Climate Changing Uganda’s Tourism Potential

By Boaz Opio

Way back in 2012, Uganda was ranked the number one tourist destination by Lonely Planet, the largest travel guide book publisher in the world. This is because the small land locked country has a tropical climate, with normal temperatures ranging from 21-25°C (70- 77°F), supporting ‘flourishing’ fauna and flora, stunning vistas of snowcapped mountains on the summits of Elgon and Rwenzori attracting visitors all year round. But all these natural treasures have started to wane in the face of increasing global average temperatures.

So far this year’s combined average temperature over global land and ocean surfaces for February 2017 was 0.98°C (1.76°F) above the 20th century average of 12.1°C (53.9°F)—the second highest for February in the 138-year period of record. While the latest news from UNMA - Uganda National Meteorological Authority already shows abnormal average temperature rise.

“During the period 21st-31st March 2017, the country experienced warm to hot conditions with average maximum temperatures ranging from 24.50C to 33.80C. These average maximum temperatures were recorded at Kabale and Wadelai weather stations respectively. Overall, the highest of the observed daily maximum temperatures of 36.90C occurred at Wadelai weather station,” reads a statement at the weather-overlooking parastatal.

The above statement is not only a statement but means a change in the environment, and the ecosystem, impacting on the decisions of tourist visiting the country. This in turn leads to a decline in the performance of Tourism sector which in fact Uganda is experiencing since 2012.

Uganda Tourism Board, an organisation charged with responsibility to oversee the performance of the once lucrative sector notices that tourism “could perform better” if the natural environment of Uganda is preserved—if rainforests reduce lumbering down for burning charcoal and obtaining firewood; if the renewable energy options such as solar energy, wind energy and biogas potentials are fully exploited.

According to a report published by Daily Monitor in Jan 13, 2016, Uganda Wild Life Authority blamed the declining Tourism in Uganda to negative publicity. This very negative publicity they are talking about comes as a result of facts in the ground.

The report reveals that UWA (Uganda Wild-life Authority) collected revenue of Shs42.6b, a decline of 24 per cent from Shs56b in 2013/14. As a result, UWA posted a deficit of Shs13b compared to the surplus of Shs4b reported in 2013/14.

“Management explained that in the financial year 2014-2015 there was a drop in the number of tourists visiting the protected areas from approximately 220,005 to 196,768 visitors (11% decrease) especially due to factors beyond management’s control and negative publicity,” the report reads.

Isn’t “negative publicity” rather a wrong narrative of the strong relationship climate has with tourism? Would the right narrative not rather be “Climate is Changing Uganda’s Tourism Potential?”

In a newspaper article titled “What is Killing Uganda’s Tourism?” published by Daily Monitor, a government owned newspaper, the Tourism Board spokesperson Vincent Mugaba, argued that Uganda is not the only country facing declining tourist numbers. “Our immediate neighbours, who actually spend a lot on marketing their countries, have been equally affected to.”

During the 45th Climate Outlook Forum for the Greater Horn of Africa held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia from 5 to 8th February 2017, the national, regional and international climate scientists reviewed the state of the global climate system and its implications on the seasonal rainfall over the East African region. It was observed that the major physical conditions likely to influence the weather conditions over Uganda and the rest of the East African region for the forecast period of March to May 2017.

So, what is truly killing Uganda’s tourism sector? Rising Global Temperatures due to immense carbon dioxide pumped into the atmosphere by day and night. This means there is no magic bullet to restoring Uganda’s dwindling attraction except committed efforts that cut the amount of carbon we emit. This will also preserve tropical forests.

Promoting alternative renewable energy solutions will reduce greenhouse gas emission by 22 percent as Uganda already pledged in its Intended Nationally Determined Contributions submitted to UNFCCC. These efforts will increase the country’s tourism potential by restoring lasting beauty in a cooler planet where global temperatures are constrained below the 1.5-degree benchmark agreed in Paris Climate agreement.

 

 

Uganda’s Agriculture Can’t Thrive Beyond 1.5-Degree Global Warming

On Dec.12, 2015, the 21st Conference of the Parties to the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change approved the Paris Agreement committing 195 nations of the world to “holding the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2°C above preindustrial levels and pursuing efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5°C.” The pact commits the world to adopt nationally determined policies to limit greenhouse gas emissions in accord with those goals.

The little landlocked, agricultural nation Uganda submitted it’s Intended Nationally Determined Contributions in late November 2015, succinctly indicating a 22% carbon cut by 2030, acknowledging the negative impacts global warming has on her economy severely in agricultural sector.

Dominated by small holder farmers of upto 80% and subsistence agriculture of 70% of farmers unable to access modern farming methods such as modern irrigation schemes, the country’s agricultural sector is, more than any other, the most sensitive to the current threats of rising global average temperatures that has alarmed to surpass the benchmark of 1.5-degree Celsius over time.

The 2°C goal set by Paris delegates represents a temperature increase from a pre-industrial baseline that scientists believe will maintain the relatively stable climate conditions that humans and other species have adapted to over the previous 12,000 years. If this temperature range surpassed, dangerous tipping point would have been crossed.

The tipping point represent dire consequences with changing face of natural order of the planet, even worse in the agricultural performance a poor country.

The signs of this dangerous tipping point are already visible in infesting crop diseases, seasonal animal deaths, water shortages for cattle and hindrance of farming activities because of too dry grounds to cultivate. Uganda has been listed among the countries affected by the mass animal deaths for 2017.

Bird flu is ravaging poultry husbandry.  Since January 02, signs of bird flu were detected in Uganda where fishermen reported “mass death of wild birds” on the shores of Lake Victoria, near Entebbe, which lies near the capital Kampala.

The epidemic has also evaporated to neighbouring Rwanda and Burundi. The director in charge of animal health in the Burundian ministry of agriculture and livestock, Mr. Nsanganiyumwami Déogratias says they are aware of the presence of the disease in East African Community since Monday 16th January 2017. “We held a meeting with the minister and competent experts to impose measures to protect people against any contamination”, he says. 

While the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries has studied that between 5000 and 7000 heads of cattle have died due to lack of water in the Karamoja and Turkana regions pastoralists regions of East Africa combined.

Since October 2016, livestock in Isingiro and Kiruhura districts are dying due to starvation following prolonged drought in the area. The two neighbouring districts have traditionally been hit by drought, but Dr Bruhan Kasozi, the Isingiro veterinary officer, says the scarcity of water and pasture he has witnessed was the worst in the 17 years he has worked in the area.

The effect of a warming planet will deeply penetrate sub-Saharan Africa because this region is over dependent on agriculture. Agriculture is the backbone, declares Uganda’s government. But it’s also not shy to say this sector dependent on weather and we know weather on climate.

This agriculture-weather-climate bond “cannot be broken easily,” cries Hon. Lawrence Songa, the head of climate change department at the Uganda’s ministry of Water and Environment.

“It can only be broken through two efforts,” he says in a slightly altered statement. “One: by ensuring that the global temperature increase is kept at bay, and two: by mechanizing agriculture to stop over dependence on the weather.

Truly if agriculture and weather is joined at the hip, then Uganda’s development prospect heavily leans on the mercy of climate. Any slight increase of global temperatures doesn’t only disorganise the biosphere but ruins 85% of the population who directly derive their livelihood in crop and or animal rearing.

The Uganda’s worshiped development agenda termed “Vision 2040” clarifies the chief development goal as “a Transformed Ugandan Society from a Peasant to a commercialised farming.” Yet the current picture paints a climate-change-stricken sector. Agriculture is on the decline due.

According to Paris Agreement, “keeping global average temperatures to 2.0-degree Celsius will minimize some of the worst impacts of climate change: drought, heat waves, heavy rain and flooding, and sea level rise. Limiting the global surface temperature increase to 1.5°C would lessen these impacts even further.”

Uganda is Africa’s leading exporter and second biggest producer of coffee after Ethiopia due to its alluvial fertile soils and cool “good” climate for coffee production. But the changes in average daily temperatures are hindering these treasures. In 2016, 4.8 million bags were produced which was noticed as an increase due to mere increase of acreage of coffee plantations. 

With over 70% of its foreign exchange from coffee exports, any future tampering with weather and climate will adversely affect the economy.

Analysis of data from Uganda Coffee Development Center already shows that coffee exports have declined in “real terms” since 1998. This drop in crop performance Uganda Coffee Development Authority (UCDA) blames on coffee wilt that mainly affects the native, lowland robusta-heat sensitive-variety.

Yet the country is not free from coffee berry disease that entered from its eastern neighbour Kenya as early as the 1920s. Since 1993, it has destroyed over 12 million plants. Uganda also grows arabica coffee, which is grown in the highlands. So far, this has remained unaffected by the disease.

The major reason for the infestation of this coffee disease is because it thrives under high temperatures of between 26 to 40-degree Celsius, a now characteristic temperature of Sub-Saharan Africa, according to the Ugandan Metrological Department (UMD).

1.5 and 2°C are not hard and fast limits beyond which disaster is imminent, but they are now the milestones by which the world measures all progress toward slowing global warming.

February 2016 exceeded the 1.5°C target at 1.55°C, marking the first time the global average temperature has surpassed the sobering milestone in any month. March followed suit checking in at 1.5°C. January’s mark of 1.4°C, put the global average temperature change from early industrial levels for the first three months of 2016 at 1.48°C.

It is thus irrefutable that the only hope for Uganda’s Agricultural sector is if the global average temperature is kept below the 1.5-degrree Celsius mark. Continuing to firefight with sweltering drudgery farming responsibilities without digging the problems from the roots is a stark chasing the rainbow.

Keeping at 1.5-degree require not one action or sets of action from one big polluter like China, or US but a marriage of actions that curb carbon emissions from all over the world, under the auspices of the 1.5-degree UNFCCC Paris pact we already entered.

 

 

By Boaz Opio

   

Here’s What You Should Know Before Thrill Seeking

Deep down most people love living for the thrill, from childhood the ideas of jumping into lakes from cliffs to swinging on tree branches. We all love the feeling that comes with thrills, the only difference is some people are more daring than others.

Thrill seekers are people who are eager to take part in exciting activities that involve physical risk. They are always aware of the underlying dangers of the activities they will undertake but they will do it anyway. But before you throw care to the wind and embrace danger, here are some of the things you should know or do. 

What Are Your Limits?

Not everyone can handle some activities and just because everyone is doing something does not mean you have to do it too. Everyone’s body has a level of pain and what it can handle so before you do something, understand your body. Understand how flexible you are to swing on cliffs, how strong your limbs are for mountain climb and if your chest can handle high altitudes. Go for checkups. 

Where Are You Going?

For every location you pick, you should tailor it to your body and by this it means you pick a challenge you can handle. If you are a good swimmer, you can choose extreme kayaking or whitewater rafting, it would do you a big disservice to choose an activity that you are not well versed with.

Location research helps you understand what regulations local authorities have on what activity you will be engaging just to be on the safe side of the law. Lastly, when you do research on your destinations it helps you plan properly especially with the budget and what equipment you will need. 

Emergency Kits

Wherever you go, it is advisable for any traveller to have an emergency first aid kit with them especially when headed into remote areas where medical facilities are not easy to access. You can find an emergency kit in medical supply stores or camping gear stores. 

Necessary Equipment

What trip are you planning to have? Where are you planning to go to? This helps get to know what equipment you will need for the trip. The equipment you will need for mountain climbing is different from that for sky diving. You would have to look for it from sporting equipment dealers or stores. To be on the safe side, make sure you look up everything you will need even the small things you think might not be that important. 

Practice Makes Perfect

After purchasing your equipment, you need to get better at using it. Take it for test-runs to get familiar and make sure it works very well. If you have not been a regular mountain climber, try practicing on a small hilly place that is easy for you to scale and with something that can easily break your fall. 

Professionals

People have been mountain climbing/ sky diving or any other thrilling adventure should be the first people you talk to before you do so.Their advice is most important since they know the thrills and dangers that come with that very activity. 

Keep Fit

One thing about most thrill seekers is they are fit enough to undertake whatever activities they know will satisfy their urge for adventure. You can not do things that other people are scared of doing when you are not fit for it. Try taking your body through full body exercises depending on what you will be engaging in, so that it is ready for the strain that will be imposed on it later on. 

Communicate

Always have your immediate family and friends informed about wherever you will be headed to no matter what time it is. Try investing in a satellite phone for locations that make communication difficult.  Incase of emergency, have your IDs and information cards for contacts who can be notified since accidents are very common during such activities. 

Get Insurance

Having the right travel insurance is very important especially if you are frequent traveler. Choose your insurance provider carefully from the packages and what countries the covers are offered. 

Please note that as much as thrilling seeking involves a lot adventure and fun, you are not advised to undertake such activities without professionals. 

Credit: travel.jumia.com

 

 

These Are Top Sailing Spots Around Africa

Sailing is when you employ the wind to propel, a boat or any other vessel on the surface of a big water body. The activity has been adopted as a sport for centuries although mostly in European countries and it is gradually picking up in some African countries.

There are so many wonderful destinations in Africa to go sailing, given that the continent is blessed with several big water bodies. Remember to get permission from the concerned authorities to go sailing in any of the different places. Every country has its own laws and of course, for your own safety. 

River Nile Uganda

From the source of the Nile to the peak of the murchison falls in Uganda, the river creates a great sailing opportunity filled with bird watching and beautiful views. Away from the many falls created by the heavy rock formation through many parts of the river, there are many sections that will not give you a hard time. 

Lake Tanganyika

What’s better than cruising on the deepest lake in the world? The lake goes through four countries: Zambia, Tanzania, Burundi, and the DRC with Tanzania having the biggest potion. The lake is under a joint governing body called the Lake Tanganyika Authority with reps from each country and you get to sail on the historical MV Liemba, a ferry that has been on the waters for decades. 

Cape Verde

Sail to the wild side through the 25 Cape Verdean islands and learn something new about the fauna and flora on the gem of the continent. You choose to sail through the Eastern sandy beaches or the the volcanic coastline on the west. There are nine out of the 25 islands that people live on so you will find restaurants to enjoy the local cuisine while you sail by. 

East African Coast

Sail across from Somalia on a yacht or cruise ship to the beautiful Zanzibar. When close to the shoreline you can hire out a rustic dhow and sail along the beautiful sandy beaches. Dine at some of the restaurants at the coast and enjoy some delicious swahili cuisines. 

Seychelles

One of the most beautiful locations is also the most eligible for sailing, you get a chance to hop through the 115 islands and enjoy the sights and sounds of  the Seychelles. 

Lake Victoria

Maybe not many people in East Africa use the vast water body for sporting but with the right vessel sailing on the Victoria would be fun. The lake is gifted with many bird species so you can as well use that time to bird watch as well as track marine life. There is a sailing club in Entebbe which has sail boats for hire and if that’s not for you, try the canoes or ferries that take people to the islands daily. 

South Africa

With the biggest parts of the country’s borders in the ocean, South Africa is an ideal vacation spot as well as sailing haven. You can charter a luxury cruise of maybe get a sail boat close to the shores and breeze through the waters while watching the beautiful sunset. 

Credit: travel.jumia.com

A Week Through Kampala’s Favourite Restaurants

Kampala is the capital city of Uganda, the “Pearl of Africa.” Uganda has many delicious cuisines many of which represent the tribes and cultures served across the country.

Kampala being the capital city and central business hub of the country, has a vast array of restaurants that boost of delicious food with cuisines from all the major cultures of the world. Take a week and visit are a few of these favourite restaurants around Kampala

Bon Appetite

There are many local food eateries around Kampala that cater to the needs of many Ugandans and have stood the test of time but Bon Appetit's still stands out. The restaurant which has been in business for decades still boosts of big crowds during rush- hour; lunch and breakfast. Their katogo is one of the most ordered on Jumia food. The local food menu is available throughout the day just to keep your tummy happy and healthy. 

Cafe Javas

Recently adding an eighth installation of restaurant branches to its portfolio, Cafe Javas holds the top spot for being one of the most frequented eateries in town. The restaurant chain started out as an extension to City Oil petrol stations and has grown into a formidable brand name in the country. Javas serves a variety of cuisines ranging from Indian, European to Ugandan. Drop in for their “big breakfast” combos. All their restaurants adhere to Halal standards set by the Uganda Muslim Council. 

Legends Bar Kampala

Before it was Legends, the bar and restaurant had the rugby crowds thundering loud on the weekends whenever there was a game. Now, Legends thunders with rugby, pulsates with music and serves sumptuous buffets at lunch time. The buffet menu served is local food that changes everyday of the week so as to give your palate a tour of Ugandan dishes. And then when you are done partying through the night, you can try the delicious roasted meats from the grill. 

Chok Di Thai

A little taste of Thailand in Uganda on a cold evening after a long day at work is all you need. Located alongside Moyo close in Kampala, Chok Di Thai opened for business in 2014 and has been serving up delicious Thai cuisines since then. Try the curry or stir fries they might keep you going back. 

Nanjing Restaurant

Chinese cuisines vary in tastes and style of cooking and Nanjing has done well in showcasing what he Republic offers. Nanjing has two branches all easily to access in the Kololo neighbourhood with a view to behold as you dine. 

Bufundas

These are several hidden restaurants around Kampala serving some of the best local food dishes at the cheapest prices. Bufundas is plural for kafunda which can be loosely translated to meaning a makeshift restaurant. They are usually located downtown, construction sites or washing lots around Kampala. Servings in bufundas are sufficient enough to keep you coming back, that is why most people leave their offices at lunch for those sumptuous meals. 

Mythos Greek Taverna

A unique and quite rare dining experience is what Mythos as it's commonly known offers you delicious greek food and tailored cocktails from the in-house mixologist. Mythos has been in business since 2014, the thoughtfulness that went in the interior design makes you appreciate the beauty of greek architecture in the restaurant. Their best moments are during the dinner rush and lest we forget, sundays with the sumptuous Congolese buffet. 

Khana Khazana

Indian food is world reknown to be full of delicious flavours and you will find it all at Khana Khazana located alongside Acacia Avenue. When at Khana Khazana make sure to ask for their signature dish; Khazana chicken curry with naan/bread/ rice. 

Yujo Sushi Bar and Izakaya

Sushi is not just a trend, sushi is part of the traditions and culture of the Japanese people. Yujo Izakaya has a sushi bar where the chef prepares for you delicious sushi bites as you sip on Sake (rice wine). And if Sushi is not your cup of tea, the hot kitchen will entice you with flavours that will take you to the hills and valleys of Japan. Yujo Izakaya is a traditional Japanese restaurant and tavern. 

Holy Crepe

How about breakfast with a view of  Kololo and Naguru? Holy Crepe is a creperie that serves you delicious waffles, fried chicken and crepes. The breeze in Kololo will calm your spirits, as you sip on fresh juice made from fruits grown in Uganda as you wait for your meal. 

Credit: travel.jumia.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Why Seychelles Should Be Your Next Destination

The Seychelles is an island country in the Indian Ocean off the shores of East Africa. The country is made up of 115 islands which are some of the most sought after tourist destinations in Africa. Seychelles was colonised by the British and attained independence in 1976 from which it has grown to having a high nominal per capita GDP. The capital of Seychelles is Victoria, and the biggest population in the country speaks Seychellois Creole while the rest speaks English or French.

A Ugandan does not need a visa to visit the archipelago and contrary to common belief, you do not have to spend a fortune to visit Seychelles. So why should you visit Seychelles in the first place? 

Guaranteed Relaxation

Every thought of sipping pina coladas on the shores of sky blue water while the wind sways the palm trees nearby conjures up the feeling of relaxation. Seychelles is the perfect picture for relaxation and why not use your vacation time to rest away? 

Safety

Seychelles a relatively peaceful country without conflicts. Being a highly desired vacation destination, you do not have to worry about something abrupt happening to you whilst on your visit there. 

Marine Life

Being located in the indian ocean, the Seychelles islands have unique marine life and fauna to be explored, go scuba diving and snorkeling in the coral-filled waters. You will see animals indigenous to the area such as the Aldabra giant tortoise, saltwater crocodile among many more. 

Year Round Vacation

Seychelles has a conducive year round weather which makes it very suitable as a vacation destination throughout the year. Being located in the latitude, the weather varies from rainy and beautifully sunny year round meaning you do not have to stay indoors when you visit. 

What to do in Seychelles

Of course visiting a new country can be very daunting, so here are a few things you can do whilst visiting the Seychelles. 

Go Island Hopping

Why visit Seychelles and stay on one island yet you can go see what the other islands can offer you? Being that the country is an archipelago, there are 115 islands filled with a lot of adventure for you to explore from La Digue to Cerf or maybe Mahe. Yes, you cannot explore all the islands but you can create time for the nearest few. 

Bird Watching

Although the number of bird species has reduced since human settlement on the island around 1770, Seychelles still has the biggest population of sea bird colonies. As of 2016, the recorded number of species is estimated at 269 including Skuas, jaegers, siskins, storks, flamingos, shearwaters, and Acrocephalid warblers. 

Taste The Seychellois Cuisine

The creole culinary experience in Seychelles will blow you away, so when you visit make sure to try out the local eateries for the food. Dishes are mixture of Asian, British, African, and French which gives you a fusion of different cultures on a plate. The food is mostly seafood and fish based with delicious dishes like; salted fish rougay, grilled fish, ladob, shark chutney, Cari bernique and lots of curry. 

Visit Historical Sites

Every country has those locations that played a part in the history of the people and of course Seychelles has several of those. Make time for them and learn something about the history of the Seychellois people. 

Snorkeling And Scuba Diving

The best way to get a good glimpse of what those beautiful blue waters of the Indian ocean hide underneath is by going under the waves. Snorkeling is the practice of swimming on or through a body of water while equipped with a diving mask, a shaped breathing tube called a snorkel, and usually swimfins. On the other hand, Scuba diving involves having a gas tank as well as wearing wet suits. Whatever is convenient for your experience, do it. 

Credit: travel.jumia.com

 

 

 

How Speke Apartments Is Revolutionizing Hospitality Industry

Uganda’s tourism sector is fast picking up with increased numbers of tourists coming into the country. Global broadcaster CNN ranked Uganda as the fifth best destination in the world putting the East African nation in a good position especially now that energies are being directed at marketing the country to the world.

Domestic tourism is also moving into the right direction especially now that middle income earners in Uganda are fast appreciating their country and beginning to explore it even more. All this is creating a demand for better hotels, restaurants, lodges and leisure places that complete the hospitality industry.

Because of this demand service providers like hotels are left with no choice but to put in place high quality facilities to meet demands of customers. This investment is demand driven. The latest addition to Uganda’s hotel industry is the magnificent Speke Apartments located on Wampewo Avenue, Kololo – Kampala.

Drhuv Pathak, marketing manager Speke Apartments says that their customers want a home-like facility. He explains that such facilities should be accessible, technologically equipped and fitted with luxurious services like health centers.

 “A customer should be able to get all amenities in one place. Therefore property developers in this business try to make the customer’s stay comfortable, affordable and memorable,” the marketing manager explained to journalists recently.

The Apartments are ideal for executives and their families who come to Kampala for a short to medium stay. It combines a great location with a secure, quiet, clean, serviced apartment accommodation spread out over five floors.

The apartment has facilities like one, two and three bedroom apartments with furnished kitchen, gadgets required for a home, double glazed aluminum windows, 52'&32 led flat screen TVs, air conditioned, and spacious with internet. Speke Apartment has 2 swimming pools, spa, 8 penthouses and first fusion restaurant in Uganda. It has a total of 82 units.

Pathak says good apartments that are on international standards should have full housekeeping services with cleaning and laundry services completed by standby friendly security personnel.

Kampala is a beautiful city that was originally built on seven hill which have since expanded to other hills. Speke Apartment is a residential facility that comes with a view overseeing the Kampala city and the iconic Lake Victoria.

“This property opens to a stunning living room with gorgeous furniture fitted with soft padded upholstery, high qualities of fixtures, furnishing, appliances, ready to move in. It comes with three bedrooms each with its own bathroom, a balcony and a dining table with six chairs.” Pathak said.

Speke Apartments is a luxurious facility that gives a complete bouquet of services a tourist, traveler of anybody looking to have fun needs. They are set in their own pleasant grounds a few minutes from the city centre, but away from the traffic. In the garden, there are bar and barbeque facilities that guests may use, as well as a small swimming pool, Jacuzzi & sauna.

HOTEL REVIEW: Forest Cottages Brings Wildlife Experience To Kampala City

One of the reasons millions of people trek to national parks is to come up and close with nature. The green natural scenery, the clean air, the singing birds, animals and the peace that comes with being away from the city hustle is soothing. This kind of environment is the reason the tourism sector flourish across the global.

Yet we all can’t go upcountry to have first hand experience of this beauty for various reasons, Forest Cottages, located at Plot 17/18, Naguru Hill Old Kira Road, Bukoto, Kampala offers a suprisingly similar experience. Nestled in the deliberately planted trees, Forest Cottages is first becoming a hide out for people who love exquisite nature.

Forest Cottages are designed luxury cottages set in a serene, African forest environment. At the hotel, you get to feel the touch of nature in a comfortable and unique environment. The selectively planted smaller trees, bushes, shrubs and flowers make Forest Cottages an inspiring destination for nature lovers and eco tourists alike.

The artistic hotel provides a small sanctuary for forest wildlife such as colored turacoes, hornbills, and an additional 20 bird species. The secluded hotel offers peace and quietness in a natural green setting or the excitement of waking up to humming birds. All this beauty is topped up friendly and courteous and professional staff members.

Sekacwa Brain, a usual quest at the hotel, in one of the only reviews describes Forest Cottages as ‘very quiet and good for relaxation,’ explaining that the Cottages are ‘simply amazing’. “The terraces give you a nice feel of nature. If you have not been there, try it. Trust me the experience is breathtaking,”

He adds “[Forest Cottages] is a good place to chill. Very well planned cottages giving ultimate privacy to guest. Proximity to Kabita country club where the guest can swim free is a wonderful offer. Maybe they can look at improving their own food menu.”

While another online reviewer, Jeremiah Oweka describes the hotel as ‘a nice place for outing with friends and family because of good services’. These and many more positive reviews are testament to what Forest Cottages stands for.

Accommodation

a safari lodge style cottage accommodation in the heart of Kampala city, with individually designed luxurious cottages offering a relaxing and soothing experience. All the cottages are furnished with locally handmade furniture, and equipped with self-catering facilities with all essential amenities to ensure your comfort during your stay.

The Hotel, offers 5 room types from which you can choose. The Standard Single, Standard Double, One Bedroom Cottage, Two Bedroom Cottage and Three Bedroom Cottage which are all ideal for business travellers, tourists, honeymooners and even families on holiday.

A night inside a Standard Single Room goes for $65, Standard Double Room at $72, 1 Bedroom Cottage at $90, $2 Bedroom Cottage at $120 and 3 Bedroom Cottage comes at $165. Half Board per Person $75 (Includes Breakfast, Lunch or Dinner) while full board per Person $85 (Includes Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner).

Corporate events, Meetings

Forest Cottages’ conference and banquet facilities comprise of meeting space the total of 4 separate rooms. These rooms are capable of seating 10 to 200 guests in various sitting styles, and cater to maximum of 150 guests for a reception. The facilities are equipped with Wi-Fi, conference calls, fax facilities, recording devices are available upon request, PA system, stationary and courteous fulltime staff on hand to assist you during your event.

Forest Cottages also provides a venue for weddings. Also airport pickups and drops, safaris, tours around Kampala and day trips to locally made African craft markets can be organized.

Dinning

At Forest Cottages, one can enjoy unique and posh dining in a setting of your choosing. The Avocado Restaurant has a traditional ambience which leaves you in no doubt that you are dining in Africa. With an extensive assortment of cosmopolitan dishes ranging from exclusively local and International cuisine, our guests will be spoilt for choice.

The decadence you experience while dining in the restaurant is in part due to the competent and capable well-trained staff consisting of diverse experience of chefs. The hotel serves a delicious continental breakfast that you can enjoy in either the dining room or on the open terrace where a fresh breeze cooled by the trees leaves you reinvigorated and ready to face the day.

The Bar is lavishly stocked with all major alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks. Served in a beautiful recreational atmosphere, you will spend your evenings delightfully during the duration of your stay. You can get a 15% discount off when you make online bookings then you can enjoy Safari lodge services within the city at the most affordable rates.

Demand For Environmental Health Experts Increasing, Says University Dean

The dean Faculty of health sciences, Victoria University, Dr. Krishna N. Sharma has warned that humans need to leave in a health environment but the availability of environmental health experts is not correlating with the increasing demand. 

Dr. Sharma who recently the high rising Victoria University located on Jinja road in Kampala city described environment health as a human need which must be preserved by experts in that field because ‘we don’t have a choice’.

“No matter who we are, the fact is that we all have to live in an environment. As far as we are alive, whatever we touch, breath, eat or drink may bring us trouble. So a healthy environment is our need. We don’t have a choice.  Here come the environmental health experts,”

To fill up the gap, Victoria University under the Faculty of health sciences is offering degree like a Bachelor of environmental Health Sciences that provides fundamental knowledge of environment health. The degree course puts emphasis on the control of major environmental health problems such as water supply, waste disposal, food hygiene, occupational health, air pollution and other environmental aspects.

Dr. Sharma says the application of environmental of environmental health knowledge, principles and methods is vital for the health and safety of the population in the world. The university says environmental health is a principal area of study in the field of public health.

Environmental health scientists, according to Dr. Sharma, work on assessing, managing, controlling and preventing environmental risks through research, advocacy and intervention at community, national and global level. Bachelor of environmental Health Sciences is a three year course.

“The demand for environmental health experts is increasing at the speed of development and urbanization due to the increase in health threats that come with urbanization,” Dr Sharma, who is in charge of the line faculty, said.

“At this time, more than 54% of the world population lives in urban areas.  In fact even in Uganda, the level of urbanization last year was 18% and it might increase to 30% by 2030. It is estimated that about 50% of the total Ugandan population will be living in urban areas by 2050.

So if you look at these statistics, you will get a broader picture and understand how the demand for environmental health experts is increasing rapidly and how brighter the career in this field is.” He adds.

Dr Sharma, a renowned academician, celebrity physiotherapist and prolific author says Victoria University is going to work a lot on research and publications. “We are upgrading the teaching methodology with the latest schools of thoughts in pedagogy. We will focus on the fruitful research… the research that will bring positive change in Uganda and abroad. 

This year we will have our own journal and publication so once the students graduate from here, they will already have their published research paper and book. These will give an added value and recognition to them. Apart from this, we are going to move towards online education through our e-academy. We are planning to offer many free courses too as a part of our corporate social responsibility.

KISU To Host 4th Children’s Climate Change Conference

Uganda’s Little Hands Go Green and My Kid is A Superstar have announced that this year’s International Children’s Climate Change Conference will be hosted by Kampala International School Kampala (KISU) which is located in Bukoto, a Kampala suburb, on 22nd April, 2017.

Joseph Masembe the CEO of Uganda’s Little Hands Go Green, a civil society organization that advocates for environment conservation, said during a press conference at KISU that 300 child delegates from 40 schools including 4 international schools from Rwanda will meet at the conference being organized under the theme ‘environmental and climate literacy’.

“These children will be representing different nationalities and will discuss and debate environmental issues. Each school will be given time to present its thoughts on the theme of the conference,” Masembe told journalists on Tuesday morning.

The conference will give a platform for children to air out their views on climate change, promote environment conservation among children, showcase efforts children are putting in the climate change fight among other efforts dedicated to environmental conservation.

Steve Lang, School Director KISU expressed delight being part of the conference emphasizing that radical and concerted effort is required to promote environmental conservation through education and mobilizing the next generation.

“That, to me, is what this conference is all about, and why we are so pleased to be hosting it.” Lang noted. The conference is supported by KISU, earth day network, NBS Television, Kampala Capital City Authority and Rwanda Little Hands Go Green.  

The International Children’s Climate Change conference will take place on World Earth Day April 22nd.  A delegation from Rwanda's Mother Mary School, Little Bears Montessori and Hope Academy will be accompanied by patrons from the schools as well as officials from Rwanda's Little Hands Go Green, REMA, parents and Q sourcing Rwanda.

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