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Africa Untamed Wilderness Adventures

3 Day Gorilla Safari to Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park
Day 01

0600 hrs - Pick up from your hotel and depart towards southwest and across the Equator. You drive through savannah grasslands seeing banana plantations and herds of Ankole cattle with their incredibly long curving horns. You then ascend into the Kigezi highlands, known as the "Switzerland of Africa", with terraced farming and mountain scenery. Drive through to Bwindi. (10 hr drive)

Day 02

After an early breakfast and a briefing by a ranger guide, enter the gorilla sanctuary for your adventure. The beauty of this rain forest is spectacular. The area offers dramatic steeply forested landscape and is incredibly dense, but criss-crossed by numerous animal trails allowing access to tourists. The time taken and the terrain vary with the movements of these great primates. The thrill of spending time observing these gentle and endangered giants is an awesome, exciting experience to be long savored. Many find it to be a rare and moving opportunity.

Day 03

This morning, end your stay in the "Land of the Mountain Gorillas" & depart with great memories of the moments spent with the fascinating Mountain Gorillas. Transfer back to Kampala.

4 Days Gorilla Safari to Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park
Day 01

0600hrs – Pick up from your hotel and drive across the Equator through savannah grasslands seeing banana plantations and herds of Ankole cattle with their incredibly long curving horns. You then ascend into the Kigezi highlands, known as the "Switzerland of Africa", with terraced farming and mountain scenery. Drive through to Bwindi (10 hr drive).

Day 02

After an early breakfast and a briefing by a ranger guide, enter the gorilla sanctuary for your adventure. The beauty of this rain forest is spectacular. The area offers dramatic steeply forested landscape and is incredibly dense, but criss-crossed by numerous animal trails allowing access to tourists. The time taken and the terrain vary with the movements of these great primates. The thrill of spending time observing these gentle and endangered giants is an awesome, exciting experience to be long savored. Many find it to be a rare and moving opportunity.

Day 03

This day you enter the forest again for a guided forest walk to the Munyaga Falls. In the afternoon, you have a chance to visit the Batwa pygmies. The Batwa Development Program will enable you learn more about the pygmies and their ways of life. You will also be entertained by them. (this day you may track the gorillas a second time – add $600 for this).

Day 04

This morning, end your stay in the "Land of the Mountain Gorillas" & depart with great memories of the moments spent with the fascinating Mountain Gorillas. Transfer back to Kampala.

5 Days/4 nights - Safari to Bwindi Impenetrable Forest & Queen Elizabeth National Parks
Day 01

0600hrs - An early morning start from Kampala takes you southwest and across the Equator. You drive through savannah grasslands seeing banana plantations and herds of Ankole cattle with their incredibly long curving horns. You then ascend into the Kigezi highlands, known as the "Switzerland of Africa", with terraced farming and mountain scenery. Drive through to Bwindi - (Transit time is about 10 hours).

Day 02

After an early breakfast and a briefing by a ranger guide, enter the gorilla sanctuary for your adventure. The beauty of this rain forest is spectacular. The area offers a dramatic, steeply forested landscape and is incredibly dense, but criss-crossed by numerous animal trails allowing access to tourists. The time taken and the terrain vary with the movements of these great primates. The thrill of spending time observing these gentle and endangered giants is an awesome, exciting experience to be long savored. Many find it to be a rare and moving opportunity.

Day 03

After breakfast, exit the park and transfer to Queen Elizabeth National Park via the Ishasha sector for an opportunity to see the amazing tree-climbing lions (5 hours). In the evening you will go on a short game drive to end your day in high spirits.

Day 04

Wake-up and follow your instincts on an adventurous sunrise game-drive. Queen Elizabeth National Park's diverse Eco-system of grassy plains, tropical forest, rivers, swamps, lakes and volcanic craters is home to an incredible abundance of wildlife. Game drives in this park, with the massive Rwenzoris as a backdrop provide excellent opportunities to see lion, leopard, giant forest hog, Cape buffalo, elephants, de fassa waterbuck, Uganda Kob, Topi and bush buck. Later in the afternoon you will take a boat cruise on the spectacular Kazinga Channel. This offers you an excellent platform for photography and game viewing. The birdlife is colorful and abundant. You will be privileged to see schools of hippos and Nile-crocodiles sunbathing with their jaws open wide. Return to your accommodation facility for overnight.

Day 05

After breakfast, follow the path of evolution to the home of Man’s closest relatives, the Chimpanzees, as you track them in Kyambura Gorge. Thereafter return to Kampala. Drop off at your place of residence.

7 Days/6 nights Safari to Murchison Falls, Kibale Forest, Queen Elizabeth & Lake Mburo National Parks
Day 01

At 0630hrs check out of your hotel and begin the scenic drive to Murchison Falls with a visit to the Rhino sanctuary. On arrival in the park, drop your luggage at the lodge and proceed for an afternoon/evening game-drive.

Day 02

On the early morning game drive, you may see Elephant, Lion, Buffalo, Giraffe, Hartebeests and many more. In the afternoon, proceed for a boat trip on the placid Victoria Nile, upstream, to the base of the falls. En route you will see hippos, crocodiles, water buck and a wide variety of birds like the unusual shoebill stork. The boat stops just tens of meters from the "Devil’s Cauldron". Take pictures of the photogenic and majestic Murchison Falls.

Disembark from the boat and take a hike to the Top of the Falls where you can see the Nile's beauty perfected!! Marvel at the Nile, compressing from 50 meters to squeeze through a 6-metre canyon dropping 40 meters with a thunderous roar creating a beautiful rainbow, a plume of spray and the best thing that happened to the Nile..."the Murchison Falls".

Day 03

After early breakfast, drive out heading to Kibale Forest National Park. Estimated transit time is 7 hours with frequent stops to stretch legs. The drive takes you through little towns and villages as you observe the African rhythm of life. On arrival, check into your preferred accommodation.

Day 04

After breakfast, you gather at the Kanyanchu headquarters for a briefing prior to the chimpanzee tracking. You spend the morning in the forest tracking the famous primates. Thereafter transfer to Queen Elizabeth National Park. Estimated transfer time is 3 hours. On arrival, check in to your preferred accommodation.

Day 05

Wake-up and start your day with a sunrise game-drive. Queen Elizabeth National Park's diverse Eco-system of grassy plains, tropical forest, rivers, swamps, lakes and volcanic craters is home to an incredible abundance of wildlife. Game drives in this park, with the massive Rwenzoris as a backdrop provides excellent opportunities to see lion, leopard, giant forest hog, Cape buffalo, elephants, de fassa waterbuck, Uganda Kob, Topi and bush buck. Later after lunch, have an exciting boat cruise on the spectacular Kazinga Channel. This offers an excellent platform for photography and game viewing. The birdlife is colorful and abundant. You will be privileged to see schools of hippos and Nile-crocodiles sunbathing with their jaws open wide. Return to your accommodation facility for overnight.

Day 06

After early morning breakfast, check-out of your accommodation and transfer to Kyambura Gorge for an opportunity to track the Chimpanzees. Thereafter continue your safari to Lake Mburo (estimated travel time is 4 hours). On arrival, you will have a boat ride on Lake Mburo followed by an evening game drive to end your day in adventurous manner.

Day 07

Today, be adventurous and take a safari walk with an armed Ranger. After breakfast, return to Kampala with an en-route game-drive.

11 days/10 nights - Safari to Murchison Falls, Kibale Forest, Queen Elizabeth, Bwindi Impenetrable Forest & Lake Mburo National Parks
Day 01

At 0630hrs check out of your hotel and begin the scenic drive to Murchison Falls with a visit to the Rhino sanctuary. On arrival in the park, drop Luggage at the lodge and proceed for an afternoon/evening game-drive.

Day 02

On the early morning game drive, you may see Elephant, Lion, Buffalo, Giraffe, Hartebeests and many more. In the afternoon, proceed for a boat trip on the placid Victoria Nile, upstream, to the base of the Falls. En route you will see hippos, crocodiles, water buck and a wide variety of birds like the unusual shoebill stork. The boat stops just tens of meters from the "Devil’s Cauldron". Take pictures of the photogenic and majestic Murchison Falls.

Disembark from the boat and take a hike to the Top of the Falls where you can see the Nile's beauty perfected!! Marvel at the Nile, compressing from 50 meters to squeeze through a 6-metre canyon dropping 40 meters with a thunderous roar creating a beautiful rainbow, a plume of spray and the best thing that happened to the Nile..."the Murchison Falls".

Day 03

After early breakfast, drive out heading to Kibale Forest National Park. Estimated transit time is 7 hours with frequent stops to stretch your legs. The drive takes you through little towns and villages as you observe the African rhythm of life. On arrival, check into your preferred accommodation.

Day 04

After breakfast, you gather at the Kanyanchu headquarters for a briefing prior to the chimpanzee tracking. You spend the morning in the forest tracking the famous primates. Later in the afternoon, you have a Bigodi Swamp Walk. This is an initiative of the local people geared towards conservation in this area. On this walk you have chances for different bird & butterfly species, primates like black and white colobus monkey, red tailed monkey, blue monkey, grey-cheeked mangabeys, etc. There is also a variety of interesting plant species.

Day 05

This day you exit the park and head to Queen Elizabeth National Park. En route, you will visit some of the crater lakes that this area is famous for. On arrival have an introductory game drive in the park.

Day 06

Wake-up and follow your adventure instincts on a sunrise game-drive. Queen Elizabeth National Park's diverse Eco-system of grassy plains, tropical forest, rivers, swamps, lakes and volcanic craters is home to an incredible abundance of wildlife. Game drives in this park, with the massive Rwenzoris as a backdrop provide excellent opportunities to see lion, leopard, giant forest hog, Cape buffalo, elephants, de fassa waterbuck, Uganda Kob, Topi and bush buck. Later after lunch, have an exciting boat cruise on the spectacular Kazinga Channel. This offers an excellent platform for photography and game viewing. The birdlife is colorful and abundant. You will be privileged to see schools of hippos and Nile-crocodiles sunbathing and opening wide their saw-like jaws. Return to your accommodation facility for overnight.

Day 07

This morning you follow the path of evolution as you track chimpanzees in the Kyambura Gorge. Later you have another rewarding game drive for more game and bird species.

Day 08

An early breakfast, exit the park heading to Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park. The drive takes you through the Ishasha section of the park famous for its tree climbing lions. You have an opportunity to spot the famous tree-climbing lions, often seen languishing in Fig trees.

Day 09

After an early breakfast and a briefing by a ranger guide, enter the gorilla sanctuary for your adventure. The beauty of this rain forest is spectacular. The area offers dramatic steeply forested landscape and is incredibly dense, but criss-crossed by numerous animal trails allowing access to tourists. The time taken and the terrain vary with the movements of these great primates. The thrill of spending time observing these gentle and endangered giants is an awesome, exciting experience to be long savored. Many find it to be a rare and moving opportunity.

Day 10

Sadly exit Bwindi and transfer to Lake Mburo National Park to arrive in time for the afternoon boat ride on the lake. Thereafter proceed for an evening game drive to end your day in a thrilling manner. Estimated transit time is 6 hours).

Day 11

Today, accompanied by an armed Ranger, take a morning safari walk, breakfast and an en-route game-drive as you exit the Park. You have a stopover at the Equator for photographs before proceeding to Kampala. Drop off at your accommodation.

Excursions

Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary

You will be privileged to see chimpanzees up close and contribute to their conservation in the wild. The sanctuary aims to educate visitors and local communities about this remarkable species and the importance of conserving their fragile forest habitat. Here you can view a morning or afternoon feeding of the chimpanzees from the visitors' raised platform along the edge of the sanctuary's fence, hear an informative talk by the sanctuary staff and enjoy the island's beautiful views and natural wildlife.

Jinja / Source of the Nile Tour

At 0700hrs, your driver guide will meet you at your place of residence in Kampala and you commence your tour to Jinja. The drive toward the east shall commence with a guided forest walk in Mabira forest, proceed to Ssezibwa Falls and to the Source of the Nile with a boat-ride to both the Speke Monument and to a point where you may vividly see where the waters of the Nile separate from the Waters of L. Victoria. Break for lunch and then proceed with a visit to the Bujagali area.

The aforementioned sites are the highlights but there is plenty to see in and around as well as along the way. After the trip, you will be transferred back to Kampala with a drop-off at your place of residence.

White water rafting

Enjoy over 20 kilometers of the best Grade 5 rafting you could ever experience on this full day section of the mighty River Nile. You do not need to know how to swim to do this. Safety is at a premium. Do not need to fear at all. A huge barbeque awaits you at the end, perfect after your unforgettable experience!

National Parks

Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park

This park is home to more than half of the world’s wild mountain gorilla population and was declared a Natural World Heritage Site in December 1994. The landscape here is rugged, with deep valleys running between steep sided hills and ridges with barely a square kilometer of the park flat. There is a blend of both lowland and montane rainforest with a dense undergrowth of herbs, vines and shrubs (hence the name impenetrable).

This area is regarded as one of the most biologically diverse forests in Africa with the richest faunal community in East Africa. There are estimated to be 120 species of mammals and is the only park where chimpanzees and gorillas co-exist together. There are an estimated 360 species of birds, including 23 localized species found only along the Albertine Rift Valley and 14 found nowhere else in Uganda. There are approximately 300 species of butterfly (including two endangered species of swallowtails), 200 native tree species and many species of reptiles and amphibians (including one species of frog that may be new to science). The rugged terrain makes gorilla trekking strenuous work and visitors should be prepared for up to 8 hours of hiking (good physical condition is a must). Distance from Kampala: 550km; estimated transit time: 9 hours.

Murchison Falls National Park

This is Uganda’s largest park covering over 4000 sq. km, and is one of the most spectacular parks in Africa. Renowned for its scenic beauty and the spectacular falls from which it gets its name, Murchison Falls National Park supports an abundance of flora and fauna to delight the visitor. From rolling savannah and tall grasslands to thick bush and woodlands, the diversity of this park never ceases to amaze visitors and residents alike.

No visit to Murchison Falls would be complete without a visit to the magnificent Falls. They can be viewed from the top where the Nile River narrows from 50 meters to crash through a 7-meter gorge, falling 45 meters to the rocks below. The three-hour cruise to the base of the Falls is also unforgettable. One can experience the majesty of the Nile while onboard, viewing abundant wildlife along the banks. The more adventurous traveler may want to hike the trails around the Falls, while the avid birdwatcher will want to seek out some of the 424 species identified in the park. Fishermen can test their skills above and below the Falls, waiting patiently for 20-100 kg Nile Perch. Other game fish found in the Nile include Barbel, Electric Catfish and Tiger fish.

Cape buffalo, Rothschild’s giraffe, Uganda kob, hartebeest and waterbuck are commonly seen on game drives. You may also spot oribi, bushbuck, Bohor reedbuck, the shy sitatunga, bush duiker, warthog and bushpig. Large carnivores include lion, leopard and spotted hyena. Chimpanzees and olive baboons head the list of six species of primates found in the park. Crocodile and hippo will be seen along the banks of the Nile. Some of the more common birds that can be seen include Goliath heron, Egyptian geese, pelican, bee-eaters, kingfishers, hornbill, cormorant, saddle-bill stork and the rare Shoebill stork. A boat cruise to the delta is a highlight for the avid birdwatcher. Distance from Kampala: 300km; estimated transit time: 5 hours.

Queen Elizabeth National Park

As one of the outstanding treasures of Uganda, Queen Elizabeth National Park has recently been designated a Biosphere Reserve for Humanity under UNESCO. It is the most popular and easily accessible game reserve in Uganda. The park covers 1978 sq. km and includes a remarkable variety of eco-systems, from semi-deciduous tropical forest to green meadows, savannah and swamps. A total of 95 mammal species has been recorded here, the highest for any Ugandan national park. It is the home of the famous tree-climbing lions, the Uganda kob and other antelope species, as well as elephant, buffalo, hippos, baboons and chimpanzee.

A total of 547 bird species have been recorded here. This is one of the highest totals in the world and is truly remarkable for such a relatively small reserve. Species recorded include the Shoebill stork, black bee-eater, 11 types of kingfishers and a variety of raptors, including several falcons and eagles. In the crater lakes, spectacular flocks of flamingos gather, creating the image of a moving pink carpet. The launch trip along the Kazinga Channel between Lakes George and Edward is a memorable way to view the abundant game in Queen Elizabeth and to see an astounding number of bird species. Distance from Kampala: 440km; estimated transit time: 6 hours

Kibale Forest National Park

Covering 766 sq. km, Kibale’s main attraction is the high density of primates that inhabit the rainforest. In fact, this forest supports the highest number of primate species in Uganda and one of the highest primate densities in the world. In addition to a large community of chimpanzees, there are 12 other primate species, including red and black-and-white colobus monkeys, l’Hoest’s, red-tailed, vervet and blue monkeys, grey-cheeked mangabeys, olive baboons, as well as four species of nocturnal primates.

The birdlife is prolific, with approximately 400 species recorded for the area. Highlights include the crested guinea fowl, great blue turaco, grey parrot, green-breasted and African pittas, African crowned eagles and black bee-eaters. Though elephants, buffaloes and giant forest hogs are found here, they live deep in the forest and are only seldom seen. More commonly encountered are bushbucks, duikers and montane sun and giant forest squirrels. Distance from Kampala: 360 km; estimated transit time: 5 hours.

Lake Mburo National Park

The park’s rolling hills and open grassy valleys, interspersed with thickets, woodlands and rich wetlands, are the only place in Uganda where impala still occur and is the best place to see large herds of eland (Africa’s largest antelope). Other antelope species include topi, bushbuck, sitatunga, common duiker, klipspringer, oribi, Defassa waterbuck and Bohor reedbuck.

In addition to a game drive, many visitors enjoy a boat trip on Lake Mburo, the largest of the five lakes that lie within the park boundaries. The lake and lush fringing vegetation support healthy populations of buffalo, warthog, bushpig and hippopotamus. Birdwatchers will enjoy the more than 250 species of birds found in Lake Mburo, probably the best place in Uganda to see acacia-associated birds. Also of special interest to birders are the swamps, the place to see six so-called papyrus endemics, including the striking papyrus gonolek and the highly localized papyrus yellow warbler (recorded nowhere else in Uganda). Distance from Kampala: 230km; estimated transit time: 3 hours

Uganda: Overview

Ugandan Flag
Introduction

There is so much to see and do in Uganda ranging from the Rift Valley scenery of open savannah, crater lakes, forests, snow-capped mountains and distant volcanoes. A country for wildlife lovers: apart from the 'big five', Uganda boasts more than 1,066 species of birds. Visitors can also experience our closest relatives in their natural habitat - Mountain Gorillas and Chimpanzees in the wild and about 20 types of monkeys!

Size

With a land surface of 241,139 square kilometers, Uganda occupies most of the Lake Victoria Basin. The Ssese Islands and other small islands in Lake Victoria also lie within Uganda's borders.

Weather and climate

Uganda can be visited all year around! Most part of the country has a tropical climate which varies according to altitude. The hottest months are from December to February when the temperature reaches 29 degrees Celsius while rainy seasons are from April to May and October to November. The wettest month is traditionally April (although global warming is making this less predictable). Even during the two rainy seasons, the sun is out most of the time and rain often occurs with a most delightful thunderstorm.

Temperatures in some parts of the country can be quite cool owing to the country’s high altitude, despite its position on the Equator. The mountain areas become much cooler and the tops of Mount Elgon and Rwenzori Mountains are often covered in snow. Other parts of the country are much warmer.

Population

The country’s estimated population in 2010 was 33 million.

People and Culture

Ugandans hail from a diversity of rich cultures and life styles and are remarkably hospitable. Uganda has a very strong cultural heritage. It is composed of many regions, each with different cultures. The recent restoration of kingdoms has boosted cultural sites. These include Buganda, Busoga, Bunyoro and Toro.

Each tribe has its own traditional dance. Culture and traditions are also expressed through a wide range of arts and crafts made from wood, papyrus reeds and local materials. These include blacksmith implements, beaded jewelry, wood carvings and batiks. They can be found all over the city in village bazaars, gift shops, hotels, urban galleries, the National Theatre and Baganda Road craft markets.

How to get to Uganda

Uganda has several Airlines flying in and out of the country. Kampala’s international airport is Entebbe. Scheduled airlines flying to Entebbe include: Air Burundi, Air Rwanda, Air Tanzania, British Airways, SN Brussels, East African Airlines, Emirates, Gulf Air, South African Airways, KLM, Kenya Airways, Rwandair Express, Egypt Air, Ethiopian Airlines, Eagle Air and United Arab Airlines both Direct flights from Europe and from other African countries. There are several airstrips within the country; this has made flights to tourism destinations very accessible.

Passport and Visas

A valid passport is mandatory. Visa requirements sometimes change so check before traveling. A visa to Uganda is issued at Uganda missions abroad and entry points. All countries that require visas for Uganda are also visa prone in Uganda.

Health

Travelers are advised to contact the Uganda representative in their countries or regions to determine whether vaccination is necessary before entry into Uganda. A yellow fever certificate is required if you have been transiting infected areas. Malaria is prevalent in Uganda and it is advisable to take anti-malarial and to utilize mosquito repellents. Malaria Prophylaxis is recommended. It is not recommended to drink tap water. Boil it or buy bottled water from the shops. The equatorial sun can be deceptive even on overcast days. Sun glasses, sun creams and hats are recommended to avoid sunburns.

Security and Safety

Uganda is increasingly developing to one of the top safari holiday destinations in the world. With the improvement of infrastructure and political stability, the tourism industry is soaring to greater heights. The country is very safe both in cities and remote areas. However some common sense precautions should be taken.

Uganda Banks and Money

The Banking Sector in Uganda is growing stronger every year with local and foreign owned commercial banks and forex bureaus in Uganda. The Central Bank is Bank of Uganda. The Uganda shilling is the legal currency in Uganda. There are no restrictions on money transfer in and out of the country. The Uganda shilling is divided into denominations of 1000, 2000, 5000, 10,000, 20,000 and 50,000 for paper notes, while coins are in the denominations of 50, 100, 200, 500 for coins.

Food

Uganda offers a range of dishes ranging from continental, Italian, Chinese, Ugandan, Indian and more. The finest restaurants and hotels in Uganda are located in Kampala, the capital city, although 4 and 5 star lodges in the National Parks boast excellent cuisine. No visit to Uganda is complete without trying local food. High in carbohydrates, you will not go hungry! Staples include: matoke (steamed green banana), posho (maize flour porridge), sweet and Irish potatoes, chapati, cassava, yam, rice, goat stew, bean or beef stew, fried chicken and groundnut sauce.

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