They had been to Africa once before, and their friends had visited Africa a few time, but never Uganda. It was therefore a very exciting moment for Mr. and Mrs Ron and Sally Bancroft and Mr Bart and Mrs Lynn Holaday to visit the famed “Pearl of Africa” where the Bancrofts’ daughter Emily works. They were joined on the tour by long time friends, as well as their daughter and her husband Andy Johnson.
Mr. Ron Bancroft went to school in the United States of American with Dr. Frank Mwine, a prominent Ugandan who is passionate about wildlife and treats all his visitors to a tour of at least one national park whenever they come to Uganda.
The tour started with a visit to Kibale National Park (KNP) in western Uganda, a huge forest with 13 primate species the most popular being the chimpanzee. Uganda is the only country in the world that provides chimpanzee tracking as a tourist activity, and this is always a special experience for those that undertake to do it.
“We heard a lot of hitting on the buttresses by the chimps and were amazed at how high in the trees they can climb,” said Mrs. Sally Bancroft.
They then visited Queen Elizabeth National Park where they saw a male and female lion during an early morning game drive before proceeding to the Kyambura Wildlife Reserve, where they entered into the belly of the intimidating Kyambura Gorge and once again tracked the chimps.
“The forest in Kyambura was very beautiful. It was great going into the gorge. Mweya (in Queen Elizabeth NP) was really great and the boat trip was wonderful. We saw lots of birds, all sorts of bird species, monitor lizards, crocodiles and wildlife. It was really amazing,” said Emily Bancroft.
However, the highlight of the trip was time spent in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, one of the world’s most famous national parks with the biggest concentration of the famed and endangered mountain gorillas.
“The gorillas are unique. You get so intimate with them for the time you spend with them. In our group the silver back (the group head) tried to make a little charge, and the guides told us not to move, but it was a little hard to stand still when they did that,” recalled Mr. Ron Bancroft. “It was really special,” he added.
The tourists were awed to find Uganda so green and lush with the weather just temperate.
Asked what he would remember most about Uganda, the tourists said they would definitely remember the gorillas and the hospitality. “Ugandans are particularly helpful; no one bothered us when we took a walk through the streets of Kampala unlike some countries we have visited,” said Ron.
They promised to go back and tell Americans about Uganda. “It was our first time to come to Uganda and we have had a fantastic time. We will do our part in telling the Americans about Uganda,” Ron and Sally Bancroft said as they bid farewell.