This morning your safari guide will collect you from your hotel and then depart by road through Uganda’s rolling green hills to Lake Mburo National Park (the drive will take approximately 3-4 hours). Bird viewing opportunities are excellent – for birders, this is one of the best places to find African fin foot, papyrus bush shrike. Lake Mburo National Park is an extension of the Tanzanian plains with big herds of zebra, impala, eland and other ungulates. Spend the afternoon relaxing or take a late afternoon game drive. The Park has about 68 different species of mammals. The common ones are Zebra, Impala, Buffalo, Topi, and Eland as herbivores not to leave out the rare slightly of Roan antelope and leopard, hyenas and jackals as predictors. Overnight at Mihingo Lodge (Full Board)
An early start – a wonderful chance to take a guided bush walk. Return to the lodge for breakfast, after which you will head through the highlands to Kabale, where you will stop for lunch. Continue on your journey, which offers excellent views including the triangular peaks of the Virunga volcanoes of Rwanda and the Congo. The road then drops down into a valley, to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, home to the mountain gorillas. Overnight at Buhoma Homestead (Full Board)
Up relatively early for a hearty breakfast to give you the energy needed for gorilla tracking. Before 8:00 am report to the ranger station for registration and a talk by one of the rangers; the guides will then take you through the forest pushing your way through the undergrowth, parting thick creepers, to track the gorillas. (This trek can take from half an hour to 5 hours – a reasonable degree of fitness is required as well as a sturdy pair of walking shoes) Sit in the forest among the gorillas, listening to them grumble to each other, and marvel at the sheer size of the dominant male: the silverback. It is an extraordinary feeling sitting in the dense rainforest knowing you are with a few of the last remaining mountain gorillas. It’s amazing to think there are only about 650 of these beautiful creatures left!
Should you have the energy this afternoon, take a guided walk on the Munyaga River trail, which is an ideal short walk. This trail leads to three delightful crystal clear waterfalls, and there is a profusion of tree ferns, epithytic ferns, orchids and Bwindi’s colorful array of butterflies. Here you may also see birds and primates from the forest edge. OR If you have the afternoon free, how about a guided village walk – see how the Ugandans live, visit a local bar and meet the local medicine man! Overnight at Gorilla Forest Camp/Volcanoes Camp/Buhoma Homestead (Full Board)
Today we will leave Bwindi passing through the southern sector of Queen Elizabeth National Park known as Ishasha, famed for its tree-climbing lions. Ishasha is a remote and beautiful extension of Queen Elizabeth National Park. We will see buffalo, topi and hippo among other species. It is a fabulous sight to see the lions draped from the trees and nowhere in Africa do you stand a better chance of seeing this than in the large low-limbed fig tree of Ishasha. We will have our packed lunch along the way before heading to Mweya Safari Lodge or Jacana Lodge.
Mweya Safari Lodge is a large first class lodge overlooking the famous kazinga channel and a resident of hippo population. It comprises of 49 rooms, all of which have en-suite bathrooms and mosquito nets. They have a swimming pool sunk into the large deck, looking out over the Kazinga Channel. They have a boutique from which you can purchase clothing, local crafts, basic necessities and souvenirs. The lodge also offer a conference facility that can accommodate approximately 100 people. The meals are generally served as a buffet. There over 560 species of bird found here including the martial eagle, black-rumped buttonquail, Verreaux’s eagle owl and African skimmer to name but a few. We should arrive in time to enjoy dinner at the lodge.
Jacana Lodge is a fabulous wood-and-thatch construction that straddles the steep wall of the jungle-fringed Lake Nyamasingiri. Accommodation is in comfortable, wooden, double suites with en-suite bathrooms and private verandahs overlooking the picturesque crater-lake. The open-sided bar and restaurant are suspended over the lake and overlook a great lakeshore swimming pool. The meals served are all from a set menu.
After checking in and having some time to relax, you will head for an afternoon game drive. We often spot Elephants, waterbucks, warthogs, hippos and others. You might want to head to the Kasenyi area of the park where lions are frequently spotted. Overnight at Mweya Safari Lodge/Jacana Lodge (Full Board)
This morning we will leave for the 08.00am chimp trek in Kyambura Gorge. These delightful apes, more closely related to humans than to any other living creature, are tremendous fun to watch as they squabble and play in fruiting trees. We will return to the lodge for lunch.
In the afternoon a boat trip along the Kazinga Channel gives you the opportunity to view wildlife up close: hippo’s huff and spray mere feet away from the boat, buffalo linger in the shallows. The shores of the channel are also home to an array of birds including pink backed pelicans, pied and malachite kingfishers, saddle billed stork and many others. After this wonderful afternoon, a slow drive back to Lodge.
Overnight at Mweya Safari Lodge/Jacana Lodge (Full Board)
After tracking the chimpanzees, we will drive to Ndali Lodge where we will stay tonight. Ndali Lodge is perched 100m directly above a serene (although sometimes stormy) crater lake called Nyinambuga. The Lodge has eight individual cottages set on the hillside: each cottage consists of an airy bedroom, en-suite facilities and private verandah. At night the dinning room is festooned with candles – the Lodge has no electricity or generators to destroy the tranquility and atmosphere. The sitting room, reception and dinning room open out on to the lake – which means there are usually cool breezes blowing into these rooms. Dinner is either served from a set menu or buffet. Overnight at Mountains of the Moon (Full Board)
Following a morning breakfast, we will depart by road with a packed lunch to Murchison Falls National Park. This scenic drive will take approximately 9 hours. You will be viewing the Ugandan Villages along the way and the views of Lake Albert. Murchison Falls National Park is well cited for the best wildlife viewing – giraffe, buffalo, lion, elephant, Nile crocodile, hippo, orib, bush buck, waterbuck. We will continue game viewing en-route, taking a ferry across the Nile.
Overnight at Sambiya River Lodge (Full Board)
Up early for a morning game drive. This is the best time to try and find lions. Your drive will take you across to Lake Albert and the Nile delta where you will see elephants, buffalo, giraffe, antelope and hopefully lion. You will return to the lodge for lunch and the chance to relax before taking a boat trip in the afternoon which takes around 3 hours. This boat trip along the Nile is often cited as being the highlight of a trip to Murchison since it allows you to get up-close and personal with the animals. Along this stretch of the river, there are reported to be around 4,000 hippos in addition to some enormous Nile crocodiles. The bird life is stunning with brightly colored kingfishers and bee-eaters darting along the riverbanks. If lucky, you may see the rare and prehistoric looking shoebill, which is a cross between the dodo and a dinosaur. The boat takes you to the base of the falls which only adds to their impressiveness.
Overnight at Sambiya River Lodge (Full Board)
Your safari guide will collect you from the hotel and transfer you to Entebbe International Airport for your outbound flight.