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Wildlife Photography Safaris in Uganda

Uganda a block of East Africa hosts an incredible variety of habitats and wildlife. The conservation of these habitats into National Parks and Wildlife Reserves is the cornerstone for wildlife viewing. One of the most important geographical features of the region is the Great Rift Valley. The large depressions within the Rift Valley fed by streams have become great Lakes, around which many species of wildlife can be found.

They include several National Parks and Wildlife Reserves and concentrate on different aspects of wildlife observation. Some Uganda safari packages focus on a particular interest or activity like bird watching, primate viewing. Some safari guidelines bases on national Parks are too often selected for quantity of animals, certainty and ease of viewing on the game drives. Some National Parks became so popular that they are overcrowded with too many minibuses and jeeps getting careless and scaring animals. Animals move around, seasons change weather varies. There is no way of knowing what each day will bring and there is no guarantee that you’ll see absolutely everything you are after, but most safaris give an amazing wildlife experience!

The long stay is an important aspect, the more time you have to go on safari the more you will see! The chosen travel style will also greatly enhance your wildlife experience; Camping safari will offer you a different experience than lodge safari a part from Katara lodge in queen which provide wildlife view verandah. The game drives are the most common way to observe African wildlife and for most visitors the backbone of their safari. Game drives should be undertaken in a customized 4 x 4 drive vehicle with a driver-guide who has experience and knowledge of the area.

The game drives can be organized at any time of the day but you will have the best chances to encounter wildlife in the early morning and late afternoon. It is cooler and animals are then most active. A first-time visitor will want to see plenty of game, mainly large animals. Although the major animals are important, we advise not to get too caught up with ‘Big Five’ fever, the African wilderness has so much more to offer, especially its incredible bird-life, smaller mammals, primates, reptiles, trees and other plants… If you are receptive to learn about the different aspects of nature and conservation your trip will be much more meaningful and pleasurable.

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Bwindi Forest: Mountain Gorillas, Chimpanzees & Batwa People

Have you ever heard about the origins of the mighty King Kong? These fearsome great apes are only found in the Bwindi and Virunga mountains of Africa. The largest population of the mountain gorillas lives in Bwindi National Park, a national park in South Western Uganda, a small country in East Africa.

Today Bwindi is one of the most popular safari parks to visit in East Africa. Located a few kilometres from the Virungas, Bwindi Forest is an amazing home to the mountain gorillas. According to the 2012 Gorilla Census,  there are over 400 mountain gorillas living within the impenetrable Forest.

Bwindi is the most popular place for gorilla trekking expeditions in Africa. The park attracts thousands of travelers who visit Africa to see the endangered mountain gorillas. Over the past 20 years, many tourists have traveled to East Africa to see these amazing creatures surviving only in Uganda, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Though most renowned for mountain gorillas, the Bwindi Forest has also got other wildlife species which include; forest elephants, lions, monkeys, bird species and many more.

Many tourists who come for gorilla safaris to Uganda opt for different trips ranging from 3 Days to 3 Weeks adventures that include several adventures including game viewing in Uganda’s savanna parks, chimpanzee tracking, golden monkey tracking, bird watching, nature trekking etc. If you are looking for a trip that involves multiple gorilla tracking, a 4 Days Bwindi Gorilla Safari or a 5 Days Gorilla Safari is the best trip for you!

If you are on budget or with less time,  enjoy the 3 days Bwindi Gorilla Safari into the impenetrable rain forest.

How a Gorilla Trek is Organised

Day one is always involved with a long drive to Bwindi Forest. Tourists are picked from Entebbe Airport and transferred to Bwindi impenetrable national park via Masaka – Mbarara Highway. You will enjoy the scenic drive as you traverse the forests and the vegetation zones along the way. Along the way have a stopover at the Equator in order to enjoy the photos and the experiments. You will also buy some crafts since they are displayed everywhere. The guide will drive take you to an African restaurant where you will enjoy lunch with many different types of food. Later on you will proceed to the park where you will arrive in the evening. Check in at the lodge where you will have your dinner and overnight as you prepare for gorilla tracking the next day.

The second day, is always the day to track the endangered mountain gorillas within an allocated gorilla group. After an early morning breakfast leave the lodge with packed lunch and later proceed to the forest were you will start your search for the rare and endangered mountain gorillas. The trek normally takes a period ranging from 30 minutes to a full day hike looking for the gorillas. Be prepared and physically fit given that  the search for the mountain gorillas within the forest takes you up through various hills and valleys. Once these primates are found, you will be given one hour to watch these unique gorillas. You have the chance to take photographs! During the hike, you have a chance to see other animals that include; elephants, monkeys birds,. You will later return to the lodge for a late lunch or take a community walk where you will visit the neighbouring local communities in Bwindi. The Batwa Experience is one of the most popular community tour taking you into the community of the Batwa people, short pygmy people who used to live with the gorillas in the impenetrable forest. You will enjoy their traditional dances and cultures during this tour! In the evening, you will return to the lodge for dinner and an overnight.

On this third day after breakfast , you will check out from the lodge, you will transfer with your packed lunch. During the drive back, enjoy the scenic views as you travel. You can have a stopover at Mpambire drum makers where you will have some experiments about the making of the drums. Later proceed to Kampala where you will be taken to the airport for your departure flight or transferred to the hotel for your overnight and dinner.

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Encounter the Mountain Gorillas in Uganda

Today we encounter with the critically endangered mountain gorillas. The mountain gorillas are part of the world’s population of just 880 individuals, and the gorillas we trek today belong to 12 habituated family groups. Gorilla trekking usually starts early as you will need to travel to the park headquarters in Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda for a short entertainment and briefing at 7:00am on the rules to be observed during your gorilla trekking tours in Africa.

You will then be allocated a gorilla family to trek and experienced ranger guides will accompany you on your trekking safari. The safari walk is well catered for in the nature trails inside the park. Trekking the primates makes the excursion more fun and memorable.

The think vegetation and slippery mud in the forest can be hazardous. You should wear strong hiking boots, thick long jeans, long sleeved tops and gloves to protect your skin against insects, tsetse flies, stinging nettles, which cause blisters. You should be prepared for the rain at any time since Volcanoes National Park is rain forest, so you should have waterproofs ready and a jacket cover for your camera. The trekking can take anything from 2 to 8 hours depending on the group that is trekking, the general location of the gorilla family, the terrain, weather and few other factors.

As you hike through the forest, follow the instructions of your guide. As you climb the steep slopes of the volcanoes, and through the forest, you will need to pull yourself up steep paths by grasping onto plant roots, branches, bushes among others. A walking stick could come in hand. You will get thirsty, so be sure to carry enough water. The trek through the forest can be tiring but the encounter with the gorillas is worth all effort.

After the short or long or short trek, you will be relieved and happy to find the gorillas. The trackers will clear the brush away so you can get a clear view of these magnificent creatures. It is truly an amazing experience. Once you find them, you are advised to stay calm, quiet and avoid sudden movements. Avoid eye contact with the gorillas; it can irritate them into thinking you’re up for a fight. If you look a gorilla in the eyes, he can charge at you but stay still and lower your head as a sign of submission. This will show that you don’t want to fight.

You will watch and observe the gorillas feeding, grooming, playing or just sitting calm. You can have your cameras ready to snap off as you take memorable pictures and videos of them. After the 1 hour experience with the gorillas, it will be time to head back to the park headquarters for your gorilla trekking certificates

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A Uganda Gorilla Safari – a Whole New World

One may wonder why many people are visiting a landlocked and small country like Uganda. With this changing world that is trying to go green again, Uganda is the greatest specimen of the effort to make a natural environment again. Uganda has a lot of natural diversity that is unhampered and it why a British explorer Winston Churchhill termed it as the pearl of Africa in his book ”my African journey” in 1908.

The ecology of Uganda is a wonder to watch as it has got some unique features and creatures that are not found anywhere in the world. Uganda is a nature gifted country and its biodiversity is designed in a tremendous form. The art in Uganda’s natural eco system is beyond superlatives. This is a land where you find a forest with a wetlands and water bodies, great landscape homing variety of different flora and fauna.

The only way to encounter the serene ecology of Uganda is by taking a Uganda gorilla safari. At the gorilla safari one discovers the new world which he/she instantly falls in love with because of the unique features and creatures one encounters.

Right from the start as you travel to the destination where the gorillas are found one is rewarded with great landscape flaunted with the green cover. The safari becomes more exciting where one reaches the destination for example in Bwindi impenetrable national park where one meets the mountain gorillas up close. It is an exhilarating moment when one makes an eye contact with the mountain gorilla and observes how they live. These huge primates are nice to hang out with as one gets to know and these creatures are almost similar to man in the way they lead their social lives. These gorillas have families where the silver back is the head of the family and everything that is done in the family rotates around it.

At the Uganda gorilla safari one can opt to see some other big mammals like the lions, elephants, giraffes, zebras, leopard, hippos to mention but a few. These animals are normally found in Queen Elizabeth national park and Murchison fall national park which are all located in the western part of the country.   A visit to these game parks spices up gorilla safaris in Uganda to make them a complete package for discovering the whole new world.

A self drive in Uganda makes your exploration to the gorilla world more adventurous and interesting. This is one of kind way of discovering the new world. It is incredible to discover the new world on your own