Goway Africa destination specialist Siddharth Bhandari recently returned from Uganda. We asked Siddharth to answer some questions regarding his experience and to share some tips and insight about visiting and selling travel to Uganda.
What do you think is the biggest misconception about Uganda?
Many people think that Uganda is not safe to travel. I think this is not true at all. There was not a single moment during my stay where felt I was unsafe. Ugandans are very warm and welcoming people. They are friendly and always happy to see visitors from other countries. Moreover, our partner organisations in Uganda have top professional guides who have phenomenal knowledge of the country.
What was your favourite hotel / lodge and why?
Kyambura (pronounced “Cham- bu-ra”) Gorge Lodge is my favorite property. The lodge, situated on a hill overlooks the savannah and the gorge. It offers great views from its luxurious guest rooms, which also have an indoor and outdoor shower. Clients can do chimp trekking, walking trails, game drives, and boat cruises on the famous Kazinga Channel from here.
What was your favourite unique stay / experience?
Seeing the mighty Silverback Gorilla in close proximity is something that I will remember for a long time.
As a Goway Africa Expert, was there anything that surprised you?
A lot of people do not know that Uganda also has abundant birdlife. From the tiny “Black Bee-eater” to the mighty “Shoebill Stork”, Uganda is home to more than six hundred amazing bird species. Not to forget the beautiful Crested Crane, Uganda’s National Bird. Uganda is truly a birder’s paradise.
What area would you recommend if clients wanted to extend into another country?
Combining Tanzania with Uganda is a great idea. This way you can also tick off seeing the Great Wildebeest Migration in the Serengeti from your bucket list.
Are there any tips about travelling to Uganda that agents might share with their clients to make their trip more enjoyable?
I would highly recommend clients book two Gorilla treks; simply because on the second trek you can keep your cameras behind and observe the Gorillas without any distraction.
Do you have a favourite local dish?
All the food we had everywhere was great, but the one thing that stood out for me was the Matoke soup. It was simple and delicious, but at the same time something different for my palate. Matoke is a banana that is indigenous to Uganda. They are shorter than regular bananas and are somewhat thicker at the midsection. Also, due to the high starch content, the flesh of unripe matoke bananas is especially hard, so they need to be boiled, steamed, or roasted before consumption.