Day 1 Arrival Entebbe
On your arrival at Entebbe International Airport, you will be met by your Around Africa Safaris guide who will greet you and transfer you to your guesthouse, taking between 15 minutes to 20 minutes, depending on traffic. Overnight at Africana Hotel or Similar – Bed and Breakfast
Day 2 Depart for Murchison Falls National park
Today at 7:00 am, your safari guide will pick you from the hotel/Entebbe and drive you to Murchison Falls National Park, a protected area of over 4000 km².
You will have a stopover at Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary, a species reintroduction program that has successfully bred over a dozen white rhino and the only place in Uganda where you can see a rhino. These docile animals are best viewed on an early morning walking safari.
Murchison Falls National Park has 76 mammal species and 451 bird species. The River Nile runs through the park and attracts Nile crocodile, hippo, and the rare semi-aquatic Sitatunga antelope. Lion, leopard, elephant, buffalo, Rothschild’s giraffes, warthogs, giant forest hog, Uganda kob, topi, and waterbuck are just a few of the big mammals you may see. If time allows, visit the Top of the Falls and feel the force of the River Nile under your feet as the half a kilometer wide river narrows to just 7 m wide and cascades down through a 45 m drop.
Meals and overnight at Murchison River Lodge or Similar – Full Board
Day 3 Am Game drive – PM Game drive Murchison falls National Park
Your morning will start with an early morning game drive. You may choose to take a packed breakfast to eat mid-morning or eat a full breakfast upon your return to the Lodge. Admire the wildlife and birdlife of Murchison Falls National Park and ask your driver to guide lots of questions along the way. After the game drive, you will return for lunch and an hour or use relaxation by the pool. Meals and overnight at Murchison River Lodge or Similar – Full Board
Day 4 Depart for Kibale Forest National Park
Today your guide will drive you from Murchison fall national park via Hoima to Kibale Forest, an incredibly diverse forest of 795 km² that is home to over 335 bird species (some rare or endemic) and 13 species of primates including chimpanzee, red colobus monkey, the rare L’Hoest monkey, blue monkey, grey mangabey, black-faced vervet monkeys, baboons, pottos, and bushbabies. You will arrive at the lodge in the late afternoon. Meals and overnight at Mountains of the Moon Hotel or Fort Motel or Similar – full Board
Day 5 Chimpanzee tracking and Bigodi wetland community walk
After breakfast, it’s an early start to report to the ranger headquarters at 8 am in Kibale Forest National Park to track habituated Chimps. These engaging apes, our closest living relative, are great fun to watch as they play and fight in the fruit trees. Your experienced Africa safari guides will introduce you to the different members of the chimp families, as well as the birds and plant life of the forest. The Uganda safari trails through the forest are generally easy to navigate and you will always be accompanied by Rangers who will explain the fascinating traditional uses of the forest plant species.
The elusive forest elephant, smaller and hairier that its savannah counterpart, moves seasonally into areas of Kibale Forest; Occasionally other large mammals such as buffalo, giant forest hog, and numerous antelope species can also be seen. Birders will be on the look-out for an incredible list of 335 bird species. Also look out for the Black and White Colobus Monkey, Red-Tailed Monkey, and Gray Cheeked Mangabey. Butterfly lovers and botanists will be impressed by equally long lists of rare and endemic forest species.
In the afternoon visit the neighboring Bigodi Wetlands Sanctuary. Cleverly constructed boardwalks lead you through Papyrus that towers above your head in Bigodi Wetlands Sanctuary. With over 130 bird species, multi-colored butterflies, eight different types of primates, and the rare, semi-aquatic Sitatunga (antelope), this is community tourism at its best.
Meals and overnight at Mountains of the Moon Hotel or Fort Motel or Similar – full Board
Day 6 Depart for Queen Elizabeth National Park
Your safari driver-guide will take you via Kasese towards Queen Elizabeth National Park, set on the floor of the Rift Valley, with the (occasionally visible peaks of the) Rwenzori Mountains behind you. The landscape of northern Queen Elizabeth comprises dozens of ancient craters carved into gently rolling hills. Queen Elizabeth National Park has over 600 bird species, more than any other national park in Uganda.
En route to your lodge, you are likely to see a variety of game, particularly elephants and Uganda Kob. If you are very lucky, you may spot a Giant Forest Hog, Africa’s largest pig. Keep your eyes peeled to spot an elusive leopard. You will arrive at the lodge for lunch,
In the afternoon, you will head out for an evening game drive around the Gisenyi area looking for the pride of lions that hang around the Kob mating ground, you will return to the lodge in time for dinner.
HOTEL / LODGES OPTIONS Meals and overnight at Bushcamp Lodge or Similar – full Board
Day 7 Game drive and Boat Cruise on the Kazinga Channel
Start your day early with a 6 o’clock coffee or tea wake-up call, ready for your early morning game drive. Make sure to ask the hotel staff for a packed breakfast that morning. A popular route for the game drive in the Kasenyi sector, well-known for its lions that prey on Queen Elizabeth’s large population of Uganda Kob (antelope) that mate around this area. Wildlife to look out for includes elephants, antelope, warthogs, Baboons, and occasionally a hyena. If you are very lucky, you may spot a Giant Forest Hog, Africa’s largest pig. Keep your eyes peeled to spot an elusive leopard!
After your safari, you will head back to the lodge for a few hours of relaxation by the pool and lunch. In the afternoon, you will take a boat for a water safari on the Kazinga Channel at Mweya that connects the two lakes of Edward and George. This is likely to be a big highlight of your trip! The Kazinga Channel lies in central Queen Elizabeth, its banks fertile with large mammals such as hippo, elephant, and buffalo.
The expert Uganda Wildlife Authority guides will identify many of the Channel’s 100 bird species and you’re likely to see African Skimmers, Great White Pelicans, Spoonbill, and a number of Bee-eater species. Hippos wallow at the edge of the water, huge Nile crocodiles bask in the sun and elephants come down to drink. The Kazinga Channel boat ride is a brilliant opportunity to take some close-up wildlife shots. Meals and overnight at Bushcamp Lodge or Similar – full Board
Day 8 Depart for Bwindi Impenetrable Forest – and look out for tree-climbing lions!
Today we will depart for Bwindi Impenetrable Forest with an ‘en-route game drive’ passing through Ishasha, the remote, southern sector of Queen Elizabeth National Park. It is on the expansive plains of Ishasha that you will be on the lookout for its famous resident: the tree-climbing lion. A sighting is not guaranteed but you have a better chance of seeing them here in the large low limbed fig trees of Ishasha than anywhere else in Africa.
Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park is a UNESCO Natural World Heritage site and one of the richest biological and botanical regions in the world. The forest covers an area of 331 km² at the south-western edge of the western Rift Valley. Bwindi’s most-revered species are the approximately 400 wild Mountain Gorillas (2011 census) that makeup half of the world population of these gentle apes. Bwindi bird watching is highly recommended by the African Bird Club.
After a few hours in the vehicle, you may enjoy an afternoon walk around the village of Buhoma (your home for two nights) and a chance to visit one of the handicraft shops or to meet the Batwa, the ancient forest-dwelling tribe. Meals and overnight at Silverback Lodge or Similar – Full Board
Day 9: Day of Gorilla Trekking
You will be up early on the morning of your Gorilla Trekking Safari for a good breakfast in preparation for the day’s physical activity. You will report for registration at the Uganda Wildlife Authority ranger station by 7:45 AM. After a briefing by the rangers, your gorilla trek will start. The trek usually takes between three and six hours so a reasonable degree of fitness is required, as well as a strong pair of walking boots or shoes.
The rangers will guide you through the village gardens and into the jungle-like forest. They will escort you through the sometimes thick bush, occasionally hacking the dense undergrowth with a machete as you search to locate the gorillas. The mountain gorillas are under 24-hour monitoring for their own safety, so you’re almost guaranteed to see them. The rangers monitor each gorilla family by keeping in close radio contact.
In part due to gorilla tourism, the population of gorillas is slowly increasing but the species remains critically endangered. Gorillas and humans share almost identical genetic material and their health must not be compromised by coming into contact with human diseases (via our food, for example). To reduce transmission of disease from humans to gorillas, you will also be advised to keep a distance of 7 meters from the gorillas.
Once you have located the gorilla family, you will be asked to leave all your belongings to one side, and approach the gentle giants, just with your camera. The guides will interpret the animals’ behavior and advise on what you are watching. Females and their young, young males and even a dominant Silverback may be seen: feeding, playing, interacting with each other, or just sleeping! You will never forget your encounter with the gorillas. They will be quite curious to see you! You are allowed exactly one hour with the gorillas before returning to base.
Some afternoons, there is an option of watching a dance by the Batwa tribe, the original inhabitants of the forest. Note: the dance performance also depends on how many visitors there are staying at the lodge that night. Meals and overnight at Silverback Lodge or Similar – Full Board
Day 10 Bwindi Impenetrable national park – Kyanika Border
This morning after a lazy breakfast, you will return back to Kigali international airport for your outbound flight.
End of our safari in Uganda Services