3 weeks in Uganda - Propose Itinerary
Replies: 6 - Last Post: Jan 21, 2013 2:51 PM Last Post By: jlepstein
Nov 5, 2012 8:08 AM
3 weeks in Uganda - Propose ItineraryHi guys,
We've decided to do our honeymoon in Uganda and we'll be going over Christmas and into January. Overall we'll be there for 3 weeks, however we will be spending week 1 with some friends of the family. They're not the travelling types so we wanted to share our itinerary with you guys and hopefully get some feedback / advice / no-nos / recommendations - and generally any hints and tips you may have!
A. Kampala and surrounding area: (Week 1 - we'll be mainly staying with family friends)
1) Kampala + visit kasubi tombs
2) near Jinja - white water rafting at the source of the nile
B. Northwest: (First 2 days of week 2)
1) Murchison falls - wildlife watching trip up the nile
2) Budongo central forest reserve
C. South west:(Rest of week 2, first few days of Week 3)
1) Fort portal area - 1 week: crater lakes; kibale forest - chimp tracking; semliki valley for village to village walking & hot springs
2) Bwindi national park - gorilla tracking - 3 days
3) Lake Bunyonyi - ug most beautiful lake, hidden bays
4) Lake Mburo national park (if time) - unusual animals and zebras
D. Sesse islands: (Last few days of Week 3)
1) Stay on Banda island
Finally... is the trip to see the gorillas really worth the money and potential hassle?
Nov 5, 2012 12:56 PM
First, I am sure you will enjoy your honeymoon!
concerning your points:
A1) sorry to inform u but the tombs are not there anymore since there was a fire. But a very interesting thing to do to see Kampala is to go on Walter's Boda Boda Tour. Great insights in history, culture and life today!
A2) yes, the rafting is something to be done once in a lifetime and then Uganda is a good place for it!
B1) I dont know if 2 days will be enough for whole B as already the way to Murchison takes half a day and I would do there the boat tour and some game (I liked it more than QEP).
B2) dont know it...
C1) very beautiful area! The crater lakes are very nice. I loved the chimp tracking in Kibale Forest. The other places I have not done, but as you have time, I would to so, but in my opinion u dont need a whole week for all that. But to get down to Bwindi, u could to on the way game drive through QEP. There is one area in the north where u have good chances to see a lot animals and than in the south the special tree climbing lions!
C2) The Gorilla Tracking does not necessarily need so many days, unless u also make some walks in Bwindi, which I believe will be nice.
C3) Lake Bunyonyi is really the most beautiful lake I have seen so far, make sure u sleep on an island. Its also very relaxing!
C4) Lake Mburo is supposed to be very beautiful too. And interesting as u can do safari on horseback or by foot. This is still on my list to do.
D.1) I dont know this particular island, but to finish up at the Ssese Islands is a good idea!
On the gorillas:
If you have concerns about the money, go only for the Chimp trekking (in Kibale Forest it is 150 USD). I must say that I liked both of our trekkings and the Chimps were really nice and interesting, too...especially given that they are our nearest relatives and they were more hidden in the forest which gave u more a feeling of trekking and having to search for them, compared to the gorillas where u go up to the point where they were found by tasked searchers and then u stay one hour with them, but the great thing there was that we were amazingly near and were somehow invited to be with the family whereas the chimps were more on the trees and interacting with us as they wanted to.
I hope this helps u a bit for your planning. In case u need would like to have more information on places to stay or whatever, just let me know!
Enjoy ur trip!
Nov 6, 2012 4:35 AM
2Enjoy your honeymoon. I wonder if you are attempting just a bit too much in the time. I assume you will have your own transport and if not then you are doing too much.
I think you may find that you are not going to complete the whole circuit so I would look for somewhere in the last week that could be dropped if time is runing out
Nov 7, 2012 4:16 PM
3Hi tkm, I agree with bigal, without your own vehicle, you will be extremely pressed to squeeze in everything in your B and C section in just two weeks. If you do have your own vehicle, you can probably manage it.
I would suggest giving one week to Murch and Fort Portal combined (try a cycling tour around the crater lakes area!), and the second week to Bwindi, Bunyonyi and Lake Mburo.
I would skip Ssese islands all together, partly because they're just not that interesting, and partly because if you go to Bunyonyi and stay on the islands there - like cassandy suggests and which I totally agree with, then ssese will pale in comparison (never met anyone who would leave bunyonyi to go to ssese who knows both places). One reason is you cannot swim at ssese without risking illness from bilharzia (while Bunyonyi is bilharzia-free), and the cool nights at bunyonyi are a nice relief from the hot and humid lowlands, and very few biting insects at bunyonyi, which is also a nice relief.
Banda island at ssese is reportedly not what it once was since the original owner passed away a couple of years ago and was taken over by foreign managers.
At Bunyonyi, go to byoona amagara, rock up in one of the 'geodomes' and you will never want to leave! could even run your gorilla tracking to Bwindi from there.
And yes, gorillas... definitely, absotively worth it! (Chimp tracking is also good, but is certainly not a true alternative to the gorillas.)
And cassandy is also correct about kasubi tombs - burnt to the ground a couple of years ago and have not been reconstructed yet.
Rafting the nile at Bujagali is not the spectacle it used to be with the completion of the dam earlier this year, but still some good rapids below the dam and many other activity options popping up in the area.
Good luck, have fun.
Nov 9, 2012 12:11 AM
4Hi cassandy, bigal1 & luvuganda,
Thank you all for the great advice and for the very thorough responses! I think we've come to realise that we're trying to pack in way too much in the time we have. Real shame about the tombs and the rafting. That greatly disappoints us.
I think we'll end up switching the timetable to be much similar to that described by luvuganda. And based on the feedback we're definitely going to look into the options for the gorilla trekking and perhaps cut down the allocated days as mentioned by cassandy.
Thanks again for the advice and if anything else comes to mind, then please do let us know :-)
Nov 9, 2012 3:48 AM
5Your family and friend should be a great source of help and no doubt will have some great ideas. If you have not already done so get hold of the Bradt guide to Uganda (in my opinion this is the best guide)
remember you can always come back. I spent 6 weeks just touring round the Southern part of Uganda and although the temptation is to try and see everything you will find the constant traveling will diminish your enjoyment
Jan 21, 2013 2:51 PM
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