(Kampala, Lake Mburo National Park, Bwindi)
(Parc National des Volcans)
Travel deep into the heart of the continent with this exotic adventure presenting some of the world’s last mountain gorillas. Led by private expert guide, journey through the “Pearl of Africa,” Uganda & “the Land of a Thousand Hills,” Rwanda to visit mankind’s closest relatives. Explore the wild jungles of Lake Mburo, safari through the ancient rainforests of Bwindi & follow in the footsteps Dian Fossey in the Parc National des Volcans. Featuring a trip to the equator, drum ceremony, Kigali’s heart-wrenching Genocide Museum & more. This tour give you the chances to visit twice with mankind's closest relative. Looking into the expressive brown eyes of these giants is surely the most exciting and poignant wildlife encounter Uganda & Rwanda has to offer. Enjoy as a standalone africa vacation or as an addition to a safari.
NOTE: Gorilla permits are $500 for Uganda and $750 for Rwanda, and they are secured with you trip's deposit. Once secured they are non-refundable. It will take 24-48 hours to secure the purchase from the authorities as they are sold on a first come first served basis. The park authority/management reserves the right to cancel any permit without any refund or further reference.
Welcome to the East African primate capital, the heavily forested country of Uganda! Upon arrival to the Entebbe International Airport, a representative will meet and you load up your entire luggage and head towards the Ugandan capital city of Kampala where you will overnight.
The elegant Serena Hotels continuously outdoes itself, and its location in Kampala, Uganda, is no exception. With rich green foliage framing the hotel’s façade, each of the 152 rooms look out on the 17 acres of garden or allow yourself to grow mesmerized by the 7m waterfall on the pool terrace. The hotel’s rooms each have an individual personality, working with cultural artifacts, native wood carving, and contemporary Ugandan design at its foundation. Dining is a fluttery, fairytale-like medley of bursting flavors and delights, from freshly squeezed exotic juices to Italian cuisine and of course, very impressive world cuisine. Make sure to stop by the Maisha Health Club and try out the skin treatments. Revered across Kampala, it is relied on by all who trust in the Serena Hotels name.
Depart the Ugandan capital of Kampala en-route to the Lake Mburo National Park grounds. Your driver will travel in a south-westerly direction for the specific purpose of travelling to workshops of the Mpigi Drum Makers. It is here where you’ll watch numerous ceremonial drums being hand-crafted using the traditional methods passed down from one generation to another. Next, you’ll travel to the extreme center of the Earth, the Equator. After some time spent snapping photos, it’s off to the Papyrus swamps, where tracts of dense, tropical rainforest merge seamlessly into the rolling plains of Ankole. Shortly after travelling through the swamps, you’ll arrive within the confines of the Lake Mburo National Park grounds.
Set out on an adventurous game drive around the Lake Mburo National Park grounds today. The eco-diversity of this park makes for quite the journey as you explore some of the many hillsides, grasslands and water based wildlife habitats. To hone in on the specific wildlife one would want to see, the park has designated routes or “tracks” which travel to the specific landscape where these wildlife species thrive. Travelling along the “Zebra Track” will boast a variety of plain-game including Burchell zebra, bushbuck, oribi and reed buck. To find species like the elusive klipspringer one would have to travel along the “Ruroko Track.” This track is home to wildlife that requires a habitat that features a wetland basin surrounded by thick acacia shrub and woodlands.
Your park fees are included for this day.
The exclusive Mihingo Lodge is a peaceful retreat which strategically sits adjacent to Lake Mburo National Park. The property features ten tented rooms which have been built on raised wooden platforms that are covered by a thatched roof. Suspended under the thatched roof is a spacious and comfortable tent which has been equipped with safari style amenities and facilities including en-suite bathrooms that produce both hot and cold running water for the shower, and flushing toilets. The property also features a large dining area and an infinity pool.
Wake up bright and early today to enjoy an exciting morning game drive around Lake Mburo. After your game drive, you'll depart the confines of the Lake Mburo National Park and head towards the Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. Often referred to as the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, this area boast some truly thick vegetation consisting of massive evergreen trees that stretch to great heights for sunlight. It is here within the Impenetrable Forest where almost half of the world’s population of Mountain Gorilla reside. The travel time between these two diverse locations is approximately 6 hours depending on weather conditions.
In the afternoon, enjoy some time on your own to relax.
The Gorilla Forest Camp is a luxury tented camp centered in the deep and steamy rainforest of the Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. The park is host to around half of the world’s endangered mountain gorilla population. The 8 double tents offered by the camp are ideal quarters for those looking to track gorillas. The camp offers all the facilities of home, plus more. Décor is intricate weavings and hand carvings, with a personality for each room. Tents have romantic en-suites looking out on the forest, with bathtubs raised on little feet. Dining can be taken outside or indoors under candle light, with fires built on some evenings. Service and cuisine is top notch, with many giving in to indulgence. Others take part in nature walks and birding, and of course, gorilla tracking.
Wake up very early and depart with a picnic lunch to track the rare Mountain Gorillas (hiking boots required). The tracking may take between 5 and 8 hours. The Park Guides with you interpret the flora and fauna and the lifestyle of the Gorillas. Return in the evening for dinner and overnight at the lodge. Only persons age 15 and over are allowed to track the gorillas.
Travel today between Bwindi and Parc National des Volcans by private car and english speaking driver. Please note that there are delays due to road construction, expect the transfer to take 2 hours longer till August 2013 when the construction is expected to be over.
Enjoy a box lunch while you travel (included in tour price).
The Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge is conveniently placed at the feet of the Virungas, the striking volcano mountains through which so many hike in order to catch a glimpse of mountain gorillas. The 8 cottages and suites are structured so as to give guests the most all-encompassing view, promising privacy, a vast countryside, and beautifully decorated quarters. Dining is a similarly pleasing experience, with a variety of fare meeting the standards of even the most discerning traveler. Staff here are extremely helpful, all possessing a very caring nature, and a willingness to assist guests. Besides visiting the famed mountain gorillas, be sure to check out the local marketplaces and find out more about local community projects.
The Park des Volcanoes is located in the Virunga Mountains, a magnificent chain of dormant volcanoes in the North of the country, and home to the world´s last surviving mountain Gorilla populations, currently a mere 700 individuals. A full day trek with your guide through the park is a reasonably strenuous activity which can last the morning or all day as you seek out the gorilla families. Viewing time is limited to one hour, and only 8 maximum are allowed per group. Visitors are asked to maintain a distance of 7m (about 22 feet) from the gorillas. Kids under age 15, or people sick with a cold, flu or other contagious illness, are not allowed to visit the gorillas.
PERMITS MUST BE PAID IN FULL AT TIME OF CONFIRMATION AND ARE NON-REFUNDABLE.
Travel today between Kigali and Parc National des Volcans by private car and english speaking driver.
Your guide will take you out on an excursion through Kigali today. Visit some of the popular market places before heading out to a location of heart aching cultural history. The Kigali Genocide Memorial Centre was opened on the 10th Anniversary of the Rwandan Genocide, in April 2004. The Centre is built on a site where an estimated 250,000 people we`re buried. The Centre is serves as a permanent memorial to the victim of the genocide and serves as a place where people can grieve those that they have lost. One of the principle reasons for the Centres existence is to provide educational information regarding the genocide. Rwandans believe that it is extremely important for the younger generations to be able to have access to a place where they can learn about the reasons and affects of the genocide. The Centre includes three permanent exhibitions, the largest of which documents the genocide in 1994. There is also a children’s memorial, and an exhibition on the history of genocidal violence around the world. The Education Centre, Memorial Gardens and National Documentation Centre of the Genocide all contribute to a meaningful tribute to those who perished, and form a powerful educational tool for the next generation.
A private vehicle will provide a transfer between the airport and hotel.
Depart from Kigali international airport - end of itinerary.
A passport is required and evidence of yellow fever immunization is recommended. Citizens of the following countries DO NOT require a visa and may visit for up to 90 days:USA, Germany, Tanzania, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Uganda, Mauritius, South Africa, Kenya, Great Britain, Sweden, Singapore, Hong Kong and Burundi. Canadian citizens and all other nationalities must apply for a visa online and then pay for the visa upon arrival. A Tourist Visa costs approximately $70.
Please note obtaining a visa is your responsibility. These requirements change often and therefore it is best that you check with the embassy of Rwanda for the most up to date visa information.
NOTE: Only newly printed USD currency and local currency will be accepted in East Africa, any USD currency printed without the new security measures will not be accepted. HEALTHHealth insurance is essential. Guests of Kensington Tours are covered by East African Flying Doctor Services included in the tour price. This coverage guarantees that any member injured or ill while on safari will be airlifted back to Nairobi to the international hospital. We recommend that you see a health-care provider who specializes in Travel Medicine. The doctor or health-care provider will determine what vaccinations and medication you will need, depending on factors such as your health and immunization history, areas of the country you will be visiting, and planned activities. For more information on travel requirements, visit the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) website: http://wwwn.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/rwanda.aspx COUNTRY INFOCapital: Kigali Government: Republic since 1962. Gained independence from Belgium in 1962. Language: The official languages are Kinyarwanda, French and English. Kiswahili is used for trade and commerce. Religion: Animist (50%), Christian (mostly Roman Catholic) and an Islamic minority. Time: GMT + 2. Electricity: 220 volts AC, 50Hz. Telephone: Country code +250. There are no area codes. Mobile Telephone: Roaming agreements exist with international mobile phone companies. Internet: There are Internet cafes in Kigali, including one at the airport.
VISA/PASSPORTA passport valid for three months beyond the date of entry, visa and evidence of yellow fever vaccination are required for both US and Canadian citizens. Visas are available at Entebbe Airport upon arrival or may be obtained from the Embassy of the Republic of Uganda. Processing generally takes 4 working days. The current fee for a three month tourist visa obtained upon arrival at Entebbe Airport is $50. Entebbe (EBB) is 40km (22 miles) southwest of Kampala (journey time – 30 minutes).
Please note obtaining a visa is your responsibility. These requirements change often and therefore it is best that you check with the embassy of Uganda for the most up to date visa information.
NOTE: Only newly printed USD currency and local currency will be accepted in East Africa, any USD currency printed without the new security measures will not be accepted. HEALTHHealth insurance is essential. Guests of Kensington Tours are covered by East African Flying Doctor Services included in the tour price. This coverage guarantees that any member injured or ill while on safari will be airlifted back to Nairobi to the international hospital. We recommend that you see a health-care provider who specializes in Travel Medicine. The doctor or health-care provider will determine what vaccinations and medication you will need, depending on factors such as your health and immunization history, areas of the country you will be visiting, and planned activities. For more information on travel requirements, visit the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) website: http://wwwn.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/uganda.aspx COUNTRY INFOCapital: Kampala Government: Republic. Gained independence from the UK in 1962. Language: English is the official language, with Swahili, Luganda and other Bantu languages also spoken. Religion: 60% Christian, 32% animist and 5% Muslim. Time: GMT + 3. Electricity: 240 volts AC, 50Hz. Telephone: Country code: +256. Mobile Telephone: Coverage extends to all major towns and international roaming agreements exist with international mobile phone companies. Internet: There are Internet cafes in most large towns.
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