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Africa

Mount Elgon National Park Uganda

The Mount Elgon Park is on the border of Uganda and Kenya with the extinct volcano being its significant feature. Mt. Elgon
Mount Elgon is an extinct volcano with the biggest surface field in the world at about {50km by 80km} and a caldera with a diameter of almost 8 km. The highest apex is Wagagai that stands at 4.321 m.
Mount Elgon lies sizably with each country, Uganda and Kenya claiming a good portion of the cake. The mountain which is in itself the park used to be called ‘Masaba’ by the local Bagisu community. Consequently “Elgon” is brought up after the Anglicisation of the Maasai “El Kony”. The best time to tour Mount Elgon is May and September, November and December.
Activities
There is a very adventurous Trekking around Mount Elgon that is full of fascinating feature and natural formation, Sasa, Sipi and Piswa trials are the most adventurous.
The full trekking circuit to the peaks takes about 6 days to complete. On your nature walk, you will experience various flora and, the enormous caves, gorges and hot springs. Particularly fascinating is the less laborious hike from Sipi trading centre to the Sipi Falls, a series of 4 waterfalls culminating in a 99m drop at an altitude of 1.775 m, along the river Sipi coming from mount Elgon.

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Africa

Murchison Falls National Park

The Murchison falls national park is in the Murchison conservation area which is about 5 .02 kilometres and it combined with Bugungu wildlife reserve, Karuma and Budongo forest in the southern part.
The Murchison conservation area in itself rounds up as the largest protected region in Uganda. The area has an elevation range which stretch from 619m at the delta on Lake Albert and at 1.292m at Rabongo hill. In the area, River Nile runs across from Lake Victoria and connects Lake Kyoga with Albert.
As in goes by name the Murchison national park is indeed a fully stocked game park. The park is identified after the miraculous falls on the river, which meets a constringe cleft in the Rift Valley Escarpment, then it is transmuted into a froth of thunderous whitewater, with no equivalence to any other site in East Africa.
The flora is defined by savanna, riverine forest and woodland.
Species: Murchison national park is rich with 76 mammal species. There a number of big animals like elephants, lions, leopard giraffes, spotted hyenas, kobs, bushbuck, waterbuck, oribi, and jackal. The list of birds counts 450 species.
Activities:
The park is convenient for to trips to viewing game. Starting from Paraa by the Nile up to the Murchison Falls (17 km), you are able to spot elephants, buffaloes, waterbuck, hippos, crocodiles, water birds similar cormorants, pelicans, herons, fish eagle, shoebill stork. Hike to “top of the falls”, to see closer from the top the charging and spectacular Murchison Falls.
Game drives north of river Nile and at Lake Albert Delta (Buligi, Albert and Queen’s tracks).
Sport fishing (Nile Perch and tiger fish), in the river Uganda National Parks Nile above and down the falls.
There is “Chimpanzee trekking” and birding in Budongo Forest and Kanyiyo Pabidi Forest Reserve.

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Africa

Kibale National Park

The Kibale national park is 795 kilometre squared and forms a joined block with Queen Elizabeth National park. It is one of the best destinations for chimpanzee trekking in Uganda with its beautiful and expansive tropical forest in Uganda provides home to more species of flora and fauna.
Kibale national park is habitat to much more forest wildlife, most especially 13 species of primate coupled with chimpanzees. The Forest covering predominates in the central and northern part of the park on the raised Fort Portal plateau. At the park’s northern tip, Kibale is highest on altitude and rises up to 1590m above sea level.
The park is famous for its different varied and large population of Primates in Africa. The most popular include the great chimpanzees and its acknowledged that Kibale has about 1450 chimpanzees. It also habours a rare species called L’Hoest’s monkey along with the colobus monkeys. There are large numbers of other primates which include blue monkeys, black and white colobus, red tailed monkey, bush baby and cheeked mangabey. The in the Kibale park wildlife is rare to be seen. The rare wild animals include leopard, bush pig, duiker, buffalo, and elephant. Other residents of the park are; bufferflies, reptiles along with amphibians.
The Kibale Flora and fauna has been supported by different factors such as the wet tropical forest that grows on the Fort Portal Plateau. The dry tropical forest, savannah, the woodland as well as the diverse altitude. The central part has a dense forest that is a habitant to many species. The trees are high with above 55m and show a semi-closed canopy of trees with crowns. The Uganda forest has a variety of herbs, ferns and about 315 tree species have been noted in the park.
The park is also rich with birds, this makes it important for bird watching as over 335 species of birds are found in Kibale. The few that are easily spotted are; Nahan’s francolin, Cassin’s spinetail, blue-headed bee eater and masked apalis.

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Africa

Kidepo Valley National Park

Kidepo Valley National Park lies in the rugged, semi arid valleys between Uganda’s borders with Sudan and Kenya, some 700km from Kampala. Gazetted as a national park in 1962, it has a profusion of big game and hosts large number of mammals. Kidepo valley national park lying in the north eastern part of Uganda means it’s more exclusive as its less developed and still kept with its natural taste. It is 1442 km2 in size, very expansive in the Karamoja region. The terrain is rough and it’s convenient only to fly there. Its altitude ranges between 914m to 2750 m above the sea level. Kidepo valley is largely covered savannah vegetation. It’s a region rich with many species of mammals, there are roughly over 86 mammal species which include; the elephants, giraffes, buffaloes, zebras, bush pig and predators including the black backed jackal, African hunting god, fox, cheetah, lions, leopards and so much more. In the kidepo valley about 17 antelope species have been recorded. It is also home to a number of bird species with more than 463 species of birds recorded in the region, including 56 raptors, like pygmy falcon, tawny eagle, secretary bird, vultures.
The kidepo valley has two Rivers which flows through that supports the wildlife during dry season shortly before drying up. These rivers are; Kidepo and Narus – which disappear in the dry season, leaving just pools for the wildlife Kidepo is Uganda’s most isolated national park and this provide it wildness to the wildlife untouched, if you are able to make it through the wild frontier region of Karamoja you would agree that it is also the most magnificent, for Kidepo ranks among Africa’s finest and breathtaking wildernesses. Through the heart of the Kidepo Park, a savannah landscape extends far beyond the gazetted area, towards horizons outlined by distant mountain ranges.
In the dry season is the best and convenient for game viewing as all animals will be around the permanent pools and swampy areas. Large numbers of mammals are found in wetlands and remnant pools in the broad Narus Valley near Apoka. These seasonal oases, combined with the open, savannah terrain, make the Narus Valley the park’s prime game viewing location

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Africa

Lake Mburo National park

Lake Mburo National park is approximately 260 kilometre squared in size and it’s very small when you compare with other East African parks. It falls in Mbarara District, with an altitude range from up to 1828m above sea level. It has mosaic habitants that are dry hillsides, rocky outcrops, bushy thickets, open and wooded savannas, forest, lakes and swamps – are home to a surprising diversity of flora and fauna.
The Lake Mburo National Park is named after the lake which falls in this territory which is Lake Mburo. There are 14 other lakes that form the wetland system of this National park. The park lies in the rain shadow between Lake Victoria and the Ruwenzori mountains. This situation enables it to receive an average of 800 mm of rain annually. Formally, this wetland system is linked by a swamp some 50 km long, fed by the Ruizi River on the western side. Five lakes, of which the larges is Lake Mburo, occur within the Park’s boundary. Almost a fifth of the Park’s area consists of wetlands – both seasonally flooded and permanent swamps. The various types of swamps are home to a wide variety of wetland birds, and the shy, rare sitatunga antelope. Lake Mburo’s surface and its fringing vegetation are always changing, and it is delightful to take a boat out and experience the lake’s moods.
This national park also hosts a variety of animals, with about 68 mammal species, including a large number of impalas (the antelope from which “Kampala” is named after). This are the major animals that are spotted and they include; zebras, Uganda kobs, duikers bushbucks, Ankole cattle topis, buffaloes, leopards, spotted hyenas, waterbucks, warthogs, oribi. There are also varieties of birds with more than 315 bird species, including, shoebill stork, red faced barbet, crested crane, papyrus yellow warbler. The savannah vegetation is rich with this species also to add to it we have Olea and Boscia.
Activities.
• There are also activities to be carried out in Lake Mburo national park. These include a Launch trip on Lake Mburo, to see hippos, crocodiles, cormorants, herons, fish eagle, pelicans, and many birds species.
• There are also Game drives that are done along the Park to see the animals (following the, Zebra, Impala, Lakeside tracks or Kazuma).
• Carrying out a very experiential and memorable Nature walks and bird watching for lovers of nature and wilderness tranquility.

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Africa

Queen Elizabeth National Park

The Queen Elizabeth national park lies in the western region of Uganda, it is spread through the districts of Kasese, Bundibugyo and Bushenyi, and Queen Elizabeth Park is well stretched with 1978km 2 in size. The park lies in a distance of 5-6 drive hours from Kampala on a surfaced road via Mbara. The park includes parts of Lakes Edward and George which are linked by Kazinga channel. The park is also accessed through the Ishasha sector, which is south of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park.
Queen Elizabeth National Park is a habitat to a lot of wildlife and over the years it has registered boastfully a number of animals, with roughly 95 mammal species. These mammals are diverse and mostly spotted are the big five. The elephants, lions, leopards, buffaloes and to add to this are the kobs, jackals and spotted hyenas. There are about 10 primate species in the park, the most notable with overwhelming numbers are the chimpanzees, velvet monkeys, blue monkeys, red tailed monkeys, black and white colobus and olive baboons. The birds flourish and are in abundance. There are a bout 606 species of birds in the park, perhaps the gamiest in any African National Park and in the world. The park has five levels of vegetation. Namely bushy grassland, Acacia woodland, Lakeshore or swamp vegetation along with forest grassland
Activities:
There are Safaris to Queen Elizabeth national park that entails for game viewing and study for naturalists and geographers. A game drive of rather spectacular trip can be launched from Mweya on Kazinga Channel for a marvelous wildlife feel and a very memorable experience in the jungle: notably there is ease to see hippos, crocodiles, buffaloes, elephants, bushbucks, warthog and a lot of water birds species. Game drives in Kasenyi Plains and in Ishasha, looking for the veritable lions climbing the fig’s trees. “Chimp tracking” in Kyambura Gorge and birdwatching safaris in Maramagambo Forest are just but important things to carry out when in Queen Elizabeth National park..

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Africa

Bwindi Impenetrable National Park

The popular Bwindi impenetrable national park lies to the southwestern part of Uganda on the peripheral of Albertine Rift which is the section of the Great Rift Valley. Its altitude ranges from 1190 to 2607 metres above sea level and more than have of the park at around 60% has an elevation of over 2000 metres which is 6600 feet. Rwamunyonyi hill on the eastern edge has the highest elevation of the park. This is a UNESCO – World heritage site with over 330 square kilometres of jungle forests with exclusive montane and lowland forest that is accessible only on foot.
The hillsides are covered by mist and blanketed by one of Uganda’s oldest and most biologically diverse rainforests that date back over 25,000 years and boasts of over 400 plant species. This is the genuine tropical rainforest that is one of a kind spreading across the steep y landscape and valleys of east Africa and central Africa. This is one of the richest ecosystems of Africa with diversity in species having been names depicting dark place equated to its thick and impenetrable nature of the packed rainforests.
Bwindi impenetrable park is home to 120 species of mammals, about 350 bird species, 220 species of butterflies, 27 species of frogs, chameleons, geckos and many endangered species. Bwindi is rich with flora with more that 1000 flowering plant species comprising of 163 tree species and 104 species of ferns. The northern sector which has the lowest altitude is rich in brown mahogany among other few that are endangered species.
Bwindi is one of the most spectacular rain forests in Africa in the of mammal diversity, supporting at least 120 known species. It contains about half of the world’s mountain gorillas (Gorilla beringei beringei; IUCN category ‘Endangered’.
It is also a special habitant for 11 species of primates, the most attraction that include Chimpanzee, the monkey varieties. The globally threatened primate is the Eastern Chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes schweinfurthi; Endangered). Bwindi also hosts Blue Monkey (Cercopithecus mitis), Red-tailed Monkey (Cercopithecus ascanius), Black and White Colobus Monkeys (Colobus guereza), and olive baboon. Specially, Bwindi is home to 360 Gorilla gorilla beringei*, a half of the total remaining world population. Mammals count only 30 (buffaloes, leopards, elephants).
The adjacent towns of Buhoma and Nkuringo both provides comfort stay in luxury lodges, rustic bandas and budget campsites, as well as modern restaurants, craft stalls and guiding services.
Activities
• While in Bwindi you can do Mountain biking that follows a well-maintained trail from the park headquarters at Buhoma to the Ivi River. Along this 13km trail you may see wildlife such as bushbucks, black-and-white colobus and red-tailed monkeys. This is also suits the birdwatchers as the varied habitats of forest means its ideal for a variety of birds with 350 species recorded including 23 endemics (90% of all Albertine Rift endemics)
• It is a humbling experience to stand just meters from Chimpanzee as they eat rest, play and bond with their young. Follow the mountain gorillas as they range freely in the impenetrable forest, and discover their gorgeous natural habital and the many species they share it with.
• With six main nature trails in Buhoma for those who wish to explore the “impenetrable forest”, including waterfall walks, forest walks, primate encounters, mountain views and impressive birdlife.
• There is also an opportunity to come close to the culture of the local Bakiga and Batwa communities through village walks, blacksmith visits, craft shops and vibrant dances

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Travel Tips

Tips to Travel Cheaply to Africa

Traveling away from your daily routine work is becoming more and more fun. Are you eager to travel but you thinks that you do not have enough cash for it? Many people are in this particular dilemma. There are many ways of breaking the norm and enjoying that particular safari or tour you have ever dreamed of.
Here are some tips that can help you travel cheaply
1. Available Promotional – If you have opted to stay in a hotel, there are many ways of making that budget more affordable. Look for hotels that are offering promotions online. Check for the best hotel but of good quality
2. Be Flexible with Dates: Some seasons are less expensive during the year than others; one can wait until the prices are more reasonable. Also you can wait until there is a promotion being launched. Sometimes check and request for weekend deals. You can also schedule your travel to a less popular travel time.
3. Stay in Hostels: Sometimes staying in hotels does not add value, if you are spending most of your time on a safari or doing outdoor activities. Hostels can come in handy for relaxation and storing your luggage. There are very good hostel in most destinations that offer quality accommodation.
4. Cost Sharing (Vehicle): if traveling to a destination or safari, it is sometimes advisable to join a group rather than traveling alone. Traveling alone will be a bit costly. If the vehicle is shared, the travel cost will be shared equally.
5. Value for Money: Select a hotel, guest house or hostel that offers value for money, if the prices are the same look for a hotel that offers free coffee/tea/water or internet.
6. Purchase goods in local market – if you would like to purchase a souvenir, the best place to get a good deal is to purchase at a local market. Bargain to get the best deal. Shop around for the prices of your desired souvenirs and then look for them in the local markets.
7. Eat Local Food: It is advisable to request for the local food, eating local food is cheaper than if you eat in international fast food and restaurant chains. Inquire where the local restaurants are and try out their menus.
8. Use Public Transportation: using public transport is way cheaper than using a taxi, inquire about the routes where your are traveling and carry a map.
9.Reusable Water Bottle: Instead of purchasing water from time to time, carry a bottle and fill it with water at the hotel or restaurant which has a dispenser in their lobbies
10.Consider a package deal – Sometimes it’s much cheaper in booking a safari as a full package. Shop around to see if you can get a better package.