Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Tourism Activities in Virunga National Park Suspended, Park Closed

All tourism activities in DR Congo’s Virunga National Park have been suspended. These include mountain Gorilla trekking, Nyiragongo & Nyamuragira volcanoes hiking or any foreign visit to the area. The closure was announced on Friday 13th May 2018 by the park’s chief warden Mr. Emmanuel de Merode – the Belgian prince.
According to the statement on the park’s website, tourism in Virunga national park will be suspended until 4th June 2018 but it is yet to be confirmed whether it will stay that way or if the suspension is indefinite. This has come as a result of a series of insecurity to both the park rangers and tourists in the recent months. The park can no longer guarantee the safety of its visitors.
The decision to close the park came up after the release of two British tourists who were kidnapped together with their driver and the death of a female ranger – 25 years old Rachel Masika Baraka who lost her life while trying to protect the two tourists - Bethan Davies and Robert Jesty from being kidnapped but sadly in vain! It is still unknown how the two were released and as to whether the kidnappers have been caught.
Working as a ranger in the Virunga national park is considered one of the most dangerous jobs in the world but these men and women have made a choice to die for a cause; Mr De Merode himself survived a deadly ambush in 2014 as he was shot 4 times in the stomach and legs.
Ms. Racheal Baraka was the eighth ranger that Virunga has lost in this year and the first female ranger to die in the line of duty!
Virunga national park is Africa’s oldest and most biologically diverse natural park covering 3,000 square miles and its huge size makes it a big challenge to pacify considering that there is an estimated 1,500 to 2,000 armed fighters within the region that belong to different militia groups.
The closure will definitely be a big blow as tourism has been contributing $2M of the $9M required budget to maintain conservation efforts. The park has so far received 17.000 visitors since it was re-opened in 2014
Those with booked trips to Virunga are advised to get in touch with their booking agents and find alternative solutions or work out refunds as it cannot be confirmed when the park will be open again to welcome visitors!

Friday, January 13, 2017

Uganda Ranked Among the top 10 Destinations for 2017 - Visit Uganda, Africa Safaris

One of the world’s top travel publishers – Rough Guides, ranked Uganda 4th of the top 10 countries to visit in 2017 in its special feature titled “the Rough Guide to 2017”. This comes as the country has embarked on rigorous marketing and heavy investment in infrastructure to boost the tourism industry.
Uganda has beaten its East African counterparts including Kenya and Tanzania as well as some of the African giants like South Africa. Gorilla trekking still tops the list of activities that drive tourists to Uganda but there are more to do and experience in Uganda including many less explored destinations with a whole lot of adventures.

Besides the famed Gorilla trekking in Bwindi, Chimpanzee tracking provides an equally thrilling adventure and these elusive primates can be found in Kibale forest national park which has the highest number of Chimpanzees in the world, Kyambura gorge and Kalinzu forest in Queen Elizabeth national park, as well as visiting the orphaned and rescued Chimpanzees at Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary.

The fact that Chimpanzees share 98.7 % DNA with humans makes them our closest cousins, giving us a more compelling reason to visit them and they exhibit similar characteristics that a visit to the Chimpanzees will be a rewarding experience as you watch them play, compete and mate!
For adventure lovers, the Nile River in Jinja and Lake Victoria present real adrenaline adventures including Nile high Bungee jumping and white water rafting. There is a lot of fresh organic foods and fruits which you will enjoy on all your Uganda safaris and to spice it all up, the country has some of the friendliest people in Africa!

Many people know Uganda to be a poor country which is true but its people are truly welcoming and visibly happy under the circumstances and every traveler knows that the attitude of the locals add up a lot to the success of the trip and the experience. While on a safari in Uganda, kids will wave you on and chant “Muzungu” referring to a white person and in a good and happy way.

The country has 10 national parks including natural wonders and Snow capped Mountains. It is also the best birding destination in Africa with more than 1000 bird species including endemics and migratory birds making it the giant star of bird watching in Africa.

Uganda is the only East African country on the Rough Guides’ 2017 list and deservedly so. The only other African destination there is Namibia on 9th position. Read the full article here

Monday, July 11, 2016

Uganda Visa Booking Online - Uganda Visa Online Application

Visitors to Uganda can now breathe a sigh of relief especially those that have longed for the online visa application. The Ugandan Government has introduced the online visa application system with effect from 1st July 2016.  All persons intending to travel to Uganda are required to apply and obtain their visa online.
Uganda tour operators and other stakeholders have been informed that the Government is giving a grace period only until the end of July 2016, wherein clients will be able to get a Ugandan visa on arrival at Entebbe airport as has been the case.

Travelers will however have to go through the same process of applying online while at the airport, before they can be issued with the Visa. Other requirements for obtaining a Ugandan visa include a yellow fever certificate which is mandatory.

Uganda continues to stand out as the pearl of Africa and a top destination for mountain Gorilla trekking safaris and tours. Meeting eyes with a silverback mountain gorilla across a misty jungle, after an arduous hike through Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, leaves everlasting impressions of arguably the best wildlife safari in the world.

But there's much more to Uganda. Rich in nature, it's an outdoor sanctuary of crater lakes, white-sand beaches on lake islands, thundering waterfalls and national parks. Visitors can cross the equator by boat slicing through Africa's largest lake. Or climb through glaciers in the Mountains of the Moon.

You can apply for a Ugandan visa online by visiting this link;

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Silverback Mountain Gorillas - About Silverbacks

About the Silverback Gorilla

Silverback gorillas are the giant male gorillas with a strong
physique and stronger muscles but the defining feature about the silverbacks is their silver hair at the back stretching to the hips. A silverback is always the leader of the family and usually, this comes at a price; he has to prove his status by putting off several contenders through serious fights that at times, turn out fatal!
What do silverbacks eat?
giant silverback gorilla in Bwindi
A Silverback in Bwindi
Like other gorillas, the silverbacks are herbivores and feed on plant leaves, tree roots and fruits. For protein supplements, they feed on safari ants. A silverback eats between 18kgs to 25kgs per day and weighs between 180kgs to 250kgs on average.
Where do silverbacks sleep?
They sleep in nests. Gorillas sleep in nests and each individual makes its own nest every evening where it sleeps and never returns to the same nest even if they spend another night in the same site. It instead makes a new nest next to the old one!
How about Solitary Silverbacks?
Some gorillas are not happy about sharing their females. The dominant male takes the females and as he produces male gorillas, he chases them out of the group, forcing them into a solitary life. During their solitary existence, silverbacks feed intensively and exercise to gain more strength to attack a social group with a weak leader.

If a leader of the social group defeats the silverback, it returns to its solitary life and does more intensive training. With a bit of luck, it may also grab one or two females from the group with whom he may decide to start his own family. However, if he succeeds and beats the leader of the social group, he takes over the group and kills all the young males in it including the breastfeeding ones so that it can begin its new family without any threats!
Planning a visit to the gorillas in Uganda or Rwanda? Get in touch through for advice and help in planning a memorable gorilla safari.