Sunday, 30 December 2012

Gorilla Permits now are Available in Mgahinga!


A Gorilla feeding in Mgahinga National Gorilla Park
A Gorilla feeding in Mgahinga National Gorilla Park

The Nyakagezi gorilla group having crossed back into Mgahinga National Park has stayed long enough in the park. The good news to Uganda safari companies is that the park wildlife authorities have started issuing permits to track them again.
Despite their traveling around various national parks of Rwanda, Democratic Republic of Congo as well as Uganda they safely returned without loss and injury from this migration and have again settled back in the magnificent Mgahinga National Park.
On this note therefore,we are pleased to inform you that after them being monitored and resettled these Ugandan gorillas are now ready for tracking/trekking and viewing. Tourists can now buy gorilla permits accessed from the park headquarters and are welcome to book through prime Uganda safaris as gorilla tours/a gorilla trekking safari call it a gorilla tracking safari are one of our best Uganda safari or Uganda tour packages. The release of these gorilla permits is likely to boost tourism in Africa and to continue exhibiting Uganda as one of the prime tourist attractions and destination in not only Africa but the whole world!
Please contact a member of our sales team for more information.

Uganda was declared one of the prime destinations for bird watching come 2013!!


Uganda crested crane
Uganda crested cranes
Uganda was declared one of the prime destinations for bird watching come 2013 this comes as result of the boost from the Lonely Planet 2012 award of Best Tourism Destination into the year.This is great news to all Uganda safari bird lovers since bird watching forms a big part of Uganda safaris.
There has been a team up between Bird International which is a global conservation organization that is based on protection of birds as well as their habitats and Nature Uganda a Ugandan organization. They are studying the bird population in Uganda but so far this research has highlighted more than 34 spectacular bird watching areas within the country each possessing a diverse variety of bird species.
The Uganda Shoebill flying with in its natural habitant.
The Uganda Shoebill flying with in its natural habitant.
Uganda thus possesses an important biodiversity as it not only holds 10 % of the world’s total bird species but an overwhelming 50% of Africa’s bird population as well. On the same note Bwindi Impenetrable National Park has been highlighted as Africa’s number one bird watching site/spot!
Honorable Maria Mutagamba in one of her speeches recently said,” Allow me declare Uganda a preferred bird watching destination as we begin our journey through the next 50 years as we mark the country’s independence jubilee celebrations”.
For an inquiry about bird watching in Uganda please contact us on info@primeugandasafaris .com

Update on the Situation in Eastern DRC and Rwanda by now -December 2012

There are continuous efforts to bring about stability in Goma city as well as North Kivu province that lies in the Eastern province of the Democratic republic of Congo.

After the December 2nd incidence in Parc National des Volcans, reports show that the park remains calm as well as stable and gorilla tracking safari activities have kept running smoothly without interruption every day in all the national park areas.
M23 rebels leave Goma in eastern Congo
M23 rebels leave Goma in eastern Congo
All concerned parties such as the DRC government, the  M24 rebels, the Rwanda and Uganda governments are holding talks in Uganda and seemingly they are achieving progress toward permanent peace in the region- a great achievement for the uganda safari industry and the region (Rwanda,DRC, Tanzania, Kenya and Uganda) safari/tourism  industry at large.
Diplomatic missions have continuously assessed the situation on ground and we too as Prime Uganda Safaris and Tours have visited the park to check on the security situation in the area as its one of the best Gorilla safari destinations in Africa.
Updates from the UK and US travel advisories released three weeks back stated that tourists can now freely visit the park when they come to Africa for a safari. The Rwanda Development Board as well continued to assure tourists and the business community of their safety as they travel thought all parts of Rwanda thus this historical nation is worth a visit once in Africa so make it a point to safari in this area.
On this note Prime Uganda Safaris promises to keep all our clients updated in case of any new developments. We welcome all guests and clients on safaris to Africa thus kindly consult us for any inquiry on info@primeugandasafaris.com.
PRIME UGANDA SAFARIS AND TOURS
Uganda safaris/Uganda safari news
Gorilla trekking safari /Gorilla tracking safari updates.

TRAVEL STATEMENT ISSUED BY THE RWANDA DEVELOPMENT BOARD


A Rwanda gorilla
A Rwanda gorilla
A statement has been issued by the Rwanda Development Board encouraging tourists and the business society that traveling to any part of   Rwanda is safe and encouraged as the country isn’t compromised by the situation near the Democratic Republic of Congo. The statement reads as follows;
The Rwanda Development Board today reassures tourists and the business community that it is safe to travel to any destination within Rwanda .The Eastern Congo boarder crisis has been contained as security has been beefed up and reinforced to avoid any re-occurrence on the Rwandan border,
Claire Akamanzi the company executive officer (CEO) of Rwanda Development Board said the government of Rwanda guarantees peace and security in all tourist destinations of Rwanda
“We would like to reassure all tourists that it is business as usual in all tourist destinations .Travelers in Rwanda continue to enjoy the magnificent scenery, the pleasant climate, rich culture and diverse wild life in our national parks including the rear mountain gorillas.”
The CEO continued to announce that tourism has for the past years been successful and continues to be Rwanda’s leading foreign exchange earner.
“While eco-tourism remains the key attraction for visitors coming into Rwanda which is commonly known as the land of a thousand hills. We are working to increase the conference and events of tourism, a goal that will be facilitated by newly registered hotel investments like the recently completed Sheraton, Radisson Blu as well as Marriott
As Prime Uganda Safaris we pride in security and safety being our prime focus in all our Uganda tours /Uganda safaris same to our Rwanda safaris. On this note we advise our clients intending have a uganda safari or Rwanda safari to inquire with our travel advisories and we look forward to planning a great safari with you!
Kindly contact us on info@primeugandasafaris.com for reservations

Tuesday, 25 December 2012

SERENGETI NATIONAL PARK NAMED AFRICA`S TOP 9 WILD RESERVE 2012-2013


Serengeti National Park zebra family
Serengeti National Park zebra family
The largest national park in Tanzania-Serengeti National Park, has been named Africa`s 9th top wild reserve due to its being a habitat to a variety of wild game.
This reserve is greatly known and hence popular for its annual great wildlife migration, that has a variety of animals such as the zebras, a significant number of crocodiles, but significantly because it covers a huge area i.e about 15000square kilometers.
Serengeti national park is made up three different regions namely; the woodlands of northern Serengeti, the western corridor and the plains.
This park is known for its variety of accommodations that range from the very basic to luxury but where to sleep s chosen by the client`s interest.
Uganda safaris or Uganda safari news.
Gorilla trekking safari/gorilla tracking safari news

Friday, 21 December 2012

PRESIDENT MUSEVENI`S (PRESIDENT OF UGANDA) ADVISES ON ENVIRONMENT.

TAKE PRESIDENT MUSEVENI`S (PRESIDENT OF UGANDA) ADVISE ON ENVIRONMENT.

Fetching swamp water
Fetching swamp water
The president of Uganda-Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, in November 2012 invited members of youth go green campaign to state house Entebbe for a one day meeting.In this meeting the president presented a paper/document about environment degradation in Uganda.The environment minister plus several environment experts attended this meeting and shared a variety of Uganda`s environment concerns and forged a way forward.
According to the president ,Uganda is faced with several environmental/Uganda safaris-safari industry threats categories that include among others;global threats created by greed from developed countries that generate green house gases such as water vapor methane,regional threats generating drying of wetlands by conversion of wetlands into rice fields and the rampart destruction of vegetation and trees.This has consequently led to the silting of lakes rivers resulting into flooding as has been clearly witnessed in Teso region of Uganda  which greatly affects the Uganda safari industry.
Uganda rested Crane in a swamp
Uganda rested Crane in a swamp
The lack of electricity has also contributed to environmental degradation.The lack of adequate electricity forces people to use too much fire wood as fuel/gas.Ugandans use to a tune of 41 million cubic meters of fire wood per year an equivalent of 45,000 megawatts of electricity.Uganda therefore has to be fully industrialized so as to save the biomass.other than that, Ugandans will always encroach on wetland and forests causing global warming and destruction of animal habitats which reduces Wild life such as Gorillas in Uganda, a factor that negatively affects the Uganda safari or Uganda tour business.
The rise or increment in environmental challenges have led to rising concerns and impacts on the environment.The rising sea level water, deforestation and the reduction
 Uganda swamp fishing
Uganda swamp fishing
in natural resources are evident effects of environment degradation.Animals such as Mountain Gorilla, Baboons, Chimpanzees with in Uganda`s Forest National Parks have greatly been affected by man`s encroachment on the green vegetation because it is their source of habitat and food.
Air and water pollution have left the earth without air to breath for many years ,all living things that duel in mother planet earth depend on air, therefore all life on earth depend on the how the earth breathes.The better the air the better all life on earth.The environment is further degraded by enormous deforestation,it is how ever never too late to repair the damage caused.
Uganda shoebill in a swamp
Uganda shoebill in a swamp
It is how ever good to see that many people today are emphasizing the need to plantmore trees (go green)to save the environment from degradation.This appeal has been taken up by various giant corporate agencies as part of their corporate social responsibility programes to give back to the community.
This effort (program) has in effect increased positive public awareness with regard to environment degradation and management.It has high time all Ugandans take up all possible measures or means geared towards effective saving our environment to in turn promote Uganda safari and Uganda tours or tourism in Uganda.

Sunday, 9 December 2012

UGANDA NAMED THE WORLD`S TOP TOURIST SPOT-2013


UGANDA NAMED THE WORLD`S TOP TOURIST SPOT-2013

Uganda gorilla safari
Uganda is named among the 20 global tourism destinations come 2013,according to the national Geographic.Unlike the lonely planet,which named Uganda as the best travel destination for 2012,the national geographic which is an international travel channel affiliated to the national geographic society, listed Uganda among the top “new year’s (2013)20 must -see places.”
The pride of Uganda’s tourism lies in the undistributed green cover that welcomes you the moment you arrive in Uganda whether by land, air or water transport,stated the National Geographic.
They stated that getting out of the city on a Uganda safari or tour is a more rewarding experience as it provides one with a variety of bird species,wild life and the rare Uganda mountain gorillas that have been ‘a hot cake’ to Uganda tourists that tour Uganda.
uganda safari
The National geographic recommends a number of books and documentaries to watch about Uganda such as The Last King of Scotland and Gifted by nature.
Uganda safaris
Tourism experts explain that Uganda has beautiful scenery, unique wild life such as the mountain gorillas and is easy to visit or live in because of the hospitality of the people and government policy.
Uganda’s wild life has lots of untapped potential like the Kidepo national park,which is a unique destination but is still undiscovered by tourists.
Uganda safari-tour
In contrast to this a lot is known about Bwindi and Queen Elizabeth National parks but Kidepo is unique and truly wild,yet not many tourists visit Northern Uganda.
After a long Kony war that the Uganda government of Uganda brought to an end,The northern Uganda region and the entire country enjoys a piece full environment that has boosted not only the Uganda safari industry but other sectors too.
Uganda’s tourism industry is gaining visibility through massive campaigns to participate in the international world travel market so that many people get to know about Uganda but aggressive marketing is still needed from government.
With this great achievement more employment and income opportunities will be attained through the tourism industry or sector.

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

UGANDA WILDLIFE AUTHORITY ISSUES A STATEMENT AFTER THE ACCIDENT THAT KILLED AN ELEPHANT

UGANDA WILDLIFE AUTHORITY`S STATEMENT AFTER THE ACCIDENT THAT KILLED AN ELEPHANT

uganda bus accident in murchison

After the fetal accident that took place on Friday 16th November 2012 by an over speeding bus knocked and claimed a life an elephant plus many people, just after loosing an antelope in Busitema, Uganda Wildlife Authority has extended sympathies to the grieved families and individuals who sustained injuries as a result of this terrible accident.
Consequently in a bid to protect the Uganda safari or Uganda tours business, Uganda Wildlife Authority has reminded and urged motorists that the wildlife laws stipulate clearly that the speed limit when crossing/driving through or near a Uganda National Park and game reserves is 40km per hour.
Giraffes crossing
To this effect, some sections of the public and media have queried the Uganda Wildlife Authority`s in ability to keep wildlife animals from roaming in the streets.
Uganda Wildlife Authority has come out to inform the public and the nation at large that all animals in national parks have the RIGHT OF WAY, an explanation for why the speed limit was put to 40km per hour. Due the fact that some roads (high ways) were constructed crossing through national parks as seen on a Uganda safari /Uganda tour as well as on a mountain Gorilla trekking safari,its common sense that wild animals do exist in those areas and hence cannot be avoided.Motor car drivers are therefore expected and MUST to immediately stop in event of animals crossing highways that cross through national parks.
The Uganda Wildlife Authority has gone to remind drivers and cyclists that HOOTING of any nature inside national parks is restricted as well and if done is punishable by law.

Uganda elephants crossing
The authority further pledged to work with the Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA) closely to put back all road signage warning motorists and cyclists as well as pedestrians to reduce speed when driving through all Uganda`s national parks.
The Uganda Wildlife Authority went ahead to clearly stipulate all roads that pass through Uganda`s national paks and these include; the Masaka-Mbarara highway, the Pakwach-Karuma high way,the Mbarara-Kasese highway and the Mubende-Fortportal.

Uganda monkeys sitted in the road
The Uganda Wildlife Authority further invited the public to make a Uganda safari/have several Uganda safaris or Uganda tours to the various Uganda`s national parks through out this festive season and enjoy some relaxation as they relieve the selves of a hustle full year.

Sunday, 25 November 2012

UGANDA HAS THREE QUARTERS OF MOUNTAIN GORILLAS IN THE WORLD.

UGANDA HAS MORE MOUNTAIN GORILLAS IN THE WORLD.

The mountain gorilla -one of the two subspecies of the eastern gorilla, has two populations. On a Uganda gorilla safari you will see one found in the Virunga volcanic mountains of Central Africa but within three National Parks namely; Mgahinga in south-west Uganda, Volcanoes in north-west Rwanda; and Virunga Mt in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The other specie is found in Uganda’s great


Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. Uganda gorilla safaris
It is clear to all primatologists that the Uganda Gorillas in Bwindi may be a separate subspecies, though no description has been finished.
These apes,-Mountain gorillas are proven descendants of ancestral monkeys and other African and Arabian during the start of the Oligocene epoch (34-24 m years ago). This fossil record provides evidence of the hominid primates (apes) found about 18–22 m years ago in East Africa. The fossil record of the area where mountain gorillas live is particularly poor therefore its evolutionary history is not clear. It was about 9 million years ago that the group of primates that were to evolve into gorillas split from their common ancestor with humans and chimps; this is when the genus Gorilla emerged.
Records show that by spring 2010, the estimated total number of mountain gorillas worldwide was 790.Uganda has more that half of this World`s Gorilla population.
Today Uganda the pearl of Africa has registered the biggest number of mountain Gorillas giving tourists that trek these mountain gorillas in Uganda higher chances of seeing them on their mountain gorilla treks or safaris.
Mountain gorilla safari
According to a census that was based on Bwindi Impenetrable National Forest which is home to most of these wild life species.
A follow up has been made since 2002 registering 320 Mountain Gorillas in this census.In 2006 another but similar census registered 340 Mountain Gorillas and amazingly recently in 2012 the number of these great apes has risen to 400 Gorillas which covers the biggest percentage of the total number of gorillas in the world.
Despite this great wild life achievement, these great but shy apes are faced with a variety of challenges such as; competition for space due to congestion being conditioned to one space in spite of their increment in number yet their space of dwelling remains constant.This problem is very evident when these Mountain Gorillas get out of the forest directly bumping into peoples gardens and homes.
Uganda gorilla safaris Rwanda gorilla safarisThis not only causes destruction of crops but rather also endanger these Ugandan Mountain Gorillas lives as they many times attract diseases from people and in turn spread them t o people else where if there is contact. Among these diseases are; influenza, scabies, Ebola. Ma-burg just to mention a few.Once the infected Mountain Gorillas get back to their groups in the forest, they are likely to spread the diseases to fellow group members.
Baby gorilla feeding gorillaDespite the several challenges to the growth in numbers of Uganda`s Mountain Gorillas, having their numbers increasing in Uganda to this magnitude has made Uganda a remarkable Gorilla safari spot and the best tourist destination in Africa and the world at large.

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

AN ANTELOPE DIED IN BUSITEMA LAST MONTH



AN ANTELOPE CAME 460 KM FROM MURCHISON FALLS AND DIED IN BUSITEMA

Last month a rear incidence happened to some Ugandans that were heading to Tororo, when their car hit and killed an antelope that speed into the road at a corner near Busitema forest.
 Antelopes
I term this rear because Busitema is occupied mostly by baboons as witnessed by tourists that have had a safari to Uganda in this place, making an antelops encounter as rare as seeing a wild ostrich crossing a road in such a wildlife territory.
What came to the minds of those that had hit it, was what this animal was running away from? Could it be that it was being chased by a leopard! It would definitely turn to them as they were stranded by the roadside.
However the big question is where was this antelope coming from?could it be that it was being transported by Uganda Wildlife Authority and it escaped from the truck but honestly its most likely that it came from Murchison National Park!
 Antelopes
There is a distance of 460 kilometers between Murchison falls National Park and the spot where this antelope fatefully got killed as it‘s the only place that touches a corridor that would lead it to Busitema.it might have left the park in a group, traveling along the bushy banks of lake Kyoga having water to drink moving through Busoga which lead it here.
This story indicates how severe the pressure on the wildlife natural habitat is.  Antelopes
The Ugandan figures in this regard don’t look good as up to 50% of Uganda’s forest cover has been lost since 1970 and it is estimated that the country will run out of fuel wood by 2025 yet 95%of the total population fully depend, partially or occasionally on charcoal stoves.If this goes on like this wild animals will have no place to hide in Uganda.The Institute of Zoology also explains the catastrophic loss of some species such as the crowned or crested cranes by 60% since 1970,a third of the fish species in Lake Victoria and 90% of the once famous Kampala bats have too disappeared.The institute also notes the notable increase of the Marabou stocks in most Kampala City currently a common bird species viewed by birders on the famous Uganda safari-the Kampala tour.
Fortunately to sustain Uganda safaris, the Museveni government has reduced on the extreme poaching in Murchison National Park that occurred during Idi Amin’s rule in 1970 as well as Obote II Government.The main interest these days is no longer on animals but has been shifted to the land as some people would like to build golf courses in the national parks.With the discovery of oil most environmentalists have charged that oil drilling activities in the Murchison Falls National Park will endanger the environment and park in the long run.
In a nut shell the death of the antelope was a sign that all is not well back at the farm and animals in the Murchison Falls National Park need a refugee.

AN ANTELOPE DIED IN BUSITEMA LAST MONTH



AN ANTELOPE CAME 460 KM FROM MURCHISON FALLS AND DIED IN BUSITEMA

Last month a rear incidence happened to some Ugandans that were heading to Tororo, when their car hit and killed an antelope that speed into the road at a corner near Busitema forest.
 Antelopes
I term this rear because Busitema is occupied mostly by baboons as witnessed by tourists that have had a safari to Uganda in this place, making an antelops encounter as rare as seeing a wild ostrich crossing a road in such a wildlife territory.
What came to the minds of those that had hit it, was what this animal was running away from? Could it be that it was being chased by a leopard! It would definitely turn to them as they were stranded by the roadside.
However the big question is where was this antelope coming from?could it be that it was being transported by Uganda Wildlife Authority and it escaped from the truck but honestly its most likely that it came from Murchison National Park!
 Antelopes
There is a distance of 460 kilometers between Murchison falls National Park and the spot where this antelope fatefully got killed as it‘s the only place that touches a corridor that would lead it to Busitema.it might have left the park in a group, traveling along the bushy banks of lake Kyoga having water to drink moving through Busoga which lead it here.
This story indicates how severe the pressure on the wildlife natural habitat is.  Antelopes
The Ugandan figures in this regard don’t look good as up to 50% of Uganda’s forest cover has been lost since 1970 and it is estimated that the country will run out of fuel wood by 2025 yet 95%of the total population fully depend, partially or occasionally on charcoal stoves.If this goes on like this wild animals will have no place to hide in Uganda.The Institute of Zoology also explains the catastrophic loss of some species such as the crowned or crested cranes by 60% since 1970,a third of the fish species in Lake Victoria and 90% of the once famous Kampala bats have too disappeared.The institute also notes the notable increase of the Marabou stocks in most Kampala City currently a common bird species viewed by birders on the famous Uganda safari-the Kampala tour.
Fortunately to sustain Uganda safaris, the Museveni government has reduced on the extreme poaching in Murchison National Park that occurred during Idi Amin’s rule in 1970 as well as Obote II Government.The main interest these days is no longer on animals but has been shifted to the land as some people would like to build golf courses in the national parks.With the discovery of oil most environmentalists have charged that oil drilling activities in the Murchison Falls National Park will endanger the environment and park in the long run.
In a nut shell the death of the antelope was a sign that all is not well back at the farm and animals in the Murchison Falls National Park need a refugee.

Friday, 9 November 2012

BAGANDA`S TRADITIONAL DANCES


THE BAGANDA DANCES

Baganda people (tribe) of Buganda region, a dominant Bantu speaking ethnic group concentrated in central Uganda.The Baganda are made up of different clans with distinct totems that classify Baganda into different groups but with the same social cultures.
Baganda`s bakisimba dances
Travellers that have had a safari or a tour to Uganda have been mesmerized by music of the people of Buganda region. The Baganda boast of a variety of dances originating from individual clans based on different themes such as; economic and social activities, politics, education, love and their history depending on the audience for whom the performance is made.
The baganda, like other tribes use music to praise and worship God or gods as well as people of authority, to celebrate their life cycle-rituals and rites, celebrate labor or work achievements such as a good harvest,to educate the population,to earn a leaving( as employment) ,as a form of recreation,as well as a cultural means of disseminating cultural values from generation to generation.
Baganda`s muwogla dance
Baganda have three predominant dances; Bakisimba, Muwogola and Nankasa all inspired by their daily life.All kiganda dances involve a flawless `circular’ movement of the waist and a tip toeing movement of the feet plus hands spread out from the shoulder joint but bent forward or up words at the elbow joint depending on the type of dance. The dance moves or patterns are dictated by the lyrics or song meaning but mostly by the tempo of the song.
If one took a Uganda safari,they would definitely love the traditional Baganda dance`s costumes that are universally used for all their dances.The female dancers put on tops that cove their shoulders,cover the midriff with a white or cream silk material that accentuates the body undulations, a wide floor-length kikoyi that allows free leg movements to all directions,a raffia skirt around the back plus a sash around the waist line that gives a clear finish to the raffia skirt.At the backside, a dance animal skin is added on top of the raffia skirt and sash and ankle bells are worn too.Modern dancers today add decorative bracelets and head bands to this costume.
Male dancers wear the kikoyi too that covers only to the mid calf to allow their rather vigorous dance moves and the public acceptability to have much of their bodies bare.
Baganda traditional dances
The Baganda have a variety of dance instruments but majorly drums of different sizes; the Empunyi (rhythm drums for the central beat), Namunjoloba (a small drum beaten by two small sticks to produce the rhytmic sound that controls all dance motifs or flows), the Embuutu (a large drum for the various dance rhytms), Engalabi (a long cylindrical drum that adds colour and texture to accompaniment), Amadinda (a xylophone to give the music melodies), Endigidi (a tube fiddle for melody),
Entongoli (bow lyre for melody), Engombe (a cow horn that adds excitement at the climax), Endere (flute), Ensaasi (shakers made out of a guoards) plus singers- soloist and choristers.The xylophone determine the tempo or pace of the music or song and the drums follow suit.
The baganda have `Amagunju ‘a royal dance whose origin and essence has attachment to;
Baganda`s Amagunju dance
 i. A ritual dance formulated to entertain the newly enthroned King (Kabaka) and prevent him from crying as he presided over the Lukiiko (parliament)
ii. The dance having been created by the uncle to the king -Gunju from the Obutiko (Mushroom) clan hence the name of the dance.
iii. The dance having been danced by only by the people of the Mushroom clan.
iv. The fact that Uncle Gunju designed a royal seat that placed the kabaka above every body else –Namulondo which has been in existence for over 200 years up to date. It is a symbol of authority of the Kabaka (King) as he is the only to sit in it.
Dancers use the same instruments and costumes, as male dancers take energetic high side by side kicks staggering as if they are drunk, all to entertain the king.Songs to this dance all relate to the Mushroom clan.The male dancers dominate the Amagunju dance as they make their side by side- kicks said to have also been used t pave way for the Kabaka as he moved to the parliament.The female dancers are how ever graceful and gentle making sedate and low body movements,the lower body movements are same as those of the Bakisimba dance but they change their dance motifs according the songs of the dance.
In the `nalintema’ song for example, dancers imitate swinging a sickle to clear the garden for planting well as in another song, they bend over double to pick mushrooms.Now days, this dance takes place at the royal courts, danced by all people unlike before when it was danced by only those of the Mushroom clan at different celebrations.This dance is still danced for the Kabaka when he leaves his palace and a Uganda tour to the Kabaka`s (King`s) palace will provide a great opportunity for one to see these performances live.

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

UGANDA CELEBRATES HER 50TH INDEPENDENCE ANNIVERSARY


AS SHE CELEBRATES HER 50TH ANNIVERSARY OF INDEPENDENCE, UGANDA REFLECTS ON THE PAST, PRESENT & FUTURE CHALLENGES

On the 9th of October 2012, Uganda celebrated 50 years (anniversary) of independence as a sovereign nation.Many dignitaries majorly from Africa, Great Britain as well as few from Asia such as china graced the function.Millions of Ugandans flocked the Kololo air strip to take part of this memorial event.
The biggest question of the day how ever is, to what extent has Uganda has fulfilled/achieved her expectations/obligations as a sovereign nation since her self governance? .
In 1962, Uganda`s independence landed in the hands of unprepared leaders to stir the nation to greater heights a task that proved difficult to the then inexperienced leadership.
The first 23 years 1962-1985, saw Uganda undergo a series of political up-evils characte rised by military wars of succession.Apolo Milton Obote ceased the Kabaka of Buganda to become the second president of Uganda, Idd Amin Dada ousted him out later, but later Obote retariet in the same mode to have a second term of office (Obote ii).
Prof. Yusuf Lule, Oyit Ojok and Prof. Lukongwa Godfrey Binayisa had their share of this nation through more or less the same primitive style.
As if that was not enough, the rigged election that saw Dr. Paul Kawanga Ssemwogere the Democratic Party candidate lose an election to Obote saw the least voted presidential candidate Yoweri Kaguta Museveni declare a gorilla war against the then government in the guise of liberating the nation – Uganda.
This saw Luwero triangle become a center of dis speakable murders between 1980 – 85 , the worst ever recorded massacre in Uganda`s history.Presidents Yoweri Kaguta Museveni took over power in January 1986 to date. He was received with lots of joy and escalating hopes of permanent peace, development and prosperity for all, unity and as a solution to all other pressing national concerns of that time.
A great national anthem base of a burning belief in God and unity was composed by the late George William Kakoma added to a mighty motto `For God and my Country’that was a great thought of non selfish Ugandans.These two great assets were to stir the new sovereign Uganda to greater heights by achieving her pre- independence dream/ ideologies/ interests once independent.
Independent Uganda has unfortunately been raped of her would be glory by those at the mantle of power/leadership characterised by greed,selfishness, sectarianism, nepotism and intrigue and corruption,all these contrary to the nation`s anthem and motto.
Leadership/power was handed over to politically, economically and socially inexperienced leaders regarding the `how’ to manage a growing culturally diverse nation.Its unity was a great requirement together with the belief in God and one`s country,but these were undermined by the great divisions among the population.
Divided along tribal and religious lines as a means of having control over Ugandan`s by the British, Ugandans could hardly trust each other later on unite to foster a developed Nation.
1962-1985 saw Uganda safer the lack of a stable leader due to military upheavals caused by selfish leaders who fostered sectarianism,dictatorship,intolerance to any sort of opposition ideologies,and the desire for life presidency.These bred an incredible quest for change of power that explains why Uganda has had a series of wars including the Kony rebellion in northern Uganda that lasted for 20 years to dismay of many residents of this region that lost all their lively hood.
It goes without saying that these political upheavals raped Uganda of her manpower as well as her think tank that would have fostered faster growth, but also Uganda was made a country risky to investment unless one was in support of the then government so as to win favors and get guaranteed security from the state.
Building for the future how ever went on,Economic developments were evident though majorly run by Asian,education institutions produced great graduates some of whom are Uganda`s cream ever,Hospitals and general health care was commendable, general infrastructure including roads was at a steady development.

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Wednesday, 26 September 2012

UGANDA`S TRADITIONAL DANCES.

 Uganda has a variety of tribes right from the south up to the north.|Each of these tribes has a signature cultural traditional dance that describes who they are.All these dances are composed based on tribal traditional activities from all sphere of life.Many of them are based on harvest,sex and marriage,romance,reproduction never the less politics.

A safari to Uganda will certainly guarantee you an opportunity to be entertained by traditional dances from several regions of Uganda not only to entertain but to educate you musically and through dance.
`In Uganda, communities generally use music and dance to celebrate the ``life-cycle’’ in rite and rituals; to worship, praise and petition,to celebrate work and as  a form of community recreation.Thus dance was and still is in many communities outside the hub of towns, a part of the day-to-day life-sharing and disseminating cultural values to different generation.

Dance is value-ridden and communities emphasize different aspects of life like the courtship wwith dances such as Lamakwog (Lakaraka) among the Acholi, Naleyo among the Karamojong, Irongo (twin dance) in Busoga, and many others.
Dances of Uganda take on a pattern that mirrors the physical environment of the different nationalities.Hilly areas have dances that emphasize upper body and waist movements.This generally cuts across the country whenever there is hilly terrain, with the exception of the Bakiga who, while in hilly Kabale, emphasise strong energetic jumping.

Dances from the plains on the other hand emphasise complex footwork and head movements, with very little or limited waist movements.

Over time however, as dances meet at festivals and other functions, there has been a lot of borrowing and copying to augment one`s dance expression-a tribute to the dynamism of African culture.
All dances today have adopted the upper body and waist elements and the intricate footwork and usage of the head to enhance the dances.At many dances performances, especially socially social gatherings where traditional dance is part of the entertainment menu, the head,waist,neck and ankles are highlighted for the dance by use of bandanas,ankle bells, bracelets and beads.It is also away of beautifying the dancers.
However, some dances have withstood the test of time, staying very much  the same as they have been for hundreds of years.In the proceeding pages,  we look at some of the dances that make Uganda, the `pearl of Africa' also the `Heart beat of Africa.'
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Sunday, 2 September 2012


ABOUT GORILLAS

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Mountain Gorillas live in groups called troops. These troops are made of one adult male called the silverback, multiple adult females and their offspring.However, multiple-male troops also exist in smaller amounts. A silverback is named after the distinctive patch of silver hair on its back which comes with maturity and is usually more than 12 years of age. Silverbacks also have large canine teeth that also come with maturity. Both males and females tend to emigrate from their natal groups. For mountain gorillas, usually females disperse from their natal troops more than males.Mountain gorillas and western lowland gorillas also commonly transfer to second new groups.Mature males tend to also leave their groups and establish their own troops by attracting emigrating females. However, male mountain gorillas sometimes stay in their natal troops and become subordinate to the silverback. In event of death of a silverback , other males may be able to become dominant or mate with the females. This behavior has not been observed in eastern lowland gorillas. In a single male group, when the silverback dies, the females and their offspring disperse and find a new troop.Without a silverback to protect them, the infants will likely fall victim to infanticide. Joining a new group is likely to be a tactic against this.However, while gorilla troops usually disband after the silverback dies, but the female eastern lowlands gorillas and their offspring have been recorded staying together until a new silverback transfers into the group. This likely serves as protection from leopards.
Silverback gorilla
The silverback is the center of the troop's attention, making all decisions, mediating conflicts, leading the troop to feeding sites, determining the movements of the group,and taking responsibility for the safety and well-being of the troop. Younger males known as blackbacks subordinate to the silverback, , may serve as backup protection. Blackbacks are aged between 8 and 12 years of age and lack the silver back hair. The bond a silverback has with his females forms the core of gorilla social life. Bonds between them are maintained by grooming and staying close together.Females form strong relationships with males to gain mating opportunities and protection from predators and infanticidal outside males.However, aggressive behaviors between males and females do occur, but rarely lead to serious injury. Relationships between females may vary. Maternally related females in a troop tend to be friendly towards each other and associate closely. Otherwise, females have few friendly encounters and commonly act aggressively towards each other.Females some times fight for social access to males and a male may intervene.Male gorillas have weak social bonds, especially in multiple-male groups with apparent dominance hierarchies and strong competition for mates. Males in all-male groups, though, tend to have friendly interactions and socialize through play, grooming and staying together,and occasionally they even engage in homosexual interactions.

Nesting



Gorilla night nest in a tree.

Gorillas construct nests for daytime and night use. Nests tend to be simple aggregations of branches and leaves about 2 to 5 ft  in diameter and are constructed by individuals. Unlike chimpanzees or orangutans, Gorillas tend to sleep in nests not on the ground. The young ones nest with their mothers, but construct nests after three years of age, initially close to those of their mothers.Gorilla nests are distributed arbitrarily and use of tree species for site and construction appears to be opportunistic.Nest-building by great apes is now considered to be not just animal architecture, but as an important instance
of tool use.

Reproduction and parenting



Young gorilla riding on mother
Females mature at 10–12 years but can be earlier in captivity; males at 11–13 years. A female’s first ovulatory cycle occurs when she is six years of age, and is followed by a two-year period of adolescent infertility.The estrous cycle last 30–33 days, with outward ovulation signs subtle compared to those of chimpanzees. The gestation period lasts 8.5 months. Female mountain gorillas first give birth at 10 years of age and have four-year interbirth intervals. Males can be fertile before reaching adulthood. Gorillas mate year round.
When females are on heat, they purse their lips and slowly approach a male while making eye contact to urge the males to mount her. If the male does not respond, then she will try to attract his attention by reaching towards him or slapping the ground.In multiple-male groups, solicitation indicates female preference, but females can be forced to mate with multiple males. By approaching a female and displaying at her or touching her and giving a "train grunt" males incite copulation. Of late, gorillas have been observed engaging in face-to-face sex, a trait once considered unique to humans and bonbons.


Mother gorilla with 10-day old
Gorilla infants are vulnerable and dependant, thus mothers, their primary caregivers, are so important to their survival.Male gorillas are never so active in caring for the young ones, but they play a role in socializing them to other youngsters.The silverback however has a largely supportive relationship with the infants in his troop and shields them from aggression within the group.Infants remain in contact with their mothers for the first five months and mothers stay near the silverback for protection. Infants suckle at least once per hour and sleep with their mothers in the same nest.
Infants begin to break contact with their mothers after five months, but only for brief period each time. By 12 months old, infants move up to five meters from their mothers. At around 18–21 months, the mother and offspring gap increases and they regularly spend time away from each other.In addition, nursing decreases to once every two hours.Infants spend only half of their time with their mothers by 30 months, they enter their juvenile period at their third year, and this lasts until their sixth year. At this time, gorillas are weaned and they sleep in a separate nest from their mothers. After their offspring are weaned, Mature females begin to ovulate and soon become pregnant again.The presence of play partners, including the silverback, minimize conflicts in weaning between mother and offspring.

Lifespan of Gorillas

A gorilla's lives for between 35 and 40 years, although zoo gorillas may live for 50 years and more. Dallas Zoo's Jenny was the oldest ever known gorilla in captivity until 2008, when she died at the age of 55. Now it is Colo - on December 22, 2011 she celebrated her 55th birthday in Columbus Zoo.

Mode of communication

Gorillas have twenty-five distinct vocalizations recognized, many of which are used primarily for group communication within dense vegetation. Their sounds classified as grunts and barks are heard most frequently while traveling, and indicate the whereabouts of individual group members.They may also be used during social interactions when discipline is required. Screams and roars signal alarm or warning, and are produced most often by silverbacks. Deep, rumbling belches suggest contentment and are heard frequently during feeding and resting periods. They are the most common form of intragroup communication.Severe aggression is rare in stable groups, but when two mountain gorilla groups meet, the two silverbacks can sometimes engage in a fight to death, using their canines to cause deep, gaping injuries.The entire sequence has nine steps: (i) progressively quickening hooting, (2) symbolic feeding, (iii) rising bipedally, (iv) throwing vegetation, (v) chest-beating with cupped hands, (vi) one leg kick, (vii) sideways running, two-legged to four-legged, (vii) slapping and tearing vegetation, and (ix) thumping the ground with palms to end display.

Friday, 24 August 2012

Mountain Gorilla Behavior,Diet,Threats and Predators

 Although strong and powerful, gorillas are generally gentle,shy ,retiring rather than ferocious and treacherous . They live in groups of 2-40 individuals, averaging about 11. Groups are led by a dominant male, the Silverback, named for the silvery gray hairs that grow when the male matures. The Silverback serves as the chief leader and protector of the group, to whom all group members defer. He decides when and where to go, rest and sleep, arbitrates disputes among his family members and protects them from rival Silverbacks or human predators. Gorillas usually seeks no trouble but will valiantly defend its family group if threatened.

An adult male called a silverback named for the silvery gray hairs on its back normally leads each group, serving as its chief protector and defender. Gorillas continually rotate through their home ranges of 10 to 15 square miles, feeding and resting throughout the day. Gorillas are nomadic hence they build new nests each day at dusk made out of bent branches in a tree or grasses on the ground.  

These gigantic apes /Gorillas have strong attachments to members of their own group and even when groups meet and mix up and they subsequently part, each of them remaining with its respective unit.
They have a slow rate of reproduction which makes them a species even more threatened. In a 40-50 year lifetime, a female might have only 2-6 living offspring. Females Gorillas give birth for the first time at about 10yrs of age and will have an offspring every four years or more. A male reaches sexual maturity between 10 and 12 years. Because females can only conceive for only about three days each month, the female produces a single young and in rare cases twins.

Newborn gorillas are weak and tiny, weighing about 4 pounds. Their movements are as awkward , but their development is roughly twice as fast compared to that of young human young ones. At 3 or 4 months, the gorilla infant can sit upright and can stand with support soon after. It suckles for about a year and is gradually weaned at about 3.5 years, when it becomes more independent.
Diet 
Animals of this size need a lot of food, how ever these large and strong mountain gorillas are primarily herbivore. and the vegetarian gorilla is no exception. Although they eat a variety of plants-over 100 different species , their favorites include wild celery, bamboo, thistles, stinging nettles, bedstraw and certain fruit. These plants seem to provide sufficient moisture so Gorillas rarely  need drinking water. 
Threats
 The primary threat to mountain gorillas forest clearance and degradation, as the region's growing human population struggles to secure agricultural and settlement land. In Rwanda, Uganda and Congo, a regional conservation program stressing the importance of maintaining the virgin forest watershed and the need to habituate some groups of gorillas for tourist visits has helped ease encroachment.The African Wildlife Foundation (AWF), in collaboration with Fauna and Flora International and World Wide Fund for Nature, established the International Gorilla Conservation Program (IGCP) to safeguard the last remaining mountain gorillas their habitat as well.Conservation is mainly done through Strengthening gorilla habitat protection through regional collaboration, researching the dynamic between the human population and the natural habitat/wildlife, and working with local communities to develop livelihood strategies that are complementary to conservation objectives.
The coalition has been a great success, but still needs great support from all stake holders. The most endangered of the gorilla subspecies, fewer than 800 mountain gorillas remain in the wild.

Predators 
 Leopards and humans are the only known enemies to mountain Gorillas but Crocodiles are potentially dangerous to lowland gorillas. In western Africa, gorillas are commonly hunted for meat or in retaliation for crop raiding, but in eastern Africa they have been the victims of snares and traps set for antelope and other animals. Poachers have also destroyed entire family groups in their attempts to capture infant gorillas for zoos, but others are killed to sell their heads and hands as trophies.

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Monday, 13 August 2012

Mountain Gorillas

UGANDA`S MOUNTAIN GORILLAS

The mountain gorilla  is one of the two  subspecies of the eastern gorilla. There are two populations. One is found in the Virunga volcanic mountains of Central Africa, within three National Parks namely; Mgahinga in south-west Uganda, Volcanoes in north-west Rwanda; and Virunga Mt in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The other specie isUganda found in Uganda's the mighty Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. Some primatologists say
that the Bwindi Gorillas  in Uganda may be a separate subspecies, though no description has been finished. By Spring 2010, the estimated total number of mountain gorillas worldwide was 790 but Uganda has more that half of this World`s Gorilla population.

Mountain gorillas are descendants of ancestral monkeys and apes found in Africa and Arabia during the start of the oligocene epoch (34-24 million years ago). This fossil record provides evidence of the hominoid primates (apes) found in east Africa about 18–22 million years ago. The fossil record of the area where mountain gorillas live is particularly poor and so its evolutionary history is not clear. It was about 9 million years ago that the group of primates that were to evolve into gorillas split from their common ancestor with humans and chimps; this is when the genus Gorilla emerged. Sources say it is not certain what this early relative of the gorilla was, but it is traced back to the early ape proconsul africanus Mountain gorillas have been isolated from eastern lowland gorillas for about 400,000 years and these two taxa separated from their western counterparts approximately 2 million years ago. There has been considerable standing debate over the classification of mountain gorillas. The genus was first referenced as Troglodytes in 1847, but renamed to Gorilla in 1852. It was not until 1967 that Colin Groves the taxonomist proposed that all gorillas be regarded as one species (Gorilla gorilla) with three sub-species Gorilla gorilla gorilla (western lowland gorilla), Gorilla gorilla graueri (lowland gorillas found west of the Virungas) and Gorilla gorilla beringei (mountain gorillas including, Gorilla beringei found in the Virungas and Bwindi).

In 2003 after a review they were divided into two species (Gorilla gorilla and Gorilla beringei) by The World Conservation Union (IUCN).

Saturday, 4 August 2012

UGANDA WILDLIFE EXHIBITION-IN GULU
Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) exihibited a variety of Uganda tourism products i.e information and tourism promotional materials. The exhibition was held in Northern Uganda (Gulu district) where thousands of people attended at it went for one week as a celebration to mark the world Tourism Day on September 27th, 2011 in Gulu Municipality. Free information related to Uganda‘s tourism attraction was given out by the Uganda wildlife staff in Kampala head offices and well as representatives from Murchison falls Wildlife safari park. The exhibition venue was at the TAKS Centre near to Acholi Inn involved participants like Uganda tour operators, hoteliers, training institutes and students, local communities, government officials among others. The most popular and attractive items during the exhibition carried away by the show attendees included full colour animal posters for different Uganda national parks like the Uganda Mountain gorillas and Uganda`s game reserves, National parks information guidebooks content, new conservation tariff books and a number of resale items used as souvenirs. Among improtant dignotaries in attendance were several ministers and district representatives like third deputy prime minister Retired Lt.General Moses Ali, Minister for Tourism, Wildlife and Heritage Professor Ephraim Kamuntu and his junior colleague Ms Agnes Akiror Egunyu, minister of state for Water Betty Bigombe were attracted by the Uganda Wildlife stand they were welcome by Dr .Andrew Seguya who also guided them to all the products as displayed on the stall. A clean up exercise was also carried out in Gulu town by artists who were dressed in Uganda mountain gorilla safari suits thus causing a lot of excitement in Gulu streets from there they had to paint Zebra crossing then the Gorilla Service Night.

UGANDA WILDLIFE EXHIBITION-IN GULU
Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) exihibited a variety of Uganda tourism products i.e information and tourism promotional materials. The exhibition was held in Northern Uganda (Gulu district) where thousands of people attended at it went for one week as a celebration to mark the world Tourism Day on September 27th, 2011 in Gulu Municipality. Free information related to Uganda‘s tourism attraction was given out by the Uganda wildlife staff in Kampala head offices and well as representatives from Murchison falls Wildlife safari park. The exhibition venue was at the TAKS Centre near to Acholi Inn involved participants like Uganda tour operators, hoteliers, training institutes and students, local communities, government officials among others. The most popular and attractive items during the exhibition carried away by the show attendees included full colour animal posters for different Uganda national parks like the Mountain gorillas and game reserves, National parks information guidebooks content, new conservation tariff books and a number of resale items used as souvenirs. Among improtant dignotaries in attendance were several ministers and district representatives like third deputy prime minister Retired Lt.General Moses Ali, Minister for Tourism, Wildlife and Heritage Professor Ephraim Kamuntu and his junior colleague Ms Agnes Akiror Egunyu, minister of state for Water Betty Bigombe were attracted by the Uganda Wildlife stand they were welcome by Dr .Andrew Seguya who also guided them to all the products as displayed on the stall. A clean up exercise was also carried out in Gulu town by artists who were dressed in Uganda mountain gorilla safari suits thus causing a lot of excitement in Gulu streets from there they had to paint Zebra crossing then the Gorilla Service Night.