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Your Safety is our Top Priority | Experienced Tour Guides | Unforgettable Gorilla Trekking Tours 

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Fly into Uganda and proceed to Kasese at the foot of the Rwenzori Mountains. You will spend the next days trekking the Rwenzori Mountain. The climax of the trek will be crown by reaching the summit – Margherita. From Rwenzori, proceed to Queen Elizabeth NP for some game viewing and chimp trekking in Kyambura Gorge. Exit Queen and Transfer to Bwindi via Ishasha sector (known for its tree-climbing lions). Enjoy gorilla trekking Bwindi and go for relaxation in Bunyonyi. Return to Entebbe Airport.

 

Tour Summary

  • You’ll go to Uganda Uganda
  • You’ll visit Rwenzori Mountains (Mountain Range), Queen Elizabeth NP, Kyambura (Queen Elizabeth NP), Bwindi NP & Lake Bunyonyi
  • This tour starts and ends in Entebbe

 

Tour Features

Mid-range tour

This mid-range tour uses lodges and tented camps.

Private tour

This tour will be run exclusively for you and won’t be shared with others.

Can start any day

If availability permits, this tour can start on any day.

Can be customized

You can request minor changes to the accommodation and destinations of this tour.

Suitable for solo travelers

Solo travelers can book this private tour.

15

Minimum age of 15 years

The minimum for this tour is 15 years.

 

Activities & Transportation

  • Activities: game drivesgorilla trekkingchimpanzee trekkingwalking safaris (with an armed guide) & boat trip
  • Game drives: pop-up roof 4×4 vehicle & pop-up roof minivan
  • Getting around: pop-up roof 4×4 vehicle & pop-up roof minivan
  • transfer from and back to the airport (or hotel) is included

Day 1: Arrive Entebbe and transfer to Kasese at the foot of the Rwenzori Mountains

Hopefully your flight is scheduled for an early landing (not past noon) in Uganda or else you arrive at least a night before your safari begins. Upon arrival at Entebbe airport, you will be received by the assigned driver/guide who will welcome you to Uganda and brief you about your safari. Thereafter, you will depart for Kasese via Mbarara with lunch en route. You will reach and do little but check into your accommodation for the overnight stay (awaiting the next day’s adventure).

Main Destination: Entebbe
Accommodation:
Hotel Margherita

Meals & Drink

  • Lunch & dinner (Breakfast not included)
  • Drinking water (Other drinks not included)

Day 2: Stage 1: Hike to Nyabitaba Hut (2651m) – approximately 5 hours

After an early breakfast (at the accommodation of your stay), move to the Rwenzori National Park offices at Nyakalengija for a briefing. At this location you will organize your luggage, hire mountaineering equipment and get a porter to help you with the luggage. You will then begin your 5-hour hike to Nyabitaba Hut (2,651m), your destination for the day. Dinner and Overnight will be at this Hut.

Main Destination:
Rwenzori Mountains
Accommodation:
Nyabitaba Hut
Meals & Drinks:
  • All meals included
  • Drinking water (Other drinks not included)

Day 3: Stage 2: Hike to John Matte Hut (3380m) – approximately 6 hours

You will leave Nyabitaba hut after an early breakfast and descend through the forest for a short time before crossing the Bujuku River at the Kurt Schafer Bridge to start the ascent. This is the longest and most strenuous part of the Margherita Peak Climb and will take a minimum of six hours. You will have a lunch break at Nyamileju Hut after which you will proceed to John Matte Hut, 3380m. From this location you will be able to see the snowcapped peaks of Mount Stanley. Dinner and overnight will be at the John Matte Hut.

Main Destination:
Rwenzori Mountains
Accommodation:
John Matte Hut
Meals & Drinks:
  • All meals included
  • Drinking water (Other drinks not included)

Day 4: Stage 3: Hike to Bujuku Hut (3962m) – approximately 4-5 hours

After an early breakfast you will leave John Matte Hut and cross the Bujuku River entering the two Bigo Bogs, which are often knee-deep in mud. From this boggy valley you will have a good view of Mount Stanley. You will then reach the Lake Bujuku, and then proceed through a muddy swampy area to Bujuku Hut, 3962 m. Dinner and overnight at Bujuku Hut.

Main Destination:
Rwenzori Mountains
Accommodation:
Bujuku Hut
Meals & Drinks:
  • All meals included
  • Drinking water (Other drinks not included)

Day 5: Hike to Elena Hut (4541m) – approximately 3-4 hours

From Bujuku Hut you will continue trekking the Rwenzori Mountains with a climb through moss draped groundsel vegetation to Scott Elliot Pass (4.372m) between Mt. Baker and Stanley. Here, you will divert to Elena Hut, 4.540 m. for spending the night before climbing Mt. Stanley.

Main Destination:
Rwenzori Mountains
Accommodation:
Elena Hut
Meals & Drinks:
  • All meals included
  • Drinking water (Other drinks not included)

Day 6: Stage 5: Hike to Margherita Peak (5109m) and back to Kitandara hut – 6 hours

From Elena Hut, you ascend the last tract of rock and ice which leads to Margherita Peak on Mt. Stanley (5.109m). Time to complete the climbing is about 3 hours. This last part of the ascent will necessitate application of special equipment such as crampons, ice axe and rope to walk through the glacier area of Mount Stanley. Thereafter, you will descend to Upper Kitandara Lake and through thick mud to Lower Kitandara Lake where Kitandara Hut is located (4.023m). Dinner and overnight will be at Kitandara Hut.

Main Destination:
Rwenzori Mountains
Accommodation:
Kitandara Hut
Meals & Drinks:
  • All meals included
  • Drinking water (Other drinks not included)

Day 7: Stage 6: Descent to Guy Yeoman Hut – approximately 5 hours

You will have an early breakfast followed by a short climb in the direction of Mount Baker up to Freshfield Pass, 4282m. You will then begin the descent through steep rocky trails passing the rock shelters of Akendahi, Bujongolo and Kabamba before reaching Guy Yeoman Hut, 3261 m. From the hut, you can enjoy breathtaking views of Mount Baker. Dinner and overnight will be at Guy Yeoman Hut.

Main Destination:
Rwenzori Mountains
Accommodation:
Yeoman Hut
Meals & Drinks:
  • All meals included
  • Drinking water (Other drinks not included)

Day 8: Stage 7: Descent to Nyabitaba Hut (2651m) – approximately 3-4 hours

You will have an early breakfast and continue the descent to Nyabitaba Hut, 2651m. The trial is attractive along the valley of the Mobuku and Kichuchu rivers, rich in plants and flowers of the heather zone before reaching the bamboo forest. See Kabamba falls on the way. Time to reach Nyabitaba Hut is about 4 hours. From Nyabitaba starts the 40 minutes trial to see Lake Mahoma and back to the hut. Dinner and overnight will be here.

Main Destination:
Rwenzori Mountains
Accommodation:
Nyabitaba Hut
Meals & Drinks:
  • All meals included
  • Drinking water (Other drinks not included)

Day 9: Stage 8: Descent to Nyakalengija (1615m), 3-4 hours and Transfer to Queen Elizabeth NP

After breakfast you will descend to Nyakalengija camp – the starting point. On arrival at Nyakalengija, you will hand over the hired equipment and then transfer to the booked accommodation inside Queen Elizabeth NP. Queen, one of the country’s most frequented tourist destinations. The park features diverse ecosystems called home by a variety of wildlife species – ten primate species (including chimpanzees), more than 600 bird species, and classic big games. Depending on interest, you may proceed out for some afternoon (evening) game viewing or do the explosion crater drive (which is mainly sightseeing). Dinner and overnight at the lodge.

Main Destination:
Queen Elizabeth National Park
Accommodation:
Pumba Safari Cottages
Meals & Drinks:
  • All meals included
  • Drinking water (Other drinks not included)

Day 10: Chimp tracking in the Kyambura gorge and boat trip on the Kazinga Channel

Be up early, have breakfast and proceed for Chimpanzee tracking in the Kyambura gorge. The Gorge is home to habituated Chimpanzees plus other primates including Baboons, Monkeys and also bird species. Today, you will spend the early part of the day tracking chimpanzees here. Thereafter, return to the accommodation for lunch.

After lunch you will go for a two-hour boat trip on the Kazinga Channel which connects Lakes: George and Edward and you will surely be fascinated by the concentrations of giant hippos, elephants and crocodiles among others. You will also see many varieties of birds at the water shores. You will have dinner and overnight at your accommodation.

Main Destination:
Kyambura Gorge (Queen Elizabeth NP)
Accommodation:
Pumba Safari Cottages
Meals & Drinks:
  • All meals included
  • Drinking water (Other drinks not included)

Day 11: Exit Queen for Bwindi with en route game viewing in the Ishasha sector

Have breakfast then set off for Bwindi Impenetrable NP through the Ishasha sector of Queen Elizabeth National Park – famously known for its resident tree-climbing lions. The chance of spotting these lions is about 70% though sometimes they are really hard to spot (most especially when they’re down in the grassland looking for prey). Hoping you get the chance to spot them, the sight will be spectacular!
Continue to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. Bwindi is a big habitat for mountain gorillas in Uganda; harboring an estimated 400 mountain gorillas – roughly half of the world’s population, including several habituated groups, which can be tracked. With a strenuous day ahead, you will do less on arrival but just check in your accommodation, relax as you prepare for the Bwindi gorilla trekking experience the following day.

Main Destination:
Bwindi Impenetrable National Park
Accommodation:
Bakiga Lodge
Meals & Drinks:
  • All meals included
  • Drinking water (Other drinks not included)

Day 12: Go gorilla trekking Bwindi and later transfer to Lake Bunyonyi for relaxation

After an early breakfast and a briefing by a ranger guide, you will enter the gorilla sanctuary for your adventure. The beauty of this rain forest is spectacular! The area offers dramatic steeply forested landscape and is incredibly dense, but crisscrossed by numerous animal trails allowing access to tourists. The time taken and the terrain vary with the movements of these great primates. Once you locate a gorilla group, you will be allowed an hour in their presence. The thrill of spending time observing these gentle and endangered giants is an awesome, exciting experience to be long savored.
Return to your lodge. Have your lunch and thereafter check out for a transfer to Lake Bunyonyi. Lake Bunyonyi is framed by lush, green-terraced hills that reach a height of (2,200 – 2,478m) but it’s the 29 islands of various shapes and sizes scattered across the water that make it most magical — you could admire them all day.

Main Destination:
Lake Bunyonyi
Accommodation:
Lake Bunyonyi Rock Resort
Meals & Drinks:
  • All meals included
  • Drinking water (Other drinks not included)

Day 13: Depart Bunyonyi for your outbound flight in Entebbe Airport

Have a relaxed breakfast at the accommodation with spectacular view of the Bunyonyi little islands just right in front of you and thereafter embark on your return journey to Entebbe Airport. Expect en route stopovers in Mbarara town for lunch and the Uganda Equator line mark in Kayabwe for some memorable photos and maybe buying some art pieces of interest. Proceed with the journey arriving late afternoon/evening for drop off at the airport. 

Main Destination:
Entebbe International Airport
Accommodation:
No accommodation (End of tour)
Meals & Drinks:
  • Breakfast & lunch (Dinner not included)
  • Drinking water (Other drinks not included)

 

End of tour

Rates Per Person

 Solo: 1 room2 people: 1 room3 people: 2 rooms4 people: 2 rooms5 people: 3 rooms6 people: 3 rooms 
 $4,683$3,677$3,485$3,306$3,238$3,170 

Included

  • Park fees(For non-residents)
  • Gorilla permits(One per person, non-resident)
  • Chimp permits(One per person, non-resident)
  • All activities(Unless labeled as optional)
  • All accommodation(Unless listed as upgrade)
  • A professional driver/guide
  • All transportation(Unless labeled as optional)
  • All Taxes/VAT
  • Roundtrip airport transfer
  • Meals(As specified in the day-by-day section)
  • Drinking water(On all days)

Excluded

  • International flights(From/to home)
  • Additional accommodation before and at the end of the tour
  • Tips(Tipping guideline US$5.00 pp per day)
  • Personal items(Souvenirs, travel insurance, visa fees, etc.)
  • Government imposed increase of taxes and/or park fees

WHY BOOK TRIP WITH US?

Rated Excellent on Tripadvisor – Over 1,000 happy guests since 2009
Gorilla permits guaranteed
Local Tour Operator based in Uganda & Rwanda
Highly trained & experienced tour leaders/guides
Safety is our #1 Priority
Affordable and unforgettable tours and excursions
All our tours are available in budget & luxury versions
Travelling in small groups (2-12 persons)
Individual tailor-made safaris possible
Drive around in the best 4WD Toyota LandCruisers
English speaking Ugandan drivers and guides
Group tours single friendly

Gorilla & Chimps Permits
It is not possible to ‘reserve’ gorilla and chimpanzee permits. Therefore we can only buy them after your booking and down-payment and also here it all depends on availability.

Gorilla permits in Uganda cost: US$600.00
Chimpanzee permits in Uganda cost: US$150

Our tour guides/drivers

We understand that the bulk of our customers are keen on good guiding practices and as such we hire only the best on the market. The majority of our accredited safari guides, fixers, drivers and translators have undergone extensive training on the standard operating procedures of tours and excursions some with long standing experience as former Uganda Wildlife Authority park rangers with a wealth of Knowledge on Uganda’s flora and fauna as well as the history, culture and geography of Uganda. The company regularly takes the guides through refresher courses on emerging skills requirements as demanded by the ever changing global tourism market often facilitated by the Uganda Safari guides Association in partnership with other stakeholders such as the Uganda Bird Guides club and conservation societies.

Fitness Level:

The trekking for gorillas can be strenuous as the conditions may be muddy and steep. We have no real way of knowing how far away the gorilla families will be so there could be a hike of up to 4 hours until we come across the gorillas. So a good level of fitness is required and participants must be used to walking. Moderate walking / Strenuous walking / Walking safari / The chimpanzee full day habituation experience requires a good level of fitness as the walking will be through hot and humid dense rainforest. Chimps can move quickly through the forest and to follow them can mean marches for 30 mins or so until we catch up with them again. The experience can finish whenever you wish but we can be there for 12 hours if you wish, so be prepared for a long day walking through the forest. The gorilla tracking in Bwindi National Park(Uganda) can be between 1 and 4 hours and the ridges here are very steep, the tracking in Volcanoes National Park (Rwanda) can also be between 1 and 4 hours long and include steep climbs. Both places are dense with vegetation and the weather can be either cool and wet or hot and sunny. We require all guests to be aware of the physical effort needed to see wild chimps and gorillas and require everyone to have a good level of fitness and be used to hill walking.

Seasons: 

The tracking of gorillas and chimpanzees is available all year around. However due to two wet seasons we recommend the between early June and mid October and then again from early December to late February.
As the rain forests and montane forests where these primates live are tropical the weather is pretty constant year around, the only significant climatic factor are the two wet season. So we recommend the dry seasons of early June to mid October and then again from early December to late February. However it can certainly rain heavily at any time of the year.

Equipment:

When you book onto the tour we will send you a comprehensive pre-departure pack which will include a full packing list of recommended equipment; but as a rule of thumb we recommend you bring along your own binoculars or spotting scope(although this is not always very useful in the forests) as well as appropriate clothing; which should be hard wearing clothing which you do not mind getting muddy. Long trousers and long sleeved shirts are a good idea as the vegetation in the forests can be spiny and there are some stinging nettles, for the days travelling shorts and short sleeves are recommended. The nights can be chilly so a fleece is not a bad idea. Water proofs are essential and ponchos not a bad idea either. Comfortable and broken in, water proof walking boots with ankle support are a must. Insect repellent is needed. Any medication, books or other items of a personal nature is of course up to you to bring along. Oh and please bring plenty of memory cards or film for your camera. Also do not forget sun cream, sun hat and sun glasses as the sun can be very strong here during the day.

Minimum Age: 15 Years old

Uganda

Uganda, or the ‘Pearl of Africa’, as it was famously dubbed by Winston Churchill, is characterised by relatively dry and flat savanna in the north, with verdant mountains in the West, and vast dense and remarkably lush forests in the central region. The nation is home to an astonishingly diverse range of African wildlife including the highly endangered mountain gorilla which can be found in the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest. A popular spot for wildlife watching is Queen Elizabeth National Park, which hosts four of the Big Five, a flock of flamboyant flamingos and the rare tree-climbing lions of Ishasha. Outdoor enthusiasts can get their adrenaline fix with plenty of whitewater rafting, kayaking, hiking, quad biking and horse riding facilities on offer. Add to this some friendly locals, a burgeoning cultural scene, and a capital city full of lively bars, clubs and restaurants, and it is easy to see why Uganda has gained itself a reputation as ‘Africa’s friendliest country’.

Currency

The local currency is the Uganda Shilling (UGX). Notes are in denominations of UGX50,000, 20,000, 10,000, 5,000, 2,000 and 1,000. Coins are in denominations of UGX500, 200, 100, 50, 10, 5, 2 and 1. However, UGX1,000 notes are soon to be replaced by coins. Try not to accept very old or damaged notes where possible, as some places may refuse to take them.

The US dollar, euro and pound sterling are all recognised currencies in Uganda, and both euros and dollars are now widely accepted for cash payments. Other international currencies may also be accepted in some places in the major cities, although visitors may struggle with other currencies in

The import and export of local currency is prohibited. Import of foreign currency is unlimited if declared upon arrival. Export of foreign currency must not exceed the amount declared upon arrival.

Foreign currency may be exchanged at the Central Bank, commercial banks and foreign exchange bureaux. Be aware that dollar notes from before 2006 will not be accepted for exchange.smaller towns.

Banking

Banking hours: Generally Mon-Fri 0830-1400, Sat 0900-1200. Forex bureaux are open until 1700 and able to do electronic transfers to and from overseas.

American Express, Diners, MasterCard and Visa credit cards are sometimes accepted but not widely used. Some large hotels, restaurants, travel agencies and shops in urban areas accept credit cards.

ATMs are available in the larger cities but ATM services in smaller towns and rural areas are limited. It is advisable to check with your bank to see if your card is compatible with Ugandan ATMs.

Traveller’s cheques are not widely accepted outside Kampala. To avoid additional exchange rate charges, travellers are advised to take traveller’s cheques in US Dollars or Pounds Sterling. It is advised that travellers bring sufficient US dollars in cash in case of emergencies. Higher denomination bills usually give a better exchange rate than smaller notes.

Visas and Entry Requirements

Uganda

Visas for Uganda for most nationalities must be obtained through an Electronic Visa application online in advance, and a payment of $50 USD cash will have to be made upon arrival to the border.

** Please be advised that a valid yellow fever vaccination card is mandatory for entry into Uganda.

Emergency Fund
Please also make sure you have access to at least an additional USD $200 (or equivalent) as an ’emergency’ fund, to be used when circumstances outside our control (ex. a natural disaster) require a change to our planned route. This is a rare occurrence!

Tipping
Tipping is an expected, though not compulsory, component of your tour program. The gesture serves as an expression of appreciation for exceptional service, and amounts given are up to your discretion.

Tipping is one of the most direct ways that you can have a positive economic impact within the African community. Although it may not be customary for you, it is an important source of income for those in the tourism industry. Giving a tip should be a seen as a formal ‘thank you’, and the action should in no way be awkward.

The best method of tipping someone that has served the whole group is to plan in advance, and not rush when it comes to saying goodbye. A suggestion would be for each group member to contribute anonymously by putting their tip into an envelope. This often works the best and the group should gather to present the gift to the recipient(s), offering their thanks and showing their appreciation. This method brings the action out into the open, allowing for a friendly and appreciative interaction between the group and the recipient(s).

You may use the following as a guideline, all given in a per person format:

Local guides: $2-3 USD (per day).
Safari Guide/Driver: $2-3 USD (per day).
Restaurant Staff: 10-15% of cost of bill.
Gorilla trekking guides: $2-4 (per day).

Travel Insurance
Travel insurance is compulsory in order to participate on any of our trips. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects.

International Flights
Check-in times and baggage allowances/restrictions vary by airline and can change at any time. For the most up-to-date information for your flight, please contact your airline. We recommend checking in online in advance to avoid potential delays at the airport.

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