Sunday, 26 July 2015

The journey to eastern Uganda; a remarkable odyssey

For many decades people from the east have always been known as the wise men because the sun always comes from the east. The journey from Kampala, the capital city heading to the east through towns of mukono and Lugazi before traversing mabira forest where you feel the breeze of the largest natural forest in Uganda presents a remarkable start on your Uganda safaris and tours.
Continuing on the drive to the cosmopolitan town of Jinja which has great history attached to it as the largest industrial town in Uganda before the Asians were expelled from Uganda by the infamous Idi Amin. The area contains the source of the mystical Nile River which is the longest in the world and highly sought after by travelers on safaris in Uganda.
You are already in Busoga land and thus under the leadership of Kyabazinga, the King of the Basoga. Take time to explore the customs, traditions and practices of the Basoga including the stories of their migration and the emergence of the Kingship that initially was not existing. The stretch of Tirinyi Road is very impressive. It is a flat landscape marked by swamps and plains where the River Mpologoma derives its waters before flowing to empty in Lake Kyoga one of the famous Uganda safari destinations.
Eventually, the journey enters the Masaba land which is the home of the Bagisu people that inhabit the surrounding areas of Elgon Mountain which they also refer to as Masaba noting that it is an embodiment of their founding father. These people are known world over for their mighty traditional circumcision ceremony named Imbalu where the male transit from childhood to manhood. This initially was a tribal practice with less concern for the outsiders and because of its uniqueness it has grown in popularity overtime and now when it is its season world travelers plan safaris to Uganda to be part of it. The ceremonies would be incomplete without Kadodi dance which is among the best traditional dances in Uganda.
From Mbale, the drive is still on until you reach Sipi Area where the famous Sipi Falls is located. The views of the falls from a far or hiking up to its top are all rewarding. Spending an overnight cannot be troublesome considering the range of accommodation units in Sipi Area ranging from affluent Sipi River lodge to the medium Lacam lodge and the Basic Crowns Nest Camp all featuring the views of Sipi falls.
Besides hiking Sipi falls, you could also do a journey break to climb the Elgon Mountain which requires a minimum of four (4) days for the shorter trail. Alternatively, you can undertake a one day hike to explore its foothills. Remember Mount Elgon is the fourth tallest in East Africa but was once the tallest in Africa before the denudation forces did it a disservice. This combines to make the journey to the east a memorable wonder of a life time and worth encountering while in Uganda.

Thursday, 23 July 2015

The interesting roadside vendors along Uganda’s highways – Uganda safari news

road side vendors- ugandaDriving along the highways during your safari and tour to Uganda is one of the most fascinating things you could ever think about or experience in the entire world. Uganda’s transportation system is an attraction in itself. From the conditions of the roads to the beauty that you drive past and not forgetting the craziness of the drivers along those highways; Uganda is just an entertaining place to be.
While on your Uganda tour and safari you will discover that along the highways (especially those leading to the most satisfying places like the National Parks) are several stopover points but these are not any ordinary stopovers. These are places to catch some of the tastiest pieces of roasted meat, chicken, cassava, fruits and frigid drinks; mentioning just a few. You might have packed enough food and water for your road trip but the things sold at the stopovers are not something you have ever tasted and  many a time not be readily available in the modern restaurants of Kampala. If they are, they are not this tasty.
For some highways it only takes about 45 minutes until you arrive at one of these stopovers while for others it is an hour plus but you can be assured of driving into one. You might want to inform your driver about your intentions to stop at one of these magical places before setting off for your safari in Uganda.
When you arrive at one of the roadside vending stops, you will not have to call these ambitious sellers to your vehicle but before you even stop, you will see roasted meat mounted on sticks probing through your open windows while some ladies hospitably ask whether you would like some water or soda. What is more interesting is the fact that you might use a dollar or two to get yourself too much food and drink that will take you through the next couple of hours of your road journey.
The most popular stopover points are along the road leading from Kampala to the western National Parks of Uganda through the towns of Masaka and Mbarara at a place called Lukaya. Another famous one is along the road leading to Fort Portal town (where the world’s youngest monarch has his palace) at a place called Mubende. There is another vendor point as you drive towards the source of the Nile in Jinja. These go-getting business men along the Kampala-Jinja highway call their market place “Namawojolo” and when you are here, make sure to ask for some hot “gonja”.
As part of the travel experiences on your Uganda Safari make sure to get yourself some of these delicious items while changing the lives of the people by offering them a living. Uganda is naturally a mind-boggling place to be; everything about this small landlocked country has something interesting about it. You can never run out of things to see, and do while in Uganda.
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Visiting the katwe explosion crater – Uganda safari news

safari to katwe ugandaLocated in the northern part of the Uganda safari destination of Queen Elizabeth National Park in the south west of Uganda, the Katwe explosion crater has presented itself as an impressive destination that a traveler can encounter.
The excessive volcanic pressures resulted into a series of volcanic eruptions that left a range deep hollows that were to be filled with water forming crater lakes. The Katwe area experienced this earth process and an explosion crater field was formed in an extinct form though some still emit sulphurous gases as encountered on safaris in Uganda.
Visiting the Katwe Explosion crater is by no means ordinary. The people have lived around it as an enclave community within the rolling savannah park of Queen Elizabeth. Including the Katwe area on the list of what to visit while planning safaris to Uganda; is one of the life time decisions that a world traveler would not regret for having undertook. The communities have got rich traditions and their lifestyle is centered on the lakes’ natural offerings. The lakes do not have inlets and outlets and thus have become rich mineral hub especially salt. Lake Katwe is famously known for this and you take time to study the local processes of salt extraction and how they arrange their mining areas.
The processing of these products and eventual distribution process is rewarding too. The Katwe Lake extends to 3,265 feet in depth and is extremely saline. The area was lucrative in the pre-colonial times as salt by then was a valuable mineral. Though its value later reduced, the resource extraction has persisted traditionally for a long period of time. Besides the salt encounter, the lakes are rich habitats to a range of bird species including the unique and beautiful flamingoes which are encountered in safari in Uganda.
Due to its location in the park, the crater field with its rugged landscapes that are a darling to the Baboons and elephants. The drive the crater drive track offers impressive scenic views and the extending to the wider savannah plains of Queen Elizabeth like the Kasenyi makes your visit to the area worth the time and price. The views of the overlooking Rwenzori Mountains dubbed the mountains of the moon also add spice to remarkable memories for your Uganda safari tour.
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The amabere caves and the fort portal crater lake field; a new addition to the tourist product market – Uganda safari news

Positioned in the area of Fort Portal in the west of Uganda, the Amabere Caves and Fort Portal Crater Lake field has come up as the new additions to the Uganda safari products that can be encountered in the area.
The Amabere g’ Nnyinamwiru caves are ancient breast-like features that have got a lot of both cultural and geographical attachment depending on which angle one wants to view them from. Traditionally, as their name suggests, the Amabere g’ Nyinamwiru caves literally translated as the breasts of Nnyinamwiru are noted to have been breasts of the legendary daughter of the self-enthroned King of the Bachwezi named Bukuku who assumed the throne after the disappearance of Ishaza to the underground world while following the beautiful cows that were sent as traps by Nyamiyonga – the King of Underground. Bukuku who was initially a gate keeper and who was left as the care taker of the palace at the departure of Ishaza took over because Ishaza had delayed much and because he knew that he was not from the Royal lineage and thus not supposed to rule, he was very suspicious knowing that anytime he would be overthrown.
The fortune tellers foretold him that he would be overthrown by his own grand child who will be produced by his own daughter Nyinamwiru. And a result, he was bitter with his daughter and opted to remove one eye such that men would not get attracted to her. As if this was not enough, he built a strong enclosure whose only entrance was through the house of Bukuku meaning that no one would pass through his house to enter into the enclosure where Nnyinamwiru was put. However, despite all these efforts, the son of Ishaza named Isimbwa returned from the foreign land where his father had disappeared from and fell in love and thus settled there to abandon his Kingship. Isimbwa came tracing his father’s Kingship and eventually reached at the palace. He was notified of the Bukuku daughter and together with his aide; they built a long ladder which they used to climbing over the enclosure of Nnyinamwiru. He eventually got into the enclosure, slept with Nyinamwiru for some days and left her pregnant. Nnyinamwiru gave birth to a son named Ndahura but her father vowed never to allow the child to survive. After few months to allow the child develop milk teeth as it was abominable to kill a child who has not yet developed teeth, he was put on the banks of the nearby stream to roll himself into it but fortunately the child was rescued by the local porter called Rubimbwa and took care of him until he grew old and speared his grandfather Bukuku to death and eventually regaining his ancestral drum. Ndahura build a great Chwezi empire that covered great parts of the Great lake Africa whose archeological remains can be viewed up to today on Uganda safaris and tours. The discovery of these breast-like features with milky substance dripping from them was accepted by the locals as the breasts of Nnyinamwiru with milk dripping out of them since she had not breastfed her baby. This is a rich traditional history that you would with to hear by adding the Amabere caves to you list of what to encounter while planning safaris to Uganda.
On a geographical perspective, Amabere g’ Nyinmawiru are natural features of stalagmites and stalactites with calcium carbonate dripping on the ground to form the breast like pillars which the locals consider to be breasts.
Besides the caves, there is famous Fort Portal Crater Lake field which has a range of crater hollows some of which are filled with water to form the crater lakes. The lakes of Bikere, Saaka and Kigere form a surrounding chain of remarkable scenery. It is very amazing when one summits the Kyeganywa hill which presents all round views of the area with a panoramic impression of the lakes and the empty hollows in the area not forgetting the legendary mountains of the moon at a close distance on a clear day. This makes encountering this site while on safaris in Uganda rewarding.
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Mountain climbing in Rwenzori mountains national park – Uganda safari news

rwenzori-mountainGrab a pen and a piece of paper and write down the following details. “In the heart of the African continent, 440 kilometers west of Kampala City, along the equator and in the districts of Kabarole, Kasese and Bundibugyo rests Africa’s third largest mountain called Rwenzori”. Now that you know the place feel free to put down that pen. Rwenzori is actually the highest block mountain in the whole of Africa. The Margherita peak (5,109m Above Sea Level) of the Rwenzoris is the highest point you can ever be at during your Uganda safari.
The Rwenzoris are a series of six independent mountain ranges that are divided by deep green valleys which are diversely filled with fauna and flora species of all sizes and colors. The upper heights are protected by one of Africa’s prettiest Mountainous National Parks and are a UNESCO World Heritage Site principally because of the verdant botany therein.
Even before Safaris and tours to Uganda’s western parts began, the world knew about the Rwenzoris. The first time the world heard about the Rwenzoris was when an Alexandrian geographical researcher and photographer called Ptolemy in CE 150 wrote about a mysterious mountain in the heart of the African continent which he referred to as the Mountains of the Moon. Many years later (in 1889) a European explorer called Henry Morton Stanley came across a mountain which fit Ptolemy’s description and because of its magnificence, he could not hold back but proclaim that these were the Cloud Mountains in concurrence with Ptolemy.
This legendary place has over the years evolved into one of the most amazing places in the world to tour while on a vacation, and over 150,000 mountaineers have been able to climb through the Rwenzoris with just a few tens reaching the Margherita peak. Mountain climbing in the Rwenzoris remains a first-rate activity to add to your Safari itinerary in Uganda.
For anyone to legally participate in hiking through the Rwenzoris, they have to contact the Rwenzori Mountaineering Services (RMS) or the Rwenzori Trekking Services (RTS). This may be done directly through their offices but it is even made simpler and quicker by one of the tour operators. Tourists will have to pack a strong pair of shoes, clothes for the different weathers in the area (hot and cold), and a good insect repellant. It is also advisable that aspiring hikers work up a good level of fitness and also make consultations with their doctors before deciding on taking this tedious hike.
The activity is currently conducted along two trails; the Central Circuit Trail which can last up to seven (7) days to ascend and descend; and the Kilembe trail which lasts between nine (9) and ten (10) days. The Kilembe Trail climaxes in summiting the Margherita Peak while the Central Circuit Trail ends at the Elena Hut at an altitude of 4563m with views of the snowcapped Margherita Peak. The journey up the mountains is skilfully planned, with huts at differenced levels where hikers can stop and set up lodging for the night, and then continue with the trek the following morning.
People who have engaged in Uganda mountain climbing Safaris in the Rwenzoris have always spoken of an unforgettable experience and the few who have managed to reach the topmost place have always been short of words, in awe of the incredible vistas from the highest place in Uganda. The oldest person to ever reach Margherita was a Canadian lady called Ms. Beryl Parker who at the age of 78 in November 2010 achieved a world record. Like Ms. Parker, many more people desire to reach a lifetime achievement; something to tell their grandkids about. Summiting one of Rwenzori’s peaks is indeed one of those memorable experiences and is open to all the fit ambitious mountaineers. “Welcome to the Mountains of the Moon”
Uganda safaris/Uganda safari News
Prime Uganda safaris & Tours Ltd

Mountain climbing in Rwenzori mountains national park – Uganda safari news

rwenzori-mountainGrab a pen and a piece of paper and write down the following details. “In the heart of the African continent, 440 kilometers west of Kampala City, along the equator and in the districts of Kabarole, Kasese and Bundibugyo rests Africa’s third largest mountain called Rwenzori”. Now that you know the place feel free to put down that pen. Rwenzori is actually the highest block mountain in the whole of Africa. The Margherita peak (5,109m Above Sea Level) of the Rwenzoris is the highest point you can ever be at during your Uganda safari.
The Rwenzoris are a series of six independent mountain ranges that are divided by deep green valleys which are diversely filled with fauna and flora species of all sizes and colors. The upper heights are protected by one of Africa’s prettiest Mountainous National Parks and are a UNESCO World Heritage Site principally because of the verdant botany therein.
Even before Safaris and tours to Uganda’s western parts began, the world knew about the Rwenzoris. The first time the world heard about the Rwenzoris was when an Alexandrian geographical researcher and photographer called Ptolemy in CE 150 wrote about a mysterious mountain in the heart of the African continent which he referred to as the Mountains of the Moon. Many years later (in 1889) a European explorer called Henry Morton Stanley came across a mountain which fit Ptolemy’s description and because of its magnificence, he could not hold back but proclaim that these were the Cloud Mountains in concurrence with Ptolemy.
This legendary place has over the years evolved into one of the most amazing places in the world to tour while on a vacation, and over 150,000 mountaineers have been able to climb through the Rwenzoris with just a few tens reaching the Margherita peak. Mountain climbing in the Rwenzoris remains a first-rate activity to add to your Safari itinerary in Uganda.
For anyone to legally participate in hiking through the Rwenzoris, they have to contact the Rwenzori Mountaineering Services (RMS) or the Rwenzori Trekking Services (RTS). This may be done directly through their offices but it is even made simpler and quicker by one of the tour operators. Tourists will have to pack a strong pair of shoes, clothes for the different weathers in the area (hot and cold), and a good insect repellant. It is also advisable that aspiring hikers work up a good level of fitness and also make consultations with their doctors before deciding on taking this tedious hike.
The activity is currently conducted along two trails; the Central Circuit Trail which can last up to seven (7) days to ascend and descend; and the Kilembe trail which lasts between nine (9) and ten (10) days. The Kilembe Trail climaxes in summiting the Margherita Peak while the Central Circuit Trail ends at the Elena Hut at an altitude of 4563m with views of the snowcapped Margherita Peak. The journey up the mountains is skilfully planned, with huts at differenced levels where hikers can stop and set up lodging for the night, and then continue with the trek the following morning.
People who have engaged in Uganda mountain climbing Safaris in the Rwenzoris have always spoken of an unforgettable experience and the few who have managed to reach the topmost place have always been short of words, in awe of the incredible vistas from the highest place in Uganda. The oldest person to ever reach Margherita was a Canadian lady called Ms. Beryl Parker who at the age of 78 in November 2010 achieved a world record. Like Ms. Parker, many more people desire to reach a lifetime achievement; something to tell their grandkids about. Summiting one of Rwenzori’s peaks is indeed one of those memorable experiences and is open to all the fit ambitious mountaineers. “Welcome to the Mountains of the Moon”
Uganda safaris/Uganda safari News
Prime Uganda safaris & Tours Ltd

kalinzu forest; a profusion of biodiversity – uganda safari news

karizu forest reserve - ugandaThe forest of Kalinzu has gained the ground to become one of the favorite Uganda safari destinations in the south west of Uganda due its counts of biodiversity and the physical offerings.
The forest which is given as the extension of the Maramagambo forest to the east and covering a geographical spread of 137km presents a remarkable forest cover with mature trees that form an impressive forest canopy ideal to encounter on Uganda safaris and tours.
Like most of the African forests that are verdant in nature, Kalinzu Forest settles with 414 tree species and shrubs among which include Parinari, Prunus Africana and Stroboia. The forest presents an ideal home to six (6) diurnal species of primate including olive baboon, Chimpanzees, black and white colobus monkeys, L’ Hhoest Monkeys, Blue and Red tailed monkeys. The forest also supports a range of pottos and two galago Species which are not explored during night walks not forgetting the tree hyrax.
Apart from primates and trees, the forest of Kalinzu supports 378 species of birds including the Great Blue Turaco, Sun birds, Cockoos, Black and white casket. Butterflies may not be missed too. Fortunately, Kalinzu supports a count of 263 butterflies along with 92 moth species and flowers which have increased the vibrancy of the forest as an ideal tourist destination thus worth encountering while on safaris in Uganda.
Besides the above, Kalinzu Forest Reserve’s popularity has been elevated with its pool of chimpanzees. The census that was conducted in the forest in 2001 gave the total count of chimps at around 200 individuals. However, the forest has two habituated groups of about 70 members which are encountered by researchers and the leisure travelers. As a result of its close connection to Queen Elizabeth National Park, other wildlife including duikers, wild pigs and leopards make occasional visit to the area.
The good network of trails set to traverse the entire forest and its physical offerings like the crater hollows and the escarpments of the Albertine rift presents an ideal provision for a range of activities in the forest. These include; the chimpanzee trekking, the nature walks exploring the forest landscapes, birding, butterfly identification, conservation education and small mammal viewing.
Accessing the forest is quite easy depending on where you are located. From Kampala which is the popular start point for many safaris to Uganda, it takes you around 6 hours to cover 375km passing along the Uganda Equators crossing Kayabwe, traditional rangelands of Ankole and Mbarara town. If in Queen Elizabeth National Park, it takes about 2 hours to connect from Mweya.
Travelers on safari in Uganda wishing to spend an overnight in Kalinzu Forest can utilize the Nkombe campsite or the accommodation units in the neighboring Ishaka or Bushenyi towns. The safari lodges in the adjacent Queen Elizabeth National Park present an alternative overnight stay for Kalinzu forest.
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The rwenzururu people of the rwenzori mountains – uganda safari news

rwezururu kingdomUganda is one of the smaller countries on the African continent but it is surprisingly one of the most ethnically diverse places on the globe and probably in the entire universe. Although many of these ethnic groups have some close ties with at least one other group in the country, they each have elements in their cultural fabric that are entirely dissimilar from any other, especially the traditions and dialects or languages. This makes Uganda a top tours and safari destination in the world especially for tourists who are interested in having an entirely new cultural experience.
In the three (3) southwestern districts of Uganda called Bundibugyo, Ntoroko and Kasese where the famous “Mountains of the Moon” (the Rwenzoris) are situated; lives a fascinating kingdom called Rwenzururu; one of Uganda’s youngest kingdoms. The Banyarwenzururu (a name given to the people who inhabit the Rwenzururu kingdom) include two subgroups (the Bakonjo and the Amba). The history of Rwenzururu kingdom is described by both times of happiness and sorrows for the Konjo and Amba people.
Originally, the two subgroups (Amba and Konjo) lived peacefully in the Rwenzoris and worshipped a god called Kitasamba who they believed to inhabit the higher places of the legendary mountains while his beautiful wives christened the lower slopes. They trusted in Kitasamba to provide them with food, success in farming, rainfall and to protect them since he made the world and all that is in it. They also believed that the snow which capped the peaks of the Rwenzoris was his frozen semen which melted to form many of the streams which can be seen during a Uganda Safari and tour to the Rwenzoris.
The Amba and Konjo lived peacefully until the British Colonial Government joined them with the greater kingdom of Toro which is found in the district of Kabarole today. Desiring to be independent, the two groups joined efforts to form a secessionist movement called Rwenzururu and in June 1962 they were recognized as an independent cultural entity with Isaya Makirania as their leader; but this was just ceremonial. The soldiers from Toro Kingdom continued to patrol the Rwenzoris and even massacred a great number of Konjo and Amba men, women and children between 1963 and 1964.
This massacre mounted greater disregard for the Toro dominance among the Rwenzururu people and at the fall of Idi Amin in 1979 the agile youthful men of Rwenzururu captured some of the ammunitions from the defeated government and formed a guerilla movement; all geared towards autonomy.
Fortunately, due to the efforts of a number of people including human rights activists and researchers especially from Makerere University; the government of Museveni Kaguta declared Rwenzururu an independent cultural organization on 17th March 2008 in a victorious ceremony which was aired on national television stations.
The Rwenzururu Kingdom which is currently led by Omusinga (a title given to the kings of Rwenzururu) Charles Mumbere, is an interesting group of people to encounter during your Uganda tour and safari. You will be taken through the communities of the Rwenzururu people by the expressive Rwenzururu tour guides and you will be able to see the remains of the historic struggle for independence along the Bulemba-Ihandiro Cultural Trail.
During your safari and tour, you will be fortunate enough to also see spiritual symbols like the “Spiritual Konjo Stool” which is believed to cure people of their illnesses. Visits may also lead to Muhima, the traditional healer who cures people of their illnesses by using natural traditional herbs only. Perhaps the height of your visit will be a traditional musical performance by the energetic Rwenzururu dancers. You are actually welcome to join in with the dancers or to join the drummers in the traditional Rwenzruru social music and dances.
Culture in Uganda is unlimited and the fascinations behind the peoples of Uganda are a reason for the international community to love this country in the heart of Africa.
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The indiginous karimojong visit – Uganda safari news

karamoja - ugandaThe indigenous Karimojong thrive high in the mountain of Morungole in the Uganda safari destination of Kidepo Valley National Park to the north east of Uganda. The Indigenous Karimojong are a small group of people that range between 10,000 – 11,000 numbers and are noted to have migrated from Ethiopia first settling in Kenya and then eventually settling in Kidepo Valley National Park.
The Indigenous Karimojong are known to be hunter gather culture but they later abandoned hunting due to continued interference from the Pokot cattle keepers and government interference in the 1960s and as a result, they pushed to the mountainous landscapes of Morungole for harmonious living where they can be found today while on safaris in Uganda.
It is noted that the indigenous Karimojong were the initial tribal group to migrate to the north east of Uganda and to them their naming means the head of migration or the first ones to settle there. Visiting the Indigenous Karimojong in their dwelling place in the mountainous landscapes of Morungole involves and an intensive hike which stretch to a whole day experience on your Uganda safaris and tours.
The tour to the indigenous Karimojong exposes you to in depth encounter of the traditions of the indigenous Karimojong and amazing scenic landscapes of the Morungole Mountains, Karamoja plains and the south Sudan Mountains. The encounter brings you closer to the indigenous Karimjong traditions such as their mode of paying bride wealth where 5 to 10 bee hives are offered other than cattle, how children at their tender age live with their grandmother or with one another, the practice of polygamy and the daily life of the Indigenous Karimojong people deriving remarkable memories on your safari in Uganda.
The indigenous Karimojong practices cultivation and bee-keeping since they stopped keeping cattle to avoid raids from the adjacent pastoralist communities. A tribe with 11,000 members is really considered endangered and as thus requires considerable attention. The exploration to the indigenous has not in any way been easy until the US Forest Service established a trail. There is also a driving option taking about 4 hour ride but it still remains a whole day adventure trekking the mountainous slopes in the company of the guide.
A traveller planning a safari to Uganda would definitely need to have some degree of fitness before including this hike in the itinerary. Mount Morungole towers up to 2,749m above sea level and hiking up to the upper slopes presents a challenging encounter. The Indigenous Karimojong are welcoming and have started to cherish tourism since it generates supplementary income to their community.
Their traditions are still authentic as they have been less disturbed by western values. In fact, the whole tribe has one girl currently at Kampala International University and will break the ground to be the first graduate of the entire tribe. The tour to explore the indigenous Karomojong can be incorporated in your Uganda wildlife safari to Kidepo Valley National Park.
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MOUNTAIN GORILLA TREKKING IN MGAHINGA GORILLA NATIONAL PARK – UGANDA GORILLA SAFARI NEWS

uganda gorilla safaris -mgahingaMgahinga Gorilla National Park is noted to be among the new parks that were formed in the early 1990s and for it; the main motive was to protect the mountain gorillas which are always encountered on gorilla trekking safaris in Uganda.
Positioned at the extreme south western tip of Uganda, Mgahinga protects the Ugandan side of the three Virunga Volcanoes that adjoin the eight Virunga mountain chain where 480 mountain gorillas are known to be thriving presenting remarkable gorilla safari in Uganda and Rwanda.
Mountain Gorillas dwell in the forested landscapes of Muhabura, Gahinga and Sabyinyo and one group Nyakagyezi has been habituated and it is the only one gorilla family that can encountered while trekking gorillas in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park.
The gorilla trekking in Mgahinga requires one to secure permits on ground from Uganda Wildlife Authority branch in Kisoro as they are not booked at the headquarters in Kampala. The start point for the trek is either Ntebeko Visitor Center or the Muhabura side depending on location of the gorilla group by the time you undertake a gorilla safari in Uganda.
The gorilla permit for Mgahinga is the same as that of Bwindi and is given at $600 for the nonresident foreigner and the duration for gorilla trekking also ranges from 2 – 8 hours commencing in the morning at 8am local time.
Trekking Mountain gorillas in Mgahinga National Park is supplemented by tracking golden monkeys which tend to dwell in the Bamboo zone on the slopes of the Volcanoes, the Volcano Climbing where you can summit any of the three Volcanoes and the Batwa heritage trail to explore the Batwa traditions. This combines primate tracking, adventure and culture to generate ultimate Africa Safari memories.
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Wednesday, 22 July 2015

Encountering sipi falls – Uganda safari news

Sipi falls located in the east of Uganda is one of the famous Uganda safari attractions appearing in its natural picturesque overlooking the Elgon Mountain and the close to the boarder of Kenya. The Sipi Falls is positioned in the Kapchorwa district which is in the north east of Mbale and Sironko.
The Sipi falls Area is a popular starting point for a range of hikes on Mount Elgon which is the fourth tallest in East Africa and the eighth on African continent. The famous route which commences at Budadiri following Sasa Trail heading to the summit before descending down the Sipi trail and then back to Sipi Falls is within the Sipi fall and offers travelers on safaris in Uganda a considerable hiking experience.
The hiking encounters around Sipi falls offer impressive views of the plains of Karamoja, Mount Elgon slopes and the gigantic Lake Kyoga which is the second largest fresh water lake in Uganda. The adventure exploration to Sipi Falls by travelers planning safaris to Uganda can be arranged through private tour operators including Prime Safaris and Tours Ltd and Wild gorilla Safaris or by arranging it yourself.
The Sipi Falls Area is gifted with a range of accommodation units that feature Luxury to Midrange and Budget arrangement to suit various categories of travelers on Uganda safaris and tours. Some of these include; Lacam Lodge, Sipi River Lodge, Crown’s Nest Camp site, Rose’s Last Chance among others. The cool climatic conditions that exist in the Sipi Area presents an ideal environment for relaxation, unwinding, relaxing and a perfect chill from the bustling urban life.
As a result of its position which is perched on the foothills of Elgon Mountain, there are a range of her alternative tourist activities that people can engage while visiting the area. There is Rob's Rolling Rock which is a local outfit that was trained by climbers of Italian origin offering abseiling along the main Sipi waterfall that is 100m high along with fourteen (14) bolted sports routes with difficulty. A traveler on safari in Uganda can also visit the surrounding communities and other local waterfalls.
The River Sipi which is named after the plant Species named Sep found on the banks of the Sipi falls. It is a medicinal plant that resemble wild banana and it is locally used to treat measles and fever.
The extensive Bagisu farmlands dotted with Arabica coffee present impressive scenic views of the area and the local community. The Arabica coffee thrives at 1,600 and 1,900 m. There are organized coffee tours that can offer a traveler on Uganda safari tour a detailed themed interpretation of coffee farming and processing.
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The success story of Buhoma community tourism – Uganda safari news

buhoma haven camp - ugandaKnown as the Buhoma Mukono Community Development Association which is found in Buhoma the popular Uganda gorilla safari destination, the association brings together a count of 7,000 local people to tap the benefits presented by tourism to develop the community and improve livelihood not forgetting natural resource conservation.
The Association is working hard to secure sustainable jobs for the community members and empowerment in skills development to work as guides among other aspects. This is seen as a way of mobilizing the community to gain from tourism revenue that is generated from the travelers that plan gorilla safaris to Uganda.
The community initiative has gone ahead to carry out two (2) impressive investments in form of safari lodges namely; the Haven and the Buhoma Community Rest Camp. The revenue that is gathered from these developments is spread in the communal projects including the Buhoma Community High School, Buhoma Community Primary School, Buhoma Gravity Water Flow Scheme, Buhoma Cooperative Savings and Credit Society and Pineapple and Vegetable Growing Project. These accommodation units present affordable community organized overnight stay for the travellers on Gorilla safaris in Uganda.
The Community initiative is in the hands of the local people that stay in Mukono Parish in the district of Kanungu. It has a functioning constitution and its promulgation incorporated the views of the members. It came to existence in the year 1992 when the American Peace Corps Volunteer John Dubois along with Uganda Wildlife Authority and the local people. The organization got support from Institute Of Tropical Forest Conservation, International Gorilla Conservation Program and Bwindi Mgahinga Conservation Trust to build capacity and contribute to its flourish.
The Haven Lodge features two (2) impressively designed double / twin cottages and one (1) family cottage all featuring en suite facilities. The Buhoma Community Camp features six (6) en suite safari tents, three (3) self-contained cottages, two (2) non self-contained twin bandas and a six (6) bed dormitory along with a camp site. This shows how Buhoma Community has tapped into the benefits of tourism revenue brought in by the travelers on Uganda gorilla safaris and tours.
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Tuesday, 21 July 2015

The magical lake bunyonyi of southwestern Uganda – Uganda safari news

lake bunyonyi - ugandaThe western and southwestern parts of Uganda are known to be the most rewarding locations for tours and safari guests in Uganda. One of the sweet ingredients of this area is a Lake called Bunyonyi; a name it gets because of its great assemblage of bird species. The local people in the area named it Bunyonyi which translates as “the place of many little birds”.
Yes, Lake Bunyonyi is located in southwestern Uganda between the districts of Kisoro and Kibale and its shores are just seven (7) kilometers from the town of Kabale (which is popular for its terraced hills). It covers a total area of 61 square kilometers and is believed to be one of the deepest lakes in Africa; but this has not yet been proven. The lake is an Important Birding area and attracts both domestic and international guests on birding tours and safaris to Uganda.
The lake is just something for the eye to delve upon but surprisingly, there is not a lot of literature written about it, neither are there many blogs that talk about Bunyonyi as a place that tourists must see during their lifetime. This is one place that no vacationer deserves to miss when on a Safari or tour in Africa and is definitely one of the treasures that Uganda ought to boast about.
Apart from the bird species which delight in the Lake Bunyonyi water or others which tread softly along the shores, Lake Bunyonyi is popular for its watersports. Fish were first introduced in this lake at the opening of the 20th century and fishing peaked in the early 1930s. Although large-scale fishing has been replaced by subsistence fishing because of the reduction in the number of fish; the lake still has a variety of fish species like the tilapia, mudfish, cat fish, a few Nile Perch and lung fish. Uganda Safari and tours guests can enjoy sport fishing in Lake Bunyonyi.
The lake is surrounded by a number of terraced hills and its waters are segmented by up to 29 freestanding Islands. It is startling how closely located the islands are to each other and you could actually count over fifteen (15) of them from one of the surrounding hills. Some of the famous islands include Akampene (Punishment Island) and the Bucuranuka Island.
Akampene Island is where the Kiga people used to bring girls who had lost their virginity before marriage. The girls were dumped here to waste with hunger and this served as an example to the girls in the community. The Bucuranuka Island has a different story all together and is considered a doomed island. The inhabitants of this can narrate that one day an old lady on the island begged for a drink of local beer from a group of twenty (20) men on the Island but they turned down her humble request and sent her in a canoe to the mainland accompanied by one of the younger men. On reaching the mainland, the old lady cursed the island and it capsized killing all those who were on the island. Bold tourists can enjoy a canoe ride to some of the Islands on Lake Bunyonyi.
There is also a neighboring village called Bufuka where visitors are welcome to experience the cultures of the Batwa and Bakiga people. Tourists can even get a chance to join the locals’ daily routine like dancing and singing or weaving.
The lake’s waters rise to an altitude of 1,950m and the climate around the lake is cool and ideal for spending a night or two out of your  Safari in Uganda. There are many comfortable tourist accommodations near the lake and in the neighboring towns. The captivating vistas of Lake Bunyonyi and its surrounding make it one of the best holiday locations in the world.
Come and visit Lake Bunyoyi and participate in lots of interesting activities at the lake while breathing in some of the clearest air on earth. “Lake Bunyonyi is a Global Natural Spectacle”
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Memorable nights in bwindi’s chameleon hill lodge – Uganda safari news

hill lodgeHolidays are meant to relieve us of the stress that we experience as a result of the routine that dominates most days of our weeks, months and years. But planning for a perfect holiday can also be equally stressful; especially when looking for the perfect destination to travel to, or deciding on where to spend a few nights. It is awesome places like Chameleon Hill Lodge which provide an answer to the question of luxury accommodation that man Uganda Safari and Tours guests might be having.
Chameleon Hill is located atop a hill at an altitude of only 1800m but high enough to enjoy perfect views of the authentic African natural environment. The lodge is cleverly located between the life-containing National Parks of Mgahinga Gorilla and Bwindi Impenetrable which are most famed for Uganda’s mountain gorilla trekking safaris. The lodge is married with the shores of Lake Mutanda which is back dropped by a number of hills and the Virunga Volcanoes; offering the best spots to play around with your binoculars or to snap plenty of captivating photos.
The lodge has ten (10) beautifully colored chalet accommodations (5 twin bed rooms which can be transformed into queen bed rooms; and 5 permanent queen bedrooms). All chalets have unique bright colors; at least a few out of the many that a chameleon is capable of changing to; and they are finely decorated with authentic African art. Like the individuality of the colors used, all chalets provide private but unbarred vistas of the green, brown and crisp clear nature situated next door.
All rooms are fitted with amenities that guarantee topnotch relaxation, and allow Uganda Gorilla Safari guests to for once in a long time, sleep like babies. All rooms have large comfortable beds which are essentially guarded by mosquito nets; an en-suite washroom which features both hot and cold water and a personal wooden terrace.
There is also an expansive lounge area in the main lodge building where guests on Safaris to Uganda’s Bwindi Impenetrable National Park can laze, read a book, charge their electronics as they listen to their own playlists; or interact with other guests at Chameleon Hill Lodge. Also at the main lodge area, meals are served in a restaurant which is capable of accommodating as many as twenty (20) starving guests at a time. The meals are perfectly primed by two (2) expert chefs (one Ugandan the other Kenyan). They bring together their diversity and expertise to serve you with some of your best international dishes with a skillful African touch.
Guests can have their shoes cleaned and clothes washed for them as they worry about the more important matters of their holiday like sightseeing, identifying bird species and viewing the joyous primates. Chameleon Hill also boasts of an expert massage therapist who has over the years won the hearts of Uganda gorilla trekking safari visitors with his magical hands.
The staff members at the lodge seemingly have a hospitality gene and know their job incredibly well. Chameleon Hill will offer you unseen before services while also twisting a few things of the usual amenities to make them also individually new. The few nights spent at Chameleon Hill Lodge will be remembered forever. Chameleon Hill Lodge is indeed a “fairytale accommodation setting”.
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The royal tombs of kasubi; a voyage into the history of Buganda kingdom – Uganda safari news

kasubi - ugandaHumans tend to cling onto some things in their past; even people who claim to loathe history still have things in their past that they cannot let go of. Although the contemporary talk is “forget your past and move on into the future”, a journey backwards does not hurt at all but rather offers us opportunities to encounter details in our past that we might have missed. On a safari to central Uganda, tourists have a similar opportunity to travel back in time without using any sophisticated scientific technology. The Kasubi Royal Tombs will continue to interest domestic tourists but foreign travelers will be wowed even more.
You might be wondering what there is to find among the dead, but these tombs have a lot more than that to present to the eye and to the ear. The royal tombs at Kasubi are the perfect place for religious and cultural enthusiasts, and for people who just want to dig deep into the arts, beliefs and traditions of Uganda’s largest ethnic community, the Baganda; this is where it all zeroes down to.
A Uganda Safari may lead from any part of Kampala City to Kasubi which is situated on a hill, and here guests will see a clear blue and white signpost with a delightful message “Welcome to The Kasubi Tombs”. You will leave your vehicles and head towards the gate to the tombs and as you walk through the gates you will realize a whole new world. At the gate you will feel like transitioning from the modern to the ancient traditional world.
Uganda’s Tours and Safari guests will be welcomed by friendly tour guides (some who grew up serving in the tombs) and they will lead you through the clean compound that separates the round straw thatched buildings which hold some of the richest cultural heritage on earth. No wonder UNESCO declared the tombs a World Heritage Site (WHS). Apart from containing some of the ancient regalia of the Baganda people, the buildings display the traditional African architecture of most ethnic groups in Uganda which includes the wooden poles which support the straw-thatch that forms roofing.
The greatest and largest of these grass-thatched huts is the highlight of the Kasubi Safari and tour adventure and bears the name Muzibu-Azaala-Mpanga. This is also the largest hut of its kind in the entire world and is over a century old. The site was first constructed in 1881 by Mutesa I the then Kabaka (king) of Buganda as a palace of his own. When he died, the site was transformed into a royal mausoleum in which Mutesa I and three other kings of Buganda were buried (Danieri Mwanga, Daudi Chwa II and Edward Mutesa II).
Although Muzibu-Azaala-Mpanga was hardheartedly torched on 16th March 2010 destroying some of the remains of the fallen kings like the vestiges and portraits of the four kings and Mutesa’s stuffed leopard, the structure has fortunately been rejuvenated and is ready to receive Uganda tours and safaris visitors again.
The authenticity of the represented at the Kasubi Royal burial grounds is something to fall for. Guests will be requested to put off their shoes before entering the buildings and this will give them the opportunity to feel the blessed royal ground with their bare feet. At Kasubi the people of Buganda kingdom believe that the fallen kings live-on and that they are willing to bless all their visitors. Perhaps you will also walk out of the Ficus-bark fence having been blessed. A safari to the tombs is highly enjoyable and is undeniably one of the best experiences that the pearl of Africa has to offer.
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Undertaking a thrilling boat cruise on the twin lakes of bulera and ruhondo – Uganda safari news

boat -crusersRwanda, the land of a thousand hills as it is always referred has got various boating options that are beyond the popularly known Gisenyi – Lake Kivu which is always encountered by travelers on Rwanda safaris and tours. To the north west of the country in the Musaze area, there lies other two gems that have got the potential to offer a remarkable boating experience in Rwanda.
Surrounded by the Virunga Volcanoes which comprise of a chain of eight mountains, the Lakes of Bulera and Ruhonda stands as identical twins in their natural shape overlooking the Volcanoes National Park where gorilla trekking safaris in Rwanda are carried out on the annual gorilla naming ceremony – the Kwita Izina Ceremony.
The beauty of the lakes along with their surrounding magical sceneries and rewarding boating and fishing activities combine to make the lakes worth exploring on safaris in Rwanda. Upon reaching on Ruhengeri town, you are received by the stunning views of the Volcanoes that ring the twin lakes. Interestingly, there is no specially designated jetty for the boat departure. It is all about identifying a suitable point where the boat that is going to take you for the experience can dock.
The lakes have amongst them some big Islands including Munanira, Bushongo, Bishosho and Cuza. The tour to any of these Islands does not only offer you the touch of local cultures and their traditional fishing techniques but also brings along with them an exciting mountain hiking experience. The Rwanda safari undertakers can also opt for a home stay experience to immerse themselves deeply in the local culture. The options for the time constrained travelers would be participating in some little digging on the Island and do harvesting or engage in a traditional meal preparation with a local family.
Regarding the physical setting, the views of the volcanoes especially the Muhabura towering over the lake are rewarding. The views of the local fishermen searching for fish from all corners of the lake with their rowdy words give you an authentic experience. The young boys and women are also paddling quietly on the lake. The waters of the twin lakes stretch to 180m deep and are normally explored by the international travelers, expats in Rwanda and other high end Rwandese not forgetting the travelers coming from Uganda on Uganda safaris and tours and Democratic Republic of Congo.
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Tracking golden monkeys in volcanoes national park – Rwanda safari news

golden monkey -RwandaVolcanoes National Park goes beyond Rwanda gorilla trekking safaris. Perched on the slopes of the Volcanoes, the Volcanoes National Park is a home to the endangered golden monkeys which have been habituated to form a ground for golden monkey tracking in Rwanda.
Tracking golden monkeys can be considered as one of the highlights of park and scientifically referred to as Cercopithecus Mitis Kandti, the golden monkeys dwell in the high altitude landscapes of forested hills of Volcanoes National Park that is always visited by travelers on safaris in Rwanda.
Known to be sub species of Sykes Monkey also referred to as the Blue Monkey, the golden monkeys are believed to thriving only in the high slopes of the Virunga massif on a world scale and being among the rare specs, they have been listed as endangered. It is such a life time encounter viewing these impressive species as they leap from the branches of the bamboo by Rwanda safari undertakers on leisure and research.
Volcanoes National Park contains two (2) habituated gorilla families where by one contains about 80 – 100 members residing on the foot hills of Sabyinyo Mountain where it is explored by travelers on Rwanda safaris and tours. The trek to explore the golden Monkeys commence in the morning just like the mountain gorillas. The trekkers are given the opportunity to view the golden monkeys for one complete hour. Unlike the mountain gorillas, the number of participants for the day’s golden monkey tracking encounter in not limited. The encounter starts at Kinigi Park headquarters at 7:00am and one is required to secure a golden monkey permit at $100 per permit per person. The golden monkey tracking permit can be secured way back in advance or can be acquired at the Volcanoes Park headquarters on the morning of the golden tracking encounter. Travelers interested in porter services can also secure them at the park headquarters.
Golden Monkeys are entertaining creatures and present nice views as they leap from one branch to the other making it difficult to take settled pictures. Thus, most of the travelers opt for fast shutter speed for their cameras in order to get the golden monkeys on film and also allow for the low light in the dense undergrowth. The golden monkey has presented a perfect supplement for a second night in the Volcanoes National Park for travelers on safari in Rwanda.
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Trekking chimpanzees in Uganda; a myriad of destinations – Uganda safari news

chimpanzeee uganda safarisChimpanzees are apparently among the famous Uganda safari products that are of great interest to the world travelers. Well known for their remarkable intelligence and close relations to human beings, the chimpanzees have become a darling to many and encountering them is never disappointing.
Being among the big apes that are still thriving in the verdant tropical forests of Africa and South America, the Common Chimpanzees are noted to have a common ancestral origin along with gorillas and Orangutans. The ancestral touch with humans cannot be missed too. Uganda dubbed the pearl of Africa has indeed maintained and defended the name because of the diverse habitat and the intense bio diversity concentration that is rarely found in other destinations in the world.
Uganda boasts of a myriad of destinations where chimpanzees both habituated and non-habituated are known to thriving. Stretching from the Budongo Forest where counts of 800 chimpanzee are thriving to Kibale National Park that has been dubbed the Primate Capital of the world, Semliki National Park to the boarder of Congo marking the point of meet between the East African savanna and the West African jungle, Kyambura gorge known as the valley of Apes in Queen Elizabeth National Park, Kalinzu Forest Reserve and Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Uganda is by no means an ordinary home of the common chimpanzees some of which have been habituated and thus visited on chimpanzee trekking safaris in Uganda.
The concentration of these chimpanzees in varied habitats presents a varied chimpanzee trekking encounter to the Uganda safari tour undertakers. This even comes with a difference in price. For instance chimpanzee trekking in Budongo Forest is $85, in Kibale is $150, in Kyambura gorge is $50 while in Kalinzu Forest is $40 per person. This favors different income level travellers but also the existence of these sites enables the travelers on Uganda safaris and tours to have the opportunity to explore chimpanzee from any direction of the country apart from the east.
Trekking Chimpanzees requires you to be in possession of chimpanzee trekking permit and this can be booked way back in advance with Uganda Wildlife Authority to save yourself from losing out but you can also pay on the morning of the trekking date at the respective trekking point provided there is space.
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The mountain gorilla trekking dressing code – Uganda gorilla safari news

IMG_2041The issue of the dress code of the mountain gorilla trekking encounter is very critical to most of the travelers that undertake gorilla safaris in Uganda. Tracking mountain gorillas is done in the forested habitats of Bwindi Impenetrable and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park all in the south west and thus getting out of the usual life in cities to head to the jungle for the gorilla adventure one is right to question the nature of dressing.
The challenging hilly landscapes where these gorillas are found cannot be missed while on your Uganda gorilla safaris and tours. Thus, putting on your sturdy shoes that are fit for walking, light to carry and firm on ground is one of the best avenues to neutralize the terrain. The dense jungle with thick undergrowth at times contains thorny bushes which would definitely pierce your skin with their nettles. This thus, makes the thick trousers and long sleeved tops suitable for the excursion as you wouldn’t wish to leave your skin in the forest.
The issue of color does not matter a lot as the mountain gorillas are well habituated and thus used to people. This means that whether you put on muted colors or bright ones, they would still get along with no problem. However, you would wish to save their eyes from the shouting colors that are opposite of their habitats. The matching color would be more ideal not to stress their eyes and think bad of your visit while on a gorilla safari in Uganda.
One needs to know that whatever the cloth, once he or she sets out to track gorillas the cloth has to get dirty. The slippery surfaces would see you feel the mud and your cloth would feel it too and a mark would be sustained also. Thus, do not mind about cleanliness when you are to embark on the gorilla trekking encounter. If you have in possession of pre muddied shoes, you can use them as well for the trekking experience. Additionally, the gardening gloves prove relevant. You would wish to get some support from the nearby tree branch while trying to negotiate with slippery muddy surfaces which puts you at high chances of grabbing thorny vegetation. In fact, many have opted for walking sticks to generate support as it is always encountered on Uganda gorilla safari tours.
In destinations like Bwindi where it can rain in any time of the day, it makes sense to carry along a waterproof bag of any given type. This is more ideal in the rainy seasons while the tropical sun can require you to carry a hat and sunglasses at any time of the year.
You would also wish to think of your stomach. The duration for gorilla trekking is unpredictable and can stretch up to 8 hours and this would actually be strenuous if you trekked challenging gorilla groups like Nkuringo. This means that you carry a packed lunch with you not to inconvenience other trekkers when you cannot push further because of empty stomach. The challenging landscapes presents an exercise of its own and definitely sweating may not be missed. This shows that drinking water is vital to avoid dehydration.
Also in the rainy seasons, the gorilla trekkers might want to safeguard their cameras. Thus, a water proof bag is recommended. Binoculars may not make more sense with gorilla viewing but if you wish to explore some birds en route, then you can carry it along with you.
Now, in situations where you need to carry much of these equipment including the gear and water, it is advisable to get a porter who is available locally at the starting point. This eases you weight and allows you to negotiate the challenging slopes with ease compared to if you had weight on you. This is a recommended dress code for the trekkers planning to undertake gorilla trekking safaris to Uganda.
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