Simba Safari Camp is not what we expected – it was MUCH BETTER! This was not just an African Safari Camp, and it excelled our expectations on every level.
Simba Safari Camp states they are budget on their website, so we instantly thought this meant a secondary standard, but everything was just superb!
So let us tell you about some more of our time here at Simba Safari Camp and also the Queen Elizabeth National Park in Uganda. As a single Mum, it was quite an adventure to organize our own safari, and so I am sharing the places we visited, and who we used, so it can assist others who wish to do the same. Africa is a hard place to organize things, so we are pleased to share our hard work with you.
We had spent our first day in Queen Elizabeth National Park in the southeastern bottom corner of Uganda near the Congo border, starting the day with a Game Drive on the Kasenyi plains with me driving our 4WD.
We saw lions, buffaloes, kob, and many more animals. In fact, Explorason made a list. It was a great time of world education. It was exceptional!
We then had a fabulous time on a boat safari along the Kazinga River Channel seeing so many animals with elephants and buffalo lining the banks.
This area of Q.E.N.P. also includes Lake George and Lake Kikorongo nearby, so there is a lot to see.
Beautiful birds including pink flamingos graced the shores of the river. It was beyond words.
Explorason has a passion for photography, and on this day he developed a love for African birds. He also loved the baby hippos. All the animals lie and face the banks of the river in case a lion comes seeking to devour them. They then submerge into the safety of the water, as lions can swim, but tend not to.
After our long day in Queen Elizabeth National Park, we drove just out of the park to the Equator. There is a place on either side of the road for some fun photos.
The Q.E.N.P. is charged per person per day, so we decided to stay outside for the next day and come back through Q.E.N.P. on the third or fourth day.
We headed with our 4WD from Expedient Car Hire to Simba Safari Camp which is safari ‘Glamping’ and cabin style accommodation, situated on the border of Queen Elizabeth National Park.
Explorason then slept for most of the way home as I drove. Sadly we were told we could have seen more lions and also a leopard had been spotted, but we had been up from 5 a.m. and he had just had enough.
I was just so glad to arrive and relax at the Simba Safari Camp, and we were greeted by ‘James’ – probably one of the nicest Ugandan men I have ever met! He was just a delight; full of smiles and the whitest perfect teeth I have ever seen!
He led us to our room as the staff helped us with our luggage, and offered us a free laundry service for our dusty clothes – now that is great service! I was so happy.
We unpacked and had a wonderful warm shower standing on a pebble base – it was such an authentic African experience.
I loved the little touches to the room – handmade lampshades woven with dyed cloth; African print curtains; stone floor; woven ceilings; and a dresser made from local tree branches on the side – it had such an authentic feel to it.
We both felt Simba Safari Camp undersold itself on its website. I was expecting ‘budget’, but what we received was probably the best service so far in all of Uganda. It was so relaxed and just had the natural African feel to it we were seeking.
We met three Ugandan – English girls who were staying here camping with their own tent and another couple that had been on our safari boat ride that afternoon. There are large family suites available, so privacy for everyone. Or there are smaller rooms for singles, doubles etc.
Little attention to detail included one of the staff coming at sunset to close up the room, spray for insects like mosquitoes, and pop down the bed nets for the evening etc.
We thought this was a great time to leave him to spray the room, while we headed over for a drink in the open lounge area.
Because Simba Safari Camp is quite boutique in style when we arrived ‘Wilson’ quietly drew us to one side and explained the meal options for us. All guests are given a vegetarian or meat choice for their meals.
We were requested to order on arrival, so our dinner was prepared just for us. This made us both feel pretty special, and it meant we could set the time we wanted to dine, which in this case was early, as we had such a long day. It also meant each meal was made fresh and there was no long wait like we had found where we stayed in Kampala.
It was a three-course dinner. And the first course was Cucumber Soup. To my surprise, this was probably one of the nicest soups I’ve ever eaten. In fact, we asked the kitchen staff to write it out for us, and when we finally get a home we will definitely be making this.
Our meals were fabulous. We may be in the middle of no-where in an African Safari Camp perched on a hill, but the food was five star. I groaned in pain I ate so much on the first night, but it was all so delicious I was determined to finish every last bite.
I thoroughly enjoyed the dinner, and Explorason thoroughly enjoyed hanging out with ‘James’. He took a pose on the rooftop of the 4WD we had hired from Expedient Car Hire – both of them were all smiles.
The next day we had a relaxing day at the camp. I had a fantastic sleep, but woke to the sound of animals – I am not sure which ones, but then I headed out to the verandah for some relaxing time just listening to the birds as the sun rose. It was bliss.
Around lunchtime, we followed James in our 4WD to Kasese where he took us through some back lanes to the local market. He helped us with finding a tailor to make us some bold African style shirts, and then we went opposite to select the fabric. This was great as we were given ‘local price’, not ‘white man’s price’, and we arranged for the shirts to be delivered to camp that evening.
What do you think? Pretty cool shirts aren’t they?
‘James’ then arranged with ‘Wilson’ for us to have the campfire, with our dinner table set out in the garden.
They often set up a special table for guests on their last evening.
Candles were placed in sand inside paper bags to make mood lighting and to keep the soft evening breeze from blowing them out.
How gorgeous is this!
Again the wine, food, and service were fabulous.
As the night grew cool we moved to the campfire again. We sat around with the staff and told them about Australian campfire food, and they told us about African campfire food.
It was then we decided to create the African Chocolate Banana Boat – we slit bananas longways and stuffed them with slices of dark chocolate, then wrapped them in foil and they placed them in the ashes for about 5 minutes.
It was the perfect end to our evening and we really wish we had a few more days here. In hindsight, I wish we had stayed another night. The staff told me they could have arranged for us to see traditional African dancers and musicians, or we could have arranged to track Chimpanzees. I wish we had organized both of these in hindsight.
Maybe next time – I’d definitely stay here at Simba Safari Camp again.
As we said farewell, we felt like we left as friends.
Uganda Lodges: Mutungo Hill, Plot 1001 Block 243 Biina Road | P.O. Box 33024, Kampala, Uganda
Tel/Fax: +256 (0)414-267153 Mob: +256 (0)701-426368 & +256 (0)776-411316