Great Lakes Safaris

Christmas Newsletter

Great Lakes Safaris

December 2009

A festive ending of the year with our special Christmas Newsletter! In this edition we will inform you about a special person who meant a lot for Uganda, share our experiences of the challenging marathon event and
summarize the greatest highlights of 2009!


Uganda, through the lens of David Pluth
Running for charity
Meet Great Lakes Safaris in Spain
Highlights of 2009

Permits available


1.   Uganda, through the lens of David Pluth
The name David Pluth may not directly ring a bell, but his photos will surely do. If you have ever visited the website of Uganda Tourism Board or Uganda Wildlife Authority, you will recognize many of his famous images of Uganda and its people.

David Pluth was born in Canada and lived in Switzerland since 1987. He was passionate about photographing and his work took him all over the world. Especially to Uganda. Apart from his well-known images, he also published several books of the country, including “Uganda Rwenzori, a Range of Images”, “Eye of the Storm” and “Karamoja! Uganda’s Land of Warrior Nomads”.

Not only David Pluth loved his work as photographer, he also developed a great passion for Uganda. "I’ve enjoyed the warmth of Uganda’s people since 1986 and have travelled much of the country on foot. It’s one of the nicest countries for travelling because the infrastructure is surprisingly good and there are hardly any tourists - so go now and be treated royally! I urge visitors to stay at community hotels and bandas, even for one night, for a real taste of Uganda." (Source: Travel Africa Magazine Online)

On 21 May 2009 a great tragedy happened when he died while being on an assignment in Rwanda. He was only 64. To celebrate David's life and the great work he did in Uganda, the tourism industry launched a photo exhibition in Kampala. The exhibition “Uganda, through the lens of David Pluth” started on 25 November at Emin Pasha Hotel and showcased the work of David Pluth. Besides a well-organized cocktail and raffle, visitors had the opportunity to buy framed photos of which all proceeds went to USPCA (Uganda Society for the Protection and Care of Animals). The event was attended by David's widow Patricia Arnold.

A special thanks goes out to all friends and participants who have contributed to the success of the event!
Read more about the life and work of David Pluth...

Elephants, photo taken by David Pluth Karamajong warrior, photo taken by David Pluth
Fisherman, photo taken by David Pluth  Lion, photo taken by David Pluth


2.   Running for charity
On 22nd November 2009 the sixth edition of the MTN International Marathon took place in Kampala. Amidst more than 17,000 runners coloured in the yellow MTN shirts, Great Lakes Safaris battled again with a team of 30 enthusiastic runners. It was however Uganda Wildlife Authority that won the 10 km Corporate Challenge and donated its price shilling to Red Cross and Sanyu Babies home.

But the MTN Marathon is more than just a run for fun. This year all proceeds of the annual event will gPart of the Great Lakes Safaris Marathon teamo the Red Cross “Mama Bag” fund. These kits - consisting of a mosquito net, medical supplies, nappies and other essential items - support pregnant mothers in northern Uganda. They help them to give birth safely as well as to reduce the risk of contracting malaria and transmitting HIV to the newborn children.


3.   Meet Great Lakes Safaris in Spain!
Come and meet Great Lakes Safaris at the largest tourism fair in Spain! This time Uganda will be represented bigger, better and brighter at the 30th edition of FITUR in Madrid.
Step by to share some great memories of your safari, learn more about the possibilities for your next holiday, check out the special offers or buy one of the traditional handicrafts, made by the local people of Uganda. Whether it is freezing and snowing, we will bring some of the African warmth to Europe!

Great Lakes will be present at FITUR in Madrid from 20th January till 24th January 2010, Hall 4 - A14.


4.   Highlights of 2009
As the year 2009 is slowly coming to end, we can look back at a turbulent but successful period. It was a year of important developments, extended media coverage and promising collaborations. We had the pleasure to host many international visitors at Primate Lodge Kibale, to guide tourists around and to share the beauty of the hidden Pearl of Africa. And if you haven't had the luck yet to visit this amazing country, we hope that 2010 will bring you the opportunity to join an unforgettable safari!

Our great highlights of 2009 are:

      Upgrade at Primate Lodge Kibale Upgraded safari tent Primate Lodge Kibale
In the beginning of 2009 a complete make over of the safari tents of Primate Lodge Kibale was carried out. The grass-thatched roofs were replaced and the veranda was rebuilt including new stairs and finished with a wooden balustrade. Also the bathrooms were redone with new stonework, plastering, roofing and attractive wall paintings.

Apart from this notable renovation, we also invested in a new water heating system to ensure hot water access 24 hours a day. This investment included the purchase of a new pump, generator, water tank and solar heating system. Also from an ecological point of view this was an important development, since the demand for firewood has decreased significantly.

      Improvement of Nshenyi Village
Nshenyi Village is one of the undiscovered attractions of Uganda, but one which cannot be missed out on.
It is located in the heart of the Ugandan countryside. A getaway in the hectic life of today. A place where you can enjoy the wonders of nature while experiencing the authentic way of living...

In 2009 we decided to improve our Nshenyi Village product. With great care and eye for dTraditional hut at Nshenyi Villageetail the local family Mugyenyi has redeveloped their home area and made it more accessible and attractive for visitors. A perfect mix of tradition and comfort!
The main house of the Ugandan family offers three comfortable double rooms and a spacious living room. Each room has its private bathroom with running water and flushing toilets. Hot water and electricity are available 24 hours. In case you wish to spend the night in a more authentic place, we invite you to one of our five Bahima huts, built and decorated according to the local customs.

Your stay at Nshenyi Village is all-inclusive. A wide variety of food is served, giving you a real taste of the African cuisine. Your local guide will tell you everything you want to know about the culture and customs of the different tribes. And your days will be filled with typical traditional activities, including milking Ankole cows, nature walks, ghee making, visiting schools and much more.

So don't miss this opportunity and explore the rural charm of untouched Africa! For more information or enquiries feel free to contact us.

      First anniversary of Simba Safari Camp
Christmas day, 25th December, marks the celebration of the anniversary of Simba Safari Camp in Queen Elizabeth National Park. Since the opening, the new camp has become extremely popular. More and more travellers are discovering this comfortable place withSimba Safari Camp at night affordable prices and a fantastic location, overlooking the scenic crater lakes and savannah plains. At only USD $210 per person you can join us on a 3-days safari with weekly departures from Kampala. A perfect option to explore Africa's wilderness on a low budget!

      Opening of Budongo Eco Lodge
On 1st August 2009 Great Lakes Safaris officially opened her third safari accommodation, located in the heart of Budongo Forest in Murchison Falls National Park. This is one of the largest forests in Uganda with an incredible biodiversity, including 9 species of primates and 360 different bird species.
The eco-lodge features comfortable self-contained cabins and spacious dormitory rooms with shared washing facilities. Also a visitor's centre and restaurant are available where excellent fresh-brewed coffee and delicious meals are served with a smile. In addition, Budongo Eco Lodge offers many different activities in the direct surroundings, including exciting chimp trackings, chimp habituation, forest walks and bird watching.

      Welcome to Uganda Lodges!
Uganda Lodges is the unification of our three safari camps: Primate Lodge Kibale, Simba Safari Camp and Budongo Eco Lodge. Located in the most prominent parts of the national parks, Uganda Lodges offers a wide variety of accommodations that are suitable for all types of travellers with unique facilities and outstanding service. Whether you want to spend a night in the forest or near the open savannah, we ensure you an amazing and unforgettable experience!

The website is currently being redesigned and will soon be available with more details, prices and photos of our three safari lodges. For any additional information or enquiries, do not hesitate to contact us.

Explore the Pearl of Africa
while staying at our Uganda Lodges!


5.   Permits available
The year 2009 has been characterized as a tumultuous year, with an immense run on gorilla permits.
But no need to worry! Great Lakes Safaris has already blocked some permits for next year's season. Thus if you want to track the mountain gorillas on any of the following dates, you are guaranteed of a permit!
      15th December 2009      2 permits available
    16th July 2010               6 permits available
      24th July 2010               6 permits available
      30th July 2010               8 permits available
      11th August 2010          8 permits available
      20th August 2010          8 permits available
      30th August 2010          8 permits available
      20th December 2010     4 permits available

Benefit from this unique opportunity and book your gorilla permit now! Complete your safari with a visit to other national parks and more beautiful sites, and we guarantee you an amazing safari in 2010 that will be remembered forever!


6.   Testimonial
Hayley Bolitho and Gary Wooldridge from the UK travelled with us in August 2009.
This is how they reflect their safari experience:
"We have been back in the UK for a few weeks now and miss Uganda. We had an amazing time with Great Lakes Safaris, thank you so much for organising such an awesome trip, that was filled with a great variety of activities and too many highlights to choose our favourite.

Thank you also for giving us such an amazing guide in Richard, he really looked after us and showed us the very best of Uganda. We also felt lucky to have such a knowledgeable guide, who was so well qualified and tuned in to the animals that we were lucky enough to see.

We have taken lots of wonderful pictures and have some nice pictures of Nshenyi. I know that we were the first group from Great Lakes Safaris to go there and we would thoroughly recommend it. The accommodation was of a high standard and Gertrude the housekeeper was very welcoming and caring."


If you have any questions or comments concerning the newsletter please contact us!

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Suzie House, Ggaba Road
P.O. Box 33024
Kampala, Uganda
Tel: +256 (0) 414 267 153
        +256 (0) 772 426 368
Fax: +256 (0) 414 267 153
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Merry Christmas and
a Great Safari Year!