18 Days Uganda Gorilla and chimps safari
Day 1: Kampala – Murchison Falls
Today drive north-west through the famous Luwero Triangle and, travel to Masindi via Ziwa Rhino Project. A visit to the Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary for Rhino trekking tour. After lunch, drive in to Murchison Falls. Meals and over night at Murchison River Lodge |Bwana Tembo Camp, Sambi Red Chili Rest Camp
Day 2: Murchison Falls
Begin the day with a cup of African Coffee. After your cup of coffee, cross the Nile by ferry to the northern bank of the park. Your guide will help you spot Elephant, Lion, Cape buffalo, Rothschild’s giraffe, hartebeest, Waterbuck, Oribi, Bushbuck, Bohor reedbuck, hyena and if you are lucky, the leopard. Return to the hotel for breakfast and lunch. After lunch, go for a boat safari upstream the calm Victoria Nile to the base of the falls stopping just tens of meters from the “Devil’s Cauldron”. En-route, marvel at the toothsome hippos, crocodiles and over this 17km stretch you may see elephants, waterbucks, Uganda Kobs and crocodiles.
This is also a zone of many bird species like Goliath heron, Egyptian goose, pelican bee-eater, kingfisher, hornbill, cormorant and the rare shoebill stork. There you leave the boat and start your – quite heavy – hike to the Top of the Falls (approx. 1 hour). See where the world’s longest river explodes violently through a narrow cleft in the Rift Valley escarpment to plunge into a frothing pool 43m below. Your driver/guide will be waiting for you to bring you back to the lodge. Meal plan: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner at Murchison River Lodge, Heritage Safari Lodge|,Fort Murchison
Day 3: Murchison Falls – Kibale
All day drive south via Hoima to Fort Portal through verdant countryside and past traditional homesteads and farms along Albertine Rift escarpments. Fort-Portal rests in the shadow of the fabled Mountains of the Moon Meals and overnight at: Mountains of the Moon| Fort Motel
Budget/Low facilities: Chimpanzee Guest House| Nest| Kibale Forest Camp
Day 4: Kibale Chimpanzee Trekking &Bigodi Walk
After early breakfast, report at Kanyanchu Tourist Centre where tourist activities begin and set out to track chimpanzee in the forest. Chances of viewing the chimps are over 90% but not a guarantee. Kibale National Park is one of the beautiful and stunning forests in the Uganda. It is home to our closest living relatives the endangered Chimpanzee, the threatened Red colobus monkey and the rare L’Hoest’s monkey. The forest also boasts of having one of the highest diversity and density of primates in Africa totaling 13 species including the Black and white colobus, Blue monkey, Grey-cheeked mangabey, Red tailed monkey and Bush babies and Pottos.
After lunch visit Bigodi Wetland Sanctuary from where you will take on a guided walk around the Swamp which will provide you with the opportunity to see a wide range of flora and fauna. View a variety of butterflies, birds and other insects. Have a tour of the crater region around Ndali lodge. You may also stop over at any tea plantation along the road if you wish. Return to your accommodation for dinner and overnight.
Have an evening tour of the crater region, visit “top of the world”, the natural bridge. On a clear day you will be able to have a view of the snow cap on the Rwenzori. Meals and overnight at Fort Motel, Chimpanzee Guest House, Kibale Forest Camp
Rwenzori hike through the southern kilembe Route
Day 5 – Stage 1: Sine Hut (2,585 m)
On day number one, you are supposed to start the trekking either sleeping the day before at White ouse , which is actually considered the camp base. Today you will walk through the mountain forest zone, where you might have encounters with species of monkeys like the colobus monkeys and the blue monkeys, then birds like the RwenzoriTuraco. Before reaching Sine Hut, the arrival point of the day at 2.585 meters altitude, you stop over at Enock’sFalls, a beautiful scenery. The Sine Hut is located between forest trees. You will be served the dinner and spend the night.
Day 6 – Stage 2: From Sine Hut to Kalalama Camp (3.147m) to Mutinda Camp (3.688 m)
After breakfast, trekking starts at 8.30 Am and you soon enter the bamboo-mimulopsis zone, which is steep climb with many high steps. After about 1.8 kilometers you reach Kalalama Camp (3.147 meters), which is located in the heather –rapanea zone. Here you will have a rest and a cup of tea.
From this point you proceed along the heather zone, passing by several streams and even waterfalls, all covered by the typical green moss vegetation. You will see a lot of Giant Heather trees, sometimes in a misty atmosphere. The arrival point of the day is Mutinda Camp, at 3.688 m named after the Mutinda Peaks. From this point, you can climb further to Mutinda Lookout, 3.925 m, about one hour and half walk plus one hour to descend back to the camp. The place is worth a visit as you stand on moss covered rocks with views across the Rwenzori Mountains, down to Kasese town and Lake George
Day 7 – Stage 3: From Mutinda Camp to Bugata Camp (4.062 m)
The trail from Mutinda Camp is a bit boggy, with the typical wet vegetation and tussocks. You entered the Alpine vegetation zone, with the presence of the giant lobelias (Lobelliagibberoa), the groundsel (Senecioadnivalis) and the everlasting flowers as you cross the Mutinda valley. You later climb a steep section up to Namusangi Valley (3.840 m), from where you will enjoy the best view of the Mutinda Peaks. Along the Namusangi Valley you cross various bogs as you climb to Bugata Camp at 4.062 m, the arrival point of the day. You will have a view of the Weisman’s Peak of Mount Luigi of Savoy, often covered by the snow. The vegetation area is covered with tussock grass, everlasting flowers, giant groundsel and giant lobelia. From the nearby Plozza Rock you will get fantastic views of nine lakes down the valley and Lake Nusuranja. Bugata Camp has good facilities with solar lights, eco-toilets and bathroom. You have dinner and spend the night.
Day 8 – Stage 4: From Bugata Camp to Butawu Camp (3.974 m)
After breakfast you will start your hike to climb up Bamwanjara Pass, the trail climbs steadily with several long flat bogs. As you climb you look back to see the glacial lakes far down in the valley. On reaching the top of Banwamjara Pass (4.450n) you get excellent views of all the main snow capped peaks where we have a small shelter for you to rest and enjoy the scenery. The walk down to Kacholpe Lakes is steep and often very muddy but offers fantastic views of Kachope Lakes and McConnell’s Prong. Butawu Camp (3,974m) is the arrival point of the day. The Camp is set on a ridge high above Butawu River which flows down from Scott Elliott Pass through Kitandara Lakes and has excellent views of the snow capped Mt Baker. Today trekking is about 6.2 kilometers.
Day 9 – Stage 5: From Butawu Camp to Margherita Camp (4,485 m.)
Walk back along the ridge before crossing several wet areas and small rivers coming from Mt Baker and Freshfields Pass to join Butawu River. The walk up Scott Elliott Pass is enjoyable as you climb through the pass and up the ridge of Mt Stanley to Margherita Camp at 4,485 meters which is below Elena Hut. It is sheltered with a ring of high rocks and it is the original camp used by the Italian Prince Luigi Amadeo di Savoia, Duke of the Abruzzi. From here you have great views of Mt Baker, Scott Elliot Pass and some of the high glaciers on Mt Stanley. Note: The days hike is 4.2 kilometers.
Day 10– Stage 6: From Margherita Camp to Margherita Peak (5.109 m) down Butawu Camp (3.974 m)
Today you have the final ascent to Margherita Peak of Mount Stanley. You wake up at 4.30 am, have a quick snack before starting the trekking, so that you arrive in the Stanley glacier before sunrise. The climb up Margherita glacier is steep and requires that you are fit. On getting near to the top of the glacier you then climb around an exposed section of rock, which is also bolted and roped, to get on the ridge running up to the top of Margherita Peak (5.109 m). After reaching the summit you then descend directly to Butawu Camp.
Today distance covers 3.5 kilometers to the peak then 3.5 kilometers return to Margherita Camp plus 4.2 kilometers down to Butawu Camp. Total day distance is 11.2 kilometers.
Day 11 – Stage 7: From Butawu Camp to Bugata Camp
A late breakfast and then you will start the climb up Bamwanjara Pass which is steep and in wet weather can be rather boggy making it slow going and tiresome. While crossing the pass you get the chance to see hyrax sitting at the entrance to their rock shelter warming in the sun. Their main predator is the Rwenzori leopard, which is rarely seen, but occasionally people do get a glimpse. The leopard has been heavily poached for its skin in the past and there are few left. However on a rare occasion on a misty or overcast day, you may be lucky to see one briefly as they move between the rocks. Dinner and overnight at Bugata Camp.
Day 12– Stage 8: Descend to Kiharo Camp (3,460 m.)
Early morning set off around Lake Bugata and the outlet of Kopello Lake then climb 200 metres to the confluence of the two valleys. As you descend down the upper areas of the Nyamwamba Valley there is a large area of thick Giant Groundsel with dense evergreen undergrowth and moss with the rocky peaks towering above. As you descend the valley you will notice the terrain is made up of several flat boggy areas where millions of years ago glaciers sat and melted leaving a wall of big rocks in front of where it lay. The valley is home to many Red Forest Duiker (Cephalophucnigrifronsrubidus). Overnight stay in Kiharo Camp at 3,460 metres. At night the air is filled with the calls of the rock hyrax as they sit in the rocky cliffs high above.
Day 13 – Stage 9: Descend back to the Ranger post
Wake up to the shrill calls of the Ruwenzori Turaco (Ruwenzorornisjohnstoni) and other birds. After breakfast you walk down the valley which is home to many species of birds that dive in and out the thick vegetation. Chameleons are a common sight as they crawl along the branches of the thick vegetation feeding on insects. In the clear areas you may catch a glimpse of a Duiker quietly feeding surrounded by Giant Lobellias and a variety of flowering plants. After descending a few kilometers, you climb two hundred metres height to a ridge overlooking the valley, before crossing several small valleys and streams to Kyalavula. Walk back to the Base Camp and then an over nigt in kasese town
Day : 14 Queen Elizabeth Park
The day begins early with a cup of coffee set for an early morning game drive along Kasenyi and Queens Mile makes visitors encounter excellent opportunities to see Lions, Leopards, Giant Forest Hogs, Cape Buffaloes, Elephants, Defassa Waterbucks, Uganda Kobs, Topi and Bush bucks and many more. Return to the lodge for breakfast and lunch, after lunch enjoy the boat cruise along the Kazinga Channel, a natural channel between Lake Edward and Lake George with abundant bird life will be sighted, elephants, buffaloes and hundreds of hippos that are cooling off at the shores and this launch cruise will be one of the highlights of your Uganda wildlife safari to Queen Elizabeth. Dinner and over night at Enganzi Safari Lodge |Kasenyi Safari Lodge |Ihamba Wild Track Safari Lodge|Simba Safari
Day 15:Queen Elizabeth NP – Lake Mburo
With previous day’s memories, enjoy your breakfast ready for guided Chimpanzee/primate walk along Kyambura Gorge to look for habituated chimps through the gorge. After primate walk, proceed to Lake Mburo National park. Make a stopover at Igongo Cultural village to explore and learn the Bahima and Ankole culture time permitting. This park is an extension of the Tanzanian Plains. Lake Mburo National park is renowned for zebras, impalas, buffaloes, hippos, topi and elands including the rare shoebill, crested crane, pelicans, fish eagle, heron and many water birds. Meals and over night at: Lake Mburo Safari Lodge |Acadia Cottages
Day 16: lake mburo-Bwindi gorilla tracking
After your early morning breakfast, drive to bwindi Today is for a drive in to South western After your early morning breakfast After your early morning breakfast in to Bwindi via Queen Elizabeth National Park and here you may spot many wildlife including Elephants, Buffaloes, among others. An opportunity to enter the southern section of Ishasha for the tree climbing lions. Continue to your lodge for overnight stay and dinner Meal plan:
Day 17: Gorilla Tracking in Bwindi Forest
Begin the day with breakfast ready for trekking, which begins at 8:00 a.m. with a briefing from the UWA staff on how to behave with these endangered mountain Gorillas. Ensure to carry along with you rain jacket, drinking water, snacks, jungle boots etc The guides will lead you inside the beautiful ecosystem to see the shy Primates for a group you have been booked for. Do not forget to take your lunch boxes and all the necessary gear to track the rare Mountain Gorilla, perhaps one of the most exciting wildlife experiences on earth. The tracking may take between 2 and 6 hours but it’s well worth the effort. After lunch, drive to lake Bunyonyi for an evening boat drive and have an overnight at Bunyonyi over land resorts or Birdnest camp
Day 18: Lake Bunyonyi-Kampala/ Entebbe airport
After breakfast at the hotel, you will check out and then transfer back to Kampala with a stopover for lunch in Mbarara. The guide will drop you at your hotel in Kampala/Entebbe or at the airport for your late flight back home.
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Vacation Style Holiday Type
Activity Level Challenging