Great Lakes Safaris


Great Lakes Safaris

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Suzie House, Ggaba Road
P.O. Box 33024
Kampala, Uganda
Tel: +256 (0) 414 267 153
        +256 (0) 772 426 368
Fax: +256 (0) 414 267 153
Safari vehicle

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Tourism Uganda

Tourism Uganda



Uganda Wildlife

August 2009

In this newsletter we will update you about the fire situation in the Virunga region, reveal the undiscovered beauty of Budongo Forest Reserve and share with you the latest news about our NEW safari accommodation!

In this month's newsletter:

Forest fire in the Virungas
Budongo Forest - Primate and Bird's Paradise
New Safari Accommodation for Great Lakes Safaris!
Obama born in Uganda
Fund raising for the Ugandan people
Permits availability
Safari testimonial


1. Forest fire in the Virungas
In the last few weeks, the alarming news about a forest fire in East Africa may have reached you. We too have been concerned about the safety of the mountain gorillas and other animals that are living in the border area of Uganda, Rwanda and DR Congo. This area is the only place in the world that is home to the endangered mountain gorillas. Of the total populationMountain Gorilla in Uganda of 720 gorillas, more than half are living in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest on the Ugandan side.

The bush fire started on Saturday 18 July in the Mufumbiro mountain range and crossed to Uganda. The fire ravaged Mgahinga Gorilla National Park, but was managed to be stopped the same day, just in time to avoid more damages and fire crossings. Although a part of this Ugandan national park was destroyed, no gorillas were harmed directly by the fire and gorilla trackings in Bwindi National Park continue as usual, as well as other tourism activities. Also in Parc National des Volcans the gorillas were safe, as the fire did not come in the proximity of the gorilla habitat. Read more...


2. Budongo Forest - Primate and Bird's Paradise
You all may be well known with the undoubtedly Baboons in Budongo Forest Reservemost popular national park in Uganda: Murchison Falls National Park. But when visiting this park, chances are high that a very unique and beautiful area will be passed unnoticed...

Budongo Forest Reserve covers an area of almost 800 sq km, having one of the largest forests in Uganda and an incredible biodiversity.

What makes Budongo Forest so special?
          Home to 800 chimps; one of the largest communities of chimpanzees in
             the country!
          Apart from the chimpanzee families, it counts 8 other species of primates!
          Belongs to one of the largest Mahogany forests in East Africa, with age-old              trees growing up to 80 meters!
          Home to 360 species of birds including rare forest bird species!
          Trails with a total network of 115 km for amazing forests walks!
          Offering magnificent views over Murchison Falls National Park, Lake Albert
             and Congo.

Not yet fully convinced? Then continue reading because we will give you one more, irresistible reason why Budongo Forest should be part of your itinerary!


3. NEW Safari Lodge for Great Lakes Safaris
Great Lakes Safaris is delighted to announce the opening of our third safari accommodation, located in the heart of Budongo Forest in Murchison Falls National Park. Thanks to winning
the concession that was awarded by National Forest Authority (NFA), we are able to expand our safari accommodations in the national parks of Uganda.
From 1st August 2009, we will be managing the accommodation and restaurant facilities, as well as the many different activities that are offered in this tropical forest, including:
          Chimp Tracking
          Chimp Habituation
          Forest Walks
          Bird Watching
The management of the Kaniyo Pabidi Eco Tourism Site will be done in collaboration with the National Forest Authority (NFA), in order to develop this relatively unknown tourism site and to protect the forest reserve with its unique species of primates, birds and plants.

Wanting to know more about our new safari lodge? We will keep you posted in our next newsletter!


4. Obama born in Uganda
Although Obama has his roots in our neighbouring country, we also are proud of the president of the USA. And we are even more pleased to introduce you to our own, little Obama, born in Uganda.

On 24th June 2009, one of the white rhinos gave birth to a calf; the first baby rhino born in Uganda in 27 years. As the little animal was sired by a bull that was brought from KenBaby rhino "Obama"ya and a mother donated by Disney's Animal Kingdom in USA, the calf is proudly carrying the name "Obama".

In the past, Uganda used to be home to thousands of rhino. Regretfully this member of the Big 5 got extinct in 1982 due to extensive poaching. But the birth of Obama proves that there is hope again for the rhinos in our country, with the help of Rhino Fund Uganda. Read more...


5. Fund raising for the Ugandan people
Being a safari company, our primary goal is the satisfaction and happiness of every single tourist that visits Uganda. But it doesn't stop there. We are well aware that there are still many people in Northern and Eastern Uganda who are not blessed as we are. And that we could have been the ones in that situation, if God had not chosen otherwise...

Despite the fact that the Northern and Eastern parts of the country have stabilized after years of unrest, many families are suffering from food shortage and famine. Due to the change in climate, these remote areas have been affected by heavy water floods and extreme drought, destroying the crops that were carefully planted.

For this reason, the Association of Uganda Tour Operators (AUTO) has started a fund raising campaign - initiated and managed by Great Lakes Safaris - in order to support the affected people. Fellow tour operators have been requested to make a donation, which received an incredible response, proving the solidarity of all members. Contributions varied between USD $100 and $500 per company, making a total at this moment of USD $3850 plus 200 kg of beans and posho that can feed over 50 families for a month! And collections are still going on!

We would like to take this opportunity to say a HUGH thank you to all who have supported the project! If you are interested in joining this noble initiative and add your personal contribution, please contact us for more details.


6. Permits availability
For 2009 and 2010 we have still have permits available. Thus if you want to track the mountain gorillas on any of the following dates, you are guaranteed of a permit!
       20 August 2009             2 permits available
       31 August 2009             4 permits available
       02 October 2009            2 permits available
       15 December 2009        6 permits available
       31 December 2009        4 permits available
       16 July 2010                  6 permits available
       24 July 2010                  6 permits available
       30 July 2010                  8 permits available
       11 August 2010             8 permits available
       20 August 2010             8 permits available
       30 August 2010             8 permits available
       20 December 2010        4 permits available
Permits can be booked in combination with a tour to other national parks, completely adapted to your wishes. But book early as competition is high!


7. Safari testimonial
In January 2009, Nienke Struijk from The Netherlands came to Kampala for her gradution. After this project her parents travelled to Uganda as well to join her on a safari with Great Lakes Safaris. This is what family Struijk says about their safari trip:
"We had a fantastic holiday! First of all, it was nice being reunited with our daughter and to be able to travel in Uganda with our family. Everything was well arranged and also the accommodations were well maintained, with good service and food.
Our guide Noel was a friendly and caring man, a very good driver and an excellent guide. He even arranged a special birthday surprise, so nothing but praise for him. Moreover, Uganda is a beautiful, green country with very friendly people. We enjoyed the safaris through the stunning national parks and the many wild animals.

All in all, it was a great experience, very well organized by Great Lakes Safaris and we will definitely recommend your company to our friends and family. Thank you for the good care and assistance."


In our next issue:
     - Introduction of Uganda Wildlife Lodges
     - More details of the new Budongo Eco Lodge
     - Great Lakes Safaris on international TV
     - And much more!

If you have any questions or comments concerning the newsletter please contact us!

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