Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Uganda tourism to shine with 2013 Buganda Tourism Expo - PRIME UGANDA SAFARIS NEWS UPDATES

2013 Buganda Tourism Expo expects to attract over 100,000 exhibitors and visitors from different parts of Uganda and overseas. It’s aimed at celebrating and promoting the protection of the environmental sources across the country, The Expo will help in attracting many visitors to come for safaris to Uganda.
The expo which is to run on July 29-August is organized under the theme “Tourism and Water” by the Buganda Kingdom and Ministry of Tourism. The event targets exhibitors including individuals and companies of both local and international genre. Most of these companies will be in position to market Uganda’s safaris to the out side world.
Addressing journalists at Bulange Mengo, the kingdom’s minister for tourism, Ritah Namyalo Kisitu said this year’s tourism expo is to coincide with the Kabaka’s 20th Coronation celebration as part of the activities to mark the celebrations. The Coronation anniversary is to take place on August 3, at Lubiri Palace, in Mengo, Rubaga Division.
Namyalo said Kabaka Ronald Mutebi will be the chief guest on the event on August 3. This event will also encourage cultural exhibits and this will help to improve cultural tourism in Uganda.
“We have received requests from several people locally and internationally who want to showcase their items at the expo. We expect about 100,000 exhibitors and visitors who will come to witness the event,” she said. Such visits will be in position to enhance visitor numbers hence improving the tourism sector.
She said participants will have an opportunity to network and establish contacts with new people from across the world. This will help to market tourism products in Uganda especially the Gorillas.
The event will include the exhibition of wild animals by the Uganda Wildlife Authority for people to have a glimpse of their live totems, display of herbal medicine, Buganda clan exhibition, art and crafts and international cultural exhibitions.
Other events include a simulation of the Kabaka’s coronation ceremonies at Nagalabi, a week-long boat regatta at the Kabaka’s lake, launch of the royal mile and tree planting basing on Buganda totems (clans) and launch of the “Tourism Buganda Magazine”.
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New mobile app set to spur tourism Development- prime uganda safaris news updates

Safaris to Uganda are on an increasing rate due to the new tourism mobile application that aims to lure more tourists to Uganda.
imagesTour visits are on an increase because the application is built for smartphones, the Uganda Guide App—a brainchild of the Pearl Guide Uganda— provides a detailed guide on places and attractions of Uganda, as well as travel and amenity listings of service providers.
Ms Maria Mutagamba, the minister of Tourism, who launched the new app at Serena Hotel on Friday, described it as a revolution and a new level of marketing Uganda’s tourism. Such marketing will help in selling Uganda as a tourist destination as well as increasing gorilla safaris to Uganda.
The minister, Hon. Mutagamba said. “ICT is a powerful tool for participating in the global market and enhancing local development opportunities. This landmark development is going to usher in a new era for our local tourism promotion, making it easier for anybody around the world to look for information on Uganda,”
Ms Mutagamba added that government has over the years faced challenges in marketing the country abroad and taking advantage of internet platforms such as a mobile application. She, however, cited challenges in marketing tourism both domestically and on the global front. These challenges have affected the tourism sector in Uganda and hence reducing the number of safaris.
She cites Tanzania, which spends $10 million (about Shs26 billion), Kenya puts in $24 million (about Shs62 billion) while Rwanda and Burundi have also taken over Uganda’s expenditure in marketing.
“Finances have set us back in terms of marketing. The budget is still low compared to other countries in the East African region, which we need to change,” Ms Mutagamba noted. She continued and said that such challenges have greatly affected safaris to Uganda.
Pearl Guide Uganda’s director, Philip Kalibwani, said the innovation is a step ahead in boosting the tourism sector, through which Uganda has been recognized by lonely planet and National Geographic. This recognition of Uganda has greatly helped to increase tour adventures to Uganda.
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Uganda's Tourism Minister Plans for Single Visa for East Africa- Prime Safaris & Tours safari updates

Maria Mutagamba, Ugandan Tourism Minister has plans to roll single visas for people living in member states for the East Africa Community (EAC), saying that this will improve Uganda’s tourism hence increasing safaris to Uganda.
Tours to Uganda will increase since many tourists who come to Kenya will automatically come to Uganda after visiting Kenya since they will be using one visa to travel to all East African Countries including Uganda. The minister of tourism, Hon. Maria Mutagamba said after opening the 2013 Routes Africa meeting here over the weekend.
Despite being blessed with immense tourism potential, Uganda lags behind to its neighbour Kenya in tourism in terms of visitor’s numbers. The one visa proposal, which Mutagamba said featured highly in recent tripartite talks involving President Yoweri Museveni and his Kenyan and Rwandan counterparts, Uhuru Kenyatta and Paul Kagame respectively, is now at the EAC Secretariat for further consultations before it is brought to the next EAC heads of state summit. This will help to increase trips to East African countries especially Uganda.
These visas will also improve the operation of the airport since air transport will easily be used by the tourists who would want to visit all the countries of East Africa. Mutagamba also said the drive to attract more airlines to operate through Entebbe International Airport should be matched with infrastructural development like roads and more air ports with in country so as to improve safaris with in Uganda and mostly to the main tourist attractions.
Mutagamba said, ‘’we do not only need more airlines, we also need airports. Few of our visitors are urban tourists. The majority of them are eco-tourists, yet it takes six hours to drive from Kampala to Bwindi or Kidepo (National Park),"
"Besides capacity expansion, the other challenge we face is that of aviation safety. Africa's accident rate almost doubled between 2011 and 2012. In 2011, we registered eight accidents. These grew to 13 in 2012." This has greatly affected the tourist arrivals to Uganda.

Uganda blessed with new born gorilla- prime safaris and tours news updates

Gorilla safaris are to improve due to the new born mountain, the Mountain gorilla group has been blessed with a new born .The gorilla, whose mother is Bakunda, is now one week old.
go smallThe group, which is habituated from the southern sector of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, had seven members and the new born had excited rangers who are eagerly waiting for its naming ceremony. Interestingly these primates have names similar to that of humans.
More members translate into more work and visitors and increased tourism revenue. So we are happy at every new born but Bakunda’s excites us since the mother is loved like her name Bakunda (loved),” a ranger said.
Tours are to increase greatly due to Uganda being been blessed with the new born and with improved services of the tourism sector, we are hoping for the best for Uganda,” the ranger added.
Lillian Nsubuga, the Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) spokesperson, said that the baby gorilla gives rare opportunity to visitors/ tourists who will be visiting this time round.“But it is difficult to see in details and be able to take its photo since because both the mother and the silverback (group leader) are too protective and could even be violent if one tries to get closer to them,” she added, the baby gorilla cannot move on its own and is carried by the mother under its stomach so protectively.
When asked about the sex of the new born, she said it is always very difficult to ascertain until later. Nsubuga said Busigye is a breakaway group from Kahungye and is one of the habituated groups at Bwindi. This new born is to attract more tourists who come for gorilla trekking.
She also noted that the population of mountain gorillas is positively growing at Bwindi. She said the population rose from 320 in 2002, to 340 in 2006 and to 400 in the census done in 2011. She said in 2008 they were blessed with two pairs of twins from one of the protected gorilla families.
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Uganda tops Africa in tourism growth- Prime Uganda Safaris & Tours Safari updates

Uganda is now ranked top in tourism industry growth in Africa.” Dr. Nelson Githinji said this due to the Gorilla trekking safaris that take place at Bwindi Impenetrable Forest which ploughs in millions every year for Uganda.
prime 220px-Gorilla_gorilla11According to the 2011 tourism review in Africa, Uganda’s tourism sector grew by 25% in 2011 while that of South Africa and Tanzania realized growth of 21% and 13.4% respectively. This shows that tourism in Africa is at an increasing rate.
Githinji observed that Uganda’s tourism growth is attributed to its tourists’ destination hubs like Queen Elizabeth national park, Murchison Falls park, Bwindi Impenetrable Forest – renowned for its Mountain Gorillas – and plenty more. All these potential tourist destinations have greatly led to increase in tourists who come to Uganda for safaris or visits.
He said Uganda is also spinning on a pivot of new dynamics that are driving its tourism sector as the Asians begin to be a part of its market. There has been a shift in the market as China, South Korea and Japan take the lead which was dominated by the traditional countries such as United States, United Kingdom, France and German, He also attributed Uganda’s impressive tourism growth to the stability of the country in respect to guaranteed security.
Githinji made the remarks during the opening of the Magical Kenya Travel Expo 2012 at Kenyatta International Conference Centre in Nairobi on Thursday. The Expo was organized by Kenya Tourist Board and it attracted over 170 tour and travel agencies across the globe. The expo has grown tremendously over the past year, as seen from the 19 tour and travel agencies it attracted in 2011.
Agencies from Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, Nigeria, Ethiopia, Djibouti, Australia, Germany, Britain, Australia, Korea United States and China showcased their products. This improved on the marketing of east African tourism products to the outside. Delegates from India, Scandinavia, Japan, Italy, Spain, Poland Saudi Arabia and France also took part at the showcase. This expo improved on safaris to the East African tourism sector.

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The Uganda –Libyan pact to promote tourism.-Prime Uganda Safaris & Tours Safari updates

thSafari to uganda are on an increase due to Libya and Uganda having signed a memorandum of understanding to boast trade and tourism among the two nations especially safaris. The partnership was signed during the visit of Libyan Roving Scouts to Uganda last week will also boost networking between scouts in East Africa with their counterparts in Libya.
Idris Elahalafi, the deputy general manager, Tropical Bank said that “As we recover after the revolution, we want to send a ray of hope to the youth in Libya through such cultural exchanges that there can be peace and reconciliation after war. He continued to say that more Libyan tourists would visit Uganda once an ambassador is appointed.
Just like in many other nations, there is still no official Libyan ambassador to Uganda, but we are optimistic that soon this issue will be sorted out so that we can boost trade and cultural exchange visits among the two nations,” he said. This will help in increasing Gorilla safaris as well since most tourists who come to Uganda mostly wish to view the Gorillas.
Moses Engadu, the director resource mobilisation and capacity building at the Uganda Scouts Association, said the cultural exchange and camping was geared towards enhancing the three fundamental aspects of scouts; peace, environmental sustainability and development. All these are strong pillars in promoting tourism in any destination.
Richard Okello, the executive secretary of the Uganda Scouts Association, said the Libya scouts visited Sipi Falls in Kapchorwa, Queen Elizabeth National Park and other heritage and cultural sites across the country. “We wanted the scouts from East Africa to learn more from their Libyan counterparts, he added that the Libyan scouts are to learn more from the east African scouts.
Uganda Safaris/ Uganda Safari News
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Monday, 29 July 2013

Gorillas in our midst- Volcano National Park- Prime Uganda Safaris & Tours Safari updates

indexGorilla expeditions in Volcano National Park offer close encounters with endangered gorillas thanks to effective community work. What a wonderful adventure, Pushing aside a big branch, I step into a clearing and stand face to face with Muninya, a 440-pound mountain gorilla. He stares at me intently. We are about 15 feet apart, but it looks like he could easily grab me with one of his long arms. “Huhh huhh huhh!” grunts Muninya, and our Rwandan guide responds, saying the loud grunting is a friendly call. I follow our guide and move off to the side of the clearing. Soon all eight members of our group are perched on the edge of the jungle glade. In addition to Muninya, we see 15 other gorillas — five adult females and nine adolescents and youngsters. A pack of muscle covered in blue-black fur, Muninya has the distinctive silver back of an adult male. He has succeeded in attracting the females from other groups in the park and is the chief of his growing family. Most of the gorillas lie on their backs and doze in the sun. They have been busy eating a breakfast of bamboo shoots and other vegetation since early in the day, and now they are have a mid-morning snooze. Except for Kabatwa, the mother of eight-month-old twins. She is trying to nap, but the two toddlers climb on her chest and wrestle with each other by her head and step on her face. Visibly irritated, she pulls them to her side and pats them down, as if to say, “Settle down and rest a bit.” Quickly the two little rascals are scrambling about again. They head for another sleeping gorilla, but their mother, more forcefully this time, grabs the troublemakers. She separates them, holding one with her hand and another with her very dextrous foot. The gorilla group continues lazing in the jungle opening, idly scratching their armpits. Through the clearing is a view of the valley below and, amazingly, some houses are visible. It is a Sunday and we can hear faint strains of church music. Then Muninya crashes through the bush and sits right by the twins. Soon the gorilla family wakes. Young mother Kabatwa flips her twins on her back and, giving us a passing glance, clambers past us and goes into the bamboo. The entire family follows and they nimbly break off the shoots, strip off the hard outer shell and chomp on the juicy core. Gorillas are vegetarians. An adult eats about 66 pounds of plants per day. They rarely drink water because they get so much liquid from the plants, our guide tells us. After spending an hour with Muninya and his family, we hike away through the forest. It was a wonderful Gorilla Expedition in Volcano National Park.
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Gorilla trekking in Uganda-Prime Uganda Safaris & Tours Safari updates

Great Gorilla Safari ; If you like the outdoors, don’t mind sweating and getting a bit dirty, and have an interest in seeing one of the most magnificent animals on the planet, read on. Seeing the gorillas in the wild is an once-in-a-lifetime experience that I wouldn’t mind doing again.
On the recommendation of a friend’s parents (who at a 60+ years young had a great time – although to be fair they are big bicyclers and generally very active/in shape), 3 friends and I travelled to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park to see the famous (and endangered) mountain gorillas. For a number of reasons, this was one of the most amazing and surreal experiences of my life.
We were met at the airport in Entebbe by Amos. “Born and bred” in Uganda, Amos was to be our driver, guide, comedian, and all around good sport for the next 3 days. He put up with our bad jokes, incessant American chatter, diverse musical choices and post-trekking stench like a champ. We booked the whole trip through prime Safaris and were very happy.
We stayed at the Gorilla Resort in Bwindi – it was quite nice and Samuel, the manager, took care of us well. The food was excellent, beers cold, beds comfortable, and showers hot, and view stunning. The rooms (well, they’re tents actually) reminded me of something straight from “Out of Africa”, although instead of Meryl Streep I was stuck with my buddy Greg…
In what can only be described as breathtaking (both in terms of the scenery and what it did to me physically), our hike on day 1 lasted a little over 2 hours. I don’t think I will ever forget first seeing one of these big boys in the wild. A bit shy with massive bellies and deep red eyes, they were magnificent, each unique in his or her own way. I won’t say too much more because I don’t want to ruin it for you.
The hike on day 2 was, in my humble opinion, a bit more strenuous than the previous day. I recommend doing 2 days of trekking if you can afford it (permits are US$500/day) – the first day we only saw 4 gorillas and the second day we saw many more, including young ones. Day 2 saw more machete hacking, more mud, and more thorny bushes. Maybe this is a good time to mention that gorilla trekking, while an undeniably amazing experience, is best suited for those that are in decent (preferably good) shape. For the less mobile, apparently there is a ’991 Program’ whereby you can be carried by 4-8 people (depending on how many big maces you’ve eaten in the past 6 months) in a stretcher to see the gorillas.

On the flip side, if you are a serious or semi-serious hiker, this is your Mecca. One to tell the grandkids about. Next year, instead of going back to Yosemite, go to Bwindi.