Is Uganda safe for Australians on a Safari? The No Spin Reality

Posted by on August 18, 2019

Is it Safe for Australians to go on Safari in Uganda

What about the Australian Travel Advisories about Uganda




 Australian Smart Traveller Site: Reconsider your need to travel to within 50 kilometres of Uganda’s border with the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), including the Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, the Mgahinga Gorilla Park, and the Murchison Falls National Park because of the risk of banditry and attacks by armed groups.

Our Response:  Many Australian have either not read the advisory or have chosen to ignore it. There are no armed groups. There are only gorillas in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest and Mgahinga Gorilla Park and no Guerillas. Guerillas are active across the border in the Kivu province of DR Congo.

For the last twenty years, Gorilla Trekking has been safe and secure in Uganda. The Ugandan Army keeps patrols the border with DR Congo.  There is an above-normal police presence in the villages surrounding both Gorilla Parks supplemented by the Tourism Police.  Armed Uganda Wildlife Authority Ranger escort gorilla Trekkers.  We do Gorilla and not Guerrilla Safaris. There are no armed Guerilla Groups inside of Uganda since Joseph Kony and his Lord’s Resistance Army fled into DR Congo. Guerilla Trekking is one of the safest tourism activities in all of Africa.

About the Smart Travellers that there is a risk of Banditry in Southwest Uganda.  We find that a ludicrous and inappropriate claim contrary to reality. The word Banditry is used to refer to acts of robbery and violence in areas where the rule of law has broken down. That is contrary to the reality that awaits you in Uganda. We ask you to do a Google search typing in Banditry in Uganda 2019.


Do Australians have to fear an imminent Terrorist Attack in Uganda?

Australian Smart Traveller Site: A terror attack could happen anywhere and at any time in Uganda. Heightened  security arrangements are in place in public places, including borders and at the international airport. Expect body, car, and luggage checks when traveling in Kampala. Pay close attention to your personal security and follow the instructions of local authorities.

Our Response: In today’s world, a Terrorist Attack could take anyplace in the world at any time, including in Australia.  There has been no Terrorist Attack in Uganda since during the World Cup since 2010. That was a wake-up call to increase security and terrorism counter-intelligence. Ugandan Security has pre-empted various terrorist plans, and Uganda is one of the safest nations in Africa for Travelers.

We would suggest that the Australian Government focus on Terrorism Attacks that have taken place in Australia. The number of terrorism and the frequency of attacks makes Uganda look like a safe haven.

Yes, you are checked, scanned when entering into parking lots, hotels, shopping centers, banks. We have accepted that in Uganda as a small price for security and safety.


Is Kidepo Valley Park safe for Australian Travelers on Safari?

 Australian Smart Traveller Site:  Reconsider your need to travel to the Karamoja region of north-eastern Uganda, including Kidepo National Park, because of the risk of banditry and inter-tribal clashes.

Our Response: Ironically, the UK dropped travel advisories for Kidepo Valley Park following what the US had done years earlier. The Karamoja region used to be known as Uganda’s Wild West.  That is no longer the case after massive disarmament operation by the Ugandan Military. There is a robust military presence in the area. Kidepo Valley Park is one of the best parks in Africa. It is Africa as it used to be 50 plus years ago. Some have referred to it as a lost Eden. The park has elite Uganda Wildlife Authority Rangers that have done an excellent job keeping Tourist safe and secure including Australians.


Are LGBT Australians safe and secure on Safari in Homophobic Uganda?




What our Clients say abouy their Safari in Uganda – 4 reviews are by Ausralians:

We highly recommend Kabiza Safaris. Our planning started only 2 months prior as we had been invited to weddings in Rwanda which prompted unexpected travel to Africa. I feel blessed to have found Kabiza thru google search. Their website is the most comprehensive of all I looked at. Jon was helpful in letting us individualize our tour, adding in extra days for community overnight visits at Boomu Woman's Village and at Ruboni Community Camp to connect with the African people and make our time more meaningful during our 12 days. We were fortunate that two gorilla trekking permits had come available due to someone else cancellation, and our trip was adjusted according to the gorilla permit dates. Communication is key when planning and carrying out such an event. Jon was excellent at returning my emails, answering my many questions and offering suggestions. Carlos our driver/guide was also a great communicator, always giving an overview of the next days events the evening prior. Our initial pickup spot in Entebbe was at an Air BnB not in the center of Entebbe and he called the location the afternoon prior to get exact directions to be on time for our safari start. In preparing for the next day, while in Queen Elizabeth NP Carlos contacted the Lion Researcher to confirm our time with him the next morning. The researcher was no longer available on our scheduled date but was willing to meet us in half an hour so Carlos came by our room to ask if we would like to switch our game drive to having time with the Lion Researcher. If he had not been proactive, we would have missed out on one of the most awesome and entertaining events of our trip. Carlos had a great rapport with Park and Lodge staff and got us connected with a great guide for the chimp trek. At our last NP, Carlos suggested we change out the boat cruise for a Ranger Walk thru the park being up close to the zebras, Impalas and Elon which had not been at the previous NP. It was the perfect sendoff from our five NP tour. Having a private tour in our own comfortable safari jeep, without a doubt was the best way to travel. We witnessed the BIG 5 and so much more. It took me two months to convince my husband to travel to Africa but he totally loved it and so often throughout the trip has told me I absolutely chose the BEST SAFARI company-KABIZA!!! THANK YOU for a trip of the lifetime!!Steven Fisher
(Translated by Google) We had a wonderful holiday in Uganda. I had made contact with Jon Blanc from Kabiza Wilderness Safari more than a year before leaving (we must go a little early to get the "Gorilla Permits") and everything went well, from the first contact until the last day of the stay. First of all, Jon was very available for the preparation of the trip. He quickly answered all my many questions in order to organize the trip as I wished, taking into account his advice of course. We went with family to 5, our son (15 years), our 2 twin daughters (19 years), my wife and me. As a result, we were able to have our own car and spend 12 days in Uganda without having to be attached to a larger group. As a guide / driver, we were lucky enough to meet Wilson. He drives in a very safe way, but it is above all an extremely endearing person who knows the country and the parks on the tip of his fingers. Wilson has quickly become the friend of the whole family and he is for many in the great success of our vacation. We had a probably "classic" trip: Entebbe, Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary, Murchison Falls Park, Kibale Forest, Queen Elizabeth Park, Bwindi Forest (and its gorillas!) And Mburo Park before returning to Entebbe. Each stop was worth it: the rhinos to start, very impressive, especially that we meet them on foot! The Murchison Falls Park with a multitude of animals including elephants, giraffes, hippos, buffaloes, antelopes and monkeys of all kinds, not to mention the spectacular Murchinson Falls. Chimpanzees from Kibale Forest, rather difficult to find, it took a very long walk ... At Queen Elisabeth Park, Lion Tracking Research kept its promises by coming very close not only to the lionesses with their young but also a beautiful leopard. Obviously the pinnacle is the time spent in the middle of a dozen gorillas in the forest of Bwindi. We made a stop in Mburo Park on the way to Entebbe to see zebras and impalas. This park allows to approach the animals on foot (with a ranger) and is worth it to stop. The organization was impeccable, everything was well prepared, keeping some flexibility despite everything. All the lodges were very good and the food excellent. And the people of Uganda are infinitely hospitable. Many thanks to Jon, Wilson and everyone we met. I can only recommend Kabiza Wilderness Safari for your stays in Uganda. (Original) Nous avons passé de merveilleuses vacances en Ouganda. J'avais pris contact avec Jon Blanc de Kabiza Wilderness Safari plus d'1 an avant de partir (il faut s'y prendre un peu en avance pour obtenir les "Permis Gorilles") et tout s'est passé à merveille, du premier contact jusqu'au dernier jour du séjour. Tout d'abord, Jon a été très disponible pour la préparation du voyage. Il a répondu rapidement à toutes mes nombreuses questions afin d'organiser le voyage tel que je le souhaitais, en tenant compte de ses conseils évidemment. Nous sommes partis en famille à 5, notre fils (15 ans), nos 2 filles jumelles (19 ans), mon épouse et moi. De ce fait, nous avons pu avoir notre propre voiture et passer 12 jours en Ouganda sans devoir être rattaché à un plus grand groupe. Comme guide/chauffeur, nous avons eu la chance de tomber sur Wilson. Il conduit de manière très sûr, mais c'est surtout une personne extrêmement attachante qui connaît le pays et les parcs sur le bout des doigts. Wilson est rapidement devenu l'ami de toute la famille et il est pour beaucoup dans la grande réussite de nos vacances. Nous avons fait un trajet probablement "classique" : Entebbe, le Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary, le parc Murchison Falls, la forêt de Kibale, le parc Queen Elisabeth, la forêt de Bwindi (et ses gorilles !) et le parc Mburo avant le retour sur Entebbe. Chaque arrêt en valait la peine: les rhinos pour commencer, très impressionnants, surtout qu'on les rencontre à pieds ! Le parc des Murchison Falls avec une multitudes d'animaux dont les éléphants, girafes, hippos, buffles, antilopes et singes en tout genre, sans oublier les spectaculaires chutes Murchinson. Les chimpanzés de la forêt de Kibale, plutôt difficiles à trouver, il a fallu une très très longue marche... Au parc Queen Elisabeth, le Lion Tracking Research a tenu ses promesses en s'approchant très près non seulement des lionnes avec leurs petits mais aussi d'un magnifique léopard. Evidemment le summum c'est l'heure passée au milieu d'une douzaine de gorilles dans la forêt de Bwindi. Nous avons fait un stop dans le parc Mburo sur le chemin vers Entebbe pour y voir des zèbres et des impalas. Ce parc permet d'approcher les animaux à pieds (avec un ranger) et vaut la peine qu'on s'y arrête. L'organisation était impeccable, tout était bien préparé, en gardant une certaine flexibilité malgré tout. Tous les lodges étaient de très bonne qualité et la nourriture excellente. Et la population ougandaise est infiniment accueillante. Un grand merci à Jon, Wilson et toutes les personnes que nous avons rencontrées. Je ne peux que recommander Kabiza Wilderness Safari pour vos séjours en Ouganda.Pierre Godelaine
We booked a 7-day gorilla habituation safari with Kabiza. We had an amazing time, the habituation is definitely worth the extra cost - the experience of spending so much time watching gorillas in their natural habitat was incredible. Queen Elizabeth National Park and the chimpanzee habituation at Kibale were also great - with an abundance of wildlife. The accommodation along the way was all very good, with friendly staff. Jon was always very quick to respond to questions we had, and to confirm payment. I also found the website really helpful. Finally our driver, Brian, was fantastic. Friendly, attentive and informative. Coping well with some difficult driving conditions and giving us lots of opportunities for taking photos etc.Justin Carr
We just had a fantastic 11-day safari in Uganda with Kabiza. Jon and his team provided a top-notch professional experience from our initial email contact right through to the drop-off at the airport for our flight home. Jon was happy to tailor one of his suggested safaris to include exactly what we wanted and was always responsive to our emails throughout the planning process. The price was extremely competitive, especially considering the cost of tracking permits, the private driver/guide, and the level of luxury we found at the lodges. Our guide Fred was friendly, very knowledgeable, and a great driver (something you'll definitely appreciate on some of the roads!) We stayed at lodges recommended on the Kabiza website and they were all incredible. Most importantly, every detail of our trip was taken care of seamlessly - lodging, permits, entry fees to parks, etc. You definitely want a reputable operator for a trip like this. We witnessed an unfortunate situation in which someone showed up for a chimpanzee trek and their operator had not set it up - what a nightmare, but not something you'll have to worry about if you book with Kabiza! Finally, the Kabiza website is a treasure trove of information, with articles about everything from what to expect on a gorilla trek to information about the culture in Uganda and Rwanda, and regular updates about current events. We met plenty of people on our trip who weren't even aware that something like the gorilla habituation experience or collared lion tracking existed, whereas we had seen all the details about our options on the Kabiza site. Uganda is a beautiful country, we hope to be able to return soon and it will definitely be with Kabiza. We've been on three other safaris in Kenya, Tanzania, and South Africa, so we've had some experience with trips like this - I can't recommend Kabiza enough!Barbara Rocci
Jon and his team from Kabiza gave my 15 yr old son and I the trip of a lifetime ! After many months of research it was clear Kabiza was a trustworthy professional and experienced company and it was a delight dealing with Jon as he shaped the perfect week long experience for us. I wanted to do the 4 hour Gorilla Habituation experience and I’m so thrilled I did. I was up-close with a majestic Silverback and his family in the remote Bwindi Impenetrable Forest ... The trackers and guides are incredible and will slash foliage ahead of you to help you get the best possible view of these beautiful creatures. You become part of the experiment as this group becomes accustomed to human contact. I should mention the journey is very challenging and can take up to 4 or more hours each way hiking through very steep and at times muddy terrain. A level of fitness is very important ... I also highly recommend you take a porter to help carry the (at least) 3 bottles of water you should take with you. Thank you Frances and Everest for all your help and patience and good humour !!! The accommodation Jon chose for us was outstanding .... Clouds, Crater Lake Lodge and Kyambura Gorge Lodge are standouts. We had simply wonderful drivers on our trip as we experienced not only the Gorillas but the Chimpanzee Habituation which was also wonderful in the Kibale Forest and a safari through Queen Elizabeth National Park where we saw stunning tree lions and elephants and even a leopard... We would like to thank Wilson, Geoffrey and Hamid ....you guys showed us just how beautiful Uganda is. We cannot wait to return and I highly recommend Kabiza Wilderness Safaris.JANE K
We booked a 5 day "Gorilla and Chimpanzee" trek" safari with Kabiza Wilderness Safaris last year for 14 crazy 🇨🇦’s and loved every minute of it. These guys do a great job! From the "pre-planning" details, the information available on Kabiza's great website.... and the knowledge of the guides we travelled with was ALL amazing. Can’t wait to come back again..... working on another trip for next year! ❤️👍 Like Show more reactionsJoey and Christine Walker
I was hesitant at first but Jon from Kabiza Wilderness Safari made me feel comfortable navigating a system from the other side of the world. The advice provided for our five day gorilla/chimpanzee trekking was spot on. Our guide Remmy took care of us for five days. Again, if you are going on one of these treks, I strongly recommend that you take all the advice from their website. Were we do to this trip again, I would definitely use Kabiza Wilderness Safaris.Don Shearer
We are delighted that Jon arranged our ten day gorilla safari in Uganda. The organisation was excellent, we saw gorillas at close range and stayed in lovely accommodations. Our driver/ guide Omar was absolutely first class. I really cannot fault the trip and have no hesitation in highly recommending Kabiza to others. Seeing gorillas in the wild is one of life's beautiful experiences.Jan Shoulders
Jon was awesome to deal with, right from the get go, and he was very patient with my concerns about booking and paying monies to an organisation we found online. Transferring money was safe and easy. We sent Jon an idea of what we wanted to see and how long we had to play with and he gave us several itineraries to choose from. We booked more than 6 months in advance to secure our Gorilla permits and in the end chose to do 2 days in Uganda with the Gorillas, which we do not regret for 1 second.....we had the most amazing, once in a lifetime experience - both days were different and just as amazing. Brian as our guide for the trip, he was there to meet us at the airport and from then on, was there for anything we needed.....even to the point that when we were on our last Gorilla Trek and running out of time, he went and bought us our wooden Gorillas that we really wanted but had run out of time. We did have some down time and Brian made suggestions about what we could do and was happy to take us anywhere we wanted. The Dian Fossey Museum was a great stop to get some background, and then the Trek to her grave site and to where her cabin used to be, was very special, also very hard (we had mud up to our knees) but we would do it again in a heartbeat. We chose up market accommodation for the trip and we were not disappointed....great food, great customer service and great facilities. The drive to our accommodation in Uganda was both interesting and 'thrilling'! The roads are dirt and very uneven and at times narrow, thankfully Brian was very good at navigating the terrain and made us feel at ease. We have travelled quite a bit and had some unforgettable experiences, Kabiza have added to these and gave us a once in a lifetime experience that was worth every single cent. Everybody should have this experience, these are beautiful creatures that need our help (tourism $$) to ensure that they are there for centuries to come for all to enjoy.Mignon Furnell
Dear Fellow Travellers! I have been booking tours within Uganda with Kabiza for many years and they have always been an excellent Partner. From the very beginning of planning a wildlife tour to Uganda to the actual Safari they are a very trustful and reliable tour operator. The owners Jon & Geoffrey have been in the tourism business for along time and they do know their country very, very well when it comes to planning and operating a tour! All in all a great company to have a wildlife tour with! Thanks very much once again for the last tour in December 2018. Wolfgang from AustriaWolfgang Stolzlechner
Of the many wildlife and gorilla trekking tour operators available, I chose Kabiza Wilderness Safaris because I came across their incredibly helpful blog posts on gorilla trekking and found them to be straight forward and incredibly helpful. Even if you choose to go with someone else- read some of Kabiza's content and you'll have a better trip. After choosing Kabiza, Jon and his team's level of service was exemplary! Jon was fast and crisp in all of his email communications and he set up a tour that met our needs exactly. Our tour guide Carlos was wonderfully kind and helpful. He had us feeling at home in Africa within minutes of meeting him. The gorilla trekking itself was magical with Jon and his team being absolutely on point in quickly snagging some habituation permits that became available at the last minute. We stayed at lodges across different price points and each location was comfortable, clean and had it's own charm. Huge thank you to Jon, Carlos, and the rest of the Kabiza Wilderness Safaris team for a wonderful vacation!Ananda Ghosh
We recently returned from Uganda and Rwanda where we did a 4 day gorilla trekking tour, all arranged by Jon at Kabiza Wilderness Safari, and I have to say the experience was nothing short of phenomenal. From the beginning of planning the trip, Jon was very responsive and accommodating to all our requests. He listened to what we wanted and then made suggestions, which all turned out to be amazing, and all for a competitive price. Our driver Bosco was fantastic, very knowledgeable and personable, and all the the different lodges we stayed at throughout the trip were spot on. Mount Gahinga Lodge was fantastic, from the food, to the service and most importantly the proximity to the entrance of the park. Chameleon Lodge is another gem perched on top of Lake Mutanda, it's a little bit of a trek to get there, but the view makes it worth it. Overall the trip far exceeded our lofty expectations, which is a huge compliment to Jon and everyone at Kabiza. Seeing mountain gorillas up close in the wild is an experience unlike any other and something you'll never forget. I can't recommend Kabiza Wilderness Safari enough! You won't be disappointed.Paul Voisard
We just came back from an amazing 9 days safari started in Kigali and ended Entebbe. We did many parks, gorilla tracking x 2 etc ... From the first contact with Jon to the end, everything was perfect. Ask for Remmy as your driver. He has 10 years experience, he drives very well and safely in these bad Uganda roads. He showed to us many animals in the park , he tried hard and made sure we saw the lions and many more. We had many laughs throughout the roads. The car 4x4 was in good condition with a pop off roof. All the lodges Jon suggested were very good . We particularly loved Gahinga lodge ( near entrance of Mgagingha gorilla park ) , ishasha wilderness camp in Queen Elizabeth park and safari crater lodge in kibale. I asked other companies for prices and the price with Kabiza was very competitive even little lower than others. I enjoyed my trip and I highly recommand you Kabiza Wildwrness safaris . Thank you Remmy and Jon .Stephanie Cardinal
We have just returned from the most amazing and exciting trip to Rwanda and Uganda. Everything was above and beyond our expectations thanks to Jon and Kabiza Wilderness Safaris. From the early stages of planning, where Jon was extremely helpful and accommodating making sure we got the tour just perfectly tailor made to our wishes to the wonderful lodges, the incredible wildlife and the astonishing natural beauty of The Pearl of Africa. For anybody wanting a trip of a lifetime, we can warmly recommend Kabiza. Thanks a million, Jon - we hope to be able to return soon.tine altschuler