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5 Day – Bwindi Gorilla Trek & Queen Elizabeth park wildlife Safari

safari  over view

This Uganda safari itinerary covers most amazing tourism activities in  uganda to mention uganda gorilla tours gorilla trekking at Bwindi impenetrable  forest national park and wildlife viewing at queen Elizabeth national park topped by a scenic  boat cruise to Kazinga channel viewing hippos, crocodiles and other animals and birds on the shores drinking water.

 ITINERARY

Day 1: Depart Kampala for Bwindi Impenetrable National Park

Leave Kampala at 7:30 amGuests will be picked up at their hotel in Kampala or Entebbe and begin the journey west towards Bwindi Impenetrable National Park.  The first stop en route will be at Mpambire Drum Makers, an hour outside Kampala on the Masaka Road.  Next, some 30 minutes later, the second stop is at the spot on the road where the Equator crosses.  Here one can take photos, have a brewed cup of coffee at the Equatorial Cafe; a brief informative talk will be given before proceeding to Mbarara for lunch.

Arrival in Mbarara will be around 1 pm.  Here the guests will be taken to a Local Ugandan restaurant to feast on Matooke (plantain-type bananas) and roasted goat meat.

After lunch, the drive continues through the virgin rolling hills of Ankole -Kigezi to the home of the infamous Mountain Gorillas, Bwindi Impenetrable National Park.  Arrival at Bwindi will be around 6 pm. Here we will proceed to either Buhoma, (for the Gorilla Resort or  Buhoma Lodge) or alternately to Kisoro (for the Kisoro Travelers Hotel or Virunga Lodge).

Dinner will be served at your chosen accommodation followed by an early night’s sleep.

Day 2: Gorilla Trekking Tour

An early breakfast will be served, and departure to the Gorilla Tracks will be at 7:30 am.

Your driver will transfer you to an Information Center from where you will be briefed on the ‘do’s and don’ts’ while trekking in the forest.  The Ranger Guides with their unique insights and knowledge will surely enhance your understanding of the habits and behaviors of the Mountain Gorillas.  Initially, the walk will be fairly silent, but as you trek deeper into the forest, you will hear those magical jungle sounds, as well as be enthralled by the dense flora and fauna.  

This first encounter could be anywhere from one to eight hours from leaving the Information Center, but most commonly 2 – 5 hours.  As these primates wander about in the forest, it is difficult to pinpoint their exact location day by day.

After an hour or so of photographing and admiring the Gorilla family, you will head back to the camp or lodge you had stayed at the previous night.

Dinner will be served in the evening.

Day 3  Transfer to Queen Elizabeth National Park

After breakfast, departure to Queen Elizabeth National Park is at 9:30 am.

From Buhoma side; (Gorilla Resort or Buhoma Lodge) one proceeds through Ishasha sector of Queen Elizabeth National Park to see the tree climbing lions.  This is a 2 hour drive.  Also at Ishasha, the guests will be served lunch in one of the lodges nearby.  After lunch, you will proceed to Mweya peninsular or your place of accommodation inside or close to the Park. 

From Kisoro side; (Kisoro Travelers Hotel or Virunga Lodge) one drives via Kabale to the Queen Elizabeth National Park.  These guests will stop en route for lunch in a local restaurant as well as a visit to a cattle raising farm to see how Ugandans raise their cows.

Arrival at Queen Elizabeth National Park will be around 6 pm.

The guests will then overnight in Queen Elizabeth National Park; either at the Mweya Safari Lodge (overlooking the Kazinga Channel), at the Enganzi Lodge, or camp at the Bush Lodge  close to the Maramagambo Forest.

Dinner will be served in the evening.

Day 4: Game Drive and Launch Cruise in Queen Elizabeth National Park

Early morning breakfast with a departure at 6:30 am.

You will be taken on an early morning Game Drive on the Kasenyi Track, viewing a large fishing area via . The Game Drive will take 2-4 hours depending on the weather and the success of the game viewing after which you will tour Kikorongo, where you will encounter both wet and dry Crater Lakes.

After lunch, the guests will be taken to the Kazinga Channel for a launch cruise; viewing the Hippos, Buffaloes and Elephants along the shoreline.  Excellent Bird viewing down the Channel as well.

Return to overnight at your accommodation around 6 pm.

Dinner will be served in the evening.

Day 5: Return to Kampala/Entebbe

Breakfast and a departure at 8 am.

Again, there is an optional return for the guests.

Option 1 is to drive directly to Kampala/Entebbe with a possible visit to Lake Katwe en route.  Here one can see how the local women and youth extract the salt from the Lake.  Lunch would be served en route as well, at a local Ugandan restaurant.

Option 2 is to drive back to Kampala/Entebbe via Fort Portal; this is considered to be the most likable urban center in Uganda.  Here you could get a brief city tour and a local lunch.

Arrive in Kampala/Entebbe at either around 6 (option 1) or around 4 (option 2).

ACCOMMODATION
BWINDI INPENETRABLE FOREST

VOLCANOES BWINDI LODGE

There is only a stream separating the Volcanoes Bwindi Lodge from the Impenetrable Forest; a truly unique Uganda jungle safari experience.  The lodge has 8 Bandas for accommodation, each with a private terrace where you can sit and watch the wildlife.  The Volcanoes Bwindi Lodge is a luxury accommodation, with all the modern conveniences, all with special consideration to the environment; the lodge is eco-sensitive.

Features:

  • Fireside bar and lounge
  • All bandas have en-suite bathrooms
  • Restaurant with forest viewing
  • Wifi in the main building
QUEEN ELIZABETH NATIONAL PARK

IHAMBA LAKESIDE SAFARI LODGE

IHAMBA LAKESIDE SAFARI LODGE is within the borders of the Queen Elizabeth National Park, on the shores of Lake George.  All the accommodation is private suites, with verandahs and sitting areas.  Ihamba Lakeside Safari Lodge is near the fishing village of Kahendero, in Muhokya sub-couty, within the gates of Queen Elizabeth National Park on the shores of Lake George.

Features:

  • Swimming pool
  • Restaurant and Bar
  • Parking
  • Laundry service

   PARK INFORMATION

BWINDI IMPENETRABLE FOREST

bwindi gorillaTracking the Silverback Gorillas and their families in Bwindi National Park is the foremost tourist attraction in Uganda, and possibly the best wildlife encounter in the world.  Here half the world’s population of Mountain Gorillas live in this most diverse rainforest ecosystem.  There are other primates here as well; Chimpanzees, Black and White Colobus Monkeys, Blue Monkeys, Grey-cheecked Mangabey and L’hoest’s Monkeys.  In addition, there are 350 bird species, 200 butterflies, 27 species of frogs, 163 species of trees and 100 species of ferns.

Bwindi has been designated by UNESCO as a World Heritage site; the 3,315 square meter park has 4 tracking trails, one leading to the highest peak, Rwamunyonyi at 2,607 meters in elevation. These trails, also provide access to the many other attractions of the park, such as rivers, waterfalls, swamps – all with a high level of wildlife concentration throughout.

QUEEN ELIZABETH NATIONAL PARK

Queen Elizabeth National Park was founded in 1952 and is Uganda’s most popular park.  The park, with its diverse ecosystems include huge savannah areas, shady humid forest, sparkling lakes and fertile wetlands.  4 out of the  Big 5 African mammals live here, as well as 10 primate species and over 600 bird species.  The Kazinga Channel’s banks are lined with Hippos, Elephants and Buffaloes.  The fig trees of the endless Ishasha Plains are habitat for the elusive tree climbing lions.  In addition to the wildlife opportunities, there are many cultural encounters with local communities, whose people will entertain you with dances, music and storytelling.

Activities in the park are many; birding, visiting Bat Caves, Chimp Tracking, Game Drives, Hiking and Nature Walks, Launch Trips plus working with the Wildlife Research Center, who monitors the birdlife and mammals in the Park.