Used to wonder how it feels to leave your home for a wildlife holiday overseas but had it all come true in the pearl of Africa when I booked a grand wildlife trip to Bwindi Forest & Queen Elizabeth Game Park. The tour started with a pick up at Entebbe international airport by our driver guide whom picked us up as early as 1:00am Uganda time a rare case with many trip organizers across the world. First the trip organizers accepted to pick us up very late at the airport a thing which surprised me till then. The next morning the same driver picked us up from Sheraton hotel Kampala to start the Uganda wildlife tour after breakfast with many interesting stops at the Equator, Masaka and Mbarara for Lunch at Igongo cultural site a reserved ground for cultural tourism in western Uganda and the right place to taste local delicious foods in Uganda.
After Mbarara the road stretched further and deeper in the afternoon as we get closer to Bwindi forest the prime wildlife viewing paradise destination in Uganda. The drive lasted for nine hours keeping us on the road from morning to late evening when we got at our lodge-Mahogany springs one of the exceptional luxury lodges in Bwindi Forest. The lodge staff welcomed us warmly from the tiresome road travel- Kampala – Kabale Buhoma a thing which made me worried for awhile spending 9 hours on a road which become dustier as we left the high way and got more closer to the park. Hope came when I started seeing the jungle forest and its cool winds blowing all the way as a welcome sign of guests to the rain forest. The beauty of the forest only made me realize that the drive was worthy its treasures. Before reaching our lodge we passed by some lodge and camps built in a lovely way and all overlooking the rain forest. We spent the evening relaxing as we wait for the long waited moment to see the mountain Gorillas of the forest.
Bwindi Forest forms a thick canopy and during the briefing was wondering how we were going to walk through the tangled jungle to meet the mountain Gorillas but the park ranger guides said they will walk with us and show us the way until when we meet the apes. The rangers where informed that they kept on answering each and every question through out the trek and we saw the Gorilla in just two and half hours a fare time compared to those who trek for a full day and even have lunch in the jungle. We spent one hour of photography and return to our lodge for lunch. Happiness and memories of the mountain Gorillas made me smile the entire day but missed telling my home people how my day was too amazing because of the jungle internet problem but the sad moment was also washed away by the local cultural group dancers at Bwindi Forest who kept us occupied the entire afternoon. Happiness resumed after visiting a local group of local women and children who sang and danced for us a folk song. I never understood the words but I tried understanding the meaning of the song by the action of the singers and dancers. The children danced so well even compared to the elderly and really made my gorilla tracking experience in Bwindi the very best.
Queen Elizabeth was next on our itinerary and we left the next morning passing in the wilderness of ishasha the parks wildlife source. We spend more than one hour in the wilderness looking out for tree climbing lions my second reason to visit the pearl of Africa. We did see them up close which made my day brighter leaving a good mood for Mweya Safari Lodge for lunch a a beautiful lodge full of great views in Queen Elizabeth. I loved Mweya safari lodge just name but it was really nice with excellent staff, food and services. A cup of morning coffee woke us up the next morning to head out to the park for a morning game drive an activity which exposed us to four of big five -lions, Buffaloes, leopard, and elephant which we saw at last on our way back to the lodge for breakfast. Other wildlife included–Kobs, hippos, and many more.
More amazing moments never seize to come but the boat cruise on the lovely Kazinga channel again filled our afternoon ending the day in excitement. Hipos, birds, crocodiles welcomed us and kept checking on us as we sailed on water. The endless plains of park gave us the most stunning views in every angle we curved. Chimpanzee tracking was our last activity in Queen Elizabeth followed by a drive back to Kampala arriving late evening with a drop off at our hotel of residence. It’s truly a magical wildlife experience that after travelling to Uganda even other family members visited the country.