Day 1. - Arrival at Entebbe Airport and Transfer to Hotel
Upon arrival at Entebbe Airport at Entebbe Airport, meet and greet by one of our company
representatives and later be handed over to your guide for the transfer to the Hotel for overnight at Papyrus Guest
Day 2. - Entebbe –Lake Mburo
Drive south westwards stopping at the Mpigi Drum Makers, get a chance to view how the local drums are made using traditional methods. Have another stop at the equator for photographs and souvenirs. Drive by local communities and the rolling plains of Ankole. Continue on to Lake Mburo National Park, the only park in the country with an entire lake from which it derives its name. In the afternoon you will have a boat ride on the lake viewing a diversity of animal and plant species: crocodiles, hippos and birds including Pelicans, Black Crake and Heron. Dinner and overnight at Rwakobo Rock.
Lake Mburo National Park (LMNP) is a very special place; every part of it is Alive with variety, interest and color. LMNP contains an extensive area of wetland. The park harbors several species of mammals including zebras, impalas, elands, topi and buffaloes. Its sculptured landscape with rolling grassy hills and idyllic lakeshores has a varied mosaic of habitats: forest galleries, rich acacia tree valleys, seasonal and permanent swamps which all support a wealth of wildlife. The park is only 370sq km and the smallest of Uganda’s savannah national parks.
Location: Lake Mburo National Park is situated in Mbarara district. It is about 3.5 hours’ drive from Kampala. The park is accessed from the Masaka-Mbarara road; turn left to Nshara gate (13kms past Lyantonde) or alternatively turn left at Sanga trading centre (27kms past Lyantonde) which brings you through Sanga gate. Both junctions have clearly marked signposts. It is about13 km from Sanga trading centre to Sanga gate and 8 km from the main road to Nshara gate. It is about 20 minutes’ drive from either gate to Rwonyo park headquarters.
Boat Trips: The presence of Lake Mburo within the park is a blessing. The lake is rich with a diversity of animal and plant species, which can only be viewed clearly while on a boat trip. These include crocodiles, hippopotami and birds like Pelicans, Black crake, Heron, Cormorant and Fish eagle but you may also see the rare Shoebill stork, all of which will furnish your visit with pride. The duration of each boat ride is 2 hours maximum, but arrangements for extra time can be made with management at an extra fee.
Day 3. - Game drive and transfer to Bwindi National Park
Early morning game drive and enjoy the rich biodiversity including large herds of zebra, impala, gigantic eland, topis and a variety of bird species. Look out for the newly introduced Giraffes in the Park. Return to the lodge for a late breakfast and then depart for Bwindi National Park. Overnight at Mahogany Springs Lodge.
Game Drives: The park has a number of tourist tracks that are used for game drives. Impala, Zebra and Kazuma track exposes the visitor to a diverse species of animals. Impala is the most common species viewed along this track although one may sight a number of waterbucks, warthogs, topis, and zebras. For visitors to experience a real exposure of Lake Mburo National Park, they should climb Kazuma hill, which is high enough to enable them to see what they could have missed. The five lakes within the park and the rolling hills become more visible and attractive. It’s better seen than read or heard! Kigambira loop takes you through a wooded wilderness with scattered thicket and while you are here, look out for bushbucks and bush duikers. The Lakeside track is specially designed to facilitate viewing of water plants and animals. The park has a diversity of water birds and woodland birds which can be sighted along these tracks.
Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is situated in south western Uganda, on the edge of the Western Rift Valley (Albertine rift) and is shared by Kanungu, Kabale and Kisoro districts. It is 331 sq km in size and on an altitude range of 1,160 metres (Ishasha gorge) to 2,607 metres (Rwamanyonyi Peak). The annual average temperature range is 7°C - 20°C with the coldest period being June and July. Of the local people neighbouring the park, the majority are Bakiga and Bafumbira, constituting the most dense settlements in Uganda (350 people/sq km). A few Batwa are also found.
Species Diversity: Bwindi is home to 326 gorillas, almost a half of the world’s population of mountain gorillas. There are also 346 species of birds and over 200 species of butterflies. This afromontane forest has dense under storey of fern, vines and shrubs. About 324 tree species have been recorded here, 10 of which occur nowhere else in Uganda.
Bird Watching: Bwindi is the bird watchers haven! It holds 346 species of birds and contains 90% of all Albertine rift endemics, difficult or impossible to see in any other part of East Africa and seven IUCN red data listed species. An experienced bird watcher can identify up to 100 species in a day! Visit Ruhija and Buhoma for this dream. Indicate your interest to the Park Management so that appropriate early morning departures can be arranged.
Day 4. - Gorilla trekking in Bwindi- Buhoma Sector
7:00am- After breakfast set out and transfer to the Park headquarters for the Gorilla trekking briefing. After this, you will enter the forest at 8:00am and enjoy the beauty and freshness of the forest, home to more than half of the world’s mountain gorillas. Proceed through the dense bush to trek for these endangered animals depending on where they built their nest the previous night. This can take from 2- 7 hrs while searching in the jungle forest. For conservation purposes, time allowed with the Gorillas is 1 hour. Dinner and overnight stay at Mahogany Springs Lodge.
Gorilla Tracking: This is the major activity in Bwindi, with Ten Gorilla groups currently available daily for tourists. Mubare group (5 gorillas, 1 silverback) was opened for tourism in 1993, Habinyanja group (18 gorillas, 2 silverback) opened in July 1999, Rushegura group (20 gorillas, 1 silverback) was opened in July 2002, while Nkuringo group (20 gorillas, 3 silverbacks) was opened for tourism in April 2004. Bitukura group (14 members with Silverbacks) was opened up for tourism in 2008. Nshongi group was opened for tourism in 2009 and is believed to be the largest Gorilla family in the world with 25 gorilla members with 4 Silverbacks. Mishaya group with 9 members and 1 Silverback was opened up for Tourism in 2011, Oruzogo group with 23 gorilla members with 2 silverbacks was opened for tourism in June 2011 and Kahungye with 13 members including 3 silverbacks. The latest groups to be opened for tourism include Busingye which was opened at the beginning of the year 2013. You need to book for your Gorilla Safari at least 6 months (but not more than two years) in advance to ensure that requested dates are available. Gorilla tracking in Bwindi can be challenging, therefore ensure fitness. The tracking experience starts at 8.30 am local time and can last from a few hours to a whole day! Registration at the gate commences at 7.45 am.
What to bring:
- Wear jungle shoes suitable for steep muddy slopes and carry a rain jacket because the park is often wet.
- Put on ear plugs for those who feel uncomfortable with jungle sounds.
- Carry rain gear, sunscreen lotion, a hat (as the weather is unpredictable) and insect repellent.
- Carry a packed lunch. For conservation reasons, visits to the gorillas are tightly controlled. The following rules apply and must be strictly adhered to:No one with a communicable disease (e.g. flu, diarrhea) is allowed to enter the park.
- Stay together in a tight group while with the gorillas, don’t surround them.
- Don’t get closer than 7 metres (21 feet) to the gorillas.
- Don’t eat or smoke when with the gorillas or within a distance of 200 metres from the gorillas.
- Turn away from the gorillas if you have to sneeze or cough. Cover your nose and mouth in the process.
- Burry all human feaces a minimum of one foot deep and ensure that the hole is properly covered.
- Don’t leave litter. All litter must be carried out of the park and disposed off properly.
- No person under 15 years is allowed to track gorillas.
- Don’t spit on vegetation or soil when in the park; use your hankie or other garment.
- Your group must not be more than 8 tourists and must all be over 15 years old.
Day 5. - Bwindi to Queen Elizabeth N.P
Morning breakfast and depart Bwindi National Park and drive through the country side passing through traditional home stead and farms. Continue on to Queen Elizabeth park in the southern sector famously known as Ishasha sector and common for its rare tree climbing lions. Lunch en route and game drive to search for the tree climbing lions. Dinner and overnight at Park View Safari Lodge.
Queen Elizabeth National Park (QENP) together with Kyambura and Kigezi Wildlife Reserves form one of the most diverse ecosystems in Africa. The melting glacier waters of the Rwenzori Mountains create a vast wetland system comprising of two main lakes, George and Edward, as well as the connecting Kazinga Channel. Thousands of hippos populate these lake shorelines. Open savannah dotted with Acacia and Euphorbia trees provide habitat for elephants, lions, leopards, Uganda kobs and big herds of buffaloes. Ten primate species including chimpanzees are present. Among the many animals frequently seen are giant forest hog, waterbucks, topi, hyenas and crocodiles. The park boasts of more bird species than any other park in Africa.
Day 6. - Game drive in Ishasha and Launch cruise along the Kazinga Channel
Get up ready for a 6.30 am morning game drive. The park’s diverse ecosystem of grassy plains, tropical forest, rivers, swamps, lakes and volcanic craters is home to an incredible abundance of wildlife. Look out for buffaloes, lions, elephants and other wild life in their natural habitat. After lunch go for the afternoon launch cruise on the Kazinga Channel. This is a home of a variety of water birds and on a hot day, hippos, elephants, buffaloes and waterbucks can be sighted as they bathe and drink water at the water edge. Crocodiles are occasionally sighted along the channel banks. Overnight at Park View Safari Lodge.
Game Drives: This is the act of driving through the park for the purpose of viewing animals. This is best done in the early morning and late afternoon hours. Over 200 km of well-maintained tracks give visitors access to the park’s game. Some of the tracks pass through large mating grounds of great herds of Uganda kob. Hungry lions can often be seen searching for prey. The legendary giant forest hog is visible roaming the bush. When it is hot, large herds of elephant make their way down to the water. Buffalo and bushbucks can be found on the Channel track and adjacent circuits. The warthog is a hallmark sight on the Mweya Peninsula. The outstanding scenery along the Crater track brings visitors to volcanic craters at the foothills of the misty Mountains of the Moon (Mt. Rwenzori). The drive is a breathtaking experience. Our friendly staff will assist in planning for a game drive.
Day 7. - Transfer to Kibale National Park
Early morning breakfast and drive to Kibale Forest National Park. En route visit the crater lakes in the region. Afternoon relaxation at the Lodge. Overnight at Kibale Guest Cottages.
With lush tropical rainforest and fascinating diversity of animals, Kibale National Park (KNP) is one of the most beautiful and stunning forests in Uganda. Kibale forest is certainly worth protecting as it is home to the largest number (in Uganda) of our closest living relative, the ENDANGERED chimpanzee, as well as the THREATENED red colobus monkey and the rare L’Hoest’s monkey. The forest has one of the highest diversity and density of primates in Africa totaling 13 species including the black and white colobus, blue monkey and grey-cheeked mangabey, red tailed monkey, bush babies and pottos. The park also hosts over 325 species of birds including the yellow spotted nicator, yellow rumped tinkerbird, littlegreenbul, green breasted pitta, African pitta, crowned eagle and the black bee-eater. There are a number of impressive mammals including forest elephants, buffaloes, bush pigs, duikers and bats. A keen observer may see some of the reptiles and amphibians as well as a colourful variety of butterflies. Furthermore, over 250 tree species have been recorded. The most famous inhabitants of Kibale National Park are the chimpanzees with over 1,450 individuals protected within the park. At Kanyanchu, a community of chimpanzees has been habituated since 1991, allowing visitors the unique opportunity to view these great apes in their natural environment (with more than 90% chance of viewing).
Day 8. - Chimpanzee trekking in Kibale and transfer back to Entebbe
Early morning wake up to be ready for your chimp trekking experience today. After the trek, transfer back to Entebbe with Lunch en route.
Primate Walk: This starts from Kanyanchu River Camp at 8:00am or 3:00pm. It lasts for 2-4 hours and is the most popular walk, highlighting the diversity of different animals and plant species within the forest. Chimpanzees are the main attraction, of which five groups have been partially habituated to human contact. The guided walk is along well marked tracks and a distance of 3km to 5km is covered. This walk is restricted to four groups of four persons each, in the morning and the same number in the afternoon. For the ultimate prize encounter, the park also offers the chimpanzee habituation experience which allows visitors to spend time from de-nesting in the morning through to bedtime with the chimps.