A road trip in Uganda and Kenya is a memorable one as there are very many attractions and things to discover in both countries. By visiting Uganda and Kenya, you will definitely have attained a complete African trip because all which makes Africa a perfect spot for safaris predominantly exist in these two amazing countries. Last year (2018), I and my girlfriend went for a Uganda-Kenya road trip and we are glad to share our great memories with you in this article.
We arrived at Entebbe International Stadium at around 07:00 AM and we found our driver-guide (Emmanuel) whom we had ordered for the suitable rooftop vehicle from 4X4 Car Rental Uganda together with our hired car the Land Cruiser TZ. We first cleared all the balances we had for our entire trip and then we were given all the necessities for the trip before we set off. Our first visit was Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park to enjoy the astounding gorilla expeditions.
The journey to Bwindi Forest National Park a home to mountain gorillas was very scenic and above it all we had a vivacious and collaborative driver-guide (Emma) who could narrate for us amazing stories on the way plus also letting us know some of the attractions we passed-by on the way, including the Uganda Equator where we even stopped and took photos for remembrance.
Due to the stopovers at some spots on our journey, we reached Bwindi Forest National Park when it is almost turning dark (at around 07:10 PM) – hence we spent like 11 hours on way driving because we left the airport at 07:47 AM. Emma dropped us to our booked lodge within the park (Gorilla Forest Camp) and he went to also take a rest. Gorilla Forest Camp was convenient to us and its prices are really reasonable, we liked everything at the lodge including the serene gardens, a terrace with commanding views, its bar and generally its stylish setting.
Very early in the morning, we had breakfast at the camp’s fantastic restaurant and then Emma was already in touch with us hence he drove us to the park headquarters at Buhoma. We attended the briefings at exactly 07:30 AM and then begun the gorilla trekking session at 08:30 AM being led by experienced park rangers. We did the activity in groups and we were put 8 individuals per group.
In the group I and my girlfriend were in went to trek the oldest gorilla family in the park – Mubare gorilla family. We trekked Mubare for almost 3 hours before we met it and it is really adorable to interact with this family of 11 members which is led by Kanyonyi, a silverback. The interaction with Mubare lasted for only one hour, as it is authorized, but the experience we achieved from that one hour was really great.
On addition to gorilla trekking, we were also amazed by the outstanding culture of the ‘first forest people’ – Batwa Pygmies, on the Batwa trail in the Park. After enjoying the awesome gorilla trekking expeditions in Bwindi, Emma drove us to Queen Elizabeth National Park which we accessed via the Ishasha Sector. We spent the night at Ishasha Wilderness Camp and it was on the next day that we unveiled the extra ordinariness of Queen Elizabeth National Park – The Medley of Wonders.
In this very Ishasha sector, we were so surprised to meet lions resting on the tree branches since it was something we were unfamiliar of. These amazing tree-climbing lions are often seen during the noon hours and we were told by our Park Ranger that they climb the tree branches to hide the too much sunshine of the noon hours.
We really loved this! Still in the Park, we came across the eye-catching Kazinga Channel which hosts a large number of wildlife species along with a myriad of bird life. At the Channel, we indulged in many breathtaking activities like the boat safaris through which we viewed a number of animals at the shores, among them include elephants, buffaloes, Nile Crocodiles, and Hippos plus aquatic birds.
From Queen, we drove straight to Kibale Forest National Park where we enjoyed its major activity there – chimpanzee trekking. Besides chimpanzees, Kibale comprises of various primate species that we got a chance to spot such as; L’Hoest Monkeys, black and white Colobus, blue monkeys, grey-cheeked mangabey, Olive baboons, Pottos, Galagos, Vervet monkeys, and bush babies, among others. At Kibale we camped at Primate Lodge and it was such a fantastic place to be!
From Kibale, we continued with our road trip to the mighty Murchison Falls National Park, and this was a full-day drive from Kibale. In the morning it is when we enjoyed the amazing things in Murchison majorly the cascading falls (Murchison Falls) and abundant wildlife such as large concentration of hippos and Nile Crocodiles, Lions, Elephants, Leopards, and Buffaloes, plus many others which we viewed on our game drives in the park.
Here we stayed at Sambiya River Lodge and I can’t say it is all that exceptional and fantastic but since it is a mid-range option, it is somehow good and fits in well. We left Murchison Falls National Park very early in the morning and headed to Jinja town, where we drove for almost 5 and half hours.
We reached Jinja at around midday and we were able to enjoy some astonishing activities at the source of Nile River such as white water rafting, kayaking and boat safaris. We then spent the night at ‘Source of the Nile Hotel’ where its services were convincing.
Very early in the morning after getting breakfast, we set off to the majestic Masai Mara National Reserve in Kenya, which I firmly recommend every wildlife lover to go to. Driving from Jinja to Masai Mara was a 9 hours’ drive via Kisumu. We had supper at Mara River Lodge’s restaurant where we also spent the night from. In the next day’s morning is when we caught up with the Park’s extraordinary magic.
This is one place you should really visit as long as you are still alive!! We started our new day in the Park with a spectacular view of the migration of almost 2 million wildebeests, thousands of Zebras and thousands of various antelope species thronging the Mara River to access the mighty Masai Mara National Park. It was really very great and magical!!
On the Mara River as wildebeests and other animals were crossing the Mara River to enter and enjoy the virgin pastures in Masai Mara National Park, many predators like Crocodiles and Lions were ambushing these migrating animals and the entire view was more than exceptional.
We were told by the park Rangers that these migrating animals migrate in large numbers from Masai Mara’s counter Park in Tanzania – Serengeti National Park in search of fresh pastures and it happens every July to November annually. We were the most fortunate people really to have been traveled in August and caught up with such an amazing and thrilling Wildebeest migration.
Besides this great migration, in the Park on our game drives we were able to spot all the popular Africa’s big five which include; Lions, Rhinos, Leopards, Cape buffaloes, and Elephants. We viewed very many other wildlife species in abundance plus a myriad of bird species.
It was such an exhilarating road trip to Uganda and Kenya. After finishing our road trip, Emma (our driver-guide) dropped us at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport – Kenya’s airport, and he went back to Uganda. We really enjoyed our trip and we didn’t get serious inconveniences; the car was superb, our guide was friendly and lively both people of Uganda and Kenya were very friendly and cooperative, accommodations were good, and generally everything was magnificent.
The most interesting things on our trip were; trekking the endangered mountain gorillas, viewing the tree climbing lions, and the Wildebeest migration, they were really exceptional and fabulous!! We can’t hold the joy indeed and we can’t wait to go back to both Uganda and Kenya.