Speke Resort Munyonyo Voted Best Hotel At Tourism Awards


Speke Resort & Conference Centre Munyonyo emerged as the Best Service/Luxury Standard Hotel in Uganda fending off competition from Sheraton Hotel, Serena Hotel and Imperial Royale Hotel.

The award came at the inaugural Ekkula Pearl of Africa Tourism Awards which took place at Hotel Africana on Friday. The awards recognized individuals and personalities in the tourism sector.

Speaking upon receiving the award, Greg Petzer, the General Manager of Speke Resort Munyonyo, said it was a great honor to be recognized as hotel with the best services and standards in the whole country.

He said they will continue reviewing standards to meet the market needs and make Uganda the best tourism destination. “We are extremely proud for the recognition,” he acknowledged.

“As a team, we work very hard to meet the expectations of our quests. By winning this award it means we are doing something right but we are not going to seat on our laurels; instead we are going to work extra hard and continue being the best.” Petzer said in an interview.

Speke Resort Munyonyo is a 5 star hotel located 12 km from Uganda's capital Kampala. The hotel offers the ultimate in luxury accommodation, leisure facilities, the finest conference and business meeting location in East Africa.

The Resort has 59 Presidential suites with a unique blend of traditional Ugandan décor, furnishings, cottages, apartments and studio rooms. The hotel has a total of 335 rooms.

Speke Resort Munyonyo was built in 2001 and accommodated the visiting Presidents and Prime Ministers at the 2007 Commonwealth Conference (CHOGM).

The judges’ choice was based on a number of factors but most notably the nominee’s contribution to promoting Uganda as a top tourist destination, promote domestic tourism and professionalism.

Other winners

Best tourism blog/magazine

  • Pearl guide

Best supporting tourism photographer

  • Natty dread king

Best travel t.v show

  • Uganda ekkula. (Bukkede t.v)

Best traditional dance troupe

  • Ndeere troupe

Best tourism promotional song

  • Bwojo-Nichoe Kitone.

Best traditional cuisine restaurant

  • Baguma restaurant.

Best cultural center

  • Uganda national cultural centre

Best tourism training center

  • Uganda hotel & tourism training institute. (Jinja)

Best tourism youth initiative

  • Wildlife clubs of uganda

Private wildlife conservation center

  • Kavumba recreation center - Wakiso.

Best tourism initiative

  • Miss tourism pageant.

Best eco-resort

  • Budongo eco-lodge

Most active tourism cluster

  • Busoga tourism initiative.

Best institutional museum and antique center

  • Kikonyogo money museum.

Best community museums/antique center

  • Igongo museum.

Best supporting television

  • UBC

Best supporting corporate company.

  • Madhvani/ marasa africa

Best supporting airlines (business class)

  • Brussels airlines

Best supporting airlines (economy class)

  • Ethiopian airways.

Best tourism role model

  • Amos Wekesa

Most user friendly tourism association

  • U.H.O.A

Tourism event of the year

  • Pope’s visit.

Best supporting hotel

  • Serena hotel

Best service/luxury standard hotel

  • Speke resort /common wealth Munyonyo

Best tourism investor

  • Ruparelia group.

Outstanding tourism achiever?  

  • Amos Wekesa

Emirates Environmental Report Points To Reduced Aircraft Noise Emissions


The Emirates Group, comprising Emirates airline and dnata, has released its fifth annual environmental report for 2014-15 audited by PricewaterhouseCoopers.

The report presents environmental performance data across a range of activities including airline operations, dnata’s cargo and ground handling businesses and a wide range of commercial activities on the ground – from engineering to catering.

HH Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman and Chief Executive, Emirates Airline and Group, said Emirates and dnata continue to invest in business growth in tandem with customer demand and global opportunities. 

“As the scale of our operations expands, we are ever more conscious of our responsibility towards the environment and communities we serve.  We are aware that our efforts to reduce resource use will not only reduce our environmental impact, but will also help build our business resilience.

“When it comes to our environmental stewardship, the Emirates Group has core areas of focus where we believe we can make the biggest impact, but we also know that every little effort counts especially when amplified at global scale. Our annual environmental report is a report card, and also a commitment to continuously improve our environmental performance.”

Airline operations constitute the main environmental impact of the Emirates Group. In 2014-15, Emirates continued to add new aircraft to its fleet, retire older aircraft, and prioritise fuel-saving operational techniques.

Emirates’ flight operations specialists worked with agencies in countries as far afield as the USA, Austria, France, Malta, the Seychelles, Ethiopia, Kenya and Pakistan – as well as Dubai’s neighbouring emirate of Sharjah – to introduce or validate new performance-based navigation procedures, to help reduce fuel consumption and enhance operational safety.

Emirates added 24 new aircraft and retired 10 older aircraft in 2014-15, maintaining an average fleet age of 75 months, or about half the industry average of 140 months.

Key highlights this year include a continued reduction in aircraft noise emissions, a modest improvement in overall fleet fuel efficiency despite external operational challenges, and improvements in ground vehicle fuel efficiency.

All of Emirates’ aircraft* meet or exceed Chapter 4 limits - the most stringent ICAO noise Standards, and new A380 and Boeing 777 deliveries during the year helped to further improve the fleet’s margin below the Chapter 4 limits.

Emirates’ overall fuel efficiency in 2014-15 improved 1% to 0.3057 litres per tonnekilometre, 14% more efficient than the IATA fleet average fuel efficiency (IATA WATS 59th Edition). 

This was despite the impact of airspace closures caused by security concerns in many parts of the world, which led Emirates to fly longer routings to avoid these areas. The 80-day runway closure at Emirates’ hub in Dubai International Airport also meant that flights had to carry more contingency fuel than usual, thereby impacting fuel efficiency.

On the ground, dnata in Dubai took delivery of 30 new electric tractors to replace diesel-powered vehicles for use at Dubai International Airport. The tractors, manufactured by TUG Technologies Corporation and Charlatte America, produce no air-polluting emissions.

A change in the UAE government’s regulations also helped to bring down the amount of pollutants produced by ground vehicles. The Group’s ground transport fleet in the UAE began using low-sulphur diesel following the government’s announcement of mandatory new fuel specifications in 2014.

The fuel contains 10 parts per million (ppm) of sulphur, a considerable reduction from the previous specification of 500 ppm, and will greatly reduce levels of particulate emissions.

Uganda Told To Abandon Oil Exploration Plans Inside National Parks


A consortium of over 60 environmental and tourism groups want the governments of Uganda and Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) to stop new oil drilling licences from being awarded in Virunga National Park and the surrounding area.

Groups, including Global Witness, Greenpeace and the Zoological Society of London (ZSL), are warning that a new oil licence, for which the Ugandan government is currently inviting bids, could have a devastating impact on the UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Next month the Ugandan government will receive bids on six new oil licences, all of which include protected areas and one of which shares a lake with Virunga National Park. Lake Edward is at the heart of Virunga’s precious ecosystem, but lies across the Congolese and Ugandan border.

“Drilling for oil in Lake Edward may have a devastating impact on both Virunga and the local people and wildlife in Uganda” said George Boden, a Senior Campaigner at Global Witness and a spokesperson for the group.

“Oil activity in one part of the lake will affect all of it – the wildlife who call the lake home aren’t aware of these national borders. There are also over 200,000 people who are dependent on Lake Edward for food. UNESCO and the governments of Uganda and Congo need to act urgently to stop oil exploration in the entire lake for good.”

The groups are also calling attention to the potential damage to Uganda’s growing tourism sector. Queen Elizabeth National Park, which also forms part of the oil block in question, is responsible for a third of all visits to Uganda’s national parks. Tourism currently accounts for 8% of Uganda’s GDP.

“Drilling in this area is bad for the environment and bad for business. It may cause irreparable damage to one of Uganda’s key tourist attractions and to Uganda’s growing tourism sector,” said Onesmus Mugyenyi, the Deputy Executive Director at ACODE (Advocates Coalition for Development and Environment) Uganda.

“Given the global downturn in oil prices Uganda should protect other growing areas of our economy. Lake Edward could be worth a lot more to both countries as an area of outstanding natural beauty,” Mugyeni added.

Bukenya-Matovu Yusuf, spokesperson for Uganda’s energy ministry, is quoted by africanews.com, saying that environmentalists’ concerns were unjustified.

“How about UK drilling in the North Sea or offshore drilling all over the world … no one is talking about endangering marine life there,” he said.  “The problem is not drilling in a national park or lake but doing it in a responsible and sensitive manner and we’re experts in that,” he said. 

In 2014 British oil company Soco International carried out seismic testing for oil on the Congolese side of Lake Edward, in Virunga, prompting widespread local opposition and an international outcry.

The struggle over their oil licence was recorded in the Oscar nominated documentary Virunga, which was produced by Leonardo DiCaprio. Following the outcry Soco committed to no further involvement in its oil block in Virunga and announced in November 2015 that it no longer owns the block’s licence.

The Congolese government has not commented publicly on the future of oil block 5, which covers Virunga National Park, since Soco’s announcement.

Global Witness and other NGOs are concerned that the Congolese government may seek to re-draw the boundaries of the World Heritage Site in Virunga in order to allow for drilling in this oil block.

Top Five Ugandan Delicacies Loved By Foreigners


Food is a huge part of travel because wherever you go, you must eat. It’s not negotiable. What is a trip to a foreign land if you do not sample the local cuisine? Most hotels on Jovago.com offer local cuisine in their restaurants, so once you’re here, you are halfway through your food journey. Uganda has a lot of interesting dishes unique to the region and very diverse, but the following are the must haves!


Oluwombo or luwombo is a traditional dish of Uganda. It is both a royal dish and a fairly common dish cooked especially during the holidays. It is said to have been created in 1887 by the personal chef of Kabaka Mwanga, a king who ruled the kingdom of Buganda at the end of the 19th century. The dish consists of beef or chicken with vegetables like potatoes and carrots, wrapped in banana leaves and steamed to perfection with just the right amount of salt, oil and spices. It is considered a special dish for many reasons including the way it is presented; wrapped in leaves like a gift. In some variations, smoked fish is added to the beef/chicken. 

TV Chicken

The first question you may have is, “Why is it called TV Chicken?” The name comes about because of the way it is cooked. The chicken is roasted in a make-shift rotisserie oven that to the locals, resembles a television. This is a very popular meal and is available almost everywhere in Uganda from street-side vendors. 

The chicken is roasted beautifully and served with home fries and salad. A very popular meal amongst the campus students because the portions are huge and it is ready to eat. The best places for TV chicken are Wandegeya Market and Ntinda shopping centre. The vendors get cracking from about 5pm every day. 


An adaptation from the Swahili word “choma” which means roasted, Muchomo can be anything from chicken gizzards to pork chunks and everything in between. Muchomo is the most accessible meal and can be found everywhere; rugby pitches, roadside and even in fancy restaurants. The meat is usually served with Gonja which is roasted sweet plantains which on its own is enjoyed as a snack. 

Gnut sauce

There is no Ugandan meal that is served without Gnut sauce, and with good reason. Gnut sauce is a creamy paste made from sweet red peanuts and serves with meals as a condiment. In other parts of East Africa, like Western Kenya, Gnut sauce is eaten on its own as soup. In Uganda, it is served with sweet potatoes, cassava, matoke (boiled mashed plantain) and even with roasted fish. When you’re in Uganda, there is no buffet that doesn’t include this delicious sauce and with good reason!


Katogo is traditionally a breakfast dish though it can be enjoyed at any time of the day. The dish is fried plantains with soup and either beef, beans or offals served with traditional vegetables. If you walk into a café at 9am wondering what the irresistible aroma is, they’re most probably serving katogo. Though considered unconventional to the rest of the world, a heavy breakfast is like this is most popular in Uganda is a great hangover remedy just in case you’ve been exploring the nightlife. 

If you happen to be in Kampala and want to sample some authentic Ugandan cuisine but don’t know where to start, Hellofood.ug has you covered with numerous restaurants at the touch of a button and deliveries until late at night. 

About Jovago

Jovago.com is an online hotel booking service with offices in Lagos (Nigeria), Nairobi (Kenya), Dakar (Senegal) founded by Africa Internet Group and has MTN and Millicom as its investors. Jovago.com, Africa’s No.1 booking portal, facilitates the booking process for its users to provide them with the best hotel booking experience with fast, transparent and easy-to-use services. Jovago.com has over 25,000 local hotel listings across Africa and over 200,000 hotels around the world.

Central Bank Commends Buganda Land Reforms


The Bank of Uganda (BoU) has said Buganda Land Board has done right in setting up a land registry system that helps land owners acquire certificates of registration as official documentation and proof of ownership of their bibanja (land).

“I would like to commend the Buganda Land Board for initiating the process of establishing a land registration system, which will not only provide tenure security to the bibanja owners and enable them to pledge their land rights as security for a loan, but will also ease searches of land titles,” said Governor Emmanuel Tumusime-Mutebile.

The Governor’s message to officials of Buganda kingdom was delivered by Dr. Charles Abuka, the Director Financial Stability BoU, at a prayer breakfast where the Buganda Land Board was reviewing their Lease Access Financing Initiative.

The Governor also commended Buganda Land Board for the initiative which it took to assess the land holders’ financing needs in the acquisition of land titles and taking the necessary steps to address these needs by linking up with Centenary Bank and other stakeholders.

 The combined efforts of the Buganda Land Board, the land holders and Centenary Bank led to the formation of the Lease Access Financing Initiative in 2010 which now is under review.

“The outcomes of this tripartite arrangement can have positive and far-reaching effects on the security of land tenure; access to, and use of, financial services; private sector investment; and socio-economic growth and development, if it is managed well. The onus is on each of the stakeholders involved to make the Lease Access Financing Initiative a success.

Despite the progress achieved, the initiative faces some challenges like forged collateral which has hindered land holders’ access to financial services and their acquisition of land titles. In the process financial institutions have incurred losses when loans secured against poor quality collateral have not been repaid on time.

The process of establishing a land registration system will not only provide tenure security to the bibanja owners and enable them to pledge their land rights as security for a loan, but will also ease searches of land titles, Mutebile noted.

“In order to make the certificate of registration and the land title credible and to provide reliable documents that financial institutions can accept as collateral for loans, all necessary steps must be taken to minimize disputes, litigation, forgeries and other land grievances.

He advocated that public education about land registration should be undertaken to facilitate and support understanding of the system by using qualified and skilled survey and registry staff.

Hardware Products Plaza To Boost Uganda’s Construction Sector


Kampala traders dealing in hardware products and services have now got a home after city tycoon Sudhir Ruparelia officially opened the Hardware City complex on Entebbe road, downtown the city near Nakasero Market.

Crane Management Services, which is part of the Ruparelia Group, on Monday, at a grand opening ceremony, handed over the multistoried building worth $25m to tenants.

The spacious  Hardware City building was officially opened by the chairman of Ruparelia Group Sudhir Ruparelia, Crane Management Services managing director Rajiv Ruparelia, traders and tenants.

The state of the art building seats on about 27000 square meters of prime land, has 281 shops and 66 residential apartments; the piece of land on which the building that took 18 months to construct cost $7m. Already tenants have taken up shops and residence.

“What we had in mind when starting to work on this project was to provide a one stop center to offer hardware products and services. This would help customers to buy everything in one place. We wanted to create a situation were a customer doesn’t move from one place to another looking for hardware goods or services,” Sudhir told tenants at the grand opening of the multistoried building.

Unlike other commercial buildings in the city centre, tenants at the Hardware City complex will pay their monthly rent in Uganda Shillings and they will face no monthly rent increment for the next two years.

“‘Since it is a new building, we are not going to increase monthly rent charges for the next two years,” Sudhir assured tenants.

Rajiv Ruaparelia the managing director of Crane Management Limited the company behind the development of this magnificent building described the building as modern, safe, secure and of high standards when compared to their neighboring commercial building.

Rajiv, the only son of Sudhir, said they have secured a 500kv transformer to supply the building with constant power and will provide tenants with pre-paid sub meters through which they will be able to buy electricity. He said it will be a private service akin to Umeme’s Yaka system where the customer pays for any amount of electricity at any time.

Rajiv said the building is space with parking space that can accommodate 800 vehicles. Tenants to park their vehicles will pay a monthly subscription of $50; Non-tenants will pay $100 per month. He added that building will be open between 6am to 10pm because people need enough time to do their business.

SOCO Gives Up Oil License In Protected DRC Park

British oil company SOCO International said it no longer held a stake in an exploration license located in a DRC national park, home to mountain gorillas.

SOCO said it was writing off the costs associated with operations in the so-called Block V inside the Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo."SOCO no longer holds the Block V license," the company said in a statement.

SOCO signed a production sharing agreement with the DRC government in 2006. It said earlier that it reached an agreement with conservation group World Wide Fund for Nature, which operates as the World Wildlife Fund in the United States, to halt work in the DRC's Virunga National Park, a protected area and home to mountain gorillas, a critically endangered species.

In October, the WWF said the number of mountain gorillas in the Virunga park has increased over the last few decades following the work of regional conservationists. The organization said the threat continues, however, to the species' habitat. A census is underway.

The company in its latest update said no drilling ever took place inside Block V and no oil extraction plan was in place in the controversial basin."Block V is not located within the mountainous Mikeno sector [of the park], home to the famous mountain gorillas," it stressed.

Virunga, an award-winning documentary, showcases how the work of poachers, along with oil interests and conflict, has threatened the habitat and the survival of the mountain gorillas. The film raises questions about SOCO's transparency in the region, questions the company has criticized.

SOCO in 2012 was forced to relocate some its staff from the DRC to neighboring Uganda to flee a rebellion launched by the March 23 Movement. It defended its operations in the DRC, saying much of its preliminary work was carried out using aerial surveillance.

The company's work in the DRC had involved seismic surveys of the oil-rich Lake Edward region to get a better understanding of the reserve potential.



Smart Traveller Series: Packing for a weekend getaway

Whether you are driving down to Entebbe for a weekend at the beach, going to Jinja for a camping trip, or heading to Masaka for a festival, there are a few essentials that you should never leave home without. With the following 5 items, you are definitely ready for your weekend of fun.


1.         Sunscreen.

Don’t ever be fooled into thinking you don’t need sunscreen. Other than the risk of skin cancer, exposure to the sun accelerates signs of aging. Mix a little sunscreen in with your lotion and you won’t have to deal with a sunburn on Monday morning.


2.                   Running Shoes

Whether you want to squeeze in a morning jog, or decide to take a walk about the town, running shoes or rubber shoes are a must have. Nothing will ruin your weekend activities more than sore aching feet as you try to explore your surroundings. A cheap pair of rubbers from the market or shoe shops will be worth every penny.


3.                   Water Bottle

While on holiday you need to stay hydrated. Drinking enough water means your energy levels will be up and you will be able to enjoy the weekend experience without being groggy and agitated. Pack your water bottle and keep refilling it during the day.


4.                   Swimsuit

It doesn’t matter what you are doing for the weekend, you always need a swimsuit. Whether you need to use the public shower at the beach or you compulsively want to jump into the crater-lake at Fort Portal. They don’t take up much space so there is no excuse to leave them at home.


5.                   Desert Scarf/ Maasai Shuka

When you’re on holiday, function is key. Everything you pack should be as useful as possible. When you have a Maasai shuka you have no need to carry a bulky jacket if you’re out at night. It serves as a blanket while camping or if you have to sleep in the car and can be laid down to sit on if you’re going to the beach.


This article was provided by Jovago

About Jovago

Jovago.com is an online hotel booking service with offices in Lagos (Nigeria), Nairobi (Kenya), Dakar (Senegal) founded by Africa Internet Group and has MTN and Millicom as its investors. Jovago.com, Africa’s No.1 booking portal, facilitates the booking process for its users to provide them with the best hotel booking experience with fast, transparent and easy-to-use services. Jovago.com has over 25,000 local hotel listings across Africa and over 200,000 hotels around the world.

Everything you need to know about transport in Kampala

First of all, this is not for the faint-hearted. Do not assume that it will be easy, but it will definitely be fun. You will not leave this city without a story to tell your friends back home. Spending a day getting up and about in this city will only make you want to do it again.

Private Hire (Cab)

Taxis are mostly available within the city centre. They may try to overcharge you but this is where your negotiating skills come in. Here’s the trick, when you map out your itinerary, note the distance between the different sites, for example Ntinda to Acacia Mall is about 3 kilometers. Try to drive the price down to about $5 for every 3km. The closer you get to this, the better the price. If you are ever unsure, remember to ask at the reception for taxi rates and stick to your guns. Don’t be alarmed if traffic seems stagnant, you’ll get there soon enough. This mode is relatively reliable if you have appointments if a time cushion is allowed.

Taxi Matatus/Buses

Do not use this mode of transport if you are on a time crunch! Taxis and buses are the most affordable way to get around, unfortunately they are also the slowest and the least reliable. Taxis tend to stop for long periods of time looking for passengers. They also tend to overload so your safest bet is to sit in the front seat with the driver. This way you avoid being uncomfortable and you may get to enjoy a conversation with the driver.

Motorcycle Taxis (Boda Bodas)

Boda bodas are the quickest means of getting around this breathtaking city. However you will need to summon your inner daredevil. The boda bodas take to the roads at incredible speeds, sometimes on the wrong side of the road, sometimes on the sidewalks, avoiding city council officers as they go. The safest way to use a boda is through the Safe Boda app. This app links bodas with passengers using GPS technology. Safe Bodas, unlike others have a second helmet for their passengers and are not allowed break traffic laws.


There are very few traffic lights and zebra crossings in Kampala. Traffic is mainly controlled by the traffic police. Be extra careful when crossing the roads, bodas tend to come out of nowhere when you least expect it.

Be sure to book your stay using Jovago.com, the hotel staff are always more than willing to help you figure out your most ideal mode of transport during your stay.


This article was provided by Jovago

About Jovago

Jovago.com is an online hotel booking service with offices in Lagos (Nigeria), Nairobi (Kenya), Dakar (Senegal) founded by Africa Internet Group and has MTN and Millicom as its investors. Jovago.com, Africa’s No.1 booking portal, facilitates the booking process for its users to provide them with the best hotel booking experience with fast, transparent and easy-to-use services. Jovago.com has over 25,000 local hotel listings across Africa and over 200,000 hotels around the world.

Amazing Chimpanzee Destinations to visit in Uganda

Chimpanzee tracking is a favourite activity for many tourists that visit Uganda. They are easier to track than gorillas and are a lot friendlier too. Here are the best places to track chimpanzees in Uganda. Ugandan hotels on Jovago.com are ready to offer assistance to plan a chimpanzee tracking safari upon request.

Kibale Forest

The rainforest is the preferred site for chimpanzee tracking. The destination is home to 13 species of primates and over 1500 chimpanzees. The ideal trip to Kibale would be a 2-3 day safari. The rainforest is also home to forest elephants, buffalos and of course flocks of exotic birds.

Kyambura Gorge

If you are visiting Queen Elizabeth Park, the Kyambura Gorge is quite close and a great experience. The chimpanzees here have been completely habituated, which means that they are used to human interaction and usually go about their business despite the large number of travelers who come to observe them. The gorge also boasts of the rare tree climbing lions that can be observed at a distance.

Budongo Forest

Only three hours away from Kampala, the Budongo forest is ideal for day trips. They have a minimum age for tracking which is 15 years. There is an eco-lodge for overnight travelers and the forest is also home to a number of wild butterflies and bird species.

Kalinzu Forest

Perfect for nature walks and hikes, all the chimpanzees in Kalinzu forest have been habituated by Japanese researchers. The forest is quite close to Queen Elizabeth Park and makes an ideal detour if you have extra time on your hands.


This article was provided by Jovago

About Jovago

Jovago.com is an online hotel booking service with offices in Lagos (Nigeria), Nairobi (Kenya), Dakar (Senegal) founded by Africa Internet Group and has MTN and Millicom as its investors. Jovago.com, Africa’s No.1 booking portal, facilitates the booking process for its users to provide them with the best hotel booking experience with fast, transparent and easy-to-use services. Jovago.com has over 25,000 local hotel listings across Africa and over 200,000 hotels around the world.

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