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Explore Uganda...The Pearl of Africa

  • Gorilla Tracking
  • Chimpanzee Tracking
  • Murchison Falls
  • Bwindi Impenetrable National Park
  • Cruise the Kazinga Channel
  • Queen Elizabeth National Park

Overview

In the days of colonial rule Winston Churchill described Uganda as “The Pearl of Africa”. Join us on this tour with Dave Pepler as tour leader and discover this unique African country. The Equator as well as the Rift Valley runs through Uganda, resulting in a very unique ecosystem. Uganda is also well known for its game reserves, magnificent scenery, lakes, rivers, waterfalls and rich culture. It is said that the people of Uganda is the friendliest in Africa. Queen Elizabeth National Park is described by many as the most beautiful park in Africa. The highlight of the tour will be gorilla trekking and a close-up encounter with a family of mountain gorillas in their natural habitat in the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest. As of November 2012, the estimated total number of mountain gorillas is 880. This is indisputably an experience of a life time… truly life enriching.

Dave Pepler endorses this tour:

Should somebody ask me about which memory I would consider the most complete of my life, the answer is quite easy.  Bwindi Impenetrable Forest in Uganda, the calls of colourful birds in the canopy and below in the green shadows, a family of mountain gorillas.  They are of the most endangered animals on earth, enigmatic and arresting, and you can nearly touch them.  The Uganda experience is deepened by visiting wild chimpanzees, crossing the White Nile and seeing Murchison Falls and Queen Elizabeth National Park – together it forms the very finest nature tour on earth.

Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Uganda

Depart from O R Tambo in Johannesburg for Entebbe in Uganda.
19:05 Arrive at Entebbe Airport in Uganda. You will be met and transferred to your accommodation. Entebbe is about 41 kms from Kampala. You will remember that it was at Entebbe where the Israelis heroically released hostages that were on a hijacked Air France Airbus in 1976.
Check-in and dinner at the lodge.
O/N Boma Guest House (dinner)
The Boma is Entebbe's original and most exclusive Hotel, set in tropical gardens in a leafy suburb, a few minutes drive from Entebbe International Airport. Our rooms combine the modern comforts one expects today with the charm and character of the original 1940's home.

Day 2: Murchison Falls National Park

Today you will depart early after breakfast to Murchison Falls National Park. It is approximately a 7 hour drive.
The park lies in north western Uganda, spreading inland from the shore of Lake Albert and along the White Nile. It is known for its wildlife which has partly recovered from a massacre by poachers and troops under Idi Amin. Murchison Falls National Park is Uganda's largest national park. It measures approximately 3,840 square kilometres
Enjoy lunch en route.
This afternoon you will visit the top falls before crossing the Nile on a ferry. The top falls is an impressive mass of water that rushes through a narrow gorge.
Check-in at your accommodation.
O/N Paraa Safari Lodge (full board basis)
Established in 1954, Paraa Safari Lodge is in Murchison Falls National Park. The lodge is located in the north west of Uganda over-looking one of nature's best kept secrets, the River Nile, on its journey from its source at Lake Victoria to join Lake Albert – here it is suddenly channeled into a gorge only six meters wide, and cascades 43 meters below. The earth literally trembles at Murchison Falls - one of the world's most powerful flows of natural water. Paraa Safari Lodge offers a unique blend of comfort, relaxation and adventure. Each of the rooms is a haven of style and serenity, complete with balcony and private bathroom.

Day 3: Murchison Falls National Park

This morning there will be an early morning game drive before returning to the lodge for lunch. In Murchison Falls park you can find four of the "big five": buffalos, elephants, lions and leopards. Due to excessive hunting and poaching, rhinos became extinct by 1983 in the park. White rhinos are now being bred again in the 7000ha Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary, which is located 70 km south of the park. During the afternoon enjoy a scenic boat trip to the base of the falls.
O/N Paraa Safari Lodge (full board basis)

Day 4: Fort Portal

After breakfast you will transfer to Fort Portal with lunch en route. This is a 9-hour scenic drive arriving at your lodge in the late afternoon. This is one of the longest road journeys of the trip.
O/N Mountains of the Moon Hotel (full board basis)
Mountains of the Moon Hotel & Resort have become one of Fort Portal’s signature hotels. The hotel sit on 15 acres of landscaped gardens with wonderful views of the Rwenzori Mountains from where the hotel takes its name. The hotel is a unique blend of oriental and French chic styles where guests instantly feel at home.

Day 5: Kibale Forest

After breakfast you will enjoy a trek searching for the chimps and other primates.
Kibale Forest National Park is one of the best safari destinations in Africa for chimpanzee tracking. Kibale’s 795 km² contains one of the most beautiful and with the most varying tracts of tropical forest in the whole of Uganda. This is home to forest wildlife, most especially 13 species of primate coupled with chimpanzees.
Enjoy lunch and then there will be a guided walk in the Bogodi Swamp in the afternoon.
Arrive back at your hotel late afternoon
O/N Mountains of the Moon Hotel (full board basis)

Day 6: Queen Elizabeth National Park

After breakfast you will transfer to the Queen Elizabeth National Park. Queen Elizabeth National Park has one of the highest bio diversity ratings of any national park in the world, over 500 different bird species and about 100 mammal species.
You will arrive at your lodge in time for lunch.
After lunch there will be an afternoon game drive. Queen Elizabeth National Park covers an area of about 1978 km²; its position provides a magnificent view of the Rift Valley floor that occupies Lake Edward and George.
O/N Mweya Lodge (full board basis)
The Lodge is located on a peninsula within the heart of the Queen Elizabeth National Park and surrounded by the magical Rwenzori Mountains - the 'Mountains of the Moon'; Mweya Safari Lodge offers visitors a spectacular experience of luxury in the wilderness.
Each room at Mweya Safari Lodge has a breathtaking view of the Kazinga channel. You can watch the forest hogs grazing the grass outside, as well as the odd curious hippo.

Day 7: Queen Elizabeth National Park

After a morning game drive and lunch at the lodge you will spend the rest of the afternoon on the Kazinga Channel. The Kazinga Channel is a wide, 32-kilometre long natural channel that links Lake Edward and Lake George, and is a dominant feature of Queen Elizabeth National Park. The channel attracts a varied range of animals and birds, with one of the world’s largest concentrations of hippos and numerous Nile crocodiles.
O/N Mweya Lodge (full board basis)

Day 8: Bwindi Impenetrable Forest

Today you will leave early and transfer to the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest with a picnic lunch en route. You will also do a short walk in the the Maramagambo Forest to the bat cave and the blue lake.
O/N The Silverback Lodge (full board basis)
The latest addition to the Marasa Africa properties is Silverback Lodge, located in the Buhoma sector of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park in western Uganda, The lodge has sweeping views of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park home to approximately 350 mountain gorillas (half of the world's remaining population).

Day 9: Gorilla trekking

(Group 1: 7 pax + Dave Pepler / Group 2: 6 pax + tour guide)
Following an early breakfast you will depart for a gorilla trek.
The trek will be through rainforest and bamboo covered slopes, accompanied by a guide and trackers, in search of a mountain gorilla family. At times the walking can be tough and long, but when you catch your first glimpse of a magnificent silverback, any discomforts will be totally forgotten. There are no words to describe this visit to a “gorilla family home”. To sit in the forest close-up observing the family life of gorillas is mind blowing. Bwindi has 5 gorilla families residing in the wild.
Returning to the resort in the late afternoon.
O/N The Silverback Lodge(full board basis)

Day 10: En route to Entebbe

After breakfast, drive through terraced evergreen mountains. Enjoy lunch en route in Mbarara and proceed to Lake Mburo National park. The park has a variety of animals such as zebras, impala, buffaloes, and over three hundred (300) bird species. At 260 square kilometres, the park is the smallest of Uganda’s savannah national parks.
Arrive at your accommodation and check-in. Enjoy a bush dinner by camp fire.
O/N Mantana Tented Camp (breakfast, lunch, dinner)
The tents themselves are simple but comfortably furnished with twin beds and an en suite bathroom. The bathrooms have flush toilets, flasks of hot and cold water are provided next to the wash-basins and hot water is always available for a bucket shower. There is a lovely stone and thatch dining and bar area overlooking the lake with comfy sofas and a little open fire, ideal enjoying your pre- or post-dinner drinks.

Day 11: Entebbe

After an early breakfast, the ranger guide will take you on a bush walk. The walk will be through savannah grassland. Be on the look-out for zebra and other wildlife, walk through the hyena’s den and a swamp ending at the lake. Enjoy lunch at the camp and then proceed to Entebbe arriving in time for dinner
O/N Boma Guest House (full board basis)

Day 12: Depart

Early check-out and transfer to the airport to check-in for your flight.
07:25 Depart on the SAA flight to Johannesburg
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