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Have you ever wondered what it feels to interact with primates on a safari? You have your answer here. For 16 days, you will be satisfied with a complete package of Uganda Safari that will not only allow you to see chimpanzees, gorilla, and golden monkey, but also other wildlife in many stunning Uganda National Parks including Kidepo National Park, Murchison Falls National Park, Kibale Forest National Park, Queen Elizabeth National Park, Mgahinga National Park, and many more!
During this 16-day safari, you will have these following accommodation choice for each night:
Early morning, the driver will pick you from your hotel and brief you before heading out to Kitgum which is in the northern part of Uganda. You will have a quick lunch stop along the way and then get back on the road to Kitgum. You will have your Dinner and overnight stay at your lodge of booking.
After an early breakfast, you will head off to Kidepo Valley National Park passing through villages and farm fields. Upon arrival in the park, you will check in and have lunch thereafter. Later you will go for an evening game drive. To conclude your day, you will have dinner followed by an overnight stay at your lodge of booking.
Start with an early breakfast and then go for a game drive along the trails of Kidepo Valley. The park inhabits one of the most exciting faunas of any Ugandan parks, with over 80 species of mammals several of which are endemic to Kidepo National Park like the cheetah, the striped hyena, the caracal, and over 465 bird species including the ostriches. Dinner and overnight stay will be at your lodge of booking.
After a late breakfast, you will drive to a Karamojong village to learn more about their culture, music, and dance. After lunch, you will proceed to Kitgum town. Karamojong has a cattle culture and the Karamojong are notorious as cattle raiders. Unlike most other Ugandans, many Karamojong shuns western-style clothes and instead wear “traditional” dress of a blanket-like shawl, often in red and black. The women wear elaborate beadwork. Dinner and overnight will be at your lodge of booking.
Early in the morning after breakfast, you shall head out to Gulu and then to Murchison falls national park through the northern sector with lunch along the way. There are a lot of animals to see on your way to the hotel through the park such as elephants, giraffes, and buffaloes. While hippos, Nile crocodiles, and aquatic birds are permanent residents. Dinner and overnight will at your lodge of booking.
You will wake up very early and set off at 06:30 for a sunrise game drive in the Nyamsika plateau to see the Cape buffaloes, Rothschild’s giraffes, Uganda kob, hartebeest, and waterbucks. You may also spot oribi, bushbuck, Bohor reedbuck, shy sitatunga, bush duiker, warthog, and bush pig plus large carnivores including lions, leopards, and spotted hyenas. Chimpanzees and olive baboons head the list of six species of primates found in the park. Crocodiles and hippos will be seen along the banks of the Nile. Some of the more common birds that can be seen include goliath heron, Egyptian geese, pelican, bee-eaters, kingfishers, hornbill, cormorant, saddle-bill stork, and the rare shoebill stork. You will return to your lodge for a late breakfast and some relaxation before you set off in the afternoon for a boat cruise on the placid Victoria Nile, upstream, to the base of the falls. En route you will see hippos, crocodiles, waterbuck, and a wide variety of birds like the unusual shoebill stork. The boat stops just tens of meters from the “Devil’s Cauldron” for pictures to be taken of the photogenic and majestic Murchison Falls.
After your breakfast, you will visit the “top of the thunderous Murchison falls”, where you will observe the Nile River squeezing itself in a 7-meter gorge before tumbling 40 meters down in a thunderous explosion and then flows down into a very peaceful river whose water banks are swarmed with a profusion of water and land animals as well as birds. You will thereafter set off on a 9-hour journey to Kibale Forest National Park. The drive is through verdant countryside interpassing traditional homesteads and farms and via the towns of Hoima and Fort portal which rests in the shadow of the fabled Mountains of the Moon. You will have an opportunity to do a swamp walk upon reaching Kibale. You will have dinner and overnight stay at the lodge of your booking.
Today you’ll accompany Kibale’s researchers in a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to contribute to a “soft” habituation project with chimpanzees. You’ll learn to safely observe the chimpanzees during their daily activities, so they get comfortable with human presence without changing their natural behaviors. You will be able to experience the chimpanzee families as they wake up, hunt, patrol, play, fight, copulate, and breastfeed. Guided by biologists and researchers, you will enjoy unprecedented intimate access to these wild chimpanzees for the entire day until they build their nests at bedtime. You will enjoy your dinner and have an overnight stay at your lodge of booking.
At 09:00, you will begin your drive to Queen Elizabeth National Park, enjoying the majestic views en route of the snow-capped 16,000-foot Rwenzori Mountains - the famed "Mountains of the Moon". In the afternoon you’ll join a research team from the Uganda Wildlife Authority to track banded mongoose, a highly social mongoose which is closely related to the better-known meerkat. As the research team embarks on their daily monitoring activities, you are awarded plenty of time to observe the mongoose troupes as they normally go about life. See how they engage teamwork, hunt prey, and defend each other.
Observe family / group hierarchy among other amazingly interesting mongoose behaviors. Like meerkats, each mongoose group or family sleeps together in a communal underground den, changing between den sites every 3 to 5 days. They emerge at sunrise and forage together in the morning and afternoon before returning to the den at sunset. Take as many photos as you wish before heading back to the lodge for dinner and overnight stay.
See a different face of the park as you venture off road with a research team to track lions and contribute to a valuable lion research project in the Ishasha Sector. The researchers' Land Cruiser is fitted with radio-collar-receiving equipment. You get a full briefing on the animals with opportunity for as much lion photography as you can manage.
After a leisurely lunch on the Mweya Peninsula, you’ll enjoy a 2-hour boat safari along the Kazinga Channel. This affords the opportunity to view wildlife up close such as hippo’s huff and spray as well as buffalo linger in the shallows. The shores of the channel are also home to an array of birds including pink backed pelicans, pied and malachite kingfishers, saddle billed stork and many others.
After breakfast, you’ll drive further south through stunning savannah grasslands as you head to the southern sector of the park, Ishasha. This is the best area to see the famous tree-climbing lions draped from low hanging limbs of fig trees. Next, you will visit the Kob Mating Ground, a defined area specifically used by these stunning antelopes for challenging other males, enticing females and mating. Finally, you’ll pass through beautiful savannah grasslands as you head towards the breathtaking Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park. You will have dinner and overnight stay at the lodge of your booking.
You’ll have an early morning entry into the mountain gorillas’ sanctuary. The rainforest is spectacular and heavily vegetated with dense landscapes crisscrossed by numerous animal trails, allowing access for trekkers. This park is best known for the fascinating gorillas, where the taken time and terrain vary according to the movements of these fantastic apes.
Your intimate gorilla experience will allow you to accompany the Uganda Wildlife Authority’s Bwindi gorilla habituation team for the entire day, allowing you to have a minimum 4 hours in the presence of a mountain gorilla family, since regular permits only allow 1 hour, this is 4 times longer than the regular amount of time spent up close with Gorillas. During this time, you will be able to experience the gorilla family as they wake up, hunt, patrol, play, fight, copulate, and breastfeed until they build their nests at bedtime.
The thrill of spending time with and observing these gentle giants is a rare and moving adventure that will leave you with long lasting memories. Spending more time with them means you are assured of the best possible experience, with 4 full hours for better photography, researcher access for more questions, and enough time to experience more intimate and unusual behaviors. The gorillas are shy and peaceful animals and it is an unforgettable experience to watch and photograph them as they interact with each other.
The walking can sometimes be tough and long, but when you catch a glimpse of the magnificent silverback, any discomforts will be quickly forgotten. Once the gorillas are sighted, you will be guided to within 6 meters of the gorillas, and be able to sit all around them while gazing into their big round eyes as the researchers note health, behavior, and other characteristics. Dinner and overnight will be at your lodge of booking.
After breakfast, you’ll be transferred to the Mgahinga National Park headquarters for briefing and later begin the hike over the volcanic terrain in search for Golden Monkeys in the bamboo forests. You’ll have your dinner and overnight stay at your lodge of booking.
Given the inevitable rigorous day at Mgahinga, you will cherish some relaxing moments on the shores of this peaceful lake. You will choose among the various tour activities. You can either choose to go birding, cycling, sunbathing, swimming, or even canoeing. Your dinner and overnight stay will be at your lodge of booking.
You will head to Lake Mburo National Park where you will have your lunch and in the evening you will do a game drive where you will have a chance to see a variety of animal species. Dinner and overnight will be at the lodge of your booking.
Unusually, the whole park is open to walkers as long as they are accompanied by a ranger guide. At Rwonyo, a guided walk leads to a salt lick where many animals are attracted to the salty rocks.
Walks on the western side of the lake will begin at 07:00 and take 2 hours. At this time of day, you may encounter hyenas returning to their dens and hippopotamuses retreating to the lake. Hikes through the woodland provide an opportunity to sight forest birds and mammals, while the walk to the top of the hill rewards visitors with a spectacular view of 9 of the region’s 14 lakes. Your driver and guide will take you to the airport in time for your flight home.
Kidepo Valley is Uganda’s most isolated national park. Kidepo ranks among Africa’s finest wildernesses. From Apoka, in the heart of the national park, a savanna landscape extends in all directions, far beyond the gazetted area of 1442 kilometers square, towards horizons outlined by distant mountain ranges.
Murchison Falls National Park is Uganda’s largest and oldest conservation area, hosting 76 species of mammals and 451 birds. The park is bisected by the Victoria Nile, which plunges 45 meters over the remnant rift valley wall, creating the dramatic Murchison Falls, the centerpiece of the park and the final event in an 80-kilometer stretch of rapids. The mighty cascade drains the last of the river’s energy, transforming it into a broad, placid stream that flows quietly across the rift valley floor into Lake Albert. This stretch of river provides one of Uganda’s most remarkable wildlife spectacles. On the banks, prolific wildlife including elephant, crocodile, hippopotamus, lion, giraffe, buffalo, and countless antelopes and birds can be observed.
Kibale Forest hosts at least 1,500 chimpanzees out of the 4,950 found in Uganda, making this the largest concentration of chimps in Africa. The park is also home to 10 other primates including diurnal species like the red colobus monkey, blue monkey, red-tailed monkey, gray checked mangabeys, and vervet monkey, as well as many other animals.
Queen Elizabeth National Park holds huge concentrations of wildlife including predators such as the famous tree-climbing Lions, Leopard, Serval cats and Spotted hyena. Other mammals include elephant, cape buffalo, hippo, a variety of antelope, warthog, giant forest hog and 10 species of primates including vervet monkeys, black and white colobus and olive baboon. The park’s bird species number more than 600, amongst the highest in Africa. There are also several soda lakes filling ancient volcanic calderas where flamingos reside seasonally.
While most of today's forests are no more than 12,000 years old, Bwindi's vegetation has been weaving itself into tangles for over 25,000 years, in the process accumulating a lengthy species list. This includes 310 species of butterflies, 51 reptiles, 200 trees, 88 moths and an exceptional 120 species of mammals including 10 primates. The latter includes chimpanzee, L'Hoest's, red-tailed and blue monkey, black and white colobus, baboon, and Bwindi's most famous resident, the mountain gorilla. Bwindi is a prime destination for birdwatchers. Its 350 species include seven which are IUCN red data listed and 90% of all Albertine rift endemics – species which are difficult or impossible to see in any other part of East Africa.
Mgahinga National Park shares borders with Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda and Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The park is also the most scenic as it stands at three volcanoes of Muhavura, Gahinga, and Sabyinyo.
Situated between the towns of Masaka and Mbarara, Lake Mburo National Park is a compact gem, located conveniently close to the highway that connects Kampala to the parks of western Uganda. It is the smallest of Uganda’s savannah national parks and underlain by ancient Precambrian metamorphic rocks which date back more than 500 million years. It is home to 350 bird species including the marabou stock and the crowned crane as well as zebra, impala, eland, buffalo, oribi, defessa waterbuck, leopard, hippo, topi, crocodile, and reedbuck.
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