• buffalo
  • leopard
  • lions
  • lizard
  • masai
  • tourists
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1 Day White Water Rafting Tour
You do not require any prior experience in rafting or even know how to swim. INCREDIBLE would be an understatement for this unbelievable adventurous water sport on the longest river in the world – the River Nile. White water rafting will take a stimulat

11 Days Tanzania - Uganda Adventure
Head to Uganda, Bwindi Impenetrable forest, where half the world's population of mountain Gorillas is resident for Mountain Gorilla trekking. In Tanzania for the Big five and at the right time, the dramatic Wildebeest migration.

8 Days Wanderlust Safari
Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, Mt. Mgahinga National Park and Queen Elizabeth National park.

1 Day Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Tour
Board your boat, depart for Ngamba Island the Chimpanzee Sanctuary for a briefing before you take tour around the Island. On a viewing platform, see how the Chimps are fed and interact with the care takers at feeding time. This is the climax of your tour.


Beyond gorillas, other wonders in Bwindi park.

    Beyond gorillas, other wonders in Bwindi park.
    Bwindi has 347 bird species, with 10 of the 26 globally threatened species within Uganda, five of which are in danger.

    Beyond gorillas, other wonders in Bwindi park.

    Talking about Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park, what strikes many people’s minds are the mountain gorillas. Indeed the park, according to gorilla census of 2011, is home to 480 of these primates.
    The 331-square kilometre (128 sq mi) park was gazetted in 1991 and a year later, the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation (Unesco), declared it a Natural World Heritage Site.
    Since then, the park has been attracting tourists from all over the globe, with park officials putting the number to between 20,000 and 21,000 visitors annually, fetching the country a total of Shs19 billion in foreign exchange yearly.
    But beyond the mountain gorillas, the park is home to several other inhabitants that are hardly mentioned when officials are marketing the park.
    “Bwindi is a biodiversity park. It is not only about gorillas,” David Agenya, a guide in the park, explained at a recent meet with officials of the National Environment Management Authority (Nema), who are jointly working with the United Nations Development Programme to gather data that will help identify financial gaps needed to conserve ecosystems in the country, under the project Biodiversity Finance Initiative (BIOFIN).

    According to data from Uganda Wild Life Authority (UWA), Bwindi has 347 bird species, with 10 of the 26 globally threatened species within Uganda, five of which are in danger. “The Bwindi has 24 of the total 25 Albertine Rift endemic bird species in Uganda and some have partial distributions in other places in their range, like Shelley’s Crimson-wing, African Green Broadbill plus Chapin’s Flycatcher.
    Bwindi holds 76 of the 144 Guinea –Congo-forest biome bird species that are found in Uganda, majorly seen in the Northern area,” states the UWA website.

    Agenya names bird species such as the Western Green, Tinker bird , African Green Broadbill, Yellow-streaked Greenbuls, African Broadbill, Handsome Francolin, Black-billed Turaco, Black and Cinnamon-chested Bee-eaters as common fowl in the park.
    Sandy Ndayakunze, a senior wildlife supervisor in the park, puts the number of birders to an average of 100 people per month and each visitor pays around $75 (about Shs272,000).
    Also, according to the park guide, the park has more than 220 species of butterflies, 27 species of frogs, chameleons, geckos, several antelopes, chimpanzees, baboons, elephants, among others.

    Cultural tourism

    Francis Sabino Ogwal, the Nema natural resource management officer, said the biodiversity of the park is very important to the economic lives of residents as the gazetted Bwindi brings in a lot of revenue.
    “The communities around this park are benefiting a lot from tourism. They have schools donated by tourists, sell food to tourists, get jobs and as government, we need to effectively conserve this natural beauty,” Ogwal said.
    Inside the park, the indigenous people, the Batwa (pictured below), who were evicted from the park, have been allowed to conserve their cultural sites for community tourism.
    When tourists come, the Batwa perform their cultural dances and drama. Also, according to Ndayakunze, the Batwa explain to visitors how they used to live in the jungle communally with dangerous animals or without proper health care.

    Lavish lodges
    Because of gorillas marketing, there are at least 33 lavish lodges in the park and the major medium of exchange in the area is the US dollar as opposed to Ugandan Shilling. Entry fees and lodges are charged in dollars.
    Ndayakunze said the lodges charge according to services they provide but he said some charge $800 (about 2.9m) per night.
    Ambiance atmosphere in no polluted environment makes tourists to sleep inside the park.
    Stephen Asiimwe, the Uganda Tourism Board (UTB) executive director, says each tourism site has its own signature attraction.
    “When you go to Jinja [District], you will see the source of the Nile, in Bwindi, there are gorillas, in Rwenzori, you will see mountains…each tourist site has a signature attraction” Asiimwe says, adding: “But when you visit those sites, your guide will show you more than you expected.”

    Flora and fauna
    Away from wildlife, in the middle of the thick green vegetative park, small rivers froth waves at certain angles. It almost rains everyday in the park, facilitating the growth of trees such as mahogany, Prineri celux, Agauri, among others. The park has 400 species of plants. The rivers in the park include Munyaga, Ivi, Mutanda, Ntengyere, Ihihizo, Ishasha, which pour their waters into lakes Edward, George and Bunyonyi.
    Apart from the local people using the rain caused by the forests for agriculture, government in 2008 constructed a 6.5 Megawatts mini-hydropower dam along the Ishasha River in Kyeijura Kanyantorogo Sub-county in Kanungu District.
    But why is the park mostly famous for the gorillas despite its biodiversity?
    “In marketing, you sell your strongest point. Gorillas sell,” Dr Andrew Seguya, the UWA executive director, an agency mandated to conserve wildlife in Uganda, says.




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