304: HIKING, CULTURE AND WILDLIFE SAFARI

Ref: 304, 14 Days

304: HIKING, CULTURE AND WILDLIFE SAFARI

$6135 per person

This extraordinary holiday offers you the chance to hike some of the country’s magical highlands and enjoy spectacular views, hike Uganda’s 1520 eclipse monument of Biharwe and go 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

Experience the thrill of the African bush on foot, hike some of the country’s magical highlands and enjoy spectacular views. Get up close to host of wildlife, including Uganda’s iconic mountain gorillas and chimpanzees – a very special experience. You’ll enjoy fascinating excursions, including the rare privilege of going behind the scenes in the forest 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

  • Hike the eclipse monument of Biharwe
  • Hike to Mt Gahinga summit
  • 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.
Day 7: Visit Batwa tribe (pygmy forest keepers)
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: Queen Elizabeth national park. Game drive
Day 11: Game drive. Boat cruise

Day 12: Nature walk in Rwenzori mountains national park. Transfer to Kibale national park

Day 13: Chimpanzee tracking. Swamp walk

Day 14: Drive to Entebbe. 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: The Boma Hotel - Entebbe
Meal Plan: D  
2
Day 2: Travel to Mabamba Swamp; birding for the iconic Shoebill. Continue to Lake Mburo
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 approx. 4 hours.
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 the long-horned cows.
Accommodation: Rwakobo Rock - Lake Mburo National Park Meal Plan: B, L, D
4
Day 4: Hike the eclipse monument. Travel to Kisoro district
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: Lake Mulehe Safari Lodge.- Kisoro
Meal Plan: B, L, D  
5
Day 5: Hike to Mt Gahinga summit and stand between 3 countries
Prepare yourself for a challenge. The journey to the summit of Gahinga mountain volcano takes approx. 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: Lake Mulehe Safari Lodge.- Kisoro
Meal Plan: B, L, D  
6
Day 6: Search for the rare golden monkeys.
Today you explore Mgahinga - one of Uganda’s smallest 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 site with many Albertan rift endemic bird species.  
Accommodation: Lake Mulehe Safari Lodge.- Kisoro
Meal Plan: B, L, D  
7
Day 7: Visit Batwa tribe (pygmy forest keepers)
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.  
Accommodation: Lake Mulehe Safari Lodge.Bwindi Impenetrable National Park  
Meal Plan: B, L, D  
8
Day 8: Enjoy beautiful moments with giant mountain gorillas
07:30 Prepare yourself for a lifetime experience in the forest, tracking 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 3 to 8 hours. Once you find them, spend a magical hour watching these enchanting creatures going about their daily business in the wild.
Accommodation: Lake Mulehe Safari Lodge.Bwindi 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 Resort - Lake Bunyonyi
Meal Plan: B, L, D
10
Day 10: Travel to Queen Elizabeth national park. Game drive
Start the return journey northwards to Queen Elizabeth, Uganda’s second largest national park and arguably one of the most scenic - approx. 5 hours. This afternoon, prepare to explore the park along its network of well-maintained tracks on a game drive, in search of wildlife.
Accommodation: Park View Safari Lodge – Queen Elizabeth national park.
Meal Plan: B, L, D
11
Day 11: Game drive. Boat cruise on Kazinga channel
An early game drive will take you on in search of wildlife. Look out for antelopes, elephants, leopard, warthogs and buffaloes and more. In the afternoon, get on board for a boat cruise along the Kazinga Channel to see animals and birds on the shores of the Channel.
Accommodation: Park View Safari Lodge – Queen Elizabeth national park.
Meal Plan: B, L, D
12
Day 12: Nature walk in Rwenzori mountains national park. Transfer to Kibale national park
Rwenzori mountains national park is one of the unique national parks in Uganda. Spend part of your day enjoying a hike at the foothills of the snow-capped Rwenzori mountains. The hike through the community takes you to about 2400m and if the weather is clear the snow-capped peak of Rwenzori’s Margarita can be viewed. Later, you drive about 2 hours to Kibale national park.
Accommodation: Kibale Guest Cottages – Kibale national park. Meals
Meal Plan: B, L, D  
13
Day 13: Chimpanzee tracking. Swamp walk
Join your group at 07:30 for a briefing before your guide takes you trekking through the tropical rain forest in search of your chimp family. Once you’ve found them, spend one hour observing and photographing them. In the late afternoon, travel the short distance from your lodge to a community conservation project. Your guide will lead you on a nature walk in search of primates and birds.
Accommodation: Kibale Guest Cottages – Kibale national park. Meals
Meal Plan: B, L, D  
14
Day 14: Drive to Entebbe. Flight home
This morning, you return to Entebbe approx. 5 hours. Later, depending on your flight schedule, your guide will drop you at the airport in time to check-in.  
Meal Plan: B, L, D  

Guide price: from US$ 6,135 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 and 1 Chimp tracking permit per person

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).