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WILDLIFE SAFARIS

14 Days Gorilla and Primates

Day 1: Welcome in Uganda!

Upon arrival, look out for your driver guide, he will be holding a placard with your name on it. You will be transferred to your hotel for freshening up and relaxation as your body adjusts to the beautiful weather of the Pearl of Africa. He will brief you on how your trip will go. Feel free to ask him/ her any questions.

 

Day 2: Jinja (Source of the Nile)

Today, we make our way to Uganda's second largest town Jinja, on the shores of Lake Victoria and along the Nile River. Here the Nile begins its journey all the way up to the Mediterranean Sea. Your first stop will be Ssezibwa falls; a traditional cultural site for the Baganda. Here your guide will take you through the cultural significance which originates from the legendary history of the place. Your next stop will be in Mabira forest, take in fresh breathes on your African forest nature walk, camera in hand, there are quiet a number of butterflies, birds, monkeys and flowers among others. Snap away, there is no hurry, you are in the pearl of Africa.

In the afternoon a boat trip takes you to the place where John Hanning Speke discovered the source of the Nile River in 1862. See a wide variety of tropical birds and perhaps the dinosaur-like monitor lizard!

 DAY3:  Jinja Tour – transfer to Sipi Falls

After an early breakfast, you will have a tour of Jinja Town, drive to the Source of the Nile for a boat cruise to the source, and imagine the photo moment at the source of the longest river on earth! In the mid-morning, drive through the eastern part of Uganda brings you to beautiful Sipi Falls, on a plateau 1800m above sea level.

The Sipi River flows over the foothills of Mount Elgon, forming a spectacular series of waterfalls (some nearly 100m high), surrounded by village walking trails and lush green coffee-producing hills. Arriving in the early afternoon at leisure, you will stay in a simple, but nice self-contained cottage. From the resort you have beautiful views over the valley and one of the waterfalls.

DAY 4: Sipi Falls

Prepare yourself for a beautiful day in bliss. After breakfast, choose to go on a 3-hour or - for the real adventurers - 7-hour hike. A local guide accompanies you on your hike to explain flora, fauna and culture.

Whichever option you choose, you can be certain that you'll pass many picturesque waterfalls, plantations and caves. Local villagers will often greet you with ‘Jambo!’ and beaming smiles.

Day 5: To Murchison Falls NP

The journey today goes from Sipi Falls – across north eastern Uganda - to Murchison Falls National Park.

It's a long drive, but never boring. You will stop for lunch in a local restaurant on the way. Arriving late in the afternoon, a chance to capture the African sunset as you rest at your lodge.  

 

Day 6: Wildlife in Murchison Falls N.P.

This morning, you get up for an early breakfast and then you go for your first game drive through the park. You will be eye-to-eye with the African animal kingdom: elephants, giraffes, buffaloes, lions, leopards, different species of antelope and many tropical birds. They are all there!

 In the afternoon you make a boat safari towards the Murchison Falls. Carefully watched by crocodiles, hundreds of hippos, buffaloes, water birds, apes and all the other thirsty wildlife that the Nile attracts you go to the bottom of the 43 meters high and famous Murchison Falls, which approaches you with a thunderous sound.

Day 7 - Game drive - top of the falls - To Hoima

In the early morning you go for another game-drive, then time has come to leave Murchison Falls National Park. Look out for the giraffes they were recently transferred there by the Uganda Wildlife Authority.

On the way you will stop at the top of the Murchison Waterfalls: The views are amazing!! See where the world's longest river explodes violently through a narrow cleft in the Rift Valley escarpment to plunge into a frothing pool 43m below.

Day 8: Kibale Forest via Fort Portal

Today, you will begin your journey to Kibale Forest National Park. The drive is incredibly scenic, passing through tea plantations and the lush green countryside which characterizes so much of Uganda.

After about six hours driving, you stop for lunch in the cozy town Fort Portal. You have time to walk around town and/or visit the local market.

 Day 9: Chimpanzee Tracking

An experienced forest ranger will take you chimp tracking in the morning or afternoon. Kibale Forest National Park boasts the highest number of primate species in the world, including the chimpanzees. In Uganda, there are approximately 5,000 chimpanzees in the wild, which makes it a perfect place to spot them!

On track you might also see other monkey species that live in this tropical forest. Once located you will spend a full hour with the chimpanzees. Since they are still wild animals, we can never guarantee you to see them and might have to settle with hearing their hoots and hollers.

The forest and swamp of Kibale Forest are home to at least 12 primate species including the red-tailed monkey, olive baboon, black and white colobus monkey, and the blue monkey. The bird life in the forest is also prolific and includes the beautiful great blue turaco.

Your afternoon swamp 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!

Day 10: Queen Elizabeth N.P.

After a relaxed morning you drive to Queen Elizabeth National Park. It is Uganda’s second largest park, located at the base of the majestic Rwenzori Mountain range, adjacent to Lake Edward and Lake George.

Late afternoon you will go for a game-drive into the park. Meet gazelle, Uganda kob, warthog and waterbuck. Be prepared for huge numbers of hippo and elephant, and keep your eyes peeled for lions or a leopard.

 Day 11: Park Game drive & Boat Safari

Today you will wake up early. A little before sunrise, after your breakfast, we head out for a long game drive in Queen Elizabeth N.P. We will be in time to see the first rays of sun.

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. Uganda has over 1.000 bird species. This park has about 612, these include African skimmer, Chapins flycatcher, Pink-backed pelicans, Shoebill stork, martial eagle, as well as the great flamingos.

After lunch, you will take a boat safari along the Kazinga Channel which joins Lake George and Lake Albert.

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.

After the boat-safari you game drive back to the camp.

DAY 12: Ishasha – Bwindi

This morning wake up at leisure, take a scenic drive to Bwindi Impenetrable National park, sandwiched between the rift valley, the mountain ranges of the Rwenzoris, savannah grasslands and afro- montane forest;  imagine the views!

DAY 13: Bwindi National Park

Today is the big day… prepare yourself for an encounter with one of Bwindi’s gentle giants: the endangered mountain gorilla. For most people this is the absolute highlight of their tour in Uganda.

Bwindi Impenetrable Forest boasts both mountain gorillas and chimpanzees - the only forest in Africa which can make this claim. It also hosts five other species of primate, 113 species of mammal, over 200 butterflies and 360 birds. The gorillas you track belong to one of nine habituated family groups who can tolerate the presence of humans for a brief period every day.

 Your track will be an exciting journey along forested slopes, entwined vines, bushes and bamboo before you eventually reach the gorilla family.

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’.

Day 14: The end of a fabulous trip!

After breakfast at the camp, you will drive back to Kampala or Entebbe (Airport) stopping at the equator 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.