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11 DAY UGANDA BIG 5, MOUNTAIN GORILLA & CHIMPANZEE SAFARI 2016

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Highlights

 
 
 

Day 1: Arrival at Entebbe International Airport and transfer to Kampala (Approx. 1 hrs. drive)

Upon arrival at Entebbe international Airport, Meet and greet and then later be transferred to Kampala for overnight stay at Cassia Lodge. B, B The Cassia Lodge is wonderfully located on top of Buziga Hill and has a spectacular,180 degrees view of Lake Victoria and thecity of Kampala. The altitude offers a coolclimate with lots of fresh air. The lodge has 20 safari-style rooms equipped with satellite TV, fridge bar, telephone and comfortable bathroom with shower. Every room has a balcony with lake view.

Day 2: Kampala to Murchison Falls National Park (Approx. 6 hrs. drive)

Early in the morning your driver who doubles as the guide will pick you from your hotel in Kampala and then depart for Murchison Falls National park taking a panoramic drive north-west through the famous Luwero Triangle. Stop over at the Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary for Rhino tracking. Opened up in 1998, the Rhino fund aims at re introducing black and white Rhinos in to Uganda's protected areas as well as educating the local communities on endangered Rhinos, poaching and environmental conservation. The Rhino trek takes 1-2 hours and you will get an opportunity of viewing them at close quarters. Have a lunch stopover in Masindi and continue on to Murchison Falls National Park. Visit to the top of the falls. Checking in at Paraa Safari Lodge. B, L, D

Murchison Falls Protected Area (MFPA) comprises of Murchison Falls National Park (MFNP), Bugungu and Karuma Wildlife Reserves. The park derives its name from the Murchison Falls where the mighty River Nile explodes through a narrow gorge and flows down to become a placid river whose banks are thronged with hippos, crocodiles, waterbucks and buffaloes. The vegetation is characterized by savannah, riverine forest and woodland. Wildlife includes lions, leopards, elephants, giraffes, buffaloes, hartebeests, oribis, Uganda kobs, chimpanzees and many bird species including the rare shoebill.

Nature Walks:

These can be conducted at Rabongo Forest, Top of the Falls and KaniyoPabidi in Budongo Forest.

Paraa Safari Lodge is in Murchison Falls National Park, northwest of Uganda. Elevated high above the Falls on the north side of the river, the historic Lodge enjoys simply astounding views. With magnificent views of the majestic Murchison Falls, Paraa Safari Lodge offers a unique blend of comfort, relaxation and adventure. Set in a small area of landscaped gardens, the Lodge recreates the mood of quiet elegance for a new generation of guests.

Day 3: Game drive and Launch cruise to the bottom of the falls

Early morning game drive in the Northern sector of the park. On a good day, you may be able to see animals such as Giraffes, Lions, Hartebeests, Elephants, Cape buffalo and many other mammals. Bird species may include the Black Chested Snake Eagle, Blue Napped Mouse birds, the Secretary bird, Swallow Tailed Bee-eaters and the Silver Headed Agama. After the game drive your will drive you back to your lodge for late breakfast and relaxation. After lunch, enjoy a boat cruise on the placid Victoria Nile to the bottom of the magnificent Murchison Falls where the Nile plunges through a narrow crevice and over a 40 metre drop. En route, you may be able to see the Nile crocodile, pools of hippo, water bucks and a variety of bird species. Overnight stay at Paraa Safari Lodge, B, L, D

Game Drives: In the cool early morning before the sun rises too high, set out for a game drive through the Buligi, Albert and Queen's tracks north of the River Nile. At Nyamusika Cliffs you might be able to see and Elephants and other game on the grassy hillsides. Go well prepared for a four-hour game drive. The best time is 06:30hr and 16:00hr.

Launch Trips on the Nile:

One of the highlights of a visit to Murchison Falls National Park is the launch trip from Paraa to the foot of Murchison Falls. Hippos and crocodiles are abundant and you may be able to see birds like herons, cormorants, ducks, bee-eaters, fish eagles, kingfishers and sometimes the rare shoebill.

The launch trip from Paraa to the falls (17km) and back takes about three hours. A boat trip from Paraa to the Delta (28km) and back takes about four to five hours and you can see a similar variety of animals and birds. The boat trip is scheduled for 0900hr and 1400hr every day. Any special time arrangement can be made with park management.

Day 4: Murchison Falls to Kibale Forest National Park (Approx. 8 hrs. drive)

Morning breakfast and start on your long drive to Fort Portal. Enjoy this long drive of 450 Kms passing through different homesteads. This will take you around 8 hours of driving, Arrive in the late afternoon check in for dinner and overnight stay at Crater Safari Lodge. B, L, D

Crater Safari Lodgeis located in Kibale Forest National Park and is sculpted at the banks of Nyinabulitwa Crater lakes almost invisible in the landscape. On arrival a hidden corridor leads you down on a journey to a unique and unforgettable experience. The unexpected entrance opens to a panorama of uninterrupted breath-taking scenery. The Lodge has 9 ultra-luxurious cottages with traditional African style to create a masterpiece of artistry and innovation. Each of the cottages features individually designed furniture, and a beautiful scenery around Lake Nyinabulitwa.

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 rumpedtinkerbird, 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 5: Chimpanzee trekking in Kibale and Bigodi Swamp

Early morning wake up to be ready for your chimp trekking experience today. Afternoon Bigodi swamp walk. Bigodi is a very interesting area of Papyrus and swamp forest. Distinct possibilities include White-spotted Flufftail, Blue-headed Coucal, Blue-breasted Kingfisher, Yellow-billed Barbet and Scaly-throated Honey guide, Scaly-breasted Illadopsis, Blue-shouldered and Snowy-headed Robin-Chats, Black-faced Rufous Warbler and plenty of the spectacular Great Blue Turacos. Overnight at Crater Safari Lodge. B, L, D

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.

Day 6: Kibale Forest - Queen Elizabeth National park

Have an early morning tour to the crater lakes region. Visit the top of the world (A natural bridge) and view the snow Cap of Mount Rwenzori on a clear day. Have an early lunch at the lodge and drive through the foot hills of Rwenzori ranges on to Queen Elizabeth National park. Dinner and overnight stay at Mweya Safari lodge. B, L, D

MweyaSafariLodgeis locatedon a peninsulawithinthe heartofQueen ElizabethNationalPark.A safarilodge comparedto nootherwithsumptuous accommodation, breathtaking views from everyroom,anabundance ofgame and someofthe bestbirdwatchinginEast Africa.MweyaSafari Lodgeisthe perfect placeto enhanceyour journalof discovery.

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 7: Game drive and Launch cruise in Queen Elizabeth National park.

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. Return to the lodge for a late breakfast.

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. Dinner and overnight stay at Mweya Safari Lodge. B, L, D

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.

Launch Trip on the Kazinga Channel: A boat trip along the hippo crowded banks of Kazinga Channel gives visitors a unique unequalled wildlife experience. Eye to eye with yawning hippos and surrounded by vast numbers of migrant and resident water birds, the boat puts one right in the heart of nature. Many buffaloes rest in the water while the big herds of elephant enjoy themselves drinking and playing along the Channel banks. Crocodiles have become a common sight and occasionally leopards may be seen.

Day 8: Queen Elizabeth - Ishasha Sector - Bwindi National Park

In the morning after breakfast will transfer to Bwindi Forest National Park via Ishasha sector of the Park in search for the rare tree climbing lions. Dinner and overnight stay at Mahogany springs. B, L, D

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 7C - 20C 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.

Opened in April, 2011, Mahogany Springs offers the best accommodation experience in Bwindi. Each of the eight cottages is very spacious with running hot/cold water, flushing toilets and a private verandah with great views of Bwindi forest. The lodge has got a great staff that makes you feel at home adding value to your safari experience.

Day 9: 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. Return after the trek to the Lodge for relaxation, dinner and overnight stay at Mahogany springs Lodge. B, L, D.

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 Nkuringogroup (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 Busingyewhich 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.

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.

  • No one with a communicable disease (e.g. flu, diarrhea) is allowed to enter the park.
  • 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.
  • Turn away from the gorillas if you have to sneeze or cough. Cover your nose and mouth in the process.
  • Turn away from the gorillas if you have to sneeze or cough. Cover your nose and mouth in the process.

Day 10: Queen Elizabeth - Ishasha Sector - Bwindi National Park

In the morning after breakfast will transfer to Bwindi Forest National Park via Ishasha sector of the Park in search for the rare tree climbing lions. Dinner and overnight stay at Mahogany springs. B, L, D

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 7C - 20C 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.

Opened in April, 2011, Mahogany Springs offers the best accommodation experience in Bwindi. Each of the eight cottages is very spacious with running hot/cold water, flushing toilets and a private verandah with great views of Bwindi forest. The lodge has got a great staff that makes you feel at home adding value to your safari experience.

Day 11: Queen Elizabeth - Ishasha Sector - Bwindi National Park

In the morning after breakfast will transfer to Bwindi Forest National Park via Ishasha sector of the Park in search for the rare tree climbing lions. Dinner and overnight stay at Mahogany springs. B, L, D

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 7C - 20C 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.

Opened in April, 2011, Mahogany Springs offers the best accommodation experience in Bwindi. Each of the eight cottages is very spacious with running hot/cold water, flushing toilets and a private verandah with great views of Bwindi forest. The lodge has got a great staff that makes you feel at home adding value to your safari experience.


 
 
 
 

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