BEST OF UGANDA AND GORILLAS
8 Nights/9 Days
Murchisson Falls, Fort Portal, Chimpanzees in Kibale, Queen Elizabeth-Kasenyi & Peninsula Areas, Gorillas in Bwindi and Lake Mburo N.P
Day 1: Entebbe Airport - Murchisson Falls
Early breakfast, then we depart to Nakitoma to Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary (approximately 3 ½ hours,170 Kms Northwest from Kampala and half way to Murchison Falls National Park). Game walk to track the white rhinos that are spending the hot hours mostly in the swampy areas. Then we proceed to Masindi, where we will have lunch. After lunch we continue our journey to Murchison Falls National Park (approximately 3 hours). We drive in a beautiful landscape; land gets flat towards the North as you head to the bottom of the Victoria Nile.
Cross by ferry to river Nile´s Northern bank. Check in and spend the rest of the evening at leisure. Dinner and overnight at the lodge/camping. Half board accommodation at the lodge/camping.
Day 2: Murchisson Falls National Park
Early morning game drive in the Northern bank of river Nile as we look out for the Cape buffaloes, Rhothschild giraffes,elephants, heartebeest, lions, Oribi, bushbuck, spotted hyenas, Bohor reedbuck, and if lucky you could even spot the leopard. We will be back in time to have breakfast. Later in the afternoon after lunch at the lodge/camping, we take a boat cruise (at 1400 hours) upstream to the “bottom of the falls”. The Nile here gets calm at the base of the falls, we stop a few meters from the “Devil’s Cauldron”, where it compresses 47 meters to squeeze through a 6 meter canyon dropping 40 meters with a thunderous roar. En-route, marvel at the hippos, crocodiles and over this 17 kilometer stretch you may see elephants as well as a lot of bird species like bee eater, Goliath heron, pelican, kingfisher, hornbill, cormorant and the rare shoebill stork. At this point we will get off the boat and hike to the top of the falls to catch a close view of the beauty that forms the Murchison Falls. This is a guided walk that takes about one and a half hours. Our driver guide will pick us from the top and then drive back to the lodge/camping (approximately 1 ½ hours transfer). Dinner and overnight at the lodge/camping. Full board accommodation.
Day 3: Murchisson Falls - Fort Portal
After breakfast we drive to Fort Portal via Hoima, in a breathtaking landscape that forms the Albertine western Rift Valley. It is quite a long drive ( 8 to 9 hours) but we will have several stop overs to relax, and sightseeing as we pass verdant countryside, traditional homesteads and farms. We will have our packed/picnic lunch on the way. Check in and relax for the rest of the evening. Dinner and at the lodge/camping. Full board accommodation.
Day 4: Fort Portal - Kibale Forest- Queen Elizabeth National Park
Early breakfast and transfer to Kibale Forest National Park (approimately 45 minutes), where all morning is dedicated to search for chimpanzees and other primates including: I’hoestes, red colobus, blues, red tailed and gray– cheeked mangabey. Have lunch and proceed to Queen Elisabeth National Park / Peninsula sector (approximately 3 ½ hours) where we will do an evening game drive. Check in at the lodge/camping. Dinner and overnight at the lodge/camping. Half board accommodation.
Day 5: Queen Elizabeth National Park(Kasenyi Area & Peninsula Area)
Early morning game viewing drive in Kasenyi area, within Queen Elisabeth National Park, on a look out for the lions, buffaloes, elephants, and big herds of Uganda Kobs and other antelopes. Return to the lodge for breakfast, and spend the rest of the morning at leisure until lunch time. In the afternoon we will go for a boat cruise on the Kazinga Channel (approximately 2 hours), to look out for the hippos, great herds of buffaloes, and lots of water birds. After the cruise, we will do an evening game viewing drive.Dinner and overnight at the lodge/camping. Full board accommodation.
Day 6: Queen Elizabeth National Park - Bwindi National Park/Buhoma
Early morning gameviewing drive in the Kasenyi area, within Queen Elizabeth National Park, on a look out for the lions, buffaloes, elephants, and large numbers of Uganda Kobs and other antelopes. We will stop to have our picnic/packed breakfast. Afterwards we drive to Ishasha (approximately 2 ½ hours), with our packed lunch, which is in the southern sector of Queen Elisabeth National Park. In the afternoon we will do a game drive looking for the tree climbing lions and other game, like large herds of buffaloes, elephants, Uganda kobs, etc. and continue towards Buhoma/Bwindi National Park (approximately 2 hours) for dinner and overnight at the lodge/camping. Full board accommodation.
Day 7: Bwindi Gorilla Tracking
After breakfast take a short walk to Park Headquarters where you will meet up with excellent local guides and trackers, who will give a briefing on the etiquette of gorilla trekking. Thereafter, hike into the forest where the gorillas were seen the night before and start tracking from that point. You will carry packed/picnic lunch. Afternoon/evening at leisure. Dinner and overnight at the lodge/camping. Full board accommodation.
In Bwindi National Park/Buhoma (Uganda), there are 3 habituated gorilla groups that can be viewing by tourists.
Each group can be visited by a maximum of 8 people per day and the visit lasts only 1 hour.
The trekking can take from 1 to 8 hours and climb to altitudes in excess of 7,500 feet. The terrain is rough and at times muddy. Although the hike is physically demanding the beauty of the forest and surrounding scenery make the trekking worthwhile. Once the gorillas are located all fatigue is forgotten, as the experience is often described as being the most profound natural history experience in the world. Cameras and plenty of fast speed film is recommended. It can rain at a few minutes’ notice; hence waterproof clothing is a good essential including zip lock bags for cameras and film. It is important to take plenty of water.
You can go for a guided community walk in Buhoma. This is an optional activity and therefore it’s not included in the programme.
Day 8: Bwindi - Lake Mburo National Park
After early breakfast we will proceed to Lake Mburo National Park (approximately 6 hours drive). We will drive through the beautiful Kigezi mountains (so called the Switzerland of Africa). We will pass Mbarara town that is the capital of the Ankhole region well known for the Ankole longhorn cows, before arriving to Lake Mburo National Park, where we will do an afternoon/evening game drive, to look out for the zebras, impalas, beasts, oribis, elands, as well as bird watching. Dinner and overnight at the lodge/camping. Full board accommodation.
Day 9: Lake Mburo National Park - Entebbe Airport (Depart)
In the early morning, after coffee or tea, we will go for a guided walk or a game drive in Lake Mburo National Park. Walking is a very enjoyable way to look out for the zebras, impalas, beasts, oribis, elands, as well as bird watching. We will be back to the lodge for breakfast. After breakfast we will proceed to Kampala (approximately 5 hours), through Masaka and the Equator. Have lunch. Enjoy some hours in Kampala for shopping and later transferred to Entebbe airport for your evening departure flight. End of Maestro Safaris services.
Tour price Includes:
- Arrival and departure airport transfers as per itinerary
- All other transfers as per itinerary
- Accommodation as indicated on the itinerary
- Transportation on safari in 4x4 van, driven by English-speaking driver/guide (exclusive use of vehicle)
- Park entrance fees and activities as per itinerary
- Gorilla and chimpanzee tracking permit(s) as indicated in the itinerary
- Mineral water
Tour price Excludes:
- International flights into and out of Uganda.
- Any optional activity.
- Drinks (sodas, beer, wine, spirits etc)
- Ugandan visas: single entry visa costs US$50 and it is required for all countries that require visas for Ugandans (principle of reciprocity).
- Any other concept not indicated as included can be obtained on arrival at Entebbe airport.
- Medical and travel insurance.
- Tips, telephone and personal expenses