Your 12-days adventure takes you on a journey through the primal forests of Uganda in search of primates, before visiting Queen Elizabeth National Park for thrilling wildlife experiences, teemed with adventurous treks through lake Mburo national Park and finally winding it down at the longest river in the world- the River Nile.
This safari is perfect for the adventurous at heart; this journey delivers the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to discover mountain gorillas and Golden monkeys in their natural habitat, deep in the forests of Uganda followed by a cultural interaction with East Africa’s oldest inhabitants – the pygmies.
Day 1: Arrival Uganda
On arrival at Uganda’s Entebbe International Airport, you will be met by a representative and transferred to your hotel. Depending on your time of arrival, you can opt to relax in, or take a stroll through the neighbouring shopping mall or simply explore Entebbe – a small bustling city.
Day 2: Flight to Kisoro/Transfer by Canoe on L. Mutanda to lodge
Today morning, you transfer by domestic flight to Kisoro– the home of Mountain Gorillas. You’ll proceed through the breath taking; ever green mountain country – deep to the south-western part of Uganda; close to the borders of Rwanda and Congo. You cross a beautiful part of the country often referred to as ‘the Switzerland of Africa’.
Upon arrival in Kisoro, you will be transferred to the shores of Lake Mutanda were you will sit in a dug-out canoe and be transferred to your lodge in preparation for Gorilla trekking the following day.
Your lodge is perched on a peninsula on Lake Mutanda in the shadow of the Virunga Mountain Range, lake Mutanda resort offers wonderful accommodation combined with the most beautiful views on planet earth.
Day 3: Gorilla Trekking- Bwindi Impenetrable Forest!!!
Today is the big day… Prepare yourself for an encounter with one of Bwindi’s gentle giants: the rare Mountain Gorilla. For most people this is the absolute highlight of their tour in Uganda. You will be required to wake up early in the morning then be led to the visitor’s reception centre for a briefing about the park. You are allocated guides before heading into the forest in search of Mountain Gorillas.
Bwindi Impenetrable Forest boasts both Mountain Gorillas and Chimpanzees – the only forest in Africa which can make this claim in fact. It also hosts five other species of primate, 113 species of mammal, over 200 butterflies and 360 birds.
The Gorillas you will track belong to one of nine habituated family groups who can tolerate the presence of humans for a brief period every day. Your trek will be an exciting journey along forested slopes, entwined vines, bushes and bamboo before you eventually reach the Gorillas’ habitat. En-route, your guide will point out signs of previous Gorilla activity, including dung, nests and chewed bamboo shoots.
The time taken to track the Gorillas can take as little as 2 hours! Once the Gorillas have been located, your group will be allowed a maximum of one hour with them. Coming face-to-face with a Mountain Gorilla is a truly humbling and emotional experience. This is a fantastic and privileged opportunity to get up close and personal with Uganda’s very own ‘Gorillas in the Mist’.
After trekking Gorillas, return to your lodge from where you will relive those special moments as you relax by your terrace and enjoy the views.
Day 4: Batwa Cultural trail
After a refreshing night’s sleep, you once again lace up your hiking boots and drive to the ‘Batwa’ (pygmies) Cultural Trail in Mgahinga National Park. You’ll meet members of the Twa tribe, who are thought to be the longest-standing inhabitants of the Great Lakes region. Their history can be traced back at least 4000 years and they are renowned as dancers and storytellers. You will learn more about the Batwa’s hunting and gathering techniques, their goddess and their musical performances.
The Batwa Trail is unique in a way that it show-cases authentic culture of the original inhabitants of the Mghahinga forest who’s lives mainly depended on the natural habitat. While exploring the trail, you experience the naturally endowed forest through a rare view point of the local people. The experience comes along with different unique demonstrations on how the pygmies used to extract local herbs that were used for healing different diseases, traditional ways of fetching water using locally made bamboo mugs and construction of grass huts.
The highly rewarding cultural tour ends with staged, authentic cultural performance organized by the Batwa community at the gate of the Garama cave which was highly regarded as ceremonial place for the cultural leaders of the Batwa community.
Day 5: Golden Monkey Trekking/ To L. Bunyonyi
Spend the morning searching for golden monkeys and other colourful rainforest inhabitants on guided walks through the Mt. Mgahinga park. Specialized birding safaris can be arranged as well as historical tours and cultural visits to local villages. For those taking it easy, there are plenty of comfortable spaces to relax and appreciate the impressive scenery and in the day, you will transfer to lake Bunyonyi.
After two days of hiking, you will no doubt enjoy relaxing by the beautiful Lake Bunyonyi dotted by many ever green islands and rolling hills. BBC describes L.Bunyonyi as the most beautiful lake in Africa. Just enjoy this paradise of Bird Island, watch the sunset on its coloured shores as you relax.
Lake Bunyonyi is bilharzia-free and safe for swimming, sailing and canoeing.
You stay in a simple but comfortable furnished safari banda with a view of the lake.
Day 6: Optional activities on L.Bunyonyi
Options of activities on Lake Bunyonyi E.g. Canoe tours to the lake’s many beautiful islands and villages, Hiking tours to nearby forests, waterfalls, villages and craftsmen, and along the spectacular Bunyonyi ridge, Visits to local schools and community projects. Interpretive birding tours, Self-guided canoeing around the lake (Picnic & island-hop at your own pace. A detailed lake map is available.) Enjoy a sundowner canoe ride or you can simply relax all day.
Days 7- 8: Explore Queen Elizabeth National Park
Your drive from Lake Bunyonyi to Bush Lodge may take upto 7 hours but as you drive through the open savannah of Acacia on the edge of the Albertine Rift valley of Ishasha plains be on the lookout for a pride of tree-climbing lions that have made an old fig their regular ‘hangout’.
Set at the edge of the kazinga Channel, Bush Lodge consists of a series of ecological bandas that are individually designed and spaced in such a way to maximize privacy and enhance the safari aspect of the lodge. Animals’ literary room in and out the camp and sounds of hippo’s and hyenas complement the star lit dinners.
Your days here start early as you set off in the cool of the morning to look for game like lion; elephants, buffaloes, Ugandan kob and antelope on the Kasenyi plains while the dense thickets of the Mweya peninsula is the ideal hiding spot for notoriously shy leopard.
On your final afternoon, you will cruise the Kazinga Channel, which flows between Lakes George and Edward. One of the continent’s densest concentrations of hippo lives here, as well as large numbers of elephants, crocodiles and water birds like African fish eagles and pelicans.
Optional activity: Hot Air Balloon Safari:
Experience the wildlife of Queen Elizabeth np in a new, unique way. Wake up early to catch the sunrise, as you silently fly over the plains of Queen Elizabeth National Park. Admire the herds of buffaloes, elephants and enjoy the serene tranquility of the African bush…
You will take off early at dawn for a flight that lasts for approximately 1 hour. Rise as the suns rises and float in whatever direction the winds of the morning take you. Fly higher than the trees and hills and enjoy the best of Uganda, with many great photo opportunities of the scenery and wildlife below.
After a smooth landing you can celebrate this amazing adventure with a glass of sparkling juice before returning to your lodge to continue your safari.
Costing: $380 us dollar p.p.
Optional activity: Lion Tracking:
For visitors who yearn to get up close to wild African fauna, a research trip is a rewarding adventure. This new and unique experience allows visitors to actively participate in monitoring some of lions in the park, using locator devices and learn habituation calls, as well as monitoring weather, surroundings and behavior. The results are added to researchers’ databases, contributing valuable information to the overall understanding of wildlife ecology – and helping to conserve this wonderful ecosystem. This will as well gives you a 95% chance to see the lions!
The number of people on each outing is limited in order to reduce stress on the animals and to increase the quality of the experience for visitors.
The experiential tourism activities currently available are Mongoose Tracking, Lion Tracking, Hippo Census, and Bird Counts. The number of people on each outing is limited in order to reduce stress on the animals and to increase the quality of the experience for visitors.
Experiential tours lasts between one and three hours. They usually take place in the early morning or evening, or occasionally at night. All activities must be booked through the Visitor Information Centre in Mweya at least 24 hours in advance.
Costing: $150 US dollars p.p.
Day 9: To L.Mburo National park
After breakfast, you say farewell to the ‘Little Switzerland of Africa’ – a land characterized by terraced hills of cultivation, Coffee &Tea plantations, Lakes and ever green beautiful scenery to Lake Mburo National Park.
You will reach Mbarara town in time for lunch and then proceed to the Park with a game drive en-route; which will give you clear views of animals such as Zebras, Giraffes, Buffaloes and elands and a variety of birds.
Day 10: Horseback/Walking safari – To Jinja
Before departing this beautiful park, you can optionally indulge in a horseback or walking safari as you desire. Lake Mburo N.P. is one of two parks in Uganda where it is permitted to go for a walking safari with an experienced ranger. This opportunity should not be missed. From footprints and animal droppings the ranger will be able to tell you which animal has left it and how long ago. It is exciting to approach wildlife at such close range.
Note: You can either opt for a walking Safari, or for a mountain bike safari – $15 pp for 2 hours or go on a horseback riding safari in the park -US$ 60 pp for 2 hours.
Optional activities: Lake Mburo N.P; Horse riding, Walking Safari and Mountain Bike Safari
Leaving the South Western Uganda behind, you will make your way to the second largest town and the colonial manufacturing hub, Jinja. In Jinja the Nile River begins its journey from Lake Victoria all the way up to the Mediterranean Sea.
On arrival in Jinja, you will check into your lodgings for the next 2nights.
Day 11: Optional Activities by the Nile
Today all the activities that you choose to undertake are at your own discretion and will subsequently be paid for by you.
You can optionally embark on a half day white Water Rafting spree on some of the best Grade five cascades in the world. Other
Optional Activities include; White water rafting , horseback safari along the Nile, Quad-biking , White-water kayaking on the Nile, sun downer cruise on the Nile, tour the source of the Nile, Big Game mini-golf, A visit to Jinja market, Village walk and Sport fishing on the Nile. You can optionally skip all the adventure and choose to leisurely wind down or relax by the Nile with a book in hand.
Day 12: Winging your way home
Depending on your departure flight, you will set off on a 4hour drive from Jinja to Entebbe International Airport to catch your departure flight back home.
Accommodation for tonight is not inclusive in the program. If you would like us to book one (or more) nights in Kampala and/or Entebbe, please let us know.
This marks the end of what we hope will be an adventurous trip- Thank you very much!!
Validity: 01.06.2016 – 20.12.2017
Price (USD) Per Person Including 4×4 Jeep
I. If 1 pax traveling @US$6,396
II. If 2 pax traveling @US$4,290
III. If 4 pax traveling @US$3,564
IV. If 6 pax traveling @US$3,276
Price (USD) per Person including 4×4 Safari Minibus
I. If 1 pax traveling @US$$5,616
II. If 2 pax traveling @US$3,942
III. If 4 pax traveling @US$3,318
IV. If 6 pax traveling @US$3,114
Please observe our Additional checklist for Gorilla Tracking