Maria Garvey’s updates

Firstly thank you for an excellent guide, which I took on my first visit to Uganda recently. There are only a few minor comments/suggestions I would like to make. As background I come from Australia and travelled on a couple of tours, firstly with Geckos Adventures/Wild Frontiers to Lake Bunyoni and Bwindi, then with Red Chilli to Murchison Falls.  So I only know a little about a few places…

1. Lake Kitandara Bwindi Camp [p269] we stayed for two nights on our tour. Your negative comments were a bit of a worry but we found the old camp had been largely demolished and a new camp with full ensuite and comfortable large tents built on the site. There were many people staying, all seemed happy. The bar and restaurant were newish and the food, mainly buffets in the evening was good. They even tidied our tents/folded clothes while we were out. I don’t know prices as the accommodation was part of our tour but it was definitely good and far better than Bushara Island where we stayed previously.

2. In the row of curio shops in Buhoma, near the place where the gorilla treks start from, is a small shop selling crafts to benefit a local orphanage. The shop advertises a dance performance most evenings at 5:30 pm which lasts around an hour. The orphans of all ages through mid-teens perform several regional dances with a lot of energy and quite some talent. The show is free but donations for the orphanage are asked for at the end and the children also sell their own craft items. The lady who runs it is quite formidable! We definitely enjoyed it and it fits well as a fill in of time between returning from a walk and dinner.

3. The 4-storey Lake View hotel in Mbarara has no lift and hence disabled access is hopeless. Would you be able to comment on this aspect where possible in future editions, at least for the more upmarket hotels. Eg one might assume LV had ground floor rooms, or at least one lift but this is not the case.

4. Matches: several places we stayed had limited light at night – supplying candles [and mosquito coils] Local matches are small, waxy, break easily and are hard to strike. Perhaps suggest it might be useful to bring a box or two of your own…

5. We came across what claims to be ‘the only qualified Antiquity shop in Kampala’ selling a range of interesting maps, old books about Uganda and Africa, stamps, coins, statues masks and old and new jewellery. It is located on the ground floor of Colline House 4 Pilkington Rd in Kampala near the Mukono Bookshop. Phone nos are  0414 254 759 and 0772 451169. The owner was very helpful and most items are not overly dear though I have no idea if the stock is genuinely old or not. He was quite open about the new items. You might wish to add it to the stores you show for Kampala. We found him through a leaflet displayed at Red Chilli.

once again, many thanks

Maria Garvey

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