Day 1: The 6 Day Ugandan Safari begins with Chimpanzee tracking: We leave Kampala early in the morning after breakfast at your Hotel – drive westward to Fort Portal - Kibale Forest National Park, about 5 hours. The drive is on both paved and dirty roads, you pass through traditional Ugandan Villages where you see people at work tending their traditional crops of millet, sorghum, beans and corn. The green rolling hills of this region provide good views and many times you may want to ask your driver to stop. As you head into Fort Portal in the foothills of the Rwenzori Mountains, you enter Uganda's famous tea plantation region. A carpet of green spreads before you, going as far as your eye can see, and seems an unusual contrast to the countryside through which you have just passed. Arrive at Fort Portal town and continue right into the Kibale Forest.
This is one of the great African rainforest research reserves. Years of study by scientists (who have cut a grid through the forest) have habituated many of its animals to human observers. The forest is a popular site for a variety of primates and it is a great habitat for birds. This rural Ugandan town (Fort Portal) is locally famous for its weaving and basketry, and we can spend some time briefly to examine some of this local art.
Fort Portal is a small and attractive city. The fort was built between 1891 and 1893 and named after Sir Gerald Portal, the British Consul General of Zanzibar who arrived in Uganda in 1892 to formalise the protectorate of Uganda. He died of malaria a few months after the fort was completed.
The afternoon is good time for us to visit the scenic crater lakes region, - check out the beautiful and well terraced tea plantations. In the south of Fort Portal is Kasenda Crater Lakes region. It sits on the rim of Lake Nyinambuga — the back of the main building looks down over the lake, while the other side of the lodge looks out over another lake in the distance and, further off, the Rwenzori Mountains, which were perpetually shrouded in the clouds, except early in the morning. There’s quite plenty to do in this area and we can also take an hour’s walk around Lake Nyinambuga.
That evening it is dinner time at your Up-market: Kyaninga Lodge or Primate Lodge Kibale or Ndali Lodge - all with great views, or at your budget facility. Moderate: Kibale Forest Camp. Explore Kibale Forest lodging options by clicking on this link.
Day 2 – Chimpanzee tracking along with 12 primates in Kibale National Park and Queen Elizabeth National Park
Meet at Kanyankyu River camp at 0800hours just after your early morning breakfast - go for the most popular activity in this park; Chimpanzee Tracking. Chimps are man’s closet cousins though they are one of the most threatened primate’s species. More primates like Black and white Columbus monkeys, L’Hoest Monkeys, Grey cheecked Mangabey, Red tailed monkeys, bush babies, pottos and many bird species like the yellow spotted nicator, rumped tinker bird, Little green bul, green breasted pitta, the crowned eagle, black bee eater and mammals like Elephants can be seen in this walk.
Kibale National park, which averages about 3,300 feet in elevation, is an extension of the great rainforests of central Africa. It is home for three large chimp “communities”, each with more than 100 individuals. Each community has a unique social structure. The big adult males dominate the group and defend the community territory against incursions by male outsiders; the females usually wander in small family groups.
As always, we locate the chimps by listening for their pant-hooting calls, then hustle to the area from which they are calling. See them as they feed in fruiting trees, lounge, and socialize with each other, or even, occasionally hunt. Return to your lodging for lunch and check out. Further Information about Uganda Chimps
You may consider spending more time with the Chimps and not just the 3-hour chimp trek of which just one is spent with them. You can do the Chimpanzee Habituation Experience (CHEX) and spend 4 hours watching and following the chimpanzees through the forest.
Common Question; What is the difference between regular Chimpanzee Trekking and Chimpanzee Habituation Experience?
Habituation here is simply a process of getting the chimpanzee oriented to human presence while in thier natural habitat. When you go for Chimpanzee Trekking, you are one hour with a fully habituated Chimpanzee Group after finding them. That means they are used to human beings. When you go on a 4-hour Habituation Experience, you are observing a Chimpanzee Group that is in the process of being habituated, – a process that takes up to two years long and you are a participant in the process. You go down in to the rainforest with a guide in a small group - max of 4 plus ranger. Once you find the chimps, you watch and follow them through the rainforest for a few hours. Expect the experience to differ each day as these are wild animals who are not trained to perform as if they are in a circus. On some days the trek may however be hard as you are often moving fast through dense forest so as to not lose the chimps. Learn more about Chimp Habituation Experience Vs. regular chimp trek.
Please Note – As of July 1, 2020, the Chimpanzee Habituation Experience increased in price from $200 to $250. Regular Chimpanzee Trekking in Kibale Forest increased from $150 to $200. Advance planning is necessary as this is not something you are going to decide on ground.
In the afternoon we leave for Queen Elizabeth National Park (about 3 hours driving). Driving through Fort Portal town, you turn south and late this afternoon enter Queen Elizabeth National Park, which is surrounded by snow-capped 16,000-foot Rwenzori Mountains-the famed in the north,... "Mountains of the Moon". The park is 767-square-miles of conservation area and is bordered on the North East by Lake George, and Lake Edward on the South West; its western border adjoins the Zaire Parc Du Virunga. Look out for teeming herds of impala-like Uganda Kob, as well as topi, elephant and lion, giant forest hog, Cape buffalo. There are also several soda lakes filling ancient volcanic calderas where flamingos reside seasonally.
We arrive in the afternoon for check in at the up-market Mweya Lodge, Jacana Safari Lodge, moderate Bush Tented Camp, Kingfisher Lodge, Budget Simba Safari Camp, Dinner and a well deserved rest. Further Lodging Choices for Queen Elizabeth National Park. More Queen Elizabeth National Park Information
Day 3: Queen Elizabeth National Park; Safari/game drive, the Kazinga Channel Boat Cruise and so much more
Early morning breakfast and we set out for the morning game drive north of the park on the Kasenyi Track, look out for lions, elephants, solitary buffaloes. This is the best chance for you to see the cats in action owing to the vast population of Uganda Kobs. We have a great chance to view just about every animal here at very close range.
In the afternoon we will go for a launch trip along the Kazinga Channel. This gives you the opportunity to view wildlife real close: hippo’s huff and spray at 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. Then it is off to an evening game drive, dinner and rest at your lodging place.
Day 4: Drive to Bwindi for Mountain Gorilla tracking (trek), forest walk and Rest
Mid-morning after breakfast we drive further south through stunning savannah grasslands as we head towards the breathtaking adventures of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park. Either (roads permitting) we will pass the southern sector of the park – Ishasha, a remote and beautiful extension of Queen Elizabeth National Park that is host to a large variety and volume of wildlife. (It is a fabulous to spot 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). Or take the alternative route through cultivated expanses. Check into the Lodging of your choice at Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park. In the afternoon we take a forest walk the location depending on where we have the permits for the gorillas. Lots of opportunities for other mammals and birds to be seen as we are guided by a Uganda Wildlife Authority Ranger. We return to the lodging facility for a break, dinner and sleep for the night.
Day 5: Mountain Gorilla tracking (trek) - Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park
Early morning breakfast and proceed to the briefing point. Enjoy the highlight of your trip- Gorilla trek, which may last from 2 to 8 hours depending on the group you are visiting. We trek through the rainforest and bamboo covered slopes, accompanied by a Uganda Wildlife Authority guide and other trackers, in search of a mountain gorilla family. The walking can sometimes be tough and long, but when you catch a glimpse of the magnificent silverback, any discomforts will be quickly forgotten. The gorillas move to a new location daily and never stay in the same place, twice. When sighted, visitors will be guided to within 5 metres from the gorillas, sit around them for not more than one hour while gazing into their big round eyes. A party of not more than 8 will be allowed to visit a gorilla family each day. Children under 15 are not permitted.
Gorilla trek is unpredictable. It's difficult to foresee how many hours you will hike. The gorilla excursion can take from 2 up to 8 hours. Expect to walk along distance in steep and muddy conditions, sometimes with rain overhead, before you encounter any gorillas. A good physical condition is recommended. For conservation purposes, time spent with the gorillas is limited to one hour. A ranger will brief you on how to behave with the gorillas.
After your tracking (trek) experience return to your accommodation for a well deserved rest. If there is time you might do an afternoon walkabout in a pigmy village and give you some cultural insights into the local Batwa culture. Further Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park Information.
Day 6: It is breakfast-Checkout afterwards and a journey back to Kampala, on the way we stop at Mbarara for lunch stop of, then on to at the Equator for picture taking and continue our drive to Kampala.. Six days filled with Uganda's wonders.
Safari prince include: Lodging and Food, 4 Wheel Drive Safari Vehicle, Fuel, English Speaking Driver, Bottled Drinking Water on all Drives, Park Entrance fees and cultural site entrance fees, Permits as applicable, Guide for Tracking and Game Drives.
Not included in Safari price: Air Travel to and from Uganda, Uganda Visa Costs, Laundry, Tips, Drinks, except those included in lodging meal price.
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