You will be met upon arrive at Entebbe International Airport and transferred to the Protea Entebbe Hotel for overnight before beginning your Uganda safari tomorrow morning. Rest up tonight for your primate and wildlife adventure!
On the morning of day 2, transferred to Kajjansi Aero Club for the scheduled charter flight to Kasese (about 2.15 hrs) where you will met at Kasese airstrip by your driver guide and private vehicle. Drive about an hour and a half to Kibale Forest, a tropical rainforest. This afternoon explore Kibale Forest National Park, home to 13 primate species and unique flora (some orchid species you will see only exist in this forest). With a National Park guide, hike in the forest in search of one of the most popular primate species in the world – the chimpanzee. There are 9 diurnal primates living in the forest, these include, vervet, red-tailed, L’Hoest’s, blue monkeys, grey-cheeked manabey, red colobus, black and white colobus, olive baboon and of course the chimpanzee. Although chimp sighting are not guaranteed, the odds are good with the chance of encountering them standing at higher than 95 percent. After tracking the wild chimpanzees, continue to Ndali Lodge for dinner and overnight. The Lodge is set on a narrow ridge overlooking the expansive Rwenzori Mountains (Mountains of the Moon) and a pristine crater lake – this area is one of the country’s scenic gems and a highlight on any safari in Uganda.
This morning enjoy another forest walk in search of primates. While trekking in the depths of the lush green forest, you will surrounded by bird song and unique flora. The hike is fairly easy due to well-maintained trails and reasonably flat terrain. This afternoon you have a swamp walk in the Bigodi Wetland Reserve. The Bigodi village is not far from the Kibale Forest, in the shadow of the Rwenzori Mountains. The village residents have banned together to work to save the adjacent wetland from the threat of farming and the sanctuary is operated by the Kibale Association for Rural and Environmental Development (KAFRED), a registered local community-based organization. Visit the local women’s craft co-op known for their beautiful handmade baskets and crafts. Return to Ndali Lodge for dinner, a lovely ending to another day in paradise!
Quenn Elizabeth National Park
This morning drive to Queen Elizabeth National Park, passing through Fort Portal and then south along the eastern length of the Rwenzori Mountains, (‘The Mountains of the Moon’) with the hope of viewing the glaciated peaks before the descending into The Great Rift Valley. Stop for a photo at the Equator marker before continuing into the park. Queen Elizabeth National Park sits in a fertile, equatorial valley and has beautiful scenery. It is Uganda’s most popular and accessible safari game reserve, with a total area of 1978 km². The park’s diversity is impressive with grassy plains, dense rain forests, papyrus swamps, the Kazinga Channel connecting Lake George and Lake Edward, and natural volcanic crater lakes. As a result it has one of the highest biodiversity ratings of any game reserve in the world, including a total of 95 recorded mammal species and more then 610 species of birds. In the afternoon, explore the park and its wonders on a game drive. Arrive at the Kyambura Game Lodge in time to enjoy sunset overlooking the park, the Rift Valley and Rwenzori Mountains beyond.
Queen Elizabeth National Park
Game drives in Queen Elizabeth National Park including a private boat trip of about two hours on the Kazinga Channel to view some of the largest pods of hippo in the world, plus other wildlife and excellent birding. Queen Elizabeth National Park is one of best birding parks in Africa, with nearly 600 recorded species and a record of 296 bird species seen in one 24 hour period.
The launch trip along the Kazinga Channel is one of the most popular activities in Queen Elizabeth National Park. It provides an amazing chance to sit back, relax and enjoy the fresh river breeze whilst observing a large selection of animals. Those species commonly seen along the riverbank are elephants, buffalo, waterbuck and Ugandan Kob. Large breeding pods of hippos are also seen on a daily basis. On occasion visitors will also see giant forest hog, leopard and lion. The waterbirds in the area are plentiful; in particular, water thick knee, yellow-billed stork, various plovers, white pink-backed Pelicans and white-bellied cormorants.
Queen Elizabeth National Park
Game drives in Queen Elizabeth National Park can be split into two areas, the Channel Drive Circuit and the Kasenyi Plains. The Channel Drive Circuit follows the northern shore of the Kazinga Channel, the roads wind between tangled thickets interspersed with the cactus-like euphorbia trees. The most common large mammals seen here are warthog, bush buck, waterbuck, elephants, hippos and frequently lions. Leopards are also a common sight in this section of the park and they occasionally provide a rare opportunity to get up-close with these magnificent animals. This is also one of the few places in Africa where the rare giant forest hog is often seen during daylight hours. The Kasenyi Plains stretching towards Lake George is a typical African Savannah. These rolling plains support some of the largest concentrations of game anywhere in Queen Elizabeth National Park and offer a different selection of animals then that seen on the Channel Drive Circuit. According to local guides, it is said to be the most reliable place in Uganda to see lions. This section of the park alongside the wonderful variety of game and predator species boosts an interesting selection of grassland birds, including grey-crowned crane, red-throated spurfowl and yellow-throated longclaw.
On day 6, drive through the park to the Ishasha sector, where you game drive in search of tree climbing lion, resident herds of endemic Ugandan kob and large herds of buffalo. Arrive at Ishasha Wilderness Camp on the banks of Ntungwe River in time for sunset and a bonfire before dinner.
windi Impenetrable National Park
This morning you have another chance to explore the Ishasha sector of Queen Elizabeth National Park on a game drive. In the afternoon drive to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park (a UNESCO World Heritage Site) passing through the scenic area known as The Switzerland of East Africa. Bwindi forest is a magnificent luxuriant swathe across the steep ridges of the Albertine Rife Valley, this ancient rain forest – one of the few in Africa to have flourished throughout the last Ice Age – is regarded to be one of the most biologically diverse forests in Africa. Bwindi Impenetrable National Park has at least 90 mammal species, including 11 primates and is ranked as one of the best in Uganda for forest birding, with 23 highly localized Albertine Rift endemics. Bwindi Impenetrable Forest is renowned for it’s Mountain Gorilla population, slightly more then half the world’s mountain gorilla population is resident in Bwindi: an estimated 280-320 individuals living in 15 groups. Looking deep into the expressive brown eyes of these gentle giants is an extremely special privilege and an encounter unparalleled in most likely the whole of Africa.
windi Impenetrable National Park
After breakfast, you’ll head to the nearby Park Headquarters and meet with the local National Park guides and trackers who will give a talk on the etiquette of gorilla tracking. With your local guide and porters, hike deep into the forest where the gorillas were seen the night before and track them from that point. The trekking can take from 1 to 6 hours and climb to altitudes in excess of 7,500 feet. The terrain is rough and at times muddy and slippery. 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 – spend an hour with these amazing primates, watching them interact with each other and their surroundings. Picnic lunches are provided and it is important to take plenty of water. A camera with a good zoom lens is recommended. It can rain at a few minutes notice; hence waterproof clothing is a good essential including dry bags for cameras and equipment (make sure you have lots of memory cards!).
windi Impenetrable National Park
Gorillas are our closest living relatives among the World’s great apes, studies of fossils, genes, physiology and behavior have revealed just how recently our shared lineage divided. Gorillas are complex, highly intelligent apes besieged by threats on all sides, including poachers, diseases and confined to a dwindling habitat that is in constant danger of being further eroded or depleted. Charismatic animals such as Gorillas serve as “flagship” species. The Mountain gorilla not only attracts public support in its own right, but also helps to focus attention on its afro-montane habitat, upon which many other species depend for survival. Only about 880 mountain gorillas survive today, all of them in the wild in Uganda, Rwanda and the DR Congo. While the population had been on the decline in the late 1990s, the 2011 mountain gorilla census showed an increase in population due to conservation efforts. The population was confirmed to have increased to 400 within Bwindi Impenetrable National Park from 302 in 2006. Return to Gorilla Forest Camp to clean up after tough days trekking, a delicious hot meal and celebratory drink toasting a, hopefully, successful gorilla trek. NOTE: We cannot guarantee seeing the gorillas.
On day 10, sadly it’s time to depart. This morning drive about 1.5 hrs to Kihihi airstrip for the scheduled charter flight to Kajjansi. You are then transferred to Entebbe International Airport for your onward departure flight. International flights must depart after 4 PM today to allow for ample connection time. Bid farewell to your guide and take with you memories of your safari in Uganda to last a lifetime! Breakfast, lunch.
As a native South African, safaris are in Mike's blood. While he has traveled extensively throughout Africa - 12 countries and more safaris than he can count - from Morocco to Namibia (and almost every country in between), his favorite safari experience is still in the Okavango Delta in Botswana. With 20 years in the safari industry, Mike has spent decades fostering close-knit relationships with camps, lodges and guides throughout Africa. As a true safari expert, he personally vets all African Safari Company & Expeditions safari partners in Africa.
Julia's summers as a child were spent exploring her grandparent's farm in Zimbabwe, game parks throughout the region and visiting family in South Africa. These experiences shaped her more than she could have imagined, and in her early 20s she packed her bags and headed to Zambia to manage a camp in the South Luangwa Valley. Julia returned and joined her father, Mike, at African Safari Company in 2001 assisting with special projects until she came on board as the Director of Sales in 2011.
Julia has traveled countless times to Africa: South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Kenya, Tanzania and Morocco vetting safari lodges, meeting guides and exploring game reserves and her favorite African cities (Cape Town being her top pick!). Even after venturing to so many places, she can still easily pick her favorite African safari experiences, one being Kiba Point in the Selous National Park in Tanzania. "Incredible wildlife, amazing guides, the river, sleep outs, hot springs...it has it all!" She has also visited Ecuador and the Galapagos, Peru, the Bahamas, France, Mexico and Jamaica, and is always looking for the next opportunity to explore exotic locales. While her in-depth knowledge spans East and Southern Africa, plus Morocco, we consider her to be our resident Zambia safari expert, South Africa safari expert and Tanzania safari expert. Contact Julia to plan your custom African safari today!
Isaac joined African Safari Co. & Expeditions in 2018. He has extensive experience traveling throughout Latin America and is fluent in Portuguese and Spanish. While his expertise lies in the tropical paradise of of South America, he is excited to hit the ground running in discovering Africa and scouting out the most unique, and adventurous, safari experiences.
Shannon joined the company in 2015 and has since had the incredible opportunity of visiting Kenya, South Africa, Morocco, Zimbabwe and Botswana. Her first trip to Kenya is where she fell in love with the people, wildlife and the soul of a safari. She now managers web design & marketing for African Safari Co. & Expeditions.
Elliot joined the African Safari Co. team, and the world, in June of 2016. He begin as our official Director of Naps and has since traveled to South Africa and Guatemala and has been promoted to Vice President of chaos. Elliot is excited to continue to grow with the company, quite literally speaking, and travel the world in search of new adventures!
Bogey has been with the African Safari Co. since 2014. While he unfortunately can not travel to Africa, for a natural fear of lions, he loves being in the office and helping to keep everyone on their toes and on time for daily walks.