The Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) spokesman, Simplicious Gessa, cautions merry makers to obey instructions in the parks or risk their lives:“Do not go close to the animals to take selfies on your smart phone,” says Gessa.
PIC: Accomodation is now available at Queen Elizabeth National Park, starting from sh52,000. (Credit: Titus Kakembo)
This Easter season travel lovers are spoilt for choice when it comes to destinations, packages, means of transport and a variety of attractions.
While unveiling the self-contained houses in Queen Elizabeth National Park, state minister for tourism Godfrey Kiwanda assured domestic and foreign tourists of an affordable Easter package.
"With six to eight beds, a kitchen and a boat ride. The unit is all yours. Come prepare Luwombo, Malakwang or pizza," said Kiwanda. "The tour package is available for between sh350,000 and sh500,000.
"What you have been seeing on NatGeo or yatch in the movies is now available here. They comprise bird watching, museums, art galleries, amusement parks, nature walk and culture," Kiwanda said.
For domestic tourists, it all depends on one's proximity to a given national park, their interest, time available and purchasing power.
"To cut costs," Kiwanda advised. "One could carry their beef, chicken, spices and drinks. There are organic fruits, locally brewed gins, crafts, music, artifacts and stories."
The Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) spokesman, Simplicious Gessa, cautions merry makers to obey instructions in the parks or risk their lives:"Do not go close to the animals to take selfies on your smart phone," says Gessa.
"The animals might interpret your gesture as an attack and respond by charging in self-defence. Herds of elephants are protective when they have calves. Buffaloes that are rejected have mood swings because of isolation. Kidepo has the biggest herd in the world," Gessa cautioned.
Gessa adds that driving off track and hooting are prohibited besides animals having right of way in the park.
"If you get a giraffe gracefully taking a walk on the road or a Rock Python slithering from one side of the road to the other," says Gessa. "Let them be. I call on wildlife-interested tourists to remember that this is nature's territory. We value tourists, be it the domestic tourist, back parkers or the spenders."
Bwindi Impenetrable Forest is the focus of most travelers destined here this Easter. This is one place the surviving 600 gorillas in the world are found. The trips to track gorillas are done in Kisoro and Kabale. They weigh more than 200kg.
The animals live in troops of up to 35 members. Each is led by a Silverback aged 15 years and above. They are polygamists with three to four wives. They live up to between 40-50 years of age.
"I have seen the harem lend a hand when the Silverback encounters another male with intentions to own them," says a ranger David Ageno. "Besides that, one of them recognised me two years after being away from it upon being transferred.
Queen Elizabeth National Park is Uganda's most popular destination. Its main tourist circuit is found north of the road to Mweya Lodge. It is endowed with 95 species of mammals. It is popular for the tree climbing lions of Ishasha. In the 1,978km are Maramagambo Forest, 10 crater lakes and a boat ride on the Kazinga Channel.
"A package can be priced at sh368,000 for the family" said Edward Asalu. "The house can accommodate six to eight people. There are other facilities like rooms at sh52,000, sh82,000 and sh102,000."
Adding that guests can have coffee, deep fried fish and chips, rolex or any cuisine of their choice at comparably pocket-friendly prices.
"The hostels cost between sh15,000-sh20,000 for students and teachers respectively," sums up Asalu.
Murchison Falls National Park is in the lead of space with the River Nile bisecting it. It is teaming with hippos, crocodiles and the continent's most sought after Shoebill bird. This is flavoured with chimp tracking and spiced by bird watching, besides retracing explorer Samuel Baker's trail.
Kidepo Valley National Park is so remote. Most travelers have likened it to what Africa was 100 years ago. It is isolated from entire Uganda, but remains the most alluring destination endowed with mountainous scenery.
Steven Nyadri says KVNP deserves more than the accolades bestowed upon it by travel gurus Trip Advisors and National Geographic.
"We have the biggest herd of buffaloes in the world," boasts Nyadri. "Tree climbing lions have been spotted here."
The KVNP senior tour guide Philip Akoromwe while grappling with questions from tourist about the big cats responds: "Once here, take note that we are in the wilderness," says Akoromwe. "And I do not have the mobile numbers of the lions or cheetahs. Neither do they leave a forwarding address when they switch location.
But meanwhile let us indulge in huge herds of elephants and migrant birds from Europe settling here minus visas."