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7 Day Kyambura, Bwindi & Kibale

Uganda

Overview

This week-long Uganda luxury safari takes you through the open savannah plains of Queen Elizabeth through the game drives and cruises to the deep jungle of the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, home of the majestic mountain gorillas via the elusive Chimp forests of Kyambura and Kibale.

Safaris

Ndali Lodge – 2 Nights
Kyambura Gorge Lodge – 2 Nights
Bwindi Lodge – 2 Nights

Day 1 in Ndali Lodge
Arrive at Entebbe airport where an Aerolink member of staff will assist you with the check in and transfer to your 07:45am (arrival 10:05am) or 12:30pm (arrival 14:35pm) domestic flight to Kasese, check in time is one hour before the flight. In Kasese you will be welcomed by your expert guide who will provide knowledge and assistance throughout your journey.
Transfer to Ndali Lodge, approximate transfer time of 2 hours. The lodge has amazing views of the ancient volcanic landscape, the Bunyaruguru Crater Lake and the Rwenzori Mountains beyond. After your long journey enjoy the swimming pool, walk around the lodge garden and grounds or simply relax on the terrace.

Day 2 in Ndali Lodge
Spend the morning tracking the exuberant chimp families in the Kibale forest. Tracking chimpanzees in their natural habitat, as they swing from the branches in the canopy high above the forest floor, is a thrilling experience. Though they can be difficult to spot, you will be in no doubt of their presence as the forest is alive with their noisy calls.
In the afternoon, explore the Bigodi Wetland Sanctuary. The reserve is abundant with butterflies, plants, animals and, in particular, birds. Spectacular birds like Great Blue Turaco and rare Papyrus Gonolek will be of great interest to birders. The swamp is also home to more elusive animals such as Red Colobus monkeys and Sitatunga antelope.

Day 3 in Kyambura Gorge Lodge
Depart for Queen Elizabeth National Park. En route, take a short walk in the foothills of the Rwenzori Mountains and take in the views of this magnificent mountain range. Alternatively, drive straight to the park and take a game drive. What you see depends on the season, but the Kasenyi plains are excellent for sighting lion and large herds of Uganda kob. The Mweya peninsula is one of the best places to look for leopard, which live in the dense, scrubby thickets.
Time permitting, visit the Kyambura Women’s Coffee Cooperative and its coffee processing station or the wetland reserve to spot birds. Both projects were set up and are run by the Volcanoes Safaris Partnership Trust (VSPT).

Day 4 in Kyambura Gorge Lodge
The Kyambura Gorge is an extraordinary natural environment and forms a stark contrast to the surrounding grasslands. Here you can track one of our closest animal relatives: the chimpanzee. The chimp population is quite mobile and viewing can be unpredictable but the walk itself is enchanting.
In the afternoon take a cruise on the Kazinga Channel, which flows between Lakes Edward and George. Kazinga is home to one of the greatest concentration of hippo in Africa and herds of elephant, buffalo and other animals come to drink at the waters edge. The channel is a magnet for waterbirds, with great flocks of pelicans and others birds on the shore, and a great spot to see African fish eagle.
Also in Kyambura Gorge you can visit various community projects from the Volcanoes Safaris Partnership Trust (VSPT) including: Women’s Coffee Cooperative Tour, Reclaimed Wetland Tour, Bee-Keeping Fence Visit, Omumushaka Dance Group Performance, Empundu Playground Visit and much more.

Day 5 in Bwindi Lodge
Your safari now continues to the primeval Bwindi forest. Travelling via Ishasha – subject to road conditions – you can observe the unusual behaviour exhibited by the tree-climbing lions. The long journey through the rapidly changing landscape takes you to Volcanoes Bwindi Lodge, which looks across to the towering trees of the forest. Depending on when you arrive, there maybe time to explore the lodge grounds with its clear mountain stream or visit the local village.

Day 6 in Bwindi Lodge
After enjoying an early breakfast, you set off gorilla tracking. Trekking through the steep, densely forested hills and then finally coming across the gorillas camouflaged in the vegetation is an inspiring and privileged moment. Tracking in the Bwindi forest requires stamina and can often take most of the day.
Alternatively there are other activities and excursions on offer in and around the national park:
Take a guided walk in the rainforest, home to several endemic bird species, clouds of butterflies and rare plant life. This walk offers excellent photographic
opportunities and the knowledgeable guide will provide a great insight into this globally important habitat.
Walk through the local village, and learn about community life and Bwindi Community Hospital that started as a health clinic under a tree and now provides vital medical and educational services to over 60,000 people. Also take a tour of our local tea processing operation at the lodge which enables guests to see the various different methods for tea growing and at the end of the tour taste some of our own grown tea! The Volcanoes Safaris Partnership Trust supports both projects.
Discover the traditions of the Batwa Pygmies, and learn about the native tribal inhabitants of the forest. The indigenous people of Bwindi forest, though no longer resident in the forest, still practice many of their traditional hunter-gatherer skills.

Day 7 
Transfer from Bwindi lodge to the Kihihi airstrip. Leave with the 09:45am (arrive at 11:25am) or 14:05pm (arrive at 15:55pm) return flight to Entebbe and connect in time for your return flight.

Location

Uganda is west of Kenya and shares the great Lake Victoria with Kenya and Tanzania.

Experiences

Bwindi Impenetrable National Park lies in southwestern Uganda on the edge of the Rift Valley. Its mist-covered hillsides are blanketed by one of Uganda's oldest and most biologically diverse rainforests and this ‘impenetrable forest’ also protects an estimated 320 mountain gorillas – roughly half of the world’s population. It is composed of an old and very large stretch of green rainforest which extends over 330 square kilometres and ascends from 1100 metres to 2400 metres. The green trees and plants drip with moisture and are a habitat to numerous birds, primates and butterflies to mention just a few. The highlight of any visit to Bwindi is the opportunity to come face to face with the tranquil mountain gorillas that dwell in this forest. Knowledgeable guides will take you trekking into the forest to see these fascinating creature but be aware, the trek is quite challenging and involves ascending and descending moist muddy trails. However, when you finally meet these peaceful giants, you will be amazed by this wonderful encounter and many people are astounded to discover that these magnificent creatures share 97% of their DNA with humans. There are also around 350 species of birdsin the forest, so it’s a paradise for twitchers! There are also chimpanzees living in this forest so this is a great opportunity to also see these primates as well. Bwindi is very unique in this way because it is the only existing African Forest where gorillas and chimpanzees co-exist. For more opportunities to see chimpanzees, Kibale Forest National Park – four hours by road, west of the capital, Kampala - is one of the best destinations in Africa for seeing even more chimpanzees. And don’t forget, you will also see plenty of other exotic wildlife in Uganda, not just primates!

Accommodations

Private eco and safari lodges

Useful Info

Capital: Kampala

Time: Three hours ahead of GMT.

Money: The Ugandan Shilling is the currency of Uganda. 

Health: If you’re going trekking vaccinations should be taken against Tetanus, Hepatitis A, Typhoid, Rabies, Hepatitis B, Meningococcal Meningitis and Poliomyelitis. There is also Malaria in Uganda so precautions should be taken also.

Water: It is recommended that you drink bottled water while you are in Uganda.

Climate: Uganda has an equatorial climate that is moist and hot but 

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