Once in a lifetime Uganda safari tour
John and Jerry are Australians who are planning a 30th anniversary trip for a Uganda safari in April next year.
They have chosen to travel to Uganda (having been on safari in Tanzania, South Africa and Namibia before) for two reasons – they want to do a habituation experience with the chimpanzees in Kibale Forest National Park as well as two gorilla treks in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park.
This is a once in a lifetime Uganda safari tour for the elderly couple – John is 65 and Jerry is 62! They are healthy and fit given that they are avid hikers.
At this stage, they have finalized everything to do with the itinerary (includes hotel reservations, permits for both chimps and gorillas etc) on the ground in Uganda, their biggest challenge are the flight connections to Uganda.
The shortcomings to travel
All the options they are looking at from Perth to Entebbe include a lot of connecting flights with long lay-overs in airports across the world and they arrive at an un-godly hour in Entebbe – 4.00am aboard Turkish Airways to be exact!
The easier option is to fly to Uganda via South Africa but that does not seem to work because they have to be back home in Australia 9 days later. If they take the South Africa option, they will be back home eleven days later and as such they have chosen the option that connects through Istanbul.
In light of the scenarios above, the presence of an efficient Uganda Airlines with interline agreements with some of the major airlines in John and Jerry’s part of the world would make life easier.
It would mean that Jerry and Linda would probably do one hop from Perth to say Guangzhou and then onto a Uganda Airlines flight direct to Entebbe and vice versa. That way they do not have to take tiring detours and stops in different places not to mention the price of a ticket.
The return of Uganda Airlines
News this week that Uganda Airlines is making a comeback will be a welcome boon for people like Jerry and Linda and a lot more prospective safari goers intending to visit Uganda. No doubt the presence of a Uganda Airlines will be good for safaris to Uganda.
It means that potential travelers choosing between Uganda and other destinations when comparing prices will make safari holidays to Uganda as competitive when compared to destinations like South Africa, Botswana, Kenya etc.
Regionally, the return of Uganda Airlines with a focus on regional travel is also expected to add serious appeal to destination Uganda.
Why? Today, a tourist intending to combine a Tanzania or Kenya safari with an experience to see the primates/great apes of Uganda has to pay a lot of money for a connecting flight from Nairobi or Serengeti/Arusha.
A new hope
At Uzuri Uganda Safaris, we are positive the expensive air ticket from Arusha or Nairobi has put off many a potential traveler who would have loved to add a visit to Uganda and as a result, we have all lost out on that income/revenue.
Currently, we are talking to a potential customer who wants to do a double Gorilla trek in Uganda in April 2019 as an add-on to their safari in Tanzania.
Jim and his family want to fly from the Serengeti to Entebbe International Airport and be in time for their domestic connecting flight to Kihihi in the viscinity of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park.
They do not want to spend a night in Entebbe – they want to arrive in Entebbe and straight away fly to Bwindi! This will mean that they can squeeze the gorilla tracking experience into the time they have available!
While there is a regional airline that will make the connection between Serengeti and Entebbe possible, it is clear that if Uganda Airlines returned and plugged these gaps with cheaper air tickets and many frequencies (with strategic and aggressive marketing by the other tourism stakeholders), destination Uganda would attract more safari goers interested in two or three-country visits.