Day 1: Airport pick up
Upon arrival at the airport, you will be picked up from Entebbe airport by a representative of your accommodation for tonight. You will meet your driver/ guide tomorrow morning when he picks you up from your hotel. Depending on the time of your arrival, you might be able to do some optional activities in Entebbe like a visit to the Botanical gardens or the Ugandan Wildlife Education Centre (UWEC). Please note that all activities today are at your own cost.
Journey Time: 10 minutes
Accommodation: Lake Victoria View Guest house
Meal plan: No meals included
Day 2: Transfer to Kibale Forest NP
Today after an early breakfast, your guide will come to your hotel to brief you about the safari and will transfer you to Fort portal, close to Kibale National park. The drive is incredibly scenic, passing through villages, lush green forests and hills dotted with tea plantations.
You will stay at a wonderful lodge, just outside Fort Portal town, with spacious rooms and amazing views over one of the crater lakes in this area.
Journey time: 6 hours
Accommodation: Kibale Forest Camp- Lazy camping
Meal plan: All meals
Kibale Forest Camp – lazy camping (Budget) offers a more budget option in the form of non-self-contained tents away from the main accommodation. The lazy camping consists of a basic camping tent furnished with 2 single beds and a solar lantern. No need to bring your own linen as all bedding and towels are provided. The tents share a communal ablution blocks with hot showers and flushing toilets.
Day 3: Chimpanzee tracking – Bigodi swamp walk
Today you will wake up early to go to the park head offices to be briefed about your chimp tracking experience. Kibale Forest National park boasts the highest number of primate species in the world, including the chimpanzees. Approximately 5,000 chimpanzees live in the wild in Uganda, which makes it a perfect place to see them
An experienced ranger will take you chimp tracking chimp in the morning or afternoon; you might also see other monkey species that live here. Once you locate the chimpanzees you will have a full hour of eye-to-eye contact with them. Since they are wild animals, we can never guarantee you to see them and might have to settle with hearing their hoots and hollers.
In the afternoon after lunch, you will go for the guided swamp walk. The walk (2-3 hours) will take you through grassland, small communities and some beautiful scenery, where the locals are likely to greet you with enthusiastic waves. It is usual to spot three to four different primate species during this walk, though the highlight is catching a glimpse of the great blue turaco!
• Chimpanzee habituation tracking
At an additional fee of only $90 US Dollar per person, you can do the chimpanzee habituation tracking instead of the regular chimpanzee tracking. This will take all day and you will be 100% sure to have a very close encounter with our cousins. Book this in time because only 6 persons per day are allowed to go. Your swamp walk can be postponed to the next morning before heading to Queen Elizabeth National park
• Crater Lakes Hike:
Formed by ancient volcanic activity, the crater lakes of Uganda are located near Fort Portal, and are a great hiking option. Typical hikes take you through local villages and tea plantations, to the base of several of these incredibly serene and beautiful lakes. With the Rwenzori Mountains in the background, this is by far one of Uganda’s most peaceful and extraordinary sights
Journey Time: 1 hour each way
Accommodation: Kibale Forest camp- Lazy camping
Meal plan: All meals
Day 4: Transfer to Queen Elizabeth National Park
After breakfast, your guide will drive you to Queen Elizabeth National Park, home to a high concentration of Uganda’s mammals that include tree climbing and savanna lions, elephants, wart hogs, Uganda kob, water buck, cape buffalo, hippos, leopards, as well as more than 600 species of birds that include the African spoon bill, pied kingfishers, fish eagles, pelicans, vultures.
Queen Elizabeth National park is Uganda’s second largest park, located at the base of the majestic Rwenzori Mountain range, adjacent to Lake Edward and Lake George. The park has game including Uganda kob, warthog and waterbuck. Lions are often sighted both in and at the entrance to the park. Be ready to see huge numbers of hippos and elephants, and keep your eyes on the look out for a leopard lazing in the sunshine.
In the late afternoon you will relax at the lodge.
Journey Time: 3 ½
Accommodation: Irungu Forest Lodge
Meal plan: All meals
Day 5: Game drive & Kazinga channel boat safari
Today you wake up early. A little before sunrise coffee, tea and donuts will be served in the lounge before we head out for a long game drive in time to see the first rays of light. You will search for all the wildlife in the park and are likely to come across Elephant, Buffalo, Lion, Waterbuck, Leopard, Uganda Kob, and many Warthogs.
A well-deserved brunch will be served back at the lodge in the late morning. In the afternoon you will take a boat safari along the Kazinga Channel which joins Lake George and Lake Edward. Here, you will see a lot of hippos (more than you can possibly imagine!), as well as a variety of other animals which come to the waterhole to drink or bathe. You can expect to see buffalo, crocodile, bathing elephant, and a range of beautiful birds. This will undoubtedly be one of the highlights of your tour.
Optional activity: Hot Air Balloon Safari:
Experience the wildlife of Queen Elizabeth national park 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 sun rises and floats in whatever direction the winds of the morning takes 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 behaviour. 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.
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.
Cost: $85 us dollar p.p.
Optional activity: Kyambura Gorge
Another optional activity in Queen Elisabeth N.P. is to visit the Kyambura Gorge. A hike through the gorge gives you the opportunity to see habituated chimpanzees and other types of primates including red-tailed monkey, black-and-white colobus, baboons and velvet monkeys. Although the chance of spotting chimpanzees is only 50%, the landscape is among the most impressive in Uganda and is absolutely worth it!
Cost: $50 US Dollar p.p.
Accommodation: Irungu Forest Camp
Meal plan:: All meals
Day 6: Tree climbing lions- transfer to Bwindi Impenetrable Forest
After breakfast you will proceed to the southern part of Queen Elizabeth National Park, the famous Ishasha area, for a game drive searching for the tree climbing lions. Ishasha is home to the famous tree-climbing lions. While lion cubs around the world frequently climb trees for fun, adults rarely do. The adult lions in Ishasha are an exception to this. It is thought that they sit in the branches to get away from the tsetse flies and to enjoy a cool breeze. If you are lucky you might spot a few during your game drive.
Lunch will be at Ishasha Wilderness Camp in Ishasha. After lunch you will be transferred to Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, home to Mountain Gorillas. You will get there in time for dinner and overnight.
Journey Time: 5 hours + game drive time
Accommodation: Broadbill Forest Camp
Meal plan: All meals
Broadbill Forest Camp is located in Ruhija, on the Eastern edge of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest Park.
It is calm, peaceful with stunning views of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, making it a perfect place to totally unwind and relax, away from the pressures of every day life.
The tents are en suite, with hot water and a private veranda. From your balcony, you will see lots of rare Albertine Rift Valley endemics, and with birding skills of the birding expert Emmy Gongo at the lodge, you would be able to identify them.
Day 7: Tracking in Bwindi Forest
Today after early breakfast, you will be transferred to the park head quarters for briefing about gorilla tracking. You will encounter one of Bwindi’s endangered mountain gorillas. For most people this is the absolute highlight of their tour in Uganda.
Bwindi Impenetrable national park boasts both mountain gorillas and chimpanzees – the only forest in Africa that can make this claim. It also hosts five other species of primates, 113 species of mammals, over 200 species of butterflies and 360 species of birds. The gorillas you track are habituated and can tolerate the presence of humans for a brief period of time, every day.
The time taken to track the gorillas can be as few as 2 hours to as many as 7 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’.
Accommodation: Broadbill Forest Camp
Meal Plan: All meals
Day 8: Transfer back to Kampala or Entebbe
After breakfast at the lodge, you will drive back to Kampala or Entebbe (Airport). As you pass through the equator, there will be a stop for the requisite snapshot and a bit of souvenir shopping.
Accommodation for tonight is not inclusive in the program. If you wish to depart tonight from Entebbe Airport, make sure your flight is at 10 pm or later. If you want us to book one (or more) nights in Kampala and/or Entebbe, please let us know.
Journey Time: 9 hours to Kampala, 10 hours to Entebbe
Accommodation: Not included
Meal Plan: Breakfast and lunch