Ape's Unity - 9 Days - Uganda
Day 1 – Arrival and transfer to Kampala
On the first day of our safari, we would like to receive you with a warm welcome at Entebbe International Airport. We will set off to the hills of Kampala city via the shore of lake Victoria. Kampala is known for its large density of vehicles and people, but the vibrant East African city is also popular because of its pretty sight-seeing spots, including the Gaddhafi Mosque in Old Kampala and the Kabaka Palace. Accommodation at Cassia Lodge (Budget), overlooking the city from the southern hill of Kampala.
Day 2 – To Mgahinga Gorilla National Park via the equator
After a healthy and energizing breakfast at our lodge, we will launch our trip up-country. On our way to Mgahinga Gorilla National Park in the very southwestern reach of Uganda, we will pass the equator, the flat Ankole region, and will soon arrive at lake Bunyonyi for a break at Africa’s second deepest lake. Another hour of driving in the hilly terrain of the Kigezi highlands will lead us to our lodge – Traveller’s Rest Hotel (Budget) – in Kisoro, at the foothills of the Virunga volcano chain in the early evening.
Day 3 – Mountain gorilla trekking on the Virunga volcanoes
On the third day, we will embark on our first mountain gorilla trekking experience in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park. After seeing the gentle giants during our hike through dense forests and cross steep slopes, we travel a short distance north to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park along lake Mutanda and lake Murehe. At our lodge near Bwindi rain forest, where a breathtaking view of the Albertine rift and Virunga volcano range awaits, we will enjoy our dinner. The night is planned to be spent on top of one of the local hills at Nkuringo Gorilla Camp (Medium).
Day 4 – Mountain gorilla trekking in Bwindi National Park
The fourth day will direct us to one of the two park entrances of Bwindi National Park at either Nkuringo or Rushaga. From there, we will descend into the deep valley and entrance of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park to track the mountain gorillas for a second time, this time in a completely different environment, which is generally greener and denser than in Mgahinga. In the afternoon after the second gorilla trekking, we get back to the lodge for a hot shower and relaxation in front of the massive Virungas. On a one hour drive to lake Bunyonyi, we will pass by Bwindi rain forest for another time and slope down the Kigezi highlands to reach Africa’s second deepest lake. As we take things a little slower after the long flight and hikes, we will spend the evening relaxing by the lake at our lodge for the night, Acardia Cottages (Budget).
Day 5 – Transfer to Queen Elizabeth National Park and evening game viewing
In the morning of the fifth day, we have planned a lake excursion on local dug-out tree canoes. As the sun rises over the volcanic hills around the lake, we will see many of the crested cranes, the national animal of Uganda. Later in the morning, we commence our drive north to Queen Elizabeth National Park via Kabale and Mbarara, where the local environment changes from dense forests and lush vegetation to the savanna of Uganda’s most popular national park. In the afternoon and after a lunch en-route, we will arrive at Enganzi Lodge (Luxury) in the afternoon. An evening game drive is possible on that day before or after dinner in the region around our lodge.
Day 6 – Game drives in the savannah and Kazinga boat launch
On the next day, we will have enough time for a whole day of game drives and wild experiences in the park. On a morning game drive after an early or with packed breakfast, we will search for lion packs, elephant herds, and buffaloes in the center region of the park. Antelopes and bird species are also among other animals that we will find. In the afternoon, we are planning to go on a boat cruise in the national park to see even more wildlife, this time including alligators and hippos near Kazinga channel and the Mweya peninsula. We are further planning a late game drive at sunset en-route to our lodge and dinner. A night game drive can be arranged for after dinner near our lodge, Enganzi Lodge (Luxury).
Day 7 – Morning game drive and transfer to Kibale National Park
After a last morning game drive towards the Ishasha sector in Queen Elizabeth National Park in order to see the rare tree-climbing lions, we will continue our journey towards Kibale Forest National Park. Via the Rwenzori mountains and Fort Portal’s vegetable market. We are planning to arrive in Kibale, home to more than 15 primate species, in the afternoon. We will then top the day off with a primate and swamp walk around the community and forest. Near Bigodi swamp, we can expect to see black-and-white colobus monkeys, red-and-white colobus monkeys, baboons, chimps, and more in their natural habitat around the forest. This walk will also take us close to the local community, before we return to our lodge, Kibale Primate Lodge (Budget).
Day 8 – Chimpanzee trekking and Mountains of the Moon
Today will be reserved for our extended chimpanzee trekking experience in the heart of the dense Kibale rain forest. With packed breakfast and lunch, we will approach a wild group of chimpanzees and other primates. After our return, we have the choice to either relax at the lodge and prepare for departure the following morning or travel to some regional sites, such as the vast tea plantations around Fort Portal or the crater lakes of the Mountains of the Moon. Accommodation is at Kibale Primate Lodge (Budget).
Day 9 – Return to Entebbe and departure
On the last day of our trip, we will return to Entebbe international airport for your continuation of your journey. The drive is expected to take between four and five hours to Entebbe, so that we comfortably leave Kibale after breakfast and our safari ends with your successful check-in for your flight!
Do you want to find out more?
What is included?
VAT is included in the tour price - emergency air ambulance evacuation is included in your trip with us through a gold cover from AMREF Flying Doctors (www.flydoc.org) valid in Uganda and Rwanda. DR Congo is not yet part of the service and no emergency air ambulance is provided - your Instinct Safaris guide and driver are included in your safari itinerary - your half or full board accommodation in the specified lodges, hotels, and camps is included on a shared room basis - your secure transport is ensured by traveling in a fully safari-customized Land Rover Defender or Toyota Land Cruiser - all other transportation included in your travel plan is on us - soft drinks, water, and endemic fruits are included in your safari. We support the local community by buying as much produce as possible from them rather than from large chains - park entrance fees to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Mgahinga Gorilla National Park, Queen Elizabeth National Park, and Kibale National Park are included in your trip - your mountain gorilla tracking permit in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park is included (US $600 value) - your mountain gorilla tracking permit in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is included (US $600 value) - a community walk and canoe trip on and near lake Murehe is included in your trip - morning, day, and evening game drives in Queen Elizabeth National Park are included - your boat launch on Kazinga channel in Queen Elizabeth National Park is included - a visit to Fort Portal's vegetable market is included in the safari price - your afternoon swamp and primate walk in Kibale and Bigodi village is included in your safari - chimpanzee tracking permits are included in the safari price - a city tour in Kampala, including Gaddhafi mosque and historic sites, is included - your Instinct Safaris Foundation fee is included in the tour, supporting local vocational, health, and educational projects.
What is excluded?
International flights to and from Entebbe are excluded - any additional travel health insurance is not part of your safari price - all sorts of expenses of personal nature - souvenirs, drinks, laundry, and additional equipment - are not included - activities not stated in the itinerary are excluded - gratuities and tips to rangers, driver, guide, porter, lodge staff, or others, are not included - visa fees to Uganda, Rwanda, and DR Congo (where applicable) are not included - Instinct Safaris is not to be held responsible for the loss or damage taken to any object or piece of equipment taken in the wild.