Day 1: Stop at the Equator, Bwindi Impenetrable Forest. Depart from Kampala by road and head south-West to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. You will have a short stop at the Equator for an informative talk as well as a photographic opportunity. We will continue to Mbarara where were we will stop for lunch. Your drive will take you through Uganda rolling green hills through the highlands, also known as the "Switzerland of Uganda". Your road will then head even higher to where you can see the triangular peaks of the Virunga volcanoes of Rwanda and the Congo. We then drop down into a valley, to Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, home of the mountain gorilla. Tonight you will sleep to the sounds of the mountain rainforest. Dinner and overnight at up Market-Gorilla Resort or mid range - Buhoma Community Lodge or Budget-Buhoma-Community Banda (full board).
Day 2: Gorilla tracking, guided forest walk and guided community walk. Up relatively early for a hearty breakfast to give you the energy needed for gorilla tracking. Before 8:00 a.m. report to the ranger station for registration and a talk by one of the rangers, the guides will then take you through the bush pushing your way through the undergrowth, parting thick creepers, to track the gorillas (this 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). Sit in the forest among the gorillas, listening to them grumble to each other, and marvel at the sheer size of the dominant male, the silver back. It is an extraordinary feeling sitting in the dense rainforest knowing you are with a few of the last remaining mountain gorillas. It’s amazing to think there are only about 650 of these beautiful creatures left!
If you have the energy this afternoon, take a guided walk on the Munyaga River trail, which is an ideal short walk. This trail leads to three delightful crystal clear waterfalls, and there is a profusion of tree ferns, epithytic ferns, orchids and Bwindi’s colorful array of butterflies. Here you may also see birds and primates from the forest edge. Or if you have the afternoon free, how about a guided village walk – see how the Ugandans live! Dinner and overnight at up Market-Gorilla Resort or mid range - Buhoma Community Lodge or Budget-Buhoma-Community Banda (full board).
Day 3: Afternoon game drive and relax. We will depart early with our packed lunch for Queen Elizabeth National Park. We will drive through the southern sector of Queen Elizabeth known as Ishasha, famed for its tree-climbing lions. Ishasha is a remote and beautiful extension of Queen Elizabeth National Park. We will see buffalo, topi and hippo among other species. It is a fabulous sight to see the lions draped from the trees and nowhere in Africa do you stand a better chance of seeing this than in the large low-limbed fig tree of Ishasha. After checking in and having some time to relax, we will head for a late afternoon game drive. We often spot elephants, water bucks, warthogs, hippos and others. Dinner and overnight at Mweya Safari Lodge or mid range - Jacana Safari Lodge or Budget-Institute of Ecology (full board).
Day 4: Chimp trekking and boat trip. This morning we will leave for the 08:00 a.m. chimp trek in Kyambura Gorge. 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. We will return to the lodge for lunch. In the afternoon a boat trip along the Kazinga Channel gives you the opportunity to view wildlife up close: hippo’s huff and spray mere feet away from the boat, buffalo linger in the shallows. The shores of the channel are also home to an array of birds including pink backed pelicans, pied and malachite kingfishers, saddle billed stork and many others. After this wonderful afternoon, a slow drive back to lodge. Dinner and overnight at Mweya Safari Lodge or mid range - Jacana Safari Lodge or Budget-Institute of Ecology (full board).
Day 5: Gamedrive and scenic viewing. Following breakfast and a morning game drive, we will depart to Kibale Forest National Park. We will leave the park via the Northern Crater Area, with beautiful lake and rich grasslands which are set deep in the crater valley, this is truly the most breathtaking scenery in the park. We will then continue to fort portal town arriving in the late afternoon. Tonight you will sleep in Ndali Lodge or Rwenzori View guest house prior to your chimpanzee tracking in the morning. Dinner and overnight at Ndali Lodge or Rwenzori View Guest House or Kanyankyu Ecological site (full board).
Day 6: Track habituated chimps, guided nature walk. A relatively early morning start, to report to the ranger station in Kibale National Park at 08:00 a.m. 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 bush babies. 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 savanna 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.
If you have energy in the afternoon, you will go for a guided walk in Bigodi Swamp to look for different bird species like the shining blue kingfisher, blue throated roller and other rare species and also find the fruiting trees, which attract narina trogon, pied hornbill, yellow spotted, hairy breasted and yellow-billed barbets. Dinner and overnight at Ndali Lodge or Rwenzori View Guest House or Kanyankyu Ecological site (full board).
Day 7: After breakfast we will depart to Kampala arriving in the afternoon.
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