This stage of our 8 week adventure started with a flight from Windhoek in Namibia, down to Johannesburg and then finally flying into Entebbe in Uganda. Not much to do in Entebbe but overnighted at the charming Karibu Guest House which was a nice place to relax and explore their Botanic Gardens.
We then flew for an hour out of Entebbe to Mweya and stayed one night at Mweya Safari Lodge. Our main activity was a sunset cruise on the Kazinga Channel in the Queen Elizabeth National Park which is home to crocs, hippos and birdlife. The lodge had a comfy bar with a 70kg pair of tusks from a bygone era.
- The following day was an interesting drive to Ishasha Bush Camp which involved some pretty rough and slow going 4wd roads. First stop along the way was chimpanzee trekking in the very pretty and forested Chamburu Gorge which is about 16km long and home to about 30 chimpanzee. This was 50/50 whether we would find them. The walk was very pleasant roaming around tracks and coming very close to pods of hippo in the river which was good viewing in pursuit of the chimps. After about 2 hours walking our guide found 3 on a track which allowed us to follow by foot. They move fast so we were scrambling along the trails behind them. Soon they had connected with about 12 more. Great experience given how hard it is to find them. Then on to Ishasha Bush Camp which is an upscale tented camp with a great African feel on a fast flowing Ntungwe river. Spent 2 nights here and a full day of game viewing in Queen Elizabeth National Park. Pretty park and the highlight was spotting 2 cheetah and the commotion it caused so many animals all warning each other they were on the move.
- Leaving Ishasha behind we headed to Bwindi Impenetrable Forest for a 3 night stay at Buhoma Lodge. Wonderful treetop lodge with a great feel and staff. Went on a community walk which included coffee grinding demonstration and banana gin making process with an old local Henry. Then up the hill to visit a pygmy village which is where some got relocated from the forest. Pretty miserable existence but they seemed happy.
- Day 2 of our stay was the gorilla trek which involved a very scenic but steep 90 minute climb up one of the hills. Fortunately they were easily found in the forest once at the top so had a great experience viewing them eating and moving about. Joy’s trip highlight.
- Our final day was a 3hr trek to the waterfall which was a very pretty walk thru rainforest to a decent set of falls. Huge thunder and lightening storm mid afternoon which was refreshing. A great location for a few days, excellent lodge, some good people to chat to around a coals fire in the evening and of course the gorillas.
- Arrival into Zanzibar was shitful when we missed a connection and spent 8 hours in Nairobi airport between midnight and 7.30am. Finally arrived to a very quaint arabic influenced Stone Town. Staying at Mizingani Seafront Hotel which is very attractive and historic in its design. Stone Town is a bit rundown but that is part of the charm of the myriad of narrow alleyways busy with a mix of tourist and normal daily living. Great to walk around. Waterfront has been rebuilt and very vibrant at night with eating markets making a good cheap choice to enjoy the sunset and all the activity of locals diving into the ocean.
- The first of our two fulldays was spent exploring the alleyways finding two good coffee shops in Puzzleword and Zanzibar Coffee House. The second was has great staff and pick of the bunch. Visited the slavery exhibit which was hugely interesting to understand the brutal past and also strolled past Freddie Mercuries house where he spent his first 8 years.
- Our final day here was spent further wandering the streets, visited the local food and market, some more historic buildings and then had my 60th birthday dinner at the new Hyatt hotel.
The last few days of the trip were spent on Kendwa Beach on the north east coast of Zanzibar. Great water and the whitest of sand.