A Travel Guide To Africa For starters, you must prepare the best way how your Africa travel will be; among these include a combination of African safari tours, African safaris as well as Africa tour, whichever you decide on, you will appreciate the actual beauty of Africa. Taking up an African safari vacation may be a little confusing because it offers a wide range of travels which include West Africa, North Africa, East Africa Travel, South Africa Travel and many others. Whichever you decide on taking, you will be able to access cheap African flights to all the destinations. As you travel to different countries, you come across Africa hotels of all kinds ranging from 5 star hotels to lodges with varying prices. Therefore your budget will determine the best place where you will stay. The Africa travel organized must suit your tastes and preference and remember luxury Africa hotels are also available.
One thing you must keep in mind is that whatever holiday destination you choose, be aware to have the best of your time. Taking up any of these hotels such as East Africa hotel, North Africa and South Africa hotel will be amazing and your vacation will be memorable for a lifetime. If you decide to stay in a lodge, this may be a bit far from the wilderness safari but we can as well guarantee the best time of your stay. Truth be told, the easiest destinations to reserve your African safari tours will be North, East and the south. As you take your time thinking of the best safari to plan for, any choice you come up with will not disappoint you. For budget friendly people, you can organize a group safari and if not your tour operator may take you on a cheap private safari. It will be so hard for anyone to go without making any choice. If you are a kind that wants to take pictures of all animals that you see in the wilderness, remember to come well prepared with the best safari gear including the major gadget called a camera. Other people may decide to take a safari and specifically desire to see only the big five and at times the wildebeest if it’s the season.
Something you must take note of is that private safari tours are expensive when compared to the group tours. Thus the choice is always yours to make the best decision. Planning for Africa safari tours will definitely be the right choice because it’s quite cheap and yet you get the opportunity to see all the attractions that you have been dreaming about. Right after your days of safari, you can sit back and relax at the resort as you enjoy the cool environment. Just in case it’s your first time to visit Africa, you will have a lot to talk about with friends and relatives. The pictures will actually say it all in one sentence “you guys had fun” making them jealous and believe me they will definitely pan for the best Africa safari tour. With the information got, you can change the image of Africa to something like visit the true wonders of Africa.
Uganda, also known as the pearl of Africa is perhaps one of the most beautiful places on the African continent, and has the friendliest people too. The wilderness in this small country is very uncorrupted, so if you are looking to experience authentic African wilderness, this is the country to visit. It has beautiful natural scenery, plenty of wildlife such as lions, gorillas, chimpanzees, leopards, buffaloes, exotic birds, giraffes and so much more. There are also plenty of exciting tourist activities such as bungee jumping, gorilla trekking, white water rafting and so many more. There is something for every member of your family. And it is a whole new world for you and your children to experience. What your children usually only get to see on television, they will get to live and in real time. The scenic wonders in Uganda are another reason for a family safari in Uganda.
Uganda has some very amazingly beautiful sights that you will enjoy visiting with your family, and taking some very awesome pictures to capture the memories. There is the historic river Nile which is the longest river in Africa, the magnificent Murchison falls which is the most powerful waterfall in the world, the Rwenzori mountain ranges, which are taller than the alps, these are the tallest mountain ranges in Africa, the beautifully scenic Lake Bunyonyi which looks like a still from a movie scene, the Virunga volcanoes, the explosion craters that you will probably seen on national geographic and so much more. Family safari in Uganda gives you the amazing opportunity to experience some new and interesting cultures. You and your family will learn how these very friendly people live and maybe adopt a new way for two of doing things. You could pick a new recipe, or a new food, or fruit. It makes for good exposure for your children.
How about all the negative and scary stories? And will my children be safe?
Many of the scary stories are myths; some are exaggerations of the fact. There have are stories about safaris in Uganda being dangerous and that you need a body guard everywhere you go. This is a myth. Uganda is actually one of the safest places on the African continent. The hotels, lodges and tented camps you will be staying at will have very good security. And there are guides for your game drives, gorilla trekking, nature walks, bird watching, and any other activity you might want to enjoy. Dangerous is definitely not the word that should come to mind when you think of a safari in Uganda. You should be thinking fun, and exciting. When planning for a safari whether it is family safari or a one man private safari especially where there are children involved. Safari companies like us take safety as a very serious issue. Your children’s safety is important and we do our best to ensure it. There are well experienced and qualified guides and rangers for every activity be it a nature walk or a game drive. So the answer to whether your children will be safe is a definite yes. Another myth is the idea that a Uganda Safari means roughing it and that some strange bugs will make you very uncomfortable. There is no roughing it on a safari in Uganda, the country is way past the stone ages so your children will not be sleeping in bushes or eating strange things. There is very good accommodation, good food, laundry services, and good washrooms. You and your children will be very comfortable Another myth is that your children will be very bored. Uganda is an exciting place for people of all ages. There is something new for you and your children to enjoy at every turn. And if you let the safari company you hire know, they will take your children’s hobbies and interests into consideration while designing an itinerary for you. Your children will not be bored at all. Depending on their ages there are various activities they can enjoy such as: guided nature walks, game drives, horseback riding safaris, cultural visits, hands on lessons in craft making, dancing, drumming, white water rafting and even gorilla trekking if they are above 15years.
What about the Food and Water?
Many people who have never been to Africa think their families will have to survive on strange food and drink. Well that is not the case, there is drinking water available, and normal decent food. There are various international dishes, and the local food is also amazing. There is soda, water and juice, and beers and wines. So your children will be fine, there is plenty of good food, and soft drinks for them in Uganda
Will my children get sick on a Uganda safari?
The disease people are usually worried about is malaria. The truth is Uganda is not a sea of mosquitoes and other insects waiting to get you sick. When you go out camping in west you take bug spray and repellant, same thing applies to mosquitoes in Uganda. You can carry or buy mosquito repellent or talk to your doctor about other preventive measure. However chances of your children catching malaria during your safari in Uganda are very minimal. You can also get some advice from you tour operator.
How could my very young children possibly benefit from a Uganda safari trip?
Children are always looking to learn new things even when they are very young. Children are perhaps the most excited guests we receive, they are excited by everything they see and hear. They learn quite a lot during the time they spend watching television, and more and more children dream of seeing faraway places from the programs they watch,. You could be surprised by how many children’s programs take your children on safaris to Africa. It would be a very exciting experience if they got to visit Africa for real. A Uganda safari will be learning and exploring experience for them.
What will my children do if the adults go gorilla trekking?
There are a number of things your children can do and enjoy while you and the other adults are off trekking gorillas or chimpanzees. They could go on forest walks with friendly well trained tour guides, who will show them a variety of interesting things in the forest from monkeys in the trees, to exotic birds, and exotic butterflies. They could also go on nature walks, or village walks, still with guides. On the village walks they will get to see cultural activities like dance performances or learn a few new things like drumming on local drums. Game drives are often best experienced as a whole family. Your children will not be bored and idle when you off tracking gorillas.
Are there special clothes for children on safari?
Safari clothes for children are usually just miniature replicas of adult safari clothes. Just remember to keep the colours neutral and avoid shorts and short sleeved shirts on hikes. A wide brimmed hat for each child is also recommended and a good pair of light boots.
Are there any vaccinations I should take note of, or some anti-malaria medication?
We recommend that you schedule a visit with your family doctor or a tropical clinic or travel clinic. These will give you advice on what vaccinations you need to have, and anti malaria regiments.
What about Passports and Visas?
You do need passports and visas for everyone in your travelling party. You ca get a tourism visa to Uganda at a low cost of 50 USD per person. We hope we have answered most if not all of your burning questions about bringing your children on a Uganda safari trip. Enjoy you time in the pearl of Africa.
Every person is entitled to a social right of enjoying safaris irrespective of their abilities or disabilities. That is why PWDs or People with Disabilities can also enjoy tourism by visiting their dream destinations. It is on record that about 15% of the world’s population lives with a kind of disability such as physical disability in mobility, hard of hearing, visual impairment, and also the elderly among others.
Therefore a number of hotels in East Africa especially in Uganda are being encouraged to offer services like rooms that can accommodate people with disabilities, wheelchairs, sign language interpreters among other services in order to make it easy for the traveler to enjoy their safari to the fullest.
Assessing Your Needs as a Traveller
It is not that all special needs or disabled people have the same needs that is why it is so important that you are mindful about your unique condition even as you research about accommodation, travel, safari holidays and the activities that come along with where you want to go. Tourists who are visually impaired or in their hearing might not have the same requirements as the one with limited mobility. Therefore, today different safari operators have increasingly mastered the needs of travelers with limited mobility and other similar disabilities.
That is why as a traveler you should inform them your condition; whether you will need a walker, cane, manual wheelchair or you are permanently confined to using a power chair. As you plan for your safari, ensure that every step of your trip is catered for. From the flight, to the safari vehicle that will transfer you to the sites and throughout the safari. Some vehicles have lifted hydraulic lifts which are helpful to people with limited mobility. On top of this some tour operators offer vehicles with a wheelchair locking system which allows the tourist to remain in their chair. Also a personal caretaker can be offered at the request of the traveller that might require certain medical needs.
It is important for the tourists with extremely limited mobility to put into consideration their needs concerning the sleeping (the type of beds)/sitting and above all hygiene. This is because most lodging facilities in Uganda might not offer wheelchair accessible bathrooms, and in order to make your trip memorable you will somewhat need to be flexible at some point. Bathing is usually one of the main adjustments for any western traveller. Some of the facilities in the tourism destinations are not fully developed, hence some might end up resorting to using buckets or bed baths, which is why you are advised to travel with someone you are comfortable with to assist you.
The people with hearing loss or the Deaf people, also have special needs to consider. Whereas it is very possible for your tour operator to help you get a sign language interpreter on your safari, it might come at an extra cost. However, most tourists come to Uganda for safari with family members or friends, so one of the people you travel with can act as your interpreter while on safari, this may be one of the most economical options.
Traditional African safaris are mainly visually oriented, hence visually impaired tourists will need an extra and unique set of needs. That is why in order for the tour operator to cater for such travellers, they try to use the client’s other senses to recreate all the things they might miss out in the experience. The operators go ahead and use detailed and descriptive explanations as a way of interpreting the experience and painting a picture of the traveler’s surroundings such as landscape and wildlife.
Safaris for visually impaired travellers are usually so different from the standard safaris because travellers even get chance to get out of the safari vehicle to smell and touch certain things to make their experience remarkable. In fact, visually impaired travellers usually get an all-inclusive experience than those that solely rely on vision.
It is also important to note that in most tourist sites especially national parks, guide dogs or other animals may not be allowed because there are rules and regulations that have been put in place to prevent the spread of disease between animals, and there is also a danger of attracting predators, so it is not allowed to bring animals from outside into the park. Also some travellers are not permitted to putting animals on long international flights. But, if the visually impaired travellers listen to their guide and also get enough human assistance, they will enjoy their safari perfectly.
Accommodation is also a major thing to consider as you plan your safari in case you are physically disabled. There are a number of accommodation facilities that offer special needs to these travellers, even some that need to use oxygen tanks.
Gorilla Tracking for People with Disabilities
Gorilla tracking is one of the most common activities tourists engage in while on their visit to Uganda and someone who has physical limitations or is elderly could be wondering whether it is possible for him or her to trek Gorillas. And the answer is yes it is possible, Gorilla trekking is not only for those that are young or energetic you can also have an unforgettable encounter with the mighty giants. In fact most people that track gorillas are above 40 years hence you can never be too old to track gorillas as long as you are allowed to take flights. The only limitation to Gorilla trekking is to children below 15 years and those who are sick.
Today Sedan chairs are available in Bwindi to help those with disabilities to also trek gorillas. Basing on the tour operator you choose to plan your safari, inform them about your condition such that they plan accordingly and that your sedan chair is booked. The hiring of Sedan chairs is paid for separately from the gorilla permits, the cost ranges from USD300 to USD500 and this depends on the weight of the client and distance covered to meet a gorilla family.
The people (porters) that carry disabled clients make sure that the client’s dream of seeing the Mountain Gorillas is met and experienced beyond expectation. People with disabilities are also usually taken to the nearest gorilla families. The sedan chairs are also available in all the four sectors (Ruhija, Rushaga, Buhoma, and Nkuringo) of Bwindi Gorilla National Park. Prior booking is recommended because the chairs are given pout on first come first serve basis.
For the elderly people even those above 80 years can successfully trek gorillas in Uganda using Sedan chairs by the help of the porters and ranger guides who are skilled and above all patient with clients. That is why you can miss out on seeing these mighty giants in the jungle.
A Photographic safari in Uganda is a very unique experience. Abundant wildlife viewing, long days, different environments, changes of weather and variable Geography all offer special and excellent opportunities for a remarkable photography experience. Today many tourists engage in these safaris since it is one of the best ways to capture and at the same time keep the safari moments which you can share with your friends or family back home or for future referral.
Photographic safaris in the Pearl of Africa are for all kinds of Photographers whether Amateur or Professional Photographers, what is important is for you to have the best experience during your safari. There is a lot to capture while in Uganda, so your safari is organized basing on your personal interests.
Any passionate photographer should not miss the chance to capture the best photos of the Chimpanzees during a Chimpanzee trek or Gorillas on during Gorilla Habituation or on a Gorilla Trek, the climbing lions in Ishasha Sector and other picturesque areas like Lake Mutanda, the Crater lakes region, Lake Bunyonyi, River Nile, Murchison Falls National Park, Kidepo Valley National Park, Rwenzori Mountains, among others.
Although most photographic safaris include more of wildlife and geographical features, it is still possible to visit your other areas of interest whether they are historical, cultural, and religious sites. What is needed as you plan for a photography safari is dedication, preparation, patience and a guide who understands the exact spots you would position yourself to take best photos. Also hire a vehicle with enough space to accommodate the photography equipment.
Below we have listed for you some of the picturesque places in Uganda where you can have remarkable experiences during your photographic safari.
Every one planning a photographic safari cannot miss out on this Park because it has a lot to offer. Of all the Parks, this park is the biggest in Uganda covering 3,893km2 and was gazetted in 1952. It hosts the world’s strongest waterfall called the Murchison Falls, where water makes its way into the Devil’s Cauldron with a thunderous roar through an 8m wide gorge, therein creating a beautiful rainbow.
The park is divided into two section; the northern bank which is covered by savannah grasslands, riverine woodlands, and acacia trees and the southern bank mainly covered by forest and woodland patches, all these sections are great spots for photographers.
Photographers can take amazing wildlife photos of Lions, Buffaloes, Elephants, Warthogs, Antelopes, Nile Crocodiles, Hippos, Leopards and various bird species. While in the park, one can go for hot air balloon safaris, game drives, hiking, nature walks, birding, launch cruises to the delta or the bottom of the falls. Also this park also offers Night game drives. Whatever activity you opt for, you are sure to have fun and above all take the best photos.
This Park has been used in filming movies such as the African Queen film in 1951 starring Humphrey Bogart, also famous people have visited this park including Theodore Roosevelt, Winston Churchill a number of British Royals.
Kibale Forest National Park
Kibale Forest is home to over 13 primate species including the L’Hoest’s and Red-tailed monkeys, Baboons, Red colobus, Bush Babies, Blue Monkeys, Mangabeys, Pottos, and the Black & White Colobus monkey, also including over 1500 Chimpanzees. It is situated in the Western region of Uganda. It also hosts about 370 bird species, about 70 mmmals, a number of butterflies as well as different tree and plant species. Other wild animals found in this forest include buffaloes, duikers, elephants, antelopes, bush pigs, otters and giant forest hogs among others.
The park is made up of beautiful tracts of tropical forest, swamp vegetation, grasslands hence makes it more photogenic. Photographers can engage in different activities such as chimpanzee tracking or habituation, nature walks, birding, research among others. Also around the park are scenic carter lakes which can be reached on foot and they are indeed so picturesque.
Though the less visited National Park in the country, it still ranked among Africa’s most beautiful National Parks by CNN. It is found in the North-Eastern part of Uganda and choosing this park among the place to visit during your photography safari would reward you with the amazing views of the Narus and Kidepo valleys, the beautiful culture and history of the Ik people an indigenous tribe and the shadows of the Morungole Mountain.
Apart from the breathtaking landscapes, the park hosts various wildlife species such as over 5,000 buffaloes, lions, herds of elephants and if you are lucky sometimes you can spot the cheetah and the ostrich.
The location of this park is usually off-putting for many travellers but spending time and money to get to the park is rewarding as you discover what many call the “True African Wilderness”. You can get to this park by road which is approximately a 12 hour drive or be transferred in a fairly expensive charter flight.
This park was gazetted in 1991 and was recognized as a World UNESCO Site in 1994. It is located in the South-western part of Uganda and its misty hills are covered with one of the most diverse and oldest rain forests which is over 25,000 years old. It is home to over 400 Mountain gorillas which is half of the world’s remaining population and the main activity done here is Gorilla trekking and Gorilla Habituation.
It also harbors over 350 bird species, 120 mammals, 27 frog species, 202 butterfly species, 346 tree species, and 400 plant species. So whatever your interests are, everything is at your disposal to take photos. The park also has spectacular waterfalls not forgetting the amazing Batwa tribe which has a rich culture with a lot to learn and engage in. in other word, Bwindi cannot miss out among your options for the photographic safaris.
Any photographer should not miss out on visiting this Park. The Park is one of the country’s most visited attractions with diverse ecosystems such as the spectacular lakes, extensive savanna, humid forests, and wetlands which make it a great place for photography. It is home to over 600 bird species, 10 species of primates including the Chimpanzees and the Big game such as lions, buffaloes, elephants, forest hogs, leopards, hippos, antelopes, among others.
The park also offers spectacular views of the Rwenzori Mountains, the rolling hills, enormous carter lakes, the Kazinga Channel which has amazing banks covered with elephants, buffaloes and hippos plus the outstanding Ishasha plains which harbor Climbing Lions. This park also gives chance to photographic visitors to visit different local communities which have a mesmerizing cultural history, they can take part in any of the activities such as dance, music, and storytelling.
Semuliki National Park
Originally, Semuliki was a Game Reserve in 1932 but as time went on, in 1993 it was established as a National Park. This park is mainly dominated by the extension of the Congo Basin’s Ituri forest which is said to be between 13,000 to 18,000 years old. It is home to over 441 bird species and 53 species of mammals.
The park stretches across the Semuliki Valley floor on the distant western part of the Rwenzori region. The Semuliki Valley comprises of a number of features including the Sempaya Male and Female Hot springs which are one of the greatest photogenic features of the Park. River Semuliki is also a beautiful small version of the Congo River.
As you move in the park to get more photos you can come across different wildlife species such as the buffaloes, crocodiles, forest elephants, chimpanzees, hippos, different types of monkeys, bay duikers, and target rats among others. You can also visit the local communities around which includes the Batwa pygmies which a great indigenous community with great history and culture.
This is the country’s smallest National Park with breathtaking picturesque landscapes which can be well experienced while on a game drive or a nature walk or a boat cruise or even on a horse ride. The Park is a 4hours drive away from Kampala, meaning it is one of the easily accessible photogenic attractions in the country.
The savannah plains, rolling hills, the beautiful lakes, and the metamorphic rocks that are about 500million years old are not to miss out. The park also hosts over 350 bird species and you will be sure to spot numerous wildlife scattered all over the park such as Giraffes, Elands, Buffaloes, Zebras, Oribis, Leopards, Hippos, Topis, Reedbucks, Defassa Waterbucks and many more.
This is said to be the country’s deepest lake ranging from 44metres to 900metres in depth. It is situated in the southwestern region and is one of the most photogenic lakes in the country. It is a fresh water lake with an amazing scenery including the surrounding terraced hills not forgetting the most remarkable 29 islands, some of the islands can be accessed by a motorized canoe and be sure to hear the most amazing stories about them.
Lake Bunyonyi can be accessed from Kampala on an approximately a 7hour drive or through Rwanda on a 2hours drive. Take more photos like you wish, if you are a good swimmer you can enjoy it here because the lake is Bilharzia free.
It is said to be one of Uganda’s most beautiful lakes, it is a fresh water lake surrounded by picturesque Mountain landscapes including the spectacular background of peaks of the Virungas. It is located in the Southwestern part in the southern region of Bwindi. Any photographer cannot miss out the experience at this lake.
Well we can go and on because there is a lot that Uganda has to offer to photographers, some areas that have not been mentioned above include; Lake Mulehe, Mt.Mgahinga National Park, the Rwenzori Mountains, Sipi Falls, Mirambi and Katinda Crater Lakes, Lake Victoria, Lake Albert, Pian Upe, Mabira Forest, the source of the Nile and many more.