Ape's Unity - 9 Days - Uganda
Day 1 – Airport reception at Entebbe International Airport and transfer to Kampala
On the first day of our safari, our instinct safaris guide will welcome you at Entebbe International Airport. Once luggage is fitted in the safari vehicle, we will make our way to the hills of Kampala. Via the shores of Lake Victoria, we will soon arrive at the hotel for a first overnight in Uganda. Depending on the time of your arrival, a short city trip can be arranged to visit cultural sites, including the Gaddhafi Mosque in Old Kampala and the Kabaka Palace. Accommodation at Cassia Lodge (Budget), overlooking the city from the Buziga hill.
Day 2 – Drive from Kampala 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) or Mgahinga Gorilla Lodge (Luxury) – in Kisoro, at the foothills of the Virunga volcano chain in the early evening.
Day 3 – First mountain gorilla trekking in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park
On the third day, we will embark on our first mountain gorilla trekking experience in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park. Your safari guide will accompany you on the short steep hike to the ranger camp and visitor reception center. Here is where all hikes commence. You will meet your UWA ranger and receive safety briefing. Afterwards, your group will be led to the home of Nyakagezi mountain gorilla family. Hikers are allowed one hour with the gentle giants during the hike through dense forests and cross steep slopes. Upon returning from the trek, 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 dinner. The night is planned to be spent on top of one of the local hills at Nkuringo Gorilla Camp (Medium) or Clouds Mountain Gorilla Lodge (Luxury).
Day 4 – Second mountain gorilla hike inside Bwindi Impenetrable 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. We will spend another overnight at Nkuringo Gorilla Camp (Medium) or Clouds Mountain Gorilla Lodge (Luxury).
Day 5 – Nature walk and transfer to southern Queen Elizabeth National Park
In the morning of the fifth day, we have planned to have a final excursion inside Bwindi rain forest. Together with your community rangers (UWA), you will penetrate the jungles of Bwindi starting at Nteko village and directed at Buhoma village in the northern sector of the rain forest. This nature walk will be a journey of three to four hours, while your instinct safaris guide transfers the luggage and the vehicle via the connecting road from the south to the east and finally will find you at Buhoma. Upon arrival in Buhoma and after lunch at a local lodge, we connect to the southern sector of Queen Elizabeth conservation area for your first evening game drive in the savannah. This evening will introduce you to different game tracks and, if lucky, will be crowned by views of tree-climbing lions. Dinner and accommodation at Ishasha Jungle Lodge (Medium).
Day 6 – Whole day of game drives in Queen Elizabeth National Park 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 southern to central region of the park. Antelopes and bird species are also among other animals that we expect to encounter. In the early afternoon, we will reach Mweya park gate and join a boat cruise to see even more wildlife. This time, we hope to include alligators and hippos as we roam Kazinga channel and Mweya peninsula. 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 (Medium) or Mweya Lodge (Luxury).
Day 7 – Morning game drive and transfer to Kibale National Park
After a last morning game drive in Queen Elizabeth National Park we will continue our journey towards Kibale Forest National Park. On our way, we will pass the Rwenzori mountains, Rukorongo crater, and Fort Portal’s vegetable market. Soon, we will reach the home to more than fifteen primate species. Subsequently, we will be able to top the day off with a primate and swamp walk. Near Bigodi swamp, we 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 (Medium) or Kyaninga Lodge (Luxury) or Ndali Lodge (Luxury).
Day 8 – Chimpanzee trekking inside Kibale rain forest
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. Kibale forest is one of Uganda's most densely forested areas and has the highest concentration of wild chimpanzees, totaling more than 4500 individuals. The general area around Kibale is scattered with tea plantations, numerous explosion craters and, and hills. These environmental features give the region its characteristic name: the "Mountains of the Moon". After our return, we have the choice to either relax at the lodge and prepare for departure the following morning. Accommodation at Kibale Primate Lodge (Medium) or Kyaninga Lodge (Luxury) or Ndali Lodge (Luxury).
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 connecting flight.
Are you ready for your adventure?
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.