(Kampala, Lake Mburo National Park, Bwindi)
This tour Features Lake Mburo for a nice boat and walking safari activity on your way to see the Gorillas in Bwindi. Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is located in southwestern Uganda. A magnificent verdant swathe across the steep ridges of the Albertine rift valley; this ancient rainforest is one of the few in Africa to have flourished, and a home to half of the world's endangered mountain gorillas. Looking into the expressive brown eyes of these giants is surely the most exciting and poignant wildlife encounter Uganda has to offer.
NOTE: Gorilla permits are $500 for Uganda, 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.
Mahogany Springs offers privacy and serenity blended with optimal comfort in a spectacular setting. With some of the most luxurious accommodation in East Africa the feeling that you will experience when staying here is beyond compare. At Mahogany Springs it is the little touches that make the big difference, from the tiny details in the design of the lodge through to the unrivalled service levels provided by the highly trained management team. Mahogany Springs is the perfect base from which to begin you Gorilla Tracking or Bird watching adventures. The Gorillas have been to know to the visit the lodge and coming face to face with one of these peaceful creatures is an indescribable experience. With more bird species per square kilometre than anywhere else in the world Bwindi is often described as bird watchers paradise and the fact that Mahogany Springs is set back on an open piece of land by the river ensures we have many rare species visiting us every day.
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.
Early this morning, your guide will take you for a forest walk. Bwindi has several hiking trails. On all these trails, you have opportunities to see and learn about primates, many species of birds, butterflies, trees, and other organisms. The forest has about 30 elephants and 120 species of mammals including 7 diurnal primates, 360 species of birds and over 200 species of butterflies. This Afro-montane forest has dense under storey of fern, vines, and shrubs. About 324 tree species have been recorded here, of which 10 don't occur anywhere else in Uganda.
En-route to Bwindi, stop at a local school for a visit with some of the school children.
Transfer to between Bwindi and Entebbe International Airport driving through the scenic views and gift shops such as at Kinoni and Mpambire with lunch break en route. This drive is approximately 10hrs.
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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