IS IT SAFE TO TRAVEL TO UGANDA

Uganda is completely safe for tourists and travelers as it’s a politically stable country having seriously operating borders and strict internal security bodies. However like any other country Uganda has got a few cases of petty theft, home robbery and credit card fraud. From the same time, covid-19 and these crime threats can be by passed if you follow the local laws and observe caution.

Is Uganda safe for tourism and travel?

There are some questions that come across before traveling to foreign places and the same implies before coming to Uganda as one can ask; will my camera be snatched, am I safe in a car, is the water and food fit for consumption, will fall victim of carjackers.

Uganda being famous adventurous destination, it receives around 15,000 British nationals annually according to the UK foreign travel advice. Having 99.9% of the visits trouble free. Uganda has more so been war-free way back from the 80s.

Safety and security

In Uganda crime threats are partially present like any other countries and they can be by passed if you observe caution. The chances of falling victim of credit card fraud, petty theft plus home robbery are very rare. You are advised to be vigilant and draw less attention to yourself while in public places so as to be less suspicious to pick-pocketing.

Uganda is very secure starting at the borders, the airport, national park destinations, hotels, lodges and various cities as the security bodies and personals carry out successful patrols and deploys in strategic crime source areas.

Political stability

Previously experiencing a few political issues that included sad loss of lives and destruction of property Uganda is now a free country free from all the political and the civil unrests.

These unrests include the 2005 in the northern part of Uganda, 2016 in the western part of Uganda and lastly in 2020 November-2021 January during the presidential elections.  The government managed to deal away with the situations and an improvement in security has been installed as the international community, Uganda security forces and the Uganda government at a glance have accomplished there efforts to remove any would be threats.

Like any other democratic country, Uganda goes through a series of short political situations (strikes, political violence and demonstrations) mostly during the elections but these are usually centered in the capital city and they don’t affect the safari attractions and destinations

You are advised to follow the local media updates so as to attain vigilantism during these situations to avoid any situation that can put you at risk.

Diseases and health

The latest covid-19 pandemic hit the all world Uganda inclusively. At this moment, things have all turned in their normal state as the country has impressively stabilized the situation all handedly.

 In 2010 Uganda experienced a yellow fever outbreak in the northern part, an Ebola outbreak in 2008 centered in the western part and the black plague outbreak in the western parts of river Nile. And also still dealing out with the malaria issues that are high during the rainy seasons in the low altitude areas. There have been a serious management of these outbreaks by the Ugandan government.

Travelers are advised to move along with there own preventive medicines and prescribed medications because the areas your visiting have limited excellent health services and the available ones can be expensive. Don’t forget the required vaccination before traveling to Uganda and consulting your medical insurance company whether the policy of emergency evacuation applies abroad.

Terrorism and regional security

The Ugandan citizens and the security forces have engaged in the fight against terrorism for a long time and they have successfully managed to enjoy terror free premises for quite some time. All the terror groups have been successfully defeated and moved out of Uganda with the help of Uganda’s neighboring governments that arrest the terror ring leaders. Uganda being the biggest contributor towards the AMISOM forces, it has a good strategy in the fighting of the al-Shabaab terrorist group.

Having vigilant and well sensitized citizens Uganda has managed to successful fight terrorism.

The traffic and road safety

Just like any other country Uganda has got traffic rules, careless drivers, livestock, poor roads, nonfunctioning traffic lights, poorly maintained vehicles and pedestrians. Day driving is considered safer but getting ready to deal with the above issues. Uganda has got a minimum traffic law enforcer though the government is trying to improve the situation.

You advised to exercise all the possible defensive driving skills in order to ensure safety to both you and the other road users

At adventure in the wild safaris we have got well skilled and experienced drivers ready to take you through your safari and adventurous vacations in Uganda assuring you a comfortable and safe journey.

Disaster and environmental hazards

Starting with the heavy rainfalls that bring about the floods and landslides, the short-term food security due to the droughts plus the infectious disease outbreaks can be rarely expected in Uganda.

Booking with adventure in the wild safaris grants you security throughout Uganda ranging from the experienced tour guides and drivers ready to secure your stay in Uganda and visitations through the different destinations in Uganda.

THE BEST DESTINATION FOR THE BIG FIVE MAMMALS IN UGANDA

Surely no one can think about the big five and leave a side the pearl of Africa with its ziwa rhino sanctuary and the Murchison falls national park. The park holds the pride of the big four mammals and these are the leopard, lion, elephant and lastly the buffalo. On your safari to Uganda you can’t miss out Murchison falls national park on your check list so as to view the big five in the wild accessing the rhino at ziwa rhino sanctuary.
On your journey to Murchison falls national park you are firstly entertained by the rhinos at ziwa rhino sanctuary 176km north of Kampala on gulu high way in vicinity of Murchison falls national park having 32 southern white rhinos. Ziwa rhino sanctuary is more so a good destination for rhino trekking, shoebill trek, canoe ride, bird watching, nature walks, relaxation and night walk.
After clearing the rhinos on our big five list then let’s proceed to Murchison expecting to have the leopards, lions, elephants and the buffalos. Despite the fact that the park is comprised of 76 mammal species including four of the big five African mammals
On early morning game drive, you stand higher chances of catching up with the big cats which are leopards and lions as they are hunting before the sun is brazing hoot to force them into their hide outs.
On our boat cruise on the Victoria Nile at Murchison falls national park we expect to see buffaloes and elephants as they enjoy down the shores thus clearing our big five check list
Murchision falls national park offers a veriaty of activities and animals plus birds since it’s the largest national park in Uganda having the Uganda kobs , bushbucks, elephants, hartebeests, oribis, waterbucks, warthogs, hyenas to mention but a few.
Murchision falls national park has got some rain forested areas like the kaniyo pabidi forest which is part of the famous budongo forest which are homes of numerous endangered primates such as the patas monkeys, blue monkeys, chimpanzees, red tailed monkeys, olive baboons, black and white colobus monkeys and many more.
Murchision falls contains 450 tree species, 250 butterflies and more than 500 bird species that include the water birds, savannah birds, forest birds, Albertine birds and many others.
The fascinating activities at murchision falls national park include the memorable boat cruise, night and day game drives, hiking to the top of the falls, sport fishing, bird watching and relaxation plus overnight stays at the present lodges and hotels that are categorized under 3 main cases that is to say; budget lodges ranging from 40$-120$, midrange facilities 150$-299$ and lastly the luxury accommodation facilities ranging from 300$ and beyond.

WHAT ELSE TO ADD ON YOUR BIG FIVE SAFARIS AT MURCHISION FALLS NATIONAL PARK

Bird watching


Murchision falls national park has got over 500 bird species that can be viewed both on boat cruise and also game drives expecting to see savannah forest birds, Albertine rift endemics and water birds with the park’s main bird attraction being the shoebill.
Sport fishing


The rewardable sport fishing at murchision fall national park offers you higher chances of grabbing your self a large nile perch or cat fish and other fish species as the lastly recorded largest nile perch was 113kg
Cultural encounters


The mubako cultural campfire performances and the mubako craft shop sells which include the handwoven items made by community members who also perform songs and cultural dances around the campfires of local accommodation facilities.
Hiking
Murchision falls national park and the neighboring conservation area can be explored by foot via the trails of kaniyo pabidi and rabongo forests offering a variety of birds and primate species. You can also hike to the top of the magical falls of murchision taking about 45minutes having a fascinating experience on the magnificent water falls as you see the waves of white water turmbling hypotonically through the 6 meters chasm.
Boat cruise
The boat cruise at murchision falls national park can be either the delta boat cruise or a boat cruise to the top of the falls. The most recommended boat cruise to the birders is the delta morning boat cruise providing you higher chances of seeing the shoebill and many more bird species

The lion tracking experience in Queen Elizabeth National Park

This is another way of watching lions in the Kasenyi plains of Queen Elizabeth national park, besides the usual game drives. It is more less a research about these predators in the area. Radio collars have been placed in necks of lions to easily monitor their movement from moving to farer areas of the neighboring communities. The researcher uses a radiation tracker to find lions with radio collars. You therefore move with a researcher allocated by Uganda Carnivore Project who helps you to be able to find where these lions are. Trackers drive closer to the lions and the researcher will tell you different things about the behaviors of these lions.

This activity is also done in the morning (8am) and evening like the usual game drive but you must be guided by a researcher. Duration for lion tracking experience is 1-3 hours, searching for the location of the lions, learning about their behaviors and viewing them. Unlike the usual game drive, lion tracking is limited to few people and therefore you need to book for this activity early if you want to go for it. The number of people is limited so that the peace of animals is not interfered with and to enable the researcher carry on his work well. It also enables the participants to enjoy the experience by viewing well and taking clear photos of the lions. A permit for the lion tracking experience costs $50 for foreign tourists and UGX100,000 for citizens of East Africa.

When tracking for the lions, don’t expect to find radio collars of all members of the entire pride. It’s only a few of the members that possess the radio collars and since they often move and stay in the groups, you’ll be able to see more of the members of their pride. In Uganda, lion tracking is done only in queen Elizabeth national park.

This form of monitoring and research has been of importance because it is through it that the pride of 11 lions that had been killed in one of the neighboring communities known as Hamukungu was found. Monitoring and being familiar about their habits will therefore help to keep them in harmony with the communities as they are also taught about the best way to continue living close to these animals in harmony.

The main purpose for this activity as earlier said is for monitoring and research of the lions of Queen Elizabeth national park due to their regular movement to the adjacent communities which often results into conflicts between the animals and local people. Therefore, it is okay to involve a few people in this research as more is learnt about the habits of these lions. 10% of the payment of tourists is paid to the Uganda Carnivores’ Project to contribute towards conservation.

As trekkers enjoy a close interaction with gorillas and chimps during the habituation experience with researchers in Bwindi and Kibale national parks, you can choose to have a close look at and learn about the habits of the lions of Queen Elizabeth national park in Kasenyi plains when you come for your wildlife safari. When with the researcher, you are permitted to drive off the trucks and move to the location of lions unlike when doing a usual game drive where travelers are given a penalty if they go off the tracks. This is one of the most thrilling experiences of wildlife in this park. You can consult us about booking for the experience when making your booking with us and we shall surely organize for it through Uganda Wildlife Authority and a space will be confirmed for you on an appropriate day of your travel.

Kyambura Gorge in Queen Elizabeth national park

This is a stunning meandering extensive gorge with the deepest part at 100m low, drained by River Kyambura. It is located in the eastern part of Queen Elizabeth national park near the equator crossing. Kyambura gorge has an underground forest which is a habitat to chimpanzees hence being referred to as “the Valley of Apes”. Other wildlife in this gorge include birds, butterflies, forest hogs and other small wildlife. It is part of Kyambura wildlife reserve and is the chimp trekking destination in Queen Elizabeth national park. It is believed that the thrilling steep slopes of this magnificent gorge were formed by the flooding River Kyambura leading to these slopes which are covered by ever green vegetation. Before sloping down to the gorge, the eyes are caught by the lovely views of the entire landscape and surrounding as well as the birds that keep roaming at this area.

The gorge was named after the river Kyambura which also derived its name from a scenario that is believed to have happened many years ago. They say that this river once flooded and took away lots of local people and property and some of the remaining people decided to follow  its path in search of their colleagues and property. They however failed to find them and they returned in pain mourning “kyambura” meaning “I couldn’t find it”. The river was then named Kyambura and the gorge as well named after the river.

Kyambura gorge is famously known for chimp tracking, however, it has a small number of chimps and finding them may take long hours or great luck but you’ll always hear thrie loud sounds while walking in the forest. The forest is abit big yet the chimps are few, so they may move to distant areas where you may not be able to reach but the forest will not disappoint as you spot some of the rare bird species and butterflies around this place. The chimps have been habituated and are familiar with people. Just like at other chimp tracking destinations in Uganda, visitors have to follow instructions when in this forest and when they come across these chimps.

Budget travelers can consider going for chimp trekking in Kyambura gorge on their wildlife safari since it is cheaper than at other major destinations like Kibale forest national. A chimp tracking permit costs US$200 per person in Kibale and US$50 per person in Kyambura gorge.

Besides hosting chimpanzees, the forest under Kyambura gorge is a home to other primates including vervet monkeys, red-tailed monkeys, black and white colobus monkeys and olive baboons. More about: Kyambura Chimpanzee Trekking

Other activities that tourists enjoy at Kyambura gorge

Birding in Kyambura Gorge

Kyambura gorge and the surrounding savannah offer the best sightings for birders with a variety of species. At this place, you’ll spot both forest birds and savannah birds. Birds that have been recorded there include White-tailed Lark, Chapin’s Flycatcher, Greater Flamingo, Black and white casqued hornbill, Papyrus gonolek, Papyrus Canary, African skimmer, Black rumped buttonquail, Bar-tailed Godwit, Corncrake, white winged warbler and many more.

Forest walks and guided nature walks

Visitors can be go for a forest walk around the trails in Kyambura to enjoy the stunning views of the forest, listen to the songs of the birds and learn about the surrounding and other animals that live around this gorge.

Getting to Kyambura gorge

From Kampala to Kyambura, it takes about 6-7 hours via Mbarara road and about 8-9 via Fort Portal. Reaching the Visitors centre at Kyambura requires a drive off the road and takes less than 30 minutes to arrive at the centre and the gorge.

Best time to visit Kyambura gorge

Kyambura gorge is open for tourist activities throughout the year. However, the best time to visit this gorge is during the dry months due to the steep slopes that become slippery during the wet season when this place is receiving a lot of rain. The track that connects from the main road to Kyambura Visitors Centre also becomes slippery when it rains.  The dry months are from January to February and June to July and the wet months are from March to May and August to December.

Accommodation around Kyambura

There are a number of accommodations in the nearby surrounding of this area, though there isn’t any very close to the gorge. Visitors have to take a short drive from their accommodation to the gorge. Accommodations in areas nearby the gorge are Kyambura Gorge safari lodge, Katara lodge, Jacana safari lodge, Kingfisher camp and Elephant Hab Lodge. It is also very possible to travel from Mweya and go for activities at Kyambura early morning.

Birding in Queen Elizabeth national park

Birding in Queen Elizabeth national park – With over 1,000 bird species, Uganda is one of the best birding destinations in Africa with numerous places that offer extremely high satisfaction for the experience. Among these birds is a big number of species that are rarely seen in other countries. Uganda is gifted with diverse breathtaking wildlife including gorillas, chimps, tree climbing lions and more and these are featured by the range of bird species which will be spotted from many places but with some species that are common in specific destinations.

In Uganda, Queen Elizabeth national park is an exceptional destination for bird watching. It has over 600 bird species found in different habitats including savannah, forests, wetlands and bushes and thickets. The park hosts the largest number of birds more than any other park in east Africa and therefore a good destination for birders. one of the areas where lots of birds are spotted is along Kazinga channel while cruising on the boat. Common bird sightings at this site include Pied kingfishers, African fish eagle, Water-thick knee, Spoon-billed stork, Hammerkop, African Jacana, Great egrets, Little egret, Egyptian geese, Pink and White backed pelicans, Malachite kingfisher and more.

There are many other areas in Queen Elizabeth national park where birders will always make great memories of the birding experiences. They include;

Mweya Penisula, this area is mainly covered with bushes and thickets and the common bird species at the peninsula are the Little Bee-eater, Red-capped Lark, Red-chested sunbird, Swallows, Grey-headed kingfisher, Martins, Blue-napped mousebird, Swamp Nightjar, Diederik Cuckoo, Pygmy kingfisher, Grey-caped warbler, Slender-billed weaver, Pin-tailed Whydah, Squire-tailed Nightjar, Nubian woodpecker, Black headed Gonolek among others.

Kasenyi plains, not only is this a game viewing spot but also a perfect place for bird watching. A lot of birds welcome you as you drive to Kasenyi and more including birds of prey are seen when driving through the tracks in the plains.  Some of these bird species include; the African White-backed Vulture, Palm-nut Vulture, Ruppell’s Griffon Vulture, Bateleurs, Senegal Plover, African Wattled Plover, Rufous napped Lark, White-tailed Lark, Martial eagle, Grey Kestrel, African Crake, Lappet-faced Vulture, Brown Snake Eagle, Hooded Vulture, Temmick’s courser, Kittlitz’s Plover, Crowned Plover, Long-created Eagle, Black-headed gonolek, Black-crowned Tchagra and much more.

Ishasha sector, this place is popular for tree climbing lions but also has a variety of bird species. Some of them are the shoebill, Lappet-faced Vulture, Hooded vulture, Palm-nut Vulture, Brown Snake eagle, Martial Eagle, Ruppell’s Griffon Vulture, Wahlberg’s eagle, Bateleur, Stipped kingfisher, Ross’s Turaco, Double toothed barbet, Green crombec, Yellow-billed oxpeckers, African green pigeon and Helmeted Guinea fowl among others.

Maramagambo forest

Maramagambo forest is mainly famous for the bat cave which also attracts snakes and has beautiful butterflies. This forest is also a habitat for a range of bird species some of which fly to Mweya every morning and go back to the forest in the evening. Common bird sightings in this forest are Black cuckoo, African Finfoot, Little grebe, Black coucal, Red-chested cuckoo, Red-throated Wryneck, African Emerald cuckoo, Marsh Tchagra, Black Bishop, Red-shouldered Cuckoo-shrike and Barbets among others.

Other areas around Queen Elizabeth national park where lots of bird species are spotted are Katwe, Kyambura, around Katunguru Bridge and around Kikorongo. Uganda recognisess its birds on the popular “Big Birding Day” in wildlife every year and Queen Elizabeth national park has merged the top birding destination several times with the highest number of bird sightings. Arriving in

The best time for birding in Queen Elizabeth national park is from May to September to be able to also spot various migratory birds. All you need not to forget behind are your binoculars, birding book

 

Crater Lakes Queen Elizabeth National Park

The map of Queen Elizabeth is seen with various dots representing the numerous explosion craters in this area. Some of these craters are filled with water to form crater lakes while others remain dry and others have water seasonally during the wet season. There are crater lakes outside the park that have fresh water and are used for fishing and most of those that are in the park do not have fresh water and are therefore used for salt mining that is Lake Katwe and Bunyampaka salt lake. There are much more craters in the park including Nyamununka crater, Bunyaruguru Craters, Ndali-Kasenda crater among others.

Formation of the craters

Geography explains it that the craters in Queen Elizabeth national park were formed about 8,000 years ago as a result of volcanic activities that blew off the top of extinct volcanoes. Molten rock also known as lava under the earth’s crust was forced out through the vent with massive pressure and it blew off the surface of extinct volcanoes, ashes rested on the sides of the volcanoes and basins were left in the middle to form craters. Some of them were later filled with water to form volcanic lakes. There are much more of the craters close to Myeya that are not filled with water and can be visited ant time on an arranged agreement since it requires a ranger guide. These craters are homes to a good number of birds and offer stunning views and background for photography.

Popular craters in Queen Elizabeth national park

Katwe crater lakes

Katwe Explosion Craters are situated in the northern part of Mweya peninsula and offer a breathtaking site for scenic viewing.  The activity of viewing the craters of Katwe known as the Explosion Crater drive takes about 2 hours, a 27km drive around these craters from Kabatoro gate through to the Queen’s Pavillion. This is an extraordinary moment of watching these beautiful craters. The drive is done in the morning or evening when you can have clear views of other areas and also when the temperatures are friendly. The major lake is Lake Katwe located near Lake Edward and is famously known for salt mining. A visit to this lake explores you to the initial process of salt mining form the lake and you’ll see how men and women design their slat pans and get into the water to extract the salt.

As you drive through the carters on a ridge that is that rises up to 1,350 metres above sea level, you’ll capture vast views of the craters, Rwenzori Mountains, Kazinga channel that connects Lake Geaorge to Edward, the two lakes and several birds that live at the craters. You may also spot other animals wandering around the area such as elephants, buffaloes.  This is one of the areas in queen Elizabeth national park that is recommended for Scenic photography enthusiasts. We do not include this place on the itinerary but can be added on request. A stop over at Lake Kitagata is to see the amazing salty hotspring tha feeds this crater with warm water.

Bunyampaka Salt Lake

Bunyampaka salt lake is found in the north-eastern part of Queen Elizabeth and is also known for salt mining and flamingos that seasonally migrate to the place from Lake Nakuru. This crater also offers stunning scenery and is visited after a game drive in Kasenyi.

Nyamunuka Crater Lake

This is a seasonal lake that normally has water in the wet season and dries up in the dry season. Visitors have a stop over here to see its beauty and animals that often visit it. The reason why animals go to this crater is because its water has Sulphur which helps them to get rid of ticks and cure wounds that they could have got when fighting, escaping from predators.

Bunyaruguru craters

Also known as Bunyaruguru Crater Fields, they are found in the western part of Queen Elizabeth national park on the Kichwamba escarpment of the western rift valley at the boarder of the park. Some of these lakes have fresh water and have fish while others have saline water. As you drive along Kasese-Mbarara highway to or from the park, you’ll be able to see some of these lakes including Lake Nkugute also locally known as Lake Rutoto which is in the shape of the map of Africa, and you can also visit the twin lakes Nyungu and Rwizongo located near Rugazi post office.

Craters around Queen Elizabeth national park make this area one of the most beautiful destinations in the world and a perfect place for photography with the lakes, vegetation or animals and the backdrops of the Rwenzori ranges.

Matheniko Wildlife Reserve

Matheniko game reserve is one of the areas in the Pearl of Africa where you can have a great time of the wilderness experience. It is located in the northeastern part of Uganda specifically in Moroto district in the Karamoja region. Matheniko game reserve has features and conditions that are closely similar to those in Somalia and Maasai-land because of its location and therefore a perfect place for tourists who are seeking calmness in the wilderness. Most parts of the reserve are covered with semi-desert grassland and others with shrub land. Notable vegetation species in the reserve include Red acacia, Bushwillows, the Red spike thorns and Harrisonia abyssinca among others.  Areas around Matheniko wildlife reserve receive an estimation of 670 milliliters of rainfall in a year and rains are more between April and May and in November.

Matheniko game reserve occupies an area of 590 sq miles and is part of the Karamoja wildlife protection zone which includes Kidepo Valley national park, Bokora and Pian Upe wildlife reserves. Matheniko wildlife reserve is stretches up to close to Mount Elgon, with rocks of about 6,000 feet. It has however been rated 5th among the most threatened wildlife conservation areas in Uganda.

Matheniko game reserve is one of the less developed, considered and less visited places in Uganda because it is remote yet with poor infrastructure. The place is mainly dominated by the Karamajong people who were cattle rustlers with the tribes in their neighborhood. These people also used to have guns which they had grabbed from army barracks after they had been abandoned by fleeing government soldiers when another government is taking over. They used these guns in cattle rustling and other fights which brought destruction and earned the region a negative perception to the world, the Karamojong were looked at a violent and hostile tribe. For a long time the region was not safe to travel there until the government put lots of effort to disarm the armed cattle rustlers and create peace in the region. Government finally became successful and there region including the reserve are now safe to visit and stay.

Matheniko game reserve is a habitat for a range of animals. They include roan antelope, eland, oribi, cape buffalo, dik dik, waterbuck, mountain reedbuck, topi and Uganda kob. The reserve is mainly visited by travelers who are on hunting safaris. Predators in the reserve include leopards, spotted hyenas, serval cats, wild cats and jackals among others. The reserve also has some primates which include vervet monkeys, patas monkeys and olive baboons. The population of these big animals is however not dense like those in national parks such as Murchison falls national park, Lake Mburo national park and Queen Elizabeth national park.

 Reptiles in Matheniko game reserve are monitor lizards, water snakes, pythons, chameleon, geckos and other small lizards among others. It has a good number of birds and bird enthusiasts would surely have a good time here. Some of the birds recorded there include Abyssinian Ground Hornbill, Dusky turtle dove, Hartlaub’s Turaco, Lemon dove, Red-billed oxpecker, Eastern Bronze-napped pigeon, Pygmy falcon, Egyptian Vulture, African hill warbler, Black-headed plover, Cattle egret, Grey cuckoo shrike and the ostrich.

Activities to do in Matheniko game reserve

Game drives; Game drives take place in the reserve in the morning and evening after registering with the office of Uganda Wildlife Authority in Moroto town. Animals seen during those hours include antelopes, buffaloes, lesser kudu, Topi and some cats.

Sport hunting; however much sport hunting is not well agreed up on by conservationists, the activity is popular in Matheniko Game reserve. The landscape is perfect for hunting and the animals to hunt are antelopes. This is important because it checks the population of these animals in the reserve.

Cultural experience; a visit to the communities of the Karamajong who live in this region is one of the things you ought not to miss when you travel to Matheniko wildlife reserve. The Karamajong are one of the few tribes in Uganda that have kept their culture original by not embracing modernity. They have a unique lifestyle from most of the Ugandans and are still cattle keepers. They entertain visitors with their cultural dances and songs.

Rock climbing; this region has many huge rocks and some of them are located within Matheniko wildlife reserve. You can choose to check your hiking skills at these rocks by climbing to the top which also offer spectacular views of the large beautiful reserve and the surrounding areas.

Rock paintings; there are numerous rocks around Matheniko game reserve, most of which posses paintings which are said to have been drawn by the Nilotics and Kushites about 3,500 years ago when they still inhabited these areas. The paintings reflect the kind of life they lived and animals that lived around the place.

Camping; here are perfect places to spend your night in the wilderness of Matheniko wildlife reserve. You close the day with a delicious meal while watching the beautiful sunset and magnificent hills at a distance and wake up to the bright sunrise in the wild.

A visit to the Matheniko Community Conservation and Beekeeping project; the purpose of this project is to enable the local people around the area to be able to earn from the project and provide for their families other than accessing the game reserve illegally to collect firewood and burn charcoal. Matheniko Community Conservation and Beekeeping project is done just outside the reserve around Mount Moroto areas.

Accommodation

There are no lodges within Matheniko game reserve but you can stay in the hotels in the nearest towns of Moroto and Kotido. If you want to sleep in the reserve, then you will sleep in public campsites where you will cook your own food. Camping within Matheniko game reserve is very comfortable and extremely private as this place is not visited by many people.

Getting there

Matheniko game reserve is about 420 kilometers by road from Kampala city and it takes approximately 8 hours to reach there by road. For public transportation, there are buses and coaches with daily schedules.

Do I really need to use a safari operator in Uganda?

Best tour companies in Uganda – The technology and internet has brought service closer to us and this is applicable also in safaris arrangements in different destinations of Uganda. You can hire a safari vehicle online, book for a hotel and an activity while online, at the same time if you need a safari expert you search for their detailed information online.

Using a Uganda safari tour operator is one way of saving some dollars and they will assist to ensure that you earn a life time dream adventure experience once your book with them your dream safari in Uganda.

 It is important to note that booking a gorilla or chimpanzee trekking permit and other wildlife safari is not a straight forward or obvious thing in Uganda just like your home country. Without the help of a safari operator, it involves some hassling and a lot commitment which is one of the reasons why while organizing a safari in Uganda you will need to be assist by the safari experts.

Uganda safaris are very disorderly, they change from time to time, they are confusing and it is not easy to make complete bookings and arrangements online, you will safari operators like adventure in the safaris to assist you with some organization and planning to ensure a successful safari experience.

There are over 600 safari operators in Uganda thus you can select one of your interest and preference, all need is choose one who make your safari memorable and reminding you a visit to the “Pearl of Africa”.

Reasons why need a safari operator in Uganda

Planning and saving time without a lot of frustrations

Any safari to Uganda will begin with planning and this will always start with searching about a visa information to Uganda and that is the beginning of confusing due to fact a lot of articles have been written and published but find to the correct information is another struggle because many of them don’t have updated information and others have wrong information. If you excuse yourself from using a tour operator, the task is so logical due the fact you won’t know which is a good and safe lodge to book, you may choose an accommodation far away from your safari activity, the routes will be challenging since you have never been to Uganda among many challenges that you will encounters without the help of a tour operator like us.

The safari tour operators will assist to remove the confusion and choose for you the best safari in Uganda regarding your interest. Confusions that come as a result of endless search can be sorted by a safari expert such as where to stay, which airport to fly into, how to connect to the activities like gorilla trekking, chimpanzee trekking, wildlife viewing among others, how long is the distance, which vehicle to use among many others. All these confusion have one resolution, which is to book with a trusted and experienced safari operator like Adventure in the wild safaris. We have the knowledge and experience of what you are searching for and we offer exceptional safari experiences.

Booking with a safari operator with assist to save some dollars on your safari. There is a lot misconception that if you a tpour operator is costly and expensive but the reality is, it is affordable enad it will help you to save some dollars. Based on the experience and relationship that safari operators have with all service providers n the chain of a successful safari, it’s where their uniqueness is , thus they are able to negotiate with lodges other service providers to offer them good rates and in a long run they are helping you to safe some dollars.  They will always ensure that you they add value of each and every dollar you have given, this is by simple booking the best lodges, comfortable safari vehicles among many others but they always offer the best so that you can trust them again when you come back to Uganda. It is very flexible and simple when it comes to Ugandan safari operators than safari operators in your home country.

Free expect local Ugandan advice

Most safari operators in Uganda are friendly and hospitable they will always offer free consultation services once you send them an inquiry or contact them directly and they are willing to feed you the best and right information concerning your planned safari to Uganda, Which is not a common thing with the safari operators in your home country who ask a fee for any kind of consultation. However there is a lot of true information about Uganda safaris on the internet but confusion come with articles that don’t have updated information.

We help you to get out of the unnecessary expenditures that you encounter on self-planned safaris.  This is very possible due the fact that safari operators like us know the best hotels and we negotiate for the good rates, we know how to get from one destination to another, we have enough information concerning primate trekking including the best time to go, age limit and many others.

Safari operators like us known which activity to connect to a safari for the perfect experience nod true African adventure. Safari expects always know the perfect suit for safari and this can be tailor made with other activities in different destinations thus enjoying the true African wilderneress. For example gorilla trekking experience in Bwindi can be combined with the famous tree climbing lions experience in Ishasha sector in Queen Elizabeth national park.

Safari operators in Uganda have built good connection and relationship with profession tourism organizations such as AUTO The Uganda Tour Operators association, best lodges, park ranger guides, game wardens so as you earn the best out of safari and ensuring that you are safe throughout your safari.

Safari operators offer an extra protection and this is not exception from the back packers. When you book with us, we assign a professional driver guide who your care taker until end of the safari, in case of any challenges, your drive guide will communicate back to us so that we can fix the challenge and the safari continues smoothly. There is always a stand by vehicle for rescue in case the failure of the arranged safari vehicle while on a safari.

Booking with a safari operator will offer you a chance to enjoy the primates and wildlife. If you trust us with the planning and implementation of your safari you will have the greatest safari adventure experience than ever before and your job will be to enjoy, explore the pearl of Africa wonders that will offer you memorable experience in the jungle.  We have the experience to tailor your primate safari with wildlife and you won’t regret booking with us.

Safety and security, using a tour operator will save from the con men and thieves due to fact that you will exempt yourself from self-drives that involves a lot of risks of your lives. Its safari operators who now a safe accommodation, thus he will organize a safe and secure safari experience.

For more information and inquiries contact Adventure in the wild safaris, we live, stay and operator safaris in Uganda, we have experience in organizing safe and secure safaris at an affordable cost. Feel free to contact us or visit our website for more and explore our safari offers.

List of best tour companies in Uganda, Do I really need to use a safari operator in Uganda? yes you need a tour operator, find out why.

Top 15 Uganda Birds 

Top 15 Uganda Bird species to see in Uganda while on your birdwatching tour. Explore the 15 best Birds in Uganda. Birdwatching Uganda birds.

Uganda is a home to over 1000 bird species and most of these survive in the tropical forest areas, some of the most preferred bird species by birders include:

List of the 15 top birds in Uganda to look out for while on a birding safari

The shoebill

These are uncommon bird species that are hard to describe but cane spotted in various birding destinations in Uganda. It is also a large bird that has a whalehaed and can easily be spotted in Masha areas with fresh waters. The bird is interesting bird that liked by many birders, it is characterized by grey feathery color that are found on the adults and juveniles.

The African green broadbill.

This is among the big five birds in Africa and it is also known as the Grauer’s broadbill and it one of the most liked birds by the birders. It can be spotted in areas like the Albertine regions and the sub-tropical forests.  They are differentiated by their blue throat and a small bill.

The Green-breasted pitta

This can be found in the sun tropical forests as well as the soggy lowlands, though they are hard to find, they are one of the most liked birds by birders who desperately search for it while on their safari. They can be differentiated by their encircled throat with a black line plus it the green colored breast.

The great blue turaco 

These are some of the pretty and exciting birds, large in size and can be spotted in the savannah, montane forests, in tree canopies as well as sultry areas. The birds are hunted for meat and they are poor at flying.

The Shelley’s crimson wing

The bird is rare to find though it can be spotted in the Albertine rift valley region, and it is one of the most favorites to bird lovers. It can be differentiated by its olive heads plus the red mantle and its crown is covered by the bright red.

The standard-winged nightjar

It is not easy to spot the bird during day time, it can only be seen during the evening hours and at dawn. It can be differentiated by its flying foxes. It has feathers that can at times stretch up to 38cms and it is one of the birders favorite birds though hard to find.

The short-tailed Warbler

It is also known as Neumann’s Warbler, it is a unique bird with a large head, short tail, broad arch of hairs above its greyish-brown eye, the front of its eye is dull green and it is white designed. It can be spotted in the sub-tropical areas and forest vegetation.

The Doherty’s Bushshrike.

The bird can be spotted by its calling sound and it hides itself in the thick under bush thus is hard to see. It is has got outstanding colors especially the adults, it has a red cheerful throat and head, black tail, broad black breasted band, the young ones have a pale green color, yellow under parts and striped green.

The bar tailed trogon

These can be spotted in forest areas and they have yellow feet and bill, they have far on their long nail, females have brown heads, a light cinnamon throat and breast, while the males have blue black heads, two orange, one yellow patches found below the eye , luminous colors of the green-blue plus violet upper breast.

The black breasted barbet

These are known as one of the solitary birds that found in tree shell openings. They feed mainly on flowers, fruits, insects such as centipedes, dragon flies among many others.  They also feed on frogs, geckos as well as lizard as their food sometimes. They lay about 2 to 4 eggs and they incubate them for 13-15 days.  They can be differentiated by the big heads, hefty bill which fringe with the hackles.

Where to go birding

There are a lot of great spot destinations for bird watching experiences in Uganda. These include;

Mabamba bay wetland

The island is situated on at the edges of Lake Victoria, and it is a one hour’s drive from the city. The place is famous home for the shoebill that hides in the waterweeds as it waits for the fish. Other bird species in this area include the African and lesser Jacanas, the African pygmy goose, the blue breaded bee eater, the pied king fisher among others. The place can be accessed using canoe boats, wooden boats which carry about 3 people and it takes a short time to get to the island.

Queen Elizabeth national park

This is one of the birder’s paradises in Uganda with about 600 bird species and birding in Queen Elizabeth national park is done in various regions of the park such as maramagambo forest, Kasenyi plains, kazinga channel, Katunguru Bridge, Ishasha sector, lake Kikorongo and Mweya peninsular. Some of the bird species expected be spotted in the park include; African skimmer, the Chapin’s flycatcher, the marital eagle, the bar-tailed godwit, pink-backed pelican, African braid bill, the papyrus Canary, the black-rumped buttonquail, the white winged warbler, among others.

Bwindi impenetrable forest

Bwindi forest national park is not only a famous destination for the gorilla trekking experience but it is also great place for bird watching experience for all bird lovers. Bwindi forest is a home to over 350 bird species and about 14 bird species are not found elsewhere in other countries. The bird watching sections in Bwindi forest national park include bamboo zone, the waterfall trail in Buhoma sector and the Mubwindi swamp trail. Birds found in Bwindi forest include; the green Tinker bird, the white bellied robin chat, the archer’s robin chat, the red-throated alethe, the dwarf honey guide, the Shelly’s greenbull, African wood owl, the fine-banded woodpecker, the bar tailed trogon, the grey Cuckoo-shrike, the handsome francolin among others.

Semiliki national park

This is one of the best bird watching destinations in Africa. The park has sections where you can enjoy bird watching experience such Sempaya, Ntandi and river Kirumia region. Some of the bird species that will be spotted in this park include; the white crested hornbill, the ross’s Turaco, the great blue, the piping hornbill, the shoebill stork, the yellow throat Nicator, the red billed dwarf hornbill among others.

Murchison Falls national park

Murchison falls national park which is the largest national park is another birder’s paradise and it famous home to the shoebill stork which is the major attraction on the shores of the Albertine Nile that cross through the park. The birds in the park include the forest birds, the Albertine endemic birds, as well as savannah birds which and they can be spotted on a game drive safari in the park, on a boat cruise, or on guided nature walk in the park. Besides the shoebill that is common in the dry season there are other bird species found in the park such as the woodpeckers, the red throated and swallow-tailed bee eater, the warbler, the grey heron, the francolin, the shrikes, ducks, geese, Cuckoos, malachite king fisher, stilts among others.

Lutembe bay

Lutembe wetland bay is located on the shores of Lake Victoria and the place is famous destination for bird watching experience. it is known place for stopover birds where they make their break for their journey, it is home to populations of bird which are migratory and others are indigenous birds. There over 200 birds that live in this place and about 26 are migratory birds. They include the African green pigeon, the road billed roller, the brown-backed scrub robin, the sooty chat, the lead-colored flycatcher, the tropical boubou, the whiskered tern among others.

Mgahinga Gorilla national park

Mgahinga is a habitat for the endangered mountain gorillas and it is also home to over 180 species of birds where some are Albertine endemic. Birders will take trails such as the gorge trail, the bamboo trail, farm or community trail and birds you will see in the park include Cinnamon bracken warbler, the banded Prinia, the black headed waxbill, the western green tinker bird, the cape robin, the turtle dove, the Rwenzori batis the blue headed sunbird, the streaky seed-eater, the olive pigeon, the great double collared, the stripe-breasted tit among others.

Kibale national park

Kibale national park is famous best home for primate animals although it is another birder’s paradise in Uganda. The sanctuary has over 139 bird species which you will enjoy viewing from different sections of the park. Expected to enjoy watching bird species like the black and white shrike flycatcher, the brown throated wattle eye, the yellow spotted barbet, the grey winged Robin chat, the western Nicator, the white winged warbler, the browned-crowned Tchagra, the papyrus gonolek, the black bishop, the white collared olive back among others.

Rwenzori mountains national park

The park is a habitat to about 217 bird species, 19 are endemic to the Albertine rift valley area. Bird species will be spotted on a hike and some of these include the blue headed sunbird, the white stared robin chat, the swifts, the black eagles, the beard vultures, the long eared owl, golden winged sunbird, the Rwenzori Turaco among others.

Lake Mburo national park

Lake Mburo national park is among the bird watching places in Uganda and birds can be spotted in different regions such as the marshy areas of Miriti, Warukiri, and camp Rwonyo among other places with in the park. Some of the birds that will be spotted in the park include the common scrimitarbill, the grey crown crane, the white headed barbet, long-tailed cristicola, the white-winged Tit, the red-shouldered Cuckoo-shrike, the black-bellied bustard, Coqui francolin, the green wood-hoopoe, the brown parrot, the bare foot faced Go-away bird among others.

Top 15 Uganda Bird species to see in Uganda while on your birdwatching tour. Explore the 15 best Birds in Uganda. Birdwatching Uganda birds.

Kibiro Hot Springs Uganda

Kibiro Hot Springs are located in kibiro fishing village which is situated on the southern shores of Lake Albert in the western part of Uganda. Kibiro hot springs and Salt gardens are situated about 35 kilometers by road north of Hoima town in Hoima district, in Kigorobya sub-county to be specific. Kibiro sits at the base of the western rift valley with the escarpment raised to about 100m. Economic activities in this area are fishing on Lake Albert and slat mining at Kibiro salt gardens which is adjacent to the hot springs. There are many salt gardens and salt mining is done by traditional methods.

The location of the hot springs requires you to move on a steep footpath down the escarpment which is also an awesome experience to get there. At Kibiro hot springs, you will find water that continuously boils up to 100% gushing out. The place attracts a lot of people because they believe that this water heals various diseases. As the hot water comes out of the ground, it forms bubbles and you can place here bananas, Irish potatoes, sweet potatoes, cassava and fresh eggs and the will boil until they are ready for eating in just a few minutes. Because this water comes out of a salty rock, it is salty as well. From the hot springs, it meanders in a stream that leads it into Lake Albert. It is so absurd that some animals enter this water from the springs thinking that it has the same temperatures like Lake Albert and they end up dying there.

As the water from the springs flows through the areas where salt mining is done, it keeps the place moist. The salt miners sprinkle dry soil on the moist soil and later on it dries up and the salt is ready for picking though with salt. The next process is to pick it and put it in big filters which are placed on big buckets. They thereafter pour water in the salty soil on the filter too allow it go through the filter into the bucket. The salt solution is heated until only salt crystals are got.

Beliefs and myths about Kibiro hot springs

Once you arrive at the hot springs, you will meet a local guide who will take you around the place to explain the beliefs and myths that the local people have about the hot springs. Some of the beliefs and myths are that;

  • The water heals measles, scabies, fresh wounds, boils and other skin rushes and diesess
  • The water has supernatural powers that drive away bad spirits and demons from the possessed people
  • One has to bath in the water when naked
  • Bathing is done before 07:00pm because it is believed that after that time, spirits that own the hot springs are there if you stay there beyond that time, you may anger the spirits.

Minerals in the water of Kibiro hot springs

There are a number of minerals and chemicals in this hot spring water and they are used in making medicine. They include potassium chloride, sodium chloride, calcium sulphate, calcium phosphate, , magnesium chloride and lithium sulphate among others. These components could be the reason why the water heals the skin diseases and rush.

Things to carry when visiting the hot springs

Since this place has a windy and hot climate with yearly temperatures ranging from 22 degrees Celsius to 29 degrees Celsius, you are advised to wear light clothes, carry enough drinking water and snacks and strong closed shoes or hiking boots.

A visit to Kibiro hot springs can be included on your Uganda safari that includes Murchison falls national park and other parks in the western region such as Kibale national park.