304 Hiking, Culture and Wildlife Safari

Ref: 304, 12 Days

304 Hiking, Culture and Wildlife Safari

$4420 per person

This extraordinary holiday takes you off the beaten track to gain a deeper insight into daily life and the traditional and modern culture of Uganda and its friendly people

SUMMARY

This extraordinary holiday takes you off the beaten track. You’ll gain a deeper insight into daily life and the traditional and modern culture of Uganda and its friendly people.

The tour offers you the chance to hike some of the country’s magical mountain peaks and enjoy spectacular views. You’ll also see a host of wildlife, including Uganda’s iconic mountain gorillas – a very special experience. You’ll enjoy fascinating excursions, including the rare privilege of going behind the scenes with the Batwa, or forest pygmies.  This will give you the chance to learn about their history and amazing way of life and to meet some of the local people.

Prepare for unforgettable adventures in the wild!

 

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Thrilling moments with the enchanting mountain gorillas
  • Nature walk and game drive for excellent game viewing
  • Visit the Batwa tribe of  ‘pygmy forest keepers’
  • Spend a relaxed day and enjoy the magical scenery of Lake Bunyonyi

 

OVERVIEW

Day 1: Arrival at Entebbe International Airport
Day 2: Travel to Mabamba Swamp; birding for the iconic Shoebill. Continue to Lake Mburo
Day 3: Nature Walk and Game drive. Visit the Bahima cattle keepers
Day 4: Hike the eclipse Monument. Travel to Kisoro district.
Day 5: Hike to Mt Gahinga summit and stand between 3 countries
Day 6: Search for the rare golden monkeys. Relax
Day 7: Visit Batwa tribe (pygmy forest keepers) travel to Bwindi
Day 8: Enjoy beautiful moments with giant mountain gorillas
Day 9: Travel to Lake Bunyonyi. Go for a canoe ride on the lake.
Day 10: Return to Kampala.  With a stop at the Equator. Relax at hotel
Day 11: City tour with souvenir shopping. Evening traditional music & dance performance
Day 12: Drive to Entebbe. Walk at the botanical gardens. 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 - Arrival at Entebbe International Airport
Travel to Uganda arriving at Entebbe International Airport. Your guide will be there to welcome you and will be with you throughout your holiday. Transfer to your hotel, a short drive from the airport.
Accommodation: Airport Guest House  - Entebbe
Meal Plan: B&B  
2
Day 2: Birding in Mabamba, transfer to Lake Mburo National Park
At 07:00 you will travel to Mabamba swamp, 1.5 hours away. Take a local fishing boat, begin the search for Uganda’s most sought after bird, the Shoebill, and learn from your guide how the local community has benefited from conserving the swamp. After lunch, transfer to Lake Mburo National Park.
Accommodation: Rwakobo Rock - Lake Mburo National Park
Meal Plan: B, L, D  
3
Day 3: Nature Walk and Game drive. Visit the Bahima cattle keepers
07:00 join your guide for a walk in the park, getting closer to the animals and learning all about the flora and fauna. Then travel further afield with a game drive around the park in search of zebra, impala, giraffe and more. Spend the afternoon visiting the Bahima cattle keepers to learn about their way of life and love for their animals. Accommodation: Rwakobo Rock - Lake Mburo National Park
Meal Plan: B, L, D
4
Day 4: Hike to the hilltop eclipse monument. Travel to Kisoro
Start your day with a 1 hour drive to the starting point for your hike to the 1520 AD eclipse monument in Biharwe. After lunch, transfer to Kisoro on the slopes of the stunning Virunga Volcanoes, pausing en route at the Great Lakes museum if time allows. On arrival, relax in your lodge and prepare for the hike the next day.  
Accommodation: Travellers Rest Hotel- Kisoro
Meal Plan: B, L, D  
5
Day 5: Hike up Mt Gahinga summit and stand between 3 countries
Prepare yourself for a challenge. The journey to the summit of Gahinga mountain volcano takes around time of 6 hours to ascend and descend. Walk through the bamboo forest past the biggest swamp of the giant lobelia and reach the summit; you will be richly rewarded with extraordinary views of the Virunga volcanoes, especially if the weather is good. Stand at the point where three countries, Congo, Rwanda & Uganda, meet, before descending and returning to the lodge for a well-earned dinner and rest.  
Accommodation: Travellers Rest Hotel- Kisoro
Meal Plan: B, L, D  
6
Day 6: Search for the shy golden monkeys.
Explore one of Uganda’s most scenic national parks, located in the South Western region, on the slopes of the Virunga volcanoes. Search for the rare, beautiful golden monkeys in the rich vegetation, also home to mountain gorillas, elephants, bushbucks and other mammals.  This is a popular a birding site with many Albertan rift endemic bird species.  
Accommodation: Travellers Rest Hotel- Kisoro
Meal Plan: B, L, D  
7
Day 7: Visit the Batwa forest pygmies
Visit the Batwa pygmy tribe, the traditional ‘forest keepers’. This unique community has a long and rich culture and you will spend time with them as they tell their interesting story of life in harmony with the forest. Transfer to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park.  
Accommodation: Gorilla Safari LodgeBwindi Impenetrable National Park  
Meal Plan: B, L, D  
8
Day 8: Thrilling moments with the endangered mountain Gorillas
07:30 Prepare yourself for a once-in-a-lifetime experience in the forest, tracking Bwindi’s legendary gentle giants, the endangered mountain gorillas. After the briefing, join your group and trek through the forest in search of your gorilla family; this can take anything from 2 to 6 hours. Once you find them, spend a magical hour watching these enchanting creatures going about their daily business in the wild.
Accommodation: Gorilla Safari LodgeBwindi Impenetrable National Park  
Meal Plan: B, L, D
9
Day 9: Travel to Lake Bunyonyi. Go for a canoe ride on the lake.
Travel to the serene Lake Bunyonyi for a well-deserved rest, enjoying beautiful views along the way. After lunch, explore the area; take a canoe trip around the 29 little islands, many of which have a traditional story attached to them. You can also stretch your legs on a nature walk or go on a cycling trip. The views over the lake and hills will delight.
Accommodation: Birds Nest - Lake Bunyonyi
Meal Plan: B, L, D
10
Day 10: Return to Kampala. With a stop at the Equator
Return to Kampala, 5 hours away, passing through the lush green countryside, tea plantations and small trading centres on the way. Stop en route at the equator for photos with a foot in both hemispheres. On arrival, relax at your hotel and enjoy the vies over Lake Victoria.
Accommodation: Cassia LodgeKampala
Meal Plan: B, L, D
11
Day 11: City tour. Evening traditional music & dance performance
Enjoy a city tour, taking in the sights and sounds of down-town Kampala. Visit religious, cultural or historical sights;  explore the craft markets or local art galleries or visit the Uganda National Museum. The choice is yours. In the evening, enjoy a traditional performance of the music and dance from various Ugandan tribes.
Accommodation: Cassia LodgeKampala
Meal Plan: B, L, D
12
Day 12: Drive to Entebbe. Walk at the botanical gardens. Departure
On your final day, take a leisurely drive to Entebbe and enjoy a local lunch. Spend the afternoon walking around the beautiful botanical gardens on the shores of Lake Victoria. Your guide will drop you at the airport in time to check-in for your flight home.  

Guide price: US$ 4,420 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

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).