Honeymoon Ideas for Uganda Travelers
About spending your honey moon in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest or Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda and Uganda respectively. These two national parks are home to over 880 endangered mountain gorilla and spending some time with these creatures is really rewarding. Our company can organize your gorilla permits, transport to and from and plus accommodation while in the above mentioned sites.
While on your honeymoon, we make sure that something special is organized for you at any given lodge. This is always a surprise to spice up your stay in Uganda. For any honeymoon ideas including gorillas, Encounter Africa Safaris takes the lead.
You need spending your honeymoon in a quiet place so that you get up close and personal with your partner. Our company will organize for you a better and exclusive lodge for your experience. Even though it’s on the Island in Lake Victoria or Wild waters lodge in Jinja, we will also move that extra mile to provide you for what you are looking for. The other honey moon destinations include; enjoying sundowner drinks or bush breakfast if you decide to go on safari, hot air balloon safaris in Queen Elizabeth and or sunset cruise/wine and cheese cruise on Lake Victoria and River Nile in Murchison Falls National Park. For honeymoon ideas, please contact one of our dedicated safari consultantRead More
Top 5 Active Adventures in Uganda
Uganda truly gifted by nature is among the most diverse wildlife destinations on the entire planet blessed with a number of wildlife species and attractions giving tourists a chance to engage in a number of wildlife activities. The major attractions in Uganda range from lakes, rivers, escarpments, mountains, a number of wildlife species and many others. Most of these are seen in the major 10 national parks that the pearl of Africa has. (more…)Read More
Experience Untamed Wildlife in Kidepo National Park
Toping the must visit wildlife destinations in Africa, Uganda’s Kidepo valley national park is situated at the extreme northeastern Uganda and it’s the most isolated wildlife destination in Uganda. Covering a land area of 1442 kilometer squares; Kidepo valley national park is the third largest national park in Uganda. Kidepo valley national park being most isolated is among the less visited national parks in Uganda. The national park therefore has less disturbed ecosystems and its among the leading ecotourism destinations that the pearl has to offer.
Kidepo valley national park is the only place in Uganda where giraffes can be seen a long side zebras and its also the only national park in Uganda with cheetahs. Lions, cape buffaloes, African elephants, leopards, hyenas, birds like the ostrich and many others are among the wild animals that are usually sighted while on a game drive in Kidepo valley national park. Most of these are seen in the Narus valley, which is the only place in the national park that usually has water through out the year. Kidepo valley national park being situated near the borders of Uganda and south Sudan and also near the border of Uganda and Kenya, the park receives a number of migratory wildlife species that are also sometimes seen by the tourists.
Kidepo valley national park has the highest number of predators in Uganda which include lions, cheetah, jackal, Hyenas, the leopard, bat-eared fox most of which always on the look to take down their prey to get what to feed on.
The African elephants that live in Kidepo valley national park are usually in groups ranging from 10 and more. They are herbivores that predominately feed on grass. A fully-grown elephant at least consumes over 260 kilograms in a day in order to support its mass body, as it’s widely known that they are the largest land mammals on the entire planet.
The bird life at Kidepo valley national park is very immense with the national park being a home to over 500 bird species. Some of the birds that can be sighted include ostriches as earlier mentioned, vultures, eagles falcons, hornbills and many others. Kidepo valley is therefore among the leading birding destinations in Uganda.
Kidepo valley national park unlike some other national parks supports a great diversity of wildlife thus making it a very unique destination for wildlife safaris in Uganda. The vegetation here is very unique mainly because of the semi arid climatic condition that the area experiences. This makes Kidepo valley national park among the top three national parks in Africa with the true and real African wilderness.
This national park can be explored on game drives and on guided nature walks. Nature walks bring the tourists closer to the wildlife with great views of wild animals. These are usually done in the areas of the Rionomoe, which offer clear view of the Narus valley.
Tourists interested in visiting the Karamojong can go for a community walk and discover more about one of the ethnic groups in Uganda that still strongly ties to its local traditional norms and customs.
While in Kidepo valley national park, one can have accommodation at Apoka safari lodge, which a luxury lodge situated within the national park. This offers standard services and usually a number of animals especially zebras are seen around the lodge. There are also budget accommodation facilities offered by Apoka rest camp.
It’s also very possible to camp however tourists in tents are strictly not allowed to move at night without torches or other sources of light.
Generally, Kidepo valley national park is a very outstanding destination that is very worth visiting by tourists while on a safari in Uganda.Read More
Experience White Water Rafting in Jinja, Uganda
A lifetime experience to remember! Are you traveling to or planning to travel to Uganda? What is on your agenda of adventure activities? How about river rafting on a bamboo raft? In our experience river rafting in Uganda and particularly at the source of the Nile in Jinja is an unforgettable lifetime experience and ‘not to be missed’ activity, especially if you love water sports.
I travel a lot and from every place, I try to take away the best of the experiences on offer. In some places there are a lot of activities to do, in others, I just enjoy nature and relax. Personally, I do prefer to try activities and not just spend my whole time relaxing watching skies. Vacations mean travel time to me and being together with family and friends. I love cruises on fresh waters especially with falls and rapids like here, enjoying the countryside while sailing through backwaters.
In Uganda, one of my favorite places to go is Jinja. The scenic beauty, the various attraction s on your way to Jinja which include Mabira forest, the various sugar cane plantains and the overall scenic view. However, I am an outgoing person and a bit of an action-adventure so the last time I visited Uganda, the first day was awesome, but the next day I started feeling a bit bored due to the fact that I didn’t know where to go and how to spend my time. Luckily I met a tour guide who also happens to be a coordinator of eco-tourism in the country. He told me about a company that specializes in arranging outdoor activity programs and off road tours in Uganda. The great thing about this company is that they offer fully customized packages. You can choose any date, time, location and duration, and they make it happen for you.
White water Rafting
Uganda offers white water rafting at River Nile in Jinja located just 60km from Kampala-the capital city.Jinja is a small picturesque village with gushing rivers and whistling valley scenery. River Nile is not that fast or furious. It gives you more of a lake like experience while rafting. The water current is slow and a check dam makes it even slower. The river finally ends in Egypt another country.
Typically, 5 people are allowed to ride together, but sometimes they also allow for 6. All depends on how much weight a raft can carry and the guides take care of that. The river although calm, is really deep in some areas which we experienced while rafting. Listen to your guide; it’s important for your safety. Also, for your safety, they will have another raft following with a lifeguard on duty.
The rafting takes about 1 hour or a little more. In our case, they extended the session for 1 more additional hour for which we were truly thankful. This rafting sailed us through the streams, in some places the river is truly deep but most of the way we found it to be shallow. The ride was awesome and once we finished the only thought in our minds was to revisit the place again on our next vacation. The fun part, which we never shall forget, was when we stopped at a safe location and the sailor made the raft turn; we all fell into water! Everyone got wet and we laughed a lot knowing it was a deliberate act to add extra fun. The river water is so clean that one feels like drinking directly from the crystal clear streams.
Booking & Tariff
During busy days when it is tourist time, it is advisable to book rafting sessions 1 or 2 days in advance, so that you won’t need to wait for others to finish their ride.
White water rafting in Jinja is a thrilling experience that you can enjoy on a Uganda safari. This is an adventure you will remember your whole life. So why not take a deep breath, pack your bags and hit the road!
The Cost is relatively manageable. Maximum 5-6 people can be accommodated in a raft. You will have a lifeguard/guide/helper in the raft with you throughout the cruise.
The one thing we did miss out on this trip was fishing. Our group was keen to catch some fish and cook it for our supper, but the guide told us that there was not many fish in that particular zone. He suggested an area where we could enjoy fishing but, unfortunately, we could not make it because of time constraints.
Though we were not able to go fishing, we did, however, experience some thrilling off-road jeep driving which included visiting some other tourist attractions in the same locality like Bujagalifalls,the source of the Nile as well as Masese fishing grounds.Read More
Go Hiking in the Mgahinga Volcanoes
The Virunga Region is composed of a series of eight volcanoes. Uganda has three of these volcanoes and lie in the Mgahinga Gorilla National Park. On your visit to South Western Uganda, the Virunga Mountain (Volcano) chain looms large in your view as you wind your way down into the valley toward Kisoro.
Though most visitors are drawn to the region for gorilla safaris – trips to visit the gorillas in the Bwindi ‘Impenetrable’ or Mgahinga National Parks, hiking the Mgahinga Volcanoes is another interesting adventure that you should not miss. Though, Bwindi tends to be favoured as the family of gorillas in Mgahinga likes to split their time in neighbouring Rwanda and Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), there are several trips that include hiking the MGahinga Volcanoes.
The Mgahinga National Park visitor’s centre is located about a 10 minute drive from Kisoro. Recently renovated, the centre features rock paths that meaner through the vegetation to the building. Beautiful rain chains conserve rainwater for gardening around the centre and under a high beamed log ceiling interactive displays and maps line the walls. Staffed by exceptionally knowledgeable Ugandan Wildlife Authority (UWA) guides you’ll first enter the main room and pay your fees and decide your trail. There are a number of different types of hikes that can be done based on your ability, desire and speed.
If you are just doing a day hike and are a moderately fit hiker you should try the Gahinga trail which will take you about six hours and climbs the base of Mount Gahinga. The border trail can also be done in a day and climbs the base of Mount Sabinyo and runs you right along the DRC border. There is also the cave trail where you learn a bit more about the Batwa peoples who lived there and you get to investigate some caves.
Two trails – Mount Sabyinyo and Mount Muhavura – require more than a day covering 14km and 12 km respectively. They are also much steeper than the day hikes as you climb to the tops of each of these volcanoes. The views, though, cannot be beat! On the Sabinyo hike you get to stand in Uganda, DRC and Rwanda at the same time.
After you’ve decided, you’ll enter a large amphitheatre for briefing on the Park and the hike you’ve selected. You’ll want to have sturdy hiking boots and tuck your trousers into your socks to avoid safari ants. A raincoat is advisable if travelling during the rainy seasons and a bottle of water is necessary. Bring a packed lunch no matter the day hike you choose – and remember to bring a snack or fruit for your guide. The guides will also get an idea of what interests you, or your group (birds, wildlife, insects and plant life abound!) so they can tailor the hike. A guide always accompanies the visitors and sometimes it would be impossible to find the trail without them!
The Gahinga trail starts in recently reclaimed farm land and winds up to the edge of virgin forest. The hike was steep in places but not uncomfortably so and while it didn’t rain it get damp as fog rolled in and out over the mountain. The scenery was both breathtaking and intriguing. Giant bamboo looms large over the trail, jungle elephant footprints cross the trail sunk deep in squiggy mud, earthworms as long as your forearm living above ground in the dark, wet environment and more birds that you could possibly catalogue.
If you like hiking in some of the most pristine forests Africa has to offer Mgahinga shouldn’t be missed!Read More
Go Birding in Mabira Forest
Mabira Forest Reserve is situated 56 kilometers/35 miles along the Kampala-Jinja highway within Buikwe, Kayunga and Mukono districts and extends for 306 square kilometers (118 square miles/30,600 hectares) which makes it the largest Natural Forest reserve within Central Uganda, and the 6th largest Forest Reserve in Uganda. This forest Reserve is a perfect destination for a short safari like a weekend outing or on a short public holidays.
This Tropical rain forest was established into a Forest Reserve in 1932 by the British Colonial Government making it one of the oldest forest reserves to be gazzeted in the country and is currently managed by the National Forestry Authority (NFA). This Forest Reserve inhabits the gentler areas characterized by several round-topped hills and vast and shallow valleys (where some valleys have papyrus swamps). These exceptional places shelter over 315 bird species including about four of the Afro-tropical Highlands biome species, 74 of the total 144 species of the Guinea-Congo Biome and one specie of the Sudan-Guinea Savannah biome species. While on the 10 kilometers of well maintained trails for birding, you will be able to satisfy your eyes with what this Forest Reserve offers.
While on a birding safari in this Forest reserve, you will encounter at least 200 species of the birds within the area that include the Black and-white Casqued Hornbill, the Red-capped Robin-Chat, the Forest Woodhoopoe, the African Shrike-flycatcher, the Yellow-spotted Barbet, the African Pied Hornbill, the Yellow White-eye, the Hairy Breasted Barbet, the Speckle-breasted, the Bockages Shrike, the Grey and Cassin’s Honeyguide the Fire-crested Alethe, the Cattle Egret, the White-bellied Kingfisher, the Yellow-billed Barbet, Dusky Long-tailed Cuckoo, Sooty Boubou, the Honeyguide Greenbul, the Tambourine Dove, the Buff-spotted Woodpeckers, Hairy-breasted Barbet, Red-tailed Bristlebil, the Red-bellied Paradise Flycatcher, the Forest robin, the Purple-throated cuckoo, Hadada Ibis, the Speckled Tinkerbird, the African Harrier Hawk, the Broad-billed Roller, the White-spotted Flufftail, the African Dwarf-kingfisher, the Little Greenbul, the Hammerkop, the Long-crested Eagle, the Marabou Storks, the Black-and-white-casqued Hornbill, the Red-chested Sunbird, the Capuchin Babbler, the Speckled Tinker bird, the Great-Blue Turaco, the Yellow-crested cockatoo, the Pied Crow, the Black Kite, the Green-breasted Pitta, the African Thrush, the Black-and-white Manikin, the Black-shouldered Nightjar, the Brown-eared bulbul, the Shining-blue kingfisher, the Cassin’s Hawk-eagle, the Chestnut Wattle-eye, Sabine’s Spinetail, black-bellied seed cracker, the Open-billed Stork, the Superb Sunbird, Yellow-mantled weaver, Illadopsis, the African Grey Parrot, the guinea fowls, the Grey long-bills the Jameson’s Wattle-eye, the Palmnut Vulture, the Lizard Buzzard, the White-threatened Bee-eater, the Black-headed Weaver, the Cassin hawk eagle, the red headed blue bill, Yellow-throated Tinkerbird, the African Shrike Flycatcher, the Red-headed Malimbe, the Velvet-mantled Drongo, the Yellow long-bills Black-billed Turaco, the Black shouldered Nightjar, the Bronze Manikin, the Grey-green Bush-shrike, the Blue-throated Roller, Afep Pigeon and the Nahan’s Francolin among others. Birding within Mabira Forest Reserve starts from the highway where you will encounter several bird species especially the Great-Blue Turaco and the Pied Crows among others.
In addition to the bird species, this Forest Reserve is a haven to over 23 mammal species including 6 primate species such as the popular Grey-cheeked Mangabey, the Vervet monkeys, Black and white Colobus monkeys, Red-tailed Monkeys and the Black and white Colobus monkeys among others. There are also over 312 tree species including 5 species of International Conservation concern. This makes this forest reserve a perfect place for birding in addition to nature walks, camping and picnic and grey-cheeked mangabey tracking.
In conclusion, Mabira Forest reserve is a must-visit destination for birding with over 315 bird species. When you visit this site, you will be totally amazed by everything it offer to tourists who visit it.Read More
Itanda Falls Rapids Challenge Rafting Tourists
Before Bujagali falls became a lake, it was one of the most challenging waterfalls for every white water rafting trip. Grade five water levels could turn boats around at the same time giving kayaking guide a job to save the tourists in water. Now that Bujagali falls is no more, Itanda falls stands in as the most challenging rapids to all adventure seekrs looking to white water rafting in Uganda.
The fall is found in a few kilometer distance from the Bujagali falls turn off by road but Rafting travelers get their by water as they enjoy their days Nile adventure. For those who love listening to roaring water, here is a great chance to witness the Nile at Itanda falls. The set of rapids makes the falls one of the hidden jewels of Uganda known by kayakers and rafters across the world including Prince William of Great Britain. Can’t leave out the scenic hills around it which provide scenic views to tourists during the rafting & kayaking adventure. Most Uganda safaris extend to Jinja for reasons of seeing the River Nile origin as well as exploring the famous challenging rapids. Tourists first visit Bujagali falls to confirms it’s new look before proceeding to other places. But after the Dam construction upstream in jinja Bujagali falls is now a mere lake which disappoints if you have ever been to the old Bujagali falls. Despite its change, tourists still have something to keep them busy like Quad biking trips, village walk tours and even relaxing in the close bar and restaurants of Nile river explores.
As Itanda falls remain a paradise for day visitors and tourists, Kayakers and rafters look at it as the hardest waterfall full of challenging rapids that can’t just be faced by anyone even the experienced. There are several strong rapids of grade five and never expect to flow smoothly on water other than facing it for the best. Itanda always gets more attention in every Uganda rafting trip because tourists enjoy mixing up in the rapids than never before. The rapids look scary close but it’s where you need to be and see. However, the cross move looks tough but manageable because it’s exactly what you plan to experience. If you about to end the rapids water waves sweep you off the right path into the waters though the interesting bit is that all kayaking guides are ever ready to fix the mess.
Going out for a full day white water rafting tour is exciting, funny and surprisingly because fellow tourists keep quiet when moments of passing challenging rapids come. The water giggles increase the heart beating levels of every rafting touristgiving thanks to the creator for making life best. The rafting adventure starts at 9.00am and ends at 3.00pm so one needs a full day in order to experience these rapids.Among the many rafting companies,the choice is yours to book with your favorite, Adrift ,Nile river explorers, and Nalubale. Rafting & kayaking activities are done in Jinja a second Uganda capital located in a one hour drive distance from Kampala Uganda’s capital. However Jinja without waterfalls along the Nile would have been not same since places along the Nile attracts more vistors every year across the world.
Itanda Falls at Jinja is still the Nile non-commercialized without any gate pass fee, the way it has been for many years. To locals it is considered as a sacred site…a “Blessed Place” where those living near the falls come to pray for blessings. Unlike other guidebooks and tour companies that never turn down money like the caretakers of Bujagli gate who take entrance fee from tourists yet the place has nothing other than the Nile ripples. If you want to see the falls you need to visit Itanda and the road is now fairly marked though sometimes still visitors get lost several times along the way. But never stop asking for help from locals walking along the road side.
Itanda falls is located in a 30 kilometer distance from Jinja town via Jinja, Budondo,Nakanonyi highway. Drive down the road and you will discover Itandafalls a place where the Nile powers are released. The falls has three grades of water from three-five but very remarkable. The cold winds and rapid sounds make you relaxed giving way to happy moments and memories. No wonder the kayakers & rafters love visiting this place each day no matter how tough it looks to be. For birders this is heaven because there are several water bird species which reside in the middle forest of the fall as well as the surrounding hills. While here you can sense the geography of the Nile by looking at the juncture where the river splits into two central and Eastern Uganda. The east water majority drops through Itanda unlike the Eastern. Indeed never worry about where to stay when it get late because their exit a thatched huts hotel on the west side.Read More