Our trip to Uganda was educational and emotional. We planned our trip with Africa Specialist Donna Piccini, with the main goal being to visit two boys that we sponsor from the African Children’s Choir (ACC). As young boys they stayed with us in Wisconsin in 2006 while on tour with the Choir. We have sponsored them ever since. One our biggest highlights was spending time with each of them, touring their schools and connecting with the hard working ACC staff.
We were very lucky to have our trip coincide with ACC‘s 30 year anniversary celebration. Our last day was spent at the ACC Primary School on the shore of Lake Victoria in Entebbe along with ACC staff, choir children from all thirty years, prior chaperones and other supporters. It was a milestone worth celebrating for this organization that has educated over 52,000 African children.
Audley helped us see the beauty, nature and culture of Uganda. The itinerary set up was the perfect variety from forest, savannah and beautiful lakes, to all the wildlife you could want!
We found a new friend in our driver and guide named Emma, short for Emmanuel. We learned so much from him not only about the animals, birds and parks, but about Uganda and it’s people and culture. We found all aspects fascinating and had so many questions. Emma was happy to share information on tribal backgrounds and traditions.
We compared our cultures, food and discussed so many subjects. He said our time together was too short and he felt like he was on tour too! He handled every detail for us, and each evening as we said goodnight he was sure to tell us what time to eat breakfast and what to wear for the next day. We missed that the next week after we were home!
Emma and our many other guides helped us see some of the most incredible wildlife we’ve ever laid eyes on, from lions running free and herds of zebra to African water buffalo battling head to head.
In Lake Mburo we stopped in the road to let a very large herd of elephants pass through. There were probably 60 — I wish we had have counted! They were all sizes, from a nursing calf to absolutely huge. They kept coming and coming. We didn’t mind the wait on the road. The elephants plod so gracefully!
We were fortunate on our Chimpanzees trek in Kibale Forest National Park to find a very large family in a very large fig tree. When they came out of the trees we followed them through the forest. We were amazed how close we were to them. They let us watch them groom each other and the alpha male seemed happy to have us as an audience. Sounds of the forest were truly amazing, we could hear the primate sounds from our fabulous cottage at the Kibale Primate Lodge.
Our lodging, food and service was over-the-top. We had fabulous and unique accommodations, delicious food and lovely staff that took care of us. Every detail was taken care of and they made everything special. We have never been so well taken care of. One of our favorite memories is the service at the Mantana Tent Camp at Lake Mburo — our soup was magically served from an upside down tea cup at each meal!
My mind is often reflecting back on our trip, it was such an amazing experience for us. Once back I have thought of so many more things I want to know about Uganda, the culture and people. Just another reason to return again someday soon!
We learned that people in Uganda work very hard to live and yet were very welcoming and open to us as we traveled. The children were so happy to greet us “muzungo“, shouting “how are you, how are you”, usually waiving with both hands.
Of course I have to mention our Audley Country Specialist “Extraordinaire,” Donna Piccini. She was tireless in answering all our questions, prepared us well for our trip, and her experience and information was extraordinary!
We have shared our trip with many friends and always mention Audley, the trip was far more than we ever expected it to be and we can’t wait to return.