Our first stop in Uganda was in the area of Lake Mihingo, a genuine and remote region which we visited on our way to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, home of the gorillas.
Lake Mihingo is an ideal location for horse-riding lovers that allowed us to discover one of the least visited parks in Uganda.
From there we travelled to Bwindi by road. On the way, we stopped to visit local markets and talk to the local people.
In these remote areas of Uganda not everyone is used to seeing Westerners, and children often laughed and ran away at our sight, calling us mzungu, "whites", with a mixture of curiosity and fear.
During our visit to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park we stayed at Clouds Mountain Gorilla Lodge, an incredibly cozy and rustic hotel with excellent cuisine. Most of the accommodations near the national park are located on the East side, while our hotel was located to the West of the park, a more remote area.
I was surprised by the deep green colours of the landscape, a thick and lush jungle, and it was also a bit cold at night. In fact, we had to lit the fireplace in the evenings.
From Clouds Mountain Gorilla Lodge we trekked through the jungle to get closer to the gorillas. We were actually very lucky, and we were able to observe the gorillas after only one hour of trekking. There, the paths are slippery and the slopes are steep, but it's worth the effort to get close to such amazing animals.
Once we found the gorillas, we spent an hour observing them, the maximum time allowed in the park to be with the gorillas.
While we were observing these incredible animals I was able to notice their behaviour and their human side. We saw a gorillas family, with their children, and we felt a very warm affection for them. On the other hand, we also felt a huge respect for the silverback gorillas, powerful and very imposing animals.
After the trekking we returned to the hotel and, from there, we headed to the village of Nkuringo, just a 5-minute walk downhill.
We walked about on our own to get closer to the people and visit the school and the church.
We returned to the village the following day, this time accompanied by a guide, who talked about the local life of the inhabitants. It was a very genuine and respectful experience, not intrusive at all, since we were the only visitors in the village.
The next day we crossed the national park from side to side on a 4-hour trek through the heart of the jungle. It’s also possible to drive around the park for about 3 hours, but trekking is the best way to get closer to nature.
On reaching the other side our car was waiting for us to take us the rest of the way to Semliki.
Semliki is a very remote place that very few people visit in Uganda. There, we went on a boat trip on Lake Albert in search of the prehistoric shoebill bird, which is very difficult to see, and we were extremely lucky to spot it.
The following day, in the morning, we went on a trek to observe the chimpanzees, and in the afternoon we went on a safari.
On the morning of the next day we flew to the northern part of the country, over the Murchinson Falls, until we arrived at the Kidepo Valley National Park, near the South Sudanese border.
We were immediately awestruck by the beauty of the landscape. After spending several days in the lush jungle, at Kidepo the savanna was waiting for us; a landscape that reminded me of the Serengeti or Masaai Mara.
There, we were completely alone, and we didn’t see any other visitor in the whole park.
We stayed at Apoka Safari Lodge, a genuine hotel featuring a spectacular pool, excavated in the very rock, and incredible views over the savannah.
From the hotel we were able to admire the wildlife of the area, because the animals came very close to the lodge.
In Kidepo we enjoyed a really incredible safari in which we were able to observe many different animals and amazing wildlife scenes. It was the best farewell to an amazing trip.