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...
Arrival at Entebbe Airport and travel to Kampala
When you arrive at Entebbe International Airport from an early morning arriving flight, you will be met by the company’s guide who will then transfer you to Kampala. In Kampala we visit cultural sites which include Kasubi tombs where Buganda kings and royals are buried, Kabaka’s (the area King’s) lake and Palace, Nagalabi coronation site, Nakasero Green Market, Mulago Hospital, Uganda Museum, Cultural Market, Bahai temple, Namugongo shrines and many other interesting sites, learn the real history of what happened in Buganda, the transformations they have gone through and how different cultures interact yet without clashing with one another. Dinner and overnight at Hotel Africana
Kampala to Bwindi Impenetrable Forest
Early in the morning you will be picked from your hotel by our driver guide for a long drive Bwindi with stop over at the at the drum making centre at Mpambire, Equator crossing point, see coffee & banana plantations. Our first call is Mbarara, now one of Uganda’s major towns, but formerly capital of Ankole kingdom for over 400 years until disbanded by independence in 1962. In the days before modern Uganda came into being, the area had a series of fiercely independent tribal states. The once nomadic Bahima people, part of Bantu-speaking Ankole kingdom, are renowned for the particular bond they forge with their unique, long-horned Ankole cattle. These hardy cattle respond to their individual names when called by their male herder; he in turn lives in close harmony with them. From here you continue to Kampala with stopovers. Overnight at Kitandara Camp, Bwindi (Full board).
Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is a natural world heritage site. Hikers will love it, with the gorilla excursion as a high point of your safari!. Gorilla trekking 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 the trek, in the afternoon you have some time for rural African culture experience. We suggest you take a guided village walk in Buhoma Village– see how Ugandans live, visit a local bar and meet the local medicine man! Overnight at Kitandara Camp, Bwindi (Full board).
Drive to Queen Elizabeth National Park
Today we will leave Bwindi passing through the southern sector of Queen Elizabeth National Park known as Ishasha famed for its tree-climbing lions. Ishasha is a remote and beautiful extension of Queen Elizabeth National Park. As you enter the park you will see that it is host to a large variety and volume of wildlife. There over 560 species of bird found here including the martial eagle, black-rumped buttonquail, Verreaux’s eagle owl and African skimmer to name but a few. We will see buffalo, topi and hippo among other species. It is a fabulous site to see 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. We will have our packed lunch along the way.
If you still have some energy, in the afternoon you visit Maramagambo forest for a nature walk. It is a great experience with the Bat Caves which sometimes attract the Rock Pythons that feed on the bats, you may see them or not. There are other forest dwellers including primates which you may see as you walk through the thick vegetation. Not to miss is the blue lake. Overnight at Mweya Safari Lodge (Full Board)
Safari in Queen Elizabeth National Park
We set out early in the morning for a game drive in the northern part of the park on the Kasenyi Track in search of lions, elephants, solitary buffaloes. This is the best time for opportunities of viewing the cats in action owing to the vast population of Uganda Kobs. We have an excellent chance to view just about every animal here at very close range. In the afternoon we go for a launch trip along the Kazinga Channel. This gives you the opportunity to view wildlife up close: hippo’s huff and spray at a 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. Overnight at Mweya Safari Lodge (Full board).
Exploration all the way to Fort Portal
After an early breakfast, we proceed to Katwe Salt Works. It’s fascinating to see how since the 14 century, salt has been mined by traditional methods and it is still in use today. The salt mine have been sub divided and distributed to various tribes in Uganda. We the continue to the Bakonjo village at Ruboni near the foot hills of Rwenzori mountains and spend time with the Bakonjo Community, visit the traditional healer (Chesesa) receive their entertainment. 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.
Traveling on both asphalt and unpaved roads, you pass through traditional Ugandan villages where you see people at work tending their traditional crops of millet, sorghum, beans and maize. The lush rolling hills of this region provide good "photo opportunities". As you approach Fort Portal in the foothills of the Rwenzori Mountains, you enter Uganda's famous tea plantation region. A carpet of green spreads before you, as far as the eye can see, and seems an unusual contrast to the countryside through which you have just passed. We visit the Kings Royal tombs known as Karambi Tombs. You will also visit various cultural groups which include the Burungu community, rooted in traditional Toro culture that will entertain you with music, dancing and story telling. After spending some time with the local community on village walks we will head to Ndali Lodge where we will stay prior to our chimpanzee trek the next day (Full board).
Kibale National Park and Semliki
Following a good breakfast, you will go to Kibale Forest National Park home of habituated Chimpanzees – it harbors 12 species of Primates and provides one of the highest Primates densities in the world! Here on a guided walk, you may find families of Chimps and Red Colobus Monkeys.
Thereafter we have the opportunity to visit the Semliki Valley National Park. Located in this National Park are the Sempaya Hot Springs - ringed by forest and palm trees and veiled in a cloud of steam, these springs are almost primeval. The largest spring is a geyser shooting up from an 8m-wide opening in a low salt sculpture. The emerging water has a temperature of more than 100ºC! We shall also visit the local Pygmy community – some years ago, a group of pygmies forsook their traditionally nomadic lifestyle to settle near Ntandi. You can learn more about their live style and culture. Return to Fort Portal for overnight at Ndali Lodge (Full board).
Travel to Entebbe
Breakfast and head for Entebbe for your outbound flight (about 6 hours driving) via Mubende. This route travels through breathtaking scenery and delightfully rolling plantations, some of the best in Uganda. Please note that check-in for international flights should be done 2 hours prior to departure of the flight. In the departure hall (after check-in) you will find a small restaurant, a sitting area and several duty-free shops for your convenience.
NOTE: Passengers should bring only soft sided bags on safaris. Baggage on Domestic flights is strictly limited to 15kgs per person (including hand luggage). Any excess cargo/baggage will be charged by the respective airlines at check-in counter at rate of $3.00 per 1kg