This stunning gorilla tour to Uganda takes you to Lake Mburo in search of crocodiles and hippos, Bwindi Forest in search of mountain gorillas and Queen Elizabeth National Park, a notable Uganda safari destination for wildlife tours, chimpanzee tracking adventures and bird watching safaris.
The 1978km2 Queen Elizabeth National Park enjoys a stunning location on the rift valley floor between Lakes Edward and George where a mosaic of habitats supports 95 mammal species and a remarkable 612 species of birds. This diversity is the result of an impressive range of habitats. Fifty-seven vegetation types have been identified though these can be summarized as just five: forest; grassland; bushy grassland; Acacia woodland and lakeshore/ swamp vegetation.
Residents of the park's grasslands include elephant, Cape buffalo, Uganda kob, waterbuck, warthog, giant forest hog, lion, leopard and hyena. Topi are found in Ishasha, while forest primates are found in Kyambura Gorge and Maramagambo Forest.
Day 1: Kampala – Lake Mburo National Park
After breakfast, you will drive to Lake Mburo National Park. Enjoy the boat ride on Lake Mburo and get quite close to crocs and hippos. Birdwatchers will enjoy the more than 250 species of birds found in Lake Mburo including Papyrus Gonolek, Brown faced Lapwing. Carruther’s Cisticola, the extraordinary White winged Warbler and Bare-Faced-Go- Away bird.
Evening game drive along the Lakeshore track. With its own system of game trails and cleared walkways the “Kigambara Loop” offers interesting guided lakeside walks. Find here herds of zebra, Cape buffalo and eland. Oribi and topi are easily approached. Meals: Lunch and Dinner Accommodation: Rwonyo Rest Camp / Lake Mburo Tented Camp / Mihingo Safari Lodge
Day 2: Lake Mburo – Bwindi Forest
After breakfast, proceed for a game drive or a safari walk under the escort of an armed ranger. The leisurely pace of a walking safari also provides excellent opportunities for the keen photographer. The Kopjes are particularly interesting and camouflage kilpspringers and topis. Due to cattle herding in the area it is amusing to see zebra grazing alongside the long horned Ankore Cattle peaceably. Drive through the “Switzerland of Africa” area known as the Kigezi Highlands with its terraced hillside and winding roads to Bwindi. Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner Accommodation: Gorilla Forest Camp/ Buhoma Lodge/ Gorilla Resort/ Kitandara Lodge/ Engagi Lodge/ Mahogany lodge/ Buhoma Community Rest Camp Bandas/ Buhoma View Bandas
Day 3: Gorilla Tracking Tour at Bwindi Forest
Early morning entry into Gorilla sanctuary. This rainforest is spectacular. It offers a dramatic steeply forested landscape and is incredibly dense, but criss-crossed by numerous animal trails allowing access to tourists. Mammals recorded include the endangered mountain gorilla, rare golden monkey, buffalo, elephant, black-fronted duiker, bushbuck, leopard, giant forest log and others. This park is best known for the fascinating gorillas.
The time taken and the terrain vary according to the movements of these marvelous primates. The thrill of spending time and observing the gorillas is a rare, moving, awesome and exciting adventure. The gorilla is a shy and peaceful animal and it is unforgettable experience to watch and photograph them as they interact. Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner Accommodation: Gorilla Forest Camp/ Buhoma Lodge/ Gorilla Resort/ Kitandara Lodge/ Engagi Lodge/ Mahogany lodge/ Buhoma Community Rest Camp Bandas/ Buhoma View Bandas
Day 4: Bwindi Forest – Queen Elizabeth National Park
After breakfast, drive to Queen Elizabeth National Park via the Ishasha sector. In the afternoon enjoy the unique 2 hour boat cruise on the Kazinga Channel and into Lake Edward. This trip passes through possibly the highest concentration of hippos and many animals may be seen drinking at the water’s edge. This launch cruise offers an excellent platform for photography, bird watching and game viewing. The prolific bird life is colorful and stupendous with well over 550 resident species. Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner Accommodation: Mweya Safari Lodge/ Jacana Safari Lodge/ Kingfisher Safari Lodge/ Hippo Hill Tented Camp/ Simba Safari Camp/ Katara Lodge/ Ishasha Wilderness Camp
Day 5: Queen Elizabeth – Kampala
Morning game drives. 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, Defassa waterbuck, Uganda Kob, Topi and bush buck. Drive back to Kampala stopping at the Mpigi Royal Drum Makers en route where you will able to watch the ceremonial drums being crafted using methods passed down through generations. There will also be time to stop at the Equator for photographs. You’ll arrive in Kampala in the early evening.