3 National Parks in 8 Days

This itinerary combines visits to three national parks in Uganda, Kibale Forest National Park, Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park and Lake Mburo National Park.

Kibale Forest is an enchanting and exotic environment home to at least 60 mammal species, remarkably 13 of which are primates. It also has a rich diversity of birds. An exploration under the shady green canopy will brim with discoveries to delight botanists and butterfly lovers alike. The most alluring and rewarding activity in Kibale Forest is tracking for habituated chimpanzees.

The opportunity to gain a privileged insight into the daily lives of man’s closest relative is one which will be cherished and remembered for a number of years. It is then onto Bwindi Forest – a magnificent luxuriant swathe of rainforest across the ridges of the Albertine rift valley. It is in this ancient rainforest that we encounter a famous and endangered resident, the “mountain gorilla’’. All of the tiredness of the hike is magically lifted away as we first hear the mutterings and feeding noises of these mighty primates.

Itinerary

Day 1:

Arrival

Arrive at Entebbe International airport, meet and greet and transfer to Protea Hotel. If time permits we can visit the famous Entebbe Botanical Gardens.

Overnight at Protea Hotel (on accommodation and breakfast basis).

Day 2:

Drive to Kibale Forest area

Drive to Kibale Forest area, the drive is a full day of approximately seven hours. After leaving the Lake Victoria Basin pass through beautiful agricultural countryside where every type of fruit and vegetable imaginable is grown. Upon reaching Kyanjojo, in the lower foothills of the Rwenzori Mountains {Mountains of the Moon}, we drive through beautiful tea plantations and into Kibale tropical rain forest. Beautiful Ndali Lodge is situated on a high saddle between two crater lakes.

Overnight at Ndali Lodge or Kyaninga Lodge

 

Day 3:

Kibale Forest National Park

This morning we get the opportunity to explore Kibale Forest National Park. Kibale Forest is home to 13 primate species and a guided forest trek can be taken in search of one of the most popular primate species in the world – the Chimpanzee. There are 9 diurnal primates, these include, vervet, red‐tailed, L’Hoest’s, blue monkeys, grey‐cheeked manabey, red colobus, black and white colobus, olive baboon and the most famous of all, the Chimpanzee. Although chimp sightings are not guaranteed, the odds are good with the chance of encountering them standing at higher than 95%. This morning you will go on a forest walk in search of primates.

Whilst trekking in the depths of the lush green forest, you will be surrounded by bird song and can expect to see at least 5 or 6 other types of primate, most probably the grey‐cheeked managebey and the red‐tailed monkey and of course the chimpanzee. The walking is fairly easy due to the well‐maintained trails and reasonably flat terrain. This afternoon we have a swamp walk. Overnight at Ndali Lodge or Kyaninga Lodge

 

Day 4:

Drive to Bwindi via Queen Elizabeth National Park

The drive passes through Fort Portal and then south along the eastern length of the Rwenzori Mountains {Mountains of the Moon} with the hope of seeing the glaciated peaks. The drive is a full day gently descending into The Great African Rift Valley to Queen Elizabeth National Park and continuing to Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, passing through the scenic area known as The Switzerland of East Africa. The drive today is about 7 ½ hours.

Overnight at Gorilla Forest Camp

Day 5:

Gorilla Tracking

After breakfast take a short drive to Park Headquarters and meet with excellent local guides and trackers who will give a talk on the etiquette of gorilla trekking. We then hike into the forest where the gorillas were seen the night before and track 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. 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, as the experience is often described as being the most profound natural history experience in the world. Picnic lunches are provided and it is important to take plenty of water. Cameras and plenty of fast speed film are recommended. It can rain at a few minutes’ notice; hence waterproof clothing is a good essential including zip lock bags for cameras and film. N.B. We cannot guarantee seeing Gorillas.

Overnight at Gorilla Forest Camp

Day 6:

Second gorilla tracking day

Overnight at Gorilla Forest Camp

 

Day 7:

Drive to Mbarara

Drive to Mbarara passing through the Switzerland of East Africa area and eventually into Ankole Cattle country around Mbarara. These cattle are incredible with horns larger than one can imagine. Continue to Lake Mburo National Park, game drive. The drive today is 6 to 7 hours. Lake Mburo National Park is a small park, excellent for birding, antelope and other grazers, one of the only places to easily see Impala and zebra in Uganda. Game drives offer particularly picturesque game viewing with the Parkʹs mixture of savannah, acacia woodlands, grassy valleys, rocky outcrops, swamps, lakes and rolling hills.

Herds of impala (found nowhere else in Uganda), buffalo and zebra, plus waterbuck and eland are amongst the variety of wildlife to be seen. Birders will enjoy the Parkʹs 310 recorded water and dry land species. In this valley we can operate night drives and walks. This is the only park where we will see Impala and Burchellʹs Zebra. It is an excellent place for walking and exploring a nearby Khopji to perhaps see Klipspringer. Game drive to the lodge. Overnight at Mihingo Lodge

Day 8:

Back to Entebbe

This morning we drive back to Entebbe, this takes approximately 5 hours – road and weather dependent. If time permits it is possible to stop in Kampala for shopping and lunch and a visit to the Mpigi Royal Drum Makers. You are then transferred to Entebbe International airport to connect with your departure flight. Please note the departure flight must be in the late afternoon or evening, alternatively we can arrange another overnight in Entebbe.