Uganda gorillas

Uganda: Great Apes & Wild Savannas with AWF

10 days
from
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Wildlife
Activity level:
Leisurely / Moderate
Activity Rating - Leisurely/Moderate
Trip code: 
AUGA
Way to Travel:
Guided Group
Activity:
Gorilla Trekking Trips
Max group size:
10

Exclusive Safari in the 'Pearl of Africa'

Winston Churchill dubbed Uganda the “Pearl of Africa” for good reason. This is a diverse country, green and tropical, with savannahs, forests, lakes, branches of the Nile and snow-covered peaks. We've partnered with the African Wildlife Foundation (AWF) to develop this comprehensive itinerary that reveals wildlife and plants characteristic of both East and West Africa. Plus, seeing Moutain gorillas in the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest has to rank among the greatest thrills in natural history!

Highlights

  • Enjoy the convenience and comfort of scenic bush flights to the remote wildlife savannas of Kidepo Valley, the Nile Riverm, Murchison Falls and Bwindi Impenetrable Forest.
  • Track chimpanzees and gorillas on foot, take game drives among herds of buffalo and zebra and enjoy private boat cruises on the Nile, home to elephants, giraffes, hippos, crocodiles, and the rare shoebill.
  • Discover the important work the AWF is doing in Uganda with a visit to an AWF Classroom Africa school in Kidepo Valley and stay at a conservation enterprise lodge developed by AWF.
  • Take a scenic drive that winds through slopes of ancient volcanoes and offers panoramic views of rural Uganda.

Key information

  • Travel by 4WD vehicle, scenic bush flight and boat
  • 9 nights in wonderful premium accommodation: hotel, lodges and an intimate safari camp
  • Reasonable fitness required for chimpanzee and gorilla tracking 
  • Countries visited: Uganda

What's included

  • All breakfasts, 9 lunches and 9 dinners.
  • All accommodation
  • All transport and listed activities
  • Tour leader throughout

What's not included

  • Travel insurance
  • Single accommodation (available on request)
  • Visas or vaccinations
Call for general departures:
020 8772 3859
Call for private group trips:
020 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Responsible Travel

At Exodus we believe in the power of Responsible Travel.

Every time we travel, we are part of a global movement that creates jobs, builds more sustainable societies, encourages cultural understanding and safeguards common natural and cultural heritage. To learn more about what Responsible Travel means to Exodus click here

Itinerary

Entebbe, Uganda
to
Entebbe, Uganda
  • Day 1

    Entebbe, Uganda

    Arrive in Entebbe and transfer to the Protea Entebbe, overlooking the shores of Lake Victoria. Meet your AWF leader and fellow travelers for a welcome dinner.

    Meals included: Dinner
  • Days 2-3

    Kidepo Valley

    Board a bush flight to the serene Kidepo Valley in the northeastern tip of Uganda. Spend your days here enjoying extended game drives through this wildlife-rich habitat. Buffalo, zebra, waterbuck, and warthog are abundant, and so are the lions. The Apoka Safari Lodge is the only one in the park, complete with a waterhole frequented by wildlife. While in the landscape, you will visit the Karamojong tribe and the site of an AWF Classroom Africa school. 

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Days 4-6

    Murchison Falls

    Fly to Murchison Falls and enjoy more days of wildlife viewing — searching for lions, leopards and their prey. This park is home to the endangered Rothschild’s giraffe and also elephants, hartebeests and more. Take two private boat trips: one to Murchison Falls to be bathed in the spray, and the other to find the elusive, prehistoric-like shoebill in the delta swamps. While cruising, you will have ample opportunity for some of the best bird-watching on Earth and motor through some of the most highly populated hippo habitats in Africa. Your third day in this area takes you to the nearby Budongo Forest, where you’ll have an opportunity to trek chimpanzees in their natural habitat. After an active day of exploration, return to Baker's Lodge, spectacularly located on the South bank of the mighty Nile River

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Days 7-9

    Bwindi Impenetrable Forest

    A private charter flight takes us to the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest — home to half the world’s population of Mountain gorillas. A scenic drive winding through the slopes of ancient volcanoes offers panoramic vistas and a glimpse into rural community life. Clouds Mountain Gorilla Lodge, a conservation enterprise lodge developed by AWF and owned and operated by the Nkuringo community, addresses human/gorilla conflict by building income from gorilla tourism. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is the home of your two Mountain gorilla treks. Tracking gorillas is a life-changing experience. Hike the steep slopes of this mountainous forest, and have an eye-to-eye encounter with these magnificent animals. 

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 10

    Entebbe

    This morning, fly back to Entebbe and return to the Protea Hotel for lunch and relax in your dayroom before transferring to the airport for your independent homeward flight.

    Meals included: Breakfast
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Essential Info

Visas

Uganda

Most nationalities require a visa for Uganda. The Government of Uganda has introduced the online visa application system with effect from 01 July 2016. Applications should be filled at the following link: https://visas.immigration.go.ug/.
The decision taken on the application will be sent electronically through the email provided by the applicant. If approved, an approval letter will be sent as an attachment to the email provided. Print it out and present it together with a valid passport / travel document at the port of entry.
The cost of a standard, single-entry visit visa had been reduced to $US 50 and can be paid online. Check the Ugandan Directorate of Citizenship and Immigration Control website for the latest information on visa fees.
Information about documents required in the online visa application is found here:
https://visas.immigration.go.ug/#/help/visa
If after visiting Uganda, you will also travel to Rwanda and Kenya, you may apply for East African Visa that will cover all three countries. Please contact the Ugandan High Commission to obtain more information about the combined visa from Uganda.

Vaccinations

Uganda

Vaccination against Yellow Fever is necessary , and you must bring a valid certificate of vaccination. Recommended vaccinations are: Polio, Tetanus, Diphtheria, Typhoid, Hepatitis A, Yellow Fever. Malaria prophylaxis is essential and we suggest that you seek advice from your GP or travel health clinic about which malaria tablets to take. Bilharzia is known to occur in some of the lakes or rivers visited on this itinerary, we therefore advise all to take advice from your guide or leader locally before venturing for a swim. 

Zika fever is a mosquito‐borne viral disease and a known risk in places visited on this trip. There is currently no vaccine or prophylaxis available, we therefore strongly recommend you take the usual precautions to avoid mosquito bites. 

Eating and Drinking

All breakfasts, 9 lunches and 9 dinners included.

For early game drives and in order to maximise the time spent in the parks, a packed breakfast or lunch may be provided in some instances.

It is possible to cater for vegetarians or clients with special requirements, however please make sure you will advise your Sales Consultant at time of booking or our Customer Operations department before departure.

Please also note that in Uganda the availability of certain specialised products for restricted diets, e.g. gluten-free or dairy-free, is minimal or non-existent and we strongly recommend you bring these specialized dietary items from home.

Is this trip for you?

This safari has been rated 2 (Leisurely/Moderate) with a Safari Rating of 5

The grading of moderate applies specifically to the gorilla trek and the chimp trek, the rest of the itinerary is generally graded as leisurely in relation to the activity level.

Gorilla Trek: Owing to the nature of the terrain and the need to explore to find the gorillas, the trek doesn't follow a path in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest and instead the guides will cut a route through the undergrowth.  You should expect a minimum of three hours walking on rough terrain, with the possibility of climbing up to 2607m, in order to find the gorillas; steep ascents and descents over muddy slopes are the norm.  Strong footwear is essential.

This is a busy and active trip with some early starts as we explore as much as we can of this wonderful country.  We maximise our time in wildlife areas by travelling using scenic bush flights and comfortable 4WD vehicles.

Please note that a baggage restriction of 15kgs per person is applicable on all flights in small, soft-sided bags. We take 4 scenic flights on this itinerary.

Following a review of all our trips we have categorised this trip as not suitable for full wheelchair users, but it may be suitable for other persons of reduced mobility. Please contact customer services to discuss the trip and your personal condition.

Call for general departures:
020 8772 3859
Call for private group trips:
020 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Accommodation

Hotels, lodges and safari camps

Protea Hotel

The 73-room Protea Hotel Entebbe is ideally located on the glistening shores of Lake Victoria and a convenient 1km from Entebbe International Airport.  The Tides Restaurant, Terrace and Bar, serves full breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Nile perch is a signature dish. Standard rooms include a marble bathroom, hairdryer, in-room safe, coffee and tea maker, AC, TV with cable, free Wi-Fi, and a mini-bar. 

Apoka Safari Lodge

The large, spacious rooms at Apoka were built with comfort in mind. The canvas tents feature handmade furniture created by local craftsmen, with big hand-carved beds with soft duvets, hand-woven woolen carpets, extra-large plush towels, and over-sized dressing gowns. You'll have plenty of places to relax and enjoy the views, with comfy sitting areas and a private veranda with your own outdoor bathtub! Another unique feature at Apoka is the inviting swimming pool that has been carved out of a giant rock. 

Baker's Lodge

Baker’s Lodge in Murchison Falls National park is the newest accommodation within the upmarket Uganda Exclusive Camps and Lodges group, opened in late 2014. Situated on the south bank of the mighty Nile River this intimate, safari-style lodge is set within a large private area with beautifully trimmed grass, large shady trees, and wetland areas hosting abundant birdlife along the water’s edge. The views of the river are vast and magnificent with islands hosting nesting egret birds, elephants bathing, and pods of hippos regularly viewed. The lodge provides a thatched central lounge, bar, and raised dining area, allowing guests to savor the morning sunrise for breakfast, sunset in the evening, and 180-degree river views. Each of the individual cottages is raised on supporting pillars and has its own deck overlooking the river. Care has been taken to ensure each of the cottages has privacy. The cottages have netted windows with opening options, customized solid wooden furniture, hanging mosquito nets, and especially selected locally crafted items for the accessories. The en suite bathrooms are open plan with solar hot water showers. Wi-Fi is available. 

Clouds Mountain Gorilla Lodge

Set on a forested ridge near the entrance to the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, Clouds Mountain Gorilla Lodge boasts eight spacious cottages built from volcanic stone. Spectacular views stretch all the way to the Virunga Volcanoes of Rwanda, as well as across the border into the Congo, where the glow of Nyiragongo Volcano can be seen on a clear night. Warm and welcoming, each cottage features a bedroom, ensuite bathroom with a walk-in shower, and a separate lounge. Comfortable chairs on the outdoor verandas provide the perfect vantage point to admire the unforgettable vistas of the forest below. Blazing fireplaces create a cosy glow as evening falls.

Call for general departures:
020 8772 3859
Call for private group trips:
020 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Expert Blog Entries

Have you been on this adventure? Tell others what it’s like by writing a review.

Dates & Prices

An overview of flight options

Exodus is committed to making joining our tours as easy as possible, wherever you live. We generally only block book seats from London, but this certainly does not mean that you need to fly from there. Depending on the route and airlines available, there will usually be various options available for those who want to fly from their local airport.

This page aims to provide a useful overview of the options available to our clients. However, the best flight arrangements should be tailored to your personal requirements, so please contact our Sales team for expert advice.

 

What kind of options do I have ?

1. We can book for you: Flights from anywhere in the world - not via London  

Depending on the route, this may be direct or via an overseas hub like Amsterdam, the Middle East or elsewhere. On short haul routes there may be direct flights with low cost airlines, charter flights or scheduled airlines. Exodus can book most, but not all, of these for you. The most appropriate airline may be different to that which we use for the group flight from London, but many people now travel on different airlines and meet up with their fellow passengers at the destination.

Pros  Cons
  • May be the most direct route
  • Often the extra fare compared to the London flight is minimal.
  • As you will be in the hands a single airline for your entire journey, the airline will be responsible for your bags and your connections.
  • You may not be able to join the group transfers. However, we can usually arrange private transfers, or book your flights to try and coincide with the group transfers. See notes on transfer arrangements below.

 

2. We can book for you: Connecting flights from your local airport to London

Exodus can book connecting flights to London so you can join the group flight there. Connecting times will be followed according to airline advice, or as requested by clients. There are two types of fares we can use for this option: a 'through-fare' or a 'published fare'.
 
a) A 'through-fare' is where you will be in the main airline's care throughout. You change planes, but your bags are checked all the way through to your final destination. 

b) A 'published fare' ticket is completely seperate from your onward ticket from London. It is usually cheaper than a through-fare but will need to be paid for and issued as soon as it is booked. This can be a problem if your tour has not yet reached minimum numbers. On 'published fares' neither airline is aware that you have connecting flights, so Exodus is responsible for timing your connection, not the airlines involved. The tickets are also usually non changeable and non refundable.

Pros  Cons
  • Depending on the fare type, Exodus or the airline is responsible for flight connections.
  • Through fare tickets can be expensive.
  • On a published fare, tickets must be issued immediately; tickets on published fares can be very difficult to change if onward flight times change; bags are not checked though to your final destination.
  • Published fares are non-refundable.

 

3. Booking some or all of the flights yourself

You can also book connecting air travel yourself, either to London, or all the way to the start point. There may be certain airlines or routes we don't have access to, so this is always an option. However, if you make your own travel arrangements you become liable for any delays, cancellations or missed connections, and Exodus is not required to offer refunds if you have trouble reaching the start of your trip.

Pros  Cons
  • You might find cheaper fares, or routes not available to Exodus.
  • You are responsible for any delays or missed connections, and the cost of the tour is not protected should you miss your flight be cancelled.

 

 Notes on transfer arrangements

Sometimes it is possible to travel on a different airline to the group flight from London. Where this is the case, we need to think about ensuring you meet up with the group with minimum extra cost and hassle.

  • On certain trips, it is easy to arrive on a different flight and still meet the group at the hotel with time in hand. We can usually arrange private transfers (at extra cost) or offer advice on taking a taxi to the start hotel.
  • On other trips (especially in Europe), the transfer meets the group flight and then travels some distance to the first night's accommodation. Where this is the case, our Sales team will try to arrange flights that arrive before (and depart after) the group. However, we do have to make it clear in your final documentation that if your flights are delayed, the transfer cannot wait for you. While Exodus or our local operators will do what we can to help you reach the start point of the tour, any additional costs must be paid by the client. 

 

Next steps? 

Call our Sales team on: 0203 733 0698

Email your query: [email protected]

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