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How to Choose the Right Car Rental Agency in Uganda

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It’s so vital that people have started realizing the importance of renting cars when they reach their destinations other than using their own cars. As it is prescribed, car rental is a way of commuting service where the customers can rent a car for a specific period of time at a reasonable price. That’s by definition. The car renting service is actually becoming most popular among tourists, particularly those who plan to travel overseas. Tourists no longer move with their cars from their homes to different tourism destinations. In Uganda, they are multiple of car rental companies that offer a wide variety of cars including Rav4, Toyota, Landcruisers, Vax Wagons, Pic Ups and even camp-cars. When you visit the website, there are so many car rental companies available these days and sometimes it becomes hard for the tourist to select the right one.

Once you opt to rent a car in Uganda, make sure you check the driving terms and conditions of that particular company. This is because some countries have a restriction on age limit and will prevent people from renting a car. Like in some countries, minors are not supposed to rent or drive a car. Make sure that you check out the rules of Uganda once you choose to come to Uganda.

Another essential part is that you have to do some proper in-depth research before you rent a car. This is because of emergence of fake car rental online that end up taking people’s money. There are several car rental websites online offering car hire services; as a customer you should check different prices offered on different cars rented from their websites. Customers can also check if the company has an outlet of their company in other cities and their pick and drop locations.

When you are making an online booking and you find anything unclear and its hard to understand, make a call on the respective contact number given on the website. Or you can browse the website and make the notes of the things you need to ask, after that you can visit the nearest rental office of the company or give them a call. The customer representative is the best source of information as they can provide the precise details according to the query of the client.

Also a Customers, you should think about the type of car they need. There are a good number of car types on website with different price tags. Will they need a vehicle which can serve the purpose of a mobile home or do they just need a simple car to drive themselves around? Most companies list the types of vehicles they offer on their websites so that the customer can make the booking easily and quick and find when they are already as soon as they reach the prescribed destination

Lastly, customers need to focus on the amount of charges they need to pay before hiring the right car rental company. The charges don’t only include the fees of the car rental, but also include several other car related fees including hidden charges. Customers should read the fine print of their contract and ask questions if they are not clear about anything.

6 Tips for Traveling With Children on a Safari in Uganda

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Are you planning on travelling for your next holiday in Uganda? Are you planning to take a self drive in Uganda? And are you planning this with the Kids? Oh!…..The excitement and joy children feel travelling with their parents on a long trip brings preparation in them like an early bird… They can’t wait for the promised day to reach. They are prepared as early as they could not to forget their playing materials packed in the travel bags. Toddlers like any other human being need company of their parents not to be left behind for the impressive journey ahead as they are unhappy and uncomfortable at home.

Check out for various rental agencies of your choice to have a memorable tour on the source of the Nile, the Murchison Falls, the Entebbe Zoo, the dwelling large gorillas in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest and all sorts of attractions that you meet along your planned safari to the pearl of Africa in a self drive car. Below are tips to put in consideration while travelling with kids.

  1. Pack Snacks
    Nobody wants a hungry toddler to become a grumpy toddler. Along the journey children always love to eat sugary snacks,biscuits,cakes mention them to sustain the hunger for long hours and get the calories to make the weaver bird noise, blow the vuvuzelas, sing their most memorable songs at school. However try your level best to avoid packing such snacks since they cost their health. Oh! What a joyful journey with friends.
  2. Bring Entertainment
    Since babies and children are one of the vulnerable people that need attention,keep them with fun making materials; baby toys, vuvuzelas, game toys so as to keep them focused and interested in a safari trip eager to see strange and memorable unforgettable features through the van’s wind screens, the seemingly movable trees through the wind screen, mountains and hills for the first time. Provide them with child-proof cameras if possible to keep them entertained with fellow children
  3. Get Reinforcements
    Worried of toddlers, plan ahead of the trip in case you ought to travel with a nanny. Toddlers need maximum attention to feel the comfort of the trip. To change the clothes, feed them and stop the baby from crying. Or one of you can be the alternative if a nanny is expensive to travel with.
  4. Sing Together
    Pick a song that you are all used too, sing to one tune and have fun with the kids remix. They become happy when they see you sing along with them.
  5. Stop Frequently
    The beauty of self drive is that you can stop at your own pace. Frequent stops make children get stretched after long hours of travel, get a glance look to the seemingly moveable trees and mountains, get exposed to nearby people and ease themselves.
  6. Medical Kit
    For quick delivery a First Aid kit should a companion in case of stomachache. Never the less some children asymptotic to weather affiliated diseases like asthma which requires them to move their inhalers in case the climate worsens. Lastly travelling with kids on a self drive safari is the best decision one can share with the society to have a memorable experience in a life time.

Top 5 Active Adventures in Uganda

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Uganda truly gifted by nature is among the most diverse wildlife destinations on the entire planet blessed with a number of wildlife species and attractions giving tourists a chance to engage in a number of wildlife activities. The major attractions in Uganda range from lakes, rivers, escarpments, mountains, a number of wildlife species and many others. Most of these are seen in the major 10 national parks that the pearl of Africa has.

Experience Untamed Wildlife in Kidepo National Park

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Toping the must visit wildlife destinations in Africa, Uganda’s Kidepo valley national park is situated at the extreme northeastern Uganda and it’s the most isolated wildlife destination in Uganda. Covering a land area of 1442 kilometer squares; Kidepo valley national park is the third largest national park in Uganda. Kidepo valley national park being most isolated is among the less visited national parks in Uganda. The national park therefore has less disturbed ecosystems and its among the leading ecotourism destinations that the pearl has to offer.

Kidepo valley national park is the only place in Uganda where giraffes can be seen a long side zebras and its also the only national park in Uganda with cheetahs. Lions, cape buffaloes, African elephants, leopards, hyenas, birds like the ostrich and many others are among the wild animals that are usually sighted while on a game drive in Kidepo valley national park. Most of these are seen in the Narus valley, which is the only place in the national park that usually has water through out the year. Kidepo valley national park being situated near the borders of Uganda and south Sudan and also near the border of Uganda and Kenya, the park receives a number of migratory wildlife species that are also sometimes seen by the tourists.

Kidepo valley national park has the highest number of predators in Uganda which include lions, cheetah, jackal, Hyenas, the leopard, bat-eared fox most of which always on the look to take down their prey to get what to feed on.

The African elephants that live in Kidepo valley national park are usually in groups ranging from 10 and more. They are herbivores that predominately feed on grass. A fully-grown elephant at least consumes over 260 kilograms in a day in order to support its mass body, as it’s widely known that they are the largest land mammals on the entire planet.

The bird life at Kidepo valley national park is very immense with the national park being a home to over 500 bird species. Some of the birds that can be sighted include ostriches as earlier mentioned, vultures, eagles falcons, hornbills and many others. Kidepo valley is therefore among the leading birding destinations in Uganda.

Kidepo valley national park unlike some other national parks supports a great diversity of wildlife thus making it a very unique destination for wildlife safaris in Uganda. The vegetation here is very unique mainly because of the semi arid climatic condition that the area experiences. This makes Kidepo valley national park among the top three national parks in Africa with the true and real African wilderness.

This national park can be explored on game drives and on guided nature walks. Nature walks bring the tourists closer to the wildlife with great views of wild animals. These are usually done in the areas of the Rionomoe, which offer clear view of the Narus valley.

Tourists interested in visiting the Karamojong can go for a community walk and discover more about one of the ethnic groups in Uganda that still strongly ties to its local traditional norms and customs.

While in Kidepo valley national park, one can have accommodation at Apoka safari lodge, which a luxury lodge situated within the national park. This offers standard services and usually a number of animals especially zebras are seen around the lodge. There are also budget accommodation facilities offered by Apoka rest camp.

It’s also very possible to camp however tourists in tents are strictly not allowed to move at night without torches or other sources of light.

Generally, Kidepo valley national park is a very outstanding destination that is very worth visiting by tourists while on a safari in Uganda.

Experience White Water Rafting in Jinja, Uganda

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A lifetime experience to remember! Are you traveling to or planning to travel to Uganda? What is on your agenda of adventure activities? How about river rafting on a bamboo raft? In our experience river rafting in Uganda and particularly at the source of the Nile in Jinja is an unforgettable lifetime experience and ‘not to be missed’ activity, especially if you love water sports.

I travel a lot and from every place, I try to take away the best of the experiences on offer. In some places there are a lot of activities to do, in others, I just enjoy nature and relax. Personally, I do prefer to try activities and not just spend my whole time relaxing watching skies. Vacations mean travel time to me and being together with family and friends. I love cruises on fresh waters especially with falls and rapids like here, enjoying the countryside while sailing through backwaters.

In Uganda, one of my favorite places to go is Jinja. The scenic beauty, the various attraction s on your way to Jinja which include Mabira forest, the various sugar cane plantains and the overall scenic view. However, I am an outgoing person and a bit of an action-adventure so the last time I visited Uganda, the first day was awesome, but the next day I started feeling a bit bored due to the fact that I didn’t know where to go and how to spend my time. Luckily I met a tour guide who also happens to be a coordinator of eco-tourism in the country. He told me about a company that specializes in arranging outdoor activity programs and off road tours in Uganda. The great thing about this company is that they offer fully customized packages. You can choose any date, time, location and duration, and they make it happen for you.

White water Rafting

Uganda offers white water rafting at River Nile in Jinja located just 60km from Kampala-the capital city.Jinja is a small picturesque village with gushing rivers and whistling valley scenery. River Nile is not that fast or furious. It gives you more of a lake like experience while rafting. The water current is slow and a check dam makes it even slower. The river finally ends in Egypt another country.

Typically, 5 people are allowed to ride together, but sometimes they also allow for 6. All depends on how much weight a raft can carry and the guides take care of that. The river although calm, is really deep in some areas which we experienced while rafting. Listen to your guide; it’s important for your safety. Also, for your safety, they will have another raft following with a lifeguard on duty.

The rafting takes about 1 hour or a little more. In our case, they extended the session for 1 more additional hour for which we were truly thankful. This rafting sailed us through the streams, in some places the river is truly deep but most of the way we found it to be shallow. The ride was awesome and once we finished the only thought in our minds was to revisit the place again on our next vacation. The fun part, which we never shall forget, was when we stopped at a safe location and the sailor made the raft turn; we all fell into water! Everyone got wet and we laughed a lot knowing it was a deliberate act to add extra fun. The river water is so clean that one feels like drinking directly from the crystal clear streams.

Booking & Tariff

During busy days when it is tourist time, it is advisable to book rafting sessions 1 or 2 days in advance, so that you won’t need to wait for others to finish their ride.

White water rafting in Jinja is a thrilling experience that you can enjoy on a Uganda safari. This is an adventure you will remember your whole life. So why not take a deep breath, pack your bags and hit the road!

The Cost is relatively manageable. Maximum 5-6 people can be accommodated in a raft. You will have a lifeguard/guide/helper in the raft with you throughout the cruise.

Fishing

The one thing we did miss out on this trip was fishing. Our group was keen to catch some fish and cook it for our supper, but the guide told us that there was not many fish in that particular zone. He suggested an area where we could enjoy fishing but, unfortunately, we could not make it because of time constraints.

Though we were not able to go fishing, we did, however, experience some thrilling off-road jeep driving which included visiting some other tourist attractions in the same locality like Bujagalifalls,the source of the Nile as well as Masese fishing grounds.

Go Hiking in the Mgahinga Volcanoes

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The Virunga Region is composed of a series of eight volcanoes. Uganda has three of these volcanoes and lie in the Mgahinga Gorilla National Park. On your visit to South Western Uganda, the Virunga Mountain (Volcano) chain looms large in your view as you wind your way down into the valley toward Kisoro.

Though most visitors are drawn to the region for gorilla safaris – trips to visit the gorillas in the Bwindi ‘Impenetrable’ or Mgahinga National Parks, hiking the Mgahinga Volcanoes is another interesting adventure that you should not miss. Though, Bwindi tends to be favoured as the family of gorillas in Mgahinga likes to split their time in neighbouring Rwanda and Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), there are several trips that include hiking the MGahinga Volcanoes.

The Mgahinga National Park visitor’s centre is located about a 10 minute drive from Kisoro. Recently renovated, the centre features rock paths that meaner through the vegetation to the building. Beautiful rain chains conserve rainwater for gardening around the centre and under a high beamed log ceiling interactive displays and maps line the walls. Staffed by exceptionally knowledgeable Ugandan Wildlife Authority (UWA) guides you’ll first enter the main room and pay your fees and decide your trail. There are a number of different types of hikes that can be done based on your ability, desire and speed.

If you are just doing a day hike and are a moderately fit hiker you should try the Gahinga trail which will take you about six hours and climbs the base of Mount Gahinga. The border trail can also be done in a day and climbs the base of Mount Sabinyo and runs you right along the DRC border. There is also the cave trail where you learn a bit more about the Batwa peoples who lived there and you get to investigate some caves.

Two trails – Mount Sabyinyo and Mount Muhavura – require more than a day covering 14km and 12 km respectively. They are also much steeper than the day hikes as you climb to the tops of each of these volcanoes. The views, though, cannot be beat! On the Sabinyo hike you get to stand in Uganda, DRC and Rwanda at the same time.

After you’ve decided, you’ll enter a large amphitheatre for briefing on the Park and the hike you’ve selected. You’ll want to have sturdy hiking boots and tuck your trousers into your socks to avoid safari ants. A raincoat is advisable if travelling during the rainy seasons and a bottle of water is necessary. Bring a packed lunch no matter the day hike you choose – and remember to bring a snack or fruit for your guide. The guides will also get an idea of what interests you, or your group (birds, wildlife, insects and plant life abound!) so they can tailor the hike. A guide always accompanies the visitors and sometimes it would be impossible to find the trail without them!

The Gahinga trail starts in recently reclaimed farm land and winds up to the edge of virgin forest. The hike was steep in places but not uncomfortably so and while it didn’t rain it get damp as fog rolled in and out over the mountain. The scenery was both breathtaking and intriguing. Giant bamboo looms large over the trail, jungle elephant footprints cross the trail sunk deep in squiggy mud, earthworms as long as your forearm living above ground in the dark, wet environment and more birds that you could possibly catalogue.

If you like hiking in some of the most pristine forests Africa has to offer Mgahinga shouldn’t be missed!

Memorable Wildlife Safari in Murchison Falls National Park

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In September 2016, we traveled Uganda on a self drive safari. Our trip was arranged by 4×4 Uganda Car Hire, one of the car rental providers in Uganda. We traveled through various national parks but the drive through Murchison Falls in the north western part of Uganda will be unforgattable in our memories.

Day one was a 4 hours drive from Kampala via Masindi to Murchison Falls National Park for a three days safari. On our way, we passed many road side markets including one in Luwero which was selling only sweet bananas at a very cheap price. We enjoyed sweet bananas till we reached the park. Along the way to Masindi, we first visited the Ziwa Rhino sanctuary which is a home of only wild rhinos in Uganda. In this case rhinos are tracked on foot to reintroduce them to protected areas. We reached Para safari lodge and took a rest for the next day.

Day two very early in the morning after breakfast was a game drive which introduced us to different species of mammals including four of the “Big Five”, with huge herds of buffaloes and elephants, well-camouflaged leopards and a healthy population of lions. It is also known for its giraffes; in Uganda these can only be viewed here and in Kidepo Valley National Park. Other species viewed along the game tracks include Jackson’s hartebeest, bush bucks, Uganda kob, water bucks and warthogs. Olive baboons are common along the starting point of the boat cruise towards the bottom of the falls – be sure to keep car windows and doors shut if you don’t want to lose your lunch! Blue and red-tailed monkeys and black-and-white colobus can be found in the forested sectors. The savanna-dwelling patas monkey is only found here and in Kidepo Valley National Park. Amazing chimpanzees live in the Kaniyo Pabidi and Budongo Forests. This calls for an immediate booking of a rental car such that you do not miss out on the great chimpanzee in this park.

The varied habitats of Uganda’s largest park make it home to a variety of birds with 451 species recorded. The list includes the Shoe bill Stork, the Goliath Heron – the largest heron in the world – and pairs of elegant Grey Crowned Cranes – Uganda’s national bird. Also seen along the banks of the Nile are the Blue-headed Coucal, Swamp Flycatcher, Squacco Heron, African Jacana, Sandpipers, Denham’s Bustard, Abyssinian Ground-Hornbill, Black-billed Barbet, Black-headed Gonolek, Eastern Grey Plantain-eater, Piapiac, Silver bird, Weaver Birds, Pied, Giant and Malachite Kingfishers, Red-throated Bee-eater, White-browed Sparrow Weaver, Speckle-fronted Weaver and African Quail-Finch. In the evening we took a cruise where we spotted crocodiles and hippos as well as others, visiting along the river. This made it the end to our day and took a rest back to the lodge. Third day was back to Kampala. Remarkable day with Nature Adventure Africa Safaris limited in Uganda for such a memorable and unforgettable safari

Planning a Honeymoon Holiday in Uganda

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Don’t you think it is a good idea to have your honeymoon in Uganda? Have you ever thought about spending your honey moon in Uganda’s amazing places! It is a brilliant idea to consider planning your honeymoon in this beautiful country that has been commonly referred to as the Pearl of Africa.

Bwindi forest or volcanoes National park in Rwanda and Uganda respectively. These two national parks are home to over 880 endangered mountain gorilla and spending some time with these creatures is really rewarding. Our company can organize your gorilla permits, transport to and from and plus accommodation while in the above mentioned sites. While on your honeymoon, we make sure that something special is organized for you at any given lodge. This is always a surprise to spice up your stay in Uganda. For any honeymoon ideas including gorillas, Encounter Africa Safaris takes the lead.

You need spending your honeymoon in a quiet place so that you get up close and personal with your partner. Our company will organize for you a better and exclusive lodge for your experience. Even though it’s on the Island in Lake Victoria or Wild waters lodge in Jinja, we will also move that extra mile to provide you for what you are looking for. The other honey moon destinations include; enjoying sun downer drinks or bush breakfast if you decide to go on safari, hot air balloon safaris in Queen Elizabeth and or sunset cruise/wine and cheese cruise on Lake Victoria and River Nile in Murchison Falls National Park. For honeymoon ideas, please contact one of our dedicated safari consultant

Queen Elizabeth National Park Worth a Gorilla Trek Supplement

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A 4-hour unpaved drive from Bwindi Impenetrable National Park put you into Uganda’s flagship nature reserve, Queen Elizabeth National Park. 95 mammal species and more, an astounding over 614 species of birds including migratory ones from Europe have made their homes in its 760 square miles that consist of savannah, woodlands and wetlands. The park sits in the floor of the Albertine Rift Valley in the shadow of the Rwenzori Mountains (meaning rainmaker), and is decorated with crater lakes, so it’s no wonder the plains are so verdant. Yet Queen Elizabeth National Park retains a serene and modest air.

Our opening exciting night was spent at Jacana Safari Lodge, an intimate lodge that blends sympathetically with its environment on the shores of Lake Nyamusingire, within the tropical Maramagambo rain Forest. An early-morning game drive through the northern Kasenyi Plains revealed herds of buffalo and Uganda kob, the national animal, dotting the landscape like freckles.

A faction of more than 100 topi unique to the south of the park were grazed peacefully, their metallic-effect coats in shades of purple-brown sparkling in the sun. Warthogs and bushbucks ran away from us while baboons rushed up trees, and a vervet monkey with his weird blue genitals looked on guiltily, holding a guinea fowl egg in his hand.

The Kazinga Channel that bisects the park is a 24-mile narrow stretch of water which connects Lakes George and Edward, is a birders’ heaven. In the early hour of our boat trip that started from Mweya area, we saw over 30 different species that ranged from giant goliath herons to tiny yet vivid malachite kingfishers. African Fish eagles perched high on acacia treetops sporting for food while jacanas, known as Jesus birds, seemed to walk on water looking for their lunch. There’s high concentration of mammal life along the channel waterside, too – an elephant aggressively kicked up dirt as our boat passed and a baby hippo belly-flopped gracelessly from a reed-bed, joining the adults bubbling underwater. A hairly waterbuck with twins watched us nervously and buffalo wallowed in the muddy grasses while cow egrets gobbled up the insects like ticks they disturbed.

Despite this diverse and enormous wildlife, this park is best-known for the amazing tree-climbing lions that are regular in its southern Ishasha Plains. Having started our game drive in the warm late morning for a better chance to see them cooling in the shade, Kenny, our guide, spotted three silhouettes from a distance in an old but leafy fig tree.

But when we got closer, we discovered not three but rather four lions, one a tiny cub probably two months old, lying in its boughs. They were mesmerising sleepy nonchalantly in the shadows, occasionally stirring to yawn or stretch, now and then peeping down on us. We stayed with them for an hour, watching and taking good pictures in complete silence, not wanting to spoil the moment.

If you come here with high expectations to see lions’ paws and tails dripping from every fig tree, you may be disappointed when you fail completely. We were lucky. Returning to the beautifully peaceful Ishasha Wilderness Camp on the banks of Ntungwe River, we learnt that no one had seen lions in the previous two days.

“This isn’t a zoo,” Kenny said. “People seem to forget that they’re wild animals.” As with the gorillas, we were seeing them on their terms, not ours as there are many factors that may lead to their absence such as weather, time of the day among others.

Another uniqueness of the park is the Crater Lake experience; if you follow the crater truck you will find quite a number including the dry up ones during dry seasons while others are salt lakes. Salt lakes are breading grounds for the rare flamingos that migrate from Lake Nakuru in Kenya during breading seasons. There is also salt mining along salt lakes

Uganda the Perfect Destination for Honeymoon Holiday in Africa

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No wonder it was recently voted one of best destinations to be visited in the world by Rough Guide, Uganda has a lot to offer for a perfect honeymoon trips from exotic islands, beaches, wildlife, primates and budget friendly options. Are you trying to figure out where to go on your honeymoon? Uganda has covered you with a wide list of its amazing tourist attractions. Here are some of the places you should include in your honeymoon safari in Uganda, the Pearl of Africa;

Beautiful Bunyonyi Island

Lake Bunyonyi Island continues to hold a banner of being the exotic destination for leisurely holidays in Africa. This island is one of the most scenic places in Africa and its great weather break the record of getting a new name as the “Switzerland of Africa”. The Island offers variety of leisure activities including swimming, sun bathing, boat ride, hiking, nature walks, fishing, birding without forgetting the exclusive eye catching views of the twenty nine islands. There are lots of places where you can stay during your holiday! From beautiful budget lodges to luxurious safari style lodges, you are assured of a great stay during your holiday.

Bwindi Impenetrable National Park

The Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is one of the best places to see the endangered mountain gorillas in Africa. Are you looking for natural scenic beauty in the middle of a wild jungle forest? Look no further! Start planning your trip to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, a perfect location for tourists looking to gorilla trekking safaris in Africa. Couples looking for exclusive gorilla safari experience in Africa now have Uganda a home to half of the living population of the endangered mountain gorillas. Unveil the jungle rain forest natural beauty is heading out to see mountain gorillas in their forested home. The happy jungle life experience in Africa ever starts here and we highly recommend it to all visitors to Africa.

Kidepo Valley National Park

With an ever–expanding list of rare wildlife species and the unique cultural experience of the Karamojong people, Kidepo valley is a great place for Honeymoon safaris especially if you both love wildlife and culture. While here you can an unwind at the lodge balcony as you view more wildlife on the water hole on a hot day. The Kidepo Valley endless plain extends to the famous Masai Mara game reserve in Kenya another fantastic wildlife safari park in Africa. Be ready to carry home great moments of the Big 5 and other park wildlife.

Ssese Island

The Ssese Island is an archipelago of about 43 islands. Perhaps the travelers’ favorite vacation destination in Uganda with comfortable lake side hotels and lodges and a right Place for anyone seeking for complete leisure and relaxation. Ssese Island hotels and Resorts will reveal the right meaning of honeymoon vacations with the many special couple arrangements as well as the amazing lake island tour activities.

Queen Elizabeth National Park

The tree climbing lions of Ishasha, the highest population of hippos, crocodiles at the Kazinga channel, wildlife and the chimpanzee species in Kyambura gorge and Kalinzu forest reserve a great chimpanzee safari spot put the park on map as a premier safari destination in the world. Queen Elizabeth is an exclusive safari destination in Uganda.

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Go Hiking in the Mgahinga Volcanoes

The Virunga Region is composed of a series of eight volcanoes. Uganda has three of these volcanoes and lie in the Mgahinga Gorilla National...