Tuesday, July 17, 2012


Developed by Chobe Safari Lodge/Uganda in Tandem with Uganda Wildlife Authority

Chobe Safari Lodge/Uganda, a Marasa* Africa luxury property, announces the first Walking Safaris in Murchison Falls National Park. The Walking Safaris were developed in tandem with Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA), which will provide an armed UWA Ranger to accompany the safaris. “We worked with the UWA to build a watering hole and natural salt lick around which the Nature Walks could take place,” said Roni Madhvani, Managing Director.

Being around trees and grassy areas lowers brain stress levels and is good for mental health, according to findings just released by Glasgow University from a Scottish Health Survey. The Survey concluded that walking (or jogging) in a forest has a 50% higher health benefit than working out in a gym. So, the Chobe Walking Safari is not only exciting and pleasurable, but is bound to have a calming effect on the brain.

The Walking Safari costs $20, but may be incorporated (without charge) as part of a new Nile, Nature Walk and Novelty Safari offered by Premier Safaris (for rates and itinerary, see below).

At 1480 square miles, Murchison Falls National Park in northwestern Uganda is the country’s largest national park and the location of famous Murchison Falls, where the River Nile is forced through a narrow gorge to plunge 140 feet to a frothing pool below. The Park is home to four of the Big Five – buffalo, elephant, lion and leopard (the fifth, the rhino, can now be seen at Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary, just 40 miles to the south). It is home, too, to the Rothschild giraffe, tallest animal on earth, whose distinguishing feature is its white “socks” – no patterning from the knees down.  There is also an amazing array of birds, some 300 different species, many with spectacular plumage, implausibly-wide wingspans, or so architecturally skilled, they build elaborate “condo” nests in the acacia trees.

Experiencing a Walking Safari is entirely different than viewing the bush or plains from a four-wheel-drive vehicle.  Safari-goers can sense the pulse of Africa, listen to its silence and its sounds, and feel the thrill of being a heartbeat away from danger. The Chobe Safari Lodge/Uganda Nature Walk takes about an hour and a half. Likely sightings include elephants, giraffes, buffalos, herds of kob (Uganda’s national animal), wart hogs and such birds as Martial Eagle, Woodland Kingfisher, African Marsh Harrier, Lizard Buzzard, African Harrier Hawk, Yellow Mantled Widow bird, African Paradise Flycatcher, the rare Fox Kestrel and many more. Also to be seen are crocodiles and hippo in the River Nile that forms part of the Walking Safari.


Day 1: Kampala – Jinja
In the morning after breakfast, our safari guide will pick you up from your place of stay, and drive you to the source of the White Nile – Jinja. Jinja is situated directly at Lake Victoria, where the Nile finds its origin. En route, we will make a stop at Mabira Forest for a forest walk with the possibility of seeing different types of primates, birds and colorful butterflies. After Mabira Forest, you will proceed to Owen Falls, and see the source of the Nile. Dinner and overnight accommodations are provided at Wild Waters Lodge.

Day 2: Jinja
Ready for a full day of adventure? Then start rafting at the source of the Nile. Enjoy the beautiful scenery and thundering rapids of the White Nile. Don’t forget to watch the incredible birdlife, as you drift quietly between the rapids of the river. Dinner and overnight accommodations are provided at Wild Waters Lodge.

Day 3: Jinja - Murchison Falls National ParkBeginning with a scenic drive northwest, we will stop and visit the ZIWA RHINO SANCTUARY, to track rhino on foot (ZIWA was created to re-introduce Rhino to Uganda after their extinction in 1982). After lunch, we proceed to Murchison Falls National Park for an afternoon game drive around Chobe Safari Lodge area. Later, you will check in to the lodge, marveling at the panoramic views of the Nile, and enjoy your first evening in the African bush.

Day 4: Game Viewing Safari - Murchison Falls National Park
After breakfast, we embark on a morning walking safari to a nearby watering hole.  This is a fantastic experience as you can truly feel the pulse of the African bush away from the protective cocoon of your vehicle. Transfer from Chobe Safari Lodge to Paraa Safari Lodge in the heart of the Murchison Falls National Park, where your guide will help you spot the plethora of wildlife found in the Park. After lunch, you will safari upstream by boat to the calm Victoria Nile and the base of Murchison Falls, just tens of meters from the "Devil's Cauldron." Return in the evening for dinner and overnight accommodations at Paraa Safari Lodge
Day 5: Game Viewing Safari - Murchison Falls National ParkAfter breakfast, visit the top of the Murchison Falls. From this vantage point you will have an opportunity to see the Nile’s savage beauty, as you watch the Nile forced through a seven meter cleft in the rocks to plunge 45 meters below, forming a spectacular rainbow. Return to the lodge for lunch and, after an afternoon siesta; venture on a game drive through the Borassus Palms plains, a visual feast. Retire for dinner and overnight at Paraa Safari Lodge.
Day 6: Murchison Falls National Park – KampalaDepart from Murchison Falls, for your return to Kampala.
Rates start at $3550 per person sharing
Single room supplement $450

All accommodation (full-board basis)
All activities as per the itinerary
All in-country transport
Park entry fees

The new and luxurious five-star Chobe Safari Lodge, located in a little-known section of Murchison Falls National Park, is becoming one of Uganda’s key tourist destinations for adventurers, anglers, and aficionados of river-scapes.  It comprises 36 elegant guest rooms, 21 luxury tents, four suites and a Presidential Cottage. A state-of-the-art Conference block can host up to 100 guests and is fully equipped for business meetings.

The lodge enjoys breathtaking panoramic views of the River Nile, coupled with the sounds of its frothing rapids.  Room rates start at $275 a night for a double ($325 for full board); Tent rates start at $195 a night ($220) for full board.  All rates are inclusive of 5% service charge, all applicable government taxes and $5 per person UWA royalty fees.

*Marasa is a member of the Madhvani Group of Companies, one of the largest private-sector groups in East Africa, employing more than 10,000 people. Starting in Uganda in 1914, the Group has developed into a widely diversified conglomerate with a geographical spread into various African countries, the Middle East and India. As the largest private sector investor in industry in Uganda, the Group has an outstanding track record in turning-around dormant companies, and has achieved a market leadership position in most of the sectors in which it operates, including tourism, sugar, agriculture, floriculture, insurance, construction, and more.  With a long-established presence and core values of integrity and long-term commitment, the Madhvani Group has a vision of continuing growth in this region.

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