This Uganda travel package has extraordinary scope, taking in one highlight after another in four national parks. Unquestionably, International Expeditions guests rave about tracking gorillas in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, seeing gorillas in the wild has to rank among the greatest thrills in natural history. On this safari tour, you will look for chimpanzees in Kibale Forest, see the world-famous Murchison Falls, the Mountains of the Moon, and the wildlife of Queen Elizabeth National Park.
The 73-room Protea Hotel Entebbe is ideally located on the glistening shores of Lake Victoria and a convenient one-kilometer from Entebbe International Airport (EBB). The Tides restaurant, terrace, and bar serves full breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Nile perch is a signature dish. Standard rooms include marble bathroom, hair dryer, in-room safe, coffee and tea maker, air-conditioning, TV with cable, free Wi-Fi, and a mini-bar.
Baker’s Lodge in Murchison Falls National Park is the newest accommodation within the upmarket Uganda Exclusive Camps and Lodges group, opened in late 2014. Situated on the south bank of the mighty Nile River, this intimate, safari-styled lodge is set within a large private area with beautifully trimmed grass, large shady trees, and wetland areas hosting abundant birdlife along the water’s edge.
The views of the river are vast and magnificent with islands hosting nesting egret birds, elephants bathing, and pods of hippos regularly viewed. The lodge provides a thatched central lounge, bar, and raised dining area, allowing guests to savor the morning sunrise for breakfast, sunset in the evening, and 180 degree river views.
Each of the individual cottages is raised on supporting pillars and has its own deck overlooking the river. Care has been taken to ensure each of the cottages has privacy. The cottage have netted windows with opening options, customized solid wooden furniture, hanging mosquito nets, and especially selected locally crafted items for the accessories. The en suite bathrooms are open plan with solar hot water showers. Wi-Fi is available.
The lodge sits on the narrow rim of an extinct volcano which, since its demise, has filled with water to become the breathtaking Lake Nyinambuga. There is a main thatched lodge with spacious sitting room, reception area, and dinning room flanked by eight cottages. The cottages, built of local stone and thatch, face west to offer a panoramic view of the spectacular mountains of the moon.
The interiors are imaginatively and comfortably furnished, the decor emphasizing local materials. Each cottage has en-suite facilities with bath, shower, WC and hand basin, and a private verandah, perfect for watching the sun setting behind the snow-capped peaks of Rwenzori Mountains. The lodge has no electricity or generators to distract from the beautiful and natural bush atmosphere.
Set back on the pristine waters of the Munyanga River and facing the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, the natural setting of Mahogany Springs is beyond imagination. The exotic gardens and stone pathways leading to the river invite you to explore every corner of this magical place, uncovering the various surprises along the way such as the home-grown vegetable garden.
There are a number of features within the main building, most popular of which is the panoramic terrace that provides a balance between the sounds of the river and the views of the forest. Relax in the living room at the double-sided fireplace. There is also a shop within the main building that has crafts, clothes, and a large selection of souvenirs from around Uganda.
The restaurant is set within the main building and guests can choose to dine inside with the coziness and warmth of the glowing fire or outside on the terrace with the sounds and delights of nature.
Suites are spacious with double doors and beautiful windows. Each suite has its own terrace with panoramic views. There are power points in the rooms as well as a dressing table and desk. All suites have large en-suite bathrooms with an open terracotta shower. For added comfort and peace of mind, all the suites have an advanced mosquito net system that wraps around the entire area of the beds.
Located on a peninsula within the heart of Queen Elizabeth National Park, Mweya lodge is fitted with en suite rooms fully provided with mosquito netted curtains, high pressure hot showers, powerful ceiling fans, and gorgeous verandahs overlooking the Kazinga Channel and Lake Edward. The lodge also boasts a wide range of facilities including a swimming pool and pool-side bar, safari bar and restaurant, souvenir shops and satellite TV.
This is quite the mecca for birders, as there are over 600 different species which relish in the flora and fauna of the park.
Fly independently to Entebbe International Airport (EBB) in Uganda.
Connect with your flight to Entebbe International Airport (EBB) in Uganda and transfer to the gracious Protea Hotel.
Today, you will set out on a full-day drive to the Murchison Falls National Park. You will descend the escarpment of the western corridor of the Great Rift Valley, enjoying fine views of Lake Albert. Murchison Falls National Park is Uganda’s largest protected area at 14,825 square miles. A hidden gem tucked into the corner of the country, Murchison Falls is home to many species not easily found elsewhere in Uganda.
In the late afternoon, you will arrive at your home for the next three nights of this Uganda gorilla trek itinerary, Baker’s Lodge.
This morning, you will explore the delta of Lake Albert by boat, searching for elephants, saddle-billed storks, and African fish eagles among other species. Most of all, watch for shoebill, which favor the reed-lined banks of these waters. One of the greatest rarities and a prize for any wildlife enthusiast, shoebills are huge birds with a massive bill, related to storks and herons.
This afternoon, you will explore the top of Murchison Falls. From here, one can really appreciate the power with which the Nile crashes through the narrow gap in the escarpment. The roar of the water and spray are astonishing, as are the views. Enjoy a picnic lunch and walking atop the falls.
Take a launch on the Victoria Nile to the base of spectacular Murchison Falls, where the full force of the Nile is channeled into a narrow gorge just 20 feet wide. Wildlife along the river is exceptional. As you cruise amongst palms, acacia woodland, and mahogany, watch for elephants, giraffes, and vast numbers of birds, including the shoebill and red-throated bee-eater, more plentiful here than anywhere else in East Africa.
Goliath heron, African jacana, pied and malachite kingfishers, various weavers, and African skimmers are also found here. These waters are home to huge pods of hippos and some of the largest crocodiles on the Nile. Lucky visitors may spot leopards and lions.
You will continue exploring the park’s northern sector, where part of the movie The African Queen was filmed. The northern section of the park is mostly grassland, interspersed with strands of palms, acacia trees, and riverine woodland. Under the leadership of highly trained naturalist guides, you will look for elephants, lions, giraffes, sitatungas, Uganda kobs, buffaloes, and a great deal more.
On this day, you will travel to the Kibale Forest area, seeing beautiful, fertile land that supports a wealth of agriculture. You will traverse the foothills of the Ruwenzori Mountains (the Mountains of the Moon), pass tea plantations, and reach the Kibale Forest. Kibale boasts the highest concentration and variety of primates of any forest in East Africa. Sixty species of mammals, including 13 primate species, call the 295-square mile park home.
The park is interspersed with patches of grassland and swamp, but the dominant vegetation is rainforest.
Today, you will walk in the Kibale Forest with skilled local guides in search of primates including chimpanzees, the star attractions. While there is no guarantee of seeing chimps, the chances are good. If you find chimpanzees, your guides hope to spend about an hour observing their social behavior. Kibale Forest is home to the largest concentration and variety of primates of any forest in East Africa, including L’Hoest’s and red colobus monkey.
After the walk, you will have a special treat of enjoying a traditional lunch in a local home, visiting the village of Bigodi, seeing a school, meeting local elders, and getting insight into how the people of the area live and work.
In the morning, you will visit one of the area’s swamps where there is excellent birding and where you will look for monkeys, including black-and-white colobus, red colobus, mangabey, L’Hoest’s monkey, and others. Birds of the area include some of the large, noisy members of the turaco family.
In the afternoon, you will drive to Queen Elizabeth National Park, passing the eastern slopes of the Ruwenzori Mountains, the mountains of the moon. They are usually covered in clouds, but if luck you are lucky, you may see the glaciated peaks. You will arrive at Queen Elizabeth National Park and Mweya Lodge, which is situated on a peninsula overlooking Lake Edward and Kazinga Channel with the Ruwenzoris as backdrop.
Today, you will enjoy game drives in Queen Elizabeth National Park, one of Africa’s premier national parks known for its prolific wildlife. You will look for elephants, buffaloes, kobs, waterbucks, bushbucks, and predators including lions and leopards. Bird watching is remarkable, with about 600 species recorded.
You will go by lunch along the Kazinga Channel, which connects Lake George and Lake Edward, to view the large concentration of hippos. You will also visit a crater lake where salt is harvested for export to the Congo.
In the morning, you will be driven to the less-visited Ishasha region of Queen Elizabeth National Park, one of the few places where lions regularly climb trees. You will look for them, along with a great deal of other wildlife. In the afternoon you will go to the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park, traversing the beautiful mountain landscapes known as the “Switzerland of East Africa.” You will spend two nights at Mahogany Springs Lodge. (B,L,D)
This morning, you will hike in search of endangered mountain gorillas in the company of outstanding local guides and trackers. Slightly more than half the world’s mountain gorilla population resides in Bwindi National Park, estimated at 320 individuals living in 15 families. During this Uganda gorilla trek, you must walk through the forest, with their rangers and trackers, over, under, and around vegetation and almost never on a trail. There is no set time for trekking but typical treks are four hours. However, treks can be anywhere from one hour to ten hours or more.
Once located, trekkers spend a life-changing hour with these magnificent gentle giants, well worth the effort in finding them. Spending time with these majestic creatures may well be the single most rewarding natural history experience in the world. A world heritage site, Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park is also home to nine other species of primate, myriad bird species, including 23 species endemic to the Albertine Rift and at least 14 species recorded nowhere else in Uganda.
Among them are African green broadbill, white-tailed flycatcher, brown-necked parrot, white-bellied robin chat, and Frazer’s eagle owl. Over 200 species of colorful butterflies are found in the park and, along with lots of wonderful birds, frequenting the lodge grounds. Eight of those butterfly species are endemic to the Albertine Rift.
You will fly from Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park to Entebbe. Day rooms are available at the Protea Hotel before you transfer to the airport for your independent flight home.
Arrive back in the US and connect to your independent flight home.
From mist-shrouded forests, home to mountain gorillas, to passes where the full force of the Nile gushes through a 20-foot gap in the rock, Uganda beckons travelers searching for a hidden jewel in the vast continent of Africa.
Taking a road less-traveled into the misty rainforests of this unique country, International Expeditions’ Uganda expedition allows you to savor four national parks: Murchison Falls National Park, Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Queen Elizabeth National Park, and Kibale Forest National Park, each a destination in its own right.
There’s no better way to absorb Uganda’s sweeping savannahs, captivating cultures, and glorious wildlife than International Expeditions’ comprehensive Uganda safari.
Winston Churchill dubbed Uganda the pearl of Africa for good reason. It’s a diverse country, green and tropical, with savannahs, forests, lakes, branches of the Nile, and snow-covered peaks. This comprehensive trek exposes you to wildlife and plants characteristic of both East and West Africa, meaning that you can see more on International Expeditions’ Uganda expedition than you could just about anywhere else.
You will be provided with daily breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Your meals are included in the price.
Please book your flight to arrive at Entebbe International Airport (EBB). Transfer from and to the airport is included. International Expeditions will pick you up from the airport.