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Scheduled safari

Gorilla Express – 5 Night Safari

“6 day fly-in Gorilla & Wildlife Safari in Uganda”

Price $2765 USD
Country
Uganda
Duration
5 Nights
Safari Type
Lodge
Kids Min Age
16

Short and sweet, this 6-day fly-in safari allows for ample time to track Mountain Gorilla’s twice! And game viewing in the wildlife prolific Queen Elizabeth National Park!

The perfect set-departure small-group Gorilla & wildlife safari for those travellers short on time but still want to experience two highlights of 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 one night 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 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, view the extended Best of Uganda 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!

map and overview

Day 1: Entebbe – airport transfer.  Overnight Hotel No. 5 or similar.

Day 2: Transfer to the airport for your flight to Bwindi – overnight at Buhoma lodge or similar.  Optional afternoon forest walk or cultural visit may be enjoyed.

Day 3 & 4: Gorilla trekking may be done on day 3 or 4, depending on when permits are purchased.  If you would like to trek twice, enquire at time of booking – permits will need to be pre-purchased.

Optional community walk/forest walk/birding.  Overnight Buhoma.

Day 5: Travel to Queen Elizabeth National Park, allowing time to stop off at the local Ishasha Community project en route.  Afternoon game drive in QENP.  Overnight Ishasha Wilderness Camp.

Day 6: Depart to airstrip for flight to Entebbe.

This is normally an afternoon flight KIH to EBB, check when booking.  Do not book INTERNATIONAL FLIGHT BEFORE 19h00.

start dates

All 2020 Scheduled Dates Below:

3 January 2020 - 8 January 2020
24 January 2020 - 29 January 2020
13 February 2020 - 18 February 2020
22 February 2020 - 27 February 2020
7 March 2020 - 12 March 2020
19 March 2020 - 24 March 2020
10 April 2020 - 15 April 2020
24 April 2020 - 29 April 2020
18 May 2020 - 23 May 2020
4 June 2020 - 9 June 2020
12 June 2020 - 17 June 2020
18 June 2020 - 23 June 2020
15 July 2020 - 20 July 2020
23 July 2020 - 28 July 2020
7 August 2020 - 12 August 2020
21 August 2020 - 26 August 2020
18 September 2020 - 23 September 2020
24 September 2020 - 29 September 2020
16 October 2020 - 21 October 2020
11 November 2020 - 16 November 2020
24 December 2020 - 29 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 relax with 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 luxurious rooms facing 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

This morning’s flight on a light aircraft to Kihihi airstrip takes just over an hour. Transfer through local villages and along mountain roads to Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, a World Heritage site (a drive of +- 90 mins).

Considered the most diverse forest in Uganda, 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 and just steps away from the Gorilla Trekking headquarters, Buhoma Lodge offers cosy accommodation in wooden chalets with uninterrupted views of the pristine rain forest canopy. Renowned for its warm welcome and attentive service, Buhoma is an eco friendly lodge operating on solar power. Each of the ten wooden chalets has a private verandah and enormous windows, giving spectacular views over the forest. Awaken to chattering birds, and watch out for the occasional mountain gorilla that has ventured right in to visit the lodge.

Day Three: Gorilla Trekking - Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park

Few words can describe the thrill of today’s lifetime experience! Coming face to face with mountain gorillas is a rare wildlife encounter that is exhilarating, humbling and enthralling. Experienced guides and trackers will accompany your party on an early morning trek into the dense rain forest on the steep mountain slopes.  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 so worth the trek to get there! Although mountain gorillas are wild animals and sightings cannot be guaranteed, viewing success rates are over 95%.   

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

* Please note that days 3 and 4 are interchangeable depending on when we can secure gorilla permits *

Day Four

Those with additional pre-purchased permits will depart for a second gorilla trekking experience. Guests not trekking 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

Depart Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park this morning and travel to Ishasha in the southern part of Queen Elizabeth National Park (a 2-3 hour drive), with a brief stop enroute at a community project near Ishasha Village.

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.  With both a riverine and savannah habitat, 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.  Afternoon game drives will be enjoyed in the Ishasha area, looking for the huge herds of buffalo, elephant, Uganda kob and of course the famous tre-climbing lion typically found in the area.

This exclusive 10 tented camp offers the only luxury accommodation in the remote southern sector of Queen Elizabeth. Set on the banks of the Ntungwe River, the eco-friendly Ishasha Wilderness Camp is an idyllic retreat for people who truly enjoy remote wilderness. The thatched central lounge and dining area offers a comfortable area for guests to enjoy wholesome dining, although meals are often served ‘al fresco’ next to the river. The outdoor fireplace is the perfect place for guests to relax with sundowners and wind down after an exciting day’s game viewing.

Highly recommended to book in advance are the bush sundowners and the bush breakfast, both hugely memorable experiences in beautiful settings.

Day Six - End of Safari

Transfer to the airstrip for your return flight to Entebbe. Please do not book an international flight out of Entebbe before 19h00 in case of delays.

price

6 Day Gorilla Express – Guaranteed on min 2 pax 1 Jan – 31 Dec 2020
Per person sharing HIGH season USD 3000  including flights ($500) EBB-KIH-EBB
Per person sharing LOW season

(April, May & Nov)

USD 2765 including flights ($500) EBB-KIH-EBB
Single room supplement USD 620 High Season

USD 450  Low Season

Gorilla permits excluded USD 600       USD 700 from Jul 2020
Optional Extras
Forest walk & park fees Bwindi USD 70
Community Visit – Bwindi USD 30
Batwa (Pygmies) Community Visit USD 85
2nd Gorilla permit incl purchase fee & trek transfer USD 670      USD 770 from Jul 2020

 

PACKAGE INCLUDES:

  • Meet & greet services
  • Airport transfers throughout
  • Safari in a specially adapted safari vehicles with English speaking local driver/guide
  • Bottled water in safari vehicle
  • 1 night accommodation at Hotel No.5 in Entebbe including breakfast
  • Return domestic flights from Entebbe to Kihihi on a scheduled flight in a light aircraft (15 kg luggage restriction)
  • 3 nights accommodation at Buhoma Lodge in Bwindi on a full board basis
  • Community visit en route from Bwindi to Ishasha
  • 1 night luxury tented accommodation at Ishasha Wilderness Camp on a full board basis
  • Game drives in Ishasha area of Queen Elizabeth National Park
  • Full liability insurance cover and 24 hour emergency contact
  • Full board at Buhoma and Ishasha includes breakfast, lunch/packed lunch, dinner and local drinks (should a different lodge be booked, drinks are not included) 

PACKAGE EXCLUDES:

  • Gorilla Permit USD 600 per person (Permit price to increase to USD 700 from Jul 2020)
  • 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 scheduled safaris, they 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.  (Ruhija transfer is at an additional cost to be advised at time of booking) 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).  Your permit may be booked for day 3 or 4, depending on availability of permits.

additional information

OPTIONAL EXTRAS:

Guided forest walk Bwindi including park fees             Bwindi

Ishasha Community visit Bwindi                                   Bwindi

Batwa Pygmies visit                                                      Bwindi

2nd Gorilla trek including purchase fee                         Bwindi

Community project                                                      Ishasha

Bush breakfast at Ishasha                                           Ishasha

Bush sundowners at Ishasha                                        Ishasha  

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, quad biking. Suggested add on 2-3 nights.

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 for all guests.

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