Day 1: Arrival Entebbe. Upon arrival at Entebbe Airport on the shores of Lake Victoria, you are met by your trip leader or representative and driven a short distance to the Hotel Lake Victoria, your lodging for the first night in Uganda. The Hotel, completely refurbished, is surrounded by, pleasant gardens and a pool. It is a four star hotel with 99 rooms. Depending on the time of your arrival, you can visit the botanical gardens and the Uganda Wildlife Education Center (formerly the zoo). Overnight Hotel Lake Victoria, Entebbe.
Day 2: Entebbe - Kibale (approximately 7 hours drive). After breakfast, you begin the day with a drive west toward Fort Portal to the Kibale Forest National Park. Traveling on both asphalt and unpaved roads, you pass through traditional Ugandan Villages where you see people at work tending their traditional crops of millet, sorghum, beans and maize.
The lush rolling hills of this region provide good "photo opportunities" and keep your eyes open for birds such as the beautiful Black-headed Gonolek, Fan-tailed Widowbird, Double-Toothed Barbet, Long-Crested Eagle and some of the numerous Sunbirds and Weaver birds that perch on the fence rows and power lines near the road, as you approach Fort Portal in the foothills of the Rwenzori Mountains, you enter Uganda's famous tea plantation region.
A carpet of green spreads before you, as far as the eye can see, and seems an unusual contrast to the countryside through which you have just passed. You arrive at Fort Portal, then, continue toward Kibale Forest One of the Great African rainforest research reserves. Years of study by scientists (who have cut a grid through the forest) have habituated many of its animals to human observers. This forest is famed for the variety of primates found here and it is a terrific area for birds. Includes: (B), (L), (D). Overnight Ndali Lodge/Chimp's Nest Lodge.
Day 3: Kibale Chimpanzee Trek - Queen Elizabeth National Park (approximately 3 hours drive). Today you take forest and swamp walks to see the rain forest and view primates including chimpanzees and birds. Walking is not difficult, paths have been made in the forest and all walks are with excellent local guides. Later in the afternoon 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). Overnight Mweya lodge.
Day 4: 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. This area is excellent for birders and you expect to see species ranging in size from the tiny and brilliant Malachite Kingfisher to the Giant Goliath Heron.
You leave the water and re-unite with your drivers to explore the park in a more traditional manner. 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. Birding Waterbuck, Bushbuck, Cape buffalo, 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 us. Includes: (B), (L), (D). Overnight Mweya Lodge.
Day 5: Queen Elizabeth National Park - Entebbe. This morning you will drive to the Kasenyi area of the park for the last game drive in search of the game that could have eluded you. Travel back passing through Mbarara, where you will have lunch, stop over at the equator and the at Mpigi royal drum makers, Kampala shopping and then transfer to Entebbe airport for your flight out. Your flight should be late in the evening. Otherwise an extra night can be arranged in Entebbe. Includes: (B), (L).
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