The Elephant Home, QENP

Felex Kamalha writes:

A new community campsite has started at Kikororngo community, near Queen Elizabeth national park, on the road to on Fort Portal. It currently has two to three self-contained twin rooms, five camping shades and a big open camping ground. The campsite also has a small restaurant that doubles as a gift shop on the in the front. We are currently working on the website but should be ready in a month or so.

The link is

See also

Enjojo Lodge, Ishasha

Patrick writes:
A new lodge (Enjojo Lodge) is about to open (May-June 2015) near Ishasha Gate. It is situated just opposite Ishasha gate, in the valley, approx 2.5 km off the Katunguru-Kihihi road. It is owned and run by a co-Belgian, a Ms Kristine. The lodge is situated  in the savannah bordering the NP and has  6 self-contained thatched bandas and  a cosy restaurant and lounge. There is also a family banda, accommodating two families. There are plans for a swimming pool and camp site.

When I was  last there (April), the bandas were fully equipped ( solar powered, hot and cold running water, great outside showers ) and ready to receive guests. The restaurant (beautiful view on the lake and NP) and kitchen were almost completed. The accommodation and site are really promising. The owner is also making a walkway through the patches of forest and savannah (2 hour walk)

Even though the place was not open yet, I spent three nights in one of the bandas. Great jungle experience: colobus in the trees, elephants bathing in the lake,  topi grazing just in front of the banda, lion roaring in the distance. And this in full comfort and security. Though I was an unexpected visitor, the friendly staff and owner managed to serve excellent meals and ( yes!) cold drinks.

The lodge has a great safari vehicle for 6 passengers, ideal for game drives and excursions.

Prices had not been set yet when I was there, but I was told it was going to be in the mid- price range , which would be excellent news.

In return for the owner’s hospitality I am hosting a Facebook page

Kichwamba Escarpment Community Tourism Initiative

Deborah writes:

Between Nov 17 and Dec 3, 2014, we volunteered at Healthy Child Uganda in Mbarara, and were tourists on weekends. Although we asked for alternatives to the usual tourist spots, all our inquiries directed us to the National Parks, which are indeed wonderful. Those we asked were clear – the infrastructure doesn’t exist to ‘go off the beaten’ track. Since work was intense, we took the easy route and went to the tourist places.

One Sunday, our hike in Queen Elizabeth National Park couldn’t happen and our guides had no backup plan to offer. Everyone we asked at our lodge or in the park suggested another game drive. Ho hum. I kept asking. One of the servers in the dining tent asked if we’d been to Twin Lakes and the Kichwamba Escarpment Community Tourism Initiative. We’d never heard of it. No one at the park had. With nothing else to do, we went.

The Kichwamba Escarpment Community Tourism Initiative was the highlight of our trip. The two-hour tour evolved into three hours and we were invited to stay for their lunch, which we shared village style. The sweeping vista from the rim of the escarpment was stunning and unlike other crater lakes we’d visited.

Our guides were village elders, we met the village chairman, the 82-year old elder who convenes the village peacemaking council, the village traditional healer, the teacher, families, the children followed us or waved shyly from their mother’s skirts … and on and on of wonderful and moving introductions, explanations and welcomes.

This is sustainable tourism and agriculture and traditional culture at its best. And no one we asked knew it existed. The entrance is unsigned and hard to find. Had we not called ahead to alert them to the make of our car and approximate time of arrival, we would still be looking. As it was, the elder, Hillary, stood at the entrance and phoned our driver’s cell when he saw us miss the turn.

After the tour, the elders took us into their ‘office’ and offered tea, plus small gifts of some of their fresh produce that we’d admired during the visit.

The cost was the equivalent of $10 US per person and we also added a donation to their village since everything in cash is put in the village common pot and shared among all. We also gave a gift to the lovely woman who invited us to share her families’ lunch although she didn’t ask for anything and welcomed us from her heart. As did they all.

May 2014 trip report

Leon writes:

Masaka – Ten Tables
The Ten Tables restaurant seems to have converted into a rooftop pub, serving basic pub food rather than the mentioned three-course dinners.

Lake Mburo – Eagle’s Nest
Indeed Eagle’s nest is good value. Basic tenting with beds and shower having great views over the park.

Lake Bunyoni – Arcadia Cottages
I don’t remember the exact price we paid, even after haggling it was US100+ B&B. The panorama is still there :-)

Ishasha – Ishasha Jungle Lodge
Next to reconstructing the lodge, which is done brilliantly. Also the prices have been revised. The brochure states US155pp for full board, a disappointment after a long day driving.. Since we were the only guests they went down to US130 for B&B. Also the road from Kihihi had numerous big pools.

Jan 2014 trip report

Jim Upperman writes:

Your new edition was a great resource for our group of six in our January 2014 trip.

A few comments:

1) the boat launch in QENP—Kazinga channel was superb and much more interesting than that in MFNP. More wildlife, close-up looks at Ugandan villagers on the shoreline, and a great naturalist/narrator on board—UWA guide Daniel. One of our highlights while in Uganda.
2) the lack of infrastructure ( roads, rest stops) in western Uganda on the major tourist circuit should not be understated. We loved our trip—but were amazed that the closer we came to the World Heritage site—Bwindi—the worse the roads became!

3) At Bwindi, we had six relatively fit individuals who engaged in the gorilla trek with the Mubare group/family. It took us 3.5 hours from Buhoma to reach the gorillas —mostly climbing. Two of our group needed a basket (with villagers) to complete the trip. As you and others write, a magical once in a lifetime experience to spend time with these magnificent creatures. Making eye contact will never be forgotten. Thank God for the many men and women who have worked tirelessly to protect the remaining few from extinction.

Uganda trip report

Bashir writes:

The Bradt guide was brilliant, very informative and useful (for me and plenty of others I met on my travels!). I genuinely don’t know what I would have done without it.

I have a few comments – pretty minor:

Transit visas are $50 (not $15) and apparently have been so for a while (I had a long discussion with immigration as I came back from a little trip to Rwanda and had to pay full price – I did show them the book!).
I met a driver called Henry in Katunguru (QENP) who was very helpful. I believe he has been in contact with you before and I think he is worth adding to your list of drivers there. His email address is (I also recommend Mustapha who is in your book.)
Fly Mami Africa is moving to Jinja – they should be starting bookings soon if they haven’t already.
Gorilla tracking permits are being discounted in November and May. It’s worth stating in the fees section when exactly the low seasons are – had I known I could have waited two days and saved myself $150!