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Uganda’s Best places to track chimpanzee on safari

Chimpanzee trekking is another most sought after safari activity in Uganda. Chimpanzee trekking is done in about two to three hours inclusive of the one hour where the tourists do spend with the chimpanzees while keeping the distance of 8 to 10 meters, on their Uganda safari. The tourists do discover the beauty of the chimpanzees, intelligence and the social structures.

Chimpanzee trekking just like gorilla trekking, involves trekking through the forest in search of the chimpanzees that keep on swinging from one tree to the next. Chimpanzee trekking is an activity where the travellers are led by the experienced guides into the natural territories where the chimpanzees are found in order to find the primates and enjoy them. The chimpanzee trekking activity is one of the famous activities done in Uganda and it runs throughout the year.

Where is Chimpanzee trekking done in Uganda ?

Murchison Falls National Park.

Murchison falls national park is a great safari destination for the game lovers but also the chimpanzee trekking is done in the Budongo Forest reserve, in the wooded south of the national park which is an excellent location for the chimpanzee trekking in the park. The forest reserve is perfect for the chimp trekking even higher than the Kyambura Gorge in Queen Elizabeth National Park though Kibaale forest keeps the bigger sighting for the chimpanzees. During the chimpanzee trekking that takes about 30 minutes to 3 hours, a tourist can be able to view other primates like the blue monkeys, grey checked mangabey, red tailed monkey, black and white colobus monkeys, and olive baboons, view a variety of tree species and bird species.

Chimpanzee trekking in Budongo forest is usually done in the morning and in the afternoon and there is also the historical association with the Jane Goodall Institute which means that the interpretive guides are excellent at telling the wider story of the chimpanzees of this forest.

Chimpanzee trekking in the forest takes a tourist 30 minutes to 3 hours and contact is usually done in the one given hour of walking. The tourists on the safari can enjoy a day habituation experience where the adventurers who seek an extended encounter with the chimps.

Kibale Forest National park.

Kibaale Forest National Park is the main chimpanzee trekking safari destination in Uganda, with the most excellent chimpanzee populations ranging about 1,500 chimpanzees, 120 of which are habituated. The park has become the most popular with a big number of chimpanzees. Here the tourists who visit this national park can be having 90% chances or even more of sighting the chimpanzees in the park. In Kibaale forest during the chimpanzee trekking which is done in two sessions, that is the morning and the afternoon, the chimpanzee permits are required and these can be booked with the Uganda Wildlife Authority or a trusted safari company like Mantis Africa safaris.

Kibale Forest national park also offers the chimpanzee habituation and for those joining for the full day, you start very early in the morning that is from 06:30 until they nest again that is usually in the evening at around 19:00 pm.

Queen Elizabeth National Park.

Inside Queen Elizabeth National Park there is Kyambura Gorge which is the third most popular safari destination for chimpanzee trekking in Uganda with about 17 chimpanzee families available. Kyambura Gorge is located far on the east of the park and also named as the valley of the apes. Kyambura Gorge is the perfect area where the tourists can do chimpanzee trekking from in that the place rewards the chimpanzee trekkers as if they have entered into the new world. Kyambura Gorge rewards tourists with seeing the 60% of the chimpanzees in Uganda that inhabit the gorge. The nature of the gorge is very rewarding which generates and makes the good sight for the tourists during the chimpanzee safari trekking. The permits for chimpanzee trekking can be booked through Uganda Wildlife Authority.

Kyambura gorge is so rewarding to Queen Elizabeth National Park as it gives the best safari ever. The park being the most admirable bio-diverse safari favors activities like the game drives, boat cruises, without forgetting the most incredible tree-climbing lions in the Ishasha sector of the park.

Semiliki Wildlife Reserve.

Semiliki is a home to agood population of the chimpanzees in the western Uganda. Most of the times, regarding to the nature of the reserve, it is a dry and sparse forest environment that means at times the chimpanzees have to roam far and wide to secure enough food and that’s why at times they are not easy to find. Chimpanzee trekking is an interesting activity in Semiliki, as the chimps do play in the trees within the Semiliki game reserve, although not more than any other primate. The time spent with them is very rewarding, the chimpanzee tracking in Semiliki is conducted with the help of the professional guides who lead the tracking trail through the forest. While doing the chimpanzee trekking in Semiliki, it gives the opportunity to the tourists to watch other primates like the baboons, red tailed monkeys, monkeys, leopards and among others without forgetting the insects as well as butterflies.

Chimpanzee Habituation.

Chimpanzee habituation is also done in the above mentioned places which is a fully immersive safari experience. Here, the tourists join the researchers of the habituation team for a full or half day in the deep forest, as these chimpanzees are less used to the human presence and so the experience is more unpredictable, though it is challenging but the experience is very rewarding. Chimpanzee habituation takes quite a long time before it is actualized that is about 2 to 3 years and in Uganda, this has been achieved in the Kibaale National Park then after 3 years of training, the habituated chimpanzees are let out so that they can start interacting with the humans.

The only difference between the chimpanzee trekking and chimpanzee habituation is the period spent with them, this is where the chimpanzee habituation experience allows the tourists to spend more time to almost a full day while enjoying the company with the chimpanzees in their natural habitat.

Best time to do Chimpanzee trekking in Uganda.

The dry season of June to September and December to February is the best time to go for trekking chimpanzees in Uganda and during this time the forests are not as thick and the trekking trails are also not muddy and slippery hence making it easy to see the chimpanzees on your safari to Uganda. However, please note such times can be overcrowded so trekking chimpanzees in the low season can be advantageous as their will be little to no crowding in the visited places.

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Where to go on a Kampala city tour

A Kampala city tour is the great sightseeing tour that is offered to the tourists with an aim to give them a general feeling and the all overview of the Uganda’s history, the way of living of the native people of Kampala Uganda; that is Baganda who are still the inhabitants of Kampala. Connect to the most popular historical sites, the National museum, on a tour of Kampala Uganda, the visitors are fulfilled with the best attractions that are located and situated within the city.

Attractions on a Kampala city tour.

Tourists on a Kampala city tour can be explored with the main attractions that are located in Kampala, which gives the tourists the best memories on their tour in the city as they include the following,

Uganda National Museum.

Uganda National Museum is a stop over point to the tourists who carry out the Kampala city tour and that is, the museum which is the oldest museum in East Africa, established in 1908, the museum displays the Uganda’s cultural heritage and that’s where a tourist can see the ethnological and the natural historical exhibitions and as well vivid reminder of the country’s colourful past. The museum as well features a collection of the traditional musical instruments, which are free to play and you can enjoy.

Kasibu Tombs.

The Kasibu Tombs are a world heritage site, it was established in 1882 and well recognised as a place for the Kabaka Muteesa 1.The site is a very important spiritual site for the Baganda, the traditional and cultural practices are performed from here. It’s the most active spiritual place in Buganda since it is where the major rituals of the Kingdom are regularly done, and it’s a burial place for the kings and the royal family members of Buganda. Kasibu Tombs is an interesting place to visit during your Kampala city tour in Uganda.

Uganda Martyrs Shrine Namugongo.

Uganda Martyrs shrine is a master piece that was constructed as a dedication to the Uganda Martyrs who died in their faith for disobeying the King’s orders to denounce their Christian faith. The Uganda Martyrs Shrine Namugongo is one of the largest Christian pilgrim safari destinations in Africa, the shrine is so important because the Ugandans are honoring their pre-Christian heritage of the spirituality and ancestry.

Kampala central mosque.

Kampala central mosque is a popularly known as the Uganda National Mosque and it is the biggest mosque in Uganda that accommodates over 15,000 people. It’s made from the architecture that is influenced by the eastern as well as western styles. The mosque was built in 2007 and it is well known as the religious place as well as the famous tourist attractions to various visitors especially on their Kampala city tour. People of all the religions and nationalities are welcomed to visit and pray from the mosque and  its location gives the best panoramic view of the whole city and the city can be viewed from all the corners of the city.

Bahai temple.

Bahai Temple is a house of worship also called the Mashriq l’-Adhkar which acts as a spiritual gathering place open to all the people in the world. The Bahai faith was introduced in Uganda in 1951 and that makes it one of the earliest Bahai communities in Eastern Africa. Being the first Bahai house of worship on the African continent as well as the landmark in Kampala because of its nature settings of the beautiful fruit trees, flowers and the path leading to the dome. Bahai temple is a highlight on the Kampala city tour with a unique architectural design that stands tall in the middle of the green conical dome shape made of the tiny glazed mosaic tiles from Italy, 9 big pillar and 27 smaller pillars which support the temple to stand upright.

Independence monument.

The independence monument is an iconic sculpture and landmark that portrays the centre where Uganda received her independence 60 years ago on the 9th October 1962. The elevated monument signifies a new born country that has been set free. The independence monument stands at 6 meters and it’s a must see if you are travelling to Kampala. This is one of the most distinctive landmarks of Uganda. The monument depicts a man unwrapping a child and raising the child to touch the sky of which the sculpture signifies a new born country set free from colonialism and bondages. This is the most great monument that one should not miss out during the Kampala city tour.

Ndere cultural centre.

The Ndere cultural centre is a home of cultures, Ndere center is known as the headquarters of the Uganda Development Theatre Association built on the 9 acres. It is Uganda’s cultural microcosm and it has got the amazing cultural songs, dances and the unique instruments from the 56 tribes in Uganda and that should not be missed by the tourists on the Kampala city tour. It will surely leave them with humorously informative stories which are presented in an authentic way, which should not be missed. It is the best way to introduce to the international guests the African culture and ways of life.

Namirembe Cathedral.

Namirembe cathedral is the oldest cathedral in Uganda, it serves as the provincial cathedral of the Anglican church of Uganda and the diocesan cathedral for Namirembe diocese. It was the first diocese to be founded in the Church of Uganda, province in 1890 and its situated on the Namirembe/ Mengo hill which is one of the major hills of Kampala city which rises out of the Kampala sight.

Kabaka’s Palace.

Kabaka’s palace is the ‘’’king’s palace’’ in the local name Twekobe which means  working together is one of the most famous sites in the history of Buganda, it happens to be the royal home of the Kabaka that is the King of Buganda, it is situated in Mengo a suburb of the Kampala’s city Uganda’s largest capital city.

Kabaka’s lake.

Kabaka’s lake is the Africa’s dug out lake and the largest man-made lake in Uganda, the lake is situated about 5 kilometers from Kampala Capital City in the Ndeera area between the Ring Round and Nabunya Road. Visiting the Kabaka’s lake is a great activity to do while on a Kampala city tour with the help of the local knowledge guide as that way you will enjoy the interesting history of the lake.

Nakasero market.

Nakasero market is a local market in Kampala, Uganda located at the foot of Nakasero hill which sells fresh food, textiles, shoes and many others. Nakasero market has served as one of Kampala’s main trade spot since 1895. It’s such a vibrant and often chaotic market that offers insight into local life and serves as a supplier to the embassies and elite hotels that surround it. The fresh produce can be purchased by everyone in the large outdoor section, while indoor portion deals in the machinery, clothes, souvenirs and among others.

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Reasons to visit Rwanda

Dreaming of where to go on holiday in Africa the coming year?Start to have your second thoughts right to visit Rwanda. The story of the country, which faced horrific genocide in 1994 is an inspiring one and you’ll not be the same to listen to the people and create your own story. 

Big land of 1000 hills for exploring

Thought somewhat smaller than the US state of Maryland, you might not think there’s a vast landmass of steep hills, volcanoes, covered by tropical forests and lakes to explore. Luckily, Rwanda has got many opportunities to explore its heritage. The town of Musanze in the north at the base of Volcanoes National Park, organized and safe at night with clean restaurants, ATMS. The surrounding hills and twin lakes of Burera and Ruhondo provide great road trips in the shadow of the Virunga Volcanoes. Take a journey along the northern shores of the Great Lake Kivu. Go exploring in the resort towns such as Gisenyi and Karongi with plenty of adventures and fun travel time. Private beach escapes and islands for those dreaming of paradise, cycling trails along the Congo-Nile River Ridges; there’s beauty and adventure to be found in the greenery tea plantations and Nyungwe Forest canopy walk in the south-west part of the country.

Celebrate culture and history and embrace the future

The numerous museums and sites honoring the genocide against Tutsi in 1994 provide sorrow and delight at ago whilst looking into the history and culture of the three ethic tribes and their current identity. Kigali capital city itself is a vibrant, living example of peace and tranquility, innovation and digital development that have transformed into hardworking class of people that say the future looks good. You’ll create your own stories after tour of the Kigali genocide memorial or the Ntarama churches and be the ambassador of good change forever. The city bars, restaurants, art centers, hotels and schools are first class; the staff are known to keep privacy of their guests and streets at dusk turn into lively meeting venues of locals and new experiences are created every day. Discover the ancient Rwandan monarch displayed at the King’s Palace Nyanza just 94 (2-hour drive) south-west of Kigali or the gorilla Guardians village in Musanze for an immersive experience with energetic Intore dancers and ex-poachers. The neighborhoods of Kigali such as Nyamirambo entices tourists with enticing sights, sounds, and aromas as well as intriguing shops and sightseeing locations.

Gorillas and big five viewing

These are the best wildlife experiences you’ll ever on safari in Africa. Luckily, Rwanda’s provides some of Africa’s exclusive gorilla trekking and Big Five Safaris. Though rated as expensive, it’s worth noting that there has been recovery of wildlife species such as black rhinos and lions and the increasing Virunga gorilla population. In this regard, take to Rwanda wildlife safaris in Rwanda a mindset of conservationists. Get ready for the adventure – hike on foot in search of gorillas and spend 1 hour with them on the volcano slopes is an encounter of a lifetime. Game drives in search of Big Five animals: over 20 rhinos and lions now thrive along with giraffe, zebras, impalas, bushbucks in the plains of Akagera – the only savanna protected area of Rwanda. Along the river Akagera are swamps and lakes that provide boat safaris too observe elephants, buffaloes, hippos and crocodiles and over 500 species of birds including shoebill stork.

Hikes in the Great Virunga Mountains

People that love to spend time outdoors in the mountains will be happy to visit Rwanda and step at the top of Mount Karisimbi, the tallest of the 8 Virunga Volcanoes that straddle the border of Uganda, Rwanda and Democratic Republic of Congo. These are the most beautiful volcanoes in Africa and day hikes except the Karisimbi hike allow you to immerse yourself into nature with the history of Dian Fossey and gorilla conservation. The Bisoke volcano hike, the Dian Fossey Tomb Hike and the golden monkey tracking are available for visitors who are fit to hike up to 3700 meters above sea level. Easy hiking trails are also found around Musanze town and twin lakes of Burera and Ruhondo, Mpanga eco forest park and in the Nyungwe Forest National Park for tropical birds and the canopy walk for nature photographers.

Family fun with local farmers at the new Giswati Mukura National Park

Situated 167 (3-hour drive) north-west of Kigali city and not far from Lake, this park contains two tropical forests in the Albertine rift valley where local farmers have decided to restore natural forests, which they were degrading through cultivation. Thus, the creation of Rwanda’s 4th protected area – Giswati Mukura National Park home to: over 120 species of birds, species of birds including Albertine rift valley endemics, Eastern chimpanzees, golden monkeys, serval, genet, civet, small mammals, amphibians, reptiles, and over 250 species of plants. All this biodiversity is now being protected through community and adventure activities such as chimp tracking, hiking and visiting a local farmer’s home. The options for those intending traveling with children in Rwanda are also available at Lake Kivu Gisenyi resort town which is just less than 1 hour drive away from the park as well as in the community around Akagera National Park

Improved public transport, Innovation and digital development

Rwanda is becoming a major innovation hub succeeding at digital developments and environmental protection. From e-waste and pollution free strategies to state-of-the-art Kigali Convention Center, the city which is one of the cleanest and organized cities on the continent and is what makes Rwanda a safe haven family holidays than you might think. People call it the rising star of Africa and you’ll have no trouble with cashless pay for public transport, cycling and navigating the streets and walking at night without worry about safety. If you’re an artist, tech freak or environmentalist, you’ll adore this little city and take part in the monthly campaign where all people including his excellency Paul Kagame participate in cleaning of villages across the country.

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