12 Days Big Five and Great apes of Africa
12 DAYS BIG FIVE OF AFRICA AND GREAT APES
Lake Mburo National Park
Lake Mburo National Park is Uganda’s smallest national park covering 370 square kilometers but one of the most amazing parks famous for the density of antelopes and Zebras. The park has thirteen lakes that are part of the Lake Mburo Conservation area with five inside the park, which makes it the perfect destination for wildlife to thrive not forgetting over 340 bird species that have recorded here. The park is just about four hours drive from the capital Kampala
Bwindi Impenetrable National Park
Bwindi National Park is a UNESCO designated world Heritage that hosts 51% of the total population of the reaming mountain Gorillas on the planet. The park sits on 331 square kilometers of bwindi impenetrable forest that believed to be more than 2 million years old with over 340 bird species, 120 mammal species, over 200 butterfly species, over 160 tree species among others that have recorded here in these dense jungles of Bwindi forest.
Queen Elizabeth National Park
Queen Elizabeth National park is Uganda’s most visited park and is the second oldest after Murchison falls national park. The park was gazzated in 1952 and later renamed Queen Elizabeth after the visit of her majesty the Queen of England in 1954. The park has abundant wildlife thriving in its diverse 1978 square kilometers ecosystem that’s characterized with sprawling savanna plains, sparkling crater lakes, Thickets, Rainforests, riverine and swamps hosting over 600 bird species and 98 mammal species.
Kibale forest National Park
Kibale national park is known as the primate capital of the world with thirteen primates species found in this one evergreen tropical forest. About 70 mammal species have been recorded in forest, over 370 bird species, 350 plant species including shrubs and trees and over 250 butterflies.
Murchison Falls National Park
Murchison Falls national park is Uganda’s oldest and largest national park that was gazzated in 1924 as Kabalega National park and later renamed in 1952 as Murchison falls national park. The conservation area is made of five reserves such as Karuma game reserve, Ajai game reserve, Bulisa game reserve and includes the Budongo central forest reserve where one can track chimpanzees and enjoy quality time birding with the unique forest species found in this tropical forest. The park is famous for the Murchison Falls where the Nile squeezes itself in a 7/8 metrees wide gorge forming the master piece of this park.
Day One – Arrival at Entebbe international Airport.
Upon Arrival at Entebbe International Airport, you will go through the emigration process that always takes between one to two hours depending on your arrival time and you will meet a representative from Tomatoto tours and after a short meet and greet, he will transfer you to your hotel in Entebbe for the overnight on Bed and Breakfast arrangement. Accommodation in Entebbe (luxury, Mid-range and Budget options are available)
Day Two – Drive from Entebbe to Lake Mburo National Park
After an eearly breakfast (we suggest 6:30), you will have a short briefing about your safari with your guide where he will tell you more about the pearl of Africa and the stunning journey to Bwindi the home for the mountain gorillas and chimpanzees. After the briefing, you will start your drive from Entebbe heading southwards through the lash greens and endless plains of south western with several interesting photographic stops at the Equator and lunch en route at Igongo cultural center or a similar place. Dinner and overnight in lake Mburo national Park. Accommodation in Lake Mburo national park. (Luxury, Mid-range and Budget options are available)
Day Three – Drive from Lake Mburo National Park to Bwindi national Park
After an eearly breakfast (we suggest 6:30), you will have a short briefing about your safari with your guide where he will tell you more about the pearl of Africa and the stunning journey to Bwindi the home for the mountain gorillas and chimpanzees. After the briefing, you will start your drive from Entebbe heading southwards through the lash greens and endless plains of south western with several interesting photographic stops at the Equator and lunch en route at Igongo cultural center or a similar place. Dinner and overnight in Bwindi. Accommodation in Bwindi. (Luxury, Mid-range and Budget options are available in all sectors and accommodation is dependent on the gorilla permit availability)
Day Four – One Hour Gorilla encounter in the dense jungles of Bwindi
After an early breakfast, your guide will drive you to the briefing center of Uganda Wildlife Authority to join other clients for a general detailed briefing about the rules and regulations of gorilla tracking. The briefing starts at 7:00am and at 8:00am you embark on the search of the mountain gorillas in the dense jungles of Bwindi for the gorilla family you have been allocated to. Your group will constitute of eight people and two/three armed rangers who are there to ensure that you are safe throughout the tracking process since the forest has other mammals including African elephants. One of the armed rangers leads the group as he is communicating with trackers who went to the forest earlier to track the movement of gorillas from the point where they slept last night to where they might be and will guide the guides on which routes to take. After you have located gorillas, you will have one full hour observing them in their natural habitat as they feed and go on with their daily life. The trekking can take two hours to Eight hours but one hours with these great apes is a life changing experience one. We recommend you carry a camera to capture this moment and preferably an extra SD card and battery so that you do not miss capturing this lifetime experience. In addition, packed lunch, drinking water, hiking boots, glovers and rain gear is a must have since forest is always wet and there is a possibility of rain anytime. After the one magical hour with the gorillas, return to the lodge for dinner and overnight in Bwindi. Accommodation in Bwindi. (Luxury, Mid-range and Budget options are available in all sectors and accommodation is dependent on the gorilla permit availability)
Day Five – Transfer from Bwindi national Park to Queen Elizabeth National park- Ishasha Sector
After breakfast, drive from Bwindi to Ishasha sector of Queen Elizabeth national park. Queen Elizabeth Park is undoubtedly Uganda’s most visited national park and Ishasha sector is famous for the tree-climbing lions. This day is dedicated to discovering the vast plains of Ishasha with a sundowner and bush breakfast for the wild lovers to be pre-booked at the lodge. Dinner and overnight in Ishasha sector. Accommodation in Ishasha sector. (Luxury, Mid-range and Budget options are available)
Note: Transfer about two hours covering over 100 kilometers.
Day Six – Full day Queen Elizabeth National park- Ishasha Sector
Since this is the most famous part of the park, we will dedicate this day to discovering the hiden gems of the sector. The sector is blessed with several tracks that a rich with abundant wildlife. While on a game drive, on a lucky day, you may be able to find several families of African Elephants, herds of Topes, pride of lions resting in tree or on the ground, spotting a leopard is always a plus. Depending on your previous arrangement, a sundowner at the ridge or by the rive Ntungwe would be a good idea to compliment the day. Accommodation in Ishasha sector. (Luxury, Mid-range and Budget options are available)
Day Seven – Drive to the North of Elizabeth National park- Kasenyi Sector
After breakfast, you will have a final game drive as you depart to northern part of the park. Depending on the time you arrive at your lodge, hot lunch will be served. Time allowing, you have a game drive in this sector looking for the big game before you afternoon boat cruise.
In the afternoon, you will take on a boat cruise on Kazinga channel to discover more about this park. Kazinga channel is famous for the population of hippos and is said to have the highest population of hippos on the African continent. Other wildlife can be sighted here including the African elephant, the Cape buffalo, waterbucks, birds, and reptiles like the Nile crocodile among others. Dinner and overnight at the lodge in Kasenyi sector. Accommodation in Kasenyi sector. (Luxury, Mid-range and Budget options are available)
Note: Transfer about two hours covering over 100 kilometers.
Day Eight– Drive from Queen Elizabeth national park to Kibale forest national park.
After breakfast, you will conduct the last game drive in Queen Elizabeth national park before you drive to Kibale forest national park. After lunch, you will drive towards Fort portal town where you have crater lakes drive if time allows. The craters are part of the beautiful sceneries of the region and walk to the top of the world is an experience that will blow you mind away. Dinner and overnight in Kibale. Accommodation in Kibale (Luxury, Mid-range and budget are available)
Day Nine– Chimpanzee tracking and Bigodi wetland walk.
After an early breakfast, you will drive to kanyanchu to join others for briefing before you head to forest with Uganda wildlife authority rangers. This is a half day activity and as your trying to locate the chimps following their calls with the help of rangers and trackers, you might also be able to find other primates such as l’hoests monkey, Red Colobus monkey, Black and white colobus monkeys and other mammal maybe be found in this evergreen tropical rainforest. One hour with man’s closest relative in their natural habitat is thrilling and memorable at the same time. These primates have been said to use tools to get food and your ranger guide will explain other behaviors. Later return to the lodge for a hot lunch.
In the afternoon, we take a walk in the famous Bigodi wetlands that a community project managed by the community and changing lives of the local people. On this walk, you will be able see some primates such as olive baboons, red-tailed/White nosed monkeys, bird species and cultural encounter with the local communities will brighten you day. Later drive back to lodge for dinner and overnight at the forest edge. Accommodation in Kibale (Luxury, Mid-range and budget are available)
Day Ten– Depart from the primate capital of the world to the world’s most powerful waterfall (Kibale -Murchison Falls National Park)
Today we drive from Kibale to Murchison Falls national park and the distance is about 380 kilometers, which will take us about 5/6 hours. This transfer will take us through the scenic local communities, team plantations, banana plantations, escarpments of the western rift valley arm, and forests among others. Depending on your accommodation and if time allows, we will conduct a short evening game drive on the northern bank of the Nile. Dinner and overnight at the lodge. Accommodation in the park or at the edge of the park (Luxury, Mid-range and budget are available)
Day Eleven– Morning Game drive and afternoon waterfall boat cruise
After an early breakfast preferably 6:30am we head out for a morning game drive to try and see if we can find some cats in action. On a lucky day, you may be able to find some lions by the road/tracks because the grass is wet very early in the morning and lions tend to come and walk through tracks avoiding the wet grass. Keep a keen eye on the big acacias for leopards in the morning when the sun is out.
In the afternoon, you will take a shared boat to the bottom of the falls.(Private are available on request) while on the boat, the Nile presents a chance of watching some animals who come to drink and cool off at the banks of the Nile including the great African elephants, waterbucks, giraffes, buffaloes among those that are aquatic including the nile crocodile, the monitor lizard, hippos, snakes among other. For bird lovers, this boat is definitely a good idea for some water birds, including the giant kingfisher, red-throated bee-eaters, African Fish eagle, rock pranticole among others. Later get off the boat and hike to the top of the falls to vie the falls where the Nile squeezes itself in in narrow gorge of 7/8 meter wide creating a master piece and beauty of this park. Dinner and overnight in the park. Accommodation in/at the edge of Murchison falls (Luxury, Mid-range and budget are available)
Day Twelve– Rhino tracking and transfer to Entebbe
After our breakfast, we will check out and proceed to Masindi, drive Ziwa where you will track rhinos on foot. Ziwa rhino sanctuary is the only place in Uganda where you will be able to see rhinos and track them on foot with the help of armed rangers who are there to guide you and protect throughout the experience and drive back to Entebbe for your international flight. (Only lunch included and day room use can pre booked at the guest house where you slayed for the first night or another option of your choice).
Included on this costs
- Accommodation as per the itinerary
- Entrance fees and tax involved
- One gorilla tracking permit per person
- One chimpanzee tracking permit
- 4×4 Safari customized vehicle with an English speaking guide
- Drinking water
- Activities mentioned in the itinerary
- Optional activities
- Tips and gratuity
- International tickets
- Visa entry fees
- Anything not mentioned in this itinerary
- Lake Mburo National Park
- Bwindi Impenetrable National Park
Queen Elizabeth National Park
- Kibale forest National Park
Murchison Falls National Park