Updates from Kathy Street

Myself, my husband and two friends of ours recently visited Uganda. My husband and I had been there before and it was a joy to see some of the improvements to the parks that we visited. Some very brief notes on our trip follow:

Our group consisted of 2 couples and we arrived in Entebbe on August 13, 2008 for a two week trip across Uganda. Our trip was put together by Ker & Downey based in Katy, Texas USA and Uganda Let’s Go Travel in Kampala. I provided them with the places we wanted to go, what we would like to see and the amount of time to stay at each place. My husband and I had been to the same places we were see for the first time since 1997.  Another couple went with us for the first time. I would highly recommend Ker & Downey and the staff of Uganda Let’s Go Travel. They were efficient, understanding of our needs and open to changes. Our driver, provided by Let’s Go Travel, Vincent was top notch and really made our trip great. He traversed the unruly roads with calm expertise.

We stayed two nights at the new Gately Inn Entebbe. They currently have a well known establishment in Jinja. The one in Entebbe is very new (only about 3 months) close to the airport, the Uganda Wildlife Education Center and the boat to Ngamba Island. Most of the buildings are complete but the property is still under construction. They have an excellent gift shop and wonderful staff. The food is ok but we decided that the cooking staff was new and needed some help. The main problem was the location which is on a main road causing the rooms to be extremely noisy from road noise 24 hours a day. Perhaps they will be able to muffle some of that with plantings around the fence.

Ngamba Island was very educational and worth seeing. The same was true of the Uganda Wildlife Education Center where we were able to see animals close up. The Center appears to be very popular with groups of children who were there on holiday from school.

We stayed at the following locations while in Uganda:

1) Paraa Safari Lodge in Murchison Falls – a lovely location and a great way to start off our trip with game drives and seeing Murchison Falls. The food was good, with all meals served buffet, location relaxing, game drives good, and the scenery wonderful. The falls and the launch trips are a must.

2) Primate Lodge Kibale – It is our understanding that this tent camp has recently gone through renovations and upgrades with a new concessionaire. We loved it! There are 8 tents and several new bandas – all terrific. The food and the staff was wonderful and the manager very accommodating. Staying in the park (Kibale National Park) meant we were surrounded by wildlife. We saw chimpanzee and other primates on guided walks as well as plenty of birds and butterflies. The lodge also has one tree house from where we saw several forest elephants.

3) Mweya Safari Lodge at Queen Elizabeth National Park was also very relaxing with a breathtaking view. The staff was a bit formal, the food good with all meals served buffet, the view wonderful and the whole experience very relaxing. More upscale than we might normally have chosen but if you want to be pampered this was the place to be.

4) Mihingo Lodge at Lake Mburo National Park – This lodge ended our trip and it was the most unusual setting having been built into the side of a mountain just outside the park boundary. The tented lodge views were amazing and the tents themselves were a combination of tent and formed concrete the color of red earth. Once again, the food was terrific and the staff wonderful. This was the end of the dry season and so there weren’t as many birds or animals as we might have hoped but it was good viewing just the same. The biggest problem for the park at this point appears to be the running of Ankole cattle through the park to get water. The grazing by these cattle puts a burden on the land that at some point will impact the park’s ability to sustain itself.

Thank you, Kathy Street


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