• Depart London on an overnight flight to Entebbe.
    • On arrival at Entebbe airport we will be met by our guide and transferred to our accommodation in Kampala, and then the rest of the day is free to relax after our journey. 
    • Accommodation: Kampala Serena Hotel, 1-night on bed & breakfast basis.
    • After breakfast we head west to Fort Portal which rests in the shadow of the ‘Mountains of the Moon’ and is famous for many tea plantations. We then continue to Kibale Forest National Park.
    • During our stay in Kibale Forest, we have the opportunity to go in search of the 13 primate species which inhabit the enchanting, ancient forest, including chimpanzee, black and white colobus, red colobus, L’Hoest’s monkey and grey-cheeked mangabey. The birdlife is also remarkable, with over 300 species recorded, including crowned eagle, African grey parrot, black bee-eater, black and white flycatcher and yellow-mantled weaver.
    • Accommodation: Primate Lodge, 2-nights on full board basis.
    • This morning there is an optional excursion for those wishing to track chimpanzees. With over 120 individuals, Kibale is one of the best locations in Africa for chimp viewing. Other forest inhabitants include blue-breasted kingfisher, black-billed turaco, pied hornbill, chestnut-winged starling and many other birds. Once amongst the chimpanzees, we spend approximately an hour following and observing them.
    • Alternatively the morning is at leisure to enjoy birding and primate spotting at your own pace around the lodge.
    • We spend the afternoon at Bigodi Swamp to enjoy a nature walk in this bird rich wetland area. Over 200 bird species can be found here including the popular great blue turaco.
    • After breakfast we drivel to Queen Elizabeth National Park, travelling past the Rwenzori Mountains and the scenic crater lake region.
    • In the late afternoon in the national park we enjoy a vehicle safari in search of warthogs, buffalos, waterbucks and elephants, as well as a variety of birdlife.
    • Accommodation: Mweya Safari Lodge, 2-nights on full board basis.
    • After an early start, we take an early morning vehicle safari to the mating ground of the Uganda kob. This is not only an area for excellent wildlife viewing but also offers much to birders as the grassy plains support large flocks of white and Abdim’s stork.  
    • Later in the day, we take a two-hour boat cruise along the Kazinga Channel, which should provide us with excellent sightings of hippo, Nile crocodile, buffalo, elephant and plentiful birdlife.
    • After breakfast, we enjoy another vehicle safari and then gradually proceed to the southern part of the national park, known as Ishasha. After checking-in to our accommodation, we take a drive in search of the well-known tree-climbing lions, which are often seen in this area resting in the fig trees.
    • Accommodation: Ishasha Wilderness Camp, 1-night on full board basis
    • This morning make our way to Lake Mburo, where we will enjoy a vehicle safari as part of our journey to our accommodation. In the evening there will be an opportunity to join a night safari drive.
    • Accommodation: Mihingo Lodge, 2-nights on full board basis
    • We start the day early in the morning for a bush walk with a guided ranger. By experiencing a safari by foot rather than vehicle, we can get closer to the wildlife, allowing us to notice the smaller, often overlooked, details. 
    • In the afternoon we enjoy a boat cruise on the lake in search of the red-faced barbet (which is only seen in this area), the endemic African finfoot and one of the highlights of the trip – the shoebill stork. Despite being Uganda’s smallest national park, the area is rich with birdlife with 315 recorded species which should make our afternoon on the lake a rewarding experience.
    • On our drive to Kampala, we will cross the equator and stop for lunch and photo opportunities. On arrival into Kampala we will make a visit to Baha’i Temple for a scenic lookout over Kampala and an opportunity for birding in the temple's manicured gardens. 
    • Accommodation: Kampala Serena Hotel, 1-night on bed & breakfast basis.
    • We start with an early drive to Mabamba Swamps – one of the best places to spot the rare shoebill stork. Taking a boat trip gives us the opportunity not to only look for this rare highlight of the trip but we will also see a variety of other species such as Allen’s gallinule, grey herons and African water rail, along with various egrets and ducks. For those wishing to get closer to the birdlife there may be an opportunity to explore the shallower areas by canoe.
    • After our morning spent at Mabamba Swamps we will transfer to Entebbe for our overnight flight back to the UK or you may wish to extend your stay in Uganda with our extension to Bwindi Impenetrable Forest. 
  1. Day 12 Arrive UK

Gorilla tracking extension

    • This morning we will remain with the group for the excursion to Mabamba Swamps. After this excursion we drive to Entebbe for an afternoon flight to Kihihi and transfer by road to Bwindi Imprenetrable Forest – home of the endangered mountain gorillas. 
    • Accommodation: Buhoma Lodge, 3-nights on full board basis.
    • Today is what many will consider the highlight of your extension in Uganda - an unforgettable encounter with Uganda’s mountain gorillas. After breakfast at the lodge, we transfer to the Bwindi National Park headquarters to meet our guides and begin tracking gorillas in the dense rainforest on the mountain slopes. Walking through thick foliage on relatively steep climbs will reward us with a once in a lifetime experience of viewing mountain gorillas in their natural habitat. With an estimated 880 mountain gorillas left in the wild, we will be able to sit within metres of these superb apes and experience their day-to-day activities.
    • Accommodation: Buhoma Lodge, 3-nights on full board basis.
    • Our second full day in Bwindi allows us to take part in the Batwa Experience. A day hike with Batwa guides through the rainforest will teach us how the Batwa lived and hunted, learn about medicinal plants whilst also watching out for the wildlife and birdlife of the forest. In the afternoon you can choose to trek to waterfalls in the forest or go birding in the villages.
    • We return to Kihihi airstrip for a flight to Entebbe before continuing on an overnight flight to the UK.
  1. Day 15 Arrive UK

Please note that you will require a Gorilla Tracking Permit for your extension in Bwindi Imprenetrable National Park at an additional charge of approximately £505 per person.

All prices are per person and include:

  • Services of the naturalist leader
  • Flights
  • Transfers
  • Accommodation
  • Guided activities
  • Most meals
  • National Park Fees (excluding Bwindi Impenetrable Forest Gorilla Tracking Permit – cost approximately £505)

Accommodation

We stay in a selection of very comfortable lodges and safari camps in prime wildlife locations. Each lodge offers large twin or double beds, central lounge/dining areas and all accommodation has en suite facilities.

Meals

All meals are included except lunch and dinner on the first night in Kampala. Breakfast and dinner are either in camp or at the lodge; lunches are a mix of picnics and leisurely sit-down meals.

Birds

More than 1,000 species of birds have been recorded in Uganda, and on this trip we should see a diversity of species, from the secretive black bee-eater, the popular great blue turaco and pied hornbill, to a variety of vultures and eagles.

  • Shoebill
  • African green broadbill
  • Black bee-eater
  • Ruwenzori turaco

Mammals

The abundance of birds will capture our attention, but we will stay alert for mammals, especially during our time in Kibale Forest which is home to 13 different species of primates including black and white colobus monkeys, chimpanzee, blue monkeys and grey-cheeked mangabeys.

Queen Elizabeth National Park is famed for its tree-climbing lions along with large herds of hippopotamus, Uganda kobs, and elephants. In Lake Mburo we may see zebras, impalas and gigantic elands as well as the giraffes that were relocated here from Murchison Falls.

  • Lion
  • Chimpanzee
  • Hippo
  • African elephant 

Boat trips

We take a boat safari along the Kazinga Channel in Queen Elizabeth National Park looking for Nile crocodiles, buffalo, elephants and birdlife, as well as on Lake Mburo for its excellent endemic birds. On our visit to Mabamba Swamps we will take a boat safari in search for the rare shoebill stork, however an option to canoe is also available.

Scenery

Our itinerary makes the most of Uganda’s spectacular scenery, from the rich forest habitat of Kibale Forest to the picturesque Rwenzori Mountains, also known as the ‘Mountains of the Moon’, as well as the sweeping savannahs of Queen Elizabeth and Lake Mburo National Parks.

Photography

Photographic opportunities on this trip are excellent, as there will be chance to photograph the stunning scenery, the exceptional birdlife, and the primates in their natural forest habitats.

Walking

Some forest trails can be steep in parts, but we take these slowly.

Other excursions

In Kampala we will visit the Baha’i Temple – the only one in Africa. Located on Kikaya Hill sitting in landscaped gardens rich in fruit tree species, the temple and its grounds offers views over the whole of Kampala as well as a chance for birding. 

Flights

Price includes return scheduled flights London - Entebbe – London.

Additional return flights Entebbe - Kihihi - Entebbe  are included in the extension price.

Ground transport

Ground transportation will be by minibus or 4 wheel drive vehicle, with driver.

Baggage restrictions

On the extension, the baggage allowance on the flight to Kihihi is strictly limited to 15 kg of checked luggage in soft bags only.

Climate

Uganda straddles the equator and enjoys a tropical climate. Daytime temperatures are generally between 20°c to 30°c throughout the year, and night time temperatures hover between 12ºc to 18ºc. Due to the equatorial location, rain can be expected at any time of the year but we should avoid the wettest of the months (usually March to May and October to November). 

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