Explore the lesser explored forests and highlands of the African heartland, tracking down gorillas and chimpanzees on foot and all manner of wildlife whilst on a traditional safari
Day 1: Karibu Guesthouse, Entebbe, Uganda
Upon arrival at Entebbe Airport, you will be met by one of our representatives and transferred to Karibu Guesthouse, only a few minutes’ drive away, where you will spend 1 night on a bed & breakfast basis.
Karibu Guesthouse is a boutique guesthouse set on the leafy hillside of Entebbe with stunning views over Lake Victoria. It has light, spacious rooms and the open-air restaurant offers Mediterranean-style food and is the perfect place to enjoy a cold drink whilst watching the sun set over the lake.
Day 2 & 3: Mahogany Springs, Bwindi Forest National Park, Uganda
In the morning, you will be picked up from the guesthouse and transferred to Bwindi National Park, stopping at the Equator en-route. After arriving in the evening, dinner will be served at Mahogany Springs, where you will spend 2 nights.
After an early breakfast on the second day, there will be a pre-trek briefing at 08:00 on how to behave around the gorillas. Gorilla-tracking is unpredictable, so it is difficult to foresee how many hours the hike will take. It may take 2-8 hours, and you should be prepared to walk a long distance in steep and muddy conditions, sometimes with rain, before you encounter any gorillas. For conservation purposes, the time spent with the gorillas is limited to one hour. After the trek you will return to Mahogany Springs.
Info: Mahogany Springs & Bwindi
Mahogany Springs lies in the heart of the thick, impenetrable forest that the gorillas live in. Its luxury, en-suite bedrooms come with modern amenities and are extremely spacious and comfortable. Each has a private balcony overlooking the forest and open land below the lodge. The head chef Subedi has had 15 years of experience in high-end hotels and creates diverse menus of international and local dishes. The gorillas have even been known to pass through the lodge!
Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is so named because of the thick vegetation and steep, fissured nature of the mountains within it. However, the difficult terrain has meant that a very large population of gorillas has been able to prosper in the mountains, without human encroachment and intense poaching. As a result, with a good guide, the park is one of the best places on earth to view these mighty creatures in their natural environment.
Day 4-7: Kingfisher Lodge, Queen Elizabeth National Park, Uganda
After breakfast and a forest trek, you will be picked up by one of our representatives and transferred to Kingfisher Lodge, in Queen Elizabeth National Park, where you will spend 2 nights.
Early on the second day, you will be taken on a game-drive into the northern area of the park. This is the best time to view wildlife, with the big cats, elephants, buffaloes, warthogs and several other animals all in abundance. In the afternoon, after lunch, you will be taken on a river cruise to spot solitary buffalo, pods of hippos, crocodiles and many other animals drinking by the river. On the third day, there will be a morning and evening game-drive to view wildlife.
Info: Kingfisher Lodge & Queen Elizabeth National Park
Kingfisher Lodge offers accommodation in traditional African banda huts, which have been modernized to cater for Western needs, and stands on the hillside with spectacular views of the plains and park 250m below. The lodge has lovely gardens, a swimming pool and a restaurant offering international and local food and drinks.
Queen Elizabeth National Park was formed in 1954 to preserve one of Uganda’s most diverse natural areas. After prevelant poaching and habitat loss during the Tanzania-Uganda civil war in 1978-9, the wildlife population has bounced back spectacularly, most noticably hippopotamuses, elephants, leopards, lions and chimpanzees. It is now home to 95 species of mammal and over 500 species of birds.
Day 7 & 8: Paraa Safari Lodge, Murchison Falls National Park
After a morning game-drive and breakfast, you will be transferred to Paara Safari Lodge, in Murchison Falls National Park, where you will spend 2 nights. En-route to the lodge, you will be taken to visit the magnificent falls, where the mighty Nile is forced into a 7-metre crevice, crashing 45 metres below in a series of cascades that are viewable at different points alongside the falls.
The lodge provides luxury accommodation overlooking The Nile River, which flows past the lodge’s large swimming pool. The rooms are all en-suite and have a river-facing balcony, allowing you to view game from your own room. An experienced chef prepares a wide range of international and local cuisine and there is an open barbeque on Saturdays with traditional dancers.
Over the next two days, you will be able to choose from a variety of activities, such as chimpanzee-trekking, game-drives, trekking up the falls and fishing.
Day 9: Budongo Eco Lodge, Murchison Falls National Park, Uganda
After an early morning breakfast, you will embark on a half-day game drive on the northern bank of the Nile, escorted by a ranger. Game in this part includes the Rothschild Giraffe, Elephant, Jackson Hartebeest, Lion, Oribis, Waterbuck and a variety of savannah woodland birds. After lunch, you will be taken on a Nile cruise, viewing game such as hippo and crocodile at close quarters, which are in abundance. You will then be transferred to your accommodation, Budongo Eco Lodge FB, for 1 night.
The eco-lodge tries to be as environmentally-friendly as possible, using locally produced materials and food where possible. It is set in the middle of the Budongo Forest, which boasts a population of 600 chimpanzees, meaning that it is the ideal location for chimp-trekking, which you will be able to do on the evening of your arrival.
Day 10: The Africana, Kampala, Uganda
After breakfast and a morning chimp-trek, you will be transferred to The Africana in Kampala, where you will stay for 1 night. You will have the evening at leisure to explore the city, allowing you to choose from a variety of restaurants and bars. You will be transferred to the airport the next morning for your return flight home.
The Africana’s 233 rooms all have air-conditioning, a private balcony overlooking the city, en-suite bathroom, satellite TV and Wi-Fi. The hotel has a large restaurant offering a wide variety of international and African food and there is a large swimming pool and bar.