Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Oldest Woman Tracks Mountain Gorillas in Bwindi National Park-Uganda

Laura Sonnino who was 94 years old from Italy on March 14, 2013 became the oldest person to have tracked mountain gorillas in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park in South western Uganda. She was born on 20/5/1919 and she successfully tracked the Nkuringo Gorilla Family in the south where she viewed the playful great apes.

Laura says she had once tried to track Gorillas in Buhoma in 2002 but failed to see them because of the difficult terrain. Tracking Gorillas has been her main dream and this time she had everything arranged in advance for her tracking to be a success. To do this, she hired 12 strong porters who carried her on a stretcher to and from the Gorillas location at an extra fee of 300 US dollars. It was a real record since by 11.30 am she was already back from tracking. The last recorded oldest person to have tracked the much sought after gorillas was 82. All congratulations go to Laura for that feat, courage and love for these endangered species.

Uganda named 5th best tourism exhibitor in Africa

Uganda the Pearl of Africa emerged the 5th best exhibitor in Africa at the annual ITB Berlin 2013 Travel and Tourism Exhibition, a world leading travel trade show in Germany. According to the Minister of Tourism and Antiquities Ms Mutagamba, the country was working on a programme to extend its tourism beyond nature to include culture and medicine. The theme for this year at the Exhibition was “Uganda the Pearl of Africa, your Eco-Tourism Destination”.  According to the minister, Uganda’s attraction, based on inquiries, were Gorillas in Bwindi Forest, the climate in Kibaale District and wildlife in Kidepo and Queen Elizabeth National Parks.

At the Exhibition, one of the exciting attractions was the Ndere cultural dancers who are said to have pulled crowds from different angles.
As a country, we have to improve on certain things like cleanliness and the road network. It looks like we have left cleaning our country to God and yet when tourists come, they want to see and visit clean places,” Ms Mutagamba said.

lTB Berlin exhibition is an annual event which takes place in March in Germany. In 2011, Uganda received more than a million foreign tourists and the tourism industry is said to be growing at 21 per cent annually and the German market growing at 10 per cent with more than 8,000 Germans having visited the country in 2011. With this, more emphasis is now put on promoting Sustainable tourism in Uganda as well as preserving the traditional Cultures.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Flights to Ngamba Island-Primate tours made easier

Ngamba Island is the only chimpanzee sanctuary in Uganda and recently it signed an agreement with Fly Uganda which is a well known safari company to fly tourist to the Island where the sanctuary is found.

Ms Ajarova and Mr Barners after signing the agreement.
According to Ms. Lilly Ajarova a sanctuary executive director, some tourists get seasick and others do not have that much time like a full day to travel to the Island on the lake where the Sanctuary is located. The journey to the Island takes 45 minutes by speed boat and 90 minutes by traditional motorized boat. It is because of this that they have now decided to make the transport easier by signing an agreement pact with Fly Uganda and which will enable tourists to reach the Island in only 15 minutes.

According to the Sanctuary Executive director, they have carried out different test flights at the sanctuary and the chimpanzees all responded positively by not running but instead gathered near to have a glimpse of the helicopter.

More to this, it will even be much easier to save the lives of the chimpanzees by transporting them by Air to the main land for medical evacuations and further treatment.