​User Reviews – Uganda

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Gerrie   –  
Netherlands NL
Visited: September 2017 Reviewed: Sep 18, 2017

Email Gerrie

The most beautiful holiday country I have ever visited
Overall rating

All that I've seen, far exceeded my expectations. Especially the wild and the birds that I've seen I found fantastic. The sunrise and the sunset were beautiful. We had a fantastic guide Marc Obwalatum. He brought us each day along bumpy, smooth and non asphalted roads to our lodge. Most lodges I found good, the lodge at the Sippy waterfalls what less. Our guide has told much about Uganda, such as habits, tradition, the population and so on. Thought it was clever that he knew the names of all birds and there were many. I got through his explanation a very different and positive image of Uganda. Sure to recommend Uganda to others

Mr. Israel Agmon   –  
Israel IL
Visited: June 2016 Reviewed: Jun 11, 2016

Email Mr. Israel Agmon  |  65+ years of age  |  Experience level: 2-5 safaris

Best Safari experience I have had
Overall rating

I was in a safari in the Amazonas and India before but in Uganda I had the chance to see much more wonderful species of fauna , the organization and accommodation was superior and cheaper .

Michelle   –  
United States US
Visited: September 2015 Reviewed: Sep 22, 2015

Email Michelle  |  Experience level: 2-5 safaris

Huge potential in Uganda if tourism experience can be improved and conservation is better emphasized
Overall rating

I have mixed emotions about my experience in Uganda. On one hand, I had a number of great wildlife encounters with lions, leopards, gorillas and many other species in three of the country's national parks over a period of nine days. However on the other, I kept thinking about the huge potential that exists and the many challenges that remain with safari tourism in this country.

Wildlife conservation can be greatly improved in Uganda, and I think it is something that the country's government doesn't especially value. The communities around the parks have a very challenging existence with wildlife, and the use of snares and indiscriminate killings of animals is common. I read this in the newspapers and heard about it from the tour operators. In Queen Elizabeth National Park, I was so surprised how low the animal density was (with the exception of some species such as Ugandan Kob). In Lake Mburo National Park, I was concerned to see local ranchers chasing zebras into the bush so that their cattle could feed on the low grass outside of our lodge. Ranching and subsistence farming has really encroached into traditional spaces for wildlife. Parks are not fenced and perhaps this is something that contributes to territorial issues with residents and wildlife.

Tourism infrastructure could benefit from a number of small improvements. Park fees are not posted transparently online, and there is an archaic process of receipt-keeping for entering the parks. Visitor Centers could do more to help improve education and awareness of conservation and local species. Amenities such as toilets and other conveniences were not well maintained. The exception to this was in Bwindi National Park, home to many of the country's mountain gorillas. This is a main tourist draw and its focus on hospitality and learning should be considered a model for the other parks.

Early September is the beginning of the rainy season, and on many occasions I had the parks open to myself. There were very few tourists, and this was a nice improvement from other experiences I've had.

Sputnikboy   –  
Italy IT
Visited: February 2013 Reviewed: Apr 16, 2015

20-35 years of age  |  Experience level: 2-5 safaris

Overall rating

Uganda is a particular safari destination: if you're looking for the big five this isn't the best place to go. On the other hand Uganda offered me a diversity of experiences, nature and wildlife that few other countries in the world can offer in my opinion.
You can have a typical safari trip in either Murchinson Falls NP or Queen Elizabeth NP, but I much more preferred the trekking on the wild Rwenzori mountains (my favourite place in Uganda), where in one day you can go from rainforest, to bamboo forest, to alpine vegetation. Kibale offers more rainforest with monkeys, chimps, butterflies, insects and plenty of birds. Bwindi is a world premiere destination to track the gorillas, a truly amazing experience that I HIGHLY reccomend to anybody. I went also to Mgahinga NP to track the golden monkeys: another underrated experience. The track at the foot of the Virunga mountains is beautiful and the monkeys are very cute and funny to watch.
In Jinja the adrenaline activities like rafting the Nile rapids was exhilarating, but there are many more to do.
And after all this, when I needed to chill out from these emotions, I headed to the shores of Lake Bunyonyi to dip into its waters and have an easy paddle with a canoe doing some islands hopping.
For these reasons I highly recommend Uganda as a destination for nature lovers.

Trui   –  
Netherlands NL
Visited: September 2009 Reviewed: Oct 13, 2013

50-65 years of age  |  Experience level: over 5 safaris

Overall rating

Uganda is really wild.

T Sharp Visited: July 2011 Reviewed: Jul 30, 2013

Ssesee Island Safari
Overall rating

Though I was only briefly in the country of Uganda, I had to privilege to visit the Ssesee Islands while I was there. We had to take a short ferry ride to get over there, but once we arrived, the landscape was lush and fertile. We spent some time with local guides wading through the forest and wetlands in search of Sitatunga, so that we could get some rare footage of them. It was a beautiful island, and had some lovely lodges that we stayed in during our time. It was really fascinating to be able to see the hard to find Sitatunga in their natural habitat, as there are few who get to do that. It was worth a short side trip to see the islands over there, and I would highly recommend looking into that next time you are in Uganda.

Matoke Tours   –  
Uganda UG
Visited: December 2012 Reviewed: Dec 17, 2012

Email Matoke Tours  |  20-35 years of age  |  Experience level: over 5 safaris

Uganda, The ultimate "off the beaten track" destiantion in Africa!
Overall rating

Uganda is often linked with gorillas and chimpanzees. The apes are the countries main attraction and adds something extra compared to other more traditional safari destinations. However, Uganda has so much more to offer with some great game parks, unique boat safari's in 3 different national parks, huge forest areas, waterfalls, matoke (bananas) everywhere, mountains with snow, stunning lakes, volcanoes and the friendliest people in the world! On top of that you can venture off the beaten track by going to unspoiled game parks like Kidepo Valley NP. What about visiting unspoiled tribes in the east of the country (karamajong) or hike the Rwenzori Mountains. For real travelers Uganda is a MUST!

Brian   –  
Canada CA
Visited: September 2010 Reviewed: Sep 20, 2011

20-35 years of age

Wildlife disappointing compared to Serengeti area
Overall rating

Having done a safari in the Serengeti immediately before Uganda it was always going to be difficult to live up to expectations. The quantity and variety of wildlife was poor in comparison. The people in my group who were starting with Uganda were quite thrilled with what they saw so I may be being overly harsh. Our guide explained that much of the wildlife was decimated during the Idi Amin era and is still recovering so perhaps in the future it will improve. The campsites we used varied quite widely from fairly developed areas in Jinja/Kampala to merely a flat area near the river at Lake Mburo. The gorillas and Bwindi forest in general were amazing and did make the trip to Uganda worthwhile in my opinion.

Vasia Visited: May 2008 Reviewed: Sep 16, 2011

Life Experience
Overall rating

I visited Uganda 3years ago, as a student in order to work on a project about their living standars. Because of the project I met a lot of people and I have to admit that they are very friendly and hospitable. The weather in Uganda is normal, not dry but warm. The food is cheap and tasteful. They mainly offer goat sticks, soup with rice and vegetables and mattoke which is a traditional plate made by bananas. The accommodation was good as the staff was very willing to serve you, but it was a little bit slow. As far as the transportation is concered, they have "boda-bodas", which are motor bikes where you sit behind the driver. They also have buses and vans which are like taxis. The scenery is green and magnificent and there is a great variety of wildlife to explore by selecting this country as a safari destination. This safari had been arranged by the hotel where I stayed, situated in Mbarara district. We woke up in the morning and a bus booked by the hotel, took us to "Queen Elisabeth National Park". Approaching to the park we were astonished by the beautiful sunrise. Then we left it all to our communicable guide who was explaining all only in english, as the official languages are english and swahili. Small safari vans took us to indiscribably places in this huge park, driving among a lot of animals. The feeling that you get when you are so close to them cannot be discribed. It is unbelievable that you are in their natural living place. Elephants, lions, hippos, crocodiles, monkeys are just a few of what you can see. This is a life experience that you have never imagined!!!

Marcus Richardson   –  
Germany DE
Visited: September 2006 Reviewed: Sep 6, 2011

Email Marcus Richardson  |  35-50 years of age

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.

Average User Rating

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

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star 185
  • 4 star 57
  • 3 star 6
  • 2 star 1
  • 1 star 0
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