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Uganda or Kenya? (1 Viewer)

Waxwings

Well-known member
I know this is an unanswerable question, but I would be interested in some thoughts nonetheless.

I am giving some thought to a possible family holiday (about 3 weeks with perhaps 1 week on safari) to Africa in July 2015, and am attempting to settle on a country. Considerations include:
- Diversity of birds (rarity is less important as this is a new part of the world for us, but some noteworthy species would be a bonus)
- Diversity of mammals - The children will be keen to see a good range of large species
- Great scenery
- Low density of tourists - We would like to avoid long queues of landrovers if at all possible!
- Opportunities for walking as well as 4WD travel

Thanks in advance for all your suggestions.
 

birdboybowley

Well-known member.....apparently so ;)
Supporter
England
I guess I'd choose Uganda then - and do the gorillas as that is an amazing experience, and something that I'm sure the kids would enjoy!
You can also visit Queen Elizabeth, Lake Mburo and Murchison Falls NPs for more 'normal' safari experiences.
Visiting forests like Budongo etc will give you the chance for Chimps aswell as trail walking. Excellent range of bird species would be seen (including goodies like Shoebill - which again, non-birders would find pretty amazing!) and the mammal list would be pretty good too - elephant, hippo, giraffe, ungulates, lion, leopard.....
Livingstone tours would be a good agent to use (they had better success than the agent we used...doh!)
 

cheshirebirder

Well-known member
Would have thought Kenya is easier to arrange and would be much better for the mammals ? We've been on package holidays to Kenya twice and it's easy to add on safaris to a beach holiday . Safaris are not cheap but there are a large range of possibilities .Not visited Uganda but you would need a more tailored holiday there I would think.
 

amears

Well-known member
This question keeps cropping up and despite reasonable African experience, I don't really know the answer. I've had a good crack at birding Uganda but it doesn't strike me as family friendly: Kibale has loads of primates but it can be tough, rainforest birding and the wide array of monkey's hard to see too; to get to the best Ugandan sites requires some pretty nasty drives; and it's not noted for the mega mammals of the African plain. I've dipped my toe into Kenya but if you go to the best mammal sites, I doubt it will be 'quiet'; outside of the NPs I saw arid, poor areas only, albeit it down in the SE only; and the NP accom was all too upmarket and touristy for me. Walking opportunities were probably better in Uganda but you still need to be chaperoned by a guide or guard just about everywhere. I wouldn't worry about bird diversity - it's awesome in both.

Kruger's worth considering. It's big enough to get away from the crowds and the rest camps would work very well for families (at a price).

I wonder if Botswana is the answer. Will watch with interest to see what's posted here...
Cheers,
Andy.
 

fluffhead

Active member
I actually would recommend Tanzania. For all the countries it's very difficult to avoid being in a large group of land rovers while viewing elephants and other wildlife. There is a reason why certain parks are popular and many of them are as a result of abundance of animals, ease of booking, and reliability of tour companies. However, Kenya and Tanzania will certainly have the most tourists on safari with you.

I have gone on "safari" in Tanazania and Uganda and the only safari I loved was in Kidepo National Park in Uganda. It didn't have many large mammals but it also didn't have a saturation of a certain mammal species that I try to avoid (homo sapiens). It was the only one of maybe five national parks I've visited that I enjoyed the people/nature ratio. To give you an idea how soured I am on NP (and don't get me started on park fees and conservation practices), I will not go to a NP anymore, rather I'll seek other privately owned lands. It's just not worth it and the safari experience feels rushed, crowded and unauthentic.

As far as birds go, any destination will keep you happy, aside from the forested walks where birds are difficult to see. Also, you'll find it hard because unless you are with a private group, others will likely not have the patience for birders. If you are trying to cut costs this happens a lot with smaller groups being combined by operators to form larger, thus cheaper, groups.

Walking in NP in East Africa is tough. You have to hire a guide and even then it is somewhat restricted. However, they are used to birders so they have knowledgeable guides and programmes set up. If it's your first time, I'd recommend going through a reputable company. I set up everything independently and it's a pain even though I'm very familiar with the local workings! Might not be worth your headache...also, most operators can answer these types of questions directly; keep in mind, your parameters for an ideal vacation are not that rare and they have fielded inquiries for them before.
 

temmie

Well-known member
Go to Southern Luangwa, Zambia. For the above mentioned reasons and awesome wildlife. Zambia is still largely off the radar compared to Kenya/Tanzania, but the wildlife is as good and the whole experience will feel much more authentic. I would stick to savannah rather than tropical forests (Uganda) with kids and generally with people not that much interested in birds or harder-to-see wildlife.
 

mike davidson

Well-known member
I have just returned from Kenya after 21 years there and can recommend a great holiday there despite some adverse comments, recently .
One of the best places to find out about both Kenya and Uganda is the Bird Fair at Rutland Water in August .

For a customised tour I recommend Joseph Kariuki of Nature's wonderland Safaris[ www. nature's wonderland safaris .com ] who is very experienced in such matters . If you want to contact me my email address is [email protected]

Mike D just back from Kenya


I know this is an unanswerable question, but I would be interested in some thoughts nonetheless.

I am giving some thought to a possible family holiday (about 3 weeks with perhaps 1 week on safari) to Africa in July 2015, and am attempting to settle on a country. Considerations include:
- Diversity of birds (rarity is less important as this is a new part of the world for us, but some noteworthy species would be a bonus)
- Diversity of mammals - The children will be keen to see a good range of large species
- Great scenery
- Low density of tourists - We would like to avoid long queues of landrovers if at all possible!
- Opportunities for walking as well as 4WD travel

Thanks in advance for all your suggestions.
 

occasional

Well-known member
Have you ruled out hiring a car ? It might make some difference to where you go, and it sounds like it is more interesting.
 

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