Beasts and Birds Uganda Itinerary
This is an 8 – day (7 night) itinerary. Explore Queen Elizabeth National Park to see chimpanzees, tree climbing lions, hippos and many other mammals and 606 different bird species, including the peculiar shoebill stork. Afterwards, visit Bwindi Impenetrable Forest for gorilla-sightings along with 340 species of bird to spot and a variety of butterflies.<!–– start itin loop ––>
Arrive at Entebbe International Airport (EBB). Transfer to your hotel.
You can relax or take walks on the beautiful beaches along the banks of Lake Victoria. Time permitting, visit Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary, the Uganda Wildlife Conservation Education Center and Entebbe Botanical Garden, or a sunset cruise on Lake Victoria can be arranged.
Transfer to Entebbe International Airport for your scheduled flight to Kasese. Transfer to Kyambura Lodge, Queen Elizabeth National Park.
Queen Elizabeth National Park consists of volcanic craters, grassy plains, tropical forests, giant lakes and the renowned Kyambura Gorge home to an isolated family of habituated chimpanzees. The park hosts almost 100 types of mammals and 606 different bird species, including the peculiar shoebill stork.
This morning you will track chimpanzees as they swing from the branches in the canopy high above the forest floor in their natural habitat at Kyambura Gorge. It is nothing short of exhilarating. The chimps effortlessly cross and scamper through the trees above the gorge, and visitors on the other hand must cross the river using natural bridges in order to keep up with the chimps. While the walk usually lasts only 2–3 hours, descending the steep gorge and crossing the log bridges over the river requires some agility and fitness. A permit is required.
After lunch enjoy a boat cruise on the Kazinga Channel, said to contain the world’s largest concentration of hippos. A conduit between Lake Edward and Lake George it also attracts a variety of birds and other wildlife including buffalo, the rare aquatic sitatunga antelope, waterbuck and elephants.
Queen Elizabeth National Park is considered to be one of Uganda’s most varied and most beautiful protected areas, home to two of Africa’s big cats, the majestic lion and the elusive leopard. This morning, while daylight hours are coolest that wildlife is most active, you will explore the plains.
Take a Kyambura community coffee tour. See the transformation of coffee beans into delicious Ugandan coffee all done by hand by local community members. You even get to sample the finished product. At the end of the tour, you are given the opportunity to purchase some of the cooperative’s coffee, which makes a great souvenir and supports the local community.
Travel overland from Queen Elizabeth National Park to Bwindi Impenetrable Forest.
Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, an UNESCO World Heritage Site, is said to be Africa’s oldest rainforest and is world-renowned for its excellent gorilla-sighting opportunities. The rugged landscape features dense jungle, cascading waterfalls, sparkling mountain streams, deep valleys and steep ridges. Aside from the amazing gorilla interactions, there are other drawcards such as a network of forest walks, over 340 species of bird to spot and a variety of butterflies.
Today enjoy Gorilla trekking in the Bwindi Forest.
After breakfast, head up to the park offices to attend a briefing by the Tourism Conservation and the gorilla guides. You will be briefed on how to behave in the forest while in the presence of the gorilla family. After registration, you set out with trackers, guides and porters to trek the gorilla. Once the gorilla group is located, you will be allowed an hour to stay with the gorillas before breaking off for lunch in the forest. You will be given a certificate as a reminder of this unique and incredible experience. A permit is required.
In the afternoon, take a tea plantation and processing tour. Tea has proven to be a very useful buffer crop when planted between forest areas with protected wildlife, and local human communities. The tour will demonstrate how tea is grown, picked and traditionally processed, as well as how ‘black’, ‘green’ and ‘white’ teas are produced and differentiated. You are invited to sample the fine teas at the end of the tour while looking out over the impressive forest.
Today, you can take a second gorilla trek in the Bwindi Forest or enjoy alternative activities that include river walks, hikes to the Muyanga Waterfall, visit to the Bwindi Community Hospital, a conservation briefing with Gorillas Doctors (or CTPH) or a little pampering at the Humula Forest Spa.
Transfer to Kihihi Airstrip for your scheduled flight to Entebbe International Airport (EBB).