Great Lakes Safaris


Great Lakes Safaris

October 2007

In this newsletter we will end our safari along the jewels of Queen Elizabeth National Park. Moreover, we will inform you if the floods in Uganda are going to affect your planned safari, one of our guides will introduce himself and the winner of the Chimp Safari shares her experiences...

1.   Queen Elizabeth National Park
In the last two newletters we haven taken you on safari along the most beautiful attractions of Queen Elizabeth National Park. Join us now for the last part of this journey of discovery!

*** Kyambura Gorge ***
A real Tarzan territory can be found in the northeast of the national park. This is where the savannah grassland suddenly end into an impressive gorge of 100 meters deep and 16 kilometres long. The steep slopes are formed by the waters of the Kyambura River and make a beautiful contrast with the valley that is covered by lush riverine forest. A walking safari takes you along the river, deep down into the heart of the gorge. Follow the sounds of the chattering chimpanzees, red-tailed monkeys and other primates. Or try to catch a glimpse of the colourful forest birds, while you find your way through the thick bushes, with a blanket of dense canopy raising high above you.

*** Crater Lakes ***
One of the most scenic parts is the impressive crater area in the northwest region of the park. Formed by volcanic activity thousands of years ago, you can now explore a series of dramatic craters and dry calderas in the hilly landscape, offering stunning views of the park and its surroundings. The birdlife is spectactular, with large flocks of flamingo, but also buffaloes and other wild animals come to drink here.

*** Ishasha ***
Following the road to the southwest of Tree climbing lion in IshashaQueen Elizabeth National Park, you will enter the remote plains of Ishasha, often bypassed by many tourists. The landscape slowly changes as you pass large herds of Uganda kobs, topis and buffaloes, grazing peacefully in the savannah highlands. In the far end, the winding Ishasha River forms the natural border between Uganda and DRC Congo. Here you will find hippos at the shores, lazy drifting with the stream. The birdlife enriches the trees along the river, while curious colobus monkeys and baboons often come to take a look at the visitors.
The highlight of this area, however, is the tree-climbing lion, who likes to take a nap in the upper branches of huge fig trees. So keep your eyes open when your guide takes you for a search along one of the circuits in the southern sector!

2.   Rains in Uganda
In a green, fertile country like Uganda, where rains come and go as regularly as the transport of matooke, the "dry season" is supposed to be from June till mid September. This year, however, only a particular parts of the country have experienced some drought.

Due to severe and continuous rainfall in the entire continent of Africa, the northern and eastern part of Uganda are heavily affected by floods. Bridges are swept away, roads are destroyed and schools are damaged. Stricken districts include among others the Teso region, Gulu, Kitgum, Amuru, Mbale and even the Karamoja has been cut off from the rest of the country. Villagers are desparately trying to survive, moving around in dugout canoes, while thousands have seen their home being washed away and half a million farmers lost their only source of income, as the rain has flooded their land. Unfortunatey, weather forecasts predict even more rain in the next few months, which will make the water level rise...

Although Kampala and surroundings have been experiencing more rain than usual as well, strangely the rest of the country has not been affected at all. Travellers can visit national parks and other places of interest without being disturbed by the floods that have caused so much damage already. So no need to worry for those who planned a safari through this lovely country. Although your support to the ones in need will be highly appreciated!

3 .  Ready for CHOGM
With less than two months remaining for the final preparations, Uganda is starting to get ready as it ever will be for CHOGM. It is a conception that is on everyone's lips nowadays and the air seems to vibrate under the expectations of the upcoming event. CHOGM is undeniable present in the streets around Kampala, at the airport in Entebbe, in Ugandan business communities, in the media and especially in tourism. Hotel rooms are anxiously waiting to receive guests, while airstrips in national parks are being improved and the security is tightened. If the rest of the world is ready for CHOGM than Uganda definitely is!

4.   Permits available
In our last edition we characterized 2007 already as a tumultuous year. There has been a great run on gorilla permits, especially in the months of July and August, and inevitably many people got disappointed by the fully booked tracking dates.

But no need to worry! Great Lakes Safaris has already blocked some permits for next year's season. Thus if you want to track the mountain gorillas on any of the following dates, you are guaranteed of a permit!
          9th July 2008          6 permits available
        19th July 2008          6 permits available
        11th August 2008      8 permits available
        20th August 2008      8 permits available

Permits can be booked in combination with a tour to other national parks, completely adjusted to your wishes. However, we advise you to book early to avoid disappointment in the future!

5. Meet our guide... Gerald

From the first moment that he joined Great Lakes Safaris, Gerald Otwala has been a competent and dedicated member of our staff.
Gerald Otwala“I was born in the eastern part of the country in Soroti district, where I lead a simple existence, surrounded with friends who were hunters or cattle keepers. Before joining Great Lakes Safaris, I spent 7 years working as an interpretive guide in Queen Elizabeth National Park and also worked as a community development member on conservation.
Being a guide with Great Lakes Safaris for 3 years now, I have seen the company growing in service delivery, increasing in employees and being busy throughout the year. Above all, the most exciting part is the spirit of team work; all staff members are friendly and helpful.
We have a lot to offer for you when visiting this green country and I may even be the one to guide you. Come and we enjoy fresh fruits, the clean environment and Ugandan smiles. Wishing you well as you programme for a great safari by Great Lakes Safaris!”

5.   Testimonial

Remember who won the contest for the Chimp Safari earlier this year? It was Laura Sesar Garcia from Spain. Together with her boyfriend she came to Uganda to receive her prize and meet the primates of Uganda in an unforgettable way!
"I would like to thank you for the opportunity you have given us to share with you and with the chimps this safari, and to discover this magical country. We visited Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary, where we could see how chimps live here. We also went to Jinja to have the most popular tourist activity in the country. The rafting at the Source of the Nile was one of the most exciting experiences in my life... it is extreme!! We also visited the Kibale National Park and enjoyed the nature and wildlife!
It has been one of the most exciting holidays ever and we have great memories of the country. The local people are amazing and a great feeling of happiness surrounds Uganda!"


Next edition
In the 10th and last edition of 2007, we will look back and review the highlights of the past year. Moreover, we will give you the opportunity to test your knowledge about this lovely country and win an amazing Ugandan Surprise Box. Find out what our next newsletter has in store for you!


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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
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