Go Back  Fodor's Travel Talk Forums > Destinations > Africa & the Middle East
Reload this Page > AVOID Connect Hemisphere Safari, terrible experience!

AVOID Connect Hemisphere Safari, terrible experience!


Oct 7th, 2012, 09:22 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 2
AVOID Connect Hemisphere Safari, terrible experience!

We booked our tour with Connect Hemisphere Safari with Lucky from Sept 4 - Sept 8, 2012. Our flight was delayed arriving to Entebbe and we arrived much later than expected, Lucky explained to us that we could not do our itinerary as planned and told us all the driving times from Kibale to QENP to Bwindi was too far. He told us that tour guides cannot drive tourists at night and that we might get "robbed by thugs" but right before that our guide told us he wouldn't mind driving us at night so that we wouldn't miss any of our tour. Our guide was Sunday ( I don't remember his last name) the president of the board of tourism, I believe (he showed us his card). So I don't know if Lucky was making it sound worse than it really was or what, I cannot imagine our guide would put us in a bad situation knowingly. Lucky told us we would miss the boat cruise and chimpanzees at QENP because it would take us 6 hours to get from Kibale to QENP.
When we were done in Kibale it was 2pm and we asked Sunday how long it would take to get to out hotel near QENP he said only 3 hrs, so we asked if we could please go not instead of going the next morning like Lucky had said so we would make it to our boat cruise and for the chimps. Sunday called Lucky and he said no because he had the QENP chimp permits on him back in Kampala and he was trying to get out money back for them. When we got to QENP it was nearly noon and Sunday tried to find us the lions but they are only out early in the morning, we saw a vulture and a few antelopes, it really was a waste of a park fee since we couldn't do the boat cruise or trek the chimps and we didn't see the lions. We were really disappointed and for 3 days we spent the majority of all our time stuck in the truck rushing around with 6 hour drives, 8 hours drives and along the way the fuel tank got cracked. Sunday kept calling Lucky for money for fuel but he never gave it to him. We were starting to get very upset about the whole tour.During these crazy long drives we never stopped for food! We had to ask to please stop for food. How can you run a tour like this? It is Lucky's job as the tour operator to set up a tour that makes sense and can run smoothly. I understand problems can arise that were not expected, but Lucky clearly did not know the roads, all the times he told us were completely wrong. I felt very bad for our guide Sunday, he did the best he could with a horrrible itinerary.
After we left QENP we had to drive to our hotel for gorilla trekking, Wagtail Ecocamp. Lucky called to tell us we he would give us our money back for the permits at the airport when we departed Uganda. He said we would arrive to Wagtail l by 6pm. It took us nearly 10hrs to get to Wagtail we arrived at 9pm. The drive up the mountain was insanity! would have been wonderful if there was daylight, too bad we missed the most beautiful part of Uganda. The ride was so dangerous, it was pitch black and the fog was so thick we could hardly see anything, it was horrible! We asked Sunday if he had ever in his 11 yrs of experience had an itinerary like this and he said never in his life. He never goes from QENP to the Ishasha sector of Bwindi then back to Entebbe. Then that's when we thought to ask how long would the ride be back to Entebbe airport from Wagtail, about 10 hours!!! How can a tour operator set up a tour like this!? As the tourist I don't know where these exact locations are, and how the roads inbetween are, we trusted Lucky would make an itinerary for us that made sense! It ended up taking us 12 hrours to get to the airport because there was construction and the cracked fue tankl, that there was no time to fix, didn't help. We made it 25 mins before our flight was due to leave only to have the lady tell us how stupid we are, that she should charge us extra for being late. And of course as we suspected Lucky was not at the airport with our money.
He also did not prepare us with what we needed to know to bring. For the gorilla trekking when we got there they told us we needed at least 2 liters of water per person and we should have rain gear and gloves. We didn't have any of those things. The other tourists did though because their company told them in advance. We visited 4 countries while in Africa and this tour was by far the worst (and it was the most expensive) . Lucky did a horrible job of arranging this trip, we deserve our money back for more than just the boat cruise and QENP chimp permits. We are avid travellers and we are used to problems arriving unexpectedly, delays, etc but there was no excuse for the absolutely horrible planning of this trip on Lucky's part. I know it is unlikely we will ever get any money back from him but more than the money I want something to be done about it. I want people to know what an awful experience we had in Uganda because of Lucky. I do not want other tourists to have to go through the mess that we did.
Adriana_Torres is offline  
Reply With Quote
Oct 8th, 2012, 07:35 AM
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 346
That sounds truly horrible, and mirrors the comments of LAX_Esq on this company. Thanks for giving everyone a warning.
Cateyes555 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Oct 9th, 2012, 11:35 PM
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 53
Adriana: Your experience sounds horrible. Connect Hemisphere is truly a scam operation and it's sad to see that they're still in business. I'm sure there are dozens of honest, hard working Ugandan companies who deserve our business, and Lucky simply does not deserve any more business. You should post about your experience on all the forums you used so that more people can be spared a bad experience with Lucky and Connect Hemisphere.
LAX_Esq is offline  
Reply With Quote

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 05:03 AM.