Wildebeests at Great Migration - Big group of animals

Wildebeests Kenya

THE WILDEBEEST MIGRATION IN EASTAFRICA 

The wildebeest migration is an amazing annual occasion to watch that you wouldn’t want to leave out on your to do list in Africa. The event is recognized as one of the seven wonders of the Natural World, famously known to take place in East Africa, particularly in Kenya’s Masai Mara National Park and Tanzania’s Serengeti National Park.It is amazing how the wildebeests never lose their way to Masai Mara national park and also as they come back to Serengeti national park. Usually, wildebeest live in the Serengeti plains, where they spend majority of their lives grazing in the grassy savannas and open woodlands of the plains that divide Tanzania and Kenya.

The event happens annually where a population of over 1.5million wildebeest migrate from Tanzania to Kenya and vice versa following the seasonal rains, as they migrate they are accompanied by some other species of animals such as the zebras, Grant’s gazelle, Thompson’s gazelle, elands and impalas. . It is amazing how the wildebeests never lose their way to Masai Mara national park and also as they come back to Serengeti national park. The wildebeests face difficulties during their migration, including the risk of being devoured by lions on land and crocodiles when they cross rivers such as river Grumeti.

 The wildebeest are believed to migrate for a couple of reasons such as looking for greener pastures of plains rich in nutritious grass to provide best conditions for raising their new calves and also to protect the newborn calves from predators like lions on the hunt for vulnerable newborns.

What time of the year do the wildebeest migrate?

The wildebeest migrate in different months of the year following the rain season and their birthing periods.

          Around January or February, the wildebeests are in the Ngorongoro Crater highlands and Olduvai Gorge giving birth to newborn calves which takes about 2-3weeks, the new born calves are very vulnerable and stand a risk of being eaten by predators on the hunt. It’s fascinating to observe the tension between the wildebeest and the predators at this time.

          In April, along with hundreds of zebra, the wildebeest trek northwest towards the center Serengeti in search of new pasture.

          In May, the wildebeest continue to roam the Serengeti, passing by camps that offer excellent vantage points to see them move, and at the end of May, the mating season starts.The wildebeest, zebra, and gazelle continue to graze while traveling at a leisurely pace. Here the journey is towards the GrumetiRiver.

          During June, the dry season starts with large concentrations of wildebeest in the Serengeti on the banks of Grumeti River, here the animals are faced with a challenge of crossing the river where they are prone to being eaten by crocodiles.

          In July, the wildebeests and zebras are headed for a more challenging situation of crossing the Mara River in the north of the Serengeti, however by the end of July the animals have successfully crossed the Mara River in Serengeti which stretches up to Masai Mara.

          By August, the herds have started spreading throughout the Masai Mara ‘s northern region with some still in Serengeti facing the challenge of crossing the river. Here the tension is high for the animals since the river is in full flow and there is great loss of life due to the hungry predators hunting after them.

          By September, the main chaos has ended but to be encountered again as the wildebeest head back to Serengeti.

          In October and November, the wildebeest head to Serengeti.

          By December, they are already spread in the South of Serengeti where they are lush rains.

How much does it cost to see wildebeest Migration?

This really depends in which part you are and in the camps you are residing in, however the park entrance fees are a bit expensive.

In Masai Mara, 70$ is charged per person per day.

THE WILDEBEEST MIGRATION, A WONDER TO REMEMBER!

 

 

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WHERE CAN I SEE BIRDS IN KENYA?

The nation of Kenya is regarded as a bird lover’s heaven with 1154 bird species, 11 being endemic like William’s Lark, Hinde’s Babbler among others and 4 introduced by human. The country is also known for its great wildlife safaris where you will see mammals like the lion, leopard, giraffe, spotted hyena and others. While on these wildlife safaris, you will have the opportunity to see some of these bird species for example; the African Fish Eagle, African Emerald Cuckoo, Bar-tailed Trogon, Dickinson’s Kestrel and many more.However, Kenya offers a variety of birding places with ideal environmental conditions and a suitable geographical context for watching the birdssuch as rift valley areas and hilly areas.

Kenya’s well-known birding locations include;

·         Natural parks:

Nairobi National Park, a city park located in the Capital city of Kenya. Here your eyes will land on bird species like Hornbill, the multicolored Red-and-yellow Barbet, not leaving out the flamingos on Lake Magadi and many more. The nature of the park is primarily an open grassy plain with sporadic Acacia bushes and with a large and diverse wildlife population of species like lion, leopard, African buffalo, giraffe, and hippopotamus among others. Throughout the year, Nairobi National Park is a fantastic place to observe birds, but November to April are the greatest months because this is when the migratory from Europe and North Africa arrive. Due to the timing of nesting season, many species are doing so now.

Ruma National Park located in Suba district close to Lake Victoria, the only park in Nyanza province. The park is a home to over 350 bird species including endangered species, vulnerable species and near-threatened species.The most renowned bird species in the area is the uncommon African migrant blue swallow, which is noted for living there. The bird species found in Ruma National Park include; Helmeted Guineafowl, Harlequin Quail, Crested Francolin, European Bee-eater, Meyer’s Parrot, White-bellied Tit and many more.

Amobseli National Park located in Kajido in the southern region of Kenya. The savanna grassland and woodland that cover the park offer the ideal habitats for birdlife and other wildlife. The park provides habitats to over 400species of birds, some will be spotted on the water areas like the Pelicans, King fisher, Egrets as well as some in the grass like the bustard birds among others. The best time for bird watching in Amboseli National Park is during the months of November, December, January, April and May, because around this time are migratory birds.

Other national parks with bird watching includeChyulu Hills National Park, Manas National Park, Tsavo West National Park and Samuburu National Park

·         Lakes

Especially the rift valley lakes, with features that harbor variety of either land or water bird species. These lakes include;

Lake Nakuru, famously known for having the highest number of flamingo birds in the world. You will find other species like; Greater spotted Eagle, Pallid Harrier, Grey-crested Helmet-shrike and others

Lake Naivasha is part of the Great Rift Valley with over 400 different bird species including threatened species, rare species, endangered species, and migratory species. List of bird species include; the ducks, guineafowl, grouse, flamingos, pigeons, cuckoos, cranes and many more.

Lake Elementaita, a spot known for also flamingo watching along with other birds like; Black Crakes, African Jacanas, Grebes

Other lakes for bird watching include; lake Baringo, Lake Victoria.

·         Kakamega Forest, is an outstanding birding destination covered with a magnificent tropical rainforest that harbors mammals like Bush pigs, Colobus monkey, Pottos and many more. The forest is also a habitat for a variety of bird species like the Blue-headed Bee-eater, Grey Parrot and also the Blue Turaco. The forest has a lot to offer for all bird lovers.

You can also watch birds in Kenya in places like; Kisumu Impala Sanctuary, Crescent Island Sanctuary, Mt. Kenya and Mt. Aberdare.

What you need to carry for bird watching.

·         Cameras and extra batteries for taking pictures of the bird species you spot.

·         Boots for hiking as you walk through the forest trails and in mountainous areas.

·         Binoculars to enable you look closely at birds that may be so far like up on the trees.

·         Notebook to list down a number of birds spotted and their names as told by your guide

·         Insect repellant to avoid bites from insects as you go through the forests.

·         A water bottles to take water on breaks after walking some long trails in forests.

·         You can carry any extra items that you thick you might need.

 KENYA, A BIRD LOVER’S HEAVEN!

 

 

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Game drives in Uganda

Getting Closer to the Big Animals with Guided Safari Game Drives in Uganda

Guided safari game drives in Uganda and other African destinations involve traveling through a savannah park in a four-by-four safari vehicle, accompanied by a professional local guide, and observing wild animals. A game drive is a highlight of every traditional Africa safari, taking you deep into the natural environment and bringing you closer to the great and small animals inside the safe boundaries of a 4×4.

The most enjoyable guided game drives will take place between the foggy daybreak and late in the chilly nights or at night, when most animals are most active. Every game drive, regardless of safari destination, is unique, making animal encounters surprising and thrilling. However, the operational structure with different ground operators may be identical.

 

In Uganda, a regular game drive may last 3-4 hours. Other game drives last longer than six hours, with short intervals to let the passenger to stretch, loosen up, and snack. For brief stops, the guide generally finds a location with nice views of the plains. For early morning wildlife drives, several safari camps provide breakfast settings in the bush. Afternoon game drives are typically planned to conclude with a well-timed refreshing sundowner. The local guide is most often your driver, and he or she will be in charge of the adventure excursion, finding the animals, bringing you via unexpected game viewing paths, and telling you funny anecdotes about your wildlife experiences.

Although animal numbers in Uganda’s safari parks do not compare to those seen in eastern locations, wildlife viewing on an expert-guided safari game drive in Uganda is significantly more gratifying. Because the number of tourist cars in the game parks is a fraction of those visiting more developed areas, game drives in Uganda are more private. On a good day, seeing a lion, elephant, or leopard is a rare treat, and such encounters are rarely shared with swarms of cars.

On Uganda’s savannah plains, famous game drive sights include tree-climbing lions in Queen Elizabeth National Park’s Ishasha sector, elephants, buffalo, leopard, several antelope species, hippo, and the isolated Rothchild’s giraffe.

Expect to be driven in a largely closed 4×4 Land Cruiser with huge windows for each seat and a roof pop-up for photography. In other cases, you could find an open-sided four-by-four cruiser at some campgrounds, although it’s unlikely in Uganda. Uganda safaris are conducted in closed cruisers to avoid long, winding drives from the airport to the safari site.

Early morning safari game drives – Number of guided safari game drives per day

Sunrise safari game drives are more rewarding, especially when it comes to seeing predators at their most active.

Number of guided safari game drives per day

In general, two game drives each day are excellent. On the afternoon of your arrival, you should expect to go on your first safari game drive. Safaris departing from Bwindi Impenetrable National Park’s trekking gorillas cannot skip the tree-climbing adventure of Queen Elizabeth National Park’s southern Ishasha region.

Safari vacations typically include at least two game drives every day, one in the morning and one in the afternoon, lasting between three to five hours each. On your final day in the park, your local guide may include another safari game drive on the way to your next destination.

Assume you’re staying at a safari park or lodge for three nights. In that situation, your agenda calls for six short game drives. Photography safaris typically include one safari drive every day that lasts 6-10 hours and includes a picnic lunch. Travers who prefer a single drive each day are more likely to return to the camp’s more leisurely activities in the afternoons, such as nature viewing, hikes, conversations, swimming, reading a book, or seeing local cultural presentations.

The native driver-guide on all-inclusive Uganda safari vacations is normally paid per day to chauffeur, supervise, and lead 1-6 visitors per vehicle. They can decide how many safari game drives are conducted every day. You should consult with your guide or tour manager first thing in the morning or after each safari drive to establish how many drives you should have that day and when the next one should be.

Our own customized Uganda safari game drive accommodates one to six passengers (without the guide), with each occupant having an adjustable window seat with appropriate legroom.

The highlight of guided safari game drives in Uganda is seeing lions. The highlight of guided safari game drives in Uganda is seeing lions.

Which Ugandan places offer wildlife drives?

The most gratifying safari game drives in Uganda take place in four of the country’s 10 national parks. The country’s wildlife reserves provide limited opportunities for animal observation. In southern Uganda, Queen Elizabeth National Park and Lake Mburo National Park are popular with travelers wishing to explore the primate-rich rainforests of Bwindi and Kibale. Murchison Falls National Park in the northwest along the Victoria Nile and the vast wilderness Kidepo National Park in the far northeastern part are two of the most popular safari destinations for safaris lasting more than a week or two.

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Is white water rafting in Jinja, Uganda safe?

Because the crew is highly trained and skilled in negotiating the rapids, whitewater rafting is completely safe. For your own safety and enjoyment, it is critical to follow the advice of the guides. Participants are provided with life jackets and protective helmets in case they trip. To avoid stumbling, grasp on to the ropes around the raft or bring your legs to your chest each time you plunge beneath the waves.

 

The Nile has deep waters, so there is no need to be concerned about falling on rocks. Rafting is more risky in many countries because you might hit a rock while you fall, even though the waves are weaker. Because the threat from the rocks is minor, the guides in Jinja are more ready to let the rafts roll over numerous times. Furthermore, multiple rescue teams in Kayaks travel ahead of the group with the objective of rescuing any trapped rafters. The rescue squad is also in charge of transporting food and fresh fruit for consumption during the major break. Aside from the rescue kayaks, there are also safety boats that transport people who no longer want to participate.

 

The rafts for families with smaller children and teens do not travel over the most challenging and dangerous rapids. They choose a different path to explore the river’s forest and other channels, going over lesser rapids and lovely islands. Important facts about Jinja white water rafting In Jinja, there are around four firms that provide whitewater rafting services, including Nalubale Rafting, Nile River Explorers, and Adrift. The activity may be arranged directly with the companies or via a reliable travel operator.

 

White water rafting costs between $140 and $255, depending on whether the activity is full or half day. Jinja 2 Days Whitewater rafting is the most costly category and generally begins with a tour to Jinja and the Nile’s source. You do not need to be concerned about photographs. The security Kayakers and rafters bring equipment and a photographer to record the action. The At the finish line, the images may be purchased on a CD for roughly $70 for each raft.

 

White water rafting in Jinja is best done during the dry seasons of January to February or June to September but everyday is a day to raft the Nile. The sky are clear with intense sunshine during the dry seasons of the year. It is critical to use sunscreen to avoid developing red skin. You’ll need extra clothes and money for after-rafting.

 

Charges:Instead of traditional whitewater rafting, visitors can choose for Jet Boat rides. This entails taking a speed boat down the Nile rapids in Jinja. Life jackets and helmets are supplied to all participants. The jet boats are made in New Zealand and have a highly skilled crew. Jet boat rides cost $75 for adults and $50 for children under the age of 12.

Another fun activity to consider when visiting Jinja and the Nile River is Nile tubing. This entails floating down the Nile in an inflatable tube while observing birds, sunbathing, and admiring the lovely environment around the Nile. The exercise can be organized on calm/level waterways or near the rapids. Whitewater rafting may be paired with other significant activities like as gorilla trekking in Bwindi, a visit to the Murchison Falls National Park, or a visit to the Queen Elizabeth National Park.

 

 

The most generally perceived a perceptible part in the towns close to Uganda's tropical rainforests is the porches that envelops many green slants. From your appearance in the country's central air terminal Entebbe, numerous safari timetables will commonly go toward the west piece of Uganda where many parks public
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NGAMBA ISLAND CHIMPANZEE SANCTUARY

Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary is a project of the Chimpanzee Sanctuary and Wildlife Conservation Trust, which was founded in 1998 by Dr. Jane Goodall and a small group of pioneering leaders who saved around 13 chimps, thereby establishing Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary. Ngamba has developed over the years to sustain the existence of over 49 orphaned or rescued chimps from the illicit wildlife trade, making it one of Africa’s best and foremost monkey sanctuaries, offering a home to orphaned or rescued chimps who cannot return to the wild.  Since their return to the wild is not possible, Ngamba Island serves as a tourism and research facility, educating tourists and local residents about the amazing species and the necessity of protecting their endangered forest environment. Ngamba Island is located in Lake Victoria, 23 kilometers southeast of Entebbe district, and covers around 100 acres, 98 of which are wooded and separated from the visitors’ area by an electric fence where the chimps wander throughout the day. Ngamba Island is an ideal secondary forest habitat for chimps and other fauna such as fruit bats, spiders, fish eagles, otters, and monitor lizards.

 

The journey to Ngamba Island begins with a meeting spot on Entebbe Lugard Avenue. Departure is a short walk from the dock, and access to the island is only via speedboat (about 50 minutes) or conventional powered boat (roughly 90 minutes). The crossing to Ngamba Island is done in two shifts: half day and full day; the half day excursion begins at 9 a.m. and ends at 5 p.m. While on board the boats, you are given with life jackets and rain suits. Depending on the weather, morning viewing hours are from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., and afternoon viewing hours are from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. Spending time with the chimps is available from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. on the full-day Ngamba Island tour. Visitors who visit the sanctuary for a half or full day can see the chimps from the visitor platform while listening to an interesting discourse about the chimps given by sanctuary workers. Other activities on Ngamba Island include swimming at the equator, visiting fishing towns, birdwatching, and other wildlife encounters, as well as sunbathing and relaxing on the island. Prices for visiting the island vary based on the amount of persons coming. The younger the tourist group, the lower the charge; children under the age of five are free, while those aged five to fifteen pay half the amount. These rates include a return boat journey and Ngamba Island admission fees, which vary according to habitation type.

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What is making Kidepo national park famous?

Kidepo valley national park is located in Kaabong district northeastern Uganda and situated around 1442 square kilometers and about 700km by road from Kampala and Moroto is the largest town I the sub region the park makes another unchartered Uganda safaris, Uganda tours destination. Kidepo valley national park can be accessed by both road which takes 12hours to Kidepo and air, by air there are charter flights available from Entebbe airport or Kajjansi to Lomeja and by road you can take the Kampala through Mbale route or the Kampala through Karuma route because they all lead to Kidepo valley national park. Kidepo valley national park was ranked the third best national park in Africa and harbors extinct species of wildlife that cannot be found in any national parks in Uganda which include over 75 mammal species like cape buffaloes, Rothschild giraffes, side-stripped jackal, lions, leopards, bat eared fox among others, over 470 bird species and 5 primate species. Kidepo valley national park is comprised of open tree savannah vegetation, mountain forest in the high areas, Lorupei River which supports acacia Geradi forest and semi arid climate with one rainy season per year from April to September and the park is served by two seasonal rivers which are the Narus river and Kidepo river.

What is making Kidepo national park famous?

With about 450 bird species, Kidepo Valley National Park is an important birding safaris area in Uganda and a dream Uganda tour site for bird watching excursions. A dozen of Uganda’s 50 bird of prey species are indigenous to the Karamoja area.

 

Activities in Kidepo Valley National Park

Game drive: Kidepo valley national park is known as a popular viewing destination with a wide range of wildlife which can be viewed during the including different mammal species like buffalos, Oryx, lions, zebras, leopards, elephants, giraffes, elands, antelopes, reedbucks, waterbucks, Uganda kobs, duikers, Oribi. Endemic species such as striped hyenas, bat-eared foxes, jackals, cheetahs, wild boars and hounds can also be spotted during game drives in Kidepo National Park. Game drives begin early in the morning at 6:00 AM and evening game drives begin at 4:00 PM. A guide to properly observing primates such as endemic bush babies, tatara monkeys and black and white monkeys is a good choice. It gives you the chance to enjoy the interesting grassland and savannah vegetation of Kidepo National Park.

Nature Walks/Hiking: Kidepo National Park has unique landscapes, including plains that offer great views of the animal species that roam the grasslands. Nature walks with Uganda Wildlife Service Rangers start at 7am from his camp in Apoka and can be done at any time. It can be done in various areas of Kidepo. This includes a 25 km new Ronhiri nature walk through the bush to his Napusmur which takes about 8 hours with a guide. It gives us the opportunity to see nature and animals that can be seen with a microscope. The Koniri Nature Walk provides a resting place during your trek, admiring the national park and animal species such as buffalo, elephants, baboons and lions. The two hour walk in the southern Narus valley which is a great spot for birding like the unique Karamoja apalis, black-breasted barbet, yellow-billed, hoopoe, Nubian woodpecker, little weaver, red-cheeked cordon, superb starling, vinaceous dove among others and view animals drinking water like the elephants, zebras, lions, buffalos among others. Hiking at Morungole Mountains to visit the IK people which are one of the smallest ethnic groups in Uganda. The Karamajong settlements and hiking on Idi Amin`s dream lodge that was never completed while he was still president of Uganda.

Bird watching: Kidepo valley national park is the second national park with a wide number of bird species apart from Queen Elizabeth national park. Kidepo National park is a home of over 450 bird species, 56 birds of prey and with 14 species endemic in the Karamoja region which include the ostriches that are only found in Kidepo national park, pygmy falcon, Verreaux`s eagle, Kori bustard, yellow-billed hornbill, Egyptian vulture, Karamoja apalis, and Jackson`s hornbill among others. Bird watching at Kidepo Valley National Park can begin at any time of the day. The best vantage point is Apoca Rest Camp and Park Headquarters, which overlooks the Southern Narus and Namamkweny Valleys and is home to a wide variety of bird species, including ruppels, great starlings, silverbirds and yellow-bellied hornbills. , vine pigeons, jackson’s hornbill, corybastard, lesser falcon, egyptian condor, karamoja paris and many more, providing bird watchers with an amazing bird watching experience on safari in Kidepo Valley National Park.

Cultural Encounters: Here, visitors visit neighboring communities within Kidepo National Park, including Karamojong Village. Karamojong village represents an interesting group of people who participate in subsistence farming and animal husbandry as warrior nomads. They have to travel long distances to fetch water, and there have been occasional floods in the area, so they live in dry areas. It is related to the Maasai tribe in that they travel with animals in search of food. They build temporary structures wherever they go and carry traditional knives, stools, dress codes, arrows, beads, spears, art, etc. To visit the IK people, reach out to the community It takes about 8 hours to reach the summit, so an early morning walk is required to climb the Morungole Mountains to visit the IK people, one of the original tribes of the Kidepo Valley National Park in the northeast. Kidepo Valley National Park can be visited all year round. The best time to visit is during the dry season, from September to March, when the park is less crowded and has few guest accommodations, including Apoka Rest Camp and Nga Moru Wildlife Camp. , Uganda Wildlife Department Bandas, Apoka Safari Lodge offers visitors relaxation and clear views during a safari in the Kidepo Valley National Park.