13 DAYS CULTURAL WILDLIFE AND PRIMATE SAFARI
The Bwindi NP is one of the richest forests in east Africa with 350 species of birds, 310 species of butterflies, 320 species of trees and also 120 species of mammals including 10 species of primates.
Kibale Forest National Park<br /> This park is located in the Southern Western part of Uganda in the districts of Kamwenge and Kabarole which are in a continuous stretch of Queen Elizabeth National Park conservation area. Initially it used to be a hunting area for the Tooro King until it was decided to be named a national park in the year 1993 after realising what potential it had to save the primates that call it home. Besides being home to the 13 primate species recorded, it also has crater lakes and has 2 rivers that pas through it that is River Mpanga and Dura. It is about 320 kilometres from the city of Kampala and takes about 4-5 hours on the road.
You will be met on arrival by your driver / guide who will warmly receive and welcome you and will transfer you to your accommodation.
After an early breakfast, we commence our trip by driving to the Mabamba Swamp, 50km west of Kampala, the capital of Uganda. Stop en route at Mpigi Swamp for papyrus rarities. Open your eyes for a White-winged Warbler, Papyrus Gonolek, Yellow-backed Weaver, Northern Brown-throated Weaver, Blue-headed Coucal, and other swamp specialties. At the swamp, most of the birding is done on a canoe, paddled by our local site guides. Look out for the Shoebill both in the sky and down on the marsh. Proceed to Mpanga Forest which is a stunning patch of remnant, medium altitude evergreen and swamp forest. Look out for Blue breasted kingfisher, Weyn's weaver, White spotted flufftail, Blue shouldered robin chat, Grey parrot, Lemon Dove, Black billed turaco, Fire crested alethe, Snowy headed robin chat, Dusky long tailed cuckoo, Hair breasted barbet, Blue-breasted Bee-eater, Winding Cisticola, Goliath Heron and Black Crake.
After breakfast we start the day with a city tour through the bustling capital of Uganda. Immerse yourself in the traditions of the Kings of the Buganda tribe at the Kasubi Tombs, visit the Namirembe Cathedral and explore the African Craft Village for the most authentic crafts and arts. You will enjoy a local cuisine and visit the museum where you will learn the history of Uganda. Later in the evening, you will have an opportunity to visit the Ndere center for a first introduction to the most popular cultural dances in the pearl of Africa. (Note that the Ndere center cultural performances is an optional activity excluded from the price. It takes place on Wednesday, Friday & Sunday).
Your driver/guide will pick you up and drive you to Fort Portal the land of the craters. En route, you will see beautiful green landscapes and tea plantations. You will have lunch in Fort portal town with views of the famous Rwenzori Mountains. Fort portal is Uganda’s most clean town and home to the country’s youngest king.
Today you will spend the morning tracking the exuberant chimp families in the Kibale forest. Tracking chimpanzees in their natural habitat, as they swing from the branches in the canopy high above the forest floor, is a thrilling experience, you will be in no doubt of their presence as the forest is alive with their noisy calls. In the afternoon, explore the Bigodi Wetland Sanctuary. The reserve is abundant with butterflies, plants, animals and, in particular, birds. Spectacular birds like Great Blue Turaco and rare Papyrus Gonolek will be of great interest to birders. The swamp is also home to more elusive animals such as Red Colobus monkeys and Sitatunga antelope. The Bigodi swamp walk is an initiative of the local community. You will have a moment to taste the local cuisine at Tinka’s home.
You will transfer to Queen Elizabeth National Park and have game drive in search of the cats; you are likely to spot antelopes, elephants, buffalos, plenty of warthogs and various bird species. Later on in the day, you will go for a boat ride on the famous Kazinga channel which connects two lakes George and Edward. On the boat ride, your will see unbelievable numbers of hippos. The channel has the highest concentration of hippos in Africa. There is also an abundant bird life and many African elephants taking a swim or quenching their thirst. Later return to the lodge for dinner and relaxation. This evening you will have an opportunity to visit the Kikorongo Womens group where you can learn about the history and way of life of the Bakojo through dance and drama. You can also learn how to make art crafts and playing local music instruments (Note that the Kikorongo women’s group is excluded from the price and can be pre-arranged in advance at an extra cost.
This morning you will visit the Kyambura Gorge. A real Tarzan territory can be found in the northeast of the national park. This is where the savannah grassland suddenly ends into an impressive gorge of 100 meters deep and 16 kilometers long. The steep slopes are formed by the water of the Kyambura River and make a beautiful contrast with the valley that is covered by lush riverine forest. In the afternoon you will visit the Katwe Salt Lake. This unusual lake is far too salty to support any wildlife – though since the 16th Century it has ensured the survival of the Katwe villagers, who spend their days under the equatorial sun, harvesting salt from its milky waters. Unique networks of paths and huts have been built across the lake to support hundreds of workers, as selling the rock and table salt to traders from across Uganda, and as far as Congo and Rwanda, is the main source of income for the community.
Queen Elizabeth National Park is no small affair. Today you head to the Southern part of the park, Ishasha sector famous for its tree climbing lions. Like the rest of the park, there will be many other animals to see. In the evening, you will have a game drive as looking out for the tree climbing lions hanging in the trees.
You will have an early morning game drive as you once again look out for the tree climbing lions. The Ishasha area also has a very scenic landscape and other animals like the elephants, buffaloes, antelopes and variety of bird species. You will have an opportunity to visit Deo’s homestead where you will learn the local technology used to run an African home and the elephant trench that helps keep animals away from the home stead. You will later proceed to Bwindi National Park the home of the endangered Mountain Gorillas.
Rise up early and leave for your gorilla tracking experience in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest for the highlight of your safari. You will walk along rugged foot paths, through entwined vines and round mud puddles for the next two to seven hours. When you finally find a gorilla family, the tiring experience will be rewarded by staring at close range as these tropical forest giants behavior and you are allowed a one hour window in which to behold them. After an hour’s encounter with these gentle giants, you will graduate and join the rest of the world who describe this as the greatest highlight of an adventure in Uganda.
After breakfast, you will be taken to Bwindi Forest to hike a section of the forest that was offered to the Batwa community for conservation of their culture and show casing it to the world. You will have an experience with the real forest people explain how they lived in the forest. Up-close with them you will enjoy a hike in the forest led by one of the tamers of the trails as you ascend and descend the mountain ranges. You will learn how they hunted and get a chance of learning how to shoot with a bow and an arrow. Visit the medicinal man for the herbal information and medicinal lecture from the forest flora as later you head to traditional Batwa home stead and get to know how their women prepared and served meals where you will get a chance to taste one of their delicacies as you listen to the legends and traditional songs before you say farewell.
You will transfer to Lake Mburo National park. En route you will stop over at the Igongo cultural center which is the best place to catch up with history of Ankole and its culture. Proceed to Lake Mburo the only national park in Uganda where you can have a safari on foot. There has been an addition of tallest savanna animal (the giraffe) added to its endemic impalas. You will have a game drive as you enter the park.
You will wake up early and have a guided safari walk with a ranger, return to the lodge for breakfast before you return to Entebbe International Airport for your onward flight back home.
4.4 / 5.0
88% recommend this package