My Gorilla Trekking Experince in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest – Uganda

Waking up early in the morning to go to the park headquarters in Bwindi National Park for gorilla trekking was one of the dreams that I had for many years. I had been saving money for this safari lastly the chance crossed my direction. I was one of the lucky visitors who got a gorilla trekking permit to Rushegura gorilla group one of three gorilla groups in Buhoma region of Bwindi Forest National Park.

Several times, I had been attempting to secure a gorilla permit for myself however since gorilla trekking tours are on high demand, the dates of my excursion were always fully booked or the accommodation was not available for me to stay at. I never lost hope until the time when I at last secured gorilla permit through Gorilla Expeditions Ltd and 2 bed nights at Buhoma Community Rest Camp which was preferred accommodation.

On the day of the arrival at the Airport, I was picked by the tour guide from Gorilla Expeditions Ltd who transferred me to Buhoma Community Rest Camp where I was warmly welcomed by the lodge manager who offered a drink, brief talk about the lodge and its services. I was really impressed. I don’t know whether it was anxiety or excitement that kept me conscious all night long but as I recollect, my dreams were filled with meeting with the mountain gorillas the following day.

Very early in the morning, we woke up for a heavy breakfast which was served at the common lounge area. The waiter gave each of us the trekkers our packed lunch boxes for the day because the time of our return was unpredictable and depends on the movement of mountain gorillas in search for food. We strolled to the park headquarters for a short briefing from the park ranger and later in the company of our ranger 8 of us walked into the think jungle to search for the mountain gorillas. Mr. Mutebire our ranger guide clarified that, mountain gorillas search for food throughout the day so we need to follow their path. He included that despite the fact that gorillas are huge in size, they eat foliage only and bamboo is there delicacy.

Birds in the forest kept us entertained due to the fact that the park hosts over 350 species of birds the guide told us and monkey hopped from one branch to another. As we walked, our guide stopped us and reminded us to lower our voices because we were getting closer to the gorillas. They are very sensitive to intruders explained Mutebire. At this time, I felt a quick ice running through my body to the feet but I was still eager to see the gorillas. We had them grumbling and finally got into and open space where they had been feed the entire day. I have traveled to Africa for several safaris but to be honest, this was an excellent encounter that I wished to share with all readers.

Birds kept us entertained and monkey jumped from one tree another. As we walked, our ranger guide stopped us and reminded us to bring down our voices because we were getting closer to the mountain gorillas. They are very sensitive to intruders clarified Mutebire. At this time, I felt a quick ice going through my body to the feet but I was still anxious to see the gorillas. We had them grumbling lastly got into and open space where they had been feed the whole day. I have traveled to Africa for a number of tours but to be frankly, this was a memorable experience that I wished to share to all readers.

The gorilla group we tracked was well organized with the females taking care of the babies, the young playing form the vines and as we kept gaping, the male silverback emerged from its hiding. He was tall, huge, and dark and looked defensive. He continued watching his family and pouncing at the young ones. We took various photographs and after an hour, we needed to leave there presence but all of us were still in need of watching them. For sure I will push and save for another gorilla trekking safari in Uganda.

Buganda Kingdom Launches a New Tourism Board to Develop Tourism Industry

Buganda Heritage and Tourism Board was launched by the Katikkiro (Prime Minister) of Buganda Kingdom, Owekitiwa Charles Peter Mayiga. The board will be in charge of preserving, protecting and developing the heritage of Buganda’s culture. Buganda Kingdom has been considered as the one of the world’s richest cultural sites with various wonders including heritage sites, eco-tourism, Galleries, craft shops, bookshops, bookshops, entertainment centers and unique lifestyle.

The Buganda government has been given three roles towards the Buganda Heritage and Tourism Board. These incorporate; putting a policy on the management of all tombs within the Buganda area. This will include affirming people who take care against these tombs. Led by Dr. Gladys Nalubowa is all the cultural destinations in Buganda Kingdom incomes collected from voyagers will go to Buganda government and towards developing the Kingdom.

The board however has been tasked to create management policies on running the royal tombs of Buganda. Most attention however has been put on the Kasubi and Wamala Royal tombs because of their significance as the home of the ancestral fathers.

Buganda Heritage and Tourism Board needs to administer and develop tourism in Buganda whereby they need to find all the historical sites of Buganda protected and preserved for future. The need to establish and actualize policies of staffing and change the Buganda museum and other cultural sites apart from the royal palaces has been seen in this Buganda heritage.

Remarkably, the Prime Minister highlighted much on protecting, preserving and conserving the heritage destinations. Nevertheless, he showed concern over the increased deforestation methods that this will cause desert climate conditions in Uganda. The Katikiro however advised general public that in order to protect and preserve our cultural sites we have to protect the wildlife in the country.

He again reminded the public about Kabaka’s discourse of taking at least two trees at the introduction functions and it will help to protect our environment in future.

Some of the Unique Intangible cultural in Buganda Kingdom includes, the King and Royal lineage, a different language, music, dance and amazing dress code. These can easily be experience by taking a cultural Uganda tour at any time of the year.

Despite of amazing and unique culture in Uganda, there are also other interesting tourist attractions in the country like; the rare and endangered mountain gorillas in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park, wildlife in Queen Elizabeth National Park, Chimpanzee in Kibale Forest National Park and other attractions in the 10 national parks and 13 wildlife reserves.

Rwanda Gorilla Naming Ceremony

One-of-the-Gorilla-infants-that-will-be-named-on-June-22

One of the Baby Gorillas to be Named

For the inhabitants of Musanze District in Northern Province, this is a yearly event that they always willingly wait for. The elation, fervor and the inescapable avidness that accompanies the Gorilla naming ceremony has turned into an important custom that has eternity made an imprint in their lives-both directly and indirectly. So only a day to the gorilla naming event, glitzy picture full of invigoration has recently been painted as people from all background warm up for different vivid event.

In any case it’s not simply the drama-passion and passion-drama that complete this event. From public transport, to tours and safaris operators to the local grocery seller, there appears to be an immediate change of atmosphere in Musanze that can’t head off unnoticed even to a blind eye. David a tours and travel operator. Consistent with him this is one vital date in the schedule. “It’s staggering how the climate changes suddenly because of the Gorilla naming ceremony,” he started by saying.

Perusing through the company’s books, David gazes powerfully toward the records and focuses towards the number of vacationers they gain throughout the low season. A strong, built, alluring and physical young man, he then instructs me to look. “You can see the sudden and sharp build in these numbers,” he proceeds. In spite of the fact that I to some degree straggle to read through the entire of the company’s calendar, he makes the work simpler by revealing to me a sharp ascent of up to 30% of the sum of tourists received. Flippantly and charmingly he takes a gander at me and says, “I wish we could have this event every month!”

We then chatter a mite and he explains to me how they use a lot of endeavors and fortunes in arrangement for this event. “By now we have as of recently set aside at least five vehicles that will transport our clients. We would prefer not to run out of any equipment at all. We have likewise sent some of our representatives on the ground for the purpose that they keep an eye on minor items that we may miss,” he explains. It is then I quickly identify that once in Musanze, the road doesn’t end there. Guests of this touristic region scramble in the restaurants, bars and they do escape with a couple of ancient rarity protests as a souvenir of the event that they will have to impatiently wait for another whole twelve months.

David clarifies to me that once in Musanze, as a tour guide, he takes them around the town, pinpointing and showing to them the best places to eat out, beverage and most vitally, the best hotels where they can rest if necessary. “Costs of the local commodities and antiques sail to a record high on the grounds that the inhabitants know they will bring some exceptional cash from the numerous clients that run to purchase them. After this stuff is just a once-in-a-year chance, so they would prefer not to pass up a major opportunity,” David lets me know.

All through our discussion, we are discourteously hindered by interminable telephone calls that reasonably irritate me, however David later lets me know it’s his customers who have begun making reservations. I nod my head in confirmation, then cordially give him an expression of a debt of gratitude is in order regarding his opportunity which enlarges to a welcome for a chilled lager, to which he sheepishly grins and answers, “No much appreciated, I have more reservations to make!” Visit www.rwandagorillatrekking.com for more information about gorillas tours and other wildlife safaris in Africa.

Uganda safari Overview – Kibale Forest

I and my wife have just returned from an 8 day Uganda gorilla safari, wildlife and primate adventure that started with Kibale national park where we had a memorable chimpanzee habituation experience, later we continued to Queen Elizabeth national park for wildlife viewing, more chimpanzee tracking in Kyambura gorge and fantastic boat cruise on the Kazinga channel, then Bwindi national park for mountain gorilla tracking, Lake bunyonyi and a day at Ngamba island. I will talk about different tourism activities in different National parks to start with kibale forest;

Tourist Activities in Kibale National Park In Uganda

kibale National Park contains one of the loveliest and most varied of tropical forest in Uganda. This is home to forest wildlife, most famously 13 species of Primate including Chimpanzees.

kibale-forest-walkActivities in the Park include:

Chimpanzee Tracking in Kibale National park

Trekking chimpanzees is the major activity in Kibale National park as it is guaranteed. On daily basis, it is done in the morning and in the afternoon-Two sessions. The park is commonly known for being the home to 70 species of mammals plus 13 species of primates.

Chimpanzee habituation in kibale forest National park

Some chimp groups are reserved for habituation which takes a full day watching and studying about them. Tourists enter the forest very early before the chimps wake up and leave when left to sleep. The habituations give visitors enough time to cover films and take photos of the chimpanzees with no rash.

Birding in Kibale National Park

Over 375 species of birds are found in Kibale forest and among them include, Yellow-spotted Barbet, Hairy-breasted Barbet, White-spotted Flufftail, Yellow-billed Barbet, Western Nicator, Grey-winged Robin-chat, Brown-backed Scrub-robin, Shrike-flycatcher, Brown-crowned Tchagra, Bocage’s Bush-shrike, Brown-throated Wattle-eye, Superb Sunbird, White-breasted Negrofinch and Black-crowned Waxbill and so on. Bigodi swamp supports more than 200 species of birds and this is a birds’ sanctuary.

Cultural tours in Kibale community

The daily life of the local community, the Batooro can be discovered during the village walks. You will learn about the role of women in the village and traditional ceremonies.

Forest hike in Kibale forest

Forest hikes are seasonal – 12 kms hike is restricted to the dry seasons (Mid-November to February and June to September). It highlights the diverse habitats of the park including tropical rainforest, riverine forest, swamp and grassland. Visitors will have the chance to see a variety of birds and monkeys and sometimes duikers and bush pigs. The walk begins at 8:00 am and ends at the elephant wallow around 2:00 pm.

Children’s Educational walks

It takes 1-2 hours followed by creative activities. This especially caters for children under 12 years of age that are not allowed to view the chimps. This enables visitors to enjoy their chimpanzee experience or nature walk or forest hike whilst their children are supervised, educated ad entertained by experienced professional ranger guides.

Visit Sebitoli Forest Centre. There is a new tourist site within the park called Sebitoli Forest Centre. It offers bird and primate viewing and a forest walks to the water falls.

Guided Night Walks with spotlights, which run from 19.30 to 21.00. These walks offer a good chance of sighting nocturnal primates such as the bush baby and the potto.

DAY TRIPS & ACTIVITIES in the area of CHIMPS’ NEST

Visit the local people and spend an afternoon with them

Visit one of the crater lakes

Visit the Tea Estates and learn about growing them and the people who are harvesting them

Visit the Sempaya Hot Springs in Semuliki National Park

Visit Semliki Wildlife Reserve

Make a day trip to the Rwenzori Mountains

For more information about Kibale National park in particular and Uganda tourism in general, contact Gorilla Expeditions Ltd, specialists in cheap camping Uganda safaris and tours, visit www.cheapgorillasafaris.com

Travel tips: how to pick the best group tour

Most of us only get a few weeks of holiday each year. When time is of the essence, it can feel good to delegate all the travel planning to someone else. Slow, independent journeys will, of course, always be the cheapest form of traveling, but they’re not entirely practical if you don’t want to quit your job and hit the road for an unspecified amount of time. Recent years have seen a marked rise in the group tour phenomenon. Fuelled by increasingly busy lifestyles, and a growing interest in emerging destinations once considered the sole terrain of hardened backpackers, the market for group tourism has expanded rapidly and many travel agents in Kampala and now organsing groups Uganda gorilla safaris and wildlife tour packages.

Today an ever-growing number of tour companies offer a portfolio of trips in nations from Uganda to Rwanda. With so many brands now competing for your tourism dollar, choosing a good value tour has become nearly as complicated as planning your own adventure. You’ve picked up the brochures. You have scanned through the websites. But how do you cut through the advertising gloss of smiling, sun-kissed travelers posing in front of exotic backgrounds to really find out which tour operator offers the best deals and excellent tours to Rwanda or any country of your choice?

There is no point trying to choose between a 30-day bus trip, a hop-on, hop-off bus tour, and a small group adventure tour operator who utilizes some public transport. Settle on the type of tour you want before anything else. If you’re using a travel agent to book, don’t go in without having done some prior research. One of the main reasons people end up on a tour they dislike is because they’ve been sold a tour that’s wrong for them. All the big travel agencies have agreements with one or two tourism operators to push their tours above any other option.

Don’t be bullied into buying the one your travel agent suggests first. Once you’ve decided on the type of tour you’d like, check the fine print. Even if three different operators run similar looking tours that seem to include the same sights and activities but differ in price, it doesn’t mean the cheapest choice is the best value.

There will be differences reflected in the price. One may provide a sleeper berth on an overnight train, and the other may only include a seat. Are there local guides included at the major sights on all the tours, or does one just provide entry fees? If this kind of scrimping is worth the saving for you, go for the cheapest. But do your homework first so you know what you’re paying (and not paying) for.

Cheapest on paper isn’t always best on the road

Don’t mistake trips labeled ‘budget’, ‘backpacker’ or ‘basic’ as automatically better value than that tour company’s standard trips. These ‘cheaper’ versions are sometimes used as a ploy to capture more of the traveler market. Look closely and you may find that the standard trip offers better value. If you’re counting your pennies, the cheaper trip can seem to yield a very decent saving.

Take into account that these budget versions might involve not only much simpler accommodation and transport, but also fail to include much in the way of sights and activities. The tour operators spin this fact by saying less inclusions give you the freedom to choose what you spend your money on. The question you’ve got to ask yourself is, for example, would you go to nice hotel room all day, you might end up spending more money fleshing out a budget than you would on the same company’s standard trip, as the cost of the tour hasn’t been reduced enough realistically to cover what is excluded.

To save extra cash, don’t book any pre-and-post-trip accommodation or airport transfers through your tour company. It’s always cheaper to book additional accommodation independently, either through a hotel directly or by using an accommodation booking website. The same goes for airport transfers. Private taxi transfers booked through your tour company will be less than a regular airport taxi, or an airport shuttle service. Of course, a pre-booked private taxi transfer gives you peace of mind on arrival so if you judge this to be good value then go for it.

Explore & Learn about Uganda Gorilla Safaris

Explore and Learn About Uganda

Uganda gorilla safari

Uganda gorilla safari


Are you curious to see new places and to gather information about them? Then get onto that plane and come take a Uganda gorilla safari. Uganda is one of these places that will leave you in awe after exploring its countryside. Take a window seat during your tour and be astounded with what you will see, Uganda is really the pearl of Africa.

You won’t get your sight out of the window, you won’t even endeavor to nap because the scenery is hopefully incredible. Furthermore if you do snooze, you will miss a lot on your therefore cheating yourself of chances to take amazing photos for your memoirs.

You will get the extraordinary opportunity to feel the atmosphere of Uganda by attempting the national cuisines, beverages and you get to blend with the amicable Ugandan local people. Go to Uganda to explore, learn, and have fun and add it to your list of the places you have seen and gathered information about.

Uganda an Exceptional African Safari Destination
The fact that Uganda enjoy a strategic location close to the Nile, (John Speke discovered that the source of the Nile is Lake Victoria in Uganda) this enables the country to boast various Uganda wildlife and gorilla safari activities that could make your vacation worth while and adventuresome.

Some of these incorporate bungee jumping, white water rafting, kayaking, boat riding, horse riding, fishing, cruises and the excellent landscape. Uganda has exceptionally good climate conditions which favour different types of activities all year round.

Uganda is home to many primates (over half of the world’s remaining mountain gorilla population, man’s closest cousin the chimpanzee and different monkey types, baboons, and so on), the many tropical forests in Uganda are home to a variety of wildlife and plant species, the amazing number of bird species, the differences of culture, green scenery, such a variety of astonishing islands, talk of diversity, no country in Africa can compare to Uganda. With 22 wildlife reserves and national parks, Uganda is positively gifted by nature.

Tipping Tour guide in Uganda and Rwanda

Visiting Rwanda with out putting a step in Uganda is mus-fortunate and the reverse is true. Many tourists prefer visiting the two countries to make their safaris more memorable. It is noted that, some of the frequently ask questions about the safari is how to tip? When to tip? Whom and why to tip?

For many people travelling overseas, tipping can be somewhat confusing. Here is the tipping guide that will alleviate the confusion every time you reach for your wallet. However, tipping is not a must but depends on the will and satisfaction of the client to the service provided to him or her. Tipping also depends on the budget of the client but the mount to tip is not fixed-clients with big wallet are free to pay more than those with small wallet. Clients with fixed budget can as well give sincere thanks to the service providers.

When to tip?

Tipping is always done after the service and excellent service providers are expected to earn more. In others wards, the client can tip when checking out of the Hotel/Lodge, at the airport after drop off, in the park after tourist activities like Chimpanzee, Gorilla trekking, boat cruises, community visits among others.

Whom to tip?

While on Rwanda and Uganda gorilla safari and wildlife tour, safari guides, drivers, rangers, Waiters and Waitresses, Barmen and bar women, Hotel and trekker porters, Airport porters, Petrol (Gas) Attendants, Card guards, Massage/ Beauty Therapist and so on are expected to be rewarded a tip.

Safari guides/ drivers play a role of driving the visitors from one place to another and are in position to answer all the questions asked. More so, the guides ensure that visitors stay in the greed upon accommodation and do each activity in time.

The ranger guide play a leading role in the park or game reserve by briefing visitors before starting any activity, answer any question asked by the visitors, escort visitors to dangerous places like forest where animals like lions, leopards, hyenas among others are expected to be.

The ranger guards, in most case are armed to ensure that visitors are safe even in dangerous places harboring man eaters. In case of danger, the ranger guard can shoot the dangerous animals or rebels to safe guard the tourists.

Porters are lugged carriers, the help visitor lifting heavy lugged from one place to another.

Car guides ensure that all vehicles are secure.

Massage or Beauty Therapist do massage to the tired visitors after a full day movements. They also beautify visitors.

How to tip?

Tour Guides and drivers

In Uganda and Rwanda it is a common practice of tipping the tour guide/ driver at the end of your tour. If you are doing a group tour, then we recommend tipping anything from $ 20 to 100 per person. It goes without saying that you may tip more if you are very happy with the service.

With a private tour i.e. only one couple or a family, then we recommend you tip the driver (who will usually also be your guide) anything from $100 and up. Guests are welcome to tip more if they feel that the driver/guide made their trip enjoyable.

Rangers and trackers more often than not play a big role in making your safari special and memorable: The trackers help find animals such as the Big 5, and it becomes apparent how useful their tracking skills are during a safari. Rangers don’t just keep you safe, but also share valuable and entertaining information with you. Tipping is not compulsory, but if you feel that the ranger did a good job, then it is recommended that you tip $ 50 to $ 100 per family (or couple) per day.

Petrol or gas Station Attendants

For travelers on self drive must visit petrol stations to refill their vehicles with petrol, diesel or pressure. These petrol attendants fill up your vehicle, take the payment, and some times clean your windscreen, check the oil, water and tire pressure. In case you get confusion with the directions, you can always stop at your nearest petrol station to get clear directions. The average tip can be anything from $ 2 and up.

Car Guards

Travelers can expect to find car guards just about anywhere you park. These guards will offer to watch your car and help you park in exchange for a tip of $ 2 and up. Note that you will find car guards putting on bright official garments clearly showing the company of operation.

Health and Beauty services

At least a tip of $ 4 or more is tipped for a massage and beauty therapist. The same applies to hair stylists.

Waiters and Waitresses

They a play a role of serving food to the visitors, ensure that meals are provided in time among others. They really need a tip of at least $ 10, 20 or more.

Why to tip?

Visitors tip service providers as a sign of appreciating their services and to motivate them improve even more. The tip also act as a measuring scale of whether the services are good or bad but   it shouldn’t be misunderstood that failure for the client to tip means bad services but it can happen when the client has fixed budget.

For  more information about Uganda Rwanda wildlife and mountain gorilla safaris, visit www.ugandaholidaysafaris.com