Day 1: Entebbe/Lake Mburo (Approximately 5 hours drive). Arrive at the newly refurbished Entebbe airport, met by your guide and representative, quick briefing on your safari, then drive to Lake Mburo National Park in Mbarara District where the people keep massively horned cattle, which have been bred in this region for centuries and are used as an indicator of personal wealth. The horns of these domestic animals may measure well in excess of four feet each. Small children tend their herds, making sure that the cattle don’t invade the fertile fields and banana plantations that dot the countryside. Lake Mburo National Park, a small park surrounding a lovely system of lakes and papyrus swamps, offers perhaps the best opportunities in Uganda to see birds associated with acacia woodlands, such as the Bare-faced Go-away Bird, Black-bellied Bustard, Black-headed Gonolek, Grey Hornbill and Cinnamon-chested Bee-eater and the African Fin foot.
The only large predators here are Spotted Hyena and Leopard, but the park is home to a large variety of ungulate species, including African Buffalo, Topi, Uganda Kob, Oribi, Reedbuck, Klipspringer, Defassa Waterbuck, Common Zebra and Eland. This is the only place in Uganda where Impala are found. Take an afternoon boat ride, to catch a glimpse of water birds diving for fish, Nile Hippo and Crocodile. Overnight Mihingo Lodge / Mantana permanent tented camp. Includes: (L), (D).
Day 2: Lake Mburo/Bwindi (Approximately 7 hours’ drive). Early morning swamp walk, game drive on your way out heading southwest to Bwindi, passing through Kabale, on both sealed and dirt roads, winding up and down high forested hills and deep farmed valleys the area often described as the “Switzerland of East Africa”. For the next 3 nights you overnight Gorilla forest Camp / Engagi Lodge. Includes: (B), (L), (D).
Day 3: Bwindi/Gorilla Tracking (can take from as little as 1 hour to 9 hours). The Impenetrable Forest of Bwindi National Park is certainly aptly named. On its steep slopes and in the deep valleys, the largest of the primates has managed to escape extinction. Report at the park office at 7.30am for the gorilla tracking. Carry a picnic lunch and plenty of water. Cameras and plenty of fast speed film is recommended. It can rain at short notice; hence waterproof clothing is a good essential including zip lock bags for cameras and film. After being briefed on the trek, ranger guides, gorilla watchers head off the steep, trail-less slopes to search for gorillas. In addition to the gorillas, you may spot many birds, red-tailed and ground-dwelling L’Hoest’s monkeys.
Although park rangers try to keep tabs on the whereabouts of the gorillas, they are free ranging wild creatures and can be difficult to locate. Sometimes finding the gorillas can be easy, as they may have remained close to the area where they had been feeding the previous day. Sometimes they require constant tracking, which can be arduous. Some of the difficulties to be encountered can include steep, muddy slopes, stinging nettles, safari ants, and rain. The reward is an extraordinary opportunity to observe the gorillas at close range. The gorillas are not tame, but they have been scientifically habituated to accept the presence of quiet and non-threatening observers.
The park rangers will brief you on appropriate behavior. You can expect to stay with the animals for about an hour after first encountering them. However we can‘t guarantee you’ll see them but chances are 98%. If your group size is less than six members, the park rangers will add other trekkers to your group. You have no way of knowing who these trekkers will be or what physical condition they may be in, and our group will need to trek together. Should your gorilla trekking end early, rainforest walks in Bwindi can be arranged. Other wildlife you may encounter includes yellow-backed duiker and a variety of birds. Includes: (B), (L), (D).
Day 4: Bwindi/Gorilla Tracking. Second day of gorilla tracking. Includes: (B), (L), (D).
Day 5: Bwindi/Mbarara (Approximately 6-7 hours’ drive). Early morning breakfast, drive to Mbarara, the home of the long-horned Ankole cattle, visit the interesting local market, where everything is sold from a bolt of cloth to meat to fruits and vegetables. Overnight at the Rwizi Arch hotel. Includes: (B), (L), (D).
Day 6: Mbarara/ Departure (approximately 5 hours’ drive). Early breakfast, drive back to Entebbe, if time permits, stop at the Mpigi Royal drum makers and witness how the Baganda people make their drums for centuries. Long before the coming of the Europeans, the Buganda people had a highly structured society and drums were used extensively for long distance and rapid communications. Shopping in Kampala and then drop off at the airport to connect with departure flight or we can arrange another overnight. Includes: (B), (L).
Note: Your departure flight should be late in the afternoon or in the evening otherwise, another night can be arranged in Entebbe. By no means are you restricted to this itinerary. If you like a certain itinerary, we shall design it for you.
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