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5 Amazing Forests to Explore in Uganda

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Kibale Forest Walk

Statistically Uganda is one of the poorest countries in the world, but it is rich in so many other ways!

There are several unique and attractive places that you should not miss while on your Uganda safari adventure. The Pearl of Africa has a lot to offer in terms of its hospitality, leisure, accommodation and its abundant wildlife. Whichever adventure you are longing for, Uganda has the best for you because of its unique natural attractions.

NGAMBA ISLAND

This is a Chimpanzee sanctuary set up and run by the Jane Good all Institute for rehabilitating young Chimpanzees freed from captivity and confiscated from smugglers. It is a day trip by large canoe (20 km) from Entebbe and offers good sightings and a most enjoyable day out.
The Trust established Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary in 1998 for the care and welfare of entrusted animals while conserving as far as possible the ecosystem of the island.

Among the activities on the Islands include welfare of individual captive chimpanzees entrusted to its care, long-term management of a sanctuary for confiscated individuals that cannot be returned to the wild, intervention to assist individuals in the wild when deemed necessary, conservation education of the general Ugandan public with particularly emphasis on chimpanzees, ecotourism, community participation.

Bwindi Impenetratable National park

Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is located in the south-western part of Uganda on the rim of the Rift Valley. The hillsides which are mist-covered are sheltered by one of the ancient and very biologically varied rainforests in Uganda that dates back to more than 25,000 years, comprising of about 400 varied plant species.

Bwindi is habitat to more than half the world’s population of Mountain Gorillas. Actually there are over 400 mountain gorillas living here.

The word “Bwindi” means “darkness” and taking a hike this magnificent forest will certainly unveil to you the reason why the forest was named so. You will as well be in position to fast tell why actually the forest is also regarded as Impenetrable. One requires being realistically physically fit to take part in this mountain gorilla tracking / trekking adventure because it may involve climbing the steep terrain.

Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is a bio diverse, mountainous area in southwest Uganda. It’s a home to many of the world’s remaining mountain gorillas, who feed on roots, leaves and fruits from the park. In the park, rough paths weave amid dense forests, which are home to many butterflies and birds.

Mgahinga Gorilla National Park
This is Uganda’s second Gorilla Park sits astride the Rwanda and DRC borders in the Virunga volcano chain. Mgahinga Gorilla National Park sits high in the clouds, at an altitude of between 2,227m and 4,127m. As its name suggests, it was created to protect the rare mountain gorillas that inhabit its dense forests, and it is also an important habitat for the endangered golden monkey. This is one of the best destinations for primate safaris in Africa offering you an opportunity to encounter both the golden monkeys and the silverbacked gorillas.

As well as being important for wildlife, the park also has a huge cultural significance, in particular for the indigenous Batwa pygmies. This tribe of hunter-gatherers was the forest’s “first people”, and their ancient knowledge of its secrets remains unrivalled.

Mgahinga most striking features are its three conical, extinct volcanoes, part of the spectacular Virunga Range that lies along the border region of Uganda, Congo and Rwanda. Mgahinga forms part of the much larger Virunga Conservation Area which includes adjacent parks in these countries. The volcanoes’ slopes contain various ecosystems and are biologically diverse, and their peaks provide a striking backdrop to this gorgeous scenery.

Additional activities include volcano climbing in which no specialized gear is required; Mt Sabinyo (3669m); Mt Gahinga (3474m) and Mt Muhavura (4127m).

Kibale Forest National Park
The forest has one of the highest diversity and density of primates to be found in any forest of Africa. The Park also has 320 species of birds including the Yellow spotted Nicator; Green breasted Pita and the African Pita.
Kibale National Park contains one of the loveliest and most varied tracts of tropical forest in Uganda. Forest cover, interspersed with patches of grassland and swamp, dominates the northern and central parts of the park on an elevated plateau.

Kibale is famously known for Chimpanzee tracking but is a home to a total of 70 mammal species, most famously 13 species of primate including the chimpanzee.
It also contains over 375 species of birds. Kibale adjoins Queen Elizabeth National Park to the south to create a 180km-long corridor for wildlife between Ishasha, the remote southern sector of Queen Elizabeth National Park, and Sebitoli in the north of Kibale National Park.

The Kibale-Fort Portal area is one of Uganda’s most rewarding destinations to explore. The park lies close to the tranquil Ndali-Kasenda crater area and within half a day’s drive of the Queen Elizabeth, Rwenzori Mountains and Semuliki National Parks, as well as the Toro-Semuliki Wildlife Reserve.

Butterflies are also in abundance including the largest African butterfly, African Giant Swallowtail, with a wingspan of 20-23 cm. Guided walks are offered to track the Chimpanzee during the early hours of the morning.
Places to stay:- Ndali Lodge 17 km’s outside the Park features lovely cottages overlooking a crater lake; CVK resort next door to the Park entrance and is an inexpensive option for the budget conscious and provides easy access for the early morning start.

MABIRA FOREST

Mabira Forest is a rainforest area covering about 300 square kilometers in Uganda, located in Buikwe District, between Lugazi and Jinja. It has been protected as Mabira Forest Reserve since 1932.

No matter what your interests are, you’ll never run out of ways to enjoy the beautiful forest. Griffin Falls Camp is conveniently located just 10 km off the highway between Kampala and Jinja. After an amazing experience in the forest, you can feel good about where your money ends up because all the profits from Griffin Falls Camp are put into sustainable development projects in the villages in and around Mabira Forest.

 

Ultimate Gorilla Tours in Africa

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There are countless reasons that Africa is a favorite destination to most travelers, Gorilla trekking excursions is definitely one of those.

Gorillas are rarely seen and one of the World’s top attractions. By description, these apes are large in size, tailless and fur that help them survive the colder conditions. They are herbivores in nature and feed mostly on tree leaves, bamboo shoot and stem, fruits, coconuts and insects.

Thousands of travelers pack for Africa per year to delve into its incredible charm including the face to face encounter with one of the Gorilla subspecies. Few travelers have got the magical to see the Gorillas and it is everyone’s dream.

Youthful mountain Gorilla

If it’s in your plans or you wish to join those who have already trekked, do not hesitate to be part of a remarkable Gorilla trekking safari one of Africa’s gorilla hosting destinations.

Gorillas inhabit only the lush habitats in the Eastern and Central part of Africa; it is not hard to understand why these two regions welcome a number of Gorilla or wildlife lovers from different of the World.

The main African destinations that offer these unrivalled Gorilla trekking experiences are Uganda, Rwanda and Democratic Republic of Congo.

What is Gorilla Trekking?

Are you less informed about Gorilla trek? This experience majorly awards tourists grand opportunities to meet with Gorillas in the rain forests. It is often offered in a group; each Gorilla family is visited by only eight people per day.

Gorilla Trekking in Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park

Time taken and distance moved in the Jungles depends on where the assigned Gorilla family spent their last.

After discovering the Gorillas, you will only spend one hour in their presence. Later descend back to the park offices or starting point such that more room is created for these apes to continue with their day time activities.

Why you should go for Gorilla Trekking?

Although strenuous, Gorilla Safaris are rewarding and worth the money paid once you make it to the exact location of the Gorilla family you are tracing for.
This expedition also exposes you to numerous Wildlife species in the Jungles such as primates, different bird species, reptiles to name but a few.
Adding to the protective wearing gears, all Gorilla trekkers are advised to come along with packed food and drinking water from your lodge of stay.
This is more important since most of the times lunch hours reach when you are still in the Jungles. More than that, below are the top five parks you can visit for a once in lifetime Gorilla trekking tour.

Where to Track Gorillas

Rated to host the biggest percentage of Uganda’s Gorillas, Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is one of the mostly visited parks in the country. Gorilla trekking is the main highlight for most customized tours to this Park in the western part of Uganda.
It is a UNESCO World heritage site and most of its area is occupied by the impenetrable Bwindi forest.

This park is currently recorded with eighteen habituated Gorilla families that are open to trekking. The trekking is offered in four sectors namely; Ruhija, Nkuringo, Rushaga and Buhoma sector.

Bwindi Forest famous for Mountain Gorillas

Besides Bwindi, while in Uganda for Gorillas, you can do the trekking in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park.

This Park is also situated in the western part of Uganda along the country’s border with Democratic Republic of Congo and Rwanda.

It is part of the great Virunga Massif. Mgahinga consists of two habituated Gorilla families including Hirwa, a family that migrated from the nearby Rwanda. Other than Gorillas, Mgahinga is home to the species of the old World monkey family “Golden monkeys”.
Next on the list is Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park, this protected area is nestled in the Eastern part of the country. It renowned worldwide for its incredible trekking encounters with the Gorillas.

Gorilla Trekking in DR Congo

Lastly Democratic Republic of Congo differs its self with two Gorilla subspecies including the unusual Eastern lowland Gorillas in Kahuzi Beiga National Park.
If you are after Mountain Gorillas in Congo, there are only found in Virunga National Park, the oldest park in Africa. Both parks are found in the Eastern part of DR Congo.

In conclusion, whether you are a first timer or second time traveler to Africa for Gorillas, there are no other destinations you can go if it’s not those listed above.
The experience requires a permit which is often issued at affordable prices. Money collected from the permit sales support in conserving lives of the remaining Gorillas. In Uganda, it costs $700 USD per person, Rwanda $1500 and that of DR Congo costs $400 USD per person.

Up close with the gorillas of Rwanda

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Rwanda now has one of the fastest growing tourism economies in the world and one of its attractions is its wildlife.

The Travel Show’s Lucy Hedges visits the Volcanoes National Park, now home to 1,000 mountain gorillas, their population up from 200 just two decades ago following a successful plan to stop poaching.

The Travel Show can be seen on BBC World News.

12 Days of Christmas

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A few things that you probably don’t know about the 12 days of Christmas.

The 12 days of Christmas is the period that in Christian theology marks the span between the birth of Christ and the coming of the Magi, the three wise men. It begins on December 25 (Christmas) and runs through January 6 (the Epiphany, sometimes also called Three Kings’ Day). The four weeks preceding Christmas are collectively known as Advent, which begins four Sundays before Christmas and ends on December 24.

 

Moroccan Chickpea Salad, Garlic Butter Prawns with Tagliatelle & Lemon Meringue Pie

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Episode 26 with Tumisho Masha

Tonight Siba cooks for dreamboat and formidable actor Tumisho Masha. She shows The Wild star how to prepare a scrumptious Moroccan salad followed by a winning prawn casserole…

Scroll down for the recipe!

Starter: Moroccan Chickpea Salad

You will need:

45 ml (3 tbsp) olive oil

1 chorizo, sliced

1 red onion, quartered and sliced

4 garlic cloves, finely chopped

1 red pepper, cut into strips

4 courgettes or baby marrows cut into thick strips

5 ml (1 tsp) ground cumin

10 ml (2 tsp) paprika

juice of 1 lemon

60 ml (¼ cup) parsley, coarsely chopped

60 ml (¼ cup) coriander, coarsely chopped

410 g (1 tin) chickpeas, washed and drained

250 ml (1 cup) feta crumbled (optional)

salt and fresh ground black pepper

Serve with

kesra (Moroccan flat bread)

Method:

  1. Heat the oil and sauté the chorizo with onion, garlic, pepper and courgettes for 2 minutes. Add the spices and stir well.
  2. Add the chopped herbs with a squeeze of lemon juice and rind and lightly stir. Add the chickpeas and cook for a minute until the chickpeas are warm and well mixed with the rest of the ingredients.
  3. Crumble over the feta cheese on top, if using, and sprinkle with the rest of the herbs. Serve while still warm with bread.

Tip

  • Make sure you don’t overcook the chickpeas as they will become mushy if you do.

Main: Prawns in Garlic Butter with Tagliatelle

You will need:

12 large prawns, shelled

100 ml garlic and herb butter

250 ml (1 cup) good dry white wine

olive oil

½ red onion, finely diced

4 cloves garlic, finely chopped

125 ml cherry tomatoes, peeled and diced

2 red chillies, finely chopped

Coarse salt to taste

Parmesan cheese and parsley

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 180˚C. Arrange the prawns in a roasting pan and dot with garlic butter.
  2. Pour over the white wine and olive oil and scatter the garlic, tomatoes and chillies on top. Season with coarse salt and roast for 25 minutes or until just done.
  3. Serve with pasta and garnish with parmesan cheese and fresh parsley.

Garlic and herb butter: mix 250 g butter, 4 clove garlic, crushed, 15 ml bbq sauce, 20 ml finely chopped thyme, 20 ml (4 tsp) parsley, freshly ground black pepper together and chill.

Dessert: Cream Cheese Lemon Meringue

You will need:

Base/crust layer

1 packet Tennis biscuits

100 g butter, melted

Filling

250 g (1 container) plain creamed cheese

398 g (1 tin) condensed milk

2 egg yolks

15 ml (1 tbsp) grated lemon rind

80 ml (⅓ cup) lemon juice

Meringue topping

2-4 egg whites

125 ml – 180 ml (½ – ⅓ cup)

caster sugar

 

Method:

  1. Crust Preheat the oven to 180 °C and grease a 23 cm loose-bottom tart tin with butter or margarine. Crush the biscuits until fine, using your fingertips. Melt the butter and mix with the biscuits. Transfer the biscuit mixture to the tart tin and press to form a base.
  2. Filling Whisk the cream cheese until smooth using a hand whisk. Add all the filling ingredients, beating the mixture until well combined. Spoon the mixture into the crust and bake for 10 minutes or until almost set.  Remove from the heat and cool slightly.
  3. Meringue topping Put the eggs in a large mixing bowl and whisk the egg whites until they form soft peaks – they will become frothy before forming soft peaks (see picture right). Gradually beat in the caster sugar, about 30 ml (2 tbsp) at a time, until the mixture is stiff, shiny and smooth.
  4. Using a spatula, transfer the meringue onto the top of the filling, spreading it upwards, creates a rough pattern. Bake for a further 10 minutes or until the meringue is golden. Cool before removing from the tin.

Tips:

There are 4 stages:

1. Frothy/foamy: The egg whites are lightly beaten until frothy but still a fluid consistency.

2. Soft peaks: The foam is moist, brittle white and shiny. This is the stage where you can add sugar.

3. Stiff peaks: The mixture is glossy and can hold maximum air.

4. Overbeaten – the foam looks dry and granular or separate

Back to Cooking with Siba homepage

Cooking with Siba

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All Season 2 Recipes:

(or for all season 1 recipes, click here)

Episode 26: Moroccan Chickpea Salad, Garlic Butter Prawns with Tagliatelle & Lemon Meringue Pie

Tonight Siba cooks for dreamboat and formidable actor Tumisho Masha. She shows The Wild star how to prepare a scrumptious Moroccan salad followed by a winning prawn casserole… and the grand finale? Tune in and see!

Click here for the recipe.

Episode 25: Salmon Rolls, Spanish Seafood with Lentils & Ginger Bread Cake

Prepare yourself for an evening of hilarity as Siba cooks for the flamboyant and lovable KB Ngakane! Thought salmon rolls were sushi? Think again… and don’t dare miss this episode!

Click here for the recipe.

Episode 24: Mini Hamburgers, Umleqwa with Dumplings, Scones & Pineapple Beer

Radio superstar DJ T-Bose is in the house, or shall we say kitchen, with Siba tonight. The man says he doesn’t do starters… but with sumptuous mini beef and boerewors hamburgers on the menu will he be able to resist? Don’t miss this episode and find out!

Click here for the recipe.

Episode 23: Potato Rosti, Chicken and Mushroom Pie & Spicy Pumpkin Pie

Award-winning author Cynthia Jele joins Siba in the kitchen tonight and together they magic up potato rosti with smoked salmon, chicken and mushroom pie and don’t forget the baked pumpkin pie. The stuff of poetry…

Click here for the recipe.

Episode 22: Chocolate Cups with Berry Cheese Cake Filling

Tonight Siba cooks for the talented Loyiso Bala – R&B singer/songwriter, music producer, and a perfectly charming guest.

For the dessert recipe, click here.

Episode 21: Sweet and Sour Chicken

Tonight Siba cooks for the beautiful Gail Nkoane, who stars as the sexy fashion editor Lelo Sedibe on South African soap The Wild. Take a look at Siba’s mouth-watering sweet and sour chicken.

Click here for the recipe.

Episode 20: Prawn Wrap with Tartar Sauce & Carrot Cake

Dare to be dazzled tonight as Siba cooks for entertainer, fashionista and choreographer Somizi Mhlongo. Get your dancing shoes on and don’t miss out on the lip-licking-lekker three-course meal! One that’s sure to get your toes tapping!

Click here for the recipe.

Episode 19: Chicken Livers with Peppadew Dip, Lamb Shank Casserole & Sticky Toffee Pudding

Tonight Siba cooks for the Gang of Instrumentals’ frontman Mandla Ndimande. She shows him how to make a hot chicken liver starter, a winning lamb shank and melt-in-your-mouth sticky toffee pudding. It’s too good to miss!

Click here for the recipe.

Episode 18: Hake Salad, Lamb Cutlets with Wedges & Mango Fruit Salad

Model and Jacob’s Cross star Kendra Etufunwa graces Siba’s kitchen this evening. Intrigued by what a girl in possession of the Longest Legs in Africa likes to eat? Well, tune in and find out!

Click here for the recipe.

Episode 17: Prawn and Mango Atchar Salad, Chicken & Cashew Nut Stir-fry & Brandy Baskets

Singer, record producer and all-round sweetie pie Theo Kgosinkwe takes a seat in Siba’s kitchen tonight for a meal bursting with flavour and style… Click here for the recipe.

Episode 16: Biltong Spread, Lamb Stew Pies & Chocolate Mousse

Brace your tummy muscles as Siba cooks for comedian Ndumiso Lindi. In the mood for a shot of funny? Don’t dare to miss this episode! Click here for the recipe.

Episode 15: Ostrich Kefta & Red Velvet Muffins

Tonight Siba cooks for model, muso and dreamboat Bheki Dladla. Will she be able to keep it together with such a swoon-worthy and sexy guest in the kitchen? Watch and see! Click here for the recipe.

Episode 14: Tasty Cheese Straws & Roasted Lamb Rack

Tonight Siba cooks with none other than the South Africa President’s daughter, Gugulethu Zuma. She shows her how to make cheese straws with Thai chilli sauce and a scrumptious rack of roasted lamb.

Click here for the recipe.

Episode 13:  Easy Chicken Wings, Beef Espetada & Rusk and Chocolate Chip Pudding 

Tonight Siba cooks for the inspirational hip-hop artist and producer Dylan Blayze King. Kicking off with easy chicken wings, followed by Spanish espetada and with a grand finale of choc chip pudding – South-African style!

Click here for the recipe.

Episode 12: Beef carpaccio salad with mustard vinaigrette Panacotta with pineapple sauce

Tonight Siba cooks for lauded and lovable actress Shaleen Surtie-Richards (perhaps best known as Ester Willemse Egoli: Place Of Gold). Don’t miss out as they take the kitchen by storm and laugh their way to a lip-licking-and-luscious meal, culminating in a delicious panacotta.

Click here for the recipe.

Episode 11: Butternut & Couscous Salad, Lamb Neck & Fruity Pavlova

Tonight Siba is cooking with Letshego, an adventure enthusiast and biokineticist. Letshego specialises in orthorpedic rehabilitation & personal training. Healthy eating is definitely on her menu! They will be creating a butternut and couscous salad for the starter, Lamb Neck with toasties for the main course and amazing fruity Pavlova. On your marks, get set – cook!
Click here for the recipe.

Episode 10: Corn And Cheese Pap, Chicken Feet, Chocolate Ice Cream

Tonight Siba cooks with the amazing gospel singer Rebecca Malope, winner of the KORA All African Music Award for Best Gospel Singer and TV host of “It’s Gospel Time.” They will be cooking corn and cheese pap with chicken feet and mouth-watering nutty chocolate ice cream. Click here for the recipe.

Episode 9: Garlic Mayo, Spatchcock Chicken, Rice & Trifle

Tonight Siba cooks with Miss South Africa 2010 and Miss World Africa 2011, Bokang Montjane. Together they are cooking Spatchcock chicken and savoury rice with self-made mayonnaise. For dessert Swiss roll trifle is on the menu with custard and cream, almonds and berries. Tune in! For recipe details, click here.

Episode 8: Mini – Pizza, Cannelloni With Rice Filling, Banana Bread Sauce

Siba cooks with Howza Mosese. He is a songwriter, actor and entertainer. Together they make mini-pizzas, cannelloni with mince filling and banana bread with a sticky sauce. Watch and learn! For the recipe, click here.

Episode 7 : Butternut Salad, Seafood Risotto,Peppermint Crip Tard

Tonight Siba meets actress Faye Peters, The Wild’s feisty chef-in-residence. As they make butternut salad, baked seafood risotto and peppermint crisp tart, we can’t help but wonder who’ll be the best chef in town? Watch and see! Click here for the recipe.

Episode 6: Calamari Cubes, Spanish Chicken Parcels, Raspberry Tarlets

Fabulous fashion is on the menu this evening with Siba cooking for designer David TIale. They will be whipping up a culinary frenzy with stuffed calamari cubes, Spanish chicken parcels and mini raspberry tartlets – a menu fit for any king or queen… Don’t miss out on the fabulous feast. Click here for the recipe.

Episode 5: Salmon Fishcakes, Lamb Chops, Chocolate Cups

Siba cooks for AL ACCESS MZANSI presenter and all-round hunk Jason Greer. Salmon fishcakes, lamb chops and chocolate cups with almond biscotti. What more can a guy ask for? Delicious! And we’re not only talking about the food…. Click here to see the recipe of the chocolate cups.

Episode 4: Stuffed Mushrooms, Roast Duck, Black Forest Cakes

The ever stylish and charming DJ Sbu is in the kitchen this evening and Siba is cooking up some delectable dishes. Mini black forest cakes take your fancy? Tune in to da coolest kitchen in town tonight! Click here for recipe details.

Episode 3: Hummus. Paratha Bread, Laska Soup, Tiramisu

Tonight Siba cooks with and magazine legend Dorah Sitole. Together they make a mean starter of hummus with paratha bread, Laska soup and mouth-watering triramisu – and talk food and love stories! Wondering what laska soup is? Click here to see the recipe.

Episode 2:  LIoyd Cele (Idols)

IDOLS runner-up LIoyd Cele is in the house! Is in the kitchen to be more specific… and Siba is teaching the star some important culinary lessons. LIoyd Cele is from Durban and of course there will be some spices, curries and interesting flavours all around. Click here for recipe details.

Episode 1: Salmon, Thai Green Vegetable Curry, Banana Muffins

The new season kicks off with one of South Africa’s most favourite designers, actors, and socialites: Stoned Cherrie’s Nkhensani Nkosi as Siba’s guest. It’s salmon, salads and sweets – but with Siba’s signature twists! Find all the recipes of episode 1! Click here for the recipe.

For all of Siba’s recipes, check out our previous recipe page

7 Tips to Finding a Good Rwanda Car Rental Company

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car for safari in Rwanda

Hiring a car is one thing any traveler on Rwanda safari should put into consideration. It is what makes your safari complete but the car rental company you choose to deal with also matters a lot. Whereas others opt to borrowing from friend or family or embarking on public means, they are not the best options if you are interested in flexible road trip that is why dealing with a reliable car rental agency is best way to go. However, there are hundreds of car hire companies or agencies in and around major towns in Rwanda and how choose one does matter a lot. To guide well when choosing the best agency to for Rwanda car hire, the following factors should be put into consideration.

The rates for car rental

When choosing a car hire company to deal with, take note of the rates of car rental. Each car hire agency in Rwanda has its set prices for car hire which you need to be aware of before you make your last choice. To be on safer side, we advise our clients to spare sometime and research on different car rental companies to get to know about their rates. This is one way that you can make comparison such that you find the best car rental agency with pocket friendly rates and the best offers. Also do not be mistaken that the high rates reflect better services at times it is not the case and again do not be moved by cheap things as they may cost on your wallet.

Reputation

When you Google, different car rental companies/tour companies have reviews written about them by other visitors who also dealt with them company you wish to deal with in Rwanda. You can check on trip advisor and you find out what others have said about the company. You can also cross check the profile to ascertain if it is really a registered company before you consider dealing with it.

Fuel

Different Car Hire Company may or may not quote fuel rates and even when they do, you will realize that others quote a high or low rate. Meanwhile others rent a car out with fuel and you are expected to bring it with same quantity of fuel and bridge of agreement may mean a cost on your wallet. Before you make your decision, make sure that you know fuel policy of a particular Car Rental Company you hope to deal with.

Road assistance

When choosing for Car Hire Company or agency to deal with, make sure that you inquire more on breakdown-if there is any provision for rescue of car and if you will be required to pay addition amount or not. However, most car hire agencies off a 24hour road assistance although you do not need to assume that it happens to all.

Additional costs

Did you know that there are hidden costs/charges that some car rental companies do not tell clients online but when booking they disclose to you? Do not be taken by surprise with a new charge presented to you at the end of day/actual day of hiring a car. Ask and find out what your quotation includes or excludes.

Insurance

Different car hire companies have their own set insurance policy or terms and conditions. Because of this, you need not to assume that this applies to all or they all provide comprehensive or third party insurance. To be on safer side, you have to inquire more about this. Usually, insurance policy covers the car rental only while others include the visitor’s life and property. On the other hand, other agencies may require you to purchase your own or for the car too.

Mileage provided

Each Car Hire Company has its mileage provision. Some offer unlimited while others limited. You are required to inquire more about what mileage the company you hope to deal with offers to avoid incurring unexpected charges.

In summary, when choosing Car Hire Company in Rwanda to deal with, you need to take note of several things to guide you most of which include the ones listed above.

Exploring Uganda’s Top Primates – Gorillas, Chimps & Golden Monkeys

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Uganda is referred to as the primates capital of East Africa with a number travelers admitting that indeed the Pearl of Africa is the best country to see top renowned primates in the region.

Though there are many things to do on a Uganda Safari Adventure, Primates tracking can be way too far memorable than others once planned well. From the unique experiences to the excitement one gets, Primate safaris are worthy topping the bucket list for one planning a Uganda Safari trip.

The country has more than 13 different primates species to explore with Mountain Gorillas and Chimpanzee taking the foremost positions in terms of attractions. Others include Golden Monkeys, L’Hoest Monkeys, Manga-beys, Blue Monkeys, Balck and White Colobus, Olive Baboons as well as nocturnal like Galagoes also known as Bush babies and pottos among others. Here are some of the top primates to look out for during your visit to Uganda.

Mountain Gorillas

This is the number one attraction of the ‘Pearl of Africa’ only found in the forested National parks of Bwindi and Mgahinga. Bwindi Forest alone is believed to harbor half of the world’s remaining total population of these endangered creatures only else found in Rwanda and DR Congo. The park now has 18 Gorilla Family/ Groups open for visitation from four sectors of Rushaga, Buhoma, Ruhija and Nkuringo.

Mother Mountain Gorilla with baby

Mgahinga National Park that is part of the renowned Virunga Conservation Area has one Gorilla group known as the Nyakagezi. Gorilla tracking is one of the most strenuous activities but very rewarding. Each Gorilla group is allowed to be visited by 8 people per day and only permitted with a maximum period of an hour in close contact with them.

Tracking Mountain Gorillas

152 tracking permits are now available on daily basis in Uganda but due to the high demand for the activity around the world, an early booking (3 months to.. ) is recommended to make it easy for you to find one.

Mountain Gorilla in Bwindi Forest

There are Locations that make Gorilla Safaris easy to add-on other activities such as a visit to Lake Bunyonyi, the Batwa Forest Trail with the original people of the forest – the pygmies, Volcano Climbing, Golden Monkey Tracking, Wildlife viewing among others to bend your adventure while in Uganda.

Prices for Gorilla Tracking

A Gorilla tracking permit currently costs $600 per person for Foreign Non Residents but starting the 1st of July 2020, it wil be at $700 as earlier announced by the Uganda Wildlife Authority. Foreign residents with a valid East African working permit are subsidized by $100 from the normal price. Those looking at spending more hours with the Gorillas also go for an habituation experince at $1500 per person to spend up to four hours in close contact with them.

Chimpanzees

Chimpanzees have been discovered to be our closest relatives, beleived to be sharing 98% DNA wit human kinds. Uganda has more than 5000 of these palyful creatures best known to be found in Kibale Forest National Park. This park alone has 13 kinds of primates even including nocturnal species such as the Galagoes, pottos and bush babies.

Chimpanzee in Kibale Forest
Young Chimpanzee in Uganda’s Kibale Forest appears to be taking orders from the elder in the colony.

Chimpanzees can also be spotted in other areas including Semliki National park which is also a rainforest Jungle down the fabulous Albertine Rift Escarpment, Budongo Mahogany Forest at Murchison Falls, Kalinzu and Kyambura Gorge at Queen Elizabeth Park.

Prices For Chimpanzee Tracking in Uganda

Spending an hour with the chimpanzees of specifically Kibale Forest will be costing $200 (Foreign Residents) starting the 1st of July 2020 instead of the current $150 per person. Those looking at spending a day with these primates species on an Habituation Experience will have to pay $250 instead of the current $200.

In Kyambura, you can pay for a nature walk of $50 and from this, there is a chance to see these amaxing primates while in Budongo, to see chimpanzees is about $90.

Golden Monkeys

Golden Monkeys are rare and unique species of monkeys of the old world family found in the Virunga Conservation Area (foothills of the Virunga volcanoes) and some parts of Kahuzi Biega (no tracking sessions here). Just like its great ape relatives – the mountain gorillas, Golden monkeys can only be found in three countries DR Congo, Rwanda and Uganda with the latter only represented by Mgahinga National Park.

A Golden Monkey

They inherit the name from their golden body and are also a sub-species of the blue monkey found in the bamboo forests of the Virunga Volcanoes.

Tracking Golden Monkeys

At Mgahinga Gorilla National Park, you are escorted by guides in small groups and hike to the bamboo forest in the foothills of the majestic volcanoes where the golden monkeys are found.

In Uganda, Golden Monkeys can only be tracked in Mgahinga National Park

However, Golden Monkeys are a bit harder to catch on camera – but use of fast shutter speed and low light can work out right.

Prices For Golden Monkey Tracking in Uganda

Golden Monkey tracking now costs $90 per person for Foreign Non Residents but starting 1st July 2020, they will be costing $100 per person.

Other Primates in Uganda

Other Primates that you can see alongside mainly chimpanzees in Kibale Forest include;

Black and White Colobus Monkeys that is probably the most common and widespread forest monkey in Uganda, occurring in the most sizeable forests, even in well developed riparian woodland.

Blue Monkeys that belongs to the Old world monkey family, De Brazza’s Monkeys that was named by French explorer Pierre Savorgnan de Brazza and generally known as ‘swamp monkeys mostly found in the areas of Mount Elgon National Park and Semliki National Park and Grey-Cheeked Mangabees/ Uganda Mangabeys that live in low and moderate altitude rain forests.

Black and white colobus

Uganda Mangabeys act in a baboon-like manner with shaggy appearance and are found in Uganda, in Semliki and Kibale Forest National Parks as well as Mabira Forest.

Others include L’Hoest’s Monkeys, Patas Monkey, Colobus Monkeys, Red Tailed Monkey, Bushbabies/ Galagoes, Pottos also called a bush bear, tree bear or slow-moving tropical African primate among others.

Where to book Tracking Permits

Permissions for Gorillas, golden monkeys and chimpanzees are only booked at Uganda Wildlife Authority. However, you can book hrough any travel agent or a tour company you trust that you can also find online. However, Golden monkey booking is not hectic as booking the other two since there is no maximum number required to track them.

5 Reasons Why You Should Visit Bwindi Forest This Year

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Mountain Gorillas

Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is the most popular safari destination in Uganda. Though not as popular as Masai Mara and Serengeti National Park, Bwindi is a unique destination that visitors to East Africa should not miss. If you love forest expeditions this is the ultimate expedition that will even give you an opportunity to look into the pensive eyes of the mountain gorillas.

Bwindi is home to two amazing apes; the mountain gorillas and chimpanzees. Other animals that live in the park include  forest elephants many reptiles and amphibians etc. The park is a UNESCO World Heritage site and one of the reasons as it gained this status was that it used to host three great apes that lived in amicable peace within the forest.

The United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) designated Bwindi Impenetrable National Park as world heritage site since 1994. If you’ve never been to Bwindi, you’re missing out and below we give you the interesting activities you should not miss out once you visit, are the reasons.

Mountain Gorilla Tracking

Bwindi Impenetrable Forest is a renowned home to the remaining mountain gorillas. This is where visitors get the chance to meet the endangered mountain gorillas in their natural habitat. Gorilla trekking always begins with briefing before setting off to the jungle at 8:00 am by the game rangers. There are 18 gorilla families in total in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest at different sectors including Buhoma, Ruhija, Nkuringo, Rushaga and only 8 people are allowed per family. Gorilla watching is strictly for one hour and during the session you will see how they behave, feed, take photographs and when one hour elapses you trek back to the headquarters where you will be awarded your certificates upon completion of the trek. A gorilla watching permit costs US$ 600 till July 2020. You are advised to book your gorilla safari early enough through a trusted tour operator since the gorilla permits sell out fast.

Participate in Gorilla Habituation Experience

The gorilla habituation experience is an experience that can only be taken in Bwindi. This is the process where mountain gorillas are trained to get used to human presence. If you ever want to know how to habituate these great apes, dare not miss out a visit to Bwindi National Park. Unlike gorilla treks where you spend only one hour, gorilla habituation permits 4 hours of watching the apes . This activity comes at a price of US$1500 per person. The gorilla habituation process takes place daily and only 4 visitors are allowed to meet a habituated family.

Bird Watching

Bwindi Impenetrable Forest is one the best destinations for bird watching in Africa. This is a great place to see endemic Albertine birds.  Indeed, the national park offers excellent bird watching experience. There are over 364 birds that have been recorded in the park. Some of the Albertine endemic bird species include; Red-throated Alethe, African Green Broadbill, Red-faced Woodland Warbler, Handsome Francolin, Short-tailed Warbler, Collared Apalis, Rwenzori Batis, Purple-breasted Sunbird, RwenzoriTuraco, Kivu Ground Thrush, etc. Some of the must visit places are the Rwamunyonyi peak in Ruhija and Mubwindi swamp south of Bwindi.

Experiencing cultural encounters

In additional to gorilla trekking as the main activity, there are also other activities like culture encounters around the with in community. Village walks will take you to a fuse of the indigenous local Bakiga and Batwa community who will tell stories about their life style, show the hunting skills, cultural dancers among others, along the trail you will find craft shops selling handmade art crafts, wood carvings, bees wax candles and many more.

Mountain Biking is one of the latest adventures within Bwindi impenetrable forest national park. Mountain biking in Bwindi is a community initiative named “Ride for a woman”. It is organized by Buhoma Community Rest Camp and takes a 13 kilometer well maintained trail to Ivi River departing from the park headquarters in the morning and the round trip takes six to seven hours. Along this trail, you may see wildlife such as bush-bucks, black-and-white colobus and red-tailed monkeys. 

Exciting Things to Do on a Family Safari in Uganda

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If you are still hesitating about the top exciting destinations to visit for a glimpse of an African Wildlife Safari experience, you are not far from the right destination – here is Uganda popularly notable as the “Pearl of Africa”.

Sir Winston Churchill dubbed “The Pearl of Africa” for many reasons – one of them is the diverse range of captivating draws. It is geographically located in the Eastern part of Africa sharing borders with Kenya in the East, Tanzania in the South, Rwanda in the South West, and South Sudan in the north and Democratic Republic of Congo in the west.

Uganda is more of a destination for adventure, Wildlife encounters, and Culture but it is as well packed with numerous localities where you can go with your kids for kid-friendly pursuits. With that reason, now it’s easy to understand why several travelers from different parts of the World flock in with their kids for an adventure to remember.

There is always a lot of activities kids offered in Uganda Safaris right from quad biking, beach hopping, game drives and boat cruises among others. Here are some of the thrilling things you can do with your young ones on a tailor-made Uganda wildlife safari.

Visit the Uganda Wildlife Conservation Centre

This conservation locale is located in Entebbe. It is used as a showcasing area for all Uganda’s Wildlife species. Your kids will like to see the various animals that protected in cages.

More than that, this Centre commonly known as a zoo consists of a part reserved as a theme park for kids to have fun.

There are multiple kid’s facilities including the water slides and more. If your kids are not impressed by the animals, you can leave them in this park and for the adults continue with the guided walk around.

Taste on Local food

There is nothing more exciting than tasting on food away from your home country. Uganda is ranked amongst the top destinations with the most luscious cuisine in the World.

Let your kids get exposed a culinary adventure that’s hard to find anywhere else. During your safari, you can order for local food because most of restaurants in the city and top places to visit serve both local and international dishes.

Beach Hopping

Since Uganda shares one of the largest lakes in East Africa “Lake Victoria” with other countries. Therefore it’s no surprise that this destination is recorded with varied untouched shorelines.

These shorelines feature a range of white sandy beaches that are flanked by turquoise waters. After long distance drives, you can cool off with your kids at one of the beaches – Swim, relax or bask in open air as you take in sweeping views of seascapes and blue sky. Most of the ideal beaches are found in Entebbe.

Embark on a Game drive

With this, your kids will be more overwhelmed. Early in the morning or evening you can embark on a game drive in one of Uganda’s Wildlife Parks like Queen Elizabeth National Park, Murchison Falls or Kidepo Valley National Park.

Kids will be fascinated by sights of numerous Wild animals feeding like Elephants, Buffaloes, Kobs and more. But be sure to watch after your kids – they should not move out of the Car.

Boat Cruise on Lake Victoria

Cruising along the waters is exciting to everyone. From the boat you can admire lots of magnificent sceneries, aquatic life and Sunset/rise.

Boat cruise in Uganda is mainly operated along the waters of Lake Victoria particularly in Jinja or Entebbe and other localities like Queen Elizabeth National Park on Kazinga Channel and Murchison Falls National park on the falls.

Visit the Uganda Museum

This historical site is used as a store to all Uganda’s historical remains like weapons and other tools that belong to different past kingdoms.

You can visit with your kids to for historical buffs about Uganda. A list of objects showcased is enough to reveal everything.

It is located in the suburbs of Kampala city – Kamwokya near Mulago hospital, the largest hospital in Uganda.

Visit Ngamba Island Chimp Sanctuary

Ngamba Island Chimpanzee sanctuary is located on an island on the waters of Lake Victoria. This island is part of Koome group of Islands. The sanctuary was mainly established to provide home to the rescued and uncared chimpanzee primates.

You can easily get there by boat cruise from Entebbe – Nakiwogo landing site. Once you reach there, you will engage in several activities including Chimpanzee feeding the most thrilling for kids.

Quad Biking

If you are looking out for a place to hone your quad biking skills in Uganda, Jinja is the best to go – the biking is usually done near the Bujjagali falls – You can let your kids feel the adventure while riding on four wheel. They also offer biking lessons to beginners.

Visit a shopping mall in Kampala

Kampala city and its suburbs consist of multiple malls that feature kid-friendly areas with play grounds, slides and more. Some of these malls include garden city, freedom city, acacia mall, Victoria mall and more.

 

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