Day 1: Welcome to Uganda – the Pearl of Africa
When you arrive at Entebbe International Airport, an Igeno Safaris guide/driver will pick you up and take you to Laico Lake Victoria Hotel – a mere seven-minute drive from the airport – where you'll spend the night ahead of your trip to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park tomorrow morning. Time allowing you'll go on a tour of Entebbe and browse local markets, shop locally, or check out some of this chick colonial town's favourite eateries and pubs as you mingle with the locals – Africa's friendliest people.
Journey time: 7 minutes
Day 2: Transfer to Bwindi Impenetrable Forest
After breakfast, you will embark on an eight-hour journey to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, home to the iconic mountain gorillas. Bwindi plays host to about 53 per cent of the world's remaining mountain gorillas, which are currently numbering about 1,000 individuals, according to a 2018 gorilla census.
<p class="margin-2-5 no-margin-bottom no-margin-rl text-large">The drive to western Uganda will fascinate with views of lush green vegetation and beautiful hills farmed in terraces. You will stop in Mbarara town for lunch – midway through the journey – and then continue through the verdant countryside to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. Upon arrival later in the evening, you will check into your lodge for dinner and overnight. Expect sounds of birds and echoes of other forest residents to put you to sleep peacefully!
Hotel options: Gorilla Resort Lodge | Silverback Lodge | Buhoma Lodge | Gorilla Safari Lodge
Day 3: Gorilla trekking
In the morning after a quick, light breakfast, you will head out to the park headquarters for a briefing by the ranger guide. After equipping you with the dos and don'ts of gorilla trekking, the ranger will divide you and other trekkers into 14 groups, for there are 14 habituated gorilla families in Bwindi.
Gorilla trekking is a physically demanding activity because of the long hours it can take; depending on how far the gorillas will have moved, the trek could take anywhere between one and eight hours. However, from the onset, you will see various primates, coloured butterflies, birds and a variety of plant species.
Even though trekking can be strenuous, it will be worth it when you finally meet the gorillas! It's gratifying and memorable to come into contact with these peaceful, gigantic primates.
According to park rules, you will be allowed to watch the gorillas at a five-metre distance as the old ones feed and the juveniles play – and for not more than one hour.
After gorilla trekking, you will head back to the lodge for relaxation as you wait for the afternoon village walk to the Batwa community – former inhabitants of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest before it was gazetted – and get an opportunity to learn about their way of life. You will visit the community school, the women's crafts shop, as well as their traditional healer. Men, women and children will gladly entertain you with traditional songs and dances before you return to the lodge to rest, dine and slumber.
Gorilla trekking time: 1-8 hours
Accommodation options: Gorilla Resort Lodge | Silverback Lodge |Buhoma Lodge | Gorilla Safari Lodge | Clouds Lodge | Mahogany Springs Lodge | Gorilla Forest Camp
Day 4: Birdwatching
After breakfast in the morning, you will head out again for a full day of birdwatching, this time within the Buhoma area and on the outskirts of the park.
Today's guaranteed sightings will include the Cuckoo-Shrike, Red Tailed Bulbul, Great Blue & Black Billed Turacos, Bar-Tailed Trogon, Elliot's Woodpecker, Dusky & Barred Long-Tailed Cuckoos, Petit, Grey-Throated Barbet and Black Bee-eater, among others. Later in the evening, you will return to the lodge for dinner and overnight.
Day 5: Visit Ankole cultural sites and return to Kampala
After an early breakfast, you will be driven back to Kampala – making sure to stop briefly at the Igongo Cultural Centre for lunch and an introduction to the lifestyle of the Ankole people, one of the dominant tribes in western Uganda. You will also make another stopover at the Equator – the monument marking the centre of Earth – for one last Kodak moment.
Upon arrival in Kampala you will be taken to your hotel for dinner and the overnight.
Day 6: Departure
Unfortunately, today is your final day with Igeno Safaris. This is the end of your fascinating, 6-day birding and gorilla trekking safari in Uganda. In the morning after breakfast, you will be driven to Entebbe International Airport to catch your flight back home.
Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, a vast primaeval forest located in Kanungu district, southwestern Uganda, where you’ll come face-to-face with the iconic mountain gorillas. You will also trek chimpanzees – human’s closest relatives – in their natural habitat before returning home.
History of the City
This five-day primate safari will take you through the lush Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, a vast primaeval forest located in Kanungu district, southwestern Uganda, where you'll come face-to-face with the iconic mountain gorillas. You will also trek chimpanzees – human's closest relatives – in their natural habitat before returning home.