The two most exceptional features of this Budget Uganda Safari:
Other highlights include exploring Queen Elizabeth National Park, where you embark on game drives in the southern Ishasha and northern Mweya regions, and take a boat cruise on the Kazinga Channel. You can also go chimpanzee trekking in Chambura Gorge, visit local villages and join guided walks on this Uganda Fly-in Lodge Safari.
At the start of this Budget Uganda Fly-in Safari you are collected from the international airport in Entebbe and transferred to our first overnight guest house in the suburbs. Located along the shores of Lake Victoria, Africa's largest lake, Entebbe is easily explored on foot. The local motorcycle taxis, called boda bodas, are also a fun way to get around the relatively quiet town.
Depending on your arrival time, you can set off on a trip to Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary, at extra cost. This optional half-day excursion takes you to the island on Lake Victoria by motorized canoe or boat. The sanctuary is home to more than 45 rescued chimpanzees that you can see up close and learn more about on the tour. The fee for your trip contributes to the conservation efforts at the sanctuary. Another option is to do some voluntary work at the Uganda Wildlife Education Centre (UWEC) in Entebbe, at extra cost. This activity needs to be pre-arranged when booking your safari. You are also free to mingle with the locals in the markets of Entebbe and visit the Botanical Gardens where you can see indigenous birds and monkeys in the pretty trees.
Tonight you can dine at one of the local restaurants, getting a taste of different styles of cuisine. Hit the town after dinner, getting to know your travel companions and the Ugandan people, known for their friendliness, in the clubs or bars. Accommodation is at The Boma (or similar), a family-run guest house featuring a pool, bar and lovely gardens looking out towards the vast lake.
Transfer to the domestic airport in Entebbe for our flight, of just over an hour, to an airstrip near the national parks of Bwindi and Queen Elizabeth. The scheduled flight goes to Kihihi Airstrip, where you are collected for the drive to Buhoma Lodge. We travel through villages and scenic countryside, via mountain roads, taking in some of rural Uganda, the Pearl of Africa.
While at Bwindi Impenetrable National Park you will have two opportunities to go gorilla trekking in the rainforest. This is one of the most moving wildlife experiences on the planet! The gorilla treks take place in the lush and biodiverse Bwindi Impenetrable Forest of southwestern Uganda where about half of the remaining wild mountain gorillas are found. To participate in this unforgettable experience you need to book in advance before your safari departs. If you have a cold, flu or any contagious illness you will not be permitted to go gorilla trekking.
Our overnight stay is at the Buhoma Lodge (or similar) in the pristine Bwindi Forest on a mountainside.
Walk into Bwindi National Park to meet up with your experienced Ugandan guides at the park headquarters. Then it's time to trek into the tropical rainforests on the edge of the Great Rift Valley escarpment in search of a family group of gorillas. Trekking up and down the steep mountains and ravines through the dense forests can be tough going, so a good level of fitness is required.
Bwindi Impenetrable Forest is home to an impressive 200 species of butterflies and 345 species of birds, as well as around 120 mammal and 160 tree species. Once you reach a gorilla family you spend about an hour observing these rare primates from close range. Watching the great apes play and go about their daily lives in the wild is an unforgettable experience! Once our time with the endangered gorillas is up we make our way back to the exclusive lodge for another comfortable night in the forests of Uganda.
Today you have the chance to go gorilla trekking in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park again. This is a rare opportunity to do two gorilla treks on one safari, so take advantage if you can! The second gorilla trekking excursion also needs to be arranged in advance and also follows strict regulations to ensure the safety of the gorillas.
Alternatively, there are optional activities (own cost) available in and around the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest. You can join a scenic guided walk in the Bwindi Forest to experience the rich tapestry of life - primates, birds, other creatures and plants - up close. Or you can take a tailored tour of a village near Bwindi Park to encounter the locals and see how they brew banana beer, go to a school and orphanage, or meet a healer. We spend another night at the hillside lodge, offering lovely views over the rainforest.
On day five we depart from Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, heading north for some game viewing in Queen Elizabeth National Park.
Along the way we visit a community project centered on digging elephant trenches to reduce human-wildlife conflict near the national park. If there is enough time we also stop in at a homestead, see the crops grown here and browse local arts and crafts.
Then it is on to the southern section of Queen Elizabeth National Park, known as the Ishasha Sector. This is the top wildlife destination in Uganda, known for its excellent game viewing. We venture into Ishasha on an afternoon game drive, looking out for elephants, buffalos, antelopes, lions and more. This part of Queen Elizabeth Park is best known for its unusual tree-climbing lions, often sighted lazing in the treetops.
Our next stay is at a luxurious tented camp - Ishasha Wilderness Camp (or similar), situated in the remote Ishasha region.
The whole day is spent exploring Queen Elizabeth National Park and visiting the Ishasha Community Project. This 1,978 km² national park is home to an interesting assortment of wild animals and birds, ranging from hogs to hippos and even leopards.
Located in a western branch of the Great Rift Valley Queen Elizabeth National Park incorporates diverse habitats, including swamplands, savannahs and woods. We go game viewing in the Ishasha section today, an area hosting one of Uganda's biggest natural forests, Maramagambo. We overnight at the exclusive tented camp again tonight.
Day seven on this Uganda Fly-in Safari is set aside for game viewing in the Mweya area of Queen Elizabeth National Park. This northern region of the national park is characterized by crater lakes and euphorbia succulents. We look out for wildlife in this scenic area flanked by beautiful mountain ranges. Mweya is also a good place for bird watching, especially at the crater lakes which attract flocks of flamingoes.
Today we take a laid-back cruise on the Kazinga Channel, spotting hippos, birds and crocodiles from the boat. The cruise takes us past fishing villages and provides lovely views of the Mweya Peninsula and surrounds, as well as offering excellent animal and bird sightings.
We overnight at Mweya Safari Lodge, set on a peninsula looking out over the Kazinga Channel and the Rwenzori Mountains beyond.
Early this morning, we travel to the nearby Chambura (or Kyambura) Gorge - one of the best places to go chimpanzee tracking in Uganda.
The morning chimpanzee trek is an optional extra activity into the forested gorge, known as the Valley of Apes, in the eastern part of Queen Elizabeth National Park. Walking into the lush rainforest of tangled vines, buzzing with life, you are highly likely to see chimpanzees at close range. Other primates also hang out in these trees, including a variety of monkeys and baboons, as well as a rich array of birds.
After trekking chimpanzees in the biodiverse rainforest we make our way to a local airstrip for our flight back to Entebbe. Back in Entebbe, our budget Uganda Fly-in Safari comes to an end and you are transferred to the airport, directly or from your post-safari hotel.
Please note: If you are catching a flight on day eight, please only book flights departing after 20h00.
When booking your safari you can arrange an extra night of accommodation (additional cost) after the safari, if you plan to stay over in Entebbe.
We recommend adding an extra day or two after the safari, in order to explore Kampala and enjoy optional activities such as visiting Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary and giong to Jinja for grade 5 white water rafting on the Nile or bungee jumping and more.
In order to go gorilla and chimpanzee trekking you need to be in good health - free of any contagious illnesses, cold, flu or virus. If any signs of communicable diseases are detected the Uganda park officials have the right to refuse you entry. If you wish to volunteer at UWEC extra inoculations and health checks may be required, so please enquire when booking your safari.
For up-to-date and confirmed pricing info for optional items, please drop us an enquiry.
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