Early morning arrival at Entebbe international Airport. You will be picked up by our company representative who will brief you shortly about your tour and then later start on your scenic rewarding journey driving westwards with a stopover at the Equator for photos and another stop for lunch in Mbarara, the “home of milk and honey”. Continue on your drive to Queen Elizabeth National Park. Dinner and overnight at Twin Lakes Safari Lodge. L, D
Located in Kichwamba, Twin Lakes Safari Lodge, has got the best view over the escarpment in the park and on a clear day, wild game like Kobs, Antelopes and elephants can be viewed from the lodge. The facility is small with a capacity of 7 rooms . All rooms have got a spectacular spacious balcony which gives magnificent views over the park. All cottages have solar heating panels and are constructed from local materials like ropes, wood and grass. All rooms are ensuite with running hot/cold water and flushing toilets.
|Queen Elizabeth National Park (QENP) together with Kyambura and Kigezi Wildlife Reserves form one of the most diverse ecosystems in Africa. The melting glacier waters of the Rwenzori Mountains create a vast wetland system comprising of two main lakes, George and Edward, as well as the connecting Kazinga Channel. Thousands of hippos populate these lake shorelines. Open savannah dotted with Acacia and Euphorbia trees provide habitat for elephants, lions, leopards, Uganda kobs and big herds of buffaloes. Ten primate species including chimpanzees are present. Among the many animals frequently seen are giant forest hog, waterbucks, topi, hyenas and crocodiles. The park boasts of more bird species than any other park in Africa.
Traditional Salt Works: Visit one of the oldest industries in Uganda at the enclave of Lake Katwe town. Since the 14th Century, salt has been mined by traditional methods and still in use today. Salt production peaks during the dry season.
Get up ready for a 6.30 am morning game drive. The park’s diverse ecosystem of grassy plains, tropical forest, rivers, swamps, lakes and volcanic craters is home to an incredible abundance of wildlife. Look out for buffaloes, lions, elephants and other wild life in their natural habitat. Return to the lodge for a late breakfast. After lunch go for the afternoon launch cruise on the Kazinga Channel. This is a home of a variety of water birds and on a hot day, hippos, elephants, buffaloes and waterbucks can be sighted as they bathe and drink water at the water edge. Crocodiles are occasionally sighted along the channel banks. Dinner and overnight stay at Twin Lakes Safari lodge. B, L, D
|Game Drives: This is the act of driving through the park for the purpose of viewing animals. This is best done in the early morning and late afternoon hours. Over 200 km of well-maintained tracks give visitors access to the park’s game. Some of the tracks pass through large mating grounds of great herds of Uganda kob.
Hungry lions can often be seen searching for prey. The legendary giant forest hog is visible roaming the bush. When it is hot, large herds of elephant make their way down to the water. Buffalo and bushbucks can be found on the Channel track and adjacent circuits. The warthog is a hallmark sight on the Mweya Peninsula. The outstanding scenery along the Crater track brings visitors to volcanic craters at the foothills of the misty Mountains of the Moon (Mt. Rwenzori). The drive is a breath-taking experience. Our friendly staff will assist in planning for a game drive.
Launch Trip on the Kazinga Channel: A boat trip along the hippo crowded banks of Kazinga Channel gives visitors a unique unequalled wildlife experience. Eye to eye with yawning hippos and surrounded by vast numbers of migrant and resident water birds, the boat puts one right in the heart of nature. Many buffaloes rest in the water while the big herds of elephant enjoy themselves drinking and playing along the Channel banks. Crocodiles have become a common sight and occasionally leopards may be seen.
In the morning you will depart Queen Elizabeth National Park for Bwindi Forest National Park. Drive through the Ishasha sector of the southern part of the Park and look out for the rare tree climbing lions in fig tree. Overnight at Mahogany Springs. B, L, D
Opened in April, 2011, Mahogany Springs offers the best accommodation experience in Bwindi. Each of the eight cottages is very spacious with running hot/cold water, flushing toilets and a private verandah with great views of Bwindi forest. The lodge has got a great staff that makes you feel at home adding value to your safari experience.
|Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is situated in south western Uganda, on the edge of the Western Rift Valley (Albertine rift) and is shared by Kanungu, Kabale and Kisoro districts. It is 331 sq km in size and on an altitude range of 1,160 metres (Ishasha gorge) to 2,607 metres (Rwamanyonyi Peak). The annual average temperature range is 7°C – 20°C with the coldest period being June and July. Of the local people neighbouring the park, the majority are Bakiga and Bafumbira, constituting the most dense settlements in Uganda (350 people/sq km). A few Batwa are also found.
Species Diversity: Bwindi is home to 326 gorillas, almost a half of the world’s population of mountain gorillas. There are also 346 species of birds and over 200 species of butterflies. This afromontane forest has dense under storey of fern, vines and shrubs. About 324 tree species have been recorded here, 10 of which occur nowhere else in Uganda.
Bird Watching: Bwindi is the bird watchers haven! It holds 346 species of birds and contains 90% of all Albertine rift endemics, difficult or impossible to see in any other part of East Africa and seven IUCN red data listed species. An experienced bird watcher can identify up to 100 species in a day! Visit Ruhija and Buhoma for this dream. Indicate your interest to the Park Management so that appropriate early morning departures can be arranged.
7:00am- After breakfast set out and transfer to the Park headquarters for the Gorilla trekking briefing. After this, you will enter the forest at 8:00am and enjoy the beauty and freshness of the forest, home to more than half of the world’s mountain gorillas. Proceed through the dense bush to trek for these endangered animals depending on where they built their nest the previous night. This can take from 2- 7 hrs while searching in the jungle forest. For conservation purposes, time allowed with the Gorillas is 1 hour. Return after the trek to the Lodge for relaxation, dinner and overnight stay at Mahogany springs Lodge. B, L, D.
|Gorilla Tracking: This is the major activity in Bwindi, with Ten Gorilla groups currently available daily for tourists. Mubare group (5 gorillas, 1 silverback) was opened for tourism in 1993, Habinyanja group (18 gorillas, 2 silverback) opened in July 1999, Rushegura group (20 gorillas, 1 silverback) was opened in July 2002, while Nkuringo group (20 gorillas, 3 silverbacks) was opened for tourism in April 2004. Bitukura group (14 members with Silverbacks) was opened up for tourism in 2008. Nshongi group was opened for tourism in 2009 and is believed to be the largest Gorilla family in the world with 25 gorilla members with 4 Silverbacks. Mishaya group with 9 members and 1 Silverback was opened up for Tourism in 2011, Oruzogo group with 23 gorilla members with 2 silverbacks was opened for tourism in June 2011 and Kahungye with 13 members including 3 silverbacks. The latest groups to be opened for tourism include Busingye which was opened at the beginning of the year 2013.
You need to book for your Gorilla Safari at least 6 months (but not more than two years) in advance to ensure that requested dates are available.
Gorilla tracking in Bwindi can be challenging, therefore ensure fitness. The tracking experience starts at 8.30 am local time and can last from a few hours to a whole day! Registration at the gate commences at 7.45 am.
What to bring:
· Wear jungle shoes suitable for steep muddy slopes and carry a rain jacket because the park is often wet.
· Put on ear plugs for those who feel uncomfortable with jungle sounds.
· Carry rain gear, sunscreen lotion, a hat (as the weather is unpredictable) and insect repellent.
· Carry a packed lunch.
For conservation reasons, visits to the gorillas are tightly controlled. The following rules apply and must be strictly adhered to:
· No one with a communicable disease (e.g. flu, diarrhea) is allowed to enter the park.
· Stay together in a tight group while with the gorillas, don’t surround them.
· Don’t get closer than 7 metres (21 feet) to the gorillas.
· Don’t eat or smoke when with the gorillas or within a distance of 200 metres from the gorillas.
· Turn away from the gorillas if you have to sneeze or cough. Cover your nose and mouth in the process.
· Burry all human feaces a minimum of one foot deep and ensure that the hole is properly covered.
· Don’t leave litter. All litter must be carried out of the park and disposed off properly.
· No person under 15 years is allowed to track gorillas.
· Don’t spit on vegetation or soil when in the park; use your hankie or other garment.
· Your group must not be more than 8 tourists and must all be over 15 years old.
Morning breakfast and transfer to the Kihihi Airstrip to catch up with your scheduled flight back to Entebbe departing at 09:45 or 14:04 and arriving at 11:25 am or 15:55hrs respectively. Upon arrival, check in at the international Departures for your onward flight to your next destination. B, B
End of safari