Uganda Named 3rd Best Birding Destination In Africa By Nature Travel Network

If in the long run you plan on visiting several other African countries as well, 12 days Uganda birding safari here is enough to generate the essential Ugandan birds (Shoebill, the Albertine Rift endemics, Green-breasted Pitta, etc.) plus mammals (especially Mountain Gorillas and Chimps but the country also has magnificent Colobus Monkeys and more). Even 19 days in Uganda would certainly not be wasted!

In this little country called “The Pearl of Africa” you’ll find the people fluent in English and even friendlier than in other parts of Africa, and you’ll also see the Albertine (or Western) Rift, Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, the source of the Nile at Jinja, Africa’s biggest lake (Victoria) and vast Papyrus Swamps inhabited by Shoebill, a monstrous birds placed by some authorities in its own order because it’s so different from any other species on earth.

Explore the Wilderness of Pian Upe Wildlife Reserve Uganda

When it comes to tourism destinations in Uganda, Pian Upe Wildlife Reserve stands out as one of the unique wildlife reserve. With Uganda’s affluence of attractions, a single visit to Pian Upe wildlife Reserve is not enough for one to ascertain the disclosures this reserve offers.

This natural treasure is a conservation area in the Karamoja sub-region of northeastern Uganda and it is regarded as the second largest conservation protected area in Uganda after Murchison Falls. The southern part of the reserve was gazetted as Dabasien Animal Sanctuary in 1958, a government-led project to convert land just south of River Girik meant for agriculture that was threatening the viability of wildlife conservation in the entire area. In 1964, the area expanded northward and was renamed Pian Upe Wildlife Reserve.

Pian Upe wildlife reserve slots up among the most amazing wildlife reserves in Uganda also doubling as a habitat to different extinct species of wildlife which has made the reserve a major destination for tourists who wish to spend wildernesses encounters while on Uganda Safaris.

Touring Pian Upe means exploring the second widest protected area in Uganda after Murchison falls National Park. Situated in Karamoja region, Pian Upe wildlife reserve sits on approximately 2800 sq km making it one of the biggest wildlife reserves in the country. This wildlife reserve is not so far away from Kidepo Valley National Park and Mount Elgon National Park (The home of Sipi Falls) implicating choosing either parks as destination for your Uganda safari will definitely increase your chances of touring Pian Upe wildlife reserve.

Some of the wildlife in Pian Upe reserve include: giraffes, lions, leopards, Zebras, buffaloes plus more wildlife. The reserve is also a good place for Uganda birding safaris considering the array of the amazing bird species that reside in the reserve. Some of the birds include: the Ostrich, the Jackson’s Hornbill, the white-headed buffalo-weaver plus more. These birds can best be viewed in a swamp called Loporokocho.

Leave along the amazing species of birds in the reserve, the wildlife reserve also harbors various species of primate like the vervet monkey and the extinct olive baboons. The existence of these primates makes it possible to view different species of wildlife at the reserve. Pian Upe is also shelters several of the rock pythons and Savannah monitors (largest lizards).

Want to adventure Pian Upe wildlife reserve and enjoy a Uganda wildlife safari? You are just steps away from having your trip started. Simply inquire with us via info@travel256.com or call us on +256701367970.

The Silverback Mountain Gorillas in Uganda

Silverback gorillas live high in the mountains in two protected parks in Africa. They are also referred to as mountain gorillas. Silverback gorillas continually wander through their home ranges of 10 to 15 square miles, feeding and resting throughout the day. Because gorillas are nomadic, they build new nests each day at dusk, constructing them out of bent branches in a tree or of grasses on the ground. Silverback gorillas have long black hair and their thick, shaggy coats help to keep them warm in cold climates. Adult male mountain gorillas are called Silverbacks because of the silver saddle of hair on their backs. Mountain gorillas have a stocky build, with a broad chest, long, muscular arms and wide feet and hands. Their arms are longer than their legs. Gorillas live in groups. Each gorilla family has a silverback as leader who scares away other animals by standing erect on its hind legs, tearing  up and throwing plants, drumming on the chest with its hands or fists, stamping its feet, striking the ground with its palms and galloping in a mock attack on all fours!

Silverback Gorillas are around six feet tall – about the height of an adult male – while females are around five feet tall. Silverback gorillas weigh approximately 350 pounds- about twice the weight of normal adult man.  Gorillas are herbivores, and eat only plants. They spend most of their day foraging for food and eating bamboo and leafy plants

Silverback gorillas were not even known to exist until 1902.Today, their habitat is being destroyed when people use the land for farming and the trees for fuel. Gorillas are also killed by poachers and sometimes get caught in poacher’s snares meant for other animals. The Silverback Gorilla is the most endangered species of Gorilla and can only be found in the Virunga Region in Eastern Africa (Uganda, Rwanda and Congo).

Mountain Gorilla Tracking in Uganda is a lifetime experience. Contact Kisoro Tours today to arrange your gorilla tour, send us an inquiry  via info@kisorotours.com or call us on +256701367970.

Rwanda Increases Gorilla Permits Tariffs 2017

The Rwanda Development Board on 6th May 2017 announced an increase in the price of Gorilla Permits from US$ 750 to US $1,500 for all visitors effective immediately. A new exclusive package for tourists who wish to book an entire family of gorillas was also introduced at US$ 15,000, and will receive exclusive personalized tour guide services. The Gorilla price increase will not affect tourists who had already purchased their tickets at the time of this announcement (that is before 6th May 2017).

Tourists who visit other Rwanda national parks  namely Nyungwe and Akagera National Park for a minimum of three days, in addition to gorilla trekking will receive a discount of 30%. Similarly, conference tourists, who stay pre or post conference dates to track gorillas will be eligible for a 15% discount.

In line with Rwanda’s high-end tourism strategy, the price increase aims to strengthen conservation efforts and contribute more to the development of communities living around the Volcanoes National Park.

Along with the new gorilla tariff in Rwanda, the tourism revenue sharing rate for communities adjacent to the park, will also increase from 5% to 10%, which will quadruple the absolute revenues received by the surrounding communities. Over the last 12 years, more than 400 community projects have been completed including hospitals, schools, business development centers and water supply systems to facilitate access to clean water. These projects directly benefit the people living around the parks.

The Chief Executive Officer at Development Board, Ms. Clare Akamanzi said: “Gorilla trekking is a highly unique experience. We have raised the price of permits in order to ensure sustainability of conservation initiatives and enhance visitors’ experience. We also want to make sure that the communities living near the park area receive a bigger share of tourism revenues to fund development projects and empower them economically.”

New, high-end lodges are opening in Musanze and plans are underway to improve visitors’ experience at Kinigi, including renovation of the information center to equip it with modern offices and tourism services such as conservation education, children’s learning space as well as digital facilities.

Mountain gorillas are an endangered species with only around 880 remaining in the world. Of those in in the Virunga Massif, Rwanda accounts for 62% of the gorilla population. Stringent conservation measures have significantly contributed to a rise in gorilla numbers. There are currently 20 families habituated for tourism and research in Rwanda, up from just 9 families in 2010.

Note: Uganda Gorilla permits tariffs are have not changed and are still at US $600.

For more information and inquiries about gorilla tracking in Africa, please send us an email via info@travel256.com or call us on +256701367970.

The UNESCO World Heritage Sites In Uganda

The Kasubi Royal Tombs and two of Uganda’s national parks are recognized by UNESCO as World Heritage Sites: the Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and the Rwenzori Mountains National Park.

The Kasubi Royal Tombs: The Unesco World Heritage-listed Kasubi Royal Tombs are of great significance to the Buganda kingdom as the burial place of its kings and royal family. The huge thatched-roof palace was originally built in 1882 as the palace of Kabaka Mutesa I, before being converted into his tomb following his death two years later. The tombs were destroyed in an arson attack in March 2010, however, and are still being rebuilt, with no end to the work in sight at present. Outside, forming a ring around the main section of the compound are the homes (fortunately not damaged by the fire) of the families of the widows of former kabaka (kings). Royal family members are buried amid the trees out the back, and the whole place has the distinct feel of a small rural village.

Bwindi Impenetrable National Park: Located at the junction of the plains and mountain forests, Bwindi Impenetrable National Park has been described by UNESCO as “an isolated forest of outstanding biological richness”. This ancient forest contains more than 160 species of trees and over 100 species of ferns – and more famously, almost half the world’s mountain gorillas. As it is surrounded by one of the most densely populated rural areas in Africa, community benefits arising from gorilla tracking and other sustainable tourism initiatives may be the only hope for the future conservation of this precious site.

Rwenzori Mountains National Park: The National Park comprises the main part of the Rwenzori mountains chain, which includes Africa’s third highest peak at 5109m above sea level. The combination of spectacular snow-capped peaks, glaciers, V-shaped valleys, fast flowing rivers with magnificent waterfalls, clear blue lakes and unique flora contributes to the area’s exceptional natural beauty. The mountains support the richest montane flora in Africa, encompassing the charismatic giant lobelias, groundsels, and giant heathers which have been called “Africa’s botanical big game”.

Incorporate all these Unesco World Heritage sites in your trip to Africa for an ultimate Uganda tour and safari. For inquiries contact us via info@travel256.com or call us on +256 701 367970.