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Gorilla and Chimp Safari UG
10 reviews for this tour
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Each departure date has it's own dedicated tour note, detailing all you need to know about that tour. Whether you've already booked, or weighing up your options, please choose carefully the relevant itinerary for you.
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What Was The Highlight Or Most Memorable Moment Of Your Tour
So difficult to say, there were so many. Of course the gorillas and chimps but also the lions (at QENP) and the elusive leopard (at Lake Mburo) which we spotted on our way back from a game drive. The other people on the tour and fantastic leader and drivers. The accommodation was good, some amazing views and good food. The Ugandan people and the children shouting hello and waving as we passed by.
How Was Your Explore Tour Leader
The tour leader (Neil) and the drivers (Peter and Noel) were brilliant. Good fun, extremely knowledgeable and enthusiastic. Nothing was too much trouble.
What Tips Would You Give To Someone Else Booking This Tour
Book It, you'll love it! Remember to take some warm clothes for the evenings and early mornings. You'll be living out of you bag as there's a lot of travelling - we did 1500 km! Be prepared for some very bumpy roads. Take more than one pair of long trousers and socks for tracking, you'll need them for the chimps, gorillas and the walking safari. There isn't much free time for chilling so make the most of it when you can. Some lodges have a pool so take you swimming stuff. Some lodges have wifi but not all of them.
Do You Have Anything Else To Add
I was expecting a lot from this trip and it exceeded my expectations in every way.
What was the highlight or most memorable moment of your tour?
"To see the gorillas in their own environment,so close for a whole hour with just seven other travellers is a highlight in any ones life and certainly one I feel a must for all would be travellers.The walk although rather tough for some seem to add to the experience when finally the gorillas are found by the excellent guides.
The boat trip into the Kazinga Channel is also a highlight with even lions being seen,as well as many elephants,hippos and much much more.The Chambura Gorge was disappointing .
FineThe drives can be long but always very interesting and there is much to admire about the people,landscape and of course animals,particularly gorillas.A MUST SEE EXPERIENCE.....ENJOY "
How was your Explore Tour Leader?
What tips would you give to someone else booking this tour?
"Good walking shoes for treak to see gorillas. Swimmers for the pools at hotels
TAKE ITEMS FOR THE SCHOOL AT BWINDI,pens,pencils,exercise books,etc "
Do you have anything else to add?
Hippo Hill camp site very tired,needs to refurbish tents and just about everything else
|Bumping along the red earth roads, a call breaks through the hum of the engine..."hellooooo helloooo!". The sound of children's voices provides the underlying soundtrack to travelling through Uganda, everywhere we went children wave and smile at us as we passed through their towns and villages. Uganda is lush and green, the people are friendly and courteous and the wildlife is all around. It truly is a beautiful country. Kampala, our first taste of Uganda, is a busy, bustling city. Hot and dry, a cool dip in the hotel pool was a welcome start to a great week. Knowing we would have a free afternoon, before leaving the UK we had arranged through Stuff your Rucksack to take some things out to a charity for boys who had previously been orphaned or abandoned. The warm welcome they gave us will stay with me forever and I very much hope to stay in touch with them. On to Hippo Hill, this was a complete contrast to the urban throng of Kampala. Peaceful and calm, the campsite is in a beautiful location looking down to a lake. Sunset here is just lovely. The campsite is well named...hippos really do wander round the tents during the night! From previous reports that chimps are hard to find and people often don't get to see them, we expected Chambura Gorge to mainly be just a pleasant walk. Shimmying along logs to cross the river, following the tracks of forest elephants and listening to birdsong as we made our way through the wooded valley, our tracker suddenly stopped at the distinctive aroma of wild chimpanzee. A little further on and we saw her nest, one leathery foot dangling out lazily high in the canopy above. We were very lucky, as we watched she made her way out along the branch for her morning ablutions, keeping a casual eye on us before moseying back to bed. This trip is so varied, there are too many highlights to write about in one short review... amongst so many, the trip along the Kazinga Channel held more wildlife just a few metres from our boat than I've seen on any safari trip, on to Buhoma to find that the campsite is in the heart of the village, so sitting on the verandah overlooking the hills beyond and listening to the drums and singing of the children after a days trekkiing is a very lovely moment in life. The local people are so friendly and meeting the local school master, visiting the hospital, listening to a traditional healer and meeting the Batwa gives a little more insight into how life really is in Uganda. And then there are the mountain gorillas... Wow! Our family, the Habinyanja group, comprised tiny babies beating their chests in anticipation of growing up to be King Kong one day, teenagers playfighting in the trees above us and the silverback majestically ignoring us as he tucked into the forest foliage - all within just a few feet of where we were sitting. Not just a lovely moment in life but an amazing one too. I normally travel independently rather than with organised groups but I was really impressed with Explore - the guide was knowledgeable, the accommodation was good and the trip schedule really made the most of the time we had in Uganda. Definitely to be recommended!|
|This is certainly not a holiday for everyone, but for me it was an absolutely perfect trip. The highlight of course was seeing the gorillas, but there was so much else packed in that it's now hard to choose favourites. Uganda is a beautiful country, with loads of wildlife and absolutely lovely people. Everywhere we went we had kids waving at us and people coming up to talk. The chimpanzee expedition is a bit of pot luck, we were fortunate to see one but the guide said that many people don't. There's so much else to see, though, that it probably wouldn't matter - elephants, hippos, loads of birds, plenty of other animals. Uganda and its people are desperately poor, though, and while you're not going to see anyone starving, it's quite a culture shock to see how little people have and how quickly the children have to grow up. Though there's never any guarantee about seeing gorillas, it's pretty likely - our guide had been taking groups for 20 years and only missed them twice. It's a fairly strenuous hike (especially if it has recently rained) to see them, though - our walk was about two hours each way, but it can be more than twice that. So employ a porter! So, the good: the people, the wildlife, the accommodation. The food in the camps is great, and you'll put on a few kilos by the end of the week even with all the exercise. The optional village walk in Bwindi is well worth doing, and take the opportunity to walk around the village and meet people. And, of course, the gorillas! The bad: Nothing really, although there are a couple of long driving days along very bad roads in a vehicle best described as 'reliable'. This was my first Explore trip, and it won't be my last. The tour leader and driver were both top notch, and I feel I really got the most out of a short break. The rest of the group (there were six of us in total) were all lovely, and made a great experience even better. I'm already saving for the next one!|
For me, the highlight of this tour was always going to be seeing the mountain gorillas, but as the trip unfolded there were many other highlights that exceeded my expectations. The wildlife in Uganda was in abundance, visible from the roadside as well as in the National Parks. Unfortunately we missed out on seeing any chimps in the Chambura Gorge, which was really disappointing, but we did see lots of baboons instead! The boat trip on the Kazinga Channel was fabulous for spotting incredible birdlife, elephant, crocodile, hippo, water buffalo, and others I was unable to identify! The gorilla group we were assigned in Bwindi took us about an hour’s walk to track, and we were rewarded with an amazing opportunity to observe them at close range, feeding, eating and playing. There were lots of photo opportunities and therefore great memories to keep. Whilst staying in Buhoma, it was really worth while doing a Community Walk with a local guide through the village. I found this was a great way to see the life of the villagers, their handicrafts, subsistence lifestyle, traditional medicine, the Batwa Pygmy’s, their school and hospital, and even how they make their home brew! Even at the end of the tour there was great game viewing at Lake Mburo, so the trip finished on a definite high.
Be prepared for some long drives on bumpy roads which can prove tiring, dusty and uncomfortable. It was therefore good to arrive at comfortable accommodation with en-suite facilities at the end of each day. The food provided was plentiful, tasty and there was always a good selection available. The tracking was not difficult, so anybody with a reasonable level of fitness should be fine. Unfortunately you can only go as fast as the slowest person! (UG -29th July 2011)