|Experience a rare chance to see the endangered Mountain Gorillas in their natural habitat. This six-day trip includes two days of gorilla tracking in the Parc National de Volcans in Rwanda. You will travel through the scenic area of western Uganda with a break in Lake Mburo National Park for a game drive and a boat trip on the lake.|
|Day 01||ENTEBBE / LAKE MBURO (Approximately 5 hours drive)|
Arrive at the newly refurbished Entebbe airport, met by your guide and representative, quick briefing on your safari, then drive to Lake Mburo National Park
in Mbarara District where the people keep massively horned cattle, which have been bred in this region for centuries and are used as an indicator of personal wealth. The horns of these domestic animals may measure well in excess of four feet each. Small children tend their herds, making sure that the cattle don't invade the fertile fields and banana plantations that dot the countryside. Lake Mburo National Park, a small park surrounding a lovely system of lakes and papyrus swamps, offers perhaps the best opportunities in Uganda
to see birds associated with acacia woodlands, such as the Bare-faced Go-away Bird, Black-bellied Bustard, Black-headed Gonolek, Grey Hornbill and Cinnamon-chested Bee-eater and the African Fin foot. The only large predators here are Spotted Hyena and Leopard, but the park is home to a large variety of ungulate species, including African Buffalo, Topi, Uganda Kob, Oribi, Reedbuck, Klipspringer, Defassa Waterbuck, Common Zebra and Eland. This is the only place in Uganda where Impala are found. Take an afternoon boat ride, to catch a glimpse of water birds diving for fish, Nile Hippo and Crocodile.
Overnight Mantana permanent tented camp
|Day 02||LAKE MBURO / RWANDA (Parc National De Volcans) (APPROXIMATELY 7 HOURS)|
Have an early breakfast ready to set off by 8.00am for your drive to Rwanda
. Most of the drive will be on sealed roads. Drive through Kabale where roads wind up and down high-forested hills and deep farmed valleys the area often described as the "Switzerland of East Africa". Marvel at the beauty of the Virunga mountain ranges as you get into Kisoro, clear with immigration at the border, and then enter into Rwanda driving through the rolling hills and greenery on to Gorilla nest lodge for your overnight. This simple yet comfortable lodge is nestled on a five-acre compound of tall eucalyptus trees in a lovely rural setting and ideally situated next to the park headquarters. Each double room has en suite flush toilet and hot showers. All rooms look outwards into the eucalyptus forest and pyrethrum farms. Nearby is a traditional Rwandese homestead for visitors to view in the afternoon after gorilla trekking.
Overnight Mt Gorilla View Lodge
|Day 03||GORILLA TRACKING (PARC NATIONAL DE VOLCANS)|
After an early breakfast, you'll drive to the park headquarters and then start your hike to the areas where the gorillas were last spotted. If necessary, your guides will find where the troupe spent the night and track them from there. Once you locate them, you can spend up to an hour sitting quietly nearby as they go about their foraging. It is estimated that there are about 170 gorillas in the park. They are very sociable animals, living in groups of three to thirty.
Being sedentary, they are continually looking for food in a living space that is comparatively restricted. They are active only during the daytime and build nests in which they pass the night. The trek to find gorillas can be quite short, but on most days an hour, two or more of rough hiking is necessary. The climb begins through the lush terraced farmland of the lower volcanic slopes. As the slopes become steeper and more rocky, the vegetation becomes thick and tangled, the guides must use their machetes to help clear a path. Huge trees, clinging vines and undergrowth add to the challenge of swift streams and slippery red mud underfoot. Usually at around 800 feet signs of the huge animals become apparent. Damage to the bamboo trees is an obvious sign as the gorillas relish the young tender shoots and break older stems to suck the sap. The smell of gorillas may waft by in a stray breeze it is strong and unmistakable. Sounds, which can be remarkably loud crashes or dull reverberating growls of contentment, tell the visitor that the troop is nearby. The troop usually consists of a dominant male and up to five or more females and their young. Enormous only begins to describe the impressiveness of a mature male mountain gorilla: a typical size is just under six feet tall and up to 425 pounds. Despite their powerful size and strength, gorillas rarely resort to actual violence in the defense of the group. Instead, highly ritualized behavior has been developed, such as chest bating, mock charging, roaring, howling and tearing up nearby bush to scare off rivals or enemies. Their incongruously shy nature puts them at great disadvantage at surviving human encroachment and the demand for 'bush meat'.
Although the gorillas are your main target during your stay, you can expect to have opportunities to see and photograph other primates as well as an impressive number of bird species.
Overnight Mt Gorilla View Lodge
|Day 04||SECOND GORILLA TREK|
Typically after breakfast, you drive to Ruhengeri (Parc National de Volcans
), for your second day of gorilla tracking. This day you will track a different group from the one you saw yesterday. Hike up the bamboo forest to spend another magical hour in the company of the gentle giants- the gorillas. Return to your lodge for lunch and overnight
Overnight Mt Gorilla View Lodge
|Day 05||RWANDA / KABALE (APPROXIMATELY 6 HOURS)|
Today you wake up early, breakfast, drive back to Uganda
through the Kisoro border, marvel at the beautiful Virunga ranges, have lunch at the White Horse Inn in Kabale. To avoid the long drive to Kampala, you will break the journey by visiting Lake Bunyonyi and later overnight White Horse Inn.
Overnight White Horse Inn, Kabale
|Day 06||KABALE / ENTEBBE (APPROXIMATELY 7 HOURS)|
Early morning breakfast, pass through Mbarara town, if time permits, visit a market where everything is sold from clothes, meat to fruits, then drive through the town of Masaka near the shores of Lake Victoria, through huge papyrus swamps, fragmented rainforest, with a stop at the equator and Mpigi Royal drum makers and witness how drums have been made in Uganda for centuries. Long before the coming of the Europeans, the Buganda people had a highly structured society and drums were used extensively for long distance and rapid communications. Kampala shopping, drive to Entebbe for your departure flight. (Your flight should be late afternoon or in the evening, otherwise, another night can be arranged in Entebbe)
By no means are you restricted to this itinerary. If you want a certain itinerary, we shall design it for you.
Meals as noted
Park fee and sightseeing as noted in the itinerary
International airfare or flights of any kind
Meals not noted on the itinerary
Insurance of any kind
Excess baggage charges
Items of a personal nature (alcoholic beverages, laundry. etc)
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