Friday, 17 March 2017

The historical journey of Sheraton Kampala hotel – Uganda safari news

sheraton , uganda tours , wildlife safarisSheraton Kampala Hotel is one of the remarkable oldest five star hotels offering accommodation to the up-class travelers in Uganda including those on Uganda safaris and tours.
Operating in Uganda for the last fifty (50) years following its opening on October 8th 1967, Sheraton Kampala Hotel has experienced several managing company operators up to the present day Constellation Hotels & Resorts which runs it under franchise of Sheraton. This upmarket facility popular among the affluent business travelers and the Uganda tour undertakers was first named Apollo Hotel generating the name from Dr. Apollo Milton Obote the then Prime Minister of Uganda and later became Kampala International Hotel following the overthrow of Obote by Amin before it was renamed back to its former name after the fall of Amin in 1979.
At the launch of the Kampala Sheraton Hotel Golden Jubilee celebrations, the General Manager Jean – Philippe Bittencourt applauded the facility for making it through all these years and disclosed its interest in capitalising on its experience strength to be the leader of innovations and memorable service delivery to the guests including those on holiday safaris in Uganda.
In a bid to commemorate the Jubilee year, Sheraton Kampala Hotel came up with various activities including Art exhibitions, Vintage Car show, Food & Cultural Festivals, Special days’ celebrations including Christmas, Easter, Eid Al Fitr among others and the helm of these jubilations will be in October and will be officiated by H.E The President of the Republic of Uganda.
This historical hotel features a total of 236 rooms categorized as Executive rooms, Club rooms and Diplomatic Suites and enjoys a wide range amenities including conference centers, swimming pool, wedding venues including the lush extensive gardens, lounge, bars and restaurants among others.

Thursday, 16 March 2017

The black-headed gonolek; birds of Uganda – Uganda safari news

birding , uganda birding safarisAlso referred to as Laniarius erythrogaster, the black-headed gonolek is among the exciting bird species explored by travelers on Uganda birding safaris.
Belonging to the Malaconotidae family, the black-headed gonolek thrives in the countries of Cameroon, Burundi, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo, Chad, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Nigeria, Sudan, Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda where it is encountered while on birding safaris in Uganda.
The habitats of black-headed gonolek include; dry savannah, tropical or sub tropical shrubland along with flooded or wet grassland. It is marked by distinct colours with red under parts and black upper parts and can be easily spotted at a distance while on bird watching safari in Uganda.
The black-headed gonolek feature a distinctive call and communicates simultaneously with the partner. The call of a male gonolek is loud and clear like a bell sound and the female would immediately respond the male’s call with a harsh grating response as at times heard of Uganda birding tours.
Regarding conservation, the black-headed gonolek is listed as species of Least Concern on the red list of the International Union for Conservation of Nature.

Thursday, 9 February 2017

Black bee-eater; birds of Uganda – Uganda safari news

bee eater , uganda biring safarisScientifically referred to as Merops gularis, the Black bee-eater is among the popular bird species explored on birding safaris in Uganda.  Belonging to the Meropidae family, the Black bee-eater thrives in the tropical parts of Sub Saharan Africa majorly at margin of the rain forest and secondary woodland.
The black bee-eater stretches to 20cm in length and features mainly a black color, scarlet throat and chin, pale blue eye brow, streaked breast, under tail coverts and rump, blue belly and rufous primaries as viewed on Uganda birding safaris and tours.
It is distributed in a range of African Countries including Cameroon, Angola, Central African Republic, Ivory Coast, Democratic Republic of Congo, Gabon, Equatorial Guinea, Ghana, Guinea- Bissau, Nigeria, Liberia, Togo, Sierra Leone and Uganda where it is always sought after by birders on Safari in Uganda.
Regarding conservation, the black bee-eater is listed as species of Least Concern on the red list of International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

Kyambura gorge; the natural wonders of Uganda – Uganda safari news

kyambura gorge , uganda safarisTo the East of the Uganda Safari destination of Queen Elizabeth National Park, Kyambura gorge - a great natural feature that stretches to 100m in depth below sea level thrives.
Kyambura gorge also referred by the Valley of Apes supports populations of Chimpanzees which are recorded to be among the Great Apes and among the closest relatives of man in terms of DNA. The lush tropical forest within the gorge acts as an oasis in the desert as it is the only habitat in the verdant savannah landscape of Queen Elizabeth National where the Chimpanzees can thrive. This has made Kyambura gorge among the popular sites explored by travellers on Chimpanzee trekking safaris in Uganda.
Extending to about 1km in width and 100m in depth, Kyambura gorge stands as an amazing scenic feature suitable for sightseeing experience. It has narrow steep walls which makes down hike and up hike challenging but memorable to especially the travellers on Africa adventure vacation safari in Uganda.
On the gorge floor, there lies the majestic Kyambura River with populations of resident Hippos which make it very exciting to explore. The tropical forest also supports counts of birds and other wildlife like Black and white colobus and red tailed monkeys. These combine to make the nature walk activity through the gorge while on Uganda tour worthwhile.

Hilton group loses out on pearl of Africa hotel to Rezidor – Uganda safari news

uganda safari , safaris in ugandaThe Hilton Hotel Chain has for all along believed that it would take over the operation of the AYA property once the construction is done. To many people’s surprise, Rezdor Hotel Group has instead taken over this multi-million property that is anticipated to offer accommodation to a range of travelers including those on Safaris in Uganda after opening to operations.
The property which has taken on the name Pearl of Africa Hotel is located on top of Nakasero Hill and enjoys the all round views of Kampala which is currently the major starting and ending point for Uganda tours.
Rezdor Hotel Group is known to be managing a range of luxury hotels globally under the Quorvus Collection brand and by taking over the management of Pearl of Africa Hotel, it joins a range of other International hotel chains already operating in Uganda like Sheraton, Protea, Serena and City Blue serving a great deal of local and international market among which are Uganda Safari undertakers.
The Hotel which is anticipated to open up for business at the beginning of March 2017 has been under construction for over ten (10) years. The construction of this 23-Storey facility commenced in 2006 with the aim of accommodating the delegates of CHOGM in Nov 2007 but things did not go as planned due to funding and administrative challenges.
Pearl of Africa Hotel features about 300 rooms, 740 m2 ball room, two (2) board rooms, nine (9) meeting rooms, three (3) food and beverage outlets, business center and Health club which qualifies it as an upmarket hotel with the capacity to serve affluent travelers including those on vacation holidays in Uganda Africa.

Uganda set to celebrate the world wildlife day - Uganda safari news

wildlife day , uganda safarisUganda will on March 3rd join the entire world to commemorate the World Wildlife Day which raises the awareness and celebrates the global flora and fauna including that explored on Uganda Safaris and tours.
Running globally under the theme “Listen to the young voices”, the 2017 World Wildlife Day will focus on the global youth with the intention of drawing them to the world of Conservation. The destination Uganda will mark her celebrations at the Uganda National Museum under the theme “Mainstreaming the youth in wildlife conservation”.
The World Wildlife Day Celebrations in Uganda will feature a week long events in which the natives and travelers on Safaris in Uganda can participate in. Among these include; the Wildlife Marathon on Feb 26th, Wildlife Exhibition at the Uganda Museum from March 1st –3rd, Wildlife Street Launch along Kira Road on March 3rd after which the Official Celebrations will be marked at the National Museum.
About 1.8 billion people which close to the one quarter of the global population is between 10 – 24 years according to the United Nations Population Fund. This is the age category that the United Nations considers to be youth. However, there has been concern about the youth attitude, behavior and beliefs towards environment which threatens the conservation of environment and wildlife in particular. Thus, centering this year’s wildlife celebration among the youth aims at stimulating responsibility and grooming a generation that can safeguard the offers of nature.
The World Wildlife Day was declared by the United Nations General Assembly on Dec 3rd 2013 and besides celebrating the benefits generated from conservation, the day acts as a reminder towards strengthening the illegal wildlife trade and poaching
Uganda features a range of ten (10) National Parks and over twelve (12) game reserves which support a myriad of wildlife including the critically endangered species like the Mountain Gorillas explored on gorilla safaris in Uganda, classic big game including African Big five and the lush flora.  The country is also home to 1057 bird species comprising 50% of the Africa’s bird species and 11% global species forming a stronghold for birding safaris in Uganda.

Pearl of Africa tourism expo is on – Uganda safari news

uganda africa tourism expo 2017Running for the third time, the Pearl of Africa Tourism Expo has already kicked off with the pre-expo activities that include familiarization trips for the hosted buyers now on going. This event which is categorized among the MICE Uganda tour products plays a significant role in bringing together a range of tourism sector stake holders to shape the future of individual and destination travel business.
The actual expo which will run for three days from Feb 17th – 19th at Kampala Sheraton Hotel Gardens under the Theme “Tourism is everybody’s business” will be showcasing a range of products including Uganda Safaris and tours along with presenting a good platform where the business to business and business to customer networks can be developed.
Besides transport, attractions and accommodation, the Pearl of Africa Expo will also feature ancillary services including Insurance, banking and tourism related technology which is always required to enhance the comfort of travelers on Safaris in Uganda.
The participants will include; tour operators and travel agencies like Prime Uganda Safaris & Tours Ltd, hotels and lodges, National Parks and game reserves under Uganda Wildlife Authority, Conservation Agencies and Airlines among others. The Expo has attracted over 150 hosted buyers, media and exhibitors from various parts of the world including; Austria, USA, Canada, New Zealand, Russia and United Kingdom.  Participants from African continent include; Kenya, Zimbabwe, Tanzania, Zanzibar, Rwanda, Ghana, South Africa and Nigeria.
The Pearl of Africa Tourism Expo will then be crowned with Uganda Tourism Excellence Awards on Feb 19th at Sheraton Hotel Rwenzori Ball room where individuals and organisations will be recognized for their contribution towards the tourism sector development in Uganda.

Tuesday, 7 February 2017

African pied wagtail; birds of Uganda – Uganda safari news

Uganda birding safarisThe African Pied Wagtail scientifically known as Motacilla aguimp is among the popular bird species explored on Uganda birding safaris belonging to the Motacillidae family.
African Pied Wagtail appears as white and black bird species with black color on the upper parts and the white color on the under parts as viewed on birding safaris in Uganda. The Juvenile birds feature grey color and generally the African Pied wagtails stretch to 20cm in length.
Spread in many countries of Sub Saharan Africa including Uganda where it is explored by birders on Safari in Uganda, the African Pied Kingfisher thrives in tropical and subtropical flooded or seasonally wet low land grassland, fresh water marshes and along rivers.
The African Pied Wagtail is a monogamous bird species and constructs its cup-shaped nest using grass and feathers on convenient tangle of sticks and buildings in settlement areas. An average of 3 – 4 eggs are laid with the female undertaking the incubation but after hatching, the young is fed by both sexes.
The diet of the African Pied Wagtail majorly consists of insects though it extends to include; grass seeds, invertebrates, scraps of human food and small fish.
Regarding Conservation, the African Pied Wagtail is listed as species of Least Concern on the red list of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). Travelers on Uganda Safaris normally view this bird species in a range of protected areas including National Parks like Murchison Falls and Queen Elizabeth National Park and wetland habitats like Mabamba Swamp.

Ugandan mountain gorilla locks Londoners at Trafalgar square – Uganda gorilla safari news

gorilla safaris in ugandaBakwate a mimic of a Mountain Gorilla thriving in the Uganda gorilla safari destination of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park appeared at the famous London’s Trafalgar square luring the Londoners into remarkable amusement.
In an effort to encourage world travelers to take Gorilla safaris to Uganda, the Uganda Tourism Board along with KAMAGEO a Public relations firm based in UK arranged the presentation of this historical Silverback at Trafalgar Square – one of the most popular spots in the world.
The Silverback which first emerged from the London based Uganda High Commission frightened the visiting school children but became a point of concentration with even people interacting with it and sharing yellow bananas. An animatronic version of a Mountain Gorilla posed for photos, played with a traffic cone and plucked the bananas from the visitors making the moment exciting and memorable.
Besides the appearance at the Trafalgar Square in a range of shifts, Bakwate is set to also appear at London’s Olympia’s Destinations Travel Show ending on Sunday.  The interaction with the Mountain Gorilla offered the people a chance to experience their own “David Attenborough moment”
It can be noted that gorilla trekking in Uganda has strengthened conservation efforts leading to steady Mountain Gorilla population increase.  In fact, the country has of recent experienced a Mountain Gorilla baby boom evidencing the possible continuity of these species that are recorded to be cortically endangered world over.
Mountain Gorillas in Uganda thrive in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park and the destination is noted to be containing a half of their world population currently estimated at 880 since Bwindi alone features a minimum of 400 individuals.
Uganda gorilla safaris can be undertaken all the year-round with the gorilla permit costing $600 for foreign non residents and $450 in the months of April, May and November which is way cheaper compared to the neighboring destination.

where to do night game drives in Uganda – Uganda safari news

uganda toursThe destination Uganda has a range of safari activities that are provided to the satisfaction of those that take up tours to Uganda. Night game drive is recorded to be among those exciting activities and it is great to know where to do it from.
Of all the ten (10) National Parks where many of the Uganda Safari holiday activities are carried out including gorilla trekking safariswildlife safaris and mountaineering adventure tours, the Night game drive activity is done in only three of these. These include; Murchison Falls National Park, Queen Elizabeth National Park and Lake Mburo National Park.
In Murchison Falls National Park, the Night game drive is undertaken in the open savannah stretches to the north of the Nile River gaining remarkable views of the nocturnal and the cats which tend to do the hunting in the late evening. The view of the Nile River in the moonlight is also rewarding.
In Queen Elizabeth National Park, the Night game drive is undertaken in the famous Mweya peninsular in between the Kazinga Channel and Lake Edward. The night game drive is prohibited in the Kasenyi Sector to minimise stress on wildlife since most travellers on Safari in Uganda tend to flock this sector for day game drives.
In Lake Mburo National Park, the night game drive is undertaken in its savannah stretches traversing the acacia woodland gaining possible views of a range of nocturnal species like porcupine, hare, Aardvack, honey badger, white-tailed mongoose, side – stripped jackal, bush pig, serval cat, spotted hyena, jenet cat, civet, black galago and thick – tailed Galago.
The Night game drive activity can be done in Uganda Wildlife Authority Vehicle or Tour Company Vehicle but with the company of an armed ranger along with a Spot light torch.  It is such a unique encounter to explore the wild game and beautiful landscapes under the stars of tropical Africa.

Madhvani group likely to take over Umubano hotel – Rwanda safari news

umubano hotel ,Rwanda safarisThe Madhvani Group is likely to take over the Umubano Hotel if the privatisation deal is finally inked.
Madhvani is a conglomerate based in Uganda where it owns a range of lodges that accommodate a section of the travelers on Safaris in Uganda but also with interests in ethanol production, sugar processing, floriculture and oil and soap.
Madhvani Group expressed interest in the Umubano Hotel following its liquidation in 2014. The Umubano Hotel which is a four star hotel located at about 5km from the Kigali City center enjoying panoramic views of the city.  The hotel features over 100 rooms and 14 suites not forgetting 4 conference rooms, mini-golf course, tennis court and swimming pool which indicates its capacity to serve well the Rwanda Safari tour undertakers if put under competent management.
The Sales agreement has already been reached by the two parties though still within one month of due diligence. Before the Liquidation, the Umubano was under the ownership of Rwandan Government along with investors from Libya.
Madhvani Group runs high-end lodges including; Chobe Safari Lodge and Paraa Safari Lodge in the Uganda safari destination of Murchison Falls National Park, Mweya Safari Lodge in Queen Elizabeth National Park and Silverback Lodge in the Uganda gorilla trekking tour destination of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. Besides Uganda, Madhvani also owns properties in Kenya including Mara Leisure Camp, Aberdare Country Club and the Ark.
Thus with such wide scope experience, the Madhvani’s takeover of Umubano Hotel will be a step towards right direction as regards revamping the Rwanda’s hospitality sector. Fortunately, this sale is coming at a time when the International brands like Marriot, Radisson Blue and Golden Tulip are also entering the destination Rwanda.

Friday, 3 February 2017

Bateleur; birds of Uganda – Uganda safari news

Bateleur , Uganda safaris , Uganda toursScientifically referred to as Terathopius ecaudatus, the Bateleur is a medium-sized eagle belonging to the Accipitridae family closely related to snake eagles. It is recorded to be the only member of Terathopius genus and is limited in small parts of Arabia and various countries of Africa including Uganda where it is explored on Uganda birding safaris and tours.
An average mature Bateleur stretches from 55 – 70cm in length along with a wing span of 186cm. The weight is between 2 – 2.6kg among adult birds. The Bateleur feature short tail and is colourful as always viewed on birding safaris in Uganda. The short tail makes the legs to protrude while in flight.
Bateleur is noted to be sexually dimorphic with both adults featuring black plumage but with red facial skin, legs and the bill.  The female features secondary tawny feathers and at times, with white mantle.
The Bateleur is a diurnal bird species which undertakes the hunting in a range of 250m2 territory in a day. They do hunt and scavenge with preference to birds like sandgrouse and pigeons though it can as well attack small mammals along with carrion.
Breeding among the Bateleur normally occurs in December through to March where a well-concealed nest is constructed in trees laying one egg that is incubated by the female for a range of 42 – 43 days. The Bateleurs do the pairing for life and utilize the same nest for a range of years as often encountered by birders on Uganda Safari.
Regarding distribution and habitat, the Bateur thrives in open savannah and woodland in the sub Saharan Africa and to the south west of Arabia.  It is listed as Near Threatened on the red list of the International Union for Conservation of Nature.

Saturday, 28 January 2017

Egyptian cobra; reptiles of Uganda – Uganda safari news

cobrasScientifically referred to as Naja Arabica, the Egyptian Cobra is one of the largest cobra species that is native to various parts of Africa including Uganda where it is encountered on Uganda tours.
The Egyptian Cobra is marked by large depressed head which is slightly separated from the neck while the neck features long cervical ribs that provides for expansion. The snout is broad and rounded while the eyes are big marked with round pupils as often explored on Safari in Uganda. The Egyptian Cobra features stout and cylindrical body along with a long tail and the average length is 1 – 2m with 3m being the maximum.
Regarding distribution, the Egyptian Cobra is spread in the areas of North Africa, West Africa Savannah, the south of Congo basin and the savannah and semi arid landscapes of East Africa including countries of Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania where world travellers on Combined East Africa Safari tours have chances of exploring it.
Its habitats are diverse but include dry to moist savannahs, steppes and semi-desert landscapes. The Egyptian Cobras are terrestrial and nocturnal but they can at times be encountered basking in the sun especially in the mid-morning. They consume mainly toads but can as well take in birds, small mammals, lizards and eggs.
Egyptian Cobra can release 175 – 300mg of venom on a single bite which affects the nervous system halting the transmission of nerve signals to muscles and later the lungs and heart resulting into loss of life.
Regarding conservation, the Egyptian Cobras are listed as species of Least Concern on the red list of International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). Travellers on Uganda Safaris have always encountered these species during game drives in a range of protected areas. Actually, one group of our clients led by Kameroon Shadrick encountered two fighting Cobras in Queen Elizabeth National Park in 2015.

Ngorongoro crater; the scenic places of Africa – Africa safari news

Ngorororo craterStanding as the World’s largest intact, inactive and unfilled volcanic caldera, the Ngorongoro Crater is one of the magical natural wonders explored on East Africa Safari tours.
The Ngorongoro Crater is noted to have been formed following the explosion and collapse of a huge volcano about two (2) – three (3) million years ago.  The crater rises to 610m in depth while the height estimates of the original volcano are between 4500 – 5800m. The Crater floor is recorded to stretch to 1,800m above sea level in elevation. This amazing natural feature was at one time voted among the Seven Natural Wonders on the Continent of Africa making is a must visit destination by travelers planning Africa Safaris to Tanzania.
The Crater floor features very beautiful extensive grassland along with bush land that supports a myriad of wild game.  It is estimated that about 25,000 large animals especially ungulates thrive in the Crater including the Black Rhinos, African Buffalo, Hippos, Common Eland, Grant’s Zebra, Blue wildebeest among others which makes it a popular game drive destination for travelers on Tanzania Safari tour. Actually Ngorongoro Crater features one of the dense concentrations of Maasai lions.
The highlands to the east of the crater feature high rainfall concentration between 800 – 1200mm and are marked with montane forest while the low lying areas of the west feature between 400 – 600mm marked with grassland and bushland.   The Olmoti Crater in the north is drained by Munge Stream and it forms the main water source that drains into the seasonal Lake Makat / Magadi at the center of the crater. Another important water source in the Ngorongoro Crater is Ngoitokitok Spring.
Exploring Ngorongoro Crater can be done as part of the wider Tanzania wildlife tour circuit that covers Manyara, Serengeti and Tarangire National Parks.

Bwindi jungle lodge; another base for gorilla trekking – Uganda gorilla safari news

bwindi jungle lodgePositioned on Lake Mulehe approximately 10km form the town of Kisoro to the south of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Bwindi Jungle Lodge presents another ground from which the world travelers on gorilla safaris in Uganda can base from to explore either Mgahinga Gorilla National Park or Bwindi Impenetrable National Park.
Bwindi Jungle Lodge enjoys the tranquil setting surrounded by a lush forest cover overlooking the lake thus presenting an ideal place for relaxation following a long day of gorilla trek. Uganda gorilla safari undertakers can find it rewarding.
Accommodation at Bwindi Jungle Lodge is in form of Cottages featuring raised veranda and en suite facilities. Local timber and beautiful volcanic stones form the main materials of these cottages making them blend with the surroundings. The expanse restaurant and bar serve both local and International cuisine and brands respectively making diverse travelers on gorilla trekking safaris in Uganda feel at home.
Travelers with gorilla permits of Rushaga and Nkuringo can consider Bwindi Jungle Lodge as an option including those that intend to track Nyakagezi gorilla group in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park. Besides Gorilla trekking, the Uganda safari undertakers can engage in canoe paddle in Lake Mulehe, Batwa cultural exploration in Mgahinga and Echuya Forest not forgetting the experiential coffee tours in Kisoro area.

Hamerkop; birds of Uganda – Uganda safari news

Hamerkop , uganda birding safarisScientifically referred to as Scopus Umbretta, the Hamerkop is a bird of medium size stretching to 56cm in length and 470g in weight and among the popular birds explored by birders on Safaris in Uganda.
The shape of the Hamerkop’s head features hammer-like crest at the back along with a long bill as viewed on Uganda birding safaris. This shape of the head forms the back ground for its naming. The Hamerkop features a drab brown plumage with purple iridescence at its back. The neck and the legs are short while the wings are big wide spread featuring a round tip.
The Hamerkop thrives in areas of Arabia, Madagascar and various parts of Africa including Uganda where it is explored on Uganda tours. Their habitats are wetlands and other waterlogged areas.
Hamerkop builds huge nest at times stretching to 1.5m with over 10,000 sticks and surprisingly strong enough to contain man’s weight. They use bright-colored objects to decorate the exterior of the nest. Hamerkops build nests whether they intend to breed or not.
A range of 3 – 4 eggs are always laid and incubation lasts about 28 – 30 days by both sexes. They young develop plumage at about 17 days and eventually leave the nest at 44 – 50 days but keep roosting in it at night up to about two (2) months.
Hamerkops undertake the feeding during the day and they tend to take a break at noon. Feeding is done on lone basis and in pairs as well. Their diet includes long-legged wading birds along with amphibians. Others include; fish, rodents and insects.
Regarding Conservation, the Hamerkops are listed as species of Least Concern on the red list of International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).  The birders on Uganda Safari tours can explore this amazing bird species across various protected areas including Queen Elizabeth National Park and Murchison Falls National Parks.

Friday, 27 January 2017

Thomson’s gazelle; antelopes of east Africa – Africa safari news

Thomson’s gazelle , uganda safarisScientifically referred to as Eudorcas thomsonii, the Thomson’s gazelle is named after Explorer Joseph Thomson belonging to the Eudorcas genus and is common in the region of East Africa where it is explored on East Africa Safari tours.
First described by Albert Gunther a British zoologist in the year 1884, the Thomson Gazelle belongs to Bovidae family and is known to be the world’s second fastest animal reaching a speed of 50miles per hour.
Thomson’s gazelle is a relatively small rising between 55 – 22cm at shoulder height and stretching between 20 – 35kg in weight though females can be 10kg lesser. The length of Thomson’s gazelle from head to body is 80 – 120cm. They are marked with white rings surrounding the eyes, rufous stripes that run from horns to the nose, black stripes that run from the corner of the eye to the nose, light forehead and dark patch on the nose as viewed on Kenya Tanzania Safaris and Tours. The male Thomson’s gazelles feature preorbital glands close to the eyes that are utilised for scent marking territory. Horns are present in both sexes and can stretch to 25 – 43cm among males and 7 – 15cm in females.
Thomson’s gazelle thrives in the savannah and grassland habits of Africa but majorly on the Serengeti Mara Ecosystem shared by Kenya and Tanzania. They prefer short grassland areas but can as well migrate into dense woodland and tall grassland. Thomson gazelles are mixed feeders that consume majorly fresh grasses in the wet season and more browse especially foliage from bushes in the dry season as explored on Africa Safari holidays in Tanzania and Kenya.
The gestation period of Thomson gazelles is 5 – 6 months and can produce two times a year with 1 – 2 fawns on each birth.  Their lifespan is 10 – 15 years in the wilderness and because of their speed; they are majorly prone to Tanzanian cheetahs which can also run fast. Other predators take advantage of young and vulnerable adult gazelles.

Thursday, 26 January 2017

white-faced whistling duck; birds of Uganda – Uganda safari news

White faced Whistling , uganda safarisScientifically referred to as Dendrocygna viduata, the White-faced whistling duck is an interesting bird species that breeds in South America and the sub Saharan Africa including Uganda where it is explored on Uganda birding safaris and tours.
Recorded to be gregarious species, the white-faced whistling ducks thrive in large flocks generating a very impressive viewing experience. This makes them species of interest among the world birders including those on birding safaris in Uganda.
The white-faced whistling duck feature long bill that is grey in color, long legs, black head and neck but with white face which forms the background for their naming. Both sexes feature similar appearance.
Regarding habitats, the white-faced whistling duck thrives in a range of fresh water habitats that include; swamps, lakes, flood plains and large rivers such as River Nile where they are viewed in the Uganda Safari destination of Murchison Falls National Park. The White-faced whistling duck prefer wetlands in open country featuring sandbars or mud and diverse vegetation that they use for nesting.
The White-faced whistling duck feeds on seeds along with other plant food. It lays a range of 8 – 12 eggs in the stick nest close to the ground and rarely do they nest in trees.
Regarding conservation, the ling duck is listed as species of least concern on the red list of International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

Why sleep at Paraa safari lodge in Murchison falls national park – Uganda safari news

paraa safari lodgeAt the cliff just above the majestic flowing Nile River, the Paraa Safari Lodge stands as an ideal accommodation facility to spend a couple of nights while on Safari in Uganda. The panoramic position offers not only unmatched views of the calm flowing Nile River but also the dense savannah woodland on the southern sector of Murchison Falls National Park and the extensive open savannah grassland in the northern sector of the park dotted with counts of African wild game.
Paraa Safari Lodge is a luxury facility enjoying world class facilities including the large sized swimming pool that is really very necessary to cope with the hot conditions of Murchison Falls National Park. Relaxing in the soothing pool waters in the mid morning after a rewarding early morning game drive is such incredible experience that a traveler on Africa safari vacation holiday in Uganda should not attempt to miss.
Accommodation at Paraa Safari Lodge is provided in a range of options from which guests on Uganda tours with varying interests can choose from. But regardless of the option considered, all the 54 rooms are en suite and feature minimum degree of comfort. The Standard rooms are popular among the many because of their affordability but guests looking for Air conditioning can consider the Suites and those interested in maintaining the safari touch can go for Safari tents while for top notch guests preferably with family can settle for a Queen’s Cottage.
Considering its location in the northern sector, Paraa Safari Lodge offers an opportunity for early morning and late evening game drives while its closeness to the Paraa jetty offers the guests’ not only a relaxed access to the boat cruises along the Nile River but also for ferry crossing to the southern sector.
Murchison Falls National Park is currently the most popular Uganda Safari destination presenting opportunities for viewing the Big five with Rhinos in the adjacent Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary, Rothschild Giraffes, Nile Crocodiles, myriad of Hippos, Jackson’s Hartebeest, Vulnerable Shoebill stork among others. It can be accessed by both land and Air and Prime Uganda Safaris and Tours would always be available to offer Ultimate Africa Safari memories!

Pearl of Africa hotel joins the rezidor hotel group – Uganda safari news

Carlson_Rezidor hotels ,uganda safarisThe Pearl of Africa Hotel one of the newly established luxury hotels in Kampala set to serve affluent guests including those on Safari in Uganda has joined the Rezidor Hotel Group portfolio.
The 296 room facility is set to open its doors for the first guests in the second quarter of 2017. The Rezidor Hotel Group is recorded among the world’s fastest growing hotel companies and a member of the Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group. Its take over of the Pearl of Africa Hotel comes in partnership with the Aya Investment Group – the owners of the Hotel.
Enjoying unmatchable panoramic location on top of Nakasero Hill overlooking the city of Kampala, the business, diplomatic and leisure travelers on Uganda tour holidays will likely find the Pearl of Africa Hotel a beyond the ordinary overnight accommodation and MICE destination.
Pearl of Africa Hotel has in possession 740m2 ball room, two (2) board rooms, nine (9) meeting rooms along with a business center. The choice of food and drinks is unlimited provided in the all day restaurant, grill steakhouse, sports bar and grill bar.
Beyond the above listed, the Pearl of Africa Hotel will feature a private membership spa, two (2) outdoor swimming pools, wellness spa, one (1) indoor swimming pool, a range of retails shops, children’s club and courts for volleyball, squash and tennis which will all be available for the enjoyment and comfort of guests including those on Uganda Safaris and Tours.
The Rezidor Hotel Group is expected to bring in its considerable expertise as regards hotel management and service quality which will keep the Pearl of Africa Hotel among the best in the region of East Africa. The Hotel derives its name from the Uganda’s crown as bestowed by Winston Churchill in 1908 during his Africa safari adventure vacation holiday in Uganda.

Remarkable landscapes of Akagera National Park – Rwanda safari news

Akagera National Park , Rwanda safariTo the Northeast of the destination Rwanda, there lies one of the magical scenic places protected by Akagera National Park – the only savannah protected habita
t in the country and an iconic site for wildlife safaris in Rwanda.
Covering 1,085km2, Akagera National Park features diverse beautiful landscapes that are marked with open savannah in some parts, acacia woodland in other areas not forgetting the largest protected wetland system in the whole of central Africa dotted with majestic Rivers, beautiful lakes and swamp landscapes that always mesmerize the travelers on Rwanda Safaris and Tours.
Lakes including Lake Ihema which is the second largest in Rwanda, Lake Shakani, Lake Rwanyakizinga, Lake Mihindi and Lake Gishanju form a very fascinating sightseeing experience while viewed from the hills of Mutumba. The open savannah plains of Akagera stretch to the Tanzanian border adjoining the mighty land of East Africa Safari tours.
Being the only savannah protected area in Rwanda; the Akagera National Park is home to a range of savannah wild game including Elephants, Buffaloes, Lions, Maasai Giraffe, Topis, Elands, Buffaloes, Topis, Burchell’s Zebras and Impalas among others. These are rewarding to explore during a game drive in activity on a Rwanda Safari tour.
The beauty of these landscapes cannot be fully described without mentioning the Akagera River from which the park derives its name. The river is recorded to be part of the Nile River and features the scenic Russumo Falls which offers incredible sightseeing experience.

Wednesday, 25 January 2017

Colobus monkey tracking in Rwanda - Rwanda safari news

colobus-monkey , Rwanda safarisThe Black and White Colobus Monkeys are among the very exciting primate species of Africa and one of the thirteen (13) species of primates thriving in the Rwanda Safari destination of Nyungwe Forest National Park.
Recorded to be among the descendants of Old world monkey in the genus colobus native to the tropical forests of the African Continent, the Black and White Colobus derives its Colobus name from the absence of the main thumb while the Black and White stands for the color of their beautiful coat as viewed on primate watching safaris in Rwanda Africa.
The Colobus Monkey tracking in Nyungwe Forest National Park is listed among the exciting activities that this Rwanda tour site has got at its disposal. Nyungwe is home to the Africa’s largest troop of Black and White Colobus Monkeys with the numbers stretching to 400.
Their beautiful coat that is white and black among adults but purely white among the young monkeys makes them very beautiful to explore. It is always magical to spend time with a large troop of these beautiful species as they roll in the natural loveliest trees of Nyungwe foraging and playing. Photographers on Safari in Rwanda always take photos of a lifetime!
The Colobus Monkey tracking can be done along with Chimpanzee trekking and adventure canopy walk on a single visit to Nyungwe Forest National Park.

White-winged terns; birds of Uganda

white winged tern , uganda birding safarisScientifically referred to as Chlidonias leucopterus, the White-winged terns belong to the Sternidae family and are among the unique bird species explored on Uganda Safaris and tours.
The White-winged terns are generally small bird species thriving majorly close to fresh water bodies in various parts of the world including Asia, Europe, Australia and Africa where they are viewed on Africa birding safaris including birding safaris in Uganda.
The adult white-winged terns are marked with short red legs, short black bill about 22 – 25m from the feathers, black neck, dark grey back with white rump not forgetting a light gray tail. The wings of this bird species are majorly white as viewed by birders on safari in Uganda. The differences in body plumage may arise depending on the breeding seasons and climate conditions.
Regarding distribution and habitat, they thrive in fresh water marshes and tend to nest on floating vegetation or on the ground near the water. They lay 2 – 4 eggs in their nests which they build using small reed stems along with other vegetation. The white-winged terns feed on insects and small fish.
In the field of conservation, they are listed as species of Least Concern on the red list of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).  In Uganda, the White-winged terns can be explored in Lutembe bay on the shores of Lake Victoria while on a Uganda birding safari.

Tourism sector to play a lead role in Uganda’s economy in 2017

murchison falls National park , Uganda safarisThe tourism sector where we find the Uganda Safaris and Tours has been declared by the Uganda’s Ministry of Tourism, Wildlife and Antiquities to register a tremendous development and transformation.
The destination is appreciating the ideas regarding the conservation and tourism promotion in the process of preparing the tourism sector drive for the next four (4) years. The ideas extend to cover areas of marketing, research, product development, quality assurance and ultimate promotion of Uganda safari products both at local and international level.
According to John Ssempebwa, the Deputy Executive Director of Uganda Tourism Board, a second Africa Birding Expo will be organized in 2017 with the intention of showcasing the 1057 species of birds which form a stronghold for birding safaris in Uganda.  The destination  boasts of 50% of the Africa’s bird species count and 11% of the bird species in the whole world.  Another area targeted for marketing is the Mountain Climbing adventures since Uganda is home to the legendary Rwenzori Mountains with Africa’s third highest peak and the tallest Mountain range on the continent, Mount Elgon – the fourth highest in East Africa with the world’s largest mountain caldera not forgetting the three Virunga Volcanoes namely; Muhabura, Gahinga and Sabyinyo in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park. These have got rich potential for development of Africa adventure vacation safaris in Uganda.
The destination  will continue to take advantage of the three (3) public relations firms that were hired to market Uganda in the regions of North America, Germany and UK and Ireland. Through their rigorous marketing efforts, the travelers planning safaris to Uganda are expected to increase in 2017.
The domestic tourism drive is expected to maintain the pace capitalizing in schools and other educational institutions with the motive of short and long term travel culture nurturing among the citizens.
UWA, the main public conservation body is committed to not only ensuring the survival of the wildlife that form a strong ground for wildlife tours in Uganda but also create a favorable environment for the visitors in protected areas. This can be evidenced by the plan to encourage construction of more accommodation units in the National Parks of Kidepo, Murchison and Lake Mburo.
The destination was listed as number one destination on the African continent in 2017 by the Rough guides a leading UK Publisher.

kasubi tombs, Rwenzori mountains and bwindi impenetrable; the world heritage sites of Uganda

bwindi forest , uganda gorilla safarisThe destination Uganda is one of the Africa Safari tour unique destinations featuring three of the world heritage sites as proclaimed by UNESCO.
The two of these are natural protected areas under the category National Parks namely Bwindi Impenetrable National Park – the main destination for Uganda gorilla safaris and Mount Rwenzori National Park – the epitome site for adventure vacation safaris in Uganda.
Bwindi Impenetrable National Park has been labelled by UNESCO as an isolated Afro montane forest of an incredible biological diversity including close to a half of the world’s population of the critically endangered Mountain Gorillas, 160 tree species and 100 fern species not forgetting 350 bird species of which 23 are endemic to the Albertine rift such as the African Green Broadbill which is normally sought after by birders on birding safaris in Uganda.
Rwenzori Mountains National Park which protects the snow-capped legendary Mountains of the moon rising to 5,109m above sea level to form the third highest peak on the African continent features fragile ecosystem and most importantly very unique montane flora which is rare in the world including groundsels, giant lobelias and giant heathers.  The glaciers, lakes and waterfalls compliment its remarkable natural beauty.
The third World heritage site is cultural other than natural. Kasubi Tombs which are within Kampala City are burial grounds for Kings of Buganda. Apparently, four (4) royal tombs lie beneath a large traditional hut built in a circular dome shape with local materials. It is a great site with remarkable intangible values of spirituality, belief, identity and continuity.
The above world heritage sites combine to justify Uganda’s incredible beauty and its crown as the Pearl of Africa.

Tuesday, 24 January 2017

Mountain gorilla trekking in Congo – Congo gorilla safari news

congo , congo safarisMountain Gorilla Trekking Safaris in Congo are among the less explored Africa safari adventures which offer the world travelers an off the beaten encounter in the interior jungles of tropical Africa.
Gorilla tracking in Congo is carried out in Virunga National Park to the East of the country sharing borders with Uganda and Rwanda. The nearest town is called Goma and it is easier accessed from Kigali Rwanda than from Kinshasa which is the main capital of Democratic Republic of Congo.
For long, the Congo gorilla safaris have been less popular due to civil unrest caused by a range of rebel groups that thrived within the Virunga Area with the most recent one being M23 rebels which was ousted out in 2015.  After the war, Virunga National Park is back to order and the tourists are welcome.
The Mountain Gorilla trekking activity in Virunga National Park is commonly done in Mikeno sector approximately 2 ½ hours drive where the habituated gorilla groups thrive and a Congolese Gorilla permit costs $400  person which can be secured direct from ICCN or the Sales Office of Congolese Wildlife Authority in Goma. The activity starts at Bukima Patrol post and tend to last 2 hours depending on the Mountain Gorilla Movements.
Gorilla trekking safari in Congo can be done along with adventure hike to the famous Nyiragongo Volcano or as an extension of an East Africa Safari tour in Uganda Rwanda Congo.

Flights to Bwindi impenetrable national park Uganda – Uganda gorilla safari news

uganda flying safari toursAt 527km about 10 hours drive from Kampala, the Uganda gorilla trekking safari tour destination of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park always poses a challenge to access it by surface travel.
Travellers planning gorilla safaris in Uganda to Bwindi Impenetrable at times have limited time or are not comfortable with such long drive despite its opportunity for countryside sightseeing experience.  This makes the search for flights to Bwindi very significant.
Fortunately, the government and the private operators have already realised this need and thus attempted to do the needful. A range of three Airstrips serve Bwindi Impenetrable National Park though two are the most popular ones. Nyakabande Airstrip in Kisoro also known as Kisoro Airstrip serves the southern regions of Bwindi namely Rushaga and Nkuringo while Kihihi and Kayonza Airstrips serve the northern sector and the eastern sector of Buhoma and Ruhija respectively allowing the travellers on Uganda gorilla safaris and tours to reach their desired gorilla trekking regions.
Aerolink Uganda operates affordable scheduled flights daily in the morning to Kisoro Airstrip and both in the morning and afternoon to Kihihi Airstrip. Though the morning timing cannot allow someone from Kampala / Entebbe to catch up with Mountain Gorilla trekking as the activity starts at 8am and yet the earliest flight lands at 08:10am at Kisoro which is about 39km from Rushaga gorilla trekking assembly point, the flight back to Entebbe can help someone to catch up with an afternoon flight back home to any other destination.
Besides the scheduled flights, individual travellers and private groups can arrange charter flights to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park from Entebbe or other Uganda Safari destinations like Murchison Falls, Queen Elizabeth and Kidepo Valley National Parks.

Greater kudu; the amazing wild game of Uganda – Uganda safari news

greater kudu , uganda toursScientifically referred to as Tragelaphus strepsiceros, the greater Kudu is a woodland antelope known to thrive in southern and eastern Africa including Uganda where it is explored on wildlife safaris in Uganda.
 The greater Kudu together with the lesser Kudu are the sub-species of Kudu and though it is recorded to feature a wide spread territory, its population is sparsely distributed due to habitat loss and poaching.  The Greater Kudus feature narrow bodies with long legs while their coats range from brown to reddish brown with 4 – 12 vertical white stripes along their torso as viewed on Africa holiday Safaris including Uganda Safaris and Tours. The head of the Greater Kudu is relatively darker than other body parts.
 The bulls of Greater kudu are notably larger compared to the cows and do a lot of vocalisation using low grunts, humming and clucks along with gasping. The male Greater Kudus feature large manes that run along their throats and the large horns featuring 2 ½ twists. The bulls start to grow the horns between 6 – 12 months of age while twisting occurs when they reach 2 years of age and full twisting occurs at 6 years of age as encountered by travellers on safari in Uganda Africa.
 Known to be among the largest antelope species, the Greater Kudu bulls stretch between 190 – 270kg in weight with the maximum being 315kg and rise to 160cm at the Shoulder height. The cows stretch between 120 – 210kg and rise to 100cm at the shoulder height featuring no horns and beards.
The habitats of Greater Kudu cover mixed scrub woodlands and would avoid open plains in fear of predators. They feed on grass, leaves and shoots and rarely on roots, tubers and fruits. They are active early in the morning and late afternoon and secure water from water holes or bulbs and roots with high water content. It can be noted that though the greater Kudus normally thrive in one area, they can stretch to a large distance in search of water especially during dry seasons.
Regarding reproduction, the Greater kudus attain the sexual maturity between 1 – 3 years and gestation period lasts about eight months after which a single calf (or rarely two calves) is born. Their lifespan is 7 – 8 years in the wilderness but can stretch up to 23 years in captivity.
Regarding the conservation, the Greater Kudu is listed as species of Least Concern on the red list of International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).  In Uganda, the Greater Kudu can be explored in the Uganda tour destination of Kidepo National Park to the north west of the country.

Igongo cultural center ; beyond the lunch stop – Uganda safari news

ankole cultural centerAt 12km to Mbarara town, the Igongo Cultural Center has for the recent past served as a popular lunch stop for the travelers on Safari in Uganda interested in tasting the traditional African Buffet.  Its famous Kahwa Kanuzire (its finished when still sweet) restaurant has made a name world over for its standard local cuisine generated from freshly gathered food stuffs from the surrounding communities.
But, one can note that Igongo Cultural Centre is beyond a mere a lunch stop to be a Uganda tour destination in itself.  The centre is a home to the Erijukiro Museum which is the largest private museum in the whole of Uganda featuring the artifacts of all tribes of south western Uganda. The museum also features a range of historical writings, sculptures of historical personalities like Muguta y’ Butaho – the famous warrior of Buhweju, Kitami Ky’ Nyawera – the Queen of Mpororo among others which make it very exciting to visit while on your Uganda Safari tour.
Besides the Museum, the Igongo Cultural Center takes control of the great 1520AD Eclipse monument which was built on top of Biharwe Hill to commemorate the famous total solar eclipse that hit the area around that time. The Eclipse monument goes beyond the scientific part of it to incorporate great history and tradition. It is noted that the Eclipse occurred during the time when the Bunyoro Kingdom was undertaking imperialist expeditions. They had accomplished the Nkore Kingdom and all the cows had been confiscated leaving the Banyankole in a starving situation. Now, they had extended to raid the Kingdom of Rwanda and when they had reached Biharwe returning home after a successful cattle raid, a total solar eclipse occurred. The King of Bunyoro and his men could not understand what had happened and thought that it was a misfortune arising from the raided cows and as a result, they abandoned the cows and ran away towards home. A heavy down pour hit the area towards the end of the eclipse and after it, the local people (Banyankole) found many cows in place. They were so mesmerized and believed that God had sent the cows to save them from suffering and starvation. They called them “Enduga Mwiguru” literally meaning “Heaven sent”. This makes the site an incredible one that is worth inclusion while planning a safari to Uganda. Being on top of the hill, the site offers an opportunity for hill climbing adventure.
The lush gardens of Igongo Cultural center with beautiful flowers, works of art like the historical Mayenje g’ Ishinjo a cow that sparked a war between Kingdoms of Nkore and Buhweju and Ishe Katabazi – one of the most popular personalities that have ever lived in the region of Ankole among others are very suitable for relaxation and get together functions.
All these combine to make Igongo Cultural Center a great site beyond only a traditional lunch stop.

Parliament to discuss the strict anti-poaching bid – Uganda safari news

uganda safaris , uganda toursThe new anti-poaching bid has eventually found its way to Parliament and calls for jailing of poachers for a count of twenty (20) years along with a fine of 200million Uganda Shillings so as to discourage the poaching of elephants which are among the prime Uganda Safari attractions.
The motion intends to amend the wildlife Act and it is already at the first Parliamentary Council where it will follow the normal routine to be tabled at the floor of Parliament for discussion. The danger of elephant population is common and the survival of these amazing species always explored on safaris in Uganda is at stake. The destination Uganda has tried considerably to ensure the protection of these species compared to other countries and the elephant population in the National Parks has been increasing in the recent past though cases of poaching still exist.
An Ariel survey that was conducted by the Wildlife Conservation Society along with Uganda Wildlife Authority with funding from Paul G Allen recorded an increment in Elephant population in Uganda with over 2000 elephants existing in Murchison Falls National Park and close to 3000 elephants in the Uganda tour destination of Queen Elizabeth National Park.
High levels of poaching existed in Uganda around 1970s and 1980s resulting into heavy loss of wildlife. But from the 1990s, the management of protected areas was revamped and wildlife populations have been rejuvenating. However, the need for increased vigilance is required as some cases of poaching are still reported. In fact, Queen Elizabeth National Park lost a count of six (6) elephants in the year 2015.
The Government intends to adopt a new act that provides for extended jail term for poachers of up to 20 years, heavy fines of up to 200 million Uganda Shillings and confiscation of vehicles used to transport wildlife products and the house or building used to store the same products.  Of course, this does not do away with the collaborative approach where the members of the community are brought on board to support conservation initiatives and reap its fruits.
The Uganda Wildlife Authority still patrols the protected areas and seizes the poachers’ snares. In fact, over 7 tons of snares have been seized from Murchison Falls National Park alone. Murchison Falls National Park is one of the ten (10) National Parks that form the main destinations for wildlife safari holidays for Uganda.

Friday, 20 January 2017

Primate Lodge featured in essence magazine; safari lodges of Uganda – Uganda safari news

Primate Lodge Kibale , uganda safari toursPrimate Lodge Kibale is lower luxury to mid-range facility positioned at the entrance of the Uganda safari tour destination of Kibale National Park popularly known as the Primate Capital of the world.
Primate Lodge’s remarkable beauty and attention to detail combined with the tranquil forest environment which is home to hundreds of Chimpanzees, other 12 species of primates, Forest Elephants, forest antelope like duikers, 375 species of birds and unique flora including 351 tree species formed the listing among the top 19 Black Owned Hotels to look out for in the year 2017 by the famous Essence Magazine - a travel magazine based in the United States.
Recorded as the only Africa Safari Lodge listed in Essence Magazine across the continent of Africa, the Primate Lodge Kibale does not earn a boost to itself but also the destination Uganda in general. This stands as an indicator of the unique and standard accommodation units that Uganda has got in her range of protected areas thus an assurance to the world travelers that planning safaris to Uganda would not be a disappointment.
Primate Lodge considering its very close proximity to Kanyanchu Tourism Center presents the perfect base for exploring all activities in Kibale National Park including Chimpanzee habituation and birding that require very early departure.  Kibale National Park is 326km about 6 hours drive from Kampala and a popular site in the Uganda tourism circuit always explored by travelers on safari in Uganda.