The most outstanding features of this Classic Uganda Lodge Safari are:
This Classic Uganda Lodge Safari begins with collection from the Entebbe International Airport, Uganda's primary international airport. From the Entebbe Airport, which serves as the international hub for Kampala - the capital of Uganda - we transfer you to our first overnight guest house in Entebbe. The small town of Entebbe is on the shores of Lake Victoria, the largest tropical lake in the world. Walk around town, visit the local markets and stroll through the forest grove in the Botanical Gardens to spot indigenous birds and monkeys in the trees.
If your flight arrives early enough you have the option of taking a half-day tour of Ngamba Island to visit the chimpanzee sanctuary, reached by motorized canoe or speed boat. The trip to Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary is an optional extra (at additional cost) and can also be booked for the final day of the safari. Get a closer look at the chimpanzees and learn more about these primates at Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary, home to over 45 orphaned chimps. Find out about chimpanzee conservation on the tour, the proceeds of which fund the sanctuary, providing a haven for the rescued chimpanzees.
Alternatively you can volunteer to help out with the animals at the Uganda Wildlife Education Centre (UWEC) in Entebbe. This optional activity should be arranged when booking your safari and is done at additional cost.
In the evening you can eat out at one of the many restaurants offering different types of food, or sample the nightlife in one of the local clubs or bars, mingling with the friendly Ugandans. We overnight at a small, family-run guest house, The Boma in Entebbe, providing views out towards Africa's largest lake, Lake Victoria. Relax at the bar or swim in the pool, set in the spacious and tranquil gardens at The Boma (or similar accommodation).
This morning we head to the domestic airport of Entebbe to catch a scheduled flight to the Kihihi airstrip in southwestern Uganda. After just over an hour's flight we land at the airstrip, close to Bwindi National Park and the Queen Elizabeth National Park, where you are collected. From the airstrip we drive through rural Uganda along a scenic route to the exclusive Buhoma Lodge, next to the unique Bwindi Impenetrable National Park.
On day three and four you have the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to go mountain gorilla trekking in Bwindi Impenetrable Park. The gorilla treks need to be pre-booked and paid for upfront, before you embark on this Uganda Safari. The incredibly rich and diverse forests of Bwindi National Park are home to about half of the endangered mountain gorillas remaining in the wild, worldwide. This dense, lush forest sits on the edge of the famous Great Rift Valley hosting 345 bird species, including endangered birds, as well as some 120 mammal species, 200 butterfly species and 160 tree species. We stay at Buhoma Lodge (or similar) on a forested hillside overlooking the pristine rainforests of Bwindi.
In the morning we make our way to the headquarters of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park on foot, meeting up with our trekking guides. The experienced guides will brief you on the gorilla trekking procedures and lead you into the rainforests in search of these very rare primates. Conserving the remaining 850 mountain gorillas left in the wild is of critical importance and therefore the gorilla treks are closely regulated.
The magical experience of seeing the gorillas in the wild makes the challenging trek through dense forests and steep hilly terrain well worth the effort. Reaching a gorilla group we spend an hour observing them from close range, watching them interact with each other, feed and snooze. Seeing the young gorillas play and cling to their mothers is a special experience, as is meeting the gaze of a big silverback male. After our unforgettable time with the gorillas in the forest we return to the lodge to relax or participate in optional activities if time allows.
On day four you have another opportunity to spend time with the endangered gorillas in their natural habitat. The second gorilla trek also needs to be pre-booked and the permit paid for before embarking on the safari. Gorilla trekking safaris seldom give you the chance to do two gorilla treks which is one of the reasons this Classic Uganda Fly-in Safari is so special.
If you decide not to go gorilla trekking on day four, you can embark on some optional activities (at extra cost) that can be tailored for you. These include taking a forest walk or visiting a Batwa pygmy village. On the optional forest walk a experienced guide takes you into the tropical forests to spot birds and monkeys in the wild. The village tour takes you to local villages near Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, where your options include stopping in at an orphanage or school, meeting a traditional healer and seeing how the local banana beer is brewed.
Today we say goodbye to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, having experienced the diverse and rich ecosystem of the wild rainforests in this unique region of East Africa.
We drive north to Queen Elizabeth National Park, stopping at a community project along the way, if time allows. The local community is building a trench that keeps elephants out of the village and stops them from raiding crops. Here you can also visit homesteads, browse locally produced arts and crafts, see the crops that are grown in the region.
Reaching the southern Ishasha section of the Queen Elizabeth Park we set off on our first game drive in Uganda. This part of the national park is known for its lion population, which is in the unusual habit of climbing the fig trees here. We go in search of buffalo and elephant herds, Uganda Kob, other antelopes and more wildlife.
We stay at the exclusive Ishasha Wilderness Camp (or similar) in the secluded southern region of Queen Elizabeth National Park, the top game viewing destination in Uganda.
Day six - a whole day for game viewing in the Ishasha area where Maramagambo forest lies. This part of Queen Elizabeth National Park boasts an abundance of wild animals and birds. Keep a look out for funny-looking warthogs, giant forest hogs and elusive leopards.
The Queen Elizabeth National Park covers some 1,978 km² of wilderness in a branch of the Great Rift Valley incorporating grasslands, crater lakes, wetlands and forests.
On day seven we explore the scenic Mweya Section of Queen Elizabeth National Park. Numerous strange-looking Euphorbia trees grow in this northern area, which is dotted with crater lakes where big flocks of flamingos can be seen. Our adventures in Mweya, spanning the equator, provide game viewing and bird watching opportunities in the wilderness backed by beautiful mountains.
We embark on a relaxing boat ride along Kazinga Channel, where plenty of hippos wallow and crocodiles lurk. The Kazinga is a birding haven, attracting many birds, including migratory species. Other sightings on the boat cruise include baboons, elephants, buffalos, warthogs and various antelope species. The cruise is an ideal way to see the birds, animals and local fishing villages of the scenic Mweya Peninsula.
Tonight we stay at Mweya Safari Lodge, enjoying views over the Kazinga Channel and Rwenzori Mountains.
Off to lush Chambura (or Kyambura) Gorge we go this morning, for chimpanzee trekking. This pretty forested gorge, in the top eastern corner of Queen Elizabeth Park is home to monkeys, forest creatures and many birds, in addition to chimpanzees. Then we head back to the lodge to collect our things and travel on north to Kibale Forest National Park, under three hours' drive away.
On day eight and nine of this Budget Uganda Fly-in Safari we stay near Kibale Forest where you can go chimpanzee trekking. The chimpanzee tracking permits must be booked and paid for, in advance. Kibale National Park covers 766 km² of various kinds of forests, wetlands and some savannah providing habitats for a rich array of animals, birds and insects, including 144 butterfly species and moths. Kibale Forest National Park is best-known for its primates, including red-tailed, colobus and blue monkeys, along with olive baboons and chimpanzees. You may also spot duiker, civet, antelopes and bush pigs, as well as some of the nearly 400 bird species, including an endemic species only found here.
Optional activities such as guided forest walks, trips to Bigodi Swamps, or Vanilla Farm are also available. We stay at Primate Lodge (or similar) inside Kibale National Park near the chimpanzee tracking trail.
Take the opportunity to go Chimpanzee Trekking in Kibale Forest this morning. The trek starts from the national park headquarters where you meet up with the guides who lead you through the diverse forests. Chimpanzees are usually sighted on the treks in Kibale, sometimes at close range, because the primates are quite habituated to humans. This is a rare opportunity to see chimpanzees in the wild, encountering our closest relatives in the richly inhabited forests.
If you choose not to hike to the chimpanzees you can participate in some of the optional activities on offer.
We enjoy an early breakfast before hitting the road south, returning to Entebbe. En route we pop in at arts and crafts stalls along the road and pause for snapshots of one foot in each hemisphere at the equator.
Reaching Entebbe later in the afternoon our journey through Uganda comes to a close.
Please note: If you are catching a flight on day 10, please book departures after 20h00 to allow enough time.
You can book an optional extra night (extra cost) for after the safari, when booking your safari, if you plan to stay over in Entebbe. Spending an extra day or two here allows for activities such as visiting Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary, and even spending the night on the island. Explore Kampala or head to Jinja for grade 5 white water rafting on the Nile or bungee jumping and more.
Bed & Breakfast (day 1) / Full Board (day 2 - 9) / Breakfast & Lunch (day 10).
All visitors participating in gorilla and chimpanzee trekking are required to be in good health - free of any disease, cold, flu or virus. If any signs of communicable illnesses are detected you will not be permitted on the treks. For volunteering at UWEC additional inoculations and health clearances may be required, so please check when booking these before your safari.
For up-to-date and confirmed pricing info for optional items, please drop us an enquiry.
More on this Discounted Tour
View all Discount Safaris & Specials