8 Days Exceptional Primates Experience
Day 1; Airport pickup and transfer to your Hotel
On your arrival at Entebbe International Airport you will be met by your Around Africa Safaris guide who will greet you and transfer you to your hotel, taking between 5 minutes to 45 minutes, depending on traffic. Overnight at Karibu Guest House (Bed &Breakfast only)
Day 2: Depart for Kibale Forest National Park
This morning at 07.30 we will depart for Fort Portal and explore the area around the base of the Rwenzori Mountains. Kibale Forest National Park, in Western Uganda, an incredibly diverse forest that is home to over 13 species of primates including chimpanzee, red Colubus monkey, the rare L’Hoest monkey, blue monkey, grey-cheeked mangabey, black faced vervet monkeys, baboons, pottos and bush-babies. (Drive from Entebbe – Kibale NP is 5 hrs).
We will arrive at the lodge in time for lunch. You may choose to relax at the lodge for the rest of the day or do a crater lakes drive/walk in the evening. Overnight at Turaco Treetops/ standard cottages (Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner)
Day 3: Chimpanzee tracking – Bigodi wetland walk
After an early morning breakfast, you will report to the ranger headquarters for briefing at 07:45 am in Kibale Forest National Park to track habituated Chimps. These engaging apes, our closest living relative, are great fun to watch as they play and fight in the fruiting trees. Your experienced guides will introduce you to the different members of the chimp families, as well as the birds and plant life of the forest. The trails through the forest are generally easy to navigate and you will always be accompanied by Rangers. After your chimp tracking, you will return to the lodge for lunch.
After lunch, you will visit the neighboring Bigodi Wetlands Sanctuary. Cleverly constructed boardwalks lead you through Papyrus that towers above your head in Bigodi Wetlands Sanctuary. With over 130 bird species, multi-colored butterflies, eight different species of primates and the rare, semi-aquatic Sitatunga (antelope), this is community tourism at its best. Overnight at Turaco Treetops/ standard cottages (Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner)
Day 4: Transfer to Queen Elizabeth National park
Today morning after your breakfast, your driver guide will take you via Kasese towards Queen Elizabeth National Park, set on the floor of the Rift Valley, with the (occasionally visible peaks of the) Rwenzori Mountains behind you. The landscape of northern Queen Elizabeth comprises dozens of ancient craters carved into gentle rolling hills. The Kazinga Channel lies in central Queen Elizabeth, its banks fertile with large mammals such as hippo, elephant and buffalo and over 600 bird species, more than any other National Park in Uganda.
You will arrive at the lodge in time for lunch, freshen up and in the evening, you will head for an evening game drive. . (Drive from Kibale NP - QENP is 2-3hrs).
Overnight at Marafiki Safari Lodge (Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner)
Day 5: Game drive & Boat cruise along the Kazinga Channel
Start your day early with a 6 o’clock coffee or tea wake-up call, ready for your early morning game drive. Make sure to ask the hotel staff for a packed breakfast that morning. A popular route for the game drive is the Kasenyi sector, well-known for its lions’ prides that prey on Queen Elizabeth’s large population of Uganda Kob (antelope). If you are very lucky, you may spot a Giant Forest Hog, Africa’s largest pig. Keep your eyes peeled to spot an elusive leopard!
After your Safari, you will head back to the lodge for a few hours relaxation by the pool and have lunch.
In the afternoon, you will take a boat for a water safari on the Kazinga Channel at Mweya that connects the two lakes of Edward and George. This is likely to be a big highlight of your trip! The expertise Uganda Wildlife Authority guides will identify many of the Channel’s 100 bird species and you’re likely to see African Skimmers, Great White Pelicans, Spoonbill and a number of Bee-eater species. Hippos wallow at the edge of the water, huge Nile crocodiles bask in the sun and elephants come down to drink. The Kazinga Channel boat ride is a brilliant opportunity to take some close-up wildlife shots. Overnight at Marafiki Safari Lodge (Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner)
DAY 6: Depart For Bwindi - home of the mountain gorilla!
Today with packed lunch, you will depart for Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park, and drive through Ishasha, the remote, southern sector of Queen Elizabeth National Park. It is on the expansive plains of Ishasha that you will be on the lookout for its famous resident: the tree climbing lion. A sighting is not guaranteed but you have a better chance of seeing them here in the large low-limbed fig trees of Ishasha than anywhere else in Africa.
Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park is a UNESCO Natural World Heritage site and one of the richest biological and botanical regions in the world. The forest covers an area of 331 km² at the south-western edge of the western Rift Valley. Bwindi’s most-revered species that are over 500 wild Mountain Gorillas that makes up half of the world population of these gentle apes. (Drive from QENP – Bwindi National Park is 4-5 hrs). Overnight Haven Lodge (Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner)
Day 7: Gorilla Tracking
You will be up early on the morning of your Gorilla Tracking for a good breakfast in preparation for the day’s physical activity. You will report for registration at the Uganda Wildlife Authority ranger station before 08:00 AM. After a briefing by the rangers, your gorilla trek will start. The trek usually takes between three and six hours so a reasonable degree of fitness is required, as well as a strong pair of walking boots or shoes.
The rangers will guide you through the village gardens and into the jungle-like forest. They will escort you through the sometimes thick bush, occasionally hacking the dense undergrowth with a machete as you search to locate the gorillas. The mountain gorillas are under 24 hour monitoring for their own safety, so you’re almost guaranteed to see them. The rangers monitor each gorilla family by keeping in close radio contact.
In part due to gorilla tourism, the population of gorillas is slowly increasing but the species remains critically endangered. Gorillas and humans share almost identical genetic material and their health must not be compromised by coming into contact with human diseases (via our food, for example). To reduce transmission of disease from humans to gorillas, you will also be advised to keep a distance of 7 metres from the gorillas.
Once you have located the gorilla family, you will be asked to leave all your belongings to one side, and approach the gentle giants, just with your camera. The guides will interpret the animals’ behaviour and advise on what you are watching. Females and their young, young males and even a dominant Silverback may be seen: feeding, playing, interacting with each other, or just sleeping! You will never forget your encounter with the gorillas. They will be quite curious to see you! You are allowed exactly one hour with the gorillas before returning to base. Overnight Haven Lodge (Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner)
Day 8: Depart for Entebbe
After breakfast at the lodge, we start our 8-9 hours journey back towards Entebbe airport, stopping at the Equator with a picnic lunch. After your Around Africa Safaris guide will transfer you in due time to the Entebbe International Airport for your outbound flight.
Please note that check-in for international flights should be done two hours prior to flight departure. The departures area of the airport has a small restaurant, several duty-free shops and a seating area.
END OF SAFARI
Note: The price quote (2,913 USD) is per person sharing for a group of 2 persons on a safari.
What to bring for gorilla and chimpanzee tracking experience.
|City of excursion
|Bwindi Impenetrable National Park & Kibale National Park
|Languages spoken by the guide
|Duration of the tour
|Tuesday, 05 April 2022