Engagi Experience Safaris, Kabale

Engagi Experience Safaris is a new safari/tour company based in Kabale that arranges affordable tours throughout Uganda and Rwanda.  Engagi Safaris specializes in custom tours for independent minded travelers, including both wildlife and cultural tours.

Robert has many years experience with other tour companies before recently taking the leap to starting his own company.  We took an 8 day tour through southwestern Uganda and Rwanda in December 2010 and Robert’s service and attention to detail was exceptional.  It was not just a fantastic vacation but Robert’s friendly, easy-going nature added much to our experience and he continues to remain a good friend since we’ve returned.

My wife and I highly recommend Robert and Engagi Experience Safaris.  It’s not just a safari, it’s an experience!

Website:  http://www.engagiexperience.com/
Email:  engagisafaris@gmail.com
Phone:  +256782421519/+256702421519

Also, when in Kabale stop and have a beer at Robert’s pub, Amazing Pub (http://www.amazinguganda.net/)!

Thomas Drake

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31 thoughts on “Engagi Experience Safaris, Kabale

  1. Brandi says:

    I will agree wholeheartedly with this recommendation. I’m a 42 year old single woman and took a six day tour with Robert through Queen Elizabeth National Park and Bwindi Impenetrable Forest in Feb. 2011. This was part of four week trip and was definitely a highlight of my time in Uganda. Robert is fabulous!

    • Yolana says:

      I also agree with the recommendation. Robert took my fiance and I on a three day trip through Queen Elizabeth National Park. Robert was extremely informative and was full of suggestions for ways to make our holiday special (like sunset drinks over the Kazinga Channel, and a spontaneous trip to see the craters). The trip wouldn’t have been the same without him – we had a fantastic time!

  2. Sheri Makowski says:

    Highly recommended! Robert took me on a three day trip to Queen Elizabeth National Park and then to Kibale National Park to Chimpanzee trek. It was a great trip and Robert was great company as well as being very knowledgeable and experienced. It was great not having to worry about the details because I knew could trust Robert with having thought of everything.

  3. Akankunda Justus says:

    I also had fun at Robert’s Amaizing Pub in Kabale Town.
    While there, he showed me more than four 4WD vehicles for his tour company.
    We wish you well Mr. Robert.

  4. Muhangi Godwin says:

    Robert is a down to earth guy who knows what he is doing, he is a jolly person and cares about his clients. Long live Robert.

  5. LauraM says:

    I just returned from a two-day tour of Bwindi, a weekend excursion during a recent business trip in Uganda. My colleague and I really wanted to see the Mountain Gorillas. I pinged half a dozen safari outfits, some who wanted to charge ridiculous amounts. Finally we managed to find someone who knew the area well and didn’t expect us to overspend.

    Robert was a fantastic tour guide – he knows the Kabale area and people very well. Very quickly we felt that Robert was more an ambassador, rather than simply a tour guide.

    For two women traveling on our own, we felt very safe and well looked-after. He’s an impressive (and safe!) driver on the crazy back roads, and he has a photographer’s eye for great photo opportunities. He took some of the best pictures of our trip which I’ve shared with my friends back in San Francisco. I would recommend Robert to everyone who visits Uganda! Contact him at http://www.engagiexperience.net.

  6. Lieven Goethals says:

    Robert assisted us to get the gorilla-permits. He was very helpful and he gave us a lot of information about the Bwindi-Park and the gorillas. He also drove us to the park. We guess, he is one of the most safest driver in Uganda. So we could really relax and enjoy the ride. So, if you need a good tour-operator in south-west uganda, we can absolutly recommend Robert and his company engagiexperience.net

  7. JR says:

    On a work assignment in the area, I found Robert after searching the internet and assessing my options. What struck me initially and made me first decide to ‘go’ with Richard of Engagi Safaris was confirmed over and over again on our trip. Robert has a well-honed skill of listening and linking. He heard exactly what we wanted, made suggestions and arrangements to arrive at the perfect plan for what felt like a fair price, and then continually added little ‘treats’ of all kinds…. sharing the lovely SouthWest corner of Uganda he knows so well. Versatile, dependable, safe/experienced driver, reliable cars, culturally astute. Great for seasoned travelers, and I’d bet African newbies as well. JR, Washington DC, Public Health Specialist

  8. Claire says:

    From the initial discussions with Robert I was very impressed, he was very clear about prices and the trip itineraries. As a single traveller I could not afford some trips alone as I am a student on a budget and he offered to let me know if he found any other lone travellers who would be like to join me, which was incredibly helpful. I ended up going to Queen Elizabeth and had a fantastic time.

    I have been in the car with Robert a few times and agree with the others that he is a very safe driver on the crazy roads. As a lone female traveller and would definitely recommend him to others as I felt very safe.

    I stayed at his backpackers in Kabale and it was comfortable and he made me feel very welcome. Thank you for a wonderful time Robert and I wish you all the best.

  9. Trevor says:

    I recently returned from an eight week volunteer placement in southwestern Uganda, and to make the experience complete, I worked with Robert to organize a weekend trip to Queen Elizabeth National Park. Robert was enormously helpful in connecting me to Enganzi Game Lodge. The stay there was excellent–great service, wonderful food, and a breathtaking view of the broad, sweeping savannah, dotted with acacia trees and forest elephants. Robert also provided me with a tour of the area in his comfortable SUV and we went on a game drive one afternoon. There was nothing more beautiful than watching the African sunset on a sprawling savannah. A magical opportunity. Thank you for your service, Robert!

  10. Sylvia says:

    I am traveling through Tanzania, Uganda and Rwanda, and I was lucky to meet Robert, at the Amagara Hostel in Kabale. He organize everything for me, from my permit to see the Gorillas at Biwindi National Park to my trip to Kigali in Rwanda. The Rain forest in Biwindi was amazing, and the experience of seeing and be with the Gorillas was incredible, the Highlight of my trip!!! The people working at the Hostel are so nice and so helpful, and the food is really good, especially after the hiking in the rainforest or the canoe in the lake near Kabale. I highly recommend to come here and enjoy this beautiful peace of the world with its fantastic scenery, nice people and the Gorillas!!! Thank you Robert for making my stay so wonderful!

  11. Micah says:

    They arranged a last minute discount permit for me. Great experience and provided comfortable transportation to the tracking point. Friendly and honest, no complaints.

  12. Gary Norton says:

    – Gary

    I can’t imagine a better guide to Uganda than Robert Basiima of Engagi Safaris, particularly for adventurous travelers not interested in the usual packaged tours. Robert met us in Jinja and we traveled with him and his associate Bahati for 10 days through the central and southern parts of the country. Beforehand, we worked out an itinerary based on our interests and his recommendations. I wired Robert partial funds in advance, always a risk, but everything was handled very professionally, so I didn’t regret it. As photographers, we like to stop quickly when the right opportunity presents itself, Robert was very accommodating and often spotted interesting scenes and wildlife before we did. Most of the photos in this collection were taken while traveling with Robert: http://www.gwnorton.com/International/Uganda/Uganda-2013-Highlights/29017973_Brhpv4

    In general, I felt as if Robert’s experience, flexibility and connections at the National Parks resulted in us experiencing numerous things that we otherwise would not have with other guides. In addition, we quickly came to consider both Robert and Bahati as good friends.

  13. Dionah Liz Nyamwiiza says:

    its really an experience at Engagi safaris limited.i took a ten days trip while on my training and everything was awesome.i dont regret goin 4 d tour bkoz i learnt many important things from it.fantastic!

    • philipbriggs says:

      Engagi Safaris writing a comment to say it went on a tour with Engagi Safaris? Makes me curious how legitimate some of the other messages here are?

    • agaba ambrose says:

      I was on my guide training with engagi safaris for a week and unfortunately i posted using the company computers when the company name was still signed in that’s why my review (i was on a trip with Engagi safaris ltd for the whole week and it was really very nice.engagi safaris not only a tour,But an experience. ) appeared in the company name.I am really very sorry for that
      but i really enjoyed the trip.

    • Joanneke says:

      Unfortunately our experience with Engagi Safaris and Robert Basiima was not so good.

      Because of the reviews on this website, and after a conversation we had with Robert Basiima in Kampala, we chose for Engagi Safaris for a six-day-safari to Kibale, QE and BF. However, this turned out to be a bad choice.

      It turned out Robert did not go with us, but sent us another driver/guide, who was not experienced at all. He did not make us feel comfortable, he saw problems and troubles everywhere, he did not know the way and he was scared of animals. On the first day of the tour Robert promised to sent another guide to mentor this guy, but it turned out he didn’t. Because of this we had to work hard to make the best of our safari. We had to do a lot of organization ourselves. Sometimes it felt like we were the guides. We also missed some good opportunities to see wildlife because of this.

      Afterwards we asked for a financial refund. All we got was lots of excuses. Eventually he offered us to do another tour with us, which we obviously didn’t like and apart from that did not fit in our schedule.

      We thought you should know. Think twice before choosing Engagi Safaris.

    • philipbriggs says:

      Why would your trainee be posting a report about the company? That is not exactly unbiased feedback. We have a mixture of reviews here, but that alone would be enough to make very suspicious about the honesty of this operation!

  14. Ofir Karin says:

    I got to Kabale late at night, and after a short conversation in the morning with the staff at Engagi Safaris (located in Kabale’s Backpackers), they were able to get me a permit to see the Gorillas in Bwindi for the next day! they made all the arrangements. With a smile and for a fair price.

    Advised!

  15. JR says:

    … I’m now working regularly in the Kabale area, making a few trips a year. I recently made a GREAT bike trip with Engagi, riding across the Rwanda border, just for fun. Robert’s got a new set of mountain bikes that easily handle the road, and it just takes 3-4 hours or so round trip, including frequent stops. Seeing and engaging in daily life along the road is an informative treat. You learn about crops, and daily routines, birds, and life along the border.

  16. Joanneke says:

    What a coincidence, two very positive reviews just after our review! It made me read the other reviews again, and I noticed that the very first review is posted long after the trip it writes about, and is posted in Kabale. That’s very unlikely and it makes me feel like it’s a promotional text from Engagi. A lot of the other postst, including these last two texts, could be fake as well, but I can’t tell for sure.

    Also, Engagi is not a member of AUTO, the Ugandan tourism organisation.

    So again: think twice before going with Engagi.

    • JR says:

      Joanneke: I am one of the customers leaving positive replies, including leaving another one about another Engagi trip after your negative review. I don’t think the positive replies are any kind of conspiracy, I think that a number of his past clients are really concerned that you seem to be on a personal crusade to destroy a small, local business. I am really sorry to hear you had a bad trip, or more precisely that you felt you didn’t get the best customer care. In Africa, hell, anywhere in the globe! things don’t always go as planned. So you make the most of it. Often even the mishaps lead to new, unplanned experiences and some good stories after the trip.
      That’s the cost of leaving your living room, which is why most of us travel, no??? So, you’ve expressed your concerns, new customers will read them. They will know to ask more specifically about rooms (and it seems like you traveled at a busy time and some budget options were booked up); they will ask about WHO will be guiding them. Caveat emptor!! New travelers will be informed by your misfortune, and you will have a better trip next time. Robert at Engagi has many satisfied customers, he does vital community development work on his own dime when he’s not guiding; in my estimation, he’s a profile of ‘local guy makes good’. Enough already!!!

  17. Sandy Hochel says:

    It was my good fortune to have Robert Basiima with Engagi Safari as a guide for 6 days when a friend and I traveled to Uganda in October. From the time I first emailed him to begin planning the trip, to when he and his cohort Kenneth picked us up in Masindi, to when we said goodbye in Entebbe, he was always helpful, knowledgeable, kind, and professional. He was flexible in customizing an itinerary suited to our interest in culture, and we thought the itinerary and accommodations were excellent. In addition to being knowledgeable and helpful, Robert and Kenneth were also delightful and just fun to be around. I cannot say enough positive things about them. The service was first-rate.

  18. Marcio Macedo says:

    I recommend, for sure!! I would spend many days and much money doing it from Kampala, and Engagi made it faster and cheaper. Great moments and great people!!!!

  19. Peter says:

    Very good experience too, they organized for me a transport from Kabale to Ruhija on the day of my tracking, and a very nice walking safari to lake Bunyonyi the day before. The owner is nice and clearly knows his business.

  20. Natalia says:

    I can higly recommend Engagi and Robert. We wrote to him for a one day gorilla trek and he organised everything directly. When we arrived we were met by a very kind staff that took really good care about us. Everything was well organised, simple and cheap but great. Robert also took us for a trip to lake bunyonyi and helped us to buy a big jackfruit, that was really appreciated. He has been long in the buisiness and he knows a lot.

  21. Anna says:

    We had the pleasure of going on a 6 day safari with Robert Basiima of Engagi safaris in June this year. We decided to go with Robert based on positive reviews we had read and because we wanted to go with a guide local to the area we were visiting, rather than someone based in Kampala. Robert was very accommodating at every stage. We had several emails back and forth in order to carefully plan an itinerary that best matched our budget and main interests. Robert had no problem in letting us organise our own accommodation separately.

    On the first day of the safari, we were picked up from Kasese where we had been staying with friends and were very impressed with the comfortable, clean and well-maintained vehicle that arrived. It was so roomy and spacious for just the two of us! Robert was joined by a very smiley guy called Innocent – based on the fact we’d expressed a particular interest in African bird life, Robert brought Innocent along as he’s very knowledgeable about birds having grown up in Bigodi wetlands. There are also several useful reference books available in the car. Then followed a very memorable couple of days, driving across the Ishasha plains, gorilla trekking in Bwindi, birding and canoeing on lake Bunyonyi, and a driving and walking safari in lake Mburo NP. Robert was very happy to answer our questions and patiently stopped whenever we wanted to look more closely at something or to take photographs. We had a wonderful time and Robert, Innocent and Engagi Safaris have our highest recommendation!

    Anna and Fabre, Cambridge, UK.

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