10-day Uganda safari: Gorillas, Chimpanzees, Volcanoes and Batwa culture

Launched in July 2021, this 10-day safari allows guests to experience trekking the gorillas in both Bwindi Impenetrable Forest and the Virunga mountains of Mgahinga National Park. You will also see the the endangered golden monkeys and experience the ancient Batwa culture in Mgahinga, before finishing your safari in the savannah of Queen Elizabeth National Park, hiking to the lost chimps of Kyambura Gorge, and going for game drives with a chance to see the famous tree-climbing lions of Ishasha.

 

Safari Itinerary

Arrive at Entebbe airport where an Aerolink staff member will assist you with the check-in and transfer to your domestic flight to Kisoro which departs at 7 am. Upon arrival at Kisoro you will be welcomed by your expert guide who will provide knowledge and assistance throughout your journey.

The lodge is located at the foot of the Virunga Volcanoes and near the entrance to the national park. Enjoy your pre-dinner drinks on the terrace with stunning views of the Volcanoes or warm yourself inside by the roaring fire.

O/N Mount Gahinga Lodge (L,D)

After enjoying an early breakfast, you set off gorilla tracking. Trekking through the steep, densely forested hills and then finally coming across the gorillas camouflaged in the vegetation is an inspiring and privileged moment. Tracking in the Mgahinga Park Forest requires stamina and can often take most of the day.

In the afternoon visit the Gahinga Batwa Village, experience the culture and history of one of Africa’s oldest tribes. On your tour, you will visit their new home and will participate to the Batwa Heritage Tour to gain insight into their traditional life in the forest and even have lessons in hunting and gathering of medicinal plants.

O/N Mount Gahinga Lodge (B,L,D)

A relaxed morning during which you can track the golden monkeys through the bamboo forests of the mountains. The monkeys travel in large groups and are as energetic as they are photogenic, often seen playing in the high branches or foraging on the ground for bamboo shoots.

In time allow, you could visit the Batwa Vocational Center and or hike the Gisozi caldera in the afternoon. The lodge has beautiful terraced gardens where you can choose to sit and relax while enjoying pre dinner drinks.

O/N Mount Gahinga Lodge (B,L,D)

Transfer from Gahinga lodge to the Kisoro airstrip. Fly to Kihihi and transfer to Bwindi Lodge. Spend the rest of the day relaxing at the lodge or engage in a tea tour. A tea tour is available to interested Volcanoes Safaris guests, demonstrating how tea is grown, picked and traditionally processed in Uganda. The tour also shows how ‘black’, ‘green’ and ‘white’ teas are produced and differentiated. Guests are invited to sample the fine teas at the end of the tour whilst looking out over the impressive forest.

Enjoy pre-dinner drinks on the veranda that overlooks our namesake forest with the calls of more than 150 bird species echoing in the distance.

Approximate Travel Times: Flying 15 minutes; Driving 2 hours

O/N Bwindi Lodge (B,L,D)

After enjoying an early breakfast, you set off gorilla tracking. Trekking through the steep, densely forested hills and then finally coming across the gorillas camouflaged in the vegetation is an inspiring and privileged moment. Tracking in the Bwindi forest requires stamina and can often take most of the day.

In the evening, feel free to ask the staff to accompany you to Bwindi Bar located on Buhoma’s main street on the edge of the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest. Bwindi Bar will serve a variety of coffees and teas as well as delicious snacks and chilled drinks.

O/N Bwindi Lodge (B,L,D)

Today choose from one of the optional activities:

  • Go for a second gorilla trek (additional permits required)
  • Take a guided walk in the rainforest
  • Take a tour of our local tea processing cooperation
  • Visit the Bwindi Community Hospital that now provides vital medical and educational services to more than 60,000 people

O/N Bwindi Lodge (B,L,D)

Your safari now continues to Kyambura Gorge Lodge. Travelling via Ishasha – subject to road conditions – you can observe the unusual behaviors exhibited by the tree-climbing lions. The long journey through the rapidly changing landscape takes you through Queen Elizabeth National Park and to the contemporary Kyambura Gorge Lodge. Enjoy pre-dinner drinks on the veranda that overlooks the savannah plains with the magnificent Rwenzori Mountains in the distance.

O/N Kyambura Gorge Lodge (B,L,D)

Go for an early morning game drive for the best opportunity to see game. What you see depends on the season, but the Kasenyi plains are excellent for sighting lion and large herds of Uganda kob. During the game drive you will also engage in lion tracking with the research doctors. This increases your chances of seeing predators.

In the afternoon, you will have the opportunity of tracking the lost Chimpanzees of Kyambura Gorge.

If time allows, you can opt to visit various Volcanoes Safaris Partnership Trust-supported community projects such as a women’s coffee cooperative, wetland reclamation project, an omumushaka dance group performance and much more.

O/N Kyambura Gorge Lodge (B,L,D)

The Kyambura Gorge is an extraordinary natural environment and forms a stark contrast to the surrounding grasslands. Here you can track one of our closest animal relatives: the chimpanzee. The chimp population is quite mobile and viewing can be unpredictable but the walk itself is enchanting.

In the afternoon take a cruise on the Kazinga Channel, which flows between Lakes Edward and George. Kazinga is home to one of the greatest concentration of hippo in Africa and herds of elephant, buffalo and other animals come to drink at the waters edge. The channel is a magnet for waterbirds, with great flocks of pelicans and others birds on the shore, and a great spot to see African fish eagle.
O/N Kyambura Gorge Lodge (B,L,D)

Transfer from Kyambura lodge to the Kasese airstrip. Leave with the morning or afternoon return flight to Entebbe and connect in time for your international flight.

Approximate Travel Times: Flying 1 hour; Driving 2 hours

Please book international flights departing after 8pm

(B)

Accommodation for this Safari

The eclectic contemporary Kyambura Gorge Lodge has been converted from an old coffee processing plant and has incredible views overlooking the Queen Elizabeth National Park, the mythical Mountains of the Moon in the far distance.

Overlooking the primeval Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, Bwindi Lodge offers a truly unique jungle experience. Separated by nothing more than an idyllic stream, the gorillas themselves are frequent visitors to the finest lodge in Bwindi!

Nestled in the foothills of the Virunga Volcanoes, Mount Gahinga Lodge is an exclusive lodge that has the impressive backdrop of three of the volcanoes themselves. Its rustic charm creates an absorbing atmosphere of tranquility and history.