After my round trip last year, which was 11 days and much too short - I came back to Uganda. This... read more
After my round trip last year, which was 11 days and much too short - I came back to Uganda. This... read more
They arranged a tour with charter flights and Gorilla tour. Everything was way beyond our... read more
Completed our tour with Churchill Safaris a week ago. Our day with the gorillas was probably #1 in my experiences travelling. And I thought my trip to the Serengeti 3 years ago was impossible to surpass. Communications with Ether and Brenda during the planning stage for our tour were great and alrequired changes were handled quickly and efficiently. Our guide Isaac was a delight. His knowledge of Uganda wildlife, culture and history was impressive. The Serena Kigali was a beautiful hotel. The Mahogany Springs Lodge in Bwindi was a 3 star but that's pretty good in a country as poor as Uganda is and out in the jungle to boot. The staff were EXCELLENT! And a couple of nice perks were free laundry (4 items), cleaning our hiking boots after our trek, and a free first beer at dinner. Mweya Lodge was great in Queen Elizabeth park and is probably a 4 Star. We stayed in tent #22 and it was great. The view of the channel was spectacular and had warthogs and hippos grazing on our front yard.
And the gorilla trek....AMAZING!!!
Anyway, I highly recommend Churchill Safaris
I cannot recommend Churchill Safaris for customized safaris in Uganda. Yes, Brenda and Ether are very responsive to inquiries and answer emails very quickly. But the quality of the trip depends on the quality of the itinerary and the professionalism of the driver/guide. Both were lacking for my experience with Churchill Safaris.
As most of the other reviewers, I had a customized itinerary. I wish that I would have given more information about whether to return from Rwanda or Uganda. Since I was in Western Uganda and nearer Kigali than Entebbe, I would have appreciated going home from Rwanda and not having to return to Entebbe. But this was not suggested and I believe it should have been suggested. I was not aware that this was a possibility since this was my first visit to this area.
The suggested visit on the way back to Entebbe was a complete waste of time and prevented using Mburo National Park as the night’s accommodation which I would have preferred. I also would have preferred eliminating 2 stops that were included to break up the drives and spending an additional night at the National Park instead.
The driver/guide did not inspect the Land Rover sufficiently before the trip and there were issues with the vehicle that could have been fixed easily before the trip. These were issues that affected the safety of the vehicle. He also was a careless driver who drove too fast on slick roads and even got us stuck for over an hour and risked the vehicle landing on its side.
I really hesitated writing a negative review when Ether and Branda provide such wonderful support. But in the end, the itinerary and the driver/guide are what make or break the trip. I found both lacking with Churchill.
There was also some pressure from the driver to submit an excellent review on TripAdviser.
They arranged a tour with charter flights and Gorilla tour. Everything was way beyond our expectations. Everybody was very nice and competent, the organisation was perfect, always on time and the accomodations included were of top level.
I really want to recommend them.
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.
Thank you Ceebee42
We are honored and glad to know your safari went well and met your expectations. This means more and its our joy to make sure you have a meaningful stay in the Pearl of Africa. Thank you for choosing Churchill Safaris and Joseph as your guide. We hope to have you back in the pearl and in case you are please don't hesitate to use our services.
Thank you Cheers!!
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!
Thank You Martin
We are delighted to know your safari went well and enjoyed your trip and the company of our safari guide Joseph.. Thank you for choosing Churchill Safaris and look forward to having you back here in the Pearl of Africa.
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 4x4 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 4x4 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.
Thank you Reto
We are happy to know that you had a memorable and great experience in the pearl of Africa in the company of Churchill Safaris together with our experienced guide Brighton we are delighted in that and hope to have you back for more of the same and even much better experience in the pearl Of Africa.
Thank you for choosing Churchill Safaris!!