12 Day Primates, Wildlife Safari to Ngamba Island, Murchison Falls, Kibale, Ishasha, Bwindi & Lake Mburo (CSU-122)

imagezDay 1:
Upon arrival in Entebbe, your safari guide will collect you from the airport and transfer you to your hotel. Overnight at Golf View Hotel (FB)

Day 2:
You will take a day trip to Ngamba Island to see habituated chimpanzees. From the shores of Lake Victoria, you will meet your 9.00am or 12.45pm launch. The boat trip will take about 45 minutes across to Ngamba Island, crossing the equator en-route. On arrival at the island, home to 39 chimpanzees, you will be given a short introduction and briefing on the sanctuary. You will return to the mainland for lunch before spending the rest of the afternoon at the Entebbe Wildlife Education Centre. Overnight at Golf View Hotel (FB)

Day 3:
Your safari guide will collect you from your hotel in the early morning and depart by road for Murchison Falls National Park. This scenic drive will take approx 5-6 hours stopping in Masindi town for lunch. Before reaching the lodge, you will stop at the top of the falls which is a fantastic sight. Here the Nile, the longest river in the world, is forced through a narrow gap in the rocks (only 7 meters wide) before ferociously plunging down 43 meters. Overnight camping at Paraa Safari Lodge (FB)

Day 4:
Up early for a morning game drive. This is the best time to try and find lions. Your driver will take you across to Lake Albert and the Nile delta where you will see elephants, buffalo, giraffe, antelope and hopefully some lions. You will return to the lodge for lunch and have a chance to relax before taking a boat trip in the afternoon which takes around 3 hours. This boat tripalong the Nile is often cited as being the highlight of the 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 birdlife is stunning with brightly colored kingfishers and bee-eaters darting along the river banks. If you are lucky, you may see the rare and prehistoric looking shoebill, which is a cross between the dodo and a dinosaur. The boat takes you all the way to the base of the falls. Overnight camping at Paraa Safari Lodge (FB)

Day 5:
After breakfast we will drive to Kibale. This journey will take approximately 9-10 hours. Take some time to relax after the long journey! Overnight in Primates Lodge/Mountains of the Moon Hotel (FB)

Day 6:
Today you will be up early to track habituated chimps – 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. The incredibly diverse forest is home to over 13 species of primates including red colobus monkey, the rare L’Hoest, blue monkey, grey mangabey, pottos, black faced vervet monkeys, baboons and also bushbabies. A network of shady forest trails provides much to delight botanists and butterfly lovers, while birders are in for a treat with 335 species recorded including the endemic Prirogrine’s ground thrush. The elusive forest elephant, smaller and hairier that its savannah counterpart, moves seasonally into the developed part of the park, while other terrestrial mammals include buffalo, giant forest hog and a half dozen antelope species. You will spend the rest of the afternoon doing cultural activities in Fort Portal, or relaxing at the lodge/hotel. Overnight in Primates Lodge/Mountains of the Moon Hotel (FB)

Day 7:
This morning we will depart for Ishasha, the southern sector of Queen Elizabeth National Park known famed for its tree-climbing lions. The drive will be approximately 3 hours. Ishasha is a remote and beautiful extension of Queen Elizabeth National Park where there are buffalo, topi and hippo among other species. It is an incredible experience to see lions draped from the fig trees; nowhere in Africa do you stand a better chance of seeing this than in Ishasha. Spend the afternoon relaxing before going on an evening game drive. Overnight at the Ishasha Wilderness Camp (FB)

Day 8:
This morning you will go on an early morning game drive. Hopefully, you will get a chance to see some tree climbing lions! After the game drive, and following breakfast, we will depart for Bwindi Impenetrable Forest. Upon arrival, if it is not too late, you may take a guided walk on Munyaga River Trail, which is an ideal short trail. This walk will lead you to three delightful crystal clear waterfalls, a profusion of tree ferns, orchids, and Bwindi’s colorful array of butterflies. Here you may also see birds and primates from the forest edge. OR, you may take a guided village walk to see how Ugandans live, visit a local bar and meet the local medicine man. Overnight at Buhoma Homestead (FB)

Day 9:
This morning you will track gorillas! Today’s 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.
Before 8:00 am you will report to the ranger station after breakfast for registration and for a short talk by one of the rangers. The guides will then take you through the bush pushing your way through the undergrowth and parting thick creepers to track the gorillas. You will sit in the forest among the gorillas, listen to them grumble to each other, and marvel at the sheer size of the dominant male, the silverback. It will be an extraordinary experience sitting in the dense rainforest knowing you are with a few of the last remaining mountain gorillas. Spend the rest of the afternoon going for a guided nature walk, or a guided village walk. Or simply relax at the lodge! Overnight at Buhoma Homestead (FB)

Day 10:
This morning we will depart for Lake Mburo National Park. Lake Mburo is an extension of the Tanzanian plains with big herds of zebra, impala, eland and other ungulates (cloven hoofed animals). More than 310 bird species have been recorded in the park. It is probably the best place in Uganda to see acacia- associated birds – mosque swallows black-bellied bustard, bare-faced go-away bird and Ruppell’s long-tailed sterling. If you have the energy, you can go on an afternoon boat trip before retiring to the beautiful Mihingo Lodge. Overnight in Mihingo Lodge (FB)

Day 11:
After breakfast, you will go on morning game drive. You will see numerous animals here like the eland, antelopes, and many zebra. After the game drive we will drive back to Kampala, arriving in the late afternoon. On arrival in Kampala, your guide will see you to your hotel. Overnight at Ruch Hotel (FB)

Day 12:
Today your safari guide will drive you to Entebbe, for your outbound flight. Have a safe journey home!