Tuesday, April 12, 2016



    Its with great pleasure that I get to answer this common question that many business owners and CEO's frequently ask whenever an opportunity presents itself during social media summits.
    "Will Social Media Grow My Business Returns ?" was the most common question that I encountered throughout 2015.
    Trust me on this when I tell that YES, Social Media has the power to greatly improve and grow your business returns. Let me tell you how, Have you ever wondered what communication media delivers your messages fastest but also at the cheapest cost? Have you ever paid advertising agents to raise awareness of your new service or product? If the answer is yes, then you are reading the right article. You are about to discover the most important factors that make Social Media a real business growth tool.
    In this article I am going to share with you 10 reasons why social media is more than a passing fad of the 21st Century;


    1.      Improve Customer care service

    Companies need to start using Social Media as a means of handling customer service, which is a win-win situation for both the customers and companies alike. Customers want easy access to companies to seek information and clarifications about the services and products while at the other hand companies want to position themselves strategically to be able to solve client’s problems as efficiently as possible and be the center of solutions. For example Twitter has become a popular medium for managing comments and complaints, with countless companies embracing its simple and informal nature.

    2.      Inexpensive Effective Marketing

    Whether a large business or a lone entrepreneur, social media marketing can be the most inexpensive and powerful tool in your arsenal to build the trust and authority. This exponentially will help grow your business by reducing on the cost of traditional marketing which reduces the Cost of Goods Sold (COGS) hence maximizing profitability.

     
     
    3.      Service and organizational improvement

    Social media presents a huge opportunity to companies to listen to their audiences who may include direct and indirect customers, partners, direct and indirect suppliers, government bodies and established business authorities. Listening will eventually help you improve as a result of complaints and maintain as a result of positive feedback.

    4.      Sharing your Relevant Company Message.

    Social media provides a platform that easily enables companies to spread their message to existing and future potential customers. Many organizations struggle to have their top management monthly, quarterly or annual messages published in dailies and magazines. Social media enables to send the right message to the right people that are unswervingly connected to the company. Sharing the right message to clients creates a synergy effect of others allotting the same message hence creating online ambassadors.

    5.      B2B and BPO is easier

    Beyond reaching customers, Social media provides businesses the opportunity to engage with one another, especially on platforms like LinkedIn. Social media also facilitates the possibility of Business Processing Outsourcing where one company is able to partner with another domestic or foreign company to do work on behalf of the other. The best example is a Kenyan company hiring the Social media marketing services of a Ugandan company. Collaborations, sales and relationships are easily fostered through proper use of social media which has allowed several businesses to engage with one another. Developing a social media strategy is the new way of selling by educating your leads and developing trust with your prospects. It’s also highly conducive to networking allowing professionals within companies to build relationships and discover new avenues to explore.

    6.      Create a Unique Voice

    A brand is a crucial part of business; it creates a particular image that people bear in mind and associate certain values with. Having a strong social media presence naturally creates a unique voice through which a company can engage with their audience, who will raise the value of the content more than ever. A brand presence does the inner and deeper communication to your clients that’s why it is pertinent to keep in their midst through social media. With so many companies competing for clients, social media is the platform ideal to highlight the unique qualities of your company.

     
    7.      Promotions and Brand Campaigns

    Social media promotions draw in new users and returning old customers alike, providing a new outlet for sales, deals, potential business partners and the like. Making them exclusively available through social media drives traffic to the company’s web page which in turn generates buzz surrounding a brand. Almost everyone in society is on one platform or another, reach out to them and give them some value. Promotions via Social media have a wide reach effect due to the sharing of content by both your customers and fans.

    8.      Reach Unique audiences

    Reaching everyone is just about impossible, yet many companies see social media as an opportunity to do just that which has for a long time been problematic. Instead of trying to reach everyone through traditional media, social media provides an opportunity to reach the right audience. Discovering the perfect people to engage with works wonders for businesses. Today attaining a specific group is more manageable than ever thanks to unique platforms like WeChat, Snap Chat, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Twitter and many more.

    9.      Discounts and Freebies ,

    Different regions have different peak business seasons. Social media avails a massive opportunity to maximize sales through discounts and freebies. Here a company takes advantage of their followers on social media and offers them special discounts on specified volumes of purchase or freebies to the loyal followers. This enables companies to convert fans and followers into actual customers who later on become loyal to the brand.

    10.  Brand Leadership

    Companies that establish a strong social media presence have always had an opportunity to subjectively shape industry and consumer behavior. This permits the company to establish itself as a brand leader from whom other companies learn. Once social media presence and vigilantly managed, there is no doubt that the industry reputation and respect will upsurge. This is a dream every company around the globe wants to achieve but only those that operate transparently and do not shy away from social media attain such industry status.
    At the beginning of this article , I committed myself to sharing my YES answer with you and just to let you know that these are the few areas that I have mentioned because Social Media is big and can make any business move from small returns to huge growth.

    By Mwebya Fred
    mwbyfred@gmail.com
     
    Category: articles

    Friday, April 1, 2016


    Atuhirwe Carol has an operation for her lungs scheduled very soon but she needs at least Uganda Shillings 10 million ($3000) for the surgery and some extra cash for a herbal guy to help her up her immunity.

    Her Story
    Once my parents had a dream for me like any other kid. I had a dream to but all those got shuttered. Now all I dream is how to be ok. And winding this night mare. If you’re a parent you will understand.

    This is to help me raise money for my two surgeries, medical care, living costs, flights, after care, etc, am hoping to go out of Uganda if I get enough funds. I suffered from cancer and got radiation burns it’s now three years have not healed completely. Also was diagnosed with lung cancer.

    Was given 8 cycles of chemotherapy, my doctors took a look at the scans and still looked the same. So they dismissed the chemotherapy since there was nothing changing nor was nothing growing.

    My esophagus broke down, am recently feeding through the tube, and also my trachea moved down. Am breathing through the tube. I have a wound that exposed my spinal bone. Giving me a lot of pain.

    Follow her touching stories at carolsblogonline.wordpress.comOr help raise funds online: Raise money to help or Contacts: +256784168178, +256794960693.
     
    Do Not Forget:
    Charity never humiliated him who profited from it, nor ever bound him by the chains of gratitude, since it was not to him but to God that the gift was made.
     

     
    Category: articles

    Friday, March 25, 2016


     
    March is the month of celebrating women, the month where a day is set to appreciate the brilliance that is the women of this beautiful nation, Uganda.
    Over the years, there have been a number of powerful women that have and still are inspiring a number of women in the general populace.

     Princess Elizabeth of Tooro
    Probably the most famous Princess off the Ugandan continent, the Princess Elizabeth Christobel Edith Bagaya Akiiki is as an epitome of beauty. A lawyer, model, actress the Batebe is also the first East African woman to ever be accepted to the English Bar and at 80 years old she is still an inspiration. Recently Zac Posen designer said his new RTW fall designs were inspired by our beautiful Batebe of Tooro.

     Winnie Byanyima
    A modern woman who is vocal about her work and human rights, Mrs Winnie Byanyima is the fusion of a modern and traditional woman. Currently the Executive Director of the Oxfam International and was recently instated to the UN panel for women. Winnie is an Aeronautical Engineer by profession and a former National Resistance Army combatant during the bush war that ended in 1986 bringing the current President into power.

     Esther Kalenzi
    A young woman with a passion for helping others, Esther has been over the years recognised as one of the  most influential young women in the country. She founded the Forty Days- Forty Nights organisation that has helped build dormitories and provide scholastic materials to orphanages with the help of young Ugandans on social media. Esther stands out as an influence on the young generation.


    Nancy Kacungira
    You cannot talk about Journalism in Uganda and not have her name brought up, Nancy recently won the enviable BBC Komla Dumor Award in 2015 that put her at the top of her colleagues in Uganda.

    Joanita Kawalya
    She is most likely a woman whose music knows no generation, Joanita’s songs can be heard being sung by the older generation and the young generation. She has inspired many a young crop of Ugandan female musicians into chasing their dreams and become who they are right no.

    HRH Nabagereka Sylvia Nagginda
    The Queen of the Buganda Kingdom is one of the most revered women in this country and not just by the Baganda people, but by the rest of Uganda. Through her reign as Queen, the Nabagereka has been vocal about women’s rights, the girl child education and educating the young generation about the Buganda culture. She is not just a Queen but a woman that is leaving a mark on this country.

    Jennifer Semakula Musisi
    When speaking of the actual movers and shakers of Uganda, the Executive Director of the Kampala City Council Association’s name will always be the first name to pop up. Over the years with her as the head, KCCA has done tremendous work all over the city with several improvements on what used to be impassable areas of the city.

    Rema Namakula
    You will not understand her influence till you ask the everyday Ugandans about her, they love her, little girls want to be like and young adults want to be her. Rema is an award winning Ugandan musician with a beautiful mellow voice and a knack for songs that hit all through Uganda and East Africa.

     Flavia Tumusiime
    Someone would regard her as too young for to have achieved so much in her 20s, but Flavia is one of the most influential young women in the media business. She started on a children’s show during her teens and has risen to being a news anchor on of the best prime time television stations.

    There are several ladies in Uganda, unsung heroes we never see everyday and they live among us; our mothers, friends, the ladies that sweep our roads every morning, the ones that cook your food and clean your home. Let’s celebrate the ladies in gardens deep in the village raising their children with no help, celebrate them all because they are building our nation.
     
    By Evelyn Masaba
    Public Relations Manager
    Jovago Uganda
     
     

    Category: articles

    Tuesday, March 1, 2016


     
    Elephants are some of the best tourist attraction assets Uganda has yet over the years, they have come under attack by poachers and illegal Ivory traders who hunt them down for their tusks and leave evidence of their evil handiwork scattered all over the parks in the country.

    Over the years, several measures have been put into place by the Uganda Wildlife Authority to protect these wonderful creatures helping their population has increased over the years in the parks and reserves, but this has not stopped the illegal trade and poaching in Uganda from growing.

    Uganda is reported to be the best target for international smugglers and over 100,000 elephants were killed by poachers in the past few years especially within Queen Elizabeth National Park located in Kasese western Uganda close to the Uganda- Congo border. The park is home to the biggest population of elephants  and this makes it a viable target.
     
     
    The biggest problem Uganda faces when it comes to protecting wildlife is the enforcement of wildlife laws in the country, which also suffers from corruption in all sectors of the economy. In some situations, the park rangers are bribed by hunters and smugglers to look the other way as they kill the elephants throughout the park which makes it hard for the parks to monitor the situations closely.
    The government launched an agency to help ease the corruption problem by monitoring and improving wildlife agencies and by also involving the Uganda police plus INTERPOL in any wildlife issues.
    The fact the elephant herds also migrate through the parks and reserves sometimes makes it hard for the rangers to monitor their population between seasons and it is sometimes suspected that within these migrations is when the poachers attack.
    Queen Elizabeth being near the border suffers most because the poachers can easily transport the illegally acquired ivory over the border into the DRC and this makes it hard to track down the poachers. Involving INTERPOL makes it easier to track the stolen ivory and the poachers since they have the jurisdiction over the borders. With the use of cameras all over parks where elephants reside, there is an endeavor to curb down the big illegal trade and keep the elephants safe.
     
     
    By Evelyn Masaba
    Public Relations Manager
    Jovago Uganda
     

     
    Category: articles

    Friday, February 26, 2016


    There is a little place hidden straight off the Kampala- Entebbe highway that only the brave dare go to, a place filled with things that the brave love frolicking with.

    With lush green gardens, you will not expect to be jumped at by something that has been supposedly man’s enemy for generations and generations of the human lifespan.


    It is the Uganda Reptile Village, a place that you would not expect to go for a holiday in Uganda, yet one of the most thrilling places to spend a whole day learning about these misunderstood creatures that usually stay hidden or when seen they incite a terror in most human beings. The founders of the village state that their main objective was to educate people about reptiles and at the same time have a habitat where they can learn about the many different species that can be found in the country.
    The village was established in between 2002 by Yasin Kazibwe a Reptile Expert who is also reported to have rescued close to 38 different species of snakes that he relocated to the habitat between 2003 to 2008. Mr. Kazibwe also wrote a “Snake bite” guide book and made a number of reptile documentaries.



    At the village you will be sure to find a number of reptiles indigenous to Uganda such as; snakes, chameleon, tortoises, monitor lizards and of course the crocodiles. The are all kept in their respectives cages with the crocodile enclosed in a huge pond and like most African countries, anytime snakes or crocodiles are found they are either captured or killed and this village provides a safe haven for this poor creature. Most of the reptiles found on the grounds are mostly rescued from near death and brought to the village to be taken care of. It is even more interesting when you see the several chameleon species in a cage changing colours as they crawl around their home, such a beautiful sight to behold.

     
    When there almost everyone rushes to the snake section, even when you have a fear of the reptiles you will want to see them out of curiosity and there is a big chance of petting a python and the peaceful tortoises that are children favourites at the village.



    The village will kill your fear of reptiles especially snakes with educational tidbits given by caretakers during the visits about what the animals are and about their nature. The best part about this tour is it is something you do not expect to do, but you will find yourself enjoying the every little information that you did not know about some of the species of reptiles that we have in Uganda, you will be shocked to know that not all snakes are killer snakes. They have one called the egg eating snake that is non venomous and solely eats eggs and at the same time you will find the beautiful three horned chameleon.

     

    The village can be found 3km from the main road and hotels  away from Entebbe town.

    By Evelyn Masaba
    Public Relations Manager
    Jovago Uganda
    Category: articles

    Thursday, February 25, 2016



    There are over 10, 000 bird species in the world according to Birdlife International and the of those 1,000 species can be found in Uganda not counting the other species that have not been yet discovered. Birds are wondrous creatures that can be found anywhere in the world, but each location has species that are meant for the environment they are.

    Uganda being in the tropics has a variety of bird species that can be viewed from anywhere, it does not matter if you are in Kampala where buildings are competing with the skyline, you will still hear birds chirping away in the distance singing songs so beautiful you need to pause to listen.

    Apart from seeing the birds all over Kampala, there are so many other places that have rare birds all over Uganda that you can go see, here are our major bird reserve recommendations. Even better, Jovago has hotels in all the major bird watching areas in Uganda so all your hospitality needs within the parks and outside the reserves are well taken care of.


    Entebbe Botanical Gardens;

    Right off the Entebbe- Kampala highway in the heart of Entebbe you will find a beautifully landscaped area covered with trees till the lake and as you walk through the trees you will find a number of  vervet monkeys in the trees or just walking on the grounds. Carry binoculars to identify a number of the birds that are relative to the Ugandan environment but mostly you will find; Great Blue and Ross’s turacos , Klaas’s and Diederik Cuckoos , Woodland Kingfisher , Broad-billed Roller ,Black and white casqued hornbill and starling, African Fish eagle and Eastern Grey Plantain-eater, Hadada Ibis and Hooded Vultures, Shikra , Lizard buzzard , Long-crested eagle , Grey kestrel, Black Crake, Blue-cheeked Bee eater, Angola swallow , winding and red faced cisticolas , Grey capped warbler, common wattle-eye , and Green- throated and scarlet-chested Sunbirds.


    Mabira Forest;

    The thick forest cover along Kampala- Jinja highway is home to over 315 including unrecorded rare bird species throughout and offers a variable bird list to any bird enthusiast. Mabira forest is also the best place to start your bird tour in Uganda and while there you will be able to see species such as; Yellow White-eye, White-shouldered Titi, African Dusky Flycatcher, Hairy-breasted Barbet, Barn Swallow, Speckled Tinkerbird, Collared Sunbird, Little Green Sunbird, Yellow-throated Tinkerbird, Yellow-billed Kite (sighted in flight over the forest), Bocage Bush Shrike (Grey-green Bush-shrike), Hooded Vulture, Red-capped Robin Chat, Ashy Flycatcher, African Shrike Flycatcher, Grey-backed Camaroptera, Red-billed Paradise Flycatcher, African Harrier Hawk, Great Blue Turaco, Yellow-mantled Weaver, Black-and-white Mannkin, Slender-billed Greenbul, Weyn's Weaver, White-throated Greenbul, Grey-headed Nigrofinch, Viellots Black Weaver, Red-chested Cuckoo, Buff-throated Apalis, Brown-throated Wattle-eye, Chestnut Wattle-eye, Jameson's Wattle-eye, Red-bellied Paradise Flycatcher, African Blue Flycatcher among many others.


    Bodongo Forest Reserve;

    This expansive mixture of tropical tree species is a true bird paradise is one of Uganda’s biggest forest reserves with over 360 bird species with 22 species that can only be found in that very area such as; Puvel’s Illadopsis, Nahan’s Francolin, and the Chocolate–Backed Kingfisher, White-headed Saw-wing, White Wagtail, Black-eared Ground-Thrush, Little Crake, Yellow-billed Barbet, Chestnut-capped Flycatcher, African Paradise Flycatcher, Chin-spot Batis, Grey-backed Camaroptera, Lemon-bellied Crombec, African Moustached Warbler, Green-backed Eremomela, Yellow-throated Greenbul, African Citril, African Golden-breasted Bunting, Black-crowned Waxbill. Be sure to even more endangered species all over the reserve.

    Mount Elgon
    Mount Elgon is located in the eastern part of Ugandahas thick forests with a up to 300 species. The park harbours 43 of the 144 species of the Guinea–Congo Forests biome and 56 of the 88 species of Afrotropical highland biome that occur in Uganda with some isolated records of the near-threatened species, the Taita Falcon. Mount Elgon represents a range limit of some species or races that occur in the highlands of Kenya and northern Tanzania, such as Hunter’s Cisticola and Jackson's Francolin. You can find the; Cape Robin, Blue-shouldered Robin-Chat, Little Rock-Thrush, Northern Anteater C, Nightingale, Spotted Morning-Thrush, Mountain Yellow Warbler, African Reed Warbler, Little Rush Warbler, Upchers Warbler, Blackcap, Common Whitethroat, Common Chiffchaff, the Uganda and Brown Woodland Warblers, Green Hylia, White-browed Crombec, Yellow-bellied Hyliota, the Stout, Thrilling, and Rattling Cisticolas. Chances of seeing the Banded Prinia, Chestnut-throated Apalis, Northern Double-collared Sunbird, Grey-headed Sunbird among several others.


    Semuliki National Park;

    This park has a large number of mostly Central African bird species that are not easily sighted in the rest of East Africa such as; Savanna biome, Piapiac, Red-throated Bee-eater,and Purple Glossy-starling, Blue Swallow, White-throated Blue Swallow, Swamp Palm Bulbul, Spotted Greenbul, White-starred Robin, Lowland Akalat, Red-throated Alethe, Fire-crested Alethe, Snowy-headed Robin-Chat, Blue-shouldered Robin-Chat, Red-eyed Puffback, White-tailed Robin-Chat, Northern Bearded Scrub-Robin, Capped Wheatear, Common Stonechat, Abyssinian Ground-Thrush, Oberlaender Ground-Thrush, Grey Ground-Thrush, Little Grey Greenbul, Toro Olive Greenbul, Mountain Greenbul, Yellow-throated Nicator, Western Nicator, Purple-throated Cuckoo-shrike, Petit’s Cuckoo-shrike, Black Saw-wing, Eurasian Oystercatcher, Long-tailed Hawk.
     
     
     
     
     

    By Evelyn Masaba
    Public Relations Manager
    Jovago Uganda
     
    Category: articles

    Tuesday, February 2, 2016


    By Evelyn Masaba
    Here is a thrill that some of our Jovago.com users recommended, it is no ordinary thrill that you will find in the mountains or in the lakes of Uganda. You will find this on the streets of Kampala everyday as you go buy your work.

    They will wheeze past you in traffic like bumblebees, weaving through traffic with skills that have been mastered over the years of being in the same profession.

    They always seem too busy or too fast to get to the next destination and sometimes stop by you to ask if you are headed in their direction, they are the boda bodas that have filled the streets of Kampala.



    Boda bodas came into prominence in the early 90s in Kampala when the city’s population was growing; they are basically regular street motorbikes that are used as a form of commercial transportation next to the taxis or matatus.

    Although in the beginning most people shied away from them because of the danger of riding a motorbike, the boda boda transportation business has grown all over the country with almost every region having several of them in the towns.

    They were not organized either, you could find several of them with no specific stage or stop where people could get their services. Most of them were always driving the roads looking for clients to take up or ferrying goods through the city with no specific location.

     
    Boda bodas have grown since then, you can find them on several streets in Kampala or even out of town with designated stages and some under organizations like Safe boda that provide helmets and other safety for the riders and their clients. They are provided with receipts so that you get to know how much a certain distance travelled and a hotline to access a specified rider wherever you are in the city.

    They are best way to get through town through hefty Kampala traffic especially when you are late for an appointment, they will get you across town in meetings; their prices within town range from 1000 UGX to 4000 UGX , out of town will cost you above 5000 UGX depending on the distance travelled and your bargaining power.

    With boda bodas, you always have to use the ones that have stages especially at night just for safety purposes and when you are going a little far from the towns due to the fact that occasionally there are thugs that masquerade as boda boda riders and use such opportunities to rob people. Its best to always use the ones at the stages since they know each other and are usually registered to that stage, with a chairman and allocated numbers, when something goes wrong you can come back to that very stage and lodge a complaint.  Tour the city and access every part of it with the boda bodas, you will never miss a moment with them.


    About Jovago 
    Jovago.com is an online hotel booking service with offices in Kampal(Uganda), Lagos (Nigeria), Nairobi (Kenya) and Dakar (Senegal) founded by Africa Internet Group and has MTN and Millicom as 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. 
    Category: articles