7 days: fly-in safari

This exciting fly-in safari packs a lot into a short holiday. Enjoy 2 domestic flights, at relatively low altitude, over stunning countryside and game-filled national parks. Experience tribal culture with the Batwa – (‘forest-keeper’ pygmies); spend time with the awesome mountain gorillas; relax beside the beautiful Lake Bunyonyi and catch up with some game viewing in Queen Elizabeth national park. An amazing holiday which could easily be added to another short beach, hiking or adventure holiday or even a visit to another East African country.

HighlightsItineraryOptions & extensionsGuide priceAccommodation & TransportTravel advice
  • Spend time with the enchanting mountain gorillas and our closest relative – the chimpanzees
  • Enjoy breath-taking domestic flights with fabulous views
  • Experience a unique African tribal culture with the Batwa forest-keepers
  • Explore Queen Elizabeth national park in search of big game and a wealth of birdlife
Day 1: Arrival at Entebbe International Airport
Upon arrival at Entebbe International Airport, you will be met by your guide who will take you to your accommodation, a short drive away. Your guide will remain with you throughout your visit.
Day 2: Fly to Kisoro. Walk the Batwa Trail
Take an early flight to Kisoro and head straight to the trail’s starting point. Walk for 5-6 hours on the gentle mountain slopes with a Batwa guide who will show you how they lived as hunter-gatherers before the forest was gazetted. This activity helps to fund their life outside the forest.
Day 3: Gorilla tracking in Mgahinga Gorilla national park
After a short briefing your guides will take you into the forest in search of the gorillas. Spend a wonderful hour watching them as they eat, play, groom and even snooze or follow them as they move through the forest. After, transfer to Lake Bunyonyi for a well earned rest.
Day 4: Canoe ride on Lake Bunyonyi
Tour the lake in a local dugout canoe, visiting the different islands within the lake and hearing about local history and culture. Spend the afternoon relaxing as you admire the views or take a local walk, possibly for some bird watching.
Day 5: Travel to Queen Elizabeth National Park
Leaving Lake Bunyonyi this morning, you travel to Queen Elizabeth National Park. On arrival, settle in to your lodge and after go chimp tracking at Kyambura gorge. Enjoy views over the Rift Valley from the road. There may even be time for a short game drive as you head back.
Day 6: Dawn game drive. Afternoon boat cruise on Kazinga Channel
It is worth getting up early today to catch the animals as they rise. Take a game drive in search of lion, elephant, leopard, antelope and more. Then take a leisurely boat ride along the banks of Kazinga Channel to perhaps see hippos, crocodiles, buffalo and some great bird life.
Day 7: Game drive and flight back to Entebbe
This morning you are free to continue exploring the park and enjoying the wildlife. After lunch take another exciting flight, this time back to Entebbe. If time allows, enjoy a stroll at the botanical gardens on the shores of Lake Victoria before returning to the airport for your flight home.

Wildlife sightings cannot be guaranteed.

Domestic flight times may vary. The luggage limit is 15kgs (including hand and hold luggage, in soft bags)

Responsible tourism: where possible, we use locally owned accommodation with good environmental credentials.

Any of the activities below can be swapped for activities in this itinerary or you can extend this itinerary to add any of them. This may involve additional costs. We will be pleased to advise you about options and extensions.

  1. Golden monkey tracking or bird watching in Mgahinga Gorilla national park
  2. Visit the salt lakes near Queen Elizabeth national park
  3. Wildlife research experiences in Queen Elizabeth national park. Lion Tracking, Mongoose Tracking, Hippo Census, and Bird Counts are all available.

Please see our activities & experiences page for more information.

Guide price: USD 3,830 per person, based on 2 people travelling.

Price includes:

  • 2 domestic flights
  • 1 gorilla & 1 chimp tracking permit each
  • Full-board, mid-range, non air-conditioned accommodation
  • Private safari vehicle with a driver and fuel for this itinerary
  • All entrance and other fees for the activities included in the itinerary
  • Mineral water in transit
  • All government taxes

Price does not include:

  • International flights
  • Visas
  • Travel insurance
  • Personal expenses: alcohol, laundry services and souvenirs
  • Tips (normally 5–10% and around $100 for your guide).

Why do we use guide prices?
The price for every safari depends on the number of people travelling, their ages, the time of year, whether or not international flights are included, the type of transport and accommodation used and the activities undertaken.

We calculate according to the specific dates of your booking because after we publish our itineraries some things may change. For example, hotels may increase their prices, the government may introduce new taxes or some discounts may become available. Unfortunately, we also have to pass on surcharges imposed on us by, for example, airlines when fuel prices or airport taxes are unexpectedly increased.

We would be happy to prepare a quotation, based on your requirements. We normally include most costs in the price so all you need to bring with you is ‘pocket money’ for items like drinks, tips and personal shopping e.g. souvenirs.

Insurance

AMREF flying doctors provide a medevac service in case of illness or injury during your safari. This costs $25pp for 31 days. We recommend this service and can include it in your package price.

Booking

Once you have selected one of our safari packages you need to send us a booking form. When we receive this we will check availability and inform you if any changes are necessary and issue an invoice for a 50% deposit plus the full cost of any tracking permits (in case of cancellation permit fees are non-refundable). Only once this payment is received can we guarantee availability and issue a booking confirmation. Full payment is required 70 days before travel.

Payments and cancellation

We charge in US dollars. Payment is by bank transfer into our Standard Chartered USD bank account in Uganda. You can also pay by credit card although there is a 5% administration charge. For those booking from within Uganda, cash payments are possible at our office.

When we book your safari, we have to pay non-refundable deposits on your behalf, for example to hotels. Therefore, we charge cancellation fees as follows:

30% of reservation costs if you cancel more than 50 days before your arrival date

100% of reservation costs if you cancel less than 50 days before your arrival date

We strongly recommend that you include cancellation cover in your travel insurance.

Disclaimer: We enter into an agreement with you in good faith but we sometimes encounter unexpected changes in local conditions which can affect your itinerary or price. These changes are beyond our control and we are not liable for them. While we endeavour to protect you against the effects of these changes, we reserve the right to amend the agreed itinerary and price in response to them. Such changes include but are not limited to weather conditions, road conditions, supplier price increases, fuel increases, government tax increases, supplier service changes e.g. cancellation of ferry services for river crossings or national park operations (track maintenance, animal translocations). We assure you that, we will always give you as much notice as possible of changes, suggest alternative plans and keep additional charges to a minimum.

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Accommodation

To help us select the right accommodation for your safari (and in the absence of a complete national hotel classification system e.g. 1*–5*) we use four levels: high-end, mid-range, budget and backpackers. These terms can mean different things to different people but are helpful to an extent.

Air-conditioned rooms are not available in all hotels. Where AC is available, there is usually an extra charge.

Some locations have a limited choice of accommodation and so, to stay there, you must accept what is available. Where possible we prefer to work with responsible accommodation providers. This means hotels and lodges which are locally owned, employ local staff, support their community and protect the local environment.

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Transport

As standard, we use a spacious 7-seat, 4×4 safari Land Cruiser, with pop-up roof, fridge and phone/camera charging facilities. This is the perfect safari vehicle.

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Alternatively, we offer a slightly cheaper 7-seater, 4×4 safari van with a pop-up roof.

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For large group tours we use small buses called Coasters. These usually seat around 28 people, including 5 jump (fold-down) seats in the aisle. They do not have a boot/trunk so luggage is carried on the back seats which reduces the seating capacity. The overhead luggage shelves are small and can only accommodate small bags. Therefore, we recommend you do not over pack.

All vehicles include a driver/guide and fuel for your itinerary. Additional activities, not included in your itinerary, may incur an additional fuel charge. Our vehicles are comprehensively insured, in good mechanical condition and have seat belts fitted.

Please let us know if you have any special travel requirements. For example, if your group has disabled members we will do our best to accommodate your needs.

Fly-in safaris

Domestic flights are in 11-seater Caravan planes, flying at a relatively low altitude, providing stunning views over Uganda. Timings and routings may change according to demand and weather conditions.

Kisoro is a windy airstrip and if landing is not possible you will be directed to Kihihi airstrip instead and will be transferred to your destination by car – you may wish to allow an extra day in your itinerary to cover this eventuality, in order not to miss any activities.

Note: The luggage limit on small aircraft is 15kg per person, including both hand and hold luggage.  This must be in soft bags not hard suitcases.

See our Responsible Tourism pages for information about our approach to tourism and advice on how to travel responsibly.

For general advice please see our travel advice webpage.

Specific advice for this safari

Permits are required to track gorillas. The minimum ages is 15 years.  Gorilla permits are limited to eight people per gorilla family. Permits are also required to track chimps and the minimum age is 12 years.

Please read the information about primate tracking on our primates web page and remember to look at our suggested packing list.