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Scheduled safari

Best of Uganda – 7 Night Safari

“Trek for Gorillas & Chimps on this safari!“

Price $3945 USD
Country
Uganda
Duration
7 Nights
Safari Type
Lodge
Kids Min Age
16

7 Nights experiencing the best that Uganda has to offer! This tour is the 2 nights extension of the Gorilla Express Safari and takes you on an unforgettable journey visiting Uganda’s highlights!

The two-night extended version of the popular Gorilla Express Safari, this safari give you more game viewing opportunity in Queen Elizabeth National Park and a Chimpanzee trek! An action & activity packed 8 nights in Uganda!

This safari starts with a night in Entebbe to relax and recover from international flights and connections. The following day you will then fly to Bwindi where you will spend the following 3 nights in the luxury Buhoma Lodge. From here you have the opportunity to track Mountain Gorillas (twice if you want!) and experience other fascinating activities in the area. There are optional community walks, forest walks and birding in the region (many special and endemic birds occur here!).

On day 5 the group will then travel by customized vehicle to Queen Elizabeth National Park, allowing time to visit the local Ishaha Community project en-route. Spending the next 2 nights in the luxury tented camp Ishasha Wilderness Lodge, you will explore the famous Ishasha wilderness sector of Queen Elizabeth National Park on game drive activities. The area is well known for its local lions who like to climb and sleep in trees, so keen an eye out!

On day 7 head out on a morning game drive followed by an afternoon boat cruise on the wildlife filled Kazinga Channel in the north of the park! Animals tend to concentrate along the edge of the channel so game viewing and photographic opportunities are plentiful! The following day you have an amazing Chimpanzee trekking experience in the Kyambura Gorge!

On this hosted FLY IN safari is included domestic flights to save those long journeys by vehicle. Luxury accommodation, friendly hosts, professional guides and custom made safari vehicles promise to make this the Uganda trip of a lifetime!

For those wanting to stay longer, it is possible to add an additional 2 nights at Primate Lodge in Kibale for more Chimpanzee Action!

View the shorter Gorilla Express – 5 Night Safari here.

Safari Rating

adventure
wilderness
wildlife
comfort
photographic
guiding

highlights

  • Includes domestic flights to reduce long journeys by vehicle!
  • Luxury accommodation, friendly hosts & professional guides!
  • Enough time for 2 Mountain Gorilla trekking experiences!
  • Game drives in the famous Ishasha sector of Queen Elizabeth National Park!
  • Community visits and cultural experiences!
  • Chance to see the famous tree climbing lions in Ishasha!
  • Track Chimpanzee’s in Kyambura Gorge!
  • Boat cruise on the wildlife filled Kazinga Channel!

map and overview

Day 1: Airport transfer Entebbe – overnight Hotel No.5 or similar

Day 2: Transfer to the airport for your flight to Bwindi – overnight at Buhoma Lodge. Optional forest walk/ cultural visit

Day 3: Gorilla trekking. Overnight Buhoma Lodge.                                                               ** Please note that days 3 and 4 are interchangeable depending on when we can secure trekking permits **

Day 4: Day at leisure. Optional extra second gorilla trek/ community walk/forest walk/birding. Overnight Buhoma Lodge. ** Note optional extra activities are for your own additional cost **

Day 5: Drive to Ishasha sector of Queen Elizabeth National Park – visit the Ishasha Communitiy Project.  Overnight Ishasha Wilderness Camp 

Day 6: Game viewing in QENP.  Sundowners with drinks/ snacks included. Overnight Ishasha Wilderness camp

Day 7: Game drive and boat cruise on Kazinga Channel. Overnight Mweya Lodge or similar

Day 8: Chimpanzee trekking at Kyambura.  Return to Entebbe by air. Please do not book a flight out of Entebbe before 19h00

start dates

2020 Scheduled Dates:

3 January 2020 - 10 January 2020
24 January 2020 - 31 January 2020
13 February 2020 - 20 February 2020
22 February 2020 - 29 February 2020
7 March 2020 - 14 March 2020
19 March 2020 - 26 March 2020
10 April 2020 - 17 April 2020
24 April 2020 - 1 May 2020
18 May 2020 - 25 May 2020
4 June 2020 - 11 June 2020
12 June 2020 - 19 June 2020
18 June 2020 - 25 June 2020
15 July 2020 - 22 July 2020
23 July 2020 - 30 July 2020
7 August 2020 - 14 August 2020
21 August 2020 - 28 August 2020
18 September 2020 - 25 September 2020
24 September 2020 - 1 October 2020
16 October 2020 - 23 October 2020
11 November 2020 - 18 November 2020
24 December 2020 - 31 December 2020

detailed itinerary

Day One

On arrival at Entebbe International Airport you will be met by a representative and transferred to Hotel No 5.

Set on the shores of Lake Victoria, Entebbe is a small town that is easy to explore on foot or local boda bodas (motorbike taxis).  Explore the markets, hunt for souvenirs or crafts, meander through the Botanical Gardens or enjoy a boat cruise on Lake Victoria. You’ll find a wide variety of restaurants, bars and clubs where you can sample the local beer, catch a game of football and meet the friendly locals.      

Nestled in the leafy suburbs of Entebbe, Hotel No.5 is a stylish boutique hotel. With all luxurious rooms opening onto the garden and swimming pool, this is a great option for guests looking for an intimate stay in a tranquil setting. Make yourself at home – unwind beside the swimming pool, pamper yourself with a spa treatment, or work up a sweat in the hotel gym.  Attention to detail, outstanding dining and an attentive guest experience are synonymous with Hotel No 5.

Day Two

Transfer after breakfast to the airport for your scenic light aircraft charter flight to Kihihi airstrip. A roughly 90 minute drive through local villages and along mountain roads brings you to Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, a World Heritage site.

Bwindi is one of the richest ecosystems in East Africa and home to over 120 mammals, 345 species of birds, 200 species of butterflies and 160 species of trees. The park contains an estimated one half of the world’s population of the endangered Mountain Gorilla, making it an extremely valuable conservation site.  

Set within the National Park, just steps away from the Gorilla Trekking headquarters, Buhoma Lodge offers cosy accommodation in wooden chalets with uninterrupted views of the pristine rain forest. Well loved for its warm welcome and attentive service, Buhoma is an eco friendly lodge operating on solar power, constructed using sustainable local materials. Each of the ten wooden chalets offers a private verandah and enchanting forest views.

Awaken to chattering forest birds, and watch out for the occasional mountain gorilla that has ventured right in to visit the lodge.

Day Three

It’s up early today as one of the most humbling and enthralling wildlife experiences imaginable awaits your discovery. Coming face to face with an endangered mountain gorilla is something words cannot aptly describe. Please note that gorilla trekking is strenuous with treks ranging from 45 mins up to eight hours, at high altitudes in hot African conditions. The thrill of the hour you spend quietly observing these gentle giants once you find them is well worth the hike to get there! Although mountain gorillas are wild animals and it should be noted that sightings cannot be guaranteed, viewing success rates are well over 95%.    

Head back to Buhoma Lodge for a complimentary massage after your trek, or explore the surrounding Bwindi community.

Day Four

Those with pre-purchased permits will depart for a second gorilla tracking experience. Guests not tracking have the day free to explore the Bwindi area – optional activities include forest walks, a visit to a local school/orphanage/hospital or Batwa pygmy village, and some local curio shopping.

 

Day Five

Continue this morning onto southern Queen Elizabeth National Park (a 2-3 hour drive), with a brief stop enroute at the Ishasha Community Uplift project.

Immerse yourself in Agartha’s ‘Taste of Uganda’tour – it’s a fun, educational experience for the inquisitive visitor who wonders how a rural Ugandan lady lives. Watch how the local crops are transformed into local staples such as millet porridge and kalo bread. It’s a fascinating interactive experience.

Located in the western arm of the Great Rift Valley, the park is home to a wide variety of wildlife including elephants, leopard, lions, hippos, buffalo, Uganda kob, baboon, and many species of birds.  The southern Ishasha area includes the massive Maramagambo, one of the largest surviving natural forests in Uganda, and is home to the tree climbing lions typically found in the area.  

Enjoy afternoon game drives, looking out for the huge herds of buffalo, elephant and Uganda kob.

Day Six

Spend the day enjoying game drives in the Ishasha sector of Queen Elizabeth National Park, rounding things off with scenic bush sundowners including drinks and snacks. This is what memories are made of!

Day Seven

Head north toward the ‘Mweya’ sector of the park to enjoy a leisurely boat cruise along the Kazinga Channel, a 32-kilometre long natural channel linking Lake Edward and Lake George.  Kazinga’s shores are dotted with herds of lazy buffalo, pods of hippos wallowing without a care, and countless bird species.  Drift past local fishing villages, and soak up the peaceful tranquillity of this beautiful African day.  (Cruise normally departs at 14h00, although this depends on availability when booking and is subject to change –no drinks/ snacks provided on boat)

Day Eight

Early morning start today, with the highlight being your Chimpanzee trekking in Kyambura Gorge.  

The forest is alive with noise! Chimpanzees can be quite active and may move quickly through the forest canopy… or, if you are lucky, you may find them resting or eating near the forest floors. It’s an exhilarating walk, in beautiful scenery.  As with gorilla trekking, sightings cannot be guaranteed.

After this activity, we depart to the nearby Mweya airstrip for your return flight to Entebbe. Please do not book a flight out of Entebbe before 19h00

price

8 Day Best of Uganda – guaranteed with min 2 pax 1 Jan – 31 Dec 2020
Per person sharing HIGH season USD 4450  incl flight ($500)

EBB-KHIHI-MWEYA(KAS)-EBB

Per person sharing LOW season

(April, May & Nov)

USD 3945  including flight

EBB-KHIHI-MWEYA(KAS)-EBB

Single room supplement USD 810 high season

USD 610 low season

Gorilla permits excluded USD 600 per permit     USD 700 from Jul 2020
Chimp permits excluded USD 50 Kyambura
Christmas Supplement On application
Optional Extras
Guided Forest walk & Park Fee Bwindi USD 70
Community Visit Buhoma USD 30
2nd Gorilla permit inc trek transfer/purchase fee USD 670 per permit     USD 770 from Jul 2020
Batwa (Pygmies) Community Visit USD 85


PACKAGE INCLUDES:

  • Meet & greet at Entebbe airport
  • Airport transfers throughout
  • 1 night accommodation at Hotel No.5 or similar including breakfast
  • Return domestic flights from Entebbe to Kihihi/ Mweya on a scheduled flight (light aircraft)
  • 4×4 transport with English speaking local driver/guide as above
  • Bottled water in safari vehicle
  • 3 nights accommodation at Buhoma Lodge including all meals and local drinks
  • Community visit en route from Bwindi to Ishasha
  • 2 nights accommodation at Ishasha Wilderness Camp including all meals and local drinks
  • 1 night accommodation at Mweya Safari Lodge including all meals (no drinks)
  • All park entrance fees
  • Boat cruise on the Kazinga Channel
  • Game drives in Queen Elizabeth National Park
  • Full liability insurance cover
  • 24 hour emergency contact

PACKAGE EXCLUDES:

  • Gorilla Permit of USD600 per trek Bwindi (Permit price to increase to USD 700 from Jul 2020)
  • Kyambura chimpanzee permits USD 50 each
  • All international flights and airport taxes
  • Personal expenses such as porters, drinks, tips, visas and travel insurance
  • Services/activities/meals not included above

Please note – two gorilla trekking options are available on this itinerary. Please specify your permit requirements at time of booking.

GORILLA TREKKING AREAS & PERMIT ALLOCATIONS

On our scheduled departures, we typically buy permits for Buhoma & Ruhija, which are accessible from Buhoma area.  One of the Buhoma families, and the Ruhija families, require a road transfer to the start point.  This does not deviate from the enjoyment of the trek (and could be considered as enhancing your trip as you are seeing a different part of the region).  Furthermore, your permit may be organised for day 3, or 4, of your safari.  It will depend on availability at the time of purchase.

additional information

POPULAR TRIP EXTENSIONS:

MURCHISON FALLS: River Nile, game drives, chimpanzee trekking, fishing, bird-watching.  Suggested add on 3-4 nights.

KIBALE: Chimpanzees and other primates, forest walks, crater lakes.  Suggested add on 2 nights.

JINJA: Source of the Nile, adventure activities including white water rafting and quad biking. Suggested add on 2-3 nights. Perfect for active travellers seeking an adrenaline fix!

ENTEBBE: City life and local craft shopping, boat cruises or fishing on Lake Victoria, Botanical Gardens, Uganda Wild Life Education Centre/ Ngamba Island.

We offer 6, 8 and 10 day small group set departures.  

HEALTH REQUIREMENTS: 

Yellow fever inoculation is compulsory & malaria prophylactics are recommended. For gorilla trekking it is imperative that you are healthy and free of any disease or virus – officials do have the right to refuse entry if you are found to have or show any signs of communicable illnesses.  Should you opt to spend time participating in any UWEC Wildlife Integration programme, you may require additional inoculations and health clearances.  

VISA REQUIREMENTS: 

Most nationalities require a visa to enter Uganda. All visitors who require a visa should apply through the online application system prior to arrival at https://visas.immigration.go.ug.  Cost is USD 50,single entry.  Passports must be valid for a minimum of 6 months after return date of travel, or 12 months in the case of UK nationals, and have at least 3 blank pages in it.  The newly established EAC Visa allows entry into Uganda, Rwanda and Kenya for one fee of USD100 – handy if you are visiting all three regions.

TRAVEL INSURANCE: Is compulsory.

 

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