Originally I had wanted to hire a car and drive through Uganda, but after spending over a month trying to secure gorilla tracking permits to no avail, I was told that often the Ugandan Wildlife Authority are uncooperative with individual groups of tourists as they are paid of my tour companies, whether this is true I’m not sure but I tried contacting them by both email and phone for over a month and received no correct info and was just led around in circles with false email addresses etc…

If you are situated in Uganda it’s a different ball game and it seems it’s a simple process to obtain the permits from the UWA office in Kampala. Seeing as I didn’t want to risk arriving and there being no permits left I decided to give up and book through a tour agency. In the end I’m so glad we did, we booked the permits and a driver to take us from Kampala to Queen Elizabeth National Park for a safari, on to Lake Bunyonyi for a night, down to Bwindi Impenetrable Forest to track gorillas and finally across the Rwandan border to Kigali.

All the booking and communication was done through Jackie from Katona, who was extremely helpful and answered all of my questions, gave great advice and put together multiple itineraries based on each new request, for us to look through.

When we arrived in Kampala we found the office easily and paid the balance and made some final arrangements which all went smoothly. (It’s worth noting that USD notes printed before the year 2000 and which are smaller denominations than $50 are not accepted anywhere in Uganda).

We met our driver the next morning and he was quiet but helpful throughout the trip. Overall the value for money was amazing and we got to see so much more and got a lot more packed into the time we had there. You are read about our experience in Queen Elizabeth National Park and our experience tracking gorillas in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest here, we never would have seen so much wildlife both on the safari and on the drive without our driver’s sharp eyes. We also had baggage missing from our flight when we landed and the company arranged for it to be driven down and meet us the day after the tour started, they took away all the worry and did this all completely free of charge

I’d definitely recommend using Katona Tours, you can contact them via Jackie’s email  or check out their website.