User Reviews – Uganda

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Not like other safari destinations!
Overall rating

I have been lucky enough to take several safaris in East Africa over the last few years (in Uganda, Rwanda, Kenya, and Tanzania). If you're looking for the "classic" safari in an open-top vehicle admiring the wildlife on the plains, perhaps Uganda is not really the right destination for you. You probably won't see huge migrating herds like in the Serengeti, for example. And perhaps you'll find the general infrastructure and tourist facilities a bit more basic and lacking the luxury factor. But what I found in Uganda was something special, and quite different from other safari destinations I've been to.
My primary reason for going on safari to Uganda (and Rwanda) was to see the mountain gorillas, and that experience is worth a whole review in itself, so all I'll say about that here was that it was an extraordinary, wonderful experience that I will cherish for the rest of my life. Truly the highlight of my trip by far.
Also magical were walks in the forests, hearing chimpanzees shrieking in the trees, and coming close to them (with great care!). Those forest treks really made the hair on the back of my neck stand on end. Lots of fascinating monkeys to see and hear in those magical forests too.
Another highlight for me (in one of the forest treks) was the encounter at the bat cave in Maramagambo Forest (although the last I heard it has been closed to the public due to health fears).
I opted to take a camping safari, rather than lodge-based. It's truly the best way to experience the magic of the bush. There is nothing quite like lying in your tent at night, listening to the sounds of lions roaring nearby, monkeys shrieking in the trees, and hippos grazing on the grass outside your tent. There are no fences and "safe" enclosed campsites - you are truly amongst nature. One night a group of elephants came into our camp, another night it was lions. Not for the faint-hearted, but truly extraordinary, and you don't experience these things in lodges. Also, it's worth bearing in mind that camping safaris are quite luxurious - I had a very comfortable tent set up for me every night, complete with bed and wash-stand. Showers and toilets were portable and therefore not luxurious, but on the other hand you can only laugh and feel the wonder of the bush when a baboon steals your toilet paper... Food was excellent, all transported along with us vacuum packed for freshness as part of a very impressive logistics operation that accompanied our safari as it moved around the country.
Some "normal" game drives were also included in this safari, and while perhaps not as spectular as others I have been on in East Africa, there was still some excellent game viewing to be had. Highlights of game drives included the incredible tree-climbing lions (seen several times), a leopard strolling in front of our vehicle, and of course the spectacular birds (even as a non-enthusiast I couldn't help but be blown away by the incredible birdlife). Guides were very hard-working and dedicated, always making every effort to find the most elusive wildlife and get us up close, but always respecting nature at the same time. They were very, very few other tourists around, so we didn't experience the "20 vehicles surrounding a lion" phenomenon that often blights safaris in the more popular safari destinations.
In short, I can say that Uganda is perfect for the more adventurous safari-goer who wants to do something a little different (more on the wild side). If you're willing to get wet, muddy, bitten by ants, and exhausted in order to get up close, on foot, to some of the most wonderful and rare creatures on earth, this is the place. For me, Uganda is all about spine-tingling experiences in magical forests, and getting face to face with the wildlife, with no vehicles or fences to separate you. I've never been anywhere quite like it.

A hidden gem in the rough !
Overall rating

Uganda wildlife is rich. You have to venture to the national parks for most of the action. The scenery is spectacular from the rolling hills to savannah, as well as the scenic Lake Victoria vista's, and forests there is a lot to take in. Accommodations can range from super luxury hotels in Kampala, and some of the upscale accommodations in the safari lodges. However more affordable accommodation can be found depending on personal tastes. Transportation is available but can be challenging given the state of infrastructure. A good destination for the eco-tourist who is willing to give up the creature comforts for the sake of beauty.

A beautiful country inhabited by freindly people and amazing wildlife.
Overall rating

We were there for 3 days upon arrival at the lodge we were greeted by stewards with a cold cloth and frosty beverage. Which was a nice touch after a 7 hr ride through rural Uganda from Kampala. The food here was excellent, we felt like kings. That evening we went for a 2 hr tour into the bush and saw plenty of gazelle's,Baboon's,elephants and giraffe's. I believe our guide's name was Simon, he was very knowledgable and carried arround an assault rifle which gave us a sense of security when nature called, plus a sense of Danger which really said this was a REAL Safari.

The next day we boarded a small boat for 1 1/2 jaunt down the Nile river where we saw Crocodiles,hippo's and even more elephants. Wer also saw many types of birds and monkey's as well, all in all no shortage of interesting things to see. Our guide was very knowledgable and freindly and our tripe ended at Murchison falls where we then turned around to head back. Unparalleled beauty! That afternoon we went for one more trip into the bush with Simon and saw Lion tracks. Excellent trip and I'd recomend it to anyone.

Many animals to look out for all in one country!
Overall rating

Stayed here in June/July 2011 during the dry season however due to unnatural weather patterns, we encountered some rain here and there which sometimes affected our itinerary.

I stayed in mid range types of accommodation ranging from bush lodges to tented (luxury) camps. They were a great way to live 'with' the environment and was a great experience.

We used a Ugandan safari company called Kazinga Tours for our stay in Uganda. The vehicle was perfect for the four of us for safari drives and normal travelling. Plenty of room in the van for our luggages and personal space. Highly recommend Hamid if he is available for your trip. He is a 'senior guide' with knowledgable guiding and experience under his belt.

There are plenty of animals to see in Uganda. Many bird species, lions, leopards, elephants, giffafes, zebras, warthogs, antelops, buffalos, gorillas, chimps and many many more!
We also got to experience the Nile River by rafting category 5 rapids. We went with the company, Nile River Explorers.

Would recommend going later in the dry season as the change from wet to dry is still not stable. Maybe around Aug/Sept onwards.

Overall rating

There's a great variety of things to see.

Overall rating

Uganda is not an obvious Safari destination. It's variety in scenery, people and wildlife makes it an truely recommended and unique travel, especially for someone who has already seen the big game Safari in Kenya or Tanzania. In Uganda you can see tree hanging lions in the morning and Mountain Gorillas in the afternoon, there is no other country in the world that has that. We went with drifters, a tour operator that uses very comfortable trucks (instead of jeeps) for groups up till 16 people. In my opinion, the trip was such a great experience because we camped almost every night and we had the most fantastic guide Anthony Washford to drive the truck, cook the food and plan all the excursions such as the astonishing Gorillas at Bwindi.

Overall rating

I have been to 4 other safari destinations and it is the most beautiful African country I have been to. Do not go if you wan to see the big five go to Kenya or Tanzania but if primates are your thing go to Uganda the people, the service is superb

Overall rating

The gorilla safari is excellent but it seems difficult to recommend the traditional African safaris in Uganda when you are so close to some of the best animal viewing in the world in nearby Kenya and Tanzania with the Masai Mara and Serengeti National Parks.

Average User Rating

  • 4.7/5
  • Wildlife
  • Scenery
  • Bush Vibe
  • Birding

Rating Breakdown

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  • 4 star 57
  • 3 star 6
  • 2 star 1
  • 1 star 0
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