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
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
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 Ranked 6th Best MICE Destination
Uganda has been the best destination in Africa in hosting international conferences and events. The pearl of Africa ranked the 6th position on July 11, 2020 confirmed by International Congress and Convention Association which heads the world leading association for the global events, conference and meetings.
Historically for the past 5 years, Uganda has been ranked consistently in the 10 top listed hosting international conferences and events in African destinations. Uganda ranked the 10th position in a four point advancement report of 2018. In 2019, Uganda hosted 22 association meetings such as Africa Now Summit, the 64th common wealth parliamentarian conference, 4th African Judicial Dialogue and many others. Due to so many international conferences in Uganda, foreigners, domestic, regional people also contributed on making Uganda the best destination for meetings, events and conferences.
Lilly Ajarova the CEO UTB not only mentioned 2019 conferences but also 2020 conferences that were held in Uganda. She said that in 2020, Uganda had organized and scheduled to host a number of notable conferences and meeting that had to be rescheduled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. These include Africa Climate week, the G77 Summit, CBR World Congress, the AFRAA Conference, Africa climate Week and world Health summit.
She concluded that as Uganda continues to grow its MICE industry, the next few years will see our association meetings increase as the world normalizes in the post COVID -19 era.
How special is Uganda about the MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Events)?
- Uganda offers the best safety with ease of entry to those visitors who want to access visa upon the arrival.
- There are various connecting flights options on our central location on the Africa continent.
- The pearl of Africa offers a wholesome e international meetings experience for all or large groups with a complete pre and post conference tour experience
- The assured Uganda Airlines are well known to be faster and direct flights to the pearl of Africa.
- Uganda has the large international conferences of upto 2500 delegates on the breezy shores of Lake Victoria and with a quite number of touristic attractions like national parks.
Why book your MICE tour to Uganda?
Uganda is not only known in hosting international meetings, events and conferences. It is a country that is full of amazing wonders. Popular touristic attractions include mountain gorillas that live in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park and Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. On a guided Uganda safari, also expect to see the tree climbing lions in ishasha sector, chimpanzees in Kibale national park and the big five safaris in savanna national parks.Read More
Tips & Tricks for Hiking the Rwenzori Mountains
The Rwenzori Mountains were gazetted as a national park in 1991, recognized as a World Heritage Site in 1994 and a Ramsar site in 2008. These classifications testify to the mountains’ international scientific importance. The word ‘Rwenzori’ roughly translates as ‘Rainmaker’, which clearly illustrates the importance of the mountains to Central Africa.
Rwenzori Mountains, previously called the “Ruwenzori Range” is a mountain range of eastern equatorial Africa, located on the border between Uganda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). These mountains support glaciers and are one source of the Nile River.
Rwenzori Mountains has the height of 5,109 meters (16,762 ft.). The highest Rwenzori peaks are permanently snow-capped. The Rwenzori Mountains National Park and Virunga National Park are located in the range.
Climbing Mount Rwenzori is one of the tough adventures anyone could undertake in Uganda. The Rwenzori being a mountain range, it means that reaching the top goes through many literal up and down trails. This isn’t the same case for regular mountains where the ascent to the summits means climbing only. What all this means is that Rwenzoris are harder to climb even though the highest peak ranks third in Africa.
Can beginners climb Rwenzori?
Yes! The best Rwenzori climbing experience as a beginner, you should be fully aware of the conditions, seasonal weather patterns, costs, and requirements to prepare yourself for this challenge.
Here are the tips you should know before climbing Rwenzori.
Skill level and age
If you are new to mountain climbing, there’s no need to worry. Although the climb to the mountain’s summit is a multi-day, high-altitude trek, you do not necessarily have to be trained in climbing to get to the top, especially with a tour guide helping you. At the right time of year, the terrain and trail conditions are smooth enough for most committed hikers to reach the peak. One of the few restrictions you’ll find for climbing Mount Rwenzori is age. Only those over the age of 10 can embark on this climb.
Go slow & drink lots of water
One of the most common phrases you will hear on the mountain is “go slow”. When climbing 10 – 20 thousand feet, it is important to pace yourself. The slower you go, the more oxygen you will get in your body and the better you will acclimatize.
Pack the right gear and bring a headlamp & extra batteries
Packing the Right Gear for Rwenzori is essential when climbing. When you are in camp you won’t have any electricity, so it is important to prepare for low light situations. Whether you are camping or staying in the huts, your eating area and bathroom will both be a short walk from where you are sleeping. When it is dark, this can be very difficult if you don’t have a headlamp or other way to light up the path in front of you.
Tipping is optional yet expected
Tipping is a good gesture, but not necessarily, a common practice. When hiking Rwenzori, tipping is a bit different. The crew that takes you up the mountain consists of a lead guide, assistant guide, chef, and a team of porters plays a huge role in the success of your summit, making sure that you take the proper precautions in what you eat, when you sleep, and how much you climb each day. Tipping guides and porters after the hike is important. You are directly helping their families and local communities with your tip.
Booking a Rwenzori guide
If you want to successfully climb the Rwenzoris on your first try, it is worth booking a local tour agency to help guide you along the way. Climbing to an altitude of nearly 5,000 meters is no picnic but can be accomplished by most hikers with the assistance of a guide that knows the terrain and local environment. Here is some knowledge you can expect your guides to be well equipped with.
The terrain and trail conditions of multi-day treks vary especially on the Rwenzoris. That is why having a guide who knows how to approach each evolving landscape will assure you that you are prepared for anything.
As will be mentioned below, the weather on Rwenzori Mountains will vary. Having the insight and experience to approach the contrasting conditions on your way up to the summit will be vital.
You can count on professional guides to give you and each individual on your tour consistent safety checks throughout the expedition. This is to monitor health-risks such as altitude sickness, fatigue, and other mountaineering protocols.
Safety tips for climbing the Rwenzori Mountains
Even if you have all the gear and meet all the requirements for starting your climb up the Rwenzoris, you still need to know a few safety protocols to ensure you have a safe journey. This is why having an experienced tour guide by your side on your first climb is encouraged; they’ll have all the necessary equipment on hand such as emergency oxygen, should an emergency occur. They can also perform regular safety checks and make sure you’re doing well as you climb higher up the mountain.
However, personally looking after your safety is just as crucial; keeping yourself aware and alert throughout the trek will be just as essential to ensure the safety of you and everyone on your trip. Here are some vital safety tips to keep in mind on your journey:
When you are hiking, especially on multi-day, high-altitude treks, you should remember that it is a marathon, not a race. Taking your time and not being in a rush can help you avoid fatigue. Remember, it is the journey, not the destination.
Take frequent breaks
It is much better to stop, take a breath, and relax throughout the day to keep you from burning out in the end. This becomes increasingly important as you get closer to the summit, where the air becomes thinner and the chances of altitude sickness increase with each step.
If you can acclimatize to higher altitudes before beginning your trek, you will feel more fit and prepared for what’s ahead on your way up the top. An excellent way to do this is to arrive at your destination a couple of days earlier and condition yourself with some day hikes.
There is probably nothing more important than staying hydrated on your Rwenzori climb. Frequently drink water throughout the day and while resting in the evening.
Following these safety tips can amount to having a safe and enjoyable experience on any hike, especially when dealing with long-distance treks that reach an altitude as high as Mount Ruwenzori’s.
How to prepare for Mountain Rwenzori Hiking tour
You cannot wake up one day and start hiking mountain Rwenzori. The adventurous venture needs mental and physical preparedness. Firstly, you have to book this tour through any of the companies offering mountaineering services to Rwenzori Mountain.
Rwenzori Mountaineering services are the renowned agent for hiking Rwenzori hiking safaris. More so, ensure to do physical exercises to ensure you are physically fit for this strenuous hike. Among the recommended physical exercises include jogging, walking, hiking and stretch ups among others. Your mind should be ready to conquer his high mountain. A traveler who begins a hike when not mentally ready stands high risks of failing to reach the summit.
Is it safe to climb the Rwenzori Mountains?
Hiking the Rwenzori ranges is absolutely safe. Its records of the past hikers reveals, it is safe since there are less cases of people dying or getting ill from climbing it.
The accommodation facilities like the huts and the rock shelters are well set up in that the adverse climate does not affect people while sleeping at night.
The guides are well trained and also have the basic skills and tool for the first aid treatment in case one gets a healthy problem. The guides also offer briefing to the trekkers on how to hiker the mountains with maximum safety.
The trek trails leading to the ranges are well established with minimum sloppiness and slipperiness.
What to pack for hiking Mount Rwenzori
Undertaking such an adventure is very brave and it is very crucial that you pack all the essential things you will need. Below is an extensive listing of all the things you should pack and why you should carry them for you Rwenzori climbing adventure.
Since hiking Rwenzori Mountain is an extensive activity with the energy being drained and spending several days on this hike, there are specific tools and items a hiker must have to enhance him/her to complete the task. Below are some of the things to pack for a Rwenzori hike:
Clothing: a hiker is required to carry both light and heavy layer clothes for hike due to changing climatic conditions, the lower part of the ranges are hot and the upper part is extremely cold since it is snowcapped. The temperatures can go as low as 0°C. It is advisable to carry water proof clothes like tracksuits, raincoats and the jackets. Gears like beanies, caps and headlamps should also be brought along.
Footwear: the shoes should be hiking boots with enough studs on them to give a hiker enough grip of the ground while trekking on the trails.
Food stuffs: Since it takes days to complete the Hike to the top of Mt Rwenzori and it is energy draining, you need to carry drinking water, energy drinks, canned and dry foods and also snacks like biscuits to eat in order to compensate for the burnt calories.
Backpack and Sleeping Bags: the hiker should have a perfectly sized backpack to carry his/her equipment and also convenient to carry. The sleeping bags must be at hand and this should be rain / water proof. A woolen blanket for covering yourself since it is cold at the Rwenzori ranges.
Other Accessories: there are some things that a person on an adventurous expedition must possess to make the adventure both convenient and interesting. Things like camera, insect repellents, sunglasses, a portable music player and torch among others.
Best Time to Hike the Rwenzori
The dry months of the year are the best time of hiking Rwenzori in Uganda. Therefore two peak seasons of trekking the magnificent ranges are naturally designed. These are the June-October months and from December-February, this is when the routes leading to the peak destinations are dry and passable and also when the sun is out perfect to visibly see the different wildlife species and also other physical features like the glaciers and cliffs.
It is also possible to trek the Rwenzori Mountains in the wet months of November, December, April and May unlike in the past when the hiking amenities on the ranges i.e. the accommodation Huts, the trekking paths and hiking equipment were less developed. Lately, the aforementioned have been improved and well skilled guides are in place for an ultimate hiking safari. However, sometimes the hikers find it a challenge to climb to the top of Mt Rwenzori in the wet season due to the steep, sloppy, slippery and muddy trails when it rains.
Conclusion, if you are interested in Rwenzori Trekking in Uganda, you will be happy to hear that the experience is open to just about everyone. You just have to be prepared and by following the tips offered above, you’ll be ready to cross climbing Mount Rwenzori off your bucket list in no time.Read More
8 Road Trips to Take on Budget Travel in Uganda
Take a Uganda safari road trip, visiting some of the best ecotourism sites and wilderness with excellent outdoor adventure possibilities. To set off on a road trip around Uganda is a true adventure’s spirit. Even if you have only a day tour or arrange a safari and make reservations a head of time to spend several days on a trip. Visitors will need to check out places, arrange a vehicle from one of the car rental services in Kampala and driver guide or look to use scheduled coaster buses but that would on your trip plans and convenience. There are no limitations before your road trip to experience Uganda. Whether its traditional customs and culture tour for a sweet taste of Ugandan food, bush camping experience, primate tracking, wildlife viewing, mountain climbing, birding, white water rafting, rain forest canopy zip lining or exploring Sesse islands and cities like Kampala, Fort Portal, Jinja source of the Nile, Mbale or Kabale. Expect a rewarding African holiday experience.
The explosion crater lakes Western Uganda
The explosion crater lakes trail stretches in and outside Queen Elizabeth national park including the Katwe crater lakes, the Fort Portal town Crater Lakes, the Ndali-Kasenda Craters and Bunyaruguru craters. It is easy to get, just 5-6 hours from Kampala city on a safari to western Uganda. The crater lakes are one of the top beautiful scenic places in the world, offering wild breathtaking views of rift valley floor and snow peaks of mountains of the moon.
Visitors need to spend a few days to appreciate nature, wildlife and stunning scenery. With bush camping experience at Edward flats, top of the world hike, 10 km hiking trail at Kabatooro in Queen Elizabeth national park, smooth drive through the western rift valley, visiting Sempaya hot springs where you can soak in mineral rich underground Semuliki river and Amabere caves at the base of Mountains of the moon. Spot many birds and primates along the shores of Lake Kigere where a foot print of the Bachwezi kingdom is legendary with opportunities for swimming, canoeing and traditional fishing.
Stay in one of many budget lodges and camps including those with honeymoon safari packages from where you can arrange biking, village walks to Katwe salt mining communities, agro tours in Kikorongo village sharing experience with local women and children support them and buy their hand crafts like baskets. Most of the locals earn from eco-tourism initiatives such bee keeping and making eco-stoves.
On top of exploring the craters if you still have time you can visit neighboring parks like Kibale for chimpanzee tracking, Bigodi wetland sanctuary, game drives for wildlife and boa boat cruise on kazinga channel. Note, however accommodations in Kibale national park or Queen Elizabeth National Park will require to you to make advance reservations.
Mgahinga Gorilla National Park
No matter which way you decide to travel to Mgahinga National Park where gold meets silver, the drive is not tough with paved roads but approximately long taking 9-10 hours from Kampala or just 3 hours coming from Queen Elizabeth national park or kibale. Visitors who land at Kigali international airport, you can access Mgahinga Park. Take a 2 hours drive across the northern border of Virunga shared by Uganda and Rwanda to kisoro with bumpy volcanic roads to Ntebeko the main visitor center in Mgahinga, where you will check with Uganda wildlife authority guides and pay for your activities.
Once you arrive, it’s clear you will realize that the road trip to Mgahinga gorilla national park was worth the effort. Gorilla trekking is the main activity but there’s much more to see and do including golden monkey tracking, birding, volcano hiking, BaTwa cultural encounters.
During your gorilla trek, choose from a good selection of places where to stay from some of the low cost community camp sites, guest houses, budget lodges to bungalows with nice rooms, private bathrooms and offer village walks.
Mgahinga gorilla national park is an eco-tourism paradise. With its 3 of the Virunga volcanoes shrouded in the clouds at an altitude of 2221 – 4,127 meters above sea level and filled with rare unique animals including golden monkeys, mountain gorillas, big game like buffalos, leopard, elephant, giant forest hogs, Albertine rift endemic birds like Rwenzori turaco, great blue turacos, and picnic swamp filled crater lakes, mysterious ancient BaTwa caves.
Get even closer to the rare habituated golden monkeys on a guided trek observe and take photos of them swinging through the tree. Full day hiking to the summits of Gahinga, Muhabura or Sabinyo is rewarding with scenic views the entire Virunga massifs and rift valley, colorful birds, lizards, jackals and picnic at the swamp craters.
After a day of hiking, take BaTwa cultural trail walk through the bamboo forest. Interact with BaTwa forest hunter gathers, learn about their ancient customs and culture. They demonstrate their traditional dances, hunting skills, fire making revolution and natural healing healthy medicinal herbs and legendary name Mgahinga meaning a pile of volcanic rocks found on Mt. Gahing one of the Virunga volcanoes.
Kampala to Mabira Forest Reserve
Mabira forest is Uganda’s central forest reserve highly threatened by encroachment. You’ll learn how eco-tourism is helping to save its biodiversity including 315 species of birds, rare primate species like Ugandan Magabay, ancient trees, orchids, variety of butterflies and flowers.
This short trip, only 2 hours drive along the Kampala-Jinja high takes to you Mabira forest reserve with best eco-tourism experience including eco-lodges and camps. You will break off from the adventures for lunch or dinner if you want to spend an overnight and the following continue to visit source of the Nile and Jinja city. Spend the day here doing a lot of activities including zip lining through the rainforest canopy is done morning to noon, nature walks along refreshing griffin falls, seeing some of the ancient large trees, butterflies viewing, bird watching, monkey tracking, mountain biking in and outside the forest.
Source of the Nile Jinja
River Nile is the longest in the world and best white water rafting destination in East Afric and this trip takes you to its source in Jinja the adventure capital of East Africa. It is accessible from Kampala city by 2 hours drive through sugar cane plantations and visit Sezibwa falls en route. There are many mysteries regarding discovery of source of the Nile and you’ll not leave minus breaking them with your local guide. Move on with exciting adventure activities. The main highlight is white water rafting but your holiday in Jinja is adventure packed.
Hard core rafters can enjoy the rushing grade five stretches of rapids while family rafters can float on calm waters or use speed jet boats with birding opportunities.
In the morning go for kayaking, boat cruises along Victoria Nile offer sunrise or sunset in the evening or spend 2 days on a house boats with food and accommodation on board. Enjoy horse-back riding across the Nile valley, bungee jumping, and mountain biking, all terrain quad biking. That’s Spend time exploring Jinja city markets and enjoying its fresh cool air from the Nile at the time without missing to relax and chill is riverside camps and lodges with amenities like sport rooms and free wireless internet. There are bars and restaurants that offer a variety of wine, liquor and Nile special beer which is locally sourced from the Nile breweries. The food is tasty and fish is usually caught locally.
Mount Elgon National Park and the hill tribes of Bamasaba
Mountain Elgon national park located in Eastern Uganda on border with Kenya offers a wonderful game viewing and mountain climbing experience. Mount Elgon’s Wagagai peak at 4231 meters above sea level has the largest caldera in the world. Hikers need camping tents to sleep in while climbing to the summit.
It has the most beautiful mountain scenery to experience nature including waterfalls, hot springs, gorges, cliffs, ancient caves and numerous streams make it a water catchment area. The most popular visited are the Sipi falls and Kapkwai exploration center where you spend time visiting villages interacting with hill tribes, then go for forest walks, coffee plantations tour, rock climbing. Mountain biking are great way to make excursions to Nyero rock paintings a special archeological site dating 3000 years indicating Nile valley civilizations and locals call it sacred place.
Mount Elgon is a UNESCO recognised biosphere reserve due to four vegetation zones with diversity of wildlife. The lower forested slopes are teeming with big game such as elephants, buffalos, zebras, waterbucks and over 300 birds providing you excellent game viewing and bird watching.
Mount Elgon national park makes a great road trip that can be done on a weekend. Easily accessible from Kampala by 4-5 hours drive passing via Mabira forest and jinja to Mbale town the largest town at the base of the mountain.
Kidepo Valley National Park
A full day drive through northern Uganda to kidepo Valley National Park takes travelers into a different side of Uganda with semi-arid deserts of Karamoja region, far away from the Albertine rift valley in the western Uganda. Many of the traditional karamajong villages along the way have local food and cultural experiences to enjoy before arriving at one of the few budget lodges in kidepo.
Great game viewing, birding and hiking bounds in the Narus and Kidepo river valleys famed for large herds of buffaloes than any other area in east Africa. You can also lions, leopards; cheetah, jackals, wolves, African hunting dog, elephants and giraffes and you to the dry murongole mountains on the border with south Sudan
Murchison Falls National Park
This trip takes you to Uganda’s largest conservation area Murchison falls National Park including Kaniyo-pabidi eco-tourism sites and Budongo forest reserve home to chimpanzees and other primate species. If you want to visit all of the sites on your road trip, include them in your itinerary. You can visit Murchison first then transfer to Budongo for chimpanzee tracking, primate viewing, and nature walks and make a good end of your trip back to Kampala.
On the way to Murchison you can stop at Ziwa Rhino sanctuary for white Rhino tracking on foot with a ranger, have lunch and enter the park with top of Murchison falls walk.
Murchison falls National Park’s landscape features some of the most beautiful in the world. Murchison falls are the strongest after Victoria Falls, Albert-Nile delta swamp, palm dotted savannah make home to 79 mammals and 400 species have put the park high up on many visitor’s bucket list. There are budget lodges such as pakuba safari lodge, paara safari lodge from where you can embark on game drives to spot lions, leopard, giraffe, buffalo, zebra, and boat cruise to the bottom of the falls offer sightings of hippos and water birds.
A drive around Lake Bunyonyi in southwestern Uganda is so interesting taking in outstanding natural beauty of the lake’s19 islands surrounded by picturesque terraced rolling hills. Getting to Lake Bunyonyi may be a long 8-9 hours drive but the journey is interesting with several stops from Kampala such as equator crossing, igongo cultural museum in Mbarara city and Bakiga museum.
The attractions include 19 islands which are explored by boat or traditional canoeing, visiting the local villages, and participating in traditional cooking experience, schools, picnic hills, hiking, and spotting birds and otters. To do all of them, you could spend the whole day but an overnight stay on the shores of the lake is enough to explore the lake and its surrounding.
Source of the Nile Jinja
Travelers who like to be active or want to spend a weekend holiday with family, Jinja is a perfect place to do it. On this trip you’ll be fascinated by the speeding rapids of River Nile, the longest in the world starts from here. Make your historical visit to the source of the Nile with excellent outdoor adventure activities every visitor on Uganda safari should explore. Top things to do include; white water rafting and identifying birds down the Nile grade five rapids to calm waters for family rafting. You’ll take hikes along the river and horseback riding across the Nile valley. Enjoy bungee jumping, all terrain Quad biking and go for sunset boat cruise as well as 2 day house boat on Victoria Nile.
In addition you can also tour Jinja town, the adventure capital of East Africa with accommodation ranging from camping facilities, bed and breakfast to luxurious. Some offer riverside relaxation, sport rooms and free wireless internet. The 2 hours drive from Kampala is one of the coolest passing through Mabira forest reserve, the only place for zip lining tours in Uganda. Stop at this eco-tourism site take forest walks to view primates, birds, butterflies and learn how human encroachment has affected the forest.Read More
Lake Bunyonyi: Lots of Adventures Await You
Lake Bunyonyi is located in Kabale District which is found in Western Uganda. This lake is considered to be the deepest lake in Uganda, and there are many people who have traveled to this lake in order to have a glance at its beautiful waters. This has greatly attracted many safaris to Uganda hence increasing the revenues of the country. The lake has always given relaxation moments to the tourists especially those who come for birding safaris since this Lake has got many bird species which are so attractive to the tourists.
This lake has got many Islands which are so attractive and they have also got many bird species and many other animals. The lake has greatly encouraged canoe riding by the tourists who enjoy water and viewing of water animals .This Lake is also considered as a crater lake and its near Lake Katwe where salt is done. There are many tourist activities which are done on this Lake and these include; swimming, fishing, boat cruising and many more which are enjoyed by the tourists who come for safaris to Uganda.
Uganda has got many water bodies, however Lake Bunyonyi has got unique features which are adventurous and can provide unique experiences to the tourists who travel to Uganda, this lake has got blue waters that are so precious to any one’s eyes and it’s also surrounded by much species of vegetation which attracts many birds to migrate to the area hence attracting many birders to the Lake.
Apart of this lake, Uganda is also blessed with Lake Victoria which is one of the biggest lakes in Africa, this lake is shared by many countries in Africa, however its biggest part is found in Uganda, this lake has also got many birds around it and other tourist activities which include; swimming, fishing, sports activities which are carried out on the beaches which are found on the shores of the lakes especially at Entebbe. All these have greatly attracted many people to come for safari visits to Uganda.
There are also other lakes which are found in Uganda and many rivers , these include; Lake Edward, Lake Albert, Lake Kyoga and many others which have greatly attracted people to travel to Uganda. River Nile is also found in Uganda and its source is located in Jinja , this River has also attracted many people to visit Uganda since it has also got many tourist activities which include; swimming at the shores of the river, boat cruises to the actual source of the Nile, canoe riding and many more activities which are so adventurous to the tourists who come to safari Uganda.Read More
Visiting Uganda Gorillas: When to Visit
A trip to Southwestern Uganda to track mountain gorillas is strongly an experience that comes once in a life time. Uganda’s mountain gorillas are only tracked in the jungles of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park. A 600 kilometer journey to the misty valleys of Kabale, Southwestern Uganda comes with tremendous gorilla experiences of a life time for visitors. Although it is a wish of every one around the globe to get a glimpse of these remarkable Giants in the wild, it takes visitors $600 to purchase a gorilla permit to achieve that dream. For visitors who may wish to improve on their experiences further, there is Gorilla Habituation Experience where he or she will be enjoying all the four hours with mountain gorillas in the wild.
Gorilla trekking in Uganda is described as an all year round adventure. However, visitors ought to know the best time to travel to visit the mountain gorillas as each season comes with its own advantages and disadvantages.
Uganda is strategically located within Equator some thing that makes it to have 2 wet seasons; the short wet season starts in October and November while the long wet season occurs from March to May. The other months are dry but due to fluctuating weather patterns, it isn’t easy to forecast the seasonality of the country. In most cases, visitors tend to run away from gorilla tracking especially during the wet season given the fact Bwindi Impenetrable Forest receives heavy rainfall and in turn makes the gorilla habitat very muddy and slippery and hence a block to road connectivity to gorilla trail heads. Tracking gorillas becomes a bit changing for visitors but in most cases, there are visitors who come during this season.
Well, it is possible to track gorillas during the wet season given the fact that rain showers can be experienced in the course of day and at the same time it can take a short time and the sun comes out and gorilla trekking explorer can still continue. Tracking mountain gorillas during wet season is also advantageous based on the fact that there can be plenty of food at the foothills and trackers are able to view them easily. The disadvantage with this season is that it comes with reduced chances of clear views and difficulty in photo taking for the visitors due to dense vegetation cover.
The peak Season:
Most preferably, many visitors travel during this season to track mountain gorillas. Uganda’s peak season is characterized by low rainfall and it falls in the months of January, February, June, July, August, September and December. Because there are many visitors who come to track mountain gorillas, the demand for gorilla permits also tends to be high and visitors are encouraged to book them in advance. The dry season is the best for gorilla tracking as mountain gorillas can be sighted in temperate weathered areas with raised landscapes and this means that the climate remains cool throughout the year.
The Low Season:
This is the perfect time for visitors traveling on budget and many visitors have enjoyed visiting the country during this season. During this season, there are discounted permits that are offered to travelers in the months of April, May and November. The cost of permits for this season goes at $450 for foreign non residents, 400 for foreign residents and shs.150000 for East African residents. What is surprising is that, even the nearby lodges can reduce their prices.
In conclusion, gorilla tracking has no defined season, what may seem to be the best season for one may turn to be the worst time for some one else. However, it is best done during the dry season which offers travelers with incredible experiences. Come and explore what is inhabited within the tropical rain forests of Uganda and you won’t regret in life!Read More