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Following the celebrations of Queen Elizabeth II's Diamond Jubilee, another royal event makes the news! Uganda indeed welcomes His Imperial Highness Prince and Her Imperial Highness Princess Akishino of Japan to the Pearl of Africa.
This will mark the first time the Prince has visited the African continent and it is fitting that Uganda be his first choice of destination as the Japanese have supported Uganda with $1bn in the last five years funding many programmes in various sectors including health, agriculture, electricity, road construction and education among others.
The visit will see the Prince and Princess visit the River Nile Bridge Project, the Rice Research and Training Centre at Namulonge (both supported by the Government of Japan), Phenix Logistics, Ashinaga and the Uganda Wildlife Centre. He will then be hosted at State House in Entebbe by President Museveni.
Addressing journalists at the Uganda Media Center in Kampala, the Ambassador of Uganda to Japan, Wasswa Biriggwa, said the visit will also commemorate the 50th anniversary of the establishment of the diplomatic relations between the two countries, with Uganda opening an embassy in Japan in 1973 and Japan opening a resident Mission in Kampala in 1997.
"This visit will also be one of the events marking the 50th anniversary of Uganda's independence. This is a very important visit to Uganda following the longtime support and relations with the Japanese people," he said. "Japan and Uganda have been enjoying very cordial relations for the last 50 years. This trip is also aimed at strengthening and diplomatic ties between the two nations."
Tracking chimpanzees in their natural habitat, as they swing from the branches in the canopy high above the forest floor is nothing short of exhilarating. The chimps effortlessly cross and scamper through the trees above the gorge, and visitors on the other hand must cross the river using natural bridges in order to keep up with the chimps. So although the walk usually lasts only 2–3 hours, descending the steep gorge and crossing the log bridges over the river requires some agility and fitness.
Chimpanzee tracking is also available in nearby Kalinzu, a forest reserve 30 minutes drive from Kyambura Gorge Lodge where there is a community of about 40 habituated chimpanzees.