Uganda shoebill – shoebill stork Uganda

Shoebill Uganda – The exclusive shoebill stork is one of the rare to see birds in Africa and is one of the famous birds of Uganda to look out for on your Uganda safari. The name of the shoebill stork was derived from its shoe-shaped bill which also gives it a large head hence being referred to as a “King whale-head”. Although shoebills can live for as many years as 45 and above, they are a critically endangered species of birds, there are about 1000 shoebills left in Uganda. It may therefore not be easy to spot them just anywhere but chances are normally higher when on a Uganda birding safari to specific spots that we recommend.

Habitat of the Shoebill stork Uganda

These fascinating birds are found in swampy areas with fresh water characterized with thick papyrus plants, water lilies and other grass common in fresh water swamps. In Uganda, one of the most famous destinations for shoebill birding safaris is Mabamba bay located on the western side of Entebbe on the shore of lake Victoria. The guide and the tourists move on the water to the areas where the bird is commonly spotted using a canoe.

Other areas where to spot the Uganda shoebill stork is Murchison falls national park on the swampy waters of the delta area, in queen Elizabeth national park on the southern part of lake Edward, Ziwa Rhino sanctuary around Rugogo swamp, Semuliki national park in areas near Lake Albert and in Lake Mburo national park.

Some of the reasons for the reducing number of shoebills which are nearing extinction are destruction of their habitats and fishermen who kill them because of their traditional beliefs that the birds are a sign of bad omen.

What do shoebill storks eat?

Shoebill Uganda mainly feed on small aquatic creatures such as fish; tilapia, catfish, lungfish and many other small-sized fish that it is able to catch, baby crocodiles, frogs and turtles. It also eats snails, snakes, monitor lizards and rodents. The shoebill stork has a sharp bill which enables it to capture its food and it is wide enough for it to eat them.

Social life: Shoebill storks are solitary birds. It is common that you will spot one at a time.

Uganda birding safaris are not limited to the shoebill stork but also offer a lot more species of birds. Out of more than 1,000 bird species in Uganda, you can tell us your favorite birds that you wish to see and the best place to easily spot them shall be recommended. You will have the best birders to take you for the birding safari to areas such as Mabira forest and to Uganda’s national parks where amazing numbers of bird species have been recorded, for example Semuliki national park where you’ll also see the Sempaya hot springs, Queen Elizabeth national park where you also have an opportunity to spot the tree climbing lions, Bwindi impenetrable national park where the bird watching activity will be included on your gorilla trekking safari, Kidepo valley national park famous for ostriches among the birds of Uganda and here you’ll enjoy real African wilderness, Kibale national park and Bigodi swamp are wondrous birding destinations and bird watching here will start after the thrilling Chimp tracking experience in Kibale forest.

Did You Know Gorilla Facts? Mountain Gorilla facts that you should know about

Gorillas are one of the most interesting attractions in Africa. There are 2 types of gorillas categorized according to their location and each of these is divided into two making four gorilla subspecies. The species of gorillas are; the eastern gorillas which are divided into the mountain gorillas and the eastern lowland gorillas and the western gorillas which are further divided into the western lowland and the cross river gorillas. Gorilla trekking is a prime activity for travel to Africa.

Gorillas are critically endangered species of primates. Mountain gorillas can be seen in only three countries; Uganda, Rwanda and the DRC while eastern lowland gorillas inhabit the tropical rainforests of the DRC. The western lowland gorillas are found in Equatorial Guinea, Central African Republic, Angola and Cameroon while the cross river gorillas are found in Nigeria and Cameroon.

There are a number of facts about gorillas that you will find interesting and these could be some of the things that will raise the strong interest for seeing them. Adventure in the wild safaris is the best travel partner for mountain gorilla trekking safaris in Uganda, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Some of the gorilla facts we thought you need to know are that;

  1. Gorillas are primates

A primate is any mammal that belongs to the taxonomic order primate. There are over 250 species of primates in the world and the gorilla is one of them. Gorillas and chimpanzees are often confused to be the same or one taken to the other. The two are totally different apes though they are all primates. Gorillas are very wise primates and their actions are a sign of their great intelligence and wisdom.

  1. Gorillas are herbivores

Gorillas have a vegetarian diet, they feed on bamboo, stems, shoots, fruits and leaves. They occasionally catch insects, worms and termites for snacks.

An adult gorilla eats about 18 to 20 kilograms of food daily. It is rare to see gorillas taking water and since they are mainly herbivores, the plants they feed on provide water to their bodies.

  1. Gorillas live in social groups also known as families

Gorillas live in forests and each one of them belongs to a family. A group of gorillas is called a troop. Each group consists of 5-30 members and each group is headed by a strong silverback which is in charge of various things like protecting its members from any enemy or danger, it is also the only one to mate with the females in the group and in case it realizes that there is another male that is mating with its females, there will be a severe fight.

  1. Gorillas have a gestation period of eight months and a half

Gorillas don’t have a specific birth seasons as they have been observed having babies at any time of the year. The gestation period of gorillas is 8.5 months and they most times give birth to a singles, twins are there but rare. Female gorillas give birth once in a period of about 5 years. At the time of birth, young ones weigh about 2 kilograms.

  1. Gorillas take nurse and take care of their babies until the age of about 3 years

Young ones of gorillas are called infants and there is a very close contact between the gorilla mothers and their infants up to about 6 months. They are nursed up to abo0ut 2.5-3 years when they can do things on their own. The silverback also takes part in the responsibility towards infants and in case these young ones lose their mother, the silverback takes care of them.

  1. The fur of male gorillas turns silver as they mature

Starting from the age of around 10-12, the fur on the back of male gorillas turns silver. This is a sign of maturity and this is the reason why they are called silverbacks.

  1. Male gorillas have to leave the group when they reach maturity

When the male gorilla is mature enough to lead a family, that is at the age of about 10 years. A group must not have a lot of males especially mature males apart from the silverback. Therefore when a male gorilla matures, it goes along with some females or snatches females from any other group and starts his own group.

  1. Gorillas are closely related to humans

The most closely related apes to humans are the chimpanzees and bonobos. After these two, the gorillas are said to be the next close relatives with a DNA of 97% that they share with humans. The difference of only 3% DNA separates a gorilla from a human being. This is the reason to why their physical make up is related to that of humans.

  1. Gorillas catch some diseases that affect human

Since gorillas are closely related to humans, they are prone to respiratory illnesses that affect humans such as a common cold and cough. This is the reason why sick people are prohibited from entering the forest to see gorillas.

  1. Some features of the bodies of gorillas look like for humans

Unlike other animals, gorillas’ hands look almost like for humans and they also have finger prints. These finger prints form dermal ridges which help in holding things and also provide the ability to hold firm when climbing trees. This should however not be a surprise if you have heard about the evolution of the apes.

  1. Gorillas are big and large

Physically, gorillas are the biggest and largest species of primates. Out of the various sub species of the gorillas, the Eastern lowland gorillas are the biggest and strongest with a mature male weighing up to 250kg. Comparing to human weight, a gorilla weighs about 3 times the weight of a strong human.

  1. Gorilla arms are longer than their legs

The arms of gorillas are longer than legs and are very strong. After knowing how strong a gorilla is, imagine a punch from a gorilla. It would be really painful and tough.

  1. Gorillas are very mobile

Gorillas are known to make a lot of movements in the forests. They are wake up in one location in the morning and will move to a different one by day time. They often change their sleeping nests every evening by constructing new nests where they will spent the night. The silverback decides on where to sleep.

Did You Know Gorilla Facts? Mountain Gorilla facts that you should know about

It is also important to know that other gorillas can survive in captivity apart from mountain gorillas. This creates higher chances of other gorillas to stay longer than mountain gorillas since the life expectancy is 35-40 in the wild and up to 50 years in captivity. Gorillas can imitate, chuckle at funny things, use tools and can learn languages if trained. It is interesting to know mopre about gorillas including the silverback strength, how gorillas fight, the strongest gorilla species and more as you prepare for your Bwindi gorilla trekking safari.

Uganda Martyrs – A tale of young men who died for their faith.

Martyrs of Uganda, Ugandan martyrs

The Uganda Martyrs comprise of 45 young men who were brutally killed by the king of Buganda called Kabaka Mwanga II. They were forced to abandon their faith in Christianity which they refused to do and Kabaka ordered for their killing. This was done because of the various people of Buganda who were converting to Christianity which he did not like. These young men that were killed were 23 Anglican converts and 22 Catholic converts. Their lives are celebrated by the whole world on the 3 rd of June every year. Very many people from different areas pay pilgrimage to Namugongo Martyrs Shrine which was put in place in commemoration of the Uganda martyrs.

Following the early Arabs that had entered in Uganda in the 1830s, the Anglican missionaries arrived in Buganda in 1877 and were followed by the Catholic missionaries who arrived in 1879. Most of these missionaries arrived in the era of King Muteesa I and they settled in Buganda and converted a lot of people in the region. In 1884, King Muteesa I died and was replaced by his son Kabaka Mwanga II.

The new beliefs of Christianity were contradicting with the beliefs of traditional beliefs in the kingdom and this forced them to abandon the traditional religions, practices and the way of living and take on the Christian way of life.

Mwanga loved Christianity when he was still a prince after the arrival of the missionaries just before he took over his father’s throne. However, after taking over the seat as King of Buganda, he realized that the foreigners were interfering into the traditions of the kingdom and would bring his powers down. He developed strong hatred and rejection for foreigners and Christians including the missionaries and the converts.

Kabaka Mwanga had succeeded his father in 1884 and in 1885, he passed an ordrer for the killing of Yususf Rugarama, Nuwa Serwanga and Makko Kakumba who were killed at Busega Nateete. They were killed on the 31st of January 1885 being the first martyrs of Uganda. the next killing happened in Busoga whereby the newly appointed head of the Eastern Equatorila Africa Bishop James Hannington was returning to Buganda using the Eastern direction, a direction which the wise men of the king had said that the enemy of the king would come from. He was therefore looked at as an enemy and was killed in October 1885.

On the 15th of November 1885, Joseph Balikuddembe Mukasa was beheaded at Nakivubo. This was the first Catholic convert to be killed. He was a senior advisor to King Mwanga and he condemned the King’s order for the killing of Anglican Bishop Hannington minus a chance to listen to his reasons for using that direction. This annoyed the king and he ordered for his arrest and killing.

Many people in the region had converted to Christianity, so the king asked them to denounce this new faith that they had followed but they refused and were killed. A number of young men that had converted into Christianity are said to have disobeyed the king. They walked from Munyonyo to Namugongo, reached there and collected firewood that would be used to kill them. On 3rd June 1886, a group of 26 young boys and men were put in the same locality along with firewood and fire was lit to burn them. The last Ugandan martyr is said to have been beheaded on 27th January, 1887 at Mengo. He was a Catholic covert called Jean-Marie Muzeeyi.

There are 45 martyrs recognized to have been killed by Mwanga during this period though it is said that there could be many more that could have been killed and their deaths not reported. The 45 Ugandan martyrs are today remembered by many Christians in the world. In 1920, Pope Benedict XV affirmed the 22 catholic martyrs as Blessed and this was a very important step in the Catholic Church. Later on 18th October 1964, they were canonized as saints by Pope Paul VI. These catholic martyrs are the first black Africans to be canonized as saints and Uganda and Africa boast in this.

List of all Uganda martyrs

Uganda martyrs names; Yusuf Rugarama, Kakumba Makko, Ssrwanga Nuwa, Balikuddembe Mukasa, Mukasa Musa, Kaggwa Anderea, Ngondwe Posiano, Ssbuggwawo Denis, Bazzekuketta Antanansio, Gonza Gonzaga, Mbwa Eriya, Muddu-aguma, Mulumba Matiya, Muwanga Daudi, Kayizzi Kibuuka, Mawaggali Nowa, Mayanja Kitoogo, Muwanga, Lwanga Karoli, Baanabakintu Lukka, Buuzabalyawo Yakobo, Gyaviira, Kiuuka Ambrosio, Kiriggwajjo Anatoli, Kiriwawanvu Mukasa, Kiwanuka Achileo, Kizito, Lugido mukasa adolofu, mugagga, sserunkuuma Bruno, tuzinde mbaga, kadoko alexanda, Mubi-Azaalwa, Munyangabyangu Robert, Kifamunnyanja, Kiwanuka Giyaza, Kizza Frederick, Kwabafu, Muwanga Njigija, Lwakisinga Mukasa, Lwanga, Nakabandwa Danieri, Wasswa, Walukagga Nuwa and Muzeeyi Jean-Marie.

There are many high profile religious and non- religious leaders that have visited this place; Paul VI, the Archibishop of Canterbury Robert Runice, Pope John Paul II and many more. the site hosts hundreds of thousands of people from all over the world at the beginning of June every year to celebrate the lives of the martyrs.

Later on shrines were constructed at Namugongo site for people to conduct prayers. The Namugongo Martyrs Shrine is a Catholic Basilica dedicated to the Ugandan Martyrs that were killed by Kabaka Mwanga. The shrine is one of the historical, religious and most beautiful things to visit in Kampala.

List of all Uganda martyrs, The martyrs of Uganda

Namirembe Cathedral: St. Paul’s Cathedral Namirembe

Namirembe Cathedral is the oldest cathedral in Uganda. It is located on one of the seven hills of Kampala where it was relocated from Kitesa after the very first one that which had been built in 1890 with a sitting capacity of 8oo but later on became small. This is where the first bishop of the Anglican Church Bishop Tucker had his first service in Uganda. The second church that was relocated to the hill was opened on July 31, 1892. This was the first cathedral church on the hill. Worshippers used to carry mats and stools for sitting on in the church because there were no pews. However, the new church was destroyed by a wild storm 2 years after it had been opened. This led to birth of a decision to build another one which would be the third church but the second on the hill. It was built with a seating capacity of 4,000 people. After a minimum of seven years, it was considered that a more modern church be built and this was built with a design based on the Temple Church in London but it was to have a thatched roof. The architect was Kristen Eskilsden Borup. The church was consecrated on September 23, 1910 but six years later, it was struck by lightning and it got burnt. After this bad occurrence, the Anglicans in Buganda requested for construction for a church building that is long lasting.  A British architect known as Arthur Beresford Pite was given the architectural work to build the fourth cathedral whose construction started in 1915 and the church was opened from prayers I 1919.

Namirembe Cathedral is an Anglican Cathedral serving as the provincial cathedral for Church of Uganda, is the diocesan cathedral for Namirembe diocese which was the first diocese to be founded in the province of Church of Uganda. The diocese is headed by Rt. Reverend Wilberforce Kityo Luwalira and other 103 clergies. Therefore this is the right place for anyone in who would like to visit the headquarters of the Church of Uganda.

St. Paul’s Cathedral Namirembe is located on Namirembe hill in Lubaga Division just about 2 kilometers from the Kampala town which is the capital of Uganda.  It has an amazingly unique architecture and a beautiful dome on top of it. A lot of people from different parts of Kampala go to this church for Sunday services and other services held in the course of the week. Sunday service schedules are 06:45am, 08:30am and 10:00am. It has a great choir that leads powerful and interesting praises and worships. The little ones have a church where they are taught about Christianity.

Namirembe Cathedral is one of the most impressive tourist attractions where you can learn a lot about the history of Christianity in Uganda and the history of the church itself. The building itself is beautiful and you surely need to see how “old is gold” having been maintained for about 100 years with its beauty. Namirembe hill also offers spectacular views of the surrounding including Kampala town.

After your wildlife safari, gorilla trekking safari, birding safari, Adventure in the wild safaris is always pleased to take you around such beautiful religious and historic sites like St. Paul’s Cathedral Namirembe and other religious areas like Rubaga cathedral, Namugongo Martyrs Shrine, Kibuli mosque, Uganda National Mosque at Old Kampala. A Kampala city tour also takes you to cultural sites, museums, craft shops and markets among others.

Uganda Martyrs Shrine

Namugongo Martyrs Shrine is also known as the Uganda Martyrs Shrine. It is located in Namugongo town just about 15 kilometers from Kampala city. Namugongo is a respected religious site that was reserved because of the 22 Uganda Martyrs that were killed there by Kabaka Mwanga because of their Christian faith in 1885-1887. The place is beautiful and has a serene environment. It is one of the best religious sites to visit if you wish to get fully immersed into a strong feeling of devotion which you’ll surely have when you enter the huge silent Namugongo Catholic Church.

The construction of the Namugongo Martyrs Shrine started in 1967 and it was completed in 1975. It was put in place and dedicated to the Ugandan Martyrs. The shrine has a unique architecture, it was designed in form of the African traditional houses-cone shaped with 22 copper pillars and doors designed to express the lives and history of the Uganda Martyrs. The shrine has a sitting capacity of 1,000 people and the seats are organized in a circular order. It is said that 15 of the 22 Uganda Martyrs were burnt at the place where the church was placed.

There are a number of elements with different information about the Uganda Martyrs. A manmade lake (martyr’s lake) was tunneled in respect of the martyrs. The lake has an Island which is a thatched pavilion with a deck-like feature that where we find the alter for holy mass. It has capacity of accommodating over 200 clergy and it’s where they lead from on Uganda martyrs day. There is a cabin with a bedroom, sacristy and a kitchen under the deck-like feature and the place was briefly visited by Pope Francis in 2015 on his Uganda visit. The Martyr’s lake is a source of water which can be fetched by believers who visit the place hoping that it will open doors for miracles.

The action of the killing of the Uganda Martyrs by Mwanga was done to eliminate Christianity form the region but it instead brought more faith in the long run as Christians all over the world join together to pray and celebrate their lives. The martyrs were burnt from this place on 3rd June 1886 and the 3rd day of June every year is recognized as the Uganda Martyrs Day, a special day in Uganda for honoring the martyrs.

A few days to 3rd June every year, pilgrims flock Namugongo. They travel from different parts of Uganda, Kenya, Sudan and many other parts of the world. Large numbers of people move on foot from distant areas even from as far as Kenya and other areas. They move barefooted from their homes until they arrive at Namugongo all in honor of the Martyrs. Uganda martyrs day makes Namugongo a totally different place from the rest as it is characterized by lots of happy people, different businesses of those selling foods and drinks, clothes and different souvenirs.

Recently, the Church of Uganda established a museum at Namugongo to enable visitors to the shrine go through what the martyrs experienced. There are demonstrations of how they were burnt and the guide at the site will explain much more about the rest of the martyrs who were killed here and outside this site.

Namugongo is a religious place but also holds great history, has an old beautiful shrine that has been maintained in good condition and is worth visiting on your Uganda safari. This is one of the places Adventure in the wild safaris recommends it visitors to visit for a Kampala tour.

Kampala City is the Uganda capital city and so far the largest town of Uganda. The city is located in the central part of Uganda and is easily accessed by most people from across the country hence estimated to have about 1,680,800 people in 2019 in the areas of Kampala Central Division, Makindye Division, Rubaga Division and Kawempe Division according to the statistics by Uganda Bureau of Statistics.

Kampala city is a busy town with various businesses including trade, transportation and various business offices and headquarters. It is the fastest growing town in Uganda and one of the fastest growing cities in Africa. With the various daily activities that take place, the city is governed by a corporate body known as Kampala City Council Authority which regulates all the activities on behalf of the government. The main means of transportation around town is road transport (taxis and boda boda for public transportation). Uganda has good tarmac roads connect different parts of the country; the west, north, east and southwestern to Kampala town and this eases access. Lots of people travel to and from the city daily for different purposes including work, studies and visiting family and friends among others.

Kampala town is strategically located close to Lake Victoria which is in the southern direction where several activities take place such as fishing and many relaxation activities. The city is located about 40 km from Entebbe international airport.

Kampala History – Uganda Capital City

The history of Kampala is derived from the era of Mutesa 1 who was the Kabaka (king) of Buganda kingdom then. Kampala was occupied by hills and wetlands which were homes to various wild animals including antelopes known as Impalas. Since Kampala was situated in his constituency of Buganda Kingdom, he chose this place as his hunting grounds. When the colonialists arrived, in Uganda they settled in Buganda and also named Kampala as the “hill of Impalas” which is locally translated to “kasozi ka impala” that finally led to the birth of the name Kampala.

Kampala was (and still is) known as the city of seven hills , that is Kampala hill/Old Kampala  where we find the ruins of Lugard, Mengo hill which today is famously known as the home of the Kabaka’s palace which is locally known as the “Lubiri”, Kasubi hill where we find the Kasubi tombs where the fallen kings of Buganda kingdom are buried, Kibuli hill has one of the oldest mosques in Uganda known as Kibuli mosque, Namirembe hill is well known for the Namirembe Anglican cathedral while Lubaga hill for Rubaga Catholic cathedral and Nsambya hill has the headquarters of the Mill Hill Mission and one of the biggest hospitals in the city called Nsambya hospital.

Attractions in Kampala City | Uganda Capital City

The Uganda museum

This is an important place where the cultural heritage of Uganda is kept. The Uganda museum is located in Kamwokya along Kira road, Kampala district. It has a number of historical collections including hunting materials, music instruments, vehicles that were driven by the former presidents of Uganda and huts each named after the tribes and cultures in uganda each equipped with commonly used equipment by the different tribal groups.

Baha’i temple

This is the only Baha’i temple in Africa and is one of the biggest temples on the continent. It is located about 4 miles from Kampala city centre. The temple is under the Baha’i faith and anyone is always welcomed to participate in prayers. It is can accommodate over 600 people. The temple is located on a hill which offers spectacular views of the building and on getting there, you’ll see beautiful flowers. The area is calm and comfortable.

The Uganda National mosque

The Uganda national mosque is located on the old Kampala hill. It is currently the largest mosque with a capacity of accommodating about 25,000 people. The mosque was constructed by the Libyan government in the era of their former president Muammar Gadhaffi and it is also known as Gaddafi Mosque. The mosque was a gift to Uganda and an important place for the Muslims. It is one of the places you can easily access and visit when in Kampala and you are reminded to dress decently when going there.

Namugongo Martyrs shrine

Namugongo Martyrs shrine is located about 15km from Kampala city in Namugongo. It is a very important religious site that was built to remember the Uganda Martyrs who were killed by Kabaka Mwanga in the 1880s. He ordered his subjects to the burn the martyrs because they refused to denounce their belief in Christianity. The 3rd day of June every year is the Uganda Martyrs day when thousands of people from all over Uganda and the rest of the world congregate to celebrate the lives of the Uganda martyrs.

Kasubi tombs

Kasubi Tombs is found on Kasubi hill and it is a cultural place where the fallen kings of Buganda kingdom are buried. This place is one of the UNESCO world Heritage sites in Uganda. it is an interesting place to visit an learn more about the history of Buganda kingdom and the culture of the Baganda.

Kabaka’s lake

Kabaka’s lake is the largest manmade lake in Africa. It was made between 1884 and 1888 by Kabaka Mwanga and it is said that he also took part in digging the basin as a way of being exemplary to his subjects. The purpose for establishing this lake is that Kabaka Mwanga wanted to connect his Lubiri to Lake Victoria.

Namirembe cathedral

Also known as St. Paul’s Namirembe Cathedral, this is the provincial cathedral of the Church of Uganda. it is the oldest cathedral and is the diocese cathedral for Namirembe cathedral which was the first diocese to be founded in Uganda that was in 1890. The cathedral has a beautiful architecture.

Kampala has more interesting places to visit such as St. Mary’s Rubaga cathedral, Kabaka’s palace/Lubiri, Nakasero market, Craft shops and Lake Victoria among others.

Where to stay in Kampala

There are several accommodations in Kampala where travelers can stay on their Uganda safaris, brief vacations or on business travels. They include;

Kampala Serena hotel

This is a 5 star hotel located in Nakasero-Kampala. It offers a number of quality facilities and services to travelers and visitors who use choose to stay there or use their daily services such as conference halls. The place is serene, quiet and easily accessible. Facilities and amenities include spacious rooms with comfortable beds, bar and restaurant with a range of local and international cuisines, WiFi, swimming pool and many more.

Skyz hotel

Skyz Hotel is a luxury hotel located on Naguru hill, just about 7 kilometers from Kampala city. It is one of the new hotels providing excellent accommodation around Kampala. The hotel offers perfect views of Kampala and other surrounding areas. The food at the restaurant, drinks at the bar, comfort in the rooms, coolness and serenity at the swimming pool and hospitality from the staffs are excellent.

Mestil Hotel and Residences

Mestil Hotel is also a new hotel in Nsambya-Kampala. They have executive rooms, single bedroom suites, twin bedroom suites and the triple bedroom penthouse. The hotel a healthy club that helps guests to get rejuvenated  and fit, an outdoor swimming pool to cool your body during hot days, spacious rooms and friendly and well trained staffs.

Other hotels around Kampala include Hilton Garden Inn Kampala, Fairway Hotel, Sheraton Kampala hotel, Protea Hotel, The Emin Pasha Hotel, Forest cottages, Metropole Hotel Kampala and Golf course hotel among others.

Uganda is home to many amazing reptiles

The reptiles found in Uganda- in this content, you will find the information, Background, National parks, Wildlife reserves, where you will be able to sight number of reptiles such as the Lizards, Nile crocodiles, Tortoises, Terrapins and Chameleons found in Uganda.

Common snakes in uganda

Uganda also referred the Pearl of Africa, is diverse and has a lot to see and do yet it’s not been discovered by many little is known and a few have felt the taste of Uganda, Uganda has got various types of snakes some of which are venomous and other non-venomous. The truth is Ugandan snakes are shy and once they hear a shout or something moving towards it, they will as much as possible to find safer places to hide away from danger and can only be forced to attack when they can’t hide anymore or provoked. During your in different destinations, will certainly sight some of them most especially the python and others you will see them crossing the road in front of your Vehicle.

The Puff Adder: this is one of the most common snakes in Uganda, they are found in the Savannah parks, they are friendly to wards humans but at the same time, dangerous when intimidated they will be forced to attack you. It’s mostly sighted by safari visitors, during your safari in various savannah parks, and they enjoy feeding on rodents, you may come across it.

Gabon Viper: This one is the largest among all the African snakes, measures up to 2 meters long, it has heavy build, black and brown skin pattern with some gold patches on it. Its colour is the perfect mix for a camouflaged for the tropical forest in Uganda. Uganda is beyond what you can imagine, interesting in exploring the reptiles in Uganda, go on a safari with adventure in the wild safaris, you will love every minute you will spend with us.

Rock Python: Rock Python is the largest snake type in Africa, it’s length measures over 5 meters long. It’s skin, is Gold on black mottled kind. This snake is not venomous but kill their prey by strangulation, and wrapping their body around the prey, swallowing it whole after, they will take a deep nap for some quite time for even about two months.

They feed on small antelopes, large rodents, they can even kill small child and swallow it, you may not come across them during your safari, but the perfect place to find is the bat cave in Maramagambo forest in Queen Elizabeth National Park.

Black Mambas: they are very poisonous and are of great threat to humans and have been reported to be killing many villages, they move faster than a human being and can strike a person when they are attacked. They are not black in colour as the name suggest, but the interior of the mouth is black. They are mainly spotted in Eastern Uganda.

Green Mambas: These are most often sighted on trees, they do not move on the ground, they are even found in roofs of houses, latrines, shrubs and bushes, they are also poisonous but not very aggressive as the black Mamba.

Mole snake: these are mostly sighted in Savannah parks, they feed on moles and other rodents, they measure up to 2 meters long.

Egg Eating Snakes: This snake feeds on eggs as the name suggests, they swallow a whole egg and regurgitate the egg shell later.

Boom Slag: Despite no serious cases of this snake attack on humans in Uganda, they are very toxic though not aggressive in behaviour, they black-ganged, they are usually spotted on trees.

Monitor Lizards Uganda

In Uganda, you will have an opportunity to sight the various monitor lizards, some on them are Savannah lizards, water lizards, you will spot them during the game drives and during the boat cruise safaris on different water bodies in Uganda offering boat safaris.

The water monitor lizards, can also be found along the Kazinga channel in Queen Elizabeth national park, Murchison falls national park, here there are higher chances to sight the monitor lizard along the Nile and a cross the savannah monitor and measure up to 2 metres long. When you visit these national parks, you will have a great opportunity to come across the monitor Lizards.

As you walk around the park, you will come across one, there is no need to panic that are harmless and will not attack you. They look like crocodiles but do not actually behave like the crocodile, the monitor lizard, raid crocodile nests in search for their eggs.

Nile Crocodiles Uganda

Uganda’s Nile crocodiles, are one of the largest living reptiles in Africa, the Nile crocodiles are harmful and can kill somebody and eat up the person, despite these, there are no cases of tourists being attack by the crocodiles although there some cases of locals who come to Nile some times they are attacked by the crocodiles. But you are on a safer side, reason being that you will view them on the boat trip in the Nile at Murchison falls national park or at the Kazinga channel boat trip in Queen Elizabeth national park, you will also view them at the shores in Lake Mburo National parks.

The Nile crocodiles, in most often, feed on fish and also prey on mammals that come to drink water. So exciting to watch the crocodiles, do not miss the Nile Crocodiles while at the launch trip on the Nile and other national parks that offer the boat safaris.

Chameleons in Uganda

There are many of these that can be sighted in Uganda, yet you may not sight many of them because of their attitude of changing colours, they can change the colour and camouflage to avoid being seen by their potential enemies, they change colour according to their mood but not the environment or the surrounding therefore, you need be so keen since you may screen upon feeling it on your head. They harbour many forested areas in Uganda for example, savannah areas in Uganda as well as forested areas like in Kibale forest National park and Budongo forest.

Graceful Chameleon:   Yellow and green in colour, and white stripe along the flanks of it.

Giant Chameleon:  It is bulky and dark green in colour with yellow stripes and a small horn.  It feeds on small reptiles and insects.

Flap-Necked Chameleon: this one is mainly sighted on Savannah and wooded areas. Its bright and green in color measuring around 15 cm long, but they can grow and double in size and will turn tan brown under certain conditions. One of the fascinating reasons you will need to have reptile safari tour in the Pearl of Africa.

House Gecko: This reptile species appears present in every house/room, it has plastic shape but they are not. They feed on insects and are mostly harmless to humans, with the exception of their saliva, in cases you leave items that are used regularly such as toothbrushes, and they lick it and may have consequences.

Terrapins: They are rather flatter than the tortoise and most often found on rocks near the water, will be the Nile soft- shelled Terrapin, its wide flat shell, can be one meter in length in some cases.

Tortoise: the commonly sighted is the leopard Tortoise, with its shell that is leopard like in pattern, they weigh up to 30 kilos. Book your safari with us and you will Explore Uganda and Beyond. Uganda is one of the best countries in Africa to have unforgettable experience.

If you’re a visitor to Uganda safari, the chances of seeing any of the snakes listed are very small, but reptiles you’re sure to see particularly if you’re visiting any of the national parks include the Nile crocodile, monitor lizards, chameleons, and occasionally a turtle. Don’t miss out on the most thrilling and exciting experience and the moment of having and encounter with the gentle giants of Bwindi and Mgahinga on trekking gorillas after the reptiles ‘ tour, Visit the Nile or track the chimpanzees in the home of the primate. It’s a lifetime experience in any of Uganda’s wildlife parks such as Uganda safaris, Uganda gorilla safaris, chimpanzees, and primates trekking. For further enquiries about your information about Uganda safaris, including golden monkeys trekking, wildlife safaris, chimp trekking, birding as well as adrenaline activities in Jinja at the source of the Nile. Contact us at Advantage in the wild safaris, and we will make the impossible, possible for you.

 Cultural encounter with ik tribe, kidepo

Visit the Ik tribe northern Uganda one of the African mountain tribes. An encounter with the ik tribe, kidepo is a very exciting experience while on your Uganda safaris.

The Ik is a tribe in Africa, this group of people, live in Morungole mountain in North-eastern Uganda nearer to the Kidepo valley National park.  the Ik people live in most remote areas in Uganda far away from all the tribes in Africa. These group of people, became famous in 1972 when the British -American anthropologist Colin Turnbull Published his book, ‘’The mountain people’’ the book referred the IK people as the ones who did not love. But the visit to these villages, will surely disapprove what was written about the Ik people. They are loving, caring and very interesting people to live and interact with.

During your safari visit in Kidepo Valley National park, you can also take a tour to the nearby Ik communities. This is one of the unique cultures you ought not to miss. You can do this activity in foot, hiking on steep slopes you will need to be physically feet and energic for this stroll. This activity lasts for the whole day Hiking through the scenic Morungole mountain near the kidepo valley which also the perfect game park for the fascinating wildlife viewing. You can do a game viewing safari in kidepo valley national park, and also take part in a cultural visit to the Ik villages.

A visit to the Ik communities on Mount Morungole, measures about 2,700 meters above sea level is a unique African Cultural Experience and also a moment to prove your physical ability and endurance while hiking on steep and rugged terrain in a semi desert area.

To have the best and enjoy your safari tour in this remote area, a minimum of 5- 6 days is required for you to have a complete safari tour in Kidepo valley National park with a visit to the Ik people in Morungole mountains.

The IK people live high in Morungole mountains, on the boarder to Kenya along the kidepo valley Park Region in North-eastern Uganda.

The Ik tribe northern Uganda have total population of over 10,000 to 11,000 people in number, they were believed to have migrated from the Ethiopia and first settled in Kenya then later migrated to the current Kidepo Valley park. they were mainly hunters and gatherers, they also kept some cattle but due to the constant raids by the Karamojong’s in Uganda, the Turkana of Kenya and the pokot of Kenya and the Tuposa of South Sudan, the constant raids led to the loss of cows thus they have up on cattle keeping and later adopted substance farming, also reared some goats, and bee keeping for honey.

They lived most of their lives in the forest where they gathered and hunted from, but when government came up to gazette all the national parks to protect the animals, they lost their hunting grounds, therefore, they migrated up in to Mount Morungole where they started their life from. Up to date, they have lives on the mountain and its where you can find them in isolation and relatively at peace with one another. They were the first people who migrated to North-eastern Uganda they believed they were the ‘’head of the migration’’.

 Visiting the Ik tribe, Kidepo up on the mountain, is one of the unique experiences with stunning views of the scenery below seen from above is so beautiful and it one of the amazing experiences and adventure you ought not to miss. While here, you can learn about these group of people, their daily lives, the activities they do, cultural norms and beliefs among others. They are polygamous people where by Aman is free to marry as many wives as he can, the many women you had, the more you are respected.

Visiting the Ik Tribe; gives a rare insight in to one of the unique and interesting tribes in Africa with approximately 10,000 people living in the mountains, these group of people, are seen as endangered for its future existence as they try to supplement their living in the mountains. You will also have some of the interesting views of the stunning scenery from the top of the mountain.

Trekking high up on the mountain where these people are found, is not easy it requires some stamina and physical fitness. But there also some trails that were created by the US Forest Service which has made getting to the Ik villages, a lot more simplified. You can also drive to the top which is a short cut for the long hiking, you will be guided by the guide who speaks Ik language for easy communication, the visit to the Ik villages, takes approximately whole day experience ascending and descending the steep mountain.

The peak of Mount Morungole, measures about 2,749 meters above sea level, the trail is 8 kilometres long which is quite a tough climb to the villages, you will need to be physically fit to be able to climb the mountain, carry some water to keep you hydrated. Finally, when you reach the top, you will be amazed by whet you will discover up there, breath-taking scenery, the Valleys below you, and the East African Rift Valley of Kenya.

When you arrive at the Ik villages, you will be welcomed by the locals and they will show case some of their traditional dances among others. They are so welcoming ad friendly people you will love them. The fees paid for these activity, is injected in to the local community which helps in sustaining the continuing existence of the people as well as its for other cultural visits in other regions of the country such as the Batwa community, the Karamojong which are some of the Unique cultures in Uganda and are of interest to the visitors in Uganda.

You can ask the guide for some questions and you will be able to get the answers, you can also donate some money to help these families , life is hard here, there is no better education, raising of the children is different here, feeding is poor here, the life here is beyond what you could imagine. You can also visit them, and put a smile on their faces, have time with them, enjoy some of the local foods and local beer with them.

In case you need this safari visit to the Ik villages, please let us know and we will plan and include the activity  in your safari tour plan so that you will have the best of your safari visit in Kidepo valley national park, and the visit to the Ik communities in mount Morungole.

How to Visit the IK Tribe northern Uganda: is a stand alone activity it requires one full day for the complete adventure, it’s an activity that you can combine safari to one of the best parks in Africa, you can visit the kidepo valley and also the community visit to the IK communities, kidepo valley, is situated far in one of the remote areas in Uganda and takes some time along time getting there but while here, you will definitely enjoy it. One day is enough to visit the Ik villages.

Walking- Hiking safari Advice and Tips for Uganda

There various places in Uganda and beyond where you can enjoy the walking and the Hiking safaris, the walking and Hiking best safari advice in various regions of Uganda and Rwanda, other activities like savannah safaris, forest, jungle safaris, mountain hiking, volcano hikes, trekking among others, Uganda is rich in what to do and see in various regions and national parks in Uganda.  one the best and missed do activity in Uganda, is the visit to the IK people of mount Morungole in Uganda, all you need is to be fit at all times to hike the steep slopes. The hike to the Ik villages, takes about 8 hours to get to the top and to descend down the mountain, this time enables you to know about this group of people.

We recommend that you wear properly, wear proper clothing, hiking boots, and carry enough drinking water and energy giving snacks and packed lunch while hiding out for this activity it’s a bit tiresome but worth it.



Uganda equator facts, districts in uganda where equator passes, where does the equator pass in uganda, Uganda equator water experiment kayabwe, uganda, Equator line uganda kayabwe, things to do at the equator.

Uganda equator facts: districts in uganda where equator passes

Where does the equator pass in uganda

Visiting the equator, is one of the unique experiences you shouldn’t miss in Uganda- the Pearl of Africa, the primary Destination for Equator in Uganda, is on the Kampala—Masaka Road. many travellers Africa visiting various national parks in western Uganda have a stop over at the equator when heading towards or returning from Bwindi impenetrable forest, Mgahinga Gorilla national park, Queen Elizabeth National park, and lake Mburo National, lake Bunyonyi you will have enroute stop over as you relax from the long trip and take some photos and enjoy some of the exciting activities at the equator including Balance an egg on a nail at the Intiman Solar Museum among others.

Uganda is one of the few countries in the world where the line of equator runs through it, while in Uganda, do not miss this exciting experience visiting the Equator. While on the safari in Uganda, Equator is the perfect lunch stopover enroute to Bwindi impenetrable forest, Mgahinga national park, Lake Mutanda, lake Bunyonyi and Queen Elizabeth national park.

If you would like to visit the equator, we will include in your safari Itinerary in western Uganda. you will stop over at the equator while travelling or while returning from western or even both if you would like to.

What is the Equator: Is an imaginary line drawn on the earth’s surface and divides the earth in to two regions that is the Northern and the southern hemispheres? Equator is also the line of 0 degrees.

During your visit at the Equator you can balance with one foot o the southern hemisphere and the other foot on the Northern hemisphere, or stand with both legs on side of the earth, the person standing with legs of different sides, will feel lighter but it does not mean you have lost weight reason being that.  At the equator the gravitational force of the earth, is significantly less than at the poles. when you leave, your weight returns to normal but it will reduce by 3 percent.

The climate and the temperatures around the equator are warm and humid and experiences a lot of rainfall especially during the winter season of the year, the temperatures are not varying or changing all throughout the year, which is one of the perfect places you ought to visit. Uganda’s climate is pleasant and Unique from the rest of the world. At the equator, the sun is over head at noon and experiences equal hours of the day and night due to the refraction of the sunlight. The water at the equator, runs down counter clock wise in the Northern Hemisphere and clockwise in the southern Hemisphere due to the effect caused by the earth’s rotation on moving objects.

The Equator in Uganda:

Equator line uganda kayabwe

The Equator is located in Kayabwe, Mpigi District approximately 72 kilometres from Kampala city, while driving south west of Kampala, you have an opportunity to see the poster of the Equator on Kampala-Masaka road about 420 kilometres from Kampala. Its has become ne of the top places to visit while in Uganda and must see and do safari Destination for visitor and visitors in western Uganda.

Its also one of the unique places, you will fine restaurants, and shops displaying Souvenirs you may need to purchase some items that you wish to go back with to your home country, the best Ugandan product, the Equator has always received many visitors all year round, it’s the must stop over for many visitors to or from western region of the country.

Some of the shops here were set up by the NGO’s and the many raised through sales, is invested for the support of the children that are under the NGO, therefore your participation in buying these items such as art and craft , is a way of extending your service to the needy.

Things to do at the equator

Souvenir shops and Restaurants:

There is a variety of art and craft and souvenir sold in craft shops at the Equator, most of the items here are hand made products by the locals found in this area, you can purchase a T-shirt printed as ‘’ I crossed the Uganda Equator’’.

It’s a beautiful place where you can find Africa craft especially Uganda crafts. The market is accessible and well secure, ATM around and forex bureau just at corner. You don’t have to worry about the difference in currency, you have all it covered there is a forest bureau where you can change your money from.

While here at the Equator, there are also two restaurants one located at the Tribal craft shop, and the other at the Child Aid café. You will find delicious food and coffee, but the food prices here, are slightly different from other places. Reason being that the money is generated to support the needy children.

When you book your safari with us at Adventure in the wild safaris, you will not miss visiting the Equator while on your safari trip in western Uganda.

Uganda equator water experiment

Whereas, there is a trick done where by water appears to flow down the plughole on either direction of the Equator whereby the water flows counter clock wise in the Northern Hemisphere and clock wise in the Southern Hemisphere. Due to the Coriolis effect which explains how objects in motion deflect to the right in the northern hemisphere and to the left in the southern Hemisphere because of the Coriolis force an acceleration imparted by the Earth’s rotation.

These explains that objects with the part nearer to the equator, deflect further and faster than the part nearest to the Equator the south and the North pole, the Coriolis effect, also causes weather systems like Hurricanes to move in different directions in different hemisphere.

This experiment at the Equator is real, visit the Equator and take part to prove this experiment its exciting.

There is also an experiment where you will see many visitors, tourists balancing an egg on a nail, many people believe that its only on the Equator where you can balance an egg on the nail and nowhere else. Due to the effect of Coriolis with stronger gravity at the Equator resulting to the altitude.


Uganda equator facts, districts in uganda where equator passes, where does the equator pass in uganda, Uganda equator water experiment kayabwe, uganda, Equator line uganda kayabwe, things to do at the equator.

Iteso People and their culture

The Teso people are one of the Ethnic Groups in the Eastern region of Uganda and they occupy some parts of Kenya. The Teso is the name given to the traditional inhabitant for the Teso people. The Teso people occupy the sub regions of the current districts of KUM, Amuuria district, Kumi District, Katatwi district, Palisa district, Kaberamindo district, and Bukedea district. The Iteso people speak the Nilotics language. The eastern Nilotics are divided into two categories such as the Teso Speaking plus the Maa speaking who known as the Maasai branch. The Iteso people are further divided into other category, the Ateso Speaking people and the Karamojong group such as the turkana, Jie, Ikaramojong as well the Dodoth in Uganda and Kenya.

Historical background and culture of the Iteso People

The Iteso People are believed to have originated from Sudan over some period back though it not possible to calculate their period of movement. Other theories assume that Iteso Originated from the Karamojong and took the south direction. This is believed to have happened sometime back since the Iteso don’t bear the cultural names and rituals like the Karamojong. Most of the Iteso clan names are mixed with the Bantu speaking people and the Nilotics. The Iteso people are also mixed with the Japadola due their migration.

During the Colonial era, the Iteso had a cool relationship with the pre-colonial period and they were acrimonious. Due to the intermarriages, the Iteso were intermixed with their neighbors and this diluted their customs and traditional element that can be as well spotted in the nearby surrounding people.

The Iteso situated in the Kenya and Uganda, are as a result of the britsh colonial rule who indirectly ruled them. In the 1902 the western Kenya was transferred from Uganda to Kenya.

The Economic set up of the Iteso

The staple food for the Teso people is Finger Millet and Sorghum however the colonial offices introduced cassava to act as a supplement to their food and to assist them with stand famine. The cassava was cooked together with millet and sorghum. The women were good at growing vegetables, in their small gardens near their houses and they could gather wild foods such as the Mushrooms Delicacy, whilst the Men were busy cattle herdsmen grazing cattle.

The Teso as well depended on agriculture and the main cash crops grown were cotton and this grown by both women and men and they had separate plots of land and they each earned individual income. The oxen were used for plowing other household could hire labor. Other cash crops that were grown include; the tobacco and Maize which were grown during the long rains. The commercial activities included owning small shops, trading cattle and also employment in the public sector jobs to act as local administrators and school teachers.

Marriage and Family

The Marriage among the Teso people was recognized from two points of views; the spouses come together as an alliance it happens between two exogamous clans. The first alliance is expressed in the practical arrangement of establishing a household while as the second one is expressed in the ceremonial rituals as well as healing practices. Most Iteso people both man and women entered in polygamous marriages although this reduced in the early colonial era. One man could marry about 4 or more women who will less than one umbrella and they respected their husband. Divorce was rare thing since whenever divorced happened then the parents of girl were required to return bride wealth that was paid when taking the girl from their parents.