I'm posting this here b/c Trip Advisor wouldn't let me post a review because it involves a specific tour company...and I'm shocked that there's not already a review of Red Chilli on here.
As you'll see, I think there are some important points to be made about Red Chilli - both good and bad. For reference, I'm an expat living here, and have traveled throughout East Africa - I think I have a pretty good perspective on what should and should not be expected on this kind of trip...hope this helps some of you to prepare for your trip to Uganda!
Overall, Red Chilli's 3-day safari to Murchison Falls is the best budget deal around...not just in Uganda, but probably in the whole of East Africa. Prices in 2007/2008 place are generally under $200 per person, and include all transport from the Red Chilli HQ in Kampala, park fees, guide fees, and accommodation. This is generally an OUTSTANDING deal.
The safari vehicles (vans with a pop-up top for game viewing) were more than sufficient, and in great shape by Ugandan standards. The driver was professional and safe (again, VERY safe by Ugandan standards), and the newly re-paved road to Hoima makes about 3/4 of the ride very smooth sailing - by the standards of any country! Lunch is taken in Masindi on the way up and the way back, breaking up what is between a 4 and 5 hr drive (optimal conditions); the restaurant is owned by Red Chilli (though that's not advertised) and serves a decent local selection, and you can depend on the food to be safe.
I won't review the entire itinerary (b/c you can do so on their site - www.redchillihideaway.com), but I will say that while the day and a half of actual safari activities might seem a little sparse, it was fantastic and perfectly relaxing. The morning game drive is a good length, and at a perfect time to catch the sunlight for photos. While the game anywhere in Uganda is not what would be expected in neighboring Tanzania or Kenya, Murchison is as good as it gets here. You can count on seeing lots of varieties of antelope, cobs, water buffalo, a few Rothschild's giraffes (note: they're smaller than giraffes in Kenya/Tanzania, and tend to go solo), a small handful of elephants (or more on a good day - these guys are also a bit smaller than the variety you'll see in neighboring countries), and probably lions - we saw two females and their cubs with a fresh kill. Note that there are no zebras at Murchison Falls - there is only one site in Uganda that still has zebras, thanks to Idi Amin's pillaging of the country - but Murchison is your best bet for game overall, even without zebras. Oh, and of course you'll see the ubiquitous baboons and warthogs, and as is typical of Uganda, a wide selection of birds.
The boat trip up the Nile to the Falls I was initially not too excited about. I was wrong. This is a GREAT way to spend a hot afternoon, and you'll see a million and one hippos, some crocodiles, and perhaps and elephant or two down for a drink. This is a really lovely time, and a great photo opportunity.
The camp itself is great, and is in the park with no perimeter fence, so warthogs are constantly grunting around (loudly) and at night the hippos come up to graze (again, loudly). Do be smart and listen to the staff about the danger of the hippos. We stayed in a tent (included in the price of the safari), but you can upgrade to a banda if you want to for a minimal amount. The tents have twin beds in them that are moderately comfortable/standard issue Ugandan mattresses. Tents are permethrin treated, so while they don't have bednets, you don't really need one - just do be sure you're on malaria prophylaxis anyway, and spray down with DEET at night.
The food at the camp is great and reasonably priced, though it's probably worth mentioning that it is not local or 'traditional' food - since I live here and eat Ugandan food daily, this was more than fine, and the cheese and bread served by Red Chilli is probably the best I've had in 6 months in Uganda, but for those looking for a 'traditional experience', you'll need to find that before or after this safari! Also, there is always a vegetarian option for meals. The bar is decent, but note that they don't have ice (not many places in Uganda do).
The hike to the falls the next day is awesome, and while I was not so enthused about that either (I was just there for the animals and to get out of Kampala!), it turned out to be great. You can't really appreciate the falls till you're on top of them - really spectacular.
Now, here's the catch: This is a fantastically priced get-away, but I was SEVERELY unimpressed with Red Chilli management. The staff were great and helpful; the management needs to take a lesson in basic customer service.
1.) First, their pricing system places the risk on the consumer, which is extremely poor business, and while it is uber-typically Ugandan, this is not a Ugandan-run company and caters almost exclusively to outside tourists; they clearly do know better, and simply do it because they can get away with it. Our situation was that we were a couple on a safari that had been fully booked...until 2 people didn't show up the morning of. Now it IS in their policy that the safari is priced by the number of people that are on it (e.g. we had to pay $20 more per person because there were only 6 of us in the end). This is fine, except the rest of us (3 couples) had all trekked over to Red Chilli HQ to put down a deposit a week ahead of time as requested, but apparently the fourth party had only confirmed by email and not paid. So when they didn't show up, 6 strangers had to pay more because they no-showed. In my opinion, Red Chilli should have either warned us a week out that there was no confirmed 4th couple, or they should have assumed the risk that the individuals would not show up. They tried to justify it by telling us that this happens really, really rarely - but to me that's all the more reason the risk goes on the company, not the consumer.
2.) Adding insult to injury, the management at HQ told us that they'd compensate us by getting us a round of free drinks up at the camp. When it came time to pay our tabs on the last morning (you run a tab for the whole trip for meals/drinks), we mentioned this HQ-management promise, but the camp manager played dumb and said that that wasn't standard procedure and she didn't know why they would have told us that. She had been on her cell phone with HQ several times over the last few days, but seemed totally unwilling to make a simple call to verify the promise that had been made to us, and told us that maybe if we had said something earlier she could have worked it out - outrageously poor customer service on her part. It wasn't a matter of the free drinks, it was a matter of being lied to and then brushed off by management.
3.) Does it get worse? Yes. Because we all needed to pay an extra $20, the driver brought us to an ATM and we all got out $20 worth of shillings (most of us live here, so we don't have a ready supply of dollars). Well it turns out that Red Chilli only takes shillings for safari payment at a rate of 1900=$1, which is an UNHEARD OF rip-off, given that the exchange rate is 1680=$1. NOWHERE in Kampala is anyone buying shillings at this rate, which means that Red Chilli is preferentially screwing people over if they have to pay in shillings - convenient especially when their prices are subject to last minute changes.
Through our rather civil complaints on all of these issues, management was entirely unresponsive, and acted as though they had absolutely no desire to make sure we walked away satisfied. As I alluded above, this was very typical risk-averse Ugandan management, and is one of the reasons that Uganda will continue to dramatically under-perform as a tourist destination - but this is NOT a Ugandan-run business. There is NO reason to act like the idea of customer service and basic respect are foreign; there is no reason to try to rip your consumers off at every turn. From what I hear of the couple who started the business (one of whom passed away tragically, and the other of whom now resides in South Africa), this is NOT in the spirit that their company was founded. I would have HAPPILY paid $250 for my safari (more than I paid with all the add-ons), if it included decent management service and no hidden and totally inappropriate costs. Happily. This left a very bad taste in my mouth, and frankly if there were ANY other comparable option I would refer people elsewhere on the basis of customer service alone (note to Red Chilli: the fact that there's not a comparable option shouldn't be an excuse to act this way!)
In short: still a great deal and a great trip, but go in heavy-handed with the management and don't be pushed around. Make sure that if you're given any promises at all you get them in writing or hear them passed along - basically don't trust the management of the place any further than you can throw them.