Tracking Primates on Self Drive in Uganda
It is possible to go on gorilla tracking and Chimpanzee tracking while self-driving in Uganda. We do purchase our clients necessary permits for their trips. Some permits like gorilla and chimps needs to be purchased prior due to availability issues. We always advise our clients to send the money and then purchase them
Providing confirmed dates for tracking is needed here since the permits work for one specific day. While going on self-drive trip, you need to sit down and draft your Itinerary and determine for your tracking the primates.
We deliver the permits with the car at the airport or any other place where your rental starts from. We are a reliable company and everything will be done as you prefer.
While on self-drive trip, you need to keep time as some activities starts very early in the morning and permits are fixed on specific dates. It is necessary when you reach a destination, before you go to your lodge to sleep you first get the information about the activity and if possible, you register for the next morning activity. They will tell you the dos and don’ts and then come the following day well prepared.
Always it is advisable to follow the park guides guidelines to enjoy your safari. The park guides knows the behaviors of animals and familiar to the areas of visit.
The primates can be added with other attractions and activities like game drive in different national parks, culture, nature walks birds, water activities like rafting, boat cruises, and many more.
We can also book accommodation for our clients at no extra cost. This depends on the kind of lodges the client prefers. They range from Budget, Midrange and Luxury. Most destinations have lodges around or near.
We also have cars with pop up roof. These are very good on game drives and clients can stand and have a clear view of the attractions, take good photos and enjoy the scenery of the place.Read More
Go Gorilla Trekking, Support Conservation
Mountain Gorillas in Uganda are continuously conserved and preserved in order to maintain their increasing numbers within their habitats. This will also help in promoting conservation and tourism in Uganda, the Pearl of Africa. There are about 880 mountain gorillas living in the wild of Africa. These gorillas are found in three countries in Africa; Uganda, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Within Uganda, mountain gorillas are found in Bwindi National Park and Mgahinga National Park.
There are over 400 mountain gorillas living with in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, the best place to go gorilla trekking in Africa. Over the past 10 years, a significant number of travelers have visited Bwindi Forest and tracked the mountain gorillas. This has improved tourism development as well as better management and conservation of the endangered mountain gorillas.
The conservation of the mountain gorillas within Ugandan national parks is mainly done by the Uganda Wildlife Authority, a government agency which is responsible for taking care of all Uganda’s flora and fauna including the gorillas. Conservation has been done through controlling of poaching and hunting with in the national parks, regulation of tourism activities with the parks etc. The organization has also worked with the local communities in putting in place laws and regulations which control sustainable use of natural resources and as well encouraged the participation of the local people in the conservation and development of tourism in Uganda. This has greatly helped improved both conservation and tourism development and Uganda has realized an ever increasing the number of tourists!
Mountain gorillas are considered to be endangered species and this is the main reason why they should be treated well in order to control the reduction in their numbers. These have got fragile bodies since they can easily contact human diseases especially when the humans get into direct contact with them, therefore the tourists are advised to stay far from them which tracking within their habitants. The tourists are also advised not to liter within the national parks where these unique primates are found so as to avoid diseases to the gorillas. This has helped in maintaining their increasing numbers with in Uganda hence increasing gorilla trekking safaris to Uganda.
Uganda has also got many other wildlife species apart from the mountain gorillas, these are found in other national parks like kibale national park, Murchison falls national park, lake Mburo national park, Rwenzori national park and many other game reserves, these animals found in these national parks include; the elephants, lions, crocodiles, monkeys, chimpanzees, antelopes, buffalos, Rhinos, zebras and the giraffes. All these animals have greatly attracted many people to come for safari tours to Uganda.Read More
Exploring Uganda on A Self Drive Vacation
Uganda is often called the pearl of Africa due to the very many incredible features it houses. From the endangered gorillas in the Bwindi Impenetrable National Park to savanna parks teemed with roaming lions, there is a lot to see in Uganda. Many travelers from all over the world travel to Uganda to explore its incredible features. There are lots of options for travelers to enjoy traveling this amazing country.
Though guided safaris are the main way to experience this beautiful evergreen country, self drive safaris are also possible and with existence of several car rental agencies, which offer cheap car hire in Uganda. If you are looking for an inexpensive way to explore Uganda, why not a car and take a road trip?
When you mention Uganda many people’s mind rush to the rare endangered species mountain gorillas, as there are only 880 individuals left in the world and Uganda is known as the leading mountain gorilla destination in the world housing over 480 individuals and the majority live in Uganda’s most visited destination; Bwindi impenetrable forest and Mgahinga Gorilla national park. The rest remnant mountain gorilla population live in Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). With a rental car from Uganda, you can still cross over to these neighboring countries.
Meeting the gorillas of Uganda in these two incredible national parks is a walk over! The park is located in the south western part of Uganda in just a drive of about 7-9 hours on a clear weather condition with stopovers at any interesting spot like you can decide to have a stopover at the equator crossing for photography and snack taking, you can as well stop at Mpambire a local drum making place ,if interested you can buy yourself the locally made items, in your convenient time, drive to Mbarara for lunch, with good views and interesting landscape and rolling green hills you will continue up to the park.
The following day you will head to the forest to be among the few sharing the love of gorillas in their natural habitat, this is the most interesting adventurous activity done on earth. This is just a few on what you can enjoy on a Uganda safari if you’re in yourself drive car, you can decide to go for a game drive in Uganda’s breathtaking parks offering rare animals like the Queen Elizabeth national for opportunity to catch up with the tree climbing lions in the Ishasha area of the park, but other games like elephant, buffaloes, waterbuck, bushbuck, warthogs, among other others can be clearly seen in our land cruiser, Nissan patrol, van with pop up tops, you can still explore other parks all with unique features like Murchison falls N.P , lake Mburo N.P, Kibale forest national park and Kidepo valley national park which was recently –named as one of Uganda’s best safari destinations with very many untouched unique features waiting for you to explore, its located in the remote northern part of Uganda but with the courtesy of our good and comfortable cars you can still reach is part of Uganda with a lot easy. Why not cultural encounter with the local people, it’s really a very interesting activity leaning more about the life style of the African people.
Depending on the number of days you have in Uganda, still you can enjoy another adventurous activity at the source of the Nile which is the world’s longest river; enjoy rafting on the Nile or bungee jumping. The Nile is located at Jinja in the eastern part of Uganda. Doesn’t live Uganda without a city tour, indeed these and many other interesting places can be reached with a car hire either self-drive or with a driver from our car hire Uganda service. Rush and book with us one of our comfortable cars of any type.Read More
Can You Rent a Car for Someone in Uganda
Do you have thoughts of renting a car during your Uganda safari, then handing over the keys to someone else to drive away? It’s undeniable that you would wish and be willing to do such a favor for an employee, family member or close friend but do you know it also has potential risks? While it seems easy as simply walking to the Uganda car rental company with your credit card, rent a car then hand over the key to someone else, it’s actually not straightforward.
On a technical perspective, it is literally impossible to rent a car for someone else because you won’t pay for renting it with your credit card and instead have someone else to sign the contract then go with the car. It is a known fact that cars are expensive in Uganda and it is also common knowledge that like any other contract, the Car Rental contract is legal. Most Companies will require your identification and have your signature as a way of strengthening the legal agreement. In so doing, you clearly understand who is responsible for whatever happens to the car.
However, not all hope is lost because you can actually add the additional driver to the Car rental contract. One thing you should always keep in mind is that if another person (not the one that rented and signed agreement) gets involved in an accident, you will be in for big trouble. First, whatever insurance or damage waiver will be voided automatically. This then means that you are financially responsible for the damage costs and sometimes even more. The other driver (unfortunately) can deny using the Rental car because he/she didn’t sign the contract (but rather you), hence leaving you in the mess.
Not renting Car for someone else during a Uganda road trip not only protects the Car rental Company but also you. If renting a car with a credit card that didn’t match with your identity was easy, then it would have also been very easy to identify theft.
The following are the ways you can rent a car for someone else;
Include the other person on the Car Rental contract as the “additional driver”
If the other person is a close and trusted friend or trusted family member, then it would be difficult for you. Both of you will be required to be at the booking office to sign some documents and even present valid Identification. The other party will be added as an additional driver, as long as he/she meets the necessary criteria like being of age and possessing a valid driver’s license. You will be the primary driver and the other person additional driver, but you will still be legally responsible for anything that happens to the Rental Car. However, some companies charge additional fee for adding another driver on the Rental agreement.
Call directly and explain to the Car Rental Company
While renting a car for someone is never accepted, sometimes it doesn’t hurt to call the Car Rental Company to explain your situation, so that they can find a way to deal with it. Companies are different and the only way to know is asking. Properly read and comprehend their policies before you take a big decision.
Book online and in advance
Car Rental bookings that are done online are a bi flexible and make it possible to rent car for someone else. Simply use your card when making the booking online, so long as you can include the other driver’s name as well as other relevant information during the booking process. When it comes to picking the Car, the card will obviously be required as deposit and should have identification of the primary driver, thus it is important to be present.Read More
When is the Cheapest Time to Book Your Rental Car?
Do you plan to rent a car in Uganda but you aren’t sure when you can book it? There are multiple rental cars in Uganda ready for booking and each with its own rates. The prices for car hire services in Uganda do fluctuate and that is why it is important that you get to know when is the cheapest time to book your rental car.
Once you have understood when to book your rental car in Uganda, you certainly get to discover hidden secrets on how others land on the best rental car deals. There are thousands of cars to hire whether you plan to undertake a city tour, wildlife safari, or cultural safari.
Car hire services are available at all times, however, there are 2 significant seasons to consider. Changes in rates for rental cars in Uganda revolve around the peak and low seasons. Peak months are characterized by high demand and though rates may not rise that much, it is advisable to book your rental car early.
The peak months of the year range from June, July, August, September, December, and January to February. These are the busiest times of the year for most car hire companies or agencies. You should consider booking your dream rental car in advance 2-6 months prior to the actual date of visiting Uganda for a safari.
The less busy months are March, April, May, October, and November- these are the months characterized by low visitor turn up. During these months there are higher chances for you to enjoy some discounts being off months for most car hire companies.
Why do prices fluctuate? There are various reasons why rental car rates keep changing and according to some car hire companies, they don’t want many vehicles in their parking yet they can be hired. To ensure that they are hired out quickly, at times the car rental company provides discounted rates in order to attract more clients.
When the car rental company gets more clients, higher chances are they may increase prices due to high demand. It is also important to cross-check the car hire terms and conditions because there are often questions such as what if the rates reduce after you have booked the car?
Every car hire company has stipulated terms (Ts) and (Cs) including a cancellation policy for cases related to when rates decrease when you have booked a car. Some car hire companies provide free cancellation.
There is also an option of last-minute booking. But, this is dangerous because higher chances are you may or may not find the cheapest ride of your choice. Last minute booking of rental cars is disadvantageous in that rates usually hike up within 48 hours. This is why you should book a car early to allow you to conduct adequate research about the different car hire options, their rates, offers that come with them, etc.
Timing is key if you are planning to hire a car. 3 important timing tips for car hire bargain are booking your rental car reputable car hire company. There are hundreds of car hire companies and all of them come with their own rates for tourists on Uganda safaris to rent a car.
Booking a car 3-6 months prior actual date of visiting Uganda is with no doubt the best idea. Consider Ts and Cs, particularly for car cancellation policy. It is possible to cancel your booking at a free cost if you have spotted another best deal.
How can I book a rental car in Uganda?
- Decide on pick-up location and dates in the booking form
- Choose the right car with consideration to your travel interest.
- Select the pre-paid prices/pay on the day of picking up the car
- Look out for additional services you may require.
- Fully fill in the contact details.
- Make sure that the booking process is complete.
- Have valid Identification documents for you to pick up your rental car.
In summary, rental cars in Uganda are open for hire at any time of the year. However, the low or off-season is preferably the cheapest time to book a rental car of your choice for all your Uganda safaris.Read More
Day Trips From Entebbe/Kampala To Northern Uganda By Car
Uganda is one of the most attractive countries in Africa and there are a million reasons why it is referred to as the pearl of Africa. In every corner of Uganda, what welcomes you is a natural beauty. From the North to the South or East to the West, Uganda never disappoints when it comes to attractions.
With plenty awaiting you to explore and experience, a day trip from Entebbe or Kampala to Northern Uganda is worth a visitor’s time, money, and energy. A mechanically fit 4×4 car in Uganda is required for a drive from Kampala to Northern destinations regardless of your area of interest in the region.
The Northern safari circuit in Uganda remains not fully explored compared to the western side. This means a bucket list of authentic wildlife, culture, and adventure awaits you on a Uganda safari in the Northern tourism circuit. There are many routes leading to the North but the main one takes you from Entebbe or Kampala city via Luweero – Gulu route.
En-route to the Northern tourism circuit, there are multiple tourist attractions or destinations not to be missed to visit. It is one region any nature lover on Uganda safaris must consider a must-visit this 2022/2023.
Northern Uganda is comprised of districts such as Gulu, Amuru, Napak, Otuke, Oyam, Kaabong, Dokolo, Arua, Apac, Kitgum, Maracha, Moroto, Nebbi, Nakapiripirit, Lamwo, Kotido, Adjumani, Abim, Amolatar, Allenton, Agago, Lira, Kole, Nwoya, Yumbe, Zombo, Pader and others.
The main tourist destinations in Northern Uganda include Kidepo Valley National Park, Murchison Falls National Park, Pian Upe Wildlife Reserve, Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary, Budongo Forest, and more.
Kidepo Valley National Park (KVNP)
At the extreme North-eastern of Uganda lies a spectacular Kidepo Valley National Park one of the premier Uganda safari and game viewing destinations worth visiting in the Northern tourism circuit. The park spreads within the Karamoja region, the semi-arid area in the Kabong0 district and it is the only park lying in this region.
Driving from Kampala by car to Kidepo Valley National Park takes 10-12 hours and a complete tour to this park requires 4 days or more. Kidepo is the third biggest park in Uganda thanks to its vast area coverage of 1442sq.km where a range of wildlife, birds, and other attractions all live.
Day game driving via its wildlife sectors such as Narus Valley allows tourists to enjoy sightings of wildlife such as elephants, bushbucks, waterbucks, lions, giraffes, leopards, topis, cheetahs, birds etc.
Birding in Kidepo Valley National Park is a great chance for birders to search for some of the 475 bird species that reside in the park including the African swallow-tailed kit, Kori bustard, little bee-eater, red-winged lark, drake chanting goshawk, Abyssinian ground hornbills, bush lark, white-faced scoops owls, black-breasted barbets and more.
Birding and game driving safaris can also be combined with authentic cultural safaris. This includes cultural visits to the Manyatta village to explore and experience norms, beliefs, and traditions and also be entertained by the Karamojong with their dances, and music performances.
Pian Upe Wildlife Reserve
Pian-Upe Wildlife Reserve lies in far North-eastern Uganda, Karamoja region and it is the second biggest protected area after Murchison Falls NP. Pian-Upe borders spread covering up to 2788sq.km and extending bordering the Matheniko and Bokora Wildlife Reserves. It is best to visit Pian Upe for game drives with the possibility to sight animals such as zebras, bushbucks, duikers, giraffes, and others.
Murchison Falls National Park
Lying in Northwestern Uganda, Murchison Falls National Park is without doubt the leading destination in the Northern tourism circuit. Gazetted in 1952, Murchison spreads covering 3840sq.km of land area and hosts diverse wildlife, and birds and it is home to Murchison Falls- the world’s strongest falls.
Day and evening game driving to see elephants, buffaloes, lions, leopards, antelopes, birds, is the main reason why most tourists prefer visiting Murchison Falls N/Park. Over 556 bird species make it a rich and treasured birding location and they include white-faced whistling duck, Abdim’s stork, African darter, shoebill stork, and great-headed kingfishers. The other activities include a boat cruise, hot air balloon safaris, cultural visits, nature walks, hike to the top of the falls, and others.
Budongo Forest Reserve
Lying in the Northwest, Budongo Forest is an extensive forest reserve occupying up to 825sq.kms of land area. It is a rich natural forest with over 9 primates that include 800 chimpanzees; blue monkeys, vervet monkeys, red tailed monkeys, colobus monkeys, bush babies, pottos; 465 birds, 130 moths, 290 butterfly species and more. The main activity to do on tour in Budongo Forest is chimpanzee tracking.
Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary
Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary is the main stopover spot for most safaris conducted in Murchison Falls National Park or Kidepo Valley National Park/any part of the Northern tourism circuit of Uganda. It is home to the rhinos the only location where these mammals can be sighted in the wild on Uganda safaris.Read More
Safely Drive Along Kampala-Entebbe Expressway
The main significance of traffic rules and symbols is for ensuring safety of all road users-motorists, bicyclists, vehicle passengers, the scooter riders, pedestrians and drivers. You will agree that there are numerous challenges, hurdles and risks on the road, which can bring about harm as well as put riders at high risk. Traffic rules and guidelines are applicable to the different road users in the roads, vehicles and the general public. When it comes to driving in Uganda along the Expressway, it is important to follow different safety rules and procedures.
First, there is only one Expressway in Uganda-the Kampala-Entebbe Expressway, the four-lane toll road managed by the Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA) to connect the International Airport (at Entebbe) to the Capital City (Kampala). The safety rules to be followed have broken down into; how to prepare before driving on the expressway, when joining the Expressway, expressway driving rules, when leaving the expressway and they include;
Before reaching the Expressway
- It is important to plan in advance with much traveling time
If you have plans of using the Kampala-Entebbe Expressway for a long distance journey, as it is with most drivers, we advise our clients to plan their driving route to include where and when to take breaks between driving.
Check-out the prevailing traffic and weather conditions of your safari destination as well as places from Television and Radio along the way and make sure that they are included on your plans.
- Conduct checks on the vehicle
Make sure that the cooling water, fuel, engine oil and tires are on point before undertaking trips through the Expressway to avoid any possible car breakdowns while driving along the toll road. Additionally, make sure that you have a spare tire, first aid kit, maintenance tools and flashlight.
When connecting from an entry road to the Expressway
- Alternate the direction signal in advance
While joining the entry road, drivers are advised to first give a change-of-direction signal in advance as a way of alerting other road users to avoid accidents.
- Accelerate along the Entry road
If it is safe to do so, you can go ahead to accelerate the vehicle along the entry road to join with the expressway traffic at the same speed.
Safety guidelines while driving along the Expressway
- Follow the recommended speed limit
Most accidents along the Expressway happen because of speeding and to keep safe, make sure that you slow down at the entrance and exit points. The recommended speed limit for driving along the Kampala-Entebbe Expressway is 100 kilometers per hour on the Busega-Entebbe Airport extent and 80 kilometers per hour on the Munyonyo stretch.
- Maintain a safe driving distance
Keeping a safe driving distance is one of the important prerequisites for preventing road accidents along the Kampala-Entebbe Expressway, and this distance changes according to road conditions and weather. However, the minimum is 60 meters from other vehicles.
- Always drive in the designated lanes
Even after overtaking a slowly moving vehicle using the passing lane along the Kampala-Entebbe Expressway, it is advisable to return to your original lane without risking other drivers behind or ahead of you.
- Don’t brake suddenly
Even If your vehicle tire loses air while driving along the Expressway, avoid braking immediately and suddenly because it is detrimental to other road users. In such circumstances, strongly grip the steering wheel then release the gas pedal to slowly reduce speed.
Other important safety guidelines to be followed while driving on the Expressway include not using your phone when driving, reducing driving speed during or after bad weather condition, always keeping left, only driving vehicles in good mechanical condition as well as not drinking and driving.
Safety procedures when the vehicle breakdown
- First, pull over and stop along the left side of the road and if possible, exit the Kampala – Entebbe Expressway.
- Report to the Expressway patrolling Officer, especially if it is difficult to take emergency measures or better still report via the Emergency telephone.
- The hazard lights should be turned on to indicate that your vehicle is making a stop, because of a break down or any other reason.
Safety procedures when exiting the Expressway
- Take care and adjust speed
When entering a general road, take care and adjust your speed because you might feel you are driving at 60 kilometers per hour when it is actually 80 kilometers per hour. However, first indicate when you connect to the exit road, followed by reducing speed in the exit road.
- If you are not continuing until the end of the Kampala – Entebbe Expressway, leave by the exit road
- Always pay attention to the warning signs that indicate approach to the exit road to avoid being taken by surprise.
5 Best Safari Adventures to Undertake in Uganda
Planning for a holiday in Africa but wondering about which place to visit? A Uganda offers tourists with various experiences ranging from gorilla trekking to other adventures like classic wildlife game viewing and cultural interaction experiences.
1. Gorilla Trekking in Bwindi
A gorilla safari to Bwindi is one of the must do activities that can be taken by travelers to Uganda. No wonder today, Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is the number on visited tourist destination in Uganda. This park offers the lifetime opportunity to watch the endangered mountain gorillas in the wild. The mountain gorillas are among the biggest of all apes! They can be found only in three countries in the world; Uganda, Rwanda and the Democratic republic of Congo.
Bwindi Impenetrable Forests hosts nearly half of the total population of the mountain gorillas. For over two decades, Bwindi National Park is the best site for gorilla treks, adventures on foot aimed at tracking down the family of gorillas. The tracking experience is challenging with a lot of excitement as you come across other primates like monkeys while also spotting different bird species.
The less known Mgahinga National Park is another amazing place to see the mountain gorillas in Uganda. Despite gorilla tracking, Mgahinga also offers the chance of seeing the golden monkeys within the park, hiking the volcanic mountains, and enjoying the scenic beauty of both Uganda and Rwanda.
2. Chimpanzee Tracking in Kibale Forest
Tracking the wild and noisy chimpanzees of Kibale National Park also gives the best safari experience for Uganda travelers. Located in Western Uganda, Kibale is one of the best places on the African continent to see the chimpanzees. The park has the highest density of chimpanzees and the chimpanzee tracking experience is incomparable to other destination in the world. A chimpanzee tracking safari is one of the exciting safaris that you will not want to miss. Come and track the human-like animal in this forest and have a chance to see the closest living relative of human being that has not evolved. Apart from chimpanzess the park also hosts 13 other primates species that include monkeys, pottos, galagos etc.
3. A Wildlife Safari
A game viewing safari in various savanna national parks offers the amazing experience of enjoying wild game on which you will see the traditional wild animals of Africa. A game drive is one of the best activities that offer you the advantage of seeing the wild games in their natural habitats. Visiting the Savannah National Parks of Murchison falls, Queen Elizabeth, Lake Mburo and Kidepo is a better option to view wild game such as elephants, lions, giraffes, zebras, hippos, crocodiles, buffaloes, various tribes of antelopes etc. Enrich your experience while on your safari visit by seeing the Pride of lions, leopards, cheetahs, elephants, spotted hyenas, herd of buffaloes, giraffes among other. Feel free to enjoy a family safari on one of the wildlife safaris in Uganda.
4. Cultural Safaris
Uganda is also a culturally diverse destination with over 65 tribes that have got impressive heritage depicted in their unique dances and performances, arts and crafts, ceremonies and festivities and norms and customs. The Imbalu circumcision ceremony for example among the Bagisu is a memorable cultural encounter that can make your stay in Uganda really amazing.
5. Rwenzori Mountain Trekking
The mythical mountains of the moon – the Rwenzori National Park offers a great hiking experience on the African continent. Located in western Uganda along the Uganda-Congo border, the Rwenzoris rise to 5,109m. The central circuit trail takes you up to the equatorial snow peaks, the third highest point in Africa. A hike takes you through various vegetation zones moorland, bamboo and rich, moist montane forest. A typical hiking trip takes nine- to twelve-day tour in Uganda!Read More
Uganda’s Great Rift Valley
Uganda’s Great Rift Valley with Queen Elizabeth National Park & Semliki National Park.
Which fact would you rather know:
That Ernest Hemingway did not die in either of the two plane crashes he suffered in Uganda but actually shot himself?
That Lake George may drain like a bath if the soft strata rock which the Semliki River flows down is eroded down by two meters?
Fortunately, you don’t have to choose because Andrew Roberts (an Englishman who moved to Uganda over a decade ago and was described as a ‘prejudiced’ Brit of ‘sheer colonial predisposition’ in a recent newspaper review.) gives you history, geography and science that’s both serious and fun in this detailed and enjoyable short book about a small corner of Uganda.
‘Uganda’s Great Rift Valley’ describes the area in which Uganda’s tourism attractions are most densely concentrated; the 500km Albertine Rift Valley in the west of the country, and the turbulent headwaters of the Nile (also a direct result of rift valley tectonics). Diverse natural attractions range from the national parks of the hot rift valley floor, where game animals roam the grasslands of Queen Elizabeth National Park and Murchison Falls and rare birds and primates spill over from the Congo basin into the Semliki Forest, to the icy 5000m peaks of the Rwenzori Mountains, known to the Ancient Greeks as the ‘Mountains of the Moon’ – the legendary snowy sources of the Nile.
The book is essentially a compilation of snippets on every subject; history, wildlife, anthropology, geology, plate tectonics, combined with short interesting stories. The book is in three parts.
The first part of the book describes the features of the rift valley while the second tackles its wide ranging history, including the formation of the rift and the White Nile, hot springs and volcanoes, human evolution in the East African rift system, the lake kingdoms and Victorian explorers, and early tourists such as Winston Churchill, Theodore Roosevelt:
“The ex-President’s approach to obtaining representative species of East Africa fauna might kindly be described as enthusiastic. During eleven months on the continent he amassed 4,900 mammals, 4,000 birds, …. These included … lion (9), elephant (8), Black Rhino (8), the rarer white rhino (5), Giraffe (7), Buffalo (6), Topi (12), Uganda Kob (10) and a Shoebill.”
and the Queen Mother (who in 1925 carried a .275 Rigby and knew how to use it).
Part Three is a much needed guide to Queen Elizabeth National Park – the first since stocks of a previous book ran out in 1997!
All interesting stuff and worth a read.Read More
Uganda Launches “Explore Uganda” Campaign
President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni has made an appeal to the international community to embrace Uganda as a tourist destination again, after two years of low business.
Launching a new campaign dubbed Explore Uganda, Museveni said that while Africa has not suffered from the COVID-19 pandemic as much as the rest of the world in terms of deaths, Uganda has performed even better than most of African countries.
Before the outbreak two years ago, Uganda’s tourism sector was earning the country $1.2 billion dollars or about Sh3.7 trillion in 2019, from 1.6 million visitors. Income from foreign tourists accounted for more than 60 percent of these totals.
The Ministry of Tourism, Wildlife and Antiquities then had predicted that in 2020, the number of visitors would grow to 1.8 million and the earnings to $1.6 billion.
A 2019 Uganda Tourist Expenditure and Motivation Survey (TEMS) done by the Ministry amongst 4,184 foreign visitors to Uganda, found that slightly more than half of the visitors to Uganda, were returning visitors. And more than 60 percent of visitors said they were most likely to return shortly, to Uganda.
To return to this position and grow the sector further, the Uganda Tourism Board (UTB), decided to launch a new effort by rebranding “Destination Uganda”, and take on the evolving challenges in the market environment.
At the launch of the campaign themed: Rebranding the Pearl of Africa, President Museveni challenged those responsible for planning for the sector to get a new and unique message that will attract the world to Uganda.
He for example emphasised the need to sensitise the world on Uganda’s culture, the peace and the safety in terms of health, noting how the country has been able to deal with lethal disease outbreaks.
Uganda has been promoted by the UTB as a destination that is not only packed with “everything rare, precious and beautiful in Africa” but these resources are spread over an even smaller geographical area.
However, according to Museveni, the country has a lot that has not been explored.
On culture, the president said Uganda and African way of life has even more advantages that the world can learn from, especially how it has contributed to the fight against COVID-19.
Museveni argued that the disease was largely devastating to older persons and in the west, these are usually bundled into congested institutions, away from family care, unlike in Africa.
This is the latest of the several campaigns the sector leadership has launched and run in an effort to try and improve visitor numbers and earnings. UTB says, that in 2019, the campaigns and other initiatives including those targeting domestic tourism, African Tourists and the international ones, was starting to bear fruit, only for the trend to be reversed by COVID-19.
Lillian Ajarova, the Uganda Tourism Board Executive Director, said this time, they have made wide-reaching research and consultations before coming up with the brand message.
Among the issues targeted is for tourists to come to Uganda and stay longer, wish to come back and even recommend Uganda as a destination to friends and relatives.
The event that was aimed at bringing together all players in the tourism sector, was however boycotted by a group of tour operators led by the president of the Uganda Tourism Association, Herbert Byaruhanga.
He claimed that the government and UTB had not consulted them in the drafting this campaign as well as other policy-making decisions, adding that they did not even benefit from the government COVID- 19 relief packages.
However, this was dismissed as untrue by UTB. Speaking at the event, Ajarova sadi the launch of this campaign is also aimed at helping the players who are currently distressed, including helping them access affordable financing.
The Chairman of the UTB, Daudi Migereko vowed that they will continue helping the private sector do business easily because there is no way tourism can thrive without them.
He also added that they have compiled and submitted to government what the sector demands of them, including easing the credit and taxation regimes.Read More