Pearl of Africa Uganda Itinerary
This is a 12-day (11 night) itinerary through Uganda, encompassing birding at Murchison Falls, game viewing in Queen Elizabeth National Park and tracking primates in Mgahinga National Park.<!–– start itin loop ––>
Arrive at Entebbe International Airport (EBB). Transfer to Hotel No 5.
You are invited to make yourself at home and use the remainder of the day to unwind beside the swimming pool, pamper yourself with a spa treatment, or work up a sweat in the hotel gym.
After breakfast, you will set off for the Mabamba wetlands, one of the best marshes on the shores of Lake Victoria for bird watching, and apart from Murchison Falls National Park, it is the only place where the elusive Shoebill Stork can be spotted at any time of day. The swamp is laced with navigable channels which you explore with the expert guidance of a local guide, from a dugout canoe to maneuver in the channels and the papyrus. Your next stop will be the Entebbe Botanical Gardens, founded as a sanctuary for young animals that have been rescued from poachers, illegal trade, or accidents. More than 50 animal species are represented by over 200 animals.
Transfer to Entebbe International Airport [EBB]. Scheduled Flight to Bugungu Airstrip.
Transfer to Bakers Lodge.
Murchison Falls National Park is Uganda’s largest National Park. The Nile River flows through the middle of the park creating the impressive Murchison Falls which is the park’s major attraction. The landscape features a dense rainforest, undulating savannah, and a diversity of abundant wildlife. The forests are home to numerous primates, including Chimpanzees, and near the river, buffalo, elephants and Rothschild-Giraffes can be seen.
Enjoy game drives in Murchison Falls National Park, as well as a memorable boat cruise up the Nile River to the foot of the falls. The immense force of the water and the views of the falls are spectacular from the close-up viewing points. Enhance your park experience by combining river voyages with a safari. Travel by boat to the Nile Delta and return with a game drive through the game rich Buligi area. Drive to the top of the falls and hike down to the bottom of Fajao Gorge, before returning to Bakers Lodge by boat.
Transfer to Bugungu Airstrip. Scheduled Flight to Kihihi Airstrip. Transfer to Ishasha Wilderness Camp.
The Queen Elizabeth National Park spreads over an area of 1978 square km in the western arm of the Great East African Rift Valley. The park is home to a variety of wildlife including elephant, lion, hippo, leopard, buffalo, and Uganda kob. Birds present are all typical of riverine and savannah habitats.
The Ishasha sector of Queen Elizabeth National Park is the place to search for the tree climbing lions often to be seen in the vicinity of the camp. On early morning and late afternoon game drives in open safari vehicles, you may explore the area’s game routes in search of the different species. The area is still pristine and untouched with only a handful of game vehicles found around the area at any time. Being the only camp within the park, it offers flexibility of timings for drives allowing guests to maximize their game sightings in this area.
Transfer to Kihihi Airstrip. Scheduled Flight to Kisoro Airport. Transfer to Mount Gahinga Lodge.
This afternoon, you will visit the Gahinga Batwa community, comprised of 18 families finally resettled after 25 years of landless existence in makeshift shelters. In the 1990’s, the creation of Mgahinga National Park while providing protection to the wildlife from poaching and habitat encroachment, required that the indigenous Batwa be displaced in a modern world unfamiliar to them. The Volcanoes Safaris Partnership Trust acquired roughly 10 acres of land to allow them to build homes, a community center and have land for agricultural and recreational use.
After breakfast, walk to the park offices where you will be briefed on how to behave in the forest while in the presence of the gorilla family. After registration, set out with trackers, guides and porters to trek the gorilla. Once the gorilla group is located, you will be allowed one 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.
Today, you have the option of taking a second gorilla trek in Mgahinga National Park. A second permit is required for the second gorilla trek. Alternative activities include Golden Monkey trekking, hiking the Kisozi caldera or climbing one of the Virunga chain of Volcanoes. The three most popular volcanoes to climb are Mt. Gahinga, Mt. Sabyinyo, and Mt. Muhavura. These hikes are of varying difficulty and typically take a full day.
Transfer to Kisoro Airstrip. Scheduled flight to Entebbe International Airport (EBB).