Tours – activities around Kampala and Entebbe – Uganda trip
During your travel, it is that short moment that will have a very big impact on the success of your trip? Thus, it is important to take care of those transition intervals from one experience to another by allocating something interesting in between those short moments of your trip. In the past, many people may have got experienced such situations when they got stuck in those boring moments.
Uganda is a very beautiful country and you can’t afford to sit without doing anything, even for one minute. Most people realize this after arrival and ask what to do around Kampala and Entebbe when they realise they’re set to take a late flight or if they just had an early arrival at Entebbe airport. If you’re planning a trip to Uganda don’t be surprised by this moment. Plan a good relaxed but experiential way to start or end your Uganda trip in style, this is for you.
The time you spend around Kampala or Entebbe is a perfect moment to be immersed within the nature and culture ambience of Uganda. I suggest that you can try Lutembe wetland and Ramser site for bird watching and wetland walk on the shores of Lake Victoria. This way, you can spend memorable moments between Entebbe and Kampala to avoid getting stuck in the boring moments as you wait for the night flight or before you travel from Kampala to your upcountry destinations.
Lutembe wetland is one of the major bird migration stop-overs and one of the most interesting sites for bird watching around the Lake Victoria. For the community around the lake, the wetland also plays a significant role to their livelihoods through livelihood activities such as cultivation (farming), fishing, sustainable harvesting of clay and other crafts materials, transport and eco-tourism. During the visit, the local experienced guides will take you around as they point to the long list of birds found here in their natural habitat.
Approximately 340 bird species both migratory and resident to Lutembe Wetland can be recorded. You could see birds like Black Heron, Pied Kingfisher, African snipe, Malachite Kingfisher, African skimmer, African Jacana, White-winged Black Terns, Long-tailed Cormorant, and Black Egret while on a bird watching boat cruise tour. Besides, you also could see the Uganda emblem, (Grey Crowned Crane) with their fledglings. In season, you will enjoy hearing plenty of bird songs and seeing thousands of White-winged Black Terns flying in attracting pattern (September – March).
Lutembe wetland is very rich in culture as well. During your visit, you can see a cave where locals sat and sang calling upon a crocodile “LUTEMBE”, they worshiped and on whose back they sat for rides on the lake to visit other gods. You can also listen to the full story of this mystical crocodile and how the locals perceived it in their daily lives.
Lutembe beach holds a rich history of Iddi Amin, one of the most lively and remembered president of Uganda who ruled during years of the 1970s and known for the notorious activities of evicting the Asians from Uganda. While here you have a chance to see or even have a memorable experience of sitting on the seat Idi Amin used whenever he visited Lutembe beach.
You will cross to the island by canoe where the community guide can take you to go and see butterflies, lizards and the great scenarios over the lake. For those who want to relax as they learn a skill from this lakeside community, the guide and farmer will take you around a well maintained rich garden packed with crops and vegetables as you learn about local herbal medicines, organic or back yard gardening and how to manage your garden.
For those who want to spend there last night here, the community has a luxurious guest house near the lake that will accommodate you with scenic views and comfort to make your stay a special one. Self-contained rooms, each taking 2 people, are available.
Lutembe wetland is located between Entebbe and Kampala. Turn off either at Kajjansi or at Namulanda, and drive towards Lutembe Beach. For directions or booking, you can contact pearls of Uganda (www.pearlsofuganda.org) on firstname.lastname@example.org or contact Black Heron Eco-Tourism Association (BHETA), the local community running the ecotourism project on Tel: +256(0)774279 001/ 0702540 401. BHETA is a member of Uganda community tourism Association (UCOTA) and works with nature Uganda to promote conservation and tourism.
Travel has the potential to change everyone. Yes, it is great to meet new people during a holiday, but that is not all travel will give you. Besides the greatness of meeting new people, travel is also a strong tool of inspiration. However if you can’t communicate, many opportunities during travel become fruitless. Inspiration happens by getting new ideas through learning, sharing, copying and experiencing. This means, we can’t get changed by travel if we don’t communicate or get the right translation. Communication is in many forms and to some extent, in a new location, they all need interpretation or translation. Communication may include; body language, spoken, music, arts, writing and many others.
When visitors meet new people and communicate well, both the locals and visitors are able to understand the way of life outside their own home. This helps each of them, the traveler and the indigenous tribes alike, to appreciate what they have or what more they can make of life on their journey to self-fulfillment and happiness. Likewise, the indigenous communities and other people at the destinations feel more appreciated and motivated if they are able to share their life in a good way full of excitement and happiness. This motivates the indigenous people to create awareness about their life.
In most cases, due to lack of communication, small tribes and communities have been associated to many myths and gossips that otherwise don’t exist in their societies. Through proper communication and interpretation, the indigenous people get more involved in the tours and share the truth of their life or culture. This is only possible if they can get someone to translate to them or to the visitors the exotic languages of the visitors who come to their communities or families and of the communities to the visitors. This translation helps to clear so much gossip that may have been heard about them as a people hence opening either of them to different opportunities.
Most people who visit Uganda use English language. The elderly and parents who carry the tradition and history of Ugandan tribes cannot speak English fluently. This has been a challenging situation for the locals and visitors creating exclusion of the rural elderly, men and women from tourism. Uganda has over 50 tribes and languages. Even if a tourist knew one of the 50 tribes, it still becomes hard to cross to the next tribe and understand without requiring translation. With English as the official language of Uganda, almost 8.5 of every 10 youth can speak English. This is an opportunity for the tourism industry and the rural community elders as well.
To help visitors fulfil their purpose of travel and or the communities be empowered by tourism, the community guides in Uganda have been trained to translate and interpret to the visitors during community tours. This has enabled the rural people who only speak one language to be a very important part of Uganda’s experiential tourism activities. It has also increased the visitor experience during the visits to the indigenous people communities. Besides translating English to and from the local Ugandan languages, you can also be able to get translators for other languages like French, Spanish and German by contacting the local tour operators in advance.
With the affordable interpretation services easily available in each village, the visitor can be sure to communicate well to the indigenous communities during the authentic experience on their trip to Uganda. If you need connections to the best guides who can show you around their villages while giving you the best translation and interpretation, feel free to contact the Uganda community tourism association and pearls of Uganda on this contact info; email@example.com , firstname.lastname@example.org , www.pearlsofuganda.org. UCOTA will then redirect you to their member community groups that have the best community guides in each community on your itinerary or travel plan.
Nature lovers will soon start enjoying a wonderful tour that is being put together by the community near Queen Elizabeth national Park, in Uganda. This wonderful tour is ideal for travelers, researchers and people who want a quiet moment with or closest to nature within the community. the tour also demonstrates how the community can use the land in the buffer zones to generate income and other benefits without conflicting with wildlife as it currently is near most national parks. The location of this experience just outside the park is home to multitudes of birds that cross from the park and over 200 hundred plant species. I had a wonderful time during my trial visit last month.
Blended with the environment, the experience is a combination of great scenery, wonderful trail surrounded by shrubs and plants of different types that are useful to both the local people and wild life. In the morning and evenings, you can find so many types of birds. Wildlife spoors can also be sported, on a lucky day as you will see the guide pointing out to the evidence of this. During my trial visit, we were able to see the evidence that about five types of animals from the park visited the night before, . These include the elephant, buffalo, hippos and other small mammals.
The tour will also be sold as a self-guided tour for nature lovers who want to explore alone without the guide interpretation. We only went on this tour for 20 minutes but I can’t wait to enjoy a full episode of this product that will be designed to last 1-2 hours after completion. I will share the news as soon as it is finished and ready to take bookings.
Now open!!!! All-weather bridge, a new experience for Rwenzori trekkers.
Thanks to the government of Uganda and UNRA (Uganda National Roads Authority). This all weather bridge is a timely solution to flooding in the Rwenzori mountains region. During this time of climate change and global worming, weather patterns of many areas have changed. It is evident that due the changed weather patterns, the world is facing more floods and longer /extended droughts. This climatic change calls for necessary adjustment of all infrastructure to be able to adapt the social economic activities of every country to global climate changes. It has been observed that every rain season during April- May and September – November in Uganda, the Rwenzori region, mount Elgon region and many other areas of Uganda experience floods that cut communication lines or cause landslides leading to loss of lives and property. Likewise the Rwenzori trekking routes have been disrupted by the flooding rivers; River Nyamwamba on the Kilembe southern route and River Ruboni on the Nyakalengija central circuite route. Many times in ruboni village, the community has been working with the local government after flooding incidences, to do minor repairs that only serve for a short period or completely fail to protect the temporary bridges during heavy floods.
River Ruboni is located between the base camp and Mihunga gate of Rwenzori mountains National park. This road is also the trail head to Ruboni community camp and Other several accommodation facilities in Mihunga village. During the floods, the tourists to Mihunga accommodation facilities get forced to park their vehicles in the village and walk three kilometers to the accommodation facilities. The farmers alike, get forced to carry their produce on the back to bring them to the village.
This time, the bridge has been done to permanent standards that will accommodate all weather through the year. All the tourism investors and community members in this area served by this road are excited about this achievement. This new bridge that has just been completed is a solution to flooding creating a better future for transportation of the tourists and agro-produce on this gateway road. The bridge is part of the current UNRA project of upgrading this 17km road from Nkenda to the park gate.
Rwenzori Mountains national park is one of the least visited national parks in Uganda. The community and tourism players in this area feel that, one of the reasons for low visitation could be poor road access to the park gates. The 17km gate way is located off fort portal-Kasese road, one of Uganda’s main tourist route that connects several parks north and south of the Albertain rift including Kibale forest national park, Semulike National park, Queen Elizabeth national park, Murchison Falls national park and Bwindi national park.
The community is hopeful that easy access to the Rwenzori on better roads and bridges, will increase the number of people who want to stop by for short time activities and hence the popularity of Rwenzori could increase in the tourism market. Other than that, the farmers will find it easy to transport their produce to the market in big quantities on trucks as opposed to carrying it in small amounts, commonly in small sacks on their back.
Photo by eastern-uganda-environment.blogspot.com
Moving around the suburbs of Uganda, the biggest land is either covered by wasted material in form of polythene bags, plastic or rubber, scrap metal and clothes. Which makes the environment look dirty and unconditional to live in. If you’re like me am sure you’ve asked yourself so many times how can I(we) clean our environment. After all these commodities are a necessity for daily usage, the production and accessibility is not diminishing anytime soon. However can we clean our environment without worry of destroying our environment through contamination?
Below am sharing (4) four easy steps to ensure that you reduce waste in your environment.
The steps above are the 4R strategy which stand for; – Reduce, – Reuse, – Recycle – Refer
In the first place, before you put the waste to the first step above, sort them accordingly in their respective classes. The ones that decompose and the ones that don’t decompose in two classes. The ones that decompose should go to a well prepared compost to make organic soils for your garden then the ones that don’t decompose can be put in many more respective classes.
Every problem with poor waste management and pollution starts at the first step of not sorting it in the respective classes. Unsorted waste will be feared by everyone and therefore the following stages wont be followed properly.
The first two steps are very environmentally and economically friendly to the households. This process however is not good for the manufacturer because it denies them the chances to sell more of their materials. Our main interest is to buy less, save our money and our environment. At these two steps, you will score 100% on saving money and the environment.
The second two steps are the best so far but not very environmentally friendly. However, through the first two steps, we decrease the amounts of non-biodegradable waste for the third and fourth steps. Most important, ensure that you don’t allow any waste to get out of your house to the field uncatered for. They must first successfully reach the fourth step and you can allow them to get out to the right place, not every where on the field.
Your packing list for Africa / Uganda safari /trekking trip
Peoples travel habits vary allot. Because of this, Packing lists can range from simple to very complex. Your packing list will also depend on the purpose and duration of travel. Basing on these and many other factors, the packing list could be long or short, giving you varied amounts of weight and luggage. Depending on the experience or purpose of your travel, what I call unnecessary on the list could be your most important item.
I will put it clear at the beginning that; my packing list should work as an indication of what you can consider packing for your trip to Uganda. If you’re putting together a packing list for your friend or client, I encourage you to cut and paste the whole list and advise them to take out what they need and leave out what they don’t want basing on the goals of their trip. Beside my trust in the usefulness of the content I am sure they will use some items within the list but may leave aout some.
I have talked to a dozen people who have been trekking in Uganda, trying to find out what they found most useful or what would have made their trip better during their trek in the different parts and parks of the country. With their contribution, I have put together this packing list. The finding is quite interesting. Some very small tools/items that they found so useful, yet people rarely consider putting them on their packing list for a trip. Another interesting point I noted is to keep all important items like medicines and money in three different pack or areas or your luggage. something very small but can have a good impact on the success of your trip.
Please read the packing list below. Most commonly, you may have seen the following on the packing list advice that has been shared from other people before. I will start with the most obvious items and end with the most important items.
B- Toiletries of choice
These are the four items that most people tent to leave out of their packing lists. In most cases, people learn of them from a bad experience. These last four are based on different experiences from different people at different times. Please read on;
Other important things to note about travelling to Uganda;
Currency and payments: The local currency is Uganda shillings (UGx) Hard currency- US Dollars. These two are the commonly accepted. Other currencies will rarely be accepted and only with the big firms or online payments. You will be surprised to know that even large farms will not accept credit cards. So there is high demand of cash. Old dollar currency notes older than 2003 of print will be changed at a smaller rate, smaller notes alike (20$ and bellow)
Banks: Most banks have ATM outlets but very few ATMs will accept international ATM cards. From experience, most people successfully use either Stanbic bank or Barclays bank.
Electricity: the electricity is 240 Volt, 50 Hz). A UK plug is used here and sockets are usually 3 pin and are of the square variety
Note: This information will help you to put together a perfect packing list. While you prepare your packing list, ensure that you ask your tour agent or hotel to advise you on what to pack in case something is specifically required or anything i may have left out.