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KIBALE FOREST CAMP-RETREAT IN THE WOODS

Strategically located just outside Kibale Forest National Park also known as the primate capital of the world, Kibale forest Camp borders Magombe swamp well known for Bigodi wetland sanctuary which is among the top spots for birding safaris in Uganda.   The camp is just a 10 minutes-drive to Kanyanchu visitor Centre where chimpanzee tracking starts in Kibale Forest National Park.

Kibale forest camp

Kibale Forest Camp, as the name implies, is nestled in a clearing in Kibale Forest. The accommodation at the lodge is of permanent tents with  wooden structure built around it. Though tourists planning to have their accommodation at this camp need to be aware that it gets a little dark during the nights and a good flashlight would come in handy.

The camp offers affordable classic canvas experience in the form of 10 African safari style tents tucked away in a lush forest and can accommodate up to 20 people. Though the beds within the tents do not have mosquito nets and this according to the management of the camp is intentional since the tent itself effectively serves as a mosquito net.

And for those wishing to relax from the long drives and chimpanzee tracking safaris, there is a common area to get the fresh breathe of the forest and a nice spot for grabbing a drink with dinner served on the upper deck.

There is also fireplace that is always set up for the cold evening and this is the perfect spot as it gets dark to watched the black and white colobus monkeys that come around as they peered back at you from the nearby trees.

A stay at this bush camp gives you an opportunity to experience the real African jungle, the forest smells and sounds with chances of spotting primates swing through the trees and also getting to observe rare birds and beautiful butterflies fluttering around.

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GAME VIEWING ON A HORSEBACK RIDE-LAKE MBURO NATIONAL PARK

Horseback Riding on a Safari to Uganda in Lake Mburo National Park is considered as one of the most exceptional activity that you will not easily experience in any of the other 9 national game parks on a Uganda safari. Riding on a horse as you admire the variety, interest and the vegetation cover of Mburo is truly special.

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Lake Mburo National Park covers an extensive area of wetland and is home to several species of mammals, including zebras, Elands, Buffaloes and topis. And for the bird watchers, this game park is also known for a big populace of birds comprises of the elusive shoebill, green pigeon, double toothed-barbet and harrier hawk. The exceptional landscape with rolling grassy hills and picturesque Lake shore drive has a varied mosaic of habitats: forest galleries, rich acacia tree valleys, seasonal and permanent swamps among others.

 

Mihingo lodge is the sole organiser of these horseback safaris in Lake Mburo. And the lodge boasts of a stable place with horses and ponies. Things to use in this activity like trail saddles, chaps, stirrups and helmets are all provided here to all the riders. A professional guide is there to ensure that you enjoy the horse ride within the game park. Riders are advised to wear long pants and strong pair of shoes for this activity.

Taking photos during this activity is tricky as your hands are needed on the reins and always destructed by the movements of the horse. Though, if you are an experienced rider, you can be sure that there are lots of photo opportunities. As you ride through the Savannah of the game park, you cannot fail to cherish the beauty and richness of this park that lies nearest from Uganda’s Capital, Kampala City. Another memorable thing with the horseback ride, there is a chance of you getting close to the animals and get to appreciate the blend between the domestic and wild.

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And if you’re asking yourself whether you need any previous experience to participate in this activity, the answer is no, anyone can take part in this special activity and safety measures are taken seriously here. All the necessary equipment for horseback riding is fully stocked for both the kids and adults. The rides often range from 30 minutes to additional hours of one’s choosing. Mihingo lodge also offers extended horseback Safaris of 2-3 days.

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MAHOGANY SPRINGS SAFARI LODGE-BWINDI

Sitting at the distance of 455km from Kampala City  strategically facing the impenetrable forest of Bwindi National Park, which is home to the critically endangered Mountain Gorillas, and with remarkable views of the lush forest with the beautiful Munyanga river in the backyard lies the Mahogany Springs Safari Lodge. The lodge boasts of top level luxurious suites that are twin, double or triple, that are among the reasons why this lodge is counted among the top accommodations in the this areas.

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The suites are built with a local structure that is fine thatched with plantain leaves for its roofing and yet with a modern setting for the interior, large double doors, beautiful windows and each suite with a unique designed terrace with wide views of the surrounding area. Dressing tables, mosquito nets and power connection points are all available in the rooms.

The extensive and private presidential suites are adjustable to suit either twin, triple or quadruple to give a warm, relaxed feeling and are fitted to a modern comfort level that best fit a royal. And this has 2 bedrooms, 2 en-suite bathrooms, a big enough living room and a large private terrace that gives visitors a chance to view the river and the forest.

You will find every dish you’re wishing to have for lunch or dinner at Mahogany Springs Safari Lodge, prepared by one of the best chef in the wilderness of Bwindi, Subedi, the head Chef as they call him. And his culinary skills will give you all the needed tasty flavors from all over the world. And for those wishing to relax from the tiring mountain Gorilla trek, the Mahogany Springs bar will surely give you a welcome respite at the end of such a long day.

Uganda safari tour

The Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park is known for its unique Uganda Safari adventures including; the famous Gorilla tracking safaris, Bird watching safaris within the Bwindi forest known to be home 90% of all endemic species, nature walks in the thick jungles, a tour to the short Batwas tribe commonly known as the Pygmies among other activities.

Mahogany Springs Safari Lodge will provide you with all the comfort needed on an African Safari adventure to ensure that you have a memorable Safari in the jungles of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest.

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KATARA SAFARI LODGE-QUEEN ELIZABETH NATIONAL PARK

Located on the Great Rift Valley Escarpment at about 369km via Masaka Road and Mbarara – Kasese Road away from Kampala City and through a window to breathtaking magical African views lies Katara Safari Lodge. This lodge is perfectly decorated in eight thatched cottages and nestled in the lush blend of wonders, visitors are welcomed into a haven which, offer a sense of privacy and luxurious comfort, as you enjoy the tranquility of nature on a Uganda Safari and relaxing at Katara Safari Lodge.

Uganda safari tour

Every moment in this Savannah land counts as you relax and enjoy the Katara Safari Lodge cuisine in the wilderness or sip a cocktail in this luxurious locality. The lodge is strategically situated just 16km from the Katunguru gate of Queen Elizabeth National Park offering excellent views of  Lake Edward and the Virunga and Rwenzori mountain ranges beyond.

Katara Lodge is a window for those interested in chimpanzee tracking or primate tracking, talk of big numbers of black and white colobus monkeys, red tailed monkeys and olive baboons. And for birdwatchers, Queen Elizabeth National Park is an exceptional game park for large number of birds such as shoebill, African skimmer, African Broadbill among others. Here you can arrange for  guided nature walks by well trained personnel, offering guests the perfect opportunity to adventure into the splendor of the most popular game park in Uganda.

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Katara Safari Lodge has eight luxurious thatched cottages on a neatly beautiful stretch of hills overlooking the open Savannah of the game park in a peaceful and relaxing wilderness. The interior of these cottages has a modern finishing blended with the local wooden touch and the bathrooms are luxuriously fitted with romantic roll top bath providing a perfect way to unwind after a thrilling day on a safari tour through the park. You’re also assured of heated water in these cottages and this is done using solar thermal energy.

And all this makes Katara Safari Lodge a perfect oasis of excellence that will cool you off after a game drive under the hot African sun.

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CHAMELEON HILL LODGE-Safari Lodges

Strategically located in the extreme southwestern corner of Uganda in Kisoro district, approximately 550Km from Kampala City via Mbarara – Masaka Rd and Kabale – Mbarara Rd is the luxurious Chameleon Hill Lodge, here guests stay in colored chalets and surroundings that provide for their every need.

This lodge offers comfort while overlooking the beautiful Lake Mutanda, the 10 Chalets offer a spectacular scenic view of the Virunga Mountains. The chalets are classic, well styled and fitted with all the modern interior. Each chalet displays its own unique identity and color scheme along with decor and furnishing that brags of a unique Euro-Afro style. The majestic walks on Chameleon Hill Lodge leads you to superb views and magnificent service that will show you it was worth the journey.

Lodges in Uganda

You will be served with mouth-watering dishes at the lodge’s restaurant while enjoying the warm ambience of the bar, this is just the perfect setting to unwind on a fine cold beer or glass of wine after a days of Gorilla trekking safari. There are also a wide range of treatments and massage offered at the main building, though these services are separately paid for.

Chameleon Hill Lodge is undoubtedly a magnet to all those who love nature that is still untouched. This lodge does not only boast of elegant and eco-friendly chalets but also the well trained and committed staff that make all this happen offering personalized services. For the evenings, guests are given a treat of traditional entertainment with the lodge organizing local dance and music troupe who put up magnificent performances.

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There is absolutely nothing that can compare to Chameleon Hill Lodge’s spectacular outlook across the 900 Metres stretch from Lake Mutanda towards faraway mountains and the trips on the engine powered, hand built boats for various expeditions.

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SPORT FISHING IN THE PEARL OF AFRICA-FISHING SAFARIS IN UGANDA

Sport Fishing on a Safari to Uganda is all about fishing for pleasure or competition. The most common form of recreation fishing is carried out with a rod, reel, hooks, line, and any range of baits. Big-game fishing is carried out from boats to catch large open-eyed species such as tuna, marlin and sharks.

Sport Fishing zones in Uganda

Sport Fishing on a Uganda Safari is carried out in most Lakes and Rivers around the country. At 228 kms from Kampala City about four hours’ drive is Lake Mburo National Park, it is believed to have over five species of fish, with the most common species being the Tilapia. In Lake Mburo, spot fishing is carried out at Mazinga. Fishermen are required to carry their own fishing equipment. But first you will be required to secure a sport fishing permit through your tour operator from Uganda Wildlife Authority.

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In Eastern side of the country, sport fishing is carried top the highest of the three waterfalls at Sipi in Kapchorwa district. Fishermen are also encouraged to carry their equipment and the largest fish here can weigh up to 2.5 or 3 kgs.

At the northern end of the Albertine Rift Valley sits Murchison Falls National Park, Uganda’s largest game park. The game park is crossed by the Victoria Nile, which drives through 45 m over the remnant rift valley wall, creating the remarkable Murchison Falls. The stretch of the Nile river does not only provide one of Uganda’s most astonishing wildlife encounters, but also an exciting sport fishing test. Finding home in these waters is the Nile Perch and chances of a big catch are high with the heaviest Nile Perch ever caught weighing up to 108kg.

In Entebbe which is the closest of all destinations, there is plenty of sport fishing along the shores of Lake Victoria and along the world’s longest River, Nile. This Lake stands out as the largest fresh water body in the World boasting of lots of Nile Perch. The policy of sport fishing is strictly ‘catch and release. Sport fishing tours are also organized at Ngamba Island in special speed boats and this goes on all year round during day.

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TRAVELING TO UGANDA? HERE ARE THE VISA REQUIREMENTS

Before embarking on Journey to Africa, it is important to know the various Visa requirements and in this case the information on how to obtain the Ugandan Visa as you plan your Uganda safari tour.

Uganda Visa Requirements

Travelers coming to Uganda are required to present a visa and a passport that is valid for 6 months after their date of entry.

Though, there are Nationals of some countries mainly African countries who are exempted from these visa requirements for travel to Uganda. A section of some these particular countries include Burundi, Angola, Comoros, Eritrea, Kenya, Malawi Mauritius, Madagascar, Rwanda, Seychelles, Swaziland, Zambia, Tanzania, and Zimbabwe, Antigua & Barbuda, The Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Gambia, Grenada, Sierra Leone, Jamaica, Lesotho, Fiji, Malta, Singapore Solomon Islands, St Vincent & The Grenadines, Tonga, Vanuatu, Italy (For only diplomatic passport holders) and Cyprus. But still all these are required however to have current passport issued by their respective countries.

Single and Multiple Entry Visa into Uganda

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Visas for Uganda can permit a single or multiple entry. After entry into the country, one is allowed to stay for as long as two weeks to three months which usually depends on the details of one’s trip. In a situation where visitors seek to stay in the country longer than the period granted on arrival, extension of the period can be requested from the immigration Headquarters in Kampala City before expiration of the initial visitor’s pass.

Travelers to Uganda should not overstay their visa validity or else get subjected to a fine of up to U$30 per day and other legal action in that line.

When applying for a Uganda visa, the following Uganda Visa Requirements must be presented first: a valid passport, Passport Photos that Meet the Embassy of Uganda’s Requirements, proof of Yellow Fever Vaccine(Yellow fever card), a fully and properly completed Uganda Visa Application Form and Money Order of the correct visa fees (Single Entry = $50; Multiple entry = $100; East Africa Tourist Visa = $100), a copy of an invitation/introduction letter, if traveling for business, enclose a prepaid, self-addressed UPS, DHL, FEDEX, USPS Priority or Express return envelope.

How to obtain Ugandan Visa.

There are three main different ways through which one can obtain a Ugandan Visa;

– Filling and submitting an online application through the Uganda e-visa system, here you fill and submit to the Embassy the Visa Application Form.

– Uganda visas can also be obtained at Uganda missions abroad.

– Travelers and visitors who are unable to apply for their online e visa can still get it on arrival at the main ports of entry into the country. Though these are on a verge of being phased out and replaced with the electronic visas.

East Africa Tourist Visa

If you are traveling to the three East African countries of Uganda, Rwanda, and Kenya, you have an opportunity of entering all three countries on using a single East Africa Tourist visa obtained at any of the first port of entry of the three countries. Getting one visa instead of three separate visas for each country saves you time completing a lot of paper work involved, and it saves you financially on consular fees.

This special visa is only available for tourist travel and no work is permitted under this visa class. The East African Tourist visa permits three months multiple entries across three East African countries of Uganda, Rwanda, and Kenya.

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TRACKING GOLDEN MONKEYS IN MGAHINGA GORILLA NATIONAL PARK

Mgahinga Gorilla National Park is situated in the South-western Uganda bordering Rwanda and Congo at a high altitude of between 2,227m and 4,127m. It is Uganda’s smallest National Game Park commonly known for Gorilla Trekking safaris, but also Golden Monkey Tracking in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park is one of the most popular activities on a Uganda Safari tour.

Golden Monkey Tracking

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There is a family of golden monkeys habituated by Uganda Wildlife Authority available for tracking in the forests of Mgahinga. Tourists can now track Golden monkeys and stay with these amazing primates for a period of up to 4 hours depending on where these gold coated primates would have nested the previous night and the distance from the starting point.

The amazing experience of Golden Monkey Tracking in Mgahinga gorilla National Park starts with a briefing from the park rangers very early morning at the park headquarters and trekkers are allocated different groups for the tracking which normally begins at round 8:00am. The Golden Monkeys are easier to spot as compared to the Mountain Gorillas also finding home in this very game park considering that they tend to climb up in bamboo side of the forest which is not far from the base since they enjoy eating the young bamboo shoots and often move in large numbers.

A Golden Monkey tracking permit in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park costs US$100 and this is inclusive of park entry fees. With a maximum number of 8 people only allowed to track a golden monkey family per day. Bookings for Golden Monkey Tracking experience in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park can be done through a tour operator, and at the headquarters and the national game park offices in Kisoro and Ntebeko.

What is need for Golden Monkey Tracking in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park.

  • Hiking boots
  • Long sleeved shirts, trousers
  • Walking stick, provided at from the briefing point
  • Insect Repellent
  • Packed Lunch
  • Drinking Water
  • A porter to provide extra support, these will also be present at the briefing point
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WITNESS THE RAW POWER OF MURCHISON FALLS

Murchison Fall National Park is one of Uganda’s three popular wildlife safari destinations. Located in the northeast of the country, the park is often overlooked in favour of more accessible parks such as Queen Elizabeth and sometimes Lake Mburo National park in the Southwest.

If you are looking for amazing safari experience, the isolated location of Murchison Falls should not put you off. It is a game park of wildlife and rugged beauty that deserves your attention.

What Animals are there to encounter?

guide to murchison falls

Just like Queen Elizabeth National Park, Murchison Falls National Park is also home to four of the famous African Big Five – with cape buffalo and elephants being common sightings and big cats such as lions and leopards also sighted on a Uganda Safari to this beautiful game park.

Though rhinos, zebras, and cheetahs are not present, the park also boasts an abundance of other wildlife like hippos and giraffes, as well as crocodiles, hyenas, and Ugandan kob. And for the record, this is the best park in Uganda for spotting giraffes.

A Murchison Falls game drive involves taking a ferry ride over the bloated Nile to get you to the other side of the park, which is also an experience in and of itself.

Climbing to the top of world’s strongest waterfall, the Murchison Falls

What draws most visitors to this park are the waterfalls for which the park is named. Known to be the most powerful waterfall in the world, Murchison Falls sees the mighty Nile reduced to a raging torrent as it penetrates through a small gap to continue its long journey north.

The raw power of the waterfall is hard to fully describe. You’ll barely listen to some close to you as you approach and the mists thrown up by the churning waterfall mean the entire climb is one covered in cool spray.

Whether you decide to hike to the top to see it up close or opt for view of seething waves of foam from a boat below, you will truly bear witness the awe-inspiring display of nature’s power.

Boat Ride along the Nile

boat cruise in murchison falls

Another thrilling activity in Murchison Falls National Park is going on a scenic boat ride safari out onto the Nile proper.

More like the boat safari in Kazinga Channel, here you get an opportunity to see crocodiles and hippos, as well as animals going down the Victoria Nile for a drink. Here you will also encounter a variety of birds.

The highlight of the boat ride is no doubt the chance to stop near the base of Murchison Falls for a great view of the mighty waterfall, just remarkable!

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THE LARGEST LIVING PRIMATE FACING EXTINCTION

The world’s only remaining mountain Gorillas living in the wild can only be encountered in three countries spanning four national parks—Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Mgahinga Gorilla National Park, Volcanoes National Park, and Virunga National Park.

What are mountain gorillas?

As one of the gentle great apes, mountain Gorillas are the largest in size of the living primates. With muscular arms, gigantic chest, and large hands and feet. They have thick black hair that helps insulate them from cold weather.

Mountain gorillas live in groups of two to 40 led by the silverback that is there to protect what matters most, a dominant male that is the chief leader and protector. Close to 10 times stronger than the biggest American football player, the silverback protects its family from any outsider or attacks by humans, leopards, or even other Gorillas—even if it would take sacrificing his own life.

 

Gorilla trekking safaris

And for the female mountain gorillas, they usually give birth after making 10 years and from there continue giving birth every after four or more years. Their newborns are usually weak and weigh up to just only about 4 pounds with awkward first movements just like human infants, but they grow almost twice as fast. Infants keep hanging onto their mums and are slowly weaned after turning 3 years old, when they are more self-standing.

Though mountain Gorillas are known to eat a lot, their food is made up of more than 100 different species of plants, making them primarily herbivores. And, they rarely need a drink to supplement their food since they get most of water they need from those plants.

With currently just less than 1,000 mountain Gorillas left in the wild, there is challenge of humans pushing these mountain Gorillas out of the wild and into extinction. And the biggest threats to these critically endangered gentle giants come from deforestation and the region’s day by day growing population. As people move closer to where these mountain Gorillas live, it makes them vulnerable to catching human diseases such as flu, pneumonia, or even ebola.

The future of these gentle giants is also marred by conflict, the civil wars in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) led to the loss of more than five million lives since 1998. The mountain gorillas are caught in the middle of this civil crisis.

And currently the locals heavily depend on the natural resources and wildlife-based tourism like Gorilla safari tours for their welfare. And now the future of these mountain gorillas will be closely linked with the peace and development of this region.

Showing the critically endangered mountain Gorillas your support

With our support, we can continue to conserve the critically endangered gentle giants of the jungle’s population through a number of ways like working with rangers and engaging communities in conservation tourism.