6 – Day Pearl of Africa and Gorilla Trekking Safari

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6 Days 5 Nights
Min Age : 15+

6 – Day Pearl of Africa and Gorilla Trekking Safari

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Arrive at Entebbe and transfer to Kibale Forest NP. This park is popular for its primate population like chimpanzees, colobus monkeys, red cheeked monkeys, and red-tailed monkeys. Proceed to Queen Elizabeth NP and expect big game sighting and the boat trip on the Kazinga Channel. Your next stop will be Bwindi Impenetrable NP for the ultimate gorilla trekking experience. Transfer to Lake Bunyonyi for relaxation and sightseeing. Return to Entebbe for your flight out.

Itinerary

Day 1Arrive in Entebbe Airport and Transfer to Kibale Forest NP

Your safari will start from the Entebbe International Airport, where you will be received by the assigned driver/guide and depart for Kibale Forest NP. The park is popular for its primate population like chimpanzees, colobus monkeys, and red-tailed monkeys. On your chimpanzee trails, they regularly see these swinging in the forest trees and others feeding on the wild fruits. You will arrive in the late afternoon (evening) and just check into your accommodation, relax and later enjoy your dinner plus the overnight stay (awaiting the next day’s activity).

Day 2Chimp tracking Kibale Forest and Transfer to Queen Elizabeth NP

Have breakfast and head to the rangers’ point where you will receive some briefing on the dos and don’ts during chimp trekking. Thereafter, you will trek the chimps in the Kibale Forest. An experienced ranger guide will take you chimp tracking and you will be marveled by the sights of primates here. Once you locate the chimpanzees, you will have a full hour with them.
You will return to the lodge for lunch after which you will head out for Queen Elizabeth National Park. You will arrive in time for your dinner and overnight at the booked accommodation.

Day 3Queen’s Morning game drive and an afternoon boat trip along the Kazinga Channel

Be up early and have your breakfast. Proceed for a morning game drive in the park during which you will see Lions, Elephants, Leopard (though a rare sighting), Cape bushbuck, Cape Buffalos, Defassa Waterbucks, Giant Forest Hogs, Uganda kob among others. Return to your accommodation for some rest time and then lunch.
In the afternoon you will go for a 2-hour boat trip on the Kazinga Channel which connects Lakes: George and Edward and the concentrations of giant hippos, elephants and crocodiles will surely fascinate you among others. You will also see many varieties of birds at the water shores. You will have dinner and overnight at your accommodation.

Day 4Transfer to Bwindi with an en-route game drive in Ishasha area

Have breakfast then set off for Bwindi Impenetrable NP through the Ishasha sector of Queen Elizabeth National Park [famously known for its resident tree-climbing lions]. The chance of spotting these lions is about 70% though sometimes they are hard to spot (most especially when they’re down in the grassland looking for prey). Hoping you get the chance to spot them, the sight will be spectacular!
Continue to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. Bwindi is a big habitat for mountain gorillas in Uganda, harboring about 400 mountain gorillas–roughly half of the world’s population, including several habituated groups. With a strenuous day ahead, you will do less on arrival but just check in your accommodation, relax as you prepare for the Bwindi gorilla trekking experience the next day.

Day 5Gorilla trekking Bwindi and later transfer to Lake Bunyonyi for relaxation.

After an early breakfast and a briefing by a ranger guide, you will enter the gorilla sanctuary for your adventure. The beauty of this rain forest is spectacular! The area offers dramatic steeply forested landscape and is dense, but crisscrossed by many animal trails allowing access to tourists. The time is taken and the terrain varies with the movements of these great primates. Once you locate a gorilla group, they will allow you an hour in their presence. The thrill of observing these gentle and endangered giants is an awesome, exciting experience.

Day 6Depart Bunyonyi for your outbound flight in Entebbe Airport

Have a relaxed breakfast at the accommodation with a spectacular view of the Bunyonyi little islands just right in front of you and thereafter embark on your return journey to Entebbe Airport. Expect en route stopovers in Mbarara town for lunch and the Uganda Equator line mark in Kayabwe for some memorable photos and maybe buy some art pieces of interest. Proceed with the journey arriving late afternoon/evening for drop off at the airport. We hope to see you (or any referral) when next; you visit and thanks for choosing Home to Africa!

Inclusions

Price Includes

  • Entrance fees to the tourist sites Including protected areas mentioned.
  • Full board accommodation on safari.
  • Transportation in either 4x4 Safari Van or 4x4 Safari Land Cruiser, all with popup roof and AC
  • Chimpanzee permit (for chimpanzee trekking safaris)
  • Gorilla permit (for gorilla trekking safaris)
  • A professional English speaking driver/ guide. Other foreign languages can be arranged on request
  • Bottled water when on safari.
  • Fees for tourists activities mentioned

Price Excludes

  • Laundry services
  • Beverages/drinks of personal nature like alcohol.
  • Airport transfers arranged on request.
  • Optional activity fees
  • Visas
  • Other activity fees that are not mentioned in the itinerary.
  • Tips for drivers/guides and other staff members.
  • International flights (Arranged on request.)
  • Domestic flights (Arranged on request.)
  • Any other extras not mentioned in the itinerary.
FAQ

Do I need a visa to enter Uganda?

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.

Are vaccinations required for my Uganda safari?

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).

What is cancellation policy?

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.

I'm a solo traveller, is there a single supplement?

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.

How can I pay for my safari?

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.

What is the Safari accommodation like?

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.

How many people are in your group safaris?

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.

What is the best time to travel to Uganda?

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!