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 Uganda Rwanda border was recently reopened after being closed for a period of close to three years. We have therefore resumed the cross border gorilla trekking trips in which you land in Kigali where we pick you from and then transfer you to Uganda to explore and do some of the exciting activities Uganda has to offer.

There are a lot of activities you can do in Uganda including but not limited to – Gorilla trekking, chimpanzee trekking, Wildlife viewing, Adventure sports, cultural tours and so much more. Our packages which start from Kigali and cross to Uganda range from short 3 day excursions to multi day tours with an option of Ending the trip in Entebbe also available if you don’t wish to return to Kigali after the trip.

Important things to note while planning your crossover trip

Shorter distances for gorilla trekking trips:

The drive from Kigali to Bwindi is 4-5 hours. This is much shorter compared to the 8-9 hours drive if you are starting your trip in Entebbe.

Moderately priced Gorilla trekking permit:

The Uganda Gorilla trekking permit costs $700 while the Rwanda gorilla trekking permit costs $1500, this therefore means that you will save a lot of money if you decide to land in Rwanda but trek gorillas in Uganda.

Lots of activities to do in Uganda

Uganda has many national parks and game reserves as compared to Rwanda. Therefore if you decide to combine your visit to Rwanda and Uganda, you will have a variety of activities to choose from ranging from Gorilla trekking, chimpanzee trekking, white water rafting and kayaking, Game drives, cultural tours and so much more.

Booking your tour

Kindly get in touch with our reservations team and we shall design for you a custom itinerary based on your preferred length of day and dates of travel.

Ssese island

This is a collection of 84 islands in the northwestern part of Lake Victoria locally known as lake nalubale. Some of the 84 islands are under Entebbe while others are governed by kalangala. The island was named ssese due to the presence of tsetse flies in the past. Let’s talk about the best tourism and relaxations destinations among the 84 islands

Bugala island

This is the largest among the 84 islands that make up ssese island. The island has got about 26,000 people of which 66,000 live in kalangala. Bugala island is the 10th largest island found on a lake worldwide.  The island can be accessed by a ferry that docks at luku.

Bugala island has got several hills that give the best views of the lake, the approaching boats/ferries and the different human activities at the island. The island has also got the largest palm oil plantation in Uganda. Some of the irresistible activities that one would engage in while at bugala island include bird watching, primate viewing; enjoying the vervet monkeys, few colobus monkeys, bush bucks and many primates, different snake species, 3 types of butterflies and afew hippos located in the southern part of the island.

Bugala island is a sanctuary of 3 endemic species of rats and butterflies.

Ngamba island

Ngamba island is mostly covered by a rain forest. By 1998 , the island was turned into a sanctuary for the rescued and orphan chimpanzees. The island protects a vast number of chimps and some of the present activities once you visit ngamba island is helping the orphan chimps adapt the life at the island and also help out in feeding the adults.

Banda island

Banda island is the perfect place for camping and relaxation. The island is owned by an individual and it can be accessed by boarding a boat from kasenyi. Banda island has got standard cottages and you can also come along with your own camping gears.

Bulaga island

This island is mostly surrounded by sandy beaches and clifs. Bulaga island is more so perfect for nature walks giving you an amazing view of the lake and the distant islands. The island can be accessed by a speed boat from munyonyo taking you only 45minutes.

Bulaga island is commonly known as the birders paradise due to the presence of numerous bird species. The present accommodation facilities at bulaga island include the pineapple bay lodge and one minute south.

Some of the other islands include the bugaba island which is the mother and the home of the African grey parrots. The nsirwe island famous for its spider breeding and bird breeding, the kigungu island, bubembe island, funve island, serinya island, kitobo island and many more.

Activities/what to do at ssese island
  • Bird watching
  • Swimming in the bilharzia free fresh water body.
  • Chimpanzees
  • Sport fishing
  • Villages and nature walks
  • Primate viewing ;enjoying the colobus monkeys, vervet monkeys and may more.
  • Playing beach games
  • Agriculture tours ; taking you through the largest palm oil plantation of Uganda.
  • Quad biking
  • Culture visits expecting to see the nanziri falls , the wanema’s shrine in bubeke .
  • Hone moon and vacations
  • Marine life viewing
  • Lots of discoveries expecting to see john speke’s house.
When is the best time to visit ssese island?

The island is free to visit any time throughout the year expecting the rain interaction during the months of April – May and September -November.

 

Top Things to do in Entebbe Uganda

Top Things to see in Entebbe -Uganda, Entebbe is one of the best towns in Uganda, it’s the most town people see, many travellers in Uganda, Entebbe is the first place of arrival and departure from Uganda. Entebbe is where international airport in Uganda is located. It mainly the starting point for many safari trips in various national parks in Uganda, Entebbe is where you will find the National Zoo, Islands, top Unique places like Beaches among others.

Entebbe is quite a peaceful town compared to Kampala with much noise from the cars, as drive from Entebbe town to airport, its quite calm and the serein is beautiful, still beyond the main road, there is a lot more to see and discover a bout this beautiful town ranging from the food, markets, craft villages along the road sides.

Entebbe Botanical gardens is one of the top and unique places you shouldn’t miss to visit while you are still in Kampala or Entebbe, you can take time to relax here and enjoy the tranquillity of the environment surrounded by flowers. Its one of the peaceful environments.

The Lake Victoria offers the best climate for you to enjoy, and some activities offered such as the boat ride, short drive now offered by plane or Helicopter. Visit Uganda and do not miss to explore the beautiful Entebbe town and its surrounding areas. There is a variety of attractions it offers for the visitors. Enjoy some of the top things to see and do in Entebbe.

Watch the Raid on Entebbe movie

Raid on Entebbe, is a 1977 television film based on real event, facts of what happened. It was an operation at Entebbe airport focused on rescuing the hostages on the hijacked plane held in Uganda, the plane carried the Palestinians that had landed in Entebbe- Uganda. this incident happened during the times of Amin’s regime and now it was brought to the attention of the world wit the release of the movie, 7 Days in Entebbe.

Today, the only raid at the airport, is the flight bringing tourists from various countries in the world. The regular raids are by the Israelis and the EIAI Telavi to Entebbe and Uganda, Today the airport is filled by the Uganda military base proving safety and security for the people and the tourists at the airport.

The new Entebbe airport was then re constructed and the old Airport, can be seen on your way from the new airport, it’s the same old airport in which Indians left Uganda when Amin evicted them from Uganda in a period of 90 days during 1972. The Entebbe airport, currently is not a tourism site, but it’s the first entry point in to the country and also departure point from Uganda the Pearl of Africa.

Visit the Entebbe Botanical Gardens

Entebbe Botanical Gardens is a place not to miss, while in Uganda, take time and visit the Botanical gardens, it’s a great place to spend a half or a full day. garden is a perfect place for leisurely stroll/ activities. The highlights are its pockets of thick rainforest, which locals claim some of the original Tarzan films were made in, and excellent birdwatching with 115 species, you will also love the flowers, plants, monkeys are also found here.

For the bird lovers, Entebbe Botanical Gardens is a place to for an introduction to birding in Uganda. the place is a host to a variety of bird species including the water birds. The best time to visit is during the week when its less busy are there are few people and more nature to enjoy.  Visit the Entebbe Botanical Gardens, and you will love the Nature here.

Visit the Entebbe Beaches on Lake Victoria

Entebbe Visit to the beaches, Entebbe has variety of beaches where you can go for relaxation and enjoy the sunset, islands, you can also take time and swim though we don’t recommend due to the potential of contracting Bilharzia in the water, you can also have lunch and Dinner on the beach, sun bathing among other activities.

The Beaches are best visited during the week when the beaches are quite and having few people,  many Ugandans often visit the beaches during weekends and Holidays that you will find this places flooded with many people who come here to enjoy with their families, hold parties there are other private beaches that are more tranquil for the clients that are not familiar with crowded places.

Entebbe Fishing for Nile Perch

Entebbe gives an opportunity for you to visit Africa’s largest water body, and the surrounding areas, the Islands which offer a chance to the visitors to catch the giant Nile Perch, Tilapia among other freshwater fish.

Fishing activities can be arranged to meet your plan you can either do all day or half day safari in Lake Victoria. You will also visit the Ssese Islands locations its also one of the best fishing spots, the guide is well informed with all this area and you will love your stay here.

Its professional angler outing and all gear needed is provided, we can arrange a day of fishing for you at the end of the safari before your departure flight or at the beginning of the safari on arrival at Entebbe international airport.

Visit the Uganda Wildlife Education Centre (Entebbe Zoo)

You can also visit the Entebbe wildlife Education Centre, its located along Lake Victoria in Entebbe, wildlife education also known as the Zoo, is one of the best places to visit in Entebbe. You can relax here, walk around the huge forest enjoy the vegetation, plants and trees found here in Uganda

You will also have an opportunity to meet with the chimpanzee, or bee a zoo assistant for a day whereby, you can involve in animal feeding which is so interesting and full of fun. we can arrange for you to become a zoo assistant for a day, just inform us.

This area is perfect, the Unique bit of it is that, you can spend a night here, there are lodging options for the visitors at the Zoo, you can visit here with your family, children this is the best place for the children its less crowded, and offers most interesting activities and attractions for the Children. We can make arrangement for your lodging here.

Visit the Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary

Ngamba Island, is situated on Lake Victoria in Entebbe and its known as the chimpanzee sanctuary and it’s a home to over 49 orphaned chimpanzees. Ngamba Island is famous for chimpanzee and visitors can take time and visit this area you will have an opportunity to interact and study different behaviour of the chimpanzee.

Orphaned and Displaced Chimpanzee are brought here as far away as the Democratic Republic of Congo.

To access the Chimpanzee Sanctuary on Ngamba Island, you can take a speed boat to the Island in case you do not want to spend much time here. There is also a slow boat for the travellers spending all day excursion here, where you will have an opportunity to view the chimpanzee feeding even much better, you will have two feeding times.

For the fastest means of transport, you can fly here there flying options for the clients from Entebbe airport, you can spend a day or full night here at the Island. This place has been highly visited by many visitors and have loved it.

Go for Golfing at the Entebbe golf course

Visitors in Uganda, who may be interested in Golfing, can visit the Entebbe Golfing course. There are several Golf Courses in the area where Golfers can have a chance to participate in Golfing in the Pearl of Africa.

Golfing became an interesting sporting activity, and was introduced during the coming of the British Colonial Government when Uganda was a British protectorate. During the times when the British came to Uganda, a number of activities where introduced and may still remained and being done by many people country wide one of them is Golfing, Golfing has become one of the unique sporting activities that has engaged many people doing it.

Sunset Cruise from Entebbe on Lake Victoria

You can take a sunset cruise on Lake Victoria, the two -hour boat cruise, can be accompanied by wine and cheese, Uganda’s weather is perfect and the boat cruise here, is the best way to end up your day during your visit in Lake Victoria. In case you will need to have a boat cruise in Entebbe, we can add this in to your Itinerary depending on you would want it, you can do the activity on the first day of arrival or on the last day of your safari visit in Uganda before you travel.

You can bring your camera for the magnificent sunset over Lake Victoria and Ssese Islands where you can have some perfect photos while on the sunset cruise.

Take the Boat to the Ssese Islands

The M.V. Vanessa, has offered an opportunity for the visitors to cross over the worlds largest Tropical Lake to the Ssese Islands, this boat safari is pone of the best safari experience and a highlight to your safari tour in Uganda. Uganda is diverse and offers a lot more to see beyond your imagination. The M.V. Vanessa. Is new vessel introduced in Entebbe.

The boat is Equipped with the latest technology and qualified staff, you’re in the safest hands to reach Ssese Islands and back happier while sailing on the luxury MV Vanessa. The boat is designed where by the passengers sit in rows of 3 where 54 passengers can be seated, there is also a deck where you can go and take pictures of the scenic views, water birds and the magnificent views of the nearby villages.

The luxury boat marine vessel is privately owned and managed by Nyanza Ever Green Waterways. While at the boat, cold drinks area available during your trip form Entebbe Island. You can stay here a couple of days and continue on your safari or if you visited on the last day of your trip, you will then return to Entebbe airport by boat for your departure flight.

Visit the Zika Forest

if you are interested in forest exploration and you are on safari in Uganda then this is one of the incredible forests that shouldn’t be missed out in your bucket list. Zika Jungle is situated on Entebbe road about 25 kilometres’ drive off Kampala capital city and stands as the main tourist attraction.

The Zika forest, derived its name from the Zika virus that was discovered in this forest by the researchers in 1947, but there is no Zika virus in this forest any more. The research is done here on insects and the researchers come up with the valuable information indicating that there is no more virus in the forest.

Tourists are free to come here during any time of the year, this forest is perfect for birders it hosts a variety of bird species, monkeys, and many butterflies, can also be found here. The name Zika and the history, has also drawn many in to see the tropical forest near Entebbe.

Mabamba Swamp Birding

Mabamba Swamp- to access, the swamp takes a short trip from Entebbe, it’s one of the best places in Uganda and harbours different bird species like the rare shoebill stock and animals like White Winged black Terns, White Winged Warbler, Brown Throated Weaver, Goliath Heron, Papyrus Gonolek. Papyrus Canary, Blue swallow and others this swamp is the best destination for bird watching in Uganda.

The trip from Entebbe, can be made by car and ferry or can be arranged by boat, the shoe bill tour through the swamp, is best done by the fishing boat. During the activity, you will be guided by the experienced Fisher men who knows the exact location to spot the shoe bill and many other bird species.

The drive time from Entebbe to Mabamba swamp, is about 45 minutes to one hour and the boat ride on the side, takes about two to three hours in length. The visit to Mabamba Island, can be added on to your safari.

Top Things to see and do in Entebbe. Entebbe is a lovely city with its markets, busy town centre, visit the Lake Victoria, the longest river in the world, the Ssese Islands, there various things to see and do in Entebbe and far beyond the surrounding areas. Right from Entebbe airport, along the high way, you will view number of attractions.

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.

Why visit Uganda

Top reasons to travel to Uganda, the Pearl of Africa

What is Uganda known for? why Visit Uganda

Reasons to visit Uganda – A lot will be praised about different countries on the African continent, but Uganda has much more than five or more countries would offer to you. It is the home of all good things and much more that you would expect on your African safari. Because of the variety of amazing things in Uganda and the incredible attractions, it has been described differently by various travelers that have explored the continent but the most popular term that perfectly described it is “Uganda, the Pearl of Africa”. This was the best way Churchill Winston summarized the endless beauty that he encountered in Uganda during his visit to Uganda and Africa at large around 1907. This article gives highlights of the beauty that anyone who wants to travel to Africa ought not to miss because your trip will be complete after visiting the Pearl of Africa.

Mountain gorillas

You can never get enough of watching these incredible primates that are closely related to humans. Uganda harbors more than half of the remaining population of the endangered mountain gorillas. This is the beginning of admission that Uganda is Africa compressed into one country. They are found in Bwindi impenetrable forest national park and Mgahinga national park where gorilla trekking takes place at any time of the year. Uganda is the prime gorilla trekking destination with 98% chances to find the gorillas because of the dense population in the forest. It is very rare to trek for gorillas in Uganda especially Bwindi forest and fail to see these giant lovely primates. Visit Uganda and experience the best of Africa’s wildlife. Seeing the gorillas tops as one of the main Reasons to visit Uganda.

Chimpanzees

It is always an exciting moment to meet cousins in the tropical forests of Uganda like in Kibale forest national park. However much the highlight for Uganda trips is mountain gorillas, I can say that encountering chimps is the second more thrilling experience you can have on your Uganda safari. Kibale national park, the primate capital of the world has the largest number of primates in the world and trekking for them here offers very high chances of seeing them. You are led through the forest by an armed ranger who is well experienced at his job and he will follow the sounds of the chimps until to get closer to them. You will watch them play, feed and care about one another and you can thereafter have much more added to the best stories, photographs and memories.

Wildlife

Uganda has an overwhelming range and population of interesting wildlife in its national park. It is a home to the “big 5”- lion, leopard, buffalo, rhino and elephant. All these can be seen in Uganda national parks apart from the rhino which can be seen at Ziwa rhino sanctuary and Uganda Wildlife Education Centre. Uganda has 10 national parks and each offers unique thrilling experiences to different visitors. Other animals in these parks include giraffes, waterbuck, Uganda kob, hippos, eland, Jackson’s hartebeest, oribi and waterbucks among others. Animals that live in groups are often seen in large herds in the national parks of Uganda and this is how amazing wildlife enthusiasts enjoy their Uganda safaris.

Uganda is the best destination for bird enthusiasts. There are over 1,000 bird species that have been recorded in Uganda and it has popular bird watching destinations though you can spot a variety of birds from anywhere. Visit Uganda and see lots of reptiles including the huge Nile crocodiles, monitor lizards, snakes and many other small reptiles. Tours in Uganda mainly involve trips to Uganda national parks where you discover this vast wildlife. if you are wondering why visit Uganda, then the amazing wildlife in Uganda should inspire you to come for a Uganda safari.

Source of the world’s longest river, the Nile

River Nile is estimated to cover a distance of 6,600 kilometers from its source to where it pours into the Mediterranean Sea and this makes it the longest river in the world. On august 3rd 1858, John Hannington Speke discovered that Lake Victoria was the source of the Nile during his expedition to Africa. He was also the first European to reach Lake Victoria.

You can visit Jinja in eastern Uganda to see the source of the Nile. The experience of cruising on the longest river to its source alongside watching beautiful sites, birds and animals is very exciting. Other adventurous activities done along the Nile include white water rafting, jet boat rides, kayaking and bungee jumping among others.

Murchison falls

Murchison falls are the most powerful water falls in the whole world. They are located on the river Nile in Murchison falls national park in the northwestern part of Uganda. The mighty Murchison falls are one of the things you must add to your bucket list when planning for your African safari because you need to see this breathtaking site where a big volume of water finds its way through a 7 meter gorge, bursting out with thunderous roars.

The people of Uganda

Knowing that you are going to travel to a new country for the first time brings a bit of anxiousness because you are not sure of how you will connect and interact with them. Their attitudes, culture, lifestyle and languages are different and all practices are totally different. Regarding this, Ugandans are the most friendly, welcoming and hospitable people in Africa. They do not segregate visitors due to their national origin or race and they are always ready to help, guide and offer all services equally and in the very best way. Ugandans have learnt more foreign languages to improve their communication with visitors, for example French, Chinese, Japanese and Kiswahili among others.

Lake Bunyonyi

Bunyonyi means “small birds”. The lake was named so because of the numerous small-sized birds that live around the place and on the various islands on the lake. Located in the southwestern part of Uganda, Lake Bunyonyi is the second deepest lake in Africa. It is a beautiful lake dotted with 29 beautiful islands which can be visited while canoeing on the lake. The canoe experience also offers spectacular views of the Virunga volcanoes and the various hills in the region. The cool breeze on a canoe on the waters of the small but second deepest lake in Africa is an experience that you ought to enjoy after you gorilla trekking activities in Bwindi impenetrable forest national park.

Affordable tours

In comparison to the rest of the safari destinations, Uganda still has a growing tourism industry with many unspoiled attractions. The destinations in Uganda do not have crowds of people even in the high season like most neighboring destinations. This gives travelers good opportunity to enjoy the sites with perfect sights. In addition, the prices of services and facilities, park entrance fees, gorilla permits are less than those of Kenya, Tanzania and Rwanda.

With all this and more beautiful things that exist in Uganda such as beautiful and favorable climate, numerous water bodies including lakes, channels and rivers, a variety of locally produced delicious foods, magnificent mountains such as the Rwenzori mountains and the Virunga volcanoes, safety and security, to mention but a few, Uganda is the finest African destination for your African safari.

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.

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.

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.

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