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!