WILDLIFE, ADVENTURE AND TOURISM
Aramaga Rift Valley lodge is a perfect base for you to explore some of Uganda’s most rewarding destinations including Kibale National park, Queen Elizabeth and Rwenzori Mountains National Parks, crater lakes, as well as the Toro-Semliki Wildlife Reserve.
Chimpanzee Tracking at Kibale National Park
Kibale National Park is the premium chimpanzee tracking location in the whole of Africa. The Park is home to over 1500 Chimpanzees which live in communities of 10 to 100 members. Our closest cousins, chimpanzees share at least 94% of their DNA with humans. Chimpanzees are sociable, communicative and intelligent.
Though famously known for Chimpanzee tracking, the park is also home to a total of 70 mammal species, most famously 13 species of primate including the chimpanzee. And contains over 375 species of birds.
A total of 351 tree species have been recorded in the park, some rise to over 55m and are over 200 years old. The park is also one of Africa’s foremost research sites. While many researchers focus on the chimpanzees and other primates found in the park, others are investigating Kibale’s ecosystems, wild pigs and fish species, among other topics.
Queen Elizabeth National Park
Queen Elizabeth National Park is understandably Uganda’s most popular tourist destination. The park’s diverse ecosystems, which include sprawling savanna, shady, humid forests, sparkling lakes and fertile wetlands, make it the ideal habitat for classic big game, ten primate species including chimpanzees and over 600 species of birds.
Set against the backdrop of the jagged Rwenzori Mountains, the park’s magnificent vistas include dozens of enormous craters carved dramatically into rolling green hills, panoramic views of the Kazinga Channel with its banks lined with hippos, buffalo and elephants, and the endless Ishasha plains, whose fig trees hide lions ready to pounce on herds of unsuspecting Uganda kob.
Toro-Semliki Wildlife Reserve
Toro-semliki contains the same key species as Queen Elizabeth and Murchison Falls National Parks; Elephant, Buffalo, Uganda Kob, Waterbuck, Warthog, Giant Forest Hog, Hippopotamus. Primates include Chimpanzees, Baboons and Monkeys including Vervet, Red-tailed and Black and White Colobus. Uniquely, the 200 strong Elephant population includes savannah and forest Elephant plus a hybrid form from inter-breeding. Researchers from the University of Indiana have been studying chimpanzees in the riverine forest at Mugiri close to Semliki Safari Lodge.
There are chances of encountering the chimpanzees when you take a primate walk. The reserve boosts of 440 bird species including Red-necked falcon, Black-billed Barbet and the turkey like Abyssinian Ground-hornbill. The Shoebill is usually sighted in the marshes of Lake Albert.
Toro Semliki Wildlife Reserve enjoys a dramatic rift valley setting between the Rwenzori, Kijura escarpment and Lake Albert. The reserve itself is topographically unremarkable, set at a relatively low altitude starting from around 700m above sea level, but on a clear day, the setting is truly awesome, with the sheer rift valley escarpment rising sharply from the eastern shore of Lake Albert, the 2500m-high Congolese Blue mountains on the western horizon and the mighty glacial peaks of the Rwenzori visible to the south-west.
The Rwenzoris – the fabled Mountains of the Moon. The mountain’s equatorial snow peaks include the third highest point in Africa, while the lower slopes are blanketed in moorland, bamboo and rich, moist montane forest. Huge tree-heathers and colorful mosses are draped across the mountainside with giant lobelias and “everlasting flowers”, creating an enchanting, fairytale scene.
Rwenzori Mountains National Park protects the highest parts of the 120km-long and 65km-wide Rwenzori mountain range. The national park hosts 70 mammals and 217 bird species including 19 Albertine Rift endemics, as well as some of the world’s rarest vegetation.
The Rwenzoris are a world-class hiking and mountaineering destination. A nine – to twelve-day trek will get skilled climbers to the summit of Margherita – the highest peak – though shorter, non-technical treks are possible to scale the surrounding peaks.
Rift Valley Escarpment Community Walks
This walk takes 1 to 2 hours and is conducted in villages and communities next to the lodge with our local community guides. Get to know and appreciate the local community way of life by getting closer to their homesteads, art, customs and food. You get to visit matooke (banana) plantations – matooke is a banana variety which is a staple food for most Ugandans. This walk is an opportunity to interact with the local community and you can choose to participate in or visit a local school.