The group flight arrives late in the evening.
This morning we start our journey in Uganda and drive to Murchison Falls National Park. Murchison Falls National Park is Uganda's largest national park, with an area of 3840sq. km. It lies in the core of the Murchison Falls Conservation Area. This impressive park protects a chunk of untamed African savannah bisected by the mighty river Nile. The dramatic Murchison Falls, where the world's longest river explodes violently through a narrow cleft in the Rift Valley escarpment to plunge into a frothing pool 43m below strikes an exhilarating impression on all 5 senses. Murchison Falls is occupied mainly by lush grasslands. The highest diversity of wildlife is found on the open plains north of the Nile, where elephant, buffalo, giraffe and a huge variety of antelope are regularly encountered. The Nile itself boasts one of Africa's densest hippo and crocodile populations, and a dazzling variety of water birds including the world's most accessible wild population of the rare shoebill.
Upon arrival in Murchison Falls National Park, you will visit the top of the mighty falls.
Today we get to explore the wonders of this magnificent park by safari vehicle and private boat. The boat trip takes you along the Nile to the bottom of the falls. Murchison Falls National Park is said to be the best game park in Uganda. During a typical game drive you can be expected to see a large number of antelope species, including the bush buck, the water buck, Thomson's gazelle and the dik dik to name but a few. Larger herbivores, such as giraffe and elephant are present in the park in great numbers and often the lumbering giraffe will cross the roads right in front of you. MFNP is the most accessible park in Uganda to see the giraffe. Huge groups of buffalo are a common sight whilst exploring the park on a game drive. Primates, such as the baboon and the patas monkey, stare at you as you pass by and if you are a bird lover then Murchison Falls National Park will not disappoint.
We drive to Kibale Forest area, the drive is a full day of approximately eight hours. After leaving the Rift Valley we pass through beautiful agricultural countryside where every type of fruit and vegetable imaginable is grown. Upon reaching Kyanjojo, in the lower foothills of the Rwenzori Mountains core_Mountains of the Moon, we drive through beautiful tea plantations and into Kibale tropical rain forest. We will either stay near the forest or in the nearby town of Fort Portal.
This morning we have the opportunity to explore Kibale Forest National Park. Kibale Forest is home to 13 primate species and a guided forest trek can be taken in search of one of the most popular primates in the world - the chimpanzee. There are 9 diurnal primates, these include, Vervet, Red-tailed, L'Hoest's, Blue monkeys, Grey-cheeked Manabey, Red colobus, Black-and-white colobus, Olive baboon and the most famous of all, the chimpanzee. Although chimp sightings are not guaranteed, the odds of encountering them standing are very good. This morning you will go on a forest walk in search of primates. Whilst trekking in the depths of the lush green forest, you will be surrounded by bird song and can expect to see at least 5 or 6 other types of primate, most probably the grey-cheeked managebey and the red-tailed monkey and of course the chimpanzee. The walking is fairly easy due to the well-maintained trails and reasonably flat terrain. This afternoon we have a swamp walk in Bigodi. Bigodi village is situated in the highlands of western Uganda, in the shadow of the Ruwenzori Mountains, the famous 'Mountains of the Moon'. The swamp walk takes place in the Bigodi Wetlands Sanctuary, which is located in the Magombe wetland. The sanctuary is a major eco-tourism attraction in the Kibale Forest area. The Sanctuary is operated by the Kibale Association for Rural and Environmental Development (KAFRED), a registered local community based organization
After breakfast we drive to QENP. The drive passes through Fort Portal and then south along the eastern length of The Rwenzori Mountains, with the hope of viewing the glaciated peaks. We gently descend into The Great African Rift Valley and QENP. The park resides in a fertile, equatorial area and has beautiful scenery. It is Uganda's most popular and accessible savannah reserve, with a total area of 1978sq. km. It is primarily associated with grassy savannah plains, but this impressive park also includes within its boundaries, leafy rainforests, dense papyrus swamps and natural volcanic crater lakes. As a result it has one of the highest biodiversity ratings of any game reserve in the world, including a total of 95 recorded mammal species and more than 610 species of birds. In the afternoon, we will explore the park and its wonders on a game drive.
This morning we have another opportunity to visit with our close relatives, we will drive the short distance from to Kyambura Gorge. Kyambura Gorge is a little rainforest oasis in the middle of the savannah plains. Here we will descend into the gorge to trek the resident chimpanzees. Due to very limited permits for Kyambura Gorge we may track chimpanzees in Kalinzu Forest instead. In the afternoon we have game drives in QENP and a private boat trip of about two hours on the Kazinga Channel to view some of the largest concentration of hippo in the world (reported to be about 30,000) and other game with excellent birding. QENP is one of best birding parks in Africa, with 560 + recorded species and a record of 296 bird species seen in one 24 hour period.
Today we drive through the park to the Ishasha region. We game drive in search of tree climbing lion and other game. This afternoon we drive to Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, a World Heritage site, passing through the scenic area known as The Switzerland of East Africa. The driving today is about 5 1/2 hours (not including game drives).
After breakfast take a short drive to Park Headquarters and meet with excellent local guides and trackers who will give a talk on the etiquette of gorilla trekking. We then hike into the forest where the gorillas were seen the night before and track from that point. The trekking can take from 1 to 6 hours and climb to altitudes in excess of 2,500m. The terrain is rough and at times muddy. Although the Hike is physically demanding the beauty of the forest and surrounding scenery make the trekking worthwhile. Once the gorillas are located all fatigue is forgotten, as the experience is often described as being the most profound natural history experience in the world. Picnic lunches are provided and it is important to take plenty of water. It can rain at a few minutes' notice; therefore waterproof clothing is a good essential including zip lock bags for cameras.
Drive to Mbarara passing through the Switzerland of East Africa area and eventually into Ankole Cattle country around Mbarara. These cattle are incredible with horns larger than one can imagine.
This morning we head back to Entebbe, this takes approximately 5 hours - road and weather dependent. If time permits it is possible to stop in Kampala for shopping and lunch and a visit to the Mpigi Royal Drum Makers. We are then transferred to Entebbe International airport to connect with our departure flight.
Fly to London.