Gorilla Discovery Journey
August 15th, 2021 - August 27th, 2021
7987 USD Single
Welcome to Uganda!
Boasting ten national parks, the jewel in its crown is the Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, which is home to over half the planet’s mountain gorilla population and where you can experience a once in a lifetime visit. Uganda is one of only three countries where the mountain gorillas can be visited in their natural habitat.
Also unique to Uganda are the tree climbing lions of Queen Elizabeth National Park. For bird-watchers, a boat trip on either Lake Edward or Lake George will give you the chance to see up to 600 different species, many of which are unique to here.
Our journey will pass through the Hills of Kabale, the thick forest of Bwindi, the powerful waterfalls in Murchsion Falls National Park, the deepest lake in Uganda - Bunyonyi and it's unseen islands within, the tragic history of Punishment Island.
DAY 1: Arrival
Pick up at Entebbe International airport 10:00 am and transfer to your Kampala Hotel. Relax and freshen up. Meet your host and driver for late lunch at 2:00 PM. Rest of the day at your leisure. Overnight New Forest Lodge, Kampala.
DAY 2: Visit to the Source of the Nile
After breakfast head to the source of the River Nile. We shall embark on a boat ride that will take us through rich wetlands to view the many species of birds, .
The Nile has been the lifeblood of East and North Africa, providing food, water, transport and much more for the inhabitants who live around this great river - both humans and wildlife. Spiraling across the great plains of Africa from its source in Jinja, Uganda, to its mouth, the world’s longest river (4,132 miles or 6,650 km) has always been worshiped by the locals as a life-giving magnificence and it is easy to see why. Even until today, the Nile plays a great role to all countries blessed with its waters including eco-tourism. The climax is Itanda Falls and the caves. Dinner. Overnight Nile Resort Hotel.
DAY 3: Flight to Murchison Falls
After breakfast take a morning flight to Murchison Falls. Free time to relax at the lodge and discuss our plans for tomorrow's game drive. Dinner at lodge. Overnight Paraa Safari Lodge.
DAY 4: Murchison Falls Game Drive
Early in the morning, we will set off on a game drive to see some of the animals that call Murchison Falls home. We will have a drive through the delta circuit, reputably known for high concentrations of wildlife. The drive will lead you to a grassy peninsular, bordered by the delta of the Victoria Nile to the south and the Albert Nile to the north. There are kob breeding grounds here, where you can view herds of Uganda kob and lion prides, which stay close to their prey. Other antelopes you will see include Defassa waterbuck, Jackson’s hartebeest and orbi. Great herds of giraffe also occupy this area. Buffalo herds, hippos, and elephants are common along with a rich variety of birds - the rare shoebill stork, Abyssinian ground hornbill, crested crane, saddle-billed stork, Denham’s bustard and the Senegal thick knee. Finish with a 2 hour boat excursion and a visit to the area's waterfall. Dinner at lodge. Overnight Paraa Safari Lodge.
DAY 5: Flight to Fort-Portal
Leave mid-morning for the flight to Fort Portal. Upon arrival at the lodge free time for walking and bird watching.
Dinner and overnight Mountain of the Moon Hotel.
DAY 6: Visit to Kibale for Chimpanzee Trek
Wake up early to catch up with the chimpanzees!
Set off from the hotel at 6:00 am with a packed breakfast and water for Kibale National Park. Arrive at 7:00am at the park entrance and then at 7:30, move to the briefing point.
Chimpanzee trekking is magical and exciting! It is an exceptional experience seeing the chimps feed, caring for their little ones and responding to the presence of humans.
You will also be able to see the chattering black and white Colobus monkeys, Olive Baboon, chimpanzees or Vervet monkeys. There are about 4,950 chimps remaining in Uganda.
For birders, you will not miss out on the endemic birds of the Albertine rift. After this exciting day, we shall transfer to the hotel for dinner. Overnight Kibale Primate Lodge.
Day 7: Semuliki Sempaya Hot Springs
We shall start the day at 9:00am after an early breakfast and head to the Semuliki hot springs. Semuliki is one of the ancient Africa’s national parks found in western Uganda at the foot hills of the Mountains of the Moon. It's characterized by a diversity of forest environments. The famous hot springs bubbling up from the depths demonstrate the powerful subterranean forces that have shaped the Rift valley for the last 14 million years.
You can experience central Africa without traveling out of Uganda. Features like huts thatched with West Africa’s oil palms, River Semuliki - a miniature version of the Congo River, Central Africa’s wildlife species and a local population of Batwa (pygmies) that originated from Iturbi rain forest also live here. It's home to 66% of the total bird species of Uganda’s forest birds and 53 mammal species, 11 of which are endemic to the park, including the pygmy antelope and two flying squirrel species.
The never-ending hot springs appear in lush swampy clearing; the ‘female’ spring Nyasimbi- meaning female ancestors, spurts bubbling water up to 2m high and the steam can be seen from as far as 2km away, while the ‘Sempaya’ hot spring –‘male’ hot spring measures 12m in diameter. The locals take advantage of the springs to boil food and eggs and bathe here to cleanse themselves of bad omens.
Dinner at the lodge. Overnight at Mweya Safari Lodge.
DAY 8: Queen Elizabeth Game Drive
Wake up to a game drive through Queen Elizabeth NP with packed breakfast.
Queen Elizabeth National Park has magnificent views down to the Great Rift Valley floor that is occupied by Lake Edward and Lake George which connect through the Kazinga Channel. Besides the stunning scenery, it is a well-known habitat for about 95 mammals along with 612 species of birds. It’s here that you will have an opportunity to be at the Equator in the wild where you will make a stop for photo opportunity.
You will also so have a view of the snowcapped Mountains of the Moon while at the equator. You will have an opportunity to visit the mating ground of the Uganda Kobs, have a thrilling view of the lions, elephants, buffaloes and other wild animals in their natural habitat.
We'll have a refreshment at the Queens pavilion before heading back to Mweya Lodge for lunch. After lunch, we'll have a boat tour.
The climax at Queen Elizabeth National Park is this boat cruise along the Kazinga Channel, a natural channel between Lake Edward and Lake George. Here you will see the abundant bird life of the channel and the elephants, buffaloes and hundreds of hippos that are cooling off at the shores, this cruise will definitely be one of the highlights of your safari.
Dinner at the lodge. Overnight at Mweya Safari Lodge.
DAY 9: Queen Elizabeth National Park - Bwindi
After breakfast, we set off for Bwindi Impenetrable National Park through Ishasha. Ishaha is popularly known for it's climbing lions. We'll stop for lunch then drive on to our guest house at the entrance of Bwindi National Park.
Dinner at the lodge. Overnight Silver Back Lodge.
DAY 10: Gorilla Trekking in Bwindi
Early morning (7:30am) we head to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park to encounter the mighty Mountain Gorillas. At this point everyone shall have to check their cameras and ensure that they are in good working condition! We will verify and determine the family your tracking.
Packed breakfast on the way and at 8:30am shall gather at assembly point for briefing before starting the journey to track the gorillas. We will have packed lunch and water. Your ultimate life experience will be the encounter with the Mountain Gorillas in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park tucked away in the south-western corner of Uganda. Mountain Gorillas live in structured groups with defined home ranges. A meeting with the gentle giants of Bwindi in the beautiful ecosystem of the park. Note: No use of flash is allowed.
Return back in the afternoon from the forest to the hotel for resting and check-out. Late afternoon transfer to Lake Bunyonyi for our overnight stay. Gather in the evening to evaluate the day and refocus for the remaining days ahead.
Dinner and overnight at Hawks Eye Lodge.
DAY 11: Lake Bunyonyi-Kampala
Lake Bunyonyi is the second deepest lake in Africa after Lake Tanganyika. Our interest here will be a visit to Punishment Island. We shall have a boat ride on Lake Bunyonyi and the climax on Lake Bunyonyi is Punishment Island. Punishment Island was where girls who would get pregnant before marriage were taken to meet their death.
We will have packed breakfast. The drive will end at between 11am and 12pm. Lunch then continue to Masaka.
Evening spend at local home with dinner. Overnight Brovad Hotel.
DAY 12: Masaka to Kampala
After breakfast, travel to Kampala. Check-in hotel and depart for a city tour mid-afternoon. Dinner at hotel. Overnight New Forest Lodge, Kampala.
DAY 13: Departure
After breakfast, transfer to Entebbe airport for onward travel. Please book flights for late afternoon or evening departures.
Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner daily
Park entry fees
Vehicle and driver with fuel
Guides and fees
Boat cruise at the Kazinga Channel
Lake Bunyonyi boat tour
Service staff and guide tips
WHAT'S NOT INCLUDED:
Visa fees (paid at the airport on arrival)