Gorillas & Wildlife (3 nights)

This Venture Uganda Short Break takes you for an amazing encounter with the endangered mountain gorillas of Bwindi Impenetrable forest – a very special experience you’ll never forget. Afterwards, you visit Lake Mburo national park to see more  of Uganda’s abundant bird and  wildlife. There is also a relaxing boat cruise on the lake. Your return to Kampala/ Entebbe via the equator.

Summary

Day 1: Early Morning pick-up in Kampala/Entebbe (accommodation not included). Travel to Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park. This is  a nine hour road journey through the fascinating towns and villages of up-country Uganda. Alternatively, you could take a short domestic flight (at additional cost).

Day 2: Tracking the rare mountain gorillas in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park.

Day 3: Travel to Lake Mburo National Park. Take an evening boat cruise on Lake Mburo.

Day 4: Early morning game drive. Return to the agreed Kampala/Entebbe drop off point in the early evening.

Full itinerary

Day 1: Your guide will collect you at around 7:00am in Entebbe or Kampala (accommodation not included) and you will travel to Bwindi, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and home to the rare mountain gorilla. The park lies in south western Uganda on the edge of the Rift Valley. Its mist-covered hillsides are blanketed by one of Uganda’s oldest and most biologically diverse rainforests.  Driving between Kampala/Entebbe and Bwindi takes approximately 9 hours or alternatively you can fly and drive the final 45 minutes from the airstrip to the lodge.

 

 

Day 2: At 8:00am you will set off for gorilla tracking. Trekking through the steep, densely forested hills and then finally coming across the gorillas camouflaged in the vegetation is an awe-inspiring moment. You spend one hour observing the assigned gorilla group in their natural forested habitat, watching them eat, play, groom or move through the forest. Tracking in the impenetrable forest requires a good level of fitness and can sometimes take most of the day but it’s absolutely worth it. Time permitting in the afternoon; you could take a cultural stroll through the village of Buhoma.

 

 

Day 3: Today you travel to Lake Mburo national park, which sits in a rain shadow between the Rwenzori Mountains and Lake Victoria. The journey takes about 6 hours and provides a fascinating insight into life in rural Uganda. Enjoy a boat cruise in the evening on Lake Mburo seeking hippos, crocodile and birds. The finally, relax and watch the sun go down over the park.

 

 

 

 

Day 4: Rising early, you will go for a dawn game drive seeking out leopard, Burchells zebra and many other mammals. You will have your picnic lunch at Kazuma Hill lookout (1340m) before heading back to Kampala or Entebbe, arriving in the early evening (accommodation not included).

We think this makes a lovely break but if you have more time why not stay an extra day in Bwindi, Lake Mburo (or both!), add some of the optional activities mentioned or continue your safari with our suggested extensions.

 

 

Accommodation

budget: Buhoma Community Rest Camp, Rwonyo Rest Camp

mid-range: Mahogany Springs, Rwakobo Rock

high-end: Engagi Lodge , Mihingo Lodge

 

 

Optional activities

  1. Buhoma Community Walk (Uganda Wildlife Authority)
  2. Bird Walk
  3. Mountain Biking
  4. Massage (midrange and high-end lodges only)
  5. Game Walks (Uganda Wildlife Authority)
  6. Horseback safari (high end lodge only)
  7. Sport Fishing

Extensions

  1. An extra day gorilla tracking in Bwindi Impenetrable national park
  2. Two days cultural/community tourism near Masaka (bark cloth production, medicinal plant tour, coffee experience, craft group, school visit, village walk, Rwandan genocide memorial, birding)
  3. One extra day in Lake Mburo national park
  4. Three nights to Queen Elizabeth and Kibale forest national parks including chimp tracking
  5. Extra time in Kampala or Entebbe for activities such as a city tour, shopping at craft markets, botanical gardens, Uganda Wildlife Education Centre (former zoo), swimming in a hotel pool

Guide Prices

Venture Uganda offers this short break at three different levels: budget, mid-range and high-end. The difference between them depends mainly on the class of accommodation and restaurants used. Please note that in some locations accommodation is limited and only one class may be available. These are only guide prices; we will provide an exact quote, upon enquiry, when we know the number of people, chosen dates, preferred accommodation and transport, and changes to the itinerary e.g. options and extensions.

Budget: $2,100 US Dollars, per person

Mid-range: $ 2,350 US Dollars, per person

High-end: $2,400 US Dollars, per person

Inclusions

  • One gorilla tracking permit per person
  • A fully insured, standard safari vehicle with guide & fuel for itinerary
  • Accommodation (non-air conditioned)
  • Breakfast, lunch and supper each with a soft drink
  • All entrance and other fees for the activities included in the itinerary
  • Mineral water during safari
  • All government taxes

Exclusions

  • Flights
  • Entry and/or transit visas
  • Travel insurance
  • Personal items such as bar drinks and laundry services
  • Gifts, crafts & other personal shopping
  • Tips and gratuities (5-10% is normal in restaurants/lodges. The level of tips for
    guides is up to you.)

Accommodation: Prices are based on two people sharing twin/double rooms on a full-board basis. We are happy to quote for groups. A single room supplement will apply.

If available, most hotels and lodges charge extra for air-conditioned rooms so if you would like AC please note this on your booking form.

The hotels included in this package depend upon availability. Once we receive your booking we will check availability and should we find them fully booked we will offer you an alternative of the same standard for your approval.

Discounts may be available for Ugandan/East African citizens, children or for low season bookings (Apr, May, Oct, Nov).

Bookings can be made on our Booking Form and are subject to our Booking Conditions including our cancellation policy.

Payment: a 50% deposit is required upon booking, along with full payment for gorilla and chimp permits, with the final payment due 70 days before the start of the trip. Prices are charged in USD.

Payment can be made by bank transfer. Beware of email fraudsters – we will never ask you to pay by any other means such as Western Union or Money Transfer.

Gorilla and chimp tracking permits are subject to availability. We recommend very early booking if possible, especially in peak season (Dec–Mar and June–Sept). If permits are not available on your chosen dates, we may be able to run the trip in reverse order or alter the
itinerary to fit.

Note: The Uganda Wildlife Authority does not allow children under the age of 15 years to track gorillas and children under 12 years to track chimpanzees.

Transport

 

Choose between our touring vans which are used as standard in our safaris and short breaks or upgrade to a Land Cruiser for an extra USD $450 (divided by the number of people travelling).

  1. Standard: ‘Super Custom’ van (max 5-seater). A very comfortable 4×4 touring van
  2. Standard: ‘Hiace’ van (max 7-seater). A practical, tough touring van
  3. High-end: extended Land Cruiser (max 7-seater). A comfortable safari vehicle

All vehicles are 4×4 and have a pop-up roof. All passengers have window seats and seat belts. Expenses for the guide/fuel/park entrance/washing/parking are included in the price.

For your own comfort, we request you pack carefully and do not bring too much luggage.

Alternative Venture Uganda short breaks

We provide a range of short breaks with differing activities, durations and locations. Please see our website for details.