Gorilla Weekend Uganda
10 Days Gorilla Weekend Uganda
This private tour takes in the main sights of Uganda, including visits to the Chimpanzee sanctuaries in Kibale Forest and Kyambura Gorge, game drives in Queen Elizabeth National Park, and Gorilla-tracking in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest. This itinerary is a great introduction to Uganda that can be incorporated into a longer, tailor-made option – please ask us for suggestions.
You will be met us on arrival in Kigali transferred to a local restaurant for lunch and a safari briefing.
After lunch, depart for Volcanoes National Park. The journey north takes you through the beautiful terraced hillsides that are characteristic of much of Rwanda’s landscape, and then gradually higher into the Virunga volcanoes. On a clear day, the highest peaks are visible – a stunning spectacle.
Check in for three nights at Virunga Lodge.
Virunga Lodge is situated in a spectacular location on a hillside overlooking the Virunga Volcanoes and the twin lakes of Ruhondo and Bulera. It has just eight spacious bandas, set among well-maintained terraced gardens. From this base in the high Virunga mountains, you can climb a volcano, track golden monkeys and gorillas, or go for gentle strolls around the picturesque villages near the lakes. The lodge is located just three hours' drive from Kigali.
After breakfast at the Boma, depart Entebbe with your guide and driver and journey west to Fort Portal (approx. 6 hours), where you stop for a late lunch.
Fort Portal rests in the shadow of the Rwenzori mountains, the fabled “Mountains of the Moon”, and is famous for its picturesque countryside and tea plantations. Leaving Fort Portal after lunch, you continue the short distance to Kibale National Park.
Dinner and overnight at the deluxe safari tents of Primate Lodge Kibale (full-board basis)
Primate Lodge Kibale
Primate Lodge is an exclusive eco-lodge situated in the heart of Kibale Forest National Park, amid lush tropical forest that is home to 13 different species of primates, including chimpanzees.
Privately secluded in the rainforest, this safari lodge offers you a truly authentic jungle experience, and is the perfect base from which to explore Kibale Forest.
Accommodation is in eight luxury safari tents, seven comfortable forest cottages and a unique Tree House.
All rooms are privately situated within the forest, making it an ideal place to unwind and enjoy the surrounding natural beauty.
Venture into Kibale Forest for a sensational day of chimp tracking. The forest is home to the greatest variety and highest concentration of primates in East Africa, as you’ll soon to discover!
Enjoy a guided nature walk in the tropical rainforest in search of wild chimpanzee, red tailed monkey, black and white colobus monkey, and many other species of primate.
After a hearty lunch, transfer to the Bigodi Swamp for another, very different nature walk, where the focus will be on both birds and primates.
Return to Primate Lodge for dinner and overnight
After a delicious breakfast, transfer to Queen Elizabeth National Park, passing the Crater Lakes en route. On arrival, check-in at Mweya Safari Lodge for two nights.
Mweya Safari Lodge
Mweya Safari Lodge enjoys a stunning location in the north of Queen Elizabeth National Park, on a peninsula separating Lake Edward and the Kazinga Channel. Guests at Mweya are housed in private en-suite cottages with a view of the lake.
Facilities include a swimming pool, poolside bar, restaurant, and boardroom.
Mweya Safari Lodge offers standard rooms and suites as well as a selection of cottages: Presidential, Royal and Rwenzori. All rooms are beautifully decorated and have balconies overlooking the Kazinga Channel and Lake Edward, private bathrooms and electricity.
The Kazinga Restaurant serves local and international cuisine alongside a good selection of wines.
After lunch at the lodge, the afternoon is free for you to relax by the pool. Early evening, embark on a game drive in Queen Elizabeth National Park in search of big game – with luck, you can hope to see warthog, buffalo, waterbuck, lion and elephant, among others.
Return to Mweya Safari Lodge for dinner and overnight.
The day begins early with a morning game drive in Queen Elizabeth National Park, before returning to the lodge for lunch.
In the afternoon, enjoy a shared boat cruise (drinks and canapés included!) along the Kazinga Channel, a natural channel between Lake Edward and Lake George. Owing to the abundant birdlife in the Channel, and the elephants, buffaloes and huge hippo pods that occupy the shores, this cruise is sure to be a highlight of your safari.
Dinner and overnight at Mweya Safari Lodge.
After breakfast, continue your journey south, passing through the southern sector of the national park and into Ishasha, famous for its tree climbing lions.
After a short game drive and picnic lunch stop in Ishasha, continue to Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, driving through verdant countryside, small settlements, and the occasional tea or coffee plantation.
Expect to arrive in Bwindi, home of the endangered mountain gorillas, early evening. Check-in at Mahogany Springs for two nights.
Mahogany Springs is one of the newest lodges in Bwindi National Park. Located just 2 minutes’ drive from the park headquarters, it accommodates only a small number of guests in its 8 luxury bandas, each with en-suite bathroom and a private terrace overlooking the forest.
Located on the pristine waters of the Munyanga River and facing the Impenetrable forest, the natural setting of Mahogany Springs is superb
The highlight of your safari – a meeting with the gentle giants of Bwindi! Keen walkers will especially love the tracking in the beautiful ecosystem of the park.
Expect to walk a long distance in steep and muddy conditions, sometimes with rain overhead, before you encounter the gorillas (the experience can last anywhere from 1-8 hours depending on the location of the gorillas). But whatever the travails en route, the experience of observing a gorilla family at close range as they eat, play and rest makes it all worthwhile.
Dinner and overnight at Mahogany Springs.
Depart Bwindi and journey to Lake Mburo National Park (6 hours). Arrive in time for a late lunch at Mihingo Lodge, before heading out for an early evening boat ride on the lake.
After supper at the lodge, embark on a night drive in an open 4x4 with spot light. This special game drive of 2-3 hours provides a good chance of seeing the elusive leopard as well as other predominantly nocturnal species.
Overnight at Mihingo Lodge.
Mihingo Lodge is a peaceful and exclusive retreat adjacent to Lake Mburo National Park. Its offers ten tented rooms, raised on wooden platforms, and covered by a thatch roof. Each tent is en-suite, with hot and cold running water, shower, flush loo, and a stunning view!
The luxury tented rooms are spaced well apart so as to ensure privacy. Some of the rooms are situated on the edge of the forest, where colobus monkeys can often be seen swinging in the trees, while others enjoy a view of the lake.
Mihingo Lodge’s main mess area is a large thatched structure built of roughly cut stone, wood and grass thatch – it houses the lounge, bar and dining area. Below the dining area, a swimming pool stretches out from the rocks.
The lounge opens onto a viewing deck with a view of the lake – the perfect spot for a sundowner!
Start the day with a guided walking safari in Lake Mburo.
Lake Mburo is the only national park in Uganda where you can explore on foot (accompanied, of course, by an experienced ranger). Big game encounters are a real possibility, though the walking safari is primarily a chance to explore those aspects of the African bush that are often overlooked on a 4x4 driven safari – the smaller creatures and plant life that are otherwise easy to miss. Following the walking safari, return to the lodge for breakfast.
Late morning, depart Lake Mburo and drive to Kampala, where you check-in at Le Petit Village for one night (B&B basis).
The rest of the day is free to relax at the pool. Dinner to own account.
Le Petit Village
Le Petit Village is located just 10 minutes’ drive from the city centre. This intimate B&B offers twelve guestrooms, all of them self-contained and equipped with a TV, WiFi and minibar.
Le Petit has a comfortable lounge and bar area, and a small swimming pool. Meals are served at the adjacent restaurant Le Chateau (note that Le Petit Village is booked B&B basis).
- At leisure until your schedule transfer to Entebbe Airport to check-in for your international flight home.
Price based on two travellers in shared twin/double accommodation and subject to availability at the time of booking.