Our planning stage was excellent. Both TravelLocal and their local team in Uganda responded to our needs and really 'listened' to our own plans and took on our requests. They 're-shaped' where necessary, having such a great knowledge of Uganda and how the systems worked. It was very reassuring that we could have communication directly with TravelLocal and we had some very useful and important telephone conversations. Thank you. The company matched us very well with our driver, who was excellent, the accommodation, food, guides and activities were of a very high standard, they were all there as planned and everyone was ready for our arrival. The wildlife experiences were tremendous, nothing could beat the trekking of the gorillas and the chimpanzees -- we had the time of our lives. The people are friendly and it was lovely to have some opportunities to experience some community visits, e.g. Deo's homestead and the coffee processing tour. Every day was a wonderful and new experience, too many to name them all, and certainly the 'holiday of a lifetime'. We were sad to leave our driver and Uganda but we have taken away memories of a wonderful, efficient and happy holiday through Travel Local and their local associates.
During the planning process using the portal system was quick and efficient with prompt responses every time. We felt we could talk as friends to both Rachel and Steve. We really appreciated their sensible advice. Both Rachel and Steve really 'listened' and did all in their power to make sure that the holiday was planned correctly matching our needs and requests. The value for money was excellent and we appreciated being given quotes to include all accommodation, food, guides, park entrance fees and transport, including the driver. Our vehicle was absolutely fine. We had plenty of room and we could see over the top of the seats and through the windscreen easily. We were so pleased that the seat backs were not high as that would have made us feel 'hemmed in' and therefore unable to have a good view. We were very pleased to have cushions provided which were used as back, arm, head and foot rests!! Thank you.
One small point you may need to know. Semiliki accommodation was extremely basic, especially in the bathroom areas and the food and timings were not good. It did not bother us, we were happy to be in the midst of the community, but it may well bother future guests.
Our driver, Frank, was first rate. We were very lucky to be traveling with him for a whole month. He was a very safe driver, often over difficult terrain, he was kind and caring and wished to do everything he could to make our holiday happy and successful. Anyone being designated Frank as their driver will be in safe and kind hands. We had at least one guide per day, unless we were on a long traveling day and sometimes three per day if we were doing as many as three activities. Nearly all these guides were friendly people who were very knowledgeable about their country and it's wildlife and it was a pleasure to be in their company. There were the odd one or two however where it was not so good, but these were in the minority. Frank was always keen to have feedback after each accommodation and after every guide. He knew the good guides well and he tried to book these for us each time and he was very successful. We were grateful that he was keen to know our feedback and we were always honest with him. It was very reassuring that our driver, Frank, remained in touch with personnel at the local base, on a daily basis. This meant we knew we had back up should anything have happened, which, thankfully, it did not.
Firstly make sure you read and do your homework regarding your adventure. This will give helpful and clear guidelines at the planning process. This will help Steve and Rachael to get it right for you. They listen and make sure you are really happy with everything before finally booking. All our accommodation and meals were excellent and we enjoyed every one of them as there was such a variety. We especially liked Kimbale Forest Camp where we felt part of their community. Being a wildlife enthusiast is almost a must when traveling to Uganda and you will not be disappointed. We did however enjoy some excellent community visits e.g. to Deo's Homestead and the hands on experience during the Coffee Processing Tour at Sipi. Buy a map of Uganda prior to going, it is interesting following the route on a daily basis. Listen to the advice given by the local experts, they know the country well and their advice is very sound. Finally use Travel Local and their local partners to book your adventure!!!
Where do we begin - Uganda is just a wow of a country and certainly the 'holiday of a lifetime'. We loved arriving to the tranquility of Karibu Guest house after the long flight and we enjoyed our stay at Nile Porch. We very much enjoyed the trip to the Source of the Nile, Frank booked us a very good guide here. The accommodation at Sipi was lovely and we enjoyed having a 'hands on' coffee processing tour, again another excellent guide. We enjoyed both our waterfall hikes and of course the highlight for us was gorilla trekking and chimpanzee trekking. We don't think anything could surpass these two wonderful experiences. Kibale was a very special place for us and we enjoyed especially the scenery at Queen Elizabeth National Park. The crater lakes drive was amazing. Another big highlight was the day on Lake Albert looking for the Shoebill. Excellent guides gave us a thoroughly successful day. We will never forget that day. We enjoyed our tents at Eagle's nest before sadly looking towards our homeward journey.