Hiking to the Rwenzori highest peak suspended

Hiking to the highest point in Uganda has been suspended. At 5109 meters above sea level, Margherita peak in the Rwenzori Mountains is the highest point in Uganda (and third highest in Africa), and is the ultimate prize for the climbing tour in the Rwenzori Mountains National Park.

The suspension comes after a deep crevasse forming in the glacier on the side of the peak accessed by the climbers. The suspension is a precaution to ensure safety to the climbers. In the meantime, a safer alternative is being  explored as discussed below in the communique by the Uganda Wildlife Authority.

Note that hiking in the Rwenzori National Park is still available but summiting Margherita peak is suspended until an alternative to summit the peak safely has been installed.

Read below the full communique from the Uganda Wildlife Authority that manages the park.

Ewaffe Cultural Village – a place to experience old Baganda traditions and culture

Ewaffe Cultural Village is the place to go (near Kampala) for one to experience authentic African traditions and cultures. This spot is not like many other cultural centers where a few items depicting African traditions and cultures are simply put on display for you to watch, but Ewaffe Cultural Village is a big project nicely set up in rural Uganda giving one an opportunity to experience the life of the local in the old African tradition society and to discover secretes of the Baganda tribe traditional family, for example, the intriguing way DNA of a child was carried out traditionally.

The cultural village spans several acres of rural land and on it are gardens of food that was particularly grown in the Buganda traditional community, a medicinal herb garden containing many herbs and plants that provided a source of medication for ailments, body enhancements and good fortune in life, a well that provides water for home use, small lake (read pond) that provides fish, a bushland and swamp teeming with birds, etc…

On arrival at Ewaffe Cultural Village the enthusiastic team dressed in Baganda traditional attire welcomes you with the traditional Kiganda dance performance, and banana juice served in the traditional gourd/calabash sipped with a bamboo straw. After the warm welcome you proceed to experience the rest of the activities here.

How far / location of Ewaffe Cultural Village

Ewaffe Cultural Village is located in Naggalama, Mukono District, along Kayunga Road. This is only one hour’s drive from Kampala, making it so easy to visit for a one day cultural and village tour. The easiest access route from Kampala is via Ntinda – Najjera – Bulindo – Kitukutwe – Gayaza – Kayunga Road – Naggalama.

From Jinja, it will take about 1.5 hours drive to there.

This convenient location also means it is an easy addition to a number of short trips going this direction such as; a day trip to the source of the Nile and Jinja, to a birdwatching expedition to Mabira forest, visit to Sezibwa falls, Sipi falls hiking tour.

Activities to do at Ewaffe Cultural Village

Traditional Kiganda dance performance

First activity you experience as soon as you set foot at the cultural village you are treated to a traditional Kiganda dance performance. You can join the group and take your first lesson at Kiganda dance or entertain yourself away.

Medicinal herb garden tour

Take the garden tour to learn about many herbs and plants what the traditional society used for a number of remedies such as cure of illnesses, bring good luck, enhance body performance, improve sex life, food and tea spices. Some of the herbs include: aloe vera (kigaji), Tameric (kinzali), Lemon grass (kisubi), Cactus (Kawumpuli), Pomegranate (koma mawanga), Shame plant (muko wewumbe), spear mint, under seed plant (kakumirizi), Sasame (olutungotungo), Alligator pepper (etunguulu), Lion ear (kifumufumu), Ginger bush (Kyewamala), Periwinkle (kamuli ko kumalalo), Bottle grass (nyambala butonya) etc…

Cooking class (preparing a local traditional delicacy Luwombo)

Learn how banana (matooke) is cooked the traditional Kiganda way, starting with peeling and then wrap the peeled banana in banana leaves before placing it in the saucepan.

Another cooking lesson is the preparing of the local delicacy called “Luwombo”, a kind of meal that was prepared for special occasions.

Banana juice and local brew (tonto) making

Learn the delicate process of making banana juice by squeezing with hands the ripe banana (“kayinja/musa”) and spear grass.

The banana juice is the one that then makes the local brew called “tonto”. This is by sprinkling sorghum flour onto the juice and then kept for about three days to ferment.

Basket weaving

In the traditional African home, women stayed home to look after the home, while the men went out to work to provide for their families. One of the ways women (mothers) occupied their free time at home was through basket weaving, a skill that is still present among lots of village women.

At Ewaffe Cultural Village you get to seat down with the ladies (mothers) for a weaving lesson using the local raw materials you will harness from the village.

Bark cloth making

In the African traditional society before clothes came with the foreigners Africans dressed with bark cloth which is made out of the bark of the trees. Even today bark cloth is still used for some traditional and cultural activities in some societies.

At Ewaffe Cultural Village you be taken through the process of making the bark cloth, right from harvesting the bark from the tree.


Ewaffe Cultural Village has a large pond they have named Lake Ewaffe and it has lots of fish. Using the fishing line tied on one end to a stick (rod) and a hook on the other end where you put your bait of worm, you will have a good time catching fish for leisure. A local expert fisherman is available to guide you on how to fish.

Sex education and bedroom secretes of the Baganda

One of the must-not-miss activities for marrieds and soon-to-be marrieds is the “Ssenga and Kojja session”. Women (senga) and men (kojja) expert in the sex education will delve into secretes of the African traditional bedroom revealing ways of keeping a great sex life. This session is “x-rated” and only adults are allowed.

Testing DNA the traditional way

Using a basket, water and umbilical cord of a baby it was established if a child belong to the man the mother claimed to be the father. This was always carried by the family of the man. No science can explain this so it is a very intriguing tradition that was used in the African traditional society to test the DNA of a child and prove paternity. You will know all about it at Ewaffe Cultural Village.

Fetching water from the Well

Using a clay pot you will visit the well and fetch water, carrying it on your head like it is done in the African traditional society. It is an exciting village activity for those that have never experienced village life.

Luwombo Lunch

For lunch visitors are served a local dish, the tasty “Luwombo”. Easting “luwombo” at Ewaffe Culture Village is an experience of its own. The meal includes chicken, groundnut sauce, matooke (banana), and sweet potato.


Away from the culture and traditions, the cultural village is nice place to birdwatch without any interruptions and you will be able to tick off a number of local species. The bushland, gardens, ponds, wetland have a lot of birds. Since the village is not settled, getting there early in the morning and being all by yourself in the place is a rewarding birding experience.

You can spend a couple of hours here before or after birding in Mabira forest.

2024 Uganda gorilla tracking ticket price increased to USD 800

Uganda has increased the gorilla tracking permit/ticket from $700 to $800. The new price of the gorilla tracking permit is effective from July 2024 when the new Uganda financial year starts. So for all purchases of gorilla trekking permits for tracking dates starting 1st July 2024 one has to pay $800. It has also been announced that those that had only deposited (and not paid full amount) on the gorilla permit(s) basing on the old price before this announcement will be paying the new price, hence top up amount should make $800. Only those that had paid the full fee of the old price will not be affected by the new price.

The increase in the gorilla permit means more finances available for conservation of the gorillas and their habitats, and also more revenue shared to the local communities near the gorillas. A percentage of the gorilla ticket money is sent to the communities near the gorilla parks and is used in projects that uplift the communities such building schools, hospitals, setting income generating projects, e.t.c…

The price of the gorilla tracking permit is revised every two years, so the new price of $800 is for the period of July 2024 to June 2026.

Take advantage of cheaper permit and book your gorilla trip before July 2024

The gorilla tracking will still cost $700 until June 2024 so this is the best time to book a gorilla trip to Uganda and take advantage of the old price. You will be saving $100 which can be spent on a nice budget accommodation.

Uganda still offers an affordable gorilla tour

Even with the $100 increase on the gorilla permit, the gorilla tour in Uganda is still more affordable than the gorilla tour in Rwanda where the gorilla tracking permit costs a whopping $1500.

More habituated gorilla families announced

At the start of 2024 the Uganda Wildlife Authority has also announced five more habituated gorilla families added for gorilla tracking. That would make more than 20 habituated gorilla families for gorilla tracking in Uganda. In total 194 gorilla tracking permits are available each day which improves availability even during the peak tourism season. Chances of tracking gorillas on ones dates, even for a last minute booking, are better now.

Is Uganda safe after the (ADF) attack on tourists?

On 17th October gunmen believed to be of the rebel outfit the ADF – Allied Democratic Forces (a designated terrorist organization with links to ISIS)  killed two tourists and their tour drive while on safari in Queen Elizabeth National Park. This tragic incidence sent shockwaves through the tourism industry and the country’s leadership. Never before has the ADF had the motivation to attack foreigners, let alone tourists. This has impacted the tourism industry immensely as tour operators are reporting booking cancellations by tourists who had planned trips to Uganda.

How and why the ADF managed to attack the tourists in Queen Elizabeth National Park?

The country’s security infrastructure was caught off-guard by this incidence, as perhaps it was never imagined the ADF would have such motivation to target tourists or foreigners.  But, this has been explained by the head of state, stating that the attack on tourists in Uganda by the ADF was a desperate act by the group facing defeat. The government of Uganda launched a campaign into Congo to wipe out the ADF where it has been basing to carry out the attacks in Uganda. And as such, the group has been dealt a huge blow by the campaign, having its fighters killed and bases annihilated within the Congo degrading it heavily and sending the remnants of its forces into disarray. The disintegrated group had some of its remnants sneak back into Uganda and it is from these about 5 terrorists killed tourists in Queen Elizabeth National Park.

Why the group managed to sneak into the park? It is because the park is shared along the border with Congo, and so it is the easiest place they could have managed to sneak in, attack and probably sneak quickly back into Congo.

How safe is Uganda after the attack and should I cancel the trip?

After the surprise attack the Ugandan government has massively increased deployment in and near Queen Elizabeth National Park as the army and other security agencies continue to comb the area of any insurgencies.

Security measures have also been upped in other national parks and tourism destinations such as Bwindi National Park, Murchison Falls National Park, Lake Mburo National Park, etc… However the likelihood of the rebels repeating such an attack in another park is very slim to impossible because they would not have an easy escape back into Congo before they are netted. Other parks are also not close to the conflict zone like Queen Elizabeth National Park that is extends into both countries.

Should you cancel your trip in Uganda? Definitely you should not. Uganda is stable and safe, the attack on tourists can be treated as a one off and has motivated the government even further to increase surveillance in the parks and to also commit to wipe out the ADF in Congo or degrade it to the point it can no longer pose any threat in future.

Should I exclude Queen Elizabeth National Park from my Ugandan tour?

At the moment, perhaps there is no safer place in Uganda than Queen Elizabeth National Park. The park has been combed of any possible threats from the ADF, and more security personnel have been deployed in the park especially the border regions. Also new safety measures have been put in place as the security agencies eliminate the threat of the rebels. For example, all game drives in are escorted by an armed security personnel, and game drives are done between 7am and 5.30pm.

However, if you think you will feel tense and won’t enjoy the safari in Queen Elizabeth Park then you can exclude the park which is often combined with a gorilla trek in Bwindi forest or chimpanzee trekking Kibale forest. You can instead visit Lake Mburo National Park on your way to the gorillas or chimpanzees.

What is the best time to visit Uganda?

Uganda, popularly referred to as the Pearl of Africa, is a destination that is increasingly being featured yearly in international travel guides as one of the best destinations to visit. For insistence Uganda was in CNN Travel’s list of destinations to visit in 2023. This is because more people are discovering Uganda’s amazingly beautiful landscapes and diverse environments, arguably the best weather in the world, friendliest of people who practice diverse cultures and traditions, and a variety of exciting experiences in 10 national parks that include the famous gorilla trekking and chimpanzee trekking adventures, birdwatching and big game safaris.

A lot of people are deciding to visit Uganda but many wonder what could be the best time to visit the Pearl of Africa?

Well, I can say that since weather is the number one reason people travel then any time is a good time to go to Uganda because Uganda’s weather does not have extremes that would stop you from enjoying your experience or activity. However, you may want to consider the most ideal weather conditions depending on what you want to do in Uganda, best time to see certain wildlife and enjoy experiences, and the local situation that may affect safety.

Best Weather season (Dry season vs wet season)

The best weather season to visit Uganda is during the dry season, or call it the summer and this is from June to September and December to February. The dry season (especially from June to August) with less rains and more sunshine allows for uninterrupted activities and travel in rural areas that can get slippery when it rains. Wildlife adventures like gorilla trekking, chimpanzee tracking and mountain hiking are best done during the dry season, more so for those that are not ready to have a challenging trek or climbing.

The wet season from March to May and October to mid-December is often not the best time to visit Uganda because the constant rains can be disrupting or inconveniencing during treks, plus can also hinder travel to some places when the dirt roads get too slippery or even flood. However wet season has advantages too, for example there are less crowds, the scenery is surreal, the waterfalls are massive, the lakes so pristine. If you are a nature lover and can brave the slippery trails and road and rains falling on you, you will enjoy the wet season better.

Is there a bad time to visit Uganda?

Uganda is safe and beautiful all year round, there is no definite time when you should not go to Uganda. However during the political season when the president is elected may not be a good time to visit Uganda due to a heightened political atmosphere that may easily break into riots across several cities especially the capital Kampala.

Also be vigilant when there is an outbreak of a deadly disease such as Ebola and cholera. With Uganda’s poor health care system, it may be a bit risky to visit Uganda.