- Trek to find the rare and elusive mountain gorilla in their natural habitat.
- Embark on multiple treks to find chimpanzees.
- Enjoy the spectacular scenery in Uganda by foot, by car, and by boat with sundowner cocktails as the sun sets.
- Spend a full day with Batwa tribesmen and women to uncover their fascinating and heartbreaking story.
Day 1: Arrive – Kibale Forest
Kyaninga Lodge (L, D)
Arrive at Entebbe International Airport on a morning flight and meet your driver guide. Drive (7hrs) to Fortportal with a packed lunch. There are no activities listed for this day. We will be based at Kyaninga Lodge, a fairy-tale-like construction perched on the edge of a cobalt-blue volcanic crater lake. The entire lodge is constructed in the style of log cabins, and is the result of six years of labor by master carpenter and owner Steve Williams.
Day 2: Kibale Forest National Park
Kyaninga Lodge (B, L, D)
Today you’ll engage in some morning chimp tracking in Kibale Forest National Park. Kibale Forest is the natural habitat for an amazing 12 primate species, and contains the highest primate density of any area on Earth. Here, on a guided forest walk, you may find families of chimpanzees and red colobus monkeys chattering and swinging through the ancient forest trees. Enjoy a traditional local lunch. After lunch, visit the Bigodi Wetland Sanctuary, a conservation project managed and operated by community-based organization KAFRED (Kibale Association for Rural and Environmental Development). KAFRED was formed in 1992 and through conservation of the swamp has achieved many important community development goals. The swamp – eight kilometers long and three hundred meters wide – is attached to Kibale Forest at both ends and serves as a vital corridor between the north and south ends of the park.
Day 3: Kibale Forest National Park – Queen Elizabeth National Park
Kyambura Gorge Lodge
This morning, drive to Fort Portal via the BBC honey project where you will learn how to make your own beeswax candles. You’ll also pay a visit to the Rubona Basket weavers association, which offers grass-dyeing workshops where visitors can learn about the way baskets are produced and how natural dyes are extracted from various plants.
Come afternoon, set off on a boat trip down the Kazinga Channel. Here, hundreds of hippos mingle with other large herbivores coming down to the water’s edge to drink, while the outstanding bird life will impress even non-birders.
From there, you will continue 3-hours to Kyambura Gorge Lodge. If time permits, you will be able to explore the nearby plantations. This stylish lodge has been converted from a coffee store into a contemporary space with a warm, but elegant ambiance. Located on the fringes of Queen Elizabeth National Park, the lodge boasts sweeping views of the savanna and sunken Kyambura Gorge. Keep an eye out for the myriad of exquisite bird species that frequent the lodge!
Day 4: Queen Elizabeth National Park – Bwindi Forest National Park
Mahogany Springs (B, L, D)
This morning, with a picnic lunch, begin a walk in the Kyambura Gorge, which is home to a unique and isolated family of chimpanzees, recently featured in the BBC documentary “Chimps Of The Lost Gorge”. Then enjoy an afternoon game drive through Ishasha on your way to Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park for dinner and overnight. Our base will be Mahogany Springs, one of Uganda’s newest lodges, with eight luxurious suites situated in lush, exotic gardens on the banks of the Munyanga River. Each suite offers a twin, queen size beds, with a large bathroom featuring a beautifully designed terracotta shower.
Day 5: Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park
Mahogany Springs (B, L, D)
This morning you will have the opportunity to go gorilla tracking. Get an early start from the lodge, walking to the nearby park headquarters, where you will receive a briefing and select your porters for the day. Then you’re off on a drive that may last anywhere from 10 minutes to 2 hours before starting your gorilla track. The tracking can be strenuous because of the steep slopes and the high altitude. Initially, you will walk along established paths, your ranger coordinating with the advanced trackers by radio to guide you into the gorillas last known location. As you get to where the gorillas are, you will leave the paths and begin hacking our way through the slippery underbrush. Your porters will stay back as only a party of 8 and your ranger may approach the gorillas to spend a magical and unforgettable hour with them. The hour passes all too quickly, and then it’s time to reluctantly make your way back to your waiting vehicle.
Day 6: Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park
Mahogany Springs (B, L, D)
Today enjoy a full day Batwa experience in Bwindi Forest National Park. The Batwa were the original dwellers of the forest. These are a semi nomadic people who lived in the area as hunters, gatherers and trappers. When the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest was named a National Park and a World Heritage site in 1991 to protect the 350 endangered mountain gorillas within its confines, the Batwa were moved out of the forest.
Day 7: Bwindi Forest National Park – Entebbe – Departure
Boma Guest House Day Room (B, L)
After breakfast, transfer to Kihihi airstrip for scheduled 1005/1135hrs to Entebbe. Transfer to Boma Guest House day rooms for lunch where you can relax by the poolside. Boma Guesthouse is a rustic 16-room hotel about 5 minutes drive away from the airport. Owned by the Wood family, and located in a leafy suburb of Entebbe, the guesthouse is endowed with an extensive garden which hosts a phenomenal array of birdlife. A cozy dining room and poolside bar completes the welcome that Boma offers. Transfer to the airport in time for your departure flight back home.
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