Tuesday, 29 November 2016

ABYSSINIAN ROLLER ; BIRDS OF UGANDA – UGANDA SAFARI NEWS

Abyssinian Roller
Also referred to as Coracias abyssinicus, the Abyssinian roller is a notable Uganda safari tour bird species belonging to the roller family that breeds across the tropical belt in Sub-Saharan Africa.
The Abyssinian Roller is a medium sized bird stretching from 28 – 30cm marked with a brown back and blue plumage on the rest of the body.  The Adult Abyssinian ground roller feature 12cm tail ribbons and the two sexes are similar as viewed on birding safaris in Uganda.

The rollers majorly perch on trees, overhead wires or posts looking out for gigantic insects along with small rodents to feed. In case of forest fire, they take advantage of the disturbed invertebrates. The diet includes; grasshoppers, crickets, caterpillars and beetles along with alate termites. The Abyssinian rollers are notably fearless and would dive and roll at intruders including humans while displaying its turns and twists forming the background for its naming.  The Abyssinian roller nests in tree hole or building and lays a range of three (3) to six (6) eggs.

Besides the tropical belt of Sub Sahara Africa, Abyssinian roller thrives in the outside world including western Yemen and South western Saudi Arabia. It is common in warm open country areas with some trees and have adapted to farmland and the human settlement.
The Abyssinian roller is listed as species of least concern under the IUCN red list.  In Uganda, this bird species can be explored in Kidepo Valley National Park while on Uganda birding safari and this can be done by purchasing an all inclusive package or by arranging private travel using the self drive car rental services in Uganda.

AKAGERA RIVER ; THE SCENIC PLACES OF RWANDA – RWANDA SAFARI NEWS

akagera-river-rwanda-safarisAkagera River is one of the remarkable East African Rivers traversing more than one country and worth exploring on safaris in Rwanda.  Originating from Burundi where it flows out of Rweru Lake as Ruvubu, Akagera flows through destination Rwanda forming the eastern border with Tanzania before flowing to Uganda maintaining the course on the northern Tanzania until it empties into Lake Victoria one of the popular East Africa Safari tour sites.
Noted to be among the remote sources of the Nile, the Akagera River draws its waters from two main tributaries namely; River Ruvubu of Burundi and River Nyabarongo of Rwanda that empties into Lake Rweru. It flows through Rwanda Safari destination of Akagera National Park draining the largest protected wetland system in the whole of Central Africa. The Akagera National Park which derives the name from the River is marked by beautiful water bodies including River Akagera and the range of lakes like Rwanyakizinga, Shakani, Ihema – the second largest in Rwanda and Gishanju that combine to make the Rwanda tour experience in the park memorable.
Akagera River features rich history that makes it stand out.  The German colonialist Gustav Adolf Von Gotzen crossed to Rwanda from Tanzania at Russumo Falls on River Akagera in the year 1894. Following the defeat of the Germans by the Belgians in the World War I, then later entered the destination Rwanda using the same route in the year 1916. However, the name of Akagera River became more of International concern during the 1994 genocide where the bodies would be dumped in the river and ferried by water up to Lake Victoria resulting into declaration of the state of emergency in Uganda. The features like Russumo Falls and the genocide memorial sites are among the tour products sought after by travelers planning safaris to Rwanda.
River Akagera carrying about 6.4 billion cubic meters of water per year stands as Lake Victoria’s largest single inflow.

PAPYRUS GONOLEK ; BIRDS OF UGANDA – UGANDA SAFARI NEWS

papylus-gonolosThe Papyrus gonolek also referred to as Laniarius mufumbiri belongs to family Malaconotidae and thrives in the destinations of Democratic Republic of Congo, Burundi, Rwanda, Tanzania Kenya and Uganda where it is explored on Africa birding safaris including birding safaris and tours in Uganda.
Standing as a medium sized bush shrike, the Papyrus gonolek stretches to 18cm marked with a dull yellow crown, black head, tail, wings and upper parts except the white bar on their wings. The papyrus gonolek has a whitish lower belly while the upper belly feature an orange crimson as viewed on Uganda birding safaris.
The Papyrus gonoleks thrive in pair or can keep single in the papyrus swamps hanging within the vegetation. They fly few times and cover a short distance across the water to patch in the adjacent papyrus.  The Papyrus gonoleks can be identified by their calls marked with grating and whistling. The diet of the Papyrus gonolek constitutes of majorly insects including; flies, beetles along with ants. They also consume fruit, snails and seeds when available.
This bird species is limited to papyrus swamps in terms of habitat distribution which increases its vulnerability since such habitats are threatened by pollution and encroachment. It is listed on the red list of International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) as the Near Threatened species.
The Papyrus Gonolek is thus considered a water bird and wetland habitats are normally targeted if planning to explore it during a birding safari to Uganda.



YELLOW HAVEN KAMPALA ; A TRANQUIL GETAWAY – UGANDA SAFARI NEWS

yellow-haven-lodge-uganda-safarisNestled on the shores of Lake Victoria Africa’s largest lake and one of the popular Uganda tour sites, the Yellow Haven Kampala is marked with splendid gardens surrounded by the lush freshness which combine to make it an oasis of tranquillity and serenity ideal for getaway from the hassle and bustle of Kampala City.
The water inlets come along with a range of frogs, birds and fish not forgetting the perfect ground for boat rides and experiential canoe paddling along the magnificent lake shoreline in the warm sunshine in a fishing attempt or connecting to any of the adjacent Islands for Barbeque while on a vacation safari holiday in Uganda Africa.
Yellow Haven is a Dutch inspired architectural facility with Ronald Scheer and his wife Joan being the designer architects. The inspiration was to have a remarkable complex in Africa where their friends across the world including those on Safaris to Uganda would be treated to the ultimate offers of nature amidst luxury and unforgettable service.
Accommodation at Yellow Haven Kampala is provided in two (2) storey townhouse and two beautiful single storey units. The apartments are equipped with the modern day European amenities generating ultimate standard and comfort for the guests including those on Uganda Safaris and Tours.
The range of nine (9) en suite Apartments thrive at the Yellow Haven including; Crested Crane equipped with patio, kitchen, 2 double rooms and living room, Wild Geese equipped with bar kitchen, attic balcony, living room and 1 double King sized bed, Kingfisher equipped with living room, kitchen, attic balcony, 1 double King Size bed along with 2 single beds, Ross Turaco equipped with living room, 1 double King sized bed and kitchen, Sunbird equipped with bar kitchen, balcony, living room, 1 double bed along with 1 single bed, Tower marked with 1 small double bed and shower, Wax Bill equipped with 2 bedrooms each fitted with a double bed and balcony with the views of the pool and the lake, Starling equipped with one bed room and Yellow Ibis equipped with 2 bedrooms with 1 bed room marked with 2 single rooms while another has 1 single room.
The facilities at Yellow Haven Kampala include; restaurant overlooking the lake, 22 seat conference facility overlooking the lake, Free Wi-Fi, gift shop, BBQ,  Laundry service, Luggage storage, Secure parking, Sauna/ Massage, Swimming pool, Dutch residence restaurant, bar and lounge along with complimentary drinking water in the fridges. These combine to make the Yellow Haven a perfect getaway for the Uganda safari holiday enthusiasts.


Monday, 28 November 2016

LITTLE BEE-EATER; BIRDS OF KIDEPO UGANDA – UGANDA SAFARI NEWS

little-bee-eater-uganda-safaris-prime-safarisThe little bee-eater also referred to as the Merops pusillus is one of the unique bird species sought after on Uganda birding safaris and tours on Kidepo Valley National Park.
Belonging to the family Meropidae, the little bee-eater thrives greatly in Sub Saharan Africa. It stands as a bright-colored slender bird marked with yellow throat, green upper parts, black gorget and brown upper breast as viewed on birding safaris in Uganda.
The wings of little bee-eater are brown and green while the beak features a black color. They stretch from 15 – 17cm in length making it the smallest bee-eater thriving in Africa. Both female and male are the same. The Little bee-eater breeds in open country marked with bushes and close to water. They consume majorly insects mainly bees, hornets and wasps as explored on Uganda tours. They hunt in low perches of around one (1) metre. It removes the sting from the bees by hitting it repeatedly on the hard surface.
The Little bee-eaters differ from other bee-eaters as they are solitary nesters creating tunnel in the sandy banks or at the entry of the den of the Aardvark.   Four (4) – six (6) white eggs are laid and these are taken care of by both female and male birds. They feature communal roosting as at times explored on Uganda Safaris.

DOMESTIC TOURISM IN LANGO GAINS MOMENTUM – UGANDA SAFARI NEWS

fort-patiko-ugandaThe Local government of Lango along with the private sector have appreciated tourism including Uganda Safari tours as a significant drive to economic development following the campaign drive undertaken by Uganda Tourism Board – the national tourism marketing body.
The local leaders met with the team of tourism officials that were led by Hon. Godfrey Kiwanda the State Minister for Tourism after which they visited a range of Uganda tour sites in the region along with undertaking tourism sensitization in communities and schools. The campaign named Tulambule /Olim Lango attracted a range of participants including Civic and cultural leaders along with Members of Parliament.
This adventure vacation safari in Uganda commenced on Thursday crossing into the Lango region on  National Roads Authority (UNRA) ferry from Nakasongola to the district of Amolatar before proceeding to Kangai Area where the two famous Kings of Buganda and Bunyoro namely Mwanga and Kabalega respectively sought a refuge in their struggle of resisting against colonial rule.
The sub region of Lango covers a range of eight (8) districts including; Amolatar, Alebtong, Apac, Kole, Dokolo, Lira, Otuke and Oyam and apart from the historic sites like the one cited above, the region also features remarkable local cuisine and local music instruments that stimulate exciting cultural dances which combine to make the region worth visiting while on safaris in Uganda.
The Institutions that participated in the drive include the Ministry Tourism, Wildlife and Antiquities, Lango Tourism Cluster and Uganda Wildlife Education Center.  The Tulambule is a nationwide campaign that is aimed at enhancing domestic tourism through site visits, identification, mapping, branding and promotion of tourism products.

BLACK AND WHITE COLOBUS MONKEYS ; PRIMATES OF UGANDA RWANDA – UGANDA SAFARI NEWS

colombus-monkeyThe Black and White Colobus Monkeys are descendants of Old World Monkeys belonging to the Colobus genus native to the continental lands of Africa where they are explored on Africa Safaris including Rwanda Safaris and Tours.
The Black and white colobus Monkey gets its colobus name from its lack of thumbs. They are marked with beautiful black fur that contrasts with extended white mantle, bushy tail, whiskers along with beard around the face as viewed on Safaris and Tours in Rwanda.
The Black and White Colobus Monkeys consumes leaves, flowers, twigs and fruits. They live in habitats such as primary and secondary forests, wooded grasslands and riverine forests. They prefer to thrive more in higher density logged forests compared to primary forests.  They have a gestation period of six (6) months and the new born Colobus monkeys are purely white while cases of allomothering are recorded among these species meaning that the young one is cared by the entire troop other than the biological mother alone.
The Black and White colobus monkeys feature sloppy habits of eating which makes them significant in terms of seed dispersal. They feature a weight of 15 – 30lb and 30inches in size. The predators of the Black and White Colobus Monkeys include humans, large eagles and Leopards.
Nyungwe Forest National Park has the largest troop of Black and White Colobus Monkeys in Africa with over 400 individuals and it is very fascinating to explore during the Colobus monkey tracking activity on Rwanda Safari.  In Uganda, they can be viewed in Kibale National Park, Semuliki National Park and Queen Elizabeth National Park among others. They are noted among the popular primate species sought after on wildlife safaris in Uganda.

Friday, 25 November 2016

GULF AIR SET TO RESUME THE FLIGHTS IN ENTEBBE – UGANDA SAFARI NEWS

gulf-air-safari-uganda-toursThe Ugandan Government and the Kingdom of Bahrain have reached consensus to rejuvenate national carrier ( Gulf Air ) flights to Entebbe International Airport with the aim of enhancing travel between the two countries including transporting the Uganda Safari tour undertakers.
The Uganda’s Ambassador to Saudi Arabia Mr. Rashid Ssemuddu noted that the carrier which had halted operations in Uganda in the year 2012 is set to resume operations under the new bilateral agreement between the two nations aimed at increasing tourism and investment.
During the meeting with Sheikh Khaled Bin Ahmad Al-Khalifa the Bahrain’s Foreign Minister held in Kampala on Wednesday 23rd November, a range of pledges were made by the Bahrain’s representatives including assembling a business delegation from Bahrain to visit Uganda in the month of March 2017 to explore the investment opportunities and strike deals with the local partners.  The King of Bahrain Sheikh Hamad Bin Isa Al Khalifa is also anticipated to take up a safari to Uganda in the near future.
Air Transport is noted to be at center of tourism development as it is recorded that almost half of the international travelers connect to their destinations by Air including those on uganda gorilla tracking safaris . In fact 54% of the International tourists transfer by Air.
There are a range of seventeen (17) carriers that apparently operate flights from Entebbe International Airport including the International re-known carriers such as KLM, Qatar Airways, Turkish Airlines, Brussels Airlines and Fly Emirates along with big African carriers like South African Airways, Kenya Airways, Ethiopian Airlines and RwandAir among others.  Entebbe also is a hub for domestic flight carriers like Aero link which operate scheduled flights to the range of destinations explored on safaris in Uganda.

Busoga’s Tourism to be developed by the Turkey Investors-Uganda safari News

busogaThe Turkish investors were led by the speaker of parliament Honorable Rebecca Kadaga who led them to safari Uganda’s region that is Busoga. Here they were amazed about the interesting tourist attractions in the region including the source of the Nile, the cultural activities and properties, traditional dances and so many others. 
These entertained them and were happy to propose their investment in the region’s tourism sector so as to attract more tourists to come for safaris to Uganda and therefore make Uganda a tourist destination. This will help boost the economy of busoga, the cultural and social sites of busoga hence increasing more Uganda safaris.
The investment in the tourism sector of Busoga will help to promote the tourism sector which will provide employment opportunities to the local people which will help fight poverty in the region. This will therefore make Uganda a better place to live in hence attracting more tours in Uganda as investors come in form of tourists.




More revenues registered from the Tourism sector-Rwanda safari News

savaRwanda has tourism as the major foreign exchange earner and therefore for Uganda to get a step further the sector has to be developed. This has therefore made Rwanda invest more in the sector which has therefore led to the development of the sector and Rwanda as a country. This as a result has also helped to increase more safaris in Rwanda as tourists come to safari the best country.
The sector has also produced a lot of revenues to the government. This is through the taxes earned from the tourists as they come for their Rwanda safaris. There are many tourists in Rwanda that tourists safari as they are on their Rwanda safari visits. As they visit these area tourists always pay many that a percentage of it is given to the government which has therefore contributed to the development of Rwanda hence attracting more safaris to Rwanda.
The revenues collected from the Rwanda safaris or the tourism sector has helped boost the infrastructures of Rwanda such as the roads so as to provide comfortable journeys to the tourists, hotels, lodges, restaurants which help to comfortable sleep to the tourists while on their Rwanda safaris and also good health facilities, the hospitals so as to provide good treatment to the tourists in case of any sickness. This therefore helps to attract more tourists to come and safari Rwanda hence boosting its economy.

AN AMAZING FOREST CAMP – UGANDA SAFARI NEWS


rootsit is an amazing wonder to explore that along the Entebbe – Kampala highway which is the major transfer route for Uganda safari undertakers, there lies a calm and reserved forested wetland adjacent to the cozy shores of Victoria Lake. In Sisa Lumuli, a tranquil Roots Retreat and Camping resort stands out to rest the chilling adventures of those on safaris in Uganda.

This adventurous eco-tourism center showcases perfect camping grounds and authentic traditional bandas (huts) which are designed to blend in the surrounding eco system and derive satisfaction of those Uganda safari undertakers who wish to spend an overnight. It is not only the cozy air that strikes you, but a blend of weaverbird songs, red tail monkey chatters and other sounds of nature combine to provide a perfect escape from the bustling urban life.
The swamp on which the resort is perched is sustainably utilized generating returns, ensuring Uganda safari travellers’ satisfaction and conservation goals. It has been designed to feature amazing sceneries of mock bridges and mini falls. Those on safari in Uganda also have the possibility of traversing the resort with the help of canoes that suit the stream routes that have been established in that place.
As if that is not enough, the Roots Retreat and Camping resort offers a range of tourist activities that those planning safaris to Uganda can include on their list including; forest hiking, outdoor games and interestingly chasing your own meal that is a chicken from the farm.
This Uganda safari offer has been officially launched of recent by the tourism commissioner Rosemary Twinomugisha amidst great entertainment by its proprietor Mr. Okello and the famous Mizizi band.
Uganda safaris/Uganda safari News
Prime Uganda safaris & Tours Ltd safari News.

Thursday, 24 November 2016

NKORE CULTURAL TRUST CALLS FOR INVOLVEMENT IN ANKOLE CULTURAL TOURISM DEVELOPMENT - UGANDA SAFARI NEWS:

ankole cultureUganda is one of the rich tourist destinations not only in East Africa but also at African level. Its tourist base is embedded in a range of attractions and activities including gorilla trekking, cultural tours, wildlife safaris, chimpanzee trekking safaris and adventure tours. Although the core base has been wildlife, scenery and gorillas, the respective government bodies like the Ministry of Tourism and Uganda Tourism Board are making attempts to diversify the product base to include cultural tourism. It is through this effort that the Uganda Tourism Board (UTB) has expressed interests in taping the potential of the Banyankole heritage. However, the public institution that was put in place to preserve, promote and educate about the Nkore culture, values and practices, Nkore traditional cultural institutions including the obligation to restore and preserve the Obugabe as a central aspect of the Nkore culture in regard to the norms and traditions of the Banyankole and the Constitution of the Republic of Uganda, the Nkore Cultural Trust has called for its involvement in the efforts of developing Ankole heritage for tourism.
In the communication made by the Prime Minister of the Ankole Kingdom Dr. G. William Katatumba who is the current chairman of the Nkore Cultural Trust, he expressed dissatisfaction the Trust is having with the UTB in its efforts to develop the heritage sites of Ankole for tourism without involving the body that was entrusted to take care of such sites. Citing the meeting that was held at Igongo Country Hotel on September 1, 2014 under the guidance of UTB, he notes that UTB is interfering with other tourism developers to explore their own potential so as to increase safaris to Uganda. Though the heritage sites of Ankole Kingdom like the Mugaba palace were given out on lease to Uganda Tourism Board for 99 years in 1971 by the Uganda Land Commission after the abolition of Monarchs by President Apollo Milton Obote in 1966 as plot 66 Block 3 under LRV807 Folio 17, the same property was later surrendered to the Uganda Land commission on January 16, 1991 under the instrument no. 246694 recorded at 2:50pm which definitely pardons UTB from validly taking up the affairs of the Ankole cultural heritage.
The Nkore Cultural Trust continue to note UTB has many other potential Uganda safari sites that it can tap for tourism including the Minera and Ihimbo hot springs in Rukungiri, Kanungu massacre site among others apart from rotating around the Ankole Cultural sites of which Nkore Cultural Trust has already shown the enthusiasm to take up. Citing the contribution of the senior Nkore Cultural Trust members in the establishment of Igongo cultural center and Museum, the NCT Chairman notes that the institution has got the expertise and enough human resource that will see the heritage sites of Ankole developed for tourism to benefit the local people and those on safari in Uganda if availed the chances to do so. It is in this regard that this cultural Institution is calling upon Uganda Tourism Board (UTB) to partner up with it in the efforts to develop these heritage sites for tourism.
However, it should be noted that the Ankole Kingdom was not restored when other Kingdoms were being restored with the royal drums and regalia in captivity at the Uganda National Museum which is a way of humiliation, desecration and injustice to the Banyankole monarchists since these properties are considered sacred.
Uganda safaris/Uganda safari News
Prime Uganda safaris & Tours Ltd safari News.
 By Siima Simon Peter

ENYEMEBWA CENTER; A STEP TOWARDS COMMUNITY CONSERVATION IN UGANDA – UGANDA SAFARIS NEWS

uganda safaris imageLocated on the boundaries of Lake Mburo National Park which is famously encountered while on wildlife safaris in Uganda, the Enyemebwa center is a community establishment that is aimed at conserving the Ankole long horned cattle and its heritage.
The center began with a community generated idea of gathering beautiful Ankole cows from various cattle breeders so as to form one herd that would be communally owned and conserved for the next generations. The idea was motivated by the fact that people were abandoning these species of cows due to their low productivity in terms of milk production which is apparently the main income earner for the cattle keepers in the area. The fate of the beautiful Ankole cows which are considered to have a Chwezi back ground was seen as threatened as many people were selling them at a high rate in favor of exotic breeds especially Friesian for milk production which would not only affect the herniate of Ankole but also reduce on tourist products that are encountered by travellers on safari tours in Uganda.
Apparently, the Enyemebwa center stands as the fulfillment of this idea with its beautiful Ankole long horned cows grazing in the rangelands of Nshaara region along with other wild game like zebras, Impala among others which tend to pull travellers to plan safari holidays to Uganda. Besides cows, the center also features the whole of its heritage including; the Cattle Kraal, the milk pot platform and its components, the traditional soil made watering trough, unique crafts that were used like the brush (Enkuyo) along with other artifacts. The center also features traditional huts and the traditional decorations to reflect the true taste of tradition.
This community initiated project is a manifestation of the community efforts towards conservation of various species that may prove to be threatened for the benefit if the generations to come and the travellers on Uganda safari.
Uganda safaris/Uganda safari News
Prime Uganda safaris & Tours Ltd safari News

MABAMBA WETLAND ; BIRDING SITES OF UGANDA – UGANDA SAFARI NEWS

Donbass Arena stadium - aerial view.Mabamba Wetland is one of the popular Uganda birding safari sites with great bird sights including the most sought after Shoebill Stork.
At 48km from Kampala, the Mabamba Wetland is an International Ramsar site and besides the Shoebill, it also offers likely sights of bird species like grey crowned crane, cattle egret, common bulbul, long – crested eagle, hammerkop and grey plantain eater among others which present a diverse and exciting experience for birders on birding safaris in Uganda.
Birding in Mabamba is carried out on small engine-powered canoes run by experienced local guides that have deep knowledge of the special places where the rare shoebill stork can be sighted. The natural and tranquil environment of Mabamba is an extension of Lake Victoria and its magical waterways are themselves fascinating to explore especially for ecotourism enthusiasts while on safari in Uganda.
An estimate of 215 bird species thrive in Mabamba Swamp stretching to 16,500ha including the migrant species from Europe such as White winged terns that tend to come in the month of August escaping the winter conditions. Mabamba Wetland covers a section of Waiga bay to the west of Entebbe International Airport – the main gateway for travelers to and from Uganda including those on adventure vacation tours in Uganda Africa.
The wetland is in the political boundaries of Kamengo and Kasanje sub-counties in the Wakiso and Mpigi Districts and it is accessed from both Entebbe and Kampala. From Kampala, one follows Masaka road 30km before branching to Buyege proceeding 22km to and eventually Mabamba. From Entebbe, one branches off from Entebbe road at Kisubi driving to Nakawuka, Kasanje and eventually Mabamba.
The destination Uganda is an internationally recognized birding destination with a total of 1,057 bird species comprising 50% of the continent’s bird species and 11% of the global bird species. Other famous birding destinations in the country include among others; Bwindi Impenetrable National Park also popular for Uganda gorilla safaris, Queen Elizabeth, Murchison Falls and Semuliki National Parks.

ORIBI ; THE ANIMALS OF UGANDA – UGANDA SAFARI NEWS

oribi-uganda-safarisThe Oribi also referred to as Ourebia ourebi is a notable small antelope that thrive in South, West and East of Africa including Uganda where it is explored on wildlife safaris in Uganda.
Noted to be the only member of the Oribi genus, Oribi was first detailed by August Wilhelm a German Zoologist in the year 1782 and it features a range of eight (8) sub species some of which are viewed on Uganda Safaris and Tours.
Stretching from 50 – 67cm at shoulder and 12 – 22kg in weight, the Oribi coat is yellowish to brown contrasting with the white throat, chin, rump and under parts. It is marked by long limbs and neck and slightly raised back as explored on safari in Uganda. The thin straight horns are present in males stretching from 3.1 – 7.1 inches in length. Their horns feature smooth tips and are ringed at their base.
The Oribis are diurnal and as result feed during the day. They live in herds of about four (4) members with the territories defended by males and these territories range from 25 – 100ha in size. These species are majorly grazers and tend to prefer fresh grasses along with occasional browsing.  Some of the varieties consumed include; Eulalia, Andropogon, Loudetia, Hyparrhenia, Themeda and Pennisetum species.
Regarding reproduction, the Oribis become mature sexually at ten (10) – fourteen (14) months and mating occurs especially in the rainy season and the gestation takes six (6) – seven (7) months after which a single calf is produced.  The calf can be hidden for close to a month with the mother visiting it regularly for suckling and weaning later occurs at 4 – 5 months. The Oribi life span is eight (8) – ten (10) years in the wilderness while in captivity; it can stretch between twelve (12) – fourteen (14) years.
The Oribi thrives in a range of habitats including savannahs, tropical grasslands, floodplains and montane grasslands. Usually, the Oribi choose the habitat depending on the availability of cover against predators.
The Oribi is listed as species of Least Concern on the red list of International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) with global population estimate of 750,000 individuals. However, the population is reducing due to livestock competition and agricultural expansion.
In Uganda, the Oribis thrive in Kidepo Valley, Murchison Falls and Lake Mburo National Parks and are listed among the Uganda Safari wildlife attractions.

RED FACED BARBET ; ENDEMIC BIRDS OF LAKE MBURO NATIONAL PARK – UGANDA SAFARI NEWS

red-faced-barbet-uganda-safaris-uganda-safari-toursRed faced Barbet also known as Lybius rubrifacies is one of the notable bird species always sought after by travelers on birding safaris in Uganda.
Belonging to the family Lybiidae, the Red-faced Barbet lives in dry and moist savannah habitat along with Arable land and the Uganda Safari tour destination of Lake Mburo National Park is noted to be the only habitat in Uganda where this bird species is known to thrive. Other places include; the Rwanda Safari destination of Akagera National Park, North West of Tanzania and Burundi.
It is recorded among the smaller Lybius species stretching to 17cm in length marked with red coloring on the face side while the dorsal head side features black color.  The Red-faced Barbet has yellow wings along with black body as viewed on Uganda birding safaris and tours. The Red-faced Barbet is monomorphic where both male and female are similar in terms of size and behavior.
Red Faced Barbets live in groups of five (5) and above and consume primarily on berries, seeds, insects and figs. Their breeding happens in the months February, March and October.
The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) lists the Red-faced barbet as near threatened on its red list. Its population continues to reduce due to habitat loss including the degazzettement of a section of Akagera National Park that caused a drastic decline of their populations during 1990s.






Wednesday, 23 November 2016

PYGMY FALCON ; BIRDS OF UGANDA – UGANDA SAFARI NEWS

african-pygmy-falcon-uganda-safarisAlso known as African Pygmy falcon and scientifically referred to as Polihierax semitorquatus, the Pygmy Falcon is recorded as the Africa’s smallest raptor thriving to the South  and East of Africa where it is explored on Africa birding safaris including birding safaris in Uganda.
The mature Pygmy Falcon is marked by white face and under parts while the top parts are gray with the females marked by a chestnut back. The brown back occur in juveniles duller that the mature females featuring a rufous wash on the breast. The wing flight feathers are marked with white and black spots while the tail is black and white as viewed on Uganda birding safaris and tours. The Pygmy falcon features a low and undulating flight
The Pygmy Falcon thrives in dry bush and its subspecies P. s. semitorquatus exists from northern South Africa to Angola while the P. s. castanonotus exists in Uganda, Tanzania and from Somalia to South Sudan. The habitat range is estimated at 2.7 million km2 while their total global population stands between 100,000 and 1 million birds.
Regarding the nesting, the Pygmy falcons tend to nest in the nests of white headed buffalo weaver and the dwelling range of these species overlap. They can as well nest with the sociable weavers which tend to have large nests with many chambers. Surprisingly, the Pygmy falcons tend to leave the nest owners alone even though they are bigger in size and bird –eaters. However, a few cases of catching nestling along with adults occur.
Due to their small size stretching from – 19 to 20cm in length, the Pygmy Falcons tend to prey on small reptiles, inspects along with small mammals.
In Uganda, the Pygmy falcons can be explored in the Uganda Safari destination of Kidepo Valley National Park.   And the species are listed as least concern on the IUCN red list.

KLIPSPRINGER ; ANTELOPES OF UGANDA – UGANDA SAFARI NEWS

klipspringer-uganda-safaris-uganda-safariScientifically referred to as Oreotragus oreotragus, the Klipspringer is small antelopes thriving in the southern and Eastern parts of Africa where they are explored on Africa Safari holidays including Uganda safaris and tours.
Noted to be the only members of Genus Oreotragus, Order Artiodactyla and Family Bovidae, the Klipspringer was first detailed by August Wilhelm a German Zoologist in 1783. It appears as a sturdy small antelope with shoulder height of 43 – 60cm and the weight of 8 – 18kg.  The Klipspringer’s coat appearance ranges from yellowish gray to reddish brown which gives it good camouflage in the rocky habitats where it dwells including the ancient Precambrian rocks of Lake Mburo National Park where it is always viewed on Safaris in Uganda. The horns of the Klipspringer are spiky and short stretching from7.5 – 9cm and only exist in males.
The Klipspringers are primarily nocturnal species meaning that they are very active at night and normally take a rest at middle of the day and late night time. They are noted to be selective browsers and feed on flowers, fruit of herbs and shrubs not forgetting soft green shoots. The Klipspringers rarely feed on grass and do not depend on water.
Klipspringers are monogamous to a greater extent compared to other species of antelopes and feature long term pair bonding. The mates are most of the time 5m close to one another. The male Klipspringer creates territory (19 – 121 acres) in which it stays with the partner and the off spring. The gestation period of a klipspringer lasts about six (6) – seven (7) months after which a single calf is produced. The calf separates from its mother after attaining one year of age. This forms part of the themed interpretation about these species by wildlife guides during game drives on a safari in Uganda.
Klipspringers occupy rocky terrain areas marked by sparse vegetation which gives them an advantage in escaping from their predators. The Predators of Klipspringer include; Leopard, Spotted Hyena and the Jackals while the young ones can even be attacked by Baboons and Eagles.
Regarding conservation, the Klipspringers are listed on the red list of International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) as species of least concern. The species have few threats due to the nature of their habitats which are unfavourable for hunting and hardly accessible.


ROAN ANTELOPE; ANIMALS OF RWANDA – RWANDA SAFARI NEWS

roan-entelope-rwanda-safaris-rwanda-toursAlso referred as Hippotragus equines, the Roan Antelope is a savannah dwelling antelope that thrives in many parts of Sub-Saharan Africa including Rwanda where it is encountered on wildlife safaris in Rwanda.
The Roan Antelope is recorded to be among the largest antelope species stretching from 190 – 240cm in length from head to the tail base while the tail along stretches between 37 – 48cm. The Male Roan Antelopes feature a body size stretching from 242 – 300kg while the females stretch between 223 – 280kg. They are named after their Roan colour which is reddish brown marked with lighter underbellies, black faces, white cheeks and eye brows as viewed on Rwanda Safaris and Tours.
Roan Antelopes are marked by erect short manes, prominent red nostrils and light beards. They have ringed horns which can stretch to a metre in males and a little shorter in females. These horns tend to slightly arch backwards.  The Roan Antelopes somehow resemble the sable antelope and in areas where their ranges overlap, they are often confused. However, the Sable antelope males tend to be darker (black) other than dark brown.
Regarding the habitat, the Roan Antelope thrives in savannah grassland and woodland especially in the sub tropical and tropical lands.  They live in groups of 5 – 15 individuals led by a dominant male. The fighting for dominancy normally occurs in males brandishing their horns while both are on their knees. This is one of rare but most exciting sights if encountered on a wildlife safari in Rwanda Africa.
Regarding conservation, the Roan antelopes are listed as species of least concern under the IUCN red list. In Rwanda, they are only found in Akagera National Park to the East of the country and are among the most sought after species in the park by travelers on Rwanda tours.

RWANDAIR BECOMES THE FIRST TO ACQUIRE BOEING 737 NEXT GEN – RWANDA SAFARI NEWS

rwandair-rwanda-safaris-rwanda-toursRwandAir the national carrier of the destination Rwanda and re-known for transporting among others the Rwanda Safari undertakers is credited for becoming the first to acquire the Boeing 737 – 800 Next Generation on the continent of Africa.
Named Karisimbi after the highest Mountain in Rwanda that lies in the Rwanda Gorilla Safari destination of Volcanoes National Park, the brand new aircraft touched the soil of Kigali International Airport on 16th November 2016 and is believed to be the icon of RwandaAir in enhancing capacity and global competitiveness.
The Boeing 737 – 800NG is equipped with a line-fit programme that supports in-flight connectivity including Wi-Fi. It is a dual purpose class cabin featuring 154 seats supporting the passenger expansion drive of RwandaAir including the travellers on Safaris to Rwanda Africa.
The Aircraft is marked with superior reliability, high value returns and fuel efficiency. It has exceptional versatility along with lower operational and maintenance costs thus providing a competitive advantage despite the market it serves or the business model. It proves to be what RwandAir has been in need of especially in the increasing competitive market.
The State Minister for Transport Dr Alexis Nzahabwanimana noted that the acquired aircraft will assist RwandAir in expanding its flights to various parts of the world including Asia, Europe and United States of America effectively. The minister reiterated the government commitment to enhance economic development through Aviation since it is a key driver of tourism and trade.
RwandAir entered into an agreement with the American based Aircraft Lease Corporation in the month of December 2015 to secure two brand new Boeing 737-800 Next Generation aircrafts and now one of them is delivered while the remaining Muhabura named after a Rwanda tour volcano in the Virunga massif is anticipated to be delivered in May 2017.
The arrival of the new Aircraft increases the fleet of RwandAir to twelve (12). The Airline has already acquired the IATA safety audit for ground operations along with IATA Operational Safety Audit certificate. Earlier in September, the carrier had acquired first brand new Airbus 330-200 called Ubumwe.
The expansion of RwandAir fleet comes at a time where the carrier intends to commence flights to Gatwick - the second busiest airport in London in 2017. It also intends to venture into the American market by the end of 2017.
The RwandAir certification makes it globally recognised and affirmed by the International Civil Aviation Authority.

Tuesday, 22 November 2016

AFRICAN SKIMMER; BIRDS OF UGANDA – UGANDA SAFARI NEWS

african-skimmer-uganda-birding-safaris-birding-safaris-ugandaScientifically referred to as Rynchops Flavirostris, the African skimmer is part of the skimmer family and noted to dwell in areas near close to water bodies including lakes, channels, Rivers and lagoons in the South of Sahara where they are explored on Africa birding safaris including birding safaris to Uganda.
African Skimmers are marked with black back, crown, hind neck and long wings while the forehead along with the remaining part of the body is white featuring long bright orange beak that is marked with a yellow tip.  The African skimmers have short white tail while the legs are shinning red as viewed during Uganda birding safaris and tours.  They have an average size of around 38cm in length. Their bill is considerably distinct with the lower mandible more extended than the upper mandible while the sideways are very flattened.
The African Skimmers are noted to fly in lines over the tranquil waters and would dip their lower mandible to extract food. The bird snaps its mouth shut after touching the fish. Their feeding time is at dusk and at dawn and feature good vision. The range of fish species consumed by African Skimmers include; Barbus, Tilapia, Hepsetus, Petrocephalus, Micralestes and Marcusenius.
Regarding reproduction, the African skimmers nest in colonies on big sandbanks and these colonies are comprised of fifty (50) pairs with each pair laying 2 – 3 eggs in a sand scrape. At times, the colonies of African Skimmers are intermixed of other birds that nest in the sand banks including; white-fronted plover, pied avocet and collared pratincole.
African Skimmers are listed as near threatened under the IUCN red list with global population 15,000 – 25,000 individuals. They are migrant species but are noted to be intra-African migrants moving to South Africa when the river water volume reduces at the onset of dry season in the months of April through June and then return to the northwards during the rainy season when the water volumes begin to rise in the months of November through to February.
In Uganda, the African skimmers can be explored along the Kazinga Channel while on a safari in Uganda.

SPOTTED HYENA; THE WILD GAME OF UGANDA - UGANDA SAFARI NEWS

spotted-hyena-uganda-safaris-uganda-toursAlso known as Crocuta crocuta, the Spotted Hyena is an exciting wild animal that is always sought after during wildlife safaris in Uganda.  It is recorded as the remaining member of the Crocuta genus and luckily, it is still widely spread in the savannah stretches of Sub-Saharan Africa.
Belonging to the Animalia Kingdom, the Chordata Phylum, Mammalia class, Carnivora Order, Hyaeninae Family, Genus Crocuta and Crocuta crocuta species, the Spotted Hyena features a population range of 27,000 – 47,000 individuals and is listed as species of least concern under the IUCN red list. However, their population is reducing due to poaching and habitat loss.
This Uganda Safari tour species originated from Asia and were widely spread in the sections of European continent over one million years past towards the end of the Pleistocene period.  The spotted Hyena is notably the largest in the Hyaenidae family and it is differentiated by round ears, bear-like build, spotted pelt, less prominent mane, dual purpose dentition and fewer nipples along with Pseudo penis.
The female Hyenas have unique reproductive organ with the clitoris positioned and shaped like a penis and can erect. As a result, they do not have external vaginal offering as always explored on Uganda Safaris and tours.
The Spotted Hyena is considerably social and as a result thrives in extended groups compared to other carnivores. Interestingly, this large group size instead of enhancing cohesiveness, it only increases intense competition. The Spotted Hyenas feature intense racing for mating and food. Surprisingly, the males though they are the dominant members of their respective groups care less about their cubs and the survival of young ones depends entirely on females.
The Hyenas are very opportunistic and have high adaptability which explains their successful existence in African wilderness compared to other carnivores. They can hunt and scavenge as well with the capacity to eat the prey meat, skin, bones and any other matter. In fact they are noted to be most efficient of all African carnivores when it comes to utilizing of animal matter.
In Uganda, the Spotted Hyenas thrive in the savannah destinations of Lake Mburo National Park, Queen Elizabeth National Park, Murchison Falls National Park and Kidepo Valley National Park and though they are not common sights, they are very fascinating if luckily explored on a Uganda tour.


ENTEBBE; THE 2016 MOST VISITED CITY IN EAST AFRICA – UGANDA SAFARI NEWS

entebbe-airportEntebbe – the main gateway used by many travelers to Uganda including those on Safaris to Uganda has been listed as the 2016 most visited city in the region of East Africa beating other regional famous cities including Kampala, Nairobi, Kigali, Dar es Salaam and Addis Ababa.
It is estimated that a count of 616,700 visitors will visit Entebbe in the year 2016 alone according to the newly released results by MasterCard Global Destination Cities Index that ranked the 132 world’s most visited countries.  Amazingly, these estimated visitors to Entebbe including the Uganda Safari tour undertakers are anticipated to make an expenditure of $419 million.
Entebbe City comes on the eighth position in the range of thirteen (13) cities that were ranked in Africa. It is number one in the region of East Africa followed by Nairobi that is expected to make a count of 323,859 visitors including those on Africa Safari tours in East Africa with an estimated expenditure of $187 million.
The most visited city on the continent of Africa is Johannesburg - the largest city in South Africa the position it has held for the last four years. It is anticipated to raise 3.6 million people with an expenditure of $1.7 billion. The other cities that followed include; Cairo, Cape Town and Casablanca among others in that order.
On world scale, the cities of Bangkok in Thailand, London in UK, Paris in France and New York in USA are noted as the highly visited cities.
Entebbe is a home to Entebbe International Airport, several hotels including Protea, Serena Resort, Imperial Hotels, Boma along wtih guesthouses and back packers. It shelters the northern shores of Lake Victoria – the largest lake in Africa with lots of sandy beaches and is home to Uganda Wildlife Education Center formerly Entebbe Zoo where counts of Uganda wildlife and birds can be explored. It is a destination of itself and travelers on Uganda Safaris and tours always include it on their travel programmes.

Sunday, 20 November 2016

SILVERBACK LODGE ; MIDRANGE LODGES OF BWINDI – UGANDA GORILLA SAFARI NEWS

silver-back-lodge-bwindiSILVERBACK LODGE   stands as the latest addition of Marasa Africa Uganda Safari lodge portfolio offering midrange accommodation in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park.
Positioned in Buhoma sector at about 5 minutes trek to the gorilla trekking assembly point, Silverback Lodge forms a perfect base for exploring the gorilla families of Mubare, Habinyanja and Rushegura while on Gorilla Safaris in Uganda.
The lodge enjoys a vantage location that provides its guests with remarkable panoramic views of the rugged hilly forested landscapes of Bwindi dubbed Impenetrable. The remarkable mist in the morning, clouds cover in the afternoon, heavy down pour and the lush sun set views are all enjoyed at the comfort of your room balcony / common lounge or gardens increasing your Uganda gorilla safari experience.
Silverback Lodge features twelve (12) rooms truly set to the standard of Marasa Lodge chain. The rooms are configured as seven (7) twin rooms, four (4) double rooms and one (1) Single room. The rooms were put together by local materials including the purple slate stone, forest vines and sisal rope thus blending with the ecosystem. The rooms are en suite with hot and cold running water and cozy chairs on the Veranda. With the above room configuration, Silverback lodge can take up to 23 occupants thus capable of accommodating groups on gorilla trekking safaris and tours in Uganda Africa.
Bwindi Impenetrable National Park at 527km about 10 hours’ drive from Kampala is home to a minimum of 400 Mountain Gorillas along with 400 species of trees  and 350 bird species of which 23 are Albertine Rift endemics including the African Green Broadbill highly sought after on Uganda birding Safaris.

 


Saturday, 19 November 2016

SSEZIBWA FALLS; SCENIC PLACES OF UGANDA – UGANDA SAFARI NEWS

ssezibwa-fallsAt about 45 minutes drive to the East of Kampala; the magical Ssezibwa Falls takes its position as one of the fascinating scenic places explored on Uganda Safaris and Tours. Amazingly, the wonders of Ssezibwa Falls go beyond the incredible scenery to include important cultural features in the ancient Kingdom of Buganda.
Buganda which is one the most established Kingdoms on the African continent view the water fall as a central site in its culture and heritage and local site guides are always at their best in detailing this cultural connotation. The legend has it that a lady called Nakkungu Tebatuusa gave birth to twins but in form of Rivers namely Ssezibwa and Bwanda and following birth, Bwanda flowed to the east without hassle while Ssezibwa took a west ward direction but traversing very challenging landscapes including rocks which result into the formation of a magical waterfall that is rewarding to explore on Safaris in Uganda.
The strength of the River to traverse rocks is believed to have been fueled by the spirits and the main Spirit of Nalongo Kubbo is noted to have helped the river to succeed after which she found a rest in a cave in the rocks near the River. The Spirit takes on the shape of a snake and traditionalists claim that it at times gets out to do sun bathing on the rocks. This spiritual attachment makes the site an important worship site by traditional believers who always come in to offer sacrifices and pray for their wishes.
Besides the cultural element, the scenery of Ssezibwa Falls stands beyond the ordinary! The thunderous river plunge is surrounded by lush natural vegetation with beautiful shades of green while the sights and sounds of the range of bird species that number to 150 at the site combine to make the site rewarding to consider while planning a Uganda tour.
Ssezibwa Falls visit can be arranged as part of Jinja Day Excursion or as a part of extended Uganda Safari itineraries stretching to Mount Elgon, Kidepo and Murchison falls National Parks among others and an overnight at the site can as be arranged.

Friday, 18 November 2016

UGANDA TOURISM SECTOR PERFORMANCE REPORT 2015/16; AN OVERVIEW – UGANDA SAFARI NEWS

tourism-boardThe Uganda Tourism Sector Performance report launched under the theme unlocking the tourism potential as an engine for attaining middle income status left members of the tourism fraternity in an enchanting mood.  The launch which was presided over by Rt. Honourable Prime Minister Dr. Ruhakana Rugunda along with Professor Ephraim Kamuntu the Minister for Tourism, Wildlife and Antiquities occurred at Hotel African – one of the accommodation units for Uganda Safari tour undertakers towards the end of the previous week.
The report featured accomplishments in the Uganda’s tourism sector that breathed new hope in the country’s cash flow.  The report revealed that the budget to the Ministry of Tourism had a spontaneous increase from 13.9 billion in 2012/13 and 31.5 billion in 2013/14 to 99.6 billion in 2015/16 which became the largest budget proportion that the sector has ever received though it included a one-off fund to rehabilitate the Uganda tour site of Namugongo Martyrs Shrine ahead of Pope’s visit in Nov 2015. It is believed that from such budget, the Uganda Tourism Board has furthered the cause for promotion of faith based tourism including its registration to participate in the forth coming AKWAABA African Travel Market 2016 in Nigeria that will run from October 30th – Nov 1st 2016.
The report indicated that a count of 1.7 million tourists made it to destination Uganda in the year 2015 and though there was a 5.6% (220,000 to 208,000) decline in recreation, leisure and holiday travel, the travelers interested in visiting Relatives and Friends increased by 2.8%. The increment on the later side covered the gap of those interested in Safaris in Uganda Africa.
More interesting to note is that the Tourism sector emerged the top foreign exchange earner with US$1.35 billion accounting for 23% of the total exports and the sector was followed by the remittances from abroad that fetched US$1.1 billion while Coffee came in the third position with US$400 million.
The hotel occupancy rate stood at 47.6% and 46.2% for the bed and the room respectively and the peak months were July through to September. The highest Occupancy was registered in the western region taking 53.5%.
The business of Tour operators registered 23% growth with the foreign Uganda Safari holiday undertakers constituting 98.87% while the remaining percentage was for domestic tourists.
The performance of government agencies including Uganda Tourism Board (UTB), Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA), Uganda Hotel and Tourism Training Institute (UHTTI), Uganda Wildlife Education Centre (UWEC) and Uganda Wildlife Research and Training Institute (UWRTI) was also reviewed in the report.  UTB is noted to have registered progress in promoting the Pearl of Africa brand including hiring three PR firms to market Uganda abroad, joint East African marketing, single East African visa and support for clusters among others while HTTI continue to struggle with financial constraints that curtail its mandate and UWA struggling with invasive species in the National Parks.


UGANDA TOURISM SECTOR PERFORMANCE REPORT 2015/16; AN OVERVIEW – UGANDA SAFARI NEWS

tourism-boardThe Uganda Tourism Sector Performance report launched under the theme unlocking the tourism potential as an engine for attaining middle income status left members of the tourism fraternity in an enchanting mood.  The launch which was presided over by Rt. Honourable Prime Minister Dr. Ruhakana Rugunda along with Professor Ephraim Kamuntu the Minister for Tourism, Wildlife and Antiquities occurred at Hotel African – one of the accommodation units for Uganda Safari tour undertakers towards the end of the previous week.
The report featured accomplishments in the Uganda’s tourism sector that breathed new hope in the country’s cash flow.  The report revealed that the budget to the Ministry of Tourism had a spontaneous increase from 13.9 billion in 2012/13 and 31.5 billion in 2013/14 to 99.6 billion in 2015/16 which became the largest budget proportion that the sector has ever received though it included a one-off fund to rehabilitate the Uganda tour site of Namugongo Martyrs Shrine ahead of Pope’s visit in Nov 2015. It is believed that from such budget, the Uganda Tourism Board has furthered the cause for promotion of faith based tourism including its registration to participate in the forth coming AKWAABA African Travel Market 2016 in Nigeria that will run from October 30th – Nov 1st 2016.
The report indicated that a count of 1.7 million tourists made it to destination Uganda in the year 2015 and though there was a 5.6% (220,000 to 208,000) decline in recreation, leisure and holiday travel, the travelers interested in visiting Relatives and Friends increased by 2.8%. The increment on the later side covered the gap of those interested in Safaris in Uganda Africa.
More interesting to note is that the Tourism sector emerged the top foreign exchange earner with US$1.35 billion accounting for 23% of the total exports and the sector was followed by the remittances from abroad that fetched US$1.1 billion while Coffee came in the third position with US$400 million.
The hotel occupancy rate stood at 47.6% and 46.2% for the bed and the room respectively and the peak months were July through to September. The highest Occupancy was registered in the western region taking 53.5%.
The business of Tour operators registered 23% growth with the foreign Uganda Safari holiday undertakers constituting 98.87% while the remaining percentage was for domestic tourists.
The performance of government agencies including Uganda Tourism Board (UTB), Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA), Uganda Hotel and Tourism Training Institute (UHTTI), Uganda Wildlife Education Centre (UWEC) and Uganda Wildlife Research and Training Institute (UWRTI) was also reviewed in the report.  UTB is noted to have registered progress in promoting the Pearl of Africa brand including hiring three PR firms to market Uganda abroad, joint East African marketing, single East African visa and support for clusters among others while HTTI continue to struggle with financial constraints that curtail its mandate and UWA struggling with invasive species in the National Parks.