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Found 48 results

  1. Could any of the birders out there help me ID these birds from my recent trip? Thanks in advance. I was especially taken by the tiny hawk in the fourth image--it was about the size of a sparrow. We saw that one outside of Bwindi in Uganda.
  2. Hi, we had a lot of adventures in Uganda. All in all, I'm glad I went but I would not go back to Uganda now that I have trekked the chimps and the gorillas. More on this later, but I will try to go in order of our activities. We used Let's Go Travel Uganda as our travel agent--I had pretty much picked out where I wanted to go but they made the final arrangements and supplied us with a vehicle and guide. I would NOT recommend self-driving in Uganda. We were very glad to have a local tackling the roads there! Day 1: We had a day in Entebbe after a very long trip from Los Angeles in which we rested, got SIM card for my son's phone, and turned in our paperwork for our Chimp keeper for a day experience at Ngamba Island the next day. We stayed at Karibu Hotel in Entebbe, a small friendly hotel with an excellent restaurant, set in a large garden full of birds and with a small swimming pool as well. Day 2: We really enjoyed our overnight at Ngamba Island, which we scheduled before going to see the chimps in the wild. I was glad we visited there, since at Kibale despite doing the all-day CHEX experience we did not see any mothers or babies, only male adult chimps and a juvenile male. The overnight at Ngamba is quite expensive but the proceeds go to the NGO that supports the sanctuary, not to the Ugandan government, so I felt it was really a charitable contribution. We took a boat from Entebbe for a 45 minute ride to the Island, where we had lunch and then were able to help feed the chimps for their afternoon feeding. They have 49 chimps there, including several babies, and the chimps are free to forage in the island's forest but come back several times a day voluntarily for feeding of fresh fruits and veggies. The forest on the island is not large enough to support that many chimpanzees without additional food. They also encourage the chimps to come in at night to cages furnished with hammocks because if the chimps built nests every night the forest would be quickly destroyed. Almost all the chimps come in voluntarily for their evening porridge. Staying overnight, we were able to have a sunset cruise around the island and also spent the night in a comfortable tent close to the chimps enclosure. They were surprisingly noisy during the night! There are also many birds on Ngamba, including a large colony of weavers. In the morning we had to leave fairly early to go to Kibale, but we were able to watch two baby chimps meet each other for the first time, under careful supervision of their foster mothers and the human keepers. It is clear that the keepers there care deeply for their charges and it's definitely worthwhile to visit to support this NGO, if you are planning to be in Entebbe. We were able to hear stories about many of the individual chimps, who are well known by the keepers. If you wonder what the white spots are on the chimps, the island was buzzing with thousands (millions?) of lake flies, which fortunately do not bite or bother humans too much.
  3. I had the opportunity to spend a few days in Uganda in September of 2017. This report is a bit delayed, but I felt compelled by certain remarks made this past week, to show what a wonderful country this is. I didn't know to much about Uganda beforehand and was struck by it's beauty. Yes, there is evident poverty, but this country has so much to offer. The drive from Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda to Queen Elizabeth Park in Uganda was quite long, but very scenic. The first stop was the Ugandan border. The border agents were very into the football (soccer) game on the tv and not much interested in anything else. So getting into the country wasn't difficult. You just have to fill out a form and get your passport checked if you already have a visa as I did. Shortly after finishing at the border, we made a rest stop at the Travellers Rest Motel. I was thrilled as had just read about his place in a book about Diane Fossey. This was the motel she used. Shortly after the drive continued and the first photo spot was reached and it was a doozy. The Lake Bunyonyi area is just beautiful. There are really no words. The other prominent feature of Uganda are the tea plantations. They are everywhere. I was amazed at how lush everything was. Lunch was at a roadside restaurant and we continued onto the lodge. The lodge is a mid-range lodge just outdside of Queen Elizabeth Park called the Enganzi. Its a very nice lodge, but it is built on a very steep hill. I had to climb up and down 187 step to get to my cottage. So, if you forgot something you had to weigh it's importance vs. climbing all the way back down and then up to get it. Also, there are no radios in the cottages so if you needed something , you had to climb up and down to get it. I got more of a workout here then on any of the treks I did. LOL! The view of the park of the lodge is spectacular. I know I keep repeating spectacular, but so what!! This is the main lodge My cottage The lodge provided a welcome drink and towels and then gave us the menu for dinner. We had a choice of 3 entrees and 2 appetizers and then dessert. Drinks are not free at the lodge, but they are happy to let you bring your own without any sort of corkage fee. Paul, our guide, offered to get us all some bottles wine or other drink of choice. So, the money was handed over. One thing I should mention is that the bank machines in Uganda give out 50,000 shilling notes. These can't be changed anywhere. I had a really hard time and the guide often took the bills and got change or gave change from his allotment. It may be better to change funds at a money exchange place or bank, but as I always just use ATM's, I never thought anything of it. US dollars are also widely accepted, but the exchange rate will not be as good.
  4. Hello to everyone on ST. This will be my first TR on the site so please don’t beat me up too bad. I have been asking advice on this site and figured it was time to actually add something that might help someone else. This is a TR of our trip to Uganda in February of 2017, sorry for being late. I will start off with some housekeeping information to provide a little about myself and this trip. My wife and I first went on safari for our honeymoon in 2013. We were bitten by the bug and have tried to return ever since. We have been to MalaMala, Timbavati, Uganda (two trips as we loved it so much in 2015), Northern Tanzania and will doing a safari in India for 2018. Some of you may have responded to my questions about wild dogs, but that trip had to be shelved and we decided to go to India instead. We are currently arranging a 2019 trip to Zimbabwe. We can post prior reports, but they will be a bit dated (2-4 years), if that matters. As far as this TR is concerned, we did this trip in February 2017. We stayed at the following lodges and were guided by Nkuringo Walking Safaris, who were great. 1 night - 2 Friends Beach Hotel in Entebbe. We stayed at J. Residence on a previous trip but 2 Friends was much nicer. 4 nights - Kibale Forest Camp...one of our favorite camps in all our travels 1 night - Mweya Lodge in QENP 3 nights - Mahogany Springs in Buhoma 3 nights - Nkuringo Gorilla Lodge 1 night - Hotel des Mille Collines in Kigali. All photos were taken on a 7D ii and a 100-400 ii. The Kingfisher, Shoebill and Hammerkop were all taken at the Mabamba Swamp on the way from Entebbe to Kibale. We were in an old wooden canoe and had to be dragged through the mud at times, but we enjoyed it. The swamp was quite beautiful and had a plethora of bird life, sorry, we are not very good at bird identification. We had always wanted to see a Shoebill and had a relaxing morning in the swamp. The drive to Kibale was much shorter than the first time we were in Uganda, as we bypassed Kampala. Going through Kampala traffic probably added 2-3 hours to the drive. The drive this time was only 5-6 hours. In Kibale, we did chimp trek, chimp habituation and swamp walk. All of the pictures in the next group were taken at the Kibale Forest Camp, one of the reasons we love the camp so much. We would just sit on our porch, or at the dining area, and watch all the wildlife. We the did the Chimp trek/habituation. We were glad we did both because 1 day they were in the open and 1 day they were high up in the trees and were difficult to see/photo. After the chimps, we drove to Mweya in QENP for the Kazinga channel cruise. We had been to QENP before and loved the park, but we found the wildlife to be scarce and well away from the trails. The channel cruise was very nice though. For this trip we wanted to spend more time with the apes and have some time to relax in the jungle. The following are from the cruise and QENP. We then went to the Buhoma section of Bwindi. We had trekked out of Ruhija on a prior trip. After trekking in Buhoma, we hiked through the park to get to the Nkuringo gate. The hike wasn’t brutal and we enjoyed it, and it saved us from a long bumpy ride around the park. We trekked the Habinyanja family in Buhoma. They had several babies that were very funny. They tried to come investigate us, but mom wouldn’t have it. They were a awesome family to see. The total trek time was 4-5 hours, start to finish. We then went to Nkuringo to trek the Nkuringo family. We had read that they were one of the hardest treks because of the terrain. We found them fairly quickly, maybe half an hour, but the trek back to the gate is vertical and took considerably longer than going down. They were on the move most of the time we were with them. You can see the silverback eating fruit. The youngsters climbed the tree and threw it down to him, but they didn’t stop. As the silverback tried to eat, he was being pelted by fruit, his reactions and covering his head in fear were priceless. after this his it was back to Texas. Im not sure why some of the pictures are small and some big, maybe someone can help me with that. Hope you enjoy Cheers, Eric
  5. Hi, I'm wondering if any Safaritalkers have any good tips for chimpanzee photography in Kibale. I will be doing the all day CHEX experience, with a new camera that I am still learning, the Sony DSC-RX100 III bridge camera. This camera was a big splurge for me. I got it because of the 1" sensor which I am hoping will serve me well when photographing in the low light of the uganda forests. I am planning to set my camera on a very high ISO speed (would you recommend 1000) and a relatively wide aperture (4?) in order to avoid blur with the chimps since apparently they are on the move a lot. Does anyone have any first hand experience and advice for settings. I want to try to have to mess with changing the settings as little as possible. Also, I'm wondering about shooting up into the trees with lots of sun--is it best to use exposure compensation dial and just overexpose by a few stops? I went to the zoo to practice and noticed that when the chimps and gorillas were in the sun it was very hard to get a good picture since the eyes were so dark! However, I think the lighting at the LA Zoo is not at all what I will find in Uganda... Thanks for any advice! I am getting very excited for my trip which I will be leaving on the day after Xmas!
  6. Hi, I'm leaving in less than a month on my 3rd Africa safari--this time to Uganda and Kenya! My son will join me for 2 weeks in Uganda and then he will fly back to finish up his senior year in college and I will fly to Nairobi and then to the Mara for 4 nights at Offbeat Mara. Here is our itinerary: Day 1: free day in Entebbe (maybe visit Botanic gardens, relax from jet lag--Boma Guest House Day 2: Ngamba Island--overnight and Chimp Caregiver for the day experience Day 3: Entebbe to Kibale, Primate Lodge Day 4: chimp habituation experience (can't wait!) Day 5: Kibale - Queen Elizabeth National Park, Parkview Safari Lodge Day 6: QE Park, Kazinga Channel trip, Game Drive, visit to Kikorongo women (anyone done this one?) Day 7: QE - Ishasha - Bwindi, Mahogany Springs Lodge Day 8: Gorilla trek!, Mahogany lodge Day 9: Bwindi to Lake Buyonyi, Birds Nest Lodge Day 10: Lake Buyonyi - Mgahinga National Park, Mt. Gahinga Lodge, Batwa Pygmy experience Day 11: Mgahinga, Kisozi Caldera hike Day 12: Mgahinga, golden monkey hike, journey to Kigali. Overnight at Heaven Boutique Hotel Day 13: Tour Kigali and Genocide Museum, leave in evening for Nairobi, overnight near Wilson Airport Day 14: Fly to Offbeat Mara; 4 nights at Offbeat Mara, plus late departure, then fly back from Nairobi! We leave the day after Christmas! Already got our vaccines, visas, etc., and getting ready to go! Now I just need to get in some good practice with my new camera--I splurged on a Sony DSC-RX10iii bridge camera, which I hope will do great with the low light of the gorillas. Thanks for all the wonderful trip reports and advice posted on this forum--it was really helpful in planning this trip! We are using Let's Go Travel Uganda. I will report back on the trip after! Margo
  7. Today was launched Operation Twiga Phase II in Murchison Falls National Park (MFNP), Uganda. In 2015, some giraffes were translocated South to the Nile to expand the giraffes territory in MFNP, from where they were found absent. With the technical consultant Julian Fennessy from the Giraffe Conservation Foundation, UWA is currently working in the conservation of the Nubian giraffe in the country. Ugandan giraffes were formerly considered as an endangered sub-species called Rothschild's giraffe. There are about 2100 animals worldwide, and their stronghold in Uganda is to be found in MFNP Paraa sector North of the mighty Nile river. UWA decided to introduce / or re-introduce animals to build new population in Lake Mburo National Park, and MFNP Southern sector. The aim is to lower the risks if a catastrophe would happen in Paraa sector. Nubian giraffes are present in Western Ethiopia (Gambela National Park), Western Kenya, and Southern Sudan. Further information about Operation Twiga can be found here, and details are provided concerning the different populations of this vulnerable sub-species: https://giraffeconservation.org/programmes/uganda-programme/ Giraffe taxonomy is pretty difficult and new discoveries are not yet all widely accepted by the international scientific community. It was formerly recognized a single giraffe species with 9 sub-species. The Giraffe Conservation Foundation started a genetic analyze of all the giraffe sub-populations and proposed that instead of a single species, there are 4 different species: - The Northern Giraffe divided in 3 different sub-species (Western giraffe only to be found in Niger, the Kordofan giraffe located in Central Africa, and the Nubian giraffe now also including the Rotschild's giraffe). - The Masaii giraffe. - The reticulated giraffe. - The Southern giraffe divided into 2 sub-species (South African giraffe and the Angolan giraffe). UWA is also working in reinforcing Kidepo National Park kob population. With only 40 animals estimated in this park located in the Karamoja region in North Eastern Uganda, it was decided to translocate between 100 and 200 animals from MFNP where Ugandan kobs are thriving. http://www.ugandawildlife.org/news/item/453-uwa-starts-translocation-of-kobs-to-kidepo
  8. Greetings! So: I have been reading and stalking and think I have a general outline for what I'd like to do; however, I would appreciate any/all feedback/suggestions. I can't book flights yet (insert eyeroll) so this is the proposal and I hope I'll be able to book the content once the flights open. Anyway, onward! Who: Parents (70s), self and husband, son (will be 3.5). All fairly experienced travelers, all have been to Africa before, none have been to this region. Mom happy to be on the trip, most wants Giraffe Manor and to see whatever there is; Dad is participating because he's a good sport, would prefer not to move too much and too often at a time; husband wants to see gorillas and go in a hot air balloon to see the great migration; I want to see everything and it's probably reflected below. This will be my parents' last trip to Africa and they want to go big. We care most about good food. I don't want to break the bank, but I want it clean and high end. My husband doesn't do "outdoors"--he's a former submariner so "camping" is not a thing for him. Ha! When: September 2018 Proposed plan: Not sure how I will route us from the US, so we'll start counting days from when we land Concerns: - Too much movement? Not enough (i.e. am I missing anything you'd recommend? There is no shame in our tourist game). This is a once-in-a-lifetime thing--my mom won't be able to get my dad to go back to Africa, so she wants to leave no stone unturned . . . - I've found five places we would like to stay (Wildwaters Lodge, Giraffe Manor, Hyatt in Zanzibar, Masa Fairmont, Clouds), looking for feedback on those and suggestions for the rest. Will mention chances of changing my mind on Giraffe Manor is zero since it's my mom's wish ;-) My husband prefers a chain so he has a venue to complain if stuff goes wrong (*sigh*) c'est la vie. -21 days on the ground is probably the max I will be able to get out of my dad so I technically have a few extra, but if we don't use them, that's okay, too, since my husband's leave will be at almost zero . . . Day 1: land in Entebbe, rent car (I'm the driver--have driven in a lot of places so feel comfortable on both sides of road with all types of terrain) to stay at Wildwaters Lodge, sunset cruise on Nile; overnight -- this is one of our only 1 night stops, is that okay or would you recommend 2? Day 2: Drive to Nkuringo; overnight at Clouds Day 3: Husband and I gorilla hike (a must for husband); overnight at Clouds Day 4: Second full day at Clouds--suggestions for what to do? Parents don't want to hike, I think it might be nice to stay 3 nights in one place to ease on movement; however, I don't want to spend a day just to spend a day . . . ; overnight at Clouds Day 5 (Assuming we stay a third night): drive to airport drop off car, end independent travel. Fly to Nairobi and transfer to Fairmont Mara Safari Club Day 6: Masa hot air balloon (a must for husband); overnight Fairmont Mara Safari Club Day 7: Safari; overnight Fairmont Mara Safari Club Day 8: Transfer to Serengeti; overnight at recommend lodge--any suggestions? Day 9: Safari (should we plan a second hot air balloon in the event it's not possible in Masa?); overnight at recommend lodge--any suggestions? Day 10: Safari; overnight at recommend lodge--any suggestions? Day 11: Transfer to Ngorongoro Crater; overnight at recommend lodge--any suggestions? Day 12: Explore Ngorongoro Crater; overnight at recommend lodge--any suggestions? Day 13: Transfer to Amboseli; overnight at recommend lodge--any suggestions? Day 14: Safari; overnight at recommend lodge--any suggestions? Day 15: Transfer to Nairobi airport, flight to Zanzibar; overnight at Hyatt Day 16: All day Zanzibar; overnight at Hyatt Day 17: All day Zanzibar; overnight at Hyatt Day 18: flight to Nairobi, transfer to Giraffe Manor; overnight Giraffe Manor Day 19: All day Giraffe Manor; overnight Giraffe Manor Day 20: Transfer to airport; flight home Very sincerely thank anyone who reads and/or is able to provide suggestions and advice. Also: I finally got around to uploading the earlier video: Michelle
  9. Hello everyone, I've been away from the forum for quite a while, hopefully will be able to stick around and complete the S. Africa (Madikwe and Entabeni game reserves) trip report I have started plus publishing reports for the next two trips that I have done in the meantime - Namibia + Kgalagadi TP in 2016 and Serengeti / Ndutu / Ngorongoro Crater in Feb. 2017. At the moment I am thinking about a possible trip to Uganda in January - February, 2018. It will be somewhat limited time / budget trip, so I will skip the main highlights - the mountain gorilla and chimpanzee tracking in Bwindi and Kibale national parks. Main target would be Kidepo Valley National Park with Karamojong people village visit. There are several local safari agencies that provide road trips to Kidepo Valley NP. It takes 2 days to get there by road and another two days to return, but this will reduce the overall cost of the safari and there will be opportunities to see the countryside up north. Before I write to any local safari outfitters, I would like to see your valuable opinion and get some advise here on Safaritalk (as I have always done before). My rough idea about itinerary: Day 01 - Early morning departure from Kampala to Kidepo Valley. Possible visit to Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary for an hour or two of Rhino tracking on foot - do you think that this is a good idea? I have seen quite a few rhinos (both black and white in the wild) and I am not sure how interesting this would be for me. Overnight - either in the town of Gulu or in Kitgum (just to break to long transfer). Day 02 - Morning departure to Kidepo Valley NP, game drive, overnight at Apoka Rest Camp - UWA self-contained bandas. Apoka Lodge is kind of expensive, the only mid-range option (Nga'Moru Wilderness Camp) is outside the gate. The bandas at Apoka Rest Camp are basic, but the location seems to be nice - wildlife is coming into the camp, UWA headquorters are nearby. I would assume that night game drives can be booked there. Any comments on the accommodation choice? I am thinking about 3 or even 4 nights in Kidepo Valley NP, giving the fact, that there is quite a lot to explore around: Narus Valley, Kidepo Valley, Karamojong people village etc. Any comments about number of nights there? Day 03, 04, 05 - Kidepo Valley NP. Day 06 - Leaving Kidepo Valley NP for Gulu, overnight (to break the long transfer to Murchion Falls NP). Day 07 - Leaving Gulu for Murchion Falls NP, game drive, overnight. I would seek advice about accommodation options - looking for moderate to mid-range properties. How many nights would you recommend in Murchison Falls NP? 3-4? Would be nice to do the upstream boat safari to the falls and also the downstream boat ride to the Lake Albert Delta (in the morning) and explore the various parts of the park. So, if I stay for four nights, that would be days # 08, 09, 10, 11 of the trip. Kind of the most important question is whether to try to squeeze in Queen Elizabeth NP or not. I am aware that this park is quite far away from Murchison Falls and it might take one or two days to get there. I could cut a day in Kidepo Valley NP and a day in Murchison Falls NP and add one more day to the total number of days in order to accommodate QENP in the itinerary. Any suggestions about this? At first glance it looks to me that it would be better to spend more days in the first two parks. Any ideas would be greatly appreciated. I have read the comprehensive and very informative trip reports of @Paulo, @pault, @bushbaby and @TonyQ, but still any advice and ideas here would be very useful. Thanks in advance for your input! Cheers!
  10. I am considering a trip to Rwanda/Uganda in December with my partner. We would be landing in Kigali early in the morning on the 22nd and departing at 5 am on the 1st from Entebbe. We are primarily interested in a 4 hours gorilla trecking and a 1 hour chimpanzee trecking. We would like to stay at a limited number of lodges making the days on the road few (we drove 3000 km in Namibia this summer). My idea of an itineary would be: 3 days Bwindi 3 days Kazinga Channel (hippos) 3 days Kibale I need to convince my partner, that we can do this trip without spending a fortune. So... Where would you say that money can be saved? Do we need a driver/guide for the full trip or are there any alternatives? Which lodges would you recommend? It would be great if we had the chance of seeing wildlife from the lodge and a swimmingpool would be great. In terms of activities other than the gorilla and chimp trecking, we would like the opportunity to decide upon arrival. I hope that this makes sense - and REALLY look forward to your opinions! Thanks a lot. All the best Kirstine
  11. I am considering a trip to Rwanda/Uganda in December with my partner. We would be landing in Kigali early in the morning on the 22nd and departing at 5 am on the 1st from Entebbe. We are primarily interested in a 4 hours gorilla trecking and a 1 hour chimpanzee trecking. We would like to stay at a limited number of lodges making the days on the road few (we drove 3000 km in Namibia this summer). My idea of an itineary would be: 3 days Bwindi 3 days Kazinga Channel (hippos) 3 days Kibale I need to convince my partner, that we can do this trip without spending a fortune. So... Where would you say that money can be saved? Do we need a driver/guide for the full trip or are there any alternatives? Which lodges would you recommend? It would be great if we had the chance of seeing wildlife from the lodge and a swimmingpool would be great. In terms of activities other than the gorilla and chimp trecking, we would like the opportunity to decide upon arrival. I hope that this makes sense - and REALLY look forward to your opinions! Thanks a lot. All the best Kirstine
  12. I posted my question in the wrong section of the forum. Sorry about this! Moderators, please delete this post, I will re-publish it in the appropriate place.
  13. http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2017/06/13/1701582114 https://www.inverse.com/article/33138-chimpanzees-reward-altruism-community http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-4622774/Warrior-chimps-use-death-patrols-rivals-out.html ~ A May, 2017 research article published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences presents the findings of a study of territory-patrolling habits of the Ngogo chimpanzees in Uganda's Kibale National Park. Male chimpanzees patrol, despite no immediate gain, as “patrolling enhances group size”, thereby increasing the possibility for future reproduction.
  14. https://academic.oup.com/zoolinnean/article-abstract/doi/10.1093/zoolinnean/zlx005/3836902/Integrative-taxonomy-of-the-Central-African-forest?redirectedFrom=fulltext http://www.sci-news.com/biology/three-new-chameleon-species-central-africa-04969.html ~ This June, 2017 research article published in the Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society describes the discovery of three chameleon species in the mountain forests of the Albertine Rift in Central Africa. Specimens were collected between 2009 and 2014 in the Democratic Republic of Congo. They were subsequently analyzed using geographical, morphological and DNA data.
  15. Am kenneth Karuhanga Director of Bushmemories Safaris, i was born and raised in Uganda the pearl of Africa. I was very lucky to have been born to Perie kakuliremu who had passion for travel and nature.We visited many parks and places in Africa when i was young.This made me have many Bushmemories.IAt university i did Environmental science , this helped me to know more a bout nature.I got change to work with both local and international organisations,during this time i world with mountain gorillas in bwindi national park with ecotourism projects and got involved in habituation of mountain gorillas and this earned me the name Bushman since then my life has never been the same. This lead to the birth of Bushmemories Safaris .Am happy my mum now 76 years(18/05/2013) can see me my dream come true and all my clients once in the Bush always in the Bush. Now i run a small camp site at the base of rwenzoris and named it after my son Hunter called Eco-hunters planet. Below is a brief info to get to know more. WELCOME TO THE WORLD OF BUSHMEMORIES. Travel in East Africa encompasses a vast array of experiences, many memorable moments are expected from any of our safaris from this magnificent part of the magical Africa, that continues to bring smilies.Its a time of discovery and wonderment, were unlimited wildlife, culture and people delights both parent and child from dawn to dusk. BUSHMEMORIS is the manufacture of quality adventure tour packages, truly a unique tour operator offering African Tours with a special flavour to experience the real Africa with a full range of possibilities from traditional safaris with game viewing, birdwatching, mountaineering, to specially designed tours for a greater immersion into African nature, culture and traditions. As a company that truly believes in sustainable tourism, we aim to preserve the beauty and character of Africa with emphasis on the unique character of its heritage ecology and art, making tourism a way to protect and support the areas we visit instead of altering and transforming them, thus our Moto CONSERVATION THRU SUSTAINABLE TOURSIM. We respect local cultures and make sure that our visitors will understand and appreciate the African way of living, its incredible closeness to the roots, the lack of stress, the joy, the simplicity and the complete acceptance of life that all Africans seem to have. Our proudest calm in all our destinations is that BUSHMEMORIES has been there our Safari specialists have stayed at the Campsites, Tentedcamps, Homes, and Hotels, walked the Trails, Tracked the game and snapped the photos. Our dedication and long established relationships with local guides and wildlife managers through out the region has earned us a great deal to our clients, were you come as guest and leave as friend. Our passion about Africa is our promise that you will have a life time experience which you will never forget. Please join us for one or combination of those special safaris where your holiday makes a difference to you, the people and the place you visit, enrich the mind and stir the soul for years to come thus you craft BUSHMEMORIES to last a life time. Safari enjema Ken Bushman. Director. Why BUSHMEMORIES? It is our aim to provide you with the experience of a lifetime in East Africa. To ensure this all personal itineraries are carefully planned in accordance with your individual requirements. You may consult our team to make alterations to your itineraries or ask any questions. BUSHMEMORIES Safaris guarantees: Fast, Personal responses to enquiries Expert, English Speaking Guides Superb Safari Food Quality Service Many people go to Africa and then wish that they had talked to someone who knew the area in question first. Our staff provides a friendly, up to date source of information prior to your departure. Several of the team has worked out in the bush on scientific research expeditions, giving them even deeper insight into Eastfrica incredible diversity. All our East Africa safaris are private. We provide a high staff: client ratio, ensuring personal service no matter what size your group. Each member of safari staff speaks good English and has been carefully selected for their professional experience and detailed local knowledge, from bird watching to botany. Bush memories Safaris will take you to remote, ecologically and culturally important locations, which have been developed in cooperation with local communities. Many of these are offered exclusively by Bushmemories Safaris and are always the highlight of our clients' trip. There will also be the option of having a photographer on hand to help you how get the best from your photographs. There is even the option of having a digital or slide photo-documentary made of your holiday. We issue safari certificates and our prices are competive, there are no hidden costs, no surprise, no options sold thus excellent value. Dinning is an important and delight full part each day in Africa, while on dinner every night we invite a guest speaker normally a Naturalist or wildlife Manager to talk to clients . As a company we are dedicated to the promotion of conservation, community education and sustainable resource use. Your tailor-made East African safari will directly help fund Various projects around East Africa. It is possible to visit many of these projects in action, just asks your personal safari agent for more information. OUR MISSION: At BUSHMEMORIES we provide holidays with a focus on adventure, conservation and sustainable tourism. We are unique in that we can also arrange for you to undertake volunteer work at local organizations. This will allow you to fully experience the country you are visiting, while supporting local communities in Africa. We are very aware in how our choices impact wildlife and the planet; we therefore promote and encourage making sound ethical travel choices. Our business is the result of our passion for life and our inherent love of nature and wild places. We will arrange for you to explore the most fascinating corners of Africa in the way that suits you best. Just a few of the experiences that we can provide are: Gorilla trekking White water rafting Relaxing beach holidays Kilimanjaro climb Classic safaris Family holidays Honeymoons In short, we aim to give you more than just a holiday in Africa. We aim to give you an experience, to make you feel the wonder and beauty of the continent, to give you extraordinary memories as well as photographs to take home, and we aim to do this in a way that benefits local communities and sustains the environment. Sustainable tourism is our primary commitment. Sustainable tourism is achieved by working closely with local communities and making the best use of local resources. We are in open talk with the governments and international organisations to make sustainable tourism an important consideration for African economies. We are fighting to keep Africa beautiful, unspoiled and real, not to turn it into a giant amusement park. We love Africa and we hope the service we provide will make you love it too. You don't need to be a religious institution or a non-profit organisation to actively help development, conservation and prosperity in Africa. At BUSHMEMORIES we want to prove this - help us rise to the challenge! . I would love to hear from any one who is interested to know more a bout my country or any topic a bout nature ,conservation and safari around the world. Thankyou. Ken Bushman +256775123140 kenneth@bushmemories.net www.bushmemories.net
  16. To Gorilla or not to Gorilla, had been my question in late 2015... http://safaritalk.net/topic/15609-to-gorilla-or-not-to-gorilla-that-is-the-question/ ...and the answers had been overwhelmingly for us to "go for it"!! So we did. While researching the trip, I stumbled across this post on Kabiza's website: http://kabiza.com/kabiza-wilderness-safaris/gorilla-habituation-experience-rushaga-area-bwindi-forest/ and I was sold! The chance to spend FOUR hours with the family, rather than the one, which everyone said flew past too quickly, was one I couldn't pass up. It meant that we would travel to Uganda for our gorilla treks rather than Rwanda, where I had originally thought we would go. We had to sell a couple of kidneys to cover the cost (well, actually, funny story - I fractured my humerus 3 months before we left and the insurance payout paid for it....) but we thoroughly enjoyed it and I am very pleased that we took everyone's advice and did the trip. Our preparation saw us shed a combined total of 30kg in weight, and had us walking 4 mornings per week with some bushwalking at the weekends, and while my broken arm did limit my preparation near the end, we both managed the experience physically very well. I am still working through the photos, but thought I would make a start.
  17. Hello! I’m working on a paper about cultural valuation/traditional ecological knowledge surrounding pangolins in East Africa: specifically, in Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda, or Burundi. If you have any information on sightings, photographs, field reports, encounter rates, presence/absence data, mythology, local folk beliefs, religious practices, or cultural valuation related to any of the African pangolin species, please reach out!
  18. Interesting report in today's FT. Four hours for $1500 rather than the usual one hour for the $600 Gorilla tracking permit in Bwindi, "The good news is there are more gorillas now, though their numbers are still worryingly small. Bwindi has now been designated a national park, protected from encroaching farmland. The first census in 1997 suggested the forest contained 294 gorillas, a number that had edged up to 408 five years ago. A census being carried out now is expected to show 500 or more. The reason for the steady recovery is that gorilla tracking is now big business. Tourists purchase a $600 permit entitling them to visit the gorillas for a strict limit of one hour. Numbers of visitors are restricted to eight per day. Even so, each gorilla family is bringing in $4,800 daily in permit-fees alone. And in Bwindi, there are a dozen families available to visit. (There are about 20 more wild gorilla groups.) Under a new programme, visitors to Bwindi can spend four hours with the Bikingi family group, which is midway through the habituation process. That means the gorillas are shier, wilder and more unpredictable...."
  19. As I was debating which destination in Africa to go to in 2016 for my summer "big cat" fix, I saw the seminal Uganda workout report from pault in ST. One look at the chimps and I was hooked (even more than the gorillas). I had to go to Uganda ! I posted for advise from the STers http://safaritalk.net/topic/15691-solo-trip-to-uganda-for-2016-too-late/ and got many useful tips / counsel from folks like MAC, atravelynn, inyathi and others. Reached out to Churchill tours and travels and arranged for two gorilla tracking permits plus one chimpanzee habituation experience. Finalised the trip around those. The route (Mostly through south western tourist corridor of the country): Entebbe – Kampala – Fort portal - Kibale – Kasese – Kasenyi (Queen Elizabeth national park) – cutting through the Kazinga channel connecting Lake George and Lake Edward onto Ishasha – Bwindi. Took a bush plane from Kihihi air strip close to Bwindi back to Entebbe. Unsurprisingly, it ended up as one of my most memorable safaris ever. What a beautiful country, amazing lodges and parks and variety of primates apart from the two iconic primates that it is well known for. With that introduction done, will get into the detailed day-day report !
  20. I have been informed that as from 01 August 2016 (today) it will no longer be possible to obtain a Uganda visa on arrival. All visitors must get their eVisa online before travel.
  21. After I had read about the habituation experience with gorillas I got hooked . I am thinking to have a very gorilla-centric tour next year. I am still not sure it will be Feb, Jun or Sep (it will depend on work schedule). Ideally I would want to fly into Bwindi and have 4-5 tracks on daily basis (3 habituation tracks and 1-2 normal tracks). But my question is if I am going to die with the schedule like this? I mean I am in pretty good physical shape, I did Patagonia hiking (90-100 kilometers in 4 days) but it is obvious that Uganda jungles are not comparable to Patagonia mountains . What do you think? Would you recommend rest days in between? The other question is how wet the hike is? If I track gorillas on daily basis do I have to have the second pair of hiking boots or I will be fine with one pair? I am still thinking if I should or I should not include chimpanzee tracking? Is it worth it? It is more about logistic. With only gorilla tracking I will just fly in/out but I am not sure how to add chimpanzee tracking without adding too much travel time. Normally, when you track in Bwindi do you have a lot of nice sceneries around? I mean should I have a good wide angle lens with me? Which one would you recommend for Nikon but within let's say $900-1000 price (better cheaper )
  22. I guess this question is really for those who have been to _both_ places for the mountain gorillas... Which one did you prefer? I know that the treks can vary widely, even from day-to-day, etc... And there are a lot of factors that go into deciding which place to go to. But ignoring all that for a moment, and just focussing on the experience.. it does seem that in Rwanda, when you reach the gorillas, the terrain there is just.. more "open", so you would get a better viewing, and I guess less jostling from other trekkers. Is that a fair comment?
  23. And onto the second trip report on my blog page - this one's from Uganda. http://safarijunkies.com/2016/03/western-uganda-of-mountain-gorillas-and-tree-climbing-lions/ p.s. @@Tom Kellie check you inbox - I'm figuring out how to get the reports to you since you can't see them - anyone else have this problem?
  24. Here is my trip report from my last trip. I thought I would share this as I am now preparing for my next adventure in February. It is always nice to reread one's memories to remember what we love and don't love about going on safari. 31 December, 2013 I left on my East African safari adventure on New Year’s Eve, 2013. It certainly was a fortuitous day to start my journey, which I had changed at the last minute because I was hoping to see the fireworks in Abu Dhabi. I arrived promptly in Abu Dhabi after a great Etihad flight, which I had used my points to upgrade to business class. A wonderful way to start my trip! My only problem is that the champagne is never cold enough when they offer you a glass at the start of the flight (first world problems). The staff were great, because they put the bottle on ice as soon as we were airborne and it chilled down nicely for when the food arrived. Abu Dhabi has become my main airport hub whilst I am based in Kazakhstan and I find it to be an easy transfer between gates and departures. I was out of the airport within 20 minutes and getting into an Etihad chauffeured car (complimentary when flying business/first class) for my quick drive to The Park, Rotana. The driver was new and had some problems actually locating the hotel but the comfort of the car allowed me to feel relaxed and to not worry about the extra time spent looking for the hotel. I was on vacation and not working so I had nothing to be stressed about. It was my first time at The Park, Rotana and it was conveniently located about 20 minutes from the airport. My late arrival (approximately 9.15pm) on New Year’s Eve meant that there was little wait for my check-in. I made the booking through PointsHound who contacted the hotel prior to my physical check-in to make sure I had a room on a high floor away from any parties that may have been on that night. The staff at the hotel were great and gave me an upgrade to my standard room although it was on a smoking floor. I was reassured that the room would not smell and it was agreed upon that if there were the odor of smoke they would change the room immediately. It turned out that the room was fine and I enjoyed the opportunity to freshen up before investigating the hotel further. Unfortunately, my plan to go and see the fireworks was put on hold when I was advised that I would be guaranteed a taxi to get to The Corniche (main road) but that it would be very hard to return afterwards due to traffic and people. I then had a look around the hotel which offered a number of dining/partying opportunities for New Years but being dressed in attire suitable for an African safari and not for a night out on the town I decided room service and sat tv were a better option. I relaxed in my room and then went to bed without hearing any of the noises from the parties downstairs. I woke up to a New Year’s Day in another country (I seem to make a habit of this) and then caught a metered taxi to the airport earlier than I needed to try and secure another points upgraded ticket. Suggestions: The Park, Rotana was conveniently located (about 60 DHS in a metered taxi). The staff were great and the rooms were spacious and clean. I found a great price on www.pointshound.com with an added bonus Etihad Guest points which made me choose this property. Ask for a high floor to avoid any noise from the entertainment areas located on the lower floors of the hotel. Room service was well priced and decent.
  25. 1) Name of property and country: Sanctuary’s Gorilla Forest Lodge, Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, Uganda 2) Website address if known: http://www.sanctuaryretreats.com/uganda-camps-gorilla-forest 3) Date of stay, including whether Green Season, Shoulder season or High season pricing (if known). January, 2014 (Shoulder season) 4) Length of stay: 3 nights 5) Why did you choose this camp or lodge to stay in? Based upon what? I saw that there was a possibility that the gorillas go through camp and wanted to be inside the park. 6) How did you book the property, direct or agent? Were your enquiries dealt with quickly and efficiently? I did my own research on prices and then contacted Sarah Borman from Sanctuary directly. 7) How many times have you been on Safari? This was my second trip. 8) To which countries? South Africa, Botswana, Zambia, Namibia, Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania. 9) Which properties have you been to previously that you are comparing this one to? None, this was my first forest lodge. 10) Was the camp/lodge fenced? No 11) How many rooms/tents does it have? 8 tents 12) What tent or room did you stay in? Did it have a good view? Was it overlooked or private? Rooms were private due to the landscaping but they were close and I could hear my neighbor. There was no views from the rooms but lovely views from the main communal areas. 13) How comfortably furnished was the room/tent? The tent had wo queen size beds, wardrobe facilities, large bathroom as well as a bath. 14) Did you like the food? If yes, please state why. If no, please state why. Yes the food was simple and good. 15) Was there a varied menu offering multiple choice? If vegetarian was a suitable alternative offered? (Did you have to request this in advance?). There was a multiple choice for the mains. 16) What is the default dining arrangement? Single tables or communal dining? Do the guides/managers host at mealtimes? Single tables, no hosting. 17) How good were the packed breakfasts/lunches if staying out on game drives? Lunches were supplied and were fresh and filling. 18) What are the game drive vehicles? Please include photo if possible. Enclosed safari cars for transportation to the hiking area and for transfers. 19) How many guests per row? 2 20) How long were the game drives and were they varied in the routes taken? Hikes could last between 3 – 10 hours. 21) What are the standard game drive times? Are game drive times flexible: i.e., if agreed in advance, can you go out earlier than suggested and stay out later, i.e., not returning for lunch but taking supplies with you? 6 hours. 22) Is this a private conservancy/concession, and what is the vehicle/lodge density like? N/A 23) If in a National Park, what is the vehicle density in the immediate vicinity? People density is strongly controlled for all hikes to see the gorillas. Maximum 8 guests per visit per day. 24) Are you able to off-road? No 25) Are there rotation policies for sightings i.e., You face the risk of queuing or being bumped from a sighting. You only have one hour with the gorillas. You need to convey to people in front to move if you are at the end of the line otherwise you will miss out. 26) What wildlife is this property known for? Did you get good sightings? Gorillas. Excellent sightings. 27) How was the standard of guiding? Very happy with the gorilla guiding and assistance from the paid porters. 28) If you had a bad experience with a guide, why? Did you report the issue to management, and if so, how did they deal with the issue? Had an issue when on my waterfall hike about expected tipping. The guiding on the first day’s hike just needed to take into account everyone’s ability at hiking and to wait for all guests to be ready before going to see the gorillas. 29) If you had a very good experience with your guide, please give reasons why: 30) Were staff attentive to your requests/needs? The dining/wait staff were not very proactive or as helpful as other properties I have stayed at. 31) Does the property support a local community conservation initiative. If so, please provide brief details and website address if known. Yes but I am not sure. 32) Safaritalk trip report link: 33) Any other pertinent details you wish to add: “Expected more” Beautiful camp but for the price and company it is associated with I did expect more with things being a little basic for a "upscale/luxury" property. It is not 5 stars so as long as people know this before arriving then you won't have a problem. Great location and views over the national park, friendly staff although they all seemed a little "lost" and lazy but that could be because there were only 5 guests staying and they felt they didn't need to really be pro-active. If I went again to Bwindi I would check out other options in the area to see if you can cut costs and enjoy an extra day trekking because the license costs $600. 34) Please add your photographs of the property below, with headings.

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