I just have two words: SIMPLY SPECTACULAR. Seeing this amazing country through Churchill Tailored Safaris was one of the best decisions that our group got to make. You guys are the best.
We had a memorable time in the pearl of Africa. I told other colleagues. They are now looking through your website, for the perfect fit. Told them that the tailor-made option is simply on point!1 Thank you for the fast responses too!
I really had an experience like no other. Churchill Tailored Safaris, you guys, you’re definitely doing a great job. Thank You!!!
I literally gave Churchill Safaris less than 48 hours to arrange an 8 day itinerary for me including gorilla tracking in Uganda. Brenda’s customer service was superb, and they surely delivered! Brighton was my guide and was there waiting for me at the airport. We had a fabulous time together. Brighton made sure I was always happy with each accommodation, and ensured we were moving at a nice leisurely pace with plenty of time for stopping and taking pictures. I can’t say enough about Brighton, and what a kind, knowledgeable person he is, and a very safe driver. I was having such as great time, that I asked if I could extend my trip for 3 more days. I entrusted Brighton to come up with an itinerary that he knew I’d enjoy, and Brenda worked her magic, again choosing beautiful accommodations for me. In the end, I tracked chimpanzees, gorillas, and golden monkeys. I stayed at beautiful Lake Bunyonyi, saw the Nile source, saw lions, hippos, and elephant families at Queen Elizabeth National Park, and countless other adventures. The Ugandan people are the loveliest people I have met in Africa, and since it was low season, I practically had all the lodges to myself. It was supposed to be rainy season, but the weather was great. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend Churchill Safaris!
Wow, what an amazing adventure we had in Uganda! We have travelled to other parts of Africa on many occasions, but we have never been looked after so well as on our trip to Uganda organised by Churchill Safaris. Every day was absolutely amazing, made much more special by our wonderful driver and guide, Joseph. Joseph met us at Entebbe Airport with a warm and welcoming smile. Our first night was spent in the beautiful Protea Marriot Hotel on the shore of Lake Victoria. Joseph arranged to collect us the next morning to take us to Mabamba Swamp in the hope of spotting the elusive shoebill. We were not disappointed. Wow, we couldn’t believe we were so close to a real, wild, and very rare shoebill, watching it hunt in the swamp. Our first day was one we will never forget, as was every day of our trip. The drives between our lodges were between 4-6 hours, and the beautiful scenery was so interesting to see, as were the villages. Joseph looked after us so well, and made sure we had plenty to eat and drink on our road journeys. Next stop was the Crater Lakes Region where we trekked with the chimpanzees in Kibale Rainforest. It was amazing, and again we got so close to the chimps! Joseph was the perfect guide with a wealth of information. We learned so much about Ugandan politics, the people, the history and so much more. Thank you to Churchill Safaris, and especially Joseph, for the most amazing Ugandan adventure!
My wife & I booked our gorilla trekking and accommodation through Churchill Safaris on the recommendation of a friend. And now I would like to pass on that same recommendation to others.
Our arrangements were done over several months (by choice) and Churchill was consistent & obliging during all that time, with quick & accurate responses to all our questions. They provided us with flexible options for our travels to Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, Uganda, to see the gorillas over two days (a different group on each day) and they organised our accommodation for a week at Buhoma Community Haven Lodge.
Once we had decided on the best options that would tie in with our other travel times and locations we were presented with a confirmed itinerary which, I’m pleased to say, worked out a treat.
Accolades are also due to Isaac, our tour guide & host for the week. He was an excellent driver with a very amiable personality and he was extremely knowledgeable with regard to Uganda in general and its wildlife.
Many thanks to everyone at Churchill Safaris. Individual & company input made our holiday spectacular.
Some places you can for sure go and enjoy as an independent traveler OR you can get a travel agency and guide and get 500% better experience. We were so lucky that our research let us to the Churchill Safari. The communication before the trip was smooth and all we were promised was delivered. And much more. We’ve been traveling on the budget level and were treated like princesses (we were 4 friends and went as a group). Great accommodations, each little different, plenty of delicious food. All the safaris were simply amazing and nature was very generous to show us many animals we came to see. The chimp tracking was fun and the gorilla tracking was mindblowing. There is nothing our guide Chris would not solve for us and he was not only very knowledgeable, flexible and kind, but he also paid attention to details and was pure fun. My first trip to Africa most likely couldn’t go any better.
Churchill Safaris, and Brenda in particular, gave fantastic customer service. We were trying to visit Uganda on a very tight budget and for a limited amount of time, and Brenda was very responsive to our needs and did her very best to accommodate our needs with a brilliant itinerary. I would highly recommend Churchill Safaris to anyone considering a trip to Uganda.
The first question after every trip is: what was your highlight? At times, this is the most difficult question. Either one has none. Or one has so many, that it would be unfair to declare a single event as THE highlight. So, our answer is: the whole trip!
But let‘s start at the beginning. My wife and I booked this two week Uganda Safari roundtrip as our honeymoon. We both have been in other countries in Africa, extensive travelled most of Asia etc. Once landed in Entebbe, the first in the whole line of people waiting was Brighton, who will be our driver and guide for the whole trip. How lucky we would be to have him! Pick-up accomplished. After a long journey to a unknown country, you know what I am talking about by saying „smooth pick-up is worth a lot“. The next really positive and unexpected surprise was the car. Instead of one of the non-descript luxury 4×4 with tinted glasses or a mini-van (there were so many waiting for tourists), Brighton opened the doors of the true safari icon: a Toyota Land Cruiser! No Air-Con (we can‘t stay it, really)), super comfy seats, fantastic suspension, five different levels of gear (from rear-wheel-drive to 4×4 in full differential mode) making sure, you will never stuck in mud! Alone this gave us already a truly „Safari“ feeling, and we hopped on in fantastic mood despite the long journey and late hour.
When we booked, we did not bother where we will stay nor how long we will be in one place, We set a budget and the overall time, the rest we left to Churchill. Now, sitting on the balcony of our last resort near Kampala the day before flying on, we congratulated ourselves. Churchill booked everything in a way, that whatever expectations we might have had were exceeded. Maybe one of the reasons is, that we did not bother with homepages of lodges, we did not compare and choose, we did not make the itinerary ourselves. We said, what we would like to see (like 2 x Gorilla tracking, 1 x Chimpanzee tracking, and ideally all Big 5 plus what have you in other wild animals), and that was it.
By doing so, you avoid being disappointed by being focussed on this or that lodge, amenity, view etc. Every stay comes as a surprize. And at Churchil‘s, they seem to know their business really well, as there was not a single disappointment. In addition, their planning is very thoughtful. For example: coming back from a Gorilla tracking, muddy, wet, tired, you are extremely grateful if you stay in a lodge, where they take care immediately of all: your dirty shoes, your cloths, and yourselves. Brighton‘s credo is: „Never hurry with Brighton. If you rush, you will miss a lot“. It is so true!
Brighton was our driver AND guide. At the beginning, from other experiences we had, we were a bit skeptical when we learnt that. But then, we had to change our minds. With Brighton, we had a guide who was not only savvy about the general things, but very much able to give us great and balanced insights about Uganda, the history, the culture, the economy, the animals. Can you imagine: he knows 875 birds! Whatever bird we showed him, whe gave us the name, some explanation and picked the page in his Ornithology-bible within seconds to show us a picture of it. He studied all the animals, and you will learn a lot!
As they put in great effort to give you a smooth and rich experience, we did not have to intervene nor had we the urge to change anything. Especially the fact, that Brighton spared us the often ridiculous or even close to insulting experience of so called „cultural events“ (purely and only set-up for tourists, far from contemporary habits) and the often inevitable visits to craft-shops and factories without asking you first is highly valued by us. If we wanted to see something particular, Brighton advised, whether it is possible or worthwhile. We appreciated his honesty.
To summarize: we found a new true friend in Brighton and understand, why Churchill that time called Uganda „the pearl of Africa“. The name of said company was wisely chosen.
We have just finished an 8 day tour around western Uganda with Churchill’s. We booked through Exoticca and had not heard of Churchill’s before but from start to finish the tour exceeded expectations. Our fantastic guide Joseph Okia was waiting for us as we stepped off the plane and took us to a land cruiser which would be our vehicle for the rest of the trip. We were only accompanied by 2 other people which made the tour seem personalised. In terms of itinerary it was very well organised and provided a great variety of activities. Highlights were chimpanzee and gorilla trekking and a boat ride where we saw elephants playing in the water, hippos and crocodiles but we did so much more. From community walks to safari game drives seeing lions, hyenas and giraffes the trip really had it all.
There is no doubt the trip was all the better for having Joseph as our guide. He was very well connected which helped ensure we got the best from each day including the inside track on where to see the best animals. Every day he was doing what he could to ensure we had the best time and that we were able to see what we wanted. He was also flexible to our needs and if we had free time was more than happy to organise things for us such as taking us to the botanical gardens in Entebbe, calling the centre up first to ensure there would be a guide waiting for us when we arrive. During the trip he was very knowledgeable and kept the entire tour very entertaining. We would have no hesitation using Churchill’s again and would recommend asking for Joseph!
Just to introduce ourselves, we were the other two travellers with MartinH889 and yes we did share some wonderful experiences. We could not complain about our guide, Joseph, who managed to drive us through intense mud and up and down the “interesting” roads being the only driver from our side who made it to the tree-climbing lions. . At the end of our trip our fellow travellers were flying out several hours ahead of ourselves but Joseph stayed with us managing our stay to the end. The arrangements were faultless and we had an exciting time getting up close and personal with chimps, maybe a bit too close at one point, and gorillas. The other parts of the trip were equally interesting, the boat trip on the Kazinga Channel and the search for tree-climbing lions (successful) were particular highlights. The hotels and guest houses were all a little isolated with no option but to eat there. The food and drink were reasonably priced, except for one, Lake Mulehe Gorilla Lodge. On arrival we asked for a menu and price list but were told they didn’t have any. Prior to departure we asked for an itemised bill and were told it would be available in the morning. It wasn’t and we were only given a total which turned out to be twice what the others charged. Disappointing. Although we are fit pensioners we found it hard with 130 steps down to our room and the same back. Only they and the last stay at Rwakobo Rock Lodge accepted cards so carry cash. Thank you, Churchill, for organising such a special trip and special thanks to Joseph who met all our needs and more.
Trekking: Refers to going on a long arduous journey, typically on foot in search for anything that will eventually satisfy your soul. The connection between gorilla and trekking is typically visible since one sets off from their places of comfort onto an expedition into the wild and tropics in search for gorillas and interact with nature through the walk in the jungle.
Gorilla trekking is an activity where tourists / people go searching for gorillas in the wild(not actual dictionary definition). Gorilla trekking is currently available in three African countries of Uganda, Rwanda and DRC. The process of gorilla trekking involves hiking or trekking in search for the rare mountain gorillas. Gorilla trekking into Uganda’s biodiverse and mountainous Bwindi impenetrable forest is such a memorable and breathtaking adventure you ought to partake. The setting of the forest is arguably mystical. Unlike any other experience in Africa, the atmosphere of the trek through the jungle is mist and unreal. With each step your anticipation builds and the reward of seeing the last remaining mountain gorilla is spectacular.
A gorilla habituation experience is the process where wild mountain gorillas get used to the presence of humans. In Uganda, gorilla habituation is only done in the southern area of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park in the Rushaga region. The four hour mountain gorilla experience is the newly introduced product by Uganda wildlife authority, a body in charge of Uganda’s 10 world class national and 12 wild life reserves on top of more sanctuaries. This was due to requests from more tourists who feel want to have more time with the wild animals like Mountain gorillas of bwindi national park, golden monkeys in Mgahinga gorilla national park, chimpanzees in kibale national park ,Lions, elephants and Hippos in Queen Elizabeth national park. This is part of experiential tourism where one spends more time with a family of mountain gorillas amidst rangers and trackers, this four hour allows you to capture more different memories in terms of gorilla behaviors,interactions,bonding,grooming,playing,feeding,matinmg,breast feeding and resting which they hardly exercise on a daily one hour visit.
Gorilla permits tend to sell out quickly so its always advised to book your gorilla permit in advance. At Churchill Safaris we advise that you book your safaris on time 3-4 months in advance to avoid short notice disappointments. Gorilla permits tend to run out during high seasons of June, July , August, September, December, January and February each year. Please contact us about the availability of gorilla permits on firstname.lastname@example.org
When looking at the price of a gorilla tour in Uganda and Rwanda. You need to consider three main components, that is gorilla permit , accommodation and transport to and from the park. A budget of gorilla trekking normally ranges from USD 490 to USD 520 per person sharing excluding permits. A gorilla permit price in Uganda currently costs USD 600, in Rwanda it is USD 1500 and then gorilla habituation experience permits cost USD 1500. A budget for accommodation ranges from USD 50 to USD 500 and more for luxury lodges per person sharing.
Only a minimum of 8 people are allowed to trek or visit a given gorilla family in Bwindi, Mgahinga and Volcanoes National Park. Bwindi has about 14 habituated gorilla families allowing only 8 people per day per hour. Gorilla types: the mountain gorilla, one of the world’s most endangered species with estimations indicating that there are about 300 mature individuals left in the world. Eastern lowland gorillas, this is the biggest of all primates mostly inhabiting mountain and lowland tropical forests. Western lowland gorillas, the smallest subspecies but the body of both genders is robust and powerful. Cross river gorilla, the most threatened of all subspecies by habitat loss. Western gorilla, smaller than eastern gorillas but with same physical appearance. Eastern gorilla, largest primate in the world. One of the most amazing creatures in sub Saharan Africa are the mountain gorillas, found mostly in the high altitude areas of Uganda, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo, in reference to a gorilla census carried out in 2011, there are believed to be over 880 mountain gorillas in existence primarily located in Bwindi impenetrable forest throughout the Virunga volcanoes bordering Uganda, Rwanda and democratic republic of Congo.
Every client wants to get the best out of the fee paid for gorilla safaris in either Rwanda or Uganda and the first question that arises is when is the best time for gorilla trekking While mountain gorilla in Uganda and Rwanda can be trekked throughout the whole year, drier months of June, July, August and early September then December up to February are the most preferred.
Bwindi is located in south western Uganda and is divided into four regions. Buhoma region in the North, Ruhija region in the East, Rushaga and Nkuringo in the South, each region has habituated gorilla families for gorilla tracking. The Impenetrable Forest Reserve was gazetted in 1942, upgraded to the BwindiI Impenetrable National Park in 1992 and recognized as a World Heritage Site in 1994.in the local Rukiga language, Bwindi actually means ‘Impenetrable.’ This double warning is apt, for Bwindi is all but impenetrable; 327km2 of tangled vegetation draped over a deeply fissured landscape of steep, slippery valleys and high, draughty ridges. But if the terrain is far from easy to negotiate, it is well worth the effort. Atrek through this, one of Africa’s most ancient rainforests, in search of the endangered Mountain Gorillas, ranks among the world’s premier wildlife encounters Bwindi can be cold especially in the morning and at night, the annual average temperature range is 70C-200C with the coldest period being June and July. Warm clothing is required plus wet weather gear since Bwindi receives up to 2390mm of rain/year. This is concentrated during two wet seasons, short rains in March-May and heavy rains in September-November. Instead of short tropical deluges, rain in Bwindi often falls as long hours of soft drizzle.
A gorilla permit allows you one hour with mountain gorillas in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Mgahinga or Volcanoes National Park. Included in the cost are park entry fees for the respective parks, services of National Park guides/ranges who will escort you to the forest.
The age limit for gorilla tracking (Uganda and Rwanda) and golden monkey trekking (Uganda) is 15years. The authorities are very strict on this, so kindly make sure all clients and children are 15 or older in order to avoid any sad incidents like guest(s) kids being refused to track!… The age limit for trekking chimpanzees in Uganda is 12yrs old and children 10yrs and older are allowed to trek golden monkeys in Rwanda as long as they are accompanied by an adult.