Gorilla’s & Wildlife 2017 – Low Season Special

Day 1: Kampala – Queen Elizabeth National Park

(430km/6-7hrs)

Collected from your Kampala hotel or residence by a Great Lakes safaris’ driver guide and driven west to Queen Elizabeth national park. With some stops at places of interest including the Equator for photo as well as at the Royal Drum Makers en-route and lunch at a local restaurant in Mbarara, you will arrive at Ihamba Lakeside Lodge in Queen Elizabeth National Park late afternoon with time to relax before dinner and overnight.

DINNER AND OVERNIGHT AT IHAMBA LAKESIDE LODGE (B-L-D)

The natural beauty in Queen Elizabeth National Park is overwhelming and diverse: green savannah plains with small acacia and euphorbia trees gave way to sunken crater lakes and swamps, bounded by the snow-covered peaks of the Rwenzori Mountains. The park is home to 95 types of mammals, including Uganda Kobs, lions, elephants and the giant forest hog. Moreover, with a bird list of over 600 species, it has the highest number of bird species found in any national park in Africa! On the shores of the Kazinga Channel, a natural link between Lake Edward and Lake George, you will encounter large herds of hippopotamus and many crocodiles. Chimpanzees can be tracked in Kyambura Gorge, while the famous tree climbing lions are found in the southern part of the park, called Ishasha.

Day 2: Game viewing and boat ride

The day begins early with a morning game drive around Kasenyi plains, the mating ground of the Uganda Kobs, in search of lions, elephants, buffaloes and other wild animals in their natural habitat. You will return to the lodge for a late breakfast then time to relax and enjoy the lodge facilities before lunch.

In the afternoon we take on a boat cruise along the Kazinga Channel, a natural channel between Lake Edward and Lake George. The channel is 33 km long and 2-3 km at its widest points. The scheduled 2hr boat ride runs 12 to 14kms along the channel, with almost guaranteed excellent wildlife sightings including multitudes of hippopotamus – possibly the world’s highest concentration – Nile crocodiles, wallowing buffaloes on its reedy banks, elephants, and many birds.

DINNER AND OVERNIGHT AT IHAMBA LAKESIDE LODGE (B-L-D)

 

Optional: Hot Air Ballooning in Queen Elizabeth National Park

Alternatively you can decide to experience a unique Hot Air Balloon Safari, followed by a bush breakfast and game drive (pre-booking required).

hot-air-balloon-queen-elizabethArise at dawn and transfer to the park gate to meet your ballooning crew and drive to the launch site by the first light. With coffee on site, witness the gigantic balloon being inflated. You will attend a safety briefing before being invited to get on board for a smooth ascension to a bird’s view position.

View the Kasenyi plains, the famed mating grounds of the Uganda Kobs, and a haunt for the predators. Enjoy the aerial views of the Kazinga Channel, the Mweya Peninsula and Lake George as well as far down towards Ishasha. Queen Elizabeth is truly famous for magnificent topography and milliard species of wild game, flowers, plants and birds.

The one hour long flight at different altitudes culminates with an amazing wilderness. Afterwards you are joined by your regular driver/guide and able to enjoy more game viewing en route back to your lodge where you will have time to relax before lunch and your planned afternoon activity. All in all, an unforgettable African experience that we highly recommend!

NB: Children below 7 years old or less than 4ft (1.2m) tall are only carried on parents request and at the discretion of the operator. Booking in advance required.

Day 3: Queen Elizabeth NP – Bwindi NP

Approx. 4 hours /200Km

After breakfast depart Queen Elizabeth National Park through Ishasha and drive to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, home of the endangered mountain gorillas.

DINNER AND OVERNIGHT AT SILVERBACK LODGE (B-L-D)

Of the over 800 mountain gorillas worldwide, Bwindi National Park is home to almost half of the gorilla population. There is no better place for observing these gentle giants from a close distance! Thanks to the wildlife conservation program, the number of gorillas has increased from 300 to 400 in the recent years, which include nine different families that are habituated for tourism purposes. Apart from the famous residents, the dense forest hosts 9 other primates. There are different trails in the park, including the Munyanga River Trail and Waterfall Trail, leading through the pristine rainforest to three sparkling waterfalls.

Day 4: Gorilla Tracking

Arise early today and prepare for the highlight of your safari, an unforgettable encounter with the Gentle Giants!

gorillas-wildlife-2016-3Following breakfast, transfer to the national park offices where you will be allocated a gorilla family in groups of 8 as well as a gorilla tracking guide. After a pre-tracking briefing by your guide touching on the gorillas generally, your assigned gorilla family as well as appropriate safety precautions, you drive to the trail head for the start of a thrilling adventure. Expect to walk between 2 and 8 hours in steep and sometimes muddy conditions with rain overhead, which can be tough and require a degree of (average) fitness. However the thrill of coming face to face with a giant Mountain Gorilla silverback completely makes up for the effort!

Please remember to bring your passport for registration, appropriate, water proof hiking boots and a light rain coat. To protect from stinging nettles, we recommend long pants and long sleeved tops. A pair of old gardening gloves can help grabbing onto the vegetation while most hotels/lodges provide a walking stick that come in very handy especially when hiking downhill. A small waterproof backpack is an excellent idea to carry a light snack, bottled water as well as protection for your camera.

Upon sighting the gorillas, you spend the allowed one hour with them as they go about their daily life; feeding, moving, playing, raising their young and sometimes wrestling with the juveniles – it is a totally unique and unforgettable experience!

DINNER AND OVERNIGHT AT SILVERBACK LODGE (B-L-D)

Day 5: Bwindi NP – Entebbe  – Departure

After an early breakfast we will depart Bwindi for Entebbe with stops at places of interest, stop over at the Equator if not done on day 2, lunch will be en-route in Mbarara town, continue to Entebbe International Airport to connect to your international flight (B, L)

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