Saturday, 30 April 2016

MAASAI MARA; BEST GAME PARK IN AFRICA

The Maasai Mara Game Reserve according to the World Travel Awards stands as the best park on the continent of Africa which is attributed to its myriad of wild game, predators along with the historical and wondrous wildebeest migration that have for long formed the spectacular wildlife safari in Uganda and Kenya with the former presenting an ideal primate viewing extension.
This ranking of Maasai Mara Park gives it a grand lift following the last year’s eighth position ranking by the Safari bookings in best 50 national reserves in Africa.  Considered the epitome of the Kenya’s wildlife circuit, the Maasai Mara National Park won other famous wildlife parks including Kruger National Park in South Africa, Serengeti National Park in Tanzania and the Botswana’s Central Kalahari Game Reserve.
To the north tip of Zanzibar, the Diamonds La Gemma dell'Est hosted the Red Carpet event where the Maasai Mara Park was recognized with this prestigious award in the safari world.  The extensive savannah landscapes of Maasa Mara Park are indeed magical to explore with remarkable wild game including the African Big five along with other wild game species and for long, the world travelers have been combining its encounter with the gorilla trekking safaris in Uganda to enjoy the diverse natural offerings of East Africa.
On this ranking, the Maasai Mara National Park was followed in hierarchy by Botswana’s Central Kalahari Game Reserve, Namibia’s Etosha National Park, Uganda Safari tour destination of Kidepo Valley National Park, South Africa’s Kruger National Park, and Serengeti National Park in Tanzania.
The range of winners in other fields at the 9th April 2016 World Travel Awards Africa & Indian Ocean Gala Ceremony included; Serena Hotels as the Africa’s leading hotel brand, the Kenya Airwards as the leading Africa’s Airline and its business class became the best in Africa.  These awards are conducted every year and they recognize three (3) individual along with collective accomplishments within every geographical region.
With the introduction of the Single Tourist Entry Visa for East Africa, Maasai Mara can be explored by travelers on safari in Uganda, Rwanda or Tanzania at only $100 Visa saving both time and money.

TOURISM DEVELOPMENT; A DRIVE TO UGANDA ’S ECONOMIC GROWTH

Following a period of complacency, the government economic analysts and technocrats have eventually realized that the economy of Uganda need a faster drive despite the long held notion that it is resilient.
At the 6th annual high level policy dialogue about the National Budget that was arranged in Kampala by the Advocates Coalition for Development and Environment (ACODE) on Tuesday 26th April 2016, Keith Muhakanizi – the Secretary to the Treasury and the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Finance noted that the country requires a bullet that would twist the economy and to him this bullet is none other than tourism.
The official made the remark during his presentation and argues that for long the Uganda Safaris and tours along with other forms of tourism have been at the peripheral of the essential drives to economic growth and development.
The issue of increasing import bill is a serious one and the country ought to consider all the possible efforts to neutralize it. The gap has been further widened by the political unrest in the neighboring South Sudan that made the export of agricultural produce difficult. This puts tourism at the forefront of providing the solution. The foreign exchange brought in by travelers on gorilla safaris in Uganda through purchase of gorilla permits, those on Uganda tours to wildlife parks as entrance fees among other forms if capitalized and increased can help to narrow the import export gap.
The recently approved budget estimates allocated the tourism industry an amount of Shs 81b rising from the last year’s allocation of Shs63b culminating into 21% increment. From this budget allocation, the Ministry of Tourism Wildlife will receive sum of Shs19.4billion rising from the last year’s allocation of Shs11.8billion while the Uganda Tourism Board allocation increased to Shs11.4billion from Shs6.4billion which is really a positive move to enhancing marketing of Uganda safari tour products both locally and internationally.
The tourism industry apparently gives jobs to over one million people direct and indirect in range of fields like accommodation units like service jobs, housekeeping, managerial among others, entertainment, transport like tourist driving and food industry.  Uganda is noted to have received 1.3million people in the year 2014 which is far above the 600,000 people that were received in the year 2006. These tourist arrivals have spurred the national earnings to $1.4 billion from $1.2 billion earned in the year 2006 and the sector injected $6.3 billion to the national Gross Domestic Product in the financial year 2014/15.


Friday, 29 April 2016

BAKER'S LODGE; THE ONLY LUXURY IN SOUTHERN MURCHISON


BAKER'S LODGE Positioned to the Southern bank of the Nile River, is the only luxury safari lodge on southern side of Murchison Falls National Park that opened its doors to affluent Uganda safari undertakers in early last year.
This remarkable game lodge is an addition to the chain of Uganda’s exclusive camps which have other fascinating facilities like Ishasha Wilderness Camp in Queen Elizabeth National Park – Ishasha sector and Buhoma Lodge in the Uganda gorilla safari destination of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park.
Baker’s Lodge draws its name from the famous English Explorer Sir Samuel Baker who is known as the first European to discover Murchison Falls on his journey to find the source of the Nile from the North. The Lodge is constructed in a spacious private area free of dense undergrowth but only with a beautifully landscaped grass along with huge shade trees and wetland that connect it to the river presenting a serene environment for guests Uganda safaris and tours. The Nile River below offers sights of Hippos, egret bird along with elephants bathing in the waters.
The position of the lodge keeps it favorable to use it as a base for exploring Murchison Falls National Park including engaging in activities like game drives in the northern section, boat trips to the bottom of the falls and the delta Area, Chimpanzee trekking in Kaniyo Pabidi and top of the falls.
Baker’s lodge features a central lounge that is thatched with a dining area and bar while its raised platform presents cross sectional views of the surrounding ecosystem. The battery recharging facilities along with Wi-Fi are provided for in the central Area enabling the guests to post the day’s encounters and share the memories back home. The soothing waters of the swimming pool offer a refreshing experience in the rather hot Murchison environment.
For a guest on safari to Uganda’s Murchison Falls National Park, a thatched private cottage awaits him / her. Elevated from the ground to maintain the views of the Nile River, each of the eight (8) units feature overlooking views, adequate aeration, mosquito nets, solar hot shower in en suite wash room and safety deposit box.

THE TOWERING GIANTS IN THE TRUE AFRICAN WILDERNESS


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The Pearl of Africa Uganda would not be better described without talking of the magical Kidepo Valley National Park and its offerings which qualify it among the popular Uganda safari tour sites.
Though many would first think of giant elephants – the members of African big five when it comes to remarkable herbivores in Kidepo, the virgin wilderness of Kidepo presents more than that. Standing as the world’s tallest mammal and the largest ruminant, the Giraffe features a camel like shape along with a colouring like that of a leopard, browsing to the higher layers of trees facilitated by its long neck as viewed on safaris in Uganda.
The Giraffes are remarkably tall with even the new born babies taller than some of the human beings. Its towering height never disappears in the park since even at the time of giving birth; it remains standing and maintains the similar posture while sleeping. These Uganda tour products are re-known for featuring 10minutes to 2 hours of sleep making it the single mammal with very short sleeping requirements.
The young one of a Giraffe can stand within half an hour after its birth and following a period of 10 hours, they can run along with their families. These young ones stay in the Nursery groups up to when they are 5 months old as they play and rest with their mothers.
The extensive savannah landscapes of Kidepo are gifted with these social and peaceful animals that hardly engage in any fighting. The male necking behaviour where they hit necks last for a few minutes and hardly causes any injury. Necking is one of the interesting aspects among Giraffes that always astonishes the travelers on Uganda Safaris and tours visiting Kidepo. Giraffes feature distinct spot patterns while their tongues are over 45cm.
Kidepo National Park is believed to possess an estimate of 36 giraffes that graze freely in the park. Other destinations in Uganda where Giraffes are found include; Murchison Falls National Park to the north west of the country and Lake Mburo National Park to the Uganda’s south west after they were trans-located in 2015.

Thursday, 28 April 2016

THE MINISTRY OF TOURISM GIVES BUGANDA MONUMENT MORE CREDIBILITY

The Buganda Monument is positioned in between the two of the Uganda safari tour sites namely; Royal Palace of the Kingdom of Buganda at Lubiri and the hill of Bulange the home to the famous parliament of Buganda along the Kabaka Anjagala road also referred to as the Royal Mile.
The Buganda Monument stands as a huge split drum locally referred to as Engalabi featuring other smaller drums locally known as Nankasa representing a complete set of drums that are used in the Buganda Kingdom whose existence date far baack to the ancient times and recognised among the few Kingdoms of Africa that are still standing.
This monument received much more credibility when the Ministry of Tourism, Wildlife and Antiquities registered it as an object of monumental value to the inventory list of historic properties and places in the Uganda that would as well be of interest to the travelers on Safaris in Uganda.
Named Nantawetwa Monument, the restricted access gap in the middle of it is only a preserve of the Kabaka as he transfers from Lubiri to Bulange. The direct road connecting Lubiri and Bulange affirm that these two places are on a straight axis as it is believed in the Buganda traditions that the spirits watching over Kabaka walk in a straight line. Another belief states that the straight road was made to make sure that the King is not obstructed along his way between these two places. It is also noted that the strategic location of Bulange hill had a protective motive for the palace as it would be easier to spot out enemies that might attack the palace.
The Nantawetwa Monument rises to 11m in height with a diameter area of 12.8 metres featuring a shield and the spear hanging in between the split drum representing the Kingdom’s emblem appearing in the Buganda Flag. The Monument’s impressive outlook makes it of interest to the traveling public including visitors on Uganda Safaris.
The splitting of engalabi into two pieces has no any cultural attachment but only to provide for access through the roundabout. The Buganda Monument was put together by three (3) teams including the; Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA), SASA Architects along with Global Youth Artisans.
In the process to give the monument a node, the Commissioner of Museums and Monuments in the Ministry of Tourism Ms. Rose Mwanja Nkaale issued a letter to Jenifer Musisi the Executive Director of KCCA noting that the property was voted to be of national significance by the team of conservators and the respective certificate will be given out at the respective time. The monument’s association with the great activities and events in the historical kingdom of Buganda gives it a worth attention.
The recognition of the Buganda Monument in the list of national inventory of the same gives it an advantage in the fields of preservation along with publicity that would in turn attract the traveling world on tours in Uganda to explore it thus contributing to the Kingdom’s revenue.

THE RECAP OF PRESIDENT MUSEVENI TOUR UGANDA SAFARI SITES

Amidst very tight schedules, President Museveni is hailed to have spared time to visit some of the tour Uganda Safari sites at the beginning of April 2016. Thanks to the Kasese clashes that prompted the President’s visit to the region of Rwenzori on the security assessment mission.
Following the security unrest that characterized the region of Rwenzori in the after mass of elections which included alarming killing of people including security personnel, many of the government officials visited the region including President Yoweri Museveni. On his security assessment mission, the President also managed to identify time to visit the Uganda Safari tour destinations in the region.
It is recorded that the President visited Semliki Valley National Park in the district of Bundibugyo on April 6th 2016 exciting the revelers including the Uganda Wildlife Authority staff and the visitors on safaris in Uganda that had visited the park. The President undertook the famous Sempaya Nature Walk exploring the remarkable hot springs and the lush forest cover not forgetting its inhabitants like monkeys and birds. The Sempaya walk is a famous activity in the park allowing the safari Uganda enthusiasts to explore the male and female hot springs namely; Bitente and Nyansimbi with a boiling geyser of over 100 degrees Celsius and up to 2m sprout.
When still on the very mission, the President embarked on another tour to Queen Elizabeth National Park one of the most visited park in the country and a re-known UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. His visit on April 12th was welcomed y a lot of excitement not only by Park management but also the range of lodges accommodating travelers on Uganda Safaris and tours like Mweya Safari Lodge and other visitors as well.
The President explored the savannah stretches of Queen Elizabeth National Park including the Kasenyi plains which is the park’s main wild game viewing haven with possible sights of the four of the Big five namely; Lions, Buffaloes, Elephants and Leopards along with other animals like Uganda Kob, deffassa water buck, spotted hyena, side stripped jackal, the Topis among others. Besides Kasenyi landscapes, the President was also astonished by the recreational and yet fascinating launch cruise on the famous Kazinga Channel which connects Lake George and Lake Edward dotted with numerous Hippos and the world’s second largest reptile – the Nile crocodile along with a range of bird species including; Open Billed stork, grey heron, fish eagle, pink backed and gray white pelican, great and long tailed cormorants, saddle-billed stork and the wild game drinking on the shoreline like Buffaloes and Elephants not forgetting the overlooking Rwenzori Mountains – the legendary mountains of the moon.
The President’s visit to these sites acted as an assurance to the traveling world of the peace and security in these sites and an encouragement to the natives to cherish domestic tourism take up Uganda Safaris to these magical sites in their motherland.

FAST JET COMMEMORATES THE TWO MILLION PASSENGER FLOW

Fast Jet one of the re-known low cost carriers on the continent of Africa and a darling to many travelers including those on safari to Uganda is commemorating a two million passenger hit.
The carrier which commenced operation four (4) years ago on the continent of Africa has seen rapid growth in its passenger flow in the last two (2) years. This is because it hit one (1) million passengers in January 2014 and now one year down the road, it has realised another one (1) million passenger flow.
The Airline is convinced that the achievement is an indicator of its penetration in the hearts and minds of the first and repeat clientele in the destination Tanzania including those that connect from their Uganda Safaris and tours along with the other countries in East and South African region.
The Fast jet carrier records to have operated 21,800 flights at both domestic and International cheaper fares growing its fleet to five (5) A319 aircrafts according to its Tanzanian General Manager John Corse. The scheduled flights have been increased to over 250 on return basis per week across its network culminating into considerable affordability and accessibility to a range of passengers invigorating them to travel frequently for business and leisure including taking gorilla trekking safaris in Uganda.
Following its launch in the month of November 2012, Fast Jet has been operating the domestic routes that join Mwanza, Dar es Salaam, Mbeya, Kilimanjaro and Zanzibar in its home country of Tanzania and a range of International routes using Dar es Salaam as its hub connecting Lusaka in Zambia, Entebbe in Uganda, Johannesburg in South Africa, Nairobi in Kenya and Victoria falls and Harare in Zimbabwe.
The Fast Jet two millionth passenger was Peace Mteketa Matovu a citizen of the Republic of Tanzania and the airline’s most busy destination from its hub Dar es Salaam is destination Mwanza with a count of close to 829,000 passenger flow since its launch.
The commitment of the carrier to the stimulation of tourism and business on the continent of Africa is visibly seen in its provision of unmatchable low cost carrier services that are first of its kind in the region. In the Uganda’s tourism field, the carrier is hailed for operating direct flights from Kilimanjaro to Entebbe and Vice versa which makes it easier for the travelers interested in safaris in Uganda and Tanzania to transfer easily.  As a result of its remarkable services in terms of safety, affordability and reliability, Fast Jet was recognized at 23rd Annual World Travel Awards held in Zanzibar as the leading low cost carrier.


GAME RANGERS BOOST THEIR CAPACITY IN TECHNOLOGY THROUGH GORILLA CENSUS

The park rangers and trackers in gorilla safari destinations of Uganda, Rwanda along with Democratic Republic of Congo have embarked on the utilisation of the Global Positioning System (GPS) along with other tools for the gorilla counting exercise in the Virunga massif.
During the gorilla census exercise, the enumerators follow a gorilla trail also used by travellers on gorilla trekking safaris in Uganda and Rwanda traversing the dense towering bamboo tree species before locating the gorilla nest site from where the scientific recording takes place.
It can be noted that unlike the human census, during gorilla counting, the enumerator does not get the opportunity to meet the mountain gorillas physically but they aim at spotting the nests where the gorillas spent an overnight. The records of gorilla solid waste are taken for examination of genetics from which the lineage and age of the identified species is determined.
The veterinary experts assert that when the dung of the gorilla is measured and tested in laboratories, it offers an opportunity to identify the gorilla numbers thriving in the park along with their DNA, sex and age among other aspects. This information is very helpful to both the conservationists and the undertakers of gorilla tracking safaris in Uganda and Rwanda as it brings out in-depth facts about these remarkable creatures.
The exercise involves use of more sophisticated scientific methods and materials including the use of cyber trucker which is used to record all the data gathered from the field as it awaits laboratory studying. Other tools like Global Positioning Systems (GPS) were utilized to identify locations. The use of this modern technology with no doubt enhanced the technical capacity of the game rangers that participated in the exercise.
The exercise which was undertaken in the Greater Virunga Trans-boundary collaboration intends to ascertain the current number of mountain gorillas. The results of this exercise are set to be released in the year 2017 and will form a considerable yardstick for the future of gorilla conservation and tourism.
The GVTC is credited for initiating and maintaining the combined effort for joint management and conservation of the critically endangered Mountain gorillas through enhanced security and collaboration against habitat loss and wildlife threats including poaching. The mountain gorillas form the foundation for gorilla safaris and tours which is among the strongholds of tourism industry in the respective governments.
The gorilla census is conducted every after five (5) years in a joint arrangement of the three (3) states under their respective wildlife conservation bodies.