safety in Uganda

Mar 15th, 2005, 08:58 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 1
safety in Uganda

We are planning our first visit to Africa. We have decided to go on a tour to Uganda to see the primates.We are starting off at Ngamba Island, then going to Kibale Forest. Three days are to be spent at Queen Elizabeth Park. We then are on to Bwindi National Park for the gorilla trek. Does any one have any advice about this trip. The tour only consists of 11 people. Do you feel it is safe? Any reccomendations?
d3flamingo is offline  
Mar 15th, 2005, 09:15 AM
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 1,354
Yours is standard itinerary followed by hundreds of visitors every week.

You are not going to the North where there's trouble.

Yes, you are about as safe as can be from terror attacks but you will be very vulnerable to pot holes.

ONLY 11 people? That's a lot. Have you considered doing a private trip with incountry outfitters such as Great Lakes (I used them) and others?

What kind of vehicles will you use? The roads in Uganda are worse than you can imagine. If the suspensions are bad you're in for a rough experience.

The distances are great, especially from QE down to Bwindi and then the first part of the drive back to Kampala.

Are you OK with long hours in packed safari vehicles with strangers over very rough roads?
climbhighsleeplow is offline  
Mar 15th, 2005, 09:20 AM
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 14,440
A great itinerary! I was in those locations with 4 others in 2002 and again in 2004. No problems at all.

To spare you some anguish that I experienced in Kibale in 2002, don't panic if you hear machine gun fire in the night. Most camps are located very near the village. At night the elephants sometimes come and raid the fields. There are rangers on duty to deter the elephants by scaring them with their machine guns. Wish I had known that about 2:30 am my first night in camp.

If you like bats, there is a wonderful cave full of them, plus some resident pythons that feed on the bats in Queen Elizabeth in the Maramagambo Forest, near Jacana Lodge. With 3 days in QE, you’d have time to take at least one launch trip on the Kazinga Channel, observe the mongoose around Mweya Lodge (near where you do the Kazinga trip), see the bats, have some great game drives, search for the giant forest hog, and even relax.

In Bwindi, I'd do two gorilla treks rather than one.

You'll have a super time.

Email me if you wish.
atravelynn is offline  
Mar 15th, 2005, 11:17 AM
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 14,440
Your safety question inspired me to do a bit of research. The MyUganda website showed the numbers of visitors in 2003.

In 2003 102,567 tourists visited Ugandan national parks and in total 304,656 tourists visited Uganda. This was without incident.

The Ugandan government knows that another unfortunate incident might be the complete ruination of the tourism business there, so there is both a visible and a behind the scenes effort to maintain safety of the visitors.

Here is one other thought in Kibale, but it comes at a price. Instead of doing the standard chimp walk, you can do the "habituation walk" in which you go very early and see the chimps wake up in their nests. Then you follow them all day and leave them in the evening when they make their nests again. At least that is how it works in theory. When I did it, there had not been a habituation group the day before so we did not know where they had slept. Rather than seeing them wake up, we spent hours searching for them. But we found them, spent the remainder of the day with them, then watched them make their evening nests. Finding them the next day was easier. I think this option is still available for some of the troops.

I understand that in the few years since I was last there, the chimps have become more tolerant of observers, enhancing the viewing experience.

Are the 11 visitors all in one vehicle or are you taking more than one? With 5 people in one vehicle it was a bit crowded on the longer drives.

How are you getting back to Entebbe after Bwindi? I assume that is the sequence? If you drive straight, it could be 10+ hours. Perhaps you are stopping at Lake Mburo or maybe you are flying back.

atravelynn is offline  
Mar 15th, 2005, 01:37 PM
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 1,922
I just returned from spending a week in Uganda and a week in Rwanda in February.

My time in Uganda was spent in Entebbe, Bwindi and Ngamba Island and a short visit to the southern part of Queen Elizabeth Park.

In Bwindi, if you only want to do one Gorilla trek, the next day you can opt do a forest walk up to a beautiful waterfall setting. The forest walk is enchanting but I would however, do the gorilla trekking if given a choice between the two.

Ngamba Island was fantastic. You didn't say whether or not you were spending the night and doing the forest walk with the smaller chimps but if you get a chance, I would highly recommend that as well. Spending time with the chimps is fantastic.

As far as safety is concerned, you should be fine. The people are great and you are accompanied by the military on all your excursions in Bwindi and Kibale.

I hope this helps.

divewop is offline  
Mar 15th, 2005, 02:07 PM
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 1,354
Flamingo, we can give you lots of advice here but it seems you are on a group tour with a fixed itinerary.

What kind of recommendations are you looking for? Where are you staying? Driving or flying?
climbhighsleeplow is offline  

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

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy -


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 11:39 PM.