BEST OF UGANDA 8 DAY SAFARI

Gorillas, Chimpanzees & Game

2017 Safari (8 Day / 7 Night)

Searching for the spectacular Mountain Gorillas in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, chimpanzee tracking in Kyambura Gorge, multiple game drives in Queen Elizabeth National Park with its amazing selection of wildlife, including the tree climbing lions, and an optional visit to Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary on the beautiful Lake Victoria.An incredible journey into central Africa – this eight day safari includes return flights to Bwindi/Queen Elizabeth National Park allowing maximum time to enjoy your safari.

Uganda boasts some of the best bird watching in Africa, with over 1000 different species, including the rare shoebill stork and the remarkable grey crowned crane.

Luxury accommodation, professional guides and custom made safari vehicles – this safari will be the trip of a lifetime.  Please note – two gorilla trekking options are available with this itinerary based on availability. Please make your request at the time of booking.

Our Program

Day 1:

Please note that itinerary and accommodation may vary depending on availability. Your final itinerary will be confirmed at time of booking.

Arrive at Entebbe International Airport where you will be met by a Wild Frontiers representative and transferred to your accommodation. Depending on your arrival time, a half day trip to Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary can be arranged at an additional cost. This could also be arranged at the end of your safari if you prefer.

Other options include the Uganda Wildlife Education Centre in Entebbe, where there are a variety of visitors’ programmes including behind the scenes ‘work’ with the animals. Ask when you book, if you are keen on this.

Entebbe is a small, quiet town located on the shores of Lake Victoria and is easy to explore on foot or use local transport ie motorbikes known as “boda bodas”, or local taxis. There are local markets to buy clothes and crafts, curio shops for souvenirs, and the Botanical Gardens on Lake Victoria where you can walk among beautiful trees, watch monkeys moving through the canopy above, and spot many indigenous bird species. Entebbe has a wide variety of restaurants serving many different cuisines as well as several bars and clubs where you can sample the local beer, catch a game of football and chat with the locals.

Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary www.ngambaisland.com

Leaving from Entebbe, travel by speed boat or traditional motorized canoe to Ngamba located on beautiful Lake Victoria.

Officially opened in 1999, Ngamba Island was created to offer a permanent sanctuary to orphaned chimpanzees, which are victims of illegal trade and habitat destruction. Now home to more than 45 chimps, the island serves as a tourist destination for local and international travellers offering an opportunity to learn about the species and the importance of conserving their fragile forest habitat. Enjoy a guided tour of the sanctuary and a close up experience with the chimpanzees as they come to the boundary area for their morning or afternoon feeding. Cold drinks, tea and coffee are available at Ngamba and the island has a unique gift shop with a wide range of local crafts and sanctuary related t-shirts and products. Your visit and purchases directly support the project with proceeds going towards operating costs of the sanctuary, ensuring the well-being of the chimpanzees.

The Boma Guest House

The Boma is a small, family run guest house located in the suburbs of Entebbe. A converted residential home, The Boma offers quiet, relaxed accommodation and a peaceful atmosphere. Each en suite room is uniquely decorated, with many having their own veranda. Gourmet meals are prepared upon request and guests can enjoy the welcoming bar area any time of day as well as the guest house’s large garden, private swimming pool and large patio boasting a beautiful views toward Lake Victoria.

 

 

Day 2:

Depart your lodge, for the short drive to the Entebbe domestic airport for your scheduled flight to Kihihi airstrip, near Bwindi/Queen Elizabeth National parks.

The flight takes just over an hour (depending on the plane used) and on arrival you will be met by a Wild Frontiers’ representative and driven to Buhoma Lodge, located at Bwindi Impenetrable Forest. The drive to the lodge is through local villages and mountain roads – lovely scenery and very interesting en route!

Guests will have the opportunity for two days of gorilla tracking (pre-booking essential). Other activities that can be enjoyed in and around the park include forest walks, visits to a local school or orphanage or Batwa pygmy village, and curio shopping.

Bwindi National Park, located in south western Uganda on the edge of the Great Rift Valley, is considered the most diverse forest in Uganda. The area, one of the few large expanses of forest in East Africa, where lowland and mountain habitats meet, contains a dense ground cover of herbs, vines, and shrubs. Home to over 120 mammals, 345 species of birds, 200 species of butterflies, and 160 species of trees, Bwindi is one of the richest ecosystems in East Africa. The park contains almost one half of the world’s population of the endangered Mountain Gorilla, making it an extremely valuable conservation site. Bwindi is also home to several endangered bird species with very limited ranges, and acts as an important catchment area for many rivers, supplying water for agriculture in the surrounding region.

Buhoma Lodge

Situated on the slopes of the Forests of Bwindi, adjacent to the national park, this exclusive lodge offers uninterrupted views of the pristine rain forest canopy. The lodge has ten beautifully appointed and spacious cottages situated along the mountainside, each with its own private veranda. Large comfortable beds ensure a good night’s rest following an exhilarating day of gorilla tracking. En suite bathrooms are spacious and equipped with flushing toilets and piping hot showers, with the honeymoon cottage boasting a ‘cuddle-tub’.

Meals are wholesome and freshly prepared with a variety of international dishes and local specialties such as matoke and g-nut sauce. Unlimited hot beverages are available all day on a self-serve basis and are delivered to your cottage with early morning wake up calls upon request, allowing guests to watch the sun rise over the forest from their own private verandas. Lighting and heating throughout the lodge is solar powered and the lodge’s inviting upper level lounge, bar and dining area, where guests can relax, dine and discuss the day’s events, offers a cozy fireplaces providing warmth and comfort in the cool evenings.

 

Day 3:

Gorilla Tracking – Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park

Following breakfast at the lodge, you will walk down to National Park Headquarters to meet your guides for the day and begin your gorilla tracking experience. Experienced guides and trackers will accompany your party on an early morning trek into the dense rain forest on the mountain slopes*. The journey, through dense foliage and up steep hills, is abundantly rewarded with the lifetime experience of viewing mountain gorillas in their natural habitat, generally up-close! You will have an opportunity to be within meters of these magnificent apes, sharing in their daily lives and experiencing their day-to-day activities. Mountain gorillas are extremely rare with only an estimated 850 remaining in the wild. This is an experience you won’t quickly forget! *Some of the gorilla families are located in an area which you will need to travel to by vehicle, but don’t worry – we will transport you there!

Following the trek, return to your accommodation and, if time allows, take a guided afternoon forest or community walk.

Please note: tracking may be fairly strenuous with treks ranging between 30 minutes to up to six hours or longer, at high altitudes.. Also, mountain gorillas are wild animals and, as such, sightings cannot be guaranteed. However viewing success rates are over 95%.

Please refer to our detailed information sheet for more detailed information on Gorilla Tracking requirements, conditions, and considerations.

 

Day 4:

Those with pre-purchased permits will depart for a second gorilla tracking experience following breakfast at the lodge. Depending upon individual itinerary schedules, guests not tracking gorillas may wish to enjoy other activities available in the area such as a forest walk, a visit to a local school/orphanage or Batwa pygmy village, and curio shopping.

Forest Walk (Optional)

Embark on a walk through tropical rainforest with experienced wildlife guides. Enjoy scenic views, the sights and sounds of the rain forest, ample opportunities for bird watching and glimpses of the many monkey species living in the park as they move through the forest canopy.

Village Community Walk (Optional)

Enjoy a community walk through the local villages surrounding Bwindi Impenetrable Forest. Optional activities include visits to a traditional home, local orphanage or school, banana brewing demonstrations and even meeting traditional medicinal healers. This three to four hour walk is easily tailored to your individual schedule and interests.

Batwa Pygmies Community Visit (Optional)

This is a day activity and can be added into itineraries easily. You may visit the Batwa tribe, and see their traditional lifestyle in terms of living arrangements, day to day life, and also the opportunity to go on a “forest hunt”.

 

Day 5:

This morning we depart Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park and travel (2-3 hours) to Ishasha in the southern part of Queen Elizabeth National Park.

Time permitting, during our drive from Bwindi to Ishasha, we may visit a Community Project on the border of Queen Elizabeth National Park. Here the local people allow you to enjoy some time in their homesteads, as well as see some of the crops and curios they produce, and visit the local elephant trench project – which stops elephants coming into the village and raiding crops.

Afternoon game drives will be enjoyed in the Ishasha area, looking for the huge herds of buffalo, elephant, Uganda kob and of course the famous tree-climbing lion typically found in the area.

Overnight at Ishasha Wilderness Camp

Ishasha Wilderness Camp

This exclusive tented camp offers the only luxury accommodation in the remote southern sector of Queen Elizabeth National Park and is ideally located between Bwindi and the Mweya area of the park. The camp has ten luxurious safari tents, with each spacious en suite tent offering its own private dressing area, hot water “bush” shower and eco-friendly flush toilet. A central traditionally thatched dining and lounge area provides guests with a relaxing environment in which to enjoy sundowners, meals and after dinner chats around the fire.

 

 

Day 6:

Spend the day enjoying game drives in the Ishasha sector of Queen Elizabeth National Park.

Queen Elizabeth National Park spreads over 1,978sq km in the western arm of the Great Rift Valley and is home to a wide variety of wildlife and many species of birds. With both a riverine and savannah habitat, the park includes the southern Ishasha area with the massive Maramagambo, one of the largest surviving natural forests in Uganda. The northern Mweya area, traversed by the equator and dominated by the scenery of crater la kes, is often occupied by large flocks of flamingos.

The Ishasha area of Queen Elizabeth National Park is rich with wildlife including warthog, water buck, bush buck, leopard, Ugandan kob, elephants, countless bird species and even the rare giant forest hog. The Ishasha sector of the park is known for its famous tree climbing lions sometimes found lying about in the branches of the native fig trees.

Overnight at Ishasha Wilderness Camp

 

 

Day 7:

Game Drives & Boat Cruise – Mweya Sector

In the Mweya area of Queen Elizabeth National Park, also rich with wildlife, visitors will find vast numbers of Uganda’s unique and strange Euphorbia, or “candelabra” tree. The many nearby crater lakes and mountain ranges provide a beautiful backdrop for your journey.

Today we depart Ishasha to the ‘Mweya’ sector of the National park. Here you will enjoy a leisurely boat cruise along the Kazinga Channel. You may encounter herds of elephant, buffalos and antelopes, families of warthogs, large groups of hippos, and crocodiles basking on the shore.

Kazinga’s shores are a haven for numerous birds, including many migratory species as they make their way south to warmer climates. The cruise also provides a spectacular view of the beautiful Mweya Peninsula and life in local fishing villages set along the banks.

Overnight at Mweya Safari Lodge

Mweya Safari Lodge

Located on a peninsula overlooking the Kazinga Channel on one side and the Rwenzori Mountains on the other, this well positioned lodge provides excellent accommodation and service facilities in western Uganda. Amenities include a swimming pool, the Tembo bar and an elegant air-conditioned restaurant with global cuisine. Breakfast is served on the lodge’s outdoor terrace with views of the Kazinga Channel below.

 

Day 8:

This morning we will travel early to the Chamburu Gorge (Kyamaburu) to enjoy Chimpanzee trekking. After this activity, we depart to the airstrip nearby for the flight to Entebbe

Chimpanzee Tracking

The forest is alive with noise and after some time walking through the forest, and crossing the stream below, you should be lucky enough to see the habituated chimps. Chimpanzees can be quite active and may move quickly through the forest canopy… or, if you are lucky, you may find them resting or eating near the forest floors, perhaps resting on a log. Either way, it’s an exhilarating walk, in beautiful scenery. Sightings cannot be guaranteed even though they are habituated to humans.

Flight back at Entebbe, airport transfer is included – the rest of the afternoon/evening at leisure.

In case of delays, we suggest booking a later (evening) flight out if you plan to depart tonight. We can, of course, arrange additional accommodation or safaris after this trip.

If you plan to spend additional time in Uganda please feel free to speak with a Wild Frontiers representative at the time of booking about the many activities available throughout Uganda. You can explore Kampala, spend a night on Ngamba Island, or take a short trip to Jinja, the adventure centre of Uganda, offering grade 5 white-water rafting, quad biking and bungee jumping, or a trip to Murchison Falls to enjoy some excellent game viewing, fishing or boat cruises on the Nile River!

Rates

Departure Dates for 2017– Guaranteed minimum two guests

2017 Scheduled Dates
January
27 January
February
17 February
March
10 March
April
14 April (discounted permits)
21 April (discounted permits)
May
26 May (discounted permits)
June
16 June
July
05 July
14 July
28 July
August
04 August
26 August
September
08 September
15 September
October
06 October
November
10 November (discounted permits)
December
22 December

 

Eight Day Lodge Safari

8 Day Best of Uganda –

Gorillas / Chimps / Game

1 January 2017 – 31 Dec 2017
Per person sharing HIGH season USD 3620 including flight

EBB-KHIHI—MWEYA-EBB*

Per person sharing LOW season

(April, May & Nov)

USD 3410 including flight

EBB-KHIHI—MWEYA-EBB*

Single room supplement USD 605
Gorilla permits excluded USD 600 per permit

USD 450 per permit low season

Chimp permits excluded USD 50 Chamburu Chimpanzee trekking
Christmas Supplement On application
Optional Extras
Guided Forest walk & Park Fee Bwindi USD 70
Community Visit USD 30
2nd Gorilla permit incl trek transfer & purchase fee for extra permit USD 670 total high season

USD 520 green season

Batwa (Pygmies) Community Visit USD 85

Additional

Includes:

  • Airport transfers (Entebbe/return)
  • Return domestic flights from Entebbe to Kihihi/QENP on a scheduled flight
  • 4×4 transport with English speaking local driver/guide as above
  • Accommodation and meals as above (full board on safari, bed and breakfast in Entebbe)
  • Bottled water in safari vehicle
  • Community visit en route from Bwindi to Ishasha
  • All park entrance fees
  • Boat cruise on the Kazinga Channel
  • Game drives in Queen Elizabeth National Park
  • Full liability insurance cover
  • 24 hour emergency contact

Excludes:        

  • Gorilla Permit of USD600 per trek Bwindi – must be pre-booked/prepaid (low season permits available in April/May & November at USD350
  • Chamburu (Kyamburu Gorge) chimpanzee permits USD 50 each
  • Optional extra of Forest Walk Bwindi (USD 70 pp including park fees)
  • Optional extra of Community Visit Bwindi (USD 30)
  • Optional extra of Batwa Pygmies Community Visit (USD 85)
  • Optional additional permits including trek transfer and facilitation USD 670 high/USD 420 low season
  • All international flights and airport taxes
  • Personal expenses such as porters, drinks, tips, visas and travel insurance
  • Services/activities/meals not included above

Health:   Yellow fever & malaria prophylactics are required.

For gorilla/chimp trekking it is imperative that you are healthy and free of any disease or virus – officials do have the right to refuse entry if you are found to have or show any signs of communicable illnesses.

Should you opt to spend time participating in the UWEC Wildlife Integration programmes, you may require additional inoculations and health clearances.  Please enquire at the time of booking. These activities must be booked well in advance.

Visas:  Most nationalities require a visa to enter Uganda which can be obtained on arrival for USD50 per person, single entry.  Passports must be valid for a minimum of 6 months or 12 months in the case of UK nationals.  The newly established EAC Visa allows entry into Uganda, Rwanda and Kenya for one fee of USD100 – handy if you are visiting all three regions.

Flights: It is imperative that you reconfirm your onward/return flights.  Our office in Uganda can assist you with this.

Travel insurance is compulsory for all guests travelling with Legend Safaris.

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