This safari takes you to Bwindi Impenetrable forest where the sight of the giant mountain gorillas will highly inspire you. Later you will continue to Queen Elizabeth National Park–the world’s most biodiversity wildlife sanctuary featuring climbing lions, leopard, hippos, elephants, buffaloes not forgetting the beautiful launch cruise along Kazinga channel.
A very early rise today and together with your guide, you will transfer by private vehicle south-West to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. You will stopover at the Uganda Equator for some photoshoots and a visit to the Craft Village. You will then head towards the western part of Uganda to the town of Mbarara, where you will take your lunch and visit the Igongo cultural center.
After lunch, you will go for a museum tour where you will get an insight into the cultures of people in western Uganda then proceed to Bwindi impenetrable forest. Dine at your place of accommodation and relax the rest of the evening as you prepare for a thrilling experience of Mountain Gorilla Tracking the following day, tonight you are sleeping within an African Rain forest which is habitat to half the population of the world’s endangered Mountain Gorillas.
After an early breakfast, head to the Headquarters of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park for an orientation plus meeting the guides and separation into the groups basing on which gorilla group you are to be tracking. From there, you will set off for your thrill experience of the Gorillas in the Mist.
You can find no mountain gorillas living in the zoo, save for just in this, not a large area of Africa where several remnant mountain gorillas can be seen. Luckily because of too many efforts, this population is thriving and well surviving within the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, and visitors observe them at proximity. Time permitting; thereafter visit the famous Batwa community for a community and cultural experience. You will learn about the traditional lifestyle of the Batwa, from the brewing of the local beer to medicines made from this very forest.
After an early breakfast, drive north to the Ishasha sector, recognized for its resident Tree climbing lions that are an exceptional attraction and one among the highlights on all safaris taken within Queen Elizabeth National park. Besides the fascinating population of the Tree Climbing Lions within the Ishasha visitor will also come across huge buffalo herds, many antelopes that keep crossing your path. Upon reaching Queen Elizabeth, check into your accommodation, have lunch, and go for a guided tour of the Katwe Salt Lake and the activities there. You will visit the lake, see how they mine salt and visit the factory, fishing village and the cattle keeping communities.
After a cup of African coffee or tea, Embark on an early morning game drive along Kasenyi track and Queen’s mile in the park and expect to see Lions, Elephants, Cape buffalo, Warthogs, leopard, hyena, man-goose, Waterbucks, Uganda kobs, Topi and lots of many small animals and birds. After the game drive, have lunch and relax at your lodge. After a healthy lunch, enjoy the unique afternoon 2-hour launch cruise on Kazinga Channel and into Lake Edward. The trip passes through the highest concentration of Hippos and you may see many animals drinking at the water’s edge. The launch cruise offers an excellent platform for photography, bird watching, and game viewing. The prolific bird life is colorful and stupendous with well over 550 resident species.
After your breakfast, you will set off for Kampala through the beautiful Fort Portal route. Your first stop point will be Fort portal for lunch. Fort Portal is a land of Crater lakes, hills, and irresistible sceneries, with the giant Rwenzori Mountains, evidently punctuating the skyline’s background – the Mountains of the moon. You will stopover for lunch and later on proceed to Kampala arriving in the evening.
You are required to purchase a tourist visa before you enter Uganda. Tourist visas can be bought in advance via the embassy or consulate in your country or simply purchased upon arrival at Entebbe International Airport or at any overland border. Photos are not required and a single entry tourist visa costs US$ 100 per person for up to 90 days stay in Uganda.
If you are planning to combine Uganda with a visit to Rwanda or Kenya it is recommendable to request for the East African Tourist Visa instead of a single entry visa. This special visa costs US$100 per person and allows 90-days multiple entries to Uganda, Rwanda, and Kenya. Regretfully, Tanzania is not (yet) a member of the East African community and therefore not part of this special visa arrangement.
A number of different vaccinations are recommended and/or required before entering Uganda. A certificate proving you have had the Yellow Fever vaccination is mandatory for entry into Uganda. Immunizations against DTP (Diphtheria, Tetanus, and Polio) and Hepatitis A are recommended as well.
Besides bringing mosquito repellent, we also advise you to take malaria ‘prophylactics’ (prevention medication).
The following cancellation charges apply to the basic program rate:
60 days or more prior to arrival 10% charge
59 – 32 days prior to arrival 25% charge
31 – 8 days prior to arrival 50% charge
7 – 3 days prior to arrival 75% charge
48 hours or less prior to arrival 100% charge
Empathy Tours reserves the right to deduct all expenses incurred from money paid.
Gorilla & Chimpanzee permits and air tickets are 100% non-refundable.
No refunds will be made for any unused services, late arrival or no-show of any of the members of the tour.
Solo travelers are very welcome! However, to minimize your costs we would suggest joining a group. Although we can try and arrange this for you, we cannot guarantee we can find a group whose interests, budget and preferred route correspond to yours, especially during the low season.
If you would like to stay in a single room please notify us well in advance and we will try to meet your request. Please bear in mind that single rooms are not common and it is more likely that you will be offered single occupancy of a double room. A single room supplement will apply.
Once you have confirmed the final itinerary with us, you will be asked to pay a deposit of 30%. Gorilla permits must be paid for in full at the time of booking. Note that the availability of accommodation and permits is not guaranteed until officially confirmed by Empathy Tours. Accommodation, permit and activity reservations will be made as soon as payment has been received on our account.
For your convenience, the balance payment of 70% should be settled before the start of your safari. We accept payment by bank transfer in either dollar to our bank account in Uganda. Please note that all bank charges are at the expense of the client.
Accommodation falls into three categories: budget, mid-range or luxury.
Budget accommodation may be simple and basic rooms, bandas or tents, with double/twin beds and mosquito nets when necessary. Private bathrooms are not always available and you may have to share bathroom facilities.
3-star, 4-star and 5-star accommodation offer comfortable rooms or luxury furnished safari tents with a private bathroom. Flush toilets and hot and cold running water are available. Mosquito nets will be provided where necessary.
All Uganda lodges are carefully selected and frequently visited by Empathy Tours staff, to monitor quality and service levels. The majority of safari lodges and hotels are small-scale, offering a unique location and ambiance, and usually have a maximum of eight rooms.
We offer tailor-made safaris for any number of participants. There is no minimum number for a group tour, although the bigger the group, the more attractive the price will be.
Officially, Uganda’s dry seasons are from December/January through to mid-March and from June through mid-September. These dry months are the most popular with tourists, with July and August and Christmas and New Year being the peak seasons.
The most rain falls in October-November and April-May. However, this doesn’t mean that it rains all day, nor does it mean it will rain every day. Usually, there’s a tropical shower at night or a shorter shower during the day, but in Uganda, you can trust that after rain comes sunshine!
The weather is no reason to avoid traveling in the wet season – you might even consider it because of the easy availability of gorilla permits.
As in the rest of the world, the East African climate is changing, making it more difficult for us to predict the weather during your safari. However, in Uganda, the temperature is very stable and pleasant, with sunshine almost 365 days a year. During the day, the temperature averages between 23 and 27°C, although in some places it can be quite cool at night.
One remarkable aspect of Uganda safaris is: whether you travel in the dry, dusty months or in the wet season, you will never find the crowded tourism like in Kenya or Tanzania. If you spot a lion or leopard, it is very likely that you will be the only one to see it – even in peak season!