User Reviews – Uganda
Email Anonymous | 20-35 years of age | Experience level: over 5 safaris
Gorilla trekking Tour
I had wanted to hire a car and drive through Uganda, but after spending over a month trying to secure gorilla tracking permits to no avail, I was told that often the Ugandan Wildlife Authority are uncooperative with individual groups of tourists as they are paid of my tour companies, whether this is true I’m not sure but I tried contacting them by both email and phone for over a month and received no correct info and was just led around in circles with false email addresses etc...
If you are situated in Uganda it’s a different ball game and it seems it’s a simple process to obtain the permits from the UWA office in Kampala. Seeing as I didn’t want to risk arriving and there being no permits left I decided to give up and book through a tour agency. In the end I’m so glad we did, we booked the permits and a driver to take us from Kampala to Queen Elizabeth National Park for a safari, on to Lake Bunyonyi for a night, down to Bwindi Impenetrable Forest to track gorillas and finally across the Rwandan border to Kigali.
All the booking and communication was done through Jackie from Katona, who was extremely helpful and answered all of my questions, gave great advice and put together multiple itineraries based on each new request, for us to look through.
When we arrived in Kampala we found the office easily and paid the balance and made some final arrangements which all went smoothly. (It’s worth noting that USD notes printed before the year 2000 and which are smaller denominations than $50 are not accepted anywhere in Uganda).
We met our driver the next morning and he was quiet but helpful throughout the trip. Overall the value for money was amazing and we got to see so much more and got a lot more packed into the time we had there. You are read about our experience in Queen Elizabeth National Park and our experience tracking gorillas in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest here, we never would have seen so much wildlife both on the safari and on the drive without our driver’s sharp eyes. We also had baggage missing from our flight when we landed and the company arranged for it to be driven down and meet us the day after the tour started, they took away all the worry and did this all completely free of charge
Uganda is an unspoiled destination, because it has never suffered the mass tourism of Kenya and Tanzania. The people are friendly and welcoming by nature, and there is plenty of opportunity to get out of the vehicle and explore on foot and to interact with the locals.
Game densities in some places are very good, but here, you have to work a little harder to spot your game than in other, more popular destinations. Also, top end accommodation can be hard to find in certain areas. However, Uganda has a beguiling charm, and will get under your skin. At the end of a multi-country African safari, Uganda will linger as one of your fondest memories, sometimes for reasons you can't quite put your finger on.
Email nickvp | 20-35 years of age
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.
The friendliest place I have ever been
The wildlife in Lake Mburo National Park is slightly limited, with no signs of the big five (although there were talks of bringing back the giraffes, as conditions were thought to be very good for them now). Howeever, this did not limit the experience of thew safari. We knew from the beginning what animals we could expect to see, and they were out and about continuously. We came very close to the animals, and the were curious yet healthily cautios when we were present. It did not feel like they were too used to people, and we rarely met another group while on our game drive.
The scenery was beautiful, and so inspiring! Our breakfast at the lakeside cafè was of decent quality at best, but it was amazing to see all the animals, birds and to enjoy the lake view while having our breakfast. Our accomodation was parted; two people stayed at the spectacular and luxurious Mihingo Lounge. The other two stayed more or less in the bush, in a one-room house with toilets outdoors. We ran into animals on our way to the bathroom! Fascinating, and slightly scary. Food at Mihingo Lounge was excellent, food at the lakeside restaurant was decent. We had a teenager from the park collecting us from the restaurant at nighttime on a boda boda. It was a thrill to ride through the park at nighttime.
The safari included a boatttrip, which was great for birding, and a walking safari. The latter was the safari highlight; a two hour walk on the green steps, surrounded by buffalos, topis, waterbucks and a bucnh of other animals I cannot rememeber right now. Our guide was fantastic. A friendly, intelligent young man with a heart for nature. And a great storyteller he was too!
As for Uganda, it was marvellous. I have not been there for the last time.
Email Mette Lund Hougaard | 35-50 years of age | Experience level: first safari
A big experience
Uganda is a very beautiful and safe contry. Wildlife is a very big experience. We saw elefanter. Giraf. Krokodiller. Leons and many other animals. Also many very beautiful births.
Email Divesh | 20-35 years of age | Experience level: first safari
Uganda has a rich variety of landscapes. Its people are very friendly and helpful. It has hands down the best birding watching of any place I have visited. Murchison Fall National Park has to be the number one game drive location in the country - the abundance of wildlife and landscapes within the park are breath taking. I would recommend Murchison Falls National Park over Queen Elizabeth National Park as it had less wildlife (although more birds). The landscapes in the north of Queen Elizabeth National Park aren't as dramatic as in the southern Ishasha sector. If I were to return I would focus my time and game drives in the southern sector of Queen Elizabeth National Park. In general Uganda would have to be the most beautiful country I have visited - I have never seen such a diversity of landscapes... savannah, mountains, tea plantations, rainforest, mixed arable, lakes, on and on, just amazing. I would recommend Uganda as a birding and safari location. We had very close encounters with many animals and often we were the only ones spending that time with the animal/herd.
Email Terrill | 35-50 years of age | Experience level: over 5 safaris
Uganda is disproportionately diverse for its small size. You find snow-capped mountains and sweltering swamps, cool savannahs, and dense jungles. The big five megafauna here here, as are nearly 1500 bird species. Add to that several dozen ethnic groups and around 45 languages from three major language families. You are free to travel anywhere in the country (even Karamoja is safe, despite information online). Uganda is amazing.
20-35 years of age
Excellent for mountain gorillas, and for a good not too touristy safari experience
I found Uganda to be a fantastic place. The highlight was, without doubt, the mountain gorillas which were truly breathtaking when seen in their natural environment. I found the way the treks were organized to be very good, making the whole experience accessible, but without it feeling too sanitised. I also enjoyed the other parts of my trip - while the game drives are not up to the quality in terms of number of animals that you might find in other reserves (so I am told - this is my only experience of safaris so far) what is great is that they are a lot quieter than other reserves in other countries. We saw a post-kill pride of lions ripping apart a warthog carcass and there were only a total of 6 or 7 vehicles around - something I believe is not likely to happen in places such as Tanzania which are more developed. The lodges were, without exception, fantastic - great food, nice atmosphere and friendly staff. The trip was expensive, but we did a lot - several boat trips, chimpanzee trekking and of course the gorilla trekking. It might not be somewhere you consider unless you are either a birder (Uganda is meant to be great for birds) or going to see the Gorillas, but for me it was a perfect place for mixing safari and trekking.
Email Chrissy Olson | 35-50 years of age
The jewel of East Africa, a MUST-SEE travel destination!
We spent the first 3 days of our trip in Kampala with side trips to Jinja, Entebbe and Ngamba Island. On day 4 we were picked up by a private tour guide. He would be with us for the remaining 5 days of our trip which included Gorilla trekking in Bwindi, Queen Elizabeth NP and other sights along the way. Our guide spoke decent English, was very affordable and his knowledge of the local flora & fauna, wildlife and history made him an invaluable part of our Ugandan experience. We asked him to show us the ‘real’ Uganda and he delivered! He took us to visit with local families, we watched a group of local men make alcohol from fermented bananas and stopped by a wedding in progress where we were greeted by friendly locals and invited to join the party.
The weather was perfect, cool in the mornings and evenings and warm throughout the day (never hot). The Ugandan country side is simply stunning….green patchwork covers the mountainous terrain and the people are some of the friendliest I have ever encountered. We also had incredible food throughout our journey including a delicious tilapia dinner on the shore of Lake Victoria (for the low price of $1.30).
The gorilla trekking was the highlight of our week but we also did a boat tour of the Kazinga channel which was wonderful!
I've travelled all over the world and I can honestly say that Uganda was my absolute favorite destination. The friendly people, incredible scenery, affordability and abundant wildlife make Uganda a “must-see”!!
Email Annette Williamson | 50-65 years of age | Experience level: first safari
Dream come true
It has been a dream for us for so long to see the Gorillas. The trip was amazing, accommodation was beautiful from Bwindi Lodge, staff were so helpful and beautiful, our Buttler David couldn’t do enough for us. The food marvellous. Our guide very informative and helpful.The view what can I say amazing. Weather perfect. Then the gorillas