User Reviews – Uganda
Murchision national park
Very good to see giraffe and elephants.but has a small population of loin. Still uganda needs to improve service sectors. People attitude about giving service to customers are lagging. They think only about to grab money.
Email BradJill | 20-35 years of age
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.
20-35 years of age
Wildlife disappointing compared to Serengeti area
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.
See the source of the Nile and the Mountains of the Moon in one trip.
Unlike other safari destinations in East Africa, Uganda has diverse geography--big rivers, mountain ranges and lakes-- that break the monotony of the high plains and make great backgrounds for photos. Uganda offers serious mountaineering, whitewater activities and gorilla trekking, in addition to the standard bush safari. Ugandans are friendly and more of them speak English than denizens of neighboring countries. It's well worth a visit.
Uganda lacks the infrastructure (and mentality) for ecotourism that would make this destination more desirable. The cost of accommodations around the country was extremely high and the quality of the food and lodging, for the most part was relatively low to mediocre.
Email LSK | 20-35 years of age | Experience level: first safari
I got what I paid for for booking last minute!
AMAZING scenery, especially at sunrise and sunset! The weather was perfect at this time of year (dry season). Got to see a pack/herd? of giraffes, elephants, buffaloes...etc. We were able to see everything except Lions!
We booked very last minute and so we had quite a few disappointments...
- no park ranger as a tour guide - which would have helped us see lions! we were so disappointed to miss the lions!
- our guide spoke poor English and barely explained things to us
- did not go in a 4x4 land cruiser as stated...ended up in a very old van with broken A/C and extremely shaky
- Stayed at Bwana Tembo, which is outisde of the park. Good food, nice manager, but not exactly worth the mid-range price. No electricity in the rooms! Just a fan to help keep cool at night, and our driver was put in a room with NO fan at all and it was boiling hot all night. Very unfair treatment for him.
Email Urs | 50-65 years of age | Experience level: over 5 safaris
Great country to see wildlife
Murchison Falls National Park, Impenetrable Forest and the Vitunga Mountains offer great opportunities to see wildlife. People are very friendly and travelling is quite easy. Outside the national parks there is, however, not too much to see or do from a tourist perspective.
A hidden gem in the rough !
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.
Email Marcus Richardson | 35-50 years of age
Not like other safari destinations!
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.
Email Merv Colton | 35-50 years of age
So Many People!
If you stop for a picnic in Uganda miles from any village or sign of habitation, be sure to take out some extra fruit because by the time your kettle is boiled, you'll have a handful of spectators. Ugandans love to see visitors to their country, some will beg, some will smile, but all will welcome you.
The climate is hot and humid for much of the time, so loads of light clothes is the order of the day. We had clothes washed a few times on our trip, and that made travelling lighter. Be ready for muddy streets, and tropical downpours, but you will be back to sunshine and dust within a few hours!
Uganda is a very green country, you will get to see just about everything growing there. It is seemingly possible to get 2 crops of potatoes per year from the same field. You will see many small households growing subsistance food right beside their homes, and you'll also see huge commercial tea farms.
The accomadation varies wildly. You can find small inexpensive bed and breakfast type places, and also plush luxury lodges. Many of these are a little dated and some are a little basic, but the food is generally very good. In a few weeks of travel, we had no tummy upsets, and really liked most of the dishes.
The road network is a bit haphazard, and off the main routes the roads may only be passable outside of the rainy season, so take this into account while planning. Traffic in Kampala is hectic enough to make Italians flinch.
The wildlife parks were superb. The tree climbing lions in QENP are well worth tracking down, and the Gorilla's are a "must see".
Overall, it's a great destination. Some of the parks can arrange walks with the rangers, and this is a superb experience as you get to hear and smell live in the game parks much more intimatly than when in the back of a Toyota or Landrover.