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Tribes, Wildlife, & Primates

kidepo-valley-national-park

This safari offers you the magic of this country. You will get to see the country as those who saw it before you and praised its wonderful nature and beauty.  Among these are famous explorers as Speke, Sir Samuel Baker and the rest who were amazed by this little paradise.  Our route starts traveling to the north of the country, in the region of the Kidepo Valley, one of the most remote and unknown areas of East Africa and also home to the Karamojong ethnic group. We will descend towards the south of the country following, during the first days, the areas along the Nile River. In our journey, the Murchison Falls, Kibale and Queen Elizabeth Parks will show us the rich fauna of the country combined with spectacular landscapes that will not leave us indifferent. The last days of our adventure will surprise us as we approach the mountainous landscapes of the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, home of the impressive and powerful mountain gorilla.

 

Itinerary

Day 1 – Arrival in Entebbe

Arrival at Entebbe International Airport, a town located on the shores of Lake Victoria. Reception by our staff and transfer to the hotel.

Day 2 – Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary – Gulu

After breakfast we will depart for the Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary in Nakitoma, a reserve located about 5 hours’ drive to the north of the country. The Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary is a reserve that was created with the aim of reintroducing the rhino to Uganda. It is currently the only place in Uganda where rhinos can be observed in their natural habitat. We will take a guided walk-in search of rhinos and, after the visit, we will continue our journey to Gulu (approximately 5 hours more enroute).

Day 3 – Drive to Kaboong (Visit the Dodoth people)

The city of Gulu is a very interesting city is a territory of Nilotic Acholi ethnic group and stands out for being a very neat, clean and where you can see that the Acholi are an honest community with many small businesses. In Gulu we will make some purchases of the contributions that we will have to make to the tribes that we will visit in the North. (NOTE*The contributions are not included in the price.) We will have breakfast very early and leave for the town of Kaabong, via the city of Kitgum (approx. 6-7 hours en route; 374 km) where we will spend the night.

Day 4 – Drive to Kotido (Visit the Jie people)

We will head towards the Morungole Mountains, home of the Ik ethnic group. The Ik are a mountain ethnic group related to their neighbors the Tepes (Uganda) and the Didinga (South Sudan). This ethnographic group, mainly farmers, settled in these mountains to avoid conflicts with neighboring ethnic groups, especially the Karamajong. We will make a short trekking to visit some of their villages and discover their traditional way of life. In the afternoon, we will go to the villages of Kotido, territory of the Karamajong ethnic group.  The Karamajong are divided into four main groups: the Dodoth, the Jie, the Martheniko or the Pian.  They are mainly farmers and herdsmen, and maintain a very traditional lifestyle. Bracelets, scarifications and necklaces are some of their most identifying signs that are still preserved today. We will have lunch at a local restaurant in Kaabong where we will return to sleep.

Day 5 – Proceed to Kidepo Valley National Park

In the morning, we will continue to Kidepo N.P. where we will make a safari taking advantage of our entrance to the park. Kidepo National Park is located on the border with South Sudan and Kenya and is one of the most isolated parks in the country and certainly one of the most unspoiled and interesting. The original territory of the Dodoth, it has been considered a National Park since 1962. The Park is crossed by two rivers, the Kidepo and the Narus. More than 70 species of mammals and 400 species of birds, combined with an impressive landscape of solitary acacia savannah, make it one of the most biodiverse places in the country. In our camp we will rest and review our experiences sitting around a fire.

Day 6 – Murchison Falls National Park

Long day on the road leaving the Karamajong region behind. We will stop for lunch in Gulu, capital of the Acholi ethnic group, and continue our journey to Murchison Falls National aprk. (Approximately 8 hours; 350 kms). We will enter the park through Tangi Gate, one of the best areas for game drives.

Day 7 – Game drive and boat cruise

After breakfast, early in the morning we will go to the Nile River where we will cross by ferry to the north bank of the park for a safari if our accommodation is on the South Bank of the Nile, if we are already sleeping on the North Bank it will not be necessary to take the ferry. Murchison Falls National Park is a song to the senses. An orchard where we can see many mammals and families of predators, as well as waterfowl of all kinds. The landscape is extraordinarily beautiful and among the most significant species found in this area of the park are the large herds of elephant and Rothschild’s giraffe, as well as a good number of lions, buffalo, Jackson’s elk, oribi, antelopes hieroglyphic or , spotted hyenas and leopards. We will have lunch at the lodge and in the afternoon, we will take a boat up the Nile River to the base of Murchison Falls. Along the way we will enjoy the hippos, large crocodiles and elephants, as well as many species of birds such as the goliath crane, pelicans, bee-eaters, kingfishers, calaos, cormorants and if we are lucky the elusive and curious “Shoebill” or Shoebill.

 The boat will stop a few meters from the so-called “Caldera del Diablo”, where the Nile falls from a height of 40 meters. At this point we will leave the boat and start a guided walk of approximately one hour to the top of the falls.  We will be able to observe from much closer the spectacular beauty of one of the most powerful natural water flows on earth. We will meet our vehicle at the top of the waterfall, from where we will drive back to the lodge (approximately 25 minutes en route).

Day 8 – Drive to Hoima district

After breakfast, we will enjoy our last moments in Murchison Falls and continue our adventure to Hoima (about 3-4 hours e route; 140 km approx.). Hoima is a very nice town, has grown a lot in recent years, is part of the kingdom of Bunyoro-Kitara (Bunyoro), is located about 30 kms from the shores of Lake Albert. Here we will visit the local Market and later in the evening with a local guide we will stroll through the city getting a glimpse of the palace which is located a few meters from our lodge

Day 9: Drive to Kibale Forest National Park

After breakfast, departure to Kibale National Park (about 4 hours en route; 200 km approx). During this stage of the trip we will be able to visit the Bigodi Wetland Sanctuary Or have a visit to se the local community and explore how they live. The Bigodi Sanctuary has 8 species of primates among which are the black and white colobus, red colobus, mangabey, red tail, vervet, and the L’Hoest, a large number of mammals, more than 200 species of birds including the great blue turaco, countless reptiles and a countless variety of trees and shrubs.

Day 10 – Chimpanzee trekking & Bigodi walk experience

Early breakfast and departure to the Kibale Forest National Park visitor center for a briefing before starting the chimpanzee trek. This Park is known for hosting one of the most important primate populations on the planet, with up to 13 different species. More than 1,400 chimpanzees reside in this forest, which is the largest of its kind in sub-Saharan Africa. The forest is also home to other types of primates.

Lunch and, in the afternoon, we will take a guided walk through the community where a local guide will explain all about the traditional culture of the inhabitants in this area, belonging to the Batoro ethnic group. Once here we will visit a local school, as well as the community church and share some talk with the indigenous population to understand a little better their way of life, highly related to livestock and agriculture.

Day 11 – Drive to Queen Elizabeth National Park

Early breakfast and continue our journey to Queen Elizabeth National Park. On the way we will stop to visit the Ndali Kasenda Crater area. This area originated during volcanic activity in the Great Rift Valley. The landscape is dotted with turquoise lakes. We will spend about 2 hours walking around the area and have time to photograph the incredible scenery. After lunch we will continue to Queen Elizabeth National Park, where we will have our first contact with the wildlife of this park before settling into our hotel.

Day 12 – Game drive and boat cruise

Early in the morning and after a light breakfast, we will go on safari to the Kasenyi area and the Mweya Peninsula. During this drive we will be able to see elephants, waterbucks, lions, buffalo, Ugandan kobs, as well as countless birds. In the afternoon we will take a boat safari on the Kazinga Channel guided by a local English-speaking guide.

The Kazinga Channel is a wide natural channel 32 kilometers long that connects Lake George and Lake Edward, which in turn constitute the natural border with the Democratic Republic of Congo. The trip through the Kazinga will undoubtedly be one of the most rewarding experiences of our safari days. We will be able to observe hippos, elephants, buffaloes, antelopes and lots of aquatic birds. 

Day 13 – Game drive in Ishasha, Proceed to Bwindi

After breakfast, we will depart for Ishasha, in the southern sector of Queen Elizabeth National Park (about two and a half hours en route).  This is the most remote sector of the park, characterized by a variety of habitats. There is a savannah forest and a swampy area, in the vicinity of Lake Edward, which maintain the variety of wildlife. One of the peculiarities of this park is the Fig tree (one of the many species of ficus). Due to the peculiar structure of these trees, lions have the habit of climbing them, sheltering from the sun and resting during the hottest hours of the day. Tracking the lions will be one of the main objectives of this day.

After lunch, we will leave for the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park. During the journey we will enjoy an incredible landscape, we will see how the tones of the landscape progressively change until we reach the jungle of the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, one of the last refuges of the mountain gorilla.  Arrival at the lodge.

Day 14 – Gorilla trekking experience

Rainforest par excellence, this remote, mist-breathing place is home to half a thousand mountain gorillas, half of the world’s population. A paradise to see Uganda’s famous mountain gorillas. After breakfast, transfer about 10 minutes to the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park visitor center to receive a detailed briefing, prior to the mountain gorilla trekking. First, we will be assigned to one of the gorilla groups/families that are habituated to human presence and receive a briefing from the national park guide who will accompany us on our trek. The guides and rangers of the park are extremely professional, and will inform us in detail about the rules and behavior that we must follow both during the trek and during the time we spend observing the gorillas.

The duration of the trek will determine where to eat, we will carry picnic food with us so that we can stop and eat if we reach lunch time during the tracking.

WARNING: The gorilla tracking will depend on the sector where park authority gives us the permission to do the activity, in no case is it something we can decide, it could be in any of the different sectors of the Bwindi N.P or in the Mgahinga National Park (Buhoma, Ruhija, Nkuringo, Rushaga or Mgahinga). The Park authority reserves the right to modify, change or assign such permits in any of the above sectors, either due to overbooking or for any reason they deem fit to manage them, even if this means in some cases having to separate passengers from the same tour or who have traveled together.

Day 15 – Golden monkey trekking in Mgahinga National Park

After breakfast, we will do the tracking activity of the popular Golden Monkey, a species of primates that is in danger of extinction and that we can observe thanks to the fact that there are several groups in the Mgahinga National Park. Contemplating these curious primates and enjoying the environment where they live during this activity is very interesting. The golden monkey is endemic to the Virunga Mountains and can be found in Uganda (Kisoro), Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo among bamboo forests, which is the habitat it needs and is key to its survival. Bamboo is their main source of food, as they eat its shoots and leaves, but also sleep on it. Once the tracking is finished, after lunch, we will move to Lake Bunyonyi to rest and enjoy the lodging.

DAY 16 – Drive to Lake Mburo National Park

Early breakfast and departure to Lake Mburo National Park (approx. 5-6 hours en route). We will drive through the Kigezi Mountains. We will also pass through the town of Mbarara before arriving at our lodge in Lake Mburo National Park. Lunch and afternoon game drive in the park in search of zebra, topi, eland, buffalo, antelope, giraffe and more. Lake Mburo N.P. is located in the Ankhole region at 1800 meters above sea level. A place known for its long-horned cattle, its savannah landscape and the different lakes that populate it.  It is also an ideal refuge for herbivores and more than 300 species of birds.

DAY 17 – Drive to Entebbe

In the morning, after breakfast, we will enjoy the fantastic scenery and the sighting of countless herbivores, including the Eland and zebras. Return to the lodge for breakfast and then depart for Entebbe for your departure flight (approx. 5-6 hours en route). Upon arrival in Entebbe, we will take the Covid PCR test required to leave the country.

DAY 18 – Departure

This day is reserved for the flexibility of flights and the PCR test it can be however filled with activities in case the flight for clients is late in the evening or at night. The services rendered on this day are to be discussed by the client and the reservation to understand what options available and to understand the payment of hotel and food for the days use.

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Included & Excluded

Price Includes

  • Airport transfers to and from.
  • 4X4 vehicle for the safari.
  • Full-board accommodation for 17 nights.
  • Experienced English speaking Driver Guide.
  • Park entry and activity fees.
  • All relevant government taxes.

Price Excludes

  • International flights.
  • Extra meals and drinks.
  • Personal shopping and souvenir.
  • Tips to Porters and Guides.

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