Notices

Uganda Trip Report

Reply

May 14th, 2012, 07:51 PM
  #1
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 1,510
Uganda Trip Report

This is a brief report of our incredible trip to Uganda in Feb 2012. Please feel free to ask any questions that the report may prompt I am more than happy to answer.
jules39 is offline  
Reply With Quote
May 14th, 2012, 07:53 PM
  #2
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 1,510
First of all let me warn you that writing is not my forte so this trip report may seem brief & factual. However if it promts questions for any of you I am more than willing to elaborate!




We spent 3 weeks in Uganda during the first weeks of Feb. A great great trip. We have previously been to Tanzania, Kenya & Rwanda. Uganda is a different East Africa experience.




The people we have encountered on our trips to Africa have always been very friendly. On all of our trips the lodge staff, drivers, guides have been great. In Uganda we had a lot more encounters with locals & they were always so friendly it was great. Ugandas immigration people were the friendliest I have encountered anywhere!




We both felt that our trip to Uganda felt the most like we were in Africa than the other trips we had taken together & not only in a Nat Park. This had a lot to do with the journey between parks. During these drives you get to encounter village life.




Our trip was 21 days. After “interviewing” a few safari companies we chose Churchill Safaris. It came down to their response to my initial requests & a gut feeling from that response. End result……they were great. All our requests were met & we would definitely use them again.






OK our itinerary & accomidation with our thoughts on the accomidation




Entebbe 1 night Airport Guest House. Close to the airport which is great. Very quick check in we were in our bed in record time to try to get some sleep after 26 hours of travel. A peacful place with great staff & garden.




Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary 1 night. We decided to stay the night here rather than just pass through because we had the time & thought it would be a good to have an easy day this day as we got over the flight & adjusted to time zones. Very glad we stayed. No worries about how long you walk with the rhinos as you don’t have to keep driving . Accomidation very comfortable(guest house) very peacful apart from the “bush” noises!




Murchison Falls 2 nights Paraa Lodge This lodge is worth the money for it’s location alone. You can be on your early morning game drive before the ferry is even running from the other side of the river. Food very good.




Budongo 3 nights Budongo Eco Lodge. A great bush setting. You can hear the chimps calling from your hut. Loved the setting. Also nice to be able to just walk from your tent to go chimp trekking.




Hoima 1 night Kontiki Hotel. The only place to stay in town!




Kibale 3 nights Chimps Nest. Again a great bush setting. Lovely cottage type rooms with outdoor bathrooms. Showering outside is great!




QENP 3 nights QE Bush Camp. Nice tents with another great outdoor shower. Good food and lots of animal activity. No need to leave the tent & you see elephants, giant forest hogs, crocs, hippos & loads of birds. At night the hippos are grazing on the grass right outside your tent. Didn’t get much sleep but loved it!




Ishasha 2 nights Ishasha wilderness camp. Beautful camp. Great location. Lion outside our tent in the morning.




Bwindi 3 nights Buhoma Community Bandas. Cool & damp but I think that is the way everywhere in Bwindi is!




Lake Mburo 1 night Arcadia Cottages. Very nice large cottages. Good food.






The highlights for us……..Rather than go through each day in detail I will give you a run down on what our highlights were……..




Disclaimer first…..we have been to Tanzania a few times & on game drives there you see hoards of animals. We certainly did not see the same volume but we saw different things and had an awsome time.




Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary. It is great to see the work being done here. Taking a walking safari to see the rhino is exciting for sure. It is even more exhilarating when you remind yourself that less than 24hrs earlier we were in a plane! You get close to the rhino & hearing them breathe snort & stomp while you are standing on the same ground as them is special. Highly recommend staying overnight if time allows. Very peaceful.




Murchison Falls. The game drives here for us were not full of wildlife but we did see leopard & the area is stunning. The boat ride to the falls was great. Saw more crocs & hippos than we have ever seen before. Incredible.




Budongo. Chimp Habituation is totally amazing! We did 2 chimp habits in Budongo. Spending from 8 until 4 out trekking with the chimps is fantastic. The value for money compared to a 1 hour trek is just not comparable. Do the habit if you can. We LOVED it.




Kibale. 2 more Chimp Habituations (we are so fortunate!) In Kibale the Chimp Habit was more intense than in Budongo because it is run by park rangers. We started out in the dark & came out about 5pm. We LOVED it again! It is just so amazing to spend the entire day following the chimps on their adventures. At times we sat for an hour just watching chimps sleep & groom but we totally enjoyed this. Don’t underestimate it it can be a long day & we were happily exhausted at the end in both Budongo & Kibale. The 4 chimp habituations we did were definitely the hightlight of our trip. Incredible to spend that amount of time you really begin to feel like you are learning.


QENP. In the northern part of the park the highlight for us was the boat safari on the Kazinga Chanel. This is not the type of safari we ever did in Tanzania. The bird life is incredible (& we are not “birders”) Lots of hippos & seeing the elephants playing in the water was great. We enjoyed it so much we did it again the next day!




Ishasha. No we did not see any tree climbing lions!!! But it is a beautiful area & we really enjoyed staying here.




Bwindi. We did 2 gorilla treks & as you would imagine they were incredible. The first day we got to our group in 40 minutes!!! Baby gorillas playing it was great. The next day it took a couple of hours to find them but again awsome. I was especially impressed when on two occations one of the gorillas wanted to walk through where I was & actually touched me as they went passed. That is a real buzz!!!




Some tips……a long sleeved shirt is great for gorilla or chimp treks. I liked having gloves for the gorilla treks. One of ours had some steep downhills & it was nice to not have to worry about grabbing hold of a nettle or the like. Make sure your socks are long enough to tuck your pants into on gorilla treks. A couple of people on our treks did not have long enough socks & they got ants biting which was painful. Bwindi is damp so feels cold at night. I needed to wear thin thermal legs to feel comfortable. Our driver had trekking poles in the vehicle. On the first gorilla trek I did not use the pole it stayed on my pack but on the second were there were some super steep sections I was very grateful to have it.




In summary…..we loved our trip to Uganda. If you are there look out for the scooters made from wood!!!!
jules39 is offline  
Reply With Quote
May 14th, 2012, 08:01 PM
  #3
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 1,510
One thing I forgot to mention.....when boarding our flight in North America the Delta agent was convinced by her computer that we nneeded a visa in our passports to board the flight. She could not access another site to confirm this. I assured her that I had checked many times & was sure I could ger visa on arrival. She eventually did something that meant we could board the flight. We had no problems getting our visa on arrival in Uganga.
jules39 is offline  
Reply With Quote
May 14th, 2012, 09:05 PM
  #4
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 14,440
Looks like a super trip. That's great you did several chimp habituation walks in 2 different places. Who was your chimp guide at Budongo? How nice you stayed o/nt at Ziwa.

Uganda really has diversity. Thanks for the comments.
atravelynn is offline  
Reply With Quote
May 15th, 2012, 08:14 PM
  #5
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 2,135
Thanks for the report. I fell in love with Uganda, nice to read your trip was just as wonderful.
Femi is offline  
Reply With Quote
May 18th, 2012, 09:34 PM
  #6
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 1,510
Sorry i cannot remember the name of the guides we had at Budongo but they were both great.
jules39 is offline  
Reply With Quote
May 28th, 2012, 03:36 PM
  #7
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 371
Hi Jules
So glad to see you enjoyed Uganda and the Ugandan people as much as we did! We've taken up your recommendation for Churchill for a second trip there next month - going for work but will get some time with the wildlife too. You were lucky with your sightings, a lion outside the room and a leopard ain't bad! And glad you enjoyed QE Bush camp - it's simple but seems that you, like us, prefer wildlife on the doorstep to a sealed air conditioned room (sometimes!!) Hope we get to see the lions in Ishasha this time. Have you got any photos to post?
tockoloshe is offline  
Reply With Quote
May 29th, 2012, 11:57 AM
  #8
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 1,510
tock great that you have another trip planned! I should clarify that apart from the lion outside the tent we saw no ohter lions in Ishasha. The leopard did not pose very well for us but still great experience.
jules39 is offline  
Reply With Quote
May 30th, 2012, 01:56 PM
  #9
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 7,937
Hi Jules, thank you for your excellent report. Uganda sounds terrific. You didn't mind long drives between destinations?

Any photos?
Leely2 is offline  
Reply With Quote
May 31st, 2012, 11:42 AM
  #10
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 1,510
Thanks Leely. Yes we like to drive you see some facinating things. In Uganda there is a differnt village, school or market to see every few miles. Actually when I now think about Uganda I cannot recall long long drives so I guess we didn't mind them!
jules39 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jun 29th, 2012, 11:38 AM
  #11
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 1,182
Hi Jules - if you check back -
My husband & I are also looking into a tour with Churchill. I'm glad to hear you give them two thumbs up.

I had only planned on doing a chimp trek at Kibale but I'm wondering if we should try to do the habituation instead. I can't tell if it's available when we'll be there (our dates not set yet but next summer between June & August). If we do only the trek in the morning we would do a walk in the Bigodi Swamp in the afternoon. From your experience would you say doing the all day CHEX would be a better way to go? We'll only have one day there so it's either, or.

Thanks in advance for any advice.
Leslie_S is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jun 29th, 2012, 01:46 PM
  #12
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 14,440
Jumping in here, to encourage you to do the habituation walk if at all possible. At one point they had halted the habituation walk in the busier months. You might be able to do it at an extra cost. It would be worth it.

I recall Bradt guide referring to the habituation walk in Kibale as one of the best primate activities on the continent. I'd agree.
atravelynn is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jun 29th, 2012, 05:41 PM
  #13
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 645
Jules, thanks for the report. Would certainly have enjoyed reading more. Isn't it amazing how the african "bug" bites during that first trip? I too welcome opportunity to see your pics.
You kinda confirmed us needing to return to Uganda. Our May trip was simply too short.

Dick
rsnyder is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jun 30th, 2012, 06:32 AM
  #14
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 1,182
I should've said that too, sorry-
thanks so much for the great report. It's given me some good for for thought with my trip plans.

Lynn - I think I will pursue the habituation rather than just doing the trek.

Although, what just happened with that young guy getting attacked at the South African chimp sanctuary definitely made me gulp this morning. He's in critical condition but the doctor reporting made it sound like he'll be okay. His mother said he would never blame the chimps and will be right back in there the minute he's able. I just have to hope my husband doesn't see that report or the plan to visit Ngamba and also to do chimp tracking will be a major challenge to get him to agree to. I think it's such aberrant behavior that I wouldn't be afraid of it happening to us.
Leslie_S is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jul 2nd, 2012, 11:54 AM
  #15
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 1,510
We LOVED the CHEX's we did. Probably the highlight of our trip. We decided not to go to the island for various reasons. The CHEX can be long days so be aware of that. Our driver told us he has had people do one day of CHEX & be too tired to do the next day they had booked. We were definately tired but it was good tiredness!
jules39 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jul 3rd, 2012, 08:34 AM
  #16
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 1,182
Thank you Jules!
Did you hear about that chimp attack at the sanctuary in South Africa? Would that make you do things any differently (the CHEX, for example)?

I do still want to do the Ngamba Island visit.
I'm hoping as far as the sanctuary experience is concerned this will just heighten their awareness and make sure people aren't put in potentially dangerous situations...well within control anyway, I know everything's got some kind of risk attached.
Leslie_S is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jul 5th, 2012, 02:10 PM
  #17
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 1,510
No it wouldn't make me do anything any differently. I certainly followed any instructions given to me by the rangers. They are wild animals and there is always a certain level of risk involved as you mention.
jules39 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jul 6th, 2012, 09:55 AM
  #18
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 1,182
Glad to hear you feel the same!
Leslie_S is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jul 7th, 2012, 08:22 AM
  #19
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 14,440
Captive chimps with a limited territory are different than wild ones. You'll have a guide with you who "knows" the chimps. I am aware of several incidents with captive chimps, none with wild chimps.

At Ngamba I was never allowed near the adult chimps. They never had access to me. Interactions were only with the babies. It was made clear to us that the adults can be aggressive and even if they aren't aggressive they are super strong. We never had any contact. (Except for one undergoing an operation where I got to assist, but she was anesthetized on an operating table.)
atravelynn is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jul 7th, 2012, 02:52 PM
  #20
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 1,182
Thanks for the further info. I'm still excited to spend time with the chimps in Kibale and the infants in Ngamba.
Leslie_S 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 10:46 AM.