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Meet the 19 Endangered Primates of Uganda

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Mountain Gorilla

List of primates and apes with mountain gorillas, chimpanzees and monkeys which can be encountered in Uganda, several of primate species visitors in the Pearl of Africa can track for experiential happenstances on their safari to different forest and savannahs parks. In every protected area of Uganda there are chances of encountering the at least three primate species.

The natural biodiversity of the pearl of Africa including varying vegetation dominated by tropical rain forest and the savanna shelter numbers of primate species which some are endemic to certain forests. Some common primate forests of Uganda include the Bwindi impenetrable forest and Mgahinga gorilla forest are known for the famous mountain gorillas, Kibale forest, Budongo forest are premier for chimpanzees, other forest like Buhoma, Mabira and many forest reserves are common sighting of several primate species.

Mountain Gorillas

Endemic species to the great western Albertine rift valley in areas of Bwindi impenetrable national park and Virunga conservation areas including Mgahinga gorilla park in Uganda. The mountain gorillas are the known as physically largest primate species and tops the list of attraction in Uganda, the most safari adventure that no visitor in the country would wish to miss on their travel list in Uganda. Gorillas live in families of unlimited members which are led by lead by the dominate silverback, they make nest each diurnal to spend their night whenever the night gets them.

Mountain gorillas are the world most endangered species and the world has about 1000 mountain gorillas where Uganda shares almost half of the population in the two gorilla parks. Uganda has about 20 habituated gorilla families meaning 160 trekking permits available daily. To encounter the mountain gorillas, a single permit to trek cost US$600 but the price is to rise to US$700 come July 2020. Due to competitiveness of the activities it’s advisable to book your gorilla permit in advance through at least three month before your probable date for the gorilla safari.

Mountain gorillas are very conscious to nature that they can’t be kept in zoo. Scientifically it has been found that mountain gorillas share about 98% of human DNA. However the gorillas have a very weak immune system that even a simple cold cough can cause their death. There is a gorilla trekking etiquette set by the Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) to ensure safety of the gorillas from trekkers.

Chimpanzees

The second large primates after the mountain gorillas, in Uganda there different destination where you can encounter chimpanzees and Kibale national park premier the chimps tracking destinations which is estimated to have about 1500 population and other 13 primate species found here. Chimpanzee tracking adventure is most likely to gorilla adventures always combined safaris and sometimes an alternative to visitors who can’t afford the cost of gorilla permit.

Uganda has about 5000 chimpanzees that can be tracked in altered forests where they are found, in Uganda you can have an hour with the chimps or spend four hours for the habituation process. These primate are very prominent creatures together with the mountain gorilla and most popular African adventures.

Golden monkey

The endangered species endemic to Albertine rift valley regions of the Virunga conservation. In Uganda golden monkeys are only found in the rolling bamboos of Mgahinga gorilla national park and here golden monkeys co-exist with the mountain gorillas. Baptizing Mgahinga gorilla national park where the silver meets with gold, encountering golden monkeys living in harmony with the silverbacks.

Mgahinga has two habituated golden monkey families for trekking and here trackers can involve in the shorter tracking experience or the longer hours experiential tracking adventure. Trekker visiting the park have a golden chance to trekker the gorilla little cousins co-existing in the jungle.

Olive Baboons

The olive baboons are quit common primate species that can be encountered in most of the rainforest, olive baboons also known as anibus baboons are the third larger primate species most ranging and is found in 25 countries and in east Africa can be encountered in Uganda, Tanzania. Olive baboon is the common seen among all primates in Uganda rainforests of Mgahinga, Bwindi, Kibale, Kyambura, the slopes of Rwenzori Mountains and almost in all national parks and some game reserves.

Mangebay

The black and greyish monkeys with a shaggy appearance always inhabit in the low altitude rainforests. Uganda has two types of mongabey including grey cheeked Mangebay (Lalbigena) and Ugandan Mangebay, The Ugandan Mangebay species (lophocebus Ugandae) one of the world old specie endemic in Uganda only.

Mangebay in Uganda can be encountered in the forest of Kibale national park, Semuliki national park and Mabira forest. Uganda Mangebay are being habituated for tracking and one the attractive activity to do at Mabira forest Uganda’s known biggest forest reserve.

Colobus monkeys

Colobus monkeys is subdivided into two including the black and white colobus monkey.

The red tailed monkeys locally known as (engeya). They have a red tail and red caped hairy with black face. It’s named red tailed monkey after its red colored tail also characterized with white nose, these primate the male can fight restless to defend their families against any intuders.

The black and white colobus monkeys is one primate species with no thumbs and this makes them vulnerable to accidents especially during high jumping. The babies are born white and change within the period of three month, the monkeys can be located along the forest edges as they seek for their most preferred young leaves. The species is one of the most common primate found in Uganda.

L’Hoest Monkey

Also known as the mountain monkeys (cercopithecus lhoesti), largely found in the mountains Albertine rift valleys. This monkey specie rarely found and can encountered in the forest of KIbale and the mountainous forest of southwestern Uganda and they prefer to reside in think forest of the montane areas. They live in groups, very shy species, they were listed on the IUCN of Vulnerable species.

Patas Monkey

Also known as wadi monkey or husser monkey (Erythrocebus patas) known for residing in the semi-arid places of western Africa and east Africa. The species live in troops of about 30 individuals and are commonly living in the savannah park of Uganda including Kidepo valley national parks, pian Upe and Murchison falls national park.

Pottos Monkeys

Sometimes called the tree or bush bears (perodicticus potto) they are nocturnal tree dwellers which are softly slowly moving African tropical primate. The primate is thought of being so sensitive to potential predators and when comes across one of them they stuck their heads in their hands. The primate can encountered in the forests Bwindi Impenetrable national park and Queen Elizabeth national park.

The blue monkey

They are also referred to as the cercopithecus mitis belong to the ancestry world old monkey found in the east and western section of Africa. It’s among the impressive African monkeys to watch when on a Uganda adventure.

The blue monkeys in Uganda are not all that blue as the name states only covered on the face with blue like hair but are grey or olive hairy covered, the male can weigh to about 8kg and females are lighter to about 4kg and in Uganda blue monkeys are more appealable at Kibale national park.

8 Tips for Hiking the Rwenzori Mountains

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Rwenzori Mountains

Mountaineering trips are the most adventurous holidays found allover the world but the level of hardship that it entails is much appreciated after the reach of the peak. This was the live experience rwenzori trekkers face when climbing Rwenzori Mountains in Western Uganda.

The difficulty and enjoyment of hiking depends on where you plan to take your feet. But no matter where you go, there are things that never change: the safety measures you have to observe and the standard rules you have to monitor. While on your Rwenzori trip there are some things you should and shouldn’t do.

Do not bring valuables

There is no shopping mall out in the Rwenzori Mountains. And definitely, there is no need to flaunt any jewelry to the trees and plants out there. Never bring your wallet, jewelries, and other valuable items on a hiking trip because when they get lost, you might have to spend more time faced-down looking for your lost items than seeing the beautiful views Rwenzori has to offer and enjoying the trip.

Do not pack more than you should have

Carrying a heavy bag on the hike is tiring enough so make sure that you do not carry too many things when you go hiking to these great mountains. Pack clothes enough to last for the whole trip. Bring only the things that you know you are going to use. All the excess items should be left at home or in your hotel room. For the hike, you have to travel as light as you can.

Plan your hiking trip

Being safe while on any tour starts with a right plan. Schedule your hiking trip months before your anticipated date so that you have adequate time to prepare. Identify a hiking site that is right for your skill. If it is your first time, read informative articles about hiking in the Rwenzori and the things you need during the trip. Take time go over the safety precautions posted by your hiking site. If you plan to spend overnight in the mountains, make sure that you have everything you need to survive the trip. Plan your itineraries carefully. As for the Rwenzori trek, you will always be in the company of guides who are there to help you in case of any uncertainties.

Know the weather forecast

Either you plan to go for a day hiking trip or you want to spend your nights outdoor, it is very, very important to watch the news and listen the weather forecast of the location of your hiking trip. Rwenzori trek is an all year round activity but the best time to trek is in the drier seasons. Called “the rain maker” by the locals, Rain may still be expected during these months but not as much as during the wet seasons. This will give you a good head start on what to type of weather condition to expect and provide you with the right information as to what equipment to bring.

Do wear proper clothing

You must wear the right clothes depending on the season. During summer, a long-sleeved shirt, long pants, closed-toe shoes with hard soles, and a hat are appropriate. No sandals, shorts or capri pants. During cold weather, wear jacket, sweaters, wool shirt, thermal-style underwear, and layered clothing will keep you protected from the chill.

Do anticipate the rain

Weather changes unpredictably in the Rwenzori, rain can be expected any time. Most of the time, you will never know if it is going to rain or not. So, be prepared! Bring waterproof clothes and windproof gear on your trip.

Bring proper equipment

Make sure you have the right equipment before you start the trek in the mountains. For those going to Margarita, make sure you crampons, ice axe, harness, ropes and helmet. Utility tools should be the number one equipment on your list of “what to bring”. Also, do not forget flashlight and batteries even if you don’t intend to spend the night outdoor. A portable gas stove is recommended if you plan to cook your food.

Do enjoy your hiking trip

Bring a set of binoculars, a camera or a video camera to capture you moments during the hiking trip.

Safety on Hikes

While on any hiking safari in Uganda, always make sure that you are safe. Ensuring that you are safe during your trip is an essential consideration and you should always work with a tour operator who can guarantee safe hikes. Always communicate with the operator about your fitness levels, challenges and healthy issues. If you feel, you cannot make it to the peak, be free to advise the guides since life is precious!

10 Things to Know About Semuliki National Park

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Semuliki National Park is one of the less known national parks in Uganda. It is situated in Bwamba County, a remote part of the Bundibugyo District, in western Uganda. The park covers 220km² and lies at an altitude of 670-760m above sea level. Here are some quick facts that you probably don’t know about Semuliki National Park. These facts will inspire you and make you not to miss this interesting destination while on a safari in Uganda, the Pearl of Africa;

1. Semuliki National Park is both savanna and forest. According to Uganda Parks, it was first gazetted as a Forest Reserve in 1932. The forest is part of the vast Ituri Forest of the Democratic Republic of Congo. This is the reason why the park hosts a good number of forest animals including chimpanzees, forest elephants etc.

2. Semuliki National Park was upgraded to status of a national park in 1993. This makes it to be among the newest parks in Uganda.

3. It is the only tract of true lowland tropical forest in East Africa, hosting 441 recorded bird species and 53 mammals. This largely forested park represents the easternmost limit of the great Ituri Forest of the Congo Basin and contains numerous species associated with central rather than eastern Africa.

4. Semuliki is one of the richest areas of floral and fauna diversity in Africa, with bird species being especially diverse.

5. The largest part of Semliki National Park can flood during rainy season so; the best time to visit the park is the dry season. The low lying park lies on the rift’s sinking floor, most of it just 670m above sea level. Large areas may flood during the wet seasons; brief reminders of the time when the entire valley lay at the bottom of a lake for 7 million years.

6. The park is dominated by the easternmost extension of the great Ituri Forest of the Congo Basin. This is one of Africa’s most ancient forests. During the dry conditions of the last ice age, 12-18,000 years ago, most of Africa’s forests shrank and disappeared. Only a few patches like Semuliki and Bwindi survived, protecting forest species during the arid apocalypse until they could eventually emerge to recolonise a better, wetter world.

7. Semuliki is one of Africa’s most biodiverse forests and is particularly noted for its varied bird population. It is one of the best paradises of birds and the common birds found include: Congo Serpent Eagle, Long-tailed Hawk, Nkulengu Rail, Black-wattled Hornbill and Lyre-tailed Honey guide.

8. Semliki National Park has geothermal hot springs at Sempaya is not very scenic. This is the most popular attraction of the park. Hot springs bubble up from the depths beneath Sempaya to demonstrate the powerful subterranean forces that have been shaping the rift valley during the last 14 million years.

9. The park is a sanctuary for night moving animals like Buff-spotted Flufftail and African Wood Owl.  Visitors who are interested in nocturnal watch, Semliki National Park is a must visit. This is the reason as to why night safaris were first conducted in Semuliki Forest.

10. You can enjoy authentic cultural experiences during your safari. Four distinct ethnic groups live near the park – Bwamba farmers live along the base of the Rwenzori while the Bakonjo cultivate the mountain slopes. Batuku cattle keepers inhabit on the open plains and Batwa pygmies, traditionally hunter gathers, live on the edge of the forest. The Batwa (Pygmy) community that lives on the edge of the park originated from the Ituri.

Best Places Where to See Lions in Uganda

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Tree Lion in Ishasha

Planning for a Uganda Safari Holiday can be interesting and a bit challenging if not handled with care and selecting the best things to see on the safari holiday. Uganda being among the top destination for watching the lions on ground and the tree climbing lions in Queen Elizabeth National Park.
A Uganda Wildlife Safari can be tailored to reward you with the chance of Spotting the Lions during game drive or Lion Experiential watching that is always the 4 Hours staying with the lions and learning about their way of Life , its only possible in Queen Elizabeth National Park.

Drive through Game Reserves and National parks of Uganda to View the tree climbing lions and Ground Lions during the wildlife safari adventure tour in Africa. During the Game drives the driver/guide  drives  closer than you ever imagined to majestic birds and animals .Find the complete Guide of Lion Watching & Viewing National Parks in Uganda once on a Wildlife Safari Holiday.

Kidepo National Park

Situated along the Sudanese and Kenyan border in the far distant north Eastern part of Uganda, Kidepo National Park is regarded as one of the world’s best wildernesses due to the fact that whoever goes there will feel like they are home and own the entire park to themselves. The park has a consistently growing population of lions hence being a very prominent place to spot them as well as learn more about their diverse character. If you are on a safari holiday in Uganda, transfer to the magnificent Kidepo National Park to spot the King of the beasts enjoying his habitat through hunting, ruling and nurturing his cubs. There are also tree climbing lions in the park which will add an extra touch/ encounter to your safari.

Queen Elizabeth National Park

Lions in the vast Queen Elizabeth National Park located in the Albertine Rift Valley in the western part of Uganda close to the beautiful Great Rwenzori Mountains can be found in the northern part of the park around the Kasenyi Plains. Since they are nocturnal animals and early risers, one has to track them in the early mornings. However, you can opt to join the Lion Tracking Research with the Uganda Carnivore Project who leave very early in the morning to track the King of the jungle so as to get to know various traits about him. The process will take 1-3 hours twice a day in groups of very few people so as to protect the lions and not obstruct the work of the researchers. In case you want to track them, this should be booked/ reserved before your arrival and the park should be included in your itinerary. In the southern part of the park is the prominent Ishasha sector which includes the tree climbing lions that will make your safari very exceptional due to the remarkable photos you will take to keep for future generation. Visit Queen Elizabeth National Park for extraordinary Lion encounters in Uganda.

Murchison Falls National Park

Strategically located in an ideal place with the magnificent River Nile, Murchison Falls National Park is one of the top destinations in Uganda to spot a pride of lions hunting, leading and nurturing their cubs. These are usually spotted while on Game Drive around the vast beautiful park especially in the early mornings due to the fact that these are early risers. Additionally, this is the one destination where you will have a chance to spot Africa’s Big Five after visiting the Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary in Masindi Town.

Chimpanzee Habituation in Uganda

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Kibale Chimpanzee

If you are a primate enthusiast and you wish to spend more time with wild chimpanzees while on safari in Africa then Chimpanzee Habituation Experience (CHEX) is remarkably the best alternative. To take part in this thrilling primate safari experience, Uganda is one exceptional country you need to consider a must on your bucket list.

While on Uganda safari, the best place for you to visit for this extra-ordinary experience is Kibale Forest National Park which is located in western Uganda. This park is a true capital of primates in the world. It comprises of about 13 primate species including chimpanzees that make up about 1500 individuals out of over 5000 that thrive in Uganda, the black and white colobus monkeys, olive baboons, red tailed monkeys, Vervet monkeys a mention but a few. Besides, it also inhabits numerous mammal species like elephants and not to forget several bird species including the African green breasted pitta.

Chimpanzee Habituation Experience is a whole day primate adventure while you look out for semi habituated chimpanzees and you spend 4 solid hours on magical encounter with these creatures while also taking their photos, learning more about their daily behavior. The fact that it is the entire day primate experience, you will need packed lunch and enough drinking water. This experience is usually done by researchers, conservationists, scientists and trackers. To be part of this amazing adventure, you need secure chimpanzee habituation experience permit which costs $220 per person and you spend the entire day with these exceptional primates. The cost covers the researchers, UWA park guide and others. You can obtain one through a recognized, registered ground tour operator or through reservation department at Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) whose headquarters are based in Kampala. To habituate chimpanzees, it takes a process and this normally lasts for about 2 or even more years.

The cost of Chimpanzee Habituation Experience

This is a unique experience and it is a bit costly compared to the usual chimpanzee tracking. For chimpanzee tracking, you need $150 to secure yourself a permit and for habituation experience you will need $200. To avoid disappointments, you need to book your permit early enough. This will help you have an organized safari and for any need of assistance, simply contact our reservation. Besides booking permits, we can also reserve for you that accommodation of your choice; arrange transport and all logistics involved in making your safari a lifetime experience.

This is one of the rarest experiences you need not to miss to be part of. Today, Uganda offers refuge to over 5000 chimpanzees and in Kibale Forest National Park more than 1500 of them thrive in its tropical rain forest. There are also other significant sites where you can catch a glimpse at these unique creatures and they include Budongo forest reserve in Murchison Falls National Park and Budongo forest is also an ideal place for chimpanzee habituation experience, Kyambura Gorge in Queen Elizabeth National Park. Habituation is entirely getting chimpanzees get used to human presence and this process takes about two years.

When is it best for you to go for Chimpanzee Habituation Experience?

Chimpanzee Habituation Experience can be done at any time of the year but it is ideal in the months of March, April, May, November and this is usually regarded as the low season. During this period, there are fewer people hence less crowds offering you great moment with these amazing creatures.

In conclusion, chimpanzee habituation experience is one of a kind primate adventure that you shouldn’t miss to take part while on Uganda safari. Chimpanzee habituation experience is a process of making wild chimpanzees to get used to human presence. If you heading to Kibale National Park for your vacation count it a must on your bucket list and you won’t regret in life.

Top 5 Amazing Waterfalls in Uganda

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Murchison Falls Uganda

We live in a wonderful world full of beauty, charm and adventure but in Africa, Uganda is outstanding destination with a lot to enjoy and explore all around. The presence of several rivers and waterfalls makes it superb for travelers to engage in most exciting adventures which the entire East African region offers. Apart from wildlife, birds, primates, landscape, mountains, lakes,  waterfalls are one of Uganda’s best-kept nature gems attracting many tourists to just be close. Tourists visiting Uganda for the first time need to have a perfect itinerary in order to get the happiest pleasing experience in every place they visit.

There are many amazing water adventures to explore in this majestic country and one gets the firsthand experience on water as they discover the beautiful scenery with in the waterfall, surrounding lake, rocks and islands. Like a blink of an eye, vegetation’s, and water sound welcome you every time you approach a place with a water fall and getting closer makes you get immersed in nature as the cool exotic winds wave saying thanks for coming. Among the many reasons for visiting Uganda, water adventures is one of them because the country has many lakes, rivers, and waterfalls. Even in terms of other tourist activities, Uganda has a lot to offer including mountain gorilla tracking, chimpanzee trekking, wildlife viewing, bird watching, mountain climbing, cultural excursions etc.

Uganda being a destination that attracts all kinds of travelers in Africa, the country has something for everyone. Visitors to Uganda can enjoy safari experiences in different parts of the country especially Western and Eastern.

1. Murchison Falls

One can go partying with loved ones, enter several forests on different adventures but nothing is better than cruising in the mighty falls of Murchison. Beyond doubt it’s the fall in Uganda where one can explore the country’s beauty on a relaxed safari holiday through a savanna national park. One of the best ways to witness the fascinating Murchison falls is taking on a boat cruise upstream from Paraa and get impressive front view of the falls a must see for every guest to the park.

Murchison Falls in North Western Uganda

The 2 hour boat takes you upstream giving you the best view of these mighty falls, probably the most scenic waterfalls along the Nile river, the world’s second longest river. During the cruise, you will see a great range of flora and fauna including the Nile crocodiles basking in the sun, hippos, and other wildlife coming for a drink of the Nile waters. (Citation: Murchison Falls Park Travel Guide)

#Other Cruises
Uganda offers other exciting boat cruise tours in other parks like Queen Elizabeth on the magical Kazinga channel,Itanda falls famous for Uganda white water rafting, lake Mburo boat cruise,source of the Nile boat trips with the outstanding sunset cruise,lake Victoria boat tour etc.

2. Sipi Falls

The Sipi falls in the western side of mountain Elgon are among the most visited in Uganda. These falls are found in Kapchorwa District, Northeast of Sironko and Mbale town. They are composed of a series of three tall waterfalls all plunging their waters over the slopes of Mount Elgon (the fourth highest peaks of Africa).

Sipi Falls in Uganda

3. Sezibwa falls
The Sezibwa Falls are the most interesting! These waterfalls are formed when the River Sezibwa known locally as a “human born river” flows over rocks. The falls are found in present Buikwe District (former part of Mukono District). A day trip to these falls is possible from Kampala, the capital of Uganda.

Sezibwa Falls

The falls are revered by the Baganda Community and are managed by the Buganda Kingdom. The Baganda People attach alot of dos and donts to the falls, and this is a great place to learn about the culture of the Baganda People. (Citations: Buganda Tourism)

4. Kyabirwa falls,

5. Aruu Falls

These waterfalls are formed by the River Nile. They are found at Aruu in Pader District in Northern Uganda.

Aruu Falls

Karuma falls

Interested in waterbased attractions? Don’t even miss out visiting Uganda’s beautiful islands of Lake Bunyonyi and Ssese for ample relaxation and fun. Spare 3-7 days minimum to enjoy a safari in Uganda and explore the country’s best parks and adventures during your Africa visit. It doesn’t matter if you looking at visiting multiple destinations across the region find the most fitting itinerary with Uganda inclusive.

The Tree Climbing Lions of Ishasha

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Ishasha Tree Climbing Lion

Never heard of the tree-climbing lions of the Queen Elizabeth national park in Uganda? It is high time you visited this magical place!

Located in Western Uganda, the popular Queen Elizabeth national park was gazetted in 1952 as Kazinga channel national park and it was later renamed in 1954 to commemorate the visit by her majesty Queen Elizabeth II. Famous for Lake Edward formerly known as Rutanzige or Edward Nyanza and Lake George formerly known as Lake Dweru, Queen Elizabeth has over 95 mammal species including elephants, buffaloes, hippos, lions and leopards that are occasionally seen, lots of antelopes and hogs. Kazinga channel—a natural channel that connects two famous rift valley lakes acts as a drinking point for most of the animals in the park giving tourists a chance to view lots of wildlife during the boat cruise along the 32kms long channel.

From a rewarding boat cruise and Kasenyi game drive in the northern sector of the park dominated by savannah grasslands and small patches of savannah woodlands teeming up with lions favorite—the Uganda kobs, Water bucks, wart hogs, giant forest hogs, buffalos, elephants, lions and sometimes leopards, head on to the southern sector of the park Ishasha legendary for tree climbing lions.

The famous tree-climbing lions of the Ishasha sector are found in large fig trees in the remote southern extremity of the park. These tree-dwelling lions prey on the Topi, Uganda Kob, and (if feeling confident!) Cape buffalo which grazes Ishasha’s beautiful acacia studded savanna.

Ishasha is 124kms from Mweya Safari Lodge so the return excursion takes the greater part of a day. It is however ideally placed for a visit on a safari holiday in Uganda that involves tours through the western circuit. The Ishasha is the gateway to the Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, the home to the endangered mountain gorillas.

Personally, I have had of only two places in the world with tree climbing lions including Lake Manyara which is situated in Northern Tanzania and Ishasha Southern sector of Queen Elizabeth NP in Uganda however I have experienced one magical place that I feel proud to say that it is the best place to view these jungle kings. Ishasha has the highest percentage to see tree climbing lions as they can comfortably relax in a single branched fig tree for up to 7 hours.

When visiting Ishasha, look out for the lions in big fig trees which are accessed by small demarcated tracks which increase the luck to find them. Our experienced guides know where the lions have been sighted in their recent trips which help spotting them as well.

Lions are not supposed to climb trees, or at least that’s what I had believed until I came across three adult lions; two females and one male up in a tree one sunny afternoon, a few kilometers from Ishasha main gate—Katookye in Uganda’s Queen Elizabeth National Park. They had clambered up, appearing comfortably resting on fig branches as they spot their surroundings.

In a company of two visitors in my land cruiser safari truck, we decided to spend around two hours watching them to get to know their next program. They seemed comfortably resting in fig than on the ground as they rotated from one branch to another. They eventually doze off, eyes pinched tight in quiet content, oblivious to the attention of humans attracted by their interesting behavior. We had our packed lunches from here and we were only limited by time leaving them resting after 3 hours.

We enjoyed the spectacular views of the extensive savannah on our way out teaming up with large herds of buffalo’s, Uganda Kobs, elephants and Topis. Ishasha sector is strategically located along the road to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park which makes it a good place for the enroute game drive when going to catch up with the mountain gorilla tracking the following day.

The Unique African Big Seven Animals of Uganda

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The King of the Jungle

A safari in Africa is one of the best adventure experiences, one should not miss in a lifetime. Amongst the many destinations in Africa, a Uganda safari is one of the top most ranked as per the Lonely Planet. Though Uganda is most known for gorilla trekking, the big five safari is worthy taking while touring this beautiful natural country! The big 5 includes Lions, Leopards, Elephants, Cape Buffalo, Rhinos Plus Africa’s Best in Uganda comprising of the Mountain Gorillas, Chimpanzees the Forest Elephants and Forest Buffalos

The Big 5 was established by the Big Game Hunters in another time, big 5 was not just the size of the animals but the difficulty of hunting them. Nowadays the term is used by Tourism companies as well as Safari travelers to Africa and usually the only hunting is with a camera.

Uganda tourism offers travelers not only the Big Five, but also two unique primates that you will not find elsewhere in the world. These are the endangered mountain gorillas and the chimpanzees, some of the closest evolution descendants of man! A safari to see these primates and the “traditional big five” is such a unique safari experience that you will only enjoy in the Pearl of Africa.

1. The Lions in Uganda: Known as the King of the Animals is found in several Uganda national parks including, Murchison Falls National Park, Queen Elizabeth National Park home to the tree climbing lions in the Ishasha area of Queen Elizabeth National Park and a few found in the remote Kidepo Valley National Park and Semuliki National Park. There have also been sighted in Lake Mburo National Park and the lion is the most sought Big 5.

2. Leopards in Uganda: The leopards are found in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park, Queen Elizabeth National Park, Kibale Forest National Park, Lake Mburo National Park, Murchison Falls National Park, Kidepo Valley National Park and Mount Elgon National Park. The leopards are mostly nocturnal, but touriats can take a nocturnal Game Drive at Queen Elizabeth Park and might spot some or during an early game drive in some of the above parks.

3. The Buffalos: Tourists can find the Cape Buffalo and also the smaller more reddish Forest Buffalos here in Uganda. They are quite powerful and can be found in many of Uganda’s national parks such Lake Mburo Park, Murchison Falls Park, Queen Elizabeth Parkand Kidepo Valley Park. The Buffalos are strong animals and no wonder was included on the list of the Bog 5.

4. Elephants of Uganda: Uganda comprises of both the savannah Elephants and the Forest Elephants which look bit smaller and hairier than the savannah cousins and you can find them in many Uganda National Parks and various settings such as the savannahs and in near forests. Elephants of the savannah or Forest variety can be found in all National Parks except Lake Mburo. The best parks to see Elephants includes the Murchison Falls National Park, Kidepo Valley National Parkand Queen Elizabeth National Park.

5. Rhinos

To be able to see Rhinos, they are found in Zziwa Rhino Reserve on the way to Murchison Falls National Park where you can see most of the big 5.

6. The Mountain Gorillas in Uganda: These are normally skipped out of the list of the big 5, the Mountain Gorillas are sought out by thousands each year and its featured attraction since it is the only East African country where you can find not only the Mountain Gorillas but a diversity of other African wildlife such as the Big Five. They are found in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest and Mgahinga National Park.

7. Chimpanzees in Uganda: There are lots of chimpanzees found in Uganda and best park to track them is the Kibale Forest. A dense rainforest and a perfect habitat with more primates than any other place in East Africa. Tourists can also track chimpanzees in Budongo Forest near Murchison Falls, at the Kyambura Gorge at Queen Elizabeth Park and Semiliki Park. You can also partake in a habituation project for chimpanzee that will last all day long.

Another habitat for Chimpanzees is Ngamba Chimpanzee Island where orphaned Chimpanzees can seen close and actual interaction with chimpanzees can be arranged. Don’t miss out on the Chimpanzees of Uganda.

To get more information about Uganda attractions, check out the Uganda Tourist Sites a destination guide to Uganda!

Gaaga Bus Knocks Elephant Dead

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Eight people have been admitted to hospital in critical condition after a speeding Gaaga bus they were traveling in, knocked dead an elephant in the Murchison Falls National Park in North Eastern Uganda.

This nasty accident occurred on Wednesday night at about 11:40pm in a location called Got Apwoyo Sub-county in Nwoya District, Northern Uganda.

The accident happened a few metres from Pakwach Bridge on the Karuma- Pakwach Highway.

The elephant which was crossing the Karuma-Pakwach highway from Murchison Falls National Park was knocked dead by a speeding bus that belong to Gaga Bus.

Mr. Twaha Karim, the bus driver, was among the people who were injured and rushed to Arua Hospital and Pakwach Hospital.

5 Top Visited National Parks in Uganda

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Backpacking Uganda

Uganda has 10 protected areas that are gazetted as national parks. With an additional 12 game reserves, these protected areas attract a considerable number of tourists who go on Uganda safaris most especially wildlife safaris, gorilla watching expeditions, chimpanzee tracking etc. Of these, here are the top 5 national parks in Uganda.

Kidepo Valley National Park

Kidepo Valley National park is one of the remote unvisited ordinary places in Uganda and one of the reasons could be that it is very far away from Kampala the capital city. It lies in the semi-arid areas of Karamoja. It is one of Uganda’s prime most remote but spectacular National Parks that harbors scenery not found in any other park in East Africa. Kidepo valley National Park offers breathtaking, savannah landscapes that give off a wide range of climatic conditions that have enabled extremely diverse vegetation. This has enabled the growth of a variety of animal species in the park that are equally abundant including many not found anywhere else in Uganda.

This park is a birders’ paradise with over 475 bird species. It has an open tree savannah grass land which varies much in structure and composition. Kidepo National Park has proven a life time memory to great birders, internationally due to her endless list of unique birds she has to offer.

Murchison Falls National Park

Murchison Falls National Park lies at the northern end of the Albertine Rift Valley, where the Bunyoro escarpment tumbles into vast, palm-dotted savanna. The park is bisected by the Victoria Nile, which plunges 45m over the remnant rift valley wall, creating the dramatic Murchison Falls, the centerpiece of the park and the final event in an 80km stretch of rapids. The Park is composed of woodland, wetland, savannah as well as tropical forest.

The park hosts 76 species of mammals including four of the “Big Five”, with huge herds of buffaloes and elephants, well-camouflaged leopards, a large population of lions and giraffes. Other species viewed regularly along the game tracks include Jackson’s hartebeest, bushbucks, Uganda kob, waterbucks and warthogs. Resident crocodiles and hippos as well as other, wildlife is found along the Nile river.

The most spectacular view of watching the waterfall is moving towards the top where the sight and sound of the Nile crashing make a memorable experience. Below the falls, the Nile offers an opportunity for one to come across distinct birdlife, including savannah forest birds, water birds and Albertine on a boat launch cruise.

Bwindi impenetrable National Park

Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park is unbelievable due to its biodiversity and Relief in south western Uganda. The forest is very significant as a home to almost half of the population of the endangered mountain gorillas. Things you should never miss out while in the park include;

Gorilla tracking, is the major activity carried out in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest. Many people are interested in tracking the habituated families of the gorillas in the four sectors of Buhoma and Nkuringo being the best interesting gorilla tracking area, Ruhija and Rushaga. A maximum of 8 people are allowed to track each gorilla family at any given time in order to conserve their natural habitat and keep them safe from infections. The duration of the trek depends on the family allocated in each sector.

The park also has a number of community and forest treks. One can trek around on his or her own but security and safety you need to consult guides for clear advise about the route you are about to take. Some treks require hiking especially those to Muyanga water fall that departs from Buhoma, Rushura Hill walk that passes through one forest shared by two countries.

Queen Elizabeth National Park

The park has a variety of Flora and Fauna and it’s acknowledged to be a habitat for over 95 mammal species with about 612 species of birds. The various species in this park have made it a unique park most liked by tourists. It has five levels of vegetation namely Bushy grassland, Acacia woodland, Swamp vegetation along with Forest grassland. The grasslands of the park inhabit wildlife such as Cape buffalo, Uganda kob, waterbuck, warthlog, lion, leopard, hyena, giant forest hog as well as Elephants. Topis can only be discovered in Ishasha and Forest primates are found in Kyambura gorge in addition to Maramagambo forest.

The park has a variety of flora and fauna and it is acknowledged to be a habitat for over 95 mammal species with over 612 species of birds. More so, the shores of the lake attract a large concentration of mammals as well as reptiles all year around. Animals can be viewed well by the boat cruise that operates from 11:00am – 1:00pm and 3.00pm-5.00pm depending on the demand of the tourists. This creates a chance to view pods of hippos and large numbers of seagulls, cormorants and other water birds.

Kibale forest National park

Kibale Forest National Park is one of the best safari destination in Africa and major tropical rainforest in East Africa. This forest has one of the highest concentrations of primates in Africa, with 13 recorded species. The highlight is outstanding chimpanzee trekking and habituation experiences that provide spectacular sightings. There are almost 1,500 chimpanzees in the forest including the habituated Kanyantale group. The forest is home to around 335 bird species including four species not recorded in any other National parks. The National park has two types of vegetation that is the Grass land and Forest.

Chimpanzee tracking is the major activity and it requires one hour viewing the chimps while 3 hours are required when walking in the forest however a chimpanzee permit has to be paid in time before the actual date of tracking. In addition, there are other adventures that can be taken within the park and these include bird watching, nature walks, botanical tours, etc.

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