Mgahinga Gorilla National Park Uganda, Gorilla trekking safaris in Mgahinga Gorilla Park

Mgahinga Gorilla National Park Uganda,Gorilla trekking safaris in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park, gorilla safaris in mgahinga. Mgahinga Gorilla National Park is Uganda’s smallest national park located in the southwestern corner of Uganda in Kisoro district.  The park is situated in the great Virunga ranges shared between three neighboring countries of Rwanda, Uganda and Democratic republic of Congo.

Bestriding on the northern slopes of the three northernmost Virunga Volcanoes namely; Mt. Muhavura (4,127 m), Mt. Gahinga (3,474 m), and Mt. Sabinyo (3,645 m), Mgahinga National Park was gazetted in 1991 to protect the species of the rare mountain gorillas that inhabit its dense forests, and it is also an important habitat for the endangered golden monkey.

Spanning on 33.7 sq. km of protected land, Mgahinga Gorilla National Park sits high in the clouds, at an altitude of between 2,227m and 4,127m. The Gorilla Park consists of the partly forested slopes of three extinct volcanoes and has greatest biological importance because throughout the climatic changes of the Pleistocene ice ages, the Virunga Mountains strategically situated in the park provided a refuge for mountain plants and animals, which moved up or down the slopes as climate became warmer or cooler.

Mgahinga Gorilla National Park

Mgahinga Gorilla National Park is one of the parks in Uganda with an exceptional diversity of habitats, ranging from Afro-montane vegetation; plentiful bamboo vegetation to Lobelia Haegenia which supports the survival of at least 39 species of mammal and 79 birds found in the park. The Larger mammals supported natural diverse habitat includes elephant, leopard, buffalo and bush pig but these are rarely seen. The famous ape species supported by the habitat involve the mountain gorilla and the less famous but equally rare and deserving of protection is the golden monkey which is found only in the Virungas and in one other forest in Rwanda. Notable bird species include the Rwenzori turaco, crowned hornbill, black kite and crowned crane.

Mgahinga’s slopes are covered with a series of distinct altitudinal bands of vegetation. The lowest zone is an area of grass and bush which was formerly encroached and cleared by farmers and is now regenerating. Undisturbed vegetation starts with montane woodland, followed by the bamboo zone, montane forest and the Ericaceous zone which contains giant tree heathers. The sequence culminates with the spectacular alpine zone which occurs only on East African Mountains above 3000m and includes bizarre giant forms of lobelia and groundsel.

The park contains at least 39 species of mammal and 79 birds. Larger mammals include elephant, leopard, buffalo and bush pig but these are rarely seen. Mgahinga’s most famous resident is the mountain gorilla. Less famous but equally rare and deserving of protection is the golden monkey which is found only in the Virungas and in one other forest in Rwanda. Notable bird species include the Rwenzori turaco, crowned hornbill, black kite and crowned crane

Besides being important for animal and plant life, the park also has a huge cultural valve particularly for the indigenous pygmies (Batwa) and the Bafumbira local people who live near the park. The Batwa local people who are hunter-gatherers were the forest’s “first Inhabitants”, and their traditional knowledge of their hidden aspects remains unrivalled.

Tourist Attractions in Mgahinga Gorilla National park

Mountain Gorillas as a tourist attractions in Mgahinga Gorilla national park

Mgahinga is home to the habituated Nyakagezi gorilla group – a fairly nomadic bunch that has been known to cross the border into Rwanda and the Congo. The family includes the lead silverback Bugingo who is around 50 years old and father to most of the group; his silverback sons, Mark and Marfia; and two blackbacks, Rukundo and Ndungutse, who love to pose and play in the trees. The two females, Nshuti and Nyiramwiza, both have babies Furraha and Nkanda respectively. Out of the twelve habituated gorilla groups, eleven are found in Bwindi and only one is found in Mgahinga Gorilla Park.

Characteristics of Mountain Gorillas in Mgahinga.

Mgahinga Gorilla National Park

Mgahinga Gorilla National Park

Gorillas display many human-like behaviors and emotions, such as laughter and sadness. They even make their own tools to help them survive in the forest. In fact, gorillas share 98.3% of their genetic code with humans, making them our closest cousins after chimpanzees and bonobos. Physically the fur of the mountain gorilla is often thicker and longer than of other gorilla species, enables them to live in colder temperatures. The gorilla is massive, with a short, thick trunk and broad chest and shoulders. Its eyes and ears are dwarfed by its large head and hairless, shiny black muzzle. Older males develop a crown of muscle and hair that makes the head look even longer. The arms are longer than the stubby legs. The fully adult male mountain gorilla is twice as large as the female.

Adult males are called silverbacks because a saddle of gray or silver-colored hair develops on their backs with age. The hair on their backs is shorter than on most other body parts, and their arm hair is especially long. Fully erect, males reach 1.9 m (6 ft. 3 in) in height, with an arm span of 2.3 m (7 ft. 7 in) and weigh 220 kg

The mountain gorilla inhabits the cloud forests and of the Virunga Volcanoes, ranging in an altitude from 2,200–4,300 meters (7,200–14,100 ft.). Most are found on the slopes of three of the dormant volcanoes: Karisimbi, Mikeno, and Visoke. The vegetation is very dense at the bottom of the mountains, becoming sparser at higher elevations, and the forests where the mountain gorilla lives are often cloudy, misty and cold.

The mountain gorilla is primarily an herbivore; the majority of its diet is composed of the leaves, shoots and stems (85.8%) of 142 plant species. It also feeds on bark (6.9%), roots (3.3%), flowers (2.3%), and fruit (1.7%), as well as small invertebrates. (0.1%). Adult males can eat up to 34 kilograms of vegetation a day, while a female can eat as much as 18 kilograms.

The mountain gorilla is highly social and lives in relatively stable, cohesive groups held together by long-term bonds between adult males and females. Relationships among females are relatively weak. These groups are nonterritorial; the silverback generally defends his group rather than his territory. In the Virunga mountain gorillas, the average length of tenure for a dominant silverback is 4.7 years .61% of groups are composed of one adult male and a number of females and 36% contain more than one adult male. The remaining gorillas are either lone males or exclusively male groups, usually made up of one mature male and a few younger males Group sizes vary from five to thirty, with an average of ten individuals. A typical group contains: one dominant silverback, who is the group’s undisputed leader; another subordinate silverback (usually a younger brother, half-brother, or even an adult son of the dominant silverback); one or two black backs, who act as sentries; three to four sexually mature females, who are ordinarily bonded to the dominant silverback for life; and from three to six juveniles and infants.

The gorilla is shy and retiring rather than ferocious and treacherous. It usually seeks no trouble unless harassed but will valiantly defend its family group if threatened. Family groups are close-knit and may have up to 30 members, but even if smaller, the group usually consists of at least one older male, one or more females and a few juveniles.
Gorillas have strong attachments to members of their own group and even when groups meet and mingle and then subsequently part, each animal tends to remain with its respective unit. An adult male called a silverback named for the silvery gray hairs on its back normally leads each group, serving as its chief protector and defender. 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 of bent branches in a tree or of grasses on the ground. A group’s hierarchy, ritualized behavior and bluff charges between males prevent conflict among and between groups. Gorillas scream, grab foliage and stuff it in their mouths, stand erect on their hind legs, tear up and throw plants, drum on the chest with hands or fists, stamp their feet, strike the ground with the palms of their hands and gallop in a mock attack on all fours.

In terms of reproduction, Mountain gorillas have a slow rate of reproduction. Females give birth for the first time at about age 10 and will have more offspring every three or four years. A male begins to breed between 12 and 15 years, when he is in charge of his own group. Able to conceive for only about three days each month, the female produces a single young.
Newborn gorillas are weak and tiny, weighing in at about 4 pounds. Their movements are as awkward as those of human infants, but their development is roughly twice as fast. At 3 or 4 months, the gorilla infant can sit upright and can stand with support soon after. It suckles regularly for about a year and is gradually weaned at about 31/2 years, when it becomes more independent.

Though strong and powerful, gorillas are generally gentle and shy. Severe is rare in stable groups, but when two mountain gorilla groups meet, the two silverbacks can sometimes engage in a fight to the death, using their canines to cause deep, gaping injuries. The entire sequence has nine steps: (1) progressively quickening hooting, (2) symbolic feeding, (3) rising bipedally, (4) throwing vegetation, (5) chest-beating with cupped hands, (6) one leg kick, (7) sideways running, two-legged to four-legged, (8) slapping and tearing vegetation, and (9) thumping the ground with palms to end display.

Bird Species in Mgahinga Gorilla national park

Mgahinga Gorilla National Park

Mgahinga Gorilla National Park

The varied habitats of Uganda’s smallest park make it home to a variety of birds with 179-184 species recorded. The list includes the Ibis, Pin-tailed Whydah, Speckled Mouse bird, Stone Chat, Grey-capped Warbler, Wax Bills, Yellow-vented Bulbul, Fire finch, White-napped Raven, Black Kite, Rwenzori Turaco, Blue-headed Coucal, Paradise Fly-catcher, Rwenzori Batis, Double-collared Sunbird, and Rwenzori Nightjar.

Handsome francolin: This bird species has a dark reddish brown plumage, grey head, red legs and bills with a rufous grey under part and brown iris. The younger handsome francolin has a duller plumage but in adulthood both male and female birds look the same with a wing spans of up to 35 cm long.

Dusky crimson wing: The dusky crimson wing birds have an average length of 11cm and average weight of 14 grams. The males have their heads in red nape grey with dark crimson red upper parts but the upper wings and tail blackish grey with the side of the neck to chin, throat and underparts being dark grey. This species makes a call voice of a soft “tzeek” or “tsit” sound and also a soft trilling “geegeegeegee” sound

Red throated alethe: The red throated alethe has an average body length of 12cm with a body weight of 30-45grams. Male red throated alethe have a black crown encircled by broad grey line from forehead through supercilium to nape. The red throated alethe make a monotonous and noisey single down slurred “piiiyuu” sound Kivu ground thrush. The kivu ground thrush has a body length of 19-20 cm and an average weight of 43-65grams. The male kivu ground thrush bird is pale olive brown from cheeks to hind crown and underparts, with darker wing-coverts and double white spotted wingbars.

Caves as an attraction in Mgahinga Gorilla national park

Some of the steep mountain slopes contain caves formed by lava tubes, one of them being the famous Garama Cave located near the park headquarters. This is a sacred place for the Batwa, and during the Batwa Trail you can discover how it was used as a shelter during battles and as a place to store looted treasures.

Cultural Encounter in Mgahinga Gorilla national park

Mgahinga Gorilla National Park

Mgahinga Gorilla National Park

The Batwa Trail-, Mgahinga’s dense forests were home to the indigenous Batwa: hunter-gatherers and fierce warriors who depended on the forest for shelter, food and medicine.

When the national park was established, the Batwa were evicted from the forest and abandoned their low-impact, nomadic lifestyle. The only time they are permitted to re-enter their cherished forest is as tour guides on the Batwa Trail, on which visitors will discover the magic of the Batwa’s ancient home while enjoying nature walks and learning about the cultural heritage.

The Batwa Trail leads from the base of Muhuvura to Garama Cave. This walk is conducted by Batwa guides who provide insights into their traditional forest life and culture.

During Batwa trail tour, the Batwa demonstrate hunting techniques, gather honey, point out medicinal plants and demonstrate how to make bamboo cups. Guests are invited to the sacred Garama Cave, once a refuge for the Batwa, where the women of the community perform a sorrowful song which echoes eerily around the depths of the dark cave, and leaves guests with a moving sense of the richness of this fading culture.

Note: this tour involves hiking at an altitude of around 2,500m for at least 4-5 hours and hence it takes half day or whole day to explore the Batwa trial experience.

What to Bring

Packed lunch and plenty of drinking water

Good hiking shoes or boots, sun screen and a hat

The weather varies greatly at this altitude – we recommend bringing layers, including a waterproof jacket

Tips for the guides and performers

Guide lines to follow when exploring the Batwa Trail.

Switch off your flashlight in the Ngarama Cave, as ghostly singing begins to echo in the pitch darkness.

Watch your Batwa guides create fire to smoke out bees

See a traditional Batwa grass hut – quick to build and to demolish which was essential for this nomadic culture

Enjoy the lively dance at the cave´s entrance as the Batwa women sing a traditional song to welcome their guests

Walk through the pristine Mgahinga Gorilla National Park, with spectacular views of the

Cave Exploration .The Garama cave is 342 meters long and 14 meters deep several years ago, this cave was inhabited by the pygmy Batwa people whom warriors attacked their neighboring communities, but in the present-day it is inhabited by bats. The distance from the park headquarters to this cave entrance, is approximately 3km, and the guide will give history to visitors how these Batwa survived and even made attacks basing from this cave.
There is a viewing platform 800m from the Park’s gate. Immediately visitors reach at it, they’ll be paid back with splendid views of the Park as well as its surrounding and activity is free of charge since it does not need a guide. Additional information regarding this spot can be obtained from the display panels found at the hill-point.

Golden Monkey as a tourist attractions in Mgahinga Gorilla national park

Mgahinga Gorilla National Park

Mgahinga Gorilla National Park

It’s a species of Old World monkey found in the Virunga volcanic mountains of Central Africa, including four national parks: Mgahinga, in south-west Uganda; Volcanoes, in north-west Rwanda; and Virunga and Kahuzi-Biéga, in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. It is restricted to highland forest, especially near bamboo.

This species was previously thought to be a subspecies of the blue monkey and the two are similar overall, but the golden monkey has a golden-orange patch on the upper flanks and back. Not much is known about the golden monkey’s behavior. It lives in social groups of up to 30 individuals. Its diet consists mainly of young bamboo leaves, fruits, bamboo branch lets, bamboo shoots, invertebrates, flowers, and shrubs. However, the golden monkey is an opportunistic feeder and diet can easily be influenced by the availability of fruit. Due to the gradual destruction of their habitat and recent wars in their limited habitat, the golden monkey is listed as endangered on the IUCN and therefore called the endangered species.

Due to its diet the golden monkey prefers a habitat with abundant fruit and bamboo. The golden monkey will move in between areas depending on the season. During the season where ripe fruit is available they will remain in those areas. When the rainy season begins this causes bamboo shooting to occur and the golden monkeys are found more in these areas. Studies have found that if there is an area consisting of mixed fruit and bamboo, the monkeys will tend to frequent that area more than an area of just bamboo. One study reported that golden monkeys are most frequently seen in forests with bamboo, and this may suggest that this is one of the major preferences of the species.

The endangered golden monkey is endemic to the Albertine Rift, and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park offers a rare chance to track these striking creatures, high in the dense bamboo forests on the Gahinga trail. There is an estimated 3000-4000 individual in the Virunga area which 42-60 are habituated in Mgahinga.

The Park’s varied medicinal plants and fascinating Ngarama Cave can be explored with a Batwa guide – this tribe of hunter-gatherers was the region’s original inhabitants, and their ancient knowledge of the forest remains unrivalled. When you visit this important park, the guide will know which areas are most frequented by each species of animal.

Other Wildlife as an attractions in Mgahinga gorilla national park

Mgahinga Gorilla National Park has 76 identified mammal species, although they are difficult to glimpse in the wild forest vegetation. They include giant forest hogs, bush pigs, forest buffaloes, elephants, bushbucks, golden cats, side striped jackals, black fronted duikers and South African porcupines.

The Virunga Volcanoes as a tourist attraction in Mgahinga gorilla national park

Mgahinga has three volcanic peaks, Muhubura (4127m), Sabyinyo (3669m) and Mgahinga (3474m). These can all be climbed. Though no specialist equipment is required, a reasonable level of fitness is necessary if you intend to enjoy the experience.

The names of the three peaks come to life in translation. Muhabura means ’the guide’ and its towering cone is a prominent landmark. During the 19th Century its crater still glowed to provide a natural lighthouse for travellers. The rim of the older Sabyinyo has weathered into a ring of stubby peaks, earning it the title ‘Old Man’s Teeth’. These imposing cones overshadow the stumpy Mt. Mgahinga which is named for the local practice of tidying the volcanic rocks that clutter farmland into ‘small piles of stones’ – or gahingas.

Mgahinga Gorilla National Park

Mgahinga Gorilla National Park

Muhavura volcano dubbed Volcan Muhabura is an extinct volcano at the easternmost end of the Virunga Mountains in east central Africa. It lies northeast of Lake Kivu on the border between Uganda and Rwanda. It is more than 13,500 ft. high, and its crater contains a lake. The volcano forms part of the Virunga National Park that rises to 4127 m at the NE end of the Virunga Range. It is a relatively youthful stratovolcano with a small 40-m-wide lake in its summit crater. The 3474-m-high Gahinga (Mgahinga) volcano is joined to Muhavura on the west by a broad saddle. The two volcanoes have produced basanitic-to-trachyandesitic lavas. A small parasitic crater has been recently active, but the age of the latest eruption of Muhavura is not known. It has a crystal clear crater lake about 36m wide at its summit. The top commands panoramic views far into Uganda, Rwanda and along the length of the Virunga chain.

Mount Gahinga (3,474m) is the smallest of the Virunga volcanoes. It is named after the local practice of tidying the volcanic debris that clutters local farmland into neat cairns – or Gahinga. Its swamp-filled crater is around 180m wide.

Sabinyo also called Volcan Sabinyo, is an extinct volcano (3,505 m) in the Virunga Mountains of east-central Africa. It lies northeast of Lake Kivu and south-southeast of Rutshuru, Congo (Kinshasa). Its summit marks the junction of the Congo (Kinshasa)–Rwanda–Uganda borders. It forms part of the Virunga National Park, which is the home of the mountain gorilla. Sabinyo which also means old man’s teeth is a reference to its jagged summit which is dissected by deep gorges and ravines. The countries that share the Virungas – Uganda, Rwanda and the DR Congo – meet on the highest of Sabinyo’s stumpy peaks. This volcano offers 3 challenging peaks to climb. A climb up the mountain takes one up a ridge along the eastern side of the climb peak 1. If you are to continue, the climb peak 11 involves walking as ridge with breath- taking drops into gorges of Rwanda and Uganda. Finally, the hike up to the peak 11 is steep with several ladders and mush scrambling. You are guaranteed to get your hands dirty en-route to peak 111. Once on top, you will be in Rwanda, DRC and Uganda at the same time. The journey takes about 8hrs round to cover the 14km stretch.

Tourist Activities in Mgahinga Gorilla national park

Volcano Climbing as a tourist activity in Mgahinga Gorilla national park

Mgahinga Gorilla National Park

Mgahinga Gorilla National Park

Mt. Sabyinyo (366m) dubbed ‘Old man’s teeth’ like an old man, time has eroded Mt. Sabyinyo’s crown. This volcano offers 3 challenging peaks to climb. A climb up the mountain takes one up a ridge along the eastern side of the climb to peak. If you are to continue, the climb to the peak 11 involves walking a ridge with breath-taking drops into gorges of Rwanda and Uganda, a dual experience you will achieve here. Finally, the hike up to the peak 111 is steep with several ladders and mush scrambling. You are guaranteed to get your hands dirty en-route to peak111! Once on top, you will be in Rwanda, Democratic Republic of Congo and Uganda, what a triple experience this is!!! The journey takes about eight hours round trip to cover the 14km stretch.

Mt. Gahinga (3474m)-On your way to the park, look out for small piles of stones in the garden fields. The local people call such a pile a ‘Gahinga’. Mount Gahinga is quite bigger than the average ‘gahinga’ but sitting next to Mount Muhavura does make it look small. A hike, which takes you about, six hours round trip, goes through a good example of a pure Bamboo forest. Gahinga once had a Crater Lake on top but time has changed it into a Lush swamp. Distance to the swamp is 8km.

Mt. Muhavura (4127m) – ‘The Guide’-Seen from all over Kisoro, this volcano acts as a guide. The typical cone-shaped Mountain provides some of the best views in the country. Much of the climb passes a rocky surface covered by grasses and small shrubs. Once at the top, hikers are rewarded with the view of the Virunga volcanoes, Lake Edward in queen Elizabeth National Park, Bwindi and the peaks of Rwenzori Mountain. The hike takes approximately 8 hours round trip covering 12km.You are advised to camp at the Muhavura base camp the night before the site has no facilities so you need a tent, water, food and sleeping gear.

Birding in Mgahinga as a tourist activity in Mgahinga Gorilla national park

Mgahinga Gorilla National Park

Mgahinga Gorilla National Park

Mgahinga Gorilla National Park is blessed with a unique bird fauna; 79 bird species have thus far been recorded within the park, including several species endemic to the East Congo Montane region. For the Virunga Conservation Area as a whole, over 295 species in the Virungas are endemic to the Albertine Rift Afromontane region representing 59% of the total of known endemic species.

The three to four hour Gorge Trail between Gahinga and Sabinyo provides a spectacular sightings of the Dusky turtle Dove, Cape Robin-chat, Kivu-ground Thrush, Olive Thrush, Brown-crowned Tchagra, Bronze Sunbird, Regal Sunbird, Blue-headed Sunbird, Rwenzori Batis, Black-headed Waxbill and Streaky Seedeater.

Other good birding areas in the park are at the bamboo belt at about 2,500m above sea level, and the tall montane forest at 2,660m. The Rwenzori Turaco is mostly sighted at around 2,700m. Along the Uganda-Congo border and on level ground, the Chubb’s Cisticola, Red-faced Woodland Warbler, Banded Prinia and Doherty’s Bush-shrike are vocal yet inconspicuous inhabitants of the tangled vegetation at the forest’s edge.

Golden Monkey Trekking

Mgahinga Gorilla National Park

Mgahinga Gorilla National Park

With the presence of this rare species of monkeys in abundance in this park, comes an opportunity to track and see these monkeys in their natural habitat. These monkeys are relatively easy to find since the habituate in lowland forests and hence tracking time is shorter as compared to the gorillas. When you have successfully managed to track and find a family of these monkeys, the guide will allow you to have one contact hour to view these monkeys and take photographs. Permits for golden monkey tracking can be bought at the park center in Ntebeko at 50$ foreign nonresidents, 20$ foreign residents and 20000ugx for East African residents.

The endangered golden monkey is endemic to the Albertine Rift, and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park offers a rare chance to track these striking creatures, high in the dense bamboo forests on the Gahinga trail. There is an estimated 3000-4000 individual in the Virunga area which 42-60 are habituated in Mgahinga. Hike through stunning bamboo forests to see this attractive and endangered primate. The golden monkey track is a gentle steep but an interesting two-hour trek through former farmland to the forest full of bamboos. On bright daylight, visitors are likely to view the Virunga Volcano range and come across buffalo and duiker. Note that, the process of trekking golden Monkey in Mgahinga is the same as Mountain gorilla trekking hence the same rules apply to all the two activities.

Hiking and Nature Walks in Mgahinga Gorilla

A hike through the forest to the deep Sabinyo Gorge – a massive gash in the flank of Mount Sabinyo – provides good birding opportunities and the chance to find the Rwenzori Turaco. This walk takes four hours, and passes through the Rugezi Swamp which is fantastic for bird watchers.

The walk to the Congo border transcends through different vegetation zones. Hikers can sight the calderas on top of the Gisozi hill, look out for Kisoro and Bunagana towns and be captivated by Lake Mutanda.

The golden monkey track is a gentle steep but an interesting two-hour trek through former farmland to the bamboo forest. On a clear day, you may view the Virunga Volcano range and come across buffalo and duiker.

Mountain Gorilla Trrkking

Mgahinga Gorilla National Park

Mgahinga Gorilla National Park

Mgahinga National Park has one (1) gorilla family that has been habituated for tracking purposes. This family is called Nyakigezi gorilla family consisting of 9 family members 2 silver backs, 3 adult females, 2 infants and 2 juveniles. Gorilla permits are bought from Uganda wildlife authority at a rate of 600$ per person and only people aged 16 and above are allowed to track. Trackers are reminded to carry water proof clothes, insect repellants, snacks and bottled water for the tracking session because it can last the whole day giving you an awesome experience of tracking as this will involve you sighting a lot of other wildlife species like monkeys, chimpanzees and various bird species that the park has to offer.

Besides enjoying looking and wondering at these wonders of God’s creation and improving their physical health through tracking, tourists who engage in gorilla tracking in mgahinga national park should take pride in knowing that they left an everlasting mark on the park itself and the communities living near this park because part of the park entry fees is channeled into promoting conservation of these gentle mountain giants and their habitat, improvement in the livelihoods of communities adjacent to park through provision of employment opportunities to these people who work as porters, social infrastructures such as community schools

With a diverse collection of tourism activities, gorilla tracking stands out to be the leading activity at Mgahinga Gorilla national park and 75% of Mgahinga’s visitors come to view the primates. With Uganda left with about 400 mountain gorillas, the park is one of the two places where a visitor is guaranteed to have a glance at the endangered species. It is the best point to trek the Nyakagezi gorilla group which frequently moves adjacent in the forests of Conga and Rwanda. The other park where gorillas are found is Bwindi Impenetrable and these two parks are near each other making it possible for one to trek through both of them on most of Uganda safaris.

Volcano Climbing

Mgahinga Gorilla National Park

Mgahinga Gorilla National Park

Mt. Sabyinyo (366m) dubbed ‘Old man’s teeth’ like an old man, time has eroded Mt. Sabyinyo’s crown. This volcano offers 3 challenging peaks to climb. A climb up the mountain takes one up a ridge along the eastern side of the climb to peak. If you are to continue, the climb to the peak 11 involves walking a ridge with breath-taking drops into gorges of Rwanda and Uganda, a dual experience you will achieve here. Finally, the hike up to the peak 111 is steep with several ladders and mush scrambling. You are guaranteed to get your hands dirty en-route to peak111! Once on top, you will be in Rwanda, Democratic Republic of Congo and Uganda, what a triple experience this is!!! The journey takes about eight hours round trip to cover the 14km stretch.

Mt. Gahinga (3474m)-On your way to the park, look out for small piles of stones in the garden fields. The local people call such a pile a ‘Gahinga’. Mount Gahinga is quite bigger than the average ‘gahinga’ but sitting next to Mount Muhavura does make it look small. A hike, which takes you about, six hours round trip, goes through a good example of a pure Bamboo forest. Gahinga once had a Crater Lake on top but time has changed it into a Lush swamp. Distance to the swamp is 8km.

Mt. Muhavura (4127m) – ‘The Guide’-Seen from all over Kisoro, this volcano acts as a guide. The typical cone-shaped Mountain provides some of the best views in the country. Much of the climb passes a rocky surface covered by grasses and small shrubs. Once at the top, hikers are rewarded with the view of the Virunga volcanoes, Lake Edward in queen Elizabeth National Park, Bwindi and the peaks of Rwenzori Mountain. The hike takes approximately 8 hours round trip covering 12km.You are advised to camp at the Muhavura base camp the night before the site has no facilities so you need a tent, water, food and sleeping gear.

Where Gorilla trekking starts from.

Gorilla trekking in Mgahinga starts from Ntebeko Entrance gate at around 8:00am in the morning daily taking between 2- 8hours.It is done under the direction of a well-trained guide who explains the gorillas’ behaviors along the way . A visitor is expected to budget for his/her time well while with a gorilla family since the maximum time allowed to spend with them is one hour.

How gorilla trekking is done

The most thrilling tourist activity in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park starts by trekkers reporting to the Park Headquarters to meet their experienced ranger guides for the day.

The ranger guides will brief trekkers about the etiquettes to follow when trekking the mountain gorillas in the hilly -forested areas of Mgahinga national park.

After briefing, experienced guides will lead the trekkers to trail heads to start an early morning trek into the dense rain forest on the mountain slopes. The journey, through dense foliage and up steep climbs, is abundantly rewarded with the lifetime experience of viewing mountain gorillas in their natural habitat.

When trekkers get close to the apes, they are allocated one hour to spend with the mountain gorillas. During this time, trekkers have an opportunity to view the magnificent apes, sharing in their daily lives and experiencing their day-to-day activities.

After the one hour, return to your to the starting point and drive back to accommodation and, if time allows, take a guided afternoon forest or community walk. Please note: tracking may be fairly strenuous with treks lasting between 2-8hours depending on the movement of the apes. Also note that mountain gorillas are wild animals and, as such, sightings cannot be guaranteed. However viewing success rates are over 90%.

Gorilla trekking Rules

Before departing on your gorilla trekking or gorilla tracking tour

A maximum number of 8 visitors may trek to visit one habituated mountain gorillas group per day. This minimizes behavioral disturbance to the gorillas and the risk of their exposure to human-borne diseases.

Always wash your hands before you go gorilla trekking.

On the way to the gorillas

Please always keep your voices low. You will also be able to observe the great bird life and other wildlife in the forest.

DO NOT leave rubbish in the park. Whatever you bring into the forest on your gorilla safari should be carried back out with you.

You will be taken to where the guides have observed the Mountain Gorillas the day before.

From there you will follow the gorilla’s trail. Look out for the gorillas’ nesting sites along the way!

As you approach the mountain gorillas, the guides will alert you.

When you are with the gorillas

A 7 meter (21 feet) distance from the gorillas should be observed at all times. The further back you are, the more relaxed the group will be.

You must stay in a tight group when you are near the gorillas.

Keep your voices down at all times but feel free to ask your ranger guide questions.

Do not smoke, drink or eat when you are near the gorillas. Eating or drinking will inevitably increase the risk of morsels of food or droplets of drink being left behind. Even the tiniest leftovers could increase the risk of transmission of disease to the gorillas.

Move slowly and carefully. Do not point or wave your arms.

Do not touch the gorillas. They are wild animals.

Occasionally the gorillas charge. Don’t panic. Follow your ranger guide’s example: crouch down slowly, do not look the gorillas directly in the eyes; wait for the animals to pass. Do not attempt to run away.

Your subjects are black animals in dim light so use the right camera settings. Flash photography is not permitted under any circumstances.

The maximum time you can spend with these wonderful animals is one hour. However, if the gorillas become agitated or nervous, the guide may decide to finish the visit early. This is for your safety and for the safety of the gorillas.

After the visit, you are bound to be excited! But please keep your voices down until you are 200 meters away from the gorillas.

Gorilla trekking General Health Rules

Remember that mountain gorillas are very susceptible to human diseases. The following rules are ways to minimize the risk your visit might pose to the mountain gorillas

Respect the limits imposed on the daily number of visitors allowed with the mountain gorillas. These limits minimize the risk of disease transmission and stress to the group.

If you are feeling ill, or you are carrying a contagious disease, volunteer to stay behind. An alternate gorilla trekking opportunity will be arranged for you, or you will be refunded the cost of your gorilla permit.

If you feel the urge to cough or sneeze when you are near the gorillas, please turn your head away and cover your nose and mouth in order to minimize the spread of bacteria or viruses.

Always stay 7 meters (21 feet) away from the gorillas. This is to protect them from catching human diseases.

Do not leave any rubbish (such as food wrappers or drink bottles) in the park; foreign items can harbour diseases or other contaminants.

If you need to go to the toilet while in the forest, please ask the ranger guide to dig you a hole. Make sure the hole is 30 cm deep. Please ensure the hole is filled after you are finished.

What to bring on your gorilla trekking safari

Wear comfortable hiking shoes with good traction, suitable for climbing steep muddy slopes.

Carry a packed lunch and plenty of drinking water.

The weather can be unpredictable so carry rain gear, sunscreen lotion and a hat.

Pack insect repellent.

Bring binoculars – or hire a pair from the Uganda Wildlife Authority office in the park.

Bring spare batteries and an extra memory card for your digital camera. Using your camera flashlight is prohibited. If you are photographing using film, we recommend using 400-800 ASA film.

How to get Gorilla Permit for Mgahinga Gorilla Park.

A gorilla permit is a document issued by Uganda Wildlife Authority in Uganda to enable you trek mountain gorillas in Mgahinga. A permit allows you to view gorillas for only one hour but the trekking itself can take you between 2-8 hours when searching for the mountain gorillas in the ancient Impenetrable forest.

Note that, you need one to trek mountain gorillas in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park. Usually you have to obtain a gorilla permit several months in advance.

We always advise at least 5 months in advance or prior to your visit. While booking a gorilla tour, always pay your gorilla permit fee in advance to enable us acquire it for you. Gorilla trekking is guaranteed when you acquire a permit.

They are very competitive and scarce most especially during peak seasons. Sometimes gorilla tracking permits get sold out four months in advance.

Gorilla permit costs USD 600 per day per person. You can get the permits in Kampala -the capital City of Uganda at the Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) headquarters. We do organize and book gorilla permits for our clients at no extra costs provided you book a full safari with us.

Please contact us with date/month and year when you want to trek gorillas in Mgahinga, we will then check availability of gorilla permits and inform you. Once you have transferred your funds on to our account, we will pre purchase your permits and send you scanned copies. To help us do this, you need to send us your passport details which are needed by Uganda Wildlife Authority in order to print and issue your gorilla permits.

When to go for gorilla tracking in Mgahinga Gorilla national park

The best time to visit the place for tracking is during the two dry seasons when the park is easily accessed. It is during this time that the thick forests can be penetrated easily and when the paths are not as muddy as it is in the rainy season. The two dry Seasons best for Gorilla Safari are; mid-December to end of February and June to October. However, gorilla tracking tourism is possible throughout the year.

How to get to Mgahinga Gorilla National Park

The park lies in the south-western corner of Uganda, 540km from Kampala.
By air, one can board a plane from Entebbe to Kisoro Airstrip which is near the park. This is the quickest mode of access and it takes about 1 hour. There are daily scheduled flights which must be booked long in advance with your local Uganda safari operator.

Road transport

The park can be accessed using Kampala- Kabale- Kisoro roadThe Kampala –Kabale section covers 434 km of well tarmacked road. it takes you about 8-hour drive to get to kabale. From Kabale –Kisoro section covers 76km tarmack of mountainous road with sharp turns and steep slopes. It takes about 2 hours to get to Kisoro. From Kisoro to Ntebeko park center it is a distance of 14km which takes less than an hour on a gravel road.
While using public transport in Uganda, you can book a bus to Kisoro from Kisenyi bus terminal at a fee of 35000shs and this will take you about 10 hours to get to Kisoro.
It’s also worth noting that the park can also be easily accessed from Rwanda with many daily commuter buses from Kigali to Kisoro via Cyanika or Katuna border posts. From Kigali to Cyanika border is 205 km and from Cyanika to Kisoro is 11 km

Accessing mgahinga national park using air transport.

There are various air companies that operate flights to nearby Kisoro airfield Aerolink. Aerolink has 1 daily flight from Entebbe international airport to Kisoro.  The flight departs Entebbe international airport at 0745hrs and lands in Kisoro at 08:55hrs, the return flight departs Kisoro at 09:10hrs and lands at Entebbe airport at 11:25hrs. Aerolink club uses the Caravan aircraft equipment that has a carrying capacity of 11 passengers and 2 flight crew members. Aerolink charges about 320$ for a one way to Kisoro.

Fly Uganda

. Fly Uganda also has daily flights to Kabale airfield, these flights depart from Kajjansi airstrip at 08:00hrs at a cost of 290$ one way and a minimum number of 2 passengers.
Other private aircraft carriers to Mgahinga national park include- Air Serv- Limited, The Mission Aviation Africa(MAF).

4X4 Safari Cars for hire/rent in Uganda

Get a premium safari vehicle for hire in Uganda from our wide range of cars available at Prime Uganda Safaris and Tours Ltd. Take your safari in Uganda comfortably with a great choice for a long road trip or family vacation in a safari vehicle that meet your needs. From 4X4 Land Cruisers, Land Rovers to custom omnibuses, we have a car that makes your safari in Uganda’s Parks and Rural countryside a memorable one. Our car hire is mainly based on limited mileage and applies to travel within Uganda. (Terms and conditions apply)

Saloon Cars for hire/rent in Uganda

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4X4 Landcruisers for hire/rent in Uganda; Get a premium safari vehicle for hire in Uganda from our wide range of cars available at Prime Uganda Safaris and Tours Ltd.
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Accommodation in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park

Mount Gahinga Safari Lodge (Volcanoes) – Luxury

mount-gahinga-safari-lodge

Mt. Gahinga Safari Lodge is situated at the foot of the Virunga chain at Uganda’s smallest park Mgahinga Gorilla Park. Rounded by Mounts Sabinyo, Gahinga and Muhuvura, this unique lodge has stunning scenery around it and its nine Banda huts. Every room’s design is got from ancient traditional Batwa culture paired with world class comfort and beautiful garden with rustic styles setting.
The lodge is the best place to relax yourself after your Uganda adventure and what makes it different from others is that it has a massage room, warming open fireplace where visitors can chill in the evening hours, delicious three course meals and blissful views of the mighty volcanic peaks, this lodge is a wonderful place to recuperate after your Ugandan adventures.
Guests are guaranteed a great night’s sleep in the comfortable separate cabins, surrounded by nice-looking terraces and gardens to make the most of the views and native birds and butterflies.
The Lodge provides number of Amenities and these include; Restaurant and bar, Open fireplace, Laundry service, On-site wildlife viewing, Outdoor sitting area for bird watching, surrounded by wild plants, A sunroom facing the volcanoes and Solar power. The Lodge’s room description is that it has eight attractive bandas which are nestled in the wild gardens at the foot of the Virunga Volcanoes.
All bandas have their own specific seating area with even privates’ bathroom, composting toilets and bush showers.
Lighting is solar powered, making them extremely environmentally friendly. Mountain Gahinga Safari Lodge has a variety of activities to Guest as seen below. Guests can spend the day climbing the Muhavura Volcano. (Elevation 4137 m). Guests can take part in a full day Batwa pygmy experience. This cultural walk begins at the base camp, which is located almost 30 minutes from the lodge. Members of the Batwa community and Ugandan Wildlife Authority guides help take to take visitors through the dense forest and educate visitors on the Batwa ways of life. You will see traditional dwellings, shoot with bows and arrows, learn about medicinal and edible plants, and visit the Garama Cave for a song and dance performance.

While at this lodge, guests can spend their day climbing the Gahinga Volcano. (Elevation 3473 m) A hike, which takes you about 6 hours round trip, goes through a good example of a pure bamboo forest. Gahinga once had a crater lake on top but time has changed it into a lush swamp.

Accommodation rates

High Season Low Season
Single $401 Single$354
Double $330pp Double $295pp

Kisoro Tourist Hotel -Luxury
tourist-hotel-kisoro

Kisoro Tourist Hotel is situated in Kisoro town just 14 kms to the park main gate. It is the best option for anyone visiting the southwest part of Uganda, on the way to Rwanda, Congo and Mgahinga and Bwindi for gorilla tracking.

The hotel boasts a strategic location which is at the foothills of Mount Muhavura, and guests can enjoy a good panoramic view of the nearby mountains and volcanoes along the borders with Rwanda and the Congo.

While at the lodge, one can enjoy the warm atmosphere of the lounge provided by a true fireplace. When visitors get done with their daily activities in the nearby area, they can relax with a romantic massage done by well trained workers and also steam bath. The hotel has one of the best restaurants recognized in country for the high-standard food preparation in both traditional and international dishes.

The hotel provides the following amenities on-site are; On-site restaurant, Tour/Travel desk, Conference Facilities, Internet Access, Gift shop, On-site Bar, Fitness Room/Gym, Laundry/Dry Cleaning, Library/Reading Area. The hotel rooms also have TV-Cable/Satellite were visitors can watch international and local updates, The TV can get Local Stations clearly, Fans, Hot water, Private Bathroom are also provided to ensure that visitor get better stay.

The table shows the prices charged by Hotel for both Bed and Breakfast and Full Board.

Room Type Bed and Breakfast Half Board Full Board
single USD 60 USD70 USD80
Double USD75 USD95 USD115
Triple USD135 USD165 USD1195

Kisoro Travelers’ Rest Hotel –Mid-Range

travellers-rest-hotel

Travellers Rest Hotel is a colonial-style hotel located just 14km from Mgahinga Gorilla National Park outside Kisoro Town, in the extreme southwestern part of Uganda, providing a perfect point for trips into Mgahinga Gorilla National Park. When the visitor is just entering, he or she is welcomed by the ibis typical sound. The wonderful-green surrounding garden is the home of various birds species. When the guest is just seated on the terrace he is paid by nice smell of the sweet perfume from the honeysuckle, and in the cool evenings one can experience a warm atmosphere which is provided by the fireplace in the lounge, surrounded by unusual African artifacts and a huge collection of Congolese masks.
The surrounding landscape, dominated by the peaks of the Massifs of Virunga Volcanoes has very interesting beauty. The volcanoes offer spectacular views of the Rift Valley and the emerald-green Lake Mutanda in the distance.

In the sixties the famous American ‘gorilla-woman’ Dian Fossey visited Travellers Rest many, many times to do paperwork, relax or meet people. Fossey said of the hotel: “It was my second home.”

The Lodge Amenities in this precious hotel are; Restaurant,, Travel desk, Bikes to rent, Lounge area with fireplace, bar and large meeting table Internet access, Massages, Laundry service, Gift Shop, Enclosed garden, Huge selection of Congolese masks

All the Spotless private rooms lead out onto the pleasant garden and have private bathrooms with hot water. Available rooms include single, twin, double, triple and a suite.

The activities organized by the hotel are, Paying visits to the a local primary school where the deaf children study from and here willing guests are welcomed to make donations, also the hotel organizes traditional performances done by the local orphan group and some of the activities also include having cycle ride to lake Mutanda, visiting the local market mainly on market days, Batwa Forest Trail through the National Park among others.
Most of food prepared by the rest Hotel is sourced from Kisoro market, which is supplied by the local Bafumbira and Bakiga communities. The hotel staffs are mostly from Kisoro. Staff training and career development of the staff members is of great importance to the Hotel management.

Prices

Room Type Room Only Half Board Full Board
Single USD70 USD85 USD95
Double/twin USD80 USD110 USD130
Extra bed USD25 USD40 USD50

Amajambere Iwacu Camp –Budget.

amajambere-iwacu-camp

The Community Camp is situated by the entrance to Mgahinga National Park and is only 12 km from the southwestern town of Kisoro near the Rwandan border.

At the camp, visitors can enjoy the magnificent views of the famous Virunga Volcanoes and take part in monkey trekking. The camp is built at a best beginning point for golden monkey trekking through the national park.

The following Amenities are provide to the clients at the Camp

Camping facilities and 4 bandas, Spacious gathering shelter with indoor and outdoor dining

Well-stocked canteen serving beers, sodas, snacks and basic essentials and Restaurant serving typical Ugandan meals

The camp has variety of Rooms and this means that Guests can choose between bandas, dormitories or campsites. It has a large area for camping as well as five well-built bandas, which too serve as dormitories and they provide accommodation facilities for back packers, students.

Amajambere Iwacu Camp has a lot of activities provided to Guest and among these involve , Guided walks through the village and to a nearby lava tubes ,caves and Crater Lake. Traditional performances in form of cultural dances which are organized by the local women’s group and the Batwa people and Guided climbs of the Virunga volcanoe as well as having community walk.

RATES BED ONLY BED AND BREAKFAST FULL BOARD
Double $40 $50 $80
Twin $30 $40 $70
Dormitory $10 $15 $30
Cam( ten provided) $10 $15 $30
Self-camping $5 $10 $25

Nkuringo Safari Lodge -Budget

Travel to Kisoro and discover the rustic Nkuringo Safari Lodge. This magical paradise on the shores of Lake Mutanda overlooks the magnificent Virunga Volcanoes. Here you can experience the best of both worlds the modern

The lodge is one two levels. The main Lodge n the lower level is designed with tradition at its heart. A combination of local stone and hard wood structures creates a warm environment for the chilly evening on the lake. The top desk area commands sensation views of the Virunga Volcanoes and Lake Mutanda. Here you will find restaurant and bar where you relax next to warm fire. The lower desk is predominantly used during the day for early breakfast lunch buffets. There is Lounge, bookshop and well stoked library which provides plenty of reading materials foe lazy afternoon at the lodge.

The lodge offers accommodation to all budgets travelers and has seven well sited selfcontained tented rooms – These self-contained tents are built on the shores of the lake. They are constructed with a permanent stone bathroom at the rear and raised-decking supporting the vast tent in front. Each tent has its own private front porch where guests may spend a quiet evening.

The lodge organizes different activities for the Guests and among these includes the Sun Downer Cruise. A small pontoon boat that takes guests on sun downer cruises around the islands located on the lake. The guides and drivers are well acquainted with the local bird species in the district and have vast knowledge of the local traditions in the area and the other activity prepared by the lodge is

Lake Canoe Safari – Canadian style canoes takes up to 4 guests and a guide on tours of the lake shores. One of the most unique ways of viewing birds in the region.

Golden Monkey Guest House -Budget

golden-monkey-guest-hotel

The Guest House is ranked among the best Budget lodges in Kisoro town and it is a home away from home. They also offer a wide range of delicious food menu with meat and vegetarian options. The Guest House offers a wide range of accommodation options ranging from single and double, self-contained rooms to dormitories. Visitor’s choice of accommodation should be dictated by visitor’s personal travel budget but also guest’s own interests to give guest a total relaxation and peace of mind to make guest feel at home.

Golden Monkey guest house provides an excellent base for trekking the Mountain Gorillas in Bwindi, Golden monkeys and volcano hiking at Mgahinga Gorilla National Park. They also arrange canoe trekking trips to the beautiful lake Mutanda, which is just an hour away on foot. Community activities like market visit or village walk can be arranged.

Golden Monkey Guest House can be accessed by Road, Travel from Kampala crossing the Equator through Mbarara – Kabale onto Kisoro. Golden monkey Guest house is behind the Uganda wildlife information office in Kisoro town and well sign posted. And our newly open Rafiki guesthouse is along Bunagana road a few meters next to the famous Travelers Hotel
By Road: Travel from Kigali to Cyanika Boarder then proceed onto Kisoro town

MGAHINGA GORILLA NATIONAL PARK

Welcome to the park “where gold meets silver”

Park at a Glance
Name: Mgahinga national park
Location: continent- Africa, region- eastern Africa, country- Uganda, district- Kisoro, direction- south west of Kampala city Uganda’s capital
Geographical co-ordinates: 01o22’10” S 290 33’25” E.
Responsible Governing body: Uganda Wildlife Authority
Size: 33.9sqkm               Year of designation: 1991
Elevation of Mgahinga National Park: highest elevation is Muhavura peak at 4127m and lowest point is 2227m above sea level
Climate of Mgahing National Park: experiences a tropical montane forest climate with climate with 60mm or 2.4in of rainfall received every month, average temperature is (18-20)o C
Attractions in Mgahinga National Park: mountain gorillas with one habituated gorilla family, golden monkeys, various species of birds including the Albertine rift endemics like the Rwenzori turaco other primates in Mgahinga include; chimpanzees, monkeys like- the golden monkeys, the black and white colobus monkeys, the three famous extinct conical volcanoes of Muhavura, Sabinyo and Gahinga. The endangered tribe of Batwa people can also be found here.
Activities in Mgahinga National Park: mountain gorilla tracking, golden monkey tracking, birding, mountain hiking, cultural encounters, nature walks
Accommodation in Mgahiga National Park: mount gahinga lodge, amakoro songa lodge, lake chahifi resort, mucha hotel, travelers rest hotel, Danita guesthouse, amajembere community camp, Kisoro tourist hotel
Access to Mgahinga National Park: the park is accessible by both road and air transport means.
Travel distance and time to Mgahinga National Park: 492km or a 10-hour drive from kampala city uganda’s capital.
Best time to visit Mgahinga National Park. During the dry season in the of June-August and in December – January as well.

Location and historical background of Mgahinga National Park

Mgahinga national park is located in Uganda which is found in the east African region on the African continent, on the geographical co-ordinates of 01o22’10” S 290 33’25” E. Mgahinga national park lies about 482 km or 9-10-hour drive from Kampala city the capital of Uganda in the south western district of Kisoro. Mgahinga national park is bordered by Rwanda in the south, Democratic Republic of Congo in the west Kanungu district in the north and Kabale district in the east. mgahinga national park lies at an altitude between 2227m-4127m above sea level on the Mgahinga volcano ranges of Sabinyo, Gahinga and Muhavura hence making it part of the greater Virunga Conservation Area undertaken in the three countries of Rwanda, Democratic Republic of Congo and Uganda. Mgahinga’s highest elevation is muhavura peak with an altitude of 4127m above sea level while its lowest point is at 2227meters above sea level. Mgahinga ntional park experiences an equatorial tropical climate with an average temperature lying between 18-200C, minimum temperature ranges between 7-150C and maximum temperature lies between 22-280C. Mgahinga national park receives an average amount of rainfall of 60mm or 2.4 inches and the annual amount of rainfall received ranges between 1400-1900mm or 55-75 inches, this rainfall is received in two periods of maximum between the months of February – may and between September- December.

Mgahinga national park contains one habituated family of the elusive mountain gorillas called Nyakigezi and other unhabituated gorillas roaming the jungles of Mgahinga, various species of birds including the Albertine rift endemics like the Rwenzori turaco  other primates in Mgahinga include; chimpanzees, monkeys like the golden monkeys, black and white colobus monkeys, the three famous extinct conical volcanoes of Muhavura, Sabinyo and Gahinga. The endangered tribe of Batwa people can also be found here.

Conservation journey in Mgahinga ranges begun in the 1930s when the colonial imperial British government declared Mgahinga as an imperial crown reserve. But, in the 1950s the low lands of Mgahinga ranges were encroached on by the local communities and turned into farm lands. The post-independence period of the1960s to early 1980s was followed by political instability in the young republic of Uganda, this therefore gave rise to acts of poaching, encroachment on the wildlife reserves.  Mgahinga reserve also saw a sharp decrease in its wildlife population just like all other game reserves in the country did.

After the end liberation war in 1986, peace prevailed again in the country and efforts were made to protect wildlife wherever it was, this therefore led to the recruitment and training of game rangers that were to protect these reserves. In 1989, all poaching wire traps that had been put in the mgahinga game reserve were dismantled and rangers were deployed to protect it. in 1991, the government designated Mgahinga as a game park with an area coverage of 33.9sqkm making Uganda’s smallest game park. This park attained its name Mgahinga from the local Bafumbira people who named this place “Gahinga” which means “piles of volcanic stones” that that piled up in the lowlands area where their farm lands were.

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Uganda travel health Advice, Uganda Travel Information

Uganda travel health Advice – Uganda Travel Information

Vaccinations and Immunizations

Vaccine recommendations are based on the best available risk information. Please note that the level of risk for vaccine-preventable diseases can change at any time. The following information was obtained from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Uganda.

Recommended Vaccinations and Preventive Medications

The following vaccines may be recommended for your travel to East Africa. Discuss your travel plans and personal health with a health-care provider to determine which vaccines you will need.

Routine- Recommended if you are not up-to-date with routine shots such as, measles/mumps/rubella (MMR) vaccine, diphtheria/pertussis/tetanus (DPT) vaccine, poliovirus vaccine, etc.

Hepatitis A or immune globulin (IG)- Recommended for all unvaccinated people traveling to or working in countries with an intermediate or high level of hepatitis A virus infection (see map) where exposure might occur through food or water. Cases of travel-related hepatitis A can also occur in travelers to developing countries with “standard” tourist itineraries, accommodations, and food consumption behaviors.

Uganda travel health Advice

Hepatitis B Vaccination in uganda

Hepatitis B-Recommended for all unvaccinated persons traveling to or working in countries with intermediate to high levels of endemic HBV transmission (see map), especially those who might be exposed to blood or body fluids, have sexual contact with the local population, or be exposed through medical treatment (e.g., for an accident).

Malaria: your risk of malaria may be high in all countries in East Africa, including cities. See your health care provider for a prescription antimalarial drug.

Meningococcal (meningitis)- Recommended if you plan to visit countries that experience epidemics of meningococcal disease during December through June.

Typhoid- Recommended for all unvaccinated people traveling to or working in East Africa, especially if staying with friends or relatives or visiting smaller cities, villages, or rural areas where exposure might occur through food or water.

Polio- Recommended for adult travelers who have received a primary series with either inactivated poliovirus vaccine (IPV) or oral polio vaccine (OPV). They should receive another dose of IPV before departure. For adults, available data do not indicate the need for more than a single lifetime booster dose with IPV.

Rabies – Recommended for travelers spending a lot of time outdoors, especially in rural areas, involved in activities such as bicycling, camping, or hiking. Also recommended for travelers with significant occupational risks (such as veterinarians), for long-term travelers and expatriates living in areas with a significant risk of exposure, and for travelers involved in any activities that might bring them into direct contact with bats, carnivores, and other mammals. Children are considered at higher risk because they tend to play with animals, may receive more severe bites, or may not report bites

Yellow Fever- Recommended for all travelers from 9 months of age. Uganda requires travelers arriving from countries with risk of yellow fever virus transmission to present proof of yellow fever vaccination. Vaccination should be given 10 days before travel and at 10-year intervals if there is ongoing risk. Find an authorized U.S. yellow fever vaccination clinic.

How to stay healthy while on Uganda Safari, Uganda Travel Information

Wash your hands often with soap and water or, if hands are not visibly soiled, use a waterless, alcohol-based hand rub to remove potentially infectious materials from your skin and help prevent disease transmission.

In developing countries like Uganda, drink only bottled or boiled water or carbonated (bubbly) drinks in cans or bottles. Avoid tap water, fountain drinks, and ice cubes. If this is not possible, learn how to make water safer to drink.

Take your malaria prevention medication before, during, and after travel, as directed. (See your health care provider for a prescription.)

To prevent fungal and parasitic infections, keep feet clean and dry, and do not go barefoot, even on beaches.

Always use latex condoms to reduce the risk of HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases.

Protect yourself from mosquito insect bites: Wear long-sleeved shirts, long pants, and hats when outdoors. Use insect repellents that contain DEET (N, N-diethylmethyltoluamide). If no screening or air conditioning is available: use a pyrethroid-containing spray in living and sleeping areas during evening and night-time hours; sleep under bed nets, preferably insecticide-treated ones.

What you are supposed to do while on your Gorilla trekking safaris in Uganda.

Do not eat food purchased from street vendors or food that is not well cooked to reduce risk of infection (i.e., hepatitis A and typhoid fever).

Do not drink beverages with ice

Avoid dairy products, unless you know they have been pasteurized.

Do not swim in fresh water to avoid exposure to certain water-borne diseases such as schistosomiasis.

Do not handle animals, especially monkeys, dogs, and cats, to avoid bites and serious diseases (including rabies and plague). Consider pre-exposure rabies vaccination if you might have extensive unprotected outdoor exposure in rural areas.

Do not share needles for tattoos, body piercing or injections to prevent infections such as HIV and hepatitis B.

Avoid poultry farms, bird markets, and other places where live poultry is raised or kept.

Getting There and Around Uganda, Uganda Travel Information

Getting There and Around Uganda, Uganda Travel Information

There are both international and regional flights to Uganda being offered by various airbuses including British Airways, Kenya Airways, Brussels and so much more. You can as well charter a flight but this can be damn expensive. Uganda has all means of transport although the most accessible is by bus; it’s cost effective and safe when it comes to traveling. Bus companies for instance Regional Coach, Link and Scandinavian Express and Akamba have strict departure time if travelers can’t adhere to this, they are often left behind.

The Min buses usually go for shorter journeys. Transport in Uganda has been improved with well-maintained roads, speed governors as well as seat belts to ensure the safety of all passengers. The buses assemble in the new taxis park and some may be got along the public roads. The bus fares are fixed but cheaper to all the passengers. In the villages, there are motorcycles, bicycles, taxis for hire that can take you to your destination and remember to get small denominations of money to ease on transport. Ugandans are friendly people and are so willing to give directions when required. A visa to Uganda guide has also been put here.

Flights in Uganda, Uganda Travel Information

On Arrival.

Uganda Travel Information

Uganda Travel Information

There are 12 airports in Uganda and the 4 biggest are

Entebbe Airport (Entebbe, Uganda)

Right now, 31 airlines operate out of Entebbe Airport.

Entebbe Airport offers nonstop flights to 22 cities.

Every week, at least 49 domestic flights and 490 international flights depart from Entebbe Airport.

Arua Airport (Arua, Uganda)

Arua Airport offers nonstop flights to 2 cities.

Every week, at least 28 domestic flights and 0 international flights depart from Arua Airport.

Gulu Airport (Gulu, Uganda)

Gulu Airport offers nonstop flights to 2 cities.

Every week, at least 14 domestic flights and 0 international flights depart from Gulu Airport.

Kasese Airport (Kasese, Uganda)

Every week, at least 14 domestic flights and 0 international flights depart from Kasese Airport.

Uganda language

English is the national language. There are other local languages like luganda, runyankore, lusoga, luo, runyakitara, lugisu, lugbara and many more spoken by different tribes in Uganda. For those who can only communicate using languages like Chinese, Germany, French, Arabic and others, we can organize special interpreters for them while taking their tours in Uganda.

Uganda’s Climate

Uganda’s climate is humid; it combines hotness and coldness in some parts. Uganda has dry spells from June-September and rains from November to mid-January and many rains from March-June but at times such seasons change unexpectedly.

Uganda travel clothing/dress

Carry along lightweight, washable clothes plus a coat, jacket or sweater for morning wildlife game drives or any cold as a result of any weather changes. Items like sunhat, sunglasses and sunscreen etc. are also important. Trousers or long sleeved shirts save you from dangers of insect bites. Any other form of dressing by one’s preference is good as long as it isn’t offensive for public displeasure. Women travelers need to carry a wrap to cover legs in the village and towns. At Lodges and hotels with swimming pools, better to carry a swimsuit along with you.

Baggage on safaris

Baggage on safari is limited to one bag, plus one small piece of hand baggage per person (excluding a camera bag). In total this should not weight more than 20kg. Suitcases and other heavier items can be stored in town hotels whilst clients are on safari.

Uganda tour and travel photo shots

To make your tour unforgettable, its better you carry along with you a video and a digital camera with enough charged batteries for shooting anything that interests you throughout your trip. Keep cameras from dust, sunshine or rain. It is advisable to seek permission first before photographing anyone or anything.

Uganda travel security

Uganda is a very safe and sound country in African continent .The country presently has no rebel activity going on inside of Uganda. Even the north of Uganda is enjoying a state of peace and rebuilding since the LRA has signed a cease-fire in the summer of 2006.

Hence Uganda is a very safe country to visit, work and stay, but still precautionary measures have to be ensured while traveling. Below are some guides on how to be cautious so as to keep safe.

Money should be hidden:

The best way to carry your money is when you keep it at your front pocket where you can put your hand over it rather than a back pocket where it can easily be stolen. Do not flash money or count it in public, pull out what you need and pay, never carry large amounts with you. Keep money and any other valuables in your hotel safe.

Carrying Passports and Return Tickets:

It’s very risky carrying your passport on you, it’s best to make a copy of your travel documents and leave the originals at your hotel safe. If you are traveling on a safari, keep it all such things in a small backpack that you can easily carry with you. It is best to carry that small Backpack even if you go on a game drive while on safari. It is always best to be on the safe side of life instead of having later sorrow.

Keep your Jewelry at home or hotel safe:

Take inexpensive jewelry with you (you can buy some lovely items here in Uganda at a low price). Gold chains and jewelry can be torn off you. Avoid expensive watches and if you are wearing one, have one preferably with leather strap that can be tightened and safely worn.

Buy some local Ugandan crafted jewelry and support a local artisan and their families and you will safe-keep your expensive items at home and at the same time make a difference in Uganda through your purchase of local hand-crafted items.

Cell Phone:

Keep your Mobile Cell-Phone in your pocket and do not carry it in your hands. If you carry it in your hands, someone may take a cigarette burn your hand and you drop the phone when pain strikes and it is gone.

Do not put in on a table in a restaurant or bar since again someone might just come and grab it – Stay on the safe side. Mobile phones are stolen daily in Uganda – hold on to it tightly.

Walking at night:

Do not walk alone on your own in most neighborhoods to be on the safe side – what you would do at home, do here while visiting Uganda. You do not hear of many cases where Visitors to Uganda are robbed or harmed but it is best to be wise and smart.

Visits to Slums:

Slums in Kampala happen to be a place of misery and where you can find quite a few people who would not have the best intentions in mind when it comes to dealing with you. Most slum-dwellers are there not because of choice but because of circumstances in life.

Visiting a slum unless you are visiting a school, an NGO, a charitable work such as an orphanage is ill-advised. We do not offer slum tours as is the fashion in Kenya in order to make money and once company does here in Kampala. We believe in the dignity of all human beings and do not want to benefit off another person’s misery.

Gay Travelers Safety:

In February of 2014 President Museveni signed the stronger anti-gay bill into law. 97% of Ugandans concurred with his decision. Uganda had been in the news for five years regarding the anti-gay bill and it had an effect on Uganda’s image in the world even though it is one of 38 African Countries and over 80 worldwide with strong anti-gay laws.

What does it mean to a gay traveler wanting to come to Uganda? In Uganda there is no public affection between any gender. No promotion of homosexuality and simply discreet behavior that does not draw attention to a visitor to Uganda. The traditions of held values of Uganda and most African Nations are simply different.

The law is there – the choice is up to the gay visitor to Uganda whether to come or whether to stay away – the previous anti-gay law was hardly enforced since in Uganda personal relationships are kept private.

Statement from Stephen Asiimwe -Chief Executive Officer of the Uganda Tourism Board “no gay visitor to our country will be harassed or not welcome for the only reason that he or she may be gay. Cultural policies are important in Uganda. We ask visitors to respect them. They include touching in public for example or engaging in sex with children.”

Is it safe for single travelers?

It’s very safe for tourists to travel solo on safari in Uganda. It’s always best to travel with a reliable tour company like Africa Adventure Safaris Ltd to run your safari in Uganda.

Uganda Currency, Uganda Travel Information

Uganda Currency, Uganda Travel Information

Major foreign currencies – like the US$, Pound Sterling and Euros, South African Rand and currencies for the Uganda’s neighboring countries can be exchanged in the local forex bureaus and banks. Travelers’ cheques are accepted in Uganda and are exchangeable at banks and forex bureau in Kampala City and other major towns and hotels. Credit cards are getting common and are acknowledged in some shopping and banks. Majority of banks have ATM facilities. In some national parks or tourist centre, visitors can pay using foreign currencies if they didn’t get time to convert into local money. It is not suitable to exchange money on the streets from individuals as you may be given fake notes of Uganda shillings.

Bank and money transactions in Kampala Uganda;Where to get and how to make money transactions in Kampala.

Uganda Banks, Money exchange, Forex rates, in Uganda

The simplest way to acquire money on your initial arrival is using a Visa ATM card (MasterCard is more challenging; do not bother using anything else). The ATMs are scattered across Uganda, beginning at the airport, and nearly all of them offer the favorable Visa logo. It is a good idea to talk to your bankers back at home and inquire about any kind of deals they offer within Ugandan banks – for example, as I write this, in case you use your Bank of America ATM card in any of Uganda’s Barclays ATMs, you will not be charged that annoying ATM fee. Western Union is as well an alternative for quick cash from foreign countries, although the fees are somewhat large. On the other hand, if it is a better option for you, there are several Western Union places throughout Kampala.

Do I need my International Banking card While in Kampala Uganda?

The majority of properly-ATMed banks are Barclays plus Stanbic that appear to have ATMs almost anyplace you would require one. A properly-informed friend informed me that Barclays, regardless of its international name, is pretty short on service, and that its competitor Stanbic could be a better choice. Additional alternatives include Centenary bank whose ATMs and branches can be accessed in most of the rural parts of the country plus Standard Chartered, that has fewer branches as well as ATMs although fairly good service.

How do I make mobile money transactions with my cell phone in Kampala Uganda?

Uganda Currency Forex exchange rates

Uganda Currency Forex exchange rates

One new and expanding approach to handle money within Uganda is using cell phones commonly known as Mobile money. You can Sign up with any of the local carrier and then send and also receive money directly on your phone, obtainable almost any place across the country. But of course, you need to have some money deposited on it.

Shopping in Uganda

From jammed but fascinating markets filled with collectable handicrafts, to glitzy malls in our big city with the latest must have name brands, more so because our favorable exchange rate makes your retail therapy last longer too. Uganda’s shopping centers provide world-class shopping, plenty of entertainment, the latest movies and delicious food in conveniently situated and safe surroundings. Whether you are looking for something specific, have time on your hands to browse around or just love to shop, the boutiques, chain stores and specialist shops in the country’s malls have it all. The quality, cost and variety of goods on offer along with the safe, sophisticated environment provided by Uganda’s shopping centers should not take visiting international holidaymakers and business people by surprise.

Uganda’s malls are famous for their excellent shopping and entertainment facilities. When you leave the country after your holiday or business trip, you will lament the baggage restrictions of the international airlines and wish that you could take more of Uganda home with you! Vacationers can choose from dining and enjoying a drink at local or hotel bars and restaurants, seeing a movie at the cinema, attending a theatrical production at the cultural centre or gambling at one of the two casinos in town. Some bars host live music sessions at weekends. Uganda is known for their woodcarvings, handcrafted jewellery, textiles and attractive basketry – all make a memorable souvenir of your trip.

Nightlife in Kampala

From a night of fine dining to raucous all-night party in Kampala city Ugandans love to have a good time. Let your hair down and live it up in our clubs, pubs, late-night bars, theatres and live music venues. You won’t just find the best wildlife in our game parks…come on, the party’s starting! Experience a sundowner. Sip a cool drink and enjoy a glorious sunset at the end of a satisfying afternoon game drive. In the tourist towns of Kampala, there are a handful of restaurants, cinema and a clutch of places to grab a cold beer with fellow travelers and the friendly locals.

Casinos in Uganda

Bet on having a good time around Uganda. From our most famous Kampala casino for high-rollers to family entertainment venues– we’ve myriad casinos where you can take chance with Lady Luck. Ugandan casinos, including several large entertainment complexes, can be found countrywide. These entertainment destinations are typically designed around a specific theme and include a large range of activities for the whole family. Many are also geared towards business tourism, providing hotels and conferencing facilities as well.

Uganda’s casinos can be found on the fringes of most major centers. The emphasis is on being a one-stop leisure destination, with access to both indoor and outdoor entertainment. In Uganda, casinos are designed around a specific theme, offering a vision of life somewhat different from the run of the mill expectation of Africa. Nor are they typical casinos, most offering entertainment that goes beyond the usual slots and gaming tables. Among the most popular casinos in Uganda is the famed Kampala casino, in the city centre. Garden city is as famous for its golf course, game drives and outdoor activities as it is for gambling.

Uganda Accommodation

Uganda offers a wide variety of hotels lodge’s guesthouses, safari lodges available for travellers ranging from budget, midrange and high-end accommodation that are distributed in all parts of the country. For any destination you want to travel to, there accommodations that you can book at. Feel free to contact us for any of your travel accommodation plans and you will find all answers for Uganda accommodation.

Uganda Public Holidays

Below is the list of Uganda’s public holidays that are officially noticed by all citizens: Liberation day(26 Jan),Women’s Day (8 March),New Years’ Day (1 Jan),Independence Day (9 Oct),Labor Day(1 May),Heroes Day(9 June),Martyrs Day(3June),World Aids Day (1 Dec),Boxing Day (26 Dec),Christmas Day (25 Dec),Human Rights’ Day (10 Dec),Africa Day (25 May)

What are the interesting activities I can Do while in Uganda?

What are the interesting activities I can Do while in Uganda?

Tours and Adventures in Uganda

There are so many activities and adventures on a Uganda safari that it is difficult to stick to the details on your plan. Here are some of the top interesting tourist activities in Uganda that most tourists have come to love through the years.

Gorilla Trekking Safari, Uganda Travel Information

6 Days Mountain Gorilla trekking Safari Tour in DR Congo and Rwanda.

6 Days Mountain Gorilla trekking Safari Tour in DR Congo and Rwanda.

This ranks as the most important part of any Uganda safari itinerary. The once-in-a-lifetime experience takes you through the dense forests of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga National park on the slopes of the Rwenzori ranges in search of the gentle giants. Groups of 8 people launch every day into the forest canopy behind the lead of a trained and armed ranger! It is surely exciting and a challenge that may take you up to eight intense hours of trekking. Without mountain gorilla trekking expeditions, Uganda safaris are not same!

Chimpanzee tracking and the Primates of Uganda

Uganda’s forests are home to an estimated 13 or more species of primates include the black & white colobus, red tailed monkeys, bush babies, olive baboons, gorillas and the habituated chimpanzees. Chimpanzee tracking is a fascination in Kibale Forest National park but there are also a few of these primates in Semliki National Park and Ngamba Island on Lake Victoria.

Wildlife safaris and National Parks in Uganda

There are 10 National parks and 12 game reserves in Uganda gifted with a wide range of flora and fauna. The most visited include Murchison Falls Park (which is the largest) and the Queen Elizabeth National Park. Take a game drive or a guided safari walk in the wilderness and encounter Uganda’s best kept mammals like the tree climbing Lions, zebras, Uganda kob, elephants, buffaloes, hippos, Harte beest and many more. Unique safari experiences take you to Lake Mburo National park for a canoe ride for sights of Uganda’s birds and animals visiting the vast lake.

Lake Bunyonyi tours

Lake Bunyonyi is found in South Western Uganda in the district of Kabale. It is Africa’s second deepest lake dotted with a few islands that are historically important to the people in this area. The lake is named after the birds that nest on the lake’s shore and surrounding swamps such as kingfishers, malachite eagles, sun birds, bee eaters, the rare shoebill stork and a few of the Albertine endemic species. Take a canoe ride to the island, nature walks around the lake or go swimming – Yes…the lake is Bilharzia free and good for swimming!

Bird watching safaris

Murchison Falls National Park Uganda

Murchison Falls National Park Uganda

If you are a nature enthusiast, then Uganda must have a special place in your heart. Over 3,000 species of birds are recorded to have nests in papyrus swamps, forests, lakeshores and national parks all over the country. Some of the best birding destinations like Lake Bunyonyi, Bwindi forest park, Kazinga channel in Queen Elizabeth Park and also in the different cities. Kampala city also has a few swamps with notable species like the stork and sun birds among others.

Mountain Climbing

Hiking is not a popular sport In Uganda but you can be among the few tourists to reach some of the peaks of Uganda’s skyline. The ‘mountains of the moon’ popularly known as the Rwenzori mountain offer great hiking experiences often challenging but worth when you reach the glaciated peak. Mount Elgon, an extinct volcano in Eastern Uganda is also good for hiking and at the same time discovers some unique plant species that grow on the slopes of this fertile rock.

River Nile Adventures

It is the world’s longest river with its source on Lake Victoria in south central Uganda. The river has a number of rapids and water falls on its course to the Mediterranean Sea in Egypt. Bujagali falls is particularly good for kayaking and water rafting with class I, II and IV rapids while Bungee jumping is also done near the falls. You can continue pursuing the river to the spectacular Murchison Falls on the Victoria Nile in the west and so on

Kampala City Tours, Uganda Travel Information

Kampala is the capital city of Uganda and the busiest town in the country. It is Uganda’s largest town and an important centre for business, industry, transport and administration. There are also many interesting things to note and tour about this friendly town such as the independence monument, Uganda Museum & art galleries, Makerere University, Kabaka’s palace, the National theatre, Uganda Martyr’s Shrine at Namugongo and the different religious centres around the capital.

Shopping in Kampala

Kampala being the capital city of Uganda, it has plenty of modern and western style shops with a feel of western typical malls with luxury goods and fast food outlets. You can visit numerous local and upscale shopping places like local markets for fresh foods, supermarkets, boutiques and departmental stores. In some parts of the city there are shopping complexes offering designer labels, computer equipment and other wide range of goods available let it be specialist or luxury. From colorful and bustling markets to newly developed shopping malls, Kampala now has it all. There are many upscale hotels that cater to the influx of tourists.

Uganda Travel Information

Shopping in Uganda

Kampala is famous for its intoxicating overcrowded markets, streets and arcades with upscale goods and services. Very chaotic but with pretty experience, Owino market normally acknowledged as Balikuddembe market is the most admired local market in Kampala. Sprawling around Nakivubo stadium, Owino is well stocked with everything from manufactured goods to traditional medicine. Eminent for its second hand clothes “Ebikadde” in Luganda, new clothes can be made as well by local tailors after making a selection for a piece of cloth material. Visitors are bound to spend much time here not because they are having much fun but once you are inside it’s really difficult to find your way out.

Apart from these local markets, Uganda is endowed with shopping centers with a feel of typical western styles and among the best places for shopping are 5 big shopping centers; if you want luxury goods especially the American and European brands. This is your best bet because you are likely to do your shopping in one place from one of the following malls; Lugogo shopping mall, Acacia mall, Garden city, and Freedom city. Shopping places indoors include; big supermarkets like Nakumatt, Capital shoppers, Uchumi, Game and Payless, departmental stores, fast food outlets, jewelry and book shops.

Looking out for the best rates for changing large amounts of foreign currency, Kampala is the best way to go. Try out bureaus in Kampala for the best rates this time especially the dollar house and half east all located conveniently next to each other at king Fahad plaza along Kampala road. There are many more bureaus and rates change from time to time but are usually printed in local papers and white boards at the entrance.

There are several sophisticated craft shops around the national theatre and Uganda crafts 2000 limited that sell locally made Arts and crafts. Original and smart local items like bark-cloth clothing, drums, wood carvings, sandals, basketry, beaded jewelry and Muzungu t- shirts plus other items from all over Africa are sold. Look out for many cheaper crafts at park headquarters and the nearby communities, Entebbe airport, Garden city and Lugogo mall. Pieces of valuable handcrafts are available at relatively low prices compared to imported crafts; therefore don’t hesitate to snap a chance. Your purchase of arts, crafts, souvenirs and gifts impact the lives of ordinary Ugandans.

Look out for the best places for English language publications, with the great selection of books like novels and as well as Uganda at very reasonable and affordable prices. The best place is Aristoc, where books are stocked up to satisfy the customers’ needs. Get a reading material before heading on to long road trip. You can also have second hand books with a good selection of novels at a bit cheaper price down town. Bargaining is acceptable and the way to the business. You can bargain for better prices especially on souvenirs and your bargaining power determines what you pay in the end.

Cultural tours and safaris

Uganda is home to many tribes and peoples who live in harmony. Almost every part of Uganda has a tribe that relates to it with a unique heritage and institution called a Kingdom. The most popular kingdom is Buganda in central Uganda with proper institutional structures headed by the Kabaka who is the king. Some of its significant tourist sites include Kasubi Royal tombs, the Kabaka’s palace and lake in Mengo, Sezibwa falls and a host of cultural/spiritual sites dotted around the country. Other kingdoms worth visiting include Toro Kingdom Palace in Fort Portal and Busoga in Jinja among others.

Lake Victoria tours

Lake Victoria is Uganda’s largest lake seen on landing at the Entebbe International Airport. Catch a ferry or hire a charter boat to the spectacular Ssese Islands for a treat of the best beaches in Uganda. Ngamba Island is also another island to visit on the lake, synonymous with the Ngamba Chimpanzee sanctuary. The best ways to relax on one of these islands is by taking nature walks, forest walks, go fishing or treat yourself to some of the best fish in Uganda’s waters. It is the perfect place to relax after hectic safaris in Uganda before you take your departure flights.

Spot fishing in Uganda

Go fishing in Nile River and in Lake Victoria to explore a world of untouched, mystical beauty. Take advantage of some of the other activities on offer such as gliding along the scenic waterways of the Nile and Victoria on a dug-out canoe. For game fisherman, the Nile River teems with Nile perch one of the biggest fish species in Uganda. Catch your biggest one yet and be amazed at the size that the fish grow to in these areas. Houseboats offer 360 degrees of lush greenery filled with the music of chirping birds and beautiful waterways and absolutely luxurious living conditions. Glide through the Nile and Lake Victoria fringes to find fish-rich water

Horseback riding

Lake Mburo national park is one of fewest parks that offer horseback riding in safari Uganda, but for the adventurous this is an experience not to be missed. Uganda is a land of immense natural beauty with diverse terrain and landscapes of which Lake Mburo national park with a lush emerald paradise of swamps and Precambrian metamorphic rocks, rich savannah grasslands is undoubtedly living proof of. On horseback you can truly absorb the magnificence of park like unique spectrum of ecosystems that supports an unbelievable variety of bird, plant and wildlife waiting to be discovered. Venture further into the park and get much closer to the abounding wildlife. Encounter exciting moments along the game trails as your horseback safari ride brings you upon great herds of buffalo, zebra, elands and other antelopes. Be assured that this activity is a magical and humbling experience that will touch your soul and remain in your heart for an eternity.

Flights to Uganda, Uganda Travel Information

Flights to Uganda, Uganda Travel Information

Flying to Uganda is simple and affordable. With many direct flights to Entebbe from Europe, Asia and Africa, Uganda can now be easily accessed from any part of the world. Below are the major international airlines that fly to Entebbe International Airport, Uganda:

Flights to Uganda

Flights to Uganda, Getting There and Around

KLM / Amsterdam – flights to and from Entebbe 5 times a week.

Brussels Airlines / Brussels – flights to and from Entebbe 3 times a week.

Emirates / Dubai – flights to and from Entebbe daily.

South African Airways / Johannesburg – flights to and from Entebbe daily.

Kenya Airways / Nairobi – flights to and from Entebbe 5 times a week.

Ethiopian Airways / Addis Ababa – flights to and from Entebbe daily.

Qatar Airways / Doha – flights to and from Entebbe daily.

Feel free to contact Prime Safaris and Tours Ltd for advice on flights to Uganda and which airline would be most suitable for you.

Domestic Flights, Uganda Travel Information

Prime Safaris and Tours Ltd would be delighted to book your scheduled domestic flights or private charters, providing excellent access to most of the national parks within Uganda. Daily domestic flights are available at affordable rates from Entebbe International Airport or Kajjansi Airstrip, flying to Murchison Falls, Queen Elizabeth, Bwindi and Kidepo National Park among others.

Contact prime safaris and Tours Ltd for more information and prices on charter and scheduled flights to Uganda’s national parks or regional flights within East Africa.