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“Great experience!”

African Pearl Safaris
Chicago, IL
Level Contributor
8 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
“Great experience!”
Reviewed 29 July 2014

I did the gorilla trek in Bwindi with African Pearl Safaris and had a great time. When planning the trip, Edris worked hard to accommodate my requests. The driver, Sula, was wonderful. The drive from Kampala to Bwindi goes through Queen Elizabeth National Park. Sula went out of his way to spot animals. He would then stop to explain them to me and let me take pictures. I felt like I was getting a mini-safari in addition to my gorilla trek. I would use African Pearl Safaris again and recommend them to anyone.

Visited July 2014
Helpful?
3 Thank traveler112005
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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62 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
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English first
New Orleans, Louisiana
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“African Safaris - Bwindi Gorilla Trek Trip”
Reviewed 27 May 2014

This was truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience. The trip began with our driver picking us up in Kampala which we requested as a deviation from where people are usually picked up. They were on time and did not charge extra for picking us up at the location of our choice.

Our driver was very knowledgeable about the surrounding areas and also a very efficient and safe driver. He conducted our game drives (impromtu and planned) and coordinated all of the park fees, lodging and meal arrangements.

Our first destination was Mburo National Park which included a boat ride on Mburo Lake. We high recommend this boat ride as we was many schools of hippos, crocodiles, and birds. Also, while driving through the park we spotted many impala, warthogs, waterbuck, zebra, buffalo, and diuka. Our package also included a hosre ride through parts of the park where we saw these animals at eye level. We signed up for the Budget acoomodations and they were great. Our first night at Eagle's Nest Lodge was very beatiful and the service was great. We had a tent on a platform with comfortable beds inside and a self-contained bathroom. There was no running hot water but the staff heated wated and brought it to our room gladly whenever we asked. The food was good even when we showed up very late for dinner. Breakfast was on time and was exactly as we ordered.

On the drive to Bwindi we stop at the museum of Southern Uganda which was very informative. Also, to reach Bwindi we drove through Queen Elizabeth National Park where we spotted all of the previously mentioned animals but also elephants and topps as well. In Bwindi we stayed at Bouhoma Cummunity Lodge which was inside the park. It had the same platform/tent layout with a self contained bathroom including running hot water. We stayed here 2 nights, the food was good and the atmosphere was very pleasant. Everyone staying there was either finished with or on their way to the gorilla trek so there were many stories to be shared. The staff was very attentive.

Our gorilla trek happened the next day and it was great. We were separated into groups at the bottom of the mountain according to which gorilla family we would track and see. Proters to carry your gear and walking sticks were available for extra purchase. My wife and I did not purchase these and we fely fine during the hike. Our hike lasted about 4 hours until we came across the gorilla family. Other groups saw there gorilla family much sooner the first being 40 minutes. It was a beautiful hike and the guides stopped as often as the group requested. Be sure to bring plenty of water since there is no way of telling how long you will be hiking. Also it is recommended to wear long sleeves as sometime buswacking is necessary to catch up with the gorilla family. Once we got to the gorilla family we met the trackers that had been communicating with our guide via CBs to direct us to them. You have 1 hour to veiw the family and the guides try to clear away good view points for you to see the family. It was an amazing thing to see these animals in there natural habitat.

After the hike we took a community walking tour of Bouhoma Village were the showed us the local banana beer and gin makers, the school grounds and a beautiful walk throuh banana feilds and along the river.

The next day was a quick breakfast and long (11+ hour) drive back to Kampala. The Lodge served us breakfast, packed us lunch, and we also stopped at a restaurant for lunch. There was no shortage of food.

Be prepared for a lot of time in the car. In our opinion there is no way to avoid this if you want to do this trip and it is most definitely worth it. Our driver, Sula, was great. He was very knowledgeable and made sure that we stayed on schedule. He asked us many times if the schedule was not good for us, making sure that our trip was comfortable ever step of the way. He even bought (not brought) us avocodos after my wife expressed interest in purchasing some from a roadside stand.

Overall, we highly recommend this trip. The coordination across continents was easy with the management office and the driver was excellent.

Visited May 2014
Helpful?
3 Thank Matthew R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Long Beach, California
Level Contributor
45 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
“Exceeded expectations”
Reviewed 3 March 2014

My girlfriend and I just finished a five day trip with APS to see the Gorillas the various other animals in the region. The guide assigned to us, Sula, made the experience incredible and was a wealth of knowledge of the areas and animals. He went above and beyond to make sure we were happy. The accommodations were above par, and we were impressed with the staff we dealt with at all locations. It was nice that everything was taken care of for the five days we were on the tour, and handled in a very professional manner.
When booking our trip we had concerns, and Edris was always there via e-mail to answer our questions.
If we were to return I would not hesitate to use APS again and would recommend them to anyone heading to Uganda.

Visited February 2014
Helpful?
3 Thank ericg68
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“All excellent - fell in love with Uganda through APS!”
Reviewed 8 February 2014 via mobile

Keep and open mind for East Africa, things may change - that's what we were told before heading to Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda! APS showed us a Uganda that far exceeded our expectations - what a wonderful country! Edward was our guide and he was great, the restaurants we went to were delicious, his driving was top notch and he even spotted us a leopard to complete our big 5! In fact, his excitement over our excitement was so lovely - the 3 of us cheered and high 5d! The hotels we stayed at were also perfect!!

Visited January 2014
Helpful?
3 Thank Ranaway82
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Denver, Colorado
Level Contributor
11 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Queen Elizabeth/Kibale/Murchison Falls National Parks with African Pearl Safaris”
Reviewed 2 October 2013

I cannot speak highly enough about APS and their services. From the beginning of our trip planning in Colorado to the day we returned from our trek across Uganda, Edris and Kenneth have been the best representatives of any travel company I have used. Edris responds very quickly to all inquiries and even came to introduce himself to us in Kampala upon the return from our journey, and Kenneth was very knowledgeable, accommodating and a real delight to chat with for our extended periods of time in the car. I cannot wait to return to Uganda and for any and all tours I book, APS will be the only option. (We did this tour in summer of 2012).

Visited July 2013
Helpful?
3 Thank Austin L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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