Tuesday, 2 August 2016

A Discovery Adventure To The Land of Twin Crater Lakes


Trek with Us to such memorable and eye catching destinations
  • Kalinzu Forest Walk
  • Ankole long horned cattle farm visit 
  • Kichwamba-Kyambura Crater Lakes 
  • Nyore Retreat Hill side
Tourist destinations are often packaged so that everything is a photo opportunity, and tourists are shown only one side of a country, the part that sells well. It is not always easy to get off the tourist trail and see how life is lived every day.
Uganda has not escaped this tendency. It is promoted as a natural paradise, and more than a half million tourists arrive every year to visit its National Parks, Forests, lakes and mountains. However, not many visitors have the chance to get to know the way rural communities live during their stay.
It is hard to express the variety and richness that you can experience with rural community tourism. So the best thing to do is to cross the threshold and start the adventure of getting to know the “Pearl of Africa” in a different way: Come and Trek with us we know where to find the best cultural attractions www.greattrekkers.ug


Kichwamba is in Western Uganda at the edge of the Rift valley, just 2 kms from Kyambura Gorge Game Reserve and 10 minutes drive into Queen Elizabeth National Park (QENP). It is about 350 km from Kampala on the Mbarara-Kasese road. Set on a very high escarpment, Kichwamba offers you stunning panoramic views of the QENP and the Rwenzori Mountains. Spending some time in these local communities will give you a window into their way of life. The information Office and starting point for the Community/Nature walk is in the vicinity of the lodges located around the Escarpment like Kingfisher, Katara, Enganzi, Kyambura Game Lodge, Jacana and Park View Lodge

When you are visiting Queen Elizabeth Protected Area, include in your program just 2 hours for this lifetime experience with the communities in Kichwamba-Kyambura area. A combination of culture, amazing geographical features and panorama along the Escarpment are well parked in a Community /Nature walk of one to two hours.
For travellers with a sense of adventure, this trekking route along the ridge of the vast, towering Kichwamba Escarpment with steep cliffs provides a truly unforgettable opportunity to explore part of the Albertine Rift stunning scenery and meet the people of the rural highlands, whose lives have changed little in many hundreds of years.
Target:
Small groups of 4 to 6 persons at a time, (not ideal for small children – cliff faces can make people nervous). You will not only enjoy the fascinating scenery but will also get an opportunity for a life-changing experience of rural African life by experimenting with harvesting food and preparing local dishes. All the food crops are organically grown.   Come with us and take advantage of this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

COMMUNITY/NATURE WALK

A Discovery Trek to the Twin Lakes of Bunyaruguru (2 hours)
This walk takes you up to the Katinda Cliff. This time, you descend to the twin lakes of Katinda and Murambi and cross the Ismuth separating the 2 lakes. Here you will try out fishing in the lakes and then climb out of the valley on the South Eastern side of Lake Murambi. You will see and if time allows, participate in the process of making local brew called “tonto” an extract from a type of bananas.
 A Guided Nature Walk to Katinda Cliff (1 hour) This is a fairly short walk in fascinating surroundings with fantastic views of Queen Elizabeth National Park and Kyambura Game Reserve. Get a lifetime experience with the local community going about their daily chores, including fishing, gardening and brewing the popular local drink -“tonto”.

Compiled By;

Nasasira Rogers
rogers@greattrekkers.ug

Saturday, 25 June 2016

THE AFRICAN TRADITIONAL HUTS

Who, in Uganda, is not familiar with the mud and wattle hut?
It is the most indigenous house for most, if not all, tribes in the country. Even though modernity has continued to fraze the African Traditional Huts, Most Tribes in Ankole have indeed continued to preserve the Traditional Huts especially in the rural areas – Commonly among the Bahima Pastoralists and the Batwa communities
Vernacular architecture is one that is synonymous with the African society and in this case, As we prepare for the second Edition of The Uganda Live Stock And Heritage Show We take you through the Rich and detailed History about the Traditional Huts of Ankole and What the Cultural heads and historians have to say about their existence and background.

Characteristics
One characteristic that was common to the architecture was the circular shape they took and all the materials were never imported but made locally in every region. The doctor says everything was indigenous and not borrowed from outside. However, during the succession wars, one group would borrow from another and during migration and settlement.
Generally, the huts would be small and simple in nature because they would be occupied by a single person or utmost two. John Bishanga one of the great Elders of Ankole, explains that long ago people used the huts for protection. They would only go to the huts to sleep in the evening just like the other animals.

Types of huts, according to ethnicities in Uganda

BAHIMA HUT
The hut is made in such a way that it rises from the ground in a straw dome. They use emiganda (strong sticks that are resistant to termite attacks), which are woven in a spiral pattern to create a basketlike skeleton. Then spear grass is used to do the thatching. Bedrooms are separated by woven sticks attached to poles within the hut. The huts are made strong because in the past their skeleton could be moved whenever ancestors shifted to new grazing areas. Another platform called orugyegye is used to keep the milk pots from the ground. A small platform is raised in front of the door way of the bedrooms, on which a small skin is spread. This one is meant for the seat of the wife, where she sits to receive the milk.

NKORE HUT
The huts are built of earthen materials, wood reinforced with wooden poles. The roof is thatched of spear grass (Imperata cylindirca), which is bound onto woodwork of poles in a conical shape. Right outside the entrance, two reed pillars adjoin the roof to the veranda, consequently forming a mild arch-like shape. The exterior is lavished with plain earth colours all through. In the interior, it is separated by an earth partition to form a sitting room and bedroom.

NYORE HUT
the hut is built of straw roof draped to the ground, concealing every bit of the hut, the front fa├žade reveals the reed work. The threshold is carefully trimmed into an arch like a blond haircut. Between the arched roof and the actual entrance is a small veranda that is set off by two reed-laden walls. The interior is divided into two portions using a reed wall. Another distinct feature is fact that there is no mud wall in sight; the roof continues to the ground, creating an impression that the hut is made of fibre materials only. The house takes the shape of a bee hive with an apex at the top known as itunju.
The apex varies in height depending on the status of the owner; in the past, the greatest house in the land was the king’s court’s, which had a spear at the pinnacle. The part of the frame of the roof which was finished that night was raised on the three poles to such a height that goats and dogs could not reach. The house is divided into two almost equal portions by a reed wall, and it is impossible to see through from one room to the other. In the second room is the bed of the owner and his wife.
Peasants had to build their huts themselves, though at times one would call his friends to give a helping hand. His first task was to make materials available by utting poles and making ropes from papyrus stems, locally known as impotore. Alternative materials included palm leaves or banana fibres.

MADI HUT
The architectural design is distinct on two main features: the roof and the details on the wall. Firstly, the walls are characterised by in-built columns, which are spaced out between each other. The rectangular columns form partitions that are meant for decorative detail rather than buttresses.
Karimojong hut
The hut is round with a small passage by the entrance. At the centre of the hut is a dugout fireplace where a permanent fire burns – sometimes for a lifetime! The roof is made of grass with some tier around it. Because Karamoja is windy, there are poles put around the hut on the outside to hold it firmly.


Sunday, 5 June 2016

THE UGANDA EQUATOR

Ever wondered how it feels see 2 halves of the world? Wouldn't it be an adventure to stand with one foot in the northern hemisphere and one foot on the southern hemisphere of the world?
You can get this feeling by visiting the Uganda Equator. While Traveling with The Great Trekkers Safaris, Our Driver/ Tour Guide makes sure that you make a memorable Stop over  at such Points to take photos for a life time experience.

The Uganda equator is one of the most and well known landmarks in Uganda.” Equator is defined as the imaginary line that divides the world into two halves. The Equator is an imaginary line that is seen on maps marking the equidistant from the North and South Pole. Along the imaginary line of the equator, a magnetic needle has no dip and stabilizes in perfect horizontal position. You are able to stand with one of your feet in the northern hemisphere and the other in the southern hemisphere at this point; it is such an amazing experience to stand at both sides of the world. The sun rises and falls rather so fast at the equator, with equal days and nights’ length. The people around the equator experience only warm temperatures and tropical climate throughout the year and therefore quite hard to tell the difference between seasons.

Location
The Equator line passes through Uganda and the line has been marked at 72km along the Kampala-Masaka Road and other equator mark is located in Kasese District within the Queen Elizabeth National Park.

Kampala-Masaka Road Equator Line.
There are shops including craft shops, art galleries, restaurants and others at the Equator Line.  While at the Equator, the visitor has an opportunity to see an experiment of how water drains straight down at the Equator. But the water will drain clockwise on the northern hemisphere and anti-clockwise on the southern hemisphere.

Monday, 30 May 2016

DISCOVER WITH US THE TWO CRATER LAKES OF RUBIRIZI

Mystery largely surrounds the formation of Rubirizi District’s twin crater lakes Kyema and Kamweru. The pair located in Magambo Sub-county, are part of the 32 crater lakes and one pair of twin lakes, sit on the western arm of the Great East African Rift Valley.
Although science attributes the formation of these lakes to volcanic eruption in the 17th Century, folklore tales of interesting stories, a lot of which form the mystery of these lakes.

According to locals of Magambo Sub-county, Lake Kamweru was a crater which later got filled up with water from a nearby lake Nzuguto, that is now a wetland.
Separated by a small portion of land, Lake Kyema spots clear water while Kamweru’s water is green. It is said the green colour of water is due to fish droppings known as omuboyo in the local Runyakitara language.


 "We Are The Great Trekkers We Discover the unknown History beyond Oceans"







Sunday, 29 May 2016

A DISCOVERY TREK TO KITAGATA HOT SPRINGS WITH THE GREAT TREKKERS

It's our core Principle to Discover, Spot and Identify Special destinations in any corner within the Pearl of Africa, Today was yet another great Discovery Travel we made. While traveling to Bwindi via the newly constructed tarmac road of Kitagata, we made a memorable stop over at Kitagata Hot Springs.
Like any Great Trekker would say... It was a once in a life time experience not only for us but also for our great Research Tourist Micheal Daniels and his team from Canada... The attractive Hot waters of the Springs left our guests with No option But to only join the rest of the travelers in the Spring.
Special Credit goes to the Tour Guides of the Day Kiiza Herbert and Makoma Nation.
"We Are The Great Trekkers Safaris and We Know Where to find the best Attractions in the Wilderness"
FACTS ABOUT THE HOT SPRINGS
..............................................................................................................
Location
The Kitagata Hot Springs are located in Sheema District, Western Uganda. They are approximately 1.5 kilometres by road, east of Kitagata urban center in Sheema District.
The springs are also about 72 kilometres west of Mbarara Town. They are two hot springs adjacent to each Ekyomugabe and Mulago. The springs are 350 km from Kampala City.
The hot springs are commonly known as ‘Mulago Hot Spring’ as they are believed by local people to have healing powers.’ Mulago’ means hospital. On a daily basis, so many people with different ailments flock to the springs to bathe in the warm water. The water in the springs can warm up to 80 °C (176 °F). It is estimated that about 800 people visit the springs per week.

Vegetation and scenery
The scenery around the springs includes conical hills and beautiful green vegetation of trees and grass.
Source of water
River Ngaromwenda supplies water to the springs.
Rules
In order to ensure orderliness and hygiene at site of the spring the following rules have been put in place by the local leaders:
No fighting, no making noise, no smoking and no use soap;
Children have to be dipped in dressed in their nappies.
Minerals
The water from springs has been found to contain varying amounts of minerals and chemicals which are known to have medicinal values in them. The minerals and chemicals include sodium chloride, potassium chloride, lithium sulphate, calcium sulphate, calcium phosphate and magnesium chloride among others.
Compiled By Rogers Nasasira

Saturday, 21 May 2016

What You Need To Know About Rwenjeru Community Camping Site


Rwenjeru hill is named after the white traditional cow of the Bachwezi, “enjeru” meaning white in Runyankole language. This white cow was treasured for special milk used on traditional duties in the families. Your visit to Rwenjeru hill will expose you to the traditional culture that rotates around the Banyankole long horned cattle inherited from the Bachwezi of in 1520 AD. Rwenjeru village is on great location in fertile farmland that is next to the park on the grazing land made up of gentle hills with the valleys for farming and drinking places for their treasured long horned cattle.
For the cow watering “Okweshera” in the local language means giving water to the animals, a routine done several times a day of the cattle keeper. Follow your guide, dressed in the true Bachwezi grazing attire carrying the walking stick, “Enkoni” and wooden bucket, “Eicuba” in the local language, with hoe and other tools for mining the anthill soil that has the salts for mixing in the animal drinking water. 

You will proceed to the water place and participate in the construction or maintenance of the existing clay trough that is used to serve the water to the animals. You will participate in the setting of the side fire by the drinking place, fill the trough with water until you will hear one of the herdsmen call the animals to come and drink.  It is a very rich experience. Everything on this trip has a purpose for the culture the cattle keepers and the welfare or safety of the well treasured animals as you will hear from your guide.


Besides, Rwenjeru camp site has a camping ground, organic gardens, a beekeeping project, bike hire, women tailoring projects and a youth carpentry project.
The village is strategically located on the road heading to Katengyeto gate of Lake Mburo national park. Also, it is located opposite Igongo museum for a perfect lunch and museum tour after the cow watering experience.

Activities:

• Camping
• Cow watering experience “Okweshera”
• Organic juices making
• Bike tours.
• Cow watering: 1 hour Highlights:
• Herdsman calling the cows for water
• Building a clay trough
• Dressing in the herdsman attire
• Fetching the water from the pond with wooden trough
• Scenic walk to the watering area
• Listening to the traditional stories of the Bachwezi
• Insights of the cattle related living styles
• A relaxed lunch at Igongo cultural centre.

Thursday, 19 May 2016

WE ARE THE GREAT TREKKERS

WHY IT IS THE PEARL OF AFRICA


Uganda was named the Pearl of Africa by the former UK Prime Minister Sir Winston Church when he was on a tour across Africa in 1907. He called Uganda so, because the country is endowed by Mother Nature more than any country on the African continent. Like many other visitors, Sir Winston fell in love with  the fresh water body lakes, rivers, mountains, climate and forests thereby making him to brand Uganda as the Pearl of Africa. No other country has ever been described as that and thus, there is one pearl of Africa which is Uganda.
Uganda is home to the best weather in the world, coupled with sunshine and rain, Uganda has a number of forests which don’t only modify the climate of the pearl but also provide herbs, fruits and wood. The best tropical climate attributed to the equator strategically located in Uganda more than any other country in the world, makes it a country worth living in due her hospitable climate which is normally stable throughout the year.

Uganda has the best scenery in Africa composed of swamps, lakes , rivers mountains and semi-arid lands. The biggest lake ( Lake Victoria is found in Uganda), The longest river (River Nile) starts from Uganda. Did I mention that Lake Bunyonyi, the second deepest lake in Africa is also found in Uganda? Can you imagine snow capped mountains on the equator? Uganda is indeed the pearl of Africa.
The source of the greatest river in the world (River Nile) is right here, and the source of the greatest river happens to be one of the largest fresh water lakes in the world(Lake Victoria) which is shared by three countries. Today, Uganda is proud to be the home to the longest River in the world starting right from the Eastern district of Uganda to the Mediterranean sea connecting to the Atlantic Ocean.

Uganda has many mountains which include a snow caped mountain also known as Mountains of the Moon(mountain Rwenzori), a source of many minerals which include; vermiculite, copper, limestone. a haven with the best hospitality, diverse cultures, tribes and languages. Uganda is also known as the banana republic because it is majorly an agricultural economy with fertile soils and favorable climate. a home to mountain gorillas found in Bwindi Impenetrable Forests which harbors the largest number of the world Gorilla population , wild buffalos, hippos, nile crocodiles, ostriches lizards, snakes, chimpanzees, monkeys, wathogs, birds among many other species of birds and animals found in the numerous game parks and reserves located around Uganda not forgetting the Uganda Wildlife Education centre commonly known as the Zoo.



Mountain Gorillas are found in Uganda than the rest of the whole world and Africa in particular.  Uganda has 10 national parks 8 of these located in the South Western Region of the Country, 7 game reserves and around 30 national forest reserves where birding vacation are the order of the day
And on top of that, the cultures of people in Uganda take it all. Uganda has more than 50 ethnic tribes with different cultures. This heterogenous setting, has made us to be one of the most culturally diverse community in Africa which is living in peace
This is Uganda, a country with numerous cultures, dances, practices and dressing, a country with a lovable people, warm hearted and loving. a friendly climate and many physical features. this is the pearl of Africa.


Our diverse culture is the strongest strength of Uganda’s heritage. Uganda’s culture comprises of various ethnic groups that is the Bantu speaking group who are base in the western, central, and southern side of the country and the Nilotic group who lives in the northern, eastern and northwestern part of Uganda.

The Bantu speaking group has the largest population in the country and comprises of the Basoga, Bagisu, Baganda, Bunyoro, Banyankole,Batoro and the other smallest Ethnic Groups of Bamba and Batwa
Did i mention about the Batwa community which lives in Bwindi impenetrable National park and Mgahinga Gorilla national park?. The Batwa are the threatened species of human being in Uganda. A visit to the batwa pygmies’ community offers you exciting cultural trails known as the Batwa trials where you will be told about the Batwa ways of living, and Exciting Cultural dance experience.

As your Summer Holiday draw nearer never worry of which Travel Company to Prepare your Memorable Adventure and Visit to the Pearl Of Africa. Contact The Great Trekkers Safaris. It’s the only Trusted Legal Company rooted at the center of the Pearl in the South West of Uganda. Never Worry again they are specialists at designing for you suitable Tour Packages for your life time Experience
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Monday, 16 May 2016

ARE YOU PLANNING FOR YOUR SUMMER

Are you planning for your Summer holidays, We are always there for you. Contact Us
We have the most convenient Tour Packages

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Friday, 13 May 2016

UGANDA THE JEWEL OF TOURISM

The Western Region is Uganda's jewel in the tourism sector.Here the iconic parks -including
Bwindi Impenetrable and Mgahinga with habituated populations of Mountain Gorillas and the range of other attractions such as Rwenzori Mountains ,L.Bunyonyi ,Queen Elizebeth National park and many others
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Thursday, 12 May 2016

THOUGHT OF WHERE TO SPEND YOUR GREAT EVENING WHEN IN MBARARA?


THOUGHT OF WHERE TO SPEND YOUR GREAT EVENING WHEN IN MBARARA? WE KNOW WHERE TO TAKE YOU......

As you enjoy your great stay in the land of Milk and Honey, Never hesitate to contact us. We have the most affordable but exciting Offers you will appreciate as we take you to the unknown but Eye Catching destinations around the City of Mbarara. Our Great Trekkers Team know where  to take you for We Spot, Discover and Identify for you Special and Extra-Ordinary Sites and Features that you can't imagine they Do Exist in your Locality.

Our Company Driver will pick you from your Hotel around the Mbarara  as you embark on an exciting Journey away from the City and head to Nyore Retreat Hillside along the Kabale High way. Nyore Retreat Hill Side is strategically located away from the Noisy town environment and it gives you a real feel of Adventure,Nature Walks, and Bird Viewing  as you enjoy the cool  breeze of great Hills and the magnificent Sceneries. After we continue on yet another great evening road Drive to Rwekyishokye for Horse Riding and later we proceed to Igongo Cultural Center to have a feel of Cultural performances, while enjoying a delicious Traditional Meals and Refreshing Drinks.
To us we don't just make ordinary Trips, We make your Travel with us a Memorable Experience Because We Know Where To TAKE YOU.... We are The Great Trekkers Safaris Contact Us +256704776143 Or +256775464677 And We shall Get back to you as soon as Possible. Still you can take time and Visit our exciting Website for More of our Packages www.greattrekkers.ug 

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Night Sites of Igongo Cultural Center .....Photo By Makoma