Uganda is the center of Africa’s own “Great Lakes” system. All that water has produced a country of verdant landscapes and thick forests, while the dark, rich soils support all manner of life. It is in these densely packed forests that Uganda’s most famous residents reside—the awe-inspiring mountain gorilla.These powerful and intelligent animals will often view you with as much scrutiny and curiosity as you are viewing them. It is an incredible reminder that there are still realms where humans are the visitors, and visitation is a privilege. Here is one such place.
Very Active. May involve strenuous hikes, severe stair climbing, arduous activities, in some cases in extreme weather conditions, heat, high elevation and humidity.
Uganda is a beautiful country and lovely to visit any time of the year. When gorilla trekking, it's not uncommon to encounter rain. After all, it is the rainforest you will be visiting and it rains quite a lot, but that will not stop you from trekking to see the gorillas. The rainy season overall in the country follows the East Africa pattern; long rains in April/May, and short rains in November. Gorilla viewing is actually better during the rainy season, as they are generally lower in elevation feeding and can be viewed with less trekking. However, this can never be guaranteed; neither can one guarantee 100% success in viewing the gorillas, although they're almost always sighted. Mountainous Rwanda has been dubbed "the country of a thousand hills" and is good to visit any time of the year. The weather pattern is similar to Uganda's as described above, and the same conditions apply when gorilla trekking.
Board your overnight flight from Washington, DC to Addis Ababa. Arrive the next morning and connect with your flight to Entebbe, arriving mid day. Here, you’re met and escorted to your lovely hotel, the latest addition to the Serena family on the shores of Lake Victoria, styled to replicate the lines of a classically rustic Roman villa. Widely spaced amongst the rose gardens, clusters of pastel-painted villas offer a choice of rooms and suites, all with panoramic lake views. Enjoy a welcome dinner tonight. SERENA LAKE VICTORIA HOTEL. (Meals Aloft; D)
Begin your Ugandan adventure with a full-day scenic drive passing through lush agricultural countryside. Upon reaching
Kyanjojo, drive through tea plantations and into the Kibale tropical rainforest. Explore Kibale Forest National Park, comprised of pristine lowland tropical rainforest, montane forest and mixed tropical deciduous forest as well as areas of grassland and swamp. Kibale is known to have the largest and most diverse population of primates in Africa. You may see families of chimpanzees and red colobus monkeys chattering and swinging through the ancient forest trees. The sightings of birds in the forest are no less impressive – at least 325 species, including the Crowned Crane, Uganda’s national bird. In addition, there are over 144 butterfly species. Your beautiful lodge is situated on a high saddle between two crater lakes with breathtaking views. NDALI LODGE. (B,L,D Daily)
Drive to Queen Elizabeth National Park and experience the excitement of wildlife viewing in Uganda’s second largest national park. You may see hippo, lion, leopard, elephant, buffalo, Ugandan kob, topi, bushbuck, pangolin, warthog, hyena and civet, as well as over a quarter of Africa’s bird species – more than any other park in Africa. Along with wildlife drives, take a launch trip on the Kazinga Channel and Lake Edward to view some of the largest concentration of hippo in the world, as well as Nile crocodile, African rock python, monitor lizard and a plethora of colorful birds. Between wildlife viewing expeditions, you can relax poolside at your lodge with its stunning views of Lake Edward, Kazinga Channel and the Rwenzori Mountains. MWEYA LODGE. (B,L,D Daily)
Continue your exploration of Queen Elizabeth National Park en route to Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park, a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site. Enjoy a game drive in the Ishasha sector of the park, famous for its tree climbing lions that can sometimes be spotted resting in the branches of the large fig trees in the area. Here you can visit some of the bat caves to see thousands of bats and possibly pythons and monitor lizards hunting these creatures. Enjoy a picnic lunch and arrive in Bwindi in the afternoon. At least 120 mammal and 346 bird species make their home here in one of the richest ecosystems in Africa, along with approximately half the world’s population of mountain gorillas, the most endangered ape. Fiercely protective of this natural treasure, Ugandan authorities permit only one-hour visitation in clusters of groups of 8 travelers. Your group will have the opportunity for one trek to view the mountain gorillas (one more trek at additional cost, based on availability). The trek can take from one to six hours and climb in altitude in excess of 7,500 feet. Picnic lunches will be provided. Your guide and porters will take you along river trails with delightful waterfalls, up steep slopes and into forest clearings in search of these gentle giants. Approximately 98% of the gorilla treks are successful but there is no guarantee that you will see the gorillas. The only camp located within the national forest, your stunning home is only five minutes from Bwindi Park Headquarters and is set on a flat ridge high in the forest, offering luxury, sophistication remoteness. SANCTUARY GORILLA FOREST CAMP. (B,L,D Daily)
Bid the gorillas goodbye as you drive to Lake Mburo National Park, covering approximately 100 square miles. Although small, 20% of its habitats are made up of five lakes and swamps with the remainder acacia woodlands. The wetlands are known for large numbers of hippo and crocodile, but deep in the papyrus grass are sitatunga antelope, and red, black and yellow papyrus gonalek. This is the best Park in Uganda to see eland, zebra, topi and impala and their predators: leopard, hyena and jackal. Over 300 bird species, including the rare Shoebill and the White-winged Warbler can be found here. Nature walks, boat trips and fishing are all available (additional costs may apply). Your environmentally friendly camp is on a 200-acre private reserve adjacent to the Park. MIHINGO LODGE. (B,L,D)
En route back to Entebbe, time permitting, do some last minute shopping and visit the Mpigi Royal Drum Makers. Later, transfer to the airport for your flights home. (B,L; Meals Aloft)
Start your Ugandan adventure with an extension on the banks of the Albert Nile. This is where part of the move The African Queen was filmed. Cruise up the Nile to view glorious Murchison Falls in the company of hippo, gigantic crocodile and a plethora of exotic birdlife. Murchison Falls National Park is one of the most spectacular and largest (1,480 square miles) in Uganda. Other animals regularly seen include elephant, giraffe, lion, buffalo and many antelope species, including the dainty oribi.
Continue your gorilla trekking adventure with a trip to Volcano National Park, Rwanda, the site of Dian Fossey’s celebrated gorilla habituation and anti-poaching project, and the location for the film Gorillas in the Mist. You will have an opportunity for one trek, with a second available at additional cost, based on availability of permits. Also, visit the Genocide Memorial Center in Kigali for a glimpse into the region’s troubled past.
|Aug 12 - 23, 2012||$8,795|
|Oct 14 - 25, 2012||$8,795|
|Dec 27 - Jan 7, 2012-13||$8,795|
|Jan 27 - Feb 7, 2013||$8,995|
|Mar 3 - 14, 2013||$8,995|
|May 12 - 23, 2013||$8,995|
|Aug 18 - 29, 2013||$8,995|
|Oct 13 - 24, 2013||$8,995|
|Oct 21 - Oct 31, 2013||$8,995|
|Dec 27 - Jan 7, 2013-14||$8,995|
Does not include international or domestic flights. Prices are based on 6 or more travelers, and are subject to change.
Here, you’re met and escorted to your lovely hotel, the latest addition to the Serena family on the shores of Lake Victoria, styled to replicate the lines of a classically rustic Roman villa. Widely spaced amongst the rose gardens, clusters of pastel-painted villas offer a choice of rooms and suites, all with panoramic lake views. Enjoy a welcome dinner tonight.
Your beautiful lodge is situated on a high saddle between two crater lakes with breathtaking views.
Between wildlife viewing expeditions, you can relax poolside at your lodge with its stunning views of Lake Edward, Kazinga Channel and the Rwenzori Mountains.
The only camp located within the national forest, your stunning home is only five minutes from Bwindi Park Headquarters and is set on a flat ridge high in the forest, offering luxury, sophistication remoteness
Your environmentally friendly camp is on a 200-acre private reserve adjacent to the Park.
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