Uganda … the country you will love
Uganda is a land of fascinating beauty and contrasts: From the snow – capped mountains to the rolling hills, the hot hazy savannahs teaming with wildlife to the canopied rainforest alive with birdlife, the chimpanzees crashing through the forest branches to the majestic gorillas chewing softly in the bamboo thicket. The meandering R. Nile twisting its way north words with thundering water falls, to the shimmering white sandy beaches and the friendly peoples’ smiling faces. Welcome to this ‘Pearl of Africa’!
- Driven to Queen Elizabeth national park with a stop at the equator
- Game drive and boat cruise on Kazinga channel in the afternoon.
- Drive Bwindi impenetrable national park
- Gorilla track
- Return to Kampala
After breakfast, drive to Queen Elizabeth national park with a coffee break at the equator to watch the experiment between the north and south hemisphere. You will have a lunch break at Mbarara town before continuing to the park, arriving late afternoon.
Queen Elizabeth national lies north and south of the equator in southwestern Uganda with open savannah to rainforest, dense papyrus swamps and brooding crater lakes like Lake Edward. No wonder that Queen Elizabeth National Park boasts one of the highest biodiversity ratings of any game reserve in the world. Almost 100 mammal species and a remarkable 606 bird species makes this superb safari territory, with elephant, school s of hippos, giant forest hog and the Uganda kob all regularly sighted around the tourist village on the Mweya Peninsula – which also boasts a marvelous waterfront setting in the shadow of the Rwenzori Mountains. Bird species include the martial eagle, black-rumped buttonquail, Verreaux’s eagle owl and African skimmer to name but a few. The remote and beautiful extension of Queen Elizabeth National Park, called Ishasha, is famed for its tree-climbing lions. It is a fabulous sight to see the lions draped from the trees and nowhere in Africa do you stand a better chance of seeing this than in the large low limbed fig trees of this sector
This morning at 6.00 am go with a driver for game viewing. The park has excellent game viewing opportunities for buffalo, elephants, kob, topi and other species of antelope. Return to the lodge for a late breakfast.
In the afternoon, after lunch, take a boat ride on the Kazinga channel. This will allow you to experience wildlife up close where hippos huff and spray mere feet away, buffalo linger in the shallows and a tremendous variety of birds grace the grasses on the river’s edge. Amongst those you will see are the malachite and pied kingfishers, great white and pink-backed pelicans and the open-billed stork. With some luck you will even spot elephants on the river banks coming for a drink and a bath. We return to the lodge for dinner.
After breakfast at 0830hrs and armed with your packed lunch head for Bwindi Gorilla park. The rainforest Park is said to be 25.000 years old, with altitude range 1200 – 2600 meters, with five rivers and a high annual rainfall make it rather humid. Besides its mayor attraction, the mountain gorillas (gorilla berengeri) the National Park is also home to an amazing 120 mammal species, 350 species of birds, 202 species of butterflies and over 200 species of trees.
Get up early for a hearty breakfast at 0700 to give you the energy needed for your gorilla trek. Before 0800 am report to the ranger station for registration and briefing by one of the rangers. Head for the forest led by the guides pushing your way through the undergrowth, parting thick creepers, to track the gorillas. The trek can take from half an hour to 7 hours – a reasonable degree of fitness is required as well as a sturdy pair of walking shoes.
Once you are close to the group the guides will ask you to leave behind your bags as no food items should be carried close to the gorillas. Just take your cameras with you as you are about to meet the gentle giants! Sit in the forest amongst the gorillas, listening to them grumble to each other and marvel at the sheer size of the dominant male; the silverback. It is an extraordinary feeling sitting in the dense rainforest knowing you are with a few of the last remaining mountain gorillas – sadly enough there are only about 650 of these beautiful creatures left. You are allowed exactly one hour with the gorillas before returning to the base station.
Please note: please listen to the instructions of the local rangers at all times. It is forbidden to approach the gorillas closer than 5 meters, to feed them or to use flash photography. Likewise for your and their safety! You will be accompanied by armed guards which guarantee your safety in an area where wild buffaloes are sighted. While walking, please feel free to ask guides to slow down if they are going too fast and if you need a rest. There is the additional option to hire porters on site.
The Uganda Wildlife Authority does not allow a trekking when you are sick as gorillas are very susceptible of human diseases. Should you feel sick the day of the trek we urgently advise you to abide this rule. In order to receive a 50% refund of the permit cost you MUST get a doctor’s report that day (please ask your guide to arrange this for you).
We must also stress that, while you have a very good chance of seeing gorillas, success is NOT guaranteed. They are wild creatures with no fixed routine and finding them requires the skills and experience of your tracker sand guides, as well as luck. The trackers and guides have helped to habituate the gorilla groups and know them intimately. They will take you to the area where they left the gorillas the day before. Before leaving they may be able to suggest how long the hike might be.
After breakfast drive back to Kampala arriving late evening. You will carry a packed lunch from the lodge to have on the way.