experience in Uganda with clear view of eastern DR Congo when on top.

Margherita is the third highest peak in the whole of African and the highest in Uganda; its real beauty with the climb up through Kilembe route, the forest ,valleys and the diversity of flora and fauna gives a tourist unforgettable experience.

Hiking is one of the best activities that Margherita offers to all the visitors who are interested in testing their physical fitness.

Hiking to Margherita peak take a couple of days, between 7-9 days according to the physique and speed of the hikers. Though the hike involves unique activities like walking through the forest, climbing the rocks, viewing birds and the animals that can be spotted within the Montane forests, for pleasure and exercise, starting from Kilembe up to the top of Mt. Stanley where the highest peak Margherita can be sighted.

Hiking Mountain Rwenzori down slopes via Bwamba pass inBundibugyo. Before a road was built in 1938 to link fort portal with the remote town of Bundibugyo, local people followed the most direct route between these settlements -a tough 1500m high trek over steep north Rwenzori ridge, known as the Bwamba pass. The Abanya Rwenzori community group leads the hikers over the mountain through isolated mountain villages to visit the bamboo forest and enjoy superb rift valley views.

  • Hiking on Mount Elgon.

Mt. Elgon lies at an altitude of over 4000m above sea level with the largest volcanic base in the world. Located on the Uganda-Kenya border it is also the premier and largest solitary, volcanic mountain in East Africa. Its vast form, 80km in diameter, rises more than 3,000m above the neighboring plains. The mountain’s cool heights offer respite from the hot plains below, with the higher altitudes providing a safe haven for the growth of flora and fauna.

This conservation area is a habitat of over 300 species of birds, including the endangered Lammergeyer, mammals including Small antelopes, forest elephants,monkeys and buffaloes which dwell on the mountainside.

A hike on Mt. Elgon’s deserted moorlands discloses a magnificent and un-clustered wilderness without the summit-oriented approach common to many mountains: the ultimate goal on reaching the top of Mt. Elgon is not the final ascent to the 4321 m Wagagai Peak, but the descent into the vast 40 km² caldera.

  • Hiking in Semuliki valley

In Semuliki national park there are 3 hiking trails, Kirumia trail and this runs through the heart of the forest to Semuliki river and this one is really perfect for birders, red monkey trail goes to the park’s eastern border and in this place your assured to view the rare deBrazza’s monkey, Sempaya trails and in this trail u will view the male hot springs and female hot spring, dominated by boiling geyser. Eggs and Matooke (green plantain) can be cooked in these boiling waters and enjoyed by hungry hikers.

  • Hiking Muhabura Mountain.

This is an extinct volcano found in Kisoro, and one of the Virunga Mountains, lying across the border between Rwanda and Uganda. It’s the third (3rd) highest mountain of the eight major mountains in the Virunga ranges reaching up to 4,127m (13,540 feet).

Hiking Mt Muhabura in the south western Uganda is so adventurous and the place is worthwhile visiting to enjoy such amazing hike on this mountain. It feels great walking through the beautiful varying terrains that often looks like a desert, viewing at the open slopes; you see a beautiful cover of thick shrubs and thickets of a broad spinned of evergreen plants.

  • Other hiking opportunities in Uganda’s national parks.

Hiking in Lake Mburo national park is at Rwonyo, a trail leading to salt lick where many animals are attracted to salty rocks.

Walk on the western side of the lake, and encounter hyenas returning to their dens and hippo retreating to the lake. Hikes via the woodland in Lake Mburo gives you a chance to sight birds, mammals, and walking to the top of the hill rewards hikers with a spectacular view of the region’s 14 lakes.

Hiking through the jungles of Mgahinga Gorilla Park to the low Mount Sabinyo gorge-a heavy gash on the side of mount Sabinyo, gives excellent birding opportunities and the chance to find the rare Rwenzori turaco. Trekkers can sight the calderas on top of the Gisozi hill, look out for Kisoro, Bunagana town and be captivated by Lake Mutanda.

Hiking through woodland to the top of Murchison falls is completely different experience of this magnificent waterfall. This is an experience that brings all the sense into play; waves of white water fall hypnotically through this 6 meter gap, listen to loud sound, taste the spray on your face and feel the rock shake beneath your feet.

Hiking on Mweya peninsular offers savannah and woodland with beautiful views and bold warthogs. On the southern end of park, hikers can enjoy an easy stroll along Ishashaa river, where they can spot a variety of forest and savanna bird and mammal species as well as having a unique opportunity on this hike to get extremely close to hippos on foot, while remaining safe on the raised bank above the river.

05/6/15

Lakes of Uganda

Uganda known as the home of lakes consists of several lakes which are of great importance to the country and is bringing many tourists to Uganda. The country is blessed with 27 lakes among which include major lakes namely;

Lake Victoria

Lake Victoria is the largest fresh water lake in Africa and second largest in the world. The lake overlooks the southern border of the country with 18 beautiful islands. This lake act has a mean of transport between Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania. There are several activities done around the lake which are great attraction for tourists for Uganda holidays. This include cannoning, finishing, bird watching, swimming among others.

lakegeorge

Lake George

Lake Edward and Lake George

These two lakes are placed on the western rift valley escarpment. The lakes are joined by Kazinga Channel, one of the highlights of a wildlife safari to Queen Elizabeth National Park. Kazinga channel has the heaviest population of hippos in Africa with a great number of colorful birds. Boat ride to Kazinga channel provide tourists with a beautiful memory of Uganda holiday.

Lake Kyoga

Lake Kyoga is Uganda’s shallow lake. Victoria Nile runs through it on its way from Lake Victoria to Lake Albert. The lake has exciting attraction for tourists found at Kavule. Lake Kyoga can be found near Budongo Forest in Murchison falls national park. Tourists can therefore have the chance to enjoy the beauty of the lake and also track chimpanzees in Budongo forest thus killing two birds with one stone.

Lake Bunyonyi

Lake Bunyonyi is the second deepest lake in Africa and bilharzia free making it the safest for swimming with no dangerous animals in it. The lake comprises of several beautiful islands with beautiful sandy beaches that attract many tourists into the country.

04/22/15

Uganda – Best Honey Moon Destination in Africa

Whether you are looking for a romantic honeymoon location or combining some relaxation with a safari holiday, Uganda, the ‘Land of Smiles’ is ideal. Ssese Islands are an archipelago of eighty-four islands in the northwestern part of Lake Victoria in Uganda, the second-largest freshwater lake in the world. The largest island in the archipelago is called Bugala Island and its major town is called Kalangala. The 84-forested island of the Ssese Group, float like green jewels on the waters of Lake Victoria, located 55km from Entebbe, this is one of Uganda’s greatest natural gifts waiting for you to be discovered.

Just a couple of hours flying time from Kampala, the capital city of Uganda are the gateway to the Ssese islands Archipelago offering stunning Uganda beach holidays. These clusters of islands are some of the most stunningly romantic in Africa, with luxurious beach front lodges, ideal for a relaxing beach holiday or after a safari holiday in the same country. Experience some fantastic cruise in Uganda, the vibrant colors and the wide array of fish species is superb. There are many resorts which offer swimming and boat rides in Kampala.

Here are some of our ideas for a Uganda beach holiday:
Ssese Archipelago –islands, the best known being Bulago where you can relax on pristine sandy beaches, experience big game fishing or watch water.
■ Superb swimming and boat riding off the Islands or the migratory path of the majestic water birds
■ The freshest Tilapia fish served with spicy chips at a beach front table
■ Experience a luxury resort hotel on the shores of Ssese Islands with powdery white beaches, and freshwater lakes.
■ Enjoy an exhilarating wildlife safari in the Queen Elizabeth National Park before flying to Entebbe for a luxury beach break on the shores of Ssese Island.
■ Visit the vast Ngamba island chimpanzee sanctuary, with stunning landscapes and diverse wildlife.
Visit anytime of the year, except during rainy seasons especially April – May and September – November and while you are in and around Ssese islands, sport fishing, bird watching, monkey and marine life viewing, are all activities and discoveries, one can make.

Additionally, Uganda is a home to half of the world’s last remaining population of the mountain gorillas and these are found in Bwindi impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga National Park located in south western Uganda. This is the most popular attraction in Uganda and many tourists fly into the country for mountain gorilla trekking, thus making Uganda, one of Africa’s unique tourist destination for honeymooners.

Another factor that makes Uganda a perfect honeymoon destination in Africa is white water rafting on the mighty river Nile in Jinja. Other activities recommended for honeymooners around here include Bungee Jumping, Horse Riding and Quad Biking among others. The place offers a life time adventure experience.

Further more, Uganda is a home to 13 primate species, regarded to be one of the highest concentration in Africa. Therefore, if you choose to take your honeymoon holiday to Uganda, you will enjoy chimpanzee tracking and / or habituation experience in Kibale National Park, Kanio Pabidi Forest reserve in Kibale national Park, Karinzu forest reserve and Kyambura gorge in Queen Elizabeth National Park. Among other primates to see while on your honeymoon safari in Uganda include Golden Monkeys, Black and White Colobus Monkeys, Blue Monkeys, Red Tailed Monkeys, Grey Checked Mangabeys and Olive Baboons among others. Spice up your honeymoon package in Uganda (Africa) with chimps trekking and habituation Experience.

Still further, Uganda is gifted by Nature, with over 1000 bird species, some of which are endemic to this area and can NOT be found anywhere in Africa. We have both residents and migrant bird species. Therefore, Uganda is a birders’ paradise.

Among other attractions that can make your honeymoon memorable are the Unique cultures, friendly people, big game drivers in search for the Big 5 animals like Buffaloes, Elephants, Lions, Rhino and Leopard, as well as fantastic boat cruise among others.

Contact us any time you plane a honeymoon holiday in Uganda. We can create a Ugandan holiday or honeymoon just for you. We have many years’ of experience in designing holidays in Uganda. Let us help you plan your next trip to Uganda, tailor-made to suit your interests and your budget.

03/13/15

Rwanda Tourists Attractions

Visiting Rwanda calls for considerable thought and preparation, including booking a gorilla trekking permit ahead of time as well as a hotel/lodge that you will stay in. For those who decide to pursue such a trip, the reward is a destination described as a “Place of a thousand hills”  country of staggering rare natural beauty, with some of the world’s most amazing wildlife including over 300 hundred mountain gorillas. Many places in Rwanda are well-equipped for tourism with some destinations standing out as particularly interesting or attractive.

Kigali Capital

The capital of Rwanda, Kigali is a major trade and transport hub that sits alongside Lake Kivu in the eastern province, a welcome waterway in this landlocked country. While the conveniences of a capital city make Kigali an essential stop for visitors on their way to see the country’s natural wonders, it also has attractions of its own. Founded by Dr. Richard Kandt under German colonial rule in 1907, the town of Kigali has been the economic, cultural, and transport hub of Rwanda since it became capital at independence in 1962. The major tourist destinations here include the Gisozi genocide memorial museum, the First House, Local art and craft shops, Fruits market among others. 30 to 35km from Kigali we find Nyamata and Ntarama churches that were gazetted into genocide memorial sites.

kigali-city-rwanda

Kigali Capital – Rwanda

 

Nyungwe Forest National Park

Nyungwe Forest National Park is located in southwestern Rwanda, at the border with Burundi to the south, Lake Kivu and the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the west. Nyungwe protects the rain forest habitats with 13 species of primates including the Angola Colobus found in groups of 300-400 animals that is an attribute unique to Nyungwe, chimpanzees and approximately 280 bird species, 25 of which are endemic. The village of Nyamagabe serves as a hub for park visitors, offering basic guesthouses and luxury accommodation. It is served by Rwandan air, offering a considerably more convenient alternative to reaching the park by road. It offers 9-13 flights a week (depending on the season) from Kigali to Kamembe International Airport. The latter is only 32 kms from the Nyungwe Forest Lodge. The Lodge will also arrange 35 minute helicopter transfers to/from Kigali Airport via Akagera Aviation.

Chimpanzee tracking is one of the most popular attractions here. Other tourist activities in Nyungwe National Park include Canopy walk adventure, Black and white colobus monkey tracking, bird watching, community walk, Tea harvesting, forest walk to water falls and Congo Nile Guided Hike among others.

Accommodation around Nyungwe Forest currently include the 5 star luxurious Nyungwe Forest Lodge, Nyungwe Hill Top View Hotel, Gisakura Guest House and Peace Guest house located at Cyangugu, about 40km from Nyungwe park headquarters.

Hikers on Nyungwe canopy walk

Nyungwe Forest Canopy walk

 

Volcanoes National Park

Volcanoes National Park is part of Virunga region shared amongst Democratic Republic of Congo, Uganda and Rwanda. This corner or northwestern Rwanda is a breath-taking unforgettable place where culture, adventure and conservation intersect.Volcanoes National Park has 5 out of the 8 volcanoes of the Virunga chain of Mountains, and these include Mount Karisimbi, Mount Bisoke, Mount Muhabura, Mount Gahinga and Mount Sabyinyo. These are covered in rainforest and bamboo. Many rivers such as  flow through Volcanoes National park that support many animal species such as large mammals and primates such as mountain gorillas, golden monkeys, duiker, Forest Elephants and buffalo, as well as some 178 bird species including at least 29 endemics to Rwenzori mountains and the Virungas. Example of rivers include R. Nyabarongo.

Mountain gorilla trekking is the major tourist attraction here. Travel writers believe that, a safari in Africa is incomplete without tracking gorillas in the wild. If you have limited time for your African safari, you can choose the shortest gorilla trek for 1 day gorilla tour in Rwanda that leaves Kigali early at 4:00am to return in the afternoon or evening after the trek on the same day to complete your safari in the true African wilderness.  Among other activities include golden monkey tracking, Mountain hiking (Mt. Karisimbi that requires 2 days / 1 night, and Mt. Bishoke for only 1 day), forest walk, local community tours and visiting cultural villages among others.

Accommodation options around Volcanoes National Park range from budget to Mid range and luxury lodges and these include Virunga, Sabyinyo Silverback, Gorillas Nest & Jack Hannah Cottage, Mountain Gorilla View, Le Bambou Gorilla Lodge, Hotel La Palme, Gorillas Hotel, Villa Gorillas, Muhabura hotel and Kinigi Guest House directly benefiting the local community.

Gorilla-tracking-Volcanoes

Activities Recommended in Rwanda

Enjoy one of ten Gorilla habituated groups visit in Volcanoes National park – Remember a total of 80 permits are currently sold per day. Tourists report at the park head office by 7:00 for a pre-tracking briefing. Once tourists meet the gorillas they spend an hour with them.
Golden monkey visits.

Climbing of Karisimbi volcano – this is a two-day trek with overnight camping at an altitude of 3,800 m.
Climbing of Bisoke volcano – one day.

Tour of the lakes and caves in Musanze including 1.25 miles long cave—a home to a large bat colony.
Visiting the tomb of Dian Fossey–an American zoologist, primatologist, and anthropologist who undertook an extensive study of Gorilla groups over a period of 18 years in Rwanda

Iby’Iwacu cultural village tour, offers an opportunity to explore Rwanda’s history and cultural values, enjoy local music, dance and drama.

On addition to Rwanda gorilla safari, enjoy “Kwita Izina” in Musanze on the edges of Volcanoes national park, a ceremony on which Baby gorillas are given names. This takes place every year in June and attracts many tourists from different parts of the world.

10/20/14

The Gorilla Naming Ceremony (Kwita Izina) in Rwanda

Mountain Gorillas are one of the few remaining animals in the world however, we are fortunate that there are some new born Gorilla babies in Rwanda. There are to be named on June 22 during Kitwa Izina.

This is the 9th Kwita Izina edition to be conducted in Musanze area under the theme ‘Celebrating nature and empowering local communities.’ This time we have twelve babies and one new gorilla family will be named during the 9th edition event. This will be preceded by launching of community projects around Musanze area.

The Rwanda Development Board’s head of tourism and conservation, Rica Rwigamba, said it will be an occasion for Rwanda to increase its visibility and promote its culture. “At this function, many tour operators from different parts of the world are invited to attend this ceremony. This will help the country to win fame and let people to become more aware of the country.

Virunga National Park is shared by the Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda and Uganda; it is home to an estimated 480 gorillas. Book your self a 3 day gorilla trek to Volcanoes National Park between 21st and 23rd June to be able to participate in the 2013 Kwita Izina (Gorilla Naming ceremony) in Rwanda.