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Experiences

5 Adventure Activities Not to Miss in Uganda!

Uganda is a country that is gifted by nature and the best places where one seeking exclusive wildlife safaris can visit. Popularly known as the pearl of Africa, Uganda has a lot to offer and this is one of the reasons why many tourists on safaris visit the country. Uganda is a very safe and secure country and above all the people are very hospitable and very easy to interact with. While on a Uganda safari, there are some tourism destinations and activities one should not miss because of their uniqueness and they include the following

Horseback Riding In Lake Mburo National Park

Lake Mburo national park is one of the savanna national park located in western Uganda in Kiruhura district. The park has an eco system comprising of different savanna vegetation types (grassland, woodlands) that are homes to a number of wildlife species, which include zebras, buffaloes, warthogs, giraffes, a number of antelopes and so many birds.

Today wildlife safaris in this national park are experienced using horses that take tourists in the wild as they view the major wildlife around. The horses are well trained and managed by well experienced horse guides who escort the tourists as they explain to them the wildlife species they view as they ride. Horse back riding in lake Mburo national park does not require any horse riding experience and even the first timers can therefore do it after proper guidance by the horse guides.

Horseback riding is a very adventurous activity that gives tourists a chance to get close to the real wild and it’s among the activities one must not miss while in Uganda.

Mountain Gorilla Trekking In Bwindi And Mgahinga Gorilla National Parks

Mountain gorillas are wild animals adventurous tourists should not miss while in Uganda. They are among the most endangered primate species that are only remaining in three countries in the world (in Uganda, Rwanda and Democratic Republic of Congo). In Uganda mountain gorillas live in Bwindi impenetrable forest, which has half of the mountain gorilla population remaining on the planet with 12 habituated mountain gorilla families, and in Mgahinga gorilla national park which has one habituated mountain gorilla family.

Mountain gorilla trekking in Bwindi or Mgahinga national parks is very adventurous and exciting as the tourists hike through the forests covered by mist looking for the allocated mountain gorilla family. The hike can take about 5 hours and sometimes more. This hike is usually characterized by sightings of a number of wildlife species in the forests and a real feel of the jungle. Mountain gorilla trekking permits are sold at only $600 during the peak tourist season and at $350 during the low tourists season. They cab be trekked at anytime of the year however the trek can be best enjoyed during the dry season when there are less chances for rainfall that usually disrupts the hiking process.

White Water Rafting

This is a very thrilling tourist activity carried out along the great river Nile in Jinja. White water rafting involves tourists having a boat ride along the rapids along river Nile where they are some times thrown out of their rafting boats by the strong forces of the rapids. This is an adventurous activity that does not require experience but rather determination. Its not an activity for the faint hearted but its very exciting and rewarding and all those seeking for great adventure should not miss it out while in the pearl of Africa.

A Visit To Murchison Falls

These are the greatest waterfalls in Uganda along river Nile located in Murchison falls national park. The water here pours down the rocky valley with a lot of energy making an enormous sound, forming a mist a few meters in the air, splashing waters around and surprisingly forming a permanent rain ball that is clearly seen. The falls can be best viewed both from the top or the bottom depending on ones preference. Those interested in viewing them from the top drive some 10 kilometers to the viewing point while those interested in viewing them from the bottom head for boat cruises to the falls can even hike to the top to clearly see the rain ball. While in Uganda, the Murchison falls should definitely be on your must visit places.

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Experiences Safaris

The Batwa Trail

The dense forests at the foot of the Virunga Volcanoes were home to the Batwa people: hunter-gatherers and fierce warriors who depended on the forest for shelter, food and medicine thanks to ancient knowledge passed down for generations.

The Batwa Trail is located in the Mgahinga Gorilla National Park, Uganda where the Batwa people, a group of indigenous people, used to reside.  This nature walk tour introduces visitors to this African tribe’s life.  During the trek, visitors learn about the Batwa’s cultural heritage including their past ways of living!  This cultural encounter is one of the most memorable experience of a Uganda tour to see the mountain gorillas in Mgahinga National Park, a lesser known gorilla trekking destination in Uganda.  The funds from this tour are part of a give back program that supports the indigenous people’s cultural heritage by helping them purchases new land, provide education and books.

During this moving tour, the Batwa demonstrate their unique cultural heritage through various activities and discussions, such as hunting and bamboo cup demonstrations.  Medicinal plants and their usage are pointed out as well.  Guests are finally invited to the sacred Ngarama Cave, once home to the Batwa King, where the women of the community perform a sorrowful song which echoes eerily around the depths of the dark cave, and leaves guests with a moving sense of the richness of this fading culture

Dr. Andrew Seguya, Executive Director of UWA, said, “We are happy to be associated with the development of our partners, the Batwa people,  and with projects such as the Garama Cave and short trail, which will enhance income for them. We will strive to add more products to give our visitors a fully rewarding experience.”

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Experiences Explore

Driving Around the Big Bend in Western Uganda

Our car shuddered to a standstill beside a wooden sign on a deserted western region part of Uganda road. “This is fountain of the pearl of Africa”, I read as I stepped from the car into the shimmering mid day heat. We’d been heading through Queen Elizabeth National Park towards the Uganda-Rwanda border, to a town called Kisoro which boasted of a very conducive climate for a night. Unfortunately as we rounded a bend I was faced with a rock slide in progress and totally misjudged the clearance of my rented car from Uganda Self Drive, a reputable car renting company in Uganda opting to try and drive over the bouncing debris. There were a series of sickening thuds and bangs which caused my partner and I to cringe, and the car to grind to a standstill after around a hundred yards, with an alarming flow of unidentified liquid pouring onto the road surface.

We both looked under the car at the damage, then at each other then down the long straight road ahead of us. On average we’d been passing another vehicle about every half an hour and we were around an hour’s drive from our isolated hotel. Around ten miles back down the road, we’d passed a small garage at a cross roads, with a sign which read ‘this shop protected by a sawed off shot gun 3 days per week. You guess which days’. We’d also seen a hand painted sign pointing to the hills reading ‘Ghost Town Road’. That was the only sign of life and it looked like we could be waiting for some time to be rescued.

After about 20 minutes, with my partner berating me for my lack of driving judgment as we sat in the now roasting car, the air conditioner having failed with the engine, I notice a speck on the horizon, tailed by a large dust cloud.”Told you we wouldn’t wait long”, I said, trying to sound optimistic. It took around 10 minutes before I noticed that I had to do some thing very fast. I reached for my mobile phone, called the car rental company from which we had hired the car. This company is so generous that it contacted it’s area agent and with in a blink of an eye a rescue car was at our footsteps and we were 0ffered another car and off we proceeded with our journey.

Eventually we arrived Kabale town which is at the border of these two countries for at least a night before embarking on our journey. Reclaimed by a hardy bunch of artists, musicians, loners and eccentrics. Today, Kabale boasts a couple of eating options, some shops and lodgings and as we trudged, sweating into town we were greeted by the site of a graveyard with tumbledown tombstones, a few scattered dwellings in various states of disrepair…and the Starlight Theatre. An incongruous sight in this far flung corner of western Uganda, the Starlight had once provided entertainment for the miners and their families. Now it had been converted into the Ghost town’s only bar, and its appearance was so unexpected I almost expected it to fade, mirage like, from view as we approached.

There are some meals that stick in your memory. Sometimes because of their quality, but often because you were so hungry that whatever you ate would seem like a sumptuous banquet. Similarly with drinks. On an occasion where your mouth is parched and dry and you feel that you’ve perspired every last bead of sweat from your body, an ice cold beer can live as long in the memory as a bottle of the finest champagne. And so it was with the icy bottle of Shiner Bock which I threw down in one gulp in that strange little bar.

The room was populated by a number of bewhiskered characters who all looked strangely similar to the mailman… in fact one of them was the mailman! He raised an arm in greeting, while some of his drinking buddies glanced in our direction but barely raised a bushy eyebrow. It seemed that two sweaty, red faced, stranded travelers stumbling into their local bar was a regular occurrence. We sank a couple more cold beers and began to consider how we’d get back to the hotel to await delivery of the replacement car. It seemed that no one was making a water run that day so we headed back to the Main Road and continued with our journey to Rwanda the land of a thousand hills. After crossing the Rwandan border everything turned different.