A Guide to Endangered Species of Uganda

Beautiful Uganda is a popular tourist destination for animal lovers. Its 236,580 square kilometres of lush jungles, rolling green hills and savannas are home to many wildlife species, including a number that are endangered.

Probably the most famous of Uganda’s wild animals are its rare Mountain Gorillas. It is estimated that there may only be 800 of these great apes left in the wild. Of these, approximately 300 live in Uganda’s Bwindi Impenetrable Forest. Over the years, a number of threats, including poaching, hunting, human civil wars, and loss of habitat have wreaked havoc on the mountain gorilla’s population. Today, Uganda’s government has been working hard to protect the gorillas, especially since they are now responsible for bringing in a large amount of tourism dollars to the country.

A Mountain Gorilla in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park
Mountain Gorilla in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park

The Rothschild giraffe, which is also known as the Ugandan giraffe is also another endangered species. It is believed that there are only 670 of these giraffes left in the wild today. The Rothschild is the tallest giraffe, and it has dark brown rectangular spots with ill-defined cream-colored lines. These beautiful giraffes can only be found in Uganda and Kenya.

A Rothschild Giraffe in Murchison Falls National Park
A Rothschild Giraffe in Murchison Falls National Park

In the 1970s, during the presidency of Idi Amin, Uganda’s rhinoceros population, which was thought to have consisted of approximately 100 white and 300 black rhinos, were left unprotected and were wiped out by poachers. Today, the government is making an effort to reintroduce these rare animals back to Uganda. In 2012, two white rhinos were born in Uganda’s Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary, which is now home to 12 of these magnificent animals.

A Rhino in the Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary
A Rhino in the Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary

The population of Uganda red colobus monkeys have dropped by 89 percent from 1975 to 2007 and it is now listed as endangered on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Surprisingly, researchers have discovered that one of the main threats to these monkeys — at least in Uganda’s Kibale National Park may be chimpanzees, which are preying on the colobus. Loss of habitat and disease are also factors in this monkey’s reduced population.

Sadly, the chimpanzee, itself, is also endangered. There are only about 5,000 of these human-like primates left in Uganda — down from a population that at one time was believed to have numbered 50,000. Although, chimpanzees are protected, their numbers are still being threatened by hunting and loss of habitat.

Chimpanzees in the Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary
Chimpanzees in the Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary

The African Wild dog is another endangered species that has a very small population in Uganda. It is believed that the wild dog, which has been hunted to near extinction in much of Africa, can still be found in Uganda’s remote Kidepo Valley National Park.
Cheetahs are another rare animal that can be found in the Kidepo Valley National Park. There have also been some reported sightings of these beautiful spotted animals in Uganda’s Murchison Falls National Park. Cheetahs are considered a vulnerable species on the IUCN’s Red List.
For animal lovers, getting a chance to see these rare and magnificent creatures can be an once-in-a-lifetime thrill. Unfortunately, it can also be quite an expensive endeavor. One way to save money, however, is to choose self-catering accommodations, such as Ugandan holiday apartments. These are typically cheaper than a hotel, and tourists can also save money by cooking their own meals.

Uganda Safaris Desk

African Adventure Travellers Ltd

Posted in Adventure Travel | 2 Comments

7 Must Travel Destinations for Kayakers in Africa

When many people think of visiting Africa, they envision lively markets and wild safaris.  Certainly, Africa’s land is home to some of the most astounding cultures, landscapes and wildlife in the world.  Yet, its coasts are just as diverse and striking.  To ignore the beauty of Africa’s’ coasts would be to insult her beauty.

One of the best ways to experience the majesty of Africa’s coasts and oceans is from a kayak.  As kayakers know, the sport offers an intimate experience with one’s surroundings.  On kayaks, people can approach sights in ways boats cannot.  If you want to really experience Africa, consider kayaking in one of these seven areas.  Here are the seven best destinations for kayakers in Africa, listed in no particular order.

Langebaan, Paternoster and St. Helena Bay

Located slightly north of Cape Town, the Langebaan route extends from the village Mykonos to that of Langebaan.  It runs across the Langebaan Lagoon, and kayakers can continue past Langebaan to Oesterval, Churchaven and Kraalbaai.  The scenery will likely remind you of Greece, if you have traveled there.  Although this is a relatively safe area to kayak, kayakers regularly encounter swells in the open water.  The best time to visit, when these are reduced, is in the autumn.  The spring also is beautiful, as flowers begin to bloom.

For a more tranquil paddle, kayakers should consider Paternoster and St. Helena Bay.  These areas have similar beauty, but they offer more protection from the weather.  In season, dolphins and whales come into these protected waters.

Cape Town

The best route in this area is the Bolders Route.  It runs along the Atlantic Coast, beginning at Long Beach.  While paddling this, kayakers will have a chance to see Simon’s Town, and several protected beaches: Boulders, Windmill and Fisherman’s.  Each of these beaches is a different distance, so people can choose the best paddle for themselves.  In addition to sea kayaking, visitors can go diving, fishing, swimming and see penguins in this historical town.

Plettenberg Bay and Knysna Lagoon

Plattenberg bay sits in the center of the Garden Route and is surrounded by mountains reaching into the sky.  Most kayakers begin at Main Beach, near Beacon Island, and go to the point of Robberg Penunsula.  In addition to the natural beauty, kayakers encounter whales, dolphins and seals in season.  Kayakers in this area should also visit Knysna Lagoon, which is known for the Heads.

KwaZulu-Natal

KwaZulu-Natal is the California of Africa.  The culture is laid back and about having fun. In keeping with its culture, this is an amusement park for kayakers. The only launch point is from Vetch’s Pier, and, after launching, kayaks are guided through the narrow passage by a line.  The little swells, which leap over nearby reefs are fun.  Yet, the most unique attraction is a slide.  Kayakers can slide down a stack of containers directly into the surf!

Namibia

The Pelican Point Route in Namibia is one of the most popular kayaking routes in Africa.  Guides take travelers by 4×4 to Pelican Point.  From there, kayakers launch and paddle among a variety of birds.  Pelicans and flamingos abound along the shallow waters, while cormorants, terns and gulls fill the sky.  Before retiring for the night, be sure to watch the desert turn purple as the sun sets.

Malawi

In Malawi, the people are as interesting as the wildlife and fauna.  Along either of the popular routes, the Cape Maclear route or Dumba Island route, one is likely to encounter a native paddler on the water.  The indigenous people craft canoes out of balsa trees.  An ancient type of boat juxtaposed against modern kayaks is a sight to behold.

Kowie and Port Alfred

Kowie and Port Alfred are two coastal rivers near Port Elizabeth.  For inexperienced kayakers, these can be great places to become acquainted with the sport.  The still showcase the beauty of Africa, while offering protection from the open sea.

Any of these seven kayaking destinations in Africa will allow people to enjoy the water and experience the continent.  On your paddle, you will marvel at the scenery and enjoy the wildlife.  Once the day is over, be sure to also appreciate the local culture and villages.

Author Bio: Zach Daniel helps Morocco Tours, a travel company that provides private Morocco tours that allow people to fully experience Morocco.

African Safaris Desk

African Adventure Travellers Ltd

Posted in Adventure Travel | 3 Comments

Sports Fishing In Uganda: Satisfaction Guaranteed

Sports Fishing In Uganda: Satisfaction Guaranteed

If you are a true sport fisher you will go to great lengths to get your hands on what’s at the end of that fishing rod, especially if it’s a majestic Nile Perch, straight out of the pristine waters of Ugandan Nile. Catching a 200 kg Nile Perch is a life changing event, even if it means saving for years and planning for months in advance to sort airplane tickets, visa, Manchester airport parking, money issues, accommodation, itinerary and equipment… One thing is guaranteed: your efforts will be 100% rewarded.

Water Based Tourism In Uganda

If you are an adventure sports aficionado into sports fishing, kayaking and rafting, you will be happy to learn that 25% of Uganda is covered by water with 350 fish species roaming Ugandan water bodies. In February 2012 AllAfrica reported that the National Investment Policy on Aquaculture Parks in Uganda will be increasing the value of aquaculture production from 90, 000 tonnes (that’s $180 million in value!) to 300, 000 tonnes by 2016. Farm fishing is developing rapidly, and the popularity of fishing safaris in Uganda is rising (together with the prices), so doing research and learning as much as you can beforehand may help you schedule the best trip at the minimal price.

Lake Victoria

Lake Victoria is the largest tropical lake in the entire world as well as the second largest freshwater lake by surface area. Lake Victoria also supports the largest inland fishery in all of Africa. The lake features many isles with the Sesse Group being the most frequently visited. The isles boast beautiful health resorts and sightseeing.

Fish

Niloticus, Tilapia spp., Haplochromis spp., Labeo victorianus, Alestes baremose, Clarias spp., Bagrus docmac, Protopterus aethiopicus, Barbus, Scibe.

Lake Albert

Lake Albert is one of the Great African Lakes and is 5,300 km² in area, with a maximum depth of 51 metres. It features swampy areas at the southern end of the lake.

Fish

Alestes baremose, Lates niloticus, Hydrocynus forskalli, Clarias lazera, Mormyrus kanume, Polypterus sp., Tillapia spp., Citharinus cithanus, Barbus spp., Distichodus niloticus.

Lake Edward

Lake Edward is the smallest of the Great African Lakes with an area of 2,325 km2. The lake is abundant with fish, with over 50 species of Haplochromis, only 8 of which are formally described.

Fish

Bagrus docmac, Sarothelodon niloticus, S. leucostictus, Haplochromis spp., Hemihaplochromis multicolur, Schutzia eduardiana.

Lake Kyoga

Lake Kyoga is a shallow lake with a maximum depth of about 5.7 meters and is 1,720 km2 in area. The lake is covered with water lilies in areas less them 3 metres deep. Crocodiles abound in the lake, as well as 46 species of fish.

Fish

Lates niloticus, Synodontis victoriae, Engraulicypris argentus, Barbus kiogae, Tilapia esculenta, T. variabilis, Mormyrus kanumme, Clarias mossambicus, Schilbe mystus, Haplochromis macrodon.

The Nile

Besides fishing in Murchison Falls National Park, the Nile offers multiple water adventure sports opportunities, such as kayaking and whitewater rafting.

Kayaking on the White Nile offers drastic variations from the almost tranquil Class II to fast-flowing Class V rapids. The Class VI rapid is called Hypoxia, and it’s something for each dedicated kayaker to try out.

Whitewater rafting on the Nile features the extremes of exploding through majestic walls of whitewater to drifting peacefully in warm green pools. The sunshine is never ending and the water is at a heavenly 27°C.

The Planning

You can plan your fishing safaris by yourself or opt for ready-made packages. If you are a beginner in recreational fishing, Uganda safaris can provide a rare chance to master your skills in the ancient waters of African wilderness. If you are a seasoned professional, you may take this chance to experience sports fishing like you have never seen it before. Considering the demand in Uganda fishing safaris it is best to start planning well in advance.

Uganda Safari Tours Desk

African Adventure Travellers Ltd

Posted in Adventure Travel | 3,902 Comments