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Eat out of town Eat out of town Eat out of town

Eat out of town

It is Sunday. You and the family wish to dine out somewhere affordable. You have toddlers in toe. Besides traditional food, you also hanker for something continental. You will be surprised how many eating places in town never open on Sundays so what about out of town? Not too many places come to mind. But, Edma Country Club situated in Kiteezi off the Gayaza Road comes to mind and is a sparkling gem of a place in the boondocks. The road was widened and fully rehabilitated allowing for easy access.
Seven years ago saw the advent of this novel establishment in Kiteezi with Edward and Mary creating a place that would appeal to people in the area of Gayaza, Kawempe, and Kyebando. Mary along with daughter Naomi, who is an ophthalmologist and much to their credit, are doing an excellent job in running the business. One of the bigger challenges of having such a place is being able to cater for the a la carte diner who drops by during the week when they are not so busy. From what I understand, you can be assured of more than just mchomo.
Sundays are predictably a buffet affair and depending on the mood of the chef, a soup for a starter could well be the case, or a salad or two before the main event. Here, matooke is a must and we have never been let down. This would be accompanied by a form of rice such as red rice, or rice and peas or stir fried. On this occasion, chef’s choice was steamed rice and always irish potatoes. These could be potato Lyonnaise or has brown or the very popular parsley potatoes. Yams, pumpkins, sweet potatoes or cassava are also a possibility.

Menu and service
In terms of sauces we had groundnut sauce with mushrooms and wonderfully tender and cooked smoked boiled beef stew along with grilled chicken parts. Vegetables comprised a medley of seasonal steamed veggies; carrots, French beans, cauliflower drizzled with butter.
The dessert was a slice of pound cake or a small fruit platter and for Shs24,000 this was entirely par for the course. All things being equal and the weather permitting, the outdoor setting is our favourite seating area and affords maximum privacy. Also a fenced play area for children. Cleanliness is paramount and the service friendly.

If you go…
The place: Edma Country Club
Rating: Not to be missed
Address: Kiteezi, off Gayaza Road
The space: Outdoors and spacious with neat lawns and an indoor restaurant
The crowd: Mostly old school
The bar: Cold beer, juice, wine, soda and mineral water
Recommended dishes: The buffet (Sunday’s and public holidays) is sumptuous and tremendous variety
The damage: The buffet is a very reasonable Shs 20,000
Sound level: Excellent
Parking: Available and secure
Daily specials: Ask the waiter
If you go: Open everyday offering an a la carte menu. Sunday buffet and a barbeque in the evening.

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    With almost half of the 1000 mountain gorillas that are left in the worldwide, Uganda is undoubtedly one of the only 3 African countries where you can visit to track these great, intelligent, humble creatures in the wild. For those of you who love eco-tourism, gorilla trekking should be a must on your travel plan and you won’t regret in life. A trek to see a group of these massive creatures is remarkably a rare wildlife experience you need not to be miss. Ideally, it is a life changing adventure that takes you through the thick, lush forested Bwindi Impenetrable Forest and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park in southwestern Uganda.

    Where to go for gorilla trekking

    Gorilla treks in Uganda are only possible in habituated families and about 17 of them have been habituated and readily available for visitor experiences. In the famed Bwindi Impenetrable National Park treks are done within the 4 main trailheads of Buhoma, Ruhija, Nkuringo and Rushaga. Each of these sectors have habituated families and while on gorilla safari, the available gorilla groups for you to track include Mubare, Habinyanja, Rushegura, Bitukura, Mishaya, Nkuringo, Katwe, Christmas, Busingye, Kahungye, Bweza to a mention but a few. If you opt for Mgahinga Gorilla National Park, the Nyakagezi Family will not disappoint you! It has over 10 members including 4 silverbacks.

    What to expect on gorilla trek in Uganda

    While on a gorilla safari, treks are done in only Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park and Mgahinga National Park southwestern side just along the Albertine rift valley-at the border with Democratic Republic of Congo. These parks boast of rare attractions as well as different most rewarding safari activities for instance bird watching, hiking, cultural encounters a mention but a few. On gorilla trek, you will be assigned to only one habituated family to track in a group of 8 visitors. While with a group of these large apes, you have only an hour to spend with them face to face-take as many photos as possible, explore their behaviors and body gestures. The treks start with briefing on dos and don’ts for gorilla trekking by park official. You will be led by a park ranger guide and trackers who take you through a 2 to 8 hours’ trek via a steep slopes, dense vegetation with your packed lunch and bottled water. To be part of this life changing experience, you have to be well-prepared and physically fit to complete your trek. Note only persons above 15 years are allowed to track mountain gorillas.

    Gorilla permits in Uganda

    Visitors who wish to take part in this life changing experience need to have a permit. Interestingly, the cost of gorilla trekking permits in Uganda is relatively cheaper with each permit costing $600 compared to $1500 in Rwanda. You are advised to book for your permit early enough before the actual trek and you can do so through a ground tour company or through a reservation office at the Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA).

    Getting to Bwindi and Mgahinga National Park

    To get to these 2 national parks, you can opt for road means of transportation or take a flight. By road, you need a good 4 wheel safari vehicle that takes you from Kampala/Entebbe via Masaka-Mbarara route and it will take you about 10 hours or more on road to reach to Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park. Alternatively, you can take a flight from Entebbe airport or Kajjansi airfield and land into Kihihi or Kisoro airstrip where you can easily connect to any park of your choice to track mountain gorillas.

    When to visit Uganda for gorilla trekking

    A trek to see mountain gorillas can be done at any time of the year however, most trekkers prefer tracking gorillas in the dry season which starts from June to September and December to February. Besides, you can as well track these creatures in the wet season which begins from March to May and from October to November. Each of these season have advantages and disadvantages. The dry spell is ideal for gorilla trekking the fact that the habitat remains drier hence making it easier for trekkers to hike through the steep slopes and thick forests. The challenge with this season is that there less food for these creatures to feed on compared to wet season. However, it is also possible for you to track mountain gorillas during wet season although the challenge with it is that the ground remains wet/muddy thus making more challenging for trekkers to hike through the dense vegetation and slippery steep slopes.


    Where to stay

    The available safari lodges for your overnight stay in Uganda include Clouds Lodge, Chameleon Hill Lodge, Mahogany Springs, Gorilla Forest Camp, Mutanda Lake Resort, Travelers Rest Hotel, Buhoma Lodge, Gorilla Resort, Engagi Lodge, Silverback lodge, Lake Kitandara Tented Camp, Buhoma Community Rest Camp, Cuckooland Lodge, Mount Gahinga Lodge and others.


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