Day 0130th July 2020
- Arrival at Entebbe (D)
Upon your arrival at the Entebbe International Airport, you will be welcomed by a Rahhalah representative, and you will be transferred to the hotel. Enjoy the rest of the day at your leisure. Overnight:Central Inn (or similar), Entebbe.
Day 0231st July 2020
- Kampala to Murchison Falls National Park (B, D)
On this first day, you will head to the Murchison Falls National Park, Uganda's largest national park, measuring approximately 3,893 square kilometers, bisected by the Victoria Nile from east to west for about 115 kilometers. Along the way, you will have the opportunity to admire some of the natural wonders that turn Uganda into the pearl of Africa. Travel time from Kampala/Entebbe to Murchison Falls National Park: about 5 hours. Accommodation: Hornbill Bush Lodge or similar.
Day 031st Aug 2020
- Murchison Falls National Park: Early morning game drive, boat cruise, and hike to the top of the falls (B,L,D)
You will start the day with an early-morning game drive in the northern circuit of the park. There, among the beautiful, rolling plains, you may encounter lions, giraffes, hartebeest, buffalos, elephants, bushbuck, spotted hyenas, wild cats, leopards as well as many other mammals residing in the park. For the birders, this area hosts secretary birds, black-chested snake eagles, tawny and marshal eagles, and carmine and swallow-tailed bee-eaters among many others. In the afternoon, you will go for a boat trip to the bottom of the Murchison Falls where you will admire the Nile as it thunders through a small, 7-meter gap down to the delta. The banks of the Nile are home to many animals and bird species. You may see huge Nile crocodiles, hippos and other wildlife that may approach to drink from the river. Keep your camera handy so that you can capture these magical moments! After docking at the base, you will trek to the top of the mighty and ferocious Murchison Falls (around 30 mins hike), admiring on the way the views of the falls from different angles. This activity requires some physical fitness. While at the top, you will feel your breath taken away by the force, the sound and the speed of the Nile River as it is pushed through a small gap between the rocks. If you are afraid of heights, you may avoid standing close to the edge, but for those who dare, this promises to be a spectacular experience you will never forget! Game drive: approximately 2 hours. Boat ride to the bottom of the Falls: 2 hours. Accommodation: Hornbill Bush Lodge or similar.
Day 042nd Aug 2020
- Travel to Kyambura (B,L,D)
After breakfast, you will head to the Kyambura Gorge to track down chimpanzees. The distance between Murchison Falls and the Kyambura Forest is relatively long and may feel strenuous; however, it will give you an authentic feel of the Uganda countryside, and will help you further understand the patience required to observe and study nature. On the way, there will be regular stopovers to admire the Rift Valley escarpments, the lakes, the birdlife and local villages. Upon arrival, the fatigue from the long drive will disappear, as you will start enjoying the breeze and beauty of the forest. Driving time to Kyambura: about 8 -9 hours. Accommodation at Pumba Safari Cottages or similar.
Day 053rd Aug 2020
- Chimpanzee tracking in Kyambura/Kalinzu/Evening nature walk around the lodge (B,L,D)
Brace yourself for an encounter with humans’ closest cousins: the chimpanzees. Grab your jungle boots, hats and long-sleeved tops and join the forest wardens towards tracking these wonderful mammals! While in the forest, you will also have the change to observe a variety of other primates (including the Colobus monkeys and the mangabey), as well as birds, flowers, butterflies, and various insects. Chimpanzees are the closest relatives to humans as we share about 98.7% of our DNA composition with them. They are sociable, intelligent and very communicative, while they also have the ability to use tools for their needs (stones to crush nuts, empty pods to collect water, sticks for capturing termites from their holes). After this expedition, you will have lunch, relax for a few hours, and in the evening, you can enjoy a walk around the lodges for some additional birdwatching or interaction with the people of the community. Time allowed in the forest after locating the chimps: 1 hour. Accommodation at Pumba Safari Cottages or similar.
Day 064th Aug 2020
- Transfer to the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park (B,L,D)
After breakfast, you will be transferred to the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park for the highlight of this expedition: the gorilla tracking. Bwindi is home to almost half of the remaining mountain gorillas in the world, and your encounter with these large primates will undoubtedly take your breath away and move you to the core of your soul. Upon arrival at the lodge, you will check-in and relax in preparation for the next day’s activities. The driving time depends on the tracking sector, but it is between 4-7 hours. Accommodation at Rushaga Gorilla Camp or similar.
Day 075th Aug 2020
- Gorilla trekking in the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest / Batwa cultural experience (B,L,D)
Early morning, you will embark on your gorilla trekking adventure. This unique activity takes you through the densely forested, steep hills until you finally meet these tranquil giants. The moment you set eyes on them will be etched in your memory for life, and the emotions cannot be described in words. While entering the forest, you will first walk on a human made trail, but later you will veer off to follow tracks left by forest elephants. The canopy will envelop you entirely with rare and exotic flora sprouting from every side. This is a challenging trek since it involves hiking through steep ascents and tangled trails. Groups are organized based on the fitness levels of the participants, so you can participate in a shorter or longer hike depending on your preferences. For many, the chance to travel in such an exotic forest makes a longer hike worthwhile, as some gorilla troops are four hours away from the trailhead. Others might prefer to meet the gorillas that are the closest to the trailhead. Once gorillas are located, you will be allowed a maximum of one hour at their vicinity, before walking out of the dense forest. In the evening, you will enjoy a cultural experience with the Batwa. The Batwa are former inhabitants of the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest who lived a primitive type of life involving food gathering and hunting. For conservation purposes, they have been relocated outside the forest and are now adapting to their new life. Their lifestyle sheds light to the earliest years of humans on earth, before the agricultural revolution and, thus, connecting with them, as they showcase their traditional hunting skills, fire-making techniques, and dances, is very interesting and educational. Gorilla trekking time: 5-6 hours. Accommodation at Rushaga Gorilla Camp or similar.
Day 086th Aug 2020
- Return to Kampala / Entebbe / Departure (B)
After your memorable expeditions, it is time to bid Western Uganda goodbye and return to Kampala to catch your flight back home. This time, you will traverse the rolling hills and mountains of Kigezi and Ankole region, passing by valleys, lakes such as Bunyonyi, and forested areas, enjoying magnificent panoramic views. You will also make a brief stop at the equator crossing to take a few photos and engage in typical, equator-themed experiments (like pouring water in a basin, observing how it swirls in opposite directions above or below the equator line). Driving time from Bwindi to Entebbe: about 8 hours. Recommended departure of international flight: after 08:00 pm. Extra night can be arranged at an additional cost.