Gorilla Game Express
2016 Detailed Itinerary:
Please note that itinerary and accommodation may vary depending on availability. Your final itinerary will be confirmed at time of booking.
Arrive at Entebbe International Airport where you will be met by a Wild Frontiers representative and transferred to your hotel. Depending on your arrival time, a half day trip to Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary may be arranged at an additional cost. This could also be arranged at the end of your safari if you prefer.
Other options include the Uganda Wildlife Education Centre in Entebbe, where there are a variety of visitors’ programmes including behind the scenes ‘work’ with the animals. Let us know when you book if you are keen on this.Entebbe is a small, quiet town located on the shores of Lake Victoria and is easy to explore on foot or perhaps use local transport eg motorbikes known as “boda bodas” or local taxis.
There are local markets where you may buy clothes and crafts, curio shops for souvenirs, and the Botanical Gardens on Lake Victoria where you can walk among beautiful trees, watch monkeys moving through the canopy above, and spot many indigenous bird species. Entebbe has a wide variety of restaurants serving many different cuisines as well as several bars and clubs where you can sample the local beer, catch a game of football and chat with the local Ugandans, known for their open and friendly nature.
Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary
Leaving from Entebbe, travel by speed boat or traditional motorized canoe to Ngamba Chimpanzee Sanctuary located on beautiful Lake Victoria.
Officially opened in 999, Ngamba Island was created to offer a permanent sanctuary to orphaned chimpanzees, which are victims of illegal trade and habitat destruction. Now home to more than 45 chimps, the island serves as a tourist destination for local and international travellers offering an opportunity to learn about the species and the importance of conserving their fragile forest habitat.
Enjoy a guided tour of the sanctuary and a close up experience with the chimpanzees as they come to the boundary area for their morning or afternoon feeding. Cold drinks, tea and coffee are available at Ngamba and the island has a unique gift shop with a wide range of local crafts and sanctuary related t-shirts and products. Your visit and purchases directly support the project with proceeds going towards operating costs of the sanctuary, ensuring the well-being of the chimpanzees.
The Boma Guest House
The Boma is a small, family run guest house located in the suburbs of Entebbe. A converted residential home, The Boma offers quiet, relaxed accommodation and a peaceful atmosphere. Each en suite room is uniquely decorated, with many having their own veranda. Wonderful meals are prepared upon request and guests can enjoy the welcoming bar area any time of day as well as the guest house’s large garden, private swimming pool and large patio boasting a beautiful views toward Lake Victoria. Overnight with breakfast included.
We will collect you from your lodge, for the short drive to the domestic airport for your scheduled flight to Kihihi airstrip, which is located between Bwindi/Queen Elizabeth National parks.
The flight takes just over an hour (depending on the plane used) and on arrival you will be met by a Wild Frontiers’ representative and driven to Buhoma Lodge, located at Bwindi Impenetrable Forest. The drive to the lodge is through local villages and mountain roads – lovely scenery and very interesting en route!
Guests will have the opportunity for two days of gorilla tracking (pre-booking essential). Other activities that may be enjoyed in and around the park include forest walks, visits to a local school or orphanage or Batwa pygmy village, and curio shopping.Bwindi National Park, located in south western Uganda on the edge of the Great Rift Valley, is considered the most diverse forest in Uganda. The area, one of the few large expanses of forest in East Africa, where lowland and mountain habitats meet, contains a dense ground cover of herbs, vines, and shrubs.
Home to over 120 mammals, 345 species of birds, 200 species of butterflies, and 160 species of trees, Bwindi is one of the richest ecosystems in East Africa. The park contains almost one half of the world’s population of the endangered Mountain Gorilla, making it an extremely valuable conservation site. Bwindi is also home to several endangered bird species with very limited ranges, and acts as an important catchment area for many rivers, supplying water for agriculture in the surrounding region.
Situated on the slopes of the Forests of Bwindi, adjacent to the national park, this exclusive lodge offers uninterrupted views of the pristine rain forest canopy. The lodge has ten beautifully appointed and spacious cottages situated along the mountainside, each with its own private veranda. Large comfortable beds ensure a good night’s rest following an exhilarating day of gorilla tracking. En suite bathrooms are spacious and equipped with flushing toilets and piping hot showers and/or baths.
Meals are wholesome and freshly prepared with a variety of international dishes and local specialties such as matoke and g-nut sauce. Unlimited hot beverages are available all day on a self-serve basis and are delivered to your cottage with early morning wake up calls upon request, allowing guests to watch the sun rise over the forest from their own private verandas. Lighting and heating throughout the lodge is solar powered and the lodge’s inviting upper level lounge, bar and dining area, where guests can relax, dine and discuss the day’s events, offers a cozy fireplaces providing warmth and comfort in the cool evenings.
Gorilla Tracking – Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park
Following breakfast at the lodge, you will walk down to National Park Headquarters to meet your guides for the day and begin your gorilla tracking experience. Experienced guides and trackers will accompany your party on an early morning trek into the dense rain forest on the mountain slopes*. The journey, through dense foliage and up steep climbs, is abundantly rewarded with the lifetime experience of viewing mountain gorillas in their natural habitat. You will have an opportunity to be within meters of these magnificent apes, sharing in their daily lives and experiencing their day-to-day activities. Mountain gorillas are extremely rare with only an estimated 850 remaining in the wild. This is an experience you won’t soon forget! *Some of the gorilla families are located in an area which you will need to travel to by vehicle, but don’t worry – we will transport you there!
Following the trek, return to your accommodation and, if time allows, take an optional guided afternoon forest or community walk.
Please note that gorilla tracking may be fairly strenuous with treks ranging from 30 mins up to six hours or longer, at high altitudes. Also, mountain gorillas are wild animals and, as such, sightings cannot be guaranteed. However viewing success rates are over 95%.
Please refer to our detailed information sheet for more detailed information on Gorilla Tracking requirements, conditions, and considerations.
Those with pre-purchased permits will depart for a second gorilla tracking experience following breakfast at the lodge. Depending upon individual itinerary schedules, guests not tracking gorillas may wish to enjoy other activities available in the area such as a forest walk, a visit to a local school/orphanage/hospital, or Batwa pygmy village, and some local curio shopping.Forest Walk (Optional)
Enjoy a walk through tropical rainforest with experienced wildlife guides. Enjoy scenic views, the sights and sounds of the rain forest, allowing ample opportunities for bird watching and glimpses of the many monkey species living in the park as they move through the forest canopy.
Village Community Walk (Optional)
Embark on a community walk through the local villages surrounding Bwindi Impenetrable Forest. Optional activities include visits to a traditional home, local orphanage or school, banana brewing demonstrations and even meeting traditional medicinal healers. This three to four hour walk is easily tailored to your individual schedule and interests.Batwa Pygmies Community Visit (Optional)
This is a day activity and can be added into itineraries easily. You may visit the Batwa tribe, and see their traditional lifestyle in terms of living arrangements, day to day life, and also the opportunity to go on a “forest hunt”.
This morning we depart Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park and travel (2-3 hours) to Ishasha in the southern part of Queen Elizabeth National Park.Time permitting, during our drive from Bwindi to Ishasha, we may visit a Community Project on the border of Queen Elizabeth National Park. Here the local people allow you to enjoy some time in their homesteads, as well as see some of the crops and curios they produce, and visit the local elephant trench project – which stops elephants coming into the village and raiding crops.
Afternoon game drives will be enjoyed in the Ishasha area, looking for the huge herds of buffalo, elephant, Uganda kob and of course the famous tree-climbing lion typically found in the area.
Overnight at Ishasha Wilderness Camp
Ishasha Wilderness Camp
This exclusive tented camp offers the only luxury accommodation in the remote southern sector of Queen Elizabeth National Park and is ideally located between Bwindi and the Mweya area of the park. The camp has ten luxurious safari tents, with each spacious en suite tent offering its own private dressing area, hot water “bush” shower and eco-friendly flush toilet. A central traditionally thatched dining and lounge area provides guests with a relaxing environment in which to enjoy sundowners, meals and after dinner chats around the fire.
Queen Elizabeth National Park spreads over 1,978sq km in the western arm of the Great Rift Valley and is home to a wide variety of wildlife including elephants, leopard, lions, hippos, buffalo, Uganda kob, baboon, and many species of birds. With both a riverine and savannah habitat, the park includes the southern Ishasha area with the massive Maramagambo, one of the largest surviving natural forests in Uganda. The northern Mweya area, traversed by the equator and dominated by the scenery of crater lakes, is often occupied by large flocks of flamingos.
Transfer to the airstrip for your return flight to Entebbe. Rest of the afternoon/evening is at leisure.
An airport transfer has been included, after your safari has been completed – from your Entebbe hotel, or directly after the safari.
End of Safari.