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Traveling to Ssese Islands for World Tourism Day? Here are 5 things you should know

On Wednesday September 27th, 2017, Uganda will join the rest of the world to commemorate this year’s World Tourism Day.

The day that was adopted in 1980 by the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), is a day meant to raise awareness on the contribution of sustainable tourism to development among public and private sector decision-makers and the international community, while mobilizing all stakeholders to work together in making tourism a catalyst for positive change.

This year’s celebrations will be held in Ssese Islands (Kalangala District) on Lake Victoria. Want to take part or want to know key things about the beautiful islands? We have compiled key things you should know and here they are;

  1. About Ssese Islands

Ssese is a group of islands found in the western part of the large Lake Victoria, within Kalangala district. It has 84 tiny islands which vary in size from the less than 10,000 sq km to more 40 kilometers in length. Bugala is the largest and most popular island with the best lodges/hotels. Other islands include Bulago Island which is a small island closer to the lake-shore that is run by a resort, Bukasa Island a small island containing Father Christopher‘s guest house, Banda Island another small island, more remote, that also has a guest house, Bubeke and Bufumira islands among others.

Victoria Forest Resort Ariel View on Bugala Island (Photo by Victoria Forest Resort)

  1. How to get there

There are two ways to get to Bugala Island from the mainland. The first way is to use the ferry that departs daily from Nakiwogo (in Entebbe) to Kalangala Bay – Lutoboka. It departs at 2:00pm taking about 3.5 hours to Kalangala. It then returns from Kalangala daily back to Nakiwogo at 8:00 am. The charges are UGX 15,000 per individual for 1st class and UGX 10,000 for 2nd class.

The second way is through another ferry which departs from Bukakata site (in Masaka) and lands at Bugoma on the other end of Bugala Island. Its departure times are 8:00 am, 11:30 am, 1:30 pm and then 4:00 pm from Bukakata and returns from Bugoma at 9:00 am, 12:30 pm, as 2:30 pm and then 5:00 pm, as well.

MV Kalangala making it’s way to the Islands. (Photo by nirsha)

3. Where to stay on the Ssese Islands

Not sure where to stay on the beautiful islands? Kalangala’s superb natural assets are on display in an array of accommodations from wilderness lodges and boutique sandstone hotels to stunning steel and glass edifices that skirt the glorious lake shores.

Accommodation choices on the Islands are numerous. Eco-friendly hostels in prime positions suit the young and budget-conscious, while luxury retreats and island resorts cater to the well-heeled and those who like their adventure mixed with comfort.

Jumia Travel compiled a list of 13 lodges/hotels where you can stay including their price ranges. Here is the complete list.

Lake view at Brovad Sands Lodge. (Photo by Jumia Travel)

  1. Top things to do (and see) on the Islands

The Islands come with an opportunity to do a wide range of fun filled activities. The first natural thing you can do is to relax and chill on the islands. Depending on your travel arrangement or with the lodge, you can engage in other activities like mountain biking, fishing, sunset cruises, nature walks, camp and beach fires, bird watching and the list is really, really endless.

The islands are also home to the famous damula tree used to make spears and can only be found on this island in Uganda.

A tale of romance and the sunset at Ssese islands Resort Hotel.

  1. Join the World Tourism Day Celebrations

On Wednesday 27th, a lot of activities will take place and these include the Wild Run- Kalangala, launch of the Kalangala Zoo, Boat Regatta, Wresting ( Ekigwo Gumbya), Tag of War and Cooking competition by Miss Tourism contestants and so much more. Why don’t you just head to the official Visit Uganda website for more information on what you can participate in? Click here to head there right now!

Like this story or have something to share? Write to us: info@thisisuganda.org, or connect with us on Facebook and Twitter.

 

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10 Uganda Travel Bloggers to Follow on Instagram

From cuisines to lodges, wildlife, wide landscapes and glimpse into everyday life in the vibrant Kampala and remote villages, these Ugandans on Instagram are showing that Uganda offers much more than the safaris it has become synonymous with. This new draw card driven by citizens is seductively causing people to want for more of the people and places, providing the taster that will tempt further exploration into the areas so honestly showcased.

Here are the accounts by Ugandans that you should be following that will make you fall in love with our motherland and her beauty in no particular order;

1. Timothy Latim (@t_latim). “A mountain goat” as his Instagram bio says, Timothy is a member of the Mountain Slayers, a group of individuals promoting Uganda through showcasing Uganda’s beauty from mountains and hills. His personal account rotates around life in those places.

Want to know Uganda through its mountains? Follow Timothy on Instagram (Photo credit: Timothy Latim)

2. Karen Kana (@Chocolaty_prints). This is one of the most beautiful Ugandan travel accounts you will ever follow on Instagram. The pictures are very high resolution and chances are very high you might encounter a lodge, place or people you have never known in Uganda (and Rwanda).

Karen is one of the most influential travel bloggers we have in the country. (Photo credit: Karen Kana)

3. Theo Vos (@theovos). Theo is the Dutch-Ugandan behind Discover Karamoja and Kara-Tunga Tours and Travels which are positively changing the image of Karamoja. His personal Instagram account is dedicated to capturing lives of everyday people in the Karamoja sub-region as well as it’s beauty.

Theo Vos’s Instagram page gives the most authentic perspective about Karamoja they don’t show you on TV. (Photo credit: Theo Vos)

4. Fay Kai (@Khukyenda), Fay is one Instagrammer who can never miss jotting down any travel experience that she gets. What makes her more tick, is that she runs an online shop that sells travel t shirts and 20% of the sales go to charity.

Want to know to how have the best out of travel on a limited budget? First stop here and visit Fay’s Instagram. (Photo credit: Fay Kai)

5. Arnold Mugasha (@shotbymu). Arguably one of the emerging and best aerial photographer in the country, Arnold’s drone images are reinventing the way Uganda is being looked at. His Instagram accounts is filled with beautiful photos about Uganda from a whole new perspective.

We talked about how Arnold is one of the best aerial photographers in the country. If you haven’t visited his Instagram yet, this is your last chance (Photo credit: Arnold Mugasha)

6. Kreativ Adikt (@kreativ_adikt). Part of the #KoiKoiUG team, Kreativ Adikt is one of the photographers who are just natural with the camera. The simplicity yet professional touch he puts into his work, makes him an excellent visual storyteller in his own league.

Kreativ Adikt’s page is by far one of the most beautiful pages that will make you fall in love with Uganda’s beauty (Photo credit: Kreativ Adikt)

7. @vscouganda. This account merges everyday life and tourism by focusing on people in some of the top tourist destinations in the country. Check it out below on Instagram.

Count on this page to give a shout out to other travel bloggers. (Photo credit: vscouganda)

8. Sophie Musoki (@akitcheninuganda). This account is featured here because it is a ffusion of cooking and lifestyle account by a Ugandan in Uganda. It is dedicated to showcasing the different cuisines in Uganda that you are most likely to encounter in travel experiences across the country.

Sophie Musoki has proved to be the number one blogger who is dedicated to showcasing Uganda’s cuisines with a touch of modernity. This is the only blog you will find that will make you fall in love with Ugandan food everywhere you will travel. (Photo credit: Sophie Musoki)

9. Charlotte “Nagawa” (@Charliebeau_diary_of_a_muzungu). Charlotte is among the pioneers of Ugandan digital tourism promoters. Besides Instagram, her blog; muzungubloguganda.com, is one of the most followed blogs dedicated to Ugandan (and East African) travel.

“Nagawa” is one person who will make you fall in love with Uganda at first sight even if you’re a Ugandan. (Photo credit: Charlotte)

10. Olive Nakiyemba. (@Oleebranch) is a wonderful plotter of adventures going by her Instagram account. Her account is predominantly about her different adventures across the country.

Ready to discover a new place in Uganda that you didn’t know? Olive will make you find. (Photo credit: Olive Nakiyemba)

NOTE: This collection focuses on individual travel bloggers. We are still compiling a list of travel agencies (and authorities), and photographers who focus on portraits and typical everyday life not necessarily travel. These will ran within the course of the next two weeks.

Think we missed out on any travel account dedicated to showcasing Uganda? Write to us at info@thisisuganda.org or connect with us on Facebook and Twitter.`

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Naguru Skyz Hotel, luxury and beauty lying on one of Kampala’s hills

Looking up the hill of Ntinda or rather Naguru, you would see a building standing tall and bright, behold the Naguru Skyz Hotel. The hotel is 4,1 feet and has joined the chain of 5 star hotels in Uganda with it’s own unique , exciting and rather formidable luxury accommodation, conferencing and the best city view for business men and travelers.

Owned by Mr. Patrick Bitature, Naguru Skyz Hotel has been listed under the Protea Hotels by the Marriot chain. The Hotel was specially built facing the city with 4 rectangular blocks and five floors on each. The blocks where designed to face each other, you could think it’s circular- it’s not. From the Hotel, you get a perfect bird eye view of other famous hills of Kampala, namely; Kololo, Muyenga, Mbuya and Mutungo. You can also magnificently view Kamwokya, Bukoto, Ntinda, Kisaasi and more areas west of Kampala CBD.

The Naguru Skyz Hotel  boasts of 141 spacious standard and deluxe rooms and other numerous facilities to make anyone’s visit worth remembering. The coffee rooms, conference/boadrooms are a plus for any conferences or retreats and one of the Hotel’s restaurant has a 120 guests capacity.

The hotel offers, privacy, luxury, comfort-ability and affordability all in just one package. The hotel staff are friendly, hospitable in a unique way and most of all professional. Talking of food, the meals served at Naguru Skyz Hotel are exceptional ranging from local food to international cuisine made by the best chefs in town.

With all it’s conference rooms and comfortable bedrooms, Naguru Skyz Hotel is targeting tech-savvy millennials, business travelers, entrepreneurs, and tourists ready with its four-star finishes and quality connectivity, with social hubs for enhanced networking opportunities.

Getting in and out of the Hotel is also not a big hustle, with the help of Uber- of course. However, Naguru Skyz Hotel has invested much time in making it easy to come in and leave comfortably as they are in sync with the sister Protea Hotels, and the Airport shuttle.

They also offer laundry/dry cleaning services, for guests all in one package with no extra charge. Security at the hotel is paramount as the premises are  guarded 24/7 by professional security personnel who are also helpful to first time visitors. The hotel rooms are also fitted with a safe where guests can keep their valuables.

 

The rooms are fitted with Turkish sourced furniture, artworks and ceramics, side tables and study lamps, plus textured finishes. All bathrooms have a tub/shower combination, however, those in the Deluxe suites have an added expert touch of marble with a separate shower and toilet, also larger. The rooms also have Air conditioning, LCD TV with access to over 54 channels and a well-appointed King/Queen sized bed.

The Hotel is offering a glorious New Year’s day experience on 31st to watch the whole of Kampala usher in a new year (2018) from one of the best view points ever. They are also offering a VIP feel and experience with a New Years Eve Family BBQ at Ugx 90,000, New Year Eve Dinner Party at Ugx 250,000, and other offers on New years Day.

Naguru Skyz Hotel is a dedication to Ms. Carol Bitature, the wife of Mr. Patrick Bitature.

About Mr. Patrick Bitature

Born in Fort Portal, Kabarole District in the Western Region of Uganda in 1960, Patrick Bitature is a Ugandan businessman and entrepreneur. He is the founder and chairman of the Simba Group of Companies, an East African conglomerate, with interests in telecoms, energy production, mining, media, real estate, travel, and leisure. He is the co-owner of Protea Hotels.

Patrick Bitature, is the founder of the Patrick & Carol Bitature Foundation, a charity organisation focusing on education and life-saving health care initiatives. It was established in December 2010 with the main objective of providing education and healthcare to disadvantaged youth in the community.

Patrick Bitature is the chairman of the Private Sector Foundation Uganda, which is an umbrella body composed of private sector enterprises and offering lobbying advocacy and training for its members. He is also Chairman of Umeme Limited since 2007 and also chairman of Electromaxx Uganda (Owner of the 70 megawatt Tororo Thermal Power station).

He has also served as the honorary consul of Australia in Uganda and as the patron of the Australian Alumni Association Uganda.

Book your room today for a comfortable, worthwhile Kampala Visit; Standard rooms go for 211$, Standard club 220$, Deluxe rooms 260$ and Deluxe club = 322$. You can send an email to res@phnaguruskyz.com or call +256 312-554000. The hotel is found at 1 Water Lane Naguru Kampala, Uganda

Photos: Florence Kakatshozi

 

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How The Humble ‘Rolex’ Celebrates Uganda’s Uniqueness!

*By Charlotte Beauvoisin

How do you sum up Uganda, the Pearl of Africa to would-be visitors? And what makes Uganda unique? Some thoughts on Independence Day 9th October, 2017.

I received an interesting email recently: “I have been following your adventures and love what you do. Uganda is a country with incredible soul and you manage to capture it in the most beautiful and charming ways. We are currently working on a campaign that aims to inspire unity amongst Africans and promote Africa as the ultimate travel destination.”

I was therefore asked to “shoot a short video of yourself explaining what makes Uganda such a wonderful country.”

If you’ve read my “50 reasons why I love Uganda” you’ll know that creating a one-minute video to encapsulate all of that would be impossible! I wrote 50 reasons to honour 50 years of Uganda’s independence – that list gets longer day by day.

I was touring Uganda at the time, researching the country’s best lodges for Fodor’s “Complete Guide to the African Safari” guidebook. As the video deadline approached, I was in Buhoma, Bwindi Impenetrable Forest.

New Vision columnist Arthur Katabalwa and Mariana and chef Alex at Bwindi Bar, a Volcanoes Safaris Partnership Trust project

I happened to be traveling with former Urban TV producer Arthur Katabalwa – and what followed was an impromptu piece to camera during a rollex-making demo!r, a Volcanoes Safaris Partnership Trust project

Bwindi Bar chef Alex (trained by the Volcanoes Safaris Partnership Trust charity) prepares for his TV debut! Making a rather posh rolex!

(Fast forward the video to 1 minute 30 seconds to meet bloggers from Uganda!)

The rolex “rolled eggs” (omelette) wrapped in a chapati is becoming infamous now. This simple street food sums up some quintessential Ugandaness:

  • – Rolex is Uglish (a unique take on the English language which frequently has us all rolling around the floor in stitches!)
  • – Entrepreneurship: setting up a roadside rolex stall is a popular small business in Uganda.
  • – The rolex stall is where we stand around chatting as we wait to be served. It’s where we may start our day.
  • – It’s where many people end a late night – grabbing a cheap bite to eat after a night on the town. If you’re lucky, your boda boda guy will drive right up to the rolex guy’s stall and you won’t even need to get off your boda!

I was honored to appear alongside well-known Ugandan bloggers Rosebell Kagumire, Ernest Bazanye and Sophie from a Kitchen in Uganda in this video. Incidentally, it was Sophie who helped the rolex go global when it featured on CNN in the article “Delicious African foods you should try.”

#TrevorNoahVisitsUganda or did he? Trevor Noah gets his rolex fix (allegedly!) in Wandegeya, Kampala

If African travel floats your boat, check out Travelstart’s fun quiz: “Which African country do you actually secretly want to explore?” Answer a few questions to be presented with your ideal African country. (If it’s not Uganda…) where will it be?

The rolex is so famous, it even has its own festival in Kampala! The muzungu meets the rolex (beauty) queen and festival creator Mirembe Enid

*Charlotte is an award winning travel blogger who is passionate about promoting Uganda’s beauty and uniqueness. Check out her blog www.muzungubloguganda.com!

Like this story or have something to share? Write to us: info@thisisuganda.org, or connect with us on Facebook and Twitter.

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