Uganda – On The Trail Of The Mountain Gorillas

Uganda – On The Trail Of The Mountain Gorillas

The still rather unknown country Uganda delights its visitors with many different highlights! Look forward to hikes, safaris and boat trips where you will encounter one or the other wild animal.

The density and diversity of primates in Uganda’s Kibale National Park is the highest in all of Africa. The best known of its 13 species are the chimpanzees, our closest relative. Prepare for unforgettable encounters during a mountain gorilla hike. Apart from the many animals, the scenic landscapes, the primeval forests and almost mystical lake landscapes are also part of the experience in Uganda, a country starting with U defined by Countryaah.

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This is an example of one of our tours and should serve as a source of inspiration. Of course, the itinerary including the destinations can be adjusted. We would be happy to work out a tour tailored to your interests and budget. This is our specialty!

Best travel time: winter and summer

Travel time: 12 days

Travel planning: This trip can be done individually or in a group.

Tip: The roads in Uganda are very bumpy, so allow for more driving time, even for short distances.

Day 1: Arrival in Entebbe & Mabamba Swamps (optional)
Arrival in Entebbe after your international flight and transfer to the Papyrus Guest House. Optional afternoon activity: By car and canoe to Mabamba Swamp, one of the best places to spot the rare shoebill storks. Of course you need a bit of luck, but you rarely leave the swamp without seeing one! Many other water birds have chosen this area as their home, so bird watching is very interesting. Enjoy a relaxed sundowner on Lake Victoria and then return to the guest house.

Day 2: Drive to Lake Mburu National Park
This morning you drive early to West Uganda through a beautiful landscape consisting of rolling hills and cultivated terraces. Stop in Mpambire to see how drums are built using traditional methods.
After lunch at the lodge, game drive in the park and 1 hour boat trip on Lake Mburu to admire the beautiful scenery. You can see bushbucks, bush combs, crocodiles, hippos, many water birds, etc.

Day 3: From Lake Mburu NP to Bwindi – encounter with the Batwa
Enjoy a morning game drive in the park. Then drive to West Uganda via tea plantations, tropical rainforests and the Virunga volcanoes. You’ll visit the towns of Mbarara, Kabale, and Kisoro before reaching Nkuringo on the edge of the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest.
In the afternoon, stroll down to the Buniga Forest Trail Walk, an informative project run by USAID and the local Batwa community. The Batwa tribe had to leave their home in the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park in 1991 when it was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site for gorillas only. For millennia they lived as nomadic hunters and gatherers in the forest, in perfect balance with flora and fauna. Suddenly living in communities with a completely different way of life has proven to be a major challenge for you. They make a living by explaining their previous forest life and rich heritage.
Continuation of the walk through the community to visit the traditional herbalist and blacksmith.

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Day 4: Gorilla tracking in the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park
After breakfast you will be taken to the headquarters of the national park, where you will receive information about the do’s and don’ts with the gorillas. Then it goes into the forest, where the actual gorilla tracking will begin.
The beauty of this rainforest is spectacular. The dense forest is criss-crossed by numerous animal trails that allow access for tourists. The thrill of watching these gentle and endangered giants is a great and exciting experience. Upon return, relax at the lodge. Optionally, you can either walk through the community center or drive to the “Top of the World” at 5:00 pm. From there you have a wonderful view of the peaks and forests around Nkuringo.

Day 5: Hike and canoe
trip across Lake Mutanda Drive to Rubuguri Junction (10 km – 1 hour. There you will hike through beautiful landscapes and local communities. A great opportunity to experience authentic village life. Upon arrival at Lake Mutanda get in a canoe and take a relaxing trip across the lake.
Of course you can also drive directly from the lodge to the lake (20 – 90 minutes), enjoy the canoe trip around the lake and drive back to the lodge. The guests decide !

Day 6: Hike through the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest and Queen Elizabeth National Park
Today you will drive along the Nteko Ridge to the junction of the Ivy River Trail, where you will begin an unforgettable hike through the forest. The Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park is a huge unique nature reserve. Monkeys, duikers, bush pigs and some of the world famous bird species of Bwindi, as well as numerous butterflies can be spotted. If you are lucky you might even meet gorillas.
Upon arrival at the park headquarters in Buhoma, meet your driver and drive to Queen Elizabeth National Park. The southern area of ​​Ishasha is best known for its local tree climbing lions, which are an exceptional attraction and one of the highlights of all safaris within the park.

Day 7: Queen Elizabeth National Park (QENP)
Full day game drives in Queen Elizabeth National Park and a boat trip on the Kazinga Canal. The canal is a 22 miles long waterway that connects Lake George and Lake Edward. Here you can spot wild animals and birds on the riverside. Crocodiles have only recently been spotted back in the English Channel. They had actually been gone for 8,000 years after being eliminated from Lake Edward by poisonous ash from native volcanoes.
QENP is one of the oldest parks in Uganda, officially established in 1952. The park was originally known as “Kazinga National Park” before it was renamed in 1954 to commemorate a visit by Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain. QENP is home to 95 species of mammals, more than any other park in Uganda, and 619 species of birds.

Day 8: Queen Elizabeth and Kibale National Park
Game drive through the northern sector of Queen Elizabeth National Park and on to the lodge in Kibale National Park via the city of Fort Portal. Afternoon hike to the “Top of the World”. There you can enjoy the fantastic view of the Rwenzori Mountains, crater lakes, tea plantations and villages.

Day 9: Chimpanzee Tracking and Bigodi Wetland Sanctuary
In the morning, chimpanzee migration . The density and diversity of primates in Kibale National Park is the highest in all of Africa. The best known of its 13 species are the chimpanzees, our closest relative. Other primates include the black and white colobus, red-tailed monkey, blue monkey, olive baboon, gray cheek mangabey, bush baby, and potto.
Afternoon excursion to Bigodi Wetland Sanctuary. This refuge is a bird watcher’s paradise – experienced bird watchers can spot up to 50 new species on a bird list. To date, 138 species of birds have been recognized in the bird sanctuary, including the Great Blue Turaco. Bigodi is also regularly visited by various primate species from the nearby national park.

Day 10: Nothbound
departure to Murchison Falls National Park. The park is located at the northern end of the Albertine Rift Valley, where the Bunyoro escarpment plunges into the vast, palm-fringed savannah. The park is divided into two parts by the Victoria Nile. The “mythical” river plunges 45 m from the Rift valley wall and forms the Murchison Falls – the heart of the park.

Day 11: Murchison Falls National Park
Full day to discover this unique national park.
Early morning game drive en route to the Victoria Nile Delta and a boat ride in this spectacular area teeming with birds and wildlife.
Afternoon boat trip to Murchison Falls (with the option of disembarking and walking to the top of the falls). If you are lucky you can see elephants, giraffes, buffalo, crocodiles, antelopes. Game drive on the way back to the lodge.

Day 12: Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary and drive to Entebbe
Departure to Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary – in Nakasongola. This is the only place in Uganda where southern white rhinos can be tracked. In 1983, both black rhinos and northern white rhinos were declared extinct across Uganda. The purpose of the NGO Rhino Fund Uganda is to bring the rhinos back into the country through a breeding and release program.
After lunch, drive to Entebbe and transfer to the airport.

UGANDA - ON THE TRAIL OF THE MOUNTAIN GORILLAS

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