Phenomenal is one of the many words that can be used to describe the beautiful, breath taking Murchison Falls National Park. Found in Uganda at the northern end of the Albertine rift valley and the largest national park in Uganda. Murchison Falls is one of the places one should go to have a wonderful time and experience the biggest connection with Mother Nature.

With its exotic beauty, Murchison Falls National Park has become one of Uganda’s biggest tourist attractions. There are so many different activities one can do here like; Nature walks, hiking, sport fishing on the Albert Nile where by you stand a chance of catching 20 kg big fish for yourself. A boat cruise at the Albert Nile is worthy a talk as here one get to enjoy the sea bliss as one breathes in the fresh Uganda air and also has a glance on the aquatic life that is hippos from the distance, the elephants at the bank of the river and also so many interesting birds at the shores.

While at Murchison national park, you can get to explore a lot of wildlife and see many different wild animals like; Giraffes, Buffaloes, white hippos and crocodiles on the banks of the longest river in the world, the Nile River when you take a half day game drive. You get to know why these animals are called wild as they hang out in an environment where the fittest and the most resilient survive.

Visiting Murchison Falls National Park would not be complete without getting to see its centre piece, the one thing that makes this place what it is, the Murchison falls. It’s white, rapid waters flowing from the River Nile, gushing down and drifting off into Lake Albert. The sight of this is simply amazing. At the top of the fall, you witness how the mighty Nile forces its way through a narrow stream of about 6 metres down the Lake Albert as it makes a devil like sound and sprouting water fountain as it is subdued in Lake Albert.

Murchison Falls National Park is a place that one should definitely go to, so grab your family or friends and take a trip here to have a fun and delightful time. Many people who have visited this park have had a good experience and the experience has given them a second reason to pay a visit one more time.However note that, some parts of the park are inaccessible during rain season, and you are advise to rent a 4x4 Toyota prado, Land rover, Land Cruiser Hardtop among others. Those are the most common safari vehicles used in Uganda especially in Murchison Falls National Park.

chimpanzee-kibale-ugandaChimpanzees are one of the major attractions of tourists into East and central Africa, mostly in Uganda, Tanzania, DR Congo and Rwanda. Most safaris in Rwanda and Uganda combine gorillas and chimpanzee tracking or habituation experience! For instance, chimps in Uganda are found in Kibale National Park, Budongo forest, Kyambura gorge and Karinzu forest reserve. In Rwanda, we find chimpanzees in Nyungwe National Park.

Chimpanzees are referred to as human relatives due to the fact that they share almost 94 % of its DNA with human being. The chimpanzees are Sociable, communicative and intelligent apes. Amazing is that chimpanzees are capable of using tools like stick, stones among others – such schools are passed from generation to generation.

Chimpanzees live in communities containing from 10 to 100 members. They hold hands, kiss, and groom each others’ offspring.

Chimpanzees are almost entirely covered in black hair, rather than fur, and may have whiskers on their chin. Like humans, chimpanzees have flat faces, forward facing eyes, and relatively small noses. These facial features have significant implications on a chimpanzee’s senses.

Chimpanzees’ faces and ears as well as the palms of their hands and the soles of their feet, are bare skin which can change in colour between pink and black. Chimpanzees possess longer arms than legs and have both opposable thumbs and big toes. All their limbs are very flexible. These features define how a chimpanzee moves around.

Male Chimpanzees are slightly larger and heavier than female ones. East African adult males weigh between 90 and 115 pounds and measure about 4 feet high when standing upright. Female chimpanzees weigh approximately 90 to 100 pounds, and stand at about 3 feet tall. At birth, chimpanzees weight an average of 2 to 4 pounds. Chimpanzees in West Africa or in captivity may be even larger.

Like Gorillas, chimpanzee communities are led by male chimps responsible for guarding the community from any danger- more so, male chimpanzees make decision in the communities for example leading the community to the source of food.

Males seldom leave the community where they were born.

Female chimpanzees usually migrate to a new community during an adolescent period.

Like Gorillas, chimpanzees travel mostly on the ground by knuckle walking.

Mother chimps often travel alone with their offspring.

Chimpanzees construct nests at night in which to sleep – like Gorillas, chimpanzees sleep in nests and make new nests every day.

Chimpanzee males in the wild cooperatively hunt for meat.

Their diet is mainly fruits, stems, leaves with regular amounts of insects, as well as birds and small mammals.

Females give birth every four to five years and their gestation period is eight to nine months.

Chimpanzees have a long mother-infant dependency time. Infants will nurse on their mothers for five years and stay with their mothers several more years learning to care for younger siblings.

Chimpanzees’ life span is approximately 40 to 50 years in the wild and over 50 to 60 years in captivity.

The genitalia of both sexes are prominent. Areas of the female's genital skin become pink during estrus, a period that lasts two to three weeks and occurs every four to six weeks.

gorilla-trackingWishing to visit Rwanda for a safari, find out few facts about this country, the land of thousand hills and the home of the rare and endangered mountain gorillas. Gorilla Expeditions Ltd is the best, trusted and reliable tour company to help you get all the information you may need about the country.

Rwanda officially known as the Republic of Rwanda is among the top 10 best travel destinations in Africa and it is among the top developing destinations in Africa. Rwanda is landlocked country found in East Africa and bordered by nations, for example, Uganda to the north, Tanzania to the east, Democratic Republic of Congo to the west and Burundi to the south.

The major tourist attraction in the country is there rare and endangered mountain gorillas in Volcanoes National Park located in the northwestern part of the country on the border of DRC and Mgahinga Gorilla Park in Uganda. Trekking mountain gorillas in Rwanda is the most enthralling safari tourists can enjoy in their life time in this simple African country. It is the valuable homeland to the world's most endangered species, the mountain gorillas which is a goldmine for tourism in the country.

A gorilla tour in Rwanda which enables you spend a full hour with these wonderful species of primates can turn into the best highlight for any African safari. Given the chance to go gorilla for trekking in volcanoes national park, you’re guaranteed to have a direct encounter with these incredible animals. In order to partake in a gorilla trekking, a gorilla permit must be obtain in time, and they are restricted in number, so booking in advance is vital to guarantee that you gorilla permit can be obtained. The mountain gorilla is perhaps the World's most endangered primates, with roughly 700 gorillas, and they are just found in small part of the protected afro-montane forest in northwestern Rwanda, southwestern Uganda and the eastern DR.Congo.

Gorilla trekking is regulated and tightly controlled for the wellbeing of the tourists and critically for the security of these rare and endangered gorillas. A maximum of 8 tourists are allowed to visit every habituated Gorilla group every day; this reduce on the behavioral change of the mountain gorillas and the danger of their exposure to human diseases. When you go on this sort of safari you will get the opportunity to see various gorilla groups that are extremely rare. The skilled and experienced tour guide will show you all about the various the gorilla groups.

Whether you are going for a 3 days, 4 days or 5 days safari in Rwanda, you won't be staying close to the mountain gorillas. Gorillas are move freely in the jungle so they must be tracked. Once found visitors can only get as close as 12 feet and can just take photographs without flash. There are several safari packages available for all types of different budget, so everybody can get a safari package that suite his/her budget to go on! One can likewise visit numerous cultural centres, genocide memorial centres and the delightful twin lakes of Bulero, Ruhundo and the amazing Nyungwe Forest the home to different primates including chimpanzees. You can see the big herds of elephants and buffalos in the Akagera National Park, Most of the popular tours in Rwanda encompass on the gorilla trekking in Volcanoes National Park.

GORILLA TREKKING EXPERIENCE IN UGANDA, RWANDA AND DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO EASILY

Before embarking on any Gorilla safari in any countries about (Uganda, Rwanda or DR Congo), endeavor to make adequate preparation. This is because Uganda, Rwanda and Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Gorillas are found up in the mountainous forests and tourists need to hassle in trying to meet them in their natural environment. Uganda Gorilla trekking tour is done in Bwindi Impenetrable forest characterized by thorns, biting insects, reptiles. The trek through the forest needs to move up hills and down the valleys while crossing rivers and bypassing water falls and so on.

Bwindi being impenetrable forest makes visibility difficult especially when the sun is not shining heavily. Worse of all, gorilla trekkers can be caught by rain in the forest – this is because forested areas in Uganda receives unpredictable rain fall.

To avoid any danger to trekkers or harming mountain Gorillas, visitors attend a briefing from the park officials (Wardens and Rangers) about how to behave during the trek in search for gorillas and when with the gorillas. Briefing is done by senior ranger guides who escort tourists throughout the trek.

Visitors on gorilla trekking in Uganda and Rwanda are accompanied by armed ranger guides to ensure security through the forest. Some animals in the forest can turn hostile to the tourists but can be rescued by the armed guys.

Bwindi Impenetrable National Park currently has about 14 gorilla families which include Bikingi group, Nshongi, Nkuringo, Bushabo, Bitukura, Mishaya, Oruzogo group, Mubare group, Habinyanja, Businjye, Kahunje, Kyaguriro, Rushegura.

Mgahinga National park is another home of mountain Gorillas in Uganda but with one Gorilla group known as Nyakagezi which is mobile and can be absent for some time – it crosses the boarder to Democratic Republic of Congo or Rwanda. Before booking the Nyakagezi group, try to find updates about this group through Uganda wildlife Authority (UWA) or your travel agents / tour operators.

Trekking Nyakagezi group in Mgahinga forest is also a hassle because it requires climbing mountains like Gahinga and other steep slopes. High level of fitness is needed here but the successful trekkers are rewarded the view of Golden monkeys, unique tree species, beautiful butter flies, the distant view of the Virunga ranges of Congo including Nyiragongo active Volcano.

On the other hand, gorilla tracking in Rwanda is less strenuous due to the fact that Volcanoes National Park is dominated by the bamboo forests which are not as thick as the tropical forests in Uganda. Having over Gorilla groups, Gorillas in Volcanoes National Park can be found even in an hour's walk from the base. Therefore, we always advise weak, aged and visitors having healthy problems to take their gorilla treks in Rwanda due to its ease. Further more, the easiness is also determined by the fact that some gorilla groups are far and others a close. The gorilla families in Rwanda include Hirwa, Susa, group 13, Ugenda, umubano, Sabyinyo, Karisimbi, Amahoro, Kwitonda and Bwengye.

mountain-gorillas
Mountain Gorillas in Parc National des Volcans

Around Parc National des Volcans, we find many accommodation options catering for different tourists. The most popular gorilla trekking lodges in Rwanda are; Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge, Mountain Gorilla View, Virunga Lodge managed by Volcanoes Safaris, Le Bambou Gorilla Lodge and Kinigi Guest House among others.

Volcanoes national park Rwanda rewards the visitors the view of virunga rangers up close – this is the best destination for photographing. On gorilla trek, expect to view Virunga Volcanoes like Karisimbi, Karisoke/ Visoke, Sabyinyo among others. The bamboo forest also protects other attractions like golden monkeys, birds, tree species, and butter flies among others.

Democratic republic of Congo is a home for both mountain and Low land Gorillas. Gorilla trek in Congo is so adventurous but due to un predictable political climate there, some times tourism activities are halted for a given period until the situation normalizes. Mountain gorillas in Democratic Republic of Congo are found in Virunga National Park, while low land gorillas are found in Kahuzi Biega National Park. Time permitting, never miss Nyiragongo mountain hiking, an active volcano and requires 2 days and 1 night at the top / summit to see the red top.

africa-western-lowland-gorilla
Western Lowland Mountain Gorilla

BENEFITS OF GORILLA TREKKING IN UGANDA, RWANDA AND CONGO

Gorilla tracking enables trekkers gain physical fitness since they move up hills and down the valleys while searching for the Gorillas. They stretch and gain physical energy as they walk through the forests.

Trekkers gain unique experience which is memorable in life- meeting Gorillas in their natural habitat is indeed a life time event which every man should attend before death. Imagine seating amidst the primates having some similar characters with human beings – Gorillas do use materials like stones, sticks, among others during their routine work.

Gorilla trekking experience its self is a source of knowledge, one hour spent with mountain Gorillas enable trekkers learn the behaviors of Gorillas. In the process of searching for the gentle giants, rangers keep on teaching you about other attraction found on the way- they are always available to answer any of your questions.

Moving through African forests enables tourist breath in fresh or un polluted air – the natural sounds made by the forests is also amazing.

The Journey to the homes of mountain Gorillas in Uganda, Rwanda and Congo enable tourist view the traditional setting of African homes.

Socialization amongst trekkers creates friend ship. A maximum of eight people trek each Gorilla group – this was made to avoid over stressing Mountain Gorillas and uniting visitors originating from different locality.

On the Trek in Search for Mountain Gorillas
Group of gorilla trekkers in Volcanoes national park Rwanda

Finally, gorilla trekking activity generates employment opportunities to local people surrounding the gorilla parks, for example, local people are employed as park wardens, Rangers, Porters, Hoteliers and drivers among others. Additionally, the local community benefit in a way that, through gorilla tourism, the is market for their local products such as art and crafts sold to tourists as well as agricultural products like fruits, vegetables and food sold to hotels / lodges used by tourists. The fact that the local community benefit from gorilla tourism in their area, this is important to protect the endangered specie of mountain gorillas because the local community recognize its importance to their livelihood.

Since the 1994 Rwandan Genocide against the Titsi the government began modifying the nation, and tourism was considered as a major pillar that the nation would use to fetch a lot of foreign exchange required, additionally change the image of misery that the international community had of the nation.

First the Rwandan government under the leadership of President Paul Kagame worked hard to restore peace and security in the country, welcomed back all the nationals who had gone off as refugees in the neighboring countries. The government also did a great job to secure the Volcanoes National Park in Musanze district, Northern Province, the home of the rare and endangered mountain gorillas which is the main tourist attraction in the country.

After the genocide, Rwanda as a tourist destination was difficult to market because the tourists saw the country as a dangerous one to travel to. The genocide period gave Rwanda a very bad image to the outside world.

Right now things in Rwanda have totally changed and the country is now well established as a tourist destination and thousands of tourists from different parts of the world are flowing in to see the mountain gorillas in Volcanoes National Park, Amazing wildlife in Akagera national Park, Chimpanzees in Nyungwe Forest national Park and the historical attractions in the country.

As of late, the country’s tourism industry has achieved a huge development within just the previous 15 years, developing from a sector earning $62 million a year sector in 2000 to $303 million a year in 2014 — a blast that has been driven by the nation's political, economic and social recovery. Tourism is currently Rwanda’s highest foreign exchange earner after tea and coffee.

This achievement is exceedingly associated with security, good infrastructure and sanitation. Generally insecurity and poor transport infrastructure scares off visitors.

Reflecting back at Kenya a generally fruitful and lucrative tourism destination, has suffered the impacts of instability at its Coastal circuit, which has almost killed off the tourism sector in the country.

As per the Rwanda Development Board (RDB), 1.17 million sightseers visited Rwanda a year ago, mainly attracted by the prospect of seeing mountain gorillas, particularly the silverbacks — a rare and endangered species found in the Volcanoes National Park.

Most of the tourists visiting Rwanda come from the United States, Britain, India, Belgium and Germany. American visitors contribute 20% of Rwanda's total tourism revenues, as indicated by Rwanda Development Board (RDB).

Restoration efforts and standards in Rwanda

To restore the tourism industry after several years of stagnation, the government set out on a aggressive marketing effort geared towards showcasing mountain gorillas of the volcanoes National Park which is part of the Virunga Volcanic mountains chains that straddle Rwanda, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

In the Volcanoes national park, from numerous tourists who have had the opportunity to see eye to eye with the mountain gorillas, gorilla trekking is viewed as a unique product and is sold to tourists at a premium of $750 per gorilla permit per person (Uganda charges $600). Then again, Rwanda's pride is in the ability for one to ably do a 1 day gorilla trek and fly back home, which is impossible for Uganda because in Uganda the tourist have to travel a 9 hours drive from Entebbe International Airport to Bwindi Forest the home of mountain gorillas and in Rwanda it is only a 2 hours drive from Kigali International Airport to Volcanoes National Park the Home of mountain gorillas.

In 2005, Rwanda Development Board (RDB) introduced the Kwita Izina celebration as a highlight of the tourism year. This is a yearly baby gorilla naming and conservation ceremony aiming making people aware of effort to conserve the critically endangered species. This event has inculcated community ownership of the mountain gorilla tourism.

Since the introduction of Kwita Izina 10 years back, RDB says the nation's mountain gorilla population has increased from 370 in 2005 to around 514 in 2015 and is the Rwanda's greatest tourist attraction. Rwanda earns $10 million yearly from gorilla tourism alone, RDB says.

Uganda is a home to eight of the world's official heritage sites, as determined by UNESCO's World Heritage Committee. The committee seeks to encourage the identification, protection and preservation of cultural and natural heritage around the world considered to be of "outstanding value to humanity". Internationally, there are 851 World Heritage sites in 141 countries (as of April 2008). Uganda has a total of three - one cultural and two natural sites. Starting with the first site added to the list, ending with the latest, these are:
• Rwenzori Mountain National Park(1994)
• Bwindi Impenetrable National Park(1994)
• Tombs Of Buganda Kings At Kasubi (2001)

Rwenzori Mountains National Park

Just two hours’ drive from Kasese town-Uganda, the Rwenzori National Park is a slice of heaven here on earth. It boasts Africa’s highest mountain range north of Kilimanjaro. With endless, rolling grasslands, snow-capped peaks, river valleys and gorges, and a wealth of flora and fauna make this site perfect for nature lovers. Giant heathers, ground-sells, Ericas and lobelias of the tree heath and alpine zones also make it one of the beautiful places in the world. Bird watchers can look out for some of the 89-plus species of birds that live in this Eden including Francolins, Purple-Breasted Sunbirds, Olive Pigeons and Rwenzori Turacos while game seekers can keep an eye open for the many primate species like Rwenzori Colobus monkey, common Chimpanzee and L’hoest monkey, Tree hyraxes, duikers, Leopard and Elephants.

Bwindi Impenetrable National Park

The Bwindi impenetrable National Park has a rich biodiversity and boasts more species than the any other park in Africa. These include world’s largest concentration of mountain gorillas (over a half of the world’s population), 400 species of plants, 120 mammals, including several primate species such as baboons and chimpanzees, as well as elephants and antelopes and 350 species of birds hosted in this forest, including 23 Albertine Rift endemics. Bwindi covers an area of 321km2 and was gazetted as a National Park in 1991 and declared a UNESCO Natural World Heritage Site in 1994. Gorilla trekking is most popular attraction as the park inhabits about 440 mountains, which is half of the world's last remaining popularion according to gorillas census 2011.

Tombs of Buganda Kings at Kasubi

Kasubi Tombs (burial place of Buganda kings and royal family) is located on Kasubi hill in Kampala capital city. Four royal tombs now lie within the Muzibu Azaala Mpanga, the main building, which is circular and surmounted by a dome. The tombs are regarded as an active religious place in the Buganda Kingdom-- the largest of the traditional kingdoms in present-day Uganda. The Kingdom of Buganda is situated in the Central region of the country known today as Uganda. The huge thatched-roof palace was originally built in 1882 as the palace of Kabaka Mutesa I, before being converted into his tomb following his death two years later.

Egypt has all the ingredients of a perfect holiday: rich cultural and historical heritage including the world’s most iconic landmarks, a dry, sunny and hot climate, pristine beaches, world-class scuba diving and snorkelling a plethora of water sports to choose from and a bustling capital filled with markets and bazaars. So, with so much to see and do, how do you narrow you to-do list down to just five things? Here’s a good place to start.

The Valley of the Kings

On the West Bank of the Nile at Luxor you’ll find the Valley of the Kings. This is one of the most important archaeological finds in the world. This is the burial site of almost every king of the Ancient Egyptian civilization, including its most famous, Tutankhamen.

The Temples of Luxor

On the East Bank of the Nile are a series of temples focusing around the Temple of Luxor and the Temple of Karnak. This was the main settlement throughout the Ancient Egyptian era.

The Pyramids of Giza and the Sphinx

Just outside of Giza, on the outskirts of Cairo are perhaps Egypt’s most famous landmarks, the Pyramids. Located on a plateau, guarded by the also famous Sphinx, the Pyramids date all the way back to the third millennia BC, the fourth Dynasty of the Ancient Egyptians.

Cairo and the Museum of Egyptian Antiquities

Cairo is vast and offers much to see and do from the medieval Islamic city to the Coptic sites in the Old Town area as well as numerous night bazaars and food markets. Felucca rides along the Nile and sipping coffee and smoking sheesha are popular evening attractions. The Museum of Egyptian Antiquities is a must do. This is one of the world’s greatest museums and its collection of Egyptian antiquities, is without doubt the best preserved and most extensive in the world, with more than 136,000 items on display including Tutankhamen’s treasures.

Snorkelling or scuba diving in the red sea

Away from all that history is another side to Egypt, this one is found not on land, but underwater. The Red Sea is teeming with life and boasts some of the best scuba diving and snorkelling in the world. There are shipwrecks, colourful corals, schools of fish of all kinds, sharks, rays and all manner of sea life, large and small. It’s also a great place to learn to scuba dive as the waters are calm and clear.

Enticed yet? Egypt holidays from Thomas Cook offer something for everyone, especially if you decide to go for one of the Nile Cruise and beach stay packages.

According to the latest United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) Barometer, International tourist arrivals worldwide grew by 5% during the year of 2014 despite the geopolitical challenges and a lingering economic recovery. Tourism demand was strong during the northern hemisphere high season of June to August.

With a 5% increase, international tourism continued to grow well above the long-term trend projected by UNWTO for the period 2010-2020 (+3.8%). International tourists (overnight visitors) travelling the world between January and August 2014 reached 781 million, 36 million more than in the same period of 2013. The peak months of June, July and August, which account for about one third of the total of the year, saw an increase of 4% compared to the same months of 2013.

By region, the strongest growth was registered in the Americas (+8%), followed by Asia and the Pacific (+5%) and Europe (+4%). By sub region, North America (+9%) and South Asia (+8%) were the star performers, as well as Southern and Mediterranean Europe, Northern Europe, North-East Asia and South America (all +7%).

The Americas (+8%) led growth during the first eight months of 2014, rebounding on last year's subdued results. All four sub regions – North America, Caribbean, Central America and South America – doubled the growth rates registered in 2013.

International arrivals in Asia and the Pacific increased by 5%, consolidating the growth of recent years, with South Asia (+8%) and North-East Asia (+7%) in the lead, followed by Oceania (+6%). On the other hand, growth in arrivals slowed down in South-East Asia (+2%) compared to the strong results registered in 2012 and 2013.

Europe, the most visited region in the world, posted 4% growth in international tourist arrivals through August, with strong results in Northern Europe and Southern Mediterranean Europe (+7% each). By contrast, international tourism grew at a more modest pace in Western Europe (+3%) and was stagnant in Central and Eastern Europe (-1%).

Africa’s international tourist numbers grew by 3% with North Africa consolidating its recovery (+4%). Sub-Saharan Africa’s arrivals were up by 3%.
International tourist arrivals in the Middle East are estimated to be up by 3%, though this figure should be read with caution as it is based on limited available data for the region.
Data on expenditure on travel abroad for the first six to nine months of 2014 indicates that growth among the world’s top ten source markets was highest in China (+16%), while France (+10%), Italy (+8%), the United States of America (+6%), Brazil (+5%) and the Russian Federation (+4%) also reported robust growth.

For the full year 2014, international tourist arrivals are expected to increase by 4% to 4.5%, slightly above UNWTO’s long-term forecast of 3.8% per year for the period 2010 to 2020.
Although the UNWTO Confidence Index shows some weaker levels due to the current geopolitical and health risks, results remain positive as 51% of respondents see prospects for the period September-December 2014 as “much better or better” as against 35% who rate it as “equal” and 14% as “much worse or worse”.

International tourism in countries where there is widespread transmission (Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone) represents less than 1% of all international arrivals to African destinations. Yet we have to be aware that misperception about the outbreak is affecting the whole of Africa. On the upside, and according to information gathered from our African Member States and key tour operators and associations in major source markets, there are no significant cancellations to report, despite a certain slowdown in bookings. (Cited from United Nations World tourism Organization)

Situated within the beautiful 100 acre Ngamba islands 23km south of Entebbe--Uganda, Ngamba Islands Chimpanzee Sanctuary is a home to about 40 orphaned chimpanzees almost half of which have been confiscated and brought to the islands since its opening. Chimpanzees are separated from the visitors’ area by an electric fence. Ngamba chimpanzee sanctuary was established in 1999 and is the first and only chimpanzee sanctuary in Uganda. This Ngamba chimpanzee sanctuary brings the world of chimpanzees closer to humanity through education end eco-tourism in Uganda. The chimpanzee is considered to be the closest relative to humans and is “endangered’ under a strict application of International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List Criteria.

ngamba-chimpanzeeChimpanzees at Ngamba sanctuary spend their days in semi-wild enclosures, and show normal social interaction and behavioral patterns as group members. Enjoy splendid views of day time chimpanzee feedings from the visitor’s platform, and take pleasure in unlimited use of the other island facilities. Have a special opportunity to watch the islands 154 recorded birds, travel around the local fishing village, organize a sunset cruise in advance or simply relax at your tents private deck and feel the unforgettable African sunset as thousands of bats make their flight around the Island. Join a group of infant chimpanzees in their forest habitat on a one hour forest walk for an awe-inspiring experience late in the afternoon or early morning.

Try out one of its kind Caregiver program where visitors acquire the unique opportunity to experience a day in the life of a chimpanzee by being care givers! Have a once in lifetime chance to take part in preparing chimpanzee food and feeding them as a chimp caregiver. You can go ahead to help out the staff with any activities happening at the sanctuary including research and monitoring, day medical checkups, preparing the holding areas for the chimps and other activities. The staff will work with you to show you what is involved in taking care of chimps and what makes them so special.

There is accommodation on the island for those who wish to have an overnight experience comprised of just 4 tents, all en suite, on wooden platforms with private tents decks overlooking world’s second largest fresh water Lake- Victoria. The forest walk and caregiver activities may only be done as an addition to the Ngamba Island overnight experience and has age restrictions and a special medical requirement that need to be adhered to.

The camp has been built with strict ecological guidelines of Chimpanzee Sanctuary and Wildlife Conservation Trust (CSWCT) with due care to the fragile nature of the environment. Each tent has an impressive view of the lake and is well appointed, featuring a bush shower and eco toilet. Meals are substantial with several tasty courses for dinner and local specialties such as fresh fish from the lake when possible, beverages and cold drinks are available at all times. Ngamba Islands is open all year round and is ideal to tag along on to the end of any Uganda safari.

Come and take pleasure in Guided tours at Ngamba that take place two times a day, every day of the year (weather permitting), when the chimp tour guide talks about chimpanzees, the sanctuary, and introduces the individual chimps and their stories - from the safety of the viewing points. The tour takes approximately one hour. Light meals and refreshment are available from tour restaurant before or after the tour

Let us try to Decide

Let us try to decide which vacation we are going to take this year 2015. We are looking into taking a safari in Rwanda and Uganda to see mountain gorillas and other wildlife and we are having a hard time deciding which safari package would be the best for us. My husband and I have two children, ages 16 and 19. Mountain gorilla trekking is our main interest, fortunately, both our children are above the age limit for gorilla trekking in Rwanda and Uganda.

We are not sure if a longer safari would work out the best for them because they would learn so much more, or if it should be shorter so that they do not have too much that they need to absorb. It is a tough call. I think that heading out on a vacation like this is a fantastic idea. I know that we will all get a lot out of it. We have seen plenty of animals, we live near a zoo, but we know that there is a real difference when we see them in their habitat. This is going to be a wonderful and exciting holiday.

How to Prepare for a Safari in Africa

A Safari is a trip that can be taken by an individual or a group in order to experience or hunt large game as well as other wildlife. In the past, safaris were taken as hunting expeditions. However, in this modern age, it’s much more common for Uganda Safari holidays to involve taking photographs or simply viewing animals in their natural habitats at a close range. Preparing to go on a safari may seem to be a little intimidating or a daunting task. However, when the individual breaks it down into manageable pieces, it can become quite easy.

The first step is to determine what you would like to do when you go on the safari in Africa. Are you interested in taking traditional hunting tours? Do you want to take specific photographs of various kinds of wildlife like mountain gorilla trekking in Rwanda or Uganda? Are you interested in having more authentic experiences and staying in their traditional villages, or would you prefer more comfort driven adventures with five star hotels and luxury transportation? All the above questions are waiting for your answer.