In June, I embarked on an incredible safari adventure to Bwindi Impenetrable Forest Park and Queen Elizabeth National Park. The sunny weather made it the perfect time to travel and experience the natural beauty of these two remarkable parks.
My safari adventure took the form of a firm trip to Rushaga Gorilla Havens Lodge, located in the southern part of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, and Elephant Hab Lodge, situated in Kyambura in Queen Elizabeth National Park.
Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park, located in southern Uganda, is home to over a hundred gorillas, living in groups and families. Gorilla trekking is a popular activity in Bwindi, along with forest walks, visiting the neighboring Batwa group of people, and bird watching.
Queen Elizabeth National Park, located in western Uganda, is known for its vast population of wild animals, including African buffalos, Uganda kobs, African leopards, chimpanzees, Nile crocodiles, lions, monkeys, and over 500 bird species. The park is ideal for game drives, boat tours along the Kazinga Channel, chimp tracking, nature walks, and bird watching.
Our adventure began early in the morning as our guide picked us up from Entebbe. The clock struck 6 am and we hit the road, heading towards Mpigi, where we stopped at the equator for a delicious breakfast. Energized and ready to go, we continued our journey through Masaka and Mbarara districts, en route to Kabale. Before reaching the town, we took a lunch break at a food station located 10km before Kabale.
After satisfying our appetites, we resumed our journey, making our way to Kisoro, where Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is located. As we drove, I noticed a drastic change in the weather, with the warm climate giving way to chilly temperatures. I later learned that this was due to the mountain ranges in Kisoro. Our accommodation for the night was situated in the southern part of Bwindi, near the Rushaga Gorilla Trail. The lodge’s name was aptly chosen as it truly was a rush of beauty and comfort.
Upon arrival, we were warmly welcomed by the staff who offered us refreshing drinks and showed us around the stunning lodge. We were accommodated in one of the 12 well-built cottages, each named after a wild animal and offering breathtaking views of the surroundings. The cottages were modern, spacious, self-contained, and designed to give us an authentic African experience. Dinner was served in the restaurant area, and we enjoyed a delicious self-service meal made from locally sourced ingredients. Before retiring for the night, we were asked to place our orders for the next day’s packed lunch, and then we retired to our rooms to rest up for the upcoming trekking expedition.
In conclusion, the journey from Entebbe to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park was an adventure-filled experience. We not only enjoyed the breathtaking scenery but also the warm hospitality and delicious food at the lodge. The anticipation of the gorilla trekking expedition the next day was already building up within us, making us excited for what lay ahead.
I woke up early in the morning, eager to start my adventure at Bwindi Impenetrable Forest. Our group was required to be at the tracking grounds by 7 am, so we quickly got ready and headed out. Once we arrived at Bwindi, we were assembled with other visitors and given instructions for gorilla tracking. I learned that one needed a permit issued by the Uganda Wildlife Authority to track gorillas, and unfortunately, I didn’t have one. However, I was determined to make the most of my time and decided to go on a forest walk instead.
Before embarking on the walk, I noticed that the different directions were named after the various groups of gorillas inhabiting the forest. I also observed that those who were unable to carry their bags or walk for long distances were offered porters to help them. My guide led me through the dense forest, where I spotted red-tailed and blue monkeys, as well as other animals and birds. The forest was filled with various tree species and plants that had grown there for hundreds of years.
The walk led me to a magnificent waterfall, where I was greeted by the peaceful sound of the water and the chirping of birds around the area. The scenery was breathtaking, and I took my time to soak it all in. The forest walk took about two hours, and my guide then led me back to the main entrance of the park.
After the walk, I was driven back to the lodge where I had lunch and retired to my room for some rest. Later that evening, I enjoyed a delicious dinner, reflecting on the amazing experience of exploring the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest.
In conclusion, even though I was unable to track the gorillas that day, the forest walk was a memorable and fulfilling experience. The beauty of nature, the sounds of the animals and the amazing scenery all combined to make it an unforgettable adventure.
After two days of exploring the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, we left Rushaga Gorilla Havens Lodge and started our journey towards western Uganda to reach the Queen Elizabeth National Park. The four-hour drive was scenic and we stopped by different towns for some refreshments. Upon arrival, we checked in at the Elephant Hab Lodge, which was situated in Kyambura Gorge. The lodge had a breathtaking view of the park, and we were warmly welcomed by the staff.
After a quick rest, we went for an evening game drive at the park. We had to pay an entrance fee before we started our game drive. The park was teeming with wildlife, and we had a thrilling encounter with various animals, especially the majestic elephants and the elegant Uganda kobs. The animals were so abundant that we could even spot them crossing the road.
Back at the lodge, we had dinner and retired to our rooms. I was fascinated to see monkeys around the lodge during the night. The view from my room was also magnificent, and I could see elephants moving around in the park. It was an incredible experience being in the heart of the wilderness, and I couldn’t wait to see what the next day would bring.
As our adventure came to a close, we rose early, ate breakfast, and departed for Entebbe. The return trip took approximately 5 hours, and we spent the time reflecting on the incredible experiences we had throughout our safari.
Despite feeling sad that our time in Uganda had come to an end, we were grateful for the memories we made and the people we met. The stunning scenery, the incredible wildlife, and the warm hospitality of the locals will always hold a special place in our hearts.
As we arrived back in Entebbe, we couldn’t help but feel a sense of accomplishment for having undertaken such an amazing journey. We said our goodbyes to our guide and driver, who had become dear friends over the course of our trip, and left with a newfound appreciation for the beauty of Africa.
If you are planning a trip to Bwindi or Queen Elizabeth National Park, it is important to prepare beforehand to ensure that you have the best experience possible. When it comes to gorilla trekking in Bwindi, it is crucial to obtain a gorilla permit from Uganda Wildlife Authority before the trip to avoid missing out on the amazing experience. If permits are not available on the desired day, it is advisable to choose another day to trek.
Additionally, Bwindi can be quite cold, so it’s important to pack warm clothing, especially for those who suffer from allergies and asthma. Medication for these conditions should also be brought along.
For Queen Elizabeth National Park, I highly recommend taking a boat ride on the Kazinga Channel as it provides a greater chance of seeing animals in their natural habitat, especially as they go there to drink water. However, if time permits, it is also possible to enjoy a game drive in the park.
Overall, my safari adventure to Bwindi and Queen Elizabeth was an incredible opportunity to witness the beauty of nature and the wildlife in these two remarkable parks.
Lastly, it’s important to book your trip with an efficient and reliable tour company. Trek Africa Tours is a highly recommended option as they can assist with transportation, permit purchase, and accommodation booking, ensuring that your trip is successful and enjoyable.