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6 days Marsabit – Lake Turkana Cultural Festival April 2019

6 days Marsabit – Lake Turkana Cultural Festival April 2019

The Marsabit-Lake Turkana cultural Festival will take place for the 13th consecutive year in Loyangalani town; on the shores of the awe-inspiring Jade Sea in April 2019 (actual festival dates 18th to 20th April). This year’s event is co-organized by the County Government of Marsabit, Local Community Festival Committee, Kenya Tourism Board, National Museums of Kenya and Kenya Wildlife Service.

It is here where the 14 ethnic communities which live in Marsabit County: El Molo, Rendille, Samburu, Turkana, Dassanatch, Gabra, Borana, Konso, Sakuye, Garee, Waata, Burji and Somali demonstrate through song and dance their unique differences and traditions. In this remote and forgotten region; we are also made aware of the challenges faced by these minority tribes which include drought, environmental challenges, poor infrastructure and wrangling amongst each other. Thus whilst we awe at their impressive dress and ornaments and study their artifacts and way of life in the dramatic landscape that makes up the north of Kenya; the underlying goal remains and continues to be the promotion of peace and furthermore the appreciation of these fascinating tribes.

This is an adventurous 6 day camping tour with emphasis on the festival event in Loyangalani as well as culture and scenery throughout.

Day 1 (Wed 17th April) – Nairobi to Ewaso N’giro (approx 7 hrs)

Early morning departure from our central point in Nairobi city towards the central highlands and Kenya’s Northern Frontier (look out for sightings of Mount Kenya). We stop at the equator sign for a photo opportunity just before crossing into the Northern frontier and Nanyuki town where we make a brief stop at the shopping Mall. Enjoy a picnic lunch en route before arriving at Archers post for camp set up at a campsite located on the banks of the Ewaso Nyiro River. Enjoy the excellent sunset offered by this beautiful landscape. Archers post is the home of the Samburu people who abound in their colorful and distinctive garb.

Meal plan – Lunch, dinner.

Day 2 (Thurs 18th April) – Ewaso N’giro to Loiyangalani (via Laisamis) (approx 8 hrs drive)

Early breakfast enjoying another spectacular sunrise before breaking up camp and departing towards the beautiful Jade Sea where the settlement of Loiyangalani is located. We pass by the massive flat topped Samburu sacred mountain known as Mount Ololokwe with it sheer cliffs and turn off towards Laisamis. The drive takes us through dramatic scenery going through the infamous ‘milgis lugga’ (the huge seasonal river that winds its way between the Matthews range and the Ndoto mountains), to the north of the Ndoto mountains and east of Ol donyo mara before arriving at Lake Turkana via the large windmills of the Lake Turkana wind power project. The view of Lake Turkana is particularly breathtaking and we stop for you to enjoy views of the Jade sea with sightings of local fishermen/Turkana huts in the far distance. We pitch up tents in the cool grounds of Palm Shade campsite. Time depending; we visit the festival grounds where the cultural village and inhabitants have set up.

Meal plan – Breakfast, lunch & dinner.

Day 3 & 4 (Fri 19th & Saturday 20th April) – Loiyangani (cultural festival)

The next 2 days will be spent with the local communities exhibiting their culture and you will get a chance to interact with them as well as learn about their culture. The program will include: boat racing, Moran race, wresting; displays of traditional foods as well as dances by the various tribes.

Apart from that; optional activities (organized and payable direct) include: – the option of hiring a boat to visit the surrounding area, visit the desert museum, visit the local lodge for a swim and walk around town. In the evening; you may venture towards the site for more traditional dances and desert ‘disco’! Overnight back at the campsite.

Meal plan – Breakfast, lunch & dinner.

Day 5 (sun 21st April) – Loiyangalani to Ewaso N’giro (approx. 8hrs)

Very early breakfast in anticipation of a long but scenic drive back towards the Ewaso N’giro womens campsite. Set up camp for overnight Meal plan – Breakfast, lunch & dinner.

Day 6 (Mon 22nd April) – Ewaso N’giro to Nairobi (approx.7 hrs)

Early morning breakfast before we break up camp to depart back towards Nairobi arriving in the late afternoon. End of services. Meal plan – Breakfast & lunch.

Included in the rate:

  • Transport by safari vehicle (cruiser or expedition truck depending on final group size)
  • Services of professional English speaking driver, guide and cook
  • All campsite fees
  • Cooking and camping equipment including use of our three-person tents (each tent shared by 2 people), stools, foam mattresses except sleeping bags/ pillows
  • Meals as per meal plan indicated whether vegetarian or non-veg prepared by our safari cook as indicated (includes tea & coffee)
  • 1 liter of mineral water per person per day
  • Flying doctors emergency evacuation cover
  • Participation in the festival activities in Loiyangalani
  • Government taxes

Not included in the rate:

  • Optional activities as indicated e.g. boat rides on Lake Turkana
  • Accommodation upgrades in Palm shade
  • Personal travel/ Medical insurance
  • Sleeping bags/ blankets/ pillows
  • All airport/hotel/airport transfers [but can be arranged at extra cost]
  • All airport taxes and visas
  • All personal expenses and toiletries; e.g. additional mineral water, beverages & toiletries
  • Any other extras not stated as included above

N.B) The above tour is a basic camping group tour. The group size is open and there are no restrictions to number within the group. Children younger than 7 years are not permitted on group tours.

– For smaller, private group sizes and upgraded accommodations; please contact us – the costs will differ.

– Participants are requested to keep time with regards to camp set up/ pack up as instructed by tour guides.

– The above tour is adventurous ‘no-frills’ and should be viewed as such. As such, the route may be subject to change as per ground conditions on the day regarding weather, security or any other unforeseeable circumstances.

GTR 2 – 5 Days Gorilla & Golden Monkey experience

Day 1 – Kigali

Upon arrival at Kigali International Airport, you will be met by our representative and transferred to Lemigo Hotel for overnight – dinner on own account.

 

Lemigo hotel is a haven of space, luxury, serenity and simplicity, filled with rich touches of the fantastic Rwandan culture. Located in the Kimihurura area of Kigali, just about 10 min. from the international airport, Lemigo hotel is a refreshingly unique experience of relaxation amidst serene landscapes.

LEMIGO HOTEL (BB)

 

Day 2 – Kigali to Virunga

After breakfast, join your driver/guide on a City Tour of Kigali, includes the Memorial Centre and Crafts centres.

The history of Rwanda dates back centuries, Kigali has been a part of it for a hundred years. Founded in 1907 as a German settlement, Kigali did not become the capital until Rwanda’s independence in 1962 when it replaced the colonial seat of power in Butare. Since then, the city has seen major economic development resulting in what it is today; a vibrant African city of 1 million with wide boulevards, an international airport, world-class hotels and restaurants, crafts & curio shops as well as a lively, cosmopolitan population. Visit the Kandt Museum, tour old Kigali and the Craft centres, visit the genocide memorial site where you learn about Rwanda’s history pre-colonial to 1994 genocide as well as other genocides in the world. Tour more and see the new developments; the recovery has been incredible, a true testament to humankind’s resilience.

 

Followed by lunch on own account, you will proceed to drive to Ruhengeri at the foothills of the Virungas. You will arrive at Mountain Gorilla View Lodge late afternoon in time for dinner and overnight.

Mountain Gorilla View Lodge, a 3* bush lodge on the edge of Volcanoes National Park offers good quality accommodation with panoramic views of the Virungas, barely a km away from the gorilla Park HQs. Mountain Gorilla View Lodge (FB)

 
 

Day 3 – Virunga

After an early breakfast, drive to Volcanoes National Park HQs to be allocated a gorilla tracking group. 0700 hrs: Briefing by your trackers then drive to the trail head for the start of an amazing adventure.

 

Our exhilarating trek, in the footsteps of the rare and critically endangered Mountain Gorillas, the largest living primate on earth, starts in the cultivated foothills of the Virungas with stirring views in all directions. Upon entering the national park, her paths littered with fresh spoor of the mountains’ elusive buffalo and elephant, trekkers will be immersed in the mysterious intimacy of the rainforest, alive with colorful bird calls, butterflies, etc. Through gaps in the canopy, the magnificent Virunga peaks, among the highest in Africa yet easily accessible, are glimpsed, beckoning an ascent.

 

Weaving through overhanging vines, moss-covered hagenia and giant lobelias that thrive in the tropical climate, our experienced trackers, they spent their entire lives in or close to this forest, soon bring us up close with the family.

 

Upon sighting the gorillas, you will stay with them for a magical hour as they go about their daily life, feeding, playing, resting; raising their young. Coming face to face with a giant silverback gorilla must truly be one of the greatest wildlife experiences on earth!

 

In the afternoon, enjoy sightseeing around the Twin Lakes;

Burera and Ruhondo, two shimmering volcanic crater lakes located high in the Virungas and separated by a narrow stretch of earth – their deep blue waters ringed by steep hills and tall waterfalls in a most spectacular backdrop, the Virunga Volcanoes. Optionally walk with your guide in the hills bordering on the lakes in search of birds, descend and walk along the lakes and through the local village and its small market place or stop for afternoon coffee at the adjacent Virunga Lodge.

Return to lodge for dinner and overnight.

Mountain Gorilla View Lodge (FB)

 

Day 4 – Virungas

You have another early wake up and return to the Park HQs where you will be allocated a Golden Monkeys tracking group. 0700 hrs: Briefing by your trackers then drive to the trail head for the tracking.

 

The very beautiful Golden Monkey has a golden body, cheeks and tail with contrasting black limbs, crown, and tail-end. Not much is known about their behavior; other than they live in social groups of up to 30 individuals and their diet consists mainly of leaves and fruit. It is though they eat insects too. Restricted to the highland forest of the Virungasespecially near bamboo, they share this habitat with their big Brother the Mountain Gorilla, inhabiting a small area that overlaps the territory of one of the Gorilla families Together, they face the same threats; snares, human encroachment etc. and are listed on the IUCN Red List of critically endangered species.

 

Tracking usually takes from 2 to 4 hrs. Once you come to the habituated families, you will spend the allowed one hour with them as they go about their daily life; adult monkeys frolic in plain view, feeding on bamboo leaves and leaping from perch to perch while females carry their young, completely oblivious of on-lookers.

 

Following lunch, drive back to Kigali and check in at Lemigo Hotel for overnight – dinner on own account.

lemigo Hotel (BB)

 

Day 5 – Virunga to Kigali

After breakfast, transfer to the airport for your departure flight.

(B) – END OF OUR SERVICES

GTR 3 – 13 days Rwanda Cultural & Primates Tour

Day 1 – Kigali

Upon arrival at Kigali International Airport, you will be met by our representative and transferred to Lemigo Hotel. –Dinner on own account.

Conveniently located in the Kimihurura area of Kigali, barely 10 min. from the international airport, Lemigo hotel is a refreshingly unique experience of relaxation amidst serene landscapes. LEMIGO HOTEL (BB)

Day 2- Kigali, Nyamata & Ntarama

This morning after breakfast, drive, 45 minutes south of Kigali, to Nyamata and Ntarama visiting two local churches there, scenes of serious atrocities committed during the 1994 genocide. At its peak, people took refuge in churches believing no one attack holy grounds: thousands perished in places they considered safe.

Thereafter, drive back to Kigali for a lunch at a local restaurant on own account, then proceed on a city tour that includes the memorial centre and craft centres (Optional at extra charge)

The history of Rwanda dates back centuries, Kigali has been a part of it for a hundred years. Founded in 1907 as a German settlement, Kigali did not become the capital until Rwanda’s independence in 1962 when it replaced the colonial seat of power in Butare. Since then, the city has seen major economic development resulting in what it is today; a vibrant African city of 1 million with wide boulevards, an international airport, world-class hotels and restaurants, crafts & crafts centres as well as a lively, cosmopolitan population.

Pay a moving visit to the Kigali Memorial Centre – we feel it puts a lot else in perspective. Established in 2004 as a permanent memorial to the victims of the widely documented Rwandan genocide in 1994 it is a constant reminder of the cost of ignorance – it also serves as a place for people to grieve those they lost. Learn about Rwanda’s history pre-colonial to 1994 genocide as well as other genocides in the world.

 In the late afternoon you will drive back to your hotel and spend time at leisure. –Dinner on own account.

LEMIGO HOTEL (BB)

Day 3 – Muhanga to Huye

After breakfast, drive 1hr to Muhanga through the hilly terrains of Rwanda.

(Optional at extra charge)

On arrival you will proceed to Azizi Life for a half day experience, here you will gain an insight into the life of rural Rwandans and their families. -From Banana Juice making, construction, pottery and traditional drumming. Azizi is the ideal way to look into life in rural Rwanda.

 Afterwards you will proceed to Butare for lunch and a well deserved shower. En route (Option at extra charge) Drive south to Nyanza (30 mins), the historical seat of the Rwandan kingdom and visit the Royal Palace Museum– the dome shaped traditional Royal Palace house (urukari), steeped in history and tradition running back over three centuries, has been restored, entirely of traditional materials, to its 19th century grandeur.

In the more modern Palace building, once the residence of King Mutara III Rudahigwa, there is a wide range of implements and photographs appertaining to the Kingdom and Kings (Mwami) while in an adjacent hill are the graves of King Mutara III himself (of whose death just before independence the Belgians were suspected of) as well as that of his wife Queen Rosalie Gicanda who was killed during the Rwandan genocide in 1994.

At the adjacent Rweser Art Museum, modern Rwandan artists express their view of the world and Rwanda in particular through aspects of culture, gests and behaviours of the Rwandan people inspired by everyday life especially following the 1994 genocide and its tragedies.

 

On arrival in Butare check in at Hotel Ibis for overnight. Dinner on own account.

FOURSTEPS HOTELS (BB)

 

Day 4 – Nyanza/Butare

After breakfast, visit the Rwanda National Museum in Butare before a lunch a local restaurant, on own account. Thereafter you will proceed to Nyungwe forest National Park.

A true nature lovers’ paradise, Nyungwe Forest National Park’s glorious sense of expansiveness is among its most striking features. The 970 km² of rainforest, bamboo, grassland, swamps and bogs in the majestic hills of southeast Rwanda is the largest remaining ‘island’ of montagne forest in East and Central Africa – and it dates back to the ice ages. It is also home to a rich variety of flora and fauna; 200 types of trees, hundreds of flowering plants, over 100 species of orchids and sensational lobelias and 13 recorded species of primates, 25% of the African primate checklist, including the acrobatic Angola colobus that move in troops of several hundred and an estimated 500 chimpanzee (often seen from the forest trails during the rainy season) as well as L’Hoest’s monkey, olive baboon, grey-cheeked mangabey and red-tailed monkey. Bird enthusiasts will not be disappointed with over 300 species including 24 Albertine Rift endemics e.g. the spectacular Ruwenzori turaco and several iridescent birds.

Check in at Nyungwe Forest Lodge for dinner and overnight.

The ultra luxurious Nyungwe Forest Lodge is nestled in an expansive tea plantation on the edge of Nyungwe Forest National Park, barely 5 min off the main Nyungwe/Cyangugu road and 45 min. to the Park HQs

NYUNGWE FOREST LODGE (FB)

 

Day 5 – Nyungwe Forest Park

After breakfast, transfer to the park HQs for a half day forest trek in search of the Angola Colobus monkeys which can be found here in troops of several hundred; the largest, can be up to 450 individuals.

This fair to moderate trek can be adapted to guests’ fitness and lasts up 6 hours. It’s an absolutely amazing experience, to see so many Colobus monkeys at the same time; 50-60 at a given time. Besides their incredible numbers, Angola Colobus differ from the more common Eastern colobus by the extent of white hair and leaner frame.

Other primates likely to be seen during the trek include l’Hoest’s monkey and the grey-cheeked mangabeys. The birds too are spectacular, though as in most tropical forests, one has to look harder. Giant hornbills, great blue turacos and red-breasted sparrow hawks are amongst the specials, 24 of them endemic to this section of the Rift Valley.

 OR

 Arise at dawn then 0430 hrs: transfer to the Cyamudongo Forest for a Chimpanzee tracking experience. NB: Although it is possible to track and see chimpanzees in Nyungwe forest as well as in the adjacent Cyamudongo forest, this is in very hilly terrain (high ridges and deep valleys) in a rainforest and the Chimps themselves only semi-habituated and tending to move far and wide over a large area. This makes the tracking difficulty and unpredictable and sighting the chimps not possible to guarantee. The national park does not practice a refund policy in case of failure to sight. Consequently, we prefer to offer Nyungwe more as a rainforest experience than a chimpanzee tracking destination; with her other many exciting activities – we recommend Colobus Monkeys tracking, a thrilling adventure on the new Canopy Walk, regular guided Forest Hikes including to the waterfalls, Birding trail and many more – all with the chance to see some of the other primates who ‘call’ Nyungwe home including Black and White Colobus monkeys, Grey cheeked Mangabeys, Blue Monkeys, L’Hoest’s Monkeys, etc.

After lunch at the lodge, tour to a nearby tea plantation; an excellent way of interacting with the local farmers, know them, hear their stories and challenges, and make friends.

In the early evening return to the hotel for dinner and overnight.

NYUNGWE FOREST LODGE (FB)

Day 6 – Nyungwe forest park to Kibuye

In the morning you will drive to Kibuye along the shore of the Lake Kivu en route you will proceed on a tour to Bisesero Museum (USD 10 – for donation)

Bisesero is a mountainous region situated about 31 km from the lakeside town of Kibuye. Historically, the majority of people who lived in Bisesero were Tutsis, whose main activity was cattle breeding. They were called Abasesero, a name from which the region derives its name.

The Bisesero story

During the genocide of 1994, people in other prefectures were all killed because of their small numbers. Here, however, the Tutsi who lived in Bisesero and the surrounding region gathered together to resist the killers—killers which were their neighbors and other Hutus from surrounding area. That’s why this hill is now called the “Hill of Resistance.” They were successful for some days because they chose the top of a hill on which there were many rocks which they threw at the advancing attackers who were armed with clubs and machetes. After many days of resistance, Hutu reinforcements from the Republican Guard in Kigali and Interahamwe militiamen organized a serious attack against the Tutsis at Bisesero. These new attackers came armed with modern powerful weapons. Under this new assault, the people of Bisesero couldn’t resist for very long and thus succumbed to the genocide.

Thereafter proceed to Kibuye and check in at Moriah hill resort for overnight. –Dinner on own account.

Located in Kibuye on the shores of Lake Kivu, Africa’s 6th largest, Moriah Hill Resort epitomizes gracious living and elegance in an ideal, homely and very welcoming environment.

Optional activities: Boat rides in the resorts’ nice boat cruiser, Kayak rides in self or double kayaks, Swimming in Lake Kivu (the lake is free of bilharzias), walks along the lake or climbing on the local hill, visit Gisovu – the largest tea plantation in Rwanda, visits to the genocide memorial sites at Karongi catholic church or Nyange catholic church. MORIAH HILL RESORT (BB)

 

Day 7 – Kibuye to Musanze

In the afternoon, following lunch on own account, you will drive to Musanze at the foothills of the Virungas via Lake Kivu with a stop for lunch at Lake Kivu Serena Hotel on own account. Thereafter proceed to Musanze and check in at Mountain Gorilla View Lodge for dinner and overnight.

Mountain Gorilla View Lodge,a 3* bush lodge on the periphery of Volcanoes National Park offers good quality accommodation with panoramic views of the Virungas, barely a km away from the Park HQs. MOUNTAIN GORILLA VIEW LODGE (FB)

Day 8 – Volcanoes national park

 After an early breakfast, drive to the Volcanoes National Park to be allocated a gorilla tracking group.

0700 hrs: Briefing by your trackers then drive to the trail head for the start of an amazing adventure.

Our exhilarating trek, in the footsteps of the rare and critically endangered Mountain Gorillas, the largest living primate on earth, starts in the cultivated foothills of the Virungas with stirring views in all directions. Upon entering the national park, her paths littered with fresh spoor of the mountains’ elusive buffalo and elephant, trekkers will be immersed in the mysterious intimacy of the rainforest, alive with colorful bird calls, butterflies, etc. Through gaps in the canopy, the magnificent Virunga peaks, among the highest in Africa yet easily accessible, are glimpsed, beckoning an ascent.

Weaving through overhanging vines, moss-covered hagenia and giant lobelias that thrive in the tropical climate, our experienced trackers, they spent their entire lives in or close to this forest, soon bring us up close with the family.

 Upon sighting the gorillas, you will stay with them for a magical hour as they go about their daily life, feeding, playing, resting; raising their young. Coming face to face with a giant silverback must truly be one of the greatest wildlife experiences on earth!

 In the afternoon, following lunch, you may tour to the nearby ex-poacher’s village. (Optional at Extra Charge)

An award-winning conservation initiative, former poachers were convinced to renounce their wayward ways and become conservation activists. Together with their families, they founded this little community village with a replica of the Kings palace, where they now participate in eco-tourism showcasing Rwandan culture and customs. On arrival, guests will be welcomed with drum beats and the Intore (warriors, the chosen ones) dance, followed by a briefing by a village ‘guide’. They then ‘visit’ the King (Mwami)’s House where they learn about the life and times of a Mwami and a ‘King’ will be ‘crowned’. Tour the traditional healers homestead and enjoy demonstrations of traditional skills – fire-making, archery, weaving, medicine, architecture (totally unique grass thatched huts that were used by the kings), magnificent Rwandan cultural dances, etc. among other things – followed by a mass dance where all guests are invited. This lasts a couple of hours. Time at ex-poachers village is very interactive, educational and fun for all ages.

Return to lodge early evening for dinner and overnight

MOUNTAIN GORILLA VIEW LODGE (FB)

 Day 9 – Volcanoes national park

After an early breakfast, drive to the Volcanoes National Park HQs where you will be allocated a Golden Monkeys tracking group. 0700 hrs: Briefing by your trackers then drive to the trail head for the tracking.

The very beautiful Golden Monkey has a golden body, cheeks and tail with contrasting black limbs, crown, and tail-end. Not much is known about their behavior; other than they live in social groups of up to 30 individuals and their diet consists mainly of leaves and fruit – it is believed they eat insects too. Restricted to the highland forest of the Virungasespecially near bamboo, they share this habitat with their big Brother the Mountain Gorilla, inhabiting a small area that overlaps the territory of one of the Gorilla families Together, they face the same threats; snares, human encroachment etc. and are listed on the IUCN Red List of critically endangered species.

Tracking usually takes from 2 to 4 hrs. Once you come to the habituated families, you will spend the allowed one hour with them as they go about their daily life; adult monkeys frolic in plain view, feeding on bamboo leaves and leaping from perch to perch while females carry their young, completely oblivious of on-lookers.

 0R

 You have another early rise and after breakfast, return to the Park HQs for your second gorilla trek.

– Opportunity to visit a different gorilla family, experience a different thrill – no two visits are ever the same.

 

There are, at the moment, 10 habituated gorilla families in Volcanoes National Park, each usually residing in a different section of the ranges, further or higher up the volcanoes. Gorillas are however not territorial and when two families meet, the silverbacks may fight, sometimes to death, but to defend family not territory. Numbering only about 780 individuals worldwide, this amazingly huge hominid with a large head, broad chest and long arms and who share 95% of their genes with humans, is now listed on the IUCN Red List of critically Endangered Species due to habitat loss, poaching, disease and war. Trackers to one of the habituated families will be delighted to know that their visit contributes to the preservation of these special creatures.

In the afternoon, you will have a tour around Musanze, visit a school or a local family and hear their stories as well as see what they go through in everyday life.

 Return to lodge early evening for dinner and overnight.

MOUNTAIN GORILLA VIEW LODGE (FB)

Day 10 – volcanoes national park to Muhazi

This morning you will drive back to Kigali and have lunch at a local restaurant on own account then proceed to Muhazi and check in at Muhazi beach hotel for overnight. –Dinner on own account.

There are a number of activities to do at the hotel, Fishing, Volleyball, and Jet Ski or take a boat ride. All activities are at extra cost to be paid directly to the hotel.

MUHAZI BEACH HOTEL (BB)

 Day 11 – Akagera national park

0600 hrs: You will drive to Akagera National Park (125 km/2.5 hrs) proceeding on a morning game viewing drive in this African savannah park before stopping for lunch at Akagera Game Lodge on own account.

 

Herds of elephant and buffalo emerge from the woodland to drink at the lakes; lucky visitors might stumble across a leopard, a spotted hyena, even a stray lion. Giraffe and zebra haunt the savannah and more than a dozen types of antelope inhabit the park, most commonly the handsome chestnut-coated impala and the world’s largest antelope, the statuesque Cape Eland. Alongside the picturesque lakes, pods of 50+ hippopotami grunt and splutter throughout the day, while outsized crocodiles soak up the sun with their vast jaws menacingly agape. And lining the lakes; some of the continent’s densest concentrations of water birds, amongst the parks over 500 recorded species.

 After lunch proceed on an afternoon game drive, chance to view a different variety of animals that come out in the afternoon and evening. Thereafter drive back to Muhazi Beach hotel for overnight. –Dinner on own account.

MUHAZI BEACH HOTEL (BB)

Day 12 – Akagera to Kigali

This morning you will have a second game drive with lunch at Akagera game lodge on own account, then drive back to Kigali and check in at Lemigo Hotel for overnight. –Dinner on own account.

LEMIGO HOTEL (BB)

Day 13 – Kigali

This morning after breakfast you will be transferred to the airport for your departure flight.

(B) – END OF OUR SERVICES

GTR1- 3 Days Gorillas in the Mist

Day 1 – Kigali to Musanza

Upon arrival at Kigali International Airport, you will be met by a representative who will drive you 2hrs 30 minutes to Musanze at the foothills of the Virungas.

Check in at Mountain gorilla View lodge for dinner and overnight.

Mountain Gorilla View Lodge, a 3* bush lodge on the periphery of Volcanoes National Park offers good quality accommodation with panoramic views of the Virungas, barely a km away from the Park HQs.

An oasis of serenity at the base of Sabyinyo volcano, all her 25 guest Cottages, built in contemporary African design using local materials, are en-suite and come equipped with a mini bar, coffee machine and hairdryer. Soft furnishings with modern African prints, motifs and colours as well as original artworks in recycled timber create a relaxing and refreshing ambiance. The lodge’s grounds are beautifully landscaped with natural foliage and a startling variety of wild flowers. In the evenings, the Itorero, local Rwandan cultural dancer’s troupe, spices your stay with memorable Rwandan dances.

MOUNTAIN GORILLA VIEW LODGE (FB)

 

Day 2 – Virunga (trek day)

After an early breakfast, proceed to the Volcanoes National Park HQs to be allocated a gorilla tracking group. 0700 hrs: Briefing by your trackers then drive to the trail head for the start of an amazing adventure.

 

Our exhilarating trek, in the footsteps of the rare and critically endangered Mountain Gorillas, the largest living primate on earth, starts in the cultivated foothills of the Virungas with stirring views in all directions. Upon entering the national park, her paths littered with fresh spoor of the mountains’ elusive buffalo and elephant, trekkers will be immersed in the mysterious intimacy of the rainforest, alive with colorful bird calls, butterflies, etc.

 

Weaving through overhanging vines, moss-covered hagenia and giant lobelias that thrive in the tropical climate, our experienced trackers, they spent their entire lives in or close to this forest, soon bring us up close with the family.

 

Upon sighting the gorillas, you will stay with them for a magical hour as they go about their daily life, feeding, playing, resting; raising their young. Coming face to face with a giant silverback must truly be one of the greatest wildlife experiences on earth!

 

In the afternoon following lunch at the lodge, you will drive to Kigali enjoying the scenic plains of Rwandan countryside and arrive at Lemigo Hotel for overnight. – Dinner on own account.

Lemigo hotel is a haven of space, luxury, serenity and simplicity, filled with rich touches of the fantastic Rwandan culture. Located in the Kimihurura area of Kigali, just about 10 min. from the international airport, Lemigo hotel is a refreshingly unique experience of relaxation amidst serene landscapes.

It consists of 97 rooms and suites including LCD TV and WiFi. Other hotel facilities include a Swimming pool, a Spa, Health club, a Gym, full business facilities and meeting rooms as well as a vibrant mix of restaurants and bars.

LEMIGO HOTEL (BB)

Day 3 – Kigali

After breakfast, transfer to the airport for your departure flight.

(B) – END OF OUR SERVICES

 

Tour can depart any day with a minimum of 1 person

 Book this tour!

GTU 4 – 5 days/ 4 nights Lake Mburo, Bwindi Gorillas & Queen Elizabeth

Day 1: Lake Mburo National Park [L, D]

After breakfast, you will drive to Lake Mburo National Park. Enjoy the boat ride on Lake Mburo and get quite close to crocs and hippos.

Birdwatchers will enjoy the more than 250 species of birds found in Lake Mburo including Papyrus Gonolek, Brown faced Lapwing. Carruther’s Cisticola, the extraordinary White winged Warbler and Bare-Faced-Go- Away bird.

Evening game drive along the Lakeshore track. With its own system of game trails and cleared walkways the “Kigambara Loop” offers interesting guided lakeside walks. Find here herds of zebra, Cape buffalo and eland. Oribi and topi are easily approached.

Overnight Rwonyo Rest Camp (budget) / Lake Mburo Tented Camp (mid range) / Mihingo Safari Lodge (up market)

Day 2: Bwindi Impenetrable Forest [B, L, D]

After breakfast, proceed for a game drive or a safari walk under the escort of an armed ranger. The leisurely pace of a walking safari also provides excellent opportunities for the keen photographer. The Kopjes are particularly interesting and camouflage kilpspringers and topis. Due to cattle herding in the area it is amusing to see zebra grazing alongside the long horned Ankore Cattle peaceably.

Drive through the “Switzerland of Africa” area known as the Kigezi Highlands with its terraced hillside and winding roads to Bwindi.

Overnight Rwonyo Rest Camp (budget) / Lake Mburo Tented Camp (mid range) / Mihingo Safari Lodge (up market)

Day 3: Bwindi, Gorilla trek [B, L, D]

Early morning entry into Gorilla sanctuary. This rainforest is spectacular. It offers a dramatic steeply forested landscape and is incredibly dense, but criss-crossed by numerous animal trails allowing access to tourists. Mammals recorded include the endangered mountain gorilla, rare golden monkey, buffalo, elephant, black-fronted duiker, bushbuck, leopard, giant forest log and others. This park is best known for the fascinating gorillas. The time taken and the terrain varies according to the movements of this marvellous primates. The thrill of spending time and observing the gorillas is a rare, moving, awesome and exciting adventure. The gorilla is a shy and peaceful animal and it is unforgettable experience to watch and photograph them as they interact.

Overnight Rwonyo Rest Camp (budget) / Lake Mburo Tented Camp (mid range) / Mihingo Safari Lodge (up market)

Day 4: Queen Elizabeth National Park [B, L, D]

Proceed to Queen Elizabeth National Park via the Ishasha sector. In the afternoon enjoy the unique 2 hour boat cruise on the Kazinga Channel and into Lake Edward. This trip passes through possibly the highest concentration of hippos and many animals may be seen drinking at the water’s edge. This launch cruise offers an excellent platform for photography, bird watching and game viewing. The prolific bird life is colorful and stupendous with well over 550 resident species.

Overnight Rwonyo Rest Camp (budget) / Lake Mburo Tented Camp (mid range) / Mihingo Safari Lodge (up market)

Day 5: Kampala [B, L]

Morning game drive. Queen Elizabeth National Park’s diverse eco-system of grassy plains, tropical forest, rivers, swamps, lakes and volcanic craters is home to an incredible abundance of wildlife. Game drives in this park, with the massive Rwenzoris as a backdrop provides excellent opportunities to see lion, leopard, giant forest hog, cape buffalo, elephants, defassa waterbuck, Uganda Kob, Topi and bush buck. The game drives and the boat trip (taken prior) are a memorable method of discovering a vast array of Ugandan wildlife

Drive back to Kampala stopping at the Mpigi Royal Drum Makers en route where you will able to watch the ceremonial drums being crafted using methods passed down through generations. There will also be time to stop at the equator for photographs. You arrive Kampala in the early evening. Drop off at your hotel. End of services.

Tour can depart any day with a minimum of 2 persons. Please specify accommodation preference.

Book this tour!

GTU 5 – 8 days/ 7 nights Murchison falls, Kibale forest, Queen Elizabeth and Lake Mburo

Day 1: Murchison Falls National Park [L, D]
This morning, transfer to Zziwa Rhino Sanctuary, a two-hour drive from Kampala, along the road on the way to Murchison Falls National Park. While you track the rhinos, visit the information centre and craft shop, look out for bush buck, leopard, Uganda kob, oribi, crocodiles, hippo and other wildlife present on the ranch. The bird life is abundant, with even the rare shoebill stork present in the Lugogo Swamps. Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary offers peace and tranquility in beautiful surroundings
In the afternoon we will visit the “top of the falls” for your chance to view the magnificence of the Nile. The park is cut into half by the famous River Nile where it has to squeeze itself through the legendary Murchison Falls, an impossibly narrow 7 m gap in a cleft rock creating a powerful explosion of white water. The Falls are believed to be the most powerful natural flow of water anywhere on earth. Superlatives like “awesome” “stupendous” “fantastic” and “wow” have been used to describe this amazing spectacle.

Overnight Red Chilli Rest Camp (budget) / Murchison Falls River Lodge (mid range) / Paraa Safari Lodge (up market)

Day 02: Murchison Falls Park [B, L, D]

After an early breakfast, proceed for a game drive. Elephant, Cape buffalo, Rothschild’s giraffe, Uganda kob, hartebeest and waterbuck are commonly seen. You may also spot oribi, bushbuck, Bohor reedbuck, bush duiker, warthog and bushpig. Large carnivores include lion, leopard and spotted hyena.

After lunch, go for a boat safari upstream the calm Victoria Nile. En-route, marvel at the toothsome hippos, crocodiles and over this 17 km stretch you may see elephant, waterbuck and Uganda Kob. This is also a zone of many bird species like Goliath heron, Egyptian goose, pelican bee-eater, kingfisher, hornbill, cormorant and the rare shoebill stork. The boat will stop just tens of metres from the sinister, frothing and bubbling base of the falls.

Overnight Red Chilli Rest Camp (budget) / Murchison Falls River Lodge (mid range) / Paraa Safari Lodge (up market)

Day 3: Kibale Forest National Park [B, L, D]       

All day drive south via Hoima to Fort Portal through verdant countryside and past traditional homesteads and farms. Fort-Portal rests in the shadow of the fabled Mountains of the Moon.

Overnight Kibale Forest Camp (budget) / Primate Lodge (mid range) / Ndali Lodge (up market)

Day 4: Kibale Forest [B, L, D]

All day search of chimpanzees and 10 other primate including l’ hoestes, red colobus, blues, red tailed and gray – cheeked mangabey. The guide will provide detailed explanations, not only on primates, but on all the forest fauna and flora and will ensure that your walk is both informative and enjoyable. This walk is excellent for viewing bird life and seeing primates at close quarters.

Overnight Kibale Forest Camp (budget) / Primate Lodge (mid range) / Ndali Lodge (up market)

 

Day 5: Queen Elizabeth National Park [B, L, D]

Morning visit to Bigodi Wetland Sanctuary to search for smaller mammals and primates. Look out for the rare red colobus monkey and the sitatunga. The guided 4.5km circular trail through the swamp is also one of the best guided bird trails in East Africa as well as offering a realistic opportunity to see up to six different primate species in a space of a few hours.

Proceed to Queen Elizabeth National Park following the mystical Ruwenzori Mountain range for much of the journey. A game drive en route may be rewarded with views of lion, elephant, leopard, buffalo, hyena and a variety of antelope species.

In the afternoon, enjoy the unique 2 hour boat cruise on the Kazinga Channel and into Lake Edward. This trip passes through possibly the highest concentration of hippos and many animals may be seen drinking at the water’s edge. This launch cruise offers an excellent platform for photography, bird watching and game viewing. The prolific bird life is colourful and stupendous with well over 550 resident species.

Overnight Queen Elizabeth Bush Lodge (budget) / Katara Lodge(mid range) / Mweya Safari Lodge (up market)

Day 6: Queen Elizabeth [B, L, D]

Two game drives today. Queen Elizabeth National Park’s diverse eco-system of grassy plains, tropical forest, rivers, swamps, lakes and volcanic craters is home to an incredible abundance of wildlife. Game drives in this park, with the massive Rwenzoris as a backdrop provides excellent opportunities to see lion, leopard, giant forest hog, Cape buffalo, elephants, defassa waterbuck, Uganda Kob, Topi and bush buck. These two game drives and the boat trip (taken prior) are a memorable method of discovering a vast array of Ugandan wildlife

Overnight Queen Elizabeth Bush Lodge (budget) / Katara Lodge (mid range) / Mweya Safari Lodge (up market)

Day 7: Lake Mburo National Park [B, L, D]

Early morning departure to Kyambura Gorge, visitors can climb through tropical forest and catch a glimpse of a variety of primates, including chimpanzee, black-and-white colobus. vervet and olive baboons are regularly observed in the gorge. Less visible residents include red-tailed monkey and the giant forest hog. For birdwatchers a good range of forest birds are present.

Drive to Lake Mburo National Park, lunch en route. Enjoy the boat ride on Lake Mburo and get quite close to crocs and hippos.

Birdwatchers will enjoy the more than 250 species of birds found in Lake Mburo including Papyrus Gonolek, Brown faced Lapwing. Carruther’s Cisticola, the extraordinary White winged Warbler and Bare-Faced-Go- Away bird. Evening game drive along the Lakeshore track. With its own system of game trails and cleared walkways the “Kigambara Loop” offers interesting guided lakeside walks. Find here herds of zebra, Cape buffalo and eland. Oribi and topi are easily approached.

Overnight Rwonyo Rest Camp (budget) / Lake Mburo Tented Camp (mid range) / Mihingo Safari Lodge (up market)

Day 8: Kampala [B, L]

After breakfast, proceed for a game drive or a safari walk under the escort of an armed ranger. The Kopjes are particularly interesting and camouflage kilpspringers and topis. Due to cattle herding in the area it is amusing to see zebra grazing alongside the long horned Ankore Cattle peaceably. Return for lunch which should be taken leisurely enjoying the view of the lakes in this park.

After lunch, drive back to Kampala stopping at the Mpigi Royal Drum Makers en route where you will able to watch the ceremonial drums being crafted using methods passed down through generations. There will also be time to stop at the equator for photographs. You arrive Kampala in the early evening. End of services.

Tour can depart any day with a minimum of 2 persons. Please specify accommodation preference.

Book this tour!

GTU 6 – 10 days/ 9 nights Kibale Forest, Queen Elizabeth, Bwindi & Lake Mburo

Day 1: Kibale Forest National Park [L, D]

After breakfast, drive south via Fort Portal through verdant countryside and past traditional homesteads and farms. Fort-Portal rests in the shadow of the fabled Mountains of the Moon.

Afternoon visit to Bigodi Wetland Sanctuary to search for smaller mammals and primates. Look out for the rare red colobus monkey and the sitatunga. The guided 4.5km circular trail through the swamp is also one of the best guided bird trails in East Africa as well as offering a realistic opportunity to see up to six different primate species in a space of a few hours.

Overnight Kibale Forest Camp (budget) / Primate Lodge (mid range) / Ndali Lodge (up market)

Day 2: Kibale Forest [B, L, D] 

All day search of chimpanzees and 10 other primate including l’ hoestes, red colobus, blues, red tailed and gray – cheeked mangabey. The guide will provide detailed explanations, not only on primates, but on all the forest fauna and flora and will ensure that your walk is both informative and enjoyable. This walk is excellent for viewing bird life and seeing primates at close quarters.

Overnight Kibale Forest Camp (budget) / Primate Lodge (mid range) / Ndali Lodge (up market)

Day 3: Queen Elizabeth National Park [B, L, D]

Proceed to Queen Elizabeth National Park following the mystical Ruwenzori Mountain range for much of the journey.

A game drive en route may be rewarded with views of lion, elephant, leopard, buffalo, hyena and a variety of antelope species.

In the afternoon, enjoy the unique 2 hour boat cruise on the Kazinga Channel and into Lake Edward. This trip passes through possibly the highest concentration of hippos and many animals may be seen drinking at the water’s edge. This launch cruise offers an excellent platform for photography, bird watching and game viewing. The prolific bird life is colourful and stupendous with well over 550 resident species.

Overnight Queen Elizabeth Bush Lodge (budget) / Katara Lodge (mid range) / Mweya Safari Lodge (up market)

Day 4: Queen Elizabeth [B, L, D]

Two game drives today. Queen Elizabeth National Park’s diverse eco-system of grassy plains, tropical forest, rivers, swamps, lakes and volcanic craters is home to an incredible abundance of wildlife. Game drives in this park, with the massive Rwenzoris as a backdrop provides excellent opportunities to see lion, leopard, giant forest hog, Cape buffalo, elephants, defassa waterbuck, Uganda Kob, Topi and bush buck. These two game drives and the boat trip (taken prior) are a memorable method of discovering a vast array of Ugandan wildlife

Overnight Queen Elizabeth Bush Lodge (budget) / Katara Lodge (mid range) / Mweya Safari Lodge (up market)

Day 5: Ishasha Sector Queen Elizabeth [B, L, D]

Early morning transfer to Ishasha Area of Queen Elizabeth national park. Game drives in Ishasha sector, home to the famous [tree-climbing lions] and the large herds of game. The scenic beauty, the size of the euphorbias and combination of riverine forest, Savannah plain and equatorial forest makes this a memorable day, only found in Africa.

Overnight at the Ishasha River (budget) / Ishasha Ntungwe River Camp (mid range) / Ishasha Wilderness Tented Camp (up market)

Day 6: Ishasha Sector Queen Elizabeth [B, L, D]

Game drives in Ishasha sector, home to the famous tree-climbing lions and the large herds of game. The scenic beauty, the size of the euphorbias and combination of riverine forest, Savannah plain and equatorial forest makes this a memorable day, only found in Africa.

Overnight at the Ishasha River (budget) / Ishasha Ntungwe River Camp (mid range) / Ishasha Wilderness Tented Camp (up market)

Day 7: Bwindi National Park [B, L, D]

Drive through the “Switzerland of Africa” area known as the Kigezi Highlands with its terraced hillside and winding roads to Bwindi.

Overnight Buhoma Community Rest Camp (budget) / Engagi Lodge (mid range) / Buhoma Lodge (up market)

Day 8: Bwindi, Gorilla Tracking [B, L, D]

Early morning entry into Gorilla sanctuary. This rainforest is spectacular.

It offers a dramatic steeply forested landscape and is incredibly dense, but criss-crossed by numerous animal trails allowing access to tourists. Mammals recorded include the endangered mountain gorilla, rare golden monkey, buffalo, elephant, black-fronted duiker, bushbuck, leopard, giant forest log and others. This park is best known for the fascinating gorillas. The time taken and the terrain vary according to the movements of these marvelous primates. The thrill of spending time and observing the gorillas is a rare, moving, awesome and exciting adventure. The gorilla is a shy and peaceful animal and it is unforgettable experience to watch and photograph them as they interact.

Overnight Buhoma Community Rest Camp (budget) / Engagi Lodge (mid range) / Buhoma Lodge (up market)

Day 9: Lake Mburo National Park [B, L, D]

After an early breakfast, you will and drive to Lake Mburo National Park. Enjoy the boat ride on Lake Mburo and get quite close to crocs and hippos.

Birdwatchers will enjoy the more than 250 species of birds found in Lake Mburo including Papyrus Gonolek, Brown faced Lapwing. Carruther’s Cisticola, the extraordinary White winged Warbler and Bare-Faced-Go- Away bird.

Evening game drive along the Lakeshore track. With its own system of game trails and cleared walkways the “Kigambara Loop” offers interesting guided lakeside walks. Find here herds of zebra, Cape buffalo and eland. Oribi and topi are easily approached.

Overnight Rwonyo Rest Camp (budget) / Lake Mburo Tented Camp (mid range) / Mihingo Safari Lodge (up market)

Day 10: Kampala [B, L]

After breakfast, proceed for a game drive or a safari walk under the escort of an armed ranger. The Kopjes are particularly interesting and camouflage kilpspringers and topis. Due to cattle herding in the area it is amusing to see zebra grazing alongside the long horned Ankore Cattle peaceably. Return for lunch which should be taken leisurely enjoying the view of the lakes in this park.

After lunch, drive back to Kampala stopping at the Mpigi Royal Drum Makers en route where you will able to watch the ceremonial drums being crafted using methods passed down through generations. There will also be time to stop at the equator for photographs. You arrive Kampala in the early evening. End of services.

Tour can depart any day with a minimum of 2 persons. Please specify accommodation preference.

Book this tour!

GTU 7 – 12 days/ 11 nights Murchison Falls, Kibale Forest, Queen Elizabeth, Bwindi Gorillas & Lake Mburo

Day 1: Murchison Falls National Park [L, D]
This morning, transfer to Zziwa Rhino Sanctuary, a two-hour drive from Kampala, along the road on the way to Murchison Falls National Park. While you track the rhinos, visit the information centre and craft shop, look out for bush buck, leopard, Uganda kob, oribi, crocodiles, hippo and other wildlife present on the ranch. The bird life is abundant, with even the rare shoebill stork present in the Lugogo Swamps. Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary offers peace and tranquility in beautiful surroundings
In the afternoon we will visit the “top of the falls” for your chance to view the magnificence of the Nile. The park is cut into half by the famous River Nile where it has to squeeze itself through the legendary Murchison Falls, an impossibly narrow 7 m gap in a cleft rock creating a powerful explosion of white water. Murchison Falls are believed to be the most powerful natural flow of water anywhere on earth. Superlatives like “awesome” “stupendous” “fantastic” and “wow” have been used to describe this amazing spectacle.

Overnight Red Chilli Rest Camp (budget) / Murchison Falls River Lodge (mid range) / Paraa Safari Lodge (up market)

Day 02: Murchison Falls Park [B, L, D]

After an early breakfast, proceed for a game drive. Elephant, Cape buffalo, Rothschild’s giraffe, Uganda kob, hartebeest and waterbuck are commonly seen. You may also spot oribi, bushbuck, Bohor reedbuck, bush duiker, warthog and bushpig. Large carnivores include lion, leopard and spotted hyena.

After lunch, go for a boat safari upstream the calm Victoria Nile. En-route, marvel at the toothsome hippos, crocodiles and over this 17 km stretch you may see elephant, waterbuck and Uganda Kob. This is also a zone of many bird species like Goliath heron, Egyptian goose, pelican bee-eater, kingfisher, hornbill, cormorant and the rare shoebill stork. The boat will stop just tens of metres from the sinister, frothing and bubbling base of the falls.

Overnight Red Chilli Rest Camp (budget) / Murchison Falls River Lodge (mid range) / Paraa Safari Lodge (up market)

Day 3: Kibale Forest National Park [B, L, D]

All day drive south via Hoima to Fort Portal through verdant countryside and past traditional homesteads and farms. Fort-Portal rests in the shadow of the fabled Mountains of the Moon.

Overnight Kibale Forest Camp (budget) / Primate Lodge (mid range) / Ndali Lodge (up market)

Day 4: Kibale Forest [B, L, D]

All day search of chimpanzees and 10 other primate including l’ hoestes, red colobus, blues, red tailed and gray – cheeked mangabey. The guide will provide detailed explanations, not only on primates, but on all the forest fauna and flora and will ensure that your walk is both informative and enjoyable. This walk is excellent for viewing bird life and seeing primates at close quarters.

Overnight Kibale Forest Camp (budget) / Primate Lodge (mid range) / Ndali Lodge (up market)

Day 5: Queen Elizabeth National Park [B, L, D]

Morning visit to Bigodi Wetland Sanctuary to search for smaller mammals and primates. Look out for the rare red colobus monkey and the sitatunga. The guided 4.5km circular trail through the swamp is also one of the best guided bird trails in East Africa as well as offering a realistic opportunity to see up to six different primate species in a space of a few hours.

Proceed to Queen Elizabeth National Park following the mystical Ruwenzori Mountain range for much of the journey. A game drive en route may be rewarded with views of lion, elephant, leopard, buffalo, hyena and a variety of antelope species.

Enjoy the unique 2 hour boat cruise on the Kazinga Channel and into Lake Edward. This trip passes through possibly the highest concentration of hippos and many animals may be seen drinking at the water’s edge. This launch cruise offers an excellent platform for photography, bird watching and game viewing. The prolific bird life is colourful and stupendous with well over 550 resident species.

Overnight Queen Elizabeth Bush Lodge (budget) / Katara Lodge (mid range) / Mweya Safari Lodge (up market)

Day 6: Queen Elizabeth [B, L, D]

Two game drives today. Queen Elizabeth National Park’s diverse eco-system of grassy plains, tropical forest, rivers, swamps, lakes and volcanic craters is home to an incredible abundance of wildlife. Game drives in this park, with the massive Rwenzoris as a backdrop provides excellent opportunities to see lion, leopard, giant forest hog, Cape buffalo, elephants, defassa waterbuck, Uganda Kob, Topi and bush buck. These two game drives and the boat trip (taken prior) are a memorable method of discovering a vast array of Ugandan wildlife

Overnight Queen Elizabeth Bush Lodge (budget) / Katara Lodge (mid range) / Mweya Safari Lodge (up market)

Day 7: Ishasha Sector Queen Elizabeth [B, L, D]

Early morning transfer to Ishasha Area of Queen Elizabeth national park. Game drives in Ishasha sector, home to the famous [tree-climbing lions] and the large herds of game. The scenic beauty, the size of the euphorbias and combination of riverine forest, Savannah plain and equatorial forest makes this a memorable day, only found in Africa.

Overnight At the Ishasha River (budget) / Ishasha Ntungwe River Camp (mid range) / Ishasha Wilderness Tented Camp (up market)

Day 8: Ishasha Sector Queen Elizabeth [B, L, D]

Game drives in Ishasha sector, home to the famous tree-climbing lions and the large herds of game. The scenic beauty, the size of the euphorbias and combination of riverine forest, Savannah plain and equatorial forest makes this a memorable day, only found in Africa.

Overnight at the Ishasha River (budget) / Ishasha Ntungwe River Camp (mid range) / Ishasha Wilderness Tented Camp (up market)

Day 9: Bwindi National Park [B, L, D]      

Drive through the “Switzerland of Africa” area known as the Kigezi Highlands with its terraced hillside and winding roads to Bwindi.

Overnight Buhoma Community Rest Camp (budget) / Engagi Lodge (mid range) / Buhoma Lodge (up market)

Day 10: Bwindi, Gorilla Tracking [B, L, D]

Early morning entry into Gorilla sanctuary. This rainforest is spectacular.

It offers a dramatic steeply forested landscape and is incredibly dense, but criss-crossed by numerous animal trails allowing access to tourists. Mammals recorded include the endangered mountain gorilla, rare golden monkey, buffalo, elephant, black-fronted duiker, bushbuck, leopard, giant forest log and others. This park is best known for the fascinating gorillas. The time taken and the terrain varies according to the movements of this marvelous primates. The thrill of spending time and observing the gorillas is a rare, moving, awesome and exciting adventure. The gorilla is a shy and peaceful animal and it is unforgettable experience to watch and photograph them as they interact.

Overnight Buhoma Community Rest Camp (budget) / Engagi Lodge (mid range) / Buhoma Lodge (up market)

Day 11: Lake Mburo National Park [B, L, D]

After an early breakfast, you will and drive to Lake Mburo National Park. Enjoy the boat ride on Lake Mburo and get quite close to crocs and hippos.

Birdwatchers will enjoy the more than 250 species of birds found in Lake Mburo including Papyrus Gonolek, Brown faced Lapwing. Carruther’s Cisticola, the extraordinary White winged Warbler and Bare-Faced-Go- Away bird.

Evening game drive along the Lakeshore track. With its own system of game trails and cleared walkways the “Kigambara Loop” offers interesting guided lakeside walks. Find here herds of zebra, Cape buffalo and eland. Oribi and topi are easily approached.

Overnight Rwonyo Rest Camp (budget) / Lake Mburo Tented Camp (mid range) / Mihingo Safari Lodge (up market)

Day 12: Kampala [B, L]

After breakfast, proceed for a game drive or a safari walk under the escort of an armed ranger. The Kopjes are particularly interesting and camouflage kilpspringers and topis. Due to cattle herding in the area it is amusing to see zebra grazing alongside the long horned Ankore Cattle peaceably. Return for lunch which should be taken leisurely enjoying the view of the lakes in this park.

After lunch, drive back to Kampala stopping at the Mpigi Royal Drum Makers en route where you will able to watch the ceremonial drums being crafted using methods passed down through generations. There will also be time to stop at the equator for photographs. You arrive Kampala in the early evening. End of services

Tour can depart any day with a minimum of 2 persons. Please specify accommodation preference.

Book this tour!

GTU 8 – 14 days/ 13 nights Uganda Bird watching safari

Climate, suggested clothing, etc. – Situated at the equator, Uganda enjoys a tropical climate with very little temperature variation throughout the year. If you are planning a trip to Uganda as a birder, the main factor determining your timing will be pattern of rainfall. In the southern part of the country the wettest month is April with the rainy season stretching from April to May and October to November. The wet season in the North is from April to October with the rest of the year fairly dry with low humidity. Whilst travelling might be easier in the dry season, bear in mind the fact that bird activity is much higher during the wetter months when most of the breeding takes place.

Birds that may be seen during bird watching – The birds listed below are birds that occur along the route at various times of the year. As with any trip one cannot guarantee that every bird mentioned will be seen.

 

Day 1: Arrival Entebbe [L, D]

Arrival at Entebbe Airport where you will be welcomed by our representative and transferred to your hotel in Entebbe.

Depending on time of arrival, stay at Hotel and bird Entebbe Botanical Gardens est. 1898. The gardens host a variety of open woodland species and offer a superb introduction to Ugandan birds.

Target birds: Vereaux’s Eagle, Owls, Red-chested Sunbirds, Orange Weaver, Slender-billed, Brown-throated, Yellow-backed, Jackson’s Golden-backed, Black-headed and Vieillot’s Black Weavers. Around the shore-Long tailed Cormorant, Common Squacco and Black-headed Herons, Hammerkop, African Open-billed Stork, Yellow-billed Duck, Grey-headed Gull, various terns and Pied Kingfisher, Swamp Flycatcher, Rock Pratincoles, Black-headed Gonolek, Red-chested Sunbird, Great Blue Ross’ Turacos, Klas’ & Dierderik Cuckoos, Woodland Kingfisher, Black-billed Roller, Black & White Casqued Hornbill, Splendid Starling, African Fish Eagle & Eastern Grey Plantain-eater, Angola Swallow, Winding & Red-faced Cisticolas, Grey-capped Warbler, Common Wattle-eye, Green throated & Scarlet-chested Sunbirds.

 Overnight the Boma Hotel (mid range) or Laico Lake Victoria Hotel (up market)

 

Day 2: Entebbe – Murchison Falls National Park [B, L, D]                     

Morning transfer to Murchison Falls Park via to Zziwa Rhino Sanctuary. While you track the rhinos, visit the information centre and craft shop, look out for bush buck, leopard, Uganda kob, oribi, crocodiles, hippo and other wildlife present on the ranch. The bird life is abundant, with even the rare shoebill stork present in the Lugogo Swamps. Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary offers peace and tranquility in beautiful surroundings

This afternoon we will visit the “top of the falls” for your chance to view the magnificence of the Nile. The park is cut into half by the famous River Nile where it has to squeeze itself through the legendary Murchison Falls, an impossibly narrow 7 m gap in a cleft rock creating a powerful explosion of white water. The Falls are believed to be the most powerful natural flow of water anywhere on earth. Superlatives like “awesome” “stupendous” “fantastic” and “wow” have been used to describe this amazing spectacle.

Overnight Murchison Falls River Lodge (mid range) or Paraa Safari Lodge (up market)

 

Day 3: Murchison Falls National Park [B, L, D]

After an early breakfast, proceed for a game drive. Elephant, Cape buffalo, Rothschild’s giraffe, Uganda kob, hartebeest and waterbuck are commonly seen. You may also spot oribi, bushbuck, Bohor reedbuck, bush duiker, warthog and bushpig. Large carnivores include lion, leopard and spotted hyena.

After lunch, go for a boat safari upstream the calm Victoria Nile. En-route, marvel at the toothsome hippos, crocodiles and over this 17 km stretch you may see elephant, waterbuck and Uganda Kob. This is also a zone of many bird species like Goliath heron, Egyptian goose, pelican bee-eater, kingfisher, hornbill, cormorant and the rare shoebill stork. The boat will stop just tens of metres from the sinister, frothing and bubbling base of the falls.

Overnight Murchison Falls River Lodge (mid range) or Paraa Safari Lodge (up market)

Day 4: Murchison Falls National Park [B, L, D]     

Drive early to Kaniyo Pabidi sector of Budongo Forest Reserve in Murchison Falls NP. Spend the morning chimpanzee-tracking and birding in Kaniyo Pabidi forest.

In the afternoon you will go for a guided birding walk. With 359 species Budongo Forest Reserve is famous for its biodiversity in birds, including the rare Puvel’s illadopses which is endemic to Budongo Forest. The vast bird forest lies at the edge of the Albertine Rift Valley boasting an impressive bird list of over 350 species.

Target birds: Nathan’s Francolin, Cassin’s Spinetail, Ituri Batis, Chestnut-capped Flycatcher & Banded Snake-eagle

Overnight Budongo Eco Lodge

Day 5: Murchison Falls – Kibale Forest National Park [B, L, D]

We depart Murchison Falls and head towards Fort Portal. This long journey will be rewarded with stunning views as you pass small villages and local markets. Fort Portal rests in the shadow of the fabled “Mountains of the Moon” and is famous for the many tea plantations. Birding the entrance road to the forest in the late afternoon. Check the scrubby fringes of the overgrown bushes for birds.

Target birds: Scary Francolin, Marsh Tchagra, Grey-headed Olive-back and a host of Seed eaters including Black-bellied Seed Cracker, Fawn-breasted and Black-crowned Waxbills, Green-backed Twinspot and Black & White Manikin & Conspicuous Greenbul.

Overnight: Primate Lodge Kibale (cottages] or Primate Lodge Kibale (safari tents)

Day 6: Kibale Forest & Bigodi Swamp [B, L, D]

Morning search of chimpanzees and 10 other primates including l’ hoestes, red colobus, blues, red tailed and gray – cheeked mangabey. The guide will provide detailed explanations, not only on primates, but on all the forest fauna and flora and will ensure that your walk is both informative and enjoyable. This walk is excellent for viewing bird life and seeing primates at close quarters.

Afternoon visit to Bigodi Wetland Sanctuary to search for smaller mammals and primates. Look out for the rare red colobus monkey and the sitatunga. The guided 4.5km circular trail through the swamp is also one of the best guided bird trails in East Africa as well as offering a realistic opportunity to see up to six different primate species in a space of a few hours.

Target birds: Red-winged Francolin, Red-chested Flufftail, White-naped Pigeon, Green-breasted Pitta, African Pitta, Joyful Greenbul, Grey-winged Robin, Abyssinian Ground Thrush, Grey-throated Flycatcher, White-bellied Crested Flycatcher, Masked and black-capped Apalises, Uganda Woodland Warbler, Chestnut-winged Starling, Orange-tuffed and Tiny Sunbirds, Grey-headed Olive Back.

Overnight: Primate Lodge Kibale (cottages] or Primate Lodge Kibale (safari tents)

Day 7: Kibale Forest – Queen Elizabeth National Park [B, L, D]

After breakfast, proceed to Queen Elizabeth National Park following the mystical Ruwenzori Mountain range for much of the journey. A game drive en route may be rewarded with views of lion, elephant, leopard, buffalo, hyena and a variety of antelope species.

In the afternoon enjoy the unique 2 hour boat cruise on the Kazinga Channel and into Lake Edward. This trip passes through possibly the highest concentration of hippos and many animals may be seen drinking at the water’s edge. This launch cruise offers an excellent platform for photography, bird watching and game viewing. The prolific bird life is colourful and stupendous with well over 550 resident species.

Target birds: African Morning Dove, Grey-headed Kingfisher, Swamp Flycatcher, Grey-capped Warbler, Black-headed Gonolek, Red-chested Sunbird, Lesser Eurasian Honey Buzzard, Steppe Eagle, Amur Falcon [or Lesser Kestrel during March-April].

Overnight Queen Elizabeth Bush Lodge (mid range) or Mweya Safari Lodge (up market)

Day 8: Queen Elizabeth National Park [B, L, D]

Two game drives today. Queen Elizabeth National Park’s diverse eco-system of grassy plains, tropical forest, rivers, swamps, lakes and volcanic craters is home to an incredible abundance of wildlife. Game drives in this park, with the massive Rwenzoris as a backdrop provides excellent opportunities to see lion, leopard, giant forest hog, Cape buffalo, elephants, defassa waterbuck, Uganda Kob, Topi and bush buck. These two game drives and the boat trip (taken prior) are a memorable method of discovering a vast array of Ugandan wildlife.

Lake Kikorongo for the Shoebill in the papyrus swamp adjacent to the lake and Kasenyi track which supports a large flock of Adbim Storks in season, Woolly-necked & Shoe-billed Stork, Raptors, African Harrier Hawk, Martial Eagle & Grey Kestrel. Lion kills attract up to six species of Vulture including Egyptian, Ruppels’, Griffon & Lappet-faced.

Target birds: Shoebill, Adbim Storks, Woolly-necked & Shoe-billed Stork, Raptors, African Harrier Hawk, Martial Eagle & Grey Kestrel. Vultures including Egyptian, Ruppels’, Griffon & Lappet-faced.

Overnight Queen Elizabeth Bush Lodge (mid range) or Mweya Safari Lodge (up market)

Day 9: Queen Elizabeth – Bwindi National Park [B, L, D]

Drive to Buhoma the headquarters of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. The park boasts no fewer than 23 of the 24 Albertine Rift endemics including the spectacular, and globally threatened, African Broadbill and Shelly’s Crimsonwing. Bwindi is richest in terms of birds, butterflies and trees. We will bird the camp area in the afternoon. Arrange a guide for the following day.

Target birds: 23 of the 24 Albertine Rift endemics

Overnight Silver Back Lodge (mid range) or Buhoma Lodge (up market)

Day 10: Gorilla tracking [B, L, D]

Early morning entry into the Gorilla sanctuary. This rainforest is spectacular. It offers a dramatic steeply forested landscape and is incredibly dense, but criss-crossed by numerous animal trails allowing access to tourists. Mammals recorded include the endangered mountain gorilla, rare golden monkey, buffalo, elephant, black-fronted duiker, bushbuck, leopard, giant forest log and others. This park is best known for the fascinating gorillas. The time taken and the terrain varies according to the movements of this marvelous primates. The thrill of spending time and observing the gorillas is a rare, moving, awesome and exciting adventure. The gorilla is a shy and peaceful animal and it is unforgettable experience to watch and photograph them as they interact.

Overnight Silver Back Lodge (mid range) or Buhoma Lodge (up market)

 

Day11: Bwindi – Lake Bunyonyi [B, L, D]

Waterfall Trail: From Buhoma head very early into the forest and onto the waterfall trail, one of Bwindis star avian attractions; the diminutive Pitta-like Short-tailed Warbler may be heard calling in the undergrowth and easily spotted. Also the Red-tailed Bristlebill and the handsome Black-faced Rufous Warbler. Work slowly back along the main track.

Drive to Lake Bunyonyi near Kabale. Kabale is the unofficial capital of the Kigezi region and is a beautiful, mountainous area with steep-sided hills, neatly terraced cultivation and many small lakes. One of the most attractive is Lake Bunyonyi, which is situated on a ridge to the northwest of Kabale. Large and irregular shaped, Lake Bunyonyi features a number of islands and is surrounded by heavily cultivated hillsides. A Dutch built leper colony used to be located on the largest island. It was relocated in 1969 when the buildings where taken over by a community of disabled people producing crafts. Lake Bunyonyi is the deepest lake in Uganda and one on the very few Bilharzia-free-so-you-can-swim-lakes.

Target birds: Short-tailed Warbler, Red-tailed Bristlebill, Black-faced Rufous Warbler etc.

Overnight Bird’s Nest (mid range) or Ha’buharo Island Camp (up market)

Day 12: Lake Bunyonyi [B, L, D]

After breakfast you can hire a canoe and explore the surroundings from the water surface. Drift quietly to the several small islands and enjoy the rich birdlife. Return for lunch and then take on a Bird Walk in Mukoni Village. Pass small farms and enjoy the spectacular view as you look out for many birds. Generally 40 to 50 different species may be seen on this walk, including the African Hobby, Black Kite, Swamp Flycatcher, Scarlet-chested, Bronze and Red-chested Sunbirds, White-headed Saw-wing etc.

Overnight Bird’s Nest (mid range) or Ha’buharo Island Camp (up market)

Day 13: Lake Bunyonyi – Kampala [B, L]
After a calm breakfast we depart the beautiful lake and head back to the capital city. En route we will pass the Equator where we will make a stop for photos and souvenir shopping. Late in the afternoon arrival in Kampala.

Overnight Cassia Lodge (mid range) or Le Petit Village (up market) 

Day 14: Mamba Swamp & Departure [B, L]

Early transfer to Mabamba Swamp, 50 km west of Kampala. Mabamba Swamp is one of the best places to spot the rare Shoebill Stork. But also many other species can be found here, like the Allen’s Gallinule, Grey herons, African Water Rail, Goliath, Purple and a variety of egrets and ducks. The best way to enjoy the rich birdlife is by canoe.

After this activity continue to Entebbe Airport for your onward flight. End of tour!!

Tour can depart any day with a minimum of 2 persons. Please specify accommodation preference.

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GTU 9 – 9 DAYS/8 NIGHTS RWENZORI MOUNTAINS TREK

Day 1: Kampala-Mbarara-Kasese [L, D]

Arrival at Entebbe airport by morning flight. Transfer to Kasese via Mbarara for lunch at the Agip Motel Mbarara. The journey takes you along the L. Victoria on a good road to Mbarara. From here, the landscape charges to a hilly and fertile area with tea and banana plantations. Dinner and overnight at the Margarita Hotel

Day 2: Rwenzori Mountains Nyakalengija 1600m – Nybitaba Hut 2652 m Nyabitaba hut [B, L, D]

From the Rwenzori Mountains National Park Head Quarter at Nyakalengija, 1.646 m, you will receive the briefing from the guides, with the possibility of hiring equipment. The hike starts through the plantations and homes of the Bakonjo, the people of the mountain, gradually reaching garden plots and elephants grass. You follow the Mobuku River, until crossing the Mahoma River. The trail passes through an open bracken fern slopes and Podorcarpus Forest, up to Nyabitaba Hut, 2.652 m, which is the arrival point for the day. This will take from 5 to 6 hours. From the location, you are facing on the North the Portal Peaks, 4.627 m. and in front Mount Kyniangoma. During the day, you might see monkeys, the Rwenzori turacoos.

The hiking of the Rwenzoris begins from this point

Day 3: Nybitaba Hut 2650m – John Matte Hut 3414 m [B, L, D]

Descend the ridge to the Mubuku River then climb through bamboo forest toward John Matte Hut (3414m). The afternoon is tiring boulder hopping ascending along the north side of the Bujuku river through giant heather forest (4.1/2-5.1/2 hours).

Day 4: John Matte Hut (3414m) – Bujuku Hut 3972 m [B, L, D]

Trek from John Matte Hut (3380m) to Bujuku Hut (3977m). We encounter the first of notorious bogs for which the Uganda approach to the peaks is famous. Traverse around Bigo Bog and Lake Bujuku. Look for the ‘everlasting flower’ known to remain on the plants for 40-years!

Day 5: Bujuku Hut 3900m- Elena Hut 4541 m [B, L, D]

From Bujuku Hut you climb through moss draped groundsel vegetation, to Scott Elliot Pass, 4.372 m., between Mt. Baker and Stanley. Here you divert to Elena Hut, 4.540 m. for spending the night before climbing Mt. Stanley.

Day 6

The Elena glacier to the Stanley Plateau where crampons may be required. Cross this in Elena Hut 4541m – Punta Margherita 5109 m. – Elena Hut 4541m- Kitandara Hut, 4.023 m. Elena Hut to Margherita peak (5109m) then down Elena Hut 4541m . Early morning traverse of a NW direction and follow the Margherita glacier to the col and to the summit (3 hours). Descend to Elena Hut and after you descend to Upper Kitandara lake and through thick mud to Lower Kitandara lake where is located Kitandara Hut, 4.023 m. Time to complete the hike about 3 hours more. From Kitandara Hut you can proceed for climbing Mount Baker or Mount Luigi di Savoia and the peak Vittorio Sella. Enjoy the view of Mt. Luigi di Savoia.

Day 7: Kitandara Hut – Guy Yeoman Hut, 3.261 m [B, L, D]

From Lake Kitandara you climb to Fresh field Pass, 4.282 m., a long flat of high alpine mossy glades, before descending the circuit among rocky and boggy areas. The panorama is dominated by the glaciers of Mounts Stanley and Baker and Mount of Savoy. A muddy trail leads to Akendahi, Bujongolo and Kabamba rock shelters, where starts the Kabamba valley down to Guy Yeoman Hut, 3.261 m. This can take up to 6 hours. The hut is surrounded by a beautiful landscape of mountains, vegetations and rivers.

Day 8

Guy Yeoman Hut – Nyabitaba hut. Drop very steeply alongside the Mobuku River, past Kichuchu, another rock shelter and join our original route near the confluence of the Bujuku River (3.1/2 hours).

Day 9: Nyabitaba- Nyakalengija base camp for overnight [B, L, D]

Nyabitaba Hut to the Nyakalengija road head (2-hours). Descend steeply off the ridge and notice enter the warm rainforest. Look for the tropical forest birds and monkeys. Transfer to Kampala or Entebbe, arriving in the late evening. End of Tour!

Tour can depart any day with a minimum of 2 persons. Please specify accommodation preference.

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