Big Game & Primates in Kenya & Uganda

Bonnie Abrams

15 Mar 2019

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NWS client Bonnie visits the famous Masai Mara before tracking chimps and gorillas in the forests of Uganda

I would like to spend some time writing a review about my experience with Natural World Safaris. I planned my trip about eight months in advance, and with every question or concern I had, David was right there to answer every email and phone call, which was very helpful and comforting along the way.

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5 Days in the Masai Mara, Kenya

My first stop in Kenya was Nairobi, where I stayed in a small guesthouse overnight. The Macushla Guesthouse had a flare from the 1930s and was very nice. The next morning I flew on a small plane to Governor’s Camp in the Masai Mara National Reserve I spent the most wonderful five days there. I stayed in a luxury tent with great Wi-Fi and a full bathroom, including a faucet for drinking water. I had one person looking after me who brought me a hot water bottle to keep me warm at night, as well as hot coffee and crackers when I had my wake-up call before my morning safari. All meals included were delicious, with a four-course meal at night. The service was impeccable.

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I went out on a safari from 6:30am to 11:30am and again from 3:30pm to 5:30pm. I still can't believe the amount of wildlife I experienced every time I went out. Kenya banned hunting in the 1980s so the wildlife and nature has had a chance to recover. There was simply wildlife everywhere. Giraffes, elephants, baboons, topis, warthogs, hippos, lions everywhere, and I also saw a leopard and two cheetahs along with numerous other animals. I also took a side trip to a Maasai village which I enjoyed very much. I can't say enough good things about the time I spent at Governor's Camp – it was just perfect.

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10 Days in Uganda

Then it was on to Uganda Every place I stayed in Uganda was beautiful and I can't say enough about the staff and how helpful everyone was. I landed in Entebbe and the next day I went to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park where I was going trekking to see the gorillas in the jungle. I stayed at Buhoma Lodge, where the food was so good I truly wanted to take the chef home with me. The first trek into the jungle took about one and a half hours to see the gorillas, which was perfect. I got great photos and experienced the gorillas up close. On the second day the trek was only about 45 minutes, through a part of the jungle that was quite dark, but I got to experience the gorillas once again in their natural environment. After each trek we all got a half-hour complementary massage which was a wonderful treat.

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On to Ishasha Wilderness Camp in Queen Elizabeth National Park which was breathtaking to stay in. At night I saw the full moon rise with its brilliant orange colour over the camp. The food was excellent and the staff were once again superb. Each luxury tent overlooked the river. One morning I opened my tent door to see a buffalo in the river which was breathtaking. There wasn't as much wildlife here because they were doing their annual burn. They do this in the dry season so the grass will grow back full to feed the animals. I got very lucky as we came across three tree-climbing lions, which are found only in the southern part of the Ishasha section of Queen Elizabeth National Park. The lighting was perfect and the lions were just hanging out, sleeping and standing in the tree. An incredible sight to behold. On my last night there, drinks and finger food were set up on the open plain overlooking a gorge. It was memorable as we watched the sunset.

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Lastly we were off to Kibale Forest National Park where we stayed at Primate Lodge. Before getting to the lodge we stopped by Kyambura Gorge to trek into the jungle to see the chimpanzees. I was at the front of the group when I rounded the bend and was totally surprised to find a chimp just sitting on the pathway. The chimp never gave me a second thought nor all the other people taking pictures of him. I certainly was startled. At the Primate Lodge each guesthouse was beautifully set in a very secluded area of the forest. The next day I went for my last trek to find a different set of chimpanzees. This turned out to be really great. We walked about one and a half hours. All we could find was one little chimp way up in a tree, then after about 20 minutes the chimps started to come down out of the tree and we followed them through the forest. It was quite exciting, then they stopped almost in front of us and started to groom each other. It was amazing to see. An hour had passed and we were told it was time to leave.

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This truly has been a memorable trip to last a lifetime. The only thing I would have changed was the clothes I brought. I tend to get very cold, especially in cool, damp weather. I didn’t bring warm clothes but really needed them in the evening when I was sleeping as well as in the morning. Most of the lodges and tents only had screens over the windows so the cool air definitely came in. If you don't tend to get cold you will be fine. I had a wonderful time and Natural World Safaris were great at planning my entire trip. I would not hesitate to plan another adventure with them.


Thank you David for everything,
Bonnie Abrams

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