My wife & I traveled with 8 friends in September this year & had a truly awesome two night stay at Ishasha Wilderness camp in QEII National Park, Uganda as part of a more extensive Uganda & Rwanda overland safari. Ishasha Wilderness Camp is operated, owned & managed by Wild Frontiers Uganda. A quality, top-class company with (in our opinion) the best professional field guides Uganda has. Our guides were Joseph & George whom we requested as they had been our chaperones on our 2009 overland safari for 12 days in Uganda. We had stayed at Ishasha Wilderness Camp previously, however the Ishasha we had stayed at has since undergone a massive re-development, refurbishment. It has gone upscale in terms of the quality of guest accommodation, guest facilities & product delivery. It was a whole `new look` Ishasha we came to & wow, what a transformation, embellishing & not in any way detracting from the unique position & location of the `old`Ishasha we had so much enjoyed on our first stay. But it remains amazing ´value-for-money`in fact, we`d venture to suggest `exceptional value-for-money` is a more apt & fair testiment.
For a start the guest tented suites are three times the size of what used to be guest tented accommodation. The bedroom was 11m x 5m & a separate en-suite bathroom, 4.5m x 5m - huge. The decor has been so tastefully & thoughtfully done, with a billowed white shroud material as a `roof` (below the actual canvas of the tent structure roof) - ratan mat coverings over a concrete pad floor, large bug screen covered windows - two at the back of the tented suite on each side of what was a king sized & so comfortable bed - two on one side of the tent, & two on either frontage of the wood framed, wooden door of the tent. You could choose to have the canvas roll-down covers on the interior of the bug screen windows set at whatever level of open, or partially closed or fully closed as you wished, as the canvas window covers roll & have velco strips on each side & the top; we chose to have ours down as it just meant the breeze flowed through the tented suite, whereas others who may not have extensive experience of sleeping in the African bush, may prefer the windows covered. Each tented suite has a generously large his side & her side wardrobe, two bedside tables, a large `trunk` at the foot of the bed & a writing desk & chair. Bed side lamps can be operated all night as they are sourcing solar stored power. The bathroom is astonishing by other comparative standards of other safari camp tents we`ve stayed in, in fact it is as big as most safari camp tent bedrooms are in other safari destinations we`ve been. Big vanity & basin, two separate towel rack locations, one by the basin on the vanity, the other along a big wooden bench top where the generous amenities are placed. Modern flush loo, wonderful walk-in shower area that has a seriously large rain-bucket shower head & amazingly, water doesn`t splash all over the floor outside the shower stall as they have recessed the floor in a concave fashion with a bigger than normal outlet drain in the shower stall floor. Overall, a fabulous guest tented suite, way more than one expects. Mainlodge at Ishasha is set between the two pathways leading to the guest tented suites that are set out along the river frontage. It has a very tall A frame thatched roof, but open on three sides which again means the breeze flows easily through the guest area. As we were a party of 10, we dined at the large dining table, but in addition there are three if not four smaller dining tables for couples & there was one other couple in camp during our stay. All meals are included & portions are certainly more than adequate; you place a a la carte order for your breakfast - cereals, fresh cooked muffins, toast, eggs prepared any style, bacon, tomato, sizzling locally prepared sausages etc, tea, coffee, hot chocolate & various juices. Lunch was a pre-set menu, again generous helpings & dinner, wow, very special in both choice of cuisine & the presentation. The staff team were always there, in-&-around, willing to help & the lads on the bar - well, we kept them busy & they too delivered great service with a smile. Gem viewing in the QEII National Park has gotten much better by virtue of the robust numbers of Uganda Kob, Tsessebe & other plains game, specifically warthog clans & buffalo herds which have swelled since last we were there. The crowning glory of this region in QEII & its iconic inhabitants are the tree climbing lions & we had wonderful sightings, stationary in the safari 4x4 quite literally directly under lioness & cubs a matter of 5m, 6m above us in the Sycamore fig trees. A brilliant leopard with a wildebeest calf high in a tree was another highlight of our safari game drives & you can`t go without mentioning a kaleidoscope of birds, especially raptors - Bateleur, Marshall, Brown Snake & Steppe eagles plus a number of different buzzards & kites, plus four different species of owls (during the daylight hours!) Anybody contemplating a safari that includes QEII National Park, do yourselves a huge favour & include Ishasha Wilderness Camp - minimum 3 nights or you`ll kick yourself when you have to leave, if you only book for two. Neal the camp manager has the place humming like a finely tuned big diesel engine; he`s a real character & equally, knows what guests expect & ensures his team are up to the delivery thereof. We`re heading back to Uganda in 2014 & Ishasha is going to be our launching pad for our QEII tree-climbing lions focus on that safari. It deservedly commands a reputation as the best zip code in QEII - by a long chalk.
Allan & Muriel
Buenos Aires, Argentina
Minimum stay has to be 3 nights - the game viewing ranks right at the top of the spectrum & QEII...
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