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sailing-kazinga-channelIn July 2012, I moved to Kasese, west of Kampala, for my one-year Global Health Corps cooperation with a non-profit organization that serves community in the Rwenzori area. At first, I bemoaned leaving “excitement and style” of city life, having spent most of my life in Kampala. One month in Kasese, I was profoundly, frantically and sincerely enamored with the certain natural beauty of this part of the country.

Kasese region is surrounded by four national parks to be specific; Rwenzori in the north, Kibale in the west, Virunga in east and Queen Elizabeth in the south. It is likewise naturally blessed with various lakes and small snaking their way in old ancient of white rocks into Lake Edward and George. Another of these gifts of nature is Kazinga Channel, a 40-kilometre extend of conduit linking Lake George and Lake Edward.

It is an oasis that extinguishes the thirst of both people and various animals, incorporating elephants, hippos, warthogs, elands, crocodiles, bison, cattle, goats and even birds. In February 2013, I was treated to a boat cruise on the channel in festival of a friend’s birthday. We voyaged by road west of Kasese town through Queen Elizabeth National Park to the clamoring fishing community of Katwe Kabatooro.

This small town is one of the numerous passages to the Kazinga Channel through Lake Edward. It was a boat cruise arranged by a friend, so we didn’t pay any fee, aside from cover fuel costs. On our way, we were treated to a tremendous perspective of wildlife, incorporating different species of birds, animals, for example elephants, buffalos, antelopes and warthogs. We additionally got a flash of crater lakes whose banks were defined by herds of hippopotamus showering in the sun.

While in Katwe Kabatooro, we made a detour to Lake Katwe, a well known salt lake where locals procure their every day bread by harvesting salt, which is traded to countries like the Democratic Republic of Congo, South Sudan, Sudan and Egypt. At the salt lake, we enjoyed stunning perspectives of various pink flamingos and lovely layouts of salt harvesting ponds on the lake.

We from that point made our way to the landing site, where we met fishermen delighted with their day’s catch of fresh tilapia, cat fish and lung fish from Lake Edward.

The landing site is just as spectacular, beautified with various colourful wooden kayaks, motor boats used by fishermen and some greater vessels used to take tourists to tour the lake, its islands and obviously the Kazinga Channel. On the boat ride to the channel, one has a clear glimpse of the now defunct salt processing industries, whose feeble buildings still tower the skylines of this clamoring town, thinking back over their past glory. On Lake Edward, we saw various animals, incorporating hippopotamus, bison, tiny white monkeys on trees, the Nile crocodiles and the rare fast yellow water snake that almost smashed into our boat. We essentially jumped out of the boat trying to escape from it.

“Unlike the percolating water points that imply the source of the Nile in Jinja, the Kazinga Channel needs no introduction,” our guide gladly proclaimed as we entered this narrow conduit and in reality he was right. This natural conduit notably characterizes itself from Lake Edward and George, yet strengthens the clear sibling like bond the two lakes share.

At the Kazinga Channel, we saw various animals, incorporating a herd of elephants, cattle from nearby communities, buffaloes, parcels and heaps of hippopotamus and various birds species, incorporating the peaked crane, marabou stocks and water ducks with their ducklings. All these animals and birds were sipping from the cool waters.

It was so amicable. On our way back, we got a glimpse of the extraordinary Egyptian kite grandly resting on a tree best as we toured islands on the lake. This amazing two-hour experience affirmed that for sure Uganda is blessed by nature.

Did you know?
At the Kazinga Channel, there are various animals, incorporating elephants, cattle from adjacent villages, buffaloes, lots of hippopotamus and various birds, for example the Crested Crane, marabou stocks and water ducks.

Due to all the extraordinary wildlife in the country, there are many tour operators in the country ready to serve you on your safari in Uganda. They offer different safari in the country gorilla safaris in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, Uganda wildlife safaris in other national parks in the country like; Queen Elizabeth National Park, Kidepo Valley National Park, Lake Mburo National Park among others, cultures tours and many others. Book now you trip to Uganda and discover what they call nature beauty.

After entering Nairobi National park through the East gate, I continued to drive through the park without hope of seeing wildlife that late afternoon. But after bypassing junction 7, a head of me, two vehicles were parked next to a large shrub on a bend and I wondered what their owners had seen.

Then I saw them critically observing some thing which late I realised that they were observing a certain animal.  It was a lioness with two small cubs just a few metres from the roadside. The cubs were in a playful mood and played many little games like 'tag mom's tail' or 'stalk and pounce'. Many of the games that cubs play hone their hunting skills as they mature.

As soon as the other cars drove away, the cubs suddenly began to play 'tag me' around an acacia tree. Then one cub actually climbed up the tree with the other one trying to follow. The lioness (whose ID is MF3) gave low concerned calls to the cubs and eventually walked over to the tree and called until the cub came down. It was fantastic to see cubs climbing a tree.

It was amazing because, tree climbing lions are known in manyara (Tanzania) or Ishasha sector of Queen Elizabeth National park in Uganda. The tree climbing lions are mostly seen by tourists while on their way to Bwindi impenetrable national park where gorilla treks take place. After seeing the cubs climbing I could not help but wonder why some lions climb trees and others do not? Sadly it appears that in the following weeks, the lioness (MF3) lost both her cubs as it is rare for a lone lioness to raise cubs.

gorilla-family-rwandaIn the event that you have ever been on a gorilla safari in Rwanda, you will unquestionably come back to this place. You will want to return and repeat the experience because of the amazing setting of Rwanda's Volcanoes National Park is like nowhere else on the planet and is the national park that provided the scenery for the famous movie, Gorillas in the Mist. After spending a maximum of one hour with the mountain gorillas, these huge, energetic, amazing animals, gives such a sense of unity with nature that you will be longing to feel its peacefulness and excitement again.

In terms of gorilla trekking, Rwanda does not offer the same density of Gorillas as Uganda, actually there are only around 900 gorillas left in the region - yet gorilla trekking here is just as amazing as it is in Uganda, as the spotting of these rare creators are generally as frequent, and the spotting sites are much easier to find than in Uganda. The wildlife reserves offer tremendous game watching chance besides gorillas as well and the flora of the region is also interesting.

Getting In, Starting Your Gorilla Trekking
Rwanda has regulations so you will need to acquire a gorilla permit to go on a safari to see mountain gorillas. There are three distinct tracks you can choose to get to gorilla spotting points, and each of them can be accessed with different gorilla permits.

Your safari will begin in Kigali which is an exceptionally interesting city, as well, just the right backdrop to set you in the right mood for seeing the mountain gorillas, one of main attractions is the crafts museum. While this historical center shows the amazing antiques created by the Rwandan people, the other gallery frequented by travelers is a much sadder place: the Genocide Museum.

The Gorilla Safari, Rwanda National Parks and Their Attractions
The gorilla safari can last from last from two days to more than a week. Organized trips usually start from Kigali. The trekkers also go to Akagera National Park, a place that is known for swamps, famous for game watching drives to sport different animals more especially the hippos and elephants. The safari then usually continues towards Nyungwe Forest, the home of the giant lobelia, some astonishing bird species unique to the area, and orchids.

The actual gorilla trekking usually is done on the 6th or 7th day of the safari, in the Volcanoes National Park, followed by the return to takeoffs on the next day.

Gorilla Expeditions Ltd has an extraordinary experience in organizing gorilla trekking safaris in Rwanda and we have earned a magnificent reputation as a dependable and reliable tour company.