Information about National Parks we did visit in
Two brothers, Kigarama and Mburo lived in a large valley.
One night, Kigarama dreamt that they were in danger. When he awoke
the next morning, he told his younger brother Mburo of his dream
and said they should move. Mburo ignored this advice, but Kigarama
wisely moved up into the hills. The valley flooded and a lake was formed,
drowning Mburo. Today the lake is named after him, and the hills are called
Kigarama after his brother.
The word mburo is similar to the "mboro", the Runyankole
name of the cassine tree which has a powerful aphrodisiac effect. One such
tree, showing signs of bark and branch removal, may be seen close to the
Kigambira Loop crossroads.
Situated between Masaka and Mbarara in Western Uganda,
it is the only park to contain an entire lake. Beautiful and tranquil Lake
Mburo National Park is situated in rolling hills and open grassy valleys.
This lovely landscape also consists of four other smaller lakes where you'll
see impala, eland, waterbuck, klipspringer, zebra and buffalo.
The Park has Aardvark, Hyrax, Porcupine, Hippopotamus,
Zebra, Pangolin, Warthog, Hyena, Leopard, Buffalo, Civet, Genet, Topi,
Eland, Klipspringer, Oribi, Sitatunga, Impala, eland and crocodile
There is an excellent variety of water and acacia savannah bird species
(357 bird species) like crested crane, the rare shoebill stork, marabou
stork and bronze-tailed starling, bee eaters and even more exotic birds
like Blue Naped Coucal, Bare-faced Go-Away Bird, Nubian Woodpecker and
Hippos and crocodiles can be seen grazing on cool mornings.
The surrounding papyrus swamps hide the beautiful sitatunga, a very special
antelope with narrow, elongated hooves which allow them to move freely
on marshy land.
Exotic sights you may enjoy are male impala characteristically
looking over their territory from the top of a large anthill, an exquisite
panoramic view of the lakeland expanse from a hilltop vantage point, or
the sight of locally ranched long-horned ankole cattle grazing with wild
impala and zebra. Don't forget to take a wooden Ssese canoe trip on the
lake to see kingfishers, herons and other water birds, your guide will
keep you a safe distance from the hippos and crocodiles!
The attractive acacia-dotted savannah (256 sq. km) is
home to huge herds of impala, as well as uncommon topi, eland, klipspringer
and other antelope. Zebra and buffalo also graze these peaceful acres.
The lake supports a wonderful diversity of birds. Because
of the different habitats, the lakeshore and the broad savannah, the variety
seems endless. Catch a glimpse of waterbirds diving for fish, the Marabou
Stork, bee-eaters and the cheeky Bronze-tailed Starling, as well as the
majestic Crowned Crane. Make sure you bring your binoculars.
More on the wildlife of Lake Mburo.
Walks, Game drives, Lake Cruises, Excellent Birdwatching.
By Road: the park is bounded to the north by the main
Kampala-Mbarara road. From Kampala it is 430km (4 hours) to the Park headquarters
and rest camp at Rwonyo. On the way you will pass several interesting market
villages as well as crossing the Equator Line. The left turn to the Park
is signposted 211km from Kampala.
From Mbarara it is 47km to the Park Headquarters. The
right turn to the park is at Sanga. The park gate is at Rweshebeshebe,
12km from Sanga.4-wheeled drive is recommended.
By road from Kampala it is 4 hours (230km) to the park
head quarters and rest camp at Rwonyo.
On the way, places of interest include, Mpambire Drum
shop (40km from Kampala), the Equator (76 km), Kinoni for papyrus mats
(147 km), Kyazanga for Gonja (roasted bananas) (169 km) and the Lake Mburo
Accommodation is available at park headquarters, where
chalets are available for single or double occupancy. Meals are available
or visitors may carry their own food that the camp staff can help to prepare.
Hurricane lamplighting and warm water bucket bathing are provided. Campfire
may be organised on request.
The Lake View Hotel in the nearby town of Mbarara is a
modern locally-owned hotel. All rooms have private facilities. The hotel
has a bar, restaurant, terrace, swimming pool and sports centre. The hotel's
own small lake is often surrounded by marabou storks.
Mantana Camp, run by Mel and Paul has stunning vistas
over 3 lakes, It offers good service whilst retaining the authentic safari
spirit. Each tent has twin beds and a bathroom. Each verandah is placed
so as to take advantage of stunning African sunsets. The dining room is
built on stilts so as to offer guests bird's eye views across the treetops
to the lakes.
Lake Mburo National Park lies in a rain shadow between
Lake Victoria and the Rwenzori Mountains, and receives an average of only
800mm of rain a year. Being near the equator, the rainfall pattern
is bimodal, with the long rains occurring from February to June, and the
short rains from September to December.
The rains are rather erratic and unpredictable, but most
rain tends to fall in April and November. The average recorded temperature
is 27.50C with daily variation ranging from 21.50C to 34,00C. July and
August are the hottest months.
The Park lies between 1,219 and 1,828 m above sea level.
High hills and rocky, eroded ridges characterise the western part of the
Park; here deep valleys support dry forests found nowhere else. In
the eastern sector, the rolling, wooded hills are intersected by wide,
flat bottomed valleys which are seasonally flooded and drain into the swamps
and lakes. The Ruizi river flows in a south -easterly direction and
forms part of the western boundary of the Park. Lake Mburo and its associated
wetlands eventually drain into Lake Victoria.
The Park is underlain by very ancient (more than 500 million
years old) Precambrian metamorphic rocks which belong to the ‘basement
system'. These rocks can be seen from the Zebra Track in the Park
as outcrops or "tors". The soils in the western uplands tend to be clays
and loams, while those of the eastern lowlands are sandy.
Queen Elizabeth and the Ishasha sector
Imagine a terrain that includes a myriad of lakes of
all types and sizes, from great freshwater lakes and inland salt lakes
to mirror-surfaced crater lakes. A terrain that includes marshland and
broad savannah, mountains and mysterious unexplored wooded valleys. A terrain
that provides a magnificent home for a breathtakingly wide variety of exotic
creatures of all kinds, in the air, on the land and in the water. Set in
the west of the Great East African Rift Valley and bordered by the mist-capped
'Mountains of the Moon,' The Queen Elizabeth National Park is all this,
In the Queen Elizabeth Park you may see crater lakes
filled with huge flocks of flamingos. You will spot eagles soaring and
You will view lions relaxing and elephants ambling and
giant forest hog snuffling. And, in its lakes you'll see hippos swimming
and kingfishers darting. Any visitor to this park cannot fail to be amazed
by the enormous diversity in each kingdom of creation. It's simply a visual
feast. Take a boat trip, a game drive, a woodland walk or simply enjoy
any of the myriad stunning views.
The Queen Elizabeth National Park provides an unforgettable
and unique experience.
Queen Elizabeth National Park is 1,978 Km2 in area and
is situated astride the Equator in the Western Rift Valley of South West
Uganda, close to the Southern most tip of the tabled, mist covered "Mountains
of the Moon - Rwenzori Mountains and is contigious with Virunga National
Park in Democratic Republic of Congo (Zaire).
It is a region of varied habitats including, open grassland
with thickets, thick bush, forest, swamps and lake-shore. Queen Elizabeth
National Park together with Virunga National Park in (DRC) completely encircle
Lake Edward which is connected to Lake George by the Kazinga Channel.
Launch trips on Kazinga Channel down the shore of Lake
Edward provides a unique vantage for viewing savannah wildlife. A launch
trip starts at Mweya the park headquarters along the Kazinga Channel, which
joins Lake Edward and Lake George. Truly, this is among the most exciting
and memorable experience offered by the Park. While on the trip expect
to be thrilled by yawning hippos and a closer view of water birds along
In the southern part of the park is the Ishasha Sector
with substantial tree climbing lions found perched on savannah fig trees.
The concentration of game in its savannah setting, Lake Edward and River
Ishasha flats, Ishasha and riverine forest, Hippo Pool and Congo escarpment
provides splendid scenery. Ishasha Sector is known for its expansive savannah
landscape teeming with a variety of wildlife possibly due to its continuity
cross border migration of wildlife. "Missing Ishasha is simply missing
Maramagambo Forest is one of the largest forests in Uganda.
It is a medium altitude, moist, semi-decidious forest. Characteristics
of such forest are increasingly becoming rare in Africa! It has very spectacular
lakes and craters. It is the only place in the Park where one could find
Blue Lakes. Other features of attractions in the forest include: primates,
e.g. Lhost monkeys, chimpanzees, bush baby, baboons, vervet monkeys, red-tailed
monkeys, etc. Due to its location, Maramagambo has a high diversity of
butterflies. The bat and the hunters cav are other pleasant experiences
that the forest offers, and of course some forest birds.
This area comprises a scenic area of explosion craters,
some containing salt lakes, formed by volcanic activity some 8-10,000 years
ago. Some of the craters are dry. These unique concentration of unspoiled
craters forms a unique scenic vantage point and are important as dry season
watering points for animals.
The crater area is such a captivating and breathtaking
phenomenon. It’s impossible to give a fair description of the crater area,
there is nothing with which to compare. It is one of the wonders of Uganda/East
Kyambura river gorge is situated on North-Eastern side
of the Park (QENP) - 35 kms from Mweya the park headquarters. The Gorge
spans a distance of 16 kms or 10 miles long and 100m/300ft deep, while
the widest point is over 500 metres. The Gorge emerges between savannah
grasslands. It forms an outstanding topographic feature in dramatic contrast
to surrounding savannah landscape. The Gorge has a riverine virgin forest
that transits to papyrus swamps towards the Kazinga Channel.
It is the only place in the Park where you can view the
chimpanzees at close range - "Habituated" with other types of primates
including B/W Colobus Monkey, Red-tailed monkey, baboons and vervet monkeys.
The Gorge is also a habitat for concentration of birds - Peregrine Falcon,
Falcon peregrinus, black be eater- Merops Mulleri and African Finfoot etc.
The Gorge is an important water source for savannah animals.
Queen Elizabeth National Park has a greater avian diversity
than any other protected area in Africa with over 558 species of bird life.
It ranks the sixth in bird diversity world-wide in the protected areas.
Queen Elizabeth National Park is the only park in Uganda that has bird
observatory facilities in Uganda. It is only in QENP that one can sight
flocks of flamingoes in spectacular craters in Uganda. The Park is an important
breeding ground for birds and a stop over for migratory birds.
Birds seen include: shoebill stock, black bee eater, crested
crane, African finfoot, saddle bill stock, peregrine falcon, martial eagle,
rock falcon, hunter’s sun birds, pelicans, commorants, etc. The diversity
of birds in the park is due to the great diversity of habitats that occur.
The checklist of mammals of QENP include 66 species. The
larger mammalian fauna of the park is characterized by a few species furnishing
an excptionally high biomass. During the late 1960s, the biomass densities
recorded from the park exceeded those published for any wildlife community
anywhere in the world. Todate, the Park main biomass contributors includes:
hippotamus, leopard, elephants, buffaloes, Uganda kobs, topi, bushbucks,
waterbucks, rare giant forest hogs, advarks, porcupines, pangolins, bushpigs,
and warthogs, lions, hyenas, civets, etc.
The Nile Crocodiles can be sighted along the Kazinga Channel
and Lake Edward. African rock python, monitor lizards, spitting cobra,
buffer adder, black mamba, Gabon viper, green snakes can be sighted, etc.
By road, the Park Headquarters is 64 kms from Kasese,
which is 418 kms from Kampala via Mbarara and Katunguru. The journey takes
approximately 6 hours. Air charter services are possible to the landing
strip near Mweya Safari Lodge, Kasese Aerodrome and Ishasha Sector Airstrip.
A launch cruise along the Kazinga Channel, bird watching
at the bird hides and in the wild, game viewing drives in the park, chimpanzee
viewing in Kyambura River Gorge, walking safaris, picknicking, nature walks
into Maramagambo Forests and a visit to Katwe Traditional salt works.
Queen Elizabeth National Park is visited year round. Rain
gears, insect repellant, pair of binoculars and safari shoes, campers should
come with tents.
A four wheel vehicle may do better in some parts of the
park during wet season. (i.e. if a visitor opts to come with own vehicle).
Mweya Safari Lodge built on a peninsular and almost surrounded
by water has stunning views of this magnificent panaroma. A luxury lodge
in the old style with a restaurant, bar, a terrace, suit bedrooms, conference
theatre and swimming pool. The bedrooms are self contained with such comfort
that one could ever need! The lodge is located in the prime area for the
park’s attraction; it is the door gate for the entire of Queen Elizabeth
The Jacan Safari Lodge is situated on the margin of Maramagambo
Forest close to Lake Nyamusingiri and Kyasanduka. The log cabins built
in an African way stretch from the woods up to the great views of Lake
Nyamusingiri and the forest. Above all, these cabins are self contained.
There is arestaurant, waterside bar, swimming pool and offers a boat trip
on Lake Nyamusingiri which is encircled by a blanket of forest.
Ishasha Sector is served with accommodation facilities
like the bandas, the camp sites (3) and the tented bush camp. At the tented
Bush Camp, accommodation and meals are provided.
Murchison Falls NP
Murchison Falls National Park is one of the most spectacular
in Uganda, and indeed in the whole of Africa. This is the largest game
park in the country (3,840 sq.km.) and has the most intense concentration
of animals along the river. Here is the awe-inspiring Murchison Falls,
where the River Nile hurls itself in appalling convulsions through a narrow
crevice and then plunges 40 metres in one breathtaking leap.
Before the Murchison Falls themselves, in the eastern
sector of the Park,are the Karuma Falls where the Nile cascades over 23
kilometres of rapids in a breathtaking sight. This is some of the most
exciting white water in Africa.
A launch trip up stream to the falls is one of the great
experiences in Africa. Elephant, hartebeest, giraffe, buffalo, crocodiles
and countless antelope and birds (including the rare Shoebill stork) can
be admired at the water's edge as the launch glides along
The Murchison Falls National Park, with its
variety of vegetation ranging from riparian forests and swamp lands to
broad Savannah, provides the opportunity of seeing many of the animals
found in Uganda.
In the southern section of the park is the beautiful Rabongo
Forest, home to several families of chimpanzees and other primates. Make
sure you have plenty of film for your camera, although they are difficult
to spot in the thick canopy above.
This is the biggest National Park in Uganda with an area
of 3840km2. The River Nile divides the park into the north and south sectors
and forms falls where it flows over the western rift valley escarpment.
Here, the river is forced through a 3 meters gap in the rocks and cascades
into a boiling pot 30 meters below.
A boat cruise upstream to the falls provides an unforgettable
experience. The falls can also be viewed from the top which gives a completely
Elephant, Giraffe, Hippopotamus, Leopard, Warthog, Lion,
Giraffe Aardvark, Chimpanzee, Pangolin, Civet, Buffalo, Hyena, Crocodile,
Oribi, Patas monkey,Uganda kob, baboon.
Fish in the Nile include Nile perch, Tilapia and Tiger
fish. 450 species of bird including Pel's fishing owl, pennant winged nightjar,
red-throated bee eater and the magnificent shoebill stork. In the southern
sector of the park, there is Rabongo Forest, a home of chimpanzees.
Unforgettable Launch trips on the Nile up to the Falls
with abundant game viewing along the way; Game drives in the Park;
Forest walks in the Rabongo Forest and Fishing at the foot of the falls.
At the top of Murchison Falls, the Victoria Nile explodes
through a 6 -metre gap, causing the very rock to shake - quite literally.
This phenomenon is said to be the most powerful natural flow of water anywhere
on Earth. Can you imagine the strength and size of the Nile Perch which
can withstand such a force which exists at the foot of this perpetual avalanche
Charles Norman described the first such perch, spotted
soon after their arrival by his companion, who: "...let out a strangled
squawk and I found myself staring at the hog-sized back of a huge fish
protruding above the water at the rock's edge - a 100kg fish with scales
the size of tennis balls. "Swimming next to it was a smaller one, a 'midget'
of a mere 40kg or so.
Slowly these two moved along the rock, obviously feeding,
and then sank out of sight almost at our feet. My knees turned to water
and my whole body began to shake..." This adventure turned into what the
prodigiously experienced Charles Norman describes as "...the most exciting
morning's fishing that I have ever known.
Having landed some magnificent specimens, he concludes
by pointing out that the most memorable strike of the day was one that
...just for a second felt rock solid before my double line came flying
back to me. " He adds that only tigerfish can sever nylon line in this
way and that, since his bait was such a large bream, the tiger must have
been a very big one.
His parting thought reads: "There are tigerfish in the
lower Nile and Lake Albert, 30km downstream, but are they Goliaths! Incredibly,
nobody knows, there simply hasn't been any sportfishing in Uganda for the
past 35 years, and the inhabitants of its many waterways remain a mystery."
Anyone angling for a solution to that mystery!
By road, it is a 3 hour drive from Kampala to Masindi,
217 km on tarmac and 40 km on high grade murram, then an additional 2 hours
(97 km) from Masindi to the Falls on murram. A 4 wheel drive vehicle is
advisable as the Masindi-Paraa road is rough.
The Park can be reached by air charter services. There
are airstrips at Paraa and Rabongo which can accommodate light aircratfs
of up to six seats capacity.
There is a camp site at the top of the Falls which can
be used by those with their own camping gear. Contact UNP for reservations
and current rates.
The riverside Nile Safari Camp must be one of the
most romantic lodges in the world. Accommodation is in beautifully designed
waterside log cabins each with its own internal tent, terrace, bathroom
and outside shower. There is an al fresco restaurant and small gift shop.
Watching a stunning sunset from the friendly bar is a must.
In an elevated position on the north side of the river,
guests at the Sarova Paraa Lodge benefit from simply massive views. This
historic lodge which, before its restoration, was host to many dignitaries
is now central to Paraa reclaiming its former glory. The site, service
and ambience, which so impressed Britain's Queen Mother, is being recreated
to great effect for the enjoyment of modern tourists. Each room has full
facilities and a remarkable view. There is an impressive restaurant, swimming
pool and bar.
The Sambiya River Lodge presents a unique African experience.
A traditionally designed thatched hotel is surrounded by thatched bungalows,
all in a very special setting. The atmosphere is relaxing, warm and friendly
and the lodge provides a restaurant, bar and gift shop. All rooms are complete
with full private facilities
Others nearby are:
The Masindi Hotel at Masindi
Rabongo Forest Cottages
Camp Sites at the top of the Falls
Once this tropical rainforest provided a (very substantial)
dinner, bed and breakfast for large herds of migrating forest elephants
and, even now, the park contains the largest population of this subspecies
in Uganda. Although they're rarely seen, and dangerous, the signs of these
elephants' presence are abundant.
However, Kibale's claim to fame is its enormous variety
of primates and its families of habituated chimpanzees - it's home to an
astonishing 12 species of primate and provides one of the highest primate
densities in the world. Here, on a daytime or evening guided forest walk,
you may find families of chimpanzees and red colobus monkeys chattering
and swinging through the ancient forest trees.
The sightings of birds in the forest are no less impressive
- there are at least 325 species, many of which are found nowhere else.
In addition there are over 144 species of butterflies.
Kibale, with ancient trees up to 55 metres in height,
is a wonderful place to experience the extraordinary diversity of life
in a tropical rainforest. Take part in a guided forest walk - you may see
a crowned crane nesting and feeding site, you may climb up a treehouse
viewing platform to see the exotic looking Dura River screw palms, you
may take a walk along the Kanyanchu river. You will certainly be more than
impressed by the grandeur of the forest and the abundance of exotic life
forms in this thriving and ancient environment.
Kibale, 766 km2, is one of Uganda's enchanting forested
parks. Here, you can hike in the park for hours observing the drama of
life in a rainforest.
The park contains pristine lowland tropical rain forest,
montane forest, and mixed tropical deciduous forest. In addition to forest,
you will also notice areas of grassland and of swamp.
The forest is rich in wildlife. It is most noted for its
primate population. Some of these are red-tailed monkey, diademed monkey,
blue monkey, white cheeked mangabey, olive baboon, chimpanzee, black,
white and red colobus. Some of the other mammals you might see are bushbuck,
Harvey's red duiker, blue duiker, Uganda kob, genet, bushpig, and African
civet. More difficult to spot are buffalo, waterbuck, hippo, warthog, and
giant forest hog. Herds of elephant once travelled back and forth through
the area. These elephants have become more and more rare, and now are seldom
The birdlife in the forests and grasslands of the forest
is abundant. There are almost 300 species that have been identified here,including
hoopoe, greyparrot, ant thrush, negrofinch and one particularly worth noting
is the Kibale forest thrush, which is endemic to Kibale forest. There are
144 species of butterfly in the park and a diverse population of moths
and other insects.
A system of trails has been developed within the park,
and tour guides are available to guide visitors.
The park is located 35km south, of Fort Portal. A 4 wheel
drive vehicle is recommended, especially during the rainy season.
There are a number of hotels in Fort Portal.
The RuwenZori View Guesthouse is situated in beautiful
and quiet Surroundings. All rooms have hot and cold running water, shower
and toilet. In this family-run establishment the ambience is friendly and
the food is extraordinarily good.
At Ndali Lodge, each of the four cottages face the Mountains
of the Moon. On a clear morning, the snow on the peaks is clearly visible.
All cottages have private facilities. The lodge sits near a delightful
crater lake. Mark Price provides a friendly welcome and an interesting
Another alternative is the Crater Valley Kibale Resort
Beach Lodge just on the border of the Park, or Kanyanchu Tourist Camp just
35 km from Fort Portal town. It is elevated to provide beautiful views
of the snow-capped Rwenzori Mountains. With an open forest and large community
of chimpanzee, Kanyanchu offers an enjoyable chimpanzee tracking experience.
There is an on-going habituation project of chimpanzees and monkeys run
by The Jane Goodall Institute & Uganda Wildlife Authority. All of the
guides are actively involved with the Kibale Habituation Project. Visitors
are assured that they are supporting a sustainable ecotourism initiative
for effective conservation of the Park.
At the nearby villages of Bigodi and Nkingo, there are
simple lodges, and meals are available.
A good spot for Campers and backpackers is Rwengo Lakeside
Inside the park, camping facilities are available. There
are two, private campsites, each with a tent which sleeps two. Bedding
is provided. There are four additional campsites, where you must bring
your own tent and bedding. At all sites, you must bring your own food and
utensils. Fuel can be provided for cooking.
Bwindi Impenetrable NP
BINP is located in south-western Uganda (0 53’ - 1 08’N;
29 35’ - 29 50’E), and covers parts of Rukungiri, Kabale and Kisoro Districts.
On the west, the park is bordered by Parc Nationale des Virunga of Congo
Bwindi's Impenetrable Forest is true African Jungle. It
is so called because the dense undergrowth, vines and other vegetation
make it almost 'impenetrable'. It's mysterious and awesome. The lowland
rainforest and montane forest vegetation constantly struggles to reach
heights that will allow it to receive more light. Huge trees are festooned
with creepers and parasitic plants such as mistletoe and orchids. Giant
thickets of bamboo thrive in the humid atmosphere and, where sunlight breaks
though, the elegant heliconia, or lobster claw, spreads its colourful petals.
Amongst the dense vegetation the Colobus Monkey jumps
from branch to branch, chattering its warning to its fellows hidden by
the foliage. Chimpanzees, in families of 20 or 30, make the rounds, searching
for fruit and edible plants.
It is situated in a hilly country-side that, together
with some remnant lowland forest outside the boundary, constitute an important
water catchment area for many rivers, supplying the agricultural land of
the surrounding region.
As you walk among the shadows of the leafy canopy, this
rainforest reveals the smells and sounds of Africa, just as it has been
Without doubt, your first impression of the dense jungle
will be its almost audible silence. Jungle creatures are very, very shy,
but, as you pick your way along the trail, through the dense undergrowth,
you'll realise that the jungle is alive. Its thousands of living organisms
are discreetly watching and waiting whilst you pass through their protective
home and, from time to time, the complete tranquillity will be shattered
by a darting forest bird or group of chattering monkeys leaping through
the stands of ancient trees, disturbing the secretive residents and setting
up a chain reaction. Now, the ever-wary jungle comes to colourful and noisy
life for a moment, until silence reigns again.
Here, in Bwindi Impenetrable, your guide will take you
along river trails with delightful waterfalls, up steep slopes and into
forest clearings in search of an enormous array of reserved, exquisite
and exciting jungle creatures who live in this deep forest. A forest :
which in itself is a complex and remarkable living organism.
From Kampala, (the Ugandan capital city), Buhoma (the
park headquarters) can be accessed through Rukungiri (478kms) or usually,
Kabale (526 kms). The Kabale route which takes about 6 hours from Kampala
is paved. From Kabale the journey to Buhoma (112kms) via Kanungu and Kanyatoorogo
takes 3-4 hours through scenic areas. Or, pass along the eastern edge of
the park to Ruhija. This option affords some very magnificent views. Four-wheel
drive vehicles are advised especially during the rainy season.
Camping facilities, and a deluxe tented camp is available
at Buhoma. Those with camping equipment may camp in the Park .
Abercrombie & Kent has a luxury 4-star tented camp.In
the Montana Luxury Tented Camp you will enjoy accommodation in fully furnished
Selous tents with verandah, bedroom, dressing room and ensuite shower.
The White Horse Inn is situated in the terraced hills
of Kabale, known as the "Switzerland of Africa. Many rooms have private
African Pearl Safaris; offers comfortable medium range
accommodation. The low budget traveller can stay in equally clean Bandas
run by the local community.
In Kabale Town, known as "Switzerland of Africa", several
accommodation facilities are available. These include: 3-star White Horse
Inn and Highland Hotel, the Victoria Inn, and the Visitor's Rest Hotel..
Other medium range facilities include: Visitours, and many others.
At least 120 species of mammal in one of the richest
ecosystems in Africa including mountain gorilla, chimpanzee and 8 other
species of primate. Elephant, bushpig, giant forest hog, many species of
bats and rodents, at least 346 species of birds including rare forest birds,
at least 14 species of snakes, 27 species of frogs and toads, 6 chameleons,
14 lizards, skinks and geckas, at least 202 species of butterfly.
This forest is a sanctuary for almost half the world's
population of mountain gorillas (about 330 of 600), which is the rarest
race of gorilla. Established as a safe habitat for several families of
mountain gorillas it is now the location of an important scientific conservation
programme. Gorilla tracking visits are limited to small groups.
There are also several endangered species of birds with
limited ranges.Gorilla tracking began on 1st April, 1993. It is advisable
to make reservations at least 3 months before your intended date of visit.
These reservations can be made through your tour operator or travel agent
or directly to Uganda Wildlife Authority in Kampala. It commonly rains
in this area. Come with a raincoat, walking boots, and gloves.
This is the richest forest in Uganda, in terms of the
number of plant species, as the area is one of the few large expanses of
forest in East Africa where lowland and montane communities merge. The
valley bottoms contain a dense ground cover of herbs, vines, and shrubs
with only a few trees hence its name, the 'impenetrable forest."
GORILLA BOOKING POLICIES
The following Policies will operate with immediate effect
for permits for the year 2000. The policy is effective 1 January 1999.
Bookings at headquarters will be for the Mubare Group and Habinyanja Group,
a family of 17 and 22 gorillas respectively, in Bwindi Impenetrable National
Park until management advises otherwise. Only six visitors shall track
each group of gorillas a day with the viewing period being only one hour.
A fee of US$30 per permit will be charged for the service
of booking a permit more than 6 months in advance. This fee will be receipted
separate and is non-refundable and non-transferrable. It must be paid before
a name is written down on the booking sheet whether in pencil or in pen.
Where a purchaser cannot fulfill his/her obligations after payment of the
booking fee, the fee is forfeited. This fee will not be waived whatever
A Company or individual allocated permits must pay the
booking fee on the very day of booking. The deadline for paying tracking
fee is 7 days later. If no booking fee is paid by 5.00 p.m. on this day
(when bookings open) such permits will be open for sale the next day.
Long term (one year in advance) booking allocations.
80% of the Mubare Group and 80% of Habinyanja Group permits
in each month can be booked for a year in advance.
All licensed Tour Operators are free to participate in
the booking and purchase of these permits.
Held back permits (40%)
Uganda Wildlife Authority reserves the right of whom to
sell to 40% of the permits per month. However, individual trackers can
buy from Uganda Wildlife Authority not more than 3 permits for the month.
There is no guarantee, which dates or how many per day will be available.
Rates for a permit differ based on the residence status
of the visitor. The three categories are non-resident (pays full fee),
foreign resident of Uganda (pays 75% - with proof of residency in Uganda),
Uganda citizen (pays 20%). Reference can be made to the price list posted
at point of sale to verify the correct fee. Visitor category will be verified
at check-in prior to departure for the tracking.
Tour Operators can still block book (as long as they are
within policy [2(a)]. [2(b)], and [3(b)] on certain dates, and then advertise
Uganda Safaris scheduled around these gorilla tracking dates.
The day after a payment deadline is passed, all tentative
bookings will be erased, and booking fees earlier paid forfeited. The permit
space will be marked CASH ONLY and will only be available to anyone paying
Permits are non-refundable, with only two exceptions:
A permit will be refunded if a visitor voluntarily withdraws
due to illness. However, any person being turned back by Park Authorities
after failing to declare an illness will not be allowed a refund.
If a client cancels within 8-30 days to the tracking date,
the permit is to be handed back to Uganda Wildlife Authority and will be
open for sale.
A refund of 25% of the permit value will be made. No refund
will be made to permits handed back to Uganda Wildlife Authority between
7-0 days to tracking date.
Permits must be sold at face value, whoever sells at higher
value will be penalized.
Sale of permits by individuals or tour companies anywhere
is illegal. All permits MUST be sold by Uganda Wildlife Authority only
Payment for gorilla permits must be made directly to Uganda
Gorilla booking will be accompanied by a mandatory booking
fee for entrance into two other National Parks and at least one park, for
Tour Operators and other individuals respectively. Tour Operators should
prove that the itinerary using block-booked permits contains visits to
these other National Parks.
copyright: Paul Janssen