Wednesday 22 February 2017

Rwanda’s Eco-tourism hot spots: A quick guide to a sustainable travel in the land of a thousand hills.
While the Rwanda benefits from being the fastest growing economy of the world, receiving 1.22 million visitors annually accounts for serious challenges to eco-tourism and sustainability of its limited wildlife resources.
Rwanda has 3 national parks, few forest reserves and rich cultural traditions including the growing number of visitors associating Rwanda as a place of horrific human tragedy, the genocide of 1994. In Rwanda, many visitors pay their respect to victims at famous Gisozi, Mirambi, Ntaram genocide memorials and commentaries.
Luckily enough, reducing your foot print in Rwanda is hardly avoided by travelers, with countless opportunities to benefit from a greener visit to Kigali city. Regarded as the most organized and clean city to live in, it has been transformation through modern infrastructure, public transportation, Kigali convention center and the safety and security.
From cultural village home stays at Iby’Iwacu cultural village in Musanze, interacting with local farmers, women, children, former poachers and Batwa forest dwellers, with their average harvest, they have helped in the conservation of endangered mountain gorillas as well as other wildlife and recovery of Rwandan ecosystems.  
Rwanda’s Green spaces
Possibly there could be no perfect way to appreciate Rwanda than its well managed natural ecosystems. With 4 national parks and several forest reserves, fresh water lakes and 3 of the virunga volcanic mountains, which dot its north western part, Rwanda was nicknamed the land of a thousand hills; views are incredible, there are many adventures than you would think.
Rwanda’s first protected swath of jungle, volcanoes national park gazetted in 1925 is the most popular for mountain gorilla trekking. The 160 sq km park is a vast expanse of bamboo and rare montane forests and home to the remaining population of the critically endangered mountain gorillas including golden monkeys, both red listed by IUCN.
An inspiration behind the cult of conservation film, the “Gorillas in the Mist”, about, 200 mountain gorillas live in volcanoes national park, which is part of the virunga conservation area including Virunga national park in eastern DR Congo.
Once poached to extinction, Dian Fossey’s legacy at Karisoke research center in Rwanda remains committed to monitoring of gorilla population across virunga and Bwindi impenetrable, the only places on earth providing habitat to the last remaining 880 mountain gorillas. Dian Fossey’s grave site is protected in volcanoes national park, Rwanda and visitors hike to pay tribute, eventually create their own gorillas in the mist.
Volcanoes national park is made up of three dormant volcanoes ranging between 2500 to 4500 meters above sea level; they include Mt. Karisimbi, Mt. Bisoke and Mt. Sabinyo. There are several hiking trails, starting from Kinigi, the main eco tourism center, hikers can choose from easy to more strenuous multi-day hikes.  Led by a Rwandan development board park ranger, you traverse large bamboo and afro-montane vegetations, the views are impressive stretching eyes over the virunga massifs and crater lakes in western rift valley
And with 178 species of birds, volcanoes national park is a twitcher’s paradise to spot over 10 Albertine rift endemic birds such as Rwenzori Turaco, regal sun bird and strange weaver.
Nyungwe Forest National Park in south eastern Rwanda is another top pick. Nungywe forests are one of the oldest evergreen low-land and mountainous rainforests in Africa. It provides a home to a host of wildlife, including 400 species of forest birds, leopards, serval cats, warthogs and several species of primates. There are 13 species of primates, including chimpanzees. Most of these primates are elusive and nocturnal. But, you can get up close with chimps and also see black and white Colobus monkeys.
Uwinka visitor center, set on the eastern mountain slopes of the park, hiking trails lead visitors to habituated communities of chimpanzee as well as some 400 troop of black and white Colobus monkeys, hard to spot in any other part of east Africa.
However, Nyungwe is not all about the primates, there’s plenty to see and do, and the park’s heavy rainfall creates spectacular waterfalls, and getting into the interior of the forest is easier with around 13 hiking trails. Visitors can choose from short easy to difficult multi-day hikes, along with camping, exotic birding. While nothing beats, the thrill of Nyungwe forest canopy walk, a range of 60 to 90 meters above metallic canopy walks offers ethical and close encounters primates, birds, flowers and breathtaking views of the whole forest.
Akagera national park once occupied by farmers and cattle herders, its pristine wetlands, rivers, lakes and savannah wilderness are protected by the African parks. Now a shelter for big game such as African lions, elephants, buffalos, leopards, antelopes, giraffes as well as 500 birds including the rare shoebill stork and papyrus gonelock, which can be spotted during a wetland walk.
When visiting gorillas in Rwanda, be sure to resist the temptation of disturbing wildlife, which can make them aggressive, especially habituated gorilla families. Visitors must also not dispose off their waste including lunch boxes, biscuits or water bottles which you must carry during gorilla trekking. For more information on gorilla safaris in Rwanda, Uganda and DR Congo visit
Wildlife viewing and interactions in Rwanda
Not for many years, trekking mountain gorillas in Rwanda is synonymous with the visitor experience. However, there’s now increasing evidence to prove that the activity is harmful for the survival of gorillas if not well maintained. With conservationists concerned about frequent visits, and the impact it creates on gorilla behavior and ecosystem. Rwandan development board offers eco friendly treks; spending time with gorillas is highly restricted,
While nothing beats the thrill of seeing gorillas in the wild, fortunately 10 gorilla families are habituated for visitors.
Agro Tourism
Agriculture has been the major part of the Rwandan people way if life for centuries. And thanks to the growing number of agro-tourism projects in Musanze and Nyungwe national park. Visitors who want to taste a handful of Rwandan traditional cultural experience; one can try everything from dancing with cultural performers to preparing local cuisine while helping the farmers, former poachers, and Batwa and women groups.  Iby’Iwacu cultural village is the cultural hub of Rwanda; it’s a home to the local owned pioneering mountain gorilla conservation project set up by Edwin Sabuhoro. His aim was to encourage people around volcanoes national park to switch from unsustainable agriculture to gainful farming and providing community and cultural tourism services, besides wildlife. People have increased their income generating opportunities from fruit and vegetables, craft making, banana beer brewing, folklore, and visitors wanting to help can stay at Iby’Iwacu cultural village or at a home stay near volcanoes national park.
In Nyungwe forest national park, the Banda and Kitabi cultural village centers, a three day home stay not only put you into rural life styles but also insight into the coffee farmers, and their story of coffee from the field to the cup.
Eco friendly accommodation
Opting for a home stay over a bigger hotel or lodge even when visiting Rwanda for a short period, will give you an opportunity to experience a more traditional way of life in Rwanda. As the main goal, it puts the control of community tourism business into the hands of the local people, with the dollars and Rwanda francs if community tours are organized through the right tour operator. The Rwandan development board ( ) has helped set up several community tourism projects, including home stays, lodges and camps around volcanoes and Nyungwe forest national parks. Offering stays in the foothills of virunga volcanoes in the north to a fishing village on Lake Kivu. Sabinyo community livelihood association (SACOLA) is an outstanding socio-economic and conservation project and Sabinyo community lodge.  It has helped to fund successful local gorilla conservation campaigns.

To be eco friendly, community stay in Rwanda does not in any way sacrifice for luxury, there are an impressive sustainable tourism programs at Iby’Iwacu in Musanze including clean water, health care centers, tree planting and conservation education. 

Saturday 7 January 2017

The Grand Tour to Uganda, 2017 highlights of Ugandan Safaris

Africa Tours Adventure, taking you places at an extraordinary value
The Grand Tour to Uganda, 2017 highlights of Ugandan Safaris
The Trip experience
From the wildlife safaris in Kidepo Valley National park, to the local school children in rural areas of southwestern Uganda on the shores of Lake Bunyonyi, see the wonders of Uganda, the Pearl of Africa through our eyes at /
Uganda’s culture, as well as its people often gets the wrong idea whenever Uganda is in the spotlight of the Must See international Tourist Destinations, Even when for 2017.
Photo credit:  Andrew Seguya
You’ll read an article in one of the above captioned publications. National Geographic voted Uganda Number #1 destination. Thanks to Andrew Seguya, the director of Uganda Wildlife Authority meeting with Chief Editor and it Features the Editor’s talk about Uganda’s compelling scenery and wildlife.
National peace well over 3 decades, it’s a vacation you can trust Africa Tours adventure’s tailor made offers in Uganda, Rwanda, Eastern DRC, Kenya, Burundi and Tanzania. The whole spectrum of the classic hotels, resorts, wilderness camps, motels, lodges; you’ll have and share your own experience, getting to and from swiftly on modern roads and the next day waking up to the compelling landscape sceneries , wildlife species and a wealth of plants.
Photo credit: Chameleon hill lodge
It remains a fabulous choice to visit Uganda in 2017 for all classes of visitors who can access the best of its Africa’s famous mountain gorilla trekking safaris in Bwindi impenetrable forest in your well worth abilities.
But in 2017, you’ll experience our newly enriched itinerary featuring a 2 night stay at Nshenyi Cultural village, near Mbarara town, in the lush Dry Ankole long horn cattle corridor in the heart of Ancient Ankole Kingdom and new opportunities to engage in local cultures of the Banyankole and BaTwa people, elders of civilization on planet earth.
Photo Credit: Ajuna Derrick

Photo credit: Tumwesiga Elly
A Village visit/stay in Uganda is more than learning, the old and present ways of life of local people in the African Village as the theme of the 21st century Ugandan safari.
You’ll receive warm welcome, school children as great as your village visit brings much needed income into the local communities.
This is achieved by a combination of our professional and knowledgeable tours consultant, management and above all, tours guides who determine the success of any safari.
Spiritual Highlights of Uganda 2017– Faith Based Travel
Photo credit: Jeremiah Ssebakkije
With its many places of warship, Uganda is also a destination for travelers in 2017 who want to express joy in their faith. On an inspirational kabaka’s trail and Uganda Martyrs trail tour; you’ll overnight in Kampala city, visit Bahai Temple (mother temple of Africa), Namugongo martyrs shrine, the heart of Christianity, where the Uganda martyrs were burnt alive for their Christian faith. Along the way you’ll visit many of Central Uganda’s treasured cultural sites like Kasubi Tombs and many more.
With Africa Tours Adventure, you’ll see how Uganda is a mandatory destination for 2017 faith based travelers. It’s a holiday you can believe in.

Wednesday 21 September 2016

World Rhino Day 22nd September 2016- Uganda.

World Rhino Day, 22nd October 2016.  Rhinos in Uganda
It’s better to learn from the past and to put the future into reality, especially when you celebrate life of a Rhino. The world Rhino Day is on 22 September 2016 to celebrate all five species of Rhinoceros which include the Black and northern white rhinos left in Africa and the greater one horned, Sumatran and Javan rhinos living in Asia. According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature, the main driver of Rhino poaching is the increase in demand of its horn by Vietnam and China as the leading markets. As a result Rhino population declined during at the end of the 20th century especially the black rhino which has been classified as critically endangered. Few Rhinos are left in the wild while other are in captive breeding outside protected areas. Thanks to conservation efforts by the IUCN’s African Rhino specialist group, Save the Rhino international and the WWF, Rhino population is on the rise once again especially in south Africa, Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda.   Uganda is privileged to have brought back the southern white rhinos through the Rhino Fund Uganda; a non-governmental organization with the major aim of re-introducing rhinos back into Uganda’s protected areas on the basis of breed and release back to the wild program.You take the frontline when there is danger; today Ugandan conservationist organizations such as the Rhino Fund Uganda in collaboration with the Uganda Wildlife Authority led to the establishment of the privately owned Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary. This was intended to restore Uganda’s wildlife heritage as well as educate the public about the conservation of Rhinos in partnership with the Uganda Wildlife education centre where two white Rhinos live in captivity.
 As Uganda joins the rest of the world to celebrate the world rhino day, we cannot forget the lost glory when the black and white rhinos became extinct from Uganda’s national parks in the 1980’s. The Rhino fund Uganda and their partners legally tasked to instill desire for conservation among Ugandans are working to create community outreach programs to educate people about the call for Rhino and conservation of other wildlife.  Local communities around Ziwa Rhino sanctuary have been assisted to improve their livelihoods through building of schools and support students, health care centers and water supply systems for cattle keepers. This has dramatically bridged the gap between the impacts of tourism and conservation on local community development. Tourists on the Ugandan wildlife safari have an opportunity to spot the white Rhinos at the Ziwa Rhino sanctuary, covering about 7000 hectares of savanna woodlands which is located along the Kampala -Gulu high way in Nakasongora district. The sanctuary is under 24 hour security by armed rangers to ensure safety of Rhinos and also enforce wildlife laws. Ziwa Rhino sanctuary, a home to 15 southern white Rhinos can be reached in two hours from Kampala on your way to Murchison falls National Park. You will track wild Rhinos on foot and also encounter other mammals and reptiles such as hippos, antelopes, monkeys and crocodiles. Other activities to enjoy include bird watching, nature walks and canoeing with a supporting cast of budget accommodation facilities including camping tents and guest houses. Uganda remains among the top countries with unspoiled wilderness tourist attractions such as rare mountain gorillas, 10 % of world’s bird species, River Nile the world’s longest river, the snow capped Mt. Rwenzori and Lake Victoria the largest fresh water lake in Africa. Most tourists who come into Africa come for good weather, wildlife safaris, cultural tours, Mountaineering, Primate tracking which includes chimpanzee tracking, golden monkey tracking, gorilla tracking of which Uganda Africa’s friendliest nation has a combination of all these.Written by Tumwesiga EllyTour Consultant Africa Tours Adventure 784810295/ +256 704593408

Thursday 7 July 2016

Visiting Uganda Made Easier With the New E-Visa Online System
Uganda Reduces Its Single Entry Visa fee to $50 to be a magnet for Tourists
With effect from 22nd July 2016, the Ugandan government officially announced single entry tourist visa fee reduction to 50 USD from 100 USD. The Ugandan Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Directorate of Citizenship and Immigration Control notified all Ugandan land border points to effect changes immediately.  
Prior to the reduction of visa fees, Uganda’s leading promotional and marketing agency UTB (Ugandan Tourism Board) highlighted high visa fees to have been scaring away tourists who opted to visit other East African tourist destinations like Kenya and Rwanda with comparably cheaper visa fees yet with tourism products similar to those of Uganda.
The launch of the single East African tourist visa at a fee of $ 100paid once at the entry of Kenya, Ugandan or Rwanda helped much Uganda to increase on the number of tourist arrivals as there was convenience for tourists visiting all the countries without paying visa fees.
For example, more tourists who visit Rwanda for gorilla tracking end up crossing to Uganda for better chimpanzee tracking experience and wildlife safari.
Uganda Visa reduction fee to the affordable $ 50 per person is part of the country’s strategy to boost tourism and compete favorably with her East African counterparts. The USD50 visa fee coupled with the new e-visa application system will conveniently and affordably increase tourist arrivals.In addition, the Uganda Airlines revival plans are at the doorstep.
Uganda remains among the top countries with unspoiled wilderness tourist attractions such as rare mountain gorillas, 10 % of world’s bird species and white water rafting in addition to rich and friendly cultural diversity which has the strength and potential to draw large numbers of tourists.
Most tourists who come into Africa come for good weather, wildlife safaris, cultural tours, Mountaineering, Primate tracking which includes chimpanzee tracking, golden monkey tracking, gorilla tracking of which Uganda has a combination of all these.

 writen by Tumwesiga Elly

Thursday 22 May 2014

UK Government: Save Virunga National Park. Keep SOCO Out Of Virunga!

the benefits of virunga cannot be equaled to oil exploration  

Why this is important to me

Virunga is Africa’s oldest national park and a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is also the continent’s most biologically diverse protected area. The park’s 7,800 square kilometers (3,000 square miles) is the last refuge of the endangered mountain gorilla as well as elephants, hippos, chimpanzees and countless other species. UK oil company SOCO International PLC has been pressing to explore for oil in the park, risking the pristine habitat in search of easy money. Such exploration is illegal under the law of Congo but SOCO do not appear to care and appear to be willing to use their financial weight to muscle their way into the park. SOCO allegedly bribed the president of the DR of Congo to gain permission to drill in the Park. In January 2011 SOCO employees allegedly forced their way into the Park, resulting in several international agencies declaring their intention to bring lawsuits against SOCO. SOCO's money is destabilizing an already fragile region and they must not be allowed to destroy this critical environmental treasure ( 
i extend thanks to all those involved in saving the virunga.
God bless you