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.

06/5/18

Nabajjuzi Wetland in Uganda

This Ramsar wetland is situated in Central Uganda within Masaka district, approximately 120 kilometers south-west of Kampala City and currently encompasses a linear swamp on the floor of the Nabajjuzi River Valley.

Nabajjuzi covers an area of 21.44 square kilometers (2144 hectares), has an elevation of 1200 to 1300 meters above sea level and stretches north-wards along the Nabajjuzi Valley for 40 kilometers from Masaka Town to its confluence with the premier swamp of River Katonga that flows into the vast Lake Victoria, hence making Nabajjuzi one of the tributaries if the Katonga River basin.

Vegetation of Nabajjuzi wetland

The Nabajjuzi wetland is mainly characterized by cyperus papyrus and dotted by Miscanthus violaceus while the small open water pools allow the growth and survival of the Nymphaea nouchali var. caerulea. This area is characterized by Cyperus papyrus dotted with Miscanthus violaceus in majority of the parts of the wetland, the interior of the wetland supports communities of Kostchya, a common shrub in this kind of Papyrus swamp while the margins have Cyperus denudatus, Alchornea, Pennisetum purpureum and phoenix reclinata and many others.

Even with the long history of resources being extracted by the surrounding local communities, some areas of this wetland have remained relatively intact and authentic with the flora and fauna species as it used to be in the past. It is obvious that the growing use of wetland products for subsistence and commercial use has contributed to the increased levels of harvesting and several surrounding areas have been modified and developed into trading centers and small Towns which has in turn increased the demand for the wetland recourses hence over exploitation.

Attractions within Nabajjuzi wetland

The Nabajjuzi wetland offers shelter to several mammal species including the sitatunga, a swamp-dwelling antelope that is globally threatened and specie of national importance. Additionally, the wetland is an Important Bird Area sheltering several threatened and vulnerable bird species such as the Papyrus yellow warbler, shoebill storks and the Papyrus Gonolek but is also a home and breeding zone for the exceptional Grey crowned crane, Uganda’s National Bird.

Mud fish (Claris mossambicus) and Lungfish (Protopterus aethiopicus) are some of the extraordinary fish species that call the Nabajjuzi wetland home, and the fish are the main source of protein for the local communities around the wetland and Masaka district in general.

Besides the exceptional attractions, Nabajjuzi wetland is the main source of piped water for the people of Masaka Town but one of the challenges is the nearby tannery that discharges effluent into the wetland which is less than 400 meters from the water extraction and treatment plant. However, the high population around the southern part of the wetland is mainly characterized by the sub-urban residents of Masaka district and the other Townships whereas the communities in the northern part are mainly rural with subsistence lifestyles but both communities depend deeply on the water from the site with the latter using the wetland for grazing but also harvest several swamp products for medicine, thatching and crafts.

Nabajjuzi wetland is found within the native Buddu County, one of the popular counties within the large and culturally blessed Buganda Kingdom and most of the fauna and flora species here are attached to the cultural norms and traditions, especially totems of the people of Buganda.

06/2/18

Lake Edward & The Kazinga Channel

Also referred as Edward Nyanza or Rutanzige and traditionally as Mwitanzigye (killer of locusts), Lake Edward is considered the smallest of the many African Great Lakes and is situated within the floor of the Albertine Rift Valley region, the western arm of the Great/East African Rift that lies on the Uganda-Democratic Republic of Congo border overlooking the legendary Mountains of the Moon (Rwenzori Mountains) with the highest snow-capped peak rising to 5109 meters above sea level.

The Northern shores of Lake Edward are some few kilometers south of the Equator and has numerous primary inflows including Rivers Lubilia, Nyamugasani, Rutshuru, Ishasha, Ntungwe and Rwindi while it empties its waters to the north through River Semliki into Lake Albert. Located within Kasese District in western Uganda, the total Surface Area is this Lake is 2325 square kilometers (898 square miles) while its maximum length is 77 kilometers (48 miles), width is 40 kilometers (25 miles) and is about 112 meters (367 feet) deep. There are two National Parks bordering the shores of Lake Edward and they include Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo (the north-western shores of the Lake) and the Queen Elizabeth National Park (north-eastern shores).

This spectacular Rift Valley Lake lies at an altitude of 920 meters (3020 feet) above sea level and is the 15th largest Lake within the African Continent. However, the western escarpment of the Great Rift Valley stands at an elevation of 2000 meters (6600 feet) above sea level rising above its southern and eastern shores that are generally characterized by flat lava plains. Tourists who visit this Lake are rewarded with the breathtaking views of the Rwenzori Mountains that are only 20 kilometers (12 miles) north of the Lake.

Just like most beautiful attractions in the African Continent, Lake Edward attracted the interest of popular European Explorers including Henry Morton Stanley who is said to have first seen the Lake in 1888 during the Emin Pasha Relief Expedition. This Lake was named after Prince Albert Edward, Prince of Wales and son to then British Queen Victoria who later became King Edward VII. However, it was renamed Lake Idi Amin by the Uganda and Zaire Government (former Democratic Republic of Congo) in 1973 after former President of Uganda-Idi Amin Dada but after he was overthrown in 1979, it regained its original name.

In the past 500 years, a number of volcanic activities were recorded within the region, with the two immense ones being Bunyaruguru Volcanic fields near a 32-kilometer long Kazinga channel on the north-western edge of the Lake and the Katwe-Kikorongo volcanic fields. Lakes George and Edward that are adjacent to each other were one of the larger Lakes in the past but the Lava that flowed from the nearby fields as well as the Maya-ya-Moto and Nyamulagira Volcanoes flowed in and separated the two, leaving the Kazinga Channel that connects the two.

Flora and Fauna within and around Lake Edward

There are several animals that live or visit the banks of Lake Edward and they include elephants, buffaloes, crocodiles, lions, antelopes and chimpanzees that are generally protected within Queen Elizabeth National Park. Not only that, the Lake and its surrounding areas are haven to numerous migratory and perennial species of birds.

Also, Lake Edward offers shelter to several fish species including over 50 species of Haplochromis, 25 species of Haplochromine, Bagrus docmak, Sarotherodon leucostictus and Sarotherodon niloticus and many others, hence making fishing one of the most important activities among the local residents.

In addition to Lake Edward, Queen Elizabeth National Park is famous for other beautiful places worth exploring that include the Ishasha sector (known for the tree climbing lions), Kyambura gorge (home to the Chimpanzees), Kasenyi Plains, Lake George, Maramagambo forest, Mweya Peninsula and the Kazinga Channel.

04/23/18

5 Tips to Plan a Gorilla Trip By Independently

How To Plan A Gorilla Trip By Yourself / Independently

Rwanda and Uganda are one of the three countries in the while World to undertake gorilla safaris (the other is Democratic Republic of Congo) but if you ever make up your mind to undertake the trip from this remarkable country, make sure to plan by yourself / independently because it is cheaper than doing it through the tour operator because most of them charge a commission. Therefore if you plan for Uganda safaris and tours by yourself, you will save a lot of money and yet it is very cumbersome and involves a lot of legwork.

Gorilla trekking within Rwanda is more expensive than it is within the other mentioned countries because permits cost $1500 per person while in Uganda it is $600 yet in the Democratic Republic of Congo it costs $400 but if you plan the safari by yourself, there are high chances that you will save more money if you plan or book for it independently.

Nonetheless, booking a gorilla safari by yourself depends on the period of time you will be spending within the gorilla destination in that if you have less time (1-3 days), you are advised to use the services of tour operators while if you are spending more days (6-10) days, it is advisable to plan or book for it by yourself. Therefore, the following are the important tips to allow you plan for the gorilla trekking safari in Uganda or Rwanda independently;

Do some Research (Gather enough Information) on the price of gorilla permits and pay in advance

The first step of undertaking a gorilla safari is by first inquiring on the availability of gorilla permits because this is your ticket to participating in this activity. This information can be accessed from the website of Rwanda Development Board, sending an email to reservation@rwandatourism.com or calling the reservation office on +252 57 65 14. For Uganda permits, information is available at Uganda Wildlife Authority (info@ugandawildlife.org, Telephone: +256 414 355000 and +256 312 355000). After being sure that permits are available for the date you wished to track the gorillas, book by paying 30% and this should be done at least 6 months in advance due to the high demand for the activity. Permits currently cost $1500 per person in Rwanda and US$600 per person in Uganda, paid in Bank or by cash and can be obtained from the RDB / UWA Head offices. The balance for gorilla permits is paid 3 months to the tracking date.

Get convenient transport means to the Gorilla detonations

In Rwanda, there are usually several local bus companies with comfortable buses leaving Kigali City for Ruhengeri and there is particularly a bus station in Nyabugogo where tickets can be booked charging from 2000 to 3000 francs per person and the journey takes at least 2 hours. Because the buses just stop at Ruhengeri, you will need to get private transport means (300 to 500 francs) especially special hire vehicles to Kinigi Park Headquarters lasting 20 to 30 minutes.

In Uganda, there are many bus companies from Kampala to Kisoro where you can easily connect to Mgahinga national park and Southern Bwindi National park. The journey is approximately 10 hours and charges between 25.000 and 35.000 Uganda Shillings. From the bus station, you can connect to your pre-booked hotel or to the gorilla park by private car hire.

Booking for a place of Stay

Intending gorilla trekkers are always advised to book for accommodation within or near the Park Headquarters and not very far away from the gorilla trekking starting point. Just like the gorilla permits, tourists are advised to deposit for the room in advance to avoid disappointment, then complete on the day of checking in. There are many gorilla safari Lodges within all gorilla parks in Rwanda and Uganda. In Volcanoes National Park Rwanda, Kinigi Guest Guest House is highly recommended because it is opposite the park Headquarters, less than 5 minutes walk to the headquarters.

Pack the right items

Any tourist planning to track the mountain gorillas in Volcanoes National Park and Bwindi or Mgahinga National Parks needs to be prepared for life in the jungles-extreme coldness, dense vegetation and slippery/muddy ground during the rainy season. Therefore, make sure you don’t leave out the long sleeved shirts, long trousers, rain jacket, snacks, bottled water, waterproof hiking boots, hut, non-flash camera, binoculars, cotton socks, heavy sweater, gardening gloves and a backpack among others.

Self drive Rental and Camping

If you are a family, a group of friends or a couple planning a gorilla trip independently, you can save a lot of money when you rent a car without driver and drive your own adventure. Here, you share the cost of transport, fuel and accommodation. In other words, its cheaper to travel in group than sole. Please note, it must be a 4×4 car, and these are available from US$40 per day, for instance, Toyota Rav4, Land cruiser, Mini-vans, Prado, Suzuki Escudo, Honda CRV and many others.

Additionally, some car rental agencies rent out  cars with a full camping gear, thus saving money on accommodations. A full camping gear is from US$5 per day and it includes a water proof tent (some times roof top tent), sleeping bags, mattress, camper table, chairs, kitchen ware, crockery, cooler box, storage box, jerrycan, lam and torch.

With the tips above, it is very possible to plan for a gorilla trip by yourself with enough information and booking for permits in advance, getting convenient transport means to from the airport to the gorilla parks, booking for a place of Stay and Packing the right items.

05/10/17

How Local Communities benefit from Uganda Tourism?

Traveling around the world is a great honor but not every one of us can travel to encounter the earth’s most interesting and attractive destination. Travel is out of access to most of the people in the world due to inadequate financial resources, family commitments or other obligations.

However for those few who travel, it is essential to have that philanthropist nature in you to give hand to the local communities you come across while on a safari. If one gives back to these local communities, one always brings a smile on those people. Do you know how blessed you will be by bring a smile on someone’s face.

So here are some of the ways on how to give back to the local communities on a Uganda a wildlife safari
By becoming a volunteer for the cause of conservation, educating the illiterate local community and also being part of the community projects that can promote local community livelihood and tourism at large. There are very many voluntary community based organization around the wildlife destinations in Uganda and also international conservation organization. These include
One can also give back to the local communities by supporting the local ventures/ businesses by purchasing their commodities like stay in a local guesthouse other than a big hotel/ lodge, , try local foods in the local restaurant other than in a fancy restaurant. Normally here in Uganda, these local communities have craft shops where one can buy curios and they have traditional entertainment so while on a wildlife safari in Uganda include the a village walk around the local communities in your itinerary.

When you purchasing commodities from the locals like food in the restaurants, curios at the craft shops pay a moderate price. Although there might be need for bargaining on the prices of the commodities you are purchasing from the locals but go over board that reduction of a dollar you may bargain for may not mean that much to you but it means a lot to the locals in Uganda. Furthermore when the locals offer good services to you endeavor to give them a tip most especially to those people who work in the hospitality industry like guides and hotel personnel. This means a lot to them you will always leave a very good mark in their lives.

Be environment conscious while on a Uganda wildlife safari: do not litter anyhow while you are in their fragile destinations, dispose your rubbish in places designated for littering, stay in eco lodge that are above environment conservation and preservation. When taking short trips always use 4×4 safari vehicles instead of taking a plane that greatly affect the ozone layer by emitting carbonic gases in the air. While in the real destination take an example of gorilla trekking in Bwindi impenetrable national park take the directives give to you while hiking through the fragile jungle, walk on the trail demarcated for the visitors. By being environment conscious leads to steady conservation and preservation which promotes sustainable tourism.

Donate to local organizations and the international ones that are established to help the needy at large. Donation can be done through giving in funds to help them, giving them commodities like clothes, shoes and other accessories and also scholastic materials like books, pens, pencils, colours among the common ones. Instead of giving something to a beggar child found along the way, look for an organization responsible for the needy to donate so that all the people can benefit wholly. In Uganda when have organizations like world vision, Sanyu babies’ home, USAID and many more.

By engaging in the above, you will have given back to the local communities on a Uganda wildlife safari and your contribution will be highly recognized and appreciated by these humble people around the tourism destinations in Uganda.

02/10/15

8 Day Uganda Safari to Lake Bunyonyi

Safari Highlights
The 8 day Uganda wildlife safari goes Kibale National Park for chimps tracking or habituation experience, then Queen Elizabeth national park for wildlife viewing, birding and fantastic boat cruise along the Kazinga Channel. We shall end with gorilla trekking in Bwindi National Park and adventurous canoe ride on the beautiful lake Bunyonyi in south western Uganda.

Detailed Itinerary for 8 Days Tour

Day One: Transfer to Kibale national park

Upon your arrival at Entebbe international airport, meet our English speaking tour guide / company representative. Alternatively, we can meet at your hotel in Kampala or Entebbe after breakfast. Thereafter, transfer to western Uganda via Mityana-Mubende highway, en-route stopover at Tanda village where it’s believed that “walumbe” brother to Nambi wife of Kintu a first Muganda lost his life, Nakayima tree to experience the historical legendary tale of this long lived tree. Drive to fort portal with scenic view of green covers, lunch en-route, dinner and overnight at Kyaninga Lodge / Chimpanzee Guest House / Chimp Nest Lodge or Rwenzori View Guest House among others of your choice. Meal plan: Half-Board

Day Two: Chimpanzee Tracking or Habituation Experience

Early morning breakfast, after for briefing from the park officials. Then enter into the forest block to track the chimps in their leisure time feeding and swinging in the tree branches. This adventure not only expose you to chimps but also to others primates like Olive Baboons, Red tailed monkeys, many forest bird species, butterflies and plant species. Return to lodge for refreshment and lunch-evening walk in Bigodi wetland for animal and bird watching, they include the sitatungas, white and black Columbus, velvet and red tailed monkeys, birds alike rare shoe bills, warbler and much more.

Alternatively, we can spend full day with Chimps, we call it Chimpanzee habituation experience. We start at 6am before chimps get up, spend full day with them until 7pm when they get back to their nests.

Day Three: Transfer to Queen Elizabeth national park

Have morning breakfast, after depart for Queen Elizabeth National Park. If you missed a community and cultural tour in Fort Portal on Day 1, we can do it today before transferring to Queen Elizabeth N.P. Take enroute game drive to some big five and other wildlife like the lions, elephants, buffaloes, water bucks, bush bucks, warthogs, leopard and more respectively. Birds can also be spotted which include the wagtails, great egrets, sparrows, pelicans, vultures, doves and much more. Evening visit to Katwe Crater Lake salt mining and experience flamingo birds as the sun is setting off. Dinner and overnight at Mweya safari lodge, Enganzi lodge, Katara lodge, Twin lake lodge, Bush Lodge. Meal plan: Full-Board

Day Four: Game drive and fantastic boat cruise – Queen Elizabeth National Park

Dawn game drive to spot a variety of wildlife like some of the big five that include the lions, elephants, leopard, buffaloes and other animals include warthogs, water bucks, bush bucks, oribi, leopards, topi, heart beasts among others. Return to lodge for lunch, afternoon take boat cruise along the Kazinga Channel. This cruise is much awesome because it passes through the concentration of Hippos in Africa with clear scenic view of birds, animals along the shores. Return to lodge for dinner and overnight. Meal plan: Full-Board

Day Five: Tree Climbing Lion Spotting, transfer to Bwindi Gorilla Park

Today we shall wake up early and start our brave day with heavy breakfast, after we shall drive to Ishasha sector famously loved for its tree climbing lions and we shall use this opportunity with chance to spot them resting in the branches fig trees. Expect an encounter with other animals such as elephants, Buffaloes, warthogs, primates like baboons among others.

Have en-route lunch and after proceed to Bwindi impenetrable National Park situated in the southern end of Uganda with our evening arrival and check in and later for our dinner and overnight at Mahogany Springs Lodge, Gorilla Mist Camp, Wagtail Eco Safari Camp, Buhoma community rest camp. Meal plan: Full-Board

Day 6: Mountain Gorilla tracking

gorilla-bwindi-forest

Heavy breakfast, prepare for briefing from the park officials. After enter into the jungle to search the shy mountain gorillas in their natural habitat, when you encounter the great apes relax and experience them for your one hour entitled to spend viewing their life style. The trek can be half or full day depending on the primates movement in this tropical forest. Carry yourself the hiking shoes/boots, hut, insect repellent, sun screen, rain gears, packed lunch, bottled mineral water, snacks and other requirement may be needed once in the tropical rain forest. Porters are available at the park headquarters to carry your small bags, push and pull you where you get stuck, for only $10 to $15. Evening drive to Lake Bunyonyi the Switzerland of Africa that offers variety of birds and good scenic view environs with our dinner and overnight at Arcadia cottages or Bunyonyi Overland resort overlooking Lake Bunyonyi. Meal plan: Full-Board

Day 7: Lake Bunyonyi and cultural experience

Early morning breakfast, after we can take canoe or motor boat to the many different islands to spot several types of birds. Evening visit stunning local community performances. Return to lodge for dinner and overnight. Meal plan: Full-Board

Day 8: Departure (To Kampala or Kigali Rwanda)

Today have morning breakfast; after we shall embark our safari truck and trail back to Kampala with our lunch en-route, stopover at the equator to shop souvenirs and photographs. Arrive in Kampala late afternoon or early evening and our guide will transfer you to Entebbe airport for your scheduled departure flight. The journey is about 8 hours drive.

Alternatively, we can cross to Rwanda through Gatuna boarder, 4 hours drive to Kigali, the capital city of Rwnada. Time permitting, we visit Gisozi genocide memorial museum in Kigali before connecting to Kigali International Airport for your scheduled departure flight.

11/3/14

Nyungwe wins global environment award

Nyungwe Forest’s Nziza Project was announced winner of the British Guild of Travel Writers’ Globe Award in recognition of its efforts to harmonize tourism, wildlife and the agricultural community in one of Africa’s last surviving rainforests.

canopywalkAt an event held last weekend in London, United Kingdom, the project was lauded as exemplary and which is poised to develop and protect one of the world’s richest and most diverse eco-systems.

The project was initiated by the Rwanda Development Board (RDB), “Nyungwe Nziza is a model tourism project for developing countries whose benefits will long outlast this or subsequent governments,” Guild Chair, Roger Bray said, while presenting the award.

It should be noted that Rwanda is one of Africa’s tourism destinations and the major tourist activity being Mountain Gorilla tracking in Volcanoes National Park. Nyungwe forest is a home to 13 primate species that include chimpanzees, colobus monkeys, vervets, blue monkeys, Red-tailed monkeys, etc.

The project also came first during the awards’ Wider World category. The two runners up were Georgia’s Borjomi-Kharagauli National Park and San Antonio Texas’s Morgan’s Wonderland. “We are delighted that the Rwanda Nziza Project was named winner of the prestigious British Guild of Travel Writers’ top Globe Award,” said Clare Akamanzi, the acting CEO of the RDB.

“In Nyungwe, we are able to see a combination of tourism, wildlife, environmental and agriculture development, which adds to beauty as well as create jobs for our people in line with diversification of tourism products. It shows that the potential for interdisciplinary collaboration for sustainable tourism is limitless.”

Akamanzi further noted that Nyungwe, in particular, has received a 44 percent increase of tourists, from 5,755 in 2010 to 8,274 in 2011. She attributed this to the introduction of the canopy walk, which gives tourists an aerial view of the forest from 40 metres above the ground.

Based in South-Western Rwanda, Nyungwe National Park is home to 25 percent of Africa’s primates. Other major award winners included UK’s Cutty Sark Restoration and France’s Loire à Vélo Cycle Trail. Rwanda Tourism continues to be the country’s major cash cow after coffee, tea and mining, with revenues increasing by 11 per cent between January and June this year compared to the same period last year.

The increase is indicated by US$128.3m generated from the sector between January and June compared to US$115.6m generated in the same period last year. So far investment projects worth US$184.1m since January 2012 and are expected to generate over a thousand jobs. The extremely rare mountain gorillas in the Virunga Mountains continue to be the leading tourism attraction.

There are also Uganda gorilla safaris in Bwindi National Park, south western Uganda. Many tourists from allover the world enjoy combining Uganda and Rwanda gorilla tracking experience!

10/28/14

10 Day Best of Uganda and Rwanda Gorilla Safari

Safari Overview

The 10 day Uganda Rwanda combined safari takes you to Kibale National Park for half day chimpanzee tracking or full day chimpanzee habituation experience, then game viewing drive and boat cruise in Queen Elizabeth national park, tree climbing lion spotting in Ishasha sector and mountain gorilla trekking in Bwindi impenetrable Forest in Uganda and in Volcanoes national park in Rwanda, not forgetting community tours genocide memorial sites like Gisozi, Nyamata and Ntarama Churches. Below is a detailed day by day itinerary;

Day One: Transfer to Murchison falls national Park

Upon your arrival at Entebbe international airport, meet our English speaking professional tour guide. Transfer to northern Uganda via Luwero, Nakasongola highway, en-route visit to Ziwa rhino sanctuary for Rhino tracking, lunch in Masindi town, later drive via the Budongo forest to the park and visit the top of the falls, and at this point you can experience the Nile forces its way through a gap in the rocks, only 7 meters (23 ft) wide, and tumbles 43 meters (141 ft), then flows westward into Lake Albert. The outlet of Lake Victoria sends around 300 cubic meters per second (11,000 ft³/s) of water over the falls, squeezed into a gorge less than ten meters (30 ft) wide. Dinner and overnight at Paraa safari lodge, Nile safari lodge, Chobe safari lodge, Sambiya River lodge, Fort Murchison Lodge, Murchison River lodge and Red chilli rest camp.

Day Two: Game viewing drive in Murchison Falls and Boat cruise

Dawn game drive (after a cup of coffee / tea) to spot the wildlife species which are nocturnal and those spend much of their time in jungles like the lions. This activity will expose you to variety of wildlife and birds like some big five like lions, elephants, buffalos, giraffes other animals like water bucks, bush bucks, leopards, warthogs, topi, oribi, vultures, sparrows, wagtails, swallows, egrets, doves among others respectively. Return to lodge for full breakfast and lunch, afternoon prepare for a fantastic boat cruise on a Nile cruise for game viewing at close quarters; this is a paradise for hippos and crocodiles. There are also a variety of birds like Herons, King Fishers, Skimmers, Fish eagle and the rare shoe bill. Return to lodge for dinner and overnight.

Day Three: Murchison Falls to Kibale Forest

Breakfast and depart for Kibale National Park as you enjoy en-route game drive to spot little wildlife along the murram road. This is a7hrs drive so we shall have our lunch en-route in Fort portal town. Dinner and overnight at mountain of the moon, Ndali lodge, Kyaninga lodge, Primate Lodge, Kibale Forest Camp or Chimpanzee guest house.

Day Four: Chimpanzee trekking or Habituation Experience

Early morning breakfast, after for briefing from the park officials. Then enter into the forest block to trek the chimps in their leisure time swinging in the tree branches. This adventure not only expose you to chimps but also to others primates, birds, butterflies and plant species. Animals like white and black Columbus, velvet monkeys, red tailed monkeys and manageably can be spotted. Return to lodge for refreshment and lunch-Drive to Queen Elizabeth National Park where you will arrive in early evening with your en-route game drive and head to your lodge for check in at Mweya safari lodge or Katara lodge, Enganzi lodge, Buffalo safari Resort or Bush Lodge. Meal plan: Full-Board

Day Five: Game drive and Kazinga channel boat cruise

Dawn game drive to spot quite variety of wildlife like some of the big five that include the lions, elephants, buffaloes, Leopards, other animals include warthogs, water bucks, bush bucks, oribi, topi, heart beasts among others. Return to lodge for lunch, afternoon take boat cruise along the River. This cruise is much awesome because it passes through the concentration of the wildlife animals like Hippos, huge Nile crocodiles and many elephants / Buffaloes see basking along the showers, and about 600 bird species. Return to lodge for dinner and overnight.

Day Six: Transfer to Bwindi National Park

Breakfast and transfer to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park with en-route game drive through the ishasha sector, a home for tree climbing lions. Have en-route lunch, dinner and overnight at Gorilla forest camp, Ruhija gorilla lodge, Mahogany springs, Gorilla safari lodge, Gorilla Mist Camp, Gift of Nature Lodge, Buhoma lodge, Buhoma community rest camp, Gorilla Valley Lodge.

Day Seven: Gorilla tracking in Bwindi National Park

Heavy breakfast, after prepare for briefing from the park officials. After enter into the jungle to search the shy mountain gorillas in their real habitat, when you encounter the great apes relax and experience them for your one hour entitled to spend viewing their life style. This experience can take 2-7hrs depending on their movement in this tropical forest. Evening drive to Lake Bunyonyi the Switzerland of Africa that offers variety of birds and good scenic view environs with our dinner and overnight at Heritage lodge, Arcadia cottages, bird nest resort or Bunyonyi Overland resort.

Day Eight: Cross the Border to Volcanoes National Park Rwanda

Breakfast and take a canoe or boat trip to different Islands on Lake Bunyonyi, including the Batwa people (Pygmies), return to lodge for refreshment and lunch. After drive to volcanoes national park, dinner and overnight at Mountain Gorilla view lodge / Kinigi guest house / Le bamboo gorilla lodge or Hotel Muhabura.

Day Nine: Second gorilla trek – Volcanoes National Park

Heavy breakfast and after drive to Kinigi park headquarters, here you will receive briefing from park officials after enter into the jungle to search for the gentle giants. You are ideally advised to come with requirements like trekking shoes, hut, sun screen, rain gears, packed lunch and bottled water, insect repellent, standard cameras. When you meet these apes relax and enjoy your one hour permitted close up. Return to your lodge and if interested, we take a community tour, dinner and overnight with the community or at your lodge as on Day 8.

Day Ten: Genocide memorial tour in Kigali, Departure

Today after breakfast embark our safari vehicle and transfer to Kigali, visit Gisozi genocide museum, local art and craft shops, Nyamata and Ntarama churches/genocide sites, later transfer to airport to board your flight back home. This marks the end of our 10 day gorilla safari in Rwanda and Uganda with Gorilla Expeditions Limited. For more of such trips, click here

End of the 10 day Uganda Rwanda combined safari

10/8/14

5 Day Budget Uganda Safari, Chimps, Gorillas, wildlife Tour

Safari Overview
The 5 day budget Uganda safari takes you to Bwindi impenetrable National park, a home to the world’s last remaining population of the mountain gorillas, then go to Queen Elizabeth wildlife park for game viewing and boat cruise on the Kazinga channel. You can choose camping throughout the trip, or mix with some budget lodges with en-suite bathrooms and toilets. Below is a detailed day by day Itinerary;

Day One: Transfer to Bwindi National Park (7-10hrs)

Your professional tour guide will meet you at your hotel in Kampala and set off for Bwindi national park. The journey goes through many small towns, villages and road side markets that offer a chance for photographing, en-route stop at the equator for photographs, lunch in Mbarara town at Agip Motel, arrive at your lodge in Bwindi by early evening for dinner and overnight at Buhoma community rest camp / Bakiga Lodge / Gorilla Mist Camp/ Ruhija Community Rest Camp.

mountain-gorilla-bwindi-forest-ugandaDay Two: Mountain Gorilla Trekking Adventure

Morning breakfast followed by an assembly at the park headquarters (with packed water and lunch) for briefing about gorilla trekking. The trek takes between 1-7hrs before meeting these gentle Giants camouflaged in thick vegetation. You will be allowed to stay with the Giants for a maximum of 1 hour, get back to the lodge for late lunch. Time permitting, take a community walk to nearby Batwa people (Pygmies), dinner and overnight as on Day 1.

Day Three: Transfer to Queen Elizabeth National Park

Morning breakfast at the lodge, followed by a scenic drive to Queen Elizabeth National Park. The journey goes through small trading centers in rural areas of Uganda. We shall have a wonderful game drive in the Ishasha sector, famous for tree climbing lions alongside other wild animals like Elephants, Buffaloes, Warthogs and several antelope species, overnight at Kyambura Tented camp / Simba safari camp / Enganzi lodge.

Day Four: Game drive and a fantastic Boat cruise

boat-on-murchison-fallsStart with a cup / tea and proceed with a fantastic game drive along Kasenyi track to catch up with early raisers and predators returning to their hide-outs. Expect an encounter with wild animals such as the Africa Lion, Elephants, Buffaloes, Warthogs, Baboons and sometimes leopards among others. Return to the lodge/camp for late breakfast, relax as you wait for lunch, after which, you embark on a fantastic boat cruise on Kazinga channel, famous for the highest concentration of Hippos in Africa with Huge Nile crocodiles, Elephants and Buffaloes seen basking along the shores. Return to the lodge in sunset, camp fire in evening, dinner and overnight as Day 3.

Day Five: Chimpanzee tracking / Departure

Breakfast followed another game drive along Mweya Peninsular for more animals. Or we can go for chimpanzee tracking in Kyambura gorge, lunch and hit the road back to Kampala where the tour ends.
END OF THE TOUR

10/8/14

8 Day Budget Camping Safari in Uganda – Self Drive Holiday

Budget Uganda Safari Overview

The  8 day camping safari in Uganda covers the country’s most popular tourist destinations to start Bwindi Gorilla Park in south western Uganda, then Queen Elizabeth national park, Kibale forest and end with the magnificent Murchison Falls national park in North western Uganda. You can choose camping throughout the trip, or mix with some budget lodges with en-suite bathrooms and toilets. This can be a guides/escorted or self drive tour. Below is a detailed day by day Itinerary;

Detailed Itinerary; 8 day Uganda camping safari

Day One: Transfer to Bwindi National Park (7-10hrs)

Your professional tour guide will meet you at your hotel in Kampala and set off for Bwindi national park. The journey goes through many small towns, villages and road side markets that offer a chance for photographing, en-route stop at the equator for photographs, lunch in Mbarara town at Agip Motel, arrive at your lodge in Bwindi by early evening for dinner and overnight at Buhoma community rest camp / CTPH Gorilla Conservation Camp / Ruhija Community Rest Camp.

Day Two: Mountain Gorilla Trekking Adventure

gorilla-babies-playingMorning breakfast followed by an assembly at the park headquarters (with packed water and lunch) for briefing about gorilla trekking. The trek takes between 1-7hrs before meeting these gentle Giants camouflaged in thick vegetation. You will be allowed to stay with the Giants for a maximum of 1 hour, get back to the lodge for late lunch. Time permitting, take a community walk to nearby Batwa people (Pygmies), dinner and overnight as on Day 1.

Day Three: Transfer to Queen Elizabeth National Park

Morning breakfast at the lodge, followed by a scenic drive to Queen Elizabeth National Park. The journey goes through small trading centers in rural areas of Uganda. We shall have a wonderful game drive in the Ishasha sector, famous for tree climbing lions alongside other wild animals like Elephants, Buffaloes, Warthogs and several antelope species, overnight at Kyambura Tented camp / Simba safari camp / Mweya Hostels.

Day Four: Game drive and a fantastic Boat cruise

A cup of tea will be followed by a fantastic game drive to catch up with early raisers and predators returning to their hide-outs. Expect an encounter with wild animals such as the Africa Lion, Elephants, Buffaloes, Warthogs, Baboons and sometimes leopards among others. Return to the lodge/camp for late breakfast, relax as you wait for lunch, after which, you embark on a fantastic boat cruise on Kazinga channel, famous for the highest concentration of Hippos in Africa with Huge Nile crocodiles, Elephants and Buffaloes seen basking along the shores. Return to the lodge in sunset, camp fire in evening, dinner and overnight as Day 3.

Day Five: Transfer to Kibale National Park, Chimpanzee tracking

kibale-island-chimpsBreakfast followed another game drive through Queen Elizabeth National Park as we transfer to Kibale National Park, a home to 13 primate species that include Chimpanzees, Red-tailed Monkeys, L’hoest’s monkeys, Giant forest hog, colobus monkeys, blue monkeys and many others, with about 350 bird species. Here you also find mammals like forest elephants and buffaloes. Get ready for Chimpanzee tracking after lunch, dinner and overnight / camping at Chimpanzee guest House.

NOTE: If you want chimpanzee habituation, the program will slightly change. Please inquire about this arrangement.

Day Six: Transfer to Murchison Falls National park

Breakfast and hit the road to Murchison falls national park, we shall have lunch in Hoima Town, proceed via the beautiful Butia Escarpments, arrive to the park by late afternoon, then take a visit to the top of the falls where the River forces its self through a narrow gorge 7 meters wide, flowing down 45meters. The scenery here is so wonderful, dinner and overnight / camping at Red chili Rest Camp, Shoebill campsite or Yebo Campsite.

Day Seven: Game drive and boat cruise to the bottom of the falls

Breakfast at the lodge followed a fantastic game drive in search for a wide variety of animals such as the lions, leopard, Giraffes, Buffaloes, elephants and many antelopes. Return to our campsite and relax as we wait for lunch. Then embark on a fantastic boat cruise to the bottom of the falls. Expect to see elephants and Buffaloes drinking water on the shores, huge crocodiles, Hippos and over 300 bird species. Return in sunset, campfire in evening, dinner and overnight.

Day Eight: Departure

Breakfast at the lodge, followed by transfer back to Kampala. This is a 5-6hrs drive and we shall be in Kampala by later afternoon. If interested, we can have en-route visit to Zziwa Rhino sanctuary and depending on your departure flight schedule, you will be transferred to Entebbe International Airport or drop off at your hotel in Kampala or Entebbe for dinner and overnight.

END OF THE TOUR