Paraa Safari Lodge in Uganda – Murchison Falls National Park

Paraa safari Lodge is situated in Murchison Falls National Park and it is among the 5 stars lodge found in the area. The lodge is located in the north west of Uganda over looking one of nature’s best kept secrets, the River Nile, on its journey from its source at Lake Victoria to join Lake Albert – here it is suddenly channeled into a gorge only six meters wide, and cascades 43 meters below. The earth literally trembles at Murchison Falls – one of the world’s most powerful flows of natural water. Paraa Safari Lodge provides a unique blend of comfort, relaxation and adventure. Each of the rooms is a haven of style and serenity, complete with balcony and private bathroom.

paraa-lodge-ugandaThe luxurious pool overlooks the winding River Nile below, which was the setting for the classic Hollywood movie “The African Queen” (starring Katharine Hepburn and Humphrey Bogart). Enjoy a variety of excursions and activities; from exhilarating Safari drives to boat trips along the River Nile, ending at the foot of Murchison Falls. For the more adventurous, one can trek up to the top of the falls and marvel at the views through the mist. A variety of ecosystems and an impressive 451 species of birds awaits you here.

Activities while at Paraa safari Lodge:

Game drives safaris:

In the park, early morning game drives rewards visitors with the view of the early raisers like predetors and so on while returning into their hiding places. Along side moring game drives, there is also afternoon and night game drives through the park which rewards visitors view the African wildlife like elephant, buffalo, giraffe, Jackson’s hartebeest and oribi. With luck, lion and perhaps even a leopard may be sighted.

paraa-restaurantChimpanzee trekking:

Kaniyo Pabidi forest (8 kms from Kicumbanyobo Gate on Masindi Paraa road or 56kms from Paraa Safari Lodge) is a beautiful natural forest dominated by giant mahogany and ironwood trees. Chimpanzees can be tracked from Kaniyo Pabidi tourism site, which is run by the Jane Goodall Institute. Bird-life here is abundant including; the Chocolate-Backed Kingfisher, the White-thighed Hornbill; and Puvel’s Illaposis, which is found nowhere else in East Africa.

Birding:

Murchison Falls National Park supports more than 451 species of birds. This gives serious birders a happiest moment! Birds like rare yet famous Shoebill stalk, Martial Eagle, the African Fish Eagle, Papyrus Gonolek, Lesser and Greater Flamingo, White-tailed Lark and Verraux’s Eagle Owl among others are viewed in and out side the murchison park.

Boat cruise on River Nile

A highlight of any visit to Murchison Falls Conservation Area is the launch cruise to view the magnificent Murchison Falls along side water loving birds and animals floating at the banks of the Nile. Launch tours normaly begin at 9.00am and 2.00pm. Both morning and afternoon cruises takes amaximum of three hours of enjoyment.

Drive to the Falls

The most rewarding times for game drives are the early morning and late afternoon/early evening.

A drive through the scenic Buligi area west of Paraa to the Delta Point (where the Victoria Nile passes through the northern tip of Lake Albert to become the Albert Nile) takes around three hours. Expect to see elephant, buffalo, giraffe, Jackson’s hartebeest and oribi. With luck, lion and perhaps even a leopard may be sighted. Morning game drives start at 7am. Breakfast can be taken beforehand at 6.30am or afterwards at around 10am. Evening game drives start at 4pm. With prior notice, the lodge will book a Uganda Wildlife Authority ranger guide to accompany visitors to help them spot games and for safety.

The highlight for any Uganda safari package is mountain gorilla tracking in Bwindi impenetrable national park. In this case, you can extend your Uganda wildlife tour package with a 3 day gorilla safari in Uganda‘s Bwindi impenetrable forest. For details about such trips, send an email to info@junglesafarisuganda.com

Is World’s largest active volcano a threat to the local and tourists?

mauna-loa-volcanoThe world’s biggest active volcano Mauna Loa in Hawaii is showing signs of life with more seismic activities than whenever since its last eruption, researchers say. Scientists are foreseeing another blast anytime soon.

The volcano which last erupted in 1984 has been rattled by series of tremors since March 2013. “The quakes we are seeing at Mauna Loa lead us to accept that some of the same things that happened before the 1975 and 1984 eruptions are occurring right now,” said Wes Thelen, a seismologist for the U.S. Geographical Survey’s Hawaiian Volcano Observatory. “We don’t see this sort of activity outside of pre-eruptive earthquake sequences,” he said.

Mauna Loa is a prevalent destination for climbers regardless of being an active volcano. But will the late behaviour pose a danger for voyagers? Individuals living on [mauna Loa's] flanks face numerous harzards that come with living on or close to an active volcano, including lava flows, explosive eruptions, volcanic smog, damaging earthquakes, and local tsunami. Its increasing population and development imply that risk from volcano hazards will continue to grow.

“We’re not shutting down the summit or doing anything drastic,” Thelen said. “This is of interest on the grounds that it may be the very first sign that something’s up deep underneath the volcano, however we’ll wait until either the quakes get bigger or we see more inflation in the volcano to raise the color code.”

Belize Tourism Industry Association 29th Bi-Annual General Meeting invited Green Globe CEO as guest speaker

Green Globe CEO Mr. Guido Bauer has been welcome to address the 29th Bi-Annual General Meeting of the Belize Tourism Industry Association (BTIA) on the ninth of July 2014 at the Best Western Belize Biltmore Plaza.

Green Globe CEO Mr. Guido Bauer will present insights into how certification profits tourism operators in Belize. Using working example, Mr. Bauer will examine how Green Globe has helped a variety of business in Belize to organize their great effort in ecological conservation, and care for local communities and people, into practical sustainability management plans. This procedure had led not only to international recognition through Certification by Green Globe, yet has had an immediate effect in bringing more business and greater customer satisfaction.

Guido Bauer is a veteran of the travel and tourism industry and customarily gives tourist lectures on sustainability and its positive effects on business. His most recent speaking engagements have included universities, for example, UCLA, Stanford University, Long Beach State, San Diego State University and University of Utah. Upon invitation, Guido has additionally presented Green Globe’s achievement to the Expert Group Meeting on Enhancing Sustainable Tourism at the United Nations in New York. Other speaking engagements incorporated the World Ecotourism Summit in Cebu/Philippines, ESTC 2014 in Bonito/Brazil and numerous other international events.

Green Globe is an Affiliate Member of the United Nations World Tourism Organization.

Budget flying – 15 cheapest airlines of the world revealed

airplaneA late study on the airline fares of different local airline revealed a list of the fifteen cheapest airlines of the world. In the event that you are flying with the least expensive airline, the Firefly Airlines of Malaysia the average price of a flight will be only $44.

The study made via Whichairline.com uncovered some of the interesting facts about the fare wars between low price airlines. The flights are kept short and the prices are made sweeter to draw in more voyagers.

The Firefly, a subsidiary of Malaysia Airlines, fly to local routes in Malaysia and in addition to Indonesia, Singapore and Thailand.
Mexico’s VivaAerobus with average flight rates beginning from $69 holds the second place though the AirAsia ranks third on the world with average flight cost of $72.
The list of international airlines ranked budget carrier based on averages from more than 3,220,000 flight prices found on the flight comparison site from June 2014 and later.

Les Clefs d’Or India and Locus Media tie up to make Indian travel experience really extraordinary!

india-touristInternational and local voyagers to different Indian cities will soon get handpicked information about what everything they can do during their India tour. The Indian chapter of Les Clefs d’Or, one of the biggest association of concierges across 45 nations and Locus Media, India’s heading in-destination promoting company have entered into a strategic tie-up to improve the city experience of tourists visiting India.

As part of the strategic alliance, city information that is relevant for sightseers – what to see, things to do, places to dine and shop – will be curated, designed and developed crosswise over various formats. On offer are wonderfully designed maps and guides, a mobile application and a luxury magazine. Mr. Edwin Saldhana, President Les Clef’s d’Or India says, “Les Clefs d’Or Concierges play an important part in catering to visitor necessities at luxury hotel in India.

We are blissful to be collaborating with the best in the business to launch these new activities which will take the visitor experience to the next level. “Karan Sethi, Co-founder and Director of Locus Media include, “Locus is committed on giving the best information and carefully curated experience to tourists visiting Indian cities. In Les Clefs d’Or India we discovered a team that has the same passion and we’re eager to luxury a luxury magazine, a mobile application and city maps with them in various regions!” All three will be available to guests staying at star hotels crosswise over the major Indian cities. This is the first such initiative of its kind in the nation and it’s expected to make the travel and tourism experience of domestic and international travelers truly incredible!

German Luxury hotel brand selects eRevMax for increasing online sales

The Spa & Golf Resort Weimarer Land, a luxury hotel brand in Germany, has chosen eRevMax to streamline its online distribution. The Weimar based property, a licensee of Lindner Hotels & Resorts is using CONNECT by eRevMax to guarantee real time connectivity between the property and online travel operators, meta- search agencies, travel agents and corporate customers. The result empowers the hotel to make immediate Availability, Rates and Inventory (ARI) updates to numerous online channels, while in the meantime, all reservations generated through these channels get involved into their PMS automatically.

Opened a year ago, the 4 star luxuries Spa & Golf Resort Weimarer Land offers 94 rooms and 36-hole golf course. The extreme competition in the European hospitality sector has made it important for accommodation providers to optimize all demand sources. The revenue management team at the Spa & Golf Resort required focusing more on revenue strategy rather than mere room and rate distribution which was taking up a lot of time and resources.

CONNECT, a SaaS based enterprise connectivity solution from eRevMax gives fully coordinated, two-way XML connections to the world’s heading online booking websites, helping properties of all sizes to boost their online exposure through a network of online distribution channels. Spa & Golf Resort Weimarer Land can influence seamless connectivity to boost its revenue opportunity and cut the distribution costs by quickly and effectively expanding their market reach.

“eRevMax solutions provide instant control over yield management, permitting our properties to handle more product types while automating the distribution process. We were able to identify the best producing websites, while also enhancing our overall online booking,” said Mark A. Kühnelt, General Manager, Spa & Golf Resort
“Connect by eRevMax helps the team at Spa & Golf Resort to expand online revenue by guaranteeing real-time room availability over all distribution points through automatic adjustment from pooled stock. Presently selling on more than 5 channels, they can likewise use eRevMax’s superior connectivity with about 100 international and regional distributors including OTAs, Tour Operators and Wholesalers to reach out to new markets,” said John Seaton, VP- Sales, EMEA & APAC, eRevMax.

eRevMax is developing its connectivity solutions to offer complex real-time revenue management functionality to the hospitality industry. This incorporates solutions for the independent market, the mid-market and scaling up through the large, international hotel groups.

Rwanda Primate Safaris Vs. Rwanda wildlife safaris

If you are planning for your visit to Rwanda it is better to experience the primate safari compared to wildlife as Rwanda has one small Akagera National Park and it is the only park where you can experience wildlife safaris in Rwanda. I and my boyfriend we planned to visit Rwanda and our major interest was much on taking wildlife safari such that we spot most of the African big 5, but from the research Akagera could not offer all these and we decided to have Rwanda primate safari and then planned to have wildlife safari in Uganda.

For us to have this experience much interesting we planned our travel with Gorilla Expeditions Ltd, very reliable travel agency with their travel experts they helped us to arrange 14 days Uganda and Rwanda gorilla safari, we enjoyed our 2 times double Gorilla trekking and had amazing experiences with two different endangered mountain Gorilla families in Volcanoes National Park with our 3 night stay at the Virunga Safari Lodge which offer stunning view of the interesting 2 twin lakes (Burera and Ruhondo).

Then on our last day we left the volcanoes we took the unforgettable golden monkey tracking and thereafter we had to travel via Cyanika border to Uganda the pearl of Africa and we had our stay at the shores of Lake Mutanda, Mutanda Lake Resort and the following day we had relaxing day at the lodge and then in the evening we took an amazing canoeing along the volcanic Lake Mutanda.

As we were interested in adventurous activities we embark the interesting full day Batwa trail in Mgahinga Gorilla Park and each of us paid $ 85 dollars including the park fees for Mgahinga Gorilla Park. With the Batwa leaders we participated in the life style of the Batwa and we visit the Garama cave and by the time we finished this trail we were so tired and by the time we arrived back to Mutanda Lake Resort refreshment were prepared for us and later we had our African cuisine dinner!

After, being filled with all this unforgettable experience we crossed to Queen Elizabeth National Park via the famous Ishasha southern sector very known for the African tree climbing lions in the branches of the fig trees and other wildlife like the elephants, buffaloes, warthogs, topi, oribi among others and then we retired to African Safari Bush Lodge.

From this National Park we had several game drives and very many wildlife species were spotted, after we took the boat cruise along the Kazinga Channel which connects the Ramsar Lake George to Lake Edward and over this cruise we spotted variety of wildlife and birdlife species along the shores of the Channel. Our guide, Alex was knowledgeable about almost everything and was always considerate and helpful and we could not even want to depart at the end of our safari when Alex dropped us at the Entebbe international airport.

The Top 10 curfew-free Tourist Destinations in Thailand

The Thailand Tourism Authority announced that a total of 10 main tourist destinations are now curfew-free. These destinations are:
1: Phuket
2: Ko Samui
3: Pattaya City
4: Hua Hin
5: Cha-am
6: Krabi
7: Phang-nga
8: Hat Yai
9: Ko Chang
10: Ko Phangan (including Ko Tao)

This took after the last night announcement by the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) to lift curfew in Hat Yai, Ko Chang and Ko Phangan Districts with immediate impact. Two days preceding that, the council lifted curfew in Hua Hin, Cha-am, Krabi and Phang-nga, and prior a week ago (on 3 June, 2014) it repudiated the nighttime restriction for Phuket, Ko Samui and Pattaya.

These 10 travel destinations are among the most-loved and visited tourists regions in Thailand, in this way the curfew demonstrates the NCPO’s dedication to push tourism, which it identified as one of the kingdom’s key economic drivers.

The TAT needs to guarantee all travelers visiting Thailand that tourism remains unaffected since the nation was put under the adminstration of the NCPO on 22 May 2014.
All airports throughout Thailand, including at key international gateways – Bangkok (Suvarnabhumi and Don Mueang), Phuket, Ko Samui, Hat Yai and Chiang Mai – as well as modes of transport (road, rail and waterway) are working as per normal. Airlines likewise keep on operating incoming and outgoing flights as per normal.

All tourism-related businesses and services (hotel, resorts, spas, restaurants, entertainment venues, cinemas, convention centers, shopping malls, superstores, convenient stores, as well as banks, petrol and gas stations) all through Thailand are open and working as usual. Phone and internet services keep on being accessible 24 hours.

In Bangkok and other traveler destinations, life proceeds as normal and all tourism-related business and services are working as per normal. Voyagers can keep on enjoying the many fine-dining and nightlife, provided that they observe the curfew time from midnight to 4 a.m.

For visa application and procedure, travelers can keep on applying for visa as usual at Royal Thai Embassy and Consulates internationally. For visa-on-arrival, all international checkpoints – airports, border checkpoints and sea ports – are open and operating as per normal.

Uganda self Drive holidays with African Jungle Adventures

Uganda is one of the perfect destinations for self drive holidays in East Africa. You can explore the country’s beautiful landscapes, diversity of wildlife, unique cultures and water bodies. If you want a private adventure and explore Uganda on your own, organize a self drive Uganda holiday to over 10 national parks in Uganda. Among these National parks include Murchison falls national park, Uganda’s largest park, famous for big game drives in search for some of the Big 5 like Leopard, Lion, Elephants, Buffaloes, then giraffes, and many antelope species, also famous for fantastic boat cruise to the bottom of the falls and Nile Delta as well as bird watching and Chimpanzee tracking in Budongo forest.

self-drive-campingAnother area never to miss while on yourself drive holiday in Uganda is Queen Elizabeth Park also famous for wild game drives, boat cruise on Kazinga channel, chimpanzee tracking in Kyambura gorge, tree climbing lion spotting in Ishasha sector and excellent birding with over 600 species.

For primate lovers, you can for chimpanzee tracking or habituation experience in Kibale national park that inhabits about 13 species of primates and 350 bird species. Here you can still explore local communities, historical and cultural sites around fort portal area and the crater lakes in the region at your own pace.

Mountain gorilla tracking is the highlight for any safari in Uganda! This is a must do activity while on your self drive Uganda safari. According to the 2011 gorilla census, there are only 880 mountain gorillas left in the whole world, and this world’s last remaining population is found in the Virunga chain of mountain ranges, shared between Uganda, DR Congo and Rwanda. This means that mountain gorillas are critically endangered species. Gorillas in Uganda are found in Bwindi Impenetrable forest and Mgahinga national park. These are the only places to see mountain gorillas in the wild found in south western Uganda.

In the same locality, other attractions include the Batwa trail in Mgahinga, Batwa experience in Buhoma, Caves exploration, golden monkey tracking in Mgahinga, Gahinga mountain hiking and bird watching as well as community tours, not forgetting a boat / canoe ride on the beautiful Lake Bunyonyi.

Other National parks include Lake Mburo park, Mount Rwenzori national park, Mt. Elgon Park and Kidepo valley National park. Plan a memorable self drive Uganda adventure in one of our reliable vehicles. We have 4×4 Toyota Rav 4 for hire and land cruisers at the best prices in the market. Contact us on info@rwandagorillasafaris.com, website: www.rwandagorillasafaris.com

Gorilla trekking tips in Africa

gorilla trekking tipsOn my first gorilla trekking in Africa in 2013, I felt as if I had been invited to a reunion of distant, hairy relatives. When I first saw the gorillas I took photos for a while, but then put my camera away so I could just watch. I stood mere feet from these powerful animals and they calmly let me be a part of their world. No glass, no bars, no rumbling safari car engine, no squinting through binoculars. Just humans and gorillas together in the forest.

Anyone going on safari in East Africa should consider adding on a few days to see the mountain gorillas in nearby Rwanda, Uganda, or the Democratic Republic of Congo. Mountain gorilla tracking is the main feature in all Rwanda and Uganda safaris. Gorilla trekking requires more active participation than traditional safaris, so it’s important to plan ahead so you are prepared for the challenge. Once you book a tour (I recommend Volcanoes Safaris for trekking in Rwanda and Uganda) here are some important points to keep in mind:

Dress for success

I have seen gorilla trackers tourists dressed in all kinds of outfits, from young women in skinny jeans and tennis shoes to well-heeled adventurers decked out in North Face gear that would rival anything you’d see at Mt. Everest base camp. Personally, I think you need to be prepared for muddy trails and changeable weather, but it’s not necessary to spend a fortune to be prepared.

Here’s what I recommend. On top, wear layers. Start with a shirt made of a synthetic material that dries quickly. I usually spend most of the trek up the mountain in a t-shirt as it can get quite warm and muggy in the forest. I usually add a fleece layer when the group stops and I start cooling down. I can’t emphasize enough how important it is to have a third rain layer. Rainstorms can happen at any time in the forest, and it’s no fun, not to mention dangerous, to be cold and wet for hours. You can bring a waterproof rain jacket, but a cheap poncho will also work.

On the bottom I wear long pants, also made of a synthetic material. Between the potential for cold weather and the stinging nettle plants of the forest, wearing shorts is an invitation for misery. Some trekkers also bring waterproof pants to wear on top of regular pants, but I usually don’t unless it’s the peak of the rainy season in April and May.

Wear proper footwear

Boots that fit above the ankle are a must. You’ll probably walk through ankle-deep mud at certain points, and sometimes even knee-deep mud that threatens to suck the boots right off your feet. Because of this, you should wear gators over your boots that go up to the knee. When I trek, I go like the locals and wear knee-high rubber willies with treads on the bottom. I’m guaranteed to stay dry up to knees and the boots can be quickly cleaned and dried out for the next day. I wear SmartWool socks underneath.

Pack enough food and water

There’s no place to buy food and water once you get to the national parks so make sure you have at least a liter of water and some snacks to pack with you. Some treks last well into the afternoon, so I try to bring some energy bars and fruit to keep me going. Volcanoes Safaris’ lodges provide packed lunches for trekkers but it’s always nice to have a few favorite snacks from home in case you’re a picky eater.

Speak up about your trekking preferences

When you arrive at park headquarters on the morning of your trek, the national park guides will assign you to a gorilla group. Technically, it’s not possible to book permits for a specific gorilla group. However, it is important to let your tour company representative know your fitness level, so they can work with the guides to assign you to group that will be within your ability to reach. Some groups are known for ranging far afield while others stay closer to the park boundaries or even go outside of the park. However, all groups move in search of food so there’s no guarantee that one group will be easier to reach than another. On certain days when fewer tourists are trekking than usual, you may be able to request specific groups. Closer groups with new babies tend to be the most popular. It’s hard to pick which groups are the “best” because they are all different and group size and composition changes from one year to the next. Every gorilla trek I’ve been on has been unique and revealed a new facet of mountain gorilla behavior.

Make sure your camera is forest ready

I’ll offer more specific photography tips in a later blog, but here are the basics: Flash photography is not allowed as it disturbs the gorillas so make sure you have your camera manual with you so you know how to disable the automatic flash and automatic focus light functions. Photographs of gorillas in the low forest light often turn out dark due to underexposure. To avoid this, I tend to shoot at ISO 1250 or higher when in the forest. These days, newer models of both point-and-shoot and DSLR camera can handle relatively high ISOs without adding too much noise. No matter what kind of camera you bring, make sure you keep it in a waterproof bag (a large Ziploc will do) to avoid getting the camera wet. I’ve seen way too many nice cameras destroyed by African rainstorms.

The price for a Rwandan mountain gorilla trekking permit is $750, $ 500 dollars for Uganda and $ 400 dollars for the Democratic republic of Congo, so book your gorilla safari with travel specialists for an agent to handle the paperwork for you.)

For more information about Uganda Rwanda trips and tips, contact Jungle Safaris Uganda Limited on Email: info@junglesafarisuganda.com / Tel: +256772561508