Uganda in South Africa
Great Lakes Safaris
is proud to be one of the Ugandan delegates that attended the INDABA
exhibition in South Africa. INDABA 2008 was held from 10-13 May
in Durban and is one of the largest tourism marketing events in
Africa. It not only showcased a variety of Southern African tourism
products, including safari companies, game lodges and transport,
but also attracted many international visitors and media from across
to introduce the Pearl of Africa to the Southern African market
and to improve the information flow, Great Lakes Safaris devoted
four days representing Uganda with scheduled appointments and ad-hoc
meetings. As in many countries, the presence of the mountain gorillas
turned out to be the main attraction. But visiting Uganda for a
brief gorilla safari would be an injustice to the country! With
its wide savannah plains, teemed with wildlife, snow-capped mountains,
clear lakes and lush tropical rainforests, it has so much more to
We invite you, together with our neighbours from Southern Africa
to come and experience this green heart of Africa yourself!
about the Indaba Tourism Fair...
Exclusiveness of the Nkuringo gorilla (permits)
The dense rainforest of Bwindi National Park is home to
an estimated 340 of the 720 mountain gorillas left in the world.
These 340 gorillas comprise over 32 families, each having between
10 and 30 members including one or two Silverbacks. Of the 32 groups,
only four families are accessible for tourists, though two other
groups are likely to be open for tourism by the end of this year.
To be able
to visit the small population of mountain gorillas, one needs to
purchase a gorilla permit, for which the sale always has been carefully
monitored and controlled by the Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA).
the habituation process of the Nkuringo group - one of the four
gorilla families - it was discovered that the gorillas shared their
land with the local community, which obvioulsy lead to negative
consequences for both animals and people. After several discussions
with UWA and other institutions, the Nkuringo community decided
to move from this land for the purpose of gorilla conservation.
In return, the community would be compensated by the construction
of an eco-lodge, from which a part of the revenues would go directly
this seems a generous gesture, which is fully supported by all stakeholders
in the tourism sector. However, besides the contruction of an eco-lodge,
UWA also decided to "privatize" 6 of the 8 Nkuringo permits,
such that the grant majority of tourists would have to spend their
nights in the newly built lodge.
is where the problem comes in. Since the responsibility of the lodge
management is given to The Uganda Safari Company (TUSC), this single
tour operator has now received the monopoly of the gorilla permits.
All national and foreign visitors who are interested in these permits,
can only apply when they spend at least two nights in the lodge.
A lodge where a room costs USD $900 per night...
not only a denial of your freedom to decide where to stay, but subsequently
all other local companies in the close surroundings will be put
out of business. Small guesthouses, locally owned restaurants, souvenir
shops and other suppliers, who have been welcoming tourists for
many years, now have no other choice than closing their family business.
that, also many local safari companies will be touched by this decision.
Due to the rising demand for gorilla permits, the competition is
high. But with the disputed exclusiveness via TUSC, fair competition
has become impossible.
justifies the decision to have the sale of permits handled by a
particular tour operator? The opening of a new exclusive lodge certainly
not! And more important, how will it affect the protection of the
mountain gorillas and their habitat? Contribution to the conservation
of gorillas, as well as benefiting the local community, can be realized
in so many different ways - with the fullest support of all of us!
So why should the permits be tagged to this upmarket lodge, and
consequently creating a strict selection of who can visit the gorillas
in the future and who not!
lodge is more than welcome! But to "use" the gorillas
to win extra guests can not be justified in any way! The gorillas
are a natural resource and can not "belong" to a single
safari company or accommodation.
we can not let this happen. We have urged the involved organizations
to cancel the agreement. And we need YOUR support as well! So speak
your mind and sign the following petition:
Meet our staff... Jaynefer
In the past editions you had the opportunity to meet some
of our valued and experienced guides. But also behind the scenes,
the office staff works hard to make sure that everything goes smoothly
and that your safari will become an experience of a lifetime!
who started working with Great Lakes Safaris from the very beginning.
With her never-ending dedication and commitment, she has been greatly
involved in the success of Great Lakes Safaris during the past 7
"My name is Jaynefer
Mukasa Muluya. I was raised in a humble and
Christian Born-Again family residing in one of the Kampala suburbs
called Makindye. I have visited many of the East Africa's tourism
destinations and I am really interested in promoting tourism. I
hold an MBA to suit my position and I completed my Bachelor's degree
in Tourism Management (MUK). On top of that carried on a research
about the potential of developing Aqua-Tourism in Wetlands with
the case of Uganda.
I look forward to seeing that the world is informed about the unknown
beauty and potential of tourism Uganda has. I must say that Great
Lakes Safaris has all safari satisfactions for any visitor, and
as the Office Manager, I can simply say: "It's the opening
to the wilderness of Uganda!"
forward to seeing you soon!"
For the new year of 2008 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!
9th July 2008
13th September 2008 2
10th December 2008 4
20th December 2008 6
Permits can be booked in combination with a tour to other national
parks, completely adapted to your wishes. But book early as competition
In February 2008 we met Antonio Hurtado
and his friend Daniel at the Fitur Exhibition in Madrid. In less
than a month we met again, this time in Uganda! This is whay they
say about their safari:
salio muy bien y según lo previsto. Con los gorilas muy bien
porque no tuvimos que andar demasiado y vimos a muchos, muy de cerca
y en una zona bastante soleada. Los chimpancés no tienen
nada que envidiar a los gorilas, el entorno es fantástico
(parece de la película de Tarzan). Los pudimos ver andando,
corriendo, gritando. La verdad es que fue bastante emocionante.
Nos gusto mucho Parque Nacional Queen Elizabeth; muy grande y pudimos
ver leones y muchos, muchos hipopótamos.
¡El guía Gerald estuvo fantástico en todo momento,
siempre puntual, incluso pinchando por los caminos! Dale las gracias
por adaptarse tan bien a nuesto nivel de ingles, fue capaz de explicarnos
todo lo que le preguntábamos. ¡La verdad es que estuvo
"Everything went very well and how we had planned. Especially
with the gorillas it was great, because we did not have to walk
too long and we saw many of them, from a very close distance and
in a quite sunny area. The chimpanzees don't have any reason to
envy the gorillas; the surrounding was fantastic (it looked like
the forest from the movie Tarzan). We could see them walking, running,
climbing, shouting. It was truly a thrilling experience. We also
liked Queen Elizabeth National Park; a wide area where we saw lions
and many, many hippos.
The guide Gerald was fantastic at every moment of the trip, always
keeping time and navigating well on the roads! We are thankful for
adapting to our level of English so well and he was capable to explain
us everything that we asked. He was truly wonderful!"