Explore The Lutembe Bay Wetland

When Lutembe Bay wetland is mentioned, what comes in the minds of any regular tourist to Uganda is bird watching because this site is a real Paradise when it comes to bird species.

Extending for only 3.1 square miles (8 square kilometers/800 hectares), this Important Bird Area and Ramsar wetland of International Importance (since 2006) is found on the Northern shores of Lake Victoria, the Africa’s largest Lake by area and World’s largest Tropical Lake.

If you ever visit Uganda and wish to participate in birding, the Lutembe Bay wetland (one of the 33 Important Birding Areas in Uganda) should not miss on your Itinerary because as rare as it seems, it is popular for offering shelter to over 200 species of birds including 26 migrants, making it the main migration stop for many Palearctic migrants from North Africa, Russia, Scandinavia as well as the main land of Europe and these birds include more than 1.5 million (52%) white-winged terns encountered during birding tours in Uganda, gull-billed terns, black-headed gulls, Holub’s golden weaver as well as several Grey-headed Gulls. Majority of the Migratory species of birds normally begin arriving within the Lutembe Bay wetland in the rainy season especially September to November and leave in the middle of February of early March.

Other bird species of interest found within the area include the African green Pigeon, Great knot, Sooty Chat, Hottentot Teal, Brown-backed scrub robins, Tropical Boubou, Broad-billed Sandpiper, African pygmy kingfishers, Whiskered Terns, the Caspian Tern, road-billed rollers, Lead-colored flycatcher and Temminck’s Stint among others. Additionally, there are also about 7 globally threatened species of birds like the Pallid Harrier (Circus macrouros), African skimmer (Rhynchops flavirostris), Papyrus Yellow warbler (Chloropeta gracilirostris), the Madagascar Squacco Heron (Ardeola idea), the Shoebill stork (Balaeniceps rex), Papyrus Gonolek (Laniarius mufumbiri) and the Great Snipe.

This wetland is part of the extensive Murchison bay that is known for abundant counts of flora and fauna species but this area offers materials for building as well as craft products to the local community members, fresh drinking water, fish, energy products and medicine among others. It is also a wonderful breeding ground for several fish species and several species can be found in the wetland. For instance, the endangered Cichlid fish, Clarius fish and Lung Fish are found within this wetland area.

This site is also a haven to a wide range of butterfly species (over 100 species have been recorded) including three extraordinary species that are not found in any other Important Bird Area of Uganda and they include Cacyreus virilis, Acraea Pharsalus and Belenois solilucis thus making it an ideal butterfly watching destination in Uganda.

Lutembe Bay wetland is also a haven to the rare Sitatunga antelopes, Otters (especially the African-Clawless otter and African spot-necked otters), Rodents and Shrews. Therefore, bird watching, nature walks and butterfly watching are some of the important tourist activities that can be enjoyed within this endowed tourist destination. This site is close to Kampala City and Entebbe International Airport hence making it easier accessible by tourists on Uganda tours.

Besides being a home to the wildlife, birds and butterflies, Lutembe Bay wetland naturally plays a role of filtering water that goes through it. Normally, it filters things like sediments, silt and excess nutrients in the running water as well as the dirty wastewater that comes from the nearby factories in addition to the sewage from all over Kampala.

List Important Bird Areas in Uganda

1) Echuya Forest Reserve
2) Mgahinga Gorilla national park
3) Bwindi Impenetrable national park
4) Nyamuriro Swamp
5) Queen Elizabeth National Park
6) Rwenzori Mountains National Park
7) Semliki Reserves
8) Lake Mburo National Park
9) Semliki National park
10) Kibale National Park
11) Kyambura wildlife reserve
12) Sango Bay Area
13) Mabira Forest
14) Bugoma Forest Reserve
15) Nabajjuzi wetland
16) Kidepo valley National Park
17) Kasyoha – Kitomi Forest reserve
18) Mount Moroto forest reserve
19) Lake Bisina
20) Mount Elgon National Park
21) Lake Opeta
22) Lake Nakuwa
23) Mount Otzi Forest Reserve
24) Doho Rice scheme
25) Mount Kei Forest reserve
26) Murchison Falls National Park
27) Lutembe Bay
28) Ajai wildlife reserve
29) Budongo Forest Reserve
30) Musambwa Island
31) Mabamba Bay
32) Lutoboka Paint
33) Nabugabo Wetland

Amabere Ga Nyinamwiru Caves

Situated in Fort Portal-Toro Kingdom western Uganda, Amabere Caves and Fort Portal Crater Lake fields feature among the most incredible tourist attractions that are worth exploring while on cultural safari in Uganda. Amabere G’Nyinamwiru caves come with the old breast like features which also have cultural and geographical attachment depending which direction you will view them.

The word Amabere Ga Nyinamwiru traditionally denotes breasts of Nyinamwiru-the breasts of the legendary daughter of the self enthroned king of the Bachwezi (King Bukuku) who succeeded the throne after the disappearance of Ishaza to underground world while following the beautiful cows which were sent as traps by Nyamiyonga the king of underground.

Bukuku was previously a gate keeper and who was left as the care taker of the palace at a time Ishaza succeeded as he delayed and a fact that he knew that he wasn’t from the royal lineage and hence not supposed to take over any kingship, he became suspicious and he knew that at one point he would be overthrown.

The fortune tellers foretold him that he would be overthrown by his own grand child whom his daughter Nyinamwiru gave birth to. Due to this, he became bitter with his daughter and decided to remove one eye in that men couldn’t get attracted to her.

He also constructed a strong enclosure whose only entrance was via the house of Bukuku and this meant that no one could pass via his house to access the enclosure where Nyinamwiru was put. However, regardless of all the efforts invested, the son of Ishaza called Isimbwa came back from the foreign land where his father had disappeared from and fell in love and hence lived there to abandon his Kingship.

Isimbwa later came while looking for his father’s kingship and later arrived at the palace. He was informed about Bukuku daughter and together with his aide; they constructed a long ladder that they used to climbing over the enclosure of Nyinamwiru.

He later got into the enclosure, slept with Nyinamwiru for some days and later left her when she was pregnant. She gave birth to Ndahura although her father vowed not to allow the child to live. After some time to let the child to have milk teeth as it was abominable to kill a child who hasn’t yet grown teeth, he was put on the banks of the nearby stream to roll himself into it though fortunately the child was saved by the local porter known Rubimbwa who took care of the abandoned child up to the time when he became old and led the death of his grandfather Bukuku which made him regain his ancestral drum. Ndahura established a strong Chwezi empire which covered larger areas of the Great Lakes Africa whose archeological remains are best explored by travelers till now while on safari in Uganda.

Locals were also allowed to explore more about the Nyinamwiru’s breast like features with its milky substance dripping as she didn’t have any baby to breastfeed. This cultural treasure comes with rich history that is worth adding in your bucket list.

Geographically, Amabere Ga Nyinamwiru feature among the most remarkable natural wonders that come with stalagmites and stalactites as well as calcium carbonate dripping on the ground to make the breast like pillars that most locals regard as breasts. Apart from Amabere caves, you can as well, pay a visit to the popular Fort Portal Crater Lake field that features numerous Crater hollows most of which are covered by water to make up the Crater Lakes like Lake Bikere, Kigere and Saaka that also come with stunning sceneries. While at this area, never miss to pay a visit to the Kyegangwa hill that offers exceptional panoramic views of the Lakes and the empty hollows in and around the area as well as the legendary mountains of the moon.

For the most enjoyable hiking safaris to these caves, you will need to have long trousers, better hiking boots, long sleeved shirts/T-shirt, rain jacket, backpack, bottled water, hat, snacks and many others. The Amabere caves are situated about seven kilometers off Fort Portal town next to Kibale Forest National Park.

In conclusion, Amabere caves feature among the very few most culturally endowed sites in Uganda for visitors to explore a lot about the local cultures and legends and pay a visit to its magnificent crater Lakes. For visitors on primate safaris to Kibale Forest National Park, Amabere caves should be a must to include in your travel itinerary.

Things to Do in Kigali City – Rwanda

Kigali capital city tours offer an in depth exploration of Kigali, its history, current state and undertaking a city tour to this magnificent city rewards you with lifetime experiences. Not only is this city endowed with its moderate climate that runs throughout the year, but also it is Rwanda’s most vibrant commercial center. This city straddles with Mount Kigali which features as the tallest mountain in the area at altitude of 1850 meters.

It is also credited for its remarkable nightlife which comes with beautiful lights that glimmer over country’s rolling hills. The beauty of Kigali is breathtaking, as it is very calm and clean featuring thousands of hills, winding boulevards and stunning flowering trees. It also features as Rwanda’s transport network hub given its developed transport system that is estimated to take a visitor about quarter an hour while on express bus routes to the main towns in Rwanda and the international airports like Kigali International Airport.

Kigali is separated into three districts of Gasabo, Nyarugenge and Kicukiro and it features about a million people. Kigali city tour begins as a historic trip with guided tours via the initial modern building where it was established up to the fast developing neighborhoods that are ever changing the look of the city. Incredibly, Kigali is undeniably one of the cleanest and safest cities that Africa offers to the world’s travelers and investors. And because of this, tourists on overland safari in Africa prefer having a break in Kigali before continuing with their safari to the Northern or Southern Africa.

As a capital city, Kigali was founded in 1907 as a small colonial out post by Dr Richard Kandt who was the very first resident German colonialist in Rwanda. He mainly stayed around the base of Mount Jali and Kigali in the heart of the city and currently this place was changed into a natural historical museum in remembrance of his amazing work and for city tours, it acts as a main stopover.

While on your tours, you will explore most of the ancient commercial quarters, residential and business areas in Kigali, historical sites that were founded in remembrance of the 1994 terrific Rwanda genocide, the Kigali genocide memorial site, pay a visit to camp Kigali memorial that features ten stone columns which mark the spots where the 10 Belgian peace keepers were murdered on the first day of the genocide and Nyanza genocide memorial site in Kicukiro which features 4mass graves with several wooden crosses where over 5000 remains of the Tutsis people who gathered here for safety, guided safari to the Gisozi genocide memorial site, exploring most of the neighborhoods and local tourist attractions within the city center and many more.

Besides, you will also have a chance to explore most of Kigali’s bars, coffee shops, local and international restaurants that provide Chinese, Italian, Thai, Greek, North African and East African cuisines. Resto bars feature among the most favorites for most of the travelers on safari in Kigali as most of them are attracted to delicious meals and nice music as well as drinks and sound nightlife that reward visitors with lifetime experiences. You can also pay a visit to Kigali’s tallest office and retail building in Rwanda famously called Kigali city tower that was set up by Rwandan businessman known as Hatari Sekoko and later it was opened around 2011.

The notable tourist activities to participate while in Kigali include Kigali city tours, horseback riding, city walks and cultural encounters; visit the markets, shopping and many others.

For visitor stay, there are several accommodation facilities for you to choose ranging from luxury to budget and notable international hotels like Umubano Kigali Hotel, Hotel des Mille Collines, Kigali Serena Hotel, Marriott Hotel, Apartments like St Augustine Apartment, guest houses such as Yambi guesthouse and many more.

In conclusion, Kigali city tour is remarkable on its own way. For visitors on Rwanda safari a city tour in Kigali should be a must to do for you to explore in depth what this magnificent city offers to the world.