Day 1: Arrival in Uganda
Entebbe International Airport is located on a peninsula that juts out into Lake Victoria – the largest fresh water lake in Africa. You will be met by a representative or driver-guide from Uzuri Uganda Safaris, who will welcome you to the Pearl of Arica and then transfer you to the Boma Hotel Entebbe for dinner and your overnight stay.
Day 2: Drive to Lake Mburo National Park
We will break up the 519km journey to Mgahinga Gorilla National Park today by making a stop at Lake Mburo National Park. You will arrive in Lake Mburo four hours after departing Kampala and eat lunch at the lodge. Lake Mburo is one of two game parks in Uganda where visitors are allowed to go for a bush walk with an experienced ranger. When you go on a walking safari in Mburo, it is exciting to approach wildlife at such close range. After lunch, choose between a walking safari with an armed ranger or two other optional activities, including a mountain-bike safari ($15 extra pp) or a horseback safari ($60 extra pp) for two hours. As you explore Mburo, you will spot buffalo, zebra, gazelle and giraffe among others. After your walking safari, horseback ride or bike, you will return to the lodge for dinner and your overnight stay at the Eagles Nest Lodge.
Day 3: Drive to Mgahinga National Park
After breakfast this morning we continue on to Mgahinga Gorilla National Park, passing through Kabale and Kisoro town. Once we arrive in Kabale, it is another 76km to Kisoro town on mountainous tarmac road with steep ascents and descents. Once we reach Kisoro town, we will continue on to Ntebeko, the main entrance to Mgahinga Gorilla National Park. Ntebeko lies 14 kilometres from Kisoro at the end of a dirt road and completes our 510km journey. We are now in the viscinity of three imposing Virunga volcanoes – Mgahinga, Muhabura and Sabyinyo. Here you will check-in at Mount Mgahinga Lodge for dinner and your overnight stay.
Day 4: Gorilla tracking in Mgahinga
Eat an early breakfast and then get ready to depart on your first trek. With a packed lunch in your carry-on, your guide will deliver you to the starting point before 8:00 am for registration and a briefing from the rangers on what to expect during the journey. In Mgahinga, you will meet the Nyakagezi group – the only resident habituated gorilla group in the park. Once you have located this large group, which boasts a number of silverbacks, sit in the forest among the gorillas, listening to them grumble to each other and marveling at their sheer size. After the mandatory one hour is up, the rangers and guides will lead you back to the starting point where your guide will be waiting for you. After re-joining your driver-guide, you will travel a short distance north to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Chameleon Hill Lodge. Your dinner and overnight stay will be at the lodge.
Day 5: Gorilla tracking in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park
Eat an early breakfast and then transfer to the starting point for the gorilla family you will be tracking. With a packed lunch in your carry-on, your guide will deliver you to the starting point before 8:00 am for registration and a briefing. You will then commence your second gorillas trek, this time in a completely different environment, which is generally greener and denser than in Mgahinga. When you finally locate the family that you are tracking, marvel in the chance to once again sit in the forest among the gorillas. It is an extraordinary feeling sitting in the dense rainforest with the knowledge that you are in the presence of the few remaining wild mountain gorillas. After the mandatory one hour is up, the rangers will lead you back to your guide, who will transfer you back to your lodge. You might consider getting a massage (cost not included) for your aching muscles!
Day 6: Transfer to Lake Bunyonyi
Eat breakfast this morning with the beautiful Lake Mutanda and the Virunga volcanoes before your eyes. After breakfast, transfer to the picturesque Lake Bunyonyi for a day of relaxation. This lake is one of the best places in Uganda to chill out – especially after your day with the gentle giants! Activities one can take on include swimming (the lake is Bilharzia-free and there are no hippos or crocodiles found here); however, you need to be a good swimmer as this is Africa’s second deepest lake. There are 29 islands to explore. Perhaps you will pay a visit to the “punishment island”, where unmarried women who fell pregnant outside marriage were left to die. Or simply sit in a dugout canoe with a guide and discover the world of Uganda’s magical lake. You can also choose to go on a motorized cruise. Other optional activities include nature walks and hikes, mountain biking, cultural interactive village visits or bird watching. Your overnight will be at the Arcadia Cottages Lake Bunyonyi.
Day 7: Drive to Queen Elizabeth National Park
Travelling via the Kabale-Mbarara road, you will transfer to Queen Elizabeth National Park via the Ishasha sector of the park. If you are lucky, you will find Ishasha’s famed tree-climbing lions cooling off up in the fig trees that populate this area. Continue into the Mweya sector of the park where you will find the Marafiki Safari Lodge and check-in. After lunch you will embark on a boat cruise along the Kazinga channel – a major highlight of your time here. On the boat cruise you will have the opportunity to view large numbers of wildlife including elephants, crocodiles, hippos, buffaloes and birds. Watch out for eagles, kingfishers, sparrows, doves, weaver birds, eaglets and sun birds converging at the channel waters to enjoy a sip of the natural waters. After the three-hour boat cruise, you will then return to the lodge for dinner and your overnight stay at Marafiki Safari Lodge. However, you can upgrade to the Mweya Safari Lodge if you desire.
Day 8: Game drive & boat safari along Kazinga channel
After an early breakfast, your guide (and possibly a game ranger) will take you on a game drive to the northern sector of Queen Elizabeth National Park. You will make your way through the Kasenyi track in search of lions, hyenas, buffaloes, leopard, water buck, bush bucks, Uganda Kob, ibis, fish eagles and vultures. At about 10:00am you will head back to your lodge for relaxation and a late lunch. After lunch you can relax at the lodge until the sun goes down and then go out on an evening game drive to see some of the park’s mammals that become active at night. This time you will follow a different track to explore other areas you did not visit during your morning game drive. Return to the lodge for dinner and your overnight stay.
Day 9: Drive to Entebbe & Departure
After breakfast on our last day you will return to Kampala. Travelling via Mbarara, you will have a chance to view the beautiful vegetation down below at the rift valley escarpment. Stop for lunch in Mbarara at the Igongo Cultural Centre and Museum. After lunch you will make a stop at the equator, where the imaginary line that divides the earth into two halves rests. Here you can take some fun photos, buy your Uganda safari souvenir and then finish your transfer to Entebbe International Airport in time to check-in for your departure flight home.
End of Services
Should you be spending an extra night in Kampala, please let us know and we will book a hotel for your extra days.
- Accommodation in Standard Rooms in safari lodges/camps and hotel facilities as mentioned in the itinerary.
- On the ground transport in a 7-seater Safari Mini Van or Toyota Land-cruiser – depending on option chosen
- Game drives, excursions and sight-seeing activities (if any) as described above
- Activities (if any) as outlined in detailed itinerary
- Transfers as indicated in the itinerary
- Meals as indicated in the itinerary
- 2 Gorilla Permits
- Services of an English-speaking driver/tour guide
- Bottled water whilst on safari (2 half-litre bottles per person per day)
- Personal expenses such travel and medical insurance, excess baggage fee, communication charges that include, emails, faxes and phone calls beverages including water, soft drinks, luxury champagne, spirits or meals not included in the itinerary
- Gratuity for porterage/ waiters at hotels, camps and airports
- Gratuity for your professional driver guide
- Cost of obtaining Visas ($50)
- Any optional tours and excursions not mentioned in the itinerary
- Travel Insurance
- International Airfare