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“The Pearl of Africa”
Review of Uganda

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Community of Madrid, Spain
Level 4 Contributor
34 reviews
18 helpful votes
“The Pearl of Africa”
Reviewed May 24, 2011

We had a few days to make a quick trip somewhere and thought about going to Africa again. We had gone to Kenya some years before and we had made a friend for ever, Andrew, so I contacted him to get advise for Uganda.

He introduced me to Martin and said: "Talk to him as if you were talking to myself" An so I did.

Martin and Ugandalastminute.com took care of all we needed since we landed at Entebbe Airport. Even before. They have already very good options but you can taylor-make them at your convenience. They will advice you professionally and will give you different options.

We spent the first and last night in Kampala due to flights, but the rest of the days we did not do anything but enjoying pure nature at its best.

Kibale forest is worth a visit. Long trekking but when you manage to find the chimps there are no sore muscles. The perfectly trained local rangers will explain anything you ask and will tell you about the flora and fauna. They will also brief at the start on what to do when you find the group of chimpanzees. Carefull with the safari ants!! They were the biggest danger we were exposed to during the entire trip, but you can avoid them by using long socks, long trousers and a good pair of boots.

The lodge was just in the National Park, just metres away from the beggining of the path to the chimps. They have hot water and electricity restrictions, but enough for anyone needs. Food is not gourmet, but who needs it! It was nice, healthy and abundant.

Queen Elisabeth National Park is an amazing park with some more luxurious lodges. Don't forget the Kazinga channel visit. Again, local rangers will take you through it and they will also explain everything along the way.

The best part of the trip was waiting for us at the end. Bwindi National Park is paradise. The lodge was just in front of the steep mountain we had to trek next day. I have to say I was scared when I saw it, but when we got to the departure point next morning, the ranger in charge talked to us about what we could expect, how it was going to be, the security and rescue team, etc, etc, and all my fears immediately vanished away.

Perfectly trained rangers and porters will guide you to find the family of gorillas. This is the kind of experience you cannot get many times in life. It is really steep, but only the view you get from up there is more than rewarding. And when you find the gorillas as close as you could never imagine, in the wild, you feel like an electric shock. Dirty, sweaty and tired but extremely happy, we could spend one hour observing a complete family of "gorillas in the mist". I felt as if only 10 minutes had passed but we cannot exhaust those gorgeous criatures.

We were very lucky because we found the family in a record 20 minutes. It normally takes a bit more. Go well rested and if possible, get a lodge close to the start of the tracking. The roads going up there are an absolute nightmare.

Although you can have some hours of what they call "African Massage" (horribly bumpy roads), generally speaking, main roads are fine, but be prepared for long rides. I would suggest, on time permitting, not to do in one go the Bwindi-Kampala trip. It is an absolutely exhausting 14 hours drive.

Anyway, I would do the trip again tomorrow even considering the VERY high price of the permits to see the chimps and gorillas.

Many thanks to Martin and Ugandalastminute to make our holidays!

Helpful?
1 Thank Sofía M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Heathmont
2 reviews
4 helpful votes
“Border-Less Travel with Peter Wamono”
Reviewed October 6, 2010

I have just returned from my first but hopefully not last visit to Uganda, with no small thanks to Peter from Border-less Travel (http://www.borderless-travel.com) for such an awesome experience.
Having travelled in the developing world previously, I was a bit hesitant about the level of 'comfort' I would need to sacrifice to really experience a part of Africa and especially her people.
Peter is the best host/guide you could ever ask for, giving of himself and showing just what typical Ugandan hospitality is like. From the outset of the trip, I was made to feel like a very honored guest in every place I stayed and never had to worry about a thing, as Peter's planning went so smoothly from one activity to the next. Whilst the entire trip was one new experience after another in quick sucession, with often long days on dusty and decrepit roads (they don't call this the pot-hole capital of the world for nothing!), at the end of the day there was always a welcome smile at my accommodation and a beautifully prepared meal.
The purpose of my trip was mainly to work on 2 building projects for the local people, one in a rural village (Bwagogo), and the other in Gulu. It was amazing working with the Ugandan people side by side getting to know them and see the curiosity from passers-by while they watched the buildings take shape. I was humbled to receive the thanks and sincere appreciation from the people, who seem so eager to show their enthusiasm and open up their hearts and homes to you.
My trip to the Nile and Murchison Falls National Park was spectacular, and the wildlife up close is unforgettable. Even a mediocre photographer such as I could not possibly fail to take some fantastic shots from the purpose-built vehicle which enables you to remain in safety (relative!) while enjoying the thrill of the search for the next exciting sight.
Peter's knowledge of all things local and abroad meant that he was always happy to be engaged in meaningful and informative discussion and making sure I was aware of the local customs and particular nuances of the people in order that no-one would be offended by an unintentional word or action on my part. He really was the bridge between my culture and his, appearing to effortlessly ensure a highly satisfactory experience for locals and visitors alike.
I could not imagine visiting Uganda again without Peter's assistance and competence and would highly recommend Border-Less Travel to everyone contemplating even the shortest stay in this beautiful and welcoming country.

Helpful?
4 Thank JenGunston
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
USA
1 review
5 helpful votes
“Gorilla tour”
Reviewed July 10, 2010

My wife and I just returned from a 16 day budget tour of the National Parks of western Uganda with Gorilla Tours and we highly recommend them. They are partners with a Dutch company that operates Nature Lodges and we found them to be very comfortable after a day on the "roads" of Uganda. The food was also a pleasant surprise and we even threatened to kidnap one of the cooks at one camp and take him with us. And yes, we did see mountain gorillas as well as 5 other species of primates.

Helpful?
5 Thank DavidUUsa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
wien
1 review
4 helpful votes
“visit uganda”
Reviewed June 23, 2010

Have you ever been to EastAfrica? Well, I haven’t until this spring (1st May to 21st May). I wanted to travel through Uganda, to see as much of the country as possible and get into contact with Ugandan people and their cultures. To be prepared for the journey I gathered information from books and the internet before traveling. One of the most important decisions was to decide whether to travel with a guide and if so with whom to travel. I contacted several different companies but the one with the most interesting and flexible itinerary was Borderless-Travel. In the weeks before our stay I wrote them about all the places I wanted to see and if possible on low budget. All of the requests were fulfilled and communication was fast and easy via email.
Meeting Peter Wamono (Borderless-Travel) at the airport was already like meeting an old friend. During the following three weeks there was never an uncomfortable feeling. Besides the beauty of Ugandan landscapes, the lively atmosphere on the streets and the hospitable character of Ugandans it was always great to talk to Peter. He gives you background information on history, politics, culture, language or whatever else you will ask him. Peter is an experienced globetrotter who shows you around places you would never find on your own. His way of getting in contact with people, either locals or tourists, is exemplarily open and friendly. I believe that by traveling with Peter and Borderless-Travel you will get the best experience traveling around Uganda giving you the know-how to travel around East Africa.
I recommend everyone traveling to Uganda to see at least one of the big national parks which are very well managed by the UWA. Especially stunning were the primates in the Kibale (chimps) and Bwindi (gorillas). Climb one of the big mountains (either Ruwenzori or Mt. Elgon). Don’t miss to go to a village safari with Peter!!! I have never experienced more hospitality and kindness. And I believe that you haven’t been to East Africa if you haven’t been invited to a village.

Helpful?
4 Thank nichtschwimmer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
Level 4 Contributor
31 reviews
33 helpful votes
“Nkuringo Walking Safaris”
Reviewed May 10, 2010

I have just returned from 2 weeks in Uganda, organized by Nkuringo Walking Safaris. Rob and his staff were excellent and being the low season i had complete flexibility in designing my trip over coffee on the day i arrived and changing it as it suited during the trip.
Everything i asked for was never a problem and Rob's staff, both in Nkuringo Walking Safaris and Nkuringo Gorilla Campsite and Hammerkop Bunkhouse were fantatstic. My first night at the campsite and we had a storm which made it quite uncomfortable in the ensuite cabin, so the staff moved me to a cabin protected from the wind. after my gorilla trek, i was a little soar, so one of the staff gave me a massage, which was part of the service. Not sure if that is normal, but i gave her a healthy tip anyway.
My driver (Augastine) and guide (Asigariyo) were awesome and always good fun to be with and plenty of conversation.
I also stayed at Nkuringo Safari Lodge on Lake Mutanda where the staff were an absolute ball to be around. I also enjoyed my stay at Red Chilli at both Kampala and Murchison Falls where i have made new young friends volunteering in different regions of Uganda and the Congo as well as staff of Red Chilli at both locations.
Basically, like many others, i fell in love with Uganda and will be moving there in August. Thanks Rob and all those who helped.
Lidya, good luck with the birth and hope it all goes well.

Helpful?
1 Thank pel579
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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