Sunday, April 19, 2015

UGANDA Beats Rest of Africa to become the 2015 Zone V1 Africa Golf Champions

Team Uganda has won the annual golf championships in style taking six games in the last singles action round to edge record champions South Africa by a point to clinch their maiden title.

(New Vision Photo BY MICHAEL NSUBUGA) Uganda celebrates victory at the Africa Zone 6 tournament they hosted
(New Vision Photo BY MICHAEL NSUBUGA) Uganda celebrates victory at the Africa Zone 6 tournament they hosted.

The Ugandans become the third country to win Africa's premier golfing event behind South Africa and Kenya who won in 2010.Team Uganda captain Adolf Muhumuza opened the way for the Ugandan team after dispatching Kenyan Nelson Simwa (3&2) -3 up in the first match of the day before Happy Robert and Ronnie Bukenya won their games against Swaziland and Botswana opponents.

Henry Lujja and Lawrence Muhenda won their games against Malawi's Charles Kambalame (5&4) and Zambia's Simfukwe (1UP) respectively before Martin Ochaya sealed the deal against Namibia's Gabriel Shikodi (5&3)-5up.

Ronalt Otile and Robert Oluba were not lucky losing to"Our strategy was to play a regulation game because of the grown roughs; I have to say it now, because that is what our coach advised and I'm happy it has worked for us.

We are extremely happy for making our country proud," team captain Adolf Muhumuza said as he led team mates into celebrations.

Final standings - Uganda 18.5pts; South Africa 17.5; Zimbabwe 16.5; Kenya 15.5; Zambia 9.5; Swaziland 9.5; Botswana 8.5; Malawi 7.5; Namibia 5;

Friday, April 10, 2015

Rukina - Bwindi/ Ruhija’s head silverback gorilla (of Kyanguriro gorilla family) dies

RUKINA, the former dominant silverback in the Ruhiija sector based Kyaguriro family passed on, on Easter Monday April 6th,2015.

It is estimated that that Rukina was born around 1984. He was well identified as a group member of the Kyagurilo Group in the late 1990's when he was a young silverback.

It was at this time that he was named 'Rukina', meaning 'playful' in Rujiga, due to his playful nature as a young adult. He became the dominant silverback of the group in August of 2004, following a 3 year struggle for dominance over the previous dominant silverback (Zeus). Through genetic analysis of fecal samples, we confirmed that he sired his first offspring when he was still a subordinate male in 2002.
Overall, he likely sired 10 offspring, most of whom are currently still infants. During his 11 year tenure as the dominant silverback he attracted four females into his group from neighboring groups, attesting to his ability to be a good leader. He was a very tolerant silverback, spending a lot of time with the adult females as well as his many infants. At the time of his death, the group was at its largest size, containing 21 gorillas, including 8 adult females.


He contributed to the understanding of the ecology and social behavior of Bwindi mountain gorillas due to the focus of research on his group by the Max Planck Institute of Evolutionary Anthropology since 1998. He helped promote the plight of the critically endangered mountain gorillas around the world by being filmed for several documentary films including one by the BBC.


This group is now being led by Rukara the next Silverback. There was a great instability in the group from yesterday till today. However, in the afternoon the trackers noted some bit of calmness though this may take a bit of time before the group fully recovers from this unexpected shock. May his soul rest in peace

Mountain Gorilla Trekking Tour Packages in Rwanda and Uganda
3 days Uganda Gorilla tour
4 days Rwanda Gorilla Tour -
2 days Gorilla tracking Rwanda with tour price
3 day Gorilla tracking Rwanda with tour price
5 days Gorillas trek Rwanda and Safari in Queen Elizabeth National Park Uganda
5 days Rwanda, Uganda Gorillas
6 days gorilla tracking, wildlife safari
14 days Uganda Rwanda Safari
7 days Uganda Gorilla Safaris
9 days Gorillas, primates wildlife
8 days Uganda Gorilla Game safari
7 days Gorillas, chimpanzee, wildlife -

Friday, March 27, 2015

Uganda‬ is Safe, Calm and remains a Hospitable Country to visit

#‎Uganda‬ is Safe, Calm and remains a Hospitable Country to visit

International and some local media have carried stories to the effect that there are specific terror threats targeting Uganda and particularly Kampala Capital City.

In an emergency warning issued late Wednesday, the US mission in Kampala said it had "received information of possible terrorist threats to locations where Westerners, including US citizens, congregate in Kampala, and that an attack may take place soon" adding that some planned events had been cancelled at Kampala hotels. The US Embassy however, gave no further details.

Ugandan defence spokesman Paddy Ankunda said the warning was "absolutely" linked to the Al-Qaeda-backed Islamist's, who have carried out major attacks in Kampala in the past.

As you are all aware, Uganda is a key contributor to the African Union's AMISOM force battling the Al-Shabaab inside Somalia. However, the threat was "low level", added Ankunda.

Uganda alongside countries in the region, and others world over including the United States of America face the daily threat of terrorism from such groups as the Al Shabab and the Allied Democratic Forces, and have put in place effective counter terrorism measures, especially in Kampala – Uganda’s Capital and at other vital installations such as Entebbe International Airport so as to ensure that those groups do not succeed in their evil plans.

The Uganda Police, together with sister security agencies, continuously, and on a daily basis, focus on the threat of terrorism and evaluates whatever information relating to any possible attacks on the country.

As Uganda Tourism Board, we wish to reassure the public, especially the travelers to Uganda and in particular those visiting Kampala Capital City and Entebbe that there is no cause for alarm. Uganda, the Pearl of Africa is secure and out of any harm’s way. Our armed forces, police and intelligence are on full alert in all public places and tourist attractions to ensure that tourists continue enjoying our pristine destination.

However, even with this reassurance, Uganda Tourism Board asks for vigilance, and advises that you report any suspicious items lying in any premises, any suspicious individuals and activities to the nearest police station, security officer, or Local Council official.

For more information please contact

Uganda Tourism Board
Plot 42, Windsor Crescent, Kololo
Tel: +256 414 342 196/7 or Fax: +256 414 342 188
E: utb@tourismuganda.info

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Comparing Gorilla Trekking Tours In 2015 : Uganda Vs Rwanda – Compare prices, tracking experience, hardness,etc

Comparison of 2015 Gorilla Tracking in Uganda and Uganda – Which is the best place to do a gorilla trek – Uganda or Rwanda? Which is more viable or cheaper: Bwindi or Volcanoes National Park, Which is more easy to access, Is tracking Rwanda better than Uganda?
 
 
Call it gorilla trekking or tracking or whatever, but it’s one of those really thrilling, lifetime experiences you should take time for before you leave planet earth. 
 
The exhilaration attached to the first setting eyes on a wild mountain gorilla is difficult to describe. discount-gorilla-permits-ugYet in the same sense, that magical one hour spent with the gorillas does not come cheaply considering that a permit goes for US$750 in Rwanda and $600 in Uganda – but it is unusual to find someone who regretted the financial outlay.
 
Only 8 persons can visit a given gorilla family per day. In Uganda, ten families have been habituated in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest NP, and so can host 80 persons tacking the mountain gorillas on any day.  
Rwanda can also take 80 persons per day. All else being equal, Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park has a slight edge over the rest because its gorillas are the most wholly habituated, and they are often found in bamboo than the dense forest which makes photographing easier.

The major challenge with tracking gorillas in Rwanda is certainly the price of the gorilla permit at US$750 compared to Uganda’s US$600 per permit. However, Rwanda’s pride is in the ability for one to do the gorilla trek even in one day and fly back home which is impossible for Uganda. Volcanoes National Park is located 116 km from Kigali and can be driven in just 2 hours. On the other hand, Bwindi is located 500 km from Kampala/ Entebbe Airport and a drive can take 8 hours plus. In that sense, you will spend at least 3 days for your gorilla trek tour – one travelling to Bwindi, another doing the gorilla trek, and the other driving back to Kampala/Entebbe. If a tour operator is making you a tour package, they shall definitely have to consider this cost and include it in your tour cost.
 
 
However, the long drive to Bwindi is quite enchanting with great sceneries all through like the Equator, Lake Mburo National Park ( for some Queen Elizabeth National Park with abundant wildlife), terraced mountains with flowing rivers, and a lot of rural Africa. This is not so really the case for the drive from Kigali to Volcanoes National Park.
Some tourists have also opted for flying over from Entebbe to towns near to Bwindi (Kihihi and Kisoro) to track the gorillas. A round flight ticket costs $250 with AeroLink Uganda. In that case you will need to arrange your transfer from the airstrip to Bwindi, and back as well. (Talk to our preferred agents for assistance to organise this please).
 
You will certainly need spend more on transport and time to track the mountain gorillas in Uganda than it’s for Rwanda although this cost is compensated for by a cheaper gorilla permit.
 
Besides, some sections of the roads to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park are not so comfortable to drive on yet in the case of Rwanda, you drive on smooth tarmac at least up to the Volcanoes National Park head office. Not to mention though, the roads leading from Volcanoes park office to the gorilla trek trail-heads can only be accessed with a raised 4x4 vehicle.
 
 
help_booking_gorilla_treks
 
Comparison of The Gorilla Trekking ExperienceA tree climbing lion perched in a fig in Queen Elizabeth Natonal Park along the way to Bwindi
Rwanda-SACOLA-traditional-dancers-perfom-before-gorilla-trackingIn general, the experience can only be different due to the way a particular gorilla family behaves in front of the trackers, how long and tough one has to track before reaching the gorillas and the way the park staff conduct the exercise. Personally, I found the Rwanda gorilla tracking package more charming that the Ugandan one on the tracking day. Should we say that this’ because of the gorilla permit price difference? Anyways, on your gorilla tracking day in Rwanda, you will definitely get more than that. At about 7:00 AM, tea/ coffee dispensers with cups are laid for visitors going for the trek. You are free to take as much as you wish. As visitors are enjoying the tea/ coffee, they are entertained by the lively traditional dance troupe (SACOLA Traditional Dancers) who bring on a wholesome Rwanda traditional cultural experience all visitors enjoy.

Of course you can get this in Uganda in evenings (at a fee) from the various traditional cultural groups that are near the park. However, the drive from Kampala to Bwindi is a very fabulous one traversing at least another national park (either Kibale or Queen Elizabeth National Park famous for tree climbing lions and many other big mammals, or Lake Mburo National Park) and not to miss- the Equator. In a way, even before you arrive Bwindi you have had a bit of the ‘Pearl of Africa’ as is fondly known. To many, driving along paved eucalyptus avenues to the gorillas in not the best deal. Indeed many to purchase tour packages combining both Rwanda and Uganda, first doing Gorillas in Rwanda and then crossing to Uganda to visit Queen Elizabeth National Park for the BIG 5 safaris and chimpanzee tracking among other tours.
 
Lets compare the tour costs in general.
Because of the long drive one endures from Kampala to Bwindi, the general cost is increased (even when you travel by public buses). It even increases more because you have to travel 2 days (to and from Bwindi). However, the increased cost is countered by the low cost gorilla permit of US$600 ($350 in April and May, November 2015). A low budget 3 days gorilla trek tour in Uganda goes for about $1250 (with gorilla permit, accommodation, and transport). The two days Rwanda gorilla trek costs about $1220 ( with gorilla permit, accommodation, and transport) and a three days Rwanda gorilla tracking tour costs is about $1280 (with gorilla permit, accommodation, and transport) . Costs samples got from Gorillas and Wildlife Safaris website effective Jan 2015.
 
Other things in addition to the actual gorilla tracking
Lastly, if you are not travelling just to see the mountain gorilla, and you want to include other activities in your visit, Rwanda may not be the best choice. Many tourists have continually had to cross to Uganda after their Rwanda gorilla trek to tour other reserves like Queen Elizabeth National Parks so endowed with abundant wildlife one cannot see in Rwanda. This is why probably folks continue enduring the long drives to Bwindi yet there is an easy way out.
 
At the end of the day – the ultimate jury are those who are looking as to which country to visit in order to track Gorillas – it is not Rwanda, not Uganda, not the Democratic Republic of Congo but where their pockets and hearts choose. If you precisely want the mountain gorillas and nothing else, go for a one-day gorilla trek but if you are a one who wants it and all of it, go for the long drive – you won’t regret…

Have you been on a gorilla trek in Rwanda or Uganda? What was your experience? What have you had about tracking gorillas in Rwanda Vs Uganda? Let me hear you views.
from the Rwanda/Uganda border post in Chanika - ivan.

Related articles:
My mountain gorilla tracking experience in Bwindi's Oruzogo gorilla family
How To Book Gorilla tracking & Trek Permits in Uganda and Rwanda
Affordable Private Road Transfers to Bwindi
Uganda Cuts Gorilla Trek Permit Prices to $350
Mountain Gorillas Aside, Why Does Earth need Bwindi so badly?

Mountain Gorilla Trekking Tour Packages in Rwanda and Uganda
3 days Uganda Gorilla tour
4 days Rwanda Gorilla Tour -
2 days Gorilla tracking Rwanda with tour price
3 day Gorilla tracking Rwanda with tour price
5 days Gorillas trek Rwanda and Safari in Queen Elizabeth National Park Uganda
5 days Rwanda, Uganda Gorillas
6 days gorilla tracking, wildlife safari
14 days Uganda Rwanda Safari
7 days Uganda Gorilla Safaris
9 days Gorillas, primates wildlife
8 days Uganda Gorilla Game safari
7 days Gorillas, chimpanzee, wildlife -


 

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Tourism Visa fees for foreigner residents in Uganda, Rwanda, Kenya Waived

Rwanda, Kenya and Uganda have waived visa fees for foreign residents to allow easy access to the region’s diverse tourism experience.

According to Yamina Karitanyi, the Rwanda Development Board’s Head of Department for Tourism and Conservation, the waiver was agreed on under the Northern Corridor Integration projects initiative.

Known as the East Africa Tourist Visa (EATV), foreign residents nolonger have to pay the $100 fee for the visa that is valid for 90 days effective December 15, 2014.

Karitanyi, said the waiver on the single East Africa Tourist Visa was the next step in consolidating and enriching the region’s tourism potential.

“We are approaching the rest of the world as a unified and rich tourist destination with varied experiences for travellers. We are also positioning East Africa’s tourism assets collectively as part of the Northern Corridor Integration Projects,” Karitanyi said at the weekend.

She added that joint marketing programmes will be carried out annually and will cover road shows such as the International Tourism Board (ITB) and World Travel Market (WTM) in 2015.

She pointed out that going forward, the partner states will lobby for a single stand during international tourism marketing events.

Outlining the modalities of implementation, Karitanyi said eligible foreign residents shall be issued with inter state pass on exiting the host state and visitor’s pass endorsed in their passports on arrival by presenting valid work/resident permits.

Other immigration procedures and regulations will, however, be maintained.

In preparing for the joint marketing programmes, she noted that the partner states were already gearing up the teams involved by conducting destination training workshops and disseminating information on the use of national identity cards, student/voters cards and the East Africa Tourist Visa.

Uganda Tourism Board’s Chief Executive Officer Stephen Asiimwe, said the development will bring exponential benefits to foreign residents living in the region.

“Our countries have a rich tourist menu on offer; from serene beaches, to pristine wildlife and nature, exquisite reserves, to hospitable people. It is the place to visit. Our products are inexhaustible and this waiver offers our region the best place to live and work. We encourage this community to be a part of the endless discovery, encounter and adventure of the best tourism episode of Africa at the least affordable price,” Asiimwe said.

“We encourage the private sector to take advantage of this opportunity to offer unbeatable packages while maximising win-win offers.”

According to Kenya Tourism Board (KTB) Managing Director, Muriithi Ndegwa, this gives an opportunity to foreign residents in the three Partner States to explore the immense diversity of wildlife, landscapes, culture, and heritage, among other renowned attractions either for weekend gateways, corporate retreats or annual family holidays.

The just concluded 8th Northern Corridor Integration Summit attended by Presidents; Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya, Paul Kagame, and Yoweri Museveni of Uganda, held in Nairobi last week, also directed Rwanda’s Minister of Infrastructure to convene a meeting of Airline Industry stakeholders and finalise negotiations on the 5th Freedom Traffic Rights on Entebbe-Nairobi-Juba-Nairobi meant to address outstanding issues to reduce the cost of air travel in the region and report to the next Summit that will be held in Kigali.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Uganda 2015 April May Gorilla Trek Permit Prices Reduced to $350 (special promotion)

The Uganda Wildlife Authority has cut all gorilla tracking permits prices in Bwindi for the month of April and May 2015. For promotional gorilla tracking tour packages please visit www.gorillasandwildlifesafaris.com  and remember to ask for this discount to be passed on to you when booking your gorilla tour for April/May 2015..
 
The discounted prices apply to gorilla tracking permits for April and May 2015.
Prices for gorilla trek permits go as per the following tourist types:
 
Foreign Non-residents = $350
Foreign Residents to $250
Ugandans - 100000 UGX

Industry observers have see this move as an intention by to draw more tourists to the gorillas in the low season months to Uganda, more especially the Ugandans.

However, Rwanda has maintained the gorilla tracking permit price at $750 and there seems to be no hope of reviewing this price in the near future in consideration of the low tourist seasons. We have in the passed documented comparisons in gorilla trekking experiences and costs in Rwanda Vs Uganda.

Mountain gorillas are only found in DRC, Rwanda, and Uganda and the total number for this critically endangered species is estimated at 780. Almost half of these are believed to be in Uganda’s Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, the rest leaving in the Virungas (Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park, Uganda’s Mgahinga Gorilla National Park and Congo’s Virunga National Park).

Because of the insecurity in parts of DR Congo, it is only safe to track mountain gorillas either in Rwanda Volcanoes National Park or Uganda’s Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. Mgahinga’s gorillas are quite unreliable as they keep crossing borders, which makes tracking them uncertain. The experience offered by the three parks is broadly similar, so the biggest factor now determining where you go is either the cost or availability of the gorilla permit.
Only 8 persons can visit a given gorilla family per day. In Uganda, ten families have been habituated in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest NP, nine of which are available for tracking and one is dedicated to research thus making the total permits available per day 77 gorilla families. Rwanda can only take 56 persons per day.

To claim you cut off the gorilla tour price please send an email to info@gorillasandwildlifesafaris.com or visit the website  (http://www.gorillasandwildlifesafaris.com) and ask for reduction in gorilla tour price to reflect this discount.

See you on trek!
 
 
 
Related articles:
Comparing Gorilla Trekking Tours : Uganda Vs Rwanda – Compare prices, experience, hardness,etc
My mountain gorilla tracking experience in Bwindi's Oruzogo gorilla family
How To Book Gorilla tracking & Trek Permits in Uganda and Rwanda
Uganda Cuts Gorilla Trek Permit Prices to $350
Mountain Gorillas Aside, Why Does Earth need Bwindi so badly?

Mountain Gorilla Trekking Tour Packages in Rwanda and Uganda
3 days Uganda Gorilla tour
4 days Rwanda Gorilla Tour -
2 days Gorilla tracking Rwanda with tour price
3 day Gorilla tracking Rwanda with tour price
5 days Gorillas trek Rwanda and Safari in Queen Elizabeth National Park Uganda
5 days Rwanda, Uganda Gorillas
6 days gorilla tracking, wildlife safari
14 days Uganda Rwanda Safari
7 days Uganda Gorilla Safaris
9 days Gorillas, primates wildlife
8 days Uganda Gorilla Game safari
7 days Gorillas, chimpanzee, wildlife -

 

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Rwanda now screening visitors from USA, Spain too for Ebola

Rwanda now screening visitors from USA, Spain too for Ebola

The Rwanda ministry of Health has issued health safety guidelines to incoming passengers from Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone, USA and Spain or traveled to those countries in the last 22 days.

The passengers are to call a toll free line (114) on a daily basis to report about their health status for the duration of their stay in the country or for 21 days if they are to stay longer.

Spain recorded deaths of two missionary priests who separately contracted Ebola in Sierra Leona and Liberia. However the Spanish nursing assistant who worked on them successfully recovered from the virus.

USA has recorded one death, two confirmed infections of two nurses while more than 100 are being tracked.

More than 45,000 have died of Ebola in Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Nigeria (yesterday declared Ebola-free).

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