Instinct Safaris

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Instinct Safaris is your experienced partner in mountain gorilla trekking, game and bird watching, climbing, as well as many community safaris. Our area of operation is eastern Africa's Great Lakes Region including Uganda, Rwanda, and parts of DR Congo. Since the company's establishment, our team consisted of highly motivated and knowledgeable guides from the areas we travel to. Our main goal is to provide exceptional service and lifelong memories to our customers, while helping the local communities develop in a sustainable way.

If you would like to discover east African wildlife and dive into the numerous cultural aspects of Rwanda, Uganda, and DR Congo, please visit our website for more information.

streulistrasse6_24755's picture
streulistrasse6... 08/27/2017

“Traveling in Uganda as a Couple/Mountain Gorilla Tracking”

4 weeks ago

If there was just one description for the Instinct Safaris staff it would be "caring"! Our short four day safari in Uganda started on the 30th of December in Kampala. My girlfriend and I work for a NGO in the city and before...

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Recommended? 
Date of safari: 
05/12/2017
Length of safari: 
4 Days
Safari destinations: 
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Wildlife parks visited: 
Bwindi, Rain Forest

If there was just one description for the Instinct Safaris staff it would be "caring"! Our short four day safari in Uganda started on the 30th of December in Kampala. My girlfriend and I work for a NGO in the city and before returning home for a longer period, we definitely wanted to see mountain gorillas. Instinct Safaris and a few other travel companies came up. After discussions on the phone and in office, they made us a great offer for the 3 night trip and we started the safari. Weather was a little unpredictable and so was the traffic. On the 9 h drive down to the rain forest, we got stuck in traffic a number of times and ran late to get to our lodge, fortunately, our guide Raban already called in to the lodge to make sure that our dinner would not be luke warm by the time we would get there. Instead, he also organized a hot shower for us upon arrival. The gorilla tracking hike was just incredible. We opted in for another community hike on the following day, which took us to some community settlements and waterfalls in the area. As we are both keen bird watchers, we were delighted to see that our guide had some fond bird knowledge. We would highly recommend the company. If you are going, ask for Raban to be your guide!

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Kerrycandy1_7244 08/29/2015

“Disappointing ”

2 years ago

Our initial communication with Instinct Safari was good however once in Africa it was definitely downhill. About three days before we were due to fly into Uganda we received the following email.

As the DR Congolese single...

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Ecofriendliness: 
Recommended? 
Date of safari: 
07/12/2015
Length of safari: 
4 Days
Circumstances: 
Transport: 
Wildlife parks visited: 
Bindi Impenetrable forest , Golden monkeys in Uganda and DR Congo

Our initial communication with Instinct Safari was good however once in Africa it was definitely downhill. About three days before we were due to fly into Uganda we received the following email.

As the DR Congolese single entry visa is not officially part of our included services, please let us know if you have already applied for it on www.visitvirunga.org and have a confirmation. If, however, you did not yet do so, please let us know (we would further require your job title - in addition to the passport copies we already have - to fill out their online form) and we do it for you. Please understand, that in that case we have to charge the extra US $105 per person they ask for their single entry visa.As your safari lies only a week ahead, please provide us with the requested information as soon as possible.

This was very disturbing as in every correspondence prior to this they had said the following

The DR Congo visas are usually purchased by us as the tour operator simply because details such as border checkpoint and address in DRC etc. have to be submitted during the application process.
.......Highest priority is assigned to the activities in DR Congo, now. With your passport photocopies at hand, it is easy for us to proceed and acquire your travel visas along with the volcano hike.

In this instance I contacted the Director who to his credit rectified this but it did add stress as we had limited internet access at this stage.

The day before we flew in we received another email explaining that we would need a special type of sleeping bag and parkas for sub zero conditions to prevent us suffering Hypothermia while trekking up to the volcano.
The packing list we had received before we left home did not mention this.
Decidedly unimpressed on arrival the guide not for the last time said it wasn't his fault as he had only just received the information himself, although later in the conversation he said he had been to the volcano a number of times before so I'm not sure why the company would not know what you need.
He did explain this situation could also be solved!!!!!
The car they picked us up in was really really old we had just come from a self drive safari in Namibia where we had no dust in the car.
The guide was EXTREMELY difficult to understand his English was poor and his attitude poorer.
He had minimal text book knowledge of the area. Quite honestly I think he and the driver thought it was their holiday. Soon as we arrived at places they would take off and chat with people . There were many instances where either ourselves or someone else would have to search for them.
Communication was almost non existent at the second lodge on arrival he just took off to relax in the lounge . Other guests thought they were also guests there, enthused to tell us some other tourists staying there were travelling to the Congo.

After we trekked with the Golden Monkeys we were supposed to go back to the lodge for a shower and lunch. They were particularly agitated and wanted us to be ready in 30 minutes?!
They then drove dangerously to the Congo border. I kept asking why we didn't cross the Congo border that was quite near. He just kept saying it was unacceptable. We finally arrived at the border he was on the phone and then said it was to late to cross. I then asked to speak to the lodge owner who told me she had expected us at 8.30am and had emailed him this information. He had had wifi access at the lodge. She said you can't drive in the Congo at night. One wonders why a company would create an itinerary that is unachievable as we were always trekking golden monkeys that day, the lodge owner was very helpful and suggested we stay just across the border. He instead checked us in at a hotel on the Rwanda side. I asked him to confirm this with her. He assured me he would. Next day we crossed the border my daughter and I were standing on the side of the road with all our gear, yet again they were nowhere to be found. My daughter eventually located them sitting out the back chatting with friends. The driver was late but they hadn't bothered to tell us. As it turns out they had gone to the hotel they thought we were staying at!!!!! ( the one they recommended)
We had consequently held everyone up to start the trek up the volcano. Again on arrival no explanation that we could put some belongings in bags that had been provided for us. We had been told we would each be provided with a porter but they were carrying our sleeping gear not our belongings. The food for the day was two warm ham sandwiches which would have been in the sun for at least four hours before consumption and a non refrigerated boiled egg. Although they were not responsible for the food they did not care about resolving the situation. During the trek the driver and guide spent most of their time taking selfies at one point when my daughter slipped they laughed and kept walking.
At one stage the cook asked the guide to come over and interpret but he was busy taking photos and initially said "no "until the chef demanded it.

lousiopa's picture
lousiopa 02/22/2014

“Refreshingly Eco Friendly Operator”

3 years ago

To put it in just a few words, I'd choose to say: it was amazing! We were looking for an eco friendly approach among the local tour operators and couldn't have made a better choice. Instinct Safaris kindly introduced us to their...

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Date of safari: 
02/22/2014
Circumstances: 
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Wildlife parks visited: 
Bwindi, Mgahinga, Kibale, Murchison Falls

To put it in just a few words, I'd choose to say: it was amazing! We were looking for an eco friendly approach among the local tour operators and couldn't have made a better choice. Instinct Safaris kindly introduced us to their conservational projects and the people in the different parts of Uganda as we also went for lots of wildlife and especially the mountain gorillas in the rain forest. We would definitely like to come back, soon. This time visiting the remote north and east of Uganda.

Martin H.

traniadr's picture
traniadr 12/02/2013

“Hiking in the Bwindi/Virunga Region ”

3 years ago

My brother and I joined Instinct Safaris as we wanted to travel to south western Uganda and visit the mountain gorillas. We first only wanted to see the gorillas and then again leave. However, we were convinced to stay in the region...

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Ecofriendliness: 
Recommended? 
Date of safari: 
12/02/2013
Length of safari: 
4 Days
Wildlife parks visited: 
Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Mgahinga Gorilla National Park

My brother and I joined Instinct Safaris as we wanted to travel to south western Uganda and visit the mountain gorillas. We first only wanted to see the gorillas and then again leave. However, we were convinced to stay in the region a bit longer and hike the Virunga volcanoes and explore the local cultures. I am really happy that we did this! I never imagined Uganda to be so versatile. On the one hand, you have volcanoes of which some are permanently active, and on the other hand you have the mountain gorillas. In between there is a lot of culture to learn about. Great safari!

Jeff

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foerst 09/15/2013

“Great Customer Service and Great Wildlife!”

4 years ago

Extremely friendly staff, we got to see loads of wildlife in Murchison, Queen, as well as Lake Mburo. I got hooked, when the company replied back to me very rapidly in much detail and they also offered a fair price for me and my...

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Recommended? 
Date of safari: 
09/01/2013
Length of safari: 
10 Days
Transport: 
Wildlife parks visited: 
All of Uganda but Kidepo and Mt. Elgon

Extremely friendly staff, we got to see loads of wildlife in Murchison, Queen, as well as Lake Mburo. I got hooked, when the company replied back to me very rapidly in much detail and they also offered a fair price for me and my wife. We just returned from our wonderful trip to Uganda and we can only recommend this company. Wish there were more like Instinct Safaris in Africa with their dedication and the youth projects they do besides the regular safari business.

Jan and Marie

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phaiwrav 08/01/2013

“Walking Safari in the Kigezi Region”

4 years ago

I got some time off work in Kigali and always wanted to visit Uganda on foot and track the gorillas as well as to get to know the local village communities. Instinct Safaris made this fairly easy by offering a walking safari called...

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Date of safari: 
07/01/2013
Length of safari: 
2 Days
Wildlife parks visited: 
Bwindi Impenetrable National Park,

I got some time off work in Kigali and always wanted to visit Uganda on foot and track the gorillas as well as to get to know the local village communities. Instinct Safaris made this fairly easy by offering a walking safari called Nshozi Green Belt, a walking safari with dug-out canoes, mountain biking, hiking, and a lot more. I had never really seen this type of safari anywhere before and it gave me the chance to also go mountain gorilla trekking in Bwindi, which was an amazing experience for me. On my walking safari, we were 4 travellers and 2 guides. The 3 other clients came from Denmark and work at a development organization in Kabale, which is basically where the journey starts. Lake Bunyonyi is a rather well kept secret of the area, along with the Virunga volcanoes - both are just stunning.

Can only recommend this tour. Planning to go to Murchison Falls National Park with Instinct Safaris in the near future.

jamesho's picture
jamesho 07/24/2013

“Long Weekend at Murchison Falls, Uganda”

4 years ago

Hey readers,

I was asked kindly by Instinct Safaris if I could take a little time and tell you about my experience in Uganda! I am back in Kampala, right now, and wanted to take an extended weekend trip of 5 days to...

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Date of safari: 
07/17/2013
Length of safari: 
5 Days
Circumstances: 
Transport: 
Wildlife parks visited: 
Murchison Falls National Park

Hey readers,

I was asked kindly by Instinct Safaris if I could take a little time and tell you about my experience in Uganda! I am back in Kampala, right now, and wanted to take an extended weekend trip of 5 days to Murchison Falls and see the falls and wildlife there. To make it short, I can only encourage you to book with Instinct Safaris! Even though the company itself is not very old with its three years, they have reliable equipment and much more experienced guides than I imagined. The drives in the safari Land Rover Defender of theirs was comfortable and we were lucky to spot many animals, including the Rothschild giraffe and lions!

Their website is Instinct Safaris and many of my questions were answered in their FAQs

I will definitely contact them for a trip that I plan to the mountain gorillas in Bwindi, before I move back to the States! Cheers

foster.john1's picture
foster.john1 07/12/2013

“Gorilla Trekking in Uganda”

4 years ago

Hi, we only had a short trip of 5 days with Instinct Safaris and that was back in April, but my friends and I still recall our amazing trip very well. No complications at all, amazing wildlife spots the guide brought us to, and the...

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Date of safari: 
04/21/2013
Length of safari: 
5 Days
Circumstances: 
Transport: 
Wildlife parks visited: 
Bwindi, Queen

Hi, we only had a short trip of 5 days with Instinct Safaris and that was back in April, but my friends and I still recall our amazing trip very well. No complications at all, amazing wildlife spots the guide brought us to, and the lodges we slept in were very nice. Can only recommend!

Maybe a word about how we found out about them. My cousin went on a safari there, before, and his wife and him already recommended the company to us. I found it easily on google and read some reviews before booking. Their website is www.instinctsafaris.com.

Cheers

Comments

foster.john1's picture
foster.john1
07/12/2013
gethaist's picture
gethaist 07/03/2013

“A trip of a lifetime for my wife and me”

4 years ago

Niels asked us to help their small company by providing a short description of how we liked the safari with them in may. In one word: extraordinary.

From the competent service via mail, phone, and in person to the different...

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Recommended? 
Date of safari: 
05/05/2013
Length of safari: 
15 Days
Circumstances: 
Transport: 
Wildlife parks visited: 
All in western Uganda, except Semliki

Niels asked us to help their small company by providing a short description of how we liked the safari with them in may. In one word: extraordinary.

From the competent service via mail, phone, and in person to the different national parks, mountain gorillas and all the wildlife, there is just no other word for it. We were held up at the airport, because it was not sure where our bags were, but our guide came to help us and we managed to start our journey with all our luggage - what a relief.

We mainly came for the mountain gorillas, but we didn't know, that Uganda had so much more to offer. We managed to spontaneously extend our trip by one day and go for a volcanoe hike with the golden monkeys in the Virunga mountains. Doing these changes were not complicated at all, the guide on site and their headquarters in Kampala did a great job arranging all that for us. We would recommend them anytime!

frouthut's picture
frouthut 07/02/2013

“13 Days in Uganda and Rwanda, Amazing Trip!”

4 years ago

My husband and I are more than happy to be able to describe just how amazing my safari to Uganda and Rwanda was. Frankly, our group of 4 was surprised by how professional Instinct Safaris was and we were excited about all the things...

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Date of safari: 
02/02/2013
Length of safari: 
13 Days
Circumstances: 
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Wildlife parks visited: 
Kibale, Lake Mburo, Bwindi, Mgahinga Gorilla, Queen Elizabeth

My husband and I are more than happy to be able to describe just how amazing my safari to Uganda and Rwanda was. Frankly, our group of 4 was surprised by how professional Instinct Safaris was and we were excited about all the things other tour operators don't have. We travelled in February and were in the region for almost two weeks. Our basic tour setup was this one: 12 day sample wildlife and mountain gorilla safari, plus the Rwanda extension.

We had Garmins in the 4x4 vehicle (Land Rover Defender, safari equipped), so that we would always know where we are and explore the region on the longer drives. We also had free drinks and free fruits which we had picked from local markets along side the road.

The wildlife in Uganda was much better and richer than expected. Kazinga channel had a lot of animals for us to admire and gorilla trekking in Uganda and Rwanda was just an amazing experience. Thank you Instinct Safaris!

uiachebe's picture
uiachebe 07/02/2013

“Mountain gorilla trekking and lion safari in Uganda”

4 years ago

I travelled alone as I usually preferred on my previous trips to east Africa. I chose Instinct Safaris, because I read good feedback about them on tripadvisor and even their resources being shown as sources on sites like wikipedia....

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Recommended? 
Date of safari: 
04/09/2013
Length of safari: 
2 Weeks
Wildlife parks visited: 
Queen Elizabeth National Park, Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Kibale National Park, Lake Mburo National Park, Rwenzori Mountains National Park

I travelled alone as I usually preferred on my previous trips to east Africa. I chose Instinct Safaris, because I read good feedback about them on tripadvisor and even their resources being shown as sources on sites like wikipedia. Their website is www.instinctsafaris.com or you can simply find them on google by entering "safaris in uganda". Niels was a great contact and helped me prepare for my safari in a very professional way. It was a fun way to make our itinerary for my safari together, as they had all the experience, and even gave me additional ideas for my safari.

On site, we always sticked to our wonderful itinerary and travel plan and we were very lucky with the weather and animals. Queen Elizabeth national park was great with its Kazinga channel, but mountain gorilla trekking in Bwindi was what I mainly came for. Before and after gorilla trekking, you can see that Instinct Safaris really does something for the local communities. Sometimes they bring medication for the local clinics in the villages. When I asked what I could bring for the children in the villages, they gave me the idea to bring a deflated footbal, as it fits in the luggage well, when coming on a plane. The kids really loved it!

I can only recommend this company. They are always on time, and the fair prices convinced me.

Lee

Comments

frouthut's picture
frouthut
07/02/2013

I recognize these mountains - the Virungas!