Travelling to such a security obsessed part of the world was a little unnerving at first but we got the hang of it! We were also plagued by health issues for the second half of our travels which limited our involvement with organised activities especially the last week which required almost daily medical attention and an inability to do any water based activities!
On the other hand we received first class support from Eric in Uganda and were sorry to say goodbye, and in Kenya there was great professionalism with a personal touch.
The famous African hospitality and friendliness through adversity was also very welcoming.
I grew up in Uganda and expected many changes, but it was surprising how much I remembered! This was our bespoke element of the holiday and Eric was a wealth of cultural, social and political information as well as his known specialist interests in wildlife and conservation.
I also saw much that was new and learned a great deal, feeling more 'at peace' for having made the journey.
A special mention should be made for the tour staff, from being helped through immigration to meeting Brian for a meal in Kampala (where I had the most amazing grilled tilapia) and Eric's dedication to meeting our needs in an engaging way, the whole experience was truly excellent.
This rating reflects the overall amazing quality of our &Beyond; accommodation in the Masai Mara, and when we were unwell the staff were very supportive and caring.Four nights was sufficient as there are only so many times you can go on safari! Our balloon ride ended in a 35km/h controlled braced sideways impact that flattened termite mounds and we ended up next to a herd of elephants!
Our Nairobi transfers weren't so great as we had a 3hr wait at the airport 1st time and then just 20 minutes in our luxurious day room at Hemingways on the second transfer.
As soon as got to the airport we felt some hostility with a sense that tourists are tolerated for their income rather than welcomed. Sally was frequently ignored and felt like a second class citizen. Flying out was the worst airport experience I can recall, taking two hours to clear entrance, checking in and immigration all in open heat and humidity, in fact I collapsed and needed medical attention but was determined to get back on the plane!
Of course at the resort the vibe was much better and our main pleasure was the truly excellent meals. Our private chalet was impressive but its open design meant no aircon and there was nowhere comfortable to sit in the entire resort. If I had been able to swim that week my mood would have been better but it felt like fancy imprisonment!
A great way to be reintroduced to Kampala, unpretentious but comfortable with good walking access to the city. Lovely spacious dining area with views to the golf course and well appointed room in the 'executive wing'.
We felt very comfortable and welcome here and it was well placed for walking around my childhood haunts in Jinja.
Were re scheduled to Paraa Lodge which I last visited when I was 11, great character and excellent base for safaris which Eric undertook with determination!
Good stopover for our trip around Western Uganda and handy for the local swamp walk.
We felt rather self conscious being the only guests and felt like royalty! Our cabin was huge and had a fantastic private balcony overlooking the roaring river fed by glaciers. We also had a very memorable walk up into the Ruwenzori foothills but a little alarmed that the ranger had an automatic weapon!
Excellent well appointed oasis in the heart of Entebbe.
We think this is the best place we have ever stayed, also a real haven when unwell, the food was great, the people genuinely caring and we adored the resident warthogs!
A mix up as we had booked an evening meal but the kitchen was closed. Jamie Pallin nailed this as quirky, with basic meals and challenging original stairs, and we had to forgo our Stonetown tour as I needed medical attention. The proprietor was nevertheless helpful.
After Kichwa Tembo this felt more 'corporate', and as stated elsewhere wasn't a very comfortable experience but it was possible to eat excellent healthy meals.
The access road was terrible and we heard repeated stories of government inaction and corruption, but speaking out landed you in jail!
Jamie was always dedicated and helpful, and he couldn't have foreseen some of our difficulties. Overall he made possible a very special trip.