107: Gorilla and Sesse Islands break

Ref: 107, 6 days

107: Gorilla and Sesse Islands break

$2510 per person

This excellent mini-break includes tracking Uganda’s iconic mountain gorillas in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest and relaxing on the tranquil Ssese Islands.

This short break really packs a punch: it takes you to south western Uganda to see the amazing endangered mountain gorillas in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest – a very special experience. Although the initial drive is quite long, there are plenty of interesting stops along the way including the equator. On your return, you will spend time searching for animals in Lake Mburo national park and then visit the beautiful Ssese islands to discover the little known secrets of Kalangala.  Take a guided forest walk and keep your eyes peeled for the monkeys and birds that call it home.

 

Highlights

  • Track, and then spend an hour with, a gorilla family
  • Enjoy abundant wildlife and spectacular views in the national park
  • Boat ride on Lake Mburo
  • Stop at the equator
  • Guided nature walk in a local forest
  • Relaxing on the finest sand beaches

 

Overview

Day 1: Leave for Bwindi, the home of the endangered mountain gorillas

Day 2: Once in a lifetime experience with the thrilling gentle giants

Day 3: Drive to Uganda’s smallest savannah park. Game drive

Day 4: Boat ride and 16:00 ferry transfer to the Ssese Islands

Day 5: Hike to the woods and afternoon relaxing

Day 6: Take the 08:00 ferry to Entebbe and visit the Crafts market. Flight home.

 

 

When is the best time of year to visit Uganda?

Although Ugandan seasons have become less predictable in recent years, peak tourist seasons usually coincide with dry seasons. When choosing your dates consider:

  • Uganda is an all-year round destination with a pleasant climate and temperatures averaging in the mid 20s0C. The huge variety in altitude means temperatures vary around the country (but this also means increased biodiversity)
  • Flight prices often increase in European/American holiday seasons
  • There are fewer tourists in low seasons so you can have the place to yourselves!
  • Many hotels offer all-year prices so the price of your visit may not change much between seasons
  • Most major roads going from the capital, Kampala, up-country are tarmac. Conditions on murram roads may worsen, to varying degrees, in rainy season
  • Rainy season can be good for birding as there is more food (bugs) available
  • If you are targeting certain birds, ask our advice on breeding and migration seasons
  • Should you plan to climb the Rwenzori mountains, dry seasons are best
  • Hiking may be better in rainy seasons when it is cooler

 

Please note

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.

 

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1
Day 1: Travel to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park
08:00 Your guide will collect you from your hotel in Entebbe or Kampala and will remain with you throughout your safari. You will drive to Bwindi, around 8 hours away, through the beautiful Ugandan countryside.  There will be plenty of breaks en-route, including one at the equator.
Accommodation: Engagi Lodge – Bwindi Impenetrable National Park  Meal plan B, L, D
2
Day 2: Gorilla tracking
08:00 After a short briefing at the park headquarters with your small group, your ranger will lead you through the tropical rainforest in search of your gorilla family. Once you find them, join them for a magical hour as they go about their daily activities in their natural habitat.
Accommodation: Engagi Lodge – Bwindi Impenetrable National Park  Meal plan B, L, D  
3
Day 3: Travel to Lake Mburo National Park. Afternoon game drive.
Leaving early, you will travel to Lake Mburo National Park, Uganda’s smallest savannah park. After lunch, take an afternoon game drive in search of  animals like zebra, giraffe, impala, buffalo and more. Settle in for the evening at your lodge.
Accommodation: Rwakobo Rock - Lake Mburo National Park   Meal plan B, L, D  
4
Day 4: Boat ride and 16:00hrs ferry transfer to the Ssese Islands
Start your day with a leisurely boat ride along the lake shores where you may see hippos, crocodiles and lots of wonderful birds. Then have a last look for animals as you leave the park and make your way to Bukakata ferry crossing, stopping for lunch en route. At 16:00 enjoy a scenic ferry ride to the Ssese Islands and prepare to unwind! Lodge staff will meet you on arrival and drive you to the lodge.
Accommodation: Brovad Sands Lodge – Ssese Islands  Meal plan B, L, D    
5
Day 5: Hike to the woods and afternoon relaxing
After your breakfast, a guide will take you on a relaxing hike to the woods to learn about the nature on the island. After your lunch, have a relaxed afternoon strolling along the beach, swimming in the pool or playing soccer or volley ball.
Accommodation: Brovad Sands Lodge – Ssese Islands   Meal plan B, L, D  
6
Day 6: Take the 08:00. Ferry to Entebbe. Visit the craft market
Lodge staff will take you to catch the ferry. Enjoy the ride back to Entebbe, taking in the magnificent views of the lake. Upon arrival at Nakiwogo, the driver will meet you and take you to have lunch in Entebbe. After your lunch, visit the Entebbe craft market for your souvenirs and relax ahead of your evening transfer back to the airport for your flight home. 
Please note: all timings and routings are approximate and subject to change at short notice.

Guide price: US$ 2510 per person

Based on 2 adults sharing a double room, in mid-range accommodation, in low season and travelling in a safari Land Cruiser (all our safaris and tours can be adapted to high-end, mid-range or budget versions)

 

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, exchange rates fluctuate, 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.

Price includes

1 gorilla tracking permit each

A double room in mid-range, non-air-conditioned accommodation with a full board meal plan

Private safari vehicle with 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 $10 per day for your guide).