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The Speke Monument In Jinja

The Speke Monument commemorates John Hanning Speke, an early white explorer who discovered River Nile. In the year 1856, John Hanning Speke and his partner, Burton embarked on a journey to East Africa in quest of the Great Lakes, that were claimed to lie in the middle of the African continent.

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They believed that the travel would help find the exact source of the river Nile. Speke and Burton had also heard of another lake to around the east and it wasn’t long before they decided to search for it while embarking on their way journey back to the coast. Without Burton, Speke embarked on a 48 day expedition measured to be about 463 miles that saw him reach become the first European to discover Lake Victoria and River Nile and draw them on a map.

The Speke monument sits in Jinja at a village called Bukaya, adjacent to Source of the Nile Gardens with a river in between. The Source of the Nile and Speke Monument are both situated on the west shores of the river Nile and not actually in Jinja Side. This is before you even cross the main bridge that goes to Jinja town. The scenery is quite awesome and offers a panoramic view of Lake Victoria and the great River Nile.

There are very many monkeys and birds at the scene, a cool restaurant and of course the beautiful view of River Nile. Activities like boat rides are also available at the place at a very affordable price irrespective of your nationality.

Want to visit the Speke Monument in Jinja? Book a Uganda safari with us today and we shall include the destination in your itinerary. Please also note that there are very exciting activities in Jinja, besides the Speke Monument, you can also think of going to Bujagali Falls for Bungee Jumping.

The Uganda Reptile Village

Uganda Reptile Village located in Entebbe-Uganda’s main entry town, is the best recommendable sites where tourists on Uganda safari tour can pleasantly enjoy the views of various African Reptiles that are protected in the part of Uganda. Uganda Reptile Village whose main aim is to sensitize and educate the local community to protect and conserve different reptile species as well as other important environmental resources like forests as well as swamps and water bodies are playing great role of saving the unique natural resources which are under great threat from human behaviors.

Taking a tour to reptile village in Entebbe will offer you golden opportunity to come close to total of over 50 reptiles with twenty reptile spices which are on direct display in the site. The unique reptile’s species which are on display include the boomslangs, skinks, chameleons, cobras, monitor lizards and tortoises. Your tour to the Reptile village will offer you that unique chance to touch and spend time with Africa’s most poisonous snake – Gaboon Viper.

Sparing time to take this reptile’s village walk will allow you to explore the two famous basins in the site. The first place you will explore is an open basin which is home to the non-climbing species and the other basin is habitat for four distinctive species of tortoises.
The interesting part of the site is that it caters even for travelers on Uganda safaris and tours with their young children. They will enjoy the thrilling experience of watching these slow but fun animals when they are feeding on their vegetables. As you are walking down slowly under the guidance of an experienced guide, you will reach the current place were the color changing chameleons are protected.

At the extreme edges of the site’s compound, one can enjoy the sights of the swampy areas which are habitat to different reptiles, birds as well as monkeys.
In the swamp area, tourists on safari in Uganda’s Reptile Village will enjoy adventurous activities like sport fishing as well as canoe cruising in the man-made river stream which is three kilometers. In addition, one can also undertake wet land walk to explore the areas around the Repitle Village and along the way tourists enjoy sights of different bird species as well as wildlife.

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The Rwandan Genocide Memorials

The Rwandan genocide memorial centers are spread all over the country with some more prominent than others commemorating the Rwandan genocide in 1994. It is believed that over 800,000 people were killed in a space of 100 days starting in April 1994. The centers have exhibits of remains, photographs, and personal belongings like clothing, shoes, and others of the genocide victims. The genocide centers act as a reminder of the evil act of genocide and an appeal that it should never be repeated in Rwanda or anywhere in the world. It is also a place of solace, mourning, and link for survivors with their dead relatives and friends. People come over at different times throughout the year but more especially during the national mourning time in April of every year.

Some of the major memorials centers are highlighted below; you can request to visit any of them depending on their location and your itinerary.

Kigali Genocide Memorial Center

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The Kigali genocide memorial center is located 10 minutes’ drive from the city center in Gisozi. It is the final resting place of 250,000 Rwandans killed in the genocide. It is run by AEGIS, a UK Non Governmental Organisation committed to stop genocides from happening around the world. The center has different exhibit places with space of skulls of survivors and their personal belongings, photographs of survivors, reconciliation efforts, and genocide perpetrators. Another space has photographs and descriptions of genocides that have happened around the world showing that this indeed is not a Rwandan problem but a world problem that should never happen again. Outside the building, there is a garden and different mass graves where survivors and those who lost loved ones can come to ‘re-connect’. This can be included on your itinerary while on the Kigali city tour because of its location near the city center.

Murambi Genocide Memorial

Murambi genocide memorial set on the grounds of former Murambi technical school near Murambi town and is by far the most difficult memorial to visit because of the bodies and skeletons of genocide victims on display. One can almost recognize and identify a survivor if indeed they were a relative or friend. Tutsi were advised to hide in the technical school with pretext that French soldiers would protect them but alas, it was a trap. After gathering there, they had no food and were attacked by the militia. The site has several mass graves with former classrooms acting as exhibition rooms.

Nyamata Genocide Memorial

Nyamata genocide memorial center is a former church located 30 km south of Kigali in Bugesera. The center commemorates the 25,000 Rwanda genocide victims buried here. This is one of the more dark sites  in Rwanda after Murambi genocide memorial.

It is unfortunate that many Tutsi people gathered here considering it a safe sanctuary because previously churches were seen as safe places. Little did they know that this building was a pure death trap as opposed to life. The Tutsi’s had locked themselves up in the church seeking safety but were shocked when Hutu militias forced open the doors open with hand grenades and reigned on them with machetes. You will find clothes and national ID cards of the dead victims on the church pews with blood spread all over the place. The alter cloth is still stained with blood from the massacre of the several victims. Outside the church are mass graves for your visits.

Nyanza Genocide Memorial

Nyanza genocide memorial located on the grounds of Kigali’s Ecole Technique Officielle in Kicukiro district – Kigali city . This often acts as the grounds for the genocide anniversary commemorations which happen yearly in April. It holds the graves of more than 10,000 genocide victims abandoned by the Belgian UN peacekeeping forces as the genocide intensified. The UN forces left these Tutsi’s in the hands of their massacres by not airlifting them to the safety they themselves were going, a sad story of bureaucracy.

Bisesero genocide memorial is located 60 km from Kibuye, Rwanda with 40,000 people said to have died here. This genocide memorial site is a story of resistance of the Tutsi’s against their attackers the Hutu’s in the hills of Bisesero where they used  stones and sticks to counter the Hutu attack.

Ntarama genocide memorial it is an hour’s drive from Kigali. It is a former catholic church where 5000 people were massacred. It is much smaller than the other church genocide memorial sites because it was a small village parish. Just like the others, the Tutsi’s came here for refuge assuming that it would be safe but were shocked by attacks from the Hutu militias, who in some place accessed the building by removing bricks one by one.

Nyarubuye genocide memorial site located 140 km from Kigali is Catholic Church where 2000 Rwandan were killed. It is said that Sylvestre Gacumbitsi the then mayor of the district was involved in distributing arms and encouraging Hutu’s to use rape and later maim and kill the Tutsi’s. Unlike Ntarama and Nyamata genocide memorial sites, Nyarubuye was restored into a church and is currently used by people in the area with the memorial center adjacent to the church.

 

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Vaccinations , Insurance and Health On a Uganda Safari

Travel health can often be something people forget about before going away, but a little preparation and knowledge can go a long way to help you stay fit and healthy while abroad. Vaccination against Yellow Fever is necessary for this trip, and you must bring a valid certificate of vaccination.

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Recommended vaccinations for this trip are: Polio, Tetanus, Diphtheria, Typhoid, Hepatitis A, Yellow Fever.

There has always been yellow fever outbreak in the neighboring countries like chad Congo and Cameroon. It is therefore a perquisite for anyone travelling in and out for the country to preset a yellow fever vaccination certificate at any entry point of the borders of Uganda.
World Health Organisation (WHO) describes Yellow fever as an acute viral haemorrhagic disease transmitted by infected mosquitoes. The “yellow” in the name refers to the jaundice that affects some patients. Uganda is also listed as a high risk country. In Uganda vaccination is offered at KCCA clinics, Case Hospital and the Surgery in Naguru.

Signs and symptoms; fever, muscle pain with prominent backache, headache, shivers, loss of appetite, and nausea or vomiting.

Malaria prophylaxis is essential on this trip, and we suggest that you seek advice from your GP or travel health clinic about which malaria tablets to take.

Bilharzia is known to occur in some of the lakes or rivers visited in Uganda, we therefore advise all to take advice from your guide or leader locally before venturing for a swim.

Dengue fever and are known risks in Uganda . Both are tropical viral diseases spread by daytime biting mosquitoes.

 There is currently no vaccine or prophylaxis available for either, and therefore the best form of prevention is to avoid being bitten. We recommend you take the usual precautions to avoid mosquito bites.

The above information can change at short notice; as we are not qualified to answer all your questions about travel health we strongly recommend you contact your Medical Professional or a Travel Health Clinic at least 8 weeks prior to departure for up‐to‐ date information.

 Insurance ‐ are you adequately covered? You must have adequate travel insurance, and if you are joining a trip which goes to high altitude, you must check that you are covered up to the maximum altitude of the safari.

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The Itanda Falls: Spot For Water Adventure In Uganda

Itanda falls are found along the river Nile in Jinja. Most people visiting Jinja do not know about Itanda falls except for those who are there to go white water rafting. The famous Bujagali falls that might be just a few ripples now but that doesn’t mean the Nile is peaceful and boring. Just a short distance from Bujagali the Nile fiercely breaks into the roaring Itanda falls. The falls are such a magnificent and almost equally scary sight.

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A while back all the attention on the Nile in Jinja used to be focused on the Source of the Nile and Bujagali falls. But the Bujagali falls are no more, since the construction of the Bujagali Dam and power station. But some tour companies still offer visits to Bujagali. Without the Bujagali falls, the gem that is Itanda falls was eventually discovered by a few. It is mostly people who want Kayaking and white water rafting adventures who have come to enjoy the Itanda falls.

These magnificent falls give you a picture of what it would look like if the full force of the Nile river waters was unleashed. Standing close but not too close to the side, the waters gush by you with a powerful force, and the sound of the rushing river can be heard from a few miles away. The falls are spectacular and powerful, and kayakers and rafters have to be cautious while traversing the rapids.

The falls have three levels of rapids which go up from grade 1 to 6. Kayakers and rafters need to be mindful of these levels.

Why isn’t the Itanda Falls overflowing with tourists?

Itanda falls is still an unspoilt area, because not many tourists visit it, because not many have heard of it, and very few safari operators have it in the packages they offer. It is not that easy to access. It is found about 27km from jinja and a drive takes about 45 minutes. But once you get there, you will be so awed by the power and beauty of these falls that you will not only want to come back, but will tell someone else about it. The Itanda fall are as beautiful and powerful as they are dangerous, caution is advised when visiting.

The place is still non- commercialized and is considered a sacred site by the locals in the area. So you will not be disturbed by hawkers selling you various items, you will simply experience the Nile in its full force without unwanted distractions.

In the middle of the falls there are islands which would make for a beautiful relaxation spot along the Nile, if only there was a way to access them. Hopefully access to those islands will be discovered or created soon, because it has a lot of potential as a tourist spot.

Itanda falls is a must see for any one on safari in Uganda, don’t just see the source of the river Nile, see the River Nile with its full force unleashed!