Thursday, December 16, 2010

News from Rwanda and Uganda

Recent development in the tourism sectors in Rwanda and Uganda brought about some great new additions in terms of accommodations and activities. Classic Africa Safaris creates custom safari itineraries that include these new lodges and activities.

A note on gorilla permits: there is talk of gorilla permit fees being raised. Permits are still $500 per person, per trek in both Rwanda and Uganda. Permits in Uganda can be purchased 2 years in advance and permits in Rwanda can be purchased 1 year and 18 months in advance. Clients must pay in full for permits at the time of confirmation and submit their full names and passport numbers. Once permits have been purchased, fees cannot be increased even if permit fees are later raised by the park system.

In Rwanda, the Nyungwe Forest Lodge (part of the Mantis Group) is now open and provides luxurious accommodations in an area where a basic shared-facility guest house had been the only lodging. The lodge was built on a tea plantation overlooking the forest, and was designed to blend with the surrounding environment. All rooms have forest views and offer en suite facilities, a heated swimming pool and a relaxation retreat with Jacuzzi.

In the nearby Nyungwe Forest, the new Canopy Walk provides a unique vantage point overlooking the forest. The highest point of the canopy is 150m and the walk is split into three sections providing opportunities to view primates (colobus monkey), butterflies and flora.

The Chobe Safari Lodge is now open in Murchison Falls, Uganda. The lodge is a sister property to Mweya and Paraa Safari Lodges. The new lodge is located in the eastern side of Murchison Falls National Park and sits on the North bank of the Nile River (with excellent river views). Thelodge offers both traditional lodge rooms and several levels of tented accommodations.

Also in Uganda, Kyaninga Lodge recently opened near Fort Portal (photo of the main lodge and cabins, above left). This unique lodge is built on a beautiful plot of land with an amazing view overlooking small crater lake. The cabins and main lodge building are built in a traditional log-cabin style and feature thatched roofs. The lodge can easily be used as a base for chimp trekking in Kibale.

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