Rwanda. Uganda. Burundi
THE HIGHLIGHTS OF UGANDA
Upon arrival at Entebbe International Airport you will be met by an Expert Travel Planners’ representative and transferred to Lake Victoria Serena Hotel (approx 35km) from the airport for overnight – dinner on own account.
Lake Victoria Serena Resort is located on the shores of Lake Victoria, the 2nd largest fresh water lake in the world, barely 35km from Entebbe International Airport and 15km from Kampala city. Guest accommodation comprises 87 rooms (30 Twins rooms, 45 Standard rooms (02 are paraplegic), 08 Executive Suites and 02 Presidential Suites) but will increase to 124 when completely finished.
All rooms have a private balcony offering stunning views of the lake and are equipped with an electronic safe, flat screen television, uninterrupted power supply, automatic self locking doors with a magnetic card system, 24 hour security, mini bar and complimentary welcome fruit basket. Other facilities include a choice of restaurants and bars, state-of-the-art conferencing facilities, a fully fledged Spa facility alongside a modern gymnasium and free internet access.
Lake Victoria Serena Hotel (BB)
|Day 2||Entebbe –Murchison Falls National Park|
After breakfast, you will drive northwest to Murchison Falls National Park (300 kms/5 hrs)
via Bombo town with a lunch stop in Masindi town.
Once in the park, cross over to the northern bank by ferry and check in at Paara Lodge.
After breakfast, transfer to Entebbe International airport for your scheduled flight to Murchison Falls National Park – ETD 0830 hrs (approx 1hr 40 min). On arrival at the local airstrip, met and transferred to Paara Safari Lodge (20 min) for check in and lunch.
At the dramatic Murchison Falls, the world’s longest river explodes through a narrow, 7m cleft in the Rift Valley escarpment to plunge into a frothing pool 43M below. In the lush borassus grassland north of the Nile, elephant, buffalo, giraffe and a variety of antelope are regularly encountered. In the southeast, Rabongo Forest is home to chimpanzees and other rainforest creatures while the River Nile itself hosts one of Africa’s densest hippo and crocodile populations. Add a dazzling variety of water-birds, including the world’s most accessible wild population of the rare shoebill stork, and Welcome (!) to Murchison Falls National Park; an untamed African savannah bisected east to west, for 115 kms, by the mighty river Nile.
Situated approx. 300 kms/5 hrs northwest of Kampala, this 3,840 km² park spreading inland from the shores of Lake Albert around the Victoria Nile is Uganda’s largest National Park. And the only one where all of the ‘Big Five’ are to be found; buffalo, elephant, lion and occasional leopard seen above the Nile while rhinos are being bred in a sanctuary south of the park – 40 to 50 of them are lined up for release into the wild by around 2040. Together with the adjacent 748 km² Bugungu Wildlife Reserve and the 720 km² Karuma Wildlife Reserve, the park is part of the greater, 5,308 km², Murchison Falls Conservation Area.
Special activities include launch trips to the base of the falls, Boat trips to the Lake Albert delta, Chimpanzee tracking at Rabongo Forest and Budongo Forest en-route from Masindi plus regular game viewing drives.
Paara Safari Lodge is well known for its luxurious and comfortable accommodation. It has about 54 beautiful rooms with en-suite bathrooms as well as balconies and some number of suits that offer a perfect view of the Nile. The lodge is well known for its high quality facilities that are offered to Visitors. These include swimming pool, restaurant with both international and local foods, full stocked bar, lounge and the beautiful natural gardens on the landscape
Paara Safari Lodge (FB)
|Day 3||Murchison Falls National Park|
Arise at dawn with coffee/ tea and snacks then depart for an early morning game drive to catch up with the predators and early risers – like jackals, hyenas, giraffe, lion, antelope, elephant, Uganda kob, baboons, velvet monkeys, Jackson’s hartebeest, herds of buffalo, bushbucks, warthogs, waterbucks, etc.
Return to lodge for a late breakfast and relax before lunch.
In the afternoon you will go for a launch boat cruise on the Victoria Nile to the bottom of Murchison Falls, an opportunity to animals like wallowing buffaloes, schools of hippos, large Nile crocodiles, elephants and plenty of water birds like fish eagles and various storks. Disembark at the bottom of the falls and hike to its top where the calm Nile perfects its beauty – forcing its mighty self through a narrow 8 meter gorge to fall a distance of about 150 ft in a thunderous roar of white water – absolutely incredible scenery!
Paara Safari Lodge (FB)
|Day 4||Murchison Falls National Park – Kibale Forest National Park|
After breakfast, check out with packed lunch and drive south via the Albertine Escarpment of the western Rift Valley on the Masindi-Hoima-Fort portal road. This will be a long drive but passing though verdant countryside and traditional homesteads and farms. Fort Portal rests in the shadow of the Fabled “Mountains of the Moon”. At traditional villages, en-route, you are able to see people at work tending their crops.
Kibale National Park, 320 kms/5 hrs from Kampala, is Uganda’s primates’ paradise, her 776 km² of moist evergreen rain forest home to the highest concentration of primates in the world – 13 species, including the very ‘local-ized’ Red Colobus as well as L’Hoest’s monkey. The elusive forest elephant, smaller, hairier than its bush counterpart, moves seasonally into the park; other terrestrial mammals include buffalo, giant forest hog, leopard and half a dozen antelope species. Birdlife is prolific with 335 species including hornbills, pittas, turacos, the endemic Prirogrine’s ground thrush and African Grey Parrots.
But the park’s principal attraction remains the opportunity to track her 500 habituated Chimpanzees. These delightful apes, genetically the closest living relatives of man, are tremendous fun to watch as they squabble and play in fruiting trees. Tracking usually takes about 4 hrs.
One other unique experience in Kibali: join the habituation team that goes out in the morning to study the chimpanzees and habituate them humans.
Check in at primates Lodge in the afternoon. Evening sightseeing around the Crater Lakes near Ndali.
Primate’s lodge is an exclusive eco lodge situated in the heart of Kibale forest national park. Its surrounded by a lush tropical forest that is home to 13 different species of primates, including the chimpanzees, Guest accommodation comprises of 8 luxury safari tents which are raised on a wooden platform and covered by grass thatched roof, perfectly blending with the natural environment, each has a private veranda with splendid views of the surrounding forest. The interior is tastefully decorated in African style, with comfortable queen sized beds with en suite bathrooms. 7 intimate Forest cottages each room with its own veranda and large 2 twin beds and a sitting area, nicely decorated with a traditional African art, en suite bathroom with flushing toilets, 1 sky tree house for adventurous travelers located 10 minutes away from the main lodge.
primates safari LODGE (FB)
|Day 5||Kibale Forest National Park – Queen Elizabeth National Park|
After breakfast, transfer to Kanyanchu Park HQs with packed lunch for the 0800 hrs pre-tracking briefing then – 0900 hrs: embark on a guided chimpanzee trek, your informative guide making it even more interesting by pointing out other forest features, flora & fauna, Colobus monkeys, Mangabeys, baboons, Bush babies, etc.
Upon sighting the chimpanzees, spend the allowed 1 hour with them, as they go about their daily life.
After lunch exit Kibale, drive to Queen Elizabeth National Park (80km/2hrs) with excellent views of Rwenzori mountains en-route, past the British colonial copper mining town of Kasese with game viewing en-route.
Queen Elizabeth National Park (QENP), located in western Uganda, approx 438 kms/6 hrs southwest of Kampala is Uganda’s most popular savannah park. Her 1,978 sq. km of open savannah, rainforest, dense papyrus swamps and brooding crater lakes extends from Lake George in the northeast to Lake Edward in the southwest and includes Maramagambo Forest and Kazinga Channel connects the 2 lakes.
QENP is home to an incredible array of wildlife including almost 100 species of mammals, from hippos, elephants, leopards, lions, the elusive giant forest hog, the handsome Uganda kob to Chimpanzees in her Kyambura Gorge; all these in addition to over 600 bird species.
Much of the best game viewing is in the northern, Mweya Peninsula area which boasts a marvellous waterfront setting in the shadow of the Rwenzoris. The southern area of Ishasha exiting towards Bwindi is famous for its tree-climbing lions, whose males sport black manes, a feature unique to lions in this area.
It is also famous for its volcanic features; volcanic cones and deep craters, many with crater lakes such as Lake Katwe, from which salt is extracted. Unique activities include regular game drives, Launch cruises on Kazinga channel, Chimps tracking in Kyambura gorge and Guided walks in Maragambo forest.
You will arrive at Katara Safari Lodge in time for dinner and overnight.
Katara Lodge is situated on the great rift valley escarpment with uninterrupted views of the savannah, Lake Edward and the Virunga and Rwenzori Mountain ranges beyond, the lodge is only 20 minutes drive from the main entrance of Queen Elizabeth National park.
Accommodation is provided in seven spacious thatched cottages on a stretch of hills overlooking the open savannah in a serene and relaxing atmosphere, the 6 cottages have a double bed and a four poster star bed that can be wheeled out onto the veranda to sleep directly under the starlit African sky(only recommended in the dry seasons) the bathrooms are luxuriously fitted with a roll top bath and an invigorating rain shower with running hot and cold water, equipped with 220v electricity and a private wooden balcony perched over Queen Elizabeth National Park.
Other facilities include resturant and bar, swimming pool.
Katara SAFARI LODGE (FB)
|Day 6||Queen Elizabeth National Park|
Early morning rise with tea/coffee and snacks and have a morning game drive. Expect to encounter spotted hyenas, Grazing Hippos, Elephants, and Warthogs, Herds of Buffalo, giant forest hog, Uganda kobs, Water bucks, Occasional leopard sightings, Lions and a variety of bird species unique to the Albertine rift valley.
Return to the lodge for a late breakfast then relax before lunch.
In the afternoon, depart for the jetty on the Kazinga channel (joining lakes Edward and George) for a 2 hrs launch – boat cruise. You will view a variety of game at close range: schools of Hippos, wallowing Buffalo, Elephants, Nile crocodiles, Waterbucks, occasional leopard if lucky, fishing villages and a rich bird life.
Katara SAFARI LODGE (FB)
|Day 7||Queen Elizabeth National Park – Bwindi Forest National Park|
After breakfast, depart with picnic lunches for a morning game drive in QENP’s southern Ishasha area that is famous for tree climbing lions. After lunch, drive on south to Bwindi Forest National Park.
Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park’s 331 sq. kms of montane and lowland forest jungle lies in southwestern Uganda, 540 kms from Kampala. A UNESCO World Heritage Site and accessible only on foot, it is one of the richest ecosystems in Africa providing habitat for over 90 mammals (including 11 primates), 346 species of birds (including 23 highly localized Albertine Rift endemics), 202 species of butterflies, 163 tree species, over 100 species of ferns, 27 species of frogs, chameleons, geckos and other endangered species.
Bwindi is however most notable for her 340 Mountain Gorillas, about half the world’s population of this critically endangered primate. Gazetted in 1991, the park rose to her peak after Gorilla tracking became a tourist activity in April of 1993, converting it into one of the most popular tourist destinations on earth.
Activities include: Gorilla tracking, Forest walks, Cultural visits with the Batwa people and unbelievable bird watching – this is Africa’s richest country birds-wise with over 1,000 species recorded including almost half the continent’s known species and over 10% of those recorded around the world.
Arrive at Mahogany Springs Lodge late in the afternoon; with time to relax or consider a community walk around Buhoma before dinner and overnight at the lodge.
Mahogany spring is set back on the pristine waters of the Munyaga River and facing the Bwindi Impenetrable forest. The lodge offers accommodation in 8 Double Suites; Each Suite has its own private exquisitely designed terrace with panoramic views of the surroundings. All the suites have large en-suite bathrooms with a gorgeously designed open terracotta shower. Other facilities Include the main building with a bar, restaurant, living area with a double sided fire place, book/DVD Library, and craft shop.
Mahogany Springs Lodge (FB)
|Day 8||Bwindi Forest National Park|
Wake up and prepare for an unforgettable experience! After an early breakfast, transfer to the Park HQs.
09:00 AM: After a pre-tracking briefing, set off into the forest in the footsteps of the Mountain Gorillas.
The time taken in the footsteps of these humble apes is un-predictable; it can be anything from 3 hours to an entire day depending their previous day nesting and subsequent movement. The trek itself, climbing up and down through steep forested rocks, can be exhausting but the thrill of coming face to face with these giant primates, and spending an hour with them as they go about their daily life, more than makes up for the time taken in their search. En-route, please be sure to enjoy a rich variety of birdlife and other primates – the red tailed monkey, black and white Colobus monkey, velvet monkey and the grey cheeked Mangabeys.
Afterwards trek back to the lodge for lunch and a refreshing shower.
In the afternoon go for a community walk around the village – entertained with the local music and dance.
Mahogany Springs Lodge (FB)
|Day 9||Bwindi Forest National Park – Entebbe|
After breakfast, depart the lodge and transfer to Kampala (approx 9 hrs) with a stopover for lunch in Mbarara town for lunch then continue your drive to Entebbe International airport for your late evening flight back home
After breakfast transfer to Kihihi airstrip for your scheduled flight to Entebbe – ETD 1055 hrs (approx 1 hr). Upon arrival at Entebbe International airport, you will connect to your departure flight END OF OUR SERVICES
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