Day 1: Arrival/Kampala. Arrive at the Entebbe Airport, met by your guide and transfer to Kampala for your first night. You will be briefed on your Safari later in the day. Overnight Cassia Lodge. Includes: (B).
Day 2: Kampala Tour. Early morning breakfast, visit the Kasubi Tombs, these are the traditional royal tombs for the Kabaka's of Buganda situated a few kilometers away from the city center. These tombs of impressive ancient architecture are a very important symbol for the Baganda. The big round hut is where 4 of the 37 kings of Buganda were buried. Proceed to the Wamala tombs. This is a place of ritual and ceremony involving the dead king's (Suuna11) umbilical cord, jawbone and other magical objects. The Baganda traditional dancers will be at hand to entertain you. In the afternoon, return to Kampala, lunch, then visit the Uganda Museum that showcases many traditional artifacts including historical musical instruments, Owino market, national theater and then end your day with a visit to Owino market. Includes: (B).
Day 3: Kampala / Jinja (Approximately 2 hours). Get up early, breakfast and then drive East to Jinja, the land of the Basoga tribe. On your way, you will visit another cultural site of the Baganda people. This is the beautiful Sezibwa falls, used by the Kabakas for traditional healing. A witch doctor lives on the site and Ugandans from all over the country come and visit the site regularly. Drive through the Mabira forest to Jinja. After lunch you will visit the source of the River Nile. Includes: (B).
Day 4: Jinja. After breakfast, visit the fascinating Bujagali falls, where you will meet the magical "Spirit Healer" whose remarkable abilities have made him a legend. Later visit a local fishing village. Return to your hotel for Lunch. In the afternoon, visit the local villages and experience first hand how the Basoga live, you will be entertained by the Basoga dancers, retire to your hotel. Includes: (B).
Day 5: Jinja / Kampala / Kibale (Approximately 8 hours). This morning you will embark on wilderness tour. Drive back to Kampala, then Westward to Kibale Forest National Park having lunch en route for Chimpanzee trekking. The route slowly ascends from the Lake Victoria basin into the lush rolling foothills of The Rwenzori Mountains (famous Mountains of the Moon). The road passes through villages and farmland where every imaginable tropical fruit and vegetable of the tropics can be seen growing. Birding is excellent as the road passes through the rainforest regions, agricultural land, papyrus swamps and scrubland before reaching the famous tea growing area around Fort Portal and Kyenjojo. Pass through Tea Plantations into Kibale Forest and to the camp. Afternoon tea and then off to the swamp for the guided nature walk. The swamp is managed by the Kibale Association for Rural and Environmental organization formed in 1992 with the aim of achieving social and economic development for the local communities. Includes: (B), (L), (D).
Day 6: Kibale Forest National Park. Today you spend the morning hiking through the dense overgrowth of the Kibale Forest in search of primates, both greater and lesser. The forest has well marked trails that make it easily accessible. Kibale is inhabited by three large communities of habituated Chimpanzees. Typically you will locate the chimps by listening for their pant-hooting calls, then observe them as they feed in the trees, lounge or hunt (this is usually an adrenaline-filled moment!). Chimps move quickly through the bushy canopy hunting colobus monkeys and bush babies, and will occasionally capture ground dwellers such as small duikers or dik-dik. Though they feed primarily on figs and other fruits, they are effective hunters. Expert national park guides will accompany you and will reveal some of the botanical secrets of the forest. The afternoon will be set-aside for a visit to the local Women group that specializes in basket weaving. Later in the evening around the campfire, you will get to enjoy the traditional Runyege dancers. Includes: (B), (L), (D).
Day 7: Kibale / Queen Elizabeth National Park (Approximately 3 - 4 hours). After an early morning breakfast, you will say goodbye to Kibale and return to Fort Portal. This rural Ugandan town is locally famous for its weaving and basketry, and we stop briefly to examine some of this local art. Leaving Fort Portal town, you turn south and early this afternoon enter Queen Elizabeth National Park, which is dominated on its northern border by the snow-capped 16,000-foot Rwenzori Mountains-the famed "Mountains of the Moon". This 767-square-mile conservation area is bordered on the North East by Lake George and on the South West by Lake Edward; its western border adjoins the Zaire Parc Du Virunga. You will expect to see teeming herds of impala-like Uganda Kob, as well as topi, elephant and lion, giant forest hog, Cape buffalo. There are also several soda lakes filling ancient volcanic calderas where flamingos reside seasonally. Includes: (B), (L), (D).
Day 8: Queen Elizabeth National Park. Today's exploration of Queen Elizabeth National Park begins with an early morning launch trip on the Kazinga Channel. This fresh water system, joining Lake Edward and Lake George, boasts of the highest concentration of Nile Hippos in the world. In addition to these semi-aquatic mammals, the launch affords unique opportunities to view other mammals, and birds as they come to the waters edge to drink or bathe. Expect to see Waterbuck, Bushbuck, CapeBuffalo, Hartebeest, Giant Forest Hog, Warthog, Elephant, and potentially Leopard and Lion. The scenic beauty of the park is a perfect backdrop for the wildlife drama that takes place before you. Includes: (B), (L), (D).
Day 9: Queen Elizabeth / Bwindi Impenetrable Forest (Approximately 5 hours). You are up early this morning for a final game drive in Queen Elizabeth National Park, hoping to catch a glimpse of the more elusive wildlife of this lovely sanctuary. You then drive through Ishasha area of the park hoping to see the famous tree climbing lions (weather permitting) and then through the scenic area known as the "Switzerland" of East Africa, to the Bwindi Impenetrable National Park for your gorilla treks. In the evening you will visit to the Batwa pygmy community. The history of Bwindi is inextricably linked to the pygmies as they formerly lived within its boundaries. Get to learn more about their way of life, as you get entertained to their traditional dance and music. Includes: (B), (L), (D).
Day 10: Gorilla Trekking (Can take anything between 1 to 9 hours). This day will be for gorilla tracking. You will rise early and after breakfast, be driven to a point in the park where your hike will begin. Well- trained guides lead you to a point where the gorillas were encountered the day before. The hike duration is determined by the gorillas whose continuous search for food requires a nomadic lifestyle. The trek can take from 1-9 hours at altitudes in excess of 7,500ft and over rough and steep terrain. Although the hike is physically demanding, the beauty of the forest and its inhabitants make your experience extremely interesting. Upon encountering the gorillas, your fatigue is quickly forgotten.
The gorillas are not tame, but they have been scientifically habituated to accept the presence of quiet and non-threatening observers. Each strictly regulated 60- minutes visit passes all too quickly, and you must depart, leaving the gorillas to their fragile existence. You will take a packed lunch and water for your meal and picnic in the forest. Porters are available at the park headquarters to help you carry. Return to your accommodation at the edge of the park. (NB: We cannot guarantee seeing gorillas). Includes: (B), (L), (D).
Day 11: Lake Bunyonyi. Proceed through the scenic Little Switzerland to the edge of Lake Bunyonyi one of the Crater Lakes. You arrive for your picnic lunch the take a canoe ride exploring some of the most beautiful Islands on the Lake, overnight Bushara Island Camp Family cottage. Includes (B), (L), (D).
Day 12: All day at Lake Bunyonyi. Maybe visit local fishing villages. Includes (B), (L), (D).
Day 13: Nshenyi Village. Morning transfer through Ntungamo before heading into the Ankole Area famous for the Long Horned Cattle. Continue to the Nshenyi Village, overnight Farm. Includes (B), (L), (D).
Day 14: Visit village activities; Cow milking, ghee making or visit to the local school.
Day 15: Nshenyi/ Lake Mburo National Park. After breakfast depart for Lake Mburo National Park. En route, you will pass through Uganda's Ankole 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 beasts 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. We continue to Lake Mburo National Park, a small park surrounding a lovely system of lakes and papyrus swamps. Mburo 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.
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. Nile Hippo and Crocodile are also fairly common in the park. Later in the evening you will visit a typical Ankole homestead and watch how women here process their milk locally. Includes: (B), (L), (D).
Day 16: Lake Mburo /Kampala (Approximately 4 hours drive). View game as you leave the camp for Kampala, pass through the town of Masaka near the shores of Lake Victoria, then continue through huge papyrus swamps, fragmented rainforest, with a stop at the equator and Mpigi Royal drum makers and witness how drums have been made in Uganda 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. Check into your hotel, later in the afternoon, you will climax your adventure by visiting the famous Ndere Troupe at their cultural village and get entertained to their repertoire. You will get to see all the different dances of most of the Ugandan tribes. Includes: (B), (L).
Day 17: Kampala/ Entebbe: Breakfast, drive to Entebbe Airport for your departure flight. (Your flight should be late in the afternoon or in the evening otherwise, another night can be arranged in Entebbe). Includes: (B).
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