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Kibale chimp trek or Budongo? plus other questions

Delaware
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Kibale chimp trek or Budongo? plus other questions

Anyone who's chimp done treks in both - if you could only do one which would you choose? It would be just the trek not habituation in Kibale. I'm told advantages of Budongo might be: less commercialized, less people, and less expensive with lodging at the Eco Lodge there vs. Kyaningo or Ndali lodge at Kibale. Advantage to Kibale for nicer lodging and the views.

Also, instead of driving back from Bwindi to Entebbe with a stop at Lake Mburo we could fly back. Not sure if missing Lake Mburo would be a great loss or not. We're considering an overnight at Ngamba Island so that would be a way to cut a day out of our itinerary to add on at the end at Ngamba. Any thoughts on missing Lake Mburo?

And lastly (well, for now) I asked about why our itinerary is showing a drive back from Murch. Falls to Entebbe (with overnight) and then driving again the next morning to Fort Portal after it was pointed out that there's a shortcut road that would be much more direct and way less time. The TO explained that it was because the straight route is such a bad road it could take 12 hours. I'm not sure what to think - if people in Uganda are telling me don't do that - but he's working with a company in Uganda who says it's best -- any thoughts or experiences with that bad road?

Thanks in advance-

Leslie

Kampala
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1. Re: Kibale chimp trek or Budongo? plus other questions

Go for kibale forest, no doubt you will see the chimpanzees.

Not much to miss in Lake mburo, just the Antelopes, Zebras and black and white Columbus monkies.

Do you really have to go back to Entebbe from Murchison falls, the drive to Fort portal the next morning?????????????????????. It does not make sense

If the road from Murchison falls to Portal portal is extremely bad, then You can drive back to Kampala instead of Entebbe.

Delaware
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2. Re: Kibale chimp trek or Budongo? plus other questions

Yeah, I really need to press I guess to avoid doing that drive back to Entebbe (or even Kampala). I think the TO I'm working with was there during the end of rainy season and maybe it was necessary then but I'm hoping to be there when rain is not such an issue. I know there are no weather guarantees. I wonder if the direct road was out if they could make a decision then and there to reroute us back to Kampala or if it needs to be decided in advance.

Sounds like flying from Bwindi to Entebbe and missing Lake Mburo won't be devastating and that way we can add Ngamba Island.

Thank you.

Kampala
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3. Re: Kibale chimp trek or Budongo? plus other questions

:S ? Weather in the rainy season of 2012 shouldn't be determining the route of your trip in the summer (dry) season of 2013 though - I don't know why they are saying that.

If budget permits, then flying is certainly an option, to take out a chunk. Not up for a horse-back safari then?!

Delaware
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4. Re: Kibale chimp trek or Budongo? plus other questions

No horses, thanks anyway.

This is what I copied from previous TA posts about that road and I'll forward it to my TO & see what he says:

"Personally I just do not believe this bad road story. I have not heard back from Kampala Office yet but I DO know the 300km road from Kyenjojo north to Hoima and Masindi (this is the bit in question that you will travel from Kibale to Murchison)

Your total days run would be 440. Routing back to Kampala is 358 and then back up to Murchison, via Masindi is another 311. TOTAL 669. It does not stack up. From Hoima north there is a choice of route anyway. Deduct 55 km from the alledged doubtful 300 and you are down to 245.

Well I drove "that" road on Christmas Day. It is NOT good but taken carefully you will have no trouble. It took us maybe 5 hours from Hoima to the tar at Kyanjojo. AVe speed say 25/40 kmph. We left Hoima at 8.30 am and got to fort portal about 2.30pm.

Not the tidiest of roads but we were in Mweya by 5 or 6pm after refuelling and shopping in FP."

usa
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5. Re: Kibale chimp trek or Budongo? plus other questions

We did chimp habituations in both places so can only compare that not the treks. If I could only choose one I would go for Kibale. There are other places you can stay in Kibale besides to 2 you mention if you wanted to cut the accomidation cost.

We travelled on that road in Feb & it was not that bad sure beat what to me would have seemed like taking a day out of our trip going back to Ent or Kampala.

Delaware
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6. Re: Kibale chimp trek or Budongo? plus other questions

Yes, habituations sound amazing and now that I'm reading everything in a more serious way I'm wondering if we'll be sad to not have done that. But, we only have a certain amount of time.

Everything I keep hearing makes me think the road is probably awful in rainy season and we need to remind the TO that we won't be there then (he was) so he can change that part of the itinerary. Taking 2 days of traveling out of the trip instead of using that road seems foolish but I've probably jinxed us now and it'll end up being a mistake if I push for the straight shot!

Kampala, Uganda
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7. Re: Kibale chimp trek or Budongo? plus other questions

when are your travel dates again? because the routes may be ok to use then just have your adventure mode on for changes perhaps.

Isle of Man, United...
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8. Re: Kibale chimp trek or Budongo? plus other questions

Picking up late again Leslie but I answered another of your posts about "that " road without having read this one.

I shall be travelling down in 6 months time, knowing it can be bad, and have no intention or inclination to detour via Kampala. Ten hours, maybe, on a bad road, passable but just slow is far preferable than two days on tar and an unnecessary night in a city.

As for where to watch chimps. I don't do this but love the ambience at Kanyo Pabidi as a change to Lodges, even those as good as Bwana Price at N'Dali.

Flying back from Bwindi won't save enough time to warrant a trip to Nagamba. It involves a car journey of over an hour just to reach the airstrip. I like Lake Mburo and would go there. The only NP in Uganda where certain species occur such as Zebra, Topi and Impala.

Forget the horse riding. Just go for a walk among the animals.

Edited: 26 June 2012, 11:05
Brussels, Belgium
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9. Re: Kibale chimp trek or Budongo? plus other questions

Hello, just posted a trip report that covers some of your questions.... to get to the point....

There is No Way I would drive from Murchison to Entebbe (spend a night) and back to Fort Portal. (unless some pre-known road closure?) Sure the road is bumpy and not paved but those paved roads don't always provide a better trip. You also end up paying for an additional night lodging! And agree with the other post - at least stay in Kampala - not all the way to Entebbe. I would tell them, no.

Maybe there is another reason - ie.. change of drivers/ vehicle.

We only did the Chimp trekking in Kibale, but we did talk with others who had done Budongo, they enjoyed it, but said they preferred Kibale.

Lake Mburo was nice, we enjoyed it but it is all relative. If you are seeing a lot of other parks..... I would do whatever makes the trip a more leisurely pace. Don't add a long drive just to see Mburo. Sounds like you have a great trip with many exciting stops.

Delaware
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10. Re: Kibale chimp trek or Budongo? plus other questions

We don't have exact dates set yet oltsafaris but next year June - August sometime. I've asked the TO about planning on doing the straight road but if by some chance there's a big rain or other problem with that road will we be able to change up then & there and do the long detour. We'll see.

So mfuwe it seems like driving through Lake Mburo is better than the flight in your opinion. I think my husband's least favorite thing in life is flying in tiny planes so probably he'd prefer that too.