Thursday, 29 May 2014

4 Days Uganda Wildlife Safari Murchison Falls

Day one: Arrival at Entebbe
On arrival at the airport, you will be welcomed by a professional guide from Shield Safaris who will then take you to the Hotel in Kampala. Overnight at Hilton Hotel ,Serena Hotel or Sheraton Hotel (High end), Hotel Africana (medium end), Ivy Hotel (basic accommodation).
Day Two: Kampala - Murchison falls (7 – 8 hours)
3 Days Gorilla Safari bwindi
Murchison Falls National Park
After breakfast, drive north of the country to Murchison via Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary in Nakasongola to track the Rhinos. In Uganda, Rhinos were depleted in the early 1980s, after a period of civil wars and severe poaching. This sanctuary has now been established to breed black and white rhino in phase one and two to restore Rhino populations in Uganda so that they can be re-introduced to their natural habitats. Then have lunch at the sanctuary or Masindi before proceed to Murchison. Dinner and overnight at Chobe lodge Paraa Lodge (High end) Nile Safari Camp, Murchison River Lodge. (Medium range) Full Board.
Day Three: Murchison Falls.
After breakfast, you will go for an early morning game drive where you may have chances of viewing Lions, Giraffe, Hartebeest, Buffalo, Elephant, Bohor Reedbuck as well as many of the other mammals of the park. For the bird lovers, you can come across the Sported Morning Thrush, Silverbird, Buff-bellied Warbler, Black-headed Batis, Black headed Gonolek, Vitelline masked weaver, Green winged Pytilia, Blue-naped Mousebird, Secretary Bird, Black Chested Snake Eagle, Tawny and Marshal Eagles, Northern and Southern Carmine Bee-Eaters and many others. In the afternoon, go for a boat trip to the foot of Murchison Falls where the Nile thunders through a small 7-meter gap, or down river to the delta where the Nile empties into Lake Albert. The banks of the Nile are home to many species. You may see huge Nile Crocodiles, Hippos and other wildlife that may come down to drink from the river.
Dinner and overnight at Chobe lodge Paraa Lodge (High end) Nile Safari Camp, Murchison River Lodge. (Medium range) Full Board.
An early breakfast drive back to Kampala having lunch en-route arriving in Entebbe in the evening to catch your flight back home.
Day Four: Murchison Falls- Kampala
An early breakfast ,drive back to Kampala having lunch en-route arriving in Entebbe in the evening to catch your flight back home.

Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Looking down at the source of the Nile



 
Jinja is the town located on Lake Victoria - Source of the Mighty Nile River. It has a population of about 45,000 in an extremely well built tight knit community. It is an awesome sight to see where the White Nile begins, as it leaves Lake Victoria on its 3,470-mi/5,590-km journey to the Mediterranean. Nearby the  nalubaale power station  has somewhat diminished the rivers excitement. However, it is still a great place to Raft.

We spent a day rafting at the Nile amongst the rapids and yes, crocodiles though luckily didn't see any. It was awesome fun and an extremely cool experience.

The campsite - Nile Rivers Explorers Campsite is a really great place to stay, overlooking Nile it is a great place to pitch your tent. Not only has this but they had a great relationship with a Charity group, called "Soft power Education". From the camp you can arrange to do a day of volunteer work, visiting and helping some of the local schools, which was absolutely fantastic. They have had a great impact on several schools in the area, and working with them certainly gave me a feel of the whole community working together, bringing tourists and locals alike into unison.
On the hill overlooking the Mighty White Nile as it leaves Lake Victoria, this campsite offers absolutely everything. It has a bar, can arrange rafting, has strong community links through its affiliation with Soft power and Nile River Explorers & Explorers Backpackers just down the road on Wilson Avenue, it’s in a great gorgeous location. There is a spot if you wander down the hill where you can take a dip in the waters of the Nile, should you wish, go quad biking, take a walking tour of the villages. There are heaps to do and see.

Of most interest out of all the facilities though, and this may sound odd, was the really cool shower blocks. Overlooking the waters of the White Nile, they have a front door as you walk in, but are completely open at the back. Doesn’t worry, the trees allow you feel secluded. It is really strange yet cool to stand in an open aired shower block washing away the days grime after rafting and just stare out at the view. No shower experience can beat that!
From our campsite we arranged a trip with Nile Rivers Explorers to raft the mighty Nile, which has its source here in Jinja.
offers some excellent rapids between grades 2 to 5. You get lunch included and raft the whole day. It is a really cool experience and so much fun and adrenaline. I always was a little wary of Rafting, but the guides were very good and I had some of the most fun auctioned packed hours of my life out on that river.

Tuesday, 11 March 2014

Jinja the gate way holiday for families


proximity to the hydroelectricity power plant-  Nalubaale power station  and fresh water bodies Lake Victoria and River Nile, the growth of Jinja into an industrial hub of Uganda and the East African region was inevitable.

As early as the per-independence era, Jinja town located 80 kilometers east of the capital Kampala was a favorite destination for both local and foreign investors. They established industries that consequently attracted multitudes of job seekers from all over the region in search of employment opportunities.
Buoyed by its strategic location along the Trans-African highway from the port coast of Mombasa, on the northern shores of Lake Victoria and eastern bank of the world’s longest river Nile as well as the presence of European and Asian settlers, Jinja made great economic strides in the 1950s and 1960s.

However, the economic slump witnessed following the expulsion of Asians in 1972 by former president Idi Amin, probably hit Jinja the hardest as many of the successful factories then was under their management.

There was a decline in production capacity of mighty factories like British American Tobacco (BAT), Chillington, Nytil, Grain Milling, Steel Corporation of East Africa, Papco, and Dunlop which employed thousands of people from across the country, while others totally collapsed.

For decades, Jinja lost its glory as an industrial centre earning itself the unenviable name of a ghost town; it became a shadow of what it used to be.

The rotting infrastructure aside, many of the industries remained underutilized with overgrown grass and shrubs as a common feature. Some turned into hideouts for criminals. The tarmac roads that led to the industrial areas became synonymous with potholes

However, the trend has since changed. Several new industries have been established with many more are in the offing. A couple of those that had gone dormant have been revived for production. From steel plants to timber processing factories, oil refinery to beer brewing, paper packaging manufacture to corporate branding, tea processing to world class liquor distilling, plastics manufacturing to electricity poles treatment plants. The town is once again bustling with industrial activity.

Steel Rolling Mills Limited, established in 1985, has increased its production capacity from 60,000 tons per annual to 120,000 tons per annual following a $50 million (sh130b) expansion project of its plant, commissioned by president Yoweri Museveni in October last year.

With the expansion, the plant expects to recruit an additional 400 workers from the existing 600 employees, according to the human resource and legal manager Hussein Hilal. Cognizant of Jinja’s immense potential in tourism, the town leadership has prioritized to revamp the tourism sector as a strategy to fast track growth.
The campaign to promote Jinja as a top tourism destination was launched in May this year by President Museveni at a ceremony attended by Tourism and Wildlife minister Maria Mutagamba, Parliament speaker Rebecca Kadaga and a delegation from the city of Skelleftea in Sweden.

Mayor Mohammed Baswale Kezaala says the campaign kicked off with beautification exercise of the town that includes painting of at least 70 buildings along Main Street, installation of street lights, reconstruction of roads and road verges, as well as tree planting along the streets.
He adds that all available avenues will be exploited to market to the outside world Jinja’s natural endowments such as the Source of River Nile, fresh water bodies and cultural sites like Mpumudde hill where Omukama Kabalega of Bunyoro is said to have breathed his last in
  April 1923, on his way from the Seychelles Islands where he had been exiled by the British colonial masters.












There are plans to upgrade the Source of River Nile to international standards including the construction of a museum and a five star hotel at the site, with a view of attracting more tourists. This, Kezaala argues will enable them to fully exploit the potential of this historic spot and spur development through job creation and revenue to the municipal council coffers.

Other tourism sites include the palace of the Kyabazinga (king) that sits atop the imposing Igenge hill in Bugembe, Jinja, the man made Kirinya hill in Walukuba/Masese division and exciting sports activities such as bungee jumping on the River Nile and water rafting at Itanda and Kyabirwa falls on the Nile.
Growth has also been realized in the hotel and hospitality industry. From the Government owned Crested Crane Hotel as the only player in the 1980s, several other modern hotels have been built. They include among others the 4-star Nile Resort Hotel overlooking the banks of River Nile, Sunset Hotel, Brisk Hotel, Travel Hotel, Source of the Nile Hotel and Paradise Hotel.

Jinja is home to the Crested Crane Hotel and Tourism Training Institute, the only government funded tourism training institute in the country.

Nile Resort: A home away from home
Located at on the eastern banks of River Nile is a white pleasant and surprising gem that is sure to make you feel home away from home. “It has one of the best views in Jinja and gives you a relaxed and soothing atmosphere,” one of the guests, who recently stayed at the facility stated in a review posted on trip advisor.
Nile Resort has a spacious exterior for guests to unwind. He was talking about the Jinja Nile Resort, which has for the last 15 years been a must-visit and stay-in hotel for both local and international visitors. Set on over 30 acres just by the River Nile, one of the Seven Wonders in the world, Jinja Nile Resort Hotel commands a panoramic view of the longest River in the World.
Jinja Nile Resort is located 80 kilometres from the Ugandan capital, Kampala, and just 4kms from the country’s tourist’s hotspot, Jinja town. The over $10m investment property has been beautifully landscaped with lush lawns, palm trees, tropical plants and all areas have been designed to give guests Nile-facing views. Jinja Nile Resort is part of the MADA chain hotels established by the late Tarlatan Mhajan.
James Mbatia, the general manager, says the resort has 140 guest rooms fitted with facilities to ensure that guests receive the very best during their stay. Each of the rooms has its own balcony where guests can relax and the rooms tailored in colonial type cottages allow for plenty of privacy. All rooms en suite have a small sitting room, work desk and private balcony. You will find the 170 staff impressively professional, adding to the place’s palpable air of authenticity in terms of hospitality.
Cuisine
The kitchen has been designed to provide scrumptious local and international cuisines to guests at a point of their convenience. There are three strategically located restaurants equipped to offer professional service to international standards. Each restaurant has a Nile-facing terrace.
The main restaurant comfortably seats up to 150 guests at a time. It has a terrace, which overlooks the swimming pool and offers an excellent view of the Nile and the surrounding countryside. The equally spacious conference dining room is located near the conference halls and allows fast and effective service to conference participants. It also has an independent bar for serving refreshments to the conferences/ workshops guests. Snacks are served to the guests at the pool side terrace.
For those requiring privacy during their meals, the hotel has two private dining rooms to meet this requirement. Room service is also available to all clients staying at the hotel. Outside catering facilities can be provided on request. Be sure to catch the treat of cocktail juice served to arriving residential guests as they usher them into their rooms. A food basket also awaits them in the rooms.
Bar
The resort has five bars stocked with a wide selection of wines, spirits and beers. The main bar is centrally located to provide efficient and effective service to the main restaurant, lounge and poolroom.
The large swimming pool bar provides refreshments to guests at the swimming pool and pool terrace area. The conference hall bar offers service to guests using the conference rooms (for conferences and private parties).
Health club
Mbatia says the Resort health club is equipped with the Italian techno gym equipment offering several cardio-vascular and free weight machines. A large private rest room is provided for guests to relax and refresh themselves after enjoying the facilities at the gym, sauna, steam bath and massage parlour.
Recreation/entertainment for recreation and entertainment, the resort offers a free form deck swimming pool (with separate children’s section), badminton, one professional pool table and darts. The hotel also has a squash and tennis court. For music lovers, there are facilities for weekend discos. And excellent spacious stage (for up to 40 persons), has been provided in the conference hall for plays and bands.

Monday, 3 March 2014

1. Lake Victoria the unspoiled tourism potential in Uganda



1
Lake Victoria is one of the African Great Lakes; the lake was named after Queen Victoria, by John Hanning Speke, an officer in the British Indian Army. With a surface area of 68,800 square kilometres (26,600 sq mi), Lake Victoria is Africa’s largest lake by area, and it is the largest tropical lake in the world. Lake Victoria is the world's 2nd largest freshwater lake by surface area; only Lake Superior in North America is larger. In terms of its volume, Lake Victoria is the world's ninth largest continental lake, and it contains about 2,750 cubic kilometers (2.2 billion acre-feet) of water.
Lake Victoria receives its water primarily from direct precipitation and thousands of small streams. The largest stream flowing into this lake is the Kagera River, the mouth of which lies on the lake's western shore. Two rivers leave the lake, the White Nile (known as the "Victoria Nile" as it leaves the lake), flows out at Jinja, Uganda on the lake's north shore, and the Katonga River flows out at Lukaya on the western shore connecting the lake to Lake George.
Lake Victoria occupies a shallow depression in Africa and has a maximum depth of 84 m (276 ft) and an average depth of 40 m (130 ft). Its catchment area covers 184,000 square kilometers (71,040 sq mi). The lake has a shoreline of 4,828 km (3,000 mi), with islands constituting 3.7% of this length, and is divided among three countries: Kenya (6% or 4,100 km2 or 1,600 sq mi), Uganda (45% or 31,000 km2 or 12,000 sq mi) and Tanzania (49% or 33,700 km2 or 13,000 sq mi).
Lake Victoria has got several tourism destinations that are not fully visited for tourism and the Lake has got places for honey moon travelers which include the following:





Bulago islands
Take off your shoes, wrap yourself up in a nice soft kikoy and heed the wise words of the Jungle Book’s King Louie:
‘Unwind yourself’ Pineapple Bay, Where you can lounge on a Lamu bed, looking out to the sparkling waters of Lake Victoria.  Where you can charter a fishing-boat and head off with rod and tackle to fish for the legendary Nile Perch.  Where you can arm yourself with binoculars and roam for kilometers over this unspoiled island paradise in search of hundreds of birds who make this their home.  And then come back and plunge into the dark blue pool or go with the chef to the organic gardens and choose your own pineapple, your own avocado, and your own greens to have for lunch.
Pineapple Bay, Where you can take your shoes off and keep them off until you get back to the mainland.  Where you can climb to a breezy hilltop and enjoy an ice-cold sundowner with a 360 degree view, or lie in your bed with your morning tea and in your view is nothing but Lake Victoria and all her glory.
Kalangala islands
A three-hour sail across Lake Victoria is as much a relaxing expedition as it is a scary one. Along the way, a cool breeze will blow your stress away. If you are travelling by ferry, spare some time on the balconies and you will have a good view of the islands on Lake Victoria, birds taking a swim or perched on logs as well as the waves hitting the ferry. Your writer, like many local tourists, was hydrophobic, but this is something that anybody can soon get over after two trips on the world’s third largest fresh water body.
There are two or more routes to the Kalangala Archipelago. You can use the ferry through Entebbe, at Nakiwogo.
This takes you three hours. It usually sets off at 8am and charges Shs10, 000 for an ordinary ticket and Shs15, 000 for VIP. Alternatively, one can pass through Masaka, at Bukakata landing site off Masaka Highway. The ferry here is free of charge. The first ferry takes off at 7am. The rest keep ferrying people every two hours till 7pm. From Bukakata to Kalangala is a 30-minute sail across the lake.
Regardless of how you get there, when you are finally at the island, you realize that the hassle was worth it. Kalangala opens up to a virgin rural look from a fishing village dotted with semi-permanent shelters. These are your welcome points to the archipelago, the first pointer of an untapped tourism destination.
Some of these shelters are people’s homes while others are restaurants, whose assimilation to the word restaurant is the fact that they too, serve something close to a meal made of fish, matoke and tea. If you are patient, you may have a more sophisticated meal at one of the decent facilities on the island.
Ngamba islands chimpanzee sanctuary

Monday, 17 February 2014

Trek the mountain gorillas and Dian Fossey in Rwanda Virunga Mountains


    Trek the mountain gorillas and Dian Fossey in Rwanda Virunga Mountains
Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund staff will lead several hikes to Dian Fossey in Rwanda. Taking a safari to see the mountain gorillas with the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund International is an expedition of a lifetime. You will be picked in Rwanda by guide who will be with you the entire trip and will not only share personal insights but will also introduce you to the current staff and researchers working to continue Dian Fossey’s legacy and they will offer you the best information about the gorillas and the centre, the founder of the centre and her effort towards the stay of mountain gorillas in the mist of volcanoes.
Experiencing an hour in the midst of a close-knit living group of mountain gorillas in the wild will confirm all the best things you have heard about them. The infants are playful and adorable while the juveniles can be rambunctious - all of them under the watchful gaze of their mothers and the protection of the immense and dignified, dominant silverback. During your trip, you will have an opportunity to see Dian Fossey’s original Karisoke Research Center high in the volcanoes and visit her grave in the tree-shaded clearing in the gorilla graveyard, next to that of Digit, her favorite gorilla. Guests on our tours will have experiences not available to other groups - the unique opportunity to meet Dr. Fossey’s successors, a team of expert scientists and researchers at the present day Karisoke Research Center, get a behind-the-scenes tour of the facility, see them at work and learn more about their day-to-day activities through presentations and intimate chats over dinner. All our trips include all of this and the knowledge that you are helping the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund's crucial conservation efforts in Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Rwanda, the land of a thousand hills, with its warm yet temperate climate and lush, fertile land, is renowned for its population of majestic gorillas that freely roam steep, mountainous rain forests. This, alongside an abundance of other wild flora and fauna, proves Rwanda to be a very well kept secret. The highest peak in the impressive Virunga Volcanoes is Mount Karisimbi (4,507metres or 14,786 feet).
Volcanoes National Park (Parc National des Volcano) ranks as one of the best places in Africa to go gorilla trekking, and also supports a number of other mammal, bird and plant species. The park protects the Rwanda sector of the Virunga Mountains, a range of six extinct and three active volcanoes which straddle the border with Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Seeing some of the last remaining 200 out of the 800 mountain gorillas in the world is a fantastic experience. This safari takes you to Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda. It offers an opportunity to track gorillas. Volcanoes National Park has 10 habituated gorilla families. Tracking most groups in the afro-montane forest usually takes only a few hours. There are many other nature experiences and sightseeing options in the area and each day.

Thursday, 13 February 2014

Gorilla Trekking in Bwindi Impenetrable Experience, The Ultimate Family Holiday in Uganda and Rwanda

Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is located in the southwestern part of Uganda on the rim of the Rift Valley. The hillsides which are mist-covered are sheltered by one of the ancient and very biologically varied rainforests in Uganda that dates back to more than 25,000 years, comprising of about 400 varied plant species. More notably, this “impenetrable forest” in addition protects an predictable 320 population of mountain gorillas – approximately half of the population in the world, among which are a number of habituated groups, that can be tracked by visitors.
Bwindi is habitat to more than half the world’s population of Mountain Gorillas. Actually there are over 300 mountain gorillas living here. Gorilla devotees travel to Uganda from different corners of the world to enjoy this Ultimate Safari in Uganda - Mountain Gorilla trekking / tracking in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest. The word “Bwindi” means “darkness” and taking a hike this magnificent forest will certainly unveil to you the reason why the forest was named so. You will as well be in position to fast tell why actually the forest is also regarded as Impenetrable. One requires being realistically physically fit to take part in this mountain gorilla tracking / trekking adventure because it may involve climbing the steep terrain
In addition to the endangered impressive mountain gorillas there are also 346 bird species and more than 200 butterfly species, about 324 species of trees, ten of which are only found in this area in the whole of Uganda. This is really a destination to explore. Because there are few habituated Gorillas living here (gorillas that have been trained to withstand human presence and not likely to attack), actually the time offered to see them is limited and so are the permits which currently are offered at a cost of $500 per individual. No person ever complains after spending some time with these very fascinating Mountain Gorillas in Uganda within Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, which is among the most stunning rainforest anyone will ever come across.
This biologically varied region as well offers shelter to a additional 120 mammals, among which are various primate species like the baboons plus chimpanzees, in addition to elephants as well as antelopes. Furthermore, there are about 350 bird species supported within this forest, among which are twenty three Albertine Rift endemics. The adjacent towns of Nkuringo as well as Buhoma offer a remarkable collection of luxury lodges, budget campsites, restaurants, rustic bandas and craft stalls in addition to guiding services. There are plentiful Opportunities to discover the neighboring Bakiga plus Batwa Pygmy people’s cultures which they well showcase in performances plus workshops as well as on guided village walks.
While in Uganda, besides visiting the mountain gorillas, you can take a safari to Kidepo, Murchison Falls, Queen Elizabeth, Lake Mburo National Park and other interesting tourist areas that are worth checking out.
Bwindi Impenetrable Forest Reserve was gazetted in the year of 1942 and later in 1992 it was upgraded to the Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and in 1994 it was recognized as a World Heritage Site in Uganda. In local language (Lukiga), Bwindi actually means ‘Impenetrable.’ This repeated warning is apt, for Bwindi is all however impenetrable; 327 km2 of tangled plant life draped over a deep fissured landscape of steep, slippery valleys & high, draughty ridges. However if the terrain is far from easy to manage, it’s well worth the effort. A trek through this is among Africa’s most ancient rainforests, in search of the vulnerable mountain gorilla, ranks among one of the world’s premier wildlife encounters.
Bwindi could be very cold especially in the morning & night. The annual mean temperatures range is 7°C to 20°C with the coldest months being June & July. Hence warm clothing is required, plus wet weather gear because Bwindi receives up to 2390mm of rain every year. This is centered on during 2 wet seasons, short rains in March- May & heavy rainfall in the months of September-November. In Bwindi, rain often falls as long hours of soft drizzle, instead of short tropical deluge. A tour agent will help you prepare depending on the season.
Where Else Can you see the Mountain Gorillas? A visit to Mgahinga Gorilla Park where you can trek the trans-boundary gorilla family “Nyakagezi which cross from Uganda, Rwanda and Congo or visit Volcanoes National Park Rwanda is a great opportunity to see the other half of the remaining mountain gorillas in the world. Visit the Virunga Gorilla Park for gorilla trekking and here the trek is cheap at $ 400 dollars or you can experience the low land gorillas in Kauzi biega in Congo.

Tuesday, 14 January 2014

“Bwindi Impenetrable Park Trip + Lake Bunyonyi”



Having done Safari Gorillas on several occasions with friends and family (my first was back in September), I had shield safaris also arrange trips throughout Uganda. Shield safaris arranged an excellent local guide to take us on a five day trip out to the West, including Bwindi for Mountain Gorilla Trekking, and Lake Bunyonyi. The trip was top notch - our driver had a great Land Cruiser that was very comfortable and even had its own plug in for our MP3 players and computer. The driver was always happy to go the extra mile to make our trip enjoyable and had lots of local knowledge. We were very happy with the price, which was much lower than any local companies offered. I highly recommend using Rashidah  to organize any trips of this kind - she'll be able to organize a top notch trip for very competitive prices.
video
If you like the outdoors, don't mind sweating and getting a bit dirty, and have an interest in seeing one of the most magnificent animals on the planet, read on. Seeing the gorillas in the wild is a once-in-a-lifetime experience that I wouldn't mind doing again.

On the recommendation of a friend's parents (who at a 60+ years young had a great time - although to be fair they are big bicyclers and generally very active/in shape), 3 friends and I traveled to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park to see the famous (and endangered) mountain gorillas. For a number of reasons, this was one of the most amazing and surreal experiences of my life.

We were met at the airport in Entebbe by Mastula. Tour consultant at Shield safaris Uganda, Mike was to be our driver, guide, comedian, and all around good sport for the next 3 days. He put up with our bad jokes, incessant American chatter, diverse musical choices and post-trekking stench like a champ. We booked the whole trip through Shield Safaris and were very happy.

We stayed at the Gorilla Resort in Bwindi - it was quite nice and Fred, the manager, took care of us well. The food was excellent, beers cold, beds comfortable, and showers hot, and view stunning. The rooms (well, they're tents actually) reminded me of something straight from "Out of Africa", although instead of Meryl Streep I was stuck with my buddy Greg...

In what can only be described as breathtaking (both in terms of the scenery and what it did to me physically), our hike on day 1 lasted a little over 2 hours. I don't think I will ever forget first seeing one of these big boys in the wild. A bit shy with massive bellies and deep red eyes, they were magnificent, each unique in his or her own way. I won't say too much more because I don't want to ruin it for you.

The hike on day 2 was, in my humble opinion, a bit more strenuous than the previous day. I recommend doing 2 days of trekking if you can afford it (permits are US$500/day) - the first day we only saw 4 gorillas and the second day we saw many more, including young ones. Day 2 saw more machete hacking, more mud, and more thorny bushes. Maybe this is a good time to mention that gorilla trekking, while an undeniably amazing experience, is best suited for those that are in decent (preferably good) shape. For the less mobile, apparently there is a '991 Program' whereby you can be carried by 4-8 people (depending on how many big Macs you've eaten in the past 6 months) in a stretcher to see the gorillas...

On the flip side, if you are a serious or semi-serious hiker, this is your Mecca. One to tell the grand kids about Next year, instead of going back to Yosemite, go to Bwindi with Shield safaris Uganda.