Gorilla Tracking in Uganda, Rwanda

Murchison accommodationMurchison Falls National Park is the Largest National Park in Uganda and it’s found in the northern part of the country. In this article we talk about some of the accommodation options for you to pick from when going on a safari in Uganda. On a visit in this park, you will have an opportunity to enjoy game drives with sighs of some of the big view, enjoy a boat ride and explore the powerful Murchison Falls on River Nile the longest in the world.

Ngamba chimps

Uganda as a country is abundantly blessed with lots of tourist attraction much of which can hardly find in any other country. There is massive tourism wealth in different tourism sites that have not yet been fully utilized. The existence of these tourist places with all that is there to offer to the visitors when they visit is the reason why Uganda is still the best tourism destination for a safari in Africa. Some of the notable places worth mentioning are:

murchison falls activitiesTraveling in the northwestern direction of Uganda, you find Murchison falls national park the largest in Uganda. Below I have pointed out a number of reasons why the Murchison Falls National Park is worth visiting on your Safari in Uganda

Thrilling Game Drives: This is a wonderful wildlife habitat that offers very rewarding game drives during which you will see various wild animals on your Safari in Uganda. During the game drives you will see several animals

spotted hyeaThese spotted hyenas are also called the Crocuta Crocuta and its one of the animals that most tourist are interested in seeing during their wildlife tours in Africa. They are said to be the very last ones from the genus Crocuta and are commonly found in the Sub-Saharan regions of Africa which why there are very many of them in Kidepo valley national park which you will see on your Safari in Uganda.

Spotted Hyenas are some of the animals that have survived in the Sub Sahara considering the huge numbers that are still seen in the wilderness compared with other Carnivores. Their survival is as a result of their ability to adapt and use all opportunities presented.

Uganda Kobs 1On the Uganda national emblem, on the left you will see a Kob (Adenota kob Thomasi) that symbolizes the large number of wildlife living in Uganda.

This kob in appearance is very similar to the impala; however these species aren’t related at all. In general, the Ugandan kob is reddish-brown, and its underside body is generally white. It has a white ring around each of its eyes, plus a white patch (chevron) on its throat. Each of its forelegs has black stripes runs, whereas the males have Horns, a thicker coat and are shorter than the female.

Lake Mburo ZebrasLake Mburo is located along the Mbarara highway in the western side of Uganda and is the smallest national park in the country. It’s mainly covered by the savannah woodland kind of vegetation with some Acacia thickets, a few areas are forested, others are rocky and others are occupied by swamps surrounding water bodies like Lake Mburo from which the park gets its name.

gorilla trekkingUganda and Rwanda both have the mountain gorillas as their best selling tourist’s attraction and it is very important for those planning to go gorilla tracking in both countries to know when is the best time to do so, otherwise it may not go as smooth as hoped if the timing is so wrong.

It is wise to make your booking in the most favorable months and only go for the other months if you have no choice.

boat rideIn Uganda you will have the opportunity to enjoy a couple of boat rides during your holiday. During these you will not only enjoy the nice water but also be rewarded with views of different wildlife. The different boat cruises within Uganda include rides on the Murchison Falls and kaziga channel. Each of these boat rides is lead by a professional wildlife guide who will detail you about each of the wildlife you will encounter. They will also help in pointing out some of the other wildlife you would have missed on an un guided tour.

Uganda is among the top bird watching destinations in Africa with a bird-list that includes more than 1000 different species. Thanks to the great weather and variety of habitats which include forests, swamps, lakes and rivers any of these species thrive well here. Throughout the year, it also receives several migratory species especially within its national park, and you will additional be able to see some species endemic only to Uganda. Below, we have highlighted the top ten bird species to watch out for during your Uganda Birding Safari. We as AA safaris will gladly help you arrange a very rewarding and interesting Safari.

kazinga boat cruiseThe Kazinga Channel is one of Uganda’s must-visit tourist sites. It is a 32 km long, natural water channel connecting Lakes Edward with George within Queen Elizabeth National Park. The channel is an oasis to which several animals converge daily to quench their thirst. Some of the wildlife you will see here are various bird species, mammals like very large schools of hippos and several Nile crocodiles.

rhino tracking
   Visiting rhinos within their natural environment, in close    proximity and face-to-face is a very memorable  experience. The Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary is the sole place in Uganda to accomplish this so in the case you are seeking to accomplish your ‘big five’ wildlife checklist you will certainly wish to visit this place. AA Safaris  and Tours ltd organises visit to the Rhino Sanctuary and a walk through the sanctuary rewards you with Rhinos and other wild animals and plenty of Birds. The sanctuary has well trained wildlife guides who assist visitors and give them detailed information about the rhinos, as well as inform you of the history of this place.

MpambireMpambire is located along the Masaka-Mbarara towards Lake Mburo national park and it’s very much popular for it drum makers. It’s a very interesting stopover point for those that are interested in learning everything there is to learn about Uganda’s culture more so the Buganda culture where the drum has got great importance in terms of rituals and also the celebrations. Most of all these drum makers learned from their parents and today, they are also training people from other parts that are interested in learning how drums are made.

Kigali genocideThe Rwanda genocide was a massive massacre that took place in 1994 and it was basically between the Tutsi and the Hutus people of Rwanda. The killings began early April 1994, so many people lost their lives during this incident that in just about 100 days, more than 800000 people had been killed by Hutu supremacist militia people and most of them were from the minority Tutsi community while others were the Tutsi sympathizers. These people were killed irrespective of their origin within those 100 days

baby gorillaKwita Izina is Rwanda’s annual gorilla celebrations, inaugurated in 2005. The whole occasion is intended to create awareness on the conservation of mountain gorillas, promote Rwanda tourism business, and empower local communities that are leaving around the Volcanoes National Park. Since 2005, Kwita Izina has grown from being a one day event to a week-long celebration with programmes that support conservation and community development and today its being attended by many people on a Rwanda Safari Holiday. In Rwanda, there are currently over 10 main gorilla families that are available for tourism purposes and ready for gorilla trekkers, some of these include the Susa, Sabinyo, Amahoro, Umubano, Hirwa, Kwitonda, Ugenda and Group Thirteen among others.

Kidepo national park, in the northeastern corner of Uganda, bordered by Sudan and Kenya on different side is one great place that one must visit. Today, this park receives very few visitor probably due to fact that it really far and also because less is know about it.

While you can search all part of the country for a cheetah and find none, in Kidepo they can be found. It is very famous for plenty of wildlife which makes game drives in that place very rewarding. You can expect to see herds of buffaloes usually hundreds/thousand many, elephants, Zebras are plenty. At the rock plat form, lions are often found there but you can also find the as they roam around looking for what to kill.This park has most of the animals like the waterbucks, the warthogs, bushbucks, Uganda kobs, elands, among others as you find them in other parks in additional to its unique thus making the most worth place to visit. There are also so many different species of birds and so for the bird watchers, Kidepo is also the place.

This park has got the most beautiful landscape compared to all the other parks thus a very beautiful view no matter where you are standing, the hills and valleys make it look extremely beautiful and can easily see in a far distance when you want too. This is place is currently under utilized and yet would turn out to be the most amazing trip ever for anyone to can take trip.

Community visit to the Karamajong community is one other activity you should never miss, they have an interesting cultural, they can always entertain you with their cultural dance, learn about their traditional way of leaving. This is an amazing adventure. Check it out and will not regret that decision.

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Uganda safari news

Local tours and travel agencies are working hard to ensure the growth of the tourism sector. This was exhibited during awards given out at the ITB Travel Exhibition, Internationale Tourismus Börse, in Berlin, Germany.

Rwanda emerged out as the Best of the Best exhibitor world wide category and the best Continental Exhibitor in the exhibition considered among the world's largest tourism trade. There were more than 186 countries and over 200,000 people that took part in the exhibition. In second position was Kenya and Tunisia came third in the African category.

It’s on record that Rwanda has been in the spot light before in another exhibition last year. Rwanda emerged the best African exhibitor and third in 2013. At the stand, were information presentations by private and public tourism stakeholders such like the Rwanda Development Board, Institute of National Museums of Rwanda, Thousand Hills Expedition, Nyungwe Forest Lodge, Wildlife Tours Rwanda, Nyungwe Top View Hotel and Amahoro Tours, among so many others.

Jacqui Sebageni who is the managing director of Thousand Hills Expeditions which is an agency with presence in Rwanda, Uganda, and Burundi said the award would in one way help in the growth of the tourism industry since the exhibition could be an opening for a bigger market.


Lately, there is been an increase in the hotel bookings at the coast to up to 80% for both domestic and regional tourist as the festive season draws near. According to stakeholders in the tourism sector, hotels are surviving on domestic tourists during and after Christmas into the New Year.

Sam Ikwaye who is the Kenya Association of Hotel Keepers and Caterers executive officer said that bed occupancy is increasing in majority of the beach hotels and cottages at the Coast but most of these bookings are made by locals, unfortunately the international visitors are very few, indicating a decline of up to 70% most likely its because of the travel advisories issued as result of frequent terror attacks.

Uganda, this time round received three international birders to be apart of the  Uganda big Birding Week celebration something that has not happened since this event started 11 years ago. Their attendance has raised the profile of one of Uganda’s tourism gems, and could make the event one of the most sought-after fixtures on the country’s tourism calendar.

Among theses birders was,Tim Appleton who is the organizer of the world’s largest bird fair in the UK, Bill Thompson who is the editor and co-publisher of Bird Watcher’s Digest, one of North America’s birding magazines as well as Dominic Mitchell who is the founder and managing editor of Bird Watch, Europe’s leading monthly magazine and they paid glowing tribute to Uganda’s nature.  Appleton said during the launch of the Big Birding Week at Forest Resort beach in Kasenge, Mukono district that Uganda is very rich at bird species and so has  the potential to attract travelling birdwatchers who are over tens of thousands in the northern hemisphere only. Every birder will be satisfied with what he will see because Uganda has the highest population of birds in Africa and birders will also have a chance to see mammals and primates besides the birds, he added.

The Kenyan government will be merging different parastatals with the intention of reducing on the operation cost as well as improving on the efficiency in service delivery in these different agencies. Some of those that will be merged are the Kenya Forest Service, Kenya Wildlife Service, the Water Resources Management Authority as well as the Nyayo Belt which will be merged into one single body.

Emilio Mugo who is the KFS senior deputy director in charge of field operations said that rationalization of the whole spectrum of government parastatals will be vital in making sure that there are no overlaps in roles, responsibilities and functions of the organization/ government body like the case is.

There are over 885 students that have graduated from the Rwanda Tourism University College which is found in based in Kigali. There are several awarded with credentials in the fields of vocational training, business information technology, hotel, and travel and tourism management. This has been the 2nd of its kind at the tourism institute at Remera Petit Stade in Kigali and it is highly appreciated for it effort towards tourism management.

Tour operators in Uganda have come out and asked the government to work on the poor roads that lead to tourists sites. They have asked fro the construction of more roads and restore those that are existing as a way of improving on the accessibility of the tourism sites across the country. They say that Uganda’s tourism sector has the ability to improve and become just as good as that from the neighboring countries but this potential is buried by the failure to open up new tourism sites where tourists can visit and therefore bring in more money.

Latest news from Air Uganda yesterday got their third Bombardier CRJ 200 aircraft which was leased from American aircraft leasing company called GECAS and with this, the airline now has a total of four aircrafts that Air Uganda now has, including one remaining MD 87 aircraft which is the only aircraft on the fleet with a two class that’s Business and Economy layout.

This latest aircraft just like the other two, the craft can carry 50 passengers all in economy class. This craft will enable the airline to be able to meet their promise of having a third daily flight to Juba as it will be flying from Entebbe via Kilimanjaro to Mombasa and hopefully, this will lead to an increase in the number of travelers and there will more opportunities to catch the flight.

The tourism bodies from Rwanda Eastern Province have started working on their long term plan in which they intend to expand the tourism industry to be able to bring in more foreign exchange into the country that the government . This was said by Odette Uwamaliya who is the provincial Governor Odette Uwamaliya while talking to the stakeholders about what the province intends to do about developing tourism to ensure a bright future for the industry.

Present at the meeting were the officials from the Ministry of Trade and Industry. He also emphasized the point that in was very necessary for the province to venture into new areas that will help in the expansion of the tourism portfolio and also ensure sustainability. This is done because the country should not solely depend on the attractions that are found within the parks they will not generate more than expected income.

William Kiprono who is the Kenya Wildlife Service director said that his agency’s community rangers will soon be given firearms that they will use in fight against poaching. This is so because they poachers are advancing in the quality of equipments that they use during the hunting. Kiprono said while addressing the Star that the service, they are working with the Kenya Police Service and has already requested for the issuance of firearms to the community rangers.

James Tumusiime has been appointed as the new Chairman of the Uganda Tourism Board. Tumusiime is also the Managing Director of Fountain Publishers Limited and founder of the Igongo Cultural Centre in Biharwe, western Uganda and he is coming in after William Byaruhanga who was the chairperson until his term ended in 2011. Tumusiime as the new chairman will be working together with his board serving people for the next three years.

chimpanzee in the forest

Shocking news from in Mabale village Bwikara sub-county situated in Kibaale district after a kid was abducted by a chimpanzee. Paddy Ankuda aged 2 was on his way to the shop with his older brother aged 6 when chimpanzees came out of the bush, strange animals to the kids of course and then one of them seized the younger brother by the hand and dashed off into the bush with him. According to the older kid while talking to the press, they were moving slowly when the animals came and took him to the bush and when he saw that his brother sibling taken away, he alerted a woman who was walking ahead of them who there and then made an alarm that attracted residents and the boy’s father.    

She said she could not go after the chimpanzees by herself and therefore needed help from other people. This is quite scaring to the people who are living in these areas around national parks as wild animals my become very dangerous to their kids.

Charles Bahati who is the father of kidnapped boy, though scared of the chimpanzee, he entered the forest with a panga to find his boy because the rest of the people were afraid. Lucky enough, he managed to rescue him after the Chimpanzees let go off him. From different parts of the country where national parks and game reserves are, there are several human-wildlife conflicts but not cases of animals kidnapping kids which is very scary and very dangerous.

There are thousands of people that came together to celebrate with the king of Buganda, Ronald Muwenda Mutebi as he officially opened the main celebrations of his 20th coronation anniversary. The major celebrations will be held on Saturday with a grand party at Kabaka’s main palace in Mengo Hill in Rubaga Division.

While opening the celebrations, he was in company of his wife Nnabagereka Sylvia Nagginda, their children Princess Katrina Ssangalyambogo and Prince Jjunju Kiweewa, they was received by his jubilant subjects. Upon his arrival, he planted two trees along the kabaka njagala road that stretches from Bulange, the seat of Buganda Kingdom, to his palace.
There were other people that accompanied the Kabaka among whom were the Katikkiro, Charles Peter Mayiga, Lubaga mayor Joyce Nabbosa Ssebugwawo, Omutaka Ndugwa Ssemakula, the Kampala Mayor, Erias Lukwago, Buganda ministers, MPs, clan leaders, Lukiiko MPs and leaders of Buganda counties.

gorillas in Mgahinga national park

All tourists who will be visiting Uganda in the month of November to track mountain gorillas in the different parks where they are found like in the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest and Mgahinga will be surprised by the reduction in the price of gorilla trekking permits which will only be a November deal. The Uganda Wildlife Authority has just announced this special offer for the client tracking in November only and in this case the permits will be reduced from the usual $500 per person per tracking to only $350 per person for foreign non resident tourists, the foreign residents in Uganda as well as the East Africa will pay $300 per person with evidence that you are actually a resident.

The CNN Travel has selected Kidepo Valley National Park located in the north eastern part of Uganda as the third best tourist attraction in the whole of Africa and because of this achievement; the national park has become one of the most sought in Uganda.

Johnson Masereka who is the area conservation manage said during the launching a new product called The Ik On Moru Engole nature walk that they anticipated an increase in the number of tourists in the next five years, the numbers may triple to from 2,700 to about 7,000 which also means that the revenue will double last year’s collection of sh466m.

The Uganda government is working to disperse the existing heat between the Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) and local tour and travel operators over Mountain Gorillas which are the most profitable tourist attraction in the country. Local operators, through their body of unity the Association of Uganda Tour Operators (AUTO), they are not only against UWA’s proposal to have Gorilla viewing permits sold online but the proposed increment in the amount paid these permits. UWA intends on having the price increase from $500 which is about Shs 1.3 million currently paid to $650 which will be about Shs 1.7 million.

The Tours and travel operators in Uganda have appealed to the Uganda Parliament to stop the implementation of 18% value added tax on all hotels and lodges upcountry as it will affect the tourism business.

These tours operators when they were before the Parliament committee on finance expressed their grievance that if this 18% VAT is implemented it could grossly affect the industry that is still struggling to catch up with the rest of East African countries because that would mean increasing on the prices charged per client intending to come in .

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