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Latest News from Akorn Uganda
Gorilla permit fees to remain unchanged until 2019
Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) has confirmed that it has not increased the gorilla permit fee in the country and that the rate will remain unchanged at $600 until 2019. The authority has also informed that it continues to take bookings for a period of up to two years in advance.
Wildlife lovers can go gorilla tracking in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park or at Mgahinga Gorilla National Park. Contact us to book your clients a gorilla tracking experience today.afargtahhahahahha
Safari Secret: Kidepo National Park
Considered a hidden gem in Uganda by CNN, Kidepo Valley National Park is raw, wild and untouched Africa. Its remote location in Northern Uganda makes it the least visited park in Uganda but for those who choose to make the trip, Kidepo offers a rich array of wildlife that includes lions, elephants, buffalo and zebra as well as spectacular birdlife that features many bird species not found anywhere else in Africa.
The park has a diverse landscape with hills, valleys and lush plains. The park consists of two major valleys – Kidepo and Narus – with rivers with corresponding names which nourish the wildlife. At the extreme north are the Kanangarok Springs which are a permanent water source in the park and home to the elusive Shoebill stork.
The original inhabitants of the park are the lk community, a small hunter-gatherer ethnic group that has closely guarded its unique culture and language so much so, that neighbouring communities don’t understand it too! Also found at the outskirts of the park are the Karamoja people, a pastoralist community similar to the Maasai in Kenya. Kidepo offers a perfect serving of an exclusive safari experience with amazing wildlife and fantastic cultural interaction.
Game drives, birdwatching, guided bush walks, Karamojong Village visit, Hike up Mt Morungole and a visit to the lk people, sundowner
How to get there:
By road: A minimum 12 hour drive from Kampala via Gulu and Kitgum
By Flight: A 1hr 30 minute scheduled flight by Aerolink from Entebbe to Pakuba
Where to stay:
Apoka Safari Lodge: The only lodge found within this pristine park and offers an exclusive experience second to none. Overlooking the Narus river, this luxury lodge comprises ten expansive rooms with sitting areas, private balconies and even outdoor baths from where guests can view game at a distance. The swimming pool has been carved out of a big rock and is a great place to relax after a day in the bush.
Email us to include Kidepo National Park to your clients' itinerary.
US & UK Cabin Luggage Restrictions
On Tuesday, 21 March 2017 the USA and UK issued a ban on any electronic devices larger than a smart phone, from being carried as hand luggage in the airline cabin, when travelling to the US or UK from certain destinations. Click here for a full list of afftected airlines and airports.
This means guests travelling with a smart phone, laptop, iPad, tablet, camera, kindle, portable DVD player, electronic gaming device, travel printer or scanner bigger than 16cm x 9.3cm (medical devices needed on board are still allowed) will have to add these items to their check-in luggage. The US ban takes effect from 25 March 2017. The UK haven’t released their effective date as yet, but be warned that airlines may be implementing this.
Guests travelling from East or Southern Africa via any of these countries to a USA or UK destination, will be affected by this law. While this applies to specific international airline carriers, a guest could be booked on a code share flight, which is in fact operated by an international carrier affected by the new regulations. Guests checking their luggage straight through, should make sure make that all disallowed items are in their check-in luggage from the on-set and if they are checking luggage at the affected ports to put the items into their check-in luggage.
On 24 March 2017, Sir Tim Clark, President of Emirates Airline advised that from March 25, Emirates will enable passengers to utilise their electronic devices until the last possible moment - after which they hand their laptops or tablets into the care of Emirates staff just before boarding the US-bound flight. The devices will be carefully packed into boxes, loaded into the aircraft hold, and returned to the customer at their US destination. There will not be any charge for this service.
At this time, officials did not say how long the ban would remain in place or if other airports would be added.
A new rhino at Ziwa Sanctuary
2016 ended on a high for conservationists with the birth of a new baby rhino at the Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary in Uganda. The mother, Malaika, gave birth to a baby boy, making this the fourth birth in 2016. With 19 rhinos in the sanctuary, the program is gradually succeeding in restoring the black and white rhino to the Pearl of Africa after 50 years of extinction. Currently, it is the only place where rhinos can be seen in their natural habitat with plans to eventually move them to protected wildlife areas around the country. The sanctuary is open to the public and guests are welcome to have an upclose encounter with these rare species. Contact us to orgainise a trip to the sanctuary for your clients.
Ssekukkulu enungi: Merry Christmas, Uganda style
Christmas in Uganda revolves around catching up with the family and close friends. Uncles, aunts, cousins, brothers and sisters all travel to the patriarch’s rural home (usually a grandfather) in the village for a time of feasting and celebration.
Jjaja (grand-father) starts the preparation very early by selecting the goats and chickens to be fattened for the festivities. Christmas is never a one-day affair with friends and neighbours dropping in throughout the three or four days. Family members travel from all over Uganda (and some from further afield) all arriving at different times but all getting a warm, spirited welcome.
On Christmas morning, everyone attends kkanisa (church service) usually conducted in the local language. Priests, ministers and vicars have all been practicing their sermons for weeks and the choirs are all in their best voice. Young and old alike all dressed in their Christmas best attire join in the singing of the carols. Many a church roof has been lifted by the powerful singing.
After the service the men stoke the barbeque with hot coals as the women tie their kangas tight all in preparation of a feast. Children help out where they can and the cheekiest and fastest can sneak a chapati out of the kitchen when the adults are inattentive. The fundamental difference is that in Uganda there is very little gift giving, being with your loved ones and sharing food is gift enough.
Ssekukkulu enungi from our family to yours!
Another baby in Bwindi Forest
Bwindi Impenetrable Forest is experiencing a baby boom! On 11th November Businza, an adult female in the Rushengura family gave birth to a new baby (both mum and baby are well). This is the third birth taking place in Bwindi in the last four months. Less than 900 mountain gorillas are left in the world and at more than 450 individuals, and growing, Bwindi has the largest number of mountain gorillas found anywhere. Contact us to organise one of the rarest animal encounters that Africa has to offer.
A new baby gorilla in Bwindi Forest
The birth of a new baby gorilla last month in Bwindi Forest has brought much excitement in the community. The baby was born to Bunyindo, one of the four females in the Bushaho gorilla family, located in Nkuringo in the southern sector of the forest. This brings the total to 881 mountain gorillas living in the wild.
Apart from the Bushaho family in southern Bwindi, there are four other gorilla groups, found in Buhoma sector in northern Bwindi. These are the Mubare Group (M), Habinyanja Group (H), Bitukuru Group (B) and the Nshongi Group. A maximum of 8 visitors are allowed to be with each gorilla family per day.
We look forward to watching the numbers increase and wonder how long it will be until we can report a population of 1000! Contact us to book a memorable gorilla tracking experience for your clients or for more information on Uganda
Uganda reduces visa fees
The Uganda government announced the reduction of visa fees from US$100 to US$50 effective 22nd July 2016. Uganda is a small, year round destination in East Africa and is home to half of the remaining population of the endangered mountain gorilla. Trekking to see the gorillas (man's closest relative) is something that should be on every person's bucket list. Spending time with these primates is a memory that a person treasures forever.
We have an incredible gorilla trekking offer running from September - December 2016.
Overview: 2 nights Bwindi Impenetrable Forest from USD 2,393 per person
Inclusions: Full board accommodation for 2 nights, 1 gorilla trek per person and flights between Entebbe and Bwindi
Rates are nett and non-commissionable.
Contact us for rates in the specific months and to check for availability.
The Pearl of Africa introduces E-visa
The Ugandan government has introduced online application of visas effective 01st July 2016. All visa applications need to be made online at https://visas.immigration.go.ug/. Please see below for more information or visit the website: https://visas.immigration.go.ug/#/help/visa. For the month of July travellers can still apply for a visa on arrival but they would need to use the same online application process, which would include payment by debit or credit card. Please note that all visitors coming to Uganda need a yellow fever vaccination certificate.
VISA APPLICATION PROCESS
Step 1: Click on the application link https://visas.immigration.go.ug/#/apply
Step 2: Under visa or permit type select VisaUnder category select the visa that you need (Ordinary is a normal single entry tourist visa)
Step 3: Upload the following documents: a copy of the bio data page of your passport, your yellow fever vaccination certificate, a recent passport size photograph
Step 4: Fill in your personal details &details of your stay in Uganda
Step 5: Enter your credit card details - visa fees are USD 50 per person
Step 6: If you do not receive your visa via email please check your application on this link: https://visas.immigration.go.ug/#/check
Step 7: Print out your visa before departure and present it to immigration on arrival along with your yellow fever vaccination certificate.
Step 8: Enjoy your holiday!
Contact us for more information.
Kampala Serena's expansion and refurb
Serena Group's premier hotel in Uganda, Kampala Serena, has announced extensive plans to expand and refurbish the hotel to further enhance guest experience. Plans include partial refurbishment and alterations of the meeting rooms that will involve the creation of an Executive Lounge and additional smaller meeting rooms; upgrading facilities at the Pearl of Africa restaurant; construction of 36 additional guest rooms and a new State Suite. The new rooms are expected to be completed by March 2017. The hotel has assured its guests that any disruption will be treated sensitively and efficiently.
Ever tried a home or a farm stay?
Uganda is not only rich in nature and wildlife, but also has an undiscovered, fascinating cultural heritage. For a true cultural immersion, visit Nshenyi Village located in south western Uganda. Nshenyi Village is the perfect combination of nature and culture. It gives guests a chance to get in close contact with the local people and learn about their culture firsthand. The activities that form part of the overall visitor experience include milking cows, processing the milk using traditional methods, visiting a farm to learn about crop harvesting methods, cooking lessons, nature walks, hill climbing, tree planting, bird watching, visiting a Batwa (pygmy) community to see their pottery works, and learning traditional fishing techniques. One can visit a local trading center or village market to observe and join in the activities, buy a craft or fresh fruit while engaging in price haggling which makes shopping in Africa very interesting. A cultural village is recommended for guests who enjoy culture, nature, and the tranquil rural environment.
Ever tried a home or farm stay? Contact us to organise a day at a cultural village today.
Giraffe translocation in Murchison Falls National Park
The Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) is in the process of trans-locating twenty Rothschild giraffes from the north to the south of Murchison Falls National Park. The move is meant to expand the range of the giraffes following exploration activities taking place in the northern banks of the park. Two giraffes will also be moved to the Uganda Wildlife Education Center in Entebbe. UWA last year trans-located fifteen giraffes to Lake Mburo from Murchison Falls. Uganda hosts the only natural remaining population of close to 1000 of the 2,500 Rothschild Giraffe species in the world. The rest are in small populations reintroduced in parks in Kidepo Valley, Murchison Falls, Lake Mburo National parks and in conservancies in Kenya.
New road makes travel between Rwanda and Uganda easier
It will now be easier for visitors to move between Rwanda and Uganda thanks to a new road that links Kigali to the border town of Gatuna and to the nearest Ugandan town of Kabale. The 78 kilometre long road will help improve road connectivity between the two countries which are home to the world's remaining population of the mountain gorilla. The Virunga Mountains in Rwanda, Bwindi Impenetrable Forest and Mgahinga National Park in Western Uganda are the only destinations where visitors can track and encounter man's closest animal relative. To enjoy one of the most unforgettable animal experiences that Africa has to offer, please contact us today.
Kampala introduces city bus tours
The Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) will soon be introducing city bus tours that will see guests tour the historical features in the city. The city tour will includes stopovers at the Namugongo Martyrs Shrine, Bahai Temple, Old Kampala Mosque that gives a bird's eye view of the entire city skyline, Kasubi tombs, Uganda Museum, and Makerere University - one of the oldest and most prestigious universities in East and Central Africa. The tours, which are popular in European cities such as Paris, will be a great introduction to the city built on seven hills.
UWA introduces 2 new gorilla families
The Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) is pleased to announce the introduction of two new gorilla families in Rushaga, Kisoro in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. For the last two years, the Bukingi and Bushabo families have been going through habituation - the process that enables gorillas to get used to human presence - and have been confirmed as ready for tourists. Their addition brings the total number of gorilla families in Bwindi to fourteen.
Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is one of the two parks in the world where visitors can track the endangered mountain gorillas. Contact us to organise a gorilla tracking safari today.
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