Great Lakes Safaris Newsletter
   ISSUE 25
JUNE 2011   

In this newsletter:


Welcome to the second edition of the 2011 GREAT LAKES SAFARIS Newsletter.

Read how Great Lakes Safaris proudly celebrated its 10 years anniversary and found out what makes Budongo Eco Lodge so special. This newsletter also presents a special project that helps school children. Help us to give back to the community!

Visit our Uganda Lodges!
Primate Lodge Kibale
Primate Lodge Kibale
Exclusive safari lodge in the heart of Kibale Forest NP. Read more
Simba Safari Camp
Simba Safari Camp
Budget safari camp on the border of Queen Elizabeth NP. Read more
Budongo Eco Lodge
Budongo Eco Lodge
Forest cabins and activities in Murchison Falls NP.
Read more

On 23 April 2011 it was exactly 10 years since Great Lakes Safaris Ltd. was officially registered as an Ugandan tour operator. A historical milestone that should be celebrated extensively.

The festive function was held on Wednesday 27 April 2011 at the Serena Hotel in Kampala. A total of 200 guests were invited to celebrate the anniversary with us, varying from friends and family to business partners, suppliers and government authorities. A very special guest, who had come all the way from the Netherlands for this special event was, Annie Stubbe. Being the first client of Great Lakes Safaris, she and her family have been travelling to Uganda for more than 10 times.

After a welcome drink, the evening kicked off with traditional performances from the Undugu Family and wonderful music played by the band Passion 4 Music. This was followed by speeches from special friends, staff members and of course the founder himself, Amos Wekesa. In the meantime a buffet was served with local and international dishes. In addition, some Great Lakes Safaris staff members received an appreciation for their performances, as well as a number of Ugandan tour operators who were awarded for their support to our Uganda Lodges.

We would like to thank you for your contribution to this memorable evening and making the celebrations possible in the first place. We certainly could not have done it without you. Up to the next 10 years!


View more photos of the 10 Years Celebrations on our Facebook page!




During the beginning of May, Great Lakes Safaris attended the Indaba exhibition in Durban. Being present at the Africa's most important tourism show for the fourth year in a row, we can look back again at a successful participation Great Lakes Safaris stand at Indaba 2011with many promising meetings.

We would like to thank everyone who visited our stand during the exhibition and for showing interest in Uganda. Hopefully our introduction has contributed to a better understanding of the country and the unique beauty that it has to offer.

We do look forward to meeting you again next year!




Not the winner but still very proud! Budongo Eco Lodge was one of the three finalists for the Tourism for Tomorrow Conservation Awards 2011. The Awards ceremony took place at WTTC's 11th Global Travel & Tourism Summit from 17-19 May 2011 in Las Vegas, USA.The Ugandan flag clearly represented during the Tourism for Tomorrow Awards!

Budongo Eco Lodge was represented by Amos Wekesa and and Dr Peter Apell from the Jane Goodall Institute. Less than 15 organizations in Africa have ever made it to the finals of this prestigious awards ceremony. And without a doubt every delegate will always remember the Uganda team with the national flag!

The Budongo Ecotourism Development Project was originally established by JGI in partnership with the National Forest Authority. Since August 2009, Great Lakes Safaris has taken over the management of the eco-friendly lodge as well as the forest activities in Budongo Forest Reserve.

The goal of the BEDP is to conserve biodiversity by reducing threats to the forest, woodlands and aquatic ecosystems in the protected area and surroundings. In doing so, the profits from tourism activities directly benefit the protection of Budongo Forest Reserve. The project employs a large number of staff members of which more than 90% are local. Moreover, it contributes to indirect employment in neighbouring communities. In addition, revenues are used for the forest protection through recruitment, training, equipment and employment of local community members.

Read more about why Budongo Eco Lodge was selected as one of the finalists for the Tourism
for Tomorrow Awards...

Despite of not being able to take the Conservation Award back to the Pearl of Africa, great opportunities have resulted from our attendance. Promising contacts were made and new cooperations were established. Moreover, Great Lakes Safaris has been invited as a key speaker at the Eco Global Conference in Australia in November 2011.



Visit our websites for more information and tailor-made safari packages:
Uganda Safaris
Uganda Safaris
Gorilla Safaris
Gorilla Safaris
Cultural Safaris
Cultural Safaris

(...) Budongo Eco Lodge has been around for quite some time now, but courtesy of Great Lakes Safaris, it has gone through a couple of facelifts. Most of it is built out of beautiful wood, which together with the green environments makes Budongo so natural. It is blessed with a very beautiful green cover andis, indeed a haven, for flora and fauna and abundant fresh air.

The Budongo Forest Reservenext morning we went for chimp tracking, a very exciting experience. One chimp in particular, Kaluueiti, has gotten so at ease around people that he never runs away from tourists like his peers. Chimps are peaceful animals but when they see many people they tend to kick at thick tree trunks.

The most memorable part of the journey was at the Royal Mile, an aerial stretch in the forest with many beautiful tall trees and a variety of bird species. It is said that the King of Bunyoro used this path to tour the forest. It is a must-see when you are in this part of the country. (...)

Read more about Budongo Forest Reserve in the Daily Monitor...

Interested in visiting Budongo Eco Lodge in person? Click here for our special safari packages including exciting chimp trackings, birding at the Royal Mile and the unique Chimp Habituation Experience.




In October 2009, Nanny, Peter, Marjan and Frits travelled to Uganda for the first time. Together with their guide Gerald from Great Lakes Safaris, they visited a number of national parks and were introduced to the small communities en route. During long walks, they visited schools, hospitals and women's projects. But it was the Primary School in Kitwe that stole their heart...

Living in a western country, they realized that everything is so well organized that you may take it for granted. At this school, with 700 students, the situation was different. Apart from (paintless) premises and (ragged) school banks there was nothing. No electricity, no water and no kitchen to prepare meals.

Primary School KitweA plan was created to support the school children who had welcomed them so warmly with beautiful songs and dances. The lack of electricity was the most important and urgent aspect and soon the first amount of money was donated. Guide Gerald had committed himself to oversee the project and make sure that everything would go as planned.

In August 2010 the four Dutch travellers received the confirmation that the school was completely supplied with electricity. They returned to Uganda the same year to combine a safari with a visit to Kitwe. Although the result of the hard work was overwhelming, it was obviously that a lot more needed to be done.

The next plan is to create a new kitchen. Many people have already contributed money, sufficient to start the construction of the kitchen. But also the bedrooms need to be improved, beds and bedclothes need to be bought, the library needs to be supplied with books and Founders of the School Project in Kitwethe buildings need to be maintained.

Read more about the school project in Kitwe...

Are you interested in helping the children of Primary School Kitwe in Uganda? Would you like to support a project that does make a difference in the life of a child? Or visit the school in person and see the progress that has been made so far?

Do not hesitate to send an email to the founders of the project or contact Great Lakes Safaris for more information about the Kitwe school project.



High season of 2011 is nearly fully booked but we still have some guaranteed gorilla permits!
  •  07 June 2011       -    2 permits available
  •  31 August 2011    -    2 permits available
  •  03 September 2011    -    2 permits available (Rwanda)

If you are interested in tracking the gorillas in another period, do not hesitate to contact us and we will be happy to check for you the current availability. Permits can be booked in combination with a tour to other national parks, completely adapted to your wishes. But book early as competition is high!




Coming all the way from Australia, Leonie Wilson and her family were hosted on a safari in Uganda in December 2010. This is how she reflects their tour:

"I did not know what to expect, as there is not a lot publicity or promotion of Uganda in our country. However, we were very pleasantly surprised! Uganda is a beautiful country with wonderful friendly people, which has not yet been spoilt yet by commercialism. Our driver/guide was the amazing Gerald, who is very knowledgeable, considerate, tolerant and also has a great sense of humour.

Our accommodation at Mihingo Lodge and Buhoma Lodge was wonderful, the food and service perfect, we all wanted to spend more time at these places. The gorilla tracking was the hardest physical thing I have ever done but it was well worth it. We got to see a 3 month old baby and others at very close range!

Every part of our holiday in East Africa was planned and carried out with precision. We always felt very welcome and comfortable and would happily recommend these holiday destinations and travel companies to everybody. Thank you for making my trip of a lifetime."



Great Lakes Safaris works in conjunction with:
Uganda Tourism Board
Tourism Uganda
Uganda Wildlife Authority
Uganda Wildlife Authority
National Forestry Authority
National Forestry Authority
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Great Lakes Safaris Ltd., P.O. Box 33024, Susie House, Ggaba Road, Kampala, Uganda
Tel. +256 (0) 414-267153 / (0) 772-426368, Fax. +256 (0) 414-267153
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