Mission Trips in Uganda

MISSIONARY SAFARIS TO UGANDA

Uganda hosts some of the world’s most mesmerizing wildlife species from the Big 5 to the Mighty Mountain Gorillas, the spectacular landscape that is comprised of Mountains, rolling hills, Impenetrable forests, Waterfalls, Savannah grasslands among others indeed reveals that what Sir Winston Churchill said about Uganda being the Pearl of Africa is true!

But in most cases to get the real understanding and picture of the country is when you really get to know the people by associating with them through different ways; some tourists go for cultural/community tours in different parts of Uganda, others come on volunteer basis as missionaries.

Are you are a Christian traveller planning to go on a mission safari to Uganda? Or are you coming on a Christian camp or retreat, Christian crusade or conference? May be, you simply want to visit Uganda for Ministry work as a way of partnering with some churches. Are you a Volunteer? Do you wish to go to Africa for a mission trip especially Uganda but you are not certain where to start from?

If you are a Christian missionary your denomination doesn’t matter, what matters is your heart towards the people you want to reach out to. You also get a chance to experience missionary-life in Uganda as well as take part in working with the churches and local communities hence making them better places to be.

Uganda as earlier mentioned is a blessed natural beauty hence a great missionary trip should not only include community or mission outreaches but also different activities such as nature walks, gorilla trekking, camping, wildlife tours, hiking, bird watching among other activities. Therefore as you plan your mission journey to Uganda, on your itinerary you could have outreaches to different places first and crown it with a 3 days safari to any National Park in the country and a city visit may be for shopping things like souvenirs and crafts.

We have listed below some of the tips including the missionary activities you could engage in when you are in the country;

  • Constructing Churches in villages
  • Visiting poor communities; you could also engage with them in their day to day lives and also build for them houses for shelter.
  • Paying a visit to Prisons around the country; it is possible to visit prisons and also carry a few things for the inmates as allowed by the prison heads.
  • Engage in supporting Children homes such as the Special Need centers and orphanages, this can be done by giving them financial and spiritual support.
  • You can participate in the construction of the homes for the elderly who are not living in good conditions, and in case they already have homes you could visit them, this also gives them joy knowing that even in their old engage people still care about them.
  • Visit remote communities; there are some communities in Uganda that are really remote, that they don’t have piped water, or hydroelectricity, the roads are even poor, so visiting them gives them home and gladness, it could also be away of extending the preaching of the Good news to them.
  • Constructing Schools and also giving scholastic materials to students such as pens, books, school bags, shoes and many more; this will enable children that are not able to get an opportunity to acquire education.
  • Constructing Water sources such as Bore holes, Piped water, such that people in those communities can also have clean water for them and enough for their animals especially those that practice farming.
  • Visit different Historical Christian sites, such as Uganda Martyr’s Shrine in Namugongo and Munyonyo Martyr’s shrine.
  • Visiting Refugee Centers/Camps
  • Help in the construction of Health centers such as clinics, and hospitals

With all the above, Verdoro safaris Uganda has indicated a 12–day itinerary below, to guide you on how you could plan your missionary visit to Uganda. The itinerary can be changed based on the abilities and preferences of the team. Also note that you can always crown your stay as a missionary with a Wildlife safari to any National Park of your choice in this instance we have used Murchison Falls National Park.

Day 1: Arrival

Upon arrival, you will be welcomed by our tour guide at the Airport in Entebbe, who will later transfer you to the accommodation facility of your choice. You will relax at the hotel after your journey. Later have diner at your accommodation and an overnight stay.

Day 2: Mission Project Day

After breakfast, you will be briefed about how your project will go, also meet the different staff members at the project. Thereafter, proceed to where your project will be carried out, it will be a great time involving in community work. As you head out you will carry packed lunch with you which you will enjoy at your project station. In the evening return to your Accommodation for diner.

Day 3: Mission Project

This entire day will also be spent working at your project, again you will enjoy your packed lunch, that day get to know about how people live in that area.  Thereafter, head back to your accommodation.

Day 4: Mission Project

In case all you managed to finalize all you had to do on the previous days, you could be allocated to another project basing on how your tour was planned.

Day 5: Mission Project

On this day, have breakfast at your accommodation and be transferred to continue with your project.

Day 6: Mission Project

On this day, you will work half day on the project, have lunch and bid farewell to the people at you project. Later travel back to Kampala that is if your mission projects where outside Kampala. You will be dropped off at your accommodation where you will relax and have dinner from.

Day 7: Go to Church or Relax

After breakfast, in case this day is a Sunday, you could go to for an early church service at any church of your choice. Later leave church and may be go for swimming and have lunch. Later in the evening, your driver will transfer you to Ndere Cultural Centre which is located along Kisasi-Kyanja road which is where you will be entertained by the performances which include different songs and dances which originate from the Uganda’s various cultures.

Day 8: Murchison Falls National Park

Transfer to Murchison Falls situated in the northwestern region of Uganda. On the way, you will be amazed at how different people carry out their day-to-day activities which is where they earn a living. You shall have lunch en route, proceed to the Park and have a short evening game drive as you head to the lodge of your choice. Check in at the lodge, have dinner and spend the night there.

Day 9: Game drive and Boat

After breakfast head out for an early morning game drive through the park, you will be able to see a number of predators and other animals such as elephants, giraffes, warthogs, Uganda kobs, water bucks, buffaloes among others. After the game drive, have lunch at the lodge and proceed for your Nile boat cruise at 2:00pm along the Nile River to the spectacular the falls. You will see a number of bird species, Nile crocodiles, hippos and other animals along the banks.

Later drive back the lodge for dinner and an overnight stay.

Day 10: Return back to Kampala

After breakfast, before you set off for Kampala. Your driver guide will transfer you to the top of the spectacular falls, take enough photos as you leave the park. Enjoy lunch en route, you will arrive in the evening.

Day 11: Shopping in Kampala

You will rest enough at your hotel and later proceed to different shops in the capital, you can buy crafts and souvenirs to carry with you as you head home. Thereafter, you can choose to spend your afternoon at leisure maybe at any leisure center like Munyonyo resort. That evening return to your hotel.

Day 12: Departure

After breakfast, you will be dropped off at the Airport for your departure flight

No matter the number of days that you spend on Mission in Uganda, all we care about is that your Missionary Outreach is a success, convenient, exciting, interesting and relevant to both you and the local people in the communities where the Mission projects are carried out.

Enjoy all your missionary outreach with Verdoro safaris Uganda

Shopping in Uganda, Post Safari Tours

SHOPPING TOURS IN UGANDA

Today, almost all people on safari in Uganda both international and local consider shopping as another way of enjoying leisure. Below we have listed for you some of the places you can choose to shop from while in Uganda.

Shopping in Kampala 

Kampala being the city center of the country has a number of places where visitors can go for shopping. Shopping is mainly done in supermarkets, shopping malls, local markets, arcades, crafts and souvenir markets/shops, coffee shops among others.

uganda crafts

Local markets 

Local markets offer visitors a glimpse into the everyday life of Ugandans, it is a mesmerizing experience. The famous markets around Kampala include; Nakasero and Owino Markets. Nakasero market is enjoyable with visitors that don’t like congestion since it is a little more relaxed, you can buy fresh vegetables and fruits and also other things like shoes, textiles, clothes, electronics among others.

Whereas Owino market is Uganda’s busiest market with over 500,000 traders. It is also called St. Balikuddembe Market and it’s known for its hustle and an understandably chaotic environment with various products including second hand clothes, electronics, traditional medicine and brightly coloured East African Kitengi fabrics.

Craft Market/Shops

Visitors interested in buying crafts and souvenirs can visit the different craft markets or souvenir and craft stores around Kampala. But many people opt for Craft stores rather than craft markets because it is more relaxed and tranquil shopping in stores. Although to a larger extent, you may end up paying a lot than you would have spent at the craft market since there is no room for bargaining at the craft stores.

Exposure Africa is a craft market found in Kampala along Buganda Road next to Daisy’s Arcade, it is Kampala’s largest craft market with over 30 stalls and the sellers welcome you with smiling faces. Don’t forget to compare prices on similar items since different sellers price differently, this gives you room to bargain. Some of the items on display are made from Uganda however the biggest percentage of them is imported from Kenya.

Uganda Art and Craft Village is one of the oldest craft markets, it is located in Kampala near the Uganda National Theatre. It is made up of a number of craft shops and stalls that display their items at reasonable prices such as Ugandan dresses and shirts, handicrafts made from wood carvings, leather items, small tables and chairs that are usually carved with a wildlife scene.

In case you are around Kampala don’t miss out on the Friday Craft Market found along Ggaba Road in Nsambya. It takes place only on Fridays displaying handicrafts and other items. Here tourists have chance to directly get in touch with the Artisan themselves hence can easily bargain and get an item at a fair price since you are not dealing with resellers but the very people that made the items.

Visits another world of crafts called Craft Africa which is located along Buganda road in Kampala. This place offers exceptional souvenirs and other items from Uganda and Kenya such as bangles, Masai blankets, Kikuyu bags, wooden necklaces, batiks, coconut necklaces and ear rings, photo frames, African sandals, paintings, and Uganda crane jerseys.

A stop at any Banana Boat outlet around town is worth your time and money. There is a Banana Boat outlet at the Lugogo Mall, along Cooper Road Kisementi at Plot 23 and at the Garden City Mall. The shops sell better and beautiful crafts, art pieces, and African fabrics from Uganda and other African countries such as jewelry, carvings, batiks, greeting cards, metal art and many more. At these shops, you might end up buying items at a slightly higher price but you have a bigger setting if items to pick from.

For a tourist interested in Art, Nomo Gallery works for you, it is the country’s National Art Gallery with various aesthetic Art work from different artists both local and all around East Africa. It is located in Nakasero, on Plot 4 Victoria Avenue near Sheraton Hotel.

Shopping malls 

Most shopping around Kampala function more like Western malls and on various levels within the mall that offer different services such as cinema, gyms and spa, parking lot, restaurants, craft shops, perishable food items etc.

Some of these malls include; Acacia Mall at Kisementi Kololo, Pioneer Mall, Metroplex shopping mall in Nalya, Quality Shoping Village in Lubowa about 2km Kampala-Entebbe Highway, Mukwano Mall near New taxi park, Lugogo Shopping Mall, Freedom City in Namasuba along Kampala-Entebbe highway, the Garden City Mall along Yusuf Lule Road and many more.

Shopping in Entebbe 

Entebbe town is located in Wakiso district on the northern peninsular of Lake Victoria approximately 40km from Kampala. Entebbe also hosts the country’s International Airport. There are a number of places tourists can visit for shopping the moment they step their feet in Uganda or as they head back home before their departure flight.

Local Markets 

Kitooro Market is one of the popular markets in Entebbe and a perfect destination for tourists ready to experience Ugandan culture at its best. The stone-walls and eye-catching water fountains make it look even more attractive. The market is busiest on Tuesdays where majority of vendors display all they have to offer such as carved wooden items, women’s clothing, household items such as fruits and vegetables among others.

Travelers interested in buying groceries from various kinds of Ugandan cultures can opt for Kitubulu Market. It is one of the town’s busiest markets.  Also ensure to bargain hard because sometimes vendors tend to raise prices when they see tourists around the market.

Visit the Entebbe Crafts Village for amazing crafts and art made by Ugandans. This is the country’s largest crafts and art retailer. It is situated along Kampala-Entebbe Highway on Plot 12 Portal Lane. Some items on display include; bangles, foot wears, paintings, jewelry, sculptures, antiques, garments, batiks among others.

In Nakiwogo along Kiwafu road, there is a market called Nakiwogo market that has lots on display such as vegetables, household furniture, clothing, fruit and beverages and electronic appliances.

To wrap up your shopping while in Entebbe visit the Magnificent Victoria Shopping Mall. It is a multipurpose mall covering an area of about 18,000 square metres of land. The mall is an entertainment and commercial infrastructure which is strategically located at an intersection along Entebbe-Kampala road with first class outlets that cater for all kinds of people; shoppers, those interested in dining, fashion, entertainment and leisure can only expect the best.

Some of these outlets include; supermarkets, boutiques, pharmacies, cinemas, restaurants like KFC, Café Javas and different brands like Orange, MTN, and Vine Pharmacy etc.

Shopping in Jinja

Jinja is a touristic destination located in the Eastern Part of Uganda along the northern shores of Lake Victoria approximately 81km from Kampala, the capital of Uganda.

Just like other towns, Jinja town also is home to various art and craft shops that sell a number of things that represent Uganda’s culture such as textiles, drums, and sculpture among others. Usually a tour to Jinja is not counted complete when tourists don’t visit the source of the Nile, and one of the most eye catching things upon arrival are the craft shops with variety of items displayed. The choice is yours because it’s just a lot to offer.

Also visit the Jinja Central Market which stands as a landmark of Jinja town. This exciting market is set to accommodate approximately 7,000 vendors and currently it has over 3,500 vendors that sell clothing, poultry, crafts, fresh vegetables, and fruits among other things.

Other craft shops in Jinja include; the Nile Source Art Shop, Eden craft shop, Source of Life craft shop, Kisakye Crafts Shop and many more.

Shopping on Kampala-Masaka Road

This road is found in the central region of the country and connects Kampala to Masaka District. It is this road that leads travelers to the different attractions in the West and southwestern parts of the country. Along this road there are areas; Kayabwe and Mpambire that are automatic stops for tourists who want to take photos and above all buy crafts and souvenirs.

Kayabwe is a small town along Masaka Road where the Equator line passes and is a regular stop for most tourists that want to engage in the equator experiment and take a number of photos. In addition to this experience, you can go for souvenir shopping in the different craft shops around, there are also restaurants where you can get a snack or lunch.

Mpambire is an authentic and local African village along Kampala-Masaka road with about 1,000 residents whose main activities are crop cultivation and drum making. Most tourists visit this area to see the process of making drums and other crafts – buying crafts from these people is a way of supporting them earn a living since many of them entirely depend on drum making as a source of income.

Shopping in National Parks

Uganda has 10 National Parks, and most of these National Parks have well established craft and souvenir shops found in the Park and in the neighboring villages. In Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, within the Buhoma sector tourists can take a short walk to go for shopping in Buhoma Village which has a number of craft shops.

In Murchison Falls National Park, tourists can visit a remote community in Mubako village. There is a small craft shop that displays hand-woven items and wooden sculptures made by the locals. Also in the villages of Kigaragara and Kihaguzi is a group of women called Boomu Women’s Group where the locals also engage in making of crafts and such as bangles, woven baskets, and beaded necklaces among other things.

Buying these crafts made by the locals is one way of supporting the people in these communities since to some what they earn is what they depend on.

Spiritual Tours in Uganda

There are several of spiritual or religious sites in Uganda. Among these sites, some belong to the different religious denominations in the country. It is only in Uganda where you can visit a number of holy or spiritual places while on a city tour, this is because most of these sites are not located far from Kampala City Centre. Below are the well-known places that you can visit while on safari in Uganda.

Baha’i Temple

The Baha’i temple is also known as the Mashriqu’I-Adhkar which is translated to mean the “Dawning-place of the remembrance of God. It’s the first of its kind to be built in Africa and was built over 50years ago, hence the mother of the Baha’i faith in Africa. It is located 4 miles from Kampala and sits on 52 acres of land on Kikaya Hill along Gayaza Road.

The temple is a 9-sided structure and it’s said to have been built between 1958 and 1961. It attracts various visitors; those on religious tours and others who come to enjoy the beautiful landscape views. The environment is favorable for those people that want to take time to be alone as they meditate and pray.

Baha’i temple is open on a daily basis from 9:00pm to 5:00pm and the visitors that want to know more about this faith and also can join the locals on Sundays from 10:30am for service. In case you want to have a city tour around Kampala, the Baha’i temple should miss on your itinerary, your visit there is truly memorable.

Namugongo Martyrs’ Shrine

The Namugongo Martyrs’ Shrine is a distinctive spiritual place to most Christians in Uganda and the neighboring countries. It is situated about 11 kilometers from Kampala in an area called Namugongo in Wakiso district. The Martyrs’ shrine has a very beautiful exterior made of copper pillars which are about 100ft long.

The Shrine was constructed to remember the 32 young men that were brutally murdered under the orders of the King of Buganda Kabaka Mwanga II. These young men were told to renounce Christianity, and they refused, they were given a few days in case they change their minds but they refused, so on 3rd June 1886 they were burnt till their last breath.

Every year on 3rd June, thousands of Christians both Catholics (majority) and Anglicans from all over the world gather at this shrine to honor the religious beliefs and lives of martyrs’. Many pilgrims start their journey to the Martyrs’ shrine in the last weeks of May, most of them are seen walking on foot along the main highways in different parts of the Country. They go ahead to fast as they give thanks to God, they believe by walking on foot they get blessings from God.

Apart from the shrine, there is also a man-made lake to explore, martyrs’ museum and also another Martyrs’ shrine in Munyonyo.

Uganda National Mosque

Also called the Old Kampala Mosque, is the largest mosque in East Africa situated in Old Kampala on Kampala Hill in Uganda about 2km form the City Centre. It was completed in 2006 and was officially opened in June 2007. It has a seating capacity of 15,000 worshippers, and on the terrace 3,500 and 1,100 in the gallery.

The mosque was commissioned by late Col. Muammar Gaddafi under the name Gaddafi National Mosque; in 2013 after his death, the name was changed to Uganda National Mosque since Libyan new administration had failed to take care of the mosque under its former name.

The late Col. Gaddafi gave this mosque to the Ugandan Muslim community as a gift. It is where the office of the Supreme Mufti of Uganda is and also has facilities such as conference and meeting facilities.

It is so outstanding that to the many mosques that are found in Uganda, this one stands out as a skyscraper mosque. The minaret of the mosque offers great views of the city and its outskirts. It is one of the places you can visit while on a Kampala city tour.

St. Paul’s Namirembe Cathedral

The Namirembe Cathedral as many call it, is situated in Kampala on Namirembe Hill. It is Namirembe’s diocese’s diocesan cathedral and the provincial cathedral of the Church of Uganda. It is Uganda’s oldest cathedral in the and the very first church building was constructed in March 1890 accommodating 800 people, the second, third and fourth church buildings were constructed in 1892, 1895 and 1904 respectively.

The current church building was constructed within a period of four years from 1915 to 1919. The church can be viewed from different areas of Kampala and when you get there it has a very spectacular view of the city and nearby areas. There is also a graveyard where the Cooks, who founded Mengo Hospital were laid, and also Bishop Hannington’s remains were buried here after his brutal murder in 1885.

Jewish/Abayudaya Community of Uganda

The Abayudaya are a community of people that practice Judaism, they reside in the Eastern part of Uganda just outside Mbale Town. The word Abayudaya is a Luganda word to mean “people of Judah”. The Abayudaya are so devouted in that they keep the Kashrut and observe Shabbat.

They live in different villages and their population is about 3000, they speak mainly Lusoga, Lugwere, Luganda and some of them have learnt speaking Hebrew as well. They practice farming especially the growth of coffee.

This group of people is said to have been led by Semei Kakungulu who was a Muganda Military leader and they regard themselves to be Jews by choice. The Abayudaya community is a place where you can volunteer in the community an also learn about the Jeewish life.

Visitors to Uganda that are of the Jewish Faith can be assured of enjoying Shabbat. And those who want to experience more can visit coffee plantations or hike Mount Elgon as well as visiting the Sipi Falls.

St. Mary’s Rubaga Catholic Cathedral

It is commonly known as the Rubaga Cathedral, it is a beautiful ancient cathedral and a significant site to the educational, religious and health sectors of the people. It is an important place of worship to the catholic faith and also to the non-Catholics a great attraction because of its beautiful Romanesque architecture, big numbers of tourists visit this cathedral every year.

It is situated on Rubaga Hill about 3km from Kampala city center, the Rubaga Cathedral stands as the headquarter of the Catholic Church and is the oldest Roman Catholic diocese in Uganda. It is also home of the current Kampala diocese Archbishop; Dr. Cyprian Kizito Lwanga. Outside the cathedral is the burial ground of the remains of the first African Archbishop and first African Bishop of the diocese of Kampala.

Horse Back Safaris Uganda

When one is planning for a safari to Uganda, it is obvious that all he or she is looking at is visiting chimpanzees, trekking mountain gorillas, cultural encounters, hiking mountains and bird watching. But horse riding is another way of exploring more of Uganda’s beauty, its truly magical riding on a horse the savannah.

Horse riding in Uganda is extraordinary and above all a great cultural experience. Uganda is a beautiful and stunning country with a lot to offer to the tourists, just like Sir Winston Churchhill called it “the Pearl of Africa”, no doubt it is.

The area around the River Nile is an exceptional area ideal for horseback riding, then also riding through the many other breathtaking landscapes all over the country, such as through pristine farmlands, tea and sugarcane plantations, the rain forests, and also through grasslands and plains among others. This gives you an unforgettable experience as you ride the horse accompanied by guided skilled horse guides.

Below are some of the places where you can enjoy horseback riding while you are in Uganda.

horseback safaris uganda

Horse Riding in Lake Mburo National Park – Mihingo Safari Lodge

Horse riding safaris around Mihingo Safari Lodge in Lake Mburo National Park is also an incredible way to see wildlife and magnificent landscapes. Riding a horse makes you feel so much part of nature and exposes you to hear so and much see a lot even the timid animals because there is no noise of the engine.

Viewing animals from a horse is peaceful and a totally exclusive experience than driving around the Park. While on the horse you can see the warthogs, elands, buffaloes, zebras, waterbucks, bushbucks, duikers, impalas and topis. There are instances were a few people have spotted a leopard while on a horse, this is a rare sighting.

The horses here can carry a person weighing 100kg, although some horses can’t carry more than 85kn, please do not be offended when you are told to weigh yourself, but it is for the good of the horses to keep in good shape and strong backs.

Horse rides in the Park are organized by Mihingo Lodge but you can organize with your tour operator who can do all the bookings on your behalf. You don’t need to be experienced to ride a horse since you have guides helping you out. Even first-time riders have amazing experiences.

But for the experienced riders you can enjoy a 4hour ride through the grassy hills of Warukiri found in the middle of the National Park. While on this ridge you can view the surroundings including spectacular views of about 9 lakes which gives you a totally different feeling of the Park.

Horse Riding Around Kampala

There are a number of places around Kampala and in the out skirts of the city where you can enjoy horse riding from;

The Flametree Stables is a stunning home for about 39 horses, owned by an enthusiastic horse lover Miranda Bowser who moved from England and settled in Uganda about 20 years ago, the staff is exceptionally professional, excellent, passionate, friendly and knowledgeable about everything about horses. And because of her love for horses has been teaching people how to ride horses hence coming up with the Flametree Stables.

Flametree Stables sit on 20 acres of land surrounded with numerous flora and fauna species. They are located in a countryside after Gayaza town in Kijabijo Village along Kayunga Road.

All the horses here are well trained, healthy, well maintained, educated and also patient and gentle even to those that are riding a horse for the first time. Horse riding is available for those that what a one day experience and also those who want to carry out riding classes and very friendly and affordable rates.

The Speke Equestrian Centre is located at Speke Resort Munyonyo and provides very affordable horse riding packages which give you unforgettable experiences.

Just like horse riding helps you relax, it also gives you a place of solitude whereby even if you are stressed the horse can be your friend. This Equestrian Centre provides you a clam environment ideal for riding horses.

They offer different horse riding packages ranging from pony rides favoring children, one hour rides, private, shared, and group lessons. And each of these packages comes with affordable rates.

Horse Riding in Jinja

Horse riding in Jinja is done in more than two places, you can choose to join a group or ride as an individual.

Riding a horse along the banks of River Nile, there world’s longest river is breathtaking. The ride starts from the source of the Nile, through various tea plantations and a number of communities, it is truly an extraordinary experience.

Horse riding lasts for an hour or two or three basing on the package you choose and this experience can be enjoyed either in the morning or in the afternoon.

There is also an opportunity of enjoying a horse safari by just walking for about an hour with the horse, this is better than riding the horse since you get to see a lot of things while on foot, take time to relax and in case you have children get enough time to share this experience with them as you enjoy the breeze and scenery of the Nile.

Tips for Horse Riding

Below are some of the tips that those going for horse riding safaris should consider;

Ensure that you wear properly the horse riding gear
Be confident while mounting the horse
Don’t sprawl. Relax and sit upright
Make sure you don’t hold the saddle horn
Focus. Keep your eyes where you are going
Be in charge of the horse. You are the one in control
Remember that you have to be free and gentle with the reins

In conclusion, riding horses is among the most magical experiences that last for a lifetime. Therefore ensure that you book your horseback riding safari to Uganda, get in touch with Verdoro safaris tour operator so as to enjoy the most excellent time while in the Pearl of Africa.

Birding in Uganda, Rwanda, Kenya and Tanzania

Birding refers to the act of watching birds and learning more about their characters with the help of cameras and binoculars and most People who go for birding observe these birds in their natural habitats. There are several bird species that can be seen in these countries but it is best to note that the best time for one to do birding is during the rainy season and in the morning and evening hours because by then the lighting is good for the binoculars and cameras.
When birding, there are several equipment and requirements that you will need if you are to enjoy your birding experience in any of the above countries and I have taken the liberty to not them down so that you are ready before you venture into the wilderness for birding.

Birding in Uganda

shoebill uganda

Uganda has a variety of bird species that can be viewed at the different birding spots and destinations and they are found in the area and some of these include the following.

Bwindi Impenetrable National park
Bwindi National park is located in the western art of the country and has a recorded number of bird species that amounts to over 350 bird species. It has been voted by the Africa Bird club as the best birding spot in Uganda and it has clearly marked birding routes. And some of the bird species that can be seen in Bwindi include the collared and mountain masked Apalis, Chapin’s flycatcher, Handsome Francolin, Shelley’s crimsoning and black billed Turaco and many more bird species.

Semiliki National Park
Semiliki National park has over 441 bird species and these include the Maxwell’s black weaver, piping hornbill, Nkulengu rail, black dwarf hornbill, yellow throated cuckoo, dwarf honey guide yellow throated Nicator, the swamp palm bulbul, red billed dwarf, African piculet, orange weaker, blue billed malimbe and many more other species.

The Rwenzori National Park
This is located in the Rwenzori region in the south western part of Uganda and it is believed to be a home to over 177 bird species. There are several birding spots where you go but you might as well do birding while hiking up the ranges. Some of the bird species that are found in the Rwenzori Park include the cinnamon Chested bee-eater, the swifts, Archer’s robin chat, long eared owl, Lagden’s bush shrike, blue headed and golden winged sunbird, slender billed starling, bearded vultures, Rwenzori Turaco and other rare bird species.

Lake Mburo National Park
Located in western Uganda, Lake Mburo national park is a top destination for birders in Uganda. It has a recorded number of 315 bird species and these can be viewed from the Warukiri and the Rwonyo swamps. Some of the famous bird species that can be seen at Lake Mburo national Park include the red necked spur fowl, Nubian woodpecker, crested francolin, the pied kingfisher, shoebill, , trilling Cisticola, bee-eaters, blue napped moosebird, lilac breasted roller, common quails, emerald spotted wood dove, bare faced go away birds, the African eagle fish and the Greenwood hoopoe.

Mgahinga National Park
Mgahinga National Park is located in the southern part of the country and it is known to house the largest number of gorillas in the country. But besides the gorillas, the park is a home to various bird species and these include kivu ground thrush, white starred robin, olive pigeon, Rwenzori Batis, greater doubled collared sunbirds, brown crowned tchagra, western green tinker bird black headed wax bill, and the cinnamon warbler.

Birding in Tanzania

secretary bird tanzania

Tanzania is known to be one of the best destinations for birding when one takes a safari to Africa due to various good birding spots that are located in the different areas of the country. There are different birding destinations in Tanzania where one can see the various bird species and these include the following.

Lake Manyara Forest
Lake Manyara is a home to many bird species that amount to over 400 bird species that can be seen lounging in the park. The best time to go for birding in Lake Manyara is in the morning and evening nd some of the birds species that you will be able to see include the little bee-eater, Black Heron, Martial eagle, sacred Glossy ibis pink backed pelican, Ground dwelling crested guinea fowl, crowned Hornbill, silvery cheeked Hornbill, Schawlow’s turacos, Narina Trogon, the Baglafecht weaver, the African Hawke eagle, the Emerald cuckoo and the lesser flamingo although this can easily be seen when the water is at the right level.

Selous Game Reserve
Selous game reserve has over 440 bird species and is a favorite hangout for most birders. The most common bird that can be seen here are the weavers and warders although there are other species found in the area and these include Thick billed cuckoo, white-backed night heron, Brown-headed parrot, yellow billed stork, the Green-headed oriole, Knob billed duck, Bataluer Eagle, Sothern Ground Hornbill, crested lark, African snipe, geese, spur winged lapwing, The African spoonbill, African skimmer, White-fronted plover, and the Boehm’s bee eater.

 Mikumi National Park
Mikumi national Park is highly dominated with woodland vegetation and has over 500 bird species and that is why it is known to be a good birding spot. The different bird species that are located in the area include the Bataluer eagle, guinea fowls, yellow throated long claws, the pale billed Hornbill, Hoopoes, wood Hoopoes, the Shelley’s sunbird Marabou stork, black bellied bustards and the Racket Tailed Roller.

Serengeti National Park
Serengeti National Park is mostly known for the great migration that takes place in the park but it is also a home to numerous bird species which include the secretary bird, black headed heron, purple grandier, Darnauds-barbet, white bellied goaway bird, the grey breasted spur fowl, the Rofous- tailed weaver, Kori Bustard, Fischer’s lovebird, white crowned shrike, variable bird, grey headed sparrow and the red backed scrub robin.

Birding in Rwanda

birds of rwanda

Rwanda as a country has over 750 various bird species that can be seen in the different birding destinations and these include the following.

Kigali city
Kigali is the capital city of Rwanda and although it might look like there are no bird species in there, the city has various bird destinations within and these have different bird species that they harbor and these include:

Nyabarongo River wetland
Nyabarongo is located in the south western part of Kigali. Its major habitant for the birds is the swamp vegetation that is found in the area and some of the bird species in the area include the little Egret, African Marsh Harrier, common snipe, spur-winged geese, long-toed lapwing, African open bill and Caruthers’s Cisticola, African jacana, yellow wagtail, Black headed Heron, the papyrus Gonolek, white collared olive bark, Madagascar squacco heron, white winged scrub warbler, papyrus yellow warbler, Northern brown throated weaver and many more others.

Mountain Kigali forest
Mountain Kigali is the largest hill in Rwanda and it is a home to the Kigali forest where birding activities can take place. The different bird species that are located in the Kigali forest include the thick-billed seedeater, white-eyed slaty flycatcher, yellow-fronted canary, Green-backed camaroptera, Red Chested cuckoo, common Bulbul, the African paradise flycatcher and many more other species.

Nyarutarama lake
Nyarutarama Lake located in Kigali has various bird species that one can see when they visit the area and some of them include the paradise flycatcher, pygmy kingfisher, the black Egret, Grey capped warbler, African fish Eagle, Black kite, swifts, Tawny flanked prinia, swallow and the winding Cisticola.

The Nyungwe forest
Nyungwe forest is located in the south western part of the country and it is bordered by Lake Kivu. The montane forests found in the area provide good ambiance for birding and they act as bird habitants. The forest has over 275 bird species and some of these include the Archer robin’s chat, yellow eyed black flycatcher, Graurer’s warbler the Chapin’s flycatcher, Rockefeller’s sunbird, strange weaver, Red collared mountain Babbler, Handsome Francolin, Mountain sooty Boubou, and the stripe-breasted tit.

The Volcanoes National Park
This is located in the Virunga region and it was the first park to be created in Africa. The volcanoes park is surrounded by different volcano mountains and bamboo vegetation that provide a safe haven for birding in the park. The park has over 187 species and some of the species that are found in the park include the Dusty crimson wing, Red faced woodland warbler, Archer’s ground Robin, francolin, Rwenzori Batis, strange weaver, the collared Apalis and many more other species.

Birding in Kenya

birds of kenya

Kenya has over 1089 bird species that are located in the different birding destinations and am going to take to you through some of the best birding destinations in Kenya and the different bird species that are found in those destinations.

The Turkana River delta
The Lake Turkana delta has over 20,000 water bird species that are easily seen during the rainy season and some of these include the sur winged plover, the violet wood Hoopoe African skimmer and the little stint, the Geese, shorebirds, Egrets, pelicans, Flamingos and storks, the pel’s Fishing owl, southern banded snake Eagle, scaly babbler, Tana River Cisticola, East coast Akalat, Basra Reed Warbler and many more other bird species.

Kakamega Forest
Kakamega forest is located in the western part of Kenya and it is a home to the endangered species of the Turner’s Eremomela making it a top birding destination and other bird species like Banded snake Eagle, least honeyguide.

Arabuko-Sokoke Forest
Arabuko-Sokoke forest is a home to many endangered species in Kenya like the Sokoke scops owl which is almost extinct and this bird is extremely rare and can only be seen when visits the Arabuko-Sokoke. There are also other bird species that can be seen in the forest and some of these include the southern Banded snake Eagle, the plain backed sunbirds, Fisher’s Turacos, Clarke’s Weaver, Amani and many more other bird species.

The Masai Mara
The Masai Mara is one of the largest parks in Kenya and it is famously known for the great migration. The various bird species that can be seen in the Masai Mara include Martial and crowned Beagles, Madagascar squacco Heron, the Lilac Breasted Roller, Yellow billed ox Roller, corncake, secretary bird, saddle billed stork, ostrich, Grey crested Helmet shrike, and the lesser kestrel.

African Mountain Climbing & Hiking Tours.

Mountain climbing destinations in East Africa
Mountain climbing is one of the few things that people who are adrenaline hungry go for and what better way to do than grabbing a bag and traveling to East Africa to enjoy the exercise. East Africa is made up of six countries which include Uganda, Rwanda, Kenya, Tanzania and Burundi and all these have various mountains that one can climb to kill stress.
The East African community has a lot to offer when it comes to mountain climbing and hiking and one should no miss the opportunity. You get to go to the Mountain of the moon and experience the snow caped john Speke peak, the Kilimanjaro Mountain with the glacier cape, the Elgon Mountain and her slopes and many ore other countries.
There are many tourist companies that can help you when it comes to organizing a mountain trek in any of the East African countries and these have different charges that normally depend on the time that you want to take on the trekking trip. You will be accompanied by a guide who knows the best routes that lead to the summit of the different Mountains and note that not all the countries that are found in East Africa are good for a mountain hiking adventure and therefore you should know the different Mountains that are good for climbing.

Kilimanjaro Mountain Climbing

Mountain Kilimanjaro is located in Tanzania and it rises to a height of 5895 meters above sea level and is the highest mountain in Africa. It is a volcanic mountain that has three volcano peaks which are kibo, Mawenzi and Shira peak. Kilimanjaro has several trekking routes both ascending and descending and these include Rongai, which is the easiest route to take, the Mweka, Machame, Umbwe, Marangu, Shira and Lemosho. Machame is the hardest route because it’s complete takes almost a week due to its step nature. Therefore for all those who plan on climbing the Kilimanjaro should brace themselves for a tiring but thrilling journey.

Climbing Mount Rwenzori

The Rwenzori Mountain is the highest mountain in Uganda with a height of 5109 meters above sea level and is located in the western part of the country. Rwenzori has different summits and they all offer a great view but the Magharita peak is the mist frequented due to its snow caped nature. You can actually hike up any of the peaks but this is done with the help of the tour guides who help you and pint put which trails are much better when it comes to the best routes to use for your trek. There are also resting places as you are heading up the mountain so that you do not get too tired on your way up.

Mount Kenya

Mountain Kenya is the second highest mountain in Africa and is found on the eastern province of the country. The mountain has three peaks with the highest being the Batian peak and it rise to a height of 5119 meters, the Nelion peak which rises up to 5188 meters and the Lenana peak which rises to 4985 meters. There are different routes that lead to the mountain and all these reward you with the glacier top at the top of the mountain.
The hike up the mountain takes roughly four days but it all depends on the trekking route that you use. The Sirimon route is the most popular and it takes two days for all those who are in a hurry and the Burguret route takes three days although this is not normally used by trekkers and these two routes are normally used when one is ascending the mountain. The descending routes are the Chogoria route which takes three days for one to descend and Naro Moru route which takes two days while one is descending. The trek up the mountain is not for the faint hearted but you will enjoy the climb as you will be able to see the different animals and birds and the final reward of the glacier when you reach the summit.

Mountain climbing on Mount Meru

Mount Meru is located in the western part of Tanzania and it is at a height of 4562 meters high. For all those who love trekking with few crowds this is the best Mountain to do it from since it is less visited by tourists. The best time for one to go hiking on Mount Meru is during the dry season and the hike normally starts from the Momella gate. The hike takes roughly three days although you should note that there are some illegal hiking routes that you cannot use especially those that are found in the Northern part of the Mountain although researchers can obtain special permits that allow them to use the trails that are illegal.

Virunga Volcanoes Hiking

The Volcanoes Mountains in Uganda have two extinct volcanoes which are part of the eight that are spread out in both Rwanda and the Democratic republic of Congo. These two mountains are good when it comes to hiking and these are


The Sabinyo Mountain
The Sabinyo Mountain has peaks in the three counties of Rwanda, Uganda and Congo although the bet side to do a hike from is in Uganda. Sabinyo means an old man with crooked teeth and the shape of the mountain is how it earned its name. The terrain used in Uganda is far better and while on a hike you will be able to see the various golden monkeys found in the area. Note that hiking up the Sabinyo Mountain is a bit hard due to its rugged nature but there are a few trails you can take that are almost passable for your trek and do not forget that bottle of water because you will need it.

Mountain Muhabura
Mountain Muhabura rises up to a height of 4127 meters above sea level and it is located at the border of Uganda and Rwanda. The name of the mountain is loosely translated as the Guide in Kinyarwanda. A hike up the Mountain will give you a beautiful site of the Crater Lake that is found at the summit.

Mountain climbing on Mgahinga Mountain
Mountain Mgahinga is located in the western part of Uganda and it rises up to 3474 meters and it is part of the Volcanoes Mountain. It has a crater lake at the summit which will be your reward once you reach the peak and you will get a good view of the rest of the Volcanoes Mountain and the Batwa people once you descend the mountain. The hike up the Mgahinga is extremely short and not too tiresome as compared to other mountain hikes.

Mountain climbing on Karisimbi Mountain
Mountain Karisimbi is one of the Virunga Mountains and it is located in Rwanda. It rises to a level of 4507 meters above sea level. Mountain Karisimbi has a white capped summit and that is why it is a good place for one who wants to go for a hike. The climb up Karisimbi takes over six hours and it usually starts in the morning. You need to be physically fit for this strenuous climb as it will need most of your energy but the hike is worth it as you will be able to see various monkeys, gorillas and other wild animals as you climb up the mountain.

Mountain Climbing on Mount Lesatima
Mountain Lesatima is the third highest mountain in Kenya and is located in the Northern part of Aberdare in the Great Rift Valley. The mountain has seen many people hiking up to its peak and it is an experience that you don’t want to miss and the peak provides one with a great view.

Mountain Climbing on the Elgon
Mountain Elgon is located in the Eastern Part of Uganda and it’s one of the few extinct volcanoes in the country and it rises up to a height of 4321 meters above sea level. Mountain Elgon was considered as the highest in Africa but the constant erosions have led to its reduction in height. You can join the mountain climbing on the Elgon Mountain with the hike up the Sipi falls since they are located in the same area. The best time to do a mountain climbing on the Elgon Mountain is during the dry season as this will ease the climb unlike during the wet season where the trails will be slippery.

Mountain Climbing on Mountain Longonot
Mountain Longonot is located in Kenya in the Rift valley region and it is a dormant volcano that last erupted in the 18s. There is a clear path that one can take when going for mountain climbing and it takes like four to five hours to trek this particular mountain. As you trek up the mountain, you will get a good view of the Lake Naivasha and the animals and birds that are found in the area. The hike is not that strenuous and you can easily get a potter to help you carry your luggage at a small fee as you enjoy the view the view.

Tororo Rock Hike
Tororo rock is located in the Eastern part of Uganda and it is approximately 230 kilometers away from the capital city of Uganda, Kampala. The rock has a lot of tourist attractions to it including the various caves that are found in the area and it rises to a height of 1800 meters above sea level. Once you reach the summit, you can be able to see the surrounding area clearly plus you get a good view of the Elgon Mountain. The hike up the rock is extremely hard as it has narrow windy routes leading up to the summit and therefore one has to be strong enough or be an adrenaline driven person to go hiking on the Tororo rock.

Mountain Climbing on Kinangop Mountain
Mountain Kinangop is located in the southern part of Kenya and it rises to an elevation of 3909 meters above sea level. The mountain is good for climbing and note that when you reach the rocky peak the weather is a bot cool and coupled with the bamboo forests that surround the mountain, you will need to carry warm clothes for when you make it up the peak.

Mountain climbing is best done during the dry season because then you will have a lot of chances to trek without slipping due to the bad routes that are found in most parts of East Africa. There are other activities that you can carry out as you hike up the mountains like bird watching, gorilla and chimpanzee trekking, animal watching and you can also get a chance to swim in one of the mountains that have crater lakes as long as you receive permission. Some terrains on the mountains is not hard and therefore all ages of people can go and take up mountain climbing because it is good for one’s health and enjoyable.

There are various tools or requirements that everyone needs if they are to go for mountain climbing and these include the following.
• Hiking boots
The hiking boots will help you not to slide too much when it comes to climbing up the Mountain.
• Rain jacket, warm clothes
The rain jacket is to help just in case it rains as the weather in mountainous areas is not predictable so it is better to be prepared and for the warm clothes, it is better to carry some because the higher you climb up the mountain, the colder it becomes.
• Gardening gloves
The gardening gloves are there to help you as you climb so that you do not get scratches on your fingers and hands in case you are to hold yourself on something sharp.
• Camera
A camera will be used to keep the memories of the mountain climbing alive for you when you finally descend the mountain.

Mabira forest

Mabira Forest is one of the last remaining rain forests and biggest in Central Uganda, the Forest is a rainforest area in Uganda, located in Buikwe District, between Lugazi and Jinja. It has been protected as Mabira Forest Reserve since 1932. It has an enormous biodiversity comprising 315 bird species, 312 tree species, 218 species of butterflies, 97 species of moths, 40 species of small mammals including the red – tailed monkeys, vervets, grey-cheeked mangabeys and many nocturnal animals. A substantial Ecotourism development has taken place in this Forest since 1996 as a means of conserving the vulnerable ecosystem and a community ecotourism site has been developed

Size

Covers a total area of 306 sq km

Getting There

Located only 54km along the Kampala – Jinja highway.

What to do

Forest walks (Day and Night), Specialty bird watching, Mountain biking, Environmental Education (Study Tours), camping, sightseeing, pinic trail, grass trail

When to Visit

Throughout the year

Ndere Troupe

The word ‘endere’ means ‘flute’, the Ndere Troupe therefore means Flute Troupe.

The flute was chosen as a symbol of beauty as it produced such beautiful and irre4sistable music which can be manipulated to express a range of emotions; from sorrow to joy and from love to loneliness. 

It also symbolises universal unity, all peoples of the world have a flute in their cultures. The flute is like the blood that flows in our bodies no matter our external difference. The Ndere Troupe prides itself on emphasising commonalities and celebrating the rich differences.

The Ndere Troupe is a cultural development that was founded in 1986 by Rawangyezi Stephen. 

Ndere Trupoe’s dancing encyclopaedia

Historically in Africa, written words did not exist therefore Africa’s cultural history literature, knowledge and wisdom were recorded and passed on to succeeding generations through the medium of performing arts, music, dance, story telling and poetry.

Pride in education, in efforts to salvage and conserve African heritage, the Ndere Troupe performs a repertoire of more than 40 authentic Ugandan dances and songs accompanied by various indeginous percussive, stringed and wind instruments. The Troupe engages in various projects aimed at keeping African generations educated about traditional entertainment and also uses traditional entertainment to spread knowledge about current issues such as modern farming techniques and HIV/AIDS.

Uganda’s Cultural Ambassadors


The multi-award winning Ndere Troupe has been gracing stages for almost 25 years with high quality performances that have resulted in worldwide appreciation and fame.  Ndere Troupe has also made memorable experiences for countless people and organisations by performing at different milestones in their lives.

Ndere Troupe has performed at graduations, weddings, anniversaries, dinners, launches, conferences, expositions, festivals, opening ceremonies and state functions to name but a few.
With over 60 artists, Ndere Troupe is poised to continue shaping Ugandan culture and performance as they continue to take it to the next level.