Dear Magic Safaris,
It's been a week since our plane landed back in Zaventem-Brussels. After 3 weeks of intense travelling in Uganda and Rwanda, re-adjusting to the western lifestyle is slowly taking place. Our trip to East Africa was a very intense one. When we read the program before, we were pleased about the variety of activities planned. When you are actually doing all the planned trips, you realise what a luxury it is to be able to "come home" and relax. I can't imagine doing such a loaded program without the camping style that Magic Safaris offers. The tents where always ready when we wanted a rest. The meals always offered in great style, wherever we where. We both valued the fine cuisine very high and were surprised that the quality of the meals far exceeded our highest expectations. I can only congratulate the organisation of the logistics team because they truly elevated our safari experience.
Uganda itself is an intriguing country. I've never seen a country that has so many faces. We started on the shores of Lake Victoria and took a trip to the Mabamba Wetlands. We were really amazed by the beauty of the swamps, dotted with lilies and numerous amazing birds, including the impressive shoebill stork. After that we shifted to the beautiful Kibale Forest to track the chimpanzees. The trip to the Kibale Forest campsite itself was nice because you see the landscape changing. The intense-green tea plantations on the hill slopes, fields of banana-trees, and lots of cheerful people working on the fields, are wonderful. The Kibale forest-hike was a highlight on our safari. Even if we hadn't seen any chimp (though we finally did) it would still have been an amazing trip trough a magnificent part of forest.
The trip to Mweya in the Queen Elizabeth National Park was also quite impressive. When you leave the densely forested areas of Kibale, you first pass the impressive Rwenzori mountains to end up in the dry Savannah in Mweya. All on the same day! Every shift we did, the landscape changed, making even the longer drives all very pleasant.
Another place that intrigued us was the Kyambura Gorge. A thick rainforest lying in a gorge in the middle of dry Savannah! The Gorilla trekking in Bwindi was one of the most spectacular moments we ever witnessed. Viewing these magnificent creatures in their own environment was a very emotional experience for us. We hiked trough the "Bwindi impenetrable forest" to get to the gorillas. The hike itself was pretty tough in our case, but definitely worth it!
We are also very pleased about the carefully selected camping sites around the country. Every place had its unique way of breathing relaxation; be it the spectacular view of the Nile at Murchison Falls or the Kazinga channel at Mweya, the tropical birds and the monkeys singing and shouting at dawn, the water birds and fishermen heralding a new day. There is always something to make you smile.
A final point we valued a lot is the cunning guidance of the driver/guides. We felt secure in the car, which is absolutely uneasily attained in the "Kampala impenetrable traffic." We felt the joy our drivers had in showing us their country. All have a very complete knowledge about the local fauna and flora. When we saw something that was difficult to determine, our drivers always took the time to get a proper view on the animals (and even plants!). A flamingo on the Edward's Flats that should not have been there was the start of a discussion about bird identification that made us laugh plenty times. Our guide was just as excited as we were. We felt he was part of our group instead of a usual driver/guide attitude.
This safari was without any doubt the best travel experience we had. Rwanda and Uganda are both countries with a very rich culture, history, fauna and flora. The "integral" approach of the Magic Safari's concept made it possible for us to learn a lot in such a short time. We had a wonderful time that will be remembered fondly.
We thank Magic Safaris for this fantastic experience and will surely recommend you to anyone planning to visit Uganda and Rwanda.
Stijn en Nathalie
View the itinerary of the Classic Uganda + Rwanda Safari.