Friday, August 31, 2012

Uganda Tourism Earnings shoot to $805m (Ush2, 000b)

Uganda’s foreign exchange earnings from tourism have increased from $662m (about sh1,655b) to $805m (about sh2,012.5b) over the last one year, the outgoing tourism minister, Prof. Ephraim Kamuntu, has said.

Kamuntu also said the contribution of tourism to Uganda’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) had increased from 7.6% in May last year to 9.2% today.

Kamuntu, now water and environment minister, revealed this while handing over office to the new tourism minister, Maria Mutagamba, on Wednesday. Mutagamba has been water and environment minister for close to 12 years.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Number of UK tourists to Uganda soars

The number of tourists coming to Uganda from the UK and Ireland has surpassed previous years’ records despite the recent Ebola outbreak. 

A statement from the Uganda High Commission in London said there were increased applications for Uganda immigration entry visas averaging about 50 applications per day. The peak was in May-June when applications reached the 80 per day mark.
Buffaloes in Queen Elizabeth National Park

The outgoing High Commissioner, Joan Rwabyomere, attributed this to the prevailing peace in the country and the distinctive attraction of Uganda as a tourist destination arising out of the variety of its game stock and its unspoilt scenic beauty.
 She noted that the tourism industry had grown enormously in Uganda with clearly visible features including improved service delivery, facilities and awareness.

Uganda generally has substantial natural resources for tourism with a variety of landscape and ecosystems, climates and cultures.

Rwabyomere added that the Uganda Mission had the capacity to process the high numbers of applications.

 Individual and group applications are processed in one working day with collection being on the next day between 11:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. Applications received through the Post take up to a week to be processed.

Tourism in Uganda is an important generator of foreign exchange, high-end employment, and investment.
 According to the World Economic Forum, the sector contributed over shs1.5 trillion ($660m), 8 per cent contribution to Gross Domestic Product in 2010. 
Mountain gorilla tracking is one major tourist attraction in Uganda

The Government has therefore encouraged increased investment in tourism, particularly in travel, accommodation and related facilities because this enhances tourists' experience in the country.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Uganda Ebola Outbreak Under Control - World Health Organisation

 The World Health Organization has said that authorities are halting the spread of Ebola.
Joaquim Saweka, the WHO representative in Uganda, told reporters in Kampala that everyone known to have had contact with Ebola victims has been isolated.

Health officials have created an "Ebola contact list" with names of people who had even the slightest contact with those who contracted Ebola. The list now bears 176 names.

"The structure put in place is more than adequate," Saweka said. "We are isolating the suspected or confirmed cases."

Ebola was confirmed in Uganda on July 28, several days after a few people died in a remote corner of western Uganda. At least 16 Ugandans have died of the disease.

Saweka said that organizations such as Doctors Without Borders and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are helping Ugandan officials to control the spread of Ebola.

This is the fourth outbreak of Ebola in Uganda since 2000, when the disease killed 224 people and left hundreds more traumatized in northern Uganda.

Ebola is highly infectious and kills quickly. The disease was first reported in 1976 in Congo and is named for the river where it was recognized, according to the CDC.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Black-and-white colobus is an endangered monkey

Today I discuss you about Black and white colobus species. This type of monkey is found in high altitude tropical forests in Uganda like Kibale, Bwindi, and Budongo.

I think you do not have an idea what it is. Ok here let me tell you, the Black-and-white colobus animals are found in Africa, often in tropical rainforests. 
This species provide important functions in their ecosystems, comnsuming plant matter and serving as prey for various mammals as leopards, bird of prey, and reptiles. It is one of the most endangered species of African primates and the king colobus also is considered to be highly endangered. 

Uganda's black and white colobus -
It is very arboreal and jumps long distance between branches. As for the size of this species, it is a small with a U-shaped mantle of long white fur that descends from its shoulders and around its back. The average body mass for an adult male abyssinian black-and-white colobus monkey is around 14.5 kilograms and for the female it is around 6.2 kilograms. This is a sexually dimorphic species. The tail of this animals is long and white colored. The infants are born all white then start turning at about 3 months. As for their diet, they are strictly leaf-eaters and spend most of their time in treetops, preferring to eat the tender young leaves found there. 

Saturday, August 4, 2012

A Visit to Uganda Changes Everything

Adopted from the
Written by 

To say that my trip to Uganda was life-changing would be too simplistic. After traveling from California half way around the world to meet our sponsored families face to face, it's difficult to express just how much the experience has changed our lives.

Our entire family is passionate about the children we sponsor, but only one of us could go and visit. Thanks to a mobile phone, Skype and my iPad, I was able to take my family with me and also connect our sponsored children to my family back home. By posting photos, short videos and updates to Facebook during the week, I was also able to bring along all of the other ChildFund sponsors who were following the trip.

Now that I'm back from Uganda, my family has begun re-evaluating our entire lifestyle. The abundance that surrounds us has been hard to accept -- from adjusting the temperature of my house so that I can be more comfortable, to getting a glass of water for my son because he's thirsty. The luxuries that my family takes for granted remind me of how much we have, how much more we could share and how much more I could be doing to help.

Our easy access to water compared to the lack of access that is commonplace among our sponsored families and the people of their communities is a subject that plays on my mind. There was a moment in Uganda when our team was inspecting area water sources. It was overwhelming to see the mass of women and children gathered at the "bore hole" to pump water into plastic containers to carry back to their homes. During our travels, I saw these containers stacked several high on motorcycles, transported by bicycle and carried on the heads of little children.

Seeing the vessels being filled, people taking turns, children holding children, was heartbreaking and heartwarming. I didn't just see their struggle. I witnessed their work ethic and the cooperation that existed among family members and the community at large. I just felt sad that there wasn't more I could do. I was given a chance to try my hand at pumping. At the onset, it seemed pretty simple, but the longer I pumped, the heavier and harder it became, and the more tedious. For many, this is a daily or twice-daily chore.

Later we visited a nearly dried-up spring where villagers scoop up water with small pitchers to pour into larger containers. We happened on a little boy who had just finished filling his plastic jugs. He was not big enough to carry them and was preparing to pull them on a plastic makeshift sled along the trail to his village. The boy was 6 or 7 years old, and when I looked at him, I thought of my own children. As he started to pull his sled, one of the containers tipped. I scooped up the jug, grabbed the other as well, and just started walking. I couldn't change the world, but I could make this little guy's day a little easier. He looked at me, startled, and I pointed over to where I thought he was heading. Through the field, over the hill, around the bushes...I was surprised by the distance to Maxwell's home.

The exciting thing about this chance meeting was that I knew my sister-in-law's family wanted to sponsor another child, but were waiting until I got back, just in case I found someone. I had the enormous pleasure of meeting Maxwell's mother and telling her that we had found a sponsor for her little girl. The joy and love I saw in this mother's eyes as she ran into her hut to get her child's enrollment information and number was just overwhelming.

There's a popular story that my family likes to tell about a man who comes upon thousands of starfish washed up on the beach, slowly dying out of reach of the water. He is tossing them one at a time back into the water, when another man walks by and tells him that he can't possibly save them all. The man bends down, and picks up another starfish and says in reply, "No, but I can save this one."

3 Days Uganda Gorilla Trek 
6 Days Gorilla and Wildlife Safari Uganda
7 Days Uganda Wildife and Gorilla Safari
Budget, Luxury Car hire Uganda, Kampala

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Surviving in Kampala - How people live in Uganda's Capital city

The first time I tried to use that popular saying ‘Kampala sibizimbe’ (Kampala isn't just the towers), I got it wrong. I said Kampala sizimbe, much to the amusement of my mean relatives. 

Things are hard and you’ve got to be creative to survive. My version of ‘sizimbe’ also works, if you open your mind up a little but you know, whatever. 

I like people who hustle. Let me rephrase that for honesty. I like men who hustle. I’m pretty ambitious myself (although not as rabidly as say, two years ago) because I’ve already realised my childhood dream; which was to write in the same ‘paper area’ as Ernest Bazanye. 

If you’re my age (and as sharp as I am), your mind started to flower just about when he started writing, so you can understand how glorious and unattainable that goal seemed to me. Whatever hustling that had to be done for me to achieve it got done and now I’m relaxing a bit.

Give me a man with good hustle-sense and you can keep the dowry. Dowry exists mostly to show a girl’s parents that the family she is marrying into can take care of her in as grand a way as she’s accustomed to or even grander.

If he can chase deals and dream up businesses, he’s a good enough substitute. I’m supportive of every kind of hustle until it infringes on my own. If, for example, I were in a hurry to get to a meeting on the other side of town, I wouldn’t expect my boda man to behave the way my friend Roger did. 

I would react with a lot of annoyance in fact. Roger once flagged down a boda to take him from Greenland Towers to Kamwokya. He hadn’t even finished stating the amount he was willing to pay when the man started riding at a high speed.

It is only when they reached Wandegeya that he turned and asked,“Mpozzi where are you going?” When Roger said Kamwokya, he killed the engine and told him to get off. 
Eyo sigendayo. Asked why he’d allowed him to board in the first place, the man replied:
“They beat people at that Greenland stage! If you stop nga you don’t belong there? I stopped for you because banange, Kampala sibizimbe. I also need money!”

And it’s not only boda types that have taken hustling to insane levels. Even not so desperate people with steady allowances are capable of hitting you over the head with the silliest schemes. My cousin once tried to sell drinking water to members of the household.
He took the jerry cans off the dining table and held them hostage, smiling smugly at everybody who came from the kitchen with a cup. He demanded a sum, any sum the thirsty person was willing to pay. Later, he tried to pretend that he’d been trying to teach us life lessons, to make us really think about capitalism and how it has turned humanity’s most basic of needs into a thing to be exchanged for money, but we were on to him.

Tiny children and their mothers flooded Kampala’s streets a few years ago. No longer contented with just chasing after you in the hope of making a few hundred shillings, they threaten. Some say they’ll spit, and others even wave handfuls of feces in your direction, to inspire your generosity. 

This is terrible, but also impressive. They’ve turned begging into an art, a real hustle.
Adopted from the New Vision

Rwanda searches for six families of endangered mountain gorillas

The gorillas have not been spotted since fighting erupted three months ago.

The regular army has been battling a mutiny in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, where lies part of the Virunga Massif that is home to the world’s largest community of mountain gorillas.

The park’s director Emmanuel de Merode said in a statement that the army and the so-called M23 rebels had allowed the rangers to launch search operations for the missing primates in rebel-held territory.

“On Tuesday 24 July, a team of 45 rangers will begin a multi-day operation to find and monitor the condition of six mountain gorilla families, some which have not been seen for over 10 weeks,” the statement said.

“We are delighted and relieved that all sides in the conflict have recognised the need to protect Congo’s only mountain gorillas,” de Merode said.

The Virunga volcanoes conservation area straddles DR Congo, Rwanda and Uganda and is home to 480 of the world’s 790 remaining mountain gorillas. Their cause was made famous by US zoologist Dian Fossey, who was murdered in 1985.

The danger of extinction facing the mountain gorillas, whose natural habitat is threatened by expanding human settlements, is increased by chronic conflict and poaching.

“After locating the gorilla families, the park’s gorilla monitoring teams will individually identify each member of the family,” the statement said.

“Their health status will also be assessed as mountain gorillas are particularly vulnerable to disease,” it added.

Former rebels named after the failed March 23, 2009 peace deal which saw them integrate the Congolese army defected this year and regrouped in the Virunga before launching an attack on towns in the eastern Nord-Kivu region.

With Kinshasa and Kigali trading accusations of backing eachother’s rebels and weeks of conflict displacing hundreds of thousands of civilians since April, DR Congo and Rwanda agreed to the principle of an international force monitoring their border.