Gorillas & Batwa Community Experience
|Jan - Dec
BEST TIME TO VISIT
5 Day Gorillas & Batwa Community Experience
This 5-day Uganda Gorilla safari (road package) takes you to either Bwindi Impenetrable National Park or Mgahinga Gorilla National Park. Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is a verdant magnificent swathe of rain forest across the steep ridges of the Albertine Rift Valley. This ancient rainforest is one of the few on the African continent to have flourished and a home to half of the world’s endangered population of Mountain Gorillas. Apart from gorilla trekking, the park boasts 90 mammal species, including 11 primates and prominent bird species. This treasure trove of flora and fauna is home to over 370 Mountain Gorillas, accommodating almost a half of the world’s population of Mountain Gorillas. A tour to this park enables you to get up close and personal with these rare Great Apes. Mgahinga is part of a larger ecosystem, the Virunga Conservation Area, which includes two adjacent parks in Rwanda and DR Congo. Mgahinga Gorilla National Park sits high in the clouds. It was formed to protect the rare Mountain Gorillas that inhabit its dense forests, and it is also an important habitat for the endangered golden monkey. Like Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, a gorilla safari to this park enables you to get up close and personal with these rare Great Apes.
Day 1: Arrival in Uganda
You arrive at Entebbe International, located on a peninsula that juts out into Lake Victoria, where your driver/guide from Uzuri Uganda Safaris will meet and greet you and then transfer you to Sheraton Kampala for your overnight stay.
Meal Plan: Dinner
Day 2: Drive to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park
You are up at 6.30am to enjoy breakfast. After your breakfast, you are ready to commence your to either Bwindi Impenetrable National Park or Mgahinga Gorilla National Park. This is dependent on where the Gorilla permits are issued for. You will make your first stop at the Equator Crossing at Kayabwe for some fun pictures and refreshment. You will continue your journey with a stop in Mbarara town for your lunch at Igongo Cultural; Centre & Museum. After lunch, you will continue onto Buhoma (northern sector of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park) or Kisoro (southern sector) in the viscinity of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. Once in Buhoma or Kisoro, you will check-in at either Buhoma Lodge, Chameleon Hill Lodge or Mount Gahinga Lodge for overnight.
Meal Plan: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 3: Gorilla tracking & relax at lodge
You are up at 6.00am for a quick breakfast and are transferred to the park headquarters. Here, you are allocated a gorilla family in groups of 8 people/trackers as well as a gorilla trekking guide with armed rangers. After a pre-trekking briefing by the Uganda Wildlife Authority rangers and staff, touching on gorillas generally, your assigned gorilla family as well as the appropriate safety precautions, you are led or driven to the trailhead for the start of a thrilling encounter. Expect to walk/hike for between 2 and 8 hours in steep and sometimes muddy conditions, which can be tough and requires a degree of (average) fitness. However, the thrill of meeting a large Mountain Gorilla family led by a huge Silverback completely makes up for the effort. When you finally locate the family that you are tracking, sit in the forest among the gorillas, listening to them grumble to each other, feed and groom each other, and marvel at the sheer size of the dominant male – the silverback. It is an extraordinary feeling sitting in the dense forest in the knowledge you are in the presence of the few remaining Mountain Gorillas in the wild.
After the mandatory 1 hour is up, you will be led back to the starting point where your guide will be waiting to take you back to the lodge. You have the rest of the day to yourselves.
What to bring for gorilla tracking/trekking: light but sturdy hiking shoes, light rain jacket, daypack, 2 litres of water, gardening gloves, long trousers either jeans/khakis, long-sleeved shirt/blouse, wide-brimmed hat, sun glasses, insect repellent and an energy bar.
Meal Plan: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 4: Batwa Community experience & drive to L. Bunyonyi
Before the gorillas were conserved as an endangered species, the Batwa people lived, hunted and gathered in their beloved forests of present-day Bwindi and Mgahinga National Parks in Uganda. The forest provided everything that they needed, and in turn they left a minimal footprint in the forest, they co-existed with nature and their environment only taking what they needed. The Batwa experience is one way of keeping those ancient ways and traditions alive for the Batwa pygmy people, a way of passing on the traditions and culture that had been such an integral part of who they were to their children and grandchildren and allowing outsiders and visitors to see and take part in their ancient ways. You will spend 5-hours with the Batwa. Allow them to guide you through their beloved forest and learn of their traditional ways of life. The Batwa experience in Buhoma takes place outside the park in an old-growth forest on land that is next to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. The experience begins with a nature walk, hike through the forest seeing the forest in a new way, through the eyes of the Batwa. After you return, your guide will be waiting for you to commence your drive to the scenic Lake Bunyonyi – one of Uganda’s best kept secrets where guests can relax after the gorilla trek as they take in the ever-changing scenery of Africa’s deepest lake. Overnight at Sharp Island Gorilla Lodge or Birdnest Resort Bunyonyi
Meal Plan: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 5: Drive to Entebbe & Depart
This morning, after your breakfast, and depending on your departure flight home from Entebbe, you can choose to explore (not included in price) a bit of Lake Bunyonyi (options to choose from include a canoe, a motorized boat tour of some of the 29 islands that make Lake Bunyonyi what it is) and transfer back to Kampala with various stops including one in Mbarara town for your lunch en-route. After lunch, you will continue on to Kampala with an optional stop at the Equator crossing. Your driver/guide will then complete your transfer to the airport in time for you to check-in for your onward flight back home.
Meal Plan: Breakfast, Lunch
Priced from £2,595 Per Person
Accommodation in Standard Rooms in safari lodges/camps and hotel facilities as mentioned in the itinerary.
On the ground transport in a 4X4 Safari Land-cruiser with pop-up roofs for game viewing
Game drives, excursions and sight-seeing activities (if any) as described above
Activities (if any) as outlined in detailed itinerary
Transfers as indicated in the itinerary
Meals as indicated in the itinerary
Services of an English-speaking driver/tour guide
Bottled water, snacks and fruit in vehicle whilst on safari
Personal expenses such travel and medical insurance, excess baggage fee, communication charges that include, emails, faxes and phone calls beverages including water, soft drinks, luxury champagne, spirits or meals not included in the itinerary
Gratuity for porterage/ waiters at hotels, camps and airports
Gratuity for your professional driver guide
Cost of obtaining Visas ($50)
Any optional tours and excursions not mentioned in the itinerary
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