Uganda Tour

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We have the opportunity to spend 5-10 days in Uganda next February on our return home from Ethiopia. We have contacted Adventure Center in California and they have a tour that meets those requirements. We are also interested in investigating other tour operators who might be able to meet our requirements. Suggestions? Also, if you have personal experience with Adventure Center, I would appreciate your opinion of their operation and their tours.

I haven't dealt with the Adventure Center in some years, but when I did, it was not a tour organizer or operator. Instead, it was the US representative for a number of non-US based companies. For example, when I wanted to book a trip with Explore (a UK company) at that time I couldn't deal directly with them. Instead, I had to book the trip through the Adventure Center. If this is still the case, then you'll want to look into the reputation of the company that's actually offering the tour that interests you.

If you go to the Adventure Center website and clock on eBrochures, you'll see a list of companies that they represent.

I'd much rather deal directly with the tour operator if possible. As it now stands, you must be paying something extra to cover the Adventure Center's costs and profits, and if you have a question, the Adventure Center may have to pass it along to the actual operator. At least that was my experience in signing up for Explore trips. Still, you may have no choice if you want to travel with one of their companies.

I've used Adventure Center for various trips since 1994. Stan is right -- they do not organize their own trips, but are the US representatives for various British, Canadian and Australian companies. One of the companies they used to represent, Explore Worldwide, has now opened its own office in the US.

These foreign companies offer some amazing and often very unique itineraries - many of which you can also find in up-market US "adventure companies" (like Wilderness Travel, Snow Lion Expeditions, Mountain Travel Sobek,etc) for a lot more money. The difference is in level of accommodation and meals. They offer clean, safe, well-located and usually family run hotels rather than 5-star properties and resorts, and generally only breakfast is provided. If you are traveling in an area where there are no restaurant alternatives, more meals are provided. They use local, licensed guides rather than bring a tour leader from the US. Another plus is that you will probably be traveling with British, Canadians or Australians and these people are good travelers.

Once you choose a specific tour, I might be able to tell you more about the company. I've booked trips with Imaginative Traveler (UK), Peregrine (Australia), Exodus (UK) and GAP Adventures (Canadian) thru Adventure Center.

You might also want to check the Explore Worldwide ( site to see if they have any trips that fit your dates.

We used Gorilla Tours and would recommend them. Their guesthouse in Entebbe is a particularly good value.

the other Stan

We used Volcanoes Safari last year for a two week trip. Turned out we were only ones, could have been four I think, so we had car and driver for entire trip. Their lodges are great, green, and run by locals so they are supporting the local economy.
Would highly recommend them and they will custom tailor your tour.