Tuesday, July 31, 2012

New Ranger post in Queen Elizabeth National Park to house Ranger Patrols (Reduce Poaching and Illegal activities)

A new Ranger Post has constructed in Queen Elizabeth National Park. The construction project was funded by the Uganda Conservation Foundation (UCF). The new post is valued at 150m shillings and is found at Kyondo with in Queen Elizabeth Conservation Area (QECA) in Kasese District. The post will house Ranger Patrols for Uganda Wildlife Authority and these will be against poaching and other illegal activities within the Park. The Ranger Post has 4 unit blocks and has services like water tanks and ecosan toilets. This is not the first donation to Uganda Wildlife Authority from Uganda Conservation Foundation simply because, in 2007 the conservation foundation donated four marine boats, tents and nets to help patrol Lakes George and Edward against illegal fishing.

The main objective as to why this post was constructed was to create migratory corridors to ease the movement of elephants and to control their raids on the local communities since Karusandara area has many swamps. The rangers to stay at this post were formerly among the local communities and so patrols will be effective.

Other ranger posts have also been constructed including Kahendero and Kanyangeyo. Other posts are also under construction in Murchison falls National Park at Pakuba and Kololo.  The conservation fund has also sponsored the training of UWA rangers by Pool Harbour and Sea Survivors and at the moment almost 60 rangers have been trained in marine and fully equipped.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Poison Tragedy of Lions in Queen Elizabeth National Park

Some few weeks back, there were 5 Lions found dead in Queen Elizabeth National Park with in Ibuga area. It is believed that these lions were poisoned by the people who are fighting for Land near the Park boundaries. They claim that the lions were eating their cattle yet in reality it’s not true.

The origin of the land dispute near the Park is between the Basongora people from Congo who were brought to Uganda by two late army officers to graze their cattle. Once they entered the country, one of the two officers claimed to the President that over 10,000 Basongora had fled from Congo to Uganda with their cattle because of the war. The president ordered to be given land for resettlement in Kasese region including the Ministry of defense Land and the Prisons land.

Where these Basongora were resettled, they have now grabbed all the nearby land and as per now, they are fighting with the Kaveera Barracks to also grab their land. After this, the nearby free land will be Queen Elizabeth National Park. As tourism experts, we are very concerned about this and we hope that the government comes out soon and solves this problem together with the organization concerned. (Uganda Wildlife Authority). Lions are one of the big five animals and their death greatly affects the whole tourism industry as a whole.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Travel Report by Angela Giachi

Le mie esigenze non sono molto complicate da soddisfare, ma pare non sia poi così facile soddisfarle attraverso i Tour Operator per così dire, da “catalogo”. Infatti, viaggiando sola, personalizzare un itinerario è sempre risultata un’impresa impossibile se non con enormi esborsi di denaro per supplementi vari poi, per esempio, trovarsi a pagare a stessa cifra per effettuare un viaggio in 4 persone e trovarsi in 14!
Poi un’amica, soddisfatta del suo viaggio mi ha messo in contatto con Destination Jungle. Ora, al ritorno dal secondo viaggio (Kenya 2011 e Uganda 2012) devo dire che ho finalmente trovato quel che cercavo: professionalità, correttezza e flessibilità. Infatti in questi anni ho potuto scegliere la data di partenza e quella di rientro,la categoria degli alloggi e dare disponibilità o meno alla condivisione del viaggio con altre persone (e questa volta il prezzo era giustamente diverso in base al numero) in pratica costruirmi il “mio” viaggio e anche risparmiare sensibilmente il che non guasta mai. Devo sottolineare, tra l’altro di avere trovato molto confortevoli anche gli alloggi della categoria Economy apprezzando in particolar modo la predilezione della Compagnia nella scelta di strutture gestite da comunità locali nel rispetto della natura e non di catene multinazionali che non lasciano che briciole agli abitanti del luogo. Non cambierò il mondo, ma preferisco!

Thursday, July 5, 2012


Most of the Ugandans, tourists and especially the Buhoma community residents are still mourning for the death of the Oldest Mountain Gorilla Ruhondeza. The burial of Ruhondeza last Friday attracted many different people who shed tears as he was laid to rest at Buhoma the Park headquarters. This was because most of these residents and officials were so touched by the life of this great ape. During the burial, food and drinks were prepared for the mourners. 

However, according to the news in one of Uganda’s leading News Paper, the Bwindi Mgahinga Conservation manager Mr. Pontious Ezuma confirmed that arrangements are being made for Ruhondeza’s last funeral rites. The UWA Officials have chosen a specific spot for the last funeral rites and according to them; it is easily accessible and will also be a pilgrimage site for visitors to the Park.

Ruhondeza was a calm natured Gorilla and his group was the first one to be habituated in Bwindi in 1991 and therefore if it was not because of his kindness, no Gorilla tracking would have taken place at all with in the Park. However his kindness and no harm to Human beings enabled the UWA officials to habituate his group in 1991 with 17 members hence making the beginning and growth of Gorilla tourism in Bwindi.

Ruhondeza as he got used to human beings and tourists, he had started posing for pictures (according to one of the Ranger guides n Bwindi) and so this amused tourists and hence the increase in the love for Gorilla Safaris in Bwindi and Uganda at large.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Uganda's Cultural sites

Before getting information about Uganda’s cultural sites, it may keep one wondering what cultural sites in Uganda really are .Apart from the famous Kasubi tombs that were recently burnt down to ashes, other cultural sites in Uganda are not commonly mentioned and questions still hang about; what they really are, where they are located and what kind of cultural attractions the country has.

Well, Uganda has a number of cultural sites that are worth visiting because of their attractions accompanied with the interesting stories behind their existence. Normally, it is the in-depth cultural tourists that visit those cultural sites and they may also get to know about them when they want particular information. However, these sites can also be popular stopovers for all categories of visitors to a particular Safari destination where they are found or en route. Key Uganda’s cultural sites include the following:

Nyero rock paintings in Eastern Uganda (Kumi district), are one of the most interesting cultural sites that are an early iron age innovation painted on three rock shelters each one painted with animal figures, sets of concentric circles and canoes. All paintings are done on rock faces for a clear vision as shown in the picture.

The famous Kasubi tombs that are currently under re-construction due to the fire that it suffered on 16th March 2010 hold a strong spiritual and social attachment to the Ganda people.  It is the main burial ground for the kings of Buganda since time immemorial; its architecture was also based on Buganda’s cultural beliefs as shown in our picture. Even though it was burnt down, the remains of the buried kings survived the fire and are still intact. It’s located along Kampala-Hoima road in kasubi trading centre.

Uganda also has a series of cultural tombs that have cultural attachments specifically for the Baganda people. These tombs are namely;Namasole Baagalayaze tombs, which houses the  body of king Mwanga’s mother  Baagalayaze found along Kampala-Gayaza road 15km from the main centre,Namasole Kanyange tombs that are the burial grounds of the mother of king Ssunall and other subsequent Namasoles of Buganda  located along Kampala-Bombo road 12.5km from the main centre,Wamala tombs that are the burial ground of king Ssuna who had 148 wives and 218 children and who was the last of kings to have his jaw bone removed after his death located in Wamunyenye in Nansana along Kampala-Hoima road.

There is also the famous Sezibwa falls (shown in the phograph) that are believed to have been born by a woman named Nakkungu Tebatuusa whose husband was called Nsubuga Sebwato. These two gave birth to twins named Sezibwa and Mubeya. Sezibwa has its main source in Buikwe from a spring and the falls are about 7m high. 
This cultural site is a favorite for traditional healers who perform cultural ceremonies for people who seek their help.Its located in Mukono district approximately 32km East of Kampala.

Naggalabi coronation site in Buddo (Wakiso district) is also one of Uganda’s cultural sites where all the kings of Buganda have been crowned for the last 700 years from the first king (Kintu) who killed his brother Bemba and declared himself  king from the same place. The site also houses the Buganda house where the crowned king is supposed to live for 7 days and perform all the cultural ceremonies assigned to each day.

Nakayima tree; a pterygota mildbreadii specie (fig) that gets its name from a hereditary line of sorceresses of direct descent from Nakayima, Ndahura’s wife who used to get possessed by Ndahura’s spirit making her his medium is a famous cultural site to the Baganda and Banyoro because of its attachments to their cultures. Its a cultural centre with various activities taking place all year round and it’s found in Mubende district in a small village of Bomaire 2km from Mubende town.

There are also the  Ntusi and Bigobyamugenyi sites in Masaka town that are associated with  the legendary Bachwezi who dug the basin and trenches that connect to each other by cause ways, the manmade mounds of ash and bones that also exist at the site make it worth visiting.

There’s also the Nsongezi rock shelter a Stone Age site located along river Kagera in Isingiro district which has pottery that was made by the Stone Age men.

Amabere ga Nyina mwiru are also other cultural sites found in Uganda. These are caves which were named after Nyinamwiru the daughter of Bukuku of the Chwezi Kingdom. It is believed that the Nyinamwiru was not supposed to get married or give birth until her father had told so or has got her a man. However to the surprise of King Bukuku, Nyinamwiru got a man without his consent and as a result, he cut off his breasts. The place where he threw these breasts is where this cultural site is found. The breasts are believed to have grown into rock dipping with Milk or breast like features called stalactites and stalagmites.


Uganda’s oldest habituated Silver back Mountain Gorilla passed away from old age. RUHONDEZA (Name of the Gorilla), was found in Bwindi National Park and together with his family (Mubare group) were habituated in 1991 and the group was opened for tourism to visitors in 1993. The news were all over the country and even daily monitor which is one of the leading local news papers had to put it on the front page of the news dated July 3rd 2012.

As a matter of fact, the name Ruhondeza in the local language of Rukiga and Rufumbira means “The-one-who-likes-to-sleep”. So far this Gorilla was one of the most celebrated and oldest male Gorilla and believed to have lived over 50 years.

Ruhondeza during his regime where he was the leader of the family in his group, he was so jealousy and very protective. However, due to old age, he had lost most of his family members and started living alone on the edge of this wonderful National Park in the village of Rubona. 

The reason as to why he had decided to live a solitary life was the fact that he was forced out of his group by unhabituated Gorilla family that grabbed most of Ruhondeza family members in March 2012.
He was buried at Buhoma Park headquarters by the Uganda wildlife Authority and other community members surrounding the Park. We will remember him for allowing humans to be around his family. RIP Ruhondeza.