Prolific Bird Life in Uganda – Africa

Bird Life in Uganda

To most people allover the world, Uganda is mostly known for inhabiting half of the world’s last remaining population of the mountain gorillas found in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. Records have it that, mountain gorillas are in danger of extinction with only 880 individuals left in the whole world. Half of this population is found in the Virunga chain of volcanic mountains shared amongst Uganda (Mgahinga National Park), Rwanda (Volcanoes National Park) and Democratic Republic of Congo (Virunga National park). The other population is found in Bwindi Impenetrable National park in south western Uganda. Gorilla tourism is developing on a very high rate as many people fly from different parts of the world to see this endangered specie of gorillas in Africa. Uganda and Rwanda gorilla trekking permits are on very high demand throughout the year, and those interested in taking a gorilla trip are advised to book early your gorilla permits in advance. Gorilla permits can be booked through Travel Agents or Responsible bodies like Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) and Rwanda Development Board (RDB). There is also a possibility of tracking gorillas twice in both countrie since the gorilla parks are not far from each other, that is to say, it takes less than 2 hours to connect from Volcanoes National park in Rwanda to Southern Bwindi National Park in Uganda.

shoebill

Today, the world should know that Uganda is not only known for mountain gorillas but also for birding adventure in Africa. The country ranks as one of the top birding destinations in the world, offering an unbeatable combination of variety of birds, well developed transport systems, a user-friendly and supportive birding tourism industry.  Birders from around the world come to experience both the great variety of typically African birds, migrants, and endemics – those birds found only in Uganda. These birders enjoy excellent birding, whether they are with an organized commercial birding tour or are touring independently.

Of Over 1000 species that have been recorded in Uganda, about 80% are residents or annual visitors and 50 are near- endemic to Uganda, and can only be seen in the country.  Apart from the resident birds, Uganda hosts a number of African migrants such as cormorants, Goose and lapwings, as well as birds from the Arctic, Europe, Central Asia, China and Antarctica during the year.

The Birding Seasons in Uganda

The northern part tends to be dry over much of the country, but wet in the west along the Albertine rift.  At this time, excellent birding can be had in the Albertine rift areas of the southwest, complemented by outstanding game viewing.  Trips especially those that run out of Kampala, offer the chance to see large numbers of kingfishers, eagles, weavers and vultures.  The wet season brings the first of the breeding migrants from further north in Africa, and also heralds the start of the breeding season for the resident species. As the weavers and bishops emerge, so the cuckoos arrive from warmer parts and the breeding season bursts into action.

Murchison Falls National Park

Murchison Falls National Park

With the progression of wet season in Uganda into dry, the non-breeding migrants start to arrive from distant climes, mainly from Europe. At this time of the year birding reaches its peak, with widespread breeding activity and most of the migrant species around. The summer highs continue into the New Year, until migrants start to leave during April.

Key Birding Areas

The endemics, those birds found only in Uganda, are obviously one of the major attractions for birders visiting the country. Many of these endemic species are found in the grasslands, mountains, wetlands and southwestern regions.  The following areas offer exceptional birding experiences, but really great birding can be had in many other parts of the country at any time of the year.

Mabamba Swamp: The central wetlands are a key area for birders, holding a number of special wetland species, and one of the most visited destinations in Uganda. It is located on the edge of Lake Victoria, northwest of Entebbe peninsula. Mabamba swamp is visited by most of the birding tours that come to Uganda and as a result it has well-developed facilities, including resident guides. The special birds of this area are the shoebill, the blue swallow, papyrus Gonolek, Carruthers’s Cisticola, White-winged Scrub-warbler, Northern Brown-throated Weaver and Papyrus Canary.

Mabamba Swamp Birding

Mabamba Swamp Birding

Lake Bisina: it is a freshwater lake in eastern Uganda well known for its notable birds including Shoebill, Northern Brown-throated Weaver, Papyrus Canary, Fox’s Weaver and Red-chested Sunbird among others.
Lutembe Bay—located on the edge of Lake Victoria, the bay is notable for its population of white-winged tern as well as other distinguished birds including Carruthers’s Cisticola, Grey-headed Gull, Sterna nilotica, Papyrus Gonolek, White-winged Scrub-warbler, Papyrus Yellow Warbler, Sharpe’s Pied-babbler, Northern Brown-throated Weaver, Red-chested Sunbird and Papyrus Canary.
Musambwa Island—sited about 10 kilometers offshore from Kasensero Landing site in Sango Bay region, the island is the breeding ground for the grey headed gulls as well as other  species of birds Including the Long Tailed Cormorant, Greater Cormorant and the Little Egret.

bisinia-lake

Birding at Bisinia lake

Birding Facilities

Many of game reserves and national parks throughout Uganda provide excellent opportunities for birders of all descriptions. These facilities include trails, hides, information sheets and checklists and trained bird guides.  Local guides and birding experts can be hired in many places. Some companies offer specialist birding tours, lasting from a few hours to a couple of weeks.

Birding Specialists in Uganda

Once you choose to take a birding safari in Uganda, you are advised to book your trip with one of the credible birding companies such as Birding journeys Uganda, African Jungle Adventures, Abacus Africa Vacations, Birding in Uganda, Africa Adventures Safaris, Active African Vacations, Prime Uganda Safaris and Bird Uganda among others. The fact that Uganda is endowed with a big variety of wildlife, your birding safari will be spiced with other game viewing including the Big 5 animals such as Elephants, Buffaloes, Lions, Leopards and Rhinos in Zziwa Rhino Sanctuary, not forgetting gorilla trekking in Bwindi impenetrable forest or Mgahinga National Park in south western Uganda.

Short Tours in Uganda – Weekend Gataways

1 Day Royal Heritage Trail Tour

Itinerary

Your drive driver/ guide will pick you from your hotel from where you will start the drive to Bulange, then to Twekobe before driving on to the Kabaka’s Lake.

Drive on to Kasubi Tombs which is a huge dome like structure that houses the remains of four former Buganda Kings: Mutesa I, Muwanga II, Daudi Chwa II and Edward Mutesa II.

Lunch break at Ekitobero Restaurant where you will be treated to an African Buffet

Visit Namasoles place in Kanyanya before transferring to the National Museum where you will be able to see a unique collection of ethnological exhibits as well as a great collection of traditional musical instruments.

Head back to town. End of Excursion

The above Includes:

All Entry fees

Ground transportation

Services of a professional English Speaking driver / guide and his allowances

Fuel (Gas)

The above excludes:

Local & International Flights

Airport transfers

Drinks

Tips

Accommodation in Kampala (day prior & on completion of the excursion)

Souvenirs

Plus any other items of personal nature

Please note: This excursion starts and ends in Kampala. Also note that pick up from any other place can always be arranged on request.

 

Kabaka's Lake in Kampala

Kabaka’s Lake in Kampala

 

ENTEBBE CITY TOUR

Itinerary

Your driver/ guide will pick you from your hotel from where you will start the drive to

Kigungu which also happens to be the first landing spot for the church missionary fathers to Uganda

Proceed to Entebbe International Airport, then to the lake side Botanical Gardens.

Lunch break at Windsor Lake Victoria Hotel where you will have a continental or traditional Uganda style buffet

Transfer to Ugandan Wildlife Education Centre (UWEC). UWEC originally started as an animal orphanage in the 1920s has gradually grown to be a show place of various flora and fauna. Flora and fauna to look out for include the lion, buffalo, rhinos, primates like colobus monkeys, baboons, chimps and many bird species.

Later head back to Kampala. End of Excursion

The above Includes:

All Entry Fees

Private Transportation as per the itinerary.

Services of a professional English Speaking driver / guide and his allowances

Fuel (Gas)

The above excludes:

Local & International Flights

Airport transfers

Drinks

Tips

Accommodation in Kampala (day prior & on completion of the excursion)

Souvenirs

Plus any other items of personal nature

Please note: This excursion starts and ends in Kampala. Also note that pick up from any other place can always be arranged on request.

uwec

 

1 Day White Water Rafting,Bungee Jumping, Kayaking, horse riding and Quad biking

This one day water rafting trip is ideal for those with a day to spare when visiting Kampala – Uganda

Early in the morning meet & greet with your driver /guide – Sheraton Hotel parking yard at 7:30 am from where you will be transferred to Jinja. You will then be given a briefing on your safety which will be followed by a practical training prior to the start of the raft. You will raft for close to 31kms.

Other activities in Jinja include Bungee Jumping, Kayaking, horse riding and Quad biking among others.

You will be dropped off at Sheraton parking yard in Kampala.

The above Includes:

1 meal (Lunch)

Rafting Fees

Transport in a Coaster bus (To & fro Kampala)

An English Speaking driver / Guide

Fuel (Gas)

The above excludes:

Local & International Flights

Airport transfers

Drinks

Tips

Accommodation in Kampala (day prior & on completion of the excursion)

Souvenirs

Plus any other items of personal nature

Please note: This excursion starts and ends in Kampala. Also note that pick up from any other place can always be arranged on request.

Must to Activities on Uganda & Rwanda Tour

What to do in Uganda?

While on safaris to Africa continent, there are activities that you want to do to enrich your experiences. Well the excellent news is that Uganda has a lot to offer to tourists and this gives reasons why one should not skip Uganda while on a safari in Africa.

White water rafting is one of the exciting adventures activities done on the River Nile. Enjoy this adventure activity and become wild while exploring beautiful longest river in the world. This is an experience you will love to take with you back home.

African Elephant

African Elephant

Uganda offers diverse choices to her visitors simply because the country is blessed with diversity in attractions. Trekking down to Bwindi National Park offers surprising experience as you encounter with the Batwa community and also engaging in gorilla tracking, one of the best adventurous activities to do while on a Uganda safari. The safari offers you a Challenging but overcoming journey as you move through the Hills and Valleys to Track down this Endangered Mountain gorillas. Enjoy encountering with your one of the surviving relatives which carries a good percentage of human DNA.

Not only will you trek down the Mountain gorillas but also the Chimpanzees in different parks in Uganda. Chimpanzees also known as chimps are the closest living evolutionary families to Human beings. They shared a common ancestor with human beings about four millions years ago. Chimpanzee trekking in Kibale National Park gives you the opportunity to meet the living relatives of human being who have not yet changed and where historical nature of man is stored.

Uganda, a must visit destination sounds right. The wonders of Uganda are beyond measures. The only mountain with snow cape in the hot and dark continent is Rwenzori Mountains, also Known as Mountain of the Moon has one of the challenging and exciting adventures that enrich tourists experience while on their tours in Uganda. Climbing this mountain to the top is the most beautiful memory you will want to take home and gossip about. During mountain climbing different species of birds can also be spotted thus enriching your experience.

Safari to the savannah side of the country presents you the Africa wild games. A game drive is the only way to explore in these beautiful national Parks while on your holiay in Uganda. Among the African wild games include the Big Five. Game drive done in Kidepo national park, Queen Elizabeth, Lake Mburo Murchison Falls National Park a gives you the chances of seeing different animal species like the African Lion, Elephants, Buffaloes, Giraffes, Ostriches in Kidepo, Leopard and several antelope species such as Zebras, Oribis, Statungas and Water backs among others. In Uganda, we also have tree climbing lions found in  the Ishasha sector of Queen Elizabeth national park.

Uganda is also endowed with unique cultures, friendly and welcoming people. Your holiday in Uganda can be spiced by community tours where you can visit local people in their homes, gardens or markets, interact with them and know more about their lifestyle. There is a chance to participate in local community work such as harvesting, milking cows, digging and fetching water from wells among others. It is such an exciting experience in Uganda.

What to do in Rwanda?

Rwanda is a small land locked country, located in East Africa, bordered by Tanzania in the East, Burundi in the South, Uganda in the north and Democratic Republic of Congo in the West. The country mainly has 3 national park and offering different tourism activities.

Volcanoes National Park: Is a home to one of the last remaining population of wild mountain gorillas in the world, with about 10 gorilla groups habituated for tourism purposes. Apart from gorilla trekking, other tour activities here include golden monkey tracking, visiting the tombs of the late Dian Fossey, Musanze caves exploration, nature walk the beautiful Twin lakes of Burera and Ruhondo, community tours, Mountain hiking and visiting gorilla doctors. Currently there are 2 volcanic mountains open for hiking, that is, Mt. Kasirisimbi requires 2 days and 1 night camping up there, then Mt. Bishoke takes less than 7 hours to go and come back. Tourism in the area is growing at a faster rate, majority of the visitors to Rwanda visit Volcanoes National Park mainly for gorilla tracking, and this provides employment to the local community, for example, many Rwanda gorilla trekking lodges around the park and Musanze town employ local people as waiters, waitresses, Chefs, Guards, Receptionists and House keepers among others. The lodges / hotels around the park buy local produce (Greens, Food staff, etc) that are served to tourists. Therefore, this is direct provision of market to local produce.

silverback-gorilla

Silver-back Gorilla in Volcanoes National Park

Nyungwe National Park: Is the largest Mountainous forest in East and Central Africa, and a home to about 13 primate species that include Chimpanzees, Golden monkeys, Black and white colobus monkeys, Vervets, Red-tailed monkeys, Mangabeys, L’Hoes’ts, Blue monkeys, etc. There are 2 groups of Chimpanzees habituated for tourism purposes. Here we also have huge troupes of black and white colobus monkeys also habituated for tourism. Other tour activities here apart from chimpanzee tracking include Canopy walk adventure, Colobus monkey trekking, forest walks, tea harvesting, bird watching, etc. Nyungwe National Park is located in the southwestern part of the country, about 5-6hours drive from Kigali.

Akagera National Park: Located in Eastern Rwanda near Tanzania boarder. Its famous for game viewing and boat ride on lake Ihema. While on the game driver, you may see animals like Giraffes, Zebras, Buffalo, Hippos and Elephants among others. Bird life is prolific with over 300 species.

Historical and genocide Memorials: Rwanda has many historical sites as well as genocide memorial museums such as Gisozi  museum in Kigali, Nyamata and Ntarama Churches, Bisesero genocide museum, Murambi technical school that was also reserved into a genocide museum where many people including students were massacred.

When you happen to visit Rwanda, never miss out a visit to any of the genocide museums above because, you have an opportunity to know experience what happened before, during and after the genocide in 1994 in Rwanda. Information is provided at each memorial to visitors.

Hot-air ballooning Trip in Queen Elizabeth National Park

Peaceful and serene, hot-air ballooning is a wonderful adventure in Uganda. From the thrill of watching the balloon inflate, and the imperceptible lift-off, to the gentle descents with the pilot skimming the treetops one moment then sending you soaring heavenwards the next. And the sensational views are unforgettable!

Recently introduced Hot-air balloon rides in Queen Elizabeth national park offer safe adventures. Commercial hot-air ballooning in Uganda is controlled by the Uganda Civil Aviation Authority, and each operator must be registered as a non-scheduled airline, have a valid pilot’s license, operating certificate and public liability insurance and is held to regular airworthiness checks. As a passenger, you need to be fit enough to stand for the duration of the flight (at least 50 minutes), climb in and out of the basket and be at least 1.2m (4 ft) tall so you can see over the rim. Air temperature and stability dictate that almost all balloon flights start before sunrise, and the flight path of every excursion depends on the direction of the wind and the weather.

In Queen Elizabeth National park, take a flight over the crater lakes, or over Kazinga channel, with views of the foothills of the Rwenzori Mountains. In the park, a mix of savannah grassland and woodland offer a rare and exquisite sight. In the Katwe crater region, drift over the salt pans and spectacular landscapes—spot the game from air.

Bungee jump on World’s longest River Nile

The Nile river bungee jumping adds a whole new dimension to sightseeing on this famous river. Bridging the gap between adventure and sightseeing tourism, it allows visitors to enjoy one of its most famous landmarks like never before. River Nile bungee jumping will have you falling heads over heels for this river in no time. Leap over the source of the Nile from one of the most spectacular bungee jumping sites in the world. We specialize in tandem jumps, water touches and full-moon jumps

The Nile bungee jump is one of several adventure activities now on offer and is one of the most exciting ways to see world’s biggest river. Based on River Nile cliff and a major Jinja attraction – the new activities are fast changing the way visitors experience the River. For a start, you now have the most awesome view of the Nile from the top of the cliff. Other Nile adventure experience includes the white water rafting, Kayaking and jetting.

Travel tips & planning info

Who to contact

ADRIFT Adventure Co.
Plot 14, York Terrace,
Kololo, Kampala-Uganda

E-mail:     raft [at] adrift [dot] ug
Telephone:     +256-(0) 312 237 438
Mobile:     +256 (0) 772 237 438

Postal Address:
P.O. Box 7681
Kampala

How to get here

If you’re driving, from Kampala take the Jinja highway to Jinja town that is approximately 80km from Uganda’s capital city-Kampala.

Tours to do

Evening source of the River Nile tours

What will it cost?

  • Bungee Jump  –  $ 115
  • Raft / Bungee Combo
    • $ 195 – Full day rafting – can only be done over 2 days!
    • $ 185 – Half day rafting

 

Length of stay

Half-day to full day

What to pack

Plenty of sunscreen, a hat and lots of courage!

Where to stay

For something a little different, try and book in to one of the many charming Bed and Breakfast in the area.

What to eat

Try traditional African cuisine at venues across Jinja town or international cuisine from up market restaurants.

 

Gorilla Trekking Code of Conduct

About Gorilla Trekking

Mountain gorilla trekking is ranked amongst the world’s top adventurous activities, only done in East and Central Africa. This is the only place in the world where one can travel to and see the mountain gorillas in their natural habitat. Gorilla Census report of 2011 showed that, there are only 880 mountain gorillas left in the whole world, found in the Virunga volcanic mountain ranges shared among Uganda, Rwanda and DR Congo. Out of 880, Uganda has about 440, which is almost half of it. This means that, like cross river gorillas (250 – 300 remaining), mountain gorillas are also critically endangered. And the number of visitors par day is limited to 8 people visiting each gorilla group. The limit aims at protecting these gentle giants through conserving their environment. You need a gorilla permit that acts as permission to participate in a guided forest to search for gorillas. A gorilla trekking permit in Rwanda costs US dollars 750 each, US dollars 600 in Uganda and US dollars 500 in DR Congo. Gorilla trekking in Rwanda takes place in Volcanoes National Park with currently over 10 gorilla groups, and in Uganda, gorilla tracking takes place in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park with currently 12 gorilla groups and 1 gorilla group in Mgahnga National Park. Gorilla Trekking in DR Congo’s Virunga National Park is not well developed due to some political unrests in the region but its one of the perfect destinations to see gorillas in the wild with big gorilla groups and silverbacks and babies.

How to behave on the way to trek Gorillas:

Always follow the instructions from the ranger guides while on the way to search for mountain Gorillas. Rangers may instruct you to follow a certain route, keeping quiet, keep close and so on, and please obey.

If you have any transmitted or contiguous disease like cold, dysentery, skin disease, cough and so on. Please remain behind and wait for you’re refunded according to the Uganda Wildlife Authority refund regulations or you can decide to reschedule the tracking date to meet gorillas after recovery.

Only 8 visitors or trackers are allowed to visit each gorilla group since a large group can stress the gorillas. In a Small group, the gorillas are comfortable and relaxed with there visitors’ presence.

It is advisable to wash your hands with detergent so that you do not carry any germs to the field which may spread diseases to the gorillas. They are highly susceptible to human diseases.

Avoid dumping any rubbish on the way because the gorillas can easily pick it and eat it. This also spoils the environment.

Since gorillas are mobile in their nature environment, you are expected to endure the difficulties in trying to meet them. The ranger guide will guide you following the trails to the area they were last seen the previous day. In case they moved, you are requested to be patient as you search since these are free animals in there natural habitat.

Set your cameras in advance – avoid flash cameras to avoid stressing the Gorillas. You need to be patient and wait to take out your cameras until advised to do so. He has to first observe there mood before you can take any action.

Don’t forget extra batteries and insect repellent while going on a gorilla trek in Africa.

Kampala Serena Hotel

Kampala Serena Hotel is the Hotel on World standards – it is a 5 star Hotel situated in the heart of Kampala amidst 7.2 acres of landscaped grounds and water gardens. An oasis of cool and green, encircled by the seven hills of Kampala, this 152-room world-class hotel is the focal point of national, regional, business, political and social life. It is one of the perfect places to stay while in Uganda (Kampala) for a holiday with your family, or on a business trip.

Kampala Serena Hotel provides an international conference center, a garden auditorium, a roof-top terrace, a rock-sculptured pool terrace, three restaurants, two bars and the Moorish palace of the ‘Maisha Mind Body and Spirit Spa.

kampala_serena_hotel_poolside

Location of Kampala Serena Hotel: The Hotel is found on Kintu Road, on Nakasero Hill, one of the most exclusive, upscale neighborhoods in Kampala. Kampala serena Hotel is found 40 km from Entebbe International Airport.

High end rooms with AC, satellite TV, Wi-Fi and voice-mail.

Services offered at Kampala Serena Hotel include:

Bambara Residents’ Lounge with Bedouin Terrace, The Lakes, all-day brasserie, The Mist, cocktail bar,   The Explorer, Italian bistro, The Pearl of Africa, fine-dining experience, The Sesse Pool Terrace bar and café, Panoramic roof terrace for private cocktails and social events, Garden auditorium, Extensive swimming pool area with rock-built waterfall, The Maisha Mind Body and Spirit Spa, Running track in the grounds and golf course (nearby), Hair and beauty salon, International Conference Centre to seat 1,500, VIP entrance, helipad, dedicated car park, full security, Wide range of incentives options, Business Centre, travel desk, taxi and limousine service, Wedding planning service, Gift Shop, news-stand and travel requisites kiosk.

In Uganda, we also have another 5 Star Lake Victoria Serena Hotel located in Kigo along Entebbe Road in a very quiet environment, also good for relaxation at very affordable prices.

Everything on a Uganda Tour is Unique and Amazing

Have you ever thought of traveling top a destination where everything that comes to your eyes is totally amazing and new? Well, a visit to Uganda is a sure deal of this astounding experience particularly for first time visitors. This may sound crazy to you however the truth of the matter is that the nature which waits to be explored by you in this “Pearl of Africa” is magnificent.

The fact is that Uganda is among the leading tourism destination in Africa and its amazing nature is the main reasons as to why the nation has constantly attracted many tourists from different parts of the world.

Among the nature wonders you will see while visiting Uganda is the variety of wildlife including even those which can only be found in Uganda. A drive through some national parks in the country is an exciting experience as you see a group of different animals as they roam about the whole national park searching and water. Your safari to Uganda will also become more interesting when you move on foot through some of the thick tropical rainforests and encountering some animals and other nature wonders.

Gorilla tracking is another stunning tour activity you should not miss on your excursion to Uganda just because it’s among the memorable activity you will enjoy in Uganda. Spending some quality time with the rare and endangered mountain gorillas is a memorable experience as you get the chance to discover how they spend their lives and how they associate with humans. Take clear photographs with them and also play with some friendly primates. A gorilla safari to Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park is enough particularly for those interested on watching these rare primates. The national park has 12 gorilla families which can be visit and these are all around gazetted for easy access.

Apart from mountain gorillas in Bwindi Forest and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park, there are also other primates a tourist can track like the chimpanzees, barbet monkeys and others. In the mean time as you track the primates, you may encounter some people in the impenetrable forest of Bwindi called the Batwa. These are cultured people who live in the forest. One fascinating thing about them is that regardless of their pygmie-nature, they are able to hunt for food in the forests and also find shelter. Get an opportunity of meeting them in the forests and sharing some memorial moments together.

Other exciting activities one can enjoy on a Uganda safari incorporate, bird watching, mountain climbing, city visits, nature strolls, sport angling, boat cruise, wildlife watching, guided nature walks and many others.

Rwanda the Home Of Mighty African Mountain Gorillas

Rwanda is blessed with many wildlife diversity and bird species which form its core products. The country has beautiful scenery making it known as the country of a thousand hills and with hospitable people which has attracted a lot of safaris to Rwanda. The glory of this country is seen in her mountain gorillas. Rwanda is a home for one of the unique group of primates (the endangered mountain gorillas) found in only three countries (Uganda, Rwanda and Democratic Republic of Congo) in the world and as a result as led to many safari visits in Rwanda.

Mountain gorillas are critically endangered animals out listed by IUCN. The primates live in the rainforest Volcanoes National Park, located 90 minutes drive from Kigali the capital city of Rwanda. Volcanoes National park is shared by Mgahinga national park in Uganda and Virunga National park in Democratic Republic of Congo. Mountain gorillas mostly feed on fresh leaves, shoots, fruits, and piths but they do not take water on daily basis because of the food they eat which contains a lot water and moisture.

These Apes are the largest primate species having about 98% of Human DNA making them the closest relatives of Humans and the Chimpanzees. Thus making them one of the tourism attractions you don’t want to miss seeing while on your safari in Rwanda. This specie of critically endangered Mountain gorillas live in groups headed by one leader called silverback. Silver back guards the group against any danger and threats from other animals. He protects the group even with his own life which reflects the nature of man. Mountain gorillas offer the best safaris experiences while on your safaris to Rwanda and Uganda as well as other East African Countries. Many writers contend that, a safari in Africa is only complete when you visit mountain gorillas in their natural habitat, in the true African wilderness, deep in the heart of Africa.

Gorilla-tracking-Volcanoes
Gorilla safaris in Rwanda are best conducted in Volcanoes national park and for Uganda is best done in Bwindi impenetrable national park. Uganda also has another group of mountain gorillas known as “Nyakagezi gorilla group” found in Mgahinga National Park. However, this group is not yet stable as it sometimes crosses the boarder to Virunga National Park in Democratic Republic of Congo and Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda, simply because they do not need visas. Gorilla trekking safaris also offer tourists with the additional opportunity to spot different bird species, other animals and other primates like the golden monkeys and the silver monkeys.

To enjoy gorilla trekking, you are required to assemble at the park headquarters in Kinigi before 7:30am for a briefing about this activity. This means you should sleep in lodges around the park a night before the trek. Among the accommodation options around Volcanoes National Park include Sabyinyo Silverback lodge, Virunga lodge, Le Bambou Gorilla Lodge, Mountain Gorilla View Lodge, Hotel La Palme and Kinigi Guest House among others.

However, if you stay in Kigali and interested in tracking gorillas the same day, you need to leave Kigali in the morning at 4:30am, it takes 2 hours drive. However, this is high risk because there is one route  to the park and in case you find it blocked by mud slides or fallen trees, you won’t have any other option and you are likely to miss the trek, yet, no refund for gorilla permits that costs US$750. At the end of the trek, each tourist who participated is rewarded with a certificate to confirm that he / she successfully participated in this life time adventure activity.

The main Challenges of Uganda Tourism Industry

Broken but rapidly improving road system, the other is the absence of a grading system for accommodation facilities, which leaves little room for decision for the sophisticated tourists. Likewise, an absence of a functional training facility for tour and travel industry has hampered interest. There is additionally absence of basic maps and legitimate signage.

What is the Biggest Missing Link?
The biggest missing connection is absence of marketing of the tourism richness. “Sadly we have not positioned ourselves well,” says Wekesa.

A Kenyan editor with the Standard newspaper described as of late the days when Uhuru Kenyatta (now Kenyan president) was a senior official in the Kenyan tourism industry.
Kenyatta left nothing to risk in guaranteeing there is a wholesome marketing package to such an extent that the entire group of media from Kenya might go with the marketing team to top tourism exhibitions, for example the World Tourism Market in London. In these meetings, tourism Kenya officials might have a marketing budget, however year on, the arrival figures continue to swell.

Uganda receives in the over of 300,000 tourists yearly going by national parks and game reserves, of which 80,000 are foreigners. The figures might be bigger, as per analysts, if there is marketing and investment in the line facilities. “We have not marketed adventure tourism, which is the where the money really is,” said Wekesa.

Local Tourism
Until later endeavors by the Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA), the development of local tourism has been wanting with packages mainly focused to foreign tourists.

Tony Ofungi, a private tour and travel operator, affirms that even private tour operators have not kept tabs on making domestic tourism handlers.

Wekesa advises that the worth chain must likewise be generally considered by the Government. “Between Entebbe and Kampala, there is nowhere to stop and purchase crafts for instance, yet when people travel, their capability to use is much higher.

Uganda Safaris: You can book memorable short safaris in Uganda like a 3 days gorilla safari, 3 days chimps tracking and many others with African Jungle Adventures Ltd and Gorilla Expeditions Ltd the heading tour companies operating in Uganda and Rwanda.

Akagera National Park in Rwanda

Akagera National Park is one the most popular safari destinations in Africa. A wide variety of Rwanda safari packages organized by tour operators to explore this park’s hidden treasures on game drives, boat ride and nature walks. The park could scarcely be more different in mood to the breezy cultivated hills that characterize much of Rwanda. Dominated scenically by the labyrinth of swamps and lakes that follow the meandering course of the Akagera River, the most remote source of the Nile, this is an archetypal African savannah landscape of tangled acacia woodland interspersed with open grassland.

antelop

Akagera is, above all, big game country! Herds of elephant and buffalo emerge from the woodland to drink at the lakes, while lucky visitors might stumble across a spotted hyena or even a stray lion.

Giraffe and zebra amble through the savannah, and more than a dozen types of antelope inhabit the park, most commonly the handsome chestnut-coated impala, but also the diminutive oribi and secretive bushbuck, as well as the ungainly tsessebe and the world’s largest antelope, the statuesque cape eland.

The most common tourist activities in the park include:

Birding trips in Akagera National park

The park hosts over 525 bird species- this is one of the birding sanctuary. Akagera is indisputably the best place in Rwanda to find savannah birds and raptors. It is also well stocked with water loving birds living amongst the swamps.

Game drives in Akagera National Park

These include nights and day game viewing safaris. Night game drives gives opportunities to spot nocturnal like leopards and so on. Day time game drives enables visitors view animals like Elephants, buffaloes, warthogs, waterbucks, common or cape eland, roan antelope, hippopotamuses , sitatunga, burchell’s zebras, orive common baboons, giraffes, crocodiles, little bee eaters, open billed stock, marabou stock   black headed gonolek, robin charts among others.

Fishing on lake ihema and lake Shakani is yet another amazing experience when visit Akagera National park.

Boat tours on Lake Ihema

It is a must experience if you visit Akagera National park. Boat trips are operated by Akagera Safari Lodge and Rwanda Tourism office. While on the boat, expect to see water loving birds and animals like hippos, crocodiles among others.