(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 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.
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.
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.
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.
Enjoy a box lunch while you travel (included in tour price).
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.
A private vehicle with English speaking driver will provide a transfer today from Kigali to Parc National des Volcans. The approximate travel time is 2 hours and 30 minutes.
Prepare your senses for an explosion of culture and emotion during today’s excursion through Kigali. Begin by visiting some of the popular market places to view and purchase if you’d like some of the local products. Next, you’ll travel to a location stained with heart aching cultural history, The Kigali Genocide Memorial Centre. This tragic memorial was constructed in April 2004 to honour those whom lost their lives during the Rwandan Genocide. The centre was built on the site where an estimated 250000 victims were buried. This location serves as a place where individuals can grieve the loss of their loved ones as well as to provide educational information regarding the genocide. Rwandans believe that although the gruesomeness and painful emotions associated with this tragedy may be construed as negative it is extremely important that the younger generations of Rwandans fully understand the reasons and effects of such an event on a nation. The Centre features three permanent exhibits which depict the events of 1994, as well as a children’s memorial which exhibits the history of genocidal violence towards children from all over the world.
Enjoy your transfer between the airport and hotel.
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.
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.
Sanctuary Gorilla Forest Camp is nestled deep inside Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, a UNESCO World Heritage Site in southwest Uganda. This camp is one of the most remote and atmospheric in Africa. The main area features a comfortable lounge and bar area as well as the main dining area while the mini spa offers a wide selection of treatments. Located within the National Park, Sanctuary Gorilla Forest Camp offers guests an unrivalled location, including the best bird and wildlife viewing in the Bwindi area. In fact, Sanctuary Gorilla Forest Camp often receives regular visits from the gorillas themselves. For the lucky guests in camp at those times, they may have the chance for a gorilla encounter without even leaving Sanctuary Gorilla Forest Camp.
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.
Ronald Jones ,
December 12, 2014
"I cannot express how fabulous our trip was!! I know it was made that way thanks to ALL the kind, knowledgable, and helpful people that you all placed in our path. Many went above and beyond to make our experience even more positive. From drivers, to guides, to hotel staff---we met some wonderful people that we can now call friends. Thank you Christine and Kensington tours for this once in a lifetime African adventure!"
December 09, 2014
"A truly wonderful trip......first class accommodations and service in each venue....the guides were knowledgable and went out of their way to insure that we could see and understand Africa. Capetown is a fascinating city, Sabi Sands an extraordinary private game preserve, and Zimbabwe with Victoria Falls and the Victoria Falls Hotel a once in a lifetime experience. For those who want to visit Africa we enthusiastically recommend Kensington Tours. And Jolene Plant stayed with us in every step during the planning of our trip and itinerary. We saw as much of Africa as much as anyone can during our two weeks vacation."
Belinda Skelton ,
December 12, 2014
"This was one of the most amazing trips that I have ever had. The custom tours and activities exceeded my expectations. I was traveling alone but felt safe and in good hands. The process of booking the trip with Lily Baffour was so easy and personal, especially with the constant communications from her up to my departure. Thank you Kensington Tours for an awesome experience. I will definitely use you for my next adventure!"
Nathan Nerland ,
December 15, 2014
"Kensington Tours is always our only guided company we use because every staff has been amazing along the way and they accommodate everything we request, and more."
December 12, 2014
"Our week-long tour in Morocco went without a hitch in the company of a great driver and knowledgeable guide who were always prompt, courteous, helpful, and very nice. Kensington Tours' picks for our overnight accommodations were excellent, as well as the excursions planned for us. We're grateful to our conscientious agent, Lily, who went out of her way to make us feel welcome in Morocco. We feel confident that we are in very capable hands whenever we travel with Kensington Tours. "
December 12, 2014
"Our trip was a perfect 10 - exceeding all expectations! Starting with Christine Willner's attentiveness to our wish list and balancing it to our budget, every leg and element of our journey took place without so much as a hiccup. We were blown away by the quality of our tours, accommodations and guides. Thank you for giving us a great experience and wonderful memories!"
Rebecca Warren ,
August 02, 2014
"My 26 year old daughter recently traveled alone to Madagascar using Kensington tours. I was a little concerned about her safety and wanted to make sure that she would be well taken care of. Kensington was great from start to finish. Our travel agent, Marc Sisson, put together the tour in very short order with very little notice, had no problem doing it for just one person, and gave me a sense of security that my daughter would be well cared for. She did the Anjajavy 5 Day Beach extension. The tour guide who picked her up at the airport in the capitol city was outstanding -- very knowledgeable and helpful. The Anjajavy hotel was extraordinary. Her pictures are breathtakingly beautiful. She kayaked, swam in the ocean and saw lemurs feeding. She got to practice her French with the outstanding hotel manager and otherwise was able to just relax and unwind. She described the experience as "visiting Eden." I highly recommend Kensington. I contacted a number of tour/travel agencies and none of them compared to Kensington. "
Shayna Maislin ,
April 21, 2014
"I would highly recommend the tour guide that we had in the Serengetti . He was extremely knowledgeable, very helpful and courteous. We all agree that Kensington has first class staff working for them in Africa. All the camps that we stayed at were absolutely beautiful except perhaps for the one in Lake Manyara. All in all it was a spectacular trip!"
Lucy Gilkes ,
April 21, 2014
"The whole trip was wonderful but the guides were what made it for us. They were knowledgeable and thoughtful a pleasure to spend time with."
Janine Chey ,
April 21, 2014
"Our trip to Masai Mara via Kensington ran very smoothly. We stayed at the Mara West Lodge. Beautiful location atop a ridge overlooking the Masai Mara plains. Our luxury tents were quite comfortable and the staff/service at the lodge were great. Meals were very nice especially the daily soups. Our guide, Steve, was also great...so knowledgeable and eager to show us many interesting things. He planned our daily game drives and took us on a nature hike one afternoon. He clearly knows and understands this ecosystem. He has an amazing eye, finding animals in fields of tall grasses. Our entire family had an amazing time, trip of a lifetime...would love to go back!"
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